April 25, 1931
My dear Family,
This is the kind of an occasion and this is the kind of an audience when the head of the house feels as though he could speak of himself arid his own. In retrospection, I see a man who is in many ways disappointing, whose present is not at all what I thought. He would be at the age of 65, and Henry Ford with all his millions cannot buy a little corner of my cherished possessions, and I do not ask permission to try it all over, for I know that many a wiser man than I has done worse.
First, I firmly believe that my chances in this life have been better than many another man’s because of merits of a former life. Even in this late present, am I not influenced by the wise watch-care of a loving father, the tender cares of a doting mother, the perfect confidence of prayerful brothers and sisters, and the constant company of wives and a house full of children who believe in me? And so when I preach the gospel I am operating for us. When I followed our country’s flag onto foreign soil, you buoyed me up and strengthened me. When I understood to live one of the higher laws of revealed religion, you were at my side and you smiled encouragement. Now I have a secret to let loose, and if you grasp it in your youth, twill be worth more than money to you. “In all the big things of life, you may each be a junior partner with him who knows, and with our Heavenly Father for a confidential adviser, none of you will go far wrong.”
How did I find these wonderful mothers of yours? I asked him to direct me. I told him of the clean blood that ran through my veins, of the background of my parentage, and of my own life of purity, and I asked him to help me to match it in those who wore to be the mothers of my children. I acknowledge my life to have been a financial failure, but many a rich man will be glad to pay boot in an even trade with me when the final balance is drawn. Now in all this, do you see that I’m coaxing my wives and my children to find as much pride in their husband and father as everyday he finds, in you, and I offer the suggestion, that card playing is pernicious. That the use of tobacco is forbidden. That profanity is a crime. That immorality is never to be tolerated. That the gospel has been revealed from Heaven. That prayer makes the success. That the payment of an honest tithing is simply failing to use money entrusted to you which isn’t yours. Never speak disparagingly of the Lord’s anointed. Keep always before you your heritage, for you are the sum, and product of four generations of pare living.