Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Influence of One

I have always liked my grandfather. When I was 3 grandpa and grandma lived with us for a time in our tiny apartment in Oregon. Grandpa and I would wake up earlier than the rest, grandpa because he read his scriptures in the mornings, me because I enjoyed the mornings best. We would sit at the small table in the kitchen. I would eat while he read silently to himself.

One morning, I finished my glass of milk and I finished my cold cereal.  I asked grandpa for more milk and he took the remaining milk from my cereal bowl and poured it into my glass.  I vaguely remember protesting and refusing to drink it on the grounds of "grossness". But grandpa was economical. I learned at that early age that he would not allow waste.

Fast forward to my teen years. My family had grown and had moved to a 4 bedroom house in California.  Grandma had passed away and grandpa came for a visit on his own.  Both grandpa and I were still early risers.

I remember one early morning in particular. Grandpa sat at his favorite corner of the dining room table, the corner that allowed for him to move his dominate left hand freely.  I sat on his right eating my breakfast.  I don't believe I asked about grandpa's scripture study but he took a moment to tell me how he reads every morning.  He read two pages from the Old Testament, two pages from the New Testament, two pages from the Book of Mormon, and two pages from the Doctrine in Covenants or Pearl of Great Price. I enjoyed the insight into grandpa's studies but as a teen I had no intention of copying him.  He was a temple sealer, I was a kid. I was pleased with myself if I opened my scriptures to read one verse before I crashed into bed each night.

Grandpa passed away the day after I turned 16. These two stories of him, along with a handful of others, I hold onto and treasure.  I could have learned so much more if I had been given more time with him, but I know the Lord has a perfect plan and I do not doubt. I now read my scriptures each morning in the pattern following my grandfather.  I am not a temple sealer, or even a president of an auxiliary in my ward.  But my calling and responsibility in life is very important.  Can you guess it? I am a mother.  I have 5 children to raise and a sixth that is moving inside my belly as I type.  Like most parents I know, I do not want to fail my children. I want to do all I can to help them through life.  I hope to pass on the goodness of my grandfather to them, too.  I still feel his influence in my life.

It amazes me that we can have such influence for good over others.  We usually do not know how much our words and actions impact others. Who has changed your life for the better? I would love to hear from you in the comments.

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