“Grandpa Quits Smoking,” Ensign, Apr. 1991, 60
A favorite Sunday afternoon activity in my family was to drive to Grandpa and Grandma Mecham’s. They lived in an old Victorian house built in the 1890s. The backyard was like a jungle, with huge drooping willow trees, a big haystack, and a grassy irrigation ditch that cut through the middle of the yard. During the summer, we had great water fights in that ditch.
There was always plenty of food; Grandpa supplied a roast and corn on the cob from his garden, and everyone else brought salads and desserts.
But there was one dinner that neither Grandpa nor Grandma Mecham was invited to attend. On past occasions our family had fasted together when a family member needed help or was in trouble. This time it was Grandpa Mecham who needed our help. One Sunday afternoon we gathered at my uncle’s house to discuss how we could help.
Grandpa had smoked a pipe for several years. It had damaged his health and had kept him from attending the temple. The family came fasting to the gathering. We prayed that the Lord would bless Grandpa with the strength and desire to quit smoking. Now we were going to decide what else we could do to help him overcome his habit.
As the family prepared to break their fast and eat the usual meal, in walked Grandpa and Grandma Mecham. They were astonished to see the whole family gathered without them. My uncles told Grandpa and Grandma the truth about the family gathering, expressing the family’s love for Grandpa and Grandma; then they told Grandpa how much we wanted to enjoy his fellowship in the eternities. Grandpa and Grandma were speechless. Then Grandpa committed to stop smoking.
A few months later, Grandpa had overcome his habit, and all those in the family who held recommends attended the temple with Grandpa and Grandma Mecham.
After several years of serving as a worker in the Provo Temple, Grandpa began to have difficulty breathing. The years of smoking had left him with emphysema. But thanks to the help of the Lord and encouragement from his earthly family, Grandpa was better prepared to meet the Savior when he left us.