A tribute to a Latter-day Saint

DIBBLE and WIFEThe other morning a good friend of mine solicited responses from many of our acquaintances in behalf of a mutual friend who is in his last conditions of pancreatic and liver cancer.

There are over 100 references to saints in the Old and New Testaments. There are also a few in the Book of Mormon. Moses, Daniel, writers of Psalms, Paul and other writers of canonized scripture referred to a few in the last days as Saints.

The ancient seer Daniel saw that the Lord would subdue the adversary and assimilate the kingdom heaven with the kingdom of God on earth in the last days. Daniel added that the “greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High.”

Cleve Dibble is one of those saints. He has become a “saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord.” He chose and found great satisfaction to be called a Latter-day Saint (Romans 1:7).

Whenever I think of him, I think of the song Take Time To Be Holy. (Particularly verse 2):

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;

Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.

By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;

Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

His marvelous example of brushing the philosophies and practices of the world aside and seeking the Savior in his life is a blessing to all who know him. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15–16). President Dibble, as so many call him, does not love the world in this sense, and the love of the Father for him is clearly evident.

Such an example causes me to reflect on many of his teaching moments as a leader and friend. A statement from President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles forcefully comes to mind: “The degree you perform, according to the challenge and charge which you have, the image of Christ does become engraved upon your countenance. And for all practical purposes, in that classroom [or in that stake conference or meeting] at that time and in that expression and with that inspiration, you are He and He is you.”

I witnessed it more than once.

Those called to judge are the least likely to judge. Cleve Dibble understands this. “Excellence never draws attention to itself.” He understands this. He is a man of remarkable self-control, a rare gift in today’s world. He is a tender man, given to kindness. He is a courageous man; willing to lovingly counsel and correct in wandering and confused souls so that they may obtain rest with our Father in Heaven.

People like Cleve Dibble very rarely have their words and works go viral. The world loves their own and often dominates media outlets. But thousands upon thousands of people have been blessed by this Latter-day Saint; an educator and school administrator by day and a farmer and church leader by night (and early morning and on weekends). He is a “high-yielding, low maintenance,” Latter-day Saint.

Neal A. Maxwell once said: “The Lord knows our circumstances and the intents of our hearts, and surely the talents and gifts He has given us. He is able to gauge perfectly how we have performed within what is allotted to us, including by lifting up some of the many surrounding hands that hang down. Thus, yearning for expanded opportunities while failing to use those at hand is bad form spiritually. What we could and have done within our allotted acreage, therefore, is known perfectly by the Master of the vineyard.”

The Lord knows Cleve Dibble has done much good with his allotted acreage in mortality. It warms my heart to think that his allotted acreage is about to grow exponentially. His spiritual maturity and witness of the Father and the Son will be a great blessing to the accelerated work transpiring in the world of spirits.

Note: I acknowledge many, many others, could write a more personal tribute. I have only known Cleve Dibble for 13 years. But in that 13 years I have been able to watch, learn, and listen to him in a seasoned time in his life. I will be forever grateful. I am also grateful that 13 years is a mere speck in the realm of eternal associations.

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4 thoughts on “A tribute to a Latter-day Saint

  1. Phil Chandler

    Wonderful Article! I’m one of the many whose life has been made better because of Cleve Dibble!

    (And now the comment that does not need to be included in the comments… This article, is just another confirmation of what we all know… that you are a good man! Sure love you Ryan, Phil)

  2. John Crowder

    I just happened to see this tribute to Cleve Dibble posted on FB by one of my high school classmates, Ted Harris and felt impressed to share my experience with Cleve. We both attended Davis High at the same time and I was Junior when I first met him as he was one year behind me. It was specifically through football that I came to know him and he immediately imperssed me as a young man that there was something special about him. He was kind, respectful, hard-working and very accomplished as a student athlete. Fortunately, I got to know him better my Senior year, again on the football team and some of the same circle of other teammates that we shared. It was not until after college graduation that I joined the church but it was, in part, because of young men like Cleve and his friends who were such a good example and “opened my heart” to investigate as I did. My prayers go out to Cleve and his family as a fellow cancer patient myself. I don’t know if he would remember me but to this day, I remember him for the amazing young man and example he was during that time of our lives. If you should have any way of conveying this message to him, please do so with my thanks for being the young man that he was. Sincerely, John Crowder – Brea, CA

  3. anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your experience and love of a special person. As we all know, it is the little things that count and go on to be part of the big things. A celebration of a life full of small unselfish things makes for a life worth living and being acknowledged.

  4. Mark McCashland

    Thanks Ryan! What a great tribute to a wonderful man that we have all had the chance to work with and get to know. He taught me more about the Savior’s love than many I have ever worked with. I cherished our moments together as bishop and stake president.


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