Often we receive gifts simply because someone loves us and knows what we need. One such gift that I received was having VerNon Arch Bingham as my father. I, along with hundreds of people all around the world, have been enriched because of his faith, wisdom, service, knowledge, stories, poetry and music; but the thing that has blessed my life the most is his love. It has kept me close to him and also close to my Heavenly Father, making it easy for me to believe in a loving God. Because of this love I have always wanted to please my father, keeping me from doing things that I knew would disappoint him, or coming back to him for advice when I make mistakes. I remember one time when I was in high school planning to do something (can’t remember what it was) but when in my mind I saw my father’s disappointed face I changed my plans because I couldn’t bear the thought of making him disappointed in me. I appreciate how he would ask me what I thought about different subjects, making me feel that my opinions were valued. (I think his desire was to mostly gain understanding of what I was thinking.) I had the added blessing of being the youngest in the family and observe interactions with older siblings. I remember one day as he was heading out the door to a meeting when my older brother gave some indication that there was a problem that needed to be addressed. My father came back into the house and put his briefcase down on the table. My brother commented, “I thought you had to go to a meeting.” Where my father answered, “It was just canceled.” After a few minutes, he was able to leave, but the lesson I learned was that his children were most important to him. I loved listening to his stories which he would usually tell as we were riding in the car. We would beg for him to tell us about his little “Tut Tut’s” and war adventures. I also never tire from hearing my father play the harmonica, making beautiful music come out of his mouth because it is in his head. A great blessing today is that my father is still alive. He will be 88 years old this year and continues to amaze me with his desire to learn and progress. He is fluent in Spanish and continues to teach himself French (doing a phrase every day), write poetry and stories. He loves to travel, finding places he wants to visit and people he wants to meet, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with whomever will listen. He has been good and gracious to me my entire life, a gift I greatly treasure. I love you dad.