When or how it started, I don’t remember. Somehow, I began writing my children weekly emails. That was a dozen years ago. Over time, I have had opportunity to share dozens of exhortations with them.

  • Edify the poor in spirit
  • Address personal concerns
  • Express love and admiration
  • Provide counsel
  • Celebrate family matters

Perhaps it was because I cherished my father’s letters so. He passed seven years ago. Perhaps it was restoring a habit from my mission, or maybe when the children began spreading all across the globe, it was our way to keep in touch and provide support and love long distance.

Regardless, it has been the best thing and has now become a tradition of sorts that I believe my children appreciate and enjoy. And even if they don’t realize it yet, I know they will appreciate it someday.

An interesting thing happened after my father passed. Mother, while looking through his things and setting his belongings in order, came across a couple of letters he had written to us children. These documents are among my most prized possessions. I read and re-read them frequently to give me hope, faith, and comfort, and to feel of his companionship. I am a better man because of the example of my father. Naturally, I long to continue learning from him and feel of his love and concern for me and my family. Somehow, reading his letters and his personal history does this for me.


That is ultimately the reason I began writing these letters to my family. To me it was a natural response to fulfilling my role as a father to his children.

It brings me great joy in hopes that my words will prove beneficial to them.

Just like my dad’s.

The Echo

‘Twas a sheep not a lamb
That strayed away in the parable Jesus told,

A grown-up sheep that had gone astray
From the ninety-and-nine in the fold.

And why for the sheep should we earnestly seek
And eagerly hope and pray

Because there is danger when sheep go wrong:
They lead the lambs astray.

Lambs will follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever the sheep may stray.

When the sheep go wrong,
it will not be long till the lambs are as wrong as they.

And so with the sheep we earnestly plead
For the sake of the lambs today,

For when the sheep are lost;
What a terrible cost
The lambs will have to pay.

C. D. Miller

To read more articles by Walter Penning, please click here.

To read more articles by Walter Penning, please click here.

About Walter Penning
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.

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