At the recent funeral for Floyd Larson of Sandy, Utah, his daughter and my wife, Kendra Larson Lindsay, told the following story about one of Brother Larson’s home teaching experiences.
Dad was a phenomenal home teacher. Even at the end of his life, when he could barely stand up straight or walk, he would go home teaching. He went home teaching on Father’s Day, this year, only one month before he died. Mom and I saw a special lady at Reams whose family Dad home taught. She asked if she could do anything for us, and I said, “Yes, actually, I’m looking for stories about Dad.” She smiled and said, “I have a great story for you.” Dad never missed a month home teaching. Without fail he brought over a big Hershey’s candy bar and a personal note for each child on their birthday. One day a couple of the teenaged girls and their friends wanted to go to Leatherby’s for ice cream. The problem was, they didn’t have quite enough money for one of the girls. They decided to lie and say it was one of the girls’ birthday so she would get her ice cream free. So they walked in and started singing Happy Birthday to the girl, not knowing that their home teacher was right behind them. Well Dad thought he had missed her birthday and felt terrible. He went home and got a candy bar and wrote a note and took it over to the house. The girl’s father opened the door and greeted his home teacher. When Dad explained that he had brought her birthday candy, and how he learned it was her birthday, the father said, “It isn’t her birthday.” He called her in for an explanation. She came in and stuttered her explanation of how she and her sister and friends had cheated to get her a free ice cream. Dad put his arm around her and said tenderly, “We often get caught when we slip and do something wrong, but aren’t you glad it was I who caught you?”
That was a characteristic moment in the life of my incredibly gentle and devout LDS father-in-law. And I think it teaches us a little about the Savior’s love in addition to offering a great example of home teaching.