There is this lady in my area by the name of Mabel Ebner who is one of the best people I have ever met. She has a load of health issues and hasn't been able to make it to church for several years. Bishop Luke has asked us to stop by her house each week to give her some company and share with her the Spirit. Sister Ebner not only has a heart of gold but she also has a super powerful testimony and relationship with our Heavenly Father. I really look forward to our visits with her because she has strengthened my testimony a bunch. My point of telling you this is at our visit yesterday she told us that she wanted both Elder Owens and I to tell her about our fathers since it was father's day. I wanted to share with you a few thoughts I had while telling Sister Ebner about my father.
When talking about you, dad I think of Doctrine and Covenants 121 but specifically verses 41-43:
41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
The reason I think of this section and specifically these verses is because you are an example to me of what the Lord is expecting of us as Priesthood holders. You are what the Lord has asked us to be. Thank you for being the example so many of us need in our lives. You are a fantastic man who teaches so many by your example and especially by the spirit you carry as you labor to lift up others. My whole life you have been in service in the kingdom that has required a lot of your time, talents, and attention but I never appreciated what you have done until I came on my mission. You are a valiant servant who has blessed so many lives, especially mine. Even though these callings you've had have called you away from your family in the aid of others I've learned the most from your example in helping, loving, understanding, and supporting our brothers and sisters. I believe these qualities have helped me become the missionary I am today.
I learned yesterday that Jesus Christ became who He was and did what He did because He followed His Father. Our Heavenly Father glories in His Only Begotten. Dad, I hope my service the past 20 months has brought you joy and has been one that you can glory in. I do think a lot of you when I'm out working and inviting others to come unto Christ.
A lot of the talents I have come from you. I am not afraid to talk to anyone and I love to do it to. I believe this comes from watching how you've interacted with people and how you are not afraid to teach about the Gospel and share your testimony. This talent alone has helped bring several people in the fold.
Now, I understand I haven't been the best person at times and I know I've made mistakes but you've always desired the best for me and I've felt the countless prayers you've offered in my behalf.
The closest I've ever felt to you dad was when I went through the temple my first time. When everything was new and I didn't know what I was doing you were by my side helping me understand. I feel like this is what heaven will be like, with you by my side.
These are a few of the thoughts that I've had over the past day and what I explained to Sister Ebner yesterday. At the end she made this comment, "wow, you have a really great dad." To which I responded, "I really do."
Thanks for being you and especially a valiant servant in the Lord's kingdom. The greatest work we can do here on earth is laboring with the Lord in His vineyard and you have done and are doing this very thing.
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker