My father was 86 when he passed away a few years ago. It breaks my heart to remember how, in the years before his death, he brooded over whether his life had been successful, and wondered whether anything he had ever done was quite good enough. His World War II service, for instance, had all been stateside; it did no good to remind him that he had responded when called and had gone where he had been sent – who could do more? He grieved that he had been unable to provide my brothers and me with formal education; it did no good to tell him that while we may not have achieved all we could have done, he had raised three children who did as well with our high school diplomas as many did with their college degrees.
I was reminded of my father’s fears that he had not measured up when, a few weeks ago in Sunday School, one of the good and true widowers in my class asked plaintively how he could identify the spiritual gift I had just asserted, on the strength of D&C 46:13, that each one of us had been blessed with.
I like Brigham Young because he understood and had compassion for old men.
That sound you hear is half my readers under 40 clicking away to something they think is more relevant. I know, it’s an odd topic, and it’s about to get weirder. But stick around anyway.