The Library Door; Slightly Ajar


The door to the library in the house I grew up in was always cracked, just a bit. An open invitation to come in and “explore” me.  I have many recollections as a boy and later as a teenager of images from the library. Throughout my life I would walk by it and peek inside. Often inside there would be my Dad sitting on a chair reading a book. He would look up and smile and I would smile back. We would exchange a few pleasantries and then I would slowly close the door back to its, slightly ajar position, and respectfully walk down the hall. Most observers of this recollection might think it is of little import; but they would be wrong! The oft seen image of my Father sitting and reading a book at night has had a profound impact on my life. A silent message was sent to me each time I passed by the library door and saw its beckoning glimmer cascading across the entryway as if to say, “Come into the light and learn of me”. The most important message I learned in seeing that open library door was that someone was in it, and it usually was my Father. And he was reading the scriptures or some other worthy book of note. It was a powerful oft sent message from my Father that needed no script.

A few years ago my Dad shared with me the remarks of David McCullough, given at the 2009 University of Utah Commencement. I quote from it.

“History can be a great source of inspiration. History, as a wise teacher said, is an inexhaustible storehouse of ideas. History encourages sympathies and a sense of humor and serves as a ready antidote to the hubris of the present. So read more history…Read all you can in all fields. Never stop reading and especially books that have stood the test of time. And make it a practice to ask people about themselves and what they’ve learned from experience. Don’t ever forget that there isn’t a man or woman, no matter their appearance or station in life, who doesn’t know something, or how to do something that you don’t.”

“Never stop reading and especially books that have stood the test of time”, McCullough said.  I think the Scriptures would fit into that category, don’t you? The above advice is very similar to the advice often given to me by my Dad over the years. His love of knowledge and of the gospel has been a beacon light, not only to me and our family, but to everyone he meets. The reading of inspired good books certainly can bring huge blessings into our lives. I guess I can say, with affirmation, that the library door was the “window” I needed to see into the eternities. I’m grateful to a wise Father, who always left the library door, slightly ajar!


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