“Friend to Friend,” Friend, Feb. 1975, 6
“Young men, I want to counsel you about your future missions. I was once a boy like you. That may seem like a long time ago to you, but to me it’s but a moment. I have passed through every day of every year that you have lived thus far—and much, much more. I am also a father and I have had much experience with young people during my lifetime.
“When the prophet of God declares that now is the time to lengthen our stride and to increase our missionary force, now is the time!
“I talked with a young man about a mission. He said, ‘I don’t want to go.’ I asked, ‘What has that got to do with it? We need you.’”
“Learn to pray constantly. Kneel down morning and evening. Get on good terms with the Lord. Like the young man who said: ‘Whenever I pass the church, I always stop to visit; so when I’m finally carried in, the Lord won’t ask, “Who is it?”’”
“A very special young friend of mine served as a missionary of this Church in Japan. His dedication to missionary work and the Japanese people was so complete and full that, rather than spend all of the money his parents sent to him, he unselfishly made a regular contribution of part of his money to help another local Japanese missionary. … In time, as with most missionaries, the clothes of my young friend became threadbare and thin. In order for him to be able to come home, it was necessary for him to buy a second-hand suit from one of the other elders. His regular denial of himself, in order to share his substance with the local Japanese missionary, was a very closely guarded secret. He is a good example of the young elect of God of this Church, as are hundreds of thousands of others.”
“I have a sweet Aunt Beryl Hollindrake. She told me that when she was just three or four years old that my great-grandmother, her Grandmother Featherstone, would hold her on her lap and tell her about the Savior, all the beautiful stories. Then she would recall how my great-grandmother would tell her about the Savior’s trial and how they beat him and cursed him and spit upon him—how they dragged him and forced him against the cross and drove huge spikes into his hands cruelly. She said, ‘As my grandmother would tell me these stories, tears would stream down her cheeks.’ And she said, ‘It was on the lap of my grandmother that I learned to love the Savior with all of my heart and soul.’”
“If there is to be a contribution to the building fund or the Red Cross or a Saturday morning spent helping the elders quorum paint a widow’s house, make sure the children are aware of it, and if it is feasible, let them have a share in the decision-making and in the implementation of the decision. All the family could attend the baptism, confirmation, and ordination of a member of the family. All of the family could root for a son who is on the ball team. All meet regularly in home evenings, at mealtime, at prayer time. Perhaps all of the family could pay tithing together, and each learns by precept and example the beautiful principle.”
“A very wise bishop called several young people into his office and said to them, ‘I would like you to help me in an experiment. I would like to prove the impact and influence of one member on the spirit of the family. For one month I would like each one of you to be the peacemaker in your home. Now don’t say anything about this to your family, but be thoughtful, kind, and considerate. Be an example. Where there is quarreling or bickering among members of your family, do whatever you can to overcome these faults by creating an atmosphere of love, harmony, and happiness.’
“It was a challenge for these young people, and they met the challenge in a wonderful way. When they reported back to the bishop, remarks such as these were made:
“One young fellow said, ‘I had no idea I would have so much influence in my home. It’s really been different this last month. I’ve been wondering if much of the turmoil and strife we used to have was caused by me and my attitudes.’
“A young lady said, ‘I guess we were just the normal family, with our selfishness causing little daily conflicts, but as I have worked with my brothers and sisters, a lot of this has been eliminated and there has been a much sweeter spirit in our home. I believe you really have to work at it to have the spirit of peace in your home.’”
“The good habits of a child’s early training form the foundation for his future and sustain him in his later life. …”
“During American slave days a little black girl was placed upon the auction block to be sold to the highest bidder. A prospective purchaser approached and said to this little girl, ‘If I buy you and give you a good home and treat you kindly and feed you well, will you promise me that you will be honest?’ This wonderful little black girl said, ‘I will promise you that I will be honest whether you buy me and treat me kindly or feed me well or not.’”