Behind the Scenes With Janice Kapp Perry: “My Father’s Faith
Soon after the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed “My Mother’s Love” for a Mother’s Day special of Music & the Spoken Word, Janice Kapp Perry was asked to write a Father’s Day song as well. “For that song I only had my father, but I couldn’t have had a better example. It was my mother’s love and my father’s faith; that’s what I wrote about,” she said.
When Perry set out to write “My Father’s Faith,” she wanted it to have a strong beat and thought the Celtic sound fit her father. She also thought the men of the Choir would enjoy singing a masculine song.
Before Perry was born, her father had cancer in the lymph system in his neck, which had been operated on several times. When the cancer returned, he was told by a doctor that there was nothing they could do and he probably had about six months to live. After that diagnosis, he spent an entire day in prayer at the temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and prayed that he would have time to raise his children, born and yet to be born.
When he left the temple he knew there was something that could be done. When he asked the doctor what could be done, the doctor said they were experimenting with radiation. He received the treatments, and the cancer went away. Perry said, “I was born and two more of my siblings, and my dad was healthy and strong through all that time.” Years later, when the youngest child had left the home Perry’s father tripped on a cord while vacuuming and hit his neck in the same spot where the cancer was. It swelled up, and the family soon found out that the cancer had returned. After a few years of treatments and difficulty, he passed away at age 57.
Perry has a positive outlook on the situation of losing her father a young age saying, “People tell me, 'It’s sad that your father died at 57,' but what we feel in our family is we’re glad we knew him; we’re glad he was there when we were being raised and that he had the faith to claim that blessing.”