Yesterday, my dad called and said that he was flying into town for a funeral for a family friend (sorry, sometimes I can't resist alliterative phrases), a former bishop, a mentor of sorts. He spent the night with my Uncle and then today at noon, I met them both at the church.where the funeral was happening. Attending a funeral for someone I don't really know too well isn't something I've done very often. This one I most thoroughly enjoyed. Clayton, the deceased, seemed like such a wonderful person, a fun character, and a true mentor to hundreds of youth like my dad. I found myself really wishing I'd known this man and feeling grateful that he influenced my dad's life.
As a mission president in Switzerland, he was once reviewing the budget allotted to each missionary. Apparently, he was heard exclaiming aloud, "This is all wrong. Missionaries can't live here in this beautiful land and not take pictures!" He successfully convinced Church Headquarters to build in the cost of two rolls of film into his missionaries' monthly budgets. I think I would have liked him a lot!
The closing hymn at the funeral was one of my favorites and seemed to strike a chord with dad.
"Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing"
Come, thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of thy redeeming love.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.
I love this hymn, and have been moved by these words several times and was happy to be able to share those thoughts with my dad, who read them intently as we were signing. And, as it happens, I am directing a choir at our Stake Conference on Sunday morning and this is one of the hymns we're singing.
After the funeral, dad and I took advantage of the Salt Lake City Dine-o-round, and ate a tasty lunch at The Wild Grape. We spent a couple of hours talking before I dropped him off at the airport. I love getting my dad to myself and talking to him. We had a great day. Thanks Dad!