003 - A Message from Dad

"In the Midst of Thee" - volumes 1 & 2 contain 200 favorite Glenn Rawson Stories - at: History of the Saints . org

More often than not, the most powerful sermons we will ever preach will be in the lives we lead, not the things we say. May I illustrate?

1936: Jay was fifteen years old and growing up on a small farm in a family of thirteen. Times were hard. One morning Jay’s mother asked him to stay home from school and take a message to his father. Jay knew the message had to be important to warrant keeping him home from school.

Jay walked the mile and a half to the highway and caught a ride into town. His father worked eighteen miles away in the Pacific Fruit Express rail yard. It was hard dirty work and long hours.

Soon Jay found himself at the gate of the rail yard.
“So this is the place that makes him so dirty and tired,” Jay thought, “the place of work that Mom had said was so important to our large family. This is way Dad is only with us evenings and Saturdays and Sundays. This is why it’s Mom who teaches us how to milk cows, to shock hay and grain, to irrigate, to harness the team and make fences, to build a brooder coop, and in short, to run a farm. Dad was here, and it was important and hard.”

Well, the rail yard was sprawling and huge. The noise was deafening. Suddenly a loud siren went off and men began filing out of the buildings. It was lunchtime.

“How will I ever find Dad in all this?” Jay wondered.

Well, Jay went toward some huge stacks of bulkheads. As he rounded the end of the stacks, he froze. Across the clearing sat his father on the ground, his back against the bulkheads, his legs stretched out in front of him with his hat lying at his side. With open lunch pail between his knees, hands folded in his lap and head bowed, Dad was speaking thanks to God for his blessings.

Jay stood and watched his father for what seemed like a long time.

“There’s nobody here for him to prove anything to,” Jay thought. “Dad really does believe!”

Finishing his prayer, Dad opened his eyes and saw Jay. As Jay approached him, tears welled up in his father’s eyes.

“Well, Jay, it’s so nice to see you. Come and sit down, son.”

Jay sat next to his father and delivered the important message. “But you know, to this day,” Jay says, “I don’t know what the message was that I delivered to [him], but I’ve never forgotten the one he gave me.”

Adapted from, A Message From Dad, Ensign, September 1985, p. 55.
Glenn Rawson – August 1998
Song: Taking It Home with Me – Brett Raymond