My parents and family were wonderful to help us in our times of need. We were a loving and supporting extended family
We cared for and helped each other. At the birth of our children, this family was willing and concerned in helping us out with the older siblings. The following incident was an example of the compassion and help that was extended to Bob and me by my wonderful family.
Kerry was three years old and a new baby boy was born to us on the 5th of December. We named new baby Stacy Vern Johnson. Stacy because I liked the name and Vern after my mother, LaVern Forsyth Taft. Tafta, Robert, and Wesley were at home going to school at the Grandview Elementary School. Kerry, who was the youngest child at our home went to spend two weeks with my parents. At that time, a new mother spent about a week in the hospital.
One morning before breakfast, everyone at the Taft home, including Little Kerry, knelt down by their chair around the breakfast table. Every morning Dad said the prayer himself or he asked someone else to pray. This particular morning Dad said the prayer.
Now it must be noted that Dad was a gifted public speaker and this skill spilled over into his praying. The prayers were sincere, heartfelt and thoughtful and they were lengthy. A normal family prayer went something like the following. Dad prayed for his children and grand children and all family members. He prayed for the Lord to bless his family in their well being and prayed over any individual concerns family members may have.
He prayed for the neighbors and their prosperity and safety. He asked the Lord to bless the animals on the farm so the livestock would grow and thrive. He prayed for the hay in piles or in windrows laying out in the alfalfa fields or the grass hay in the pastures. He prayed that the hay would not be rained on and we would be able to store the crop in good condition. Hay that is wet does not dry sufficiently and often molds. Moldy hay is then rendered useless because, the animals should not eat the damaged feed.
He also prayed for the general authorities of our church and their health and security. The L. D. S. missionaries were not left out in his all caring and concerned personality. He supplicated the Lord to protect the missionaries and keep them safe and in good health. Dad asked for the missionaries to be led to the doors of the “Honest-in-Heart.”
My father would plead with the Lord to bless him in his various responsibilities in the community. For several years my father served as President of Wayne County Irrigation Co. At another time, he was President of the Wayne County School Board. He taught the adult class in the Thurber Ward Sunday School Class and at another time in his life he was the teacher of his High Priest Quorum.
Dad was an inspiring and motivating teacher, but he was also most humble and very sincere in his supplication to the Lord. He was very serious in asking for inspiration and enlightenment in his various obligations.
After the sincere and lengthy prayer, the family finally rose from their knees. Kerry turned to look at my father and said in a clear, distinct, and sincere voice, “Grandpa, that was a damned good prayer!”
The comment caught his grandfather completely off guard and it really tickled Dad. Dad laughed and laughed and retold the story over and over again. I have no idea what caused Kerry to make that comment to his Grandfather, but make it he did and over the years, it has proven to be a source of fun and pleasure for all of us.