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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

OK I'll play. I've been tagged by Robyn.

Here's the rules:
A. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
B. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog, for these rules.

1. I walk 5 days a week with some of my favorite people. We walk from 2-4 miles a day. Very good for the body and the soul.

2. Reading is one of my escapes. A new series I am working on is the Great and Terrible series by Chris Stewart. I have finished the 4th book and am waiting impatiently for the next one to come out.

3. Genealogy is a true passion. There is a special spirit that attends one who does this work. I try to get some time in every week to bolster my spirit.

4. A new quest is the Medical Reserve Corp which is just starting up in Utah County. I attended an organizing meeting last night and ended up on the board as a nursing specialist. Maybe I will learn some new skills.

5. Keeping up with the new grandchildren is going to become a new obsession. I can't believe I'm old enough to have grandchildren!

6. The favorite time each week is when we eat Sunday dinner and then play games together. I so enjoy my family and their entertaining ways.

So now I will tag Bus, Jethro, Matt, Jolyn, Ben Gaines and Ben Francisco. Take it and run guys. Let us hear your stories.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I feel some prompting to share some insights I have gained lately. Granted I have been reading a lot of books lately on the subject but that isn't abnormal. I have always had a fascination with end-of-the-world stories. But then as I was reading through a conference talk issue from last October (Our bathroom is a lot like the doctor's offices...)I read the talk given by Larry Gibbons in the Sunday afternoon session. It was a confirmation of what I had been reading in the books. I recommend that you read his talk but this nugget he had in his talk was something that I felt had a strong message for us.

President Heber J. Grant said: "There is but one path of safety to the Latter-day Saints, and that is the path of duty. It is not a testimony, it is not marvelous manifestations, it is not knowing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, . . . it is not actually knowing that the Savior is the Redeemer, and that Joseph Smith was His prophet, that will save you and me, but it is the keeping of the commandments of God, the living the life of a Latter-day Saint."

Think about that. Keeping the commandments. Doing your duty as a Latter Day Saint. Staying strong so the priesthood you men hold is ready for use at any time. That is what is going to save us. The other things will of course not hurt us at all. In fact, I think they serve to remind us of why we do our duties. The saving is in the righteous, obedient action.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Here is an excerpt of an interesting time in Utah history by Davis Britton in Meridian Magazine. We think its bad if we have a few spiders or flies in our houses...

It was January 1849. The Latter-day Saints in the Salt Lake Valley had survived their first winter and were now in their second one. Thanks to the gulls, they had avoided a complete crop failure, but it cannot be said that their crops in the fall harvest had been overly abundant. They were grateful for what they had.But the pressure was still on. Incoming wagon trains had boosted the population of Saints in Utah to perhaps four or five thousand, which of course meant many mouths to feed. They would have to be frugal to make their limited supplies last until the next summer.
As for lodging, you were lucky if you had a cabin. Many were still housed in cramped quarters in the fort, and of those who arrived in the fall many decided to make do by living in a dugout or in their reinforced wagon box until spring. Without good insulation, all of these habitations were often drafty, wet, and cold.
It was in this context that the community leaders organized a community pest hunt. It was not kindness-to-wild-animals time but a struggle for existence, and certain animals, identified as "noxious vermin," posed a threat. The more of these that could be eliminated, they thought, the more food would be available for the struggling humans.
To add to the enthusiasm, the leaders organized a competition between two teams, one led by John D. Lee and the other by John Pack. These two team leaders ended up by quarreling over the numbers. The hunt stretched over the month of January 1849.
And we have the total animal victims: 2 bears, 783 wolves, 409 foxes, 2 wildcats, 2 wolverines, 331 minks, 9 eagles, 530 magpies, owls and hawks, and 1026 crows.

I wonder if they had a ward dinner after this...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I found this very interesting letter written by Orson Spencer, my great-great grandfather to the leaders of the church. He was on his way home after serving as the president of the British mission in 1849. He had left to go to England just after his wife had died in 1846 outside of Nauvoo, leaving his 6 children in Winter Quarters. They came to Salt Lake without him in the second group in 1847. He returned home with his new wife Martha Knight Spencer and their new baby Martha in the spring of 1849. The following is an excerpt of his report to the brethren about their trip on the ship Zetland and now on a steamship going up the Mississippi from New Orleans.

During the passage, we baptized one very promising young man, and confirmed more than a dozen, who were baptized after they entered the ship at Liverpool. Four infant children died on board the ship, and three infants were born, and a fourth child has been born on the steamer since. In every single case the mothers never did better. William M`Hendre, who begged his passage at the moment of our sailing form Liverpool, proved himself an infamous wretch. His iniquity found him out, and made him loathsome to the senses. I hope no other company will be disgraced and annoyed with such a contentious, lewd, filthy person. Two young females married sailors immediately on their arrival at New Orleans. If they had been married sooner, it would have been some apology for previous conduct. However, the spots on so large a company were very few. General love and union have prevailed. Nearly the whole of our large company are on their way with me to St. Louis. The cholera prevails in New Orleans and river towns to a considerable extent. It pleads with emigrants to hasten forward to the mountains for safety. Several deaths occur during every passage to St. Louis. We have already buried seven persons, and one or two lie waiting for the same rite. One brother and one sister have died, and are buried at the island "82." The brother's case was very much like cholera brought on by imprudence. The wife of William Eure had been in poor health for many months previous to her death. Very much of the sickness and death now prevalent may be traced to imprudence and gross mismanagement. I venture to say that it is not prudent of English emigrants to change their habit of diet too suddenly upon their arrival in New Orleans. A free use of strong drink, to which the emigrant is tempted after long restrictions at sea, is disastrous and often fatal. If our companies that are now actually emigrating through the midst of pestilence, that walketh in darkness and wasteth at noon day, plunging its thousands into death, with little notice, will use due circumspection and follow counsel, they will escape the pestilence to the astonishment of all that behold them as our company has done. And, as a caution to forthcoming emigrants let me say, some will transgress wholesome rules and be drunken and gluttonous. Then the transition of climate and change of water and food, in some instances destroy the unwary: Two Irish people have walked out of the boat, or from the shore into the river, to return no more, under the influence of strong drink. One of our own brethren even walked into the Mississippi upon a plank of moonshine (to use his own expression) taking the moon's reflection upon the water for a plank, but was fortunately rescued from death by brethren at hand. Strong drink was the sole cause of this perilous adventure! Others will overcharge their stomachs with brandy in order to keep off the cholera, to which course, they are often advised by strangers. The company under my charge however, have thus far excited the admiration of all observers for their extraordinary cleanliness and good order, and wonderful measure of health. It was confidently said by officers of this steamboat, that at least fifty of so large a company would die on our passage to St. Louis. We are now within fifty miles of St. Louis, without any apprehension of another death unless a Gentile doctor on board kills them with his favorite dose of 20 grains calomel, laudanum, camphor, and brandy. This dose was given to our deceased brother and sister, contrary to my wishes, (F. Ryder and Mrs. Eure) and to many others who died immediately within a few hours! Several Saints I rescued from this dose who were as mortally seized, and they now live.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I have many things to be thankful for. I am thankful for a loving family that helped me have a really wonderful conference weekend. I am thankful for the outstanding conference addresses given by gifted and spiritually mature individuals who show us a better way.
I'm also thankful for my oldest son Jethro who turns 28 years old today. He has been a joy to raise and now he has his own little boy to raise with his beautiful and talented wife. The circle of life is incredible.
We just returned from a band competition. Beautiful music beautifully rendered by high school students who enjoy doing hard things, making them look easy and earning praise and adoration of the parents who love them.
These are the things that make life worthwhile and good. Too bad the world newscasts like to focus on the ways a few people die instead of the worthy ways a lot of people live.

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