Today is my father’s birthday and I’m missing him a lot. He has been gone for four years, but if he were still alive would be 90 today. Since I am the oldest of his children, many of my memories of him bring back feelings of strength, vibrancy, robustness, and protectedness. But my most endearing memories of him include scriptures.
It was from my dad that I learned to love and desire to search the scriptures. Some of my earliest recollections are of him discussing gospel topics with his friends. I was so young that the conversations didn’t make much sense, but there was no mistaking the enthusiasm, love, and diligence with which Dad approached the scriptures. He’d turn many a discussion that started out to be about sports or national news or the weather into a gospel discussion. And as a teenager whenever I had problems he’d bring up just the right scripture story or verses to answer and calm me. I grew up with gospel topics as much a part of dinner as salt and pepper.
Oh how I’m missing those gospel discussions—especially today. During the last few years of his life when his mind wasn’t what it had been he’d still desire and try to discuss with me, but it didn’t always make sense and I’d find myself avoiding his conversations because it hurt so much. One day I walked in to find him in the chair he studied in, the Book of Mormon in his lap. “I don’t understand this,” he said with tears in his voice.
“What is it you don’t understand, Dad?” I asked as I walked to his side.
“Any of it,” he said, the sadness choking him. By then I was at his side and noticed that the book in his lap was upside down. I had to hurry away so he wouldn’t see me cry.
But I know that he is now in a comfortable chair studying or if not he’s attending a gospel class taught by some great prophet. He now understands more than he ever did, and I can’t wait to be with him again and find out all he has learned—to discuss it like we used to. Oh what a reunion it will someday be!