“Grandpa Wrote a Book,” Ensign, Feb. 1995, 72–73
When my father, Harold Glen Clark, was young, his grandfather told him stories. So my father, when he became a grandfather, wrote down some of his own stories and gave them to his grandchildren in the form of a ninety-page book. He told of experiences such as this:
“I was thinking about which one thing I had ever done might have pleased the Lord most. Then it came to me what it might be. It was when I was sixteen or seventeen years old. My mother, who often took in the unfortunate, had the care of two grandpas at one time. Someone said to her in jest, ‘Why don’t you put up a sign “Grandpas wanted!”’ But it wasn’t funny, because I was assigned to take care of Grandpa Benjamin Noble, who had to be bathed, dressed, and undressed and helped to the table to eat. Now, I was a fun-loving young man, and here I was too many times, nursing Grandpa while a good game of basketball was going on outside. Once when my pals were calling me, I was inside doing the tedious chore of taking off his wet pajamas. I was impatient and upset. Then I felt Grandpa’s trembling hand on mine. I turned and met his tearful countenance and heard him say, ‘God bless you, my boy. You will never regret doing this for me.’ I was so sorry I had been resentful, but my heart was light and my spirit had eagle’s wings. To this day I have a warm glow about this little service I performed for a quite helpless grandpa. I suppose doing something for someone which they cannot do for themselves brings you close to God, because that’s what he and his Son are doing all the time, out of pure love for us.
“So, when I step up to heaven’s entrance, this little service might be the most precious thing I ever did. I might even hear the words, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me’ (Matt. 25:40).”
His concise stories and observations of daily life, illustrated with simple drawings, are an expression of his personal philosophy. These stories have become an important part of our family history. They are words he gave his grandchildren to live by. Stories from Grandpa’s book, “Tell Us Another One, Grandpa,” have been taken to school for reports, used as resource material for Church talks and lessons, and shared with friends and family. The circle of Grandpa’s influence continues to widen as we read his musing:
“‘Why don’t you get a recommend and go to the temple of the Lord?’ I asked a father of a fine Latter-day Saint family. ‘Well, Bishop,’ he replied, ‘I just don’t want to be that good.’
“I have thought since that to recognize a good thing and then want it with your heart, mind, and strength is such an important, precious gift that it just has to come from God.
“God bless the great question askers, the great seekers for righteousness, the great wanters of good things. I, your grandfather, don’t wish you some easy success. But I do wish for you to have wants that make you dress before dawn, or cross burning deserts, or wrestle with God until you get that good blessing. What an interesting life there is ahead for the wanters, not only here and now but a thousand worlds from here!”
Over the years, some of the stories have been read so many times that they are known by heart. Now even the younger grandchildren, who never knew their grandfather in person, can learn lessons from his life and come to appreciate their family heritage.
Written in language with levels of meaning for both children and adults, Grandpa’s book reflects his belief that “all things unto [the Lord] are spiritual” (D&C 29:34) and that even small experiences have eternal implications.—Lynn Clark Callister, Provo, Utah