“Why I Honor My Father,” Ensign, January 2019
I consider June 2, 1940, to be a very important day in the history of my family. On this day my father was baptized.
I am not sure my father was able to foresee the wisdom of his act, but I love him for what he did that day.
My father was the son of Lithuanians, but he was born in Scotland. He moved to Brazil when he was still young. His ability to speak English facilitated his conversion since he could read the Book of Mormon in English, and there was not yet a reliable translation into Portuguese.
I admire the courage my father had to be baptized. It was not easy for him. His wife did not get baptized with him.1 The vices of drinking alcohol and smoking were strong temptations for him. He was poor. His mother told him that if he were baptized, she would no longer consider him her son. With fewer than 300 members in Brazil, the Church did not have a single chapel there. I am truly astonished by my father’s determination and courage.
How could he make such a decision in the face of so many unfavorable circumstances? The answer is simple: it was because my father read the Book of Mormon and came to know of the truthfulness of the message of the Restoration.
To those who may argue that we cannot know these things, I testify that we can, when we are humble enough to do as God has instructed us. To believe otherwise would be to accept the absurd notion that God also does not know where truth can be found or does not have the power to show it to us.
Why do I love and honor the name of my father? Because my father read and acted on the promise of the Book of Mormon. Because he did not recoil from the answer he received, even while facing great challenges. Because he blessed my life, even before I was born, by having the courage to do what God expected him to do.