Uncle Elias

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Thomas S. Monson

Seemingly little lessons of love are learned by children as they silently observe the examples of their parents. My own father, a printer, worked long and hard practically every day of his life.  I'm certain that on the Sabbath he would have enjoyed just being at home.  Rather, he visited elderly family members and brought cheer into their lives.

One such family member was his uncle, who was crippled by arthritis so severe that he could not walk or care for himself. On a sunday afternoon dad would say to me, "Come along, Tommy. Let's take Uncle Elias for a short drive." Boarding the old 1928 Oldsmobile, we would proceed to Eighth West, where, at the home of my uncle, I would wait in the car while dad went inside.  Soon he would emerge from the house, carrying in his arms like a china doll his frail and crippled uncle.  I would then open the door and watch how tenderly and with such affection my father would place Uncle Elias in the front seat so that he would have a fine view while I occupied the rear seat.

The drive was brief and the conversation limited, but oh, what a legacy of love!  Father never read to me from the Bible about the good Samaritan. Rather, he took me with him and Uncle Elias in that old 1928 Oldsmobile and provided a living example I have always remembered.