Friend to Friend

“Friend to Friend,” Friend, Oct. 1987, 4

Friend to Friend

Elder Jack H. Goaslind

Elder Jack H. Goaslind, who was named after his father, feels that it is an honor to carry his father’s name and declares that “he was a great man.” His father was his bishop for many years.

“Dad was a hardworking individual,” Elder Goaslind said, “and he taught me great lessons in life. He wasn’t wealthy, by any means, but he was a very good manager of money. I don’t remember his going into debt for anything other than our house. At a very young age I became a newspaper delivery boy and continued my route for six years. My father encouraged me to save the money that I earned and to spend it wisely. He was always teaching us by his example.

“Dad was always concerned with others. When he served as bishop and people came to meetings, he rarely gave them just a handshake. He always put his arm around them or gave them a pat on the back. He was extremely friendly and warm. If there is anything that I learned from him, it was that he gave his life to others. He never said no to any opportunity to help others. He served as bishop for a long time; he was the bishop who called me to serve a mission.

“Mother carried a heavy responsibility because of Dad’s involvement in his business and the Church. She was a good cook, and she enjoyed working in the home. Sometimes we would come home from school and read on the kitchen blackboard, ‘I’m home; find me.’ She wrote that to assure us that she was there, and we would play some funny games trying to find her. Mother is a very loving person with a fun sense of humor.

“Another thing that I remember about my mother was her neatness. Our home was always tidy, and she insisted that we always be well dressed and that our clothes be clean and neat.

“I also learned about service from my mother. She served as a Primary worker for most of twenty-seven years. She was devoted to my father, and their companionship provided a good example for the foundation of my own marriage. They were a very loving and understanding couple. If I were to pay a tribute to my mother, it would be for her loving kindness and for the affection she had for us children and for my father.”

The oldest of three boys, Elder Goaslind recalls, “We did a lot of things together as a family. I have some home movies of my dad and me playing football in the backyard. Dad provided many opportunities for us to do things together.”

Elder Goaslind enjoyed all sports but became most proficient in snow skiing. “I started skiing at the age of five and recall going up the mountain by holding on to a rope tow. The friends I skied with were neighbors, and I was glad for their patience with me as I learned. I loved the sport, and as a young man,” he related, “I was a possible candidate for the 1948 United States Olympic ski team. In those days, if you were chosen for that team, you made a four-year commitment with them. However, I would become of age to go on a mission in 1949, so it was a very hard decision for me. I remember my father encouraging me to fast and pray about it. After praying, I decided to go on a mission rather than to compete for a place on the ski team. I believe that if there is any decision that I have made with wisdom in my life, it was that one.

“Several years ago I went up to Canada, where I had served my mission, and saw my mission president for the first time in thirty years. We greeted each other with a warm embrace. And after visiting with him, I thought of how much I owed him. The influence of a mission and a good mission president is invaluable.”

Remembering his youth, Elder Goaslind said, “There were others who had a great influence on me. Lou Love was probably one of the greatest Scoutmasters that there ever was. He did everything that he could to see that we boys achieved in Scouting, advanced in the Aaronic Priesthood, and grew up with a testimony of the gospel. If we forgot a Scout meeting, Brother Love would come and pick us up in his truck for the next one. He was a man who truly cared, and it was easy to love him because we knew that he loved us.”

When Elder Goaslind was a young boy, he fell and hit his head while skiing. “That morning when I came home,” he recalled, “my eyes were very dark. The next morning when I tried to get up, I could hardly move, so my parents called the doctor and took me to the hospital. It was determined that I had a concussion. I still remember the blessing that my father gave me, and shortly after the blessing I regained complete mobility. That priesthood blessing had a real effect on my life, not only because I was healed but also because I learned firsthand that the Lord answers prayers.

“I encourage you children to get close to your Heavenly Father, and one of the finest ways to do that is to really talk to Him. He will hear and answer your prayers in His own way and in His own time. I would encourage you not to be discouraged but to put your trust in the Lord, especially when you have important decisions to make.”

Ready for a hug (2 years)

With younger brother Keith, dress-alikes (9 years, 7 years)

Displaying his ever-ready smile (7 years)

Possible Olympic candidate (19 years)

Bike-riding missionary …

… In Canada (22 years)