The Heartland Research Group and my affiliation with it began about a year ago.
The purpose of the HRG is to support the historicity of the Book of Mormon through research. In this sense it is much different from private LDS organizations like the “Latter-Day Network” and the “Firm Foundation” which provide seminars/conferences featuring a wide variety of speakers but eschew original research. The HRG is much, much more focused: it is boots-on-the-ground Book-of-Mormon research.
The HRG is not exclusionary. Anyone offering to help is welcomed. Although many who assist in HRG expeditions and seminars are members of the Church of Jesus Christ, there are also many who are not members. Typical of HRG supporters is to have a firm conviction that the narrative of the Book of Mormon took place in North America.
The HRG has a goal of finding the lost city of Zarahemla and we are actively looking in the area of Montrose, Iowa. This is done with efforts in the field: magnetic and electrical ground scanning, sonar scanning, core sampling, high resolution LiDAR, and carbon-14 dating. See Zarahemla.site and also ZCHM.TheHolyScriptures.info/#6 for information on past and current activities.
The HRG is funded through large donors and also smaller donors via FaceBook. It turns out there are a lot of people who want to see this research go forward. We haven’t reached all of our goals yet but the results and growth of the HRG have been impressive over it’s short history.
Access to the land of course is paramount for research and one of the initial concerns was the reception of the local farmers. It turns out the reception was enthusiastic – beyond our expectations. Many of the land owners in the Montrose Iowa area go back 100+ years and are well aware that their land has ancient history. Some locals have extensive collections of arrow heads, axe heads, pottery, jewelry, effigy pipes, stone tools, and other relics that have surfaced in the fields over many decades. In fact, the local enthusiasm and encouragement has been much higher in Montrose than in Utah — and we would have thought it would be the opposite.
The HRG has done so much already and it is just getting started.
NOTE: I haven’t written much here lately, and not too much brand new since March of 2015 when I commenced my research into the Book of Mormon geography (see Book of Mormon Covenant Lands).
I have recently completed enough online to invite others to review Book of Mormon Covenant Lands. Two published authors in this subject graciously agreed to take a look. One was Jonathan Neville. Jonathan has written many books on the Book of Mormon (my two favorites are The Lost City of Zarahemla and Letter VII) and authors a popular Book of Mormon blog. The second person, Brant Gardner, is also a Book of Mormon book author and author at FairMormon, an LDS apologetics site.
There is in the church now a great divide between those who: A) believe the narrative history of the Book of Mormon occurred in North America, USA/Canada (I call it N1C); and B) those who believe it occurred in Mesoamerica (called M2C). The M2C position is that there must be two hill Cumorah’s and that the hill Cumorah of the Book of Mormon is really located somewhere in Mesoamerica.
To deflect criticism or controversy it is sometimes argued that “geography doesn’t really make any difference” regarding the Book of Mormon. However, the Book of Mormon contains prophecies, warnings, and special covenants that apply to the land of the Book of Mormon and the people who inhabit it.
The question of N1C vs M2C is now a litmus test between Book of Mormon researchers (BTW, Jonathan Neville is N1C and Brant Gardner is M2C). If you are N1C then you are immediately suspect by M2C proponents in anything you write or propose about the Book of Mormon. Also vice-versa. Most M2C groups, when challenged, will claim to be neutral on the question of Book of Mormon geography. However, while M2C models are documented, they avoid presenting information on N1C geographic models, archaeological discoveries, or writings.
I find that FairMormon makes a claim to be neutral, but fails. They are N1C hostile, sometimes openly, but more often by just ignoring and suppressing N1C information.
Book of Mormon Centralclaims to be neutral, but in practice they are not. For example, their logo still contains a Mayan glyph. They exclude N1C information and perspectives and argue against anything N1C. Book of Mormon Central is owned by Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum (bmaf.org) whose mission statement is to promote the Book of Mormon as an “ancient Mayan codex“.
BYU Studies once led the charge for M2C. Now they privately say they are neutral on all Book of Mormon geography. However for now their online curriculum materials (e.g. charts 140-160) continues to point exclusively to Central America for Book of Mormon geography.
My Book of Mormon Logical Model and Map declares that I am definitelyof the N1C persuasion. The reason is not primarily because of geography or maps. It’s doctrinal. The scriptures declare it. The prophets declare it. The M2C people will say “the scriptures are not definitive” and the prophets only did “the best they could with what they knew” but just weren’t privy “to the additional information that scholars have since determined”. They say “it’s the science of archaeology that counts” and trumps all other considerations, and “not everything the prophets say is doctrine so I am not obligated to accept it”. It is not hyperbole for me to say that all of this is the consensus opinion of the M2C folks from my own personal experience. I disagree with it totally.
I have been alive long enough to see that “the sciences” are a moving target, always shifting and changing by definition. Not a foundation to build upon when the rains come and the winds blow. The M2C position is, in my opinion, untenable. By the standard of following only the sciences, the M2C boosters should abandon M2C because the overwhelming consensus of non-LDS archaeologists, the leading experts in Mesoamerican archaeology, is negative. They think it is a joke. They say the written language doesn’t match, the evidence on the ground doesn’t match, the animals don’t match, and the timelines don’t match up either. They say the decline of Classic Maya civilization and the abandonment of Maya cities in the southern Maya lowlands of Mesoamerica is between the 8th and 9th centuries at the end of the Classic Maya Period, and that pre-classic Maya experienced a similar collapse in the 2nd century. None of this matches up with Book of Mormon time-lines. Not. Even. Close.
Most of the membership of the Church doesn’t buy into M2C, with it’s 2-Cumorah requirement, either. They trend to believing the prophets and the scriptures and Joseph Smith (e.g. the Wentworth letter) and they don’t read “academic” books and papers, especially those members who live outside the US. So now the M2C folks are arrayed against the scientific establishment, the lay members of the church, the Prophets, and the Scriptures. It’s what I mean by being “untenable”.
One of the most serious issues is the censoring and altering the words of the prophets in church publications and manuals. This is caused, I believe, by M2C tainted editors who are promoting their M2C worldview. It is not a systemic policy but it happens. What follows below is an egregious example. Simply deplorable.
When Joseph first received the knowledge of the plates that were in the hill Cumorah, he did not then receive the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, he merely received the knowledge that the plates were there, and that the Lord would bring them forth. … He received the knowledge that [early inhabitants of the Americas] were once in possession of the Gospel, and from that time he went on, step by step, until he obtained the plates, and the Urim and Thummim and had power to translate them.
When Joseph first received the knowledge of the plates that were in the hill Cumorah, he did not then receive the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood, he merely received the knowledge that the plates were there, and that the Lord would bring them forth, and that they contained the history of the aborigines of this country. He received the knowledge that they were once in possession of the Gospel, and from that time he went on, step by step, until he obtained the plates, and the Urim and Thummim and had power to translate them.
When Joseph Smith wrote the Wentworth Letter, he made this request:
At the request of Mr. John Wentworth, Editor and Proprietor of the Chicago Democrat, I have written the following sketch of the rise, progress, persecution, and faith of the Latter-day Saints, of which I have the honor, under God, of being the founder. Mr. Wentworth says that he wishes to furnish Mr. Barstow, a friend of his, who is writing the history of New Hampshire, with this document. As Mr. Barstow has taken the proper steps to obtain correct information, all that I shall ask at his hands, is, that he publish the account entire, ungarnished, and without misrepresentation.
Unfortunately, some church publications do not honor Joseph’s request by publishing the entire account, but instead use a censored version the Wentworth letter removes the following lines to hide Joseph Smith’s statement about Jaredites and Nephites being from America, “this country”:
Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift and power of God.
… This book … tells us that our Savior made His appearance upon this continent after His resurrection; that He planted the Gospel here in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists, the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessings, as were enjoyed on the eastern continent; that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions; that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgment of their prophecies, history, etc., and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the Bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days.
Through the medium of the Urim and Thummim I translated the record by the gift and power of God.
In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded, from its first settlement by a colony that came from the Tower of Babel, at the confusion of languages to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. We are informed by these records that America in ancient times has been inhabited by two distinct races of people. The first were called Jaredites, and came directly from the tower of Babel. The second race came directly from the city of Jerusalem, about six hundred years before Christ. They were principally Israelites, of the descendants of Joseph. The Jaredites were destroyed about the time that the Israelites came from Jerusalem, who succeeded them in the inheritance of the country. The principal nation of the second race fell in battle towards the close of the fourth century. The remnant are the Indians that now inhabit this country.
This book also tells us that our Savior made His appearance upon this continent after His resurrection; that He planted the Gospel here in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, and Evangelists, the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessings, as were enjoyed on the eastern continent; that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions; that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgment of their prophecies, history, etc., and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the Bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days.
Because of surreptitious M2C editing and M2C stealth promotion, many members are unaware of the teachings of the prophets, and so the M2C position can seem okay to those who buy the books etc. — but I maintain that to contradict the clear pattern of what the of prophets and the scriptures have taught is out of step, doctrinally, with what the Book of Mormon teaches:
2 Nephi 9:28-29,4 28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. 29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. 42 And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches–yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.
The above scripture is harsher than I would dare to be, so I just quote it. I don’t think it would be right to do less. Also, consider that Jesus “upbraided” some of His Apostles for their initial unbelief of the testimonies of his resurrection. Upbraided means “chastised” and “severely criticized”. So, in fairness to the dedicated M2C people they are in good company, but if they are wise they will repent their ways as the ancient Apostles did.
Mark 1 14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
“Stiff neckedness and unbelief” also held back the early Apostles from understanding about the “other sheep”:
3 Nephi 15 11 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen: 12 Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, who are a remnant of the house of Joseph. 13 And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. 14 And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem. 15 Neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, whom the Father hath led away out of the land. 16 This much did the Father command me, that I should tell unto them: 17 That other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 18 And now, because of stiffneckedness and unbelief they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them.
In support of my position I quote President Oaks below. The complete talk is available here.
I maintain that the issue of the historicity of the Book of Mormon is basically a difference between those who rely exclusively on scholarship and those who rely on a combination of scholarship, faith, and revelation. Those who rely exclusively on scholarship reject revelation and fulfill Nephi’s prophecy that in the last days men “shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance” (2 Ne. 28:4).
Now that I have quoted President Oaks, I could probably end this post and be done. However, I also want to document just how strong the case for N1C really is. It is far stronger than most realize, and is definitely not limited to any one “opinion” but is backed up by many prophets, many scriptures, authoritative accounts, and word of the LORD himself. Below are significant testimonies that I have chosen to share because they transcend “opinion”.
The scriptures below indicate missionaries being sent to the “Lamanites” in Missouri. In the Doctrine and Covenants, the city of the future New Jerusalem mentioned by the prophet Ether is also identified as being in Missouri. These are canonized scriptures, with the Lord speaking in the first person and should not be construed by faithful members of the church as “just” the opinion of Joseph Smith. Because of the taint of M2C some LDS visitors centers have labeled the mission as “missionaries sent to the Indians” to hide the reference to Lamanites in Missouri. Some visitors centers have also employed Mayan glyphs in their portrayals.
Doctrine and Covenants 10 45 Behold, there are many things engraven upon the plates of Nephi which do throw greater views upon my gospel; therefore, it is wisdom in me that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work. 46 And, behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people. 47 And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers; 48 Yea, and this was their faith–that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions. 49 Now, this is not all–their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land; 50 And thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this gospel in this land might have eternal life; 51 Yea, that it might be free unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be. 52 And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to destroy that which they have received, but to build it up.
Doctrine and Covenants 28:9 9 And now, behold, I say unto you that it is not revealed, and no man knoweth where the city Zion shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter. Behold, I say unto you that it shall be on the borders by the Lamanites.
Doctrine and Covenants 28:14 14 And thou shalt assist to settle all these things, according to the covenants of the church, before thou shalt take thy journey among the Lamanites.
Doctrine and Covenants 54:8 8 And thus you shall take your journey into the regions westward, unto the land of Missouri, unto the borders of the Lamanites.
Doctrine and Covenants 84 2 Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. 3 Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased.
Doctrine and Covenants 128 20 And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel fromheaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets–the book to be revealed. …
Ether 13 3 And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord. 4 Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.
The scriptures above may seem conclusive however M2C proponents say that some church leaders have occasionally referred to Mesoamericans, South Americans and Pacific Islanders as being of Lamanite descent (and I don’t doubt that) so therefore, they say, “Lamanites can be anywhere” and therefore the scriptures cited “don’t mean anything specific”.
However, these first missionaries carried the message that the Book of Mormon was all about the forefathers of the “aboriginal inhabitants” of “this country” (Wentworth letter). When the missionaries took the Book of Mormon to the Lamanites the message from the Lord was that its history applied to this land(DC 10:49,50). This country or this land means whatever the land or country the hearer is from and not the “entire hemisphere” — despite M2C related sophistry.
Thousands of moons ago, when the red men’s forefathers dwelt in peace and possessed this whole land, the Great Spirit talked with them, and revealed His law and His will, and much knowledge to their wise men and prophets. This they wrote in a Book; together with their history, and the things which should befall their children in the latter days. “This Book was written on plates of gold, and handed down from father to son for many ages and generations. “It was then that the people prospered, and were strong and mighty; they cultivated the earth; built buildings and cities, and abounded in all good things, as the pale faces now do. “But they became wicked: they killed one another and shed much blood; they killed their prophets and wise men, and sought to destroy the Book. The great Spirit became angry, and would speak to them no more; they had no more good and wise dreams ; no more visions ; no more angels sent among them by the Great Spirit; and the Lord commanded Mormon and Moroni, their last wise men and prophets, to hide the Book in the earth, that it might be preserved in safety, and be found and made known in the latter day to the pale faces who should possess the land; that they might again make it known to the red man; in order to restore them to the knowledge of the will of the Great Spirit and to His favor.
I include a quote from Joseph Fielding Smith below because he speaks directly to the N1C vs M2C issue. Of course the M2C folks won’t accept Joseph Fielding Smith on this issue. They gainsay his teachings.
This modernistic theory of necessity, in order to be consistent, must place the waters of Ripliancum and the Hill Cumorah some place within the restricted territory of Central America, notwithstanding the teachings of the Church to the contrary for upwards of 100 years. Because of this theory some members of the Church have become confused and greatly disturbed in their faith in the Book of Mormon. It is for this reason that evidence is here presented to show that it is not only possible that these places could be located as the Church has held during the past century, but that in very deed such is the case.
I include Mark E. Peterson, Marion G. Romney, and Gordon B. Hinckley below because their statements were made publicly in General Conference while teaching in their official capacity as Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Moroni came back from the dead, a resurrected man! He had lived in America some fifteen hundred years ago and was the sole survivor of his people in a series of tragic battles which took many lives.
As the fighting neared its end, Mormon gathered the remnant of his forces about a hill which they called Cumorah, located in what is now the western part of the state of New York. Their enemies, known as Lamanites, came against them on this hill.
When finished with the record, Moroni was to hide it up in that same Hill Cumorah which was their battlefield. It would come forth in modern times as the Book of Mormon, named after Moroni’s father, the historian who compiled it.
Mormon then wrote directly to us as modern Americans who now occupy this promised land and said: “How can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways?
Millennia ago he [Jesus] declared: “There shall none come into this land, he was speaking of America, save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.
It is my purpose in making these remarks to point out from the record of ancient inhabitants of America that the foregoing decrees have been carried out.
In the western part of the state of New York near Palmyra is a prominent hill known as the “hill Cumorah.” (Mormon 6:6) On July twenty-fifth of this year, as I stood on the crest of that hill admiring with awe the breathtaking panorama which stretched out before me on every hand, my mind reverted to the events which occurred in that vicinity some twenty-five centuries ago—events which brought to an end the great Jaredite nation.
“For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God.” (Ether 2:7–10)
Pursuant to this decree concerning the land of America, the Jaredites were swept off in the manner we have reviewed, because, rebelling against the laws of Jesus Christ—the God of the land—they “ripened in iniquity.”
This second civilization to which I refer, the Nephites, flourished in America between 600 B.C. and A.D. 400. Their civilization came to an end for the same reason, at the same place, and in the same manner as did the Jaredites’.
We in this good land of America are now hearing much debate concerning the treaty designed to reduce the likelihood of nuclear attack on this continent. There is much talk of a balance of power and of a balance of terror. In the context of this current discussion I should like to read to you what the God of heaven said long ago concerning this land as recorded in the book of which we are speaking: “Behold, this is a choice land , and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ” (Ether 2:12).
Gordon B Hinckley, October Conference, 1979
I include a letter in response to an inquiry regarding the location of the hill Cumorah. The letter was sent by the Secretary to the First Presidency with instructions from the First Presidency.
Dear Bishop Brooks:
I have been asked to forward to you for acknowledgment and handling the enclosed copy of a letter to President Gordon B. Hinckley from Ronnie Sparks of your ward. Brother Sparks inquired about the location of the Hill Cumorah mentioned in the Book of Mormon, where the last battle between the Nephites and Lamanites took place.
The Church has long maintained, as attested to by references in the writings of General Authorities, that the Hill Cumorah in western New York state is the same as referenced in the Book of Mormon.
The Brethren appreciate your assistance in responding to this inquiry, and asked that you convey to Brother Sparks their commendation for his gospel study.
Sincerely yours, F. Michael Watson Secretary to the First Presidency
The following quote from L. Tom Perry shows that N1C is still relevant. The church leaders give the “academics” all the rope and latitude they ask for and demand – while still themselves teaching the scriptures, the Prophets, and the N1C perspective.
The United States is the promised land foretold in the Book of Mormon—a place where divine guidance directed inspired men to create the conditions necessary for the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was the birth of the United States of America that ushered out the Great Apostasy, when the earth was darkened by the absence of prophets and revealed light. It was no coincidence that the lovely morning of the First Vision occurred just a few decades after the establishment of the United States.
From a devotional address delivered on January 24, 2012, at Brigham Young University–Idaho.
In contrast, zero prophets and zero scriptures testify in behalf of M2C.
Postscript: A disingenuous M2C argument is “there is no archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon in North America”. What this often means is “we don’t see any ancient stone temples in North America”. I don’t understand this because it is a fact that the Book of Mormon does not mention any such thing.
However, when early settlers came to America they found hundreds of thousands of mounds, massive earthworks, and old fortifications long ago abandoned. A number of these were carefully documented in Smithsonian field surveys and published in 1848 as Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley. Personal histories and newspaper accounts are common that describe the artifacts, earthworks, and mass burials that were found by the early settlers.
For information on Book of Mormon archaeology in North America a good place to start is LDS Archaeology.
Below is Heber C Kimball’s experience near the hill Cumorah. It is not atypical.
“In the towns of Bloomfield, Victor, Manchester, and in the regions round about, there were hills upon the tops of which were entrenchments and fortifications, and in them were human bones, axes, tomahawks, points of arrows, beads and pipes, which were frequently found; and it was a common occurrence in the country to plow up axes, which I have done many times myself. I have visited the fortifications on the tops of these hills frequently… The hill Cumorah is a high hill for that country and had the appearance of a fortification or entrenchment around it. In the State of New York, probably there are hundreds of these fortifications which are now visible, and I have seen them in many other parts of the United States.”
One of the great joys in my life was attending and graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. My BYU education was interrupted by a two year proselyting mission for the Church and then I came back to finish. I loved the whole experience. Of course BYU wasn’t perfect then any more than it is now but the negatives were inconsequential, especially compared to the positives.
Frequently I read of the really silly, foolish, wrong headed, and stupid stuff that goes on at major schools in our country, and, realizing it would not happen at BYU, I then feel a sense of renewed satisfaction, and yes, pride in what BYU stands for and in its alumni – if that word, pride, can be used in the good sense.
Below are some standout positive features of a BYU education.
Interestingly, the national average is 69% of students graduate WITH student debt, so this is very good indeed by comparison.
It helps that BYU is frequently ranked #1 as “most affordable”. BYU also actively makes an effort to provide part time employment to as many students who want it. That really helps reduce the financial burden even further.
I graduated with some debt, a small amount, but it was all from my freshman year when I was foolish and didn’t work with the system.
Yep, if you are a BYU grad you’re almost twice as likely to be married. Religion and focus on family and family values are a big part of it. A stable marriage is foundational for happiness. This factors into the next subject …
By contrast, the percent of Americans reporting that they are happy is 31% for 2016. I dare say that most of these 31% are following the same basic path BYU students are following in order to end up with that result. A commitment to high moral standards yields the ultimate result of self-respect. However, it appears that the majority believes there are shortcuts to happiness. People usually believe what they want to believe, even if to their own detriment. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.author unknown
Once again, BYU bucks the trend in a major way. Nationally, the gender ratio among college graduates was 57:43, women to men. That’s four women for every three men.
Educated BYU women are about 5 times more likely to be a stay-at-home mom with a working husband. This is due to more stable marriages and a greater value placed on families.
This might have something to do with the other stats on this page being the way they are. Do ya think? Latter-day Saints believe in eternity. They take the long view. That which will last the longest has the most value. Having goals, and planning for the future yields short term stability and long term success.
I love these stats. I would go it alone if I had too. It’s just nice to know I am not alone in my convictions and habits.
My religious “conversion” started when I was young. I was blessed to have dedicated LDS parents who were faithful to the gospel and faithful to their family. Their sacrifices for God and family were real and heartfelt. I am their oldest child and have 10 siblings, 9 living.
I hate hypocrisy. Always have. Growing up I noted hypocrisy in school, politics, social leaders, everywhere. In Church, not so much. I could easily see no one was getting rich or famous off of Church service. In fact quite the opposite. Sacrifice for love or for principle indicates to me a true sincerity — the opposite of hypocrisy. So that’s where I wanted to be and still do.
My belief in the doctrines of the Church called “The Gospel” began by observing, contrasting, and comparing. Pretty simple. I was happy to be baptized. I had answers to the basic questions of life and I found that satisfying. My family and my gospel knowledge made me feel special, not different.
It continued that way until I reached the age of 15. I had just finished reading a book my mother provided called “Book of Mormon Stories FOR YOUNG LATTER-DAY SAINTS”. Just stories really but I knew it was based on the history from the real Book of Mormon.
So one day I saw a Book of Mormon sitting on the table and I thought “Why not just read the real thing?”. Yes, I know it’s a cliché (because it happens to a lot of people) but, because I was prepared, the Book of Mormon really did change my life. Forever.
That was 47 years ago. Since then, well, I have had my faith confirmed by “miracles”, direct answers to prayers, and new knowledge granted from the heavens. I think a testimony of God is based on two complimentary experiences: 1) Receiving personal revelation, via prayer and study of sacred subjects; and 2) Miracles. I have had miracles in my life, as has everyone who has sought the truth of God. My failures and disappointments have already worked out in my favor or are in process of doing so. I am a great believer in being patient, and playing “the long game”.
Before my experience with the Book of Mormon, my belief was
observational and based on actions and results. Afterwards, it was based
on an active relationship and trust in God. I was introduced to Him on a
more personal level because of the Book of Mormon. Only those who have
let God mold their heart know what I am talking about. There are no
words to describe the experience — the feeling, the understanding, the
epiphany of sacred moments. I remember reading the part in the Book of
Mormon when Jesus appeared to the Nephites. I was on the edge of my
So, I love the Book of Mormon, or I should say, I love what is in the Book of Mormon.
When feeling successful in my relationship with God, it gives me confidence in other aspects of my life — like I am going in the right direction. And how many people can really say that? I have many goals and aspirations fulfilled and also unfulfilled but I try to be patient. It will all happen according to the Word of God. I trust Him.
I have found that the following instruction from the Book of Mormon is the key to having a relationship with God.
And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches–yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.
2 Nephi 9:42
I recently encountered this quote and am fond of it:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated fools. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
My determination is to be persistent in following God. He can go His way and I’ll go mine — and it will be the same way.
The doctrines of the “restored Gospel” are glorious to comprehend and I love God and His precepts with all my heart. They are to be found complete and intact only within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I first wrote this post over 2 years ago about the Prophet Joseph Smith17. It is my perspective. Other people, for various reasons, have opposite perspectives widely published. In his first encounter with an angel, Joseph Smith was told that it would so:
33 He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people. (PGP, JS History 1)
That has come to pass. I have added Chapter 2 to address it. But first, Chapter 1.
I have always loved to hear and read about the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Because of his writings and teachings, I feel I know something of his heart and character. My first reading of The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (TPJS) had a serious positive impact on me. My favorite hymn as a child (because I just liked the tune) was “Praise to the Man” and I can still remember the page number from the old edition hymn book – page 149. Below is the music and lyrics: One of the most beautiful and sublime renditions the Tabernacle Choir has ever done (IMO).
Jesus Himself saw many fall away1 from his teachings. So also, the Latter-day Saints see the same in the last days2. It’s sad, but not unexpected. The Kingdom of Heaven is obtained by few. The way is narrow3. Jesus gave a key to this situation in the Parable of the Sower4.
It’s been said that participation in sports does not build character — it reveals character. So true! It’s exactly the same thing with participation in warfare, be it physical or spiritual warfare. It reveals character. The point is that our pre-mortal life5 determines our mortal experience. The simple truth is that our earth time is not our prep time, it’s our test time6 — and it’s a grand mistake to ever think otherwise. Character prep time was in the many years prior to earth life, when we forged our own unique personalities7 AND spiritual capacities8. All that parents and teachers can really do now, at this late point, is provide a comfortable chair, a sharp pencil, and good lighting — but each person must take their own tests and take personal responsibility for the outcomes. It’s important to remember that it’s an open book test9 and that it ain’t over ’till it’s over — that is, until God himself says it’s over10. So don’t give up on anyone or yourself. Remember your own mistakes and that God doesn’t give up on you.
To those who have “strayed” and lost their faith …
A little suggestion: for the sake of your own dignity, do not encourage or engage in the mockery of what others consider sacred. Remember that any religion or belief system can easily be made fun of, but it will do you no credit to engage in that kind of activity. It will just make you look small.
If you honestly follow after truth and righteousness in the best way you know how, we are probably both in agreement that you will find Gods mercy come judgement day, if not sooner.
To the parents, siblings, friends, and teachers of those who have departed the faith, either officially or unofficially, through their actions …
It is totally appropriate to feel sorrow, but not remorse. Don’t play the self blame game because that is not healthy, or scriptural. The Lord lays upon us a responsibility for teaching11 but not for outcomes12. Respect the free agency of everyone, shun no one, and remember that once you have taught repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – another’s sins and errors and “poor decisions” are not yours. Remember that there were many who rejected Jesus to His face, despite His being the best teacher who ever lived and a sinless, perfect man. Are you then better than Jesus? Consider also all the great men and women in scripture who had to deal with loved ones gone astray. Here are a few examples:
Adam and Eve had a son who made a personal pact with Satan and then killed his own innocent brother for material gain. The scripture says that Adam and Eve “mourned before the Lord13“. I’ll bet they did.
Contrary to their fathers wish, the sons of Eli the high priest18 exploited their position in the Holy Temple to commit fornication and make a mockery of that which is sacred.
To the great disappointment of their fathers, Alma and the sons of Mosiah rebelled and left the Church19 totally — and later banded together in an effort to destroy it.
The Lord himself had a wayward nation of Israel, who was constantly unfaithful and disloyal, despite the Lord’s great love and patience.
I could continue with many other scriptural examples of disappointing behavior. In none of the listed cases were parents, siblings, or friends held responsible by God, except for Eli, and that is because his sons were working under his direct supervision in the Temple and he failed to take corrective action. In every other case listed there was great sorrow – even in Heaven20. However, we are promised that this kind of sorrow is temporary21. God makes it all up to us22 eventually — and then some23.
Finally, to those who would take personal credit for the good choices of others, it can be embarrassing to watch. You are in serious error! You should to give credit where credit is due. Much of what we perceive as outcomes is premature, or pure luck, at least from our earthly perspective. It’s not unlike coming up heads or tails a few times in a row. If your close relations, students, children, spouse, or friends are walking a path of righteousness with God and have faith in Him, just be extremely humble and thankful – never proud of yourself.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? … 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
2JST Matthew 24
22 For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant… 26 For as the light of the morning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, and covereth the whole earth, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. 27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth… 37 And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. … 18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit,and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; 23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. 24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell; 25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
3 It [the Holy Priesthood] was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.
29 Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.
10Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:540
The truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.
25 And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
12Genesis 4, Ezekial 33
5 … And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…
2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, … 7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
26 And Cain was wroth, and listened not any more to the voice of the Lord, neither to Abel, his brother, who walked in holiness before the Lord. 27 And Adam and his wife mourned before the Lord, because of Cain and his brethren. 28 And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brothers’ daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than God. 29 And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy brother Abel into thine hands. 30 And Satan sware unto Cain that he would do according to his commands. And all these things were done in secret. 31 And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great secret, that I may murder and get gain. Wherefore Cain was called Master Mahan, and he gloried in his wickedness. 32 And Cain went into the field, and Cain talked with Abel, his brother. And it came to pass that while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him. 33 And Cain gloried in that which he had done, saying: I am free; surely the flocks of my brother falleth into my hands.
6 For their hearts were set to do evil, and were wholly turned to the god of Elkenah, and the god of Libnah, and the god of Mahmackrah, and the god of Korash, and the god of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; 7 Therefore they turned their hearts to the sacrifice of the heathen in offering up their children unto these dumb idols … 5 My fathers having turned from their righteousness, and from the holy commandments which the Lord their God had given unto them, unto the worshiping of the gods of the heathen, utterly refused to hearken to my voice; 12 And it came to pass that the priests laid violence upon me, that they might slay me also
1 NOW the Lord God caused the famine to wax sore in the land of Ur, insomuch that Haran, my brother, died; but Terah, my father, yet lived in the land of Ur, of the Chaldees. 5 And the famine abated; and my father tarried in Haran and dwelt there, as there were many flocks in Haran; and my father turned again unto his idolatry, …
29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? 33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.
34 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35 Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah..
18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him. name 19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh 20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams … 24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it … 26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, … 28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: …
171 Nephi 18
11 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness; … 15 … And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof. 17 Now my father, Lehi, had said many things unto them, and also unto the sons of Ishmael; but, behold, they did breathe out much threatenings against anyone that should speak for me; and my parents being stricken in years, and having suffered much grief because of their children, they were brought down, yea, even upon their sick-beds. 19 And Jacob and Joseph also, being young, having need of much nourishment, were grieved because of the afflictions of their mother; and also my wife with her tears and prayers, and also my children, did not soften the hearts of my brethren that they would loose me.
181 Samuel 2, 1 Samuel 4
22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. 24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress. 25 … Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father … 27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, … 29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? 30 … but now the Lord saith, … for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. … 34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. 35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.
10 And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. 11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain. 12 And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. 13 And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out. 14 And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth the noise of this tumult? And the man came in hastily, and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. 16 And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son? 17 And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. 18 And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
8 Now the sons of Mosiah were numbered among the unbelievers; and also one of the sons of Alma was numbered among them, he being called Alma, after his father; nevertheless, he became a very wicked and an idolatrous man. And he was a man of many words, and did speak much flattery to the people; therefore he led many of the people to do after the manner of his iniquities. 9 And he became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God; stealing away the hearts of the people; causing much dissension among the people; giving a chance for the enemy of God to exercise his power over them. 10 And now it came to pass that while he was going about to destroy the church of God, for he did go about secretly with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church, and to lead astray the people of the Lord, contrary to the commandments of God, or even the king–
11 For all flesh is corrupted before me; and the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven– 12 Which causeth silence to reign, and all eternity is pained, and the angels are waiting the great command to reap down the earth, to gather the tares that they may be burned; …
12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
23DC 137, DC 76
1 THE heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell. 2 I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire; 3 Also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son. 4 I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold.
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given– 52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; 53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. 54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn. 55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things– 56 They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory; 57 And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son. 58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God– 59 Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. 60 And they shall overcome all things. 61 Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet. 62 These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever. 63 These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people. 64 These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection. 65 These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just. 66 These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all. 67 These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn. 68 These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all. 69 These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood. 70 These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.
The Articles of Faith originated from the contents of an 1842 letter written by the Prophet Joseph Smith35 in response to an inquiry by John Wentworth. John Wentworth was the editor and proprietor of the Chicago Democrat, the first newspaper in Chicago, Illinois.
Regarding the Articles of Faith, B.H. Roberts said:
These Articles of Faith were not produced by the labored efforts and harmonized contentions of scholastics, but were struck off by one inspired mind at a single effort to make a declaration of that which is most assuredly believed by the church, for one making earnest inquiry about the truth.
The combined directness, perspicuity, simplicity and comprehensiveness of this statement of the principles of our religion may be relied upon as strong evidence of a divine inspiration resting upon the Prophet, Joseph Smith. (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol.2, Ch.47, p.131)
The Articles of Faith are listed below, with commentary:
I confess to interpreting Holy Scripture literally. A literal interpretation is my first assumption. When the scriptural intention is be be allegorical, it is usually pretty obvious and stated as such. Some things in scripture are symbolic yet real. Like baptism. It is an ordinance full of symbolism, but you really do get wet.
Throughout recorded history, mankind has repeatedly sought the perfect political-social system1 – where everyone prospers, has freedom, and is truly happy – a utopia. Wars have been fought and millions killed over the political systems which govern mankind but all of these systems have been far from perfect. However, according to Holy Scripture a “perfect” system really does exists and it is called the “Kingdom of Heaven”. The Kingdom of Heaven is where the laws of God prevail2 100% according to the free will of the people. In our pre-mortal state3 we resided in the Kingdom of Heaven before and during the creation of the earth (according to scripture) for millions of years (according to science), although few of us have any idea of what that means now. I imagine that our concept of time was different then, but still, that is a very long time. What were we doing all that time while the earth was being prepared for our visitation?
Of course, there’s always those with different ideas. Too risky, they said. Too much pain and suffering they said. There’s got to be an easier way16 they said. The pro’s and con’s were vigorously debated17. A vote was taken. In political terms it was a landslide: 67% in favor of the official plan18, 33% opposed19. The losers would not concede20. They refused to go along. They rebelled21. So they were expelled22. Where did the losers go? To the earth23 of course, but without the experience of physical mortality — just like they wanted it. They wanted to prove themselves right, smarter than God24, our Father in Heaven. In all of recorded history, every personal philosophy and every conceivable type of governing system has been tried. Most have been dismal failures, and others have only partially succeeded but never close to perfectly except for one case in the past: The City of Enoch25. And one prophesied case for the future is destined to succeed: The City of Zion26.
The Kingdom of Heaven is His physical9 kingdom, something to “inherit10” in the future11, and to be established as ZION12 when He comes to rule on the earth after His second coming13. It includes both the spiritual and the physical aspects of administration. Jesus himself establishes14 the Kingdom of Heaven because He is the King15.
Some critics actually believe the Latter-day Saints are plotting to take over the world for Jesus and are therefore dangerous. Well, there will never be enough Latter-day Saints for that and we are not trained for it. We have enough to worry about in doing our part to establish the spiritually based Kingdom of God and it’s all we can handle, if that. No, Jesus Himself and His celestial legions16 of angels17 are going to establish His Kingdom18 of Heaven when He comes. After all, Jesus created19 this earth and God, the Father, has given20 it to Him. Meanwhile, we are just temporary visitors, unless He says otherwise21. Jesus says he’ll “bare His arm22” in the eyes of all the nations. Watch out23. Continue reading “The Kingdom of God”
[Preface: This is the eulogy of my father, given September 3, 2011 – Jay Mackley]
My father, Delbert Jay Mackley, was born July 18, 1933 in the midst of the great depression.
He was the fifth son of Albert Charles Mackley and Pearl Alice Dalby and the fifth of eight children. He had four older brothers and later two younger brothers and a sister. His father, Albert Charles, repaired shoes for a living and his sons, including Delbert, were his assistants. I suppose there was a good demand for shoe repair, especially during the Depression. We have a picture of Albert Charles in his shop with writing in the background that says “We’re not a bank, but we can save you money.” Speaking of his youth, he wrote:
When I was 14, my mother gave me a book called “Book of Mormon Stories for Young People” that retold all the historical narratives of the Book of Mormon. I read it and thought it “interesting” and that was all. Then one day I glanced at the real Book of Mormon, thinking “Hey, I am old enough to read the real thing”. So I began reading and unexpectedly had a profound spiritual experience1. Although I had been taught in religious concepts as a child and accepted Christ in faith, I had just a rudimentary understanding of Jesus, His atonement, and my relationship to God through Christ. Through the Book of Mormon, God opened my eyes. He expanded my vision, showed me that He really cared, gave me to understand my purpose in life, and helped me to set worthy goals with a spiritual foundation. Continue reading “The Marvelous Book of Mormon”
I REALLY do admire Benjamin Franklin. I admire his life, his beliefs, his accomplishments, and his genius. He was the father of his country before George Washington became that. He has also been called the father of American humor with “Poor Richards Almanac” being America’s first joke book. He was loved by his countrymen and was the only man other than Washington who could have been our first President. Were it not for Franklin’s advanced age, George Washington would gladly have had Franklin be President instead. He was the premier scientist of his day: inventing many things including the lightening rod, bi-focal glasses, and the free standing (Franklin) stove. He founded the first public library, fire department, police department and helped found the first Masonic lodge in America. He also started the American Philosophical Society, what we would call a scientific organization. He discovered the gulf stream in the Atlantic. He made many discoveries about electricity including the concept of positive and negative polarity. By his adroit diplomacy he brought about the treaty with France and the military aid which made Washington’s victory over Cornwallis at Yorktown possible. He made significant contributions to the content of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. He had a love of freedom and as a articulate writer and publisher made popular the concepts of liberty and freedom. He wrote the following at the age of only 16: Continue reading “Benjamin Franklin: The Rest of the Story.”
As reviewed in Sexual Purity, Part 117, the divine standard for sexual purity is a high one, especially when compared to the current so-called “modern” standards. Sexual purity is not unique to the Latter-days, of course and it is encouraging that other faiths share these values – it’s just needs to be shared more. This video makes the point.
For the married, the self control required for sexual purity remains extremely important. In a loving relationship, Latter-day Saint doctrine specifies that sex is good, and right, expected, and approved of by God1. This is in contrast to some Christian traditions where physical relationships are considered inherently sinful and marriage viewed as a concession granted to fallen man. Many Christian faiths believe that the fall of Man was occasioned by an act of fornication on the part of Adam and Eve, and that we as their descendants, are therefore punished for this unexpected fiasco. This whole concept of the Fall of Man is simply and totally wrong2. Continue reading “Sexual Purity, Part 2”
And truth is knowledge of things
as they are,
and as they were,
and as they are to come.
(Doctrine and Covenants 93:24)
It’s always been amazing to me just how much an understanding of the pre and post mortal life is unique to the Latter-day Saints. It is truth! Your average Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. — doesn’t think about it, doesn’t know about it, isn’t taught about it, doesn’t have a clue! Really. Continue reading “The Mighty Sword of Truth”
The only Book of Mormon event that can be dated directly to the Old Testament, as an anchor point, is Lehi’s departure1 from Jerusalem. Nephi in the Book of Mormon states that Christ would come 600 years2 from Lehi’s departure. The actual date for this event is 601 BC if one believes, as I do, that Jesus was born in 1 BC17. However, if Jesus was born somewhere within 2-4 BC, as some others believe, it does not materially affect the Book of Mormon timeline, except to shorten the period of Lehi’s prophetic ministry. The narrative of 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon fits extremely well with the established Old Testament timeline chronology once we account for Nephi’s reference to the first year of the reign of Zedekiah3 as the beginning Lehi’s prophetic call. Continue reading “Nephi’s Zedekiah”
I have written in this space about how that in the town of Alma, Quebec, where I was the first LDS missionary, there is now an LDS Chapel and also how the Province of Quebec, which had not even a Stake when I was there, now has a Temple! This is part of the gathering of Israel so long prophesied and now unfolding. It a marvelous work and wonder1 and it has the adversary trembling2 in his boots. Of course, evil and opposition to Zion is more frenzied and desperate than ever. They, the enemy, know that their time is short. Continue reading “Zion Spreads Abroad”
[NOTE: This page currently under development. I post it early for family members who may be interested. Come back in awhile and you’ll see lots more interesting stuff on the life of Albert James.]
Albert James is my great-grandfather and the first Mackley in my family line to cross the ocean and come to America. I actually saw him once when we lived on 32nd Street in Boise, Idaho. I was about six years old when he came for a visit. That was about 1961 and Albert James would have been about 88 years old at the time (he died 31 Aug 1967). We are fortunate that Albert James wrote down his life story. What follows below comes from the original hand-written copy by Albert James Mackley. Later, in 1958, it was typed up by Ella M. M. Mackley and from that typewritten copy, the following was organized. Sentences and paragraphs of the same subject have been grouped together for clarity. Spelling and punctuation have been improved. Additional words have been added in brackets only. Original grammar has been maintained. Historical notes and photo’s have been added. Jeri and I had the opportunity to travel to the UK back in 1999 and we were able to visit Norwich (pronounced Nor-idge) where Albert James Mackley was born and raised. Some of the photos come from my trip to Norwich in 1999.
Autobiography of Albert James Mackley
Click to enlarge: Charlotte Martha Holmes, mother of Albert James Mackley
[The] history of the life of Albert James Mackley born at Norwich, Norfolk, England on the 25th of August 1873. I was the only son alive of James Goodwin Mackley and Martha Holmes.
1873 Norwich, Norfolk, England showing Magdalen (pronounced Maud-len) Street where Albert James Mackley lived.
Norwich was a nice place, pretty in the summer. In the winter at they had to turn on the gas [light] at half past two as it got dark early in England but in the summer you can sit on the door step and read at 11 p.m. There is a lot of rain there. They had a Cathedral (marked “C” on map) that was built by the Danes [Normans] when they invaded England. It was a nice building built out of cobbles. The soldiers would go to church there on the Sabbath.
They only paid [people] two pennies a day. In English [money] that [is] four cents. The people was so poor they would buy two cents worth of raisins and put them in a crock and keep them covered with sweet water. Next Saturday [they did] the same [thing] till they had enough for a Christmas pudding. That is the way they had to scrimp along.
My grandmother took care of me as my mother worked in the factory. Women had to work as it was tight picking. I used to go on a Saturday to meet my mother at the shop. The man they worked for would go over to the Public House and tell them to let the girls have what beer they wanted. One Saturday I got too much half and half. I couldn’t walk straight. My mother told me not to walk like that.
We lived in a house up an alley (see Zephells Yard, marked Z on the map). It had about four rooms. The roof was quite flat, it was made of tile, and I remember the cats used to accumulate there and hold their open air concerts. It would finally end up in a fight [and] then they would go scampering off the roof to the ground. [It was] about a two story drop but they would manage to alight on their feet in another alley.
We never had any stove in our house. Only a fireplace to do the cooking. Pies and cakes and bread was taken to bake shop. We could cook soup over the fire with a chain with a hook on it.
All the houses was infested with rats. The houses were joined together and the rats would go from one house to another one. One night when I came down [the] stairs after a drink of water, when I went to the cupboard for a cup, the rats went scampering out of there.
Later we moved from this to a place called the Red Lion Yard (marked “R” on map) that was at the head of Magdalene Street. There was a street running North and South. All east of that was farms. At the head of Magdalene street was a gate to the city and they [the gates] were closed at nine o’clock. At one time there was a ruler and he made the people go to bed and the lights out by nine o’clock. Well, this gate is still hanging on them hinges, sagging. I can see it now. I was talking to a President of the Norwich Conference a few years ago and he told me the old gate was still there. We lived up this Red Lion Yard till we left for America. At the head of this lane where we lived we had a picket fence in front of the house.
This is a picture of Magdelen street about 1881.
Up this alley where we lived, come off the street named Magdelene Street [Maud – lin]. On this street at the entrance of the alley was a little store run by a man and wife by the name of Eifell. He was kind of interested in the Gospel but his wife wasn’t. He borrowed the Pearl of Great Price. He would read it when his wife wasn’t around but when he heard her coming he would slip it in the pepper drawer. They were whole peppers them days and when we got the book back, for years we could smell the peppers.
As [most] people there didn’t have any education they would keep their birthday or year, as they rotated their crops. They would say she was born the year such a piece was in turnips, etc.
[I] started to school between the age of three and four years. [They] call it here “kindergarden” but they learned us the ABC’s. [My teacher,] her name was Mrs. Graves. I remember she raised birds and I know she had a good sized tree. There was a swing in it. She taught in her home. The last school I went to was St. Pauls (marked “P” on the map). There I graduated at the age of nine years. I was in the eighth grade. I liked reading, geography, spelling, writing, [and] history
When the school officials would come to the schools, the boys would have to make a bow and the girls would have to give a curtsy to show respect. The teachers were strict and if we done something wrong we would have to go up to the rostrum and put out your hand. She had a good stingy cane. We would have to put out our hand and get what we called “custard” and if we jerked our hand we got two–so we would hold our hand stiff and take it. But I wasn’t up [but] once or twice. The teacher was called Governess. I remember one day I had a stick of licorice and the teacher told me to put it up. I did but I went and got it again. So she put me in a dark room with one of them things you learn to count with – buttons on a wire.
Grandma was a whirlwind to go and was very good to me. I was going home one afternoon. I had played the truant but she didn’t know it. It was the longest afternoon I ever put in. As I was crossing the street I seen her, I said, “Hellos grandmother.” She says, “Come on, boy, and go home.” She don’t know till this day I played hookie. When I got home she gave me a nice crust with some dripping bacon grease… um good!
The minister would take us out to his home for an outing. We would walk out and ride back, maybe. And he was afraid for us to drink too much water so he put bran in it so you wouldn’t drink too much. The girls would have to learn to sew by hand, have your hand clean sewing this afternoon.
Long before I left school, my mothers brother lived in Arizona. We had a map of the world in school and I went to America and found Arizona and looked and found St. Johns, Apacha County. And [I] took my teacher over there and showed her where my mother’s brother lived in Arizona. When we came to this country he came to Utah to see us.
One day when I came home from school I saw a placard in the window. It was a 10×12 light as far as I can remember. On this card it said: “The Elder William Budge will preach at the St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich.” I can’t remember when I couldn’t read.
We was always glad to see the Elders. We would go across the city and hold meetings at each others homes but after so many left to come to Zion the harvest was poor. I and my father was baptized the same night in the river Wensum. The Elder that I mentioned before that left the placard in the window [and] that preached at St. Andrew’s Hall was William Budge from Scotland. He was a convert to the church and came to Utah. He was called on a mission to England. Later, when he filled his mission he was put in [as] President of the Logan Temple.
The Elder that baptized me and father was named Joseph W. Vickers. He lived in Nephi, Utah [and was a] very good man. He treated me like a son. As the mobs were on the Elder’s heels, that was the reason we was baptized at night.
Elizabeth Alexander Holmes is the grandmother of Albert James Mackley.
Ezra T. Benson served missions in the Eastern States, British Isles, Scandinavia, and Hawaii. He is the great-grandfather of Ezra Taft Benson, the 13th President of The Church.
My grandma was skin and bones but she traveled like a streak. One night after dark a mob gathered and was going to mob the Elders. I went in the house and told Grandmother some men was after the Elders. She had a large wash basin full of boiling water and she throwed it in their face and she told them if they didn’t go she would give them another. They left. I seen them. She was a real Latter-day Saint. She would stand up for the Gospel. She was about 90 years old when we got word we was going to America. People says, “Mrs. Holmes, you’ll die on the way.” She says, “I don’t care, I’ve been looking for this opportunity for a good many years.” She was one of the first that joined the Church in that part. My mother says she [grandmother] was baptized by Apostle Benson, [great]grandfather of Ezra T[aft] Benson. When the Elders would come and see us they would have a meal with bread buttered and a Yarmouth Bloater. That was good. They were glad of it. Talking about bloaters, there at Yarmouth by the sea they would dry them and string them on wires and dry them and smoke them. They called them “High Dried.” They were good after they was smoked.
There is so much to tell I can’t write it all. I used to get into trouble after school. One time there was going to be a swimming race on the river. We was anxious to see it. So to see it, we got on a roof of a coal bin and the roof went in and we went home in a hurry for fear the police would get us. Another time we got into a carrot patch and there was men working there and they spied us. We got in alright but when we went to get out the hole had closed up, but there had to be a hole. We never tried it again. When school was out one afternoon, some men were working and some plank was laying there and there was a brick wall so we took a plank and then we got on the plank and it didn’t even up so I was the closest to the wall and I got my finger between the plank and the wall and I thought I was killed. I never tried it again.[Once] there was a conference at a place along the sea shore. As people built close so when the tide come in they are far enough from the water. There was a meeting place there. The town was Lowestoft and after the meeting I went down to the beach and walked out there on the sand picking up sea weed, little lobsters and crabs. I wasn’t watching the water, I guess the tide must [have] been coming in one wave, then another. I had to move to keep out of the water as the breakers was coming in. The man that was President of the conference was Albert Carrington. He got cut off the church for adultery in England. That was when I was a boy. This sea weed I mentioned, you could hang it up in the room. They used it as a barometer. They could tell what kind of weather they was going to have. When it was to rain this weed would be wet and when it was to be dry it would powder up. Where we lived was 21 miles from the Ocean. The fish would come in every morning, all kinds. People eat a lot of fish. So many kinds [of] shell fish (all kinds) and [it is] cheap. One afternoon as we were going to market there was stalls that sold shell fish such as cockels and mussel, oysters and other shell fish. They had them in saucers ready to eat as people come along. So I would run ahead and have a saucer cleaned up before she got there and had a bill to pay. The fishermen would go out all night and they would have their boat full so they had them on the market early. The rivers there was navigable. The boats would haul coal from the mines and the coal bins were along the river so they could stop and unload what they wanted. Men would push the boats with a long pole called a quant. It had a finger on it so it wouldn’t go to far in the mud at the bottom of the river and the stream would help to take it. Another story as I read it in the paper; A girl was coming home from school [and] this man ravished her and then killed her on the way to my school. They had his picture in the photographers shop. He was a hard looker. They gave him a trial and found him guilty and they sentenced him to death by hanging. So the morning he was to be hung at daylight at the castle, there was an immense crowd there to watch it. They put a black cap on him and marched him out, put the noose around his neck and they sprung the trap and he dropped. When the folks seen them bringing him out they said, “Here he comes.” Mother said people was so thick there you could roll a ball over their head. That is the way they do there. When a man is guilty they soon do away with him.One night I went to a panorama. That was the first time I saw people act from a stage. They sung “Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder where you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky.” We never went out at night very much. We used to go to church and sing the hymns.My first recollection of my father was him packing me on his back upstairs. My father worked at the barracks as he made soldier clothes. He was a tailor and so was his father. Practically all the Mackleys were tailors and the women made bonnets and hats. My father had two sisters there that I seen. One was a spinster. The other married and had a family. The single one was Jane and the married [one] was named Clara. She married Henry Allen. He was a chimney sweep. Never seen much of fathers folks. Seen my Grandfather James a few times and my Grandmothers Mackley [but] they didn’t visit much. I had a cousin there in Norwich. He was a barber [and] his name was Billie Mackley. My Aunt Sarah Loveday from Hayland near Barnsley Yorkshire came to visit us before we left. One day grandfather [Charles Holmes] got a job cutting hay with a chopper, up in a barn loft. When he finished and his master paid him, he says “Come on, boy, let’s go ‘ave a ‘alf pint.” He meant beer as that is part of an Englishman’s living–that and his pipe. So the next time he got the job it was my turn to say “Come on grandpa, let’s go have a half pint.” I was quick to learn.My grandfather Charles Holmes was fishing for eel. He thought he had one –but it was his big toe. When he jabbed it with a table fork he found out it was his toe so he had to go home to Grandma and she had to pull it out. But it never got better as he was always lame after. I think it [was] partly [the cause of] his death as he died at 75  and grandma at 92. I remember my grandfather, I heard him say to my mother just before he died (my mothers name was Martha); “Go and get my vest coat (they say, ‘west cut’) and get the money for that boy as it will be the last I will ever give him.” I was five years [old] when he died [on 15 October 1878]. I seen him put in the grave and there was room for another but she was not put in there. When my grandfather died they dug it deep enough so grandma could be put there too, but she fooled them. She came and was buried in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Going to America
We was bent on going to Zion. It would be if we lived right and kept the commandments. The Lord has been good to us. We have our health and all that is necessary.My mothers folks had [a] donkey cart. That is the way they travel, a lot of them. I remember, just before we left, my mother’s brother Abraham Holmes came to bid us good-bye. I sat on the side of the street all day watching to see if he was coming. Finally about 5 p.m. he came–donkey and all. I had to put up my finger to see if he was moving. I remember one Sunday morning mother walked over to Crostwich where she was born to see her brother and wife. On this Crostwich Common it was a big Pasture full of thistles and oak trees large enough to get inside and hide when playing games. The thistle is what the donkeys lived on. Well, as we are about to take our journey across the Atlantic, we started to Liverpool to take the ship, SS Wyoming. It wasn’t a very good ship but it took us across. Some times it was rough. The ship would roll to one side to the other and [was] very rough. Some time one night a storm arose. [There was] thunder and lightning. I thought the ship would break in two. It groaned and squeeked. Water came through the port holes. [However,] most of the time it was nice. One night as I was laying on my back I felt some water running in my mouth. Someone was running over so I put my head out [the] side and told them to shut it off. There was a berth above me [and] there was a big family of them [there.] As we left Liverpool [and] as we got out in the river Mersey (that was getting close to Ireland), there was a couple of girls that was going over too, and they come out to meet the ship in a boat. They hung out a rope ladder so the girls could climb up the ship. They was coming over here to their boyfriends and likely got married. After we had [been] on board [awhile], we got acquainted with some people from Spanish Fork that had been to Denmark to gather genealogy. We found out that she knew my aunt-mothers sister. The folks from Denmark was named Otteson. My mother was sea sick all the way over but it didn’t bother any of the rest [of us]. One day a lady died and I wanted to see them bury her in the ocean. They sewed her up in canvas and slid her down the plank for the fish to eat. The food wasn’t good and the toilet was close to the water. You didn’t need any paper as the water would splash and wash you off. It wasn’t anything for somebody to come while you was there. Some days it would be foggy and the old fog horn would blow. One day we seen a whale. We could see it go down and then come up and squirt water in the air. Sometimes we see icebergs floating. They tried to keep out of the way of them. We had a bottle tied to a string on the neck. We would throw it in the ocean and watch it jump. The porpoise would follow the ship. As time went on, one day a boat came out to meet us. It had a man on to take us into port. We was quite awhile before we reached port and then they came on board with goats milk and fruits and eats of differents kind[s] and when we went in New York we went up to see the city. We weren’t there very long. That was the first time I seen peaches and tomatoes. They used to call them love apples but I never cared much for them. We seen the Elevated Railroad. We didn’t have very much money to spend so they took us up the Hudson River on a big boat with paddles on the side as far as Castle Garden. There we layed around on the floor waiting to be cleared to see where we was going. Boy, we was glad to get out of there. [There were] no accomodations. The toilet was a long building with a pole to hang over. When we got on the train, that wasn’t to good either. Of course, the railroad wasn’t as good them days as they are now-a-days. As we got along through the different states we see different things. We was expecting to see buffalo but we didn’t hardly see chips. As the train stopped to take water, a lot of them would get out and go so far away from the train they would go away and leave them. Then they would take the next train. I remember when they crossed the Missouri they went across on a large boat then they would get off on the other side and go on the rails. One night as the train had stopped for water some men come and we thought they was going to rob the people. They looked around and I guess they thought they wouldn’t get much so they didn’t bother. Sometimes when the train would stop at eating houses they would get some hot water and make some tea. On board the ship I had a boy to play with but on the train I had to sit in the seat. On the train we was looking for historic places like the Horse Shoe Bend, but that was further on. It was getting into September and the fall season was on. The crops was being gathered so there was much to be seen. Cattle [were] on the farms. As we went along we seen the mountains as we come to them as there isn’t in England where we came [from]. We was glad when they said it wouldn’t be long before we would be into Ogden as Mother knew some people that used to live in Norwich but after they joined the church they come to Utah. In some way they was looking for emigrants so they found us and they took us to their place for that night and then the next day we went on to Salt Lake and my Uncle William was at the station to meet us and we stayed there a few days. We went to the meeting in the Tabernacle on Sunday and then the next day or so we visited some of the others that emigrated before [such as] J. J. Daynes. They run a music store and still do. And [we also visited] W[illia]m Wood that was on a mission awhile before we left. I was looking down the street and I said to mother, “There’s brother Wood!” He then was running a meat market. That was his [Brother Woods] son that was [the] President of the Cardston Temple. He was a very good man. When we got to our destination (Spanish Fork) we went and lived with our relations; mothers sister and husband James and Mary Vincent. We come in September and by the next spring we moved to a house we rented. The Salt Lake Temple was about four feet high when we come to this country but the street was full of granite blocks. They dragged them in with oxen as the Salt Lake Temple was forty years in construction. The side walks was made of a tar filling and when it got hot it was soft but later cement walks were put in. It was practically all L.D.S. people [there] then. The trains was small and they seldom went over thirty miles per hour. And they sold bananas, gum, candy, apples, and fruit but now they have done away with it. The roads to the depots then were very muddy and hacks would run and meet all trains. That’s all done away with now.
Life in Utah
We would go and gather sage brush to burn. My mother didn’t want me to run around the streets so she said, “go and find you a job.” It wasn’t long before I had it. I found a job in the shoe shop on the tenth of June. The people I worked for was John F. Mellor. All I got was $1.00 a week and my dinner. One day they gave me an ear of corn and I never seen people eat it before as my uncle used give it to the pigs. I refused it so that is what I told them. They [then] told me I could go home and eat – so I lost my boarding place. He was a hard man to work for. I think they raised my wages in about two years to $1.25 but they was good to me on holidays. They would give me some money or scrip as there wasn’t to much money in the country. Then one day she was going to tell me how to do the job but I didn’t pay to much attention so she took a square box lid and hit me on the head. She found she hurt me so she went and got a piece of pie. I stayed with them nearly seven years. During that time my father died. I didn’t like to stay there as he would slap me [along] the side of the head with his boney back hander. So I was getting nearly as tall as I am now so I thought I wasn’t going to take that any longer. I hit him and skinned his cheek so he sent me home. I was gone away about two weeks and they was getting behind on their work as there wasn’t anybody that could do the sewing on the uppers as their son had gone on a mission to England and they depended on me. Altogether they came for me two different times. Their daughter told me, “Father said he would raise your wages.” I didn’t care. For that, mother says, “You better go back. Some day it might come in handy.” So I went back. He never done it again.
During this time father died and my mother remarried and then I left home and went to work. In a few days [I went] to put up hay for a man in Springville named John Hatfield. I worked for a couple of months for him. I learned they was building a sugar factory at Lehi so I went there and got a job on the John Beck Ranch called Saratoga Ranch. I got $1.75 a day cultivating beets. They had 117 acres and I used a walking cultivator and a single horse. I used her two and a half hours and then changed to the other for the same time and it was a real job. The boys that was milking the cows quit. There was 25 cows. Me and another boy took the job [and] for that we got [an extra] 50 cents making 2.25 a day. I thought I was making more money than the President of the U.S. But we had a steady job [and] that’s what we asked for. They irrigated the beets with warm water all summer. We would put the can out in the sun so it would keep warm. We had lots of fun there. I want to tell you before I forget that I topped the first sugar beats that was raised in Utah. That was in 1891 before the peoples Co-op store in Lehi and I have or did have the first sugar made that year. As my Uncle Robert Holmes sewed the first sack, that’s how I got it. That was the best thing that happened to Utah as that is what brought money from the beets but they only got $4.50 per ton. They didn’t have a very good way of handling to unload them with anything at [the] first wagon. But to haul them they soon caught on. There was a lot of hobos working there that year. That was 14 miles to town so we would walk to town. No thumbing [in] them days. Once in a week we would get a cool drink [which] they would haul from Lehi. I stayed there till I got layed off and then I shoveled coal for $.10 a ton. In the fall when they harvested the beets I went back. Their beets went 35 ton to the acre. They was large [beets]. After they were plowed out we would pile them and top them with corn knives. They hauled them in big sacks nearly half as big as wool sacks. They hauled them on cord wood racks [for] 14 miles [and could] make a [single] trip in a day. It began to get cold at night. After supper we would go to an old adobe house with one end out. [It] had an old stove there and there was a lot of hobos working and at night they would tell of their experiences and we liked to hear them. So we would crowd close as the seating capacity was limited. So one day I imagined something so I left the crowd at work and jumped over a ditch and got where there was some sweet clover and opened my shirt. I had some matches and found out I was lousy. They had K.P.C. on their backs. It stood for Kilpatrick Collins and Company–was some that got away so I had to play sick that afternoon so we had an old heater stove where we slept so I rustled a five gallon can, made a good fire and boiled up and I had to dry them before they came from work in the field. That was my first and last experience. After the beets was up there on the ranch I got a job on the George Q. Cannon farm up on Bull River. That is between American Fork and Pleasant Grove and the town of Alpine. We could hear the school bell ring but couldn’t see the town as it was in the dell. Nice place. They say there on that place a lady that was cooking for the men had a girl staying with her (a niece). She was really pretty but there was a young man so in love with her he couldn’t eat. One night after supper we was sitting on the porch talking. I don’t know why she come and kissed me. Boy, was my face red. She asked to come and wake up with a cow bell and then beat it. We left there when the work was over and I went home.
At that time the Provo Woolen Mills was running and it wasn’t paying too well but they made good cloth. A suit that was all wool [costs] about $3.00 a yard [and took] about three and a half yards to make the suit. A tailor would make it [for a] reasonable [price]. That fall I had job working in the harness shop for a James W. Miller. I worked for him for quite a while. I used to get there early in the winter to get the room warm as you can’t sew unless the room was warm. As it was built of rough lumber, it had shrank and left big cracks. So while the room was getting warm there was a saloon nearly joining it and I would go in there to get warm. The bartender was Bob Ferguson. So he says, “Jim, you want to make 15 cents?” I said, “Yes.” He says, “Empty this tank and fill it up with water.” So every morning I would do it and after supper I would go down town and go in there and he would ask me if I would tend bar for him while he had gone to supper. So he told me what to do; fill up certain demijohns with different kinds of liquor. I had to draw it up thru a hose and some of it was good and I would take a cigar and smoke it. I was about 17 years old. So one time Bob wanted to go with some fellow to Salt Lake to the stock fair and he asked me if I would take over and mop the floors and put clean linen on the bar. So it took me all night to do all this work alone. Along in the early morning some of them old soaks would come for an eye opener and by the time I got home it was nearly 12 0’clock and my mother asked where I had been all night. I told here I had been to the saloon at work. “What in devil you been buying there?“, [she asked]. So I told her. She says. “Let that be the last.” It was [the last]. I took her word for it and I am very glad I done what I was told. If I hadn’t I would have been an alcoholic as I was starting out bad for my age–either 17 or 18. I’ll tell you, it pays to mind your parents as they have been on earth long and have seen what happen[s] to boys that go astray. I am thankful for my mother looking after my interest as they never tell you wrong. I worked for Miller in the harness shop for some time and [then] I and my partner had a chance to take a farm on shares, cattle and all. We had bad luck as the ground was run down, full of wild oats and weeds. It hadn’t been fertilized as it ought to have been and our crops didn’t turn out to be worth anything. Our beets that we put in didn’t come up good so we had to replant and that throwed them late to harvest. We dug them in the snow and we payed out so much for labor. And when we settled up for labor we had $18.95 each and my partner said he would go to the mines and work if I’d take care of the stock but I never got a cent out of my work as he gambled his money away as he was a card shark. I couldn’t take it any longer so we had a fight over our stuff. So I pulled out and went up into Salt Lake County and got me a job with Dan Jones for $10.00 per month as jobs couldn’t be bought. He had two women. They took care of the milking. The first wife was good to me like a mother.
Albert James Mackley and Catherine Braithwaite, married 3 May 1897 in the Manti Temple.
I’d take hay into Salt Lake and put it in the stores or up in the loft of the barn. He had a hay bailer besides working on the farm. As it was all horses them days he had several horses and some cows. I would feed them [and] clean out the barns. We would draw up the water [for the animals] and I got tired of that so one day I asked him if I couldn’t take them up to the canal. It was up the state road about forty rods and on the way back a young girl said to her sister, “Who is that young man driving them horses?” Her sister says, “That’s a fellow working for Jones’s.” She says, “That’s the young man I’m going to marry.” Her sister says, “You big fool, I’m going to send you home to Ma.” She didn’t. When she was working as a girl, before she was working for Brother Farnsworth in Manti, that was her home town and Brother Farnsworth says, “ Katie, do you want to see your future husband?” She said, “Yes.” [He said,] “Well, you pray tonight and I’ll pray.” They did. So he asked her the next morning if she seen him. She said no. And he says, “You pray tonight and I’ll pray.” And she seen me that is the reason she knew me when she seen me on the road and after a while I got acquainted with her and she went to her home in Manti. That was along in June. My time run out [for hauling hay for Dan Jones] the 21st of August as I hired out for six months. Then I went and got me a job at the Sandy Smelters. I got $1.52 per day as wages was cheap them days and board cheap. But in September I went to Manti to see her and her parents. They treated me fine and on one Sunday we went around the Manti Temple and it was a glorious feeling. Ever after I told her that when we got married I wanted to be married there and we did. The following Christmas, I went down again and stayed ten days and while I was there I promised her that I would buy her some clothes. And she used to go and work out to get her own clothes. She would go and do a big wash for only 50 cents. That’s what they used to pay. Things were hard for everybody. I promised her I would hunt up a job. I went to the smelters where I used to work. They would only let the men work every other day. Just enough to live on. I sit there with my boss talking. He wouldn’t promise me a job but I went there the next morning and went to work and I [was] never layed off. It looked like the Lord was with me all the time and when I got my money me and her mother went into Salt Lake and bought the goods and when she went home they made them with her other daughter that said she would send her home to me. So on the third of May we were married. She sent for me and we wasn’t going to be married ’till the 25th of May but while I was there she said we better get married. So Bishop Reid married us and we came back in November and went to the Temple and was married for time and eternity by J.D.T. McCallister. We didn’t have much money when we was married but we started right to get things into the house. We moved into a house with a cupboard, stove, table, some chairs, a few dishes, etc. It wasn’t long we lived in that house and we moved down town and on the 6th of May, Albert Charles was born. I done all kinds of work. George Ellis gave me a job helping him to make brooms. He couldn’t pay much as the days were short – about six hours a day. 75¢ rent was $3.00 per month, butter 20¢, milk 5¢, coal $4.00 [a] ton, [and] $65 for fifty pound flour. I did shoe repair for that, hauled my own wood [and we] had our own pig and chickens. We put up fruit and George Ellis had me go on the road. I took a load of brooms as far as Manti that summer. I worked around for different people. That winter in January I started off to hunt a job. I got on the railroad track [and] I walked as far as Lehi about 30 miles [away] and stayed with a family I used to board with when I was about 17. And the next morning I got on the track and walked as far as Draper about 20 miles [away]. As I was going along I seen a man getting a load of sand out of a bank. I asked him if he knowed where I could get a job. He took me out in the road and said, “You see that Steam Nelson and Meek are dipping sheep. Maybe you can get a job there.” I asked them if I could help them dip sheep. They said, “Do you think you can dip the head under that mixture?” So I done it and after I got thru he asked me to go home with him. On the way, I asked him if he had any harness I could fix. He said he had ten set [and] he had eleven bands of sheep. So I told him I would send home for my tools. He said he was going into Salt Lake tomorrow and he would get what I wanted. I worked for him till I got the harness fixed and then I dug a pipe line to water the sheep at the lambing shed. I worked there doing different things–hauling manure and digging drain ditch. When I got through [with that job] I started to run a shoe shop but the people went bare foot – women and kids. So there wasn’t much to do. A neighbor come to my rescue. He asked me if I wanted a job on the section. So I went there for two weeks as one of his men had to lay off. I stayed ’till he came back. After a while I got a letter from my stepfather. He wanted me to put up his hay rack, so I went down to Spanish Fork and got a team and rack and moved back to Spanish Fork in the harness shop until December as that was the [day] Spencer was born (December 19). After that, I was out of work for a few days and then went to the broom factory to work. Later, I went to work for Oran Livis grubbing oak brush and working in the yard hauling coal. And in May I went to Manti go head sheep for Hirum Brown. I worked for him for two months and was called home as he had the whooping cough. And I worked around ’till I went to work for the co-op again for awhile. And then a man came to me and wanted some men to work at Castle Gate Coal Co. to load coke but it was of a short duration. We wasn’t making any money so we took what little money we had and walked home [which was] about 60 miles [away]. We, Dan Lewis and I, bought a bed one night and started out early and walked to Soldier Summit and bought a loaf of bread and broke it in two. We walked to the Thistle Junction and then beat our way on a freight train home. Hadn’t been home over a day ’till a man came and wanted us to go up to sack wool as they was going to sheer sheep at P.V. Junction. We was there a couple of days ago. I was up there for ten days and it stormed so much we couldn’t sheer but we had to eat. When we settled up I had $4.35. I sent the $4.00 home, bought 25¢ in stamps [and] 10¢ to buy tobacco. I got a job herding sheep [and] was there for two days and got sick with tick fever. I was sick all summer. I left the job and layed around sick. I had them administer to me. I got better. I went downtown to get me a job. I got a job on the threshing machine. I stayed down for awhile and when I was coming home I met my wife’s mother and Lyness Braithwaite, her son. They said, “You got a daughter.” My wife wasn’t sick when I left. That [daughter] was Blanch, born [the] 27th of August. I left in September for another job. I packed my grip and expressed it to Bingham Junction and walked up there. I didn’t work that night but the next night I went to work on the night shift and I worked at the Bingham Smelter until 24th of December and came home. I was to be notified but they never, so I went up there and went to work and then I moved my family. I forget to tell I bought a lot. Borrowed the money from the bank so I had to get money to pay the bank. My father-in-law said he would plant the trees for me so when I got the bank paid and the money to build the house I moved back and built a two room sloop and the trees was bearing. We was glad and happy while we was saving the money. Robert was born the 21st of April at Midvale so when we moved back we had four children but we still kept on trying to get ahead. I got tired working for [the] co-op as some of them was lying. I could never like a liar, so I left. A man came to me one day and said he would like to trade for a place in town so I told him I would trade before I knowed it. So we went to trade, it was just a little place but I traded. There was 36 acres and I wanted to get a pasture. There was not water on the place but the house was small and full of bed bugs but we got rid of them in time. I got a job on the section and thought it was steady but in ten days I got layed off. Ten days work brought $10.30. It was getting to close to Christmas so I started to shift for myself. The first few days wasn’t much doing but it started to come. In a few days I soon was working ’till late at night and then I began to make something for myself. It wasn’t long before I began to get up on top. I was really busy and then I bought me a patching machine but the machine never was any good. I sent it into the company but they didn’t do it any good. It wasn’t long before I begin to do harness work. I sent in for a side of harness leather but they sent me a roll 230 lbs and it frightened me so I wrote them about it. They told me to pay for it as I could. The first thing I done was to cut the long side into halter straps and hung them. It wasn’t long before they were sold. I made a lot of hame straps. I got in some collars, curry comb, brush. It wasn’t long before I had to move into a larger building. There I bought buggy harness oil and a vat. Soon I was busy oiling. When I was working a salesman came and wanted to put them (co-op) in one but they couldn’t see it. They brought me their harness. Soon they seen it was a paying business [and] then I had competition but they couldn’t get it all. And then I put in a line of horse remedies and a line of poultry supplies. I sold a lot. I got some incubators and sold them. We tried everything. I was going along fine.We built onto our house. It wasn’t long before I decided to build another house that was larger. So Jesse Braithwaite had studied the architecture business so I asked him to bring over some plans that they had a book of different buildings. So I picked out one with ten rooms. He told me about what it would cost and we decided to go ahead. I didn’t have any money so I had Will Johnson haul me the gravel and got the cement from Jex Lumber. There was 175 bags of cement in the house, basement, foundations and porch. Well, we put in the foundation, had men to help. Well, we wasn’t long before we had the studding up and at night I would put up the sides. It was about four inch wide Larch Lumber, easy to work. I would give it a coat of yellow ocre to keep it from the weather and we kept on. Finally we got the floor down of common lumber and then the flooring was put on and oiled and then the roof. We shingled it at night and it was moon light and cool. I got the adobes and layed them up me self. I got a man to lay up the chimney. Jesse done all the finish [work] of [the] windows and doors. I paid Jesse when he would ask for money. He drawed fast, when the house was completed he was owing me. The plastering was done. I got that paid. I hauled lumber for Jex and cement. They got stuff out of the shop. I bought 253 white lead and done my own painting and I never had to sign a note for nothing I got done or had done. My credit was good. I got all my hardware from Salt Lake Hardware. When the house was finished it wasn’t long before my business growed. We put in a nice orchard. We was enjoying the place. We thought we could do better in Idaho as my brother-in-law George Smith was wanting me to come there and so I went up there in 1916 and filed on a homestead. It was nice place in the summer. Lots of timber on the place. I bought some cows. Some [cows] we took with us up there as we had a big car load of livestock [and] some machinery. Then we had to buy hay as we had to feed the horses and cows and sheep. We built us a long house with two rooms and upstairs. We had plenty of wood and plenty of snow. We couldn’t see the fences as the posts were covered up but we kept on trying. We built a barn big enough to hold 60 head. We had plenty of logs on the place. We took them to a saw mill and had it made into lumber. We was getting some nice heifers coming in and things looked prosperous. We had some young hay in but the wind blowed hard and froze the hay. I had already had a milking machine installed. We was getting 50¢ a pound for butter fat and then the hard time hit everybody. Butter fat went down to 11¢. Hay went up to $40.00 per ton. I had $25.00 paid on the milker. Things tightened up so we lost the milker and cows. Some [cows] I sold for $7.50 and that was bad for everybody. I homesteaded in 1916. We tried to make it. I tried to but a swamp ranch. I paid on that and finally had to give that up. D.C. Buxton has got that now. He will have a good place out of it. He has it stocked with cattle. Finally I gave up the ranch as they couldn’t make anything out of it but we didn’t have any money to put out on it. Now they have electric light up there. They already had good water to drink. Hard to get out of in the winter. We built onto the house so we could get along. I had to go back to the shop in Driggs, Idaho. There I run and tried to keep some cows there. We sold milk to customers. The children married off and I stayed with the shop. My wife’s health got bad. [The] climate was to high so we moved to Rigby, Idaho. We rented a house for a few years. Finally I bought a lot and we built a nice little house. My wife felt so bad when we left our home in Spanish Fork I told her, “Don’t feel bad, we will build you a house and you can have it the way you want it.” We had a nice little home fixed like a doll house, everything the way she wanted. A lawn with all kinds of flowers. You could find her out taking care of them. I planted a nice lot of fruit trees and had a lot of chickens. And then Martha was the only one home. She got married and they moved to Clearfield so we didn’t enjoy the doll house too many years. They wanted us to move there so we bought a nice house across from them. We could see them everyday. We would drop over or they would. We was enjoying it fine ’till Rex thought he could do better on a farm as he was working at the Navy Base there. So it wasn’t long ’till they moved to Mud Lake and we was not better off. We could have lived in Rigby and went 25 or 30 miles and seen them there but we don’t know the workings of the Lord. I think he moved us around to suit his purpose. Mary Ann RogersMy wife Catherine Braithwaite Mackley was taken very sick the latter part of March and 1948 we took her to Mapleton to our son Spencer and later she went to the Provo Valley Hospital and was operated on and kept getting worse. Finally she died on the 30th of April and was buried on our wedding day the 3rd of May 1949. She was buried at Spanish Fork, Utah. We had twelve children.
Mary Ann Rogers
After that we sold the place at Clearfield to Earl Wixom. From then I went to visit each of the children till I thought I would go and do Temple work. I went to the St. George Temple and started on the 27th of November and went steady ’till the 27th of March 1951.One night I made up my mind to pray to the Lord. This is what I said to him. I asked him if he was willing for me to take another wife, I want one that would go to the temple and work in the Relief Society. I waited a few days and I began to think that it was throwed away ’till one Sunday afternoon after conference I was standing by the bank corner. One woman came along and asked me a question. I answered her and she went on, [to] another street. Finally another woman came along and I spoke to her and one word brought on another. I told her I came here from Idaho to work in the temple. She said she came here from Idaho. She had brought her husband for his health but he had passed away and I thought that was a good chance for me. By the time I got to the corner I was going to turn to go across the street. I asked if she cared if I come to see her. She say, “I don’t even know your name.” She hadn’t looked to see what I looked like. She say, “If you’d come to the corner I’ll show you where I live.” I says, “I’m not acquainted with the town.” I says, “I better walk down with you” and I ask her if she would go to the evening meeting with me. So I says [that] I’ll go and get my supper as I was bach’ing it [and then] I’ll bring down the car. So that was the start of our courtship. I was going to leave for Mapleton on the 27th. I was going to take back some tomato plants. I asked her if she would go to Washington with me to get some but [I] couldn’t find any so I went to Hurrican and got a large box [full]. I was going to give them all some, so we visited every day. I would take her to the temple and go home and get my meals. I asked her if she thought we could make it. She says you go home and pray about it and I will. So we done it and everything went along alright and we got married on the 27th of March 1951. After that I took my things there and we have been living happy since.
We have done a lot of temple work. She has done of 1700 [names] and I have done over 2450. We are glad to have the privilege to go to the Lord’s house as it is really a privilege to get in there. So many souls are made happy to get the chance to go there as you have to have a recommend by your Bishop and President of the Stake to get the chance to get in. This winter since the first of December we have had two old gentlemen staying with us. Both [are] over 80 years but in about one month they will be gone as it is too much of a hardship washing temple clothes for four of us so [that] we will be clean and respectable. When Grandma gets her [story] made out and book form there will be quite a history.
Now all of this is taken from memory so if there is any mistakes you will have to correct them if you can as this is taken from memory from the time I was about three or four years old. [I am] glad to have that much memory at 85 years. There is a lot that I have jumped over as some come to me when I had written the other. Of course I forgot or tried to [forget] the little things in life such as getting into mischief with other boys. I believe I can remember where all the good apple trees and pear trees and all the apple cellars [are]–especially them that was layed on the ground and covered with straw and then dirt covered. All we had to do was to burrow till we come to the straw and there they’d be. I hadn’t thought to tell the things but they was too good to hold back. All the boys have their days and girls, too. So that is life, but when we grow older we should have more sense but where you repent and not do it again the Lord will forgive you and [you must] try and live the good life. Well, as I have about come to the end [I give this advice]; Do what is right and you have no room to fear. If you have the Priesthood, honor it and do what you are asked. Get yourself ready and go to the temple. Do all that you can. So far up to date I have done work for 2788 [people]. Try and come up to it.
Love and best wishes to all my family. As ever, Grandfather, Albert James Mackley
This is another day to tell you about. We just got back from our trip from St. George to Fresno, California to see Zella Williams. [We] stayed there a few days and then [went on] to Edith and Kay Hunter. I seen them milk a bunch of cows and then [we went] to Ashland, Oregon to see Seth, Eva and the girls. Charles had moved his wife there as Charles was helping his father and his wife Karen had a baby. [They] named it Seth David. And then we went up to Portland and stayed there two nights and one day. And then [we] went on to Moses Lake and had a nice visit with Martha and Rex and family. From there Rex brought [us] to Walla Walla [where] we visited with Jay Park and family and then onto Letha Idaho and visited with Ethel and Dean Gordon and [their] girls. I helped him awhile with the cement and [then] went on to Emmett and visited with the little family. [We] seen Hyrum and Mary Wallace and from there we came on to Pocatello and stayed with Catherine Wallace and Frank Douglass and family. Then we went on up to Driggs and visited with the Buxtons, Art Mackley, Eva and Carl Josephson and family. [We] seen Blanch and family at the reunion [and] Elmer Mackley and family from Arco. I had my operation, a bad hernia, taken care of. I was in the hospital four days. Went after the next week and had the stitches taken [out]. So far after two weeks getting along as well as could be expected. I’m glad it was done, should have been done before. The Lord has helped me. Now it’s my turn to help him as he has always been with me. A.J. Mackley
[Originally] copied from a hand written story by Albert James Mackley in 1958 [and then typed] by Ella M.M. Mackley.
The following taken from the handwriting of Albert James Mackley – written Sept 11, 1965. Song goes, “If you do right you have no need to fear.” As I have a talk with my little grandchildren I tell them to be good, mind their parents, and never lie because they get you into trouble. Always tell the truth and be free. One lie and you tell another to cover it up.Harold, I am happy here doing the Lords work. Today there was a couple getting married. When they get married for time and all eternity, they have a good foundation to start on. Some think if they get married in the temple, they are saved as far as that go but you have to life good lives. We want to be happy on the other side. If we do what the Lord asks us to do, we stand a good chance. Some think they are saved if they go to the tample but you have to keep on going. About JimThe following is quoted from Vadna J. Mackley in her book Our Mackley FamilyJim had a beautiful singing voice and many, many times he and Catherine would sing together, their voices harmonizing with each other beautifully. Jim had an enviable personality–people liked him. He had a witty mind and could make people feel at ease and forget their troubles. His grandchildren loved him for he was always telling them something funny and they would laugh and tell it again and again to each other. On one occasion after having purchased an insurance policy designed to take care of funeral expenses, he met his friend the mortician on the street and said to him, “Brother –, do you have a second-hand casket for sale?” The mortician laughed heartily.Shortly after 1953, Jim’s eldest son, Albert, moved to St. George so as to be near to and able to help his father. And upon him Jim leaned for support in his last few remaining years. Although his true birthdate was September 1, he had always celebrated on August 25th and on that date in 1967 his daughter Alice brought him a cake and wished him a happy birthday. His only response was, “I’m afraid my cake is dough, Alice.” Seven days later–a day short of his 94th birthday–quietly yet suddenly he passed from this life with his son Albert by his side. His funeral was held in the forenoon of September 4th and was attended by friends and fellow temple workers of the Saint George community as well as by his far flung posterity who had gathered to pay honor and tribute to their progenitor. He had accumulated an impressive number of 7,000 names for whom he had done temple ordinance work. He was buried in Spanish Fork beside Catherine, his lifelong companion. And so came to an end the sojourn in mortality of two of the Lord’s choice children. They had very little fo this world’s material wealth amassed but both left this world and entered into their heavenly reward, wealthy, for the Creator has promised that “He that hath eternal life is rich.” At Jim’s death he had a posterity of twelve children, 64 grandchildren, 174 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. A total of 252 descendants.
Why this blog?? It requires time and effort and provides no monetary compensation. Few people relate to my “Zion” theme – it’s totally foreign to most, even for some Latter-day Saints. Those who know me may think it is a bit odd. After all, who do I think I am to address these topics? I am certainly not a “General Authority” or an official representative of the LDS Church. The men and women who officially represent the Church speak frequently, publish widely read articles, and are more experienced and wiser than I am – at least in general theological and spiritual subjects. My site statistics show an increasing number of hits, visitors, and page views – but I don’t believe the stats really. I do believe more and more robots visit my blog as time goes by because WordPress does a pretty good job of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). I get lot’s of spam and have only received two genuine comments since my first post of April 2009.
Well, that’s the negative perspective. If I really believed in the overall tone the first paragraph, I should quit, and if I were blogging on less important subjects I would.