Be There for Your Boy
January 2023

“Be There for Your Boy,” Liahona, Jan. 2023.

Latter-day Saint Voices

Be There for Your Boy

After the Spirit spoke to my father during my priesthood ordination, he turned his life around.

boy being ordained

Four Generations, by Kwani Povi Winder

I became active in the Church when my Uncle Bill took my two sisters and me to Primary. My Primary teacher, Jean Richardson, was a kindly mother figure. I liked her and my new church friends, who were much kinder to me than the kids in my neighborhood. So, I decided to stay.

As I approached my 12th birthday, Bishop Dal Guymon invited me to receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be ordained a deacon. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I said yes. Then he said, “Why don’t you ask your dad to bring you here next Sunday, and we will ordain you.”

Dad and his family had stopped attending church when he was about 13. As an adult, he spent most weekends in the local bars or fly-fishing. He had served in the US Navy during World War II and the Korean War. He smoked cigars, drank, and swore, but he had a reputation in our small Montana town for being honest and fair.

When Dad took me to church the next Sunday, it was a big deal. When the time came, Bishop Guymon called me up and asked me to sit in a chair. Several men—but not my dad—put their hands on my head and performed the ordinance.

I felt the heavy weight of several big hands on me. Dad, sitting on a bench a few feet away, felt a different kind of pressure—in his chest. A voice spoke to him inside, saying, “You need to be there for your boy the next time this happens.”

In the weeks that followed, Dad turned his life around and started to attend church every Sunday. Soon, the Church became the central focus of our family life.

Dad became my deacons, teachers, and priests quorum adviser; my Sunday School teacher; and my basketball, softball, and volleyball coach. While we were home teaching companions, Dad helped other men and families return to Church activity.

Assisted by my dad, I experienced my own personal and transformative conversion. Since then, I have tried to be sensitive to men who, like my dad, might respond to an invitation to become the best dad they can be.

I will be forever grateful for what my Uncle Bill, a kind Primary teacher, a wise bishop, and my dad did for me 60 years ago.