After five years as prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson still often astounds Church members with his enthusiasm and energy, especially for a man who is 98 years old. But the people who have known him the longest and the most personally—his children—say this is nothing new.
“Nothing that my dad does surprises me. Nothing,“ President Nelson’s daughter Laurie Marsh explains. “Everything amazes me, but nothing surprises me. He doesn’t look for anybody’s approval, but the Lord’s.”
And recently three of President Nelson’s children, Laurie Marsh, Gloria Irion, and Russell M. Nelson Jr. shared personal stories of their growing-up years and family life with their father on the Church News podcast.
When asked about what they remember their father doing in their childhood years, Marsh, who is number seven in the family of ten children, shared, “Daddy kind of had a routine. He’d come in the door. And the first thing he would do was look for, and find, and greet my mother. That was always number one. Number two, he would look around to turn off any electrics, that were extra, you know, like the TV or more lights than he felt should be on.
And then number three, we normally would wait for Daddy, to have dinner together as a family. … And the thing about Daddy with this routine is when he was home, he was home. I don’t remember him watching TV. I do remember him changing diapers, and reading books and helping us with homework. And when he was home, it was time for the family.”
Irion shared fond memories of Sunday mornings with their father during the years their mother sang with the Tabernacle Choir. “I remember vividly baths with Daddy, he would get three or four of us in the tub at a time. And you know, we’d get our hair wet and he’d squirt shampoo on each of our heads and we’d shampoo the person in front of us and he called it ‘The shampoo train.’ And then he’d say, ‘About-face!’ and we turn around and shampoo the person who used to be in back of us is now in front of us. And you know, he just made it fun.”
Today his children are amazed at the qualities he still exhibits, even in his older years.
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