My father grew up in Tennessee living around lots of extended family who were members of the church. Although he was often in their home and even noticed the Book of Mormon, it didn’t challenge him enough to pique his interest in it. He was satisfied going to church with his devoted mother who was a member of the Church of Christ.
Then his father died and his mom moved him and his younger brother to Santa Maria Ca. He entered Santa Maria high school and was quickly known as the new fellow. He met my mom at a scavenger hunt Halloween party where they were paired up by the picking of a number out of a hat. Theirs were the same number.
The following is the story in my mother’s words:
“I can’t remember when we started dating because I didn’t date through high school. There weren’t many Mormon boys to date. I think what it was, was him starting to walk me home from school. I lived farther from school than him. He wanted to see me on Sundays so I told him he had to go to church with me. He said “Okay.” I also told him that if he wanted to see me on Tuesdays he had to go to mutual because that’s where I went on Tuesdays. He said okay.
I think we just hung out at school the most cause we were juniors. I hung out with my girlfriends. It was when we were seniors that we started to become more steady and became a couple. We went to all the dances and games together. He spent a lot of time over my house.
We graduated in 1947. I could tell in 1948 he was getting serious. In the middle of that year I told him that I thought he was getting too serious. I told him I didn’t want him to get more serious because I couldn’t marry him. I had my heart set on getting married in the temple. “You can’t do that with me. You aren’t a member of the church.”
He was shocked. I boxed up all his stuff and gave it back to him. He left heart broken. I didn’t hear from him after that. I guess he got thinking about what I said to him about the temple. He got curious about it and arranged to meet with the missionaries. I meant so much to him that he wanted to know more about my church. He didn’t want to lose me. Going to church previously was to please me. Now after listening to the lessons he decided to get baptized.”
My father passed away 15 years ago August 7…….and had already completed his home teaching for the month.