(Compiled by Dennis B. Horne)
[Editorial Note: This
choice reminiscence contains much repetition with another.]
years I had the privilege and opportunity of being extremely close to President
Matthew Cowley. I first met him in 1938 when I arrived in the New Zealand
mission. He always had a positive and happy disposition. He rarely got angry.
He had the ability to accept life and to adjust to all situations. He had the
greatest sense of humor of any person I ever met. I think the most important
part of his personality was his great ability to see interesting, exciting,
humorous aspects of every occurrence of his life. He did not have the ability
to allow himself to get depressed. However, in the last two or three months of
his life, I saw a great change come over him. He always joked and pointed out
to me and others the humor in the normal events that took place in our lives.
his great call to the apostleship, he continued to carry the heavy loads of the
Church, but never to feel weighed down with the problems of the whole Church.
He still worried about individual people and their concerns in life. He would
rather bless the sick sister than solve
some of the pressing problems that weighed heavily upon the Brethren. He had
respect for other men’s ability and earnestly worked toward helping individuals
solve some of their personal problems.
October conference of 1953 he lived in his rather normal, happy fashion, but
something happened to President Cowley during the conference. He had a rather
light hearted spirit about him and had humorously talked about two or three
different subjects he might speak about during conference. He always wanted to
give a talk on baptism. He evidently had
some great thoughts that had never been expressed about the principle of
baptism. As conference approached, he told me two or three times, “I believe
I’ll say what I want to say about baptism this time.” And so, I was somewhat
surprised when he delivered a different talk. It was his old theme song and as
I read it now, I think it was a farewell address. When the conference was over,
he still had his sense of humor, but there had been a decided change in him. He
told me he didn’t think he’d live long and we had quite a number of discussions
about life and how long men ought to really live.