S: Personal Testimonies and Special Experiences of the Gerald and Margene Lind Family
BC: Families can be Together Forever
FC: Personal Testimonies and Special Experiences of the Gerald and Margene Lind Family
1: Preface | I was reading in 2 Nephi 29:11 and I was struck that we need to record our personal experiences and testimonies for the benefit of our posterity. "For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written." The purpose of this book is to make a record of the special experiences and testimonies of our family. I hope our posterity will be able to read these stories and gain faith, inspiration, and guidance from our words throughout their lives.. Elder Paul B. Pieper in the May 2012 General Conference said, "As we seek answers from God, we feel the still, small voice whisper to our spirits. These feelings - these impressions - are so natural and so subtle that we may overlook them or attribute them to reason intuition. These individualized messages testify of God's personal love and concern for each of His children and their personal mortal missions. Daily reflecting upon and recording the impressions that come from the Spirit serve the dual purposes of helping us (1) to recognize our personal encounters with the divine and (2) to preserve them for ourselves and our posterity. Recording them is also a formal recognition and acknowledgment of our gratitude to God, for "in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things" (D&C 59:21).
2: Mother | Grand Mother | Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Mother | Great Grand Mother | Elda Harriet Hamilton | Elizabeth Ada Gundersen | Robert Hill Hamilton | Margene Marie Smith | Edwin Octavis Smith | Charlotte Ricks | John Morgan Smith | Harriet Priscilla Casper | Thomas Jr. Gundersen | Isabella Hood Hill | James Campbell Hamilton | Ellen Marie Yallop | Thomas Edwin Ricks | Clara Sophia Bradley | Octavis Smith
3: Father | Grand Father | Grand Mother | Great Grand Mother | Great Grand Mother | Great Grand Father | Great Grand Father | Gerald Norberg LInd | Vance Otto Lind | VIda Hansen | John Peter Lind | Emma Christine Norberg | Lars Jorgan Hansen | Amy Marie Andersen | Anders Ericksen Lind | Britta C. Jansson Wettersen | Johannes J. L. Norberg | Christina Anderson | Hans Pedersen | Ane Lisbeth Jorgensen | Nephi Peter Andersen | Mette Katrine Jensen | Our Family Pedigree Charts
4: Gerald and Margene Lind | Married: June 3, 1953
5: Their Children: Ilene, Ed, Louise, Pamela, Janiel,Wayne and Glayde
6: Ilene Smith Juli Dunham Tanner Justin Janice Smith Al Smith Sarah and Don Squire Leigha Conner | Ed and Becky Lind Rhiannon Lind Gerry and Rebecca Lind Zachary Lauren Clint Clark and Denia Lind Natalia and Kyle Gardner Anna Claire | Lary and Louise Larson Carl Larson Natalie and Steve Barfuss Clayton Wyatt Erica and Dave Swenson Jonathan Isaac Charlotte and Boyd Tamanaha Keido Emi Robert and Kristen Larson Trevor and Jeana Atkison Ella Bruce Larson | Pamela and Mark Roberts David and Jonni Roberts Janae Roberts Holly Roberts Heidi Roberts Emily Roberts | Janiel and Steve Whitehouse Samuel Whitehouse Seth Whitehouse Eliza Whitehouse Sarah Whitehouse | Wayne and Rachelle Lind Bryson Lind Josh Lind Kindra Lind Carston Lind Vance Lind Alacia Lind | Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren
7: Margene Marie Lind Born: March 6, 1931 Died: January 28, 2010
8: My Testimony I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives. He lives, he lives who once was dead. He lives my ever living Head. He lives to bless me with His love. He lives to plead for me above. He lives my hungry soul to feed. He lives to bless in time of need. Since I have been very young the Gospel has been very important to me. I was always taken to church. My parents taught me correct principles. My dad always told me it takes an intelligent person to think of things to say that are appropriate. One time my mother had a nickel in the cupboard for a long time. I felt she had forgotten about it so I took it to the store and bought candy. My mother asked me about it. Finally I told mother what I had done. This is the way that it is with the Savior. He gives us the chance to make things right and move on to become a better person. My grandmother would read to me scripture stories and helped me to understand how much Heavenly Father loves me. I always knew she loved me. This is very important to a young child. I loved Primary and always wanted to go. When I lived with my grandmother it was very cold and she felt I shouldn't go as I would have to walk 1/2 mile to the church. I insisted, got ready, and went. When I came out of the church it was getting dark and there was a blizzard. I walked home and by the time I got home my legs were frost bitten. I still felt it was worth my time as I loved going to Primary. I did suffer from the frostbite. When I was getting a little older my younger brothers and sisters were coming along. At this time my Dad would walk to and from the church with me. We would talk about the lessons and important Gospel Principles. Dad and I would take classes at Ricks College. What a great testimony builder.
9: I gave many talks in Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting while growing up. I worked hard to receive all the awards young women could get. I graduated from Primary and got my Golden Gleaners award. All of these things helped me to get closer to Heavenly Father. I had friends who were interested in the Gospel and many adults were willing to give lessons and spend time showing me the right way to go. Sometimes I was rebellious and didn't want to do the things my mother wanted me to do. She was always there to persuade and help me do better. | I had my Patriarchal Blessing. It said to obey is better than to sacrifice and that I should listen to my parents. This helped me to want to do better. It also said that if I would live the Gospel and be good I would find a wonderful companion of my own Faith and I would b e blessed with a good life. This has been so true. I have been blessed with seven wonderful children and thirty-one grandchildren and the great-grandchildren are coming. I have the most wonderful husband in the world. We have been so greatly blessed. I have had many health issues, every time it seems impossible I see a miracle from Heavenly Father. Thirty-two years of having cancer and all the time having a good life is nothing but a huge miracle. I love life and I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These are just a few of the things that have helped me know that I have a Savior. I would like to think that my working in the Church, going on three missions, trying to be obedient, accepting callings, attending all meetings, and seeking to find Joy and Happiness are things Heavenly Father wants us to do so we can have a Testimony.
10: High School After finishing 8th grade I went to Sugar-Salem High School. I loved high school. I had a great friend named Renee Pocock. She and I did lots of fun things together. We always went to the school dances and ball games. I was in the Home Ec Club and the Thespians Club. I did enjoy the plays we put on. We did a good job. I was the Student Director of a play "You Can't Take It With You". That was very fun. I received the Gold Cup for the outstanding Thespian. My years at Sugar-Salem were great. I learned a lot. That was 60 years ago. | Ricks College I went to Ricks College the fall after high school. I lived at home and rode the Greyhound bus back and forth. The bus would stop in front of our house and honk for me. One day a week I drove so I could come home and do the family washing. I didn't have much social life at this time, but I did get a teachers certificate after 5 semesters at school. I learned lots here also. I spent one summer going to school and painting to earn my tuition. We worked hard and had fun. We painted the cafeteria which was an old Army Quonset hut. I was in a play that I loved, "The People Next Door". Ricks was hard work and not a lot of fun as I lived at home.
11: Teaching and Meeting Gerald After Ricks I got a job teaching 5th grade in Rigby, Idaho. There were forty-two students in my class. I lived in an apartment in the hotel with my friends Renee Pocock and Grace Fullmer the first year. Renee met Clay and spent most of her spare time with him. Grace and I spent a lot of time together. It was very fun. I loved Grace. I went to Driggs a couple of times with her. Between my 2 years of teaching I went to Utah State to summer school. I lived with Kirma and Hamilton. Hamilton worked at Dugway and Kirma was alone. It was really a good time for me. I went back to Rigby to teach 5th grade again. This time there were 5 girls that rented a house. Marilyn Lind was one of them and was my roommate. Our first night together she told me she had a brother I would like. I loved Marilyn. Marilyn had a car as she was the County Art Specialist. We decided to go to Salt Lake to the State Fair in September. We would stay with Marilyn's folks Friday night and go on to Salt Lake Saturday morning. We had reservations at the Hotel Utah for Saturday night. It was a great trip. When we got to Logan Gerald was there. We met, and I did like him. He called me soon after our trip and invited me to come to Logan with Marilyn and go with him to the Utah-Utah State Thanksgiving Day game. I stayed in Logan the night before the game and the night after and then Gerald took me to Idaho. We had a great day. We went to the game, a movie at the Capitol theater, and dinner at the Hotel Utah. He came to see me lots of weekends and I went down to Logan with Marilyn. We wrote lots of letter to each other. It was a grand time. We got engaged on Valentine's Day and married June 3, 1953, as soon as school was out. We have had a wonderful life together.
12: My Illness | It has now been twenty-six years since we left Boise. Life has changed for us but has been very good. I must back up some to Boise. I did not tell of my health problem that happened there. I have had many miracles occur in my life and this is one of them. After Ed and Becky were married I had a hysterectomy. While I was recovering Louise called and said she wanted to get married in August. We got busy and were ready for this great blessing. I had an appointment at the Mountain States Tumor Institute. They said I had a lump on my right breast that needed checking. I went for my last check with my doctor that did the hysterectomy and he said he felt it was alright but for me to go to my regular doctor. Dr. Morgan said he felt I had a problem and should get a biopsy. We were going to St. Lois as a family so he said go have a good time and we'll look at it when you come back. I went into the hospital on a Sunday evening. I was embarrassed because I had been in the hospital just a couple of months before so I went in without telling anyone. They told me that when I came out of the anesthesia if I had a masectomy there would be lots of tubes and if not there would be none. When I woke up there were many tubes. It was a great shock and I spent lots of time crying. Gerald helped me so much. He would come home at noon and help me with my shoulder exercises or whatever I needed. I got over it and went 20 years before I got into trouble again. This time I couldn't breath so I went to the doctor and I had a lot of broken ribs. They found the cancer had spread to my bones. I went on to Tamoxifin and had lots of radiation. I have had an interveinous once a month. I have been able to do the things I have wanted to.
13: It's been good for 10 years. Now it has moved again and I have changed medicine and had another round of radiation on my right leg. I am glad to have this over and things look good again. I thank Heavenly Father from the bottom of my heart and pray for another 10 years-----July 12, 2008. In January 2009 one evening I was making my bed. I don't know what happened but the next thing I knew I was sitting on my bed with a broken leg. Gerald called the Para-medics and I was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The next day I had surgery and a steel rod was put in my leg. The hospital was awful. I had some medication I was allergic to and spent 8 days trying to get over this. When I cam home everyone treated me so good. A hospital bed was set up in the living room. Everyone did everything I could ask for to help me get well. I had a walker and was able to get around. October 2009, I am still on the walker and having a hard time to get my bone to heal. I have had another round of radiation and hope the cancer is gone. I still have an interveinous every month in addition to other medications. I am now going to try another thing soon. It is called an "Electrical Bone Stimulator". Hopefully this will make my bone heal. Life moves on and it is good as we are willing to make it. Our grandchildren are growing up, some having families of their own. Some doing well and some struggling. We try to get together as often as we can. It is our happiest time to be with family. I am one of Heavenly Father's most blessed daughters. I have a great husband who loves the Lord and he loves me and our family and is willing to do all he can to help all of us be happy.
14: Life Sketches of Margene Lind Given by Margene's children and husband at her funeral on | Ilene Smith Margene Marie Smith Lind, my sweet mother was born March 6, 1931, in Sugar City, Idaho, the Third of eight children born to Edwin Octavus Smith and Elda Harriet Hamilton. She married Gerald Lind in the Idaho Falls Temple on June 3, 1953. They are the parents of seven children, four girls and three boys. Her youngest child, Glayde, preceded her in death. She returned to be with Glayde, her parents and other family including her beloved Grandmother Hamilton on the morning of Thursday January 28, 2010 after a long and valiant battle with cancer. When Mom was very young she lived with Grandma Hamilton. One of my cherished memories of Grandma Hamilton when she would come to stay with us was of her saying her prayers out loud every night at her bedside. She would say them loud enough so that Heavenly Father could hear them, even if he was not close by. Mom was Madge to great-grandma. I know mother had a beautiful, joyous reunion with so many that she loved last Thursday morning. My mother was a great teacher, and the way that she taught the very best was by her example. She was always a hard worker, and believed that any job worth doing was worth doing well. She worked every day, even at the very last when she wasn’t feeling well. She would often say when I would get home from work, “I’m just a lazy slacker”. I think that’s because maybe she took a nap that day, but I would smell home baked bread, I would eat a delicious dinner that she had made, I would know that she had worked on a quilt for humanitarian aid, that she had done some name extraction, and that she had probably called some friends, so I’d tell her she had done a good days work. This hard work ethic began when she was very young. The summer before her junior year of high school several things changed in her family. Aunt Lillian was born, Aunt Donetta got married, and Uncle Hamilton left on a mission, leaving Mother the only one of the older kids at home. There was an 8-year split between the 3 older and the five younger children. She became very close to Grandpa Smith at that time. Utah-Idaho Sugar Beet Company had some incentive programs to help the farm kids learn to become better farmers. One was a contest to see who could grow the most tons of beets on an acre. Mom and Grandpa Smith decided that she should enter the program. They picked out her acre, and she did all the handwork on it: the thinning, the weeding, the hoeing. She helped with all the other acres of sugar beets as well, but she wasn’t paid for any of the work that she did on her acre. They kept accurate records and the UNI sent inspectors to check up on the participants. She Won! She had a tremendous yield of sugar beets and the best beets that were produced. And she did it for 2 years. The UNI company also had a contest where if you took care of the beet tops for feed for cattle that she could receive an additional $150, which she did and she said this was a lot of work. Grandpa suggested that with that money she could help pay for Uncle Hamilton’s mission. So she paid for 2 full months of his mission.
15: Pamela Roberts I’m going to pick up Mom’s life story a little bit when she was twenty years old. These experiences that I’m going to relate to you were from a week or so ago when Mom told me the courtship of her and dad. When mom was about twenty years old, she had graduated from Ricks College with her associates degree in elementary education. She found a job teaching 5th grade in Rigby, Idaho. I remember many times her telling me that she had forty 5th graders in her class. So large class sizes are not a thing of just the present. I’ve seen pictures and it was a big class. She lived in Rigby, Idaho in a house with four friends, and a newcomer, Marilyn Lind, who was the new art director for the district and mom's roommate. Well, Margene and Marilyn became very good friends and as time went on Marilyn invited Margene to Logan to have a fun weekend at her parents’ home. Marilyn had mentioned that she had a wonderful big brother who was attending Utah State who was majoring in Civil Engineering. However, Mom was not interested at the time, so Marilyn said well he’ll probably be out west at the family ranch. But, as it turned out Gerald had a bad cold that weekend and so he could stay home and that was when Margene and Gerald first met. Gerald knew Margene was for him. He invited her to come to Thanksgiving, but Margene was a little hesitant because she didn’t want to leave for the holidays. But, her mother Elda encouraged her to go and thought it was a really good idea. So, they went on a date and it was quite a date. They first went to a Utah State vs U of U football game, and they were going to double date but the couple they were going with suddenly got sick, so it ended up being a single. They bundled up warm and Mom refers to herself as a “Dumb Dora” for wearing a skirt and hose to that. It was a great game and Utah State really fixed the U of U is what she said. Next, they went to the Capital Theatre to watch Conticky and to top it off they ate Thanksgiving Dinner at the Hotel Utah. Margene stayed the night with the Linds and won their hearts as well. Gerald took her home to Rigby in his fancy Pontiac. Dad has always liked nice cars. It can be difficult to have a long distance romance so they began writing letters. And, it was a good way for them to get to know each other. One day, much to Mom’s horror, one of the roommates got a hold of the letters and started reading them. Then one of them told dad that she had shared them with them, and he was not happy with her about that. But, that was the beginning of them learning to work things out together. And even though he was very disappointed about that, Dad invited her to a dance in Logan and with encouragement from her own father Ed, Margene hopped on a bus in Rexburg to go see Gerald, and Gerald hopped in his car and met the bus in Tremonton. He waited until the bus stopped and dropped Margene off and it didn’t take long for them to work things out. On Christmas, Gerald gave Margene the rhinestone necklace that she’s invited granddaughters to wear at their weddings. On Valentines Day, Margene road to Logan with Marilyn. She and Gerald walked on the Logan temple grounds. Gerald proposed and gave Margene the ring. He thought she was perfect for him, and she knew she would love him forever, and they were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on June 3, 1953. Aside: This was only the beginning of their courtship. I don’t remember Mom and Dad ever fighting. They had differences of opinion, but they didn’t fight. They worked things out. They were a tremendous example of treating each other with kindness. They always were, and they got to go through some very difficult things together. Especially as I watched over the last years as Mom was declining from her fight with cancer for thirty years. In the last few years her feet had gotten so that she had no feeling in them and she couldn’t tell if she had sores. Dad worked so hard to get her shoes that wouldn’t make sores on her feet because she wouldn’t know until she had a sore. He would rub her feet and do other tender wonderful things for her, especially in the past year after she broke her leg. I watched him as she suffered more; his tender attentions became more and more in his capacity to love her and love her, and to make sure she was comfortable. In the past few weeks this has been his only desire: that she would be able to pass away comfortably. And when she couldn’t eat he would make sure her mouth didn’t get too dry, and he would hold her hand and make sure she was as comfortable as she could possibly be. What an incredible example of love, and she loved him back. Before she passed, she said to me “He is so good to me, I don’t have any right to complain about anything because Grandpa is so good to me. You just have to take care of him. He is such a good man,” and he is. And we love him, and she loved him dearly, and he loved her almost fifty-seven years. That’s a long time.
16: Louise Larson I get to talk a little bit about their missions. My Mom and Dad served three missions. Our families were blessed with tender mercies, and I want to share one of those with you. 1 Nephi 1:20 But behold, I Nephi will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all. I want to tell a story of a tender mercy in our lives, because of one of their missions. When my Mom and Dad were in Donetsk, Ukraine, we conversed through letters, and it was wonderful. I guess that started early on when they had their courtship through letters. My Dad is a great letter writer. My mom was too. We were conversing back and forth through letters and I was in the Young Women’s presidency at the time. I wrote them and said, “I’m looking for a good humanitarian project, do you know of anything.” They wrote me back telling me of the conditions of the Saints in Donetsk and asked if we could help. I went to my ward and stood up like this in Sacrament meeting and I just announced over the pulpit that my parents were on a mission in the Ukraine and the conditions there were difficult. Many did not have shoes, they did not have money to pay for their housing, they didn’t have the things they needed. My ward in Ucon, Idaho opened up their doors and I was amazed at the kindness they shared with us. I thought we might collect a box of things and send them to the Ukraine and that would be just wonderful, but the things kept coming - so many things! There were books and blankets and my dear neighbor, Reva Walker, even sent peppermint candy because it helped with asthma. There were shoes, coats, clothes, and things that I just couldn’t believe. I collected all these things and there were sixteen large boxes full. Then, I didn’t know what to do, because I knew the postage would cost an arm and a leg. We had a new bishop and he didn’t know that I couldn’t stand up and say, now I need some money for the project. So I did. By the end of the that day, I had collected over six hundred dollars, I wasn’t sure what the postage was going to be, but I knew it was going to be a lot. So I marched my boxes down to the post office the first of November, because I wanted to get them there by Christmas, and I knew they were going to go on the boat. The postman weighed them all and it was going to be six hundred twenty dollars. The postman said,” I want to pay the last twenty dollars, and he did.” When I wrote Dad and told him that sixteen boxes were coming, his reaction must have been like my reaction, “I thought you were just going to send one box Louise.” We put them on the boat and they were on their way and they took a long time getting there. My dad was worried that they weren’t going to get there by Christmas, but they did. My dad got a letter, an urgent notice to come and get the boxes, because the post office was too small and couldn’t handle all of them. They were stacked up in the security section of the post office that was very small. My dad went to pick them up, and he was all by himself. What would he do with sixteen boxes? He said a prayer of course. He said that was the fastest answer to prayer that he’s ever had, because in walked two sister missionaries, Sister Bobkova and Sister Katlaric. Sister Katlaric was very small, and she couldn’t carry the boxes because they were too big. They stationed her as the security guard and Sister Bobkova and my dad carried all of the boxes. That’s when my Mom stepped in. She and the Relief Society Sisters distributed all the things in all the boxes. I’ll read you a letter from one of the dear sisters from Ukraine. Sister Ala Sushkavic. “Dear Sister Louise, Dear American Sisters. All Sister of Donetsk are so grateful for your kind help for us. All your warm things, toys, jeans etc. Everything was so nice and useful. Your Christmas gifts were for us a great example of charity and warm relations of people from all the nations. We pray god to bless you for all your doings. I’m a teacher of Donfess State Academy of Architecture and building. I give lectures in Buildings Mechanics Strengths and Materials. Our government did not pay our salaries, $100/month since October. This is the situation in Ukraine now. Inflation eats our money so we can hardly pay for food or our flat and services like washing clothes or parking cars. It’s so difficult to save enough for money for new clothes or footwear for baby. Today, I’m wearing a warm sweater, my 3-year-old daughter has a nice blanket, so soft, warm, light, and so good looking, and we received a special present from Sister Lind, a book about the star in the Pasture. My husband and I read it over to our Valerie several times. This book came just in time for Christmas so I read it in our Primaries on Sundays. In our branch I work with your parents, dear Sister and President Lind, as a coordinator of Church Education System of Donetsk area. I receive a lot of blessings from our Heavenly Father and I’m happy to meet Linds so often, they are so gentle and kind, so attentive and merciful to people. We love each other. Dear sister I want to say thank you to you for your care and troubles and so many boxes of gifts. We all needed a lot of those things. All the sisters and their families are appreciative.
17: With Great Respect, love sincerely, Sister Ala Sushkavic. P.S. Please pardon my Foreign Style and lots of mistakes. That was one of the many tender mercies in my life. To have a small part in that. It showed me the love of our Lord. He looks out for each one of us. It was so interesting, my Mom wrote me and told me that there was a size 10 pair of shoes in the box and a man in the ward in the winter time with no shoes. When they pulled the shoes out of the box, they fit him perfectly. They were just what he needed. I want you to know that the Lord looks out for us every single day. Because this morning as I was thinking of this talk, I wanted to feel the Savior near, and I asked my dear husband, 'Where’s that scriptures?', because he knows those things and I don’t. He told me it was in John 14. So I looked at the scripture that says, “Jesus sayeth unto him, I am the way the truth and the light. No man cometh unto the father, but by me." Then I looked a little farther in vs. 2, "In my Father’s house there are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I’ve gone to prepare a place for you.” The thought came to me that a place is prepared for my mother in heaven, and I know if has lots of flowers around it. I loved her so much. She taught me to love the flowers and to recognize the tender mercies of the Lord. Janiel Whitehouse My father, as he was planning this today, said, “Janiel, would you please mention mother’s love for flowers?” We’ve all mentioned it so you know that she loves them. I want you to know that she has some flowers, violets, that came from her mother, from Sugar City, Idaho, probably fifty years ago. When she went on her first mission, she asked me if I would care for them, and that was very intimidating because I have her love for flowers, but I don’t really have her gift of taking good of care of them. I want you to know that they lasted through that first mission. When she came home they didn’t look quite as well. She said, “It’s alright Janiel. I’ll just take a leaf off of this one and start over.” And she did, and she has kept them going from then on. And she has passed them on many times. As I was thinking of her and her love of flowers, I thought of the primary song “I Often go Walking”. As I read it this time, I thought this song must have been written for me and my mother. It says “I often go walking in meadows of clover and I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue. I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over, dear Mother all flowers remind me of you. O mother I give you my love with each flower to give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through. For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking, I learn how to love them, dear mother, from you.” I think that kind of summarizes my Mother’s life. She and my father taught me everything I know. I am who I am because of them. My Dad called me last night and asked me to share another experience of mom and her flowers. When I was just 2-years-old my parents moved to Northern Idaho. My Dad was driving a truck in front and my mother was driving a car behind hauling a trailer. They went along the road, and my dad said he always kept looking behind in the rearview mirror to make sure she was getting along just fine. She was doing great, and then all of a sudden he looked behind and she wasn’t there. He thought, “Oh No! What has happened? Something has happened with the trailer.” He turned around and went back and found her along the side of the road. There she was out in a meadow. She had spotted some dog-toothed violets and she just could not pass them by. She had gotten out to pick a few. I know that we all share her love for flowers. My little Sara who is five would sometimes go to Grandma’s house and want to pick some of Grandma’s beautiful flowers. My mother finally said to her, “It’s okay Sara. You can pick the flowers as long as you ask that it’s okay first. I want to share this quote that I have from this lady named Ann Scott James: "To pick a flower is so much more satisfying than just observing it or photographing it. So in later years I’ve grown in my garden as many flowers as possible for children to pick.” I know my mother did that so that my little Sara and any others who came by would have a flower to pick. I also wanted to share with you another wonderful thing my mother taught me. She not only had the love of flowers, but the love of life. She taught me to love the beauty around me and love my fellow man. She was always reaching out to those around her. I want you also to know that everyone in my family, my brothers and sisters, all think she is their best friend, because she was always willing to listen and that was our greatest joy. We always knew mom was there and we could call her and tell her anything. She would sympathize and she would laugh with us. She loved her family and they were such a joy to her.
18: I want to share with you this quote in closing by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “Kind Hearts are the gardens, kind thoughts are the roots, kind words are the flowers, kind deeds are the fruits. Keep out the weeds, fill it with sunshine, kind words and kind deeds.” That thought made me think of my mother. She was always trying to teach us to do what is right, be kind to others, and be thoughtful. I know that one way we can honor her and carry on her legacy is by living the gospel and doing what is right so that we can be together forever. I know she’s waiting there for us. She’s told us that. Wayne Lind I didn’t know we had numbers. I guess I’m number six. She called me Wayne and she called me lots of other names when I was at church. On behalf of the family I want to express my appreciation to all of you that came today. How many of you came in cars? Shame on you if you drove in bad weather. My mother was very adamant about people being careful and paying attention. Dad asked us to share a couple of experiences that we had. We had so many. One that we had as a family was when she was in her fifties and Josh would have been about eight. We went to Sequoia National Forest. Mom and Dad went with us and we got to see the giant sequoias. We were in Las Vegas. Of course everyone knows that Dad was the navigator. He’s been everywhere in the world, seen every road there is, and so we just followed him. He stopped just at the base of the park and stepped out of the car a little bit. He said, “Alright, we’ll go on by Visalia and at Visalia we’ll make contact again and tell you where to go from there. Visalia is a little bit confusing so just stay close.” Well, we drove for at least an hour and then we got to Visalia and on a busy road, believe it or not, I think Dad actually made a wrong turn. That doesn’t happen. We stopped at the side and he pulled up next to me, because you can do that in Idaho. He got out of the car and he said we needed to make a turn left and get back on the freeway. So, we followed him and we went back on the freeway. Well, we drove for probably about half an hour, maybe a little further than that. Anyway when we stopped at the rest area, Dad noticed that his wallet was gone. We tore the cars apart. We lifted everything. We went through all of the luggage and we could not find that wallet anywhere. When we were all together, Josh, who was about eight years old said, “Well, why don’t you just say a prayer.” Me being the way that I am, I said alright Josh, you go ahead. So Josh did and he blessed Grandpa that he would be able to find his wallet. Grandma and Grandpa turned around to look for the wallet, and we went on our way to Las Vegas. We spent a little time on the strip and went to our hotel where everyone knew we were going to meet. About four or five hours later, Mom and Dad arrived. Josh immediately went up to Grandma and Grandpa and said “Where did you find your wallet.” Grandpa said, “Well back in Visalia.” It was on an extremely busy street. There were kids walking to school, there were ambulances driving down the street, and the wallet had just been sitting there in the middle of the street untouched. My Mom taught us so many things. Life isn’t always easy, but she always taught us to hold to our Heavenly Father. I love my Mom for that. I know that she’s here with us today. I know that because of her, our lives have been improved for the better. Because of her, we understand a little bit more about our faith and the plan of salvation, the plan of happiness. I know that I can feel my mom here. Mom was very precise in her instructions that this should last only an hour. Brothers and Sisters I appreciate that you all were willing to be here. I love my mother. We love our grandmother. She loved her friends and her life. She taught me gracefully. Ed Lind I’m Ed, and I know there are a lot of us. I was given a story today. What I was really supposed to do was just read a story. My family knows that I’m the one that actually trained my mother. They’re worried about what I’m going to actually say, I imagine, so my Dad said, “Why don’t you just read this.” I’ll do that, I’ll do that, but I had to preface this with a childhood experience. This was another story with the Ukraine. I am remembering from a very long time ago, so details get difficult because I was very young.
19: My mother belonged to a book club of some kind. The ladies would get together and read books and talk about them. They would go over to a community church and I had to go with. At the time I wasn’t too old. Ilene must have been at school so I must have been four or five. I remember the book was a really scary book. It had a red cover and a black silhouette of a man on it and it was called The Naked Communist. It was a time a lot like now where there was a lot of fear of what was going to happen in the world. Everyone was worried about a nuclear holocaust and that the Russians were going to get us. The communists were just very, very evil people. What perplexed me, I remember, I didn’t know very much about Russia, but I knew it was cold. I could not imagine why the communists didn’t wear clothes. I felt it was highly impolite to ask the ladies, but I had this vision of it that if they came, they wouldn’t be dressed. I remember that because my mother served three missions. They haven’t said too much about the French, where they had a wonderful experience in Switzerland and the south of France. They also served a mission in Texas and they loved the Texans too. But they loved the communists the most. They had the most wonderful experience there and asked me to read this story. I found it ironic that a period so long ago, they were such terrible and evil, scary people. By the end of the story, they are such wonderful, special people that they had such a great opportunity to be with. I thought I should share at least one personal memory of mine and my mother’s as well. I wasn’t actually there in Karkof. Becky told me I should do this, if this doesn’t go right, it isn’t completely my fault. It’s typical when you think back on all the things that have happened. To think what would be most meaningful. I think of my memories like stars in the night sky. They have different magnitudes, different brightnesses. I didn’t know which one to pick. About a week ago my mother told me one of her memories and it was the same as mine. It was one that I was there. So I remembered it, and it’s so trivial, but she told me that one of the hardest things she’d ever done in her life was to put me on a school bus up in Northern Idaho for the first time. She had to stand out there and wait for it to come, and Ilene was there with me too. I was very excited at the time to get on the bus, because I hadn’t ridden on a school bus before and I thought it would be really, really cool. It was a brand new bus. It looked like a greyhound bus with a flat front and that was pretty exciting too. I remember going up the steps of the bus and turning to look down the aisle and things changed. I wasn’t expecting what I saw. Northern Idaho, as my mother described it, was the backwaters of civilization. We had moved up there for my dad to build a very big bridge that was really exciting for my family. We lived there for a couple of years. I remember looking down at people on the bus. There were a lot of Mennonites in Northern Idaho. They’re very nice people, but they looked different than my housemates. The rest of the bus was filled with the sons and daughters of lumberjacks. There was just one school for the whole top of the state. It was an eight classroom school with eight grades. So, we had older kids on the bus too. For a first grader, an eighth grader looks like a parent. I learned later that some of them may have been. It was very scary. I’d never realized how traumatic that moment was for her as well. It just never occurred to me what it would be like for a mother to put her children on a bus like that. We road that bus for two years. It took an hour to get to school. Our house was only fourteen miles away from the school, but we had to travel all over the back roads to pick up kids. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. I really like the kids. They were great kids, but things happened on the bus that didn’t actually happen in our homes. The experience I guess I wanted to share that meant something to me happened about a year later. I’d noticed that the Mennonites didn’t talk like this, but the lumberjack kids had quite a different vocabulary than what I was used to. I also got the impression it was something that you didn’t use at school and I certainly knew you didn’t say those things at home. Ilene and I got a gift early the next Christmas. I think it was a Sorry game or Uncle Wiggly or something. One of the things that happened in the game is you get sent home and have to start over. My mother was watching us play as she was sitting in a rocking chair above us. In a moment, I used some of this special occasion language. She leaned forward in the rocking chair and got as close to my face as possible and said, “What did you say.” I had the good sense not to say it again. She told me that we never, ever, talk like that in our family. I realized that we didn’t, and I never did again. I thought later that if she had said that we don’t talk that like in our house, then that would have made it still okay for the bus. But it wasn’t, because it was in our family. I learned and knew at the time even though I was very young that I lived in a Mormon home, and there were expectations that she had for me. And, that she absolutely required that they be met. There were so many things like that and I knew every day of my life that there was a standard she had set in our home, for our families, the way we were going to live our lives. And, there was not going to be any discussion about it, and there was not going to be any exceptions to it. That has set the standard for my life.
20: Gerald Norberg Lind Born: August 11, 1927 | Gerald's Baptism
21: My Encounters with Indians | Visiting Indians Camped on the Bear River | When I was five years old, I was with my mother visiting Grandma Hansen in Brigham City. My uncle, Lorenzo Anderson, invited me to go with him to Garland, Utah as he had some business to do with some Bannock Indians camped on the Bear River east of Garland. I was excited to go with him. He parked his car at Cephas’s place and we then walked east to the bank overlooking the Bear River. From there we could look down on the Bear River and could see the Indian encampment. (I remember about a dozen teepees and quite a bit of activity with quite a few columns of smoke arising from campfires.) It was exciting to me. We hiked down the bank to the camp. I was not feeling very comfortable and stayed very close to Uncle Ren. He talked to some of the men. The Indians were all dressed in the garb typical for them (deer skin clothing) at that time. I particularly remember a number of papooses strapped to their mothers’ backs. Uncle Ren finished talking with the Indians in about fifteen minutes and then he took me by the hand. As we turned to leave, an Indian dog charged, snarling and clamped his jaws on Uncle Ren’s leg and bit him really bad. The dog just wouldn’t let go. One of the men grabbed a piece of firewood and struck the dog sending it rolling. It went yelping away. I was very frightened and was anxious to leave, as was Uncle Ren. His leg was bleeding, and we headed back up the river bank and back to the car. I had enough Indian experience and was very glad to get away. Uncle Ren’s leg was soon all better.
22: From my earliest memories when I must have been 3 or 4 years old until I was 8, a group of Indians known as Grouse Creek Jack's Indians came every year and camped on our ranch about an eighth of a mile from our home. Our house was kind of up on a hill above the creek and the Indians had this favorite spot in the brush down not far from the creek (known now as South Fork of Junction Creek or head of Raft River) where they had water and sage brush firewood. During the time of my memories they were a small group and as I recall they had only 3 or 4 tepees. Grouse Creek Jack had become a good friend of my Grandparents, John and Emma Lind, at the time they settled on their ranch in 1884, and this was now some 50 years later. These Indians in my time were assigned to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation and as I remember were coming from the Bannock Creek area on that Reservation. I remember that when they came to our place, they had come from George Creek at Yost, Utah. When they left, they went to Grouse Creek, Utah. They traveled with horses which they rode and had two poles tied to the sides of the horses that would drag on the ground behind and on these poles they would pack their belongings--tepees and other camping gear. The last time they came they also had an old Model-T Ford pickup and Grouse Creek Jack and his wife rode in it and one of their sons drove. (They were very old at this time--like Jack was over 100 years old. He remembered when the Mormon Pioneers came to Utah in 1847, and he had said he was 17 years old at that time.) They always came in the early Fall in September when they could harvest wild game and pine nuts. They caught fish, beavers, and muskrats in the creek which they ate and enjoyed very much. They shot deer and tanned the skins and the women made beautiful deerskin clothing decorated with beads, gloves, moccasins, vests, leggings, and other things. Their tanning process was using brush fire ashes which causes the deerskin items to have a very strong smoke smell. Their work was very nice and with the beads was beautiful. They would sell gloves and moccasins and this seemed to be about their only way of making any money. The venison and other meat would be cut in strips which were hung on willow pole racks to dry for winter food storage. And the pine nuts were shelled from the cones and packed for winter food storage. | The Camps On Our Ranch at Lynn, Utah
23: One thing I remember well is that my folks made their regular peach time trip to Brigham City and came back with a carload of peaches. They gave one bushel to the Indians and I recall how fun it was to see how pleased and happy they were. It was fun. Not long after that the Indians sent their little girl who was the same age as my sister Marilyn up to our house with a large can of shelled pine nuts and gave them to her. Another thing I remember well is that one Sunday morning Jack came up to our house to go to Church with us. He thought he was dressed very nicely, wearing a heavy wool Army coat my Dad had given him and also wearing a big black ten-gallon hat my Dad had given him the day before. It happened it was Stake Conference in Malta, Idaho that Sunday and we had been to the Saturday meetings and my folks couldn't afford a second hundred mile trip. In those days Stake Conference was two full days -- Saturday and Sunday both. So, we were staying at home listening to the "Spoken Word" on the radio. Jack was disappointed he was not able to go to Church and in his newly acquired clothing. But he liked to hear the radio and he stayed and visited for quite awhile. He did not take off the heavy wool coat or the big hat. *Jack joined the LDS Church early in his life and was pleased that he had worked on the building of the Logan Temple and he and his wife had been sealed there.
24: The Comforts of a Warm Home I very well remember how blessed we were when I was young to have a warm home. We lived in a home built by my Grandpa Lind that had a large living room, four bedrooms, and a kitchen. (We bathed indoors, but the toilet was an outhouse about 100 ft. from the house). And, we had central heating--a wood stove in one corner of the living room. We believed we had things very nice and were very satisfied and happy. But, this warm comfort came from much effort. It began with obtaining the wood. It was needed for both the cook stove in the kitchen and the heater in the living room. It was obtained from the quaking aspen groves near the top of the mountain by hauling logs down to our home with a wagon pulled with horses. After morning chores of milking cows and feeding livestock, Daddy had breakfast, harnessed the horses, hooked them to the wagon, and headed for the top of the mountain on what was called the wood road. I sometimes went with him and thought it great fun to sit on the front bolster on the wagon on the way up and to ride on top of the load on the way back. It took most of the day to get one big load. The horses were used to drag the larger logs from the grove to the wagon. Daddy would then load the logs onto the wagon. When the wagon had a full load, it would be secured with a log chain pulled tightly around the load. And, because of the rather steep down-grade, three or four logs would be hooked on behind with another log chain to drag as braking for the wagon. (enough drag so the horses had to pull a little instead of holding the heavily loaded wagon back). It was very hard work getting the logs out, loading them, and then unloading them at the woodpile--lots of heavy lifting.
25: A year's supply of wood required many wagon loads. The wood hauling project usually took at least two weeks in the Fall to accomplish. It was a dangerous task and those at home anxiously watched for Daddy's safe return. Unless the ground was damp the drag would raise quite a dust, so it was usually possible to see the dust as soon as the load was down as far as the big red hill along the foothills of the mountain. And that was always a welcome sight. As soon as the load arrived at the woodpile it was unloaded and by the time the year's supply was there it was a very big pile. Daddy and his brothers, Raymond and Philbert, jointly owned a Fordson tractor that had a belt pulley and enough power to run a saw. For many years, it was the only tractor around. When everyone had their wood hauled, they would organize together and saw everyone's wood (and for others). It was an eventful and exciting time--something like grain threshing time. The tractor had no muffler and the saw made a very loud whine as it cut through the logs, so the noise could be well heard for a long distance. The saw saved so much axe chipping work to get the wood cut in lengths that would fit the stoves. | Gerald and his Cousins
26: When the sawing was complete the woodpile was very large and such a wonderful sight because it stood for warmth all winter and hundreds of cooked meals for another year. It was a neat and thankful feeling to have a large woodpile. The next step was splitting the sawn chunks with an axe so they would fit in the stoves and then getting a day's supply into the woodbox in the house. The job of filling the woodbox each evening was given to the children. The woodpile was some 100 feet from the house, and it usually took four large armfuls to fill the woodbox. In addition we would carry several large pieces that would be long-burning in the living room heater. The larger pieces were hard for children to carry, so we often hauled them on our sleighs or in a little coaster wagon. When the snow got deep, as it often did, it made the chore more challenging. We loved the responsibility given to us and we were happy for this chore, especially as we knew we would not have to get too cold in our log house. (We also had the responsibility to wash and dry th dinner dishes each evening, and we were glad to do that. Daddy and Mother had so many chores and things that had to be done that we were glad to help).
27: Daddy would keep the heat going all night and get up early and stoke up the fire to take the chill off in the living room. The other rooms did get very cold at times because temperatures often were more than 20 degrees below outside (and sometimes 40 below).-- We surely appreciated our quilts and blankets and long-handled underwear in the wintertime. There was a small stove in the room where we had our baths on Saturday night and it was used only at that time. When it was really cold the bathroom could not be warmed up enough for comfort so we would have our baths by the kitchen stove in a laundry tub. This we also enjoyed as a special time and we appreciated having such a blessing as to have a warm bath with water heated in a big copper boiler and a tea-kettle on the stove (this is how all of our water was heated.) Nowadays it seems a big chore to change furnace filters once in awhile. And, the below zero blowing snow weather trips to the outhouse are surely not missed--in any way--nor the Montgomery Ward catalog paper. From "Memories"--Gerald N. Lind
28: Patriarchal Blessing Fulfillment "When thou art matured in body and mind and art prepared to assume further responsibility, thou shalt meet and learn to love one of the daughters of Israel, whom thou shalt desire for thy wife and companion. This high regard shall be mutual, and it shall be thy privilege to take this woman of thy choice to the Holy Temple of the Lord and there be wed for time and eternity. This union shall bring thee much joy*, but shall also bring added responsibility for children shall bless thy home and through undivided effort they shall be reared under the gospel plan and grow up to be an honor and comfort to thee and thy wife. Thy name shall be honored by thy posterity because of thy good deeds and exemplary life. ---" from a Patriarchal Blessing given by Herman G. Lind, Patriarch, upon the head of Gerald Norberg Lind on June 14, 1942 *Eternal Happiness "Thou shalt be privileged to administer in many holy ordinances--" Administered in Holy Ordinance work for a total of some twenty-three years in the following Temples: Idaho Falls Provo Houston Mt. Timpanogas "Thou shalt be an ambassador of truth to the nations of the earth--" Served full-time missions in the following nations: France Switzerland Ukraine United States Texas (at one time Texas was a nation) An added great blessing was having my Eternal companion Margene for my mission companion.
29: Priesthood Blessings On March 29, 1954, in Logan, Utah hospital, we joyously welcomed our new baby daughter into our family - our firstborn Ilene Marie. The doctors soon informed us she had a very serious heart problem and would probably not live. It was very hard news. We were so concerned. Priesthood blessings were given as well as many prayers offered. The beautiful baby lived and grew into a beautiful little girl. But, she did have a very bad heart problem which limited her activities. When she was nine years old, doctors were starting to do heart surgeries and they told us that they believed Ilene's problem could be corrected with open-heart surgery. We prayerfully made the decision that it should be done and we scheduled the operation in the LDS hospital in Salt Lake City. Our ward in Boise were so concerned and so supportive because heart surgeries were so new and of such concern and worry. The day before I took Ilene to the hospital, they fasted and then had a special prayer service in our chapel with those participating kneeling at the pews. To have such support was heart touching and helpful to us. The heart surgery took a hard recovery period, but Ilene was brave through it all. Ilene soon moved ahead with her life doing all the things she wanted. She became a registered nurse, got married, and became the mother of four wonderful children. She has always served faithfully in many church callings. She was an outstanding Relief Society President and has served many years as an ordinance worker in the Mount Timpanogos Temple.
30: Our Missions | Ukraine, Donetsk | Utah Valley - Church Service Family History Center | Switzerland, Geneva | Texas, Houston
31: Our Wonderful and Amazing Little Computer Printer As we were preparing to go on our mission in Ukraine we bought a really small computer and printer -- small because we were so limited on what we could take with us. We had a program for printing Cyrillic installed on the computer and at the time did not have any idea how helpful it would prove to be for us. It was an absolute Godsend. (Miracle) While at the MTC, we received a call from CES in Salt Lake City to come up and talk to them about starting Seminary and Institute in the Ukraine Donetsk Mission. We were delighted for the call but knew we would need many special blessings to do so -- particularly with being able to communicate and develop teaching materials in the Russian language. As soon as we received authorization to start the CES programs, we knew that somehow we would have to provide teacher training and lesson materials in Russian (Ukrainian is very similar and because of the Communist rule, the Ukrainians at that time all spoke Russian). We knew it would be so helpful to be able to translate from the CES materials which we had -- which were very limited -- from English to Russian. As we started the CES programs, Sister Alla Sushkevich was called to be the Director and her abilites were exactly what was needed. We furnished English materials and instructions to her which she translated, and then we typed them up and furnished them to the teachers. | Another Miracle with the Printer When we arrived in Donetsk, we found that the printer would not work. Apparently it had gotten damaged in our traveling. Since it wouldn't work, I knew I had to fix it if possible because there was absolutely no possibility of buying another one and no repair shops. Facing this situation, I decided to break the seal on the back of the printer and open it up with a prayer in my heart that I could fix it. As I looked inside, I had no idea what to do. I just poked around and looked, but did not see anything not right. So, I re-assembled the printer and hooked it up to the computer and tried it out. To our delight, it worked -- and worked,, and worked, perfectly well until after we came home printing hundreds and hundreds of pages.
32: The "Pearl of Great Price" Goes to Kharkov One of the very special assignments given us by President Merrill was to take the newly published "Ukrainian" "Pearl of Great Price" to the members of the Church in Kharkov. The Saints in Ukraine had waited several years for this wonderful book of scriptures as it was being translated in Kiev by a special group assigned there. The work of translating was very carefully done so that there could be no mistakes in the divine messages. It was a beautiful Spring day and we were so pleased to have this opportunity. As we boarded our wagon the young Elders loaded six boxes of the precious books in our cabin on the train. As we traveled through the beautiful country for about four hours, we enjoyed seeing all of the lilac hedges along the RR Right-of way, because they were in full bloom and they went for miles. And, we thought of how well we would be welcomed in Kharkov. We were feeling wonderful. As we arrived at the RR station in Kharkov, things took a sudden bad turn because almost as soon as the train stopped, we were confronted in our cabin by uniformed men who started interrogating us -- and not in a nice manner. We think there were at least six of them -- maybe more outside the cabin in the aisle. (There were three different types of uniforms.) It seemed they were going to take the books. We had been involved with cases of Books of Mormon being confiscated at the border checkpoints when we were on our mission in France and were afraid that the precious books would be taken. We felt so helpless, except for a fervent prayer in our hearts.
33: A Fun Tradition in France By Gerald Lind Margene and I found the people in France have a fun Christmas time tradition for families. About ten days before Christmas, they set up a Nativity in their living room without the Baby Jesus and the Wise Men. The Wise Men are placed in a room some distance from the living room and then moved toward the Nativity each evening a short distance so that they and Baby Jesus arrive at the scene on Christmas. The youngest member of the family usually moves the Wise Men if he or she is big enough. It is a neat nightly family activity to celebrate Christmas together with all members of the family being there and doing other things -- (Kind of like FHE) Maybe you should adopt this tradition. | As the men questioned us, we were not able to say or understand much, but tried our best to be pleasant with them. All of a sudden, our silent prayers were answered and all of the men left the train and were gone -- another tender mercy miracle that we felt so strong. Soon, some Elders came and got the books and took them to Elder and Sister Egger's apartment where we were going to stay. When we got to the Eggers' place on the 5th floor, there were quite a number of the Kharkov Saints waiting in the hallway and in their apartment. They had come to see and touch the books which were to be distributed the next day at church. The Branch Presidents were instructed to give each baptized member a copy.
34: It was a beautiful day today, and I had such a wonderful and marvelous experience. It happened as I was walking over to the Mission Home to bring Margene home from a Relief Society Leadership Meeting. There was a nice park between Artyome Street and the tramvy line. As I entered the park, a young man going my direction hurried up from behind to catch up to me, and started talking to me. He asked me where I was from and what I was doing in Donetsk. I told him I was from the United States and that I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He told me he was from a small town about 90 miles west of Donetsk and that he was very happy because he was on his way to attend a university in Moscow, having been specially selected for schooling there. He was so friendly, and I almost immediately felt a great bond of friendship between us. | A Walk in the Park and My Wonderful Birthday Present
35: Our walk together was only a few minutes and he was going to the tramvy line to catch a ride to the RR station. I told him a little about our Church being the true Church and that we had a wonderful book about Jesus Christ that he should read. He said he would read the book (The Book of Mormon). I told him he should watch for the Mormon missionaries in Moscow and they would teach him more. He thanked me and we parted as he went to the tramvy stop, and I went the other way toward the Mission Home. I looked back a couple minutes later and saw he was looking back and we waved to each other. WOW! What a golden missionary experience -- I could scarcely believe what had happened. As I stood there in this daze of wonderment, I heard this special voice of Glayde say, "Happy Birthday Dad". I then remembered that it was my birthday today.
36: A Little Flower Vase from Georgia This is the very special story of a flower vase made by a young girl in the country of Georgia and how it came to be mine and why it is such a treasure to me. ----------- When we were serving our mission in Ukraine, we became acquainted with two young girls and their Aunt who were political refugees from the country of Georgia. They had quickly accepted the Gospel when the missionaries found them and already were strong members even though the Church was so new in Ukraine. One Sunday, the Aunt invited us to come to a dinner of Georgian specialty food. They also invited two Elders. When we arrived at their home, we found they had a beautiful dinner set. It was a delicious meal and a wonderful evening enjoying their hospitality. As we were about to leave, the Aunt said they had a favor to ask. The older girl wanted a priesthood blessing. She was graduating from the University and was to present her thesis that was the major requirement. A big reason for her concern was because she was a refugee. She had not been treated well and had been persecuted a lot. She wanted a priesthood blessing for her presentation. We were happy to give her a blessing that she would be guided and helped by the Spirit. It was a very special experience.
37: Three days later as Sister Lind and I were walking across Lein Square in the center of downtown Donetsk, we saw Maria Hertsalava waving to us from across the square. She came running to us. She was very excited and told us that when she stood at the podium to read her thesis, it came to her to deliver her papers without reading them. Her thesis came to her mind so clear that she gave it from memory -- She was the only one of many who made their presentation from memory. Her presentation was rated "Superior" and the "Best" and she was declared the top graduate. Later, Maria presented me with the little flower vase saying she had brought it from Georgia as a treasure to remember her childhood in her native land. She made it out of Georgian soil when she was young. She said she wanted to give us something special and to her the vase was the most special thing she had. We gratefully accepted the gift because she would not have it otherwise.
38: Called for a Special Purpose | When we were called to the Donetsk Ukraine Mission, we spent a few days at the MTC in Provo. While we were there, we were asked to go to Salt Lake City and meet with the CES Department. The CES people asked us if we would accept a calling to start a Seminary and Institute program as part of our mission call. We said we would do our best. When we arrived in the Mission, we learned that to start the CES programs required the PH organization of a District, which was not yet the case in the Mission. And, a district could not be organized until the boundaries of the Branches could be determined and described in a clear and legal way. President Leo Merrill said there was no one in the Mission that could do this. I told him I knew how to write such descriptions and proceeded by getting city maps and setting and writing boundaries for the Branches. This work was submitted to Frankfort and they soon approved our submittal. The Ukraine Donetsk District was soon organized and we proceeded with organizing, calling and training Seminiary and Institute teachers. We had about one hundred thirty students complete the program and graduate that Spring. What was accomplished by these teachers with their students was a wonderful experience for us. | Ukrainians Honor Americans | On a Saturday afternoon in May 1996, we were attending mission conference meetings in Kharkov. During a break between meetings, we went out on the street to find a kiosk to try to buy some food for breakfast the next morning. We soon were surrounded by about twelve young people and a young woman just a little bit older. The woman spoke English and she asked us if we were Americans. We told her we were. She then told us we had to come with them. We told her we had to be to a meeting at our hotel in less than an hour, so we could not go with them. We tried to get away from them, but they held us from leaving. The woman told us they promised they would be sure to get us back for our meeting. We were really captives, because we could not get away from them. They took us to a nearby university auditorium and had us sit in front of several old military generals bedecked with loads of medals and campaign ribbons, sitting on a big stage. The big auditorium was filled to capacity and we soon realized they were celebrating the anniversary of the end of WW2 for them, and they were honoring their old military leaders. The person at the podium announced that we were Americans and the audience cheered and shouted. We did not understand much of what they were saying, but knew they were honoring us because we were Americans. Next, they showered us with literally bushels of flowers - tulips, daffodils, and others. Then the woman that led us in came and got us to take us back for our meeting, telling us that we could take as many flowers as we could. We walked in to our meeting with the District and Branch Presidents with enough flowers that we were able to give flowers to every Branch for their meetings the next day. It was a wonderful experience for us to feel the gratitude they had for Americans.
39: This Ukrainian Hymnbook went to the Temple When we arrived in Ukraine the church was so new that the saints did not know any hymns. They had only just received a little hymn book that had been specially translated and published for them. (They had only two hymns they knew well, "Love at Home" and "Silent Night," which they sang about every time they met.) A very neat project we had along with Elder and Sister Jensen when we were on our Ukraine Donetsk Mission was to arrange to get a bus load of the saints to the temple in Frieberg. It was a very big task and took several months to arrange. After much effort, it was all set and as the bus was departing, a strong impression came to me that I should have them take my little Ukrainian Hymnbook so they could sing hymns during the many hours on the bus -- two and a half days each way. When they got back from their trip, having had such a wonderful experience, they gave me back my hymnbook and told me they had appreciated it so much because they had spent many fun hours singing and learning hymns. With the start they got on singing LDS hymns, they were able to bring the other members to know the hymns. My little Ukrainian LDS Hymn Book is a treasure to me.
40: Money -- the Great "Enabler" Money is something we all like because it enables (helps) us to do things. It helps us to do good things -- and also it can help us to do bad things. So, it is very important that we know how to use it. And, it is also very important that we control it or it can control us. There is a special guideline that we can follow to use our money wisely: For every Ten Dollars we receive, we distribute it this way: 1st dollar to Heavenly Father -- where it came from -- Tithing 2nd dollar to help others -- Fast Offering, etc. 3rd dollar to ourselves -- Savings That leaves Seven dollars for us to spend wisely. The wisdom will come to us to spend our money wisely after we do the first three steps.
41: "If there is anything virtuous. lovely, or of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things." I have in my life learned the truth and the importance of this statement from the Thirteenth Article of Faith. A couple of years ago, Janice invited me to hear Sister Julie Beck, the General Relief Society President, speak in her stake. She spoke a few minutes and then opened the time for questions. One sister asked, "What book do you currently have on your night stand?" She said she loves to read but was so careful about what she read because even a single word on the written page could cause the spirit to leave, and she desperately needed to have the spirit always to be with her. The experience I want to share is actually a dream - a dream I had several years before I heard Sister Beck. This dream changed my life; what I read, watch on TV and movies, and the music I listen to. | Ilene Smith (Lind)
42: Several people I trusted recommended I read a popular book, The Davinci Code. I began and was enjoying it until one night part of the story involved a cult. As the character descended down a dark stairway, I felt the spirit leave me and I felt dark and afraid. I closed the book and went to sleep. Sometime during the night, I dreamed I was a beautiful little girl with ringlets, a pink dress, a white pinafore, and pantaloons. I was holding up my dress and walking out through water toward a beautiful flower in the middle of a pond. I looked around and realized the water was muddy. There were rusted cans, an old tire, and other garbage in the water. When I looked at myself and my clothes, they were also dirty. I couldn't get to the flower in the middle of the pond without becoming dirtier if I had to wade through the dirty water. Then, I looked around and the banks of the pond were covered with beautiful flowers that I could pick without becoming dirty. There are more things that are truly virtuous and lovely than I can possibly read or watch or listen to in my whole life. I am much more careful now about what I choose to spend time, money, or energy on. I am grateful for my dream and the understanding I received from it. I believe it was a revelation to me and something I can share to help others.
43: In 2008, Juli and her boys came to Utah for a visit. On the way back to Arizona, they stopped for gas in Beaver. Justin was three at the time. He got a hold of the car keys and they were accidentally flushed down the drain. Juli was stuck. Jan got a hold of the Land Rover dealership and tried to have them make another key, and Jan and I drove to Beaver to take it to her. The key wouldn't work. The people at the gas station did everything they could to recover the keys but to no avail. We called a lock smith in Cedar City, and he said he would come at the end of his day. He worked and worked but could not get the car to start. We determined we would need to have the car towed to the dealership in American Fork and Juli and the boys would return home with me. It was about 9:00 when we left Beaver and the tow truck was going to come the following day because the weather was a bit ominous. We had a few snow flurries going over the passes, but nothing was sticking on the road. As we approached Nephi, the sky was quite clear and it was feeling good to be getting close to home. I suddenly had an impression I should slow down. I slowed to about forty, but didn't understand why. The feeling came almost as words that I needed to slow way down immediately. I did, and almost immediately found we were on a sheet of black ice. I was terrified as I got to the top of a small rise. There were banged up cars off the road everywhere. People were running around trying to help each other. There was a Walmart truck immediately in front of me going about five miles per hour that I was able to follow behind. Anyone that tried to go faster than us slid off the road or hit into something. I have never seen so much strewn debris. We traveled slowly in silence behind the Walmart truck for a very long time in complete safety. We had been protected by heeding a warning and following a more experienced driver. I will be forever grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost that saved us from a very dangerous situation. We later heard that there had been a freak ice storm that had caused over a hundred wrecks in a few minutes over about eight miles. It took several days for Juli to get a new key and be able to get back safely to Arizona. I remember that day every time I go past Beaver and count my many blessings. | Ilene Smith (Lind) | Saved by the Spirit
44: On a busy Monday I was going to let Tanner ride his bike to scouts for the first time without me following him to make sure he made it safely. I dropped Tanner off at the house, then left to get everyone else where they needed to be. Tanner got on his bike and headed toward his leader's house. We had gone over where to go and I asked him to call when he arrived. As he was riding he got confused on where he was. He knew I had left the house. He stopped riding and said a prayer that he would be able to make it to scouts. He said when he was done he started riding again and knew what way to go. He called me when he got there but didn't say anything about being lost or saying a prayer. I continued doing what I needed to and picked Tanner up at home after scouts. We had a very hard time with Tanner during the evening because it seemed that he just was not listening. I finally got frustrated and asked Tanner, "Why are you having such a hard time listening tonight?" He then relayed the story about getting lost on the way to scouts and having his prayer answered. He knew it was the Holy Ghost telling him how to go and he felt it in his whole body clear up to the top of his head. He said he had been listening so hard to hear the Holy Ghost he couldn't even hear me. | Tanner's Bike Ride | Juli Dunham (Smith)
45: The first time I was in Russia, my group decided to go to Moscow for the weekend. It was a long weekend over the second weekend in October, so we all had tickets to leave on the 10:00 PM train on Thursday night. The plan was to spend the weekend in Moscow and return on the overnight train Sunday. I had during the week gone to the library and printed the conference talks from the internet. I felt there was something missing since I had not been able to watch conference with the church. As the week progressed and it got closer and closer to Thursday and time to go to Moscow, I started to feel as though it was the wrong choice. I knew I was being prompted by the spirit, but I dismissed it as fear. The feeling got stronger and stronger the closer we got to Thursday. I told my head teacher that I did not think I could go and the others from the group tried to change my mind. I was too easily persuaded and I thought it may be my only chance to ever see Moscow, so I packed and met the group to go to the train station. When we were on the Tramvai on the way to the Vocksal, I again felt very strongly that I should not go to Moscow that weekend. That was it. I decided to turn around and go home. The rest of my group went on to Moscow and I stayed behind for the weekend. Because I was alone, and it was the first time I really had to spend alone since I had been there, I spent the weekend out be the river studying the conference talks. It was possibly the best weekend to that point in my life. I spent time meditating and reading and studying. I then went and saw the beautiful fall colors and spent time appreciating the beautiful place I was living. I felt how much Heavenly Father loved me no matter where I was. I felt how much Heavenly Father loves all of his children and how he has provided such a beautiful world for all of us. One of the talks talked about the hymn "Lead Kindly Light" which talks about being far from home. I did not realize how far from home I had been feeling and in an instant I felt it and was immediately comforted that although I was far from home I was never alone. I am so grateful that I finally listened to the prompting and learned that sometimes it is crucial to spend time alone and to meditate to learn what we need to. I am grateful I was able to gain a fuller testimony of General Conference and the importance of it in my life. But mostly I am grateful I learned more fully the love my Heavenly Father has for me. | Janice Smith | A Day with Heavenly Father
46: We were preparing to teach the discussion about eternal marriage and we knew that this was going to be a very special discussion. Elder Steed and I were really looking forward to teaching it, but we also wanted it to be extra special, so we decided to wait until we went on exchanges (splits) with Elder Barker. Elder Barker was an Area Authority Seventy. That meant he was a Seventy, but not a General Authority. He still maintained his law practice as well as was in the Area Presidency. He went on exchanges with us 1-2 times a month and really enjoyed it; we really enjoyed it as well. He was scheduled to go with us the following week so we prepared the Williams for the discussion as best as we could prior. Elder Steed and I had planned for all three of us to go and teach, but the area was really starting to pick up so we had multiple appointments that night. Elder Steed and I really discussed who should teach this as we both wanted to. Finally the decision was made that I would (probably because we were teaching another family that only spoke Spanish and Elder Steed spoke better than I did). Elder Barker and the Ward Mission Leader Bishop Buess came at the appointed time and we laid out the night for them. Elder Barker and Bishop Buess were both familiar with the Williams family as we had gone on exchanges there before. So after a quick prayer and a brief spiritual thought (on eternal marriage) by Elder Steed, we were off. | Mitchell Alma Smith | I served my mission in the Washington Kennewick Mission. This covers half of Eastern Washington and north of the Columbia River on the west side of Washington. I had been in the mission field for close to ten months when I got transferred to Pasco. My companion, Elder Steed, and his previous companion, Elder Johnson, had made contact with the Williams family. This was a young family; Waylon (20 yrs old), Linda (20 yrs old) and Waylon Jr.(3 yrs old). When I got there they had been visiting them for about two weeks. So we continued to teach and read with them. They were even going to church every so often. We visited them at least twice a week, Linda even made us dinner one time (it was really good authentic Mexican style enchiladas). We became really close and for the first time on the mission I truly learned to love those I serve. Don't misunderstand, I had loved other investigators and loved the work, but this was the first family that I really bonded with.
47: It was a chilly night in mid-September when we arrived at the Williams apartment. It was an old red brick building with eight units, four on each side; two on the bottom floor and two on the top floor. The Williams apartment was on the second floor facing the road. It wasn't a big apartment or particularly nice, but it was comfortable for a young family. As we approached Waylon answered the door with Waylon Jr. Linda was in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner. She had cooled to the visits after we taught them about the Word of Wisdom, but she always stayed within ear shot and would generally join by the end of the discussion. Waylon sat in the middle of the floor and Elder Barker and myself sat on the couch facing him. Waylon Jr. was running all over the place and screaming like he normally did. It was very hard to get Waylon Jr. to calm down most of the time. It was very distracting and Elder Steed and I had been praying that Waylon Jr. would be calm for this special discussion. This was back when we taught out of the discussions, so I had given Elder Barker my set of discussions so that he could follow along, teach and testify. I taught the first principle, Our Premortal Existence. Through all of this Waylon Jr. was just going nuts and Waylon was distracted trying to keep him calm. This was a very hard way to teach and invite the spirit. As I finished the first principle, I testified and asked Elder Barker to testify (which was also the transition into the second principle that he was going to teach). As I finished testifying I saw Elder Barker looking at the Scripture Resources page. These were on the adjacent page as the discussion principle, but were there for additional study and ready reference to resolve concerns. Generally you didn't share these, but Elder Barker decided on a scripture and opened his scriptures (the scriptures were supplied in the discussion, but he wanted it out of the actual scriptures). He read the scripture Acts 17:29 (Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.) and testified of it. A simple scriptures that didn't even really apply to the principle or what he testified of, but it was enough for Waylon Jr. to recognize the Word of the Lord from one of the Lord's servants. He sat in his fathers lap and didn't move, didn't talk, just sat there and watched Elder Barker for the entire rest of the discussion. Now this alone would not be one of my most spiritual experiences of my mission, other than Waylon Jr., who had always been a distraction by running and screaming, sitting down in his fathers lap and was totally focused on Elder Barker. Elder Barker had been inspired to share the Word of God from the mouth of a Servant of God and the Spirit spoke directly to Waylon Jr. This is the most direct testimony of the power that comes when one of the Servants of the Lord speaks. I told Elder Steed of this and we tried it again later and it didn't work, further testifying to me of Elder Barker's calling. I know that Heavenly Father lives and loves us. He has called men in our day to speak for him and guide his church. I had the opportunity to see the direct power and influence that the Word of God has on earth when spoken by one of his dedicated servants. I know that President Monson is the current Prophet Seer and Revelator and the only mouth piece for the entire world. I also know that Heavenly Father, through his Prophet has called men to lead and direct his church on the local level. When these men speak, they speak with spirit and power of our Heavenly Father. This I testify of in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
48: Blessings of the Temple Upon thinking about a faith promoting experience, I have had one come to mind constantly, but it is not one that I ever thought I would share, but I am grateful for the chance to share it with the people I love. As many of you know, last year at the end of October, I got the flu. It was just your run of the mill 24 hour flu, it came and went, but after it was over my eyes started to feel weird. I talked to Don about it and we decided it was probably just a sinus infection. I went to an optometrist just in case my prescription had changed since I did not have any other symptoms. She said my eyes were fine and perfectly healthy. A few days passed and my eyes just felt really weird. By the end of the week, I was starting to have double vision, so I asked for a blessing. We did not have home teachers in our ward, so Don and his home teaching companion gave me a blessing. They advised me to go see a doctor. That night was Leigha's 6th Birthday, and I just felt so weird. I remember looking at my mom across the table and seeing right through her to the kids on the other side. I knew something was not right, and that night my eyes started to look in different directions. The next day was Halloween and I went to the doctor. She said it was not a sinus infection, that it was not normal, and she sent me to an ophthalmologist. We were lucky to get into an ophthalmologist that day. The ophthalmologist spent a long time with me doing a lot of different tests, because at this point my eyes were no longer looking in the same direction. In my vision, nothing was fixed and the whole world was contorted. I was seeing doubles and triples of things. Everything was just floating until it got to the center of my vision when it collided with each other (the world was a completely new place). She said I needed to see a neurologist and quick. It could be a brain tumor or multiple sclerosis, and I needed to get it checked immediately. I remember being nervous but knew that I needed to be strong for my children and carry on with business as usual. We went trick-or-treating (I was a pirate, having one eye covered seemed to help). I remember feeling that I wanted to cherish the moments, because I did not know what would happen. | Sarah Ilene Squires (Smith)
49: I had an MRI that week and thankfully it was not a brain tumor, but we had no idea what was going on. The days went on and by the end of the week I was a big mess. Something that had started as the flu had now effected my vision, the muscles on one side of my face no longer worked, and my skin drooped because the muscles would no longer hold it up, I had a hard time speaking, because I would slur my words. I could not chew or swallow food after a few bites. At points I felt like I could not breathe or catch my breath and the muscles in my arms and legs were not performing the way I wanted them to. I had to wait two weeks to meet with a neurologist and we were being told everything by everyone, but the main consensus was that it was just stress. The whole time all I could feel was that I NEEDED to go to the temple. My wonderful mom was so loving and willing and she volunteered to take me to the Mt. Timpanogos Temple. Since all of this had happened, the only time I had really left the house was to go to church or doctors. It was really hard because I was so self-conscious about how I looked and sounded. I remember having the same anxious feelings about attending the temple and doubting if I should even go, but the spirit urged me on. I wondered would people look at me? Would I be able to say what I needed to say clearly? Would my offering be accepted? We got to the temple and the first thing I did was walk right into a wall. My mom took me by the hand, and then just walked with me. She is a temple worker at the temple so a few of the people there knew what was going on and I was already in their prayers, and on the prayer roll. I could literally feel the prayers of the Saints in the temple help me as I went through the whole experience. We decided to do initiatory. I remember going in with my first proxy initiatory and hearing the blessings. As I listened to the blessings, I felt my body actually being healed. I thought it was amazing and I was so grateful that I had decided to go to the temple. Then as I would leave to wait to do proxy for another name, all of my infirmities would come back. Then, I would hear those blessings again as a different proxy sister and have the same healing throughout my whole body. Again, it would leave me as I prepared to do the work for another person. This happened several times. It was an amazing experience.
50: As I left the temple, I had this overwhelming peace. I understood that the blessings we receive in the temple are literal, eternal, physical, and spiritual. I was not receiving the blessing for myself at the time, but those blessings are blessings I will have for eternity. My body at that time was spiritually blessed. I entered the temple knowing I had faith, but not knowing if I had enough faith to sustain me through the trial my family was going through. When I left the temple I knew that I had enough faith and I was able to see more clearly the blessings this trial was giving me and my family. It was still hard, but I knew that the promises of the Lord are real and whatever was to happen was according to His will. I am so grateful for a LOVING Savior who suffered ALL of our pains, weaknesses, infirmities, insecurities, and illnesses, and that He has provided ways to bless us. I know that we are prepared for every blessing, and every trial, and both of those blessings come from faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.
51: A couple of weeks ago, Ed and I were at church when I looked at a new woman in our ward who looked very familiar to me. I kept looking at her, doubting that it was someone I know because her husband didn't look like anyone I had ever seen. I whispered to Ed to look at the couple and tell me if they looked familiar to him. He said he thought they did. We both tried to figure out who they might be and what their names were. After some frustration, I put a name with the woman, still quite unsure she was the same woman. I was prompted to go up to her and ask who she was before she left the chapel. Turns out, she was who I thought she was. Interestingly, she and her husband's looks had significantly changed from thirty years ago, when Ed and I were in the same ward with them, but I was prompted over and over again to go up and talk to her. After reacquainting, she began to cry. She said she and her husband had been in the ward three weeks, and no had come up to them; they felt as if no one even cared whether they were there or not. She told me she had prayed for comfort in her loneliness, and really needed someone to talk to. When I arrived home from work the next day, she was waiting for me on my doorstep. We talked for nearly three hours. She and her husband are going through some severe problems, including separation. She shed many tears, and was grateful for a listening ear and a friend. Ed was their home teacher thirty years ago. Now, this family needs Ed's help. He contacted our ward's Bishop and High Priest group leader, and is currently trying to help this woman with employment connections and other resources. Ed and I were reminded how important it is to follow promptings. We were reminded that home and visiting teaching does have purpose. The friendships gained through visiting and getting to know one another in our ward families can make a difference, even years later. | Follow the Spirit | Ed and Becky Lind
52: Hello everyone, I am so happy to be a part of the family. I married Clark November 3, 2012, and have been welcomed into the family by everyone. I would like to share my testimony of the gospel with you. I have been a member of the church my whole life, and have always known that it was true. My dad called the missionaries from the street when I was four years old, We all took the discussions, and my whole family was baptized. I love the church. It has always been the most important thing in my life. I always wanted to serve a mission and share that blessing of the gospel to everyone and let people know of the wonderful plan of salvation made possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ. When I was 18 and then 19, I had the opportunity to serve as a full time mini-missionary in my country, the Dominican Republic. For several months. I learned to love the gospel and to be grateful for the blessings that come from living it. I saw people that seemed lost in this life, and that made me more grateful for the knowledge we have as members. Also, if we are obedient, and we follow the example of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the scriptures and prophets and apostles, we will be strengthened in all aspects, and have more happiness. We understand that we are here because our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to one day become like him. And we know that it is not easy because we are all tested and tempted in different ways, but if we have faith, and we put our faith into following the principles of the gospel, we can be happy in this life and for eternity. We should always put our faith in Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father. Even though this life isn’t perfect sometimes in the way that we want, this life is what we need to progress. I look forward to getting to know all of you better, Love, Denia | A while back I felt a prompting to write a letter to a friend describing his good qualities, strengths, and accomplishments over the years. We had been friends our whole lives, but I hadn't had much contact with him the last few years. I had already written the letter, but had delayed sending it for a few days as I bought stamps. I was sitting in church when I got a text from this friend. He said he was at a very difficult time in his life, and asked that I tell him something that could help him move forward. He had never asked for anything like that. I told him to expect a letter in a couple days. I have a testimony of the Spirit, and how specific promptings can be sometimes. I know we need to keep ourselves close to God so he can use us to help other people. Sometimes it’s very hard to feel close to God because of all the other noise in our lives. I know God is constantly trying to communicate to us; it’s just hard for us to prioritize listening to Him and obeying the commandments. But, I know he is there and that He lives, and that we can receive constant guidance and comfort. The gospel is trueJ | Clark and Denia Lind
53: Our second daughter Claire, had a different “health scare” experience that actually happened after she was born. While Claire was in the hospital those first couple of days after being delivered, she had a PKU test done. After bringing her home, we got a phone call from our doctor a few days later and my doctor told me that Claire’s PKU test came back abnormal and there is a chance that she may have a metabolic disorder called very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, also known as VL-CAD. Basically what it means was that her body had a hard time breaking down fats to give her the energy she needed to grow. My doctor didn’t know the severity of her case and told me that it could be life threatening, so she had us go to Primary Children's Hospital the next day to get a series of tests done. Before going the next day, Kyle and my dad gave Claire a blessing. Once again, I felt a feeling of comfort from my Heavenly Father knowing that everything would be okay. After taking Claire in the next day, they did a series of tests to determine whether or not she had it. When we got the results a few months later they came back negative. We were so grateful for this news. Both our girls have brought so much joy into our lives and we are so grateful for their good health. Most importantly I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have, that because of the gift of the Atonement, I can always turn to my Heavenly Father and Savior for strength and guidance regardless of whatever trials may happen. | I am so grateful for the incredible blessings and experiences my Heavenly Father blesses me with on a continual basis. A couple of experiences that have really helped my testimony grow; both have to do with our two sweet little girls. When I was about 20 weeks pregnant with Anna, I had some blood work done and was told that the blood work came back abnormal. So, they had Kyle and I go to the hospital the following day to get an ultrasound to determine why the results came back the way they did. While at the hospital, we had an ultrasound done and they informed us that Anna had a bright spot on her heart, which meant that she had a slight chance of having down syndrome. Having this be my first pregnancy, I was overwhelmed with emotions that entire day. I never expected that blood work to come back as abnormal. However, I am so grateful that Anna was born a healthy baby and that everything turned out to be just fine.. I am also so grateful that I could rely on my Heavenly Father through this experience. Because of Him I was blessed with comfort and peace. | Natalia Gardner (Lind)
54: Martin's Cove Trek Experience Thursday, July 24th, 2008 – Saturday, July 26th, 2008 We arrived at the church at 4:30 a.m. and sat in the chapel with 250 other saints. And as we waited, some nervous about what was to come, some excited, some still waking up, I thought about a similar group of saints who gathered in a chapel somewhere far away in Aalborg, Denmark, or Edinburgh, Scotland, or Liverpool, England, about to embark on a journey that would take several months and cover thousands of miles. What would their thoughts have been? Everything they owned in the world was packed in their satchels and duffle bags and ocean trunks. Whatever else they had owned before – land, houses, livestock, and their very inheritances – had been sold to pay for their trip of faith. As I sat there, I thought of all the wonderful things I could come back to three days hence. As Christen Christensen sat there with a pregnant wife and four children 152 years ago, he knew that he would never see his home again, and he wondered how it would be possible to make such a long journey safely and, at the end of it, carve a new home out of a dangerous, unknown wilderness. Every time someone tells a story about the pioneers and what they suffered and sacrificed, and every time I think about what a great experience this trip is, I get choked up. I didn’t expect my emotions to be so strong and to come to the surface so easily. | Lary Larson
55: We had a really good devotional with the kids. We read through their get-acquainted questionnaires and had fun with that. Then we gave them leather medicine bags Louise had made, and some tokens to put inside – a coin to represent the wealth they gave up and the price they paid to join the church - a marble to represent how they kept rolling along, and how far across the earth they traveled - a nail to represent the cross, and how tough the pioneers were who crossed the plains – and a button to represent how they wore themselves and their clothing down to the last stitch. We had them talk about those symbols, and suggested they find some on their own – a rock to represent being firm and steadfast – a piece of wood to represent the cross and the handcarts – a bone to represent those who died and were buried by the trail – a feather to represent rising about trials – and a flower to represent a new home and new life. I look forward to gathering a handful of stones next to the Sweetwater where great, great, great grandfather Christen Christensen rowed it. We ate lunch at the trailhead to the Cove and then proceeded to Dan Jones Cove. There I gave the opening prayer, with great emotion. Keaton Johnson and Nathan Day sang, Barry Hansen sang, and a missionary gave a talk. This missionary described how the pioneers are with us, and at the end he told us to find time to be alone and tell the person we walked for goodbye. What a great thought. President Peck gave us a blessing that was wonderful. We then walked up the path to martin’s Cove. I didn’t know what to expect by way of spiritual experience. I hoped for a sign that God is real, or to tell me how the pioneers felt as they suffered there. As we passed through the long, narrow meadow where 600 souls huddled in their tents and around their fires, I spotted two deer down in the grass, almost invisible. My heart was instantly touched. I rejoiced to see a sign of life and youth and hope there in a place of sacred sorrow. I had my sign. As we left Martin’s Cove and walked back toward our handcarts, I caught up with Sister Jolene Passey. She had told me to ask her something in the car, so I asked. She proceeded to tell me about an uncle of hers, who had a vision of hundreds of people in the Cove speaking to the tourists passing through. His vision confirmed my thought that the members of the Martin Company now were as missionaries in the Cove. As we gathered at the Sweetwater to reenact the crossing, I was again expectant of some spiritual experience. Our children pulled the cart ahead of us. They descended the slope of the bank. The ground was sandy and gravely, the water was shallow and not very fast. I watched the water and held Louise by the hand on my right as we stepped gradually into the water bit by bit. As my shoes and socks soaked with water, I thought that it really didn’t feel bad at all. When we were eight or ten feet into the water I suddenly felt a cold breathe of wind pass through me. In my mind’s eye, I suddenly saw everything around me white with snow. I felt the water icy against my feet and legs. If felt the hope of a pioneer crossing the river and going on to face the challenges ahead. For just that instant, I felt that I was there, with the saints of the Martin Company. I felt suddenly a connection with them. I felt that I shared with them the same powerful faith in the Lord, and the same heritage. I felt a connection with my great, great, great grandfather that I had never had before. He has become real to me. I know him. I understand his sacrifice. I see him clearly now.
56: I am grateful for those people who came here first. They broke the ground. They built the roads. They plowed and they fenced and they dug the canals. They built houses and schools and hospitals and government offices. They started the businesses and the banks and the post offices and all the things we enjoy today, all the things that make life pleasant for us – they went first and built. I am grateful to them. As I think about my feelings in the Cove and seeing the two deer, I am reminded of the 23rd Psalm. It was fitting that Bishop Piquet used David as an example in his devotional talk. David lived by the sword but he was also attuned to the spirit. The 23rd Psalm says a lot of things that apply directly to the experience of the saints in martin’s Cove. I won’t recount those here, but they are readily apparent. The message I take from that, the thing that I learned about the Saints in Martin’s Cove, was the same message David received by the spirit as he faced death in battle – that the Lord is our Shepherd. He protects us, feeds us, leads us, and lets us dwell with Him. I understand now that those people found courage to face their trials by remembering the message of the 23rd Psalm – that Jesus is our Shepherd. I have also come to realize that I might have the strength to suffer and die, even to watch my family suffer and die, if I would only be surrounded by my friends and fellow saints. Oliver Cowdery was right – it doesn’t make much difference what calling we have, or what we are called upon to suffer in this life, as long as we enjoy the fellowship of the saints. I love the great people of this stake. If I could only be with them, I believe I could suffer and endure any trial. I appreciate our leaders who planned this trip. I realize that they would go any distance, pay any price, and make any sacrifice that is necessary to help our youth gain a firm testimony of the gospel.
57: As we left the Sweetwater, we pulled the cart up the trail and then Louse and I went back to watch the last to cross. Sister Johnson waded in a ways and then waited for Jim to come from the other side and pick her up to carry her across. Then Jim and Jolene Passey waded slowly across while two hundred other people stood silently atop the far back and watched. It was a touching scene. Further up the trail the brethren were separated from the group to reenact the calling of the Mormon Battalion, which actually occurred ten years before the Martin tragedy, while the saints were at winter quarters. Then the brethren walked up to the top of the next hill to watch the sisters pull the handcarts up the hill above. That gave me a greater appreciation for their strength. The final special experience was our campfire devotional the next morning. That is not to say that our musical fireside on Friday evening wasn’t great, but it was not intended to be a great spiritual experience. President Giles spoke and gave a great talk. At the Saturday morning devotional, after Bishop Piquet spoke, the Pony Express arrived with letters from our families. Louise and I had written short notes to each other, so we sat together and opened them and read them together. As we read our letters, I just felt an overwhelming outpouring of love for her. As dirty and smelly and tired as we were, we sat there and put our heads on each other’s shoulders and just cried together silently. I felt like we were each ninety years old, with all of our lives and possessions gone, and nothing left but each other. I felt for a moment that I cared about nothing else but her and our love and our family. I know that she felt the same way, and it was completely fulfilling to know that we were totally devoted to each other – that we are totally devoted to each other. I feel prepared to grow old and gray and feeble with Louise as my last best friend and companion. I am also reminded of Elijah hiding in the cave when the Lord asked “Why are you here?” Just as Elder Spearman asked, at the Dan Jone’s Cove, “Why are you here?” And Elijah answered that he was alone because all the other prophets had been killed. So the Lord told him to go find Elisha and call him to be the next prophet, and to anoint two new kings for Israel and Judah. So he did. And he and Elisha crossed the River Jordan where Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind. Elisha took up his mantle, smote the ground, and crossed the river again. So, we have helped these youth cross the river and take up the mantle to lead the church. Would they have spiritual experiences? What did you expect? They hold the Aaronic Priesthood and have the keys to the ministering of angels. Those people who passed there are ministering angels, and they are there still for us.
58: Lost in New York City? A yellow MetroCard in a clay bowl on my kitchen window sill reminds me of my Heavenly Father’s love for me. In April, 2012, Carl was planning a trip from Keller, TX. He and the Tamanahas were going sightseeing in New York City. It was my spring break, and they didn’t mind if Lary and I tagged along. So we planned a marathon vacation. We took an overnight flight from Salt Lake City to Columbus, Ohio. During the day, we played hard with the Swensons, stopping at Isaac and Jon’s favorite spots; The Bounce House, McDonalds, and COSI, and then home for dinner. At midnight Dave dropped us off in downtown Columbus so we could take the overnight GoTo bus headed for Manhatten. The bus was jam-packed, so Lary and I split up to find seats. My seat partner was a fascinating woman who lived in the Bronx. Rather than sleeping, I listened to her stories most of the night. Lary and I were a little droopy from lack of sleep when we stepped off the bus. | Louise Larson (Lind)
59: On arrival at Canal Street in Manhattan, we felt like foreigners, but we were prepared. It was time to put the MTA Subway map and my travel agenda notebook to the test. All the needed directions and my wallet were squared away in my trusty backpack. We bought our metro tickets and headed for the subway platform. Lary took my backpack and read the list of directions to me, while I dozily listened. I soon learned that 'droopy" does not work when boarding subways. I stepped on. Someone squeezed in behind me, and the door closed. Lary stood on the platform and the subway sped off. Without Lary or my backpack, panic instantly hit. My thoughts started racing: first my cell phone wasn’t charged, and second, “Did Lary say to get off at station D, J, or P?” My next notion was, “ I am doomed, lost in the biggest city in the U.S., without money or my cell phone.” There was only one thing to do, say a ten second prayer. Upon opening my eyes, on my right and left were two women about my age who noticed my plight. The first began questioning to see what I knew, “What’s your next transfer station?” I told her I thought it was at P. She suggested riding to P and waiting for my husband there. Somehow that didn’t seem right. The next woman said, “At the next stop the doors will open. Get off. Stay in that exact spot facing forward. Your husband will see you and get off his train.” That was it. So within a few seconds my train stopped, and I followed her directions. For a few tense moments, I waited until the next train stopped. Lary got off, just as described. I will never know who the rescuing women were, but they felt like messengers sent from heaven. Now I will always cherish a yellow metro card. This was just one of many times when I knew my Heavenly Father was watching over me.
60: The Linds were really fun. They still are, of course, but what I mean is that they were a lot of fun to visit when I was a little kid. I loved Grandpa Lind’s ranch. I wish that my youngest brothers and sisters could have gone to visit it too, but here are a few of the highlights: I remember driving in Grandpa Lind’s big old grain truck. It was kind of like a cross between a uhaul and a dumptruck and it had probably been built around the time when Hitler was starting to wonder if he was really going to win the war. It had this huge black button on the dashboard that I think Grandpa had custom installed that honked this crazy horn, one of the ones that went “Ouuugah”. I must have been about four and not only did Grandpa let me honk the horn, he let me drive! I sat on his lap and he handled the gas and the break and he let me steer. The steering wheel was bigger than me, I think. | Carl Larson | Memories of the Linds
61: On the ranch property there were all kinds of fun wildlife to chase and catch. There was a stream that ran through and Grandpa taught us how to make cat tail fishing poles. I fell into the creek trying to pull in the fish. Since there’s no reel on a cat tail, you bring the fish in by just backing up till he’s out of the water, and the bank was pretty slick. That didn’t really bother me too bad, since I had a fish on the line. Along the creek there were also lots of frogs, and Natalie and I caught a bunch of them. I’m not sure why we needed so many frogs, but at the time it seemed important to get as many as we could. Grandma showed an inexplicable amount of patience with us after our creek exploits. She didn’t get upset that I was soaking wet, or even when our frogs escaped their Tupperware prison in her back seat. I know we didn’t retrieve them all, because a few escapees turned up over the next couple years. The ones that were found later had turned into a kind of froggy jerky, but I don’t ever remember Grandma giving me a hard time about it. One other memory I have is of Glayde. It’s the only one I have of him. We were standing on the porch at the ranch house and he helped me shoot a coyote. I don’t remember his face, or even for sure if we hit it. I just remember his arms around me helping me steady the rifle while I looked through the scope. That’s a very fond memory of mine. I wish that I had more memories of Glayde, but I’m glad the one I’ve got is such a good one. So, my story isn’t really religious (big shocker), but I think it has spiritual value just the same. I think good memories like that keep our spirit healthy through the tough times that inevitably come to us all at some point. Our family is very blessed to have each other around to make such happy memories.
62: The story of Bob’s watermelons starts as a requirement of the gospel. As Joseph Smith stated, "A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life" (Lectures on Faith, comp. N. B. Lundwall [Salt Lake City: N. B. Lundwall, n.d.], p. 58)...” The saints in the Medicine Hat area had decided to build a chapel. In the earlier days of the church, the church required the local members to pay any amount of the building above and beyond basic tithes. Generally it was left up to the local church leadership to request of the saints their building fund amount. | Steve Barfuss | Watermelons
63: In order to pay for their building fund requirement, the Barfuss’s decided to try and sell watermelons. The business started as an attempt to pay for the building fund requirement. It continued as something for the kids to do and to make a little money in the summertime, and has grown to a full fledged venture selling twenty-three tons of watermelons and thousands of cobs of corn each summer. The blessings of this side business, started from direct obedience to gospel principals has been paid for many times over. It has paid for missions, weddings, educations and has taught the strongest of gospel principles. Work. Work. Work. Several grand children have had their first job, learned to make change, and had a common bond to share about being at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s place. Many a time I have fired a niece or nephew to only have them rehired by grandpa and grandma the next day. “It’s not just doing the work its learning how to work, that’s why we do this.” I close with this statement about my parents. They are the hardest working people I know and they have taught and continue to teach me how to live my life through example. Most recently, my parents have left on a mission to Manila, Philippines. They decided to serve this mission not just to adhere to the call of the prophet, but to teach their children and grand children by example how you live their lives in service to the Lord.
64: We are God's Instruments This year in our small ward in Pincher Creek, I have been blessed to serve in the Young Women's organization as the secretary with three other leaders for our six active girls. I've been frequently impressed by the woman called to be the president -- she teaches and lives through the spirit. Even though she has health problems she continues to deal with, she puts her best effort into her calling, and her dedication to serving these girls is evident. For our Young Women in Excellence last year, she challenged all the leaders to work on something for personal progress that we could present with the girls. The Relief Society had also issued a challenge to read specific scriptures for 21 days to become closer to Christ. I thought I could kill two birds by picking the RS 21-Day challenge for my YW in Excellence presentation. Later, the YW president chose "The Parable of the Pebbles" for our YW in Excellence theme (Why Personal Progress? Sept. 2011, Elder Shayne M. Bowan of the Seventy). It tells the story of three horseman who came to a dry riverbed, where a voice told them to stop and pick up as many stones as they could, and the next day they would be very glad and very sad. The following day, the stones turned to gems, and the men were glad they had collected them and sad they didn't take more. It teaches about personal progress -- do all you can now because you'll be glad for those talents later. | Natalie Barfuss (Larson)
65: I was having a hard time remembering to do my 21-Day challenge, so it took me longer than 21 days to complete. I read the last day's scripture lesson just days before we were to have YW in Excellence. It was this: What Mean These Stones? Take you hence ... twelve stones. Joshua 4:3 Read the story of Joshua and the crossing of the river Jordan. Either figuratively or literally, gather twelve stones. Assign each stone to represent a blessing that you have recognized in your journey toward Christ. Share these blessings and testify how you are coming to know the Healer, the Master, the Son of God, even Jesus Christ. What are the stories you can tell about how He has strengthened, enlightened, comforted, or otherwise blessed you? The stones were a reminder to the Jewish leaders of the miracles they had seen and the strength the Lord had given them. I didn't tell the YW president what I planned to share, and I didn't know entirely what she had planned. That evening at YW in Excellence, the president had each girl pick up stones from a "riverbed" and then exchange them for pebbles in the YW colors after they had shared their personal progress experience for the year. I didn't know in advance, but I was slotted as the last presenter for the evening. I told my story of the 21-day challenge and the last challenge in Joshua, "What mean these stones?" I passed the challenge on to each of our girls to take the stones and remember the blessings and talents they had worked toward and been given this year. I don't know if it struck them as strongly as it struck me and the YW president -- even in this comparatively insignificant event, God was willing to guide our paths. It could not have been more perfect. His hand was evident in this outcome ... in the Relief Society leadership for issuing the challenge, in the YW leadership in creating the event, and even through me, an imperfect instrument seeking to serve these girls and God.
66: Testimony At about 14 or 15, I'd been reading the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's story, and I decided it was time that I found out if the church was true or not. I didn't tell anyone, but I prayed and fasted and secretly expected an angel of my own. I figured I was someone pretty special with big things ahead of me, so God must have something epic planned to build my testimony. And I waited. And I did it again. I read, prayed, and fasted for some kind of lightning, burning bush, or other minor miracle. It seemed like I did this forever, but it was probably 2-3 months. I started to get discouraged and began having doubts. Maybe, I wasn't worthy? Maybe, it wasn't true? Maybe, God didn't hear me or care enough about me to send me my miracle. Finally, I remember praying with real, sincere feeling to Heavenly Father to please let me know if the church was true. It came so clearly in my mind: a still, small voice saying, "Natalie, you've always known." My whole life, having grown up in the church with a wonderful family who taught me the gospel, I was blessed to always know. I had never been given reason to doubt God or his love for me. I knew the church was true; I knew what I had been taught was real. My faith was already there, and I only needed to recognize it. I am grateful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. | Natalie Barfuss
67: Medical school is very stressful and expensive, but I was fortunate to have a wonderful wife who held my hand tight through the rough parts and with whom I enjoyed the ride during the smooth times. The ultimate goal of medical school is to be accepted into a residency position for further training in a specific specialty. My experience in securing a residency position was long and took a very rocky course that few other medical students suffer. The process that places residents into specialty training programs is called “the Match.” Students submit applications to residency training programs during the fall of their fourth (final) year of medical school. Students submit different numbers of applications depending on their medical school performance, exam scores, and specialty of choice with more competitive specialties. Applicants usually submit 10-20 for less competitive specialties but generally over 50 (sometimes over 100) for competitive specialties or for less competitive applicants. Applications are reviewed by residency directors who offer interviews from October through January. Residency programs frequently interview less than 10% of applicants who apply, and only 1 in 10 of those who interview will ultimately train at that program. In February after interviews are completed, applicants create and submit a list of programs in the order they would most like to train, and programs submit preference-based lists of applicants they interviewed. A computer takes these match lists and matches applicants to training programs. Every year in March on “Match day,” medical student throughout the country open envelopes simultaneously to learn where they will be spending the next 3+ years of their life during residency. During the fall/winter of 2010/11, I participated in the Match. I had excellent board scores and medical school evaluations, and everyone with whom I spoke was certain I would secure a training position at one of my top three choices. I was pursuing orthopaedic surgery (one of the most competitive specialties) and had worked hard to prepare myself. I applied to 45 programs and interviewed at 12 of them which was a very high number of interviews. A couple programs had given me very positive feedback when I interviewed with them and I was certain I would be happy with the result of the match when I opened my envelope in March. | David Swenson | The Match
68: Match day occurred on a Thursday, March 17, 2011. The Monday before Match day, I received a text message from one of the medical school administrators with the devastating news that I had failed to match to a residency training program. I checked my email and the website multiple times to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, but I wasn’t. Medical students who do not match enter what was then called “the scramble” in which unmatched applicants sift through the list of programs with positions that did not fill and attempt to find somewhere to continue their training. The leftover programs may not be in the specialty you want, and may not be in a city you have ever visited. To be not matched is an experience feared by medical students throughout the country. It was like 12 different programs all simultaneously told me, “You’re not good enough and we don’t want you.” In other job markets, the impact of not securing a job is not as significant as it is in medicine. After rejection by one employer, an applicant can submit an application elsewhere. After not matching, applicants have only two options available: (1) “scramble” into a position in a possibly unfamiliar specialty in an unknown city, or (2) wait an entire year and reapply next year. I did not want to drag my family to another city and “hope for the best,” but second-time applicants frequently raise a red flag in the eyes of potential employers who may ask themselves, “What is wrong with this applicant that he/she didn’t match the first time around?” I was torn, I didn’t know what to do, and the clock was ticking. I had three days to decide what I was going to do. 72 hours. After Thursday at noon, the scramble would end and those who were matched would continue training and those who were not would not. Unlike multiple-choice tests, there was no right answer. No one could make the decision I had to, and I didn’t have an answer. There was no answer in a book I could look up. I prayed and prayed, but nothing happened. I felt empty and alone. Questions of “what if” flooded my mind and occupied my thoughts continually. I couldn’t sleep and had no appetite as I watched the hours tick by. At times I felt comfortable with the decision to wait one year and reapply, but what was I to do with myself during that year? I would surely forget all the medical knowledge I had gained and unless I did something extremely productive, no residency program would waste their time interviewing me. The friends I had who had not matched into programs were participating in the scramble, securing positions in residency programs outside their primary field of interest and I began to question my decision all over again. I questioned it even more when I was reminded by my orthopedic surgery advisors that the prospects for second-time applicants in orthopedic surgery are extremely dismal and that even if I worked hard the next year, I would certainly not match the second time around.
69: Why was the Lord not communicating with me? Why was He not guiding me? What did my family do to deserve this tremendous setback? Why did He leave me alone? I cried much and found no relief. At 3:00 a.m. on Thursday morning (9 hours to go) I lay awake in my bed, unable to sleep, trying desperately to get a confirmation of my decision, but never getting one. I was convinced the Lord had abandoned me. I finally slept for 2 hours and woke up again still pouring over the computer, trying to obtain confirmation. I spoke with a good friend who had not matched into orthopedics but had obtained a position in anesthesiology through the scramble who recommended I speak with the head of the anesthesiology department, Dr. Moran. My conversation with Dr. Moran left me in tears. He said that the dismal outlook for reapplicants is only in highly competitive specialties and that he personally would not dismiss a reapplicant simply because they had not matched their first attempt. He did not guarantee me a position or interview next year, but he confirmed to me that there would still be a chance for me to match into a good training program and obtain a job to provide for my family. I felt peace. For the first time in a very long 3 days I felt at ease. I still had no idea where I was going, but I felt that I was going the right direction. It was as if someone had led me into darkness off a cliff but assured me it would be okay. I didn’t find solid ground when I stepped into the darkness and fell, but somehow I felt okay with the situation. In the coming weeks, I applied for and was accepted to the Master of Public Health program at the Ohio State University. I also received a full-tuition scholarship that paid an additional monthly stipend that would more than cover our living expenses for the next year. My Master’s degree complemented my medical degree perfectly, giving me additional knowledge and tools such as a much more detailed knowledge of statistics and research methods that will make me a much more well-rounded physician in the future. My family did not have to move. Additionally, I worked extensively with the emergency medicine faculty with whom I already had a strong relationship and decided that I would not reapply to orthopedic surgery, but that I would apply to emergency medicine residency training programs instead. I entered the match process again, full of confidence and hope. I applied to 42 programs with the same excellent board scores and grades I had the first time, but with additional training that set me apart from the rest of the residency applicants. I was offered more interviews than I could have possibly accepted and attended 21 of them. I matched at my #1 choice in Grand Rapids, Michigan and have been extremely happy with my training. We have a beautiful home, I love the people I work with, I love the city of Grand Rapids, and most importantly, I love what I am doing for a career.
70: I often look back and wonder what happened or what I could have done to change the outcome of the first match, but every time I do, I am reminded how grateful I am that I am doing emergency medicine instead of orthopedic surgery. I will get to spend more time with my family in my life and will still have a comfortable income. I now know much more about the field of emergency medicine and I know that my life and my career will be much more fulfilling and I will get to practice the kind of medicine that I had always dreamed of. The Lord never left me. I didn’t feel him when I thought I needed to, but he was there. I have participated in surgical procedures when I was unsure about what to do in a certain situation. I looked to the attending physician for guidance and was frequently told that I was doing fine. The attending physician would wisely let me keep doing what I was doing and would step in if I was about to do something that would harm the patient, but otherwise he would let me perform the procedure. The Lord works similarly with us. He will not always hold our hand. It may not always be readily apparent that He is looking over us or even knows we are there, but just like the attending physician assisted me with surgical procedures, if we draw near to the Lord and live as we should, He won’t allow us to stray too far.
71: Our First Apartment Oh the memories that I have of our first apartment. Dave was in Idaho with his family and I was teaching a class for my Master’s program in Provo while we were engaged. I was in charge of house hunting. We knew that we were going to have to pay for medical school in the near future, so I was looking for as cheap as I could find. I looked at studio, loft, basement, dark, dingy, and everything else that was cheap. Dave likes to point out that I did pick our first apartment. It was nice after some of the other ones I looked over. It did have a separate bedroom, living room, bathroom, and kitchen, but just barely. The price was right $350/month. $5 off if you paid on time and $20 for heating costs. Our first apartment was probably only 350 square feet. A large portion of that was taken up by the large space heater thing in the living room. The bedroom got really cold during the winter. The first year there was no air conditioning. It got pretty hot during the summer. The floor was slightly slanted. If you were making German pancakes in the tiny oven you would have to flip it around halfway through or it would end up lopsided. We had lopsided Jello. If you spilled something you only had to catch it in one direction so it wouldn’t spread. There was a fuse box, not a circuit breaker, a fuse box. It had a funny “you haven’t been here for a while” smell when we left for a few days. The story we heard was that the apartment had originally been part of the Japanese internment facility during WWII and had then been moved into Orem. We believed it. One time we came home to our sink full to the brim of nastiness. Nastiness is the only word I can think of to describe what was in there. We had to get the manager, and he and Dave scrubbed out the pipes. The smell was very distinctive and unpleasant. Our upstairs neighbor had probably been pouring grease down her sink and it had finally clogged. We were glad our whole apartment wasn’t covered in gunck. Another time there was a leak in the hot water pipe in the middle of winter. The manager at the time turned off the hot water in the little complex until he fixed the leak. That took a couple of days, and by then the pipes were frozen. It took him a couple more days to defrost the pipes. One night Dave put pots of water on the stove so that I could have a warm bath. As crazy as our first apartment was, we learned some lasting lessons. Dave and I were happy there. When it was cold, we learned to snuggle a little closer. If there was no place to store our tires, they would live in the living room. We had friends over for dinners or desserts. We were living within our means and saving for medical school. The Lord blessed us in our humble apartment. The money we saved has allowed us to have a nicer home now. I’ll always remember, though, it’s okay if you don’t have what your friends have. You can always be happy where you are at. It helps you appreciate things more. | Erica Swenson (Larson)
72: One summer evening in 2008, Charlotte Larson (a member of apartment B305) coolly walked over to apartment D212 and offered my roommates and I a plate of homemade chocolates. At first we thought it was kind of odd that Charlotte would do such a thing, but we quickly brushed it off. (I mean, we were dealing with chocolate, starving college guys, and a harmless, little girl). And like any guy in our situation would have done, we shoved as many chocolate balls in our mouths as fast as we could. The chocolate was so sweet and delicious. However, as soon as we got to the center of the chocolate balls, we started to notice something a little strange about these “chocolate balls”. That sweet, smooth, richness of the chocolate started to fade and all that was left was this uncomfortable, gooey, yet fuzzy feeling in our mouths. After spitting out all the chocolates we had just eaten, we realized that that little Charlotte had just pranked us into eating cotton balls. Needless to say, prides were injured. Revenge was a must. | Boyd Tamanaha | The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways
73: After many hours of contemplation and discussion, my roommates and I came up with a perfect plan. After coercing the members of apartment B305 to come to their parking lot, my roommates and I ambushed them with baking flour and water. We figured that if we had to eat awkward, uncomfortable chocolate, it was only fair that we covered our enemies in awkward, uncomfortable-ness. Oh what a beautiful sight it was: the conniving females of B305 covered in gooey dough. We had won the war, or so we thought. A few days later, Charlotte and her smooth-talking roommate Emily Edwards convinced us that they wanted to make peace with us by taking us all out for ice cream. Being the arrogant (and hungry) boys that we were, we eagerly obliged. However, while we were enjoying ourselves to what we thought was a victory ice cream cone, the remaining B305 members were burglarizing our apartment. They stole all our silverware and dyed our milk blue. Truth be told, we did not even notice our forks and spoons were all taken. We just figured they were all dirty. So we did the next best thing: we used ladles and spatulas to eat. However, when we eventually found out that B305 stooped us again, we were furious. In retaliation, we decided to make clowns out of our nemeses. We decided to do the traditional cream pies in the face trick. There was no flash or flare to our prank, but believe me when I say: there is a reason why a cream pie to the face is iconic. After that, those crafty girls got even craftier. They built a cinder-block wall in front of our door and barricaded us inside. But they did not stop there. The women of B305 then filled the space between our door and our cinder-block barricade with popcorn. I, being the first to open the door had a mountain of popcorn engulf me. (Also, do you know how long the smell of popcorn can last? A long time! It nearly ruined my desire to ever eat popcorn again). Once we realized that these women were not playing games, we knew that we had to end this war once and for all. We needed something big, something public, and something memorable.
74: In the dead of night, my roommates and I stealthily took the very cinder blocks that barricaded us into our apartments and propped B305’s cars on top of them. (That was no easy task). But we weren’t sure how we were going to get the members of B305 to see our mischievousness. (We could have just waited, but patience just wasn’t our style). Facing our first real trial, my roommates and I had to tap into our ingenuity to lure our foes to their parking lot. Realizing that B305’s cars were parked near their dumpster, we decided to utilize this piece of information. We scoured our apartment for all the trash we could find (which took a matter of seconds, since we neglected to take our trash out for weeks). With our dirty load, we quietly picked apartment B305’s lock and neatly placed our garbage in their apartment. All while the girls of B305 slept soundlessly through the night. The best part was that the women of B305 thought that they were smarter than us because they knew we were planning something. They thought that they could foil our plans by placing that smooth-talking Emily to keep watch. However, she fell asleep on their couch and never noticed a thing (mischievous laugh). The next morning, when Charlotte and company woke, they awoke to an apartment filled with trash. (We kept everything in their trash bags, we weren’t that mean). When they went to take OUR garbage to the dumpster, they were baffled to see their cars sitting a foot off the ground. In the end, apartment B305 felt our wrath and raised their white flags. Oh how sweet was the taste of victory. However, the best part had yet to come. In the midst of all the pranks, love seemed to blossom from the battlefield. The time spent thinking of how the one was going to prank the other just turned into one thinking of the other. And as a result, I, Boyd Tamanaha fell in love with that devious Charlotte Larson. I even ended up marrying her. Who knew what chocolate-covered-cotton-balls and lots of trash could accomplish. What can I say; the Lord works in mysterious ways.
75: A Ministering Marble A few years ago my dad inherited a stash of marbles from his father. They were beautiful marbles made of a semi-precious stone called carnelian. One day, he brought his marbles out with a bunch of little wooden stands and gave each of us children one to keep. He told us to take care of them so he would never, “Lose his marbles.” | Charlotte Tamanaha (Larson) | Well, I lost mine. In moving between college and home every year, I somehow had misplaced my dad's marble. I felt so bad that I searched and searched for that little thing, but sadly was never able to find it. Skipping ahead a couple years, I decided to go on a mission. I was called to Taiwan, Taipei, and was really excited to go. Finally, the day came when I went in to be set apart by our stake president, President Peck. I was set apart as a missionary and then given a blessing which included something that I found interesting. He said, “I bless you to have the ability to help your companions stay on their missions.” After the blessing my dad nudged me and said referring to that part of the blessing, “Good luck with that one.” We laughed, but I really didn’t think about it again until about half way through my mission. Transfers came up and I was given a native companion who I was really excited about. Our first couple days went really well, but on the third day at lunch she said to me, “Just so you know, I’m supposed to be taking pills for depression.” We talked about it for a little bit, I made sure she was doing okay, and then we just went on with our work.
76: The next morning, before we started our studies, she said to me that she needed to go to the hospital. I asked her if she was feeling okay, and she said that she just needed to go. I thought, “Maybe if we do our studies, she will feel better,” so I told her we would go when we finished. She didn’t like that idea, so I got on the phone to call our zone leaders to let them know where we were going. Just as I turned my back on my companion, she bolted out the open door. I turned around and shouted into the phone, “Ah, she’s gone!” I ran to the elevator and it was at the bottom. I flew down the stairs, checked at the metro station that was just outside our apartment, and looked as many places as I could. She had vanished. I called my mission president and he sent the assistants out to check out the situation. We went to the main train station, searched the area, and called a bunch of people. No luck. In the afternoon, President Nielson came to our church and we said a prayer that we would be able to find my companion. A few minutes later, she called his phone and informed him that she had taken herself to the hospital. We told her that we would be there as soon as we could. On the drive there, President Nielson was on the phone with the “big guys.” They were trying to decide if they were going to allow my companion to continue her mission. Apparently, she was on her last try. He got off the phone without a decision made, and I remembered my blessing. I said, “President, when I was set apart, I was blessed that I would be able to help my companions stay on their missions.” He thought for a while and then called church headquarters again. He let me keep her. Let’s just say that we saw so many miracles that transfer. However, keeping us both positive and going while she battled her depression was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There were days that I couldn’t wait to come home at night and just pour my soul out to the Lord. I often felt so alone and unsure about what Heavenly Father wanted me to do to help this poor girl.
77: It was one of those hard, lonely days that the Lord truly reached his hand out to me. My companion and I were riding our bikes to an appointment and my heart was sinking. I was letting Satan pull me down into his pits of doubt and sorrow. I prayed and prayed that Heavenly Father would help lift my spirits so that I could still do His work. When we arrived at our destination, I pulled my bike up to the side of a dingy building, and there on the ground was a shiny, little marble. It looked just like the one my dad had given me that I had lost. As I bent over to pick it up, I felt a rush of warmth, and thoughts of my dad flooded my mind. I knew that he would be cheering me on back home. I knew that I couldn’t disappoint him. Then, so clearly to my mind came the thoughts that Heavenly Father was also cheering me on. He was there with me, and he knew exactly what my companion and I were going through. My eyes clouded with tears for just a second, and then a new strength came into my heart. I must have looked silly, staring at a marble, but that moment was the most influential experience of my mission. I had felt the Lord’s love stronger in those brief seconds than I ever had before. For the rest of my mission, whenever I had a hard time, I would look at my marble and know that Heavenly Father had given me a blessing from heaven. He was going before my face and providing me with the encouragement and support that I needed. Now, I wish I could say that my experience with my companion had a happy ending. She ended up leaving during our second transfer together and not coming back. I struggled to understand the words of my blessing, but learned a great lesson about the agency of others. All I could do was my best, trust that the Lord would take care of her, and know that she did stay on her mission a little while longer due to my blessing. I know Heavenly Father loves me and is always there to cheer me on. He will help us in our times of need by sending us ministering angels, or in my case, a ministering marble.
78: Living on the Edge When I was in high school I had a really good friend named Steve Clark. He was the friend that I used to go and do crazy stuff with. We went rock-climbing and mountain biking and we always liked to worry our mothers as much as we could by our choices in recreation. In spite of our search for the next adrenaline rush we were always very careful to do things as safely as possible. Neither of us had any real self destructive desires, but metaphorically, we liked to live life on the edge while we were tethered to a safety harness. One day Steve had the crazy idea that we should climb some radio towers near his house. They were your standard towers with the big red blinking lights on them to keep planes from crashing into them. The first thing we had to do was to figure out how tall they were. Steve and I were both a couple of ex-mathletes and so we used some basic trigonometry to figure out how tall the towers were. With the help of some make shift surveying equipment that we constructed with a hollow tube, a plumb-bob, and a protractor, we measured the distance from the tower to a spot in the field where it was located, determined the angle of incidence from our spot to the top of the tower and used some basic trigonometry to figure out that it was almost 300 feet tall. | Bobby Larson
79: Next, we got into our box of climbing gear and rigged a system of double clips onto our rock climbing harnesses so that we could clip into the support struts on the tower. We could climb a short distance, unclasp the clip below us, and continue on so that we would never have to worry about falling to our deaths. When we reached the top of the tower our plan was to use ropes to repel from the top in order to save time and energy. After making our plans, they were put on the back-burner for a little while. Calculus homework caught up with us and the night to actually make the ascent was pushed back closer and closer to the winter. We finally picked a night to do it and we decided that there was no backing down; we had committed ourselves to making the attempt on the third weekend in October. The fateful night arrived, so we readied our gear and drove to the field where the tower was located. When we parked the car, a light snow had just begun to fall. We hoofed it to the tower and began the climb. It turned out to be much more tiring then we first expected. Imagine climbing a 300 foot tall ladder, but none of the rungs are horizontal, instead they all angle up or down about 45 degrees. My arms grew more and more tired as the snow began to fall faster and the wind blew harder and harder. Still, we pressed on spurred by our teenage ambitions of accomplishing crazy stunts and living to tell the story to our friends. By the time we reached the top I was freezing cold and my arms were absolutely exhausted. Steve seemed like he was in slightly better spirits, but we were both very ready to get back down out of the wind and the snow. The tower swayed back and forth as it was buffeted by the wind and we hung their on our precarious perch from the short clips attached to our climbing harnesses. We readied the repel and Steve started down the ropes first. By this time the snow was really coming down and the wind was blowing hard and it did not take very long before Steve was out of sight and earshot from me. When he reached the bottom of the rope, he yelled up to me at the top of his lungs that it was my turn.
80: Through the swirling snow and howling wind I could barely hear him. I grabbed the rope and started to thread it through my ATC so I could safely repel downward. When Steve repelled he hooked into the rope before dropping it downward. Now that the rope was dangling with its full length exposed to the wind, it felt like someone had tied a bag of cement on the end of it and so lifting it enough to thread it through the proper equipment became incredibly difficult. My tired cold arms could barely lift it and it seemed like no matter how hard I tried I could not get properly hooked in. Finally, after what seemed like a short eternity I succeeded in threading the rope through and started my repel downward. I am sure if Steve had been able to warn me he would have told me how interesting that repel would be. Like a spider on the end of a piece of its silk being blown in the wind, I repelled down the rope. At times I would be blown completely away from the tower, pulled off into the void of swirling white flakes. Eventually gravity would bring me back to a secure hold and when I finally made it to the bottom Steve was there to pull me back in. Thankfully, we made it safely to the ground. We packed up our gear and headed home. Mom was sleeping on the couch waiting for me to get home. It was always nice to see her there and know that she worried and cared about me. The experience taught me a very important lesson. When I was young, I thought I was invincible. I thought I could do anything without worrying about the consequences. I made big plans and thought that I could plan for all of the possibilities. Sometimes life will throw you a curve ball. It is impossible to plan for everything. If you live life on the edge you may think that you are in control, but eventually something will happen that will take you off guard, it always does and when those things happen in your life it is much better to be standing on solid ground than to be three hundred feet off the ground getting buffeted by the winds of adversity. Thankfully, my teenage rebelliousness only involved risking my life and not my soul. Many of my friends, who experimented with alcohol, spent too much time alone with their girlfriends, and other spiritually risky behavior ended up getting into serious trouble. They thought they were under control but things happened that they could not control and it led them to destruction. Live life on solid ground where you can easily find shelter and hold fast to the iron rod. If you like to let go to experience the mists of darkness, eventually you are not going to be able to find your way back.
81: My sister, Sara, and I went to East Moline Christian School in Illinois for my ninth and tenth grade years. In preparation for 11th grade, I started volleyball practice and eagerly waited to be named team captain that year. One day, I came home from practice and my mother was comforting Sara as she was in tears. She didn’t want to go to back to school, because our beliefs were different than the Baptists’. My mother declared that we were either both going to attend EMC or we were both going to be homeschooled. I was not a fan of this decision as I wanted to go to school and play volleyball, and Sara wanted to be homeschooled. However, my mom stated that I was going to make the decision and that I needed to consult the Lord in prayer. I could have shrugged off the request and just gone with what I wanted, but I thought I would give it a try. After about two weeks, I slowly experienced a change of heart. I told my mom that we would start homeschooling and she requested that I tell my peers, my school administration, and my volleyball coach. Everyone wondered why, and truthfully I wasn’t sure why, but I knew I needed to withdraw. With every person I talked to, I was asked if I would change my mind, but I knew I needed to be unwavering. It was a difficult decision. I experienced true hardships, but I learned so much. In hindsight, I see the Lord’s hand in this decision and how this simple decision led to so many extraordinary experiences in my life. Within six months of my withdrawal, I began to work and save for college. Then, I was asked to serve a temporary full-time mission (served one transfer in Mattoon, Illinois, the Peoria, Illinois Mission) with Sister Mindy Couch. I was also diligent and finished my 11th and 12th grade material in one year and left for college early. This lead me to meet wonderful people and become roommates with my friends at Aspen Village. That was where I eventually met Bobby, my greatest and most favorite blessing from the Lord. I am sure that I would have been happy and life would have been okay, but I see that my life is so much greater because I listened to my loving Heavenly Father. | Kristen Newby Larson
82: “Let’s just walk a little ways up the street,” I said to my companion. It was summertime in Peoria, Arizona which is near Phoenix. My companion, Elder Rigby, and I, Elder Atkison, had just knocked on the door to the home of a young woman with whom we had set an appointment to teach the gospel. It was late at night and not a flicker of light emerged from the house. Our fears of no one being home were realized after knocking and no one answering the door. That’s when the idea came. Normally, we didn’t “tract” or knock on people's doors late at night, around 9:00pm, but I had the thought to walk down the street we were on and speak with people there, though we had no idea with whom exactly. As we began our walk away from the abandoned house, we saw some people working outside of their home - not an uncommon practice since the nights in Arizona were bearable while the days were so hot. “Certainly these are the people we are supposed to talk to,” I thought to myself. However, after a short conversation the small group showed disinterest and went inside. We crossed the road and continued to walk, without a single soul in sight. A few short steps later, Elder Rigby and I stopped. We looked around, looked at each other, and then cast our eyes towards the house we were in front of. The lights we saw on inside were a promising sign of someone being inside. To my surprise, we had both stopped at the exact same time, perfectly in front of the sidewalk leading up to the home in which the lights were on. “It couldn’t hurt,” we thought, and made the short trek up to the door. | Trevor Atkison | Lead by the Spirit
83: The man who answered the door had a surprisingly welcomed look on his face, and somewhat excitedly said, “Oh, hey, hold on just a second, my son wants to talk to you!” It was at that moment that I recognized him. Just weeks before, while shopping with a different companion, I had met this man in the grocery store. Those few weeks before in the store, I heard someone behind me mumble something about missionaries. I turned around and the man mentioned above happily said, “Oh, I’m just kidding.” Since I had no idea what he said, I smiled and agreed. He introduced himself as a Mr. Shumway, who apparently was familiar with some teachings of our church. After listening to him explaining a bit about himself, I was baffled as I heard him tell us he wasn’t living the Word of Wisdom and then say, “That’s ok, the Telestial kingdom is good enough for me and my family.” I can’t remember what I said, but I do remember thinking to myself in amazement, “Is this man serious?! What do I say to him?” I don’t remember what I said, but my companions and I parted ways with the thought that we had just witnessed something totally out of the ordinary, and that we would probably never run into this “Telestial” man again. One can imagine the surprise I had when the man who answered the door that we were led to that night in Peoria, was he! What added to the surprise was the fact that his son apparently wanted to speak with us. His son came to the door and before we knew it we were sitting down with him inside the Shumway home. Mr. Shumway’s son, Matthew Shumway explained to us that his father had taught him a lot about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, and he wanted to learn more. All the while he spoke while holding a full set of well-worn LDS edition scriptures in hand, with many verses within those scriptures highlighted in red. Still full of wonder and awe, we began to teach him things he had probably already heard from his father, truths which he readily accepted. For the next four weeks we helped him come to a true understanding of spiritual principles he had heard from a father who had somehow come in contact with the church in his life. After these four weeks it was time for me to return home to Great Falls, MT. Before leaving, Matt and I exchanged email addresses to keep in contact. Within a couple months, I received a precious email which is quoted below.
84: “Hey, Elder Atkison! This is Matthew Shumway. I was the boy you met a little before you left for home. Just wanted to let you know that I've been going to church faithfully, and have even given a Testimony! I'm even close to Baptism. Thank you for everything, Elder. Thank you. May God Almighty give you many blessings for bringing Him into my life. -Matthew Shumway” He later informed me that he was baptized into the church. My family and I traveled to Arizona seven months after I had returned home. That Sunday, we attended sacrament meeting in the Peoria Ward where I was serving when I met Matt. As if my joy could not be more full at his baptism, as we sat in that meeting I cast my eyes up towards the sacrament table and saw none other than Matthew Shumway, now ordained a priest in the Aaronic priesthood, blessing the bread and water before the sacrament was passed to the congregation. My heart was full, and my eyes were wet as I reflected on the past. Because one girl was not home for a scheduled appointment, and two missionaries were willing to follow the Holy Ghost to “just walk a little ways up the street,” Heavenly Father brought to pass a miracle in the lives of all those involved. Mr. Shumway even bore his testimony the same day his son did in church, after which they shared a tender embrace with tears of joy. I know that Heavenly Father knows our needs, and he cares about His children enough to send His servants to them when they are prepared to receive the gospel. I know Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I know that Joseph Smith did see God, the Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that they, through Joseph Smith, restored the gospel of Jesus Christ, which brings greater joy than we can even comprehend. He lives and this is all true. I know it.
85: Martin's Cove Trek Experience One of my fondest memories comes from a youth conference to Martin's Cove. It was one of those moments where you feel that the heavens have opened and might just swallow you up. Our stake had decided that for youth conference we would trek at Martin's Cove in Wyoming. We had spent a few wonderful days there already that I can see prepared me for such a sweet experience as what I will share. President Peck had given a blessing to those of us sitting at the devotional at the head of the trail to Martin's Cove. He had promised great trials and blessings from the Lord in our lives, and despite how tired we felt from the week, those sitting in that natural temple felt the energy of the spirit. With that spirit in our hearts we walked up the trail to the dedicated site of the cove. Most were silent as they pondered on the trials of those early Saints and their own lives. There was an incredible peace and beauty about that place where so many had sacrificed their lives for the kingdom of God. I was so grateful to be there with a few members of my family; my mom, dad, and brother Bruce. There was an area where you could sit and I stood there next to Bruce as one by one many started to walk back down the hill. It was wonderful to reflect and think about my family and how blessed we were because of the gospel in our lives. I finally, reluctantly, decided to walk down the hill but being one of the last I was by myself. I continued to ponder and felt a great desire to begin singing. As I did a light rain began to come down and I felt a great renewal as if the rain was washing and purifying me. I continued to sing to myself and soon my tears joined the rain on my cheeks as I felt an incredible joy and hope. I knew that Heavenly Father was strengthening me and showing me His love and I felt the spirit of the Lord burning within me. I know that our Savior lives and loves each of us dearly. This experience has been a strength to me when my hope or faith have grown weak. I have had many more experiences that have built upon this one to give me strength for the unknown trials that lie ahead. | Jeana Atkison (Larson)
86: I was born into a family that lives the Gospel. Every member of my family is a member of the church, and my parents taught me at a young age to go to church every Sunday. They taught me to serve others and to trust in the Lord. As a young boy I loved being LDS, but as I got older I lost interest in the Church. I still went every Sunday and to Mutual every Tuesday, but not because I wanted, but because my parents told me to , and more often than not I slept in church. I was living off the testimony of my parents; I was living on borrowed light. Growing up I had always done sleep-overs with my friends at the end of the week, and during the week I got home early. However, in 10th grade I started staying out later with my friends the whole week. Almost all of my friends were members, but the ones I hung out with the most were like me, they didn't have testimonies, and had fallen into doing bad things. When I started hanging out with them more, I too fell away. Little by little, I strayed until my friends and I decided to steal a paintball gun. We almost made it, but in the end they caught us and put us all in a room while they thought about what to do with us. They told us to call our parents and go home and that we would receive a phone call soon to state our charges and court date. In this moment of shame and guilt, I finally realized how far I had fallen, and finally remembered what I had learned in all of the years that I had gone to church. Through Jesus Christ I could repent and free myself of the burden of my sins and feelings of shame. Luckily, my parents were there to help me. They never scolded me for what I had done, they only told me what I had to do and bathed me in their love. The process of repentance was very long, very difficult, and very painful, but for the first time in a long time I was able to feel God's love for me. We got off very easy, we were put onto a program called Diversion, and if we completed it, we wouldn't have anything on our record - a second chance. God had been at my side the whole time, waiting for me with arms open to come back to Him. I know this church is true, that we have the authority of God and that through Jesus Christ, we can live in peace and joy if we apply His Atonement to our lives. | Bruce Larson | When I Gained my Testimony
87: Christmas Necklaces Her name was Anna. Anna Pollard. She was one of those people that the first thought that enters your mind when you meet her was that she had had a hard life. She looked older than she was. Smoking has a way of taking that kind of toll on the body. She worked in the kitchen at the Mount Lebanon Elementary School. She looked too old to still be working and she acted too old to still be working. She was grumpy and ornery. Mt. Lebanon Elementary school was located in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, right next to a very old cemetery. Cemeteries in the eastern United States are much older than in the western part of the country. Mt. Lebanon housed grades K – 3 and the cemetery was most often visited by the smoking staff of Mt. Lebanon on their breaks, since smoking was banned from the school. As I helped or substitute taught at the school, I noticed the smoking visitors to the cemetery and Anna Pollard was counted among their numbers. My family had the opportunity to step out of our western life and live in New Hampshire for about two years from August 2005 – July 2007. It was a great adventure and certainly a learning experience I will always cherish. Our ward covered quite a large geographical area taking in many of the small towns including Lebanon, West Lebanon , and Hanover in New Hampshire as well as across the Connecticut River into Vermont. Our building was in Enfield. One of the biggest boosts to our ward membership was the large amount of medical students and their families that were attending Dartmouth College medical school or doing residencies at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. We were welcomed with open arms. They were so happy to have a family with children older than Primary age. | Pamela Roberts (Lind)
88: I was called to be the Nursery leader when we first moved there. About six months later, I was called as a counselor in the Primary presidency. The ward was a good size and had a nice building to meet in. In November of 2006, we received word that the ward would be split. The bishop called me in and asked if I would serve as Relief Society president, despite the fact that we weren’t going to be staying in New Hampshire for very much longer. I accepted the calling. I was scared to death. I had always been a Primary person. Now working with adults was an overwhelming thought. I hadn’t lived there long enough to really know the sisters, but I figured I would try my best. One thing I had loved to do over the years was to make painted necklaces for the holidays. They were rather unique and a person would either love them or wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Each necklace had 3 wooden pieces that I designed, cut, painted, and then strung on rattail ribbon with other beads. They were time intensive to make, but I loved to give them away and I got a thrill out of seeing them worn. I decided that New Hampshire was a good place to do a little missionary work by giving necklaces away to my neighbors and the teachers where my children attended school. The problem came in that I had left my woodworking equipment in Utah. On a couple of occasions, I called my dad and said, “Hey Dad, how would you like to do a little missionary work?” He was always game, bless his heart, and he would cut, sand, drill, and mail me my wooden pieces. Mom would scout for beads and cellophane bags for me to include in the shipment. I had Dad send me pieces for seventy Christmas necklaces just before I was called to be Relief Society president. Each necklace had a gingerbread boy piece and two hearts that were painted lacy with holly in the middle. I wasn’t finished with the necklaces and worried that I shouldn’t spend the time to finish them, because there was so much that I needed to do for my new calling. I was a little in shock with the new calling, but knew that the necklaces had always been good therapy for me when I was feeling stressed or down. I finished the necklaces.
89: I would put each necklace in a little cellophane bag and tie it with curling ribbon. It was so fun to give them away. Everyone I gave one to was delighted. It looked like I had decorated most of the school. The last morning I delivered necklaces, I realized I had one left. I asked Heavenly Father who needed that necklace. The image of Anna’s face came to my mind. I didn’t even know her name. I thought that she probably wouldn’t like one because she was so grumpy but I decided that if the opportunity presented itself, I would give one to her. I was helping in Emily’s class that morning to make some Christmas project. On my way into Emily’s class I walked down the other hall and peeked in the gym to see if I could get to the kitchen. The gym was full of a class doing P.E. so I thought I would try again on my way out. After helping the first graders that morning, I headed back to my van. I stopped by the gym again, and again I still couldn’t get to the kitchen. I decided I must have made the whole thing up and that it wasn’t really meant to be, so I headed for my van. Just as I got to my van, I looked up and saw Anna heading back to the school from the cemetery where she had taken a break. I walked over to her and said, “I have something for you. Merry Christmas! Have a great day!” and handed her the little package. It was the first time I had seen her smile. She thanked me and went inside. I felt good that I had made the connection. I hopped in my van and didn’t really think about it again. A few evenings later, I was in Enfield sitting in the chapel. The primary children were all getting ready to put on a nativity scene for our Christmas program that evening, so I had to arrive early so my girls could participate. I was enjoying a few minutes of sitting in a quiet chapel (and not being in charge). I heard the chapel door open and looked back to see the sister missionaries enter with an older couple.
90: I had to do a double take. I couldn’t believe it, but the woman was none other than Anna, the cook from Mt. Lebanon. I hurried over to greet her and give her a hug. She looked radiant. I was so excited to see her. Come to find out, the missionaries had found Anna and her husband when they were going through the records of missing and inactive members. They invited Anna and her husband to come to the Christmas program at the church. Anna said to me that night, “We can always tell each other can’t we?” Meaning that she thought I recognized her as a member of the Church. The truth of the matter was that I couldn’t always tell, but Heavenly Father knows who we are. I felt guided to find a member of my unknown “flock” that day at school because Heavenly Father knew Anna needed found and I needed some help to know the sisters I had a stewardship over. Anna became a precious friend to me while I lived in New Hampshire. I learned so much about her. She was a wonderful person. She had been a champion roller skater in her day. She had to get up at 4 a.m. each morning to make lunch for all the school children with little help and little pay and not the greatest health. I often think of her and how that experience strengthened my testimony. The Lord hears and answers prayers. He knows each of us and loves us. He will help us in our assignments and He will utilize even our quirkiest talents. (If retelling this story, please change Anna's name.)
91: A long time ago when I was a little girl of four years old, my father worked for the Federal Government designing and building bridges and freeways for the new interstate system. We lived in Boise, Idaho. That year – about 1968 – my father had a chance to go to Washington D.C. for training for about six weeks. My parents liked to travel and decided to take the whole family. We loaded everyone and everything we would need into our station wagon. It was a tight fit with six kids but we didn’t worry about seat belts back then and station wagons can hold a lot of stuff if you are willing to stack things and people up a bit. It took us about a week to drive to Washington D.C. and when we got there, we moved into an apartment in Virginia and enrolled my older siblings in school. I don’t remember too much about all of the great things my parents took us to see while we were there because I was so little, but one experience has always stood out clearly for me. My parents insisted that we attend church regularly as if we were at home. The building, which I can still see in my mind’s eye, was a tall red brick building with a long sidewalk up to the front door. Primary met after school once a week and Mom would take us each week. One primary day, the chorister said that we were going to learn a new song. She began to teach us that song. It told about hearing birds sing, walking by lilac bushes, and feeling rain fall. It testified that these blessings showed how much our Heavenly Father loved us. It went on to tell of blessings of our ears, eyes, and lives and then testified of Heavenly Father again. I think that was probably the first time I felt the Holy Ghost. I thought that I had never heard anything so beautiful and each week I tried to make sure I learned the words right because I knew we didn’t have that beautiful song in my Primary in Boise. I was afraid I would never hear it again if I didn’t learn it. When my father’s work was done in Washington, D.C., we loaded everyone back in the station wagon plus a few souvenirs and drove a week until we got home to Boise. Everyone went back to school and to Primary of course. That first week back to Primary, I was a little sad about my beautiful song that I had to leave behind on the East Coast. We had Opening Exercises and I sat there thinking that Primary just wouldn’t be as good in Boise. Then, it was time for singing. The chorister said, “I think we will practice the new song we have been learning.” Can you imagine my surprise when the new song was my beautiful song that I left behind. That experience was one of the foundations of my testimony. I learned not only the messages that the song taught that the beauty of the earth and our bodies are witnesses of Heavenly Father’s love, but I learned that my Heavenly Father loves all of his children no matter where they are in this world and is aware of their needs. The song was “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” and is still one of my favorite songs. | My Heavenly Father Loves Me | Pamela Roberts
92: Prayer helps me find the focus necessary to live my life, to pinpoint the places in which I need to improve, to find the places I need help. Not only does it help to find these things, but it helps to make these things happen, to get the help I need, to provide me calm when I may feel a storm coming, to give me peace when I need peace. Prayer is a beautiful comfort, and it is an amazing blessing in my life to be able to communicate with my Creator in such a personal, and meaningful way. When I feel my prayers have been answered - even my small, mundane ones - I feel loved. It is a terrible thing to deny ourselves this connection, and to allow it to be lost. Not coincidentally, it seems terribly easy to be lost when we do not communicate with our Heavenly Father. I know that prayer helps me every day, and I know that it will always help me. These words are not terribly exciting, and I'm sure they do not rivet you to your seat (which is probably a relief!), but I know that prayer helps us be better people, and to accomplish what we need to accomplish in this life. I hope and pray that you use prayer to bless your life, as prayer surely has blessed mine. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. | David Roberts | Prayer | I would like to say a little something about the power of prayer. I feel I have a testimony of prayer, although it is not a completely exciting tale; overall it is probably pretty mundane. However, much of life isn't just tragedy after tragedy, it is dealing with the minute, the mundane, so the mundane is important.
93: There is a saying that says God is in the details. I think this is definitely true because God tells me he loves me in a lot of very small ways. Once I had to go meet with someone that I didn't want to, but needed to. I knew that this meeting was going to break my heart. In a prayer, I likened my heart to a baby duck, and going to this meeting was like putting it in the middle of a road where I knew a truck was going to run over it. I was very upset, and very frightened. I told God that I didn't want the duck to die, I wanted it to live. It seemed to me that it was too young to die. I didn't think much about this random insignificant metaphor I conjured at the time. I was just venting. But, the next day while I was crossing campus, I noticed something moving in the middle of my path. It was a baby duck. I'd never seen one on campus before, and I never have again. The duck walked around in the middle of the road for a second, and then it flew away. Seeing this gave me the strength to make it through the meeting. The meeting shattered my heart even worse than I thought it would, but that moment on the road made me feel loved completely by God. I felt like my prayer was definitely heard, and that I would be alright one day. When I think back on that little insignificant duck on the road, I find comfort where I normally wouldn't be able to find any. These tiny, tiny things are the way that God speaks to me, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know he's there through all the little things. | The Little Things | Janae Roberts
94: A Miraculous Healing Suzie my dog, whom I love dearly, was very sick. We thought she was going to die. I was extremely upset and prayed all the time. That Sunday I was being set apart into the Mia Maids Presidency. Through the whole blessing, I prayed that my little Suziebear would be okay. I didn’t hear anything in the blessing except that my righteous desire will be fulfilled. I knew as soon as they said that, she was going to be okay. I spent the rest of the blessing thanking God. When we got home from church Suzie was almost completely better. She had stopped throwing up, she could eat and drink, she wasn’t dehydrated, and she was running around! By the next day she was completely healed. In about twenty-four hours she went from death to very healthy. Heavenly father answered my prayers. | Gift of Tongues After being in Argentina on my mission approximately one month, I was given the opportunity to confirm an elderly lady, Sister Gomez, who we had been teaching. My language skills were rudimentary, but I still agreed to do it. After I confirmed her and gave her the Holy Ghost, I proceeded to give her a blessing in Spanish. Words flowed and what I said really touched her. Afterwards she remarked on how well I spoke Spanish and how beautiful the blessing was that I gave her. This is an example of the Lord blessing us with the gift of tongues. | Holly Kaye Roberts | Mark Roberts
95: Some things I still have a hard time grasping, like the fact that a kid my age went into a forest and saw God. I've had a lot of experiences with God. First of all, whenever I lose something, as soon as I ask him to help me, I find it. Second, when I'm sad he sends someone to give me a hug. And third, if I'm hungry he literally gives me a rodeo cheeseburger. See, but that isn't even all of it, those are just the recent things. One of my best friends had surgery the other day and it scared me. I didn't want her to be hurt and the whole day I was freaking out. I was afraid the surgery wouldn't go well, and it really truly scared me, but as soon as I thought, God would never do that to her, I got a text message saying she was okay. This gospel gives me the strength to go on in life. There is nothing in the world as important as knowing that you are never alone, and will never be alone. I love my Heavenly Father. Last week I went to my second annual Anime Convention. It was one of the best experiences ever. Why? Because there was so much love there. As soon as you walked in, you were hugged and people told you you were beautiful, and they complimented your outfits, and laughed and giggled with you until you were so full you thought you would burst. That's what I think heaven will be like. A place where everyone is welcome, and there is so much love that you get a million hugs a day. | Heidi Roberts | Anime, Cheeseburgers, and Heaven | I love the gospel, and it isn't one of those half hearted loves.’ There are reasons I love this church, and these are a few of them. 1. I love Heavenly Father. 2. I love Jesus. 3. It makes sense. 4. It's kind of like magic.
96: I had a Primary teacher who was really fun and played games and stuff. His name was Brother Marshall. They found out that he had really bad lung cancer even though he had never smoked. They said he wouldn't stay alive very long. So I made my whole family pray for him and he started to get better. Even though he is not very healthy, he has been alive for 4 years now. I believe it was because of our prayers that he didn't die. | Emily Roberts
97: Some Spiritual Experiences From My Life In my life, I have learned that the Holy Ghost whispers the faintest impressions to me to act and gives direction that is distinct but very subtle. I have learned to distinguish those impressions from my own idea. I have learned that when I act on them, that I am blessed. The impressions that come from the Holy Ghost are unique and like feelings of a different shade or color, they stand out as they are introduced into one’s mind and heart. They often fade quickly and must be recorded quickly and acted upon. As we do so, God blesses us and we also receive more guidance in our lives. I usually keep notepad and pen handy by my bed and in my office to record ideas when they come. A recent example occurred at work. I have been working on a significant project for my department in evaluating some very expensive software for purchase. After a several month process, a decision was made, which was confirmed in prayer and supported unanimously by the several persons involved in making the recommendation. I felt impressed to begin work on scheduling training classes in order to proceed with deploying the software as soon as possible. In making arrangements, I discovered that classes were available just ten days in the future in Austin, Texas, but if these dates were not made, then the training would be delayed by about six weeks. I felt it important to proceed now, so permission was sought and obtained. After obtaining permission, I found that one of the two classes in Austin was now full. After looking again, two classes were available the same dates in Houston, Texas, and a third was available in San Francisco instead of New Jersey for ten days later. Arrangements were made to enroll in these classes. After enrolling, the thought occurred to me that my father’s brother lives very close to Houston. I had not seen my uncle Jerry in about six years and had never been able to visit his home in Texas. I felt the Lord’s hand in this. I contacted my uncle and received an invitation to visit his family on Wednesday night of the week I was to be in Houston. Conveniently, I was scheduled to drive a colleague to the airport late in the afternoon on Wednesday, taking me in the direction of my uncle’s home. That evening, we had a wonderful visit with my uncle, aunt, and their three daughters whom I saw regularly while growing up. We talked about many things, including some stories about my father that I did not know. I felt a renewal of our relationship for a future purpose and many memories of the past were revived. Converted to the Gospel As a young man of 20 years, I was not a member of any church and did not have any religious beliefs. I struggled to find direction in my life and experienced periods of great depression. At one point, I decided that I should try to make something better of my life and committed myself to doing so. Shortly afterwards I met Loren Wiseman. In an effort to earn money, I had been recruited by an acquaintance to sell home care products. Loren was my friend’s sponsor in this business. Loren assisted me in learning about the business and encouraged me. At this period of my life, I was living at home with my step-father, who had recently completed a divorce from my mother. I had stopped my studies in school, and he now had a large alimony payment to make. He explained that I could no longer live rent free at home, and I could not afford the rent he wanted to charge me. As I began to look for places to live, I settled on two different areas, Concord, and Hayward (in California), both a significant distance from each other. For some reason, I felt I should move to the Hayward area, which was not far from where Loren lived. After looking in both areas, I moved to Hayward, renting a room in a house. Loren and his wife befriended me. They were members of the Church and extended their friendship to me, inviting me into their home for dinner. They eventually invited me to attend church with them, and later, invited me to meet with the missionaries in their home. As they extended these invitations to me, I sometimes felt nervous, but felt good about accepting their invitations. I later recognized that God’s hand was in these things. | Steve Whitehouse
98: When they invited me to meet with the missionaries, I was not sure of myself. I felt a desire to learn the truth and wondered if I could be true to myself and not allow pressure or undue influence to persuade me to follow something I did not believe. I felt I could and that I should meet with the missionaries and listen to them. As I met with them, they taught me about the nature of God, that He is a personal God and that He is our Heavenly Father. They taught me about Joseph Smith’s First Vision. I felt a spiritual awakening as I reflected on the new idea that we were literally children of a personal God who created us in his own image. This was a new idea and awakened in me a sense of personal responsibility for all my choices. I continued to learn from the missionaries, Elder Lloyd and Elder MacDonald. I began to read the Book of Mormon and to pray. One day, while reading the Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost came upon me and I was overcome. I felt the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and of the existence of Jesus Christ. The experience I had had was undeniable. I had never experienced anything like it before. I believe this experience happened because I was trying to learn the truth. Later, the missionaries invited me to be baptized. This was more difficult—it was a scary prospect. They invited me to pray. I felt an answer to my prayer, that I should be baptized. But when asked by the missionaries, I told them I had to think about it. They asked me to pray again. I did. This time, no feeling came. Just a thought came to me, “I already told you what you should do. Why are you asking again?” The next time the missionaries asked me to be baptized, I agreed. So I was baptized on November 21, 1982. Preparation for a Mission As my heart awoke to the light of the gospel and the promised blessings of the atonement of Jesus Christ, I recognized our utter dependence on the Savior Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins. I felt a great desire for all who did not know Christ to learn of him and of his gospel. I felt a desire to serve a mission and to share the gospel with those who had not received it. I set this in my heart foremost and committed myself to serve a mission. As I was living on my own at that time, and had only some college studies completed, this became a difficult task. My living expenses took all of my income; in fact my employment situation was not very stable. I was able to find some better work not too long after my baptism. I kept working, and became very active in the church and received the Aaronic Priesthood. I began attending young single adult activities, ward activities and Institute classes. I received a calling and became a home teacher, received my patriarchal blessing, and after a year, received the Melchizedek priesthood. I was able to go to the temple and perform baptisms for the dead. My testimony and knowledge of the gospel continued to grow rapidly. I read in the Book of Mormon consistently. I moved and found roommates who were members of the Church who strengthened me and encouraged me. But things were difficult financially. During this period, my father, whom I had not talked to in several years contacted me. He had stopped drinking and started changing his life. I told him about joining the church and my desire to serve a mission. As time passed, he asked me why I did not leave on a mission. I explained that I was unable to save money to do so. He invited me to come and stay with him and work with him so I could save money more readily. I agreed to do so, and about 20 months after my baptism, I moved to Florida to live and work with my father. In the changes that happened in my life, God was shaping and guiding my life. There were many times that I felt the Spirit during this period of my life. One particular experience was a young adult activity. We had been asked to clean the kitchen at the local bishop’s storehouse and cannery. I don’t remember why, but it was very dirty. Our usual activities were some kind of recreation. There was a large group of young adults, and we worked hard together. I remember feeling wonderful during and after the activity. We were giving service and that service sanctified us.
99: It was a great blessing for me in many ways to go and live with my father. I learned many lessons about life during that time. I learned many useful skills as I worked with him on building houses. He had a small business building homes for sale. He would build three or four small homes each year. Besides learning about constructing and finishing homes, I also learned a lot of patience and endurance. I remember one home we built that had pine tongue and groove paneling in the living area downstairs. There must have been 800 square feet of room paneled on the walls and the ceiling. It had to have stain and several coats of sealer applied. I still remember the sealer running down my fingers and wrists as I stood on a ladder to paint that ceiling and how it crusted on my hands and cracked my skin. It was a trial of endurance to finish that job. Unfortunately my father had a bit of a temper and was frequently angry. That too was a period of testing and endurance. I had to learn patience and submissiveness to endure his weaknesses. He was also trying to stop smoking. We lived together in a one bedroom apartment which became very small when he smoked. I learned many skills during this time, including the basics of framing and deck building. I helped my father build several decks including a fairly large deck on one home. As time passed, I was able to save some money towards my mission. My father also promised to help pay for my mission if I was unable to earn all the money needed. During this time I maintained contact with a friend in California who had befriended me after I joined the church. He had been a guest speaker at a young adult fireside and we became acquainted after his talk. He had a desire to build a deck on to his large, expensive home in California. He asked if I could come to California before leaving on my mission to build this deck for him. I felt hesitant and unsure of myself, but also felt it would be a way to earn a lot of money to help finance my mission. I asked him to send me the plans so I could discuss it with my father. I felt I should pursue this project and sought to do so. It was a large project, about a 1500 square foot deck. I did not have the experience to realize just how large a project this was. When the plans came, they looked confusing and strange to me, as I did not have much experience reading blueprints. My dad reviewed them with me and helped me to understand them. I was nervous, but felt I should proceed. I told my friend Steve Olsen that I would be able to come and build his deck for him. Temple Blessings and a Mission Call About November of 1984, I began to talk to my bishop about my mission. I was very active in missionary work and would often go with the full-time missionaries as they taught non-members the missionary discussions. Pensacola, Florida was a very spread out community and the missionaries needed rides. So I was often called to take them places and got to help them teach. I greatly enjoyed this and felt the spirit of missionary work and was more and more excited about serving a mission. My mother invited me to come and visit her in West Virginia. She lived about an hour’s drive from the Washington DC Temple. I thought about the temple and my upcoming mission. I had not completed my mission papers, but was leaving soon to fly to West Virginia. My patriarchal blessing made a promise that I would be able to claim for myself the blessings of the temple. Normally, a temple recommend was not given to young men until after they had received their mission call. I felt impressed, however, because of the wording of my patriarchal blessing to ask my bishop if I could have a temple recommend before I completed my mission papers so I could receive my endowments when going to West Virginia. He discussed it with the stake president, and permission was given. Arrangements were made for me to attend the Washington DC temple on December 21, 1984, the day before it was to close for Christmas. I was to fly to Washington Dulles airport the day before on December 20th. On the day of my flight, my father drove me to the Pensacola airport. As we arrived, we found that fog had descended on the city and all the flights were grounded. The fog was too heavy for planes to be able to takeoff. I was told that they were monitoring the situation. As I waited for news, I prayed to the Lord to ask his blessing that I might be able to get to Washington that day. I realized that this was the holiday travel season and if the flight were cancelled,
100: I probably would not be able to go to the temple as it would be closed for the Christmas season. After a while, it was announced that we could board the plane. Finally, the fog started to clear and we were able to depart. I had to change planes at Atlanta. I was concerned that I would miss my connecting flight due to the delay in leaving Pensacola. After arriving at the Atlanta airport, I ran through the terminal and was able to make my flight just as it was ready to leave. The next day my mother drove me to the Washington D.C. temple. As she was not a member of the Church, she could not attend the temple with me. She dropped me off at the temple and agreed to return later to pick me up. I walked alone into the beautiful Washington D.C. temple. I was nervous, even scared at being alone. I did not have an escort, nor know what to expect about the experience. As I went into the changing room to change into temple clothing, a brother was assigned to me to be my escort. Another young man was also receiving his endowments. His friend, a recently returned missionary from the Oakland, California mission was his escort. As I recognized Elder Scott Smith, a missionary whom I knew from my ward in California, I was filled with joy. He was a friend and a familiar face. He hugged me and I felt the Savior’s love for me and as though I were in the Savior’s embrace. I no longer felt alone, but felt as though the Lord was watching over me, that he knew me and loved me. When I talked to my father later, I learned that my flight was the only flight to leave Pensacola that day due to the foggy weather. I felt my prayers had indeed been answered. After returning to Florida, I learned that the First Presidency had announced that the length of missionary service for young men would now be twenty-four months instead of eighteen months. As a result, I would have the privilege of serving for a full two years. There were a couple of other young men that I knew in the stake who were also preparing to serve their missions at that time and submitted their mission papers. One of them, a friend named Jason Lanning, received his call about a month before I did, to the Belgium Brussels mission. After completing my papers, the bishop advised it would probably take about two weeks for the mission call to come in the mail. I remember beginning to check the mailbox anxiously just a few days later. I remember when my call came, I was working and my father brought me the envelope immediately after he picked up the mail from the post office. I sat down with wonder and awe and opened the letter and read that I had been called to serve for two years in the Belgium Brussels mission and would be speaking French. I was amazed and excited. I knew French; I had studied it for five years. I was not exactly sure where Belgium was, but I had a friend who had just been called to the same mission. I felt the Lord’s hand in this. I wondered about Belgium, what it was like, where it was exactly and what it would be like to be a missionary there. I began to make final plans for leaving on my mission, about three months in the future. I was to enter the MTC on April 25, 1985 and had many things to do to be ready to enter the MTC. Building a Deck I contacted my friend Steve Olsen and told him about my mission call and also my desire to keep my promise to come to California and build his deck. I really felt I needed that money to help pay for my mission. My father had promised to help me, but I also had to provide money for the MTC portion of my mission and for buying clothing and other supplies needed. This amounted to thousands of dollars. Steve and I worked out an agreement for me to be paid $3000 to build the deck. I think he was nervous about my ability to complete it. However, he was positive and encouraged me to come to California to work on the project. I completed my preparations and worked on a plan to drive to California. I had a 1977 Chevy LUV mini pickup truck which I had bought. My dad helped me fix it up and paint it, including rebuilding the engine. It was quite a project and I learned a lot from doing that. I did a lot of mechanic work on that truck. I remember one day driving down the road and the rear wheels locked up at about 30 miles an hour. One of the teeth on the rear transaxle broke and the gears froze. I had to replace it with a used one from the wrecking yard. There was a lot of opposition. I was a bit nervous about driving all the way from Florida to California in that truck, but headed out in late February for the San Francisco area where Steve Olsen lived.
101: On the trip west, I stopped in Mesa, Arizona and saw my friend Jason Lanning who had gone to visit his mother there before his mission. We spent an afternoon together and went to the Mesa Temple before I continued my journey to California. When I arrived in California, I had about six weeks before I was scheduled to enter the MTC. Both Steve and I were nervous about the timing of completing the deck. He was not sure I could complete it in time. I was unsure too, but I had to! I needed to earn the money to be able to pay for the costs of the MTC and my mission. He trusted me and agreed to proceed to allow me to build the deck. I relied on the gift of faith to proceed. This was a big project and I was on my own, except for the help of the Lord. It was the end of winter in California in early March and the nights were still cold. Steve let me sleep in his basement. At that time he did not have any available rooms in his house. He had a workshop in his basement that was unfinished and unheated. He had a cot and a heating plate and a small refrigerator that I could use. I slept there and was able to arise early. Each day I woke up at sunrise and began to work. I worked six days a week, working every day until dark. I began by arranging for delivery of the needed materials. I rented a tractor with an auger in downtown Woodside and drove it through town and up into the hills where he lived. It was quite a drive on that bouncy tractor. He had a young friend named Aaron about my age who he asked to help me with the deck. Aaron did not have any experience with construction, and I did not have any experience supervising workers. I was nervous about having to pay Aaron out of my wages. After a few days, I decided it would be better to try and work alone than to have his help. I always had mixed feelings about that afterwards. I made steady progress towards completing the deck, studying over the plans and praying for help. I worked long days and only stopped for work on Sundays. I felt so stretched for time that I was tempted to work on Sundays. After wrestling over this, I decided that I needed the Lord’s help more than I needed the extra time and chose not to do so. I did work on the Saturday of general conference in April and listened to general conference on the radio. I remember regretting that. But I do remember listening to Elder Bruce R. McConkie as he gave his final talk in conference shortly before his death and feeling the power of his testimony of the Savior. Somehow everything came together and the work progressed well. The deck was well built. It was not perfect, I made a few mistakes, but they were not big. Steve Olsen seemed pleased. Somehow there was enough time at the end of the project for me to also build some planter boxes on the deck and to put up lattice work to cover the piers. I finished it on a Saturday, just a few days before my plane was to leave the following Tuesday for Utah. I had Monday to go and buy the bulk of my missionary clothing and pack before leaving. Steve made a nice dinner for my friend Loren Wiseman and his family that Sunday, and I had the opportunity to speak in church at the ward in Newark where I attended church before moving to Florida. | Sometime in early April, as the project was coming to completion, I was awoken in the middle of the night. I was always exhausted and slept soundly with the cool nights. As I woke up, a special feeling came to me that is difficult to describe. I felt the Lord’s love for me, and I also had a very special impression that communicated to me that my mission was very important to him and that he wanted and needed me to serve a faithful mission. That impression increased my faith and my commitment and desire to be a good missionary, to work hard and to do my best as a missionary. I felt that this blessing had come to me because I had been diligent in preparing for my mission by working hard. Many other blessings came later because of the efforts and faith required to build a deck for my friend Steve Olsen.
102: Recently, we had a humanitarian project in Relief Society. When the project was completed, the sister in charge submitted a receipt for the materials purchased. The amount was a lot more than I knew we had in the budget, and I was not sure where we were going to come up with the total amount of money. I said many prayers during the course of the week asking for a solution. I had some money that several sisters had donated for humanitarian projects like this one. On Sunday, my counselor handed me an envelope with $40.00 in it and told me she wanted it to go toward this project. I was to the point where I felt we could take the rest of the money out of the budget, but for some reason hesitated in submitting the reimbursement that day. On Monday morning there was a knock at my door. It was a sister in my ward who had been released as the Humanitarian Leader a year ago. She told me that she had been cleaning and had found some money left over from when she had been the Humanitarian Leader. The amount was more than enough to pay for the expenses of the project. Two weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, Sarah went home with a friend from school to play. Her friend Audrey lived on the south side of Provo. When it came time for me to pick her up, I realized that I did not have Audrey’s phone number or address and it was not in the phonebook. I had been to their home one time previously, but was unsure if I could find it. I said a continual prayer as I was driving that I would remember how to get there. As I got closer to their house everything looked very familiar, but I did not know for sure which street she lived on. I turned down the first road and saw a house that looked a lot like I remembered Audrey’s, but it did not feel like it was the right one. I turned around and proceeded to go down each of the next two streets, but was beginning to panic because I did not find the right house. I said another prayer, and felt that I should drive back to the first house that looked familiar and knock on the door. I knew it was not the right house, but decided to follow the prompting. The lady who answered the door was not Audrey’s mom, but she was so nice. I asked if she knew the Dodd’s and she said that she didn’t, but offered to look them up in her Stake Directory on the Church’s website. She did this for me and we found their address. I know Heavenly Father directed me that day to the sweet lady who helped me find the address. He is mindful of each of us in all aspects of our lives, even the small every day incidences. | Janiel Whitehouse (Lind) | It is hard to pinpoint just one experience where I have felt the influence of the spirit in my life or received an answer to prayer. I find myself daily sending up pleas heavenward for help for something, knowing that my Heavenly Father is always there and listening, and having faith that He will answer. As the Relief Society President, I have received inspiration for problems that I personally would never have come up with on my own.
103: Seth Whitehouse | One time when I was about three or four, I was going to the Brick Oven for Grandpa's birthday. Before leaving, we could only find one of my shoes. We said a prayer that we could find the other. When we arrived at the restaurant, the waitress had my other shoe. I know that prayer helps us any way that we ask or need. I know that Heavenly Father listens. I also know that the church is true and it helps us. | Samuel Whitehouse | The first day that I had contacts, I went over to my friend's house. My contacts started bugging my eyes, so I took them out and put them in a plastic bag. When I got home, one was missing. My friend's house had light-colored carpet, and my contacts were clear. I knew that it would be hard to find. My mom, Eliza, and I decided to say a prayer. About half an hour later, my friend called and said that he had found my contact behind his piano.
104: I u | Emily Roberts It was the summer that our family all went to Heber Valley Camp for a Family Reunion. We were all excited to go and then I found out that I had an all-day class to attend a couple of days before the reunion and then retainer checks the day before that. Sometimes the wait at the dentist's office was very long and I knew with the drive to Provo, and the wait, it would take the better part of the day. I was worried about being able to get everyone ready. It seemed that I should have been used to the scenario by then, but when I told everyone to get in the van, Emily couldn't find her retainer. We searched the house frantically! Emily tried to remember where she had last had it, but couldn't. I prayed. I told the Lord I was stressed out trying to get ready for a reunion - a good thing - and that I knew that He knew the whereabouts of every retainer on the planet and that I needed to find that retainer so I could get everything ready on time for the reunion. I had no idea where to look. I thought I should look in her room, but it looked like a cyclone had gone through there. I didn't think there was any way I would find the retainer in that big mess. I still felt I needed to look there. The girls, Heidi and Emily, had been doing a sewing project and had a large box of scraps in their room. I had the thought that I should look in the box. I thought there was no way the retainer would be there in that big box, but I started looking. I dug clear to the bottom of the box and then I felt the retainer in my hand. I couldn't believe it. I would have never thought to look there on my own. I know that the Lord hears and answers prayers. | RETAINERS BUild Testimonies
105: My family went fishing one time, and I had taken my retainer with me. I didn't know where I put it, so I said a prayer. I found my retainer stuck in the door of the truck. Heavenly Father listens and answers prayers. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that Heavenly Father, Joseph Smith, and the church are true. I also know that we will all go to heaven one day. | Sarah Whitehouse | When I was nine years old, I lost a retainer that I had for my teeth. It had been gone for about a month and a half when I finally decided to pray and ask Heavenly Father to help me find it. I had experienced having prayers answered before and knew that Heavenly Father could help me. Within a day, I was looking in my dresser and just happened to find my retainer inside with all of my clothes. I believe Heavenly Father answers my prayers. | Eliza Whitehouse | Samuel Whitehouse When Samuel was nine he had a retainer. One evening we had a hot dog roast for a cub scout pack meeting in the Nielsen’s cow pasture. Everyone had a great time, but when we got home Samuel realized that he had left his retainer on the table in the cow pasture. It was really late, and we knew that we would not be able to find it in the dark. Our only choice was to wait until morning. Samuel had a dentist appointment the next morning and we really needed to find that retainer. We all said a prayer that night that he would find his retainer. The next morning, I dropped Samuel off at school and called Sister Nielsen. She told me that she had not seen the retainer, but to come over and she would help me look for it. We went to the cow pasture and looked everywhere around where the activity had been. There was no retainer and the grass was very tall. I kept praying as we were looking that we would be able to find it. We finally gave up and started walking back to the house, but I kept my eyes to the ground. About half way back to the house I spied the retainer. It was really a miracle that I was able to see the retainer in the tall grass.
106: I'm not sure why it was out of his mouth, but by the time we got to the door it was gone. We searched everywhere, but finally I had to go into the dentist office and reschedule - this time to make a new retainer. We got back in the van and went out to see the gingerbread house display. All week I prayed that Scott would find his retainer when we went back to the dentist. I searched the van in case it had somehow fallen out there. I prayed some more but felt like Scott was the one who needed to find it. Somehow I knew I wouldn't find it even though I was usually the one who found the retainers. As we were walking into the dentist's office the next week to get a new retainer, Scott walked ahead. All of a sudden he hollered excitedly that he had found his retainer in the grass. He told me that he had prayed that he could find it and there it was. I still think it is amazing that he found it and that it wasn't broken. I believe that sometimes children have crooked teeth just so they can have a faith-promoting experience. | When Scott was about ten, we decided to go to see the gingerbread house display at Thanksgiving Point after we went to the dentist for a retainer check up. It had snowed lightly and there was a skiff of snow on the ground. Somehow between the van in the parking lot and the door to the dentist office, Scott lost his retainer. | Scott Roberts
107: I would definitely have to entitle my testimony of the Savior and of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a "work in progress." By some definitions, this might infer some doubt or lack of conviction, or even possibly a presence of misunderstanding, but by my own definition it would be a far more literal translation and this could be farther from the truth. When I refer to a “work in progress” what I really wish to convey is that even though today I know that my testimony of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is real and that the Savior lives, every day of my life that knowledge continues to progress and my understanding of it grows. I truly believe that in order to really appreciate something we have to put effort into obtaining whatever we seek. This is the “work.” | A Work in Progress | Gerald Wayne Lind | The greater the price that we pay, the greater the reward when what we have sought becomes a reality. This is how I feel about my testimony. I know that as each day goes by and each conflict or difficulty of life is conquered, my conviction of the Savior’s plan becomes stronger and more unshakable. The thing that continues to amaze me is that yesterday I felt my testimony was strong, but today it is stronger still. In all honesty, I would have to say that for the first years of my life, my testimony was based on the faith and belief of my wonderful parents. I felt and recognized the spirit when it bore witness to me and when I listened to it. I knew then that it was true, but I never was personally challenged to make it my own until I served my mission. This is where the trials of life made me search a little deeper and ask questions that were more personal. It did not take long for this witness to become my own. As I saw miracles happen in the lives of others as well as my own, I knew. I knew that my Heavenly Father lived. I knew that He loved me. I knew that He had a plan for me. I knew that He already knew, but that this life was really for me to get to know myself and see for myself how I would respond to the challenges and obstacles that it presented.
108: I knew that, in reality, the challenges of this life are like a prescription from the master healer of small doses of adversity to mold us into the person that He knows we can become and that we are. I knew that in order to truly get to know the Savior, we have to learn to forget ourselves. I knew that the world had mostly forgotten these important truths and that a restoration or renewal of the gospel had to be made. I knew that it was made through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I knew that its vessel of conveyance was the Book of Mormon, and that this was necessary to clarify the misinterpretations of man, and to restore those things that were so purely taught by the Savior while he was on the Earth. I knew that I needed this second witness to help my knowledge progress. I knew that the Priesthood of miracles, was restored through the Prophet Joseph. I knew that this was the same heavenly power that enabled Jesus to heal the sick, to make the blind see and the lame to walk. I knew it, not because I was there and saw it when He did it, but because I have been there and seen it in my own life. In that way, it is the same. This is how it has become my own and as the prophet Joseph stated, I know it and I know the Lord knows that I know it, and I cannot deny it. One of the greatest blessings of my life has been to be associated with good people. I see the testimonies of others and that too helps my own testimony grow. I have a wonderful wife who took a chance of eternity on me. I know that Rachelle knows. I have outstanding brothers and sisters who bare witness to me of the gospel in the ways they live there lives. There are great leaders of the church who, when they speak, convey the spirit to my heart. My own wonderful children teach me to know by their own testimonies and reminders of the simple things that we have been asked to do. My testimony grows from the feeling I have and the answers that come personally when I go to the Temple of the Lord. It grows from the feeling I get when I am able to serve someone else. All of these things and so many others bare witness to me that the Plan of Happiness is real. | A “work in progress” because I already know, but as I work at it, it progresses even further. Today, I know without a doubt that it is true. As insurmountable as the challenges of life sometimes seem at the moment, I can’t wait to see tomorrow.
109: My heart is full and it seems difficult to write my most sacred and tender feelings on paper. My testimony has grown so much, especially through this past year. I have always had a testimony of this wonderful Gospel and our Father in Heaven’s plan. I can feel my Savior’s love for me in simple things like a smile, a hug, a thought or phone call. My testimony was strengthened by small observances on the days when I believed my heart was breaking. I would look out my window and see a beautiful flower that my children planted for me in full bloom, and know my Heavenly Father was thinking of me and was very aware of me and my prayers. He knew of the things I needed to keep me going for another day. I love each of my children with all my heart and am so grateful for the opportunity to raise six beautiful children. I am so proud of each of them. They are a light to me. I love the other children who come into our home for a refuge from the storms of life and hope that we can give them that peace and protection that they are looking for. I am so grateful for this blessing and I treasure it. Without a husband who understands the Gospel and honors his priesthood, how could I enjoy all other blessings that I have? I love him and the strength he gives to me on the good days and the bad. He is a wonderful support to me and our children. I am grateful for the words of the prophets and other leaders of the church. When I need answers, I know I can always find them in the scriptures and other church media. I am grateful for the Atonement of our Savior. I know without a doubt that it is real. Without it we are without hope. What a blessing. Thank you to all of you for your support, your concern and prayers for our family. We love you and have felt your love for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. | Rachelle Lind | Testimony
110: I know that our great Father in Heaven loves us with infinite love and desires for us to return to live with Him again. Our wise Father provided a perfect and eternal plan to allow that glorious possibility. He has established the ingenious and beautiful unit of the family and He intends for those relationships to be eternal, of which fact I will ever be joyously grateful for. I love my family and cannot imagine a heaven without their beautiful faces. It would cease to be heaven without them. I am grateful for God's individual design for me and know that he is closely involved with every facet of my life; whether I am aware, or more often than not, unaware. He is ever vigilant of us and desires us to achieve our great potential. He never gives up on us. Never. I once heard that the greatest surprise we will receive when we pass into the next phase of our eternity will be how perfectly familiar our Father's voice and face will be to us. He knows us perfectly and individually. There are so many facets of the gospel of which I am passionate about and know, however, that of them all, these are of the greatest import. Of these things I so emphatically testify of, in our Savior's name, even Jesus Christ, Amen. | Bryson Garret Lind | My Testimony | I believe that there is nothing so powerful as the bearing of one's soul of their devotion and love toward their God in simple testimony. Mine is the testimony of the absolute truthfulness of the gospel of our Lord, even Jesus Christ. He is my master and the architect of my salvation. I love Him and know that He lives with all my heart. I know that He stood in the Garden of Gethsemane and bled for me and my imperfections to satisfy justice's steep demands. I know that He knows me and has the knowledge of and power to sustain me through any of life's storms.
111: I love the power and security that the atonement provides for us. No matter who we are, where we come from, or what mistakes we make, we are assured a plan and a way to repent and return to live with our Heavenly Father. We have an elder brother who was willing to descend below all things, felt all sorrow and pain to see us return to his presence. One of the keys to fulfill this plan is forgiveness. The Lord will forgive whom He will forgive, but of us, it is required that we forgive all men. This scripture doesn't say" it is suggested that you forgive all men," it says that it is required. Forgiveness is something that is essential to the plan of our Heavenly Father. This doesn't just mean that we forgive all men, it also means that we need to learn how to forgive ourselves. It is probably the hardest to forgive ourselves at times. We have to learn how to do this in order for the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be in full effect in our life. That is the beautiful thing about the Atonement; Christ knows of our shortcomings and is loving and willing to make up the difference. I have seen this in my own life and in the lives of many other people. We are here to learn from our shortcomings and to make them our strengths. I am eternally grateful for a Heavenly Father and a Savior who are willing to do so much for me. All they ask is that I do my best and they will make up the difference. I know that Joseph Smith was a man called my God to restore the true church upon the earth today. I know that we are currently lead by a man who has that same authority and holds those same keys. I know that that power, Priesthood power, is real and that it performs miracles every day to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I am so honored and privileged to be able to hold that same Priesthood power. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to share what I know to be true with other people on a mission and I am so glad to be a part of this work. I’m so thankful for a way to communicate with my Heavenly Father through prayer and that He is able to communicate to me through His holy scriptures. I know that families are eternal through the blessings of the temple and that they are one of the few things that are truly important. I'm thankful to be a member of such a great family and the heritage we have and the love that we share. I know these things to be true and I say these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen | Throughout my life, I have been privileged to enjoy many of our Heavenly Father's blessings. The greatest blessing that I am able to enjoy is my testimony. There are many elements that add to the strength of my testimony. One of these is the sure fact that we have a loving Heavenly Father and elder brother, Jesus Christ, who look out for us, love us, and want the very best for us. | Josh Lind | Testimony
112: I’d like to bear my testimony. I know this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. I know that missionary work is an amazing thing. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet and receives revelation from God. I know that families can be together forever if they follow the commandments of Christ. I know that temple marriage allows us to be an eternal family. I know that if we do what is right and be an example, we can become better people. I know that through the priesthood, miracles can be performed. I know that the Holy Ghost is here to guide us. I know that if we pray and read scriptures we will receive an answer to our prayers. I know that patriarchal blessings are special gifts from God and that if we do what is right we can have the Spirit with us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. | Kindra Lind | Testimony
113: Carston Lind When I was 10 years old my Grandpa Critchfield had a massive stroke out on our farm while he was operating a tractor. I found him and he told me to hurry and go get some help. I ran as fast as I could to find some help. The Holy Ghost told me where to find my Uncle David and told me that everything would be alright. My Grandpa was alright and with a lot of time and help he was able to recover. My Grandpa talked about this experience about a year later in a testimony meeting and said that I was his “hero”. I felt really great that my Grandpa gave me such a compliment. It helped strengthen my testimony that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers and will help us always. | Alacia Lind I know that the church is true. I know that the church is true because I have the Holy Ghost beside me and he tells me to tell the truth. When I do things that are not right, the Holy Ghost makes me feel good when I tell the truth and make things right. | Vance Lind A few months ago my brother Carston and I got into a really bad four-wheeler accident. The four- wheeler tipped over and bounced off both of us. We were hurt badly and really scared. My bigger brother Josh came to help and make sure that none of my bones were broken. My brother Carston wasn’t moving. When my older brother Josh came to help, he was so kind and so concerned I could feel the Holy Ghost and I knew that we would be alright.
114: Stories from our Ancestors
115: Turnip Tops Save a Missionary from writings of Milvie Lind Eby | I wish father [John Peter Lind] had written down some of the details and some of the experiences he had in his boyhood. I am sure many of them were very hard, life was not easy. I sometimes wonder if these things did not contribute toward making him the stern, demanding man he became later in his life. I do remember him telling about when the missionaries from the Mormon church first began coming to Sweden and how they were hated and resented. It must have been about in 1851 when they first began hearing of them. It seems strange now that our people should have been so favored as to hear the missionaries and most of all to be selected to become believers. They could have so easily rejected the Plan of Salvation, as did many. And sometimes I wonder what life would be like had that been the case. How grateful I am that my people had the courage, the foresight, and testimonies to recognize the Gospel when it was presented to them in spite of the persecution and hardships it brought upon them. Father used to tell about the scarcity of food they experienced for their cows -- and how each green growing thing was dried and stored for food later. Turnip tops were especially good for this. When the deep snow covered the bits of green grass, the turnip tops soaked in fresh clear water and added a refreshing change to the diet of the milk cows and perhaps increased the flow of milk. Stashed away in the loft of their barn, the pile of turnip tops accumulated and grew so there would be no shortage during the winter months. Strangely this forethought also provided help in another way no one had dreamed of.
116: One night a knock was heard at their door and going to open it, they found a man who introduced himself as a Mormon missionary. Undoubtedly there had been connections there between these people previous to this time and there must have been sympathetic feelings between them because the missionary told them he was being pursued by evil men who sought to take his life. The people in the home immediately began making plans as to what they could do. After quick consultation, they decided they should hide the missionary in the loft of their barn. The big stack of piled turnip tops would make a most excellent camouflage and would be light as covering when piled over the refugee. Without any light to guide them, they soon had the missionary covered safely in the hay loft. It was not long after that angry men were heard approaching the house and a loud banging on the door followed. As the mother opened the door, she saw a large group of men confronting her. "Where is that *%@(* Mormon?" demanded their spokesman. The mother appeared surprised. "What are you talking about?" she asked. Talking almost altogether, they began telling her about these so called missionaries that were now coming to Sweden, from America, talking of a gold book that was supposed to take the place of the Bible -- and a man started it named Joseph Smith. In America they had finally killed him and his brother too. But, now they were led by a man named Brigham Young -- which really meant Bring 'em young, and they were taking their women to a lonely place in America called Utah -- and once they got them there, they were never heard of again. Stopping for breath, they again began telling them how they followed this so called missionary until somewhere nearby in the bushes and trees they had lost him -- and now they must search from house to house.
117: Frightened and secretly praying, the family stood close together as they said, "You are welcome to search our place." The men looked around in the house. Then one of them said, "He is probably out somewhere in the trees, but we will come back tomorrow -- it is now too dark so we can not see anything." True to their word, the next morning the family saw men here and there looking around. The mother earlier had gone out to milk. In the bottom of her pail she carried breakfast for the missionary, carefully covered with grain for the cow. Later, more men came back looking around, even going into the barn. John hurriedly went with them and even led them to the steps going up to the hay loft. One of the men climbed up and stuck his head up through the entrance -- there in one corner was the huge pile of dried turnip tops and other greens. The man hastily looked around -- all was complete silence. As the man got down he announced to the others, "Nothing there but cow feed." They went on down the road, and John went back to the house to tell his mother of the close call. For several days the mother continued carrying food in the pail as she went out to milk -- so the missionary had plenty to eat and perhaps slept comparatively well in his bed of turnip tops. The men, discouraged now, and sure their victim had escaped, seemingly had given up searching. But, no one felt quite sure as every once in awhile one of them would unexpectedly show up out of nowhere.
118: It was time for the missionary to move elsewhere, but he did not know the country at all. It was all strange to him. To the next town, there was a shortcut over the mountain, through the forest -- but in the dark it would be impossible for a stranger to follow or to understand directions of the way, for one totally unfamiliar with the territory. There was only one solution -- John must be the guide -- showing the missionary the way through the cover of darkness in the late hours of the night. I am not sure of the distance in miles, they were many and difficult because of rocks, the steepness of the mountain, and cover of trees. No one associated with the search for the Mormon missionary had any idea that the dusty tired little boy trudging homeward through the forest late the next afternoon had led the servant of God to safety in another town, nor that the turnip tops had served a double purpose. Comments -- Gerald Lind This is most likely a very important fore-runner for our becoming born into the Church. The service rendered by the family to the missionary no doubt helped turn the hearts of Brita Stina and Johannes Anderson toward the Church. Aunt Milvie's writings state that Johannes served as the Branch President for eight years. I haven't verified the dates yet, but it was in the same Branch as Grandma Lind's family joined the Church and Johannes likely was the Presiding Elder. (Very interesting to me) In 1851, John was only nine years old. He surely performed a courageous deed in helping the missionary get to safety.
119: By Eileen Bergman Special to The Star (Newspaper) Ed Smith of Rigby never cared much for dates in history, but there are two he will never forget. One date was June 5, 1976, when his farm in Sugar City was washed away in the Teton Dam flood. He moved to Rigby after the flood. The other date he will always remember is his birth, Sept. 22, 1900 in Salem right at the turn of the century. "Seems like everyone born that year turns 84 this year," he says. Smith is a son of Morgan Smith and Charlotte Ricks Smith. She was a daughter of Thomas E. Ricks by his fifth wife. Ricks was a noted pioneer for the early LDS church in the upper valley. Smith remembers that his parents were involved in the construction of the sugar factory in Sugar City in 1904. It was the main industry in the Upper Snake River Valley. At that time potatoes were not a major crop. Dry farmers would cultivate a field one year, then allow it to lie fallow the next so that it would absorb water. Smith remembers working at the sugar factory for several years to earn money. He worked in the spinning area, which was the hottest place in the factory, he says. | He may be 84, but Ed Smith isn't ready to slow down yet.
120: There were three machines, each three feet tall, that would spin the sugar beet juice to get rid of the impurities. Centrifugal force in the spinners laid sugar along the spinner walls three inches thick. The sugar was then dried and sacked. After graduating from high school at Sugar City in 1912, he attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University. Smith married Elsa Hamilton of Sugar City and they both became school teachers. He taught at Hamer high school the first year they had a school there, he says. Smith taught for nine or ten years, then he took up farming, though easier than teaching, didn't pay. Smith says he raised sugar beets and grain, but he still had to "work out" hauling coal to make money enough to pay taxes. He used to handle 50 tons of coal a day. Smith says he remembers 1933, during the Depression, when people who had money deposited in banks lost it all when the banks closed. At that time Smith was teaching school over in Farnum. The only way to get around then in winter was by dog sled. Smith says he had two black dogs trained to pull a sled. The sled was actually an old school desk he had bolted to two skis.
121: Then came the blizzard of 1934 when Smith and his wife had 35 students in Farnum in a school house adjacent to their two-room house. After school that day parents came in covered sleighs to pick up their children, but only one sleigh was able to get away in the blizzard. The rest had to stay there in the two-room house. "That was a fierce storm if ever there was one!" Smith says. If you went out into the blizzard you could scrape ice off your face, he says. The next morning Smith went outside and climbed to the top of a 15-foot snow bank to hook up the telephone. When the school season ended in April, the road between Farnm and the river still wasn't open except by sleigh. More than 40 years later another natural disaster threatened the Smiths. He clearly recalls the morning of June 5, 1976, when his son, one of their eight children, came up from Salt Lake City to do some fishing in the Teton Basin. Smith's son wanted to take a look at the Teton Dam so they stopped there along the way, only to see a stream of water pouring out of the north side of the dam about three-fourths of the way up. They mentioned the stream of water to the people working at the dam site, but were told that the workers weren't worried and they could hold it in check. As Smith and his son left, they saw two tractors trying to push dirt into the hole that was leaking the stream of water. About an hour later the dam broke. They didn't hear about it until about 4 p.m. when they returned from their fishing trip. They drove to the west edge of Teton and couldn't go any farther because everything was washed away. After staying a few days with a niece in Teton, they went to Ricks College in Rexburg where people were being housed. Eventually, Smith learned that his wife had been out in the garden when the commotion started. Their brother-in-law came over and told her to get out. At that time the flood water was already 15 feet deep on the east edge of the farm. She put their goats upstairs in the barn and drove away, making her way to their daughter's home in Rigby. When they were finally able to get back onto their farm, they found the goats still alive up in the old barn, which hadn't been moved, but very thirsty because they refused to drink the stinking flood water. After that the Smiths moved to Rigby and leased out the land for farming. And they still keep busy. While his wife paints, Smith ties quilts and plays horseshoes, which won him trophies last year. He can also be seen riding his bicycle around town.
122: Pictured in the October 1976 Ensign Edwin O. and Elda Hamilton Smith of Sugar City take a break from heavy-duty clean-up [after the Teton Dam Flood] to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary with a hug and a spray of hollyhocks.
123: In November, 1871, John and Maria made a trip to the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, where they received the blessings of being sealed eternally. | John Peter Lind and Emma Christine Norberg
124: John came to America with a will to accomplish much, and this he did from the time he first arrived. He was anxious to learn all that was necessary to be successful. He crossed the plains with Captain Joseph Horn's Wagon Company in 1862 as an able-bodied twenty year old young man (*he was only nineteen when he left Sweden) who did his very best to help the company as it traveled from Florence, Nebraska to Salt Lake City, Utah. As he helped, he learned many new things: a new language, handling livestock, harnessing and saddling horses, maintaining the wagons and harnesses, and all things pertaining to wagon train travel. As he walked with the Company all the way, he had many opportunities to help others, which from his own accounts included carrying women and children across streams and rivers along the way. John left Huo, Sweden in April 1862 at the age of nineteen with another young man (Lars Petter Pehrson) who was a recent convert to the Church also and who was his bunk-mate on the ship "Electric". | Things I know from being told by others or that I have come to know from records I have seen and have copies of about John Peter Lind. --By Gerald Norberg Lind | This friend died on May 19th, as did many others as they came across the Atlantic, from cholera during the six weeks it took them to reach New York. This must have been a devastating blow to John as Lars was a few years older and John must have been counting heavily on him as a companion as they took on the great endeavor of making a life in America and blazing the trail in the wild west. John arrived in Salt Lake City in October 1862. He froze his feet the first winter and trying to still be productive while being laid up, he started making household items such as wooden spoons, combs made of bone or cow-horn, and other items as he found a demand for them. He was always anxiously engaged in working for his own support and helping to support others. He was also very anxious to bring his mother and brothers to Utah. This lead to him becoming a traveling peddler of the things he made and other things. For a while he traveled the central part of Utah and made part of his income that way. As a result of his ambition and believing he could do and accomplish anything he set his mind to do, he became proficient in the following crafts:
125: Woodworking He made all kinds of furniture: chairs, tables, chiffoniers, cupboards, bookcases, spinning wheels, etc. -using tools he made for himself. Some of these things are still in use. Community Planner and Developer He recognized the need for people to work together for the good of all and lead out in obtaining schools and roads. He sought and got County help for the first school in the valley and then did most of the construction work for the first school house himself. He built roads -- an example is the fifty-six days he and Alex spent on the Dove Creek Pass in 1895 as recorded in one of his diaries. He built many buildings, working timber from the falling of the trees to the final chinking between the logs. His work was done so well that some still stand to show how the hewn logs were dove-tailed so the joints were locked together (much hard work). He and his brother Alex fulfilled a contract to supply railroad ties for the Utah-Idaho Railroad as a means to establish more assets to start their ranches while still in Grantsville. Dobie-Brick Maker While in Grantsville John picked up the name "Dobie John" because he made a lot of bricks for constructing many homes. The dobie bricks were excellent for insulation and there are still many homes in Grantsville that are dobie bricks veneered with other material. (Dobie bricks exposed to the weather don't last for a long time) | Blacksmith He was proficient in making and repairing all kinds of iron-works --from making horseshoes to building machinery. This included making the steel tires for wagon wheels and installing them. He knew how to make welds the old way of pounding red-hot iron joints until they were solidly welded together. Wheelwright He built and repaired wagon wheels from making hubs, spokes, fellow, etc. to the putting them together and installing the steel tires. Leatherwork He made harnesses and all kinds of leather goods. He gave each one of his sons a new very high quality set of harnesses. He was a very good cobbler and made and repaired many pairs of shoes and boots for his family and others. His step-father was a cobbler by trade and no doubt John learned to do this kind of work from him. Charcoal Maker John and his brother August developed a charcoal making business. The 1880 Census for Grantsville lists August as a "Coal Burner". Cobbler His step-father was a shoemaker (cobbler) and John learned this trade very early in life as he worked hard to help support the family.
126: Cattleman His ranching at Lynn was primarily cattle and he developed a large spread. In the early days before there were many fences, the cattle ranged far and wide. Roundups covered an area stretching up to fifty miles from home. Sheepman John also had sheep for a number of years but lost his herds to a man he hired to care for them. The man stole them and he never got a redress. It was a bad deal. Up-to-date Farmer John kept abreast of the latest developments in farming. In 1885 he bought a grain threshing machine and horsepower to run it. It was the most up-to-date threshing equipment in the area at that time and he threshed grain for his neighbors for many miles around - from Grouse Creek and Dove Creek as all of the Junction Valley. Then, when gas engines came on the scene, he bought one to replace the horsepower. Meat Packer He was proficient at butchering beef and pork. When Terrace was a busy railroad station, he sold fresh meat there. And, when the Vipont Mine was booming he contracted to deliver both beef and pork meat there with at least one wagon-load each week for over five years (at that time a pound of beef was worth about the same as a pound of oats). I have seen the ledger entries for all those deliveries in the office of the man who now owns the Vipont mine. | Doctor and Dentist John was always one to do his best to help people in need and since there were no regular doctors and dentists for many miles, he set broken bones and pulled teeth for those that had the need. Musician He appreciated music and encouraged his family to learn to play -- accordion, organ, piano, and violin. He himself had received a special award from the King of Sweden when he was young for playing the accordion. Sponsor for Emigrants from Sweden As soon as he was able, he brought his Mother, Brita Stina Anderson and his brother, August, and his family and his half-brother, Alexander Anderson, to Utah. Then, he later brought several other families. Peace maker He always went out of the way to befriend Indians and had a close friendship with Grouse Creek Jack, an Indian Chief. "When I was young Indian Jack came twice with his group and camped with their teepees on a field near John and Emma's home where I lived. They came to gather venison, pine nuts and beaver for a winter supply. I remember well all their deerskins they tanned for making clothes -- shirts, pants, moccasins, gloves, etc. Their work was very well done and usually well decorated with beads. But the smell of smoke was so strong that it was readily identified as 'Indian Made'."
127: Three of his sons -- Herman, Lawrence, and Philbert -- served missions prior to his death. And, one son and two daughters -- Vance, Alva, and Milvie -- served missions later. My father told me that John had a very hard problem with polygamy as he saw how it was often-time lived as he traveled in Utah. Father of a Great Family John's greatest accomplishment was the raising of a wonderful family. His family is a big one and he and his two wives brought forth 16 children from Heaven and raised all but three to maturity (except the three children lost to sickness and accident at an early age). They were a very loving and close knit family and very good people. The number of church missions served by his posterity probably exceeds four hundred by now. Not one of his children ever used bad language of any kind -- even though his half-brother Alex fully developed a mule-skinner's vocabulary and was their next door neighbor who they associated with almost daily. Generally, the people living in their area used rough language. John and Emma raised all their children speaking both Swedish and English and this may have helped them to use very good language. "When I was young it was a shocking time to visit the surrounding communities and to hear so much cursing and foul language. This was absolutely not so with the JPL family. I am grateful for my heritage in this regard. | Philbert, Vance, and Oscar Probably wearing shoes made by John Peter Lind | Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints John joined the Church in the Hjo Branch , being Baptized on October 9, 1857, having been born in Stra, Ostergotland, Sweden July 6, 1842. He always had a fervent testimony but was not very active after leaving Grantsville. However, he supported missionaries financially and visited non-members and gave them a copies of the Book of Mormon and bore his testimony to them that he knew the book is true.
128: Early in April 1884, John Lind and his family were busy making preparations for leaving Grantsville and moving to Junction Valley. They had agreed to sell their home in Grantsville to a family named Gustaveson, whom they had helped to emigrate from Sweden. The eldest child in the Gustaveson family was a boy of sixteen whose name was Sanford, and he was hired to accompany the Lind family in the move to the ranch. So, about mid-April 1884, everything was in readiness and they started out on their adventurous journey. Their conveyance was a sturdy heavy wagon drawn by three horses. It was loaded with everything they thought essential, even a crate of chickens tied to the rear of the wagon. Some oats for the horses and a barrel of water were also necessities. Sanfrod and the two oldest girls, Dora, 14, and Josephine, 11, rode horseback, driving a few milk cows. In the wagon was John, Emma, Julia, six, Laura, four, and Herman who was two and a half years of age. Some of their friends and neighbors came to bid them good-bye and to wish them good luck on their journey and in their new home. John, who had traveled the road Northwest of the lake several times and had experienced no difficulty in doing so, decided that this course would be the best to take because it was shorter then the other one by way of Salt Lake, Ogden, and Brigham. This would be helpful in driving the livestock The first day was ideal Spring weather, the sun was shining brightly upon the travelers. The children were exuberant and happy for a change in their usual daily routine. Even the youngest, Herman, saw much to catch his interest. They made about twenty miles the first day, but the second day was rather windy and dark ominous clouds were gathering in the distant Northwest. During the night, it started to rain. They had made their bed underneath the wagon, with a heavy canvas tarpaulin over it. At daybreak, John noticed that their cows were gone and he concluded that they must have started to go back. Hastily arousing Sanford he said: "Hurry and get on your horse and go after the cows. They have started to go back." Sanford hurried and after a fast ride he overtook the discomfited cows and brought them back to the camp. There was grass close to the camp so the cows had not suffered from hunger, but apparently became discouraged or homesick. | The Move from Grantsville to Junction Valley
129: During the day it rained intermittently and their progress was slowed considerably. However, their real trouble began when they came to the large alkali beds which covered a large portion of this area. The mud clung so tenaciously to the wagon wheels that they could hardly revolve. Laboriously they plodded on, but the horses became so tired that it was apparent they could not continue. "What in the world are we going to do?" asked the distraught mother as she considered their plight. "I've never seen anything like this," said John, "I had no idea these alkali flats could be so treacherous. But, we can't turn back. The only thing that comes to my mind is that we will have to leave the wagon and pack our bedding and food on the horses and head for that mountain we can see in the distance. I know there is good water there and a sort of cave where there is shelter from the weather." Encouraged by John's confidence and determination, Emma hastened to help in the preparation to make the wearisome trek to the mountain which is called New Foundland. The horses were loaded in the manner John had indicated, after being unhitched from the wagon. The three younger children were placed on the packs and Dora, Josephine, and Sanford took turns riding one hose and driving the disconsolate milk cows. John and Emma walked the long distance to the mountain which they estimated to be about twenty miles. It seemed endless and taxed the endurance of all to the utmost. But, at long last they arrived at their goal which was as John had stated, a haven of refuge. The cave was little more than a large rock with an over-hang which diverted the rain from the small area in which they made their camp. They managed to get a fire started and Dora and Sanford were able to get some milk from the weary cows, with which Emma prepared a sego porridge. To the tired and famished family, it indeed seemed like manna from Heaven. They were protected form the rain and were able to dry their wet clothing by the fire to some extent, and obtain a good night's rest. So far, so good -- But, the rain continued. They reviewed their situation, noting there was plenty of grass for their livestock. But, they wondered how their chickens were faring, which were left on the wagon. So, John asked Sanford to get on a horse and ride back to the abandoned wagon and feed and water the chickens. On his return, he reported that there had been no other traffic on the road -- and everything was as they had left it the day before.
130: They were fairly comfortable in their cave camp and were protected from the rain. With plenty of grass available, the horses and cows were satisfied in remaining there. A small spring provided the water that was needed. The cows provided milk which helped with their diminishing food supply. They watched anxiously for a change in the weather, but the rain continued intermittently for several days. Finally, there came a partial clearing of the skies and John and Sanford took the horses and were able to move the stranded wagon a few miles. This process continued for several days, until they were across the treacherous alkaline area, and close to the Central Pacific railroad station known as Terrace. They had been in their cave camp for two weeks before they felt ready to continue their journey in the wagon. Replenishing their food supply in Terrace, they continued on their way to Junction Valley. They were met by Sander, riding horseback. He had been alone at the ranch since the preceding Autumn and had been expecting them, hopeful of being of assistance. After greeting them and telling them all was well at the ranch, he informed them that the wagon trail over the Dove Creek Mountain, into Junction Valley had been closed for several months and that it would be impossible to bring the wagon across, due to the enormous snow drifts. They decided that the livestock could avoid the drifts and be driven across, but that the wagon would have to be brought by a long circuitous route North into Idaho and enter the Valley by way of Almo on the old emigrant trial. "Are you sure that we can't get the wagon over the mountain," John inquired hopefully. "Absolutely," said Sander, "I met a young sheep man over by Dove Creek and he said positively that it would take many days before it could be possible to open the wagon trail over the mountain. The snow is very deep and hard as ice." John felt very discouraged; "We've had such a long hard trip that our horses are about to give out. I don't think that they can hold out for all those extra miles." Sander continued; "This young man I got acquainted with has a flock of sheep by Dove Creek and his name is Dick Poulton. He said he has a team of good mules that he won't be needing for awhile and we can use them and let our horses go over the mountain with the cows and get rested."
131: There seemed to be no alternative, so they did as Sander suggested. John, Emma, and the three youngest children -- Julia, Laura, and Herman -- continued on their journey in the wagon, driving Dick Poulton's mules, and the others went directly to the ranch taking the horses and cows with them. The additional ninety miles journey was difficult and fraught with many problems; washed out roads, no bridges over turbulent streams swollen with the heavy Spring run-off. However, the sturdy mules proved their mettle by their endurance in the face of many obstacles and hard going. Crossing the Raft River was a harrowing experience, which was deeply impressed on the parents and children -- ordinarily a small stream, but now water was running on both sides of the crude bridge. Undaunted, the fearless mules plunged in and pulled the wagon safely across. The heavy wagon with its load proved to be too much for the weakened bridge, causing it to lose its fastening and being carried away by the turbulent stream. Shortly thereafter they were met by Sander who in concern for their welfare had come to help. The children were worried about the chickens in a crate on the rear of the wagon. They got doused by water as the larger streams were crossed. Fortunately they survived. "The longest land has a turning" -- so 'tis said, and at long last they arrived at their new home in Junction Valley. a small one room cabin with a dirt floor, where they were welcomed by the others who had crossed the mountain with their livestock a few days before. The journey which they had expected to take a week or ten days had taken five weeks. No one could have been more grateful than was Emma, the mother, after the rigorous trials they had to surmount before the hazardous journey was completed. She was especially thankful that they had been able to keep well and she felt that Divine kind providence had protected and aided them. John too, was grateful and relieved that they had been able to surmount the many trials and tribulations of the move from Grantsville to Junction Valley. He confided to his wife while in a retrospective mood; "You know that although I didn't think about it at the time, I'm sure the Lord was with us very close, when we were hopelessly stuck in the mud. I could see that cave in my mind, even if I had only heard of it before." "And I had confidence in your guidance," said Emma, "I had no doubt that we would be saved from our perilous situation." Neither John nor Emma could have foreseen that this remote valley would be their home for the remainder of their mortal lives -- he for thirty-six years and she for fifty years.
132: Vance Otto Lind and Vida Hansen Lind | Vida with a fun swimming group
133: I graduated from the eighth grade when I was fourteen, but at the time had no thought of going to high school. In fact, I had no idea where I could go to attend a high school. Also, I guess I was a little tired of going to school and was glad for a vacation. Two years later, when I was sixteen, Herman's wife, who had been my teacher when I was in the eighth grade, suggested that I ought to go to high school. I began thinking about it seriously and wondering where I might go. Finally, a little later, I decided that I could stay with Herman and Hazel and attend the high school in Twin Falls. So I wrote to them and asked if I could board with them. Herman answered saying that I could, but since it was now late in October and the school had been in session more than a month, that I might have a hard time catching up in my class for that year. So I decided to wait until the next year and planned accordingly. In September 1912, I was all prepared to go to Twin Falls, and although I didn't get much encouragement from my folks, I didn't get any opposition either. My father, I think, felt that an eighth grade education was sufficient, as he had not any opportunities for getting but very little schooling himself. He was in a sense self-educated. He did not refuse to let me go, but as I bade him goodbye he said, "Now you see that you do honor to your name." It was understood that I should help Herman with the farm work whenever possible and I was free from school. | How to get to Twin Falls, eighty miles away, was another problem which Laurence solved for me. He had an old saddle horse named "Nig" (he was all black except for a white star on his forehead) which I could ride to Twin Falls and have Herman sell him for what he could get for him. So, in the morning of September 21, 1912 I bade my folks goodbye and astride old Nig, I was on my way, using an old saddle which could be returned later. It took all day to get to Warm Creek, where I stayed overnight with Warners, a family who were renting the farm there from my brother-in-law, Dick Poulton. The next morning which was Sunday, I was on my way for the second half of the journey. I had not ridden very far before I discovered that my horse seemed to be getting lame. His condition got worse, and by the time I got to Dry Creek, a small farming community, his lameness was so bad that I realized he could not make it to Twin Falls unless something was done for him. I noticed a man who was irrigating close to the road and asked him what he thought I could do about my horse. He said that he thought putting a shoe on my horse's lame foot might help him. So I inquired, "Is there a blacksmith around here?" "Yes there is," he said, "his name is Orson Strong," and he indicated where he lived. A new thought struck me as I remembered it was Sunday. "Maybe he won't want to do it on Sunday," I said. "Oh he won't mind doing it," he replied. "Soon as he gets home from Sunday School." | High School
134: So I went to his place where I found Mr. Strong already home. He looked at Nig's foot and said he believed he could put a shoe on the horse's lame foot. He went to work and soon had the job done, and he charged me only fifty cents. Then, since it was noon, he invited me to eat dinner with himself and family. I appreciated the invitation as I was hungry and enjoyed the hearty meal which was served. Mr. Strong said, "It's a long ways to Twin Falls, what if your horse can't make it?" "Well, just so I can get there by Monday morning. I'll be alright, but I would like to be there in time for school," I replied. A young girl about my age spoke up saying, "Oh, are you going to the Twin Falls High School? That's where I'm going. I'll be a senior this year." I didn't admit that I was only a freshman, feeling that I was way behind for my age. I didn't see much of this girl at the high school, due to her being so much farther advanced than I. The meal finished, I thanked the family for their hospitality and was again on my way. Nig could travel much better now although he showed evidence of tiring of the journey. I arrived at Herman's and Hazel's home about 6:00 p.m., where I was made welcome. They had only a small house and I know it was a difficult matter for them to provide accommodations for me. They had one child at this time, Wyland, who was born March 1912. The house in which they lived was small, about 12 foot by 20 foot, with a lean-to about 12 foot by 12 foot in the north end which was used as a kitchen. | The other part of the house was divided into a small bedroom and a living room. I slept on a folding couch in the living room. They obtained their water from a cistern which was filled from an irrigation ditch and raised to the surface by a pump. The next morning Herman took me to the high school where I began my high school days and I had many new and interesting experiences. Having had no experience previously in meeting but very few people, there was much adjusting for me to be done. Not only in school, but in church attendance as well, and I endeavored to catch up on my lack of experience as much as possible. Living in a Tent With the advent of the 1913-1914 school season, I planned to return to the Twin Falls High School for my Sophomore year. But Herman and Hazel informed me that they were expecting a new-comer in their family in October and it would be difficult for them to have me boarding with them. I wondered where I could stay. There was my sister Dora's home, but I didn't feel that I wanted to stay there. I was wishing that there was some place where I could stay and board myself, but there was none available. Then one day my brother Oscar said to me, "Could you live in a tent? If you could I'll let you take my tent that I used, and Herman used it also when we ran buck herds. It is seven by nine feet in size." I was pleased with the idea and began planning to do it. I got permission from Herman to locate the tent in his pasture, not very far from the house. I had come down from Lynn with Oscar, Alva, and Mollie who were going to get some fruit and we brought the tent with us.
135: There was quite a lot to be done in preparation so the tent would be a livable place when winter came. I wanted to board it up with a floor and walls two feet high. This required an investment of seven or eight dollars in lumber, which I managed to bring from town on my bicycle, a little at a time. Needless to say a stove would be a necessity. I bought a small camp stove for about four dollars. It was made to sit flat on the ground and did not have a bottom, so I fixed a box-like affair on legs in which I placed about four inches of clayey soil, on which I sat the stove. A four-inch stove pipe served as a chimney. It worked quite well except when the wind blew in a certain way and then it smoked some inside, which did not occur often. I had a little difficulty in finding wood to burn and had to carry it quite a distance, but somehow I managed fairly well by searching along the railroad tracks and finding discarded railroad ties in broken pieces. My little stove did not require very much fuel. For a light, I thought at first a candle would do, but soon found it was inadequate, so I bought a used kerosene lamp in a second-hand store for a quarter which was much better. I made a table from lumber which was left over from the floor and wall of the tent. I also made a small cupboard. A folding camp cot and a box for a chair completed my equipment. It was fun and quite exciting at first, as some of my boy friends came to visit me. But, finally the loneliness and the inconveniences became very oppressive and I desired a change. So after Christmas, I asked my sister Dora if I could board at her home for doing chores. To this she agreed, and I milked and took care of four cows. I slept in their granary, as I thought I would have more privacy there. There was a small stove there, but it sometimes got real cold anyway. The granary had been used by a man who had been with the family for a long time as his sleeping quarters. There was no grain in it. | The following school term 1914-1915, I went back to boarding with Herman and Hazel, but instead of sleeping in the house, I used the tent, which we moved to the west door of their house, by the kitchen, as my bedroom. This worked quite well and I was able to keep my clothes in better shape than I had done previously. However, with the coming of cold weather I found that the tent was a pretty cold place in which to sleep. I bought a small electric stove and attached it to the current. This helped some but it still was too cold to be comfortable, although I thought I could get along with it. I went home for the Christmas holidays. Laurence was sick in bed with the typhoid fever, having been ill for several weeks. I had a feeling that I was needed at home. However, I started back but was detained in Burley for several days as Laura and Joe, with whom I had made the trip to Lynn, wanted me to be a witness in a hearing in which Laura's 160 acre homestead was being contested. She had been lucky in securing this desirable property and they were anxious to keep it. Somehow I got discouraged and decided not to go back to school, but to return home. So I wrote a letter to Herman asking him to send my things to Burley on the train. This he did and by arrangement Raymond met me in Oakley and brought me home. Thus ended my high school days, a fact which I have regretted many times since. I had a hazy idea that I would return the following Fall, but this did not occur. Some of the factors in my becoming discouraged were the monthly tuition I was required to pay, feeling that I was needed at home, my funds were running low, not very comfortable living quarters and little encouragement from anyone. I had really been quite successful in high school. In my Sophomore year I was a member of the class council and played my violin in the school orchestra, and by so doing, had the opportunity of attending a number of entertainments free. As a Junior, I was elected president of the class, and president of the Boy's Agricultural Society. I played football on the class team and took part in some plays.
136: The Baptism "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." - John 3:5 As I have previously stated, there being no church organization in Lynn (Junction Valley) until I reached a mature age, my knowledge of spiritual matters was quite limited. We were a large family, but there had been no baptisms since my brother Lawrence had been baptized at the age of nine. Somehow, my father had had conceived the idea that the age prescribed by the Church was too young and that they should be allowed to decide by themselves whether or not they desired baptism and when. So the years had gone by and Oscar, the next after Lawrence, had attained the age of twenty-four, Raymond twenty-two, Philbert twenty, Mollie eighteen, Vance (myself) fifteen, Alva thirteen, and Milvie ten, and none of us had been baptized. It was October 1910 when my mother decided to take an active hand in the matter. So, she conferred with Oscar, and together they arranged with the Yost Ward bishopric that a baptismal date be set. At this time, father was away from home, attending a water meeting in Salt Lake City, Philbert was in Logan attending school and Mollie was staying with one of her older married sisters for a visit. The date was set for Sunday, October 9, 1910, a clear beautiful day. We met with the Yost bishopric at the mouth of Junction Creek canyon near the schoolhouse. Besides the five candidates for baptism, there were present my mother, Herman, Lawrence, Bishop Joseph Montgomery, First counselor John Kroencke, who was also Ward Clerk, and Second Counselor Gustave Oman. A suitable site where the water of Junction Creek was sluggish and deep enough was selected and Bishop Montgomery and the five of us donned baptismal clothes. Nothing elaborate but clean. The Bishop, as i remember, in a pair of rather faded denim bib overalls and a blue everyday shirt. He stepped into the water and one by one as he beckoned to us, we stepped in and were immersed according to the proper baptismal form. | Vance Otto Lind
137: Then, after changing back to our Sunday clothes, we met at the school house for a formal church meeting, where we were confirmed. I can still remember how impressed I was with this Ordinance. When the Priesthood holder who confirmed me said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost," I felt a distinct thrill or sensation permeating m entire body from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. A testimony meeting followed the confirmations at which the three members of the Bishopric bore solemn and sincere testimonies attesting to the truthfulness of the Gospel and encouraging us to participate in its activities. They then asked Herman if he desired to speak to which he responded by saying in part, "My feelings are in accord with what has been done." Bishop Montgomery then asked Lawrence how he felt in regard to the Gospel and Lawrence said, "I feel as good as I can. There is much that I do not understand and it bothers me." Oscar was then invited to speak, but he declined. In concluding of the meeting, we were invited and encouraged to attend the weekly church services in the Yost Ward. "Perhaps you can be helped to understand the Gospel better," said Brother Oman. (Six of the children of John Peter Lind went on to serve full-time missions and more than 350 missions have been fulfilled by his posterity.)
138: Saved From Drowning Vance Otto Lind (1941) It was a beautiful day in August. I was busy mowing hay and had just come to the house to replace a broken section in the mower knife. Vida had gone to Relief Society and had given Marilyn, Gordon and Richard permission to go to the little reservoir in Andrew Hollow to play in the water. We felt that they would be safe there as they were instructed to play only where the water was shallow. Marilyn was nearing elven and perhaps we entrusted greater responsibility to her than we should have done. As I arrived from the field, I noticed Richard coming as fast has his sturdy legs could carry him. He was only two and was out of breath from the exertion. I sensed that he had something urgent to tell me, but at first I could hardly make out what he said. Finally it became more clear as he repeated, "Gordon dwoned, Gordon dwoned." I hurried as fast as I could to the little reservoir and there was Marilyn, sitting on the little grassy meadow close to the reservoir and she was holding Gordon, six, in her lap. He was as white as snow and apparently without life.
139: I didn't know what to do, not having learned how to administer first aid to a person who had the symptoms of having or being drowned. I was grief and conscience stricken, realizing how inadequate I was to cope with such an emergency. But the "still small voice" of the "Comforter" came to my aid. "Put him across your shoulder with his head down and carry him home" was the message plain as day. Ordinarily I would have cradled him tenderly in my arms, but now I did as I was told. As I was ascending the hill out of the hollow, all at once, marshy smelling water began coming from his mouth and shortly, he began to regain consciousness. By the time I got him home, he was able to breathe normally, but was still very sick. I think that what happened was that the massaging he received with his head down as I climbed the hill is what was needed to enable his lungs to expel the water with which they were loaded, a pint or more and the odor of it indicated that it had come from the deep part of the reservoir, where much mud had accumulated. I t was Marilyn who saved him in the first place, a miracle how she plunged into the murky depths of the pond and pulled him out. A wonderful feat for one so young. It seems that Gordon had got over-confident about his ability in the water and had momentarily escaped from Marilyn's surveillance. By evening he had recovered.
140: Lars Jorgen Hansen was born April 2, 1868, in Denmark. He came to America and to Bear River City in 1884 at the age of 16. He hadn't joined the church when he arrived, but did so shortly after. He and his sister Bolette came on the ship "Nevada". Bolette was 21 years old. I have heard him tell of the rough trip on the ocean when they came over. Willard Hansen, a prominent farmer in Fielding, Utah, loaned the money for him to emigrate. He loaned Maren, Lars's mother, the money to emigrate and she worked in a dairy until she had paid it all back, then borrowed for Lettie and Lars to emigrate. They also worked in the dairy until that money was paid back. It was Christian Hansen's dairy in Cache Valley where they worked. Lars then got a job herding sheep. I have heard him tell about one time as he was sitting on a large rock watching the sheep he began to feel uneasy, and upon turning around to investigate, the cause, he saw a big brown bear standing on his back legs very near to him. He froze for a moment just staring at it. He had never seen a bear before and the bear was larger than he was. His senses started working again and he quickly jumped into the inside ring of sheep for protection. The curious bear turned and disappeared up the mountainside. Lars was nineteen when he first met Amy Marie Andersen. He fell in love with her and decided to win her. H was 21 and she was 16 when they decided to marry, and did so in the Logan Temple on November 8, 1889. For the first 6 months of their married life, they lived in Bear River City. They then moved to Brigham City. Here he got work with James Ivorsen helping him build houses, and thus he learned this trade and became very successful at it. He was a very particular man, everything had to be just so. And, he was very honest and thus his services were highly sought after. | At first they rented a house from James Ivorsen, then he sold them a plot of ground on Fourth South and Fourth East. Here Lars built them a one-room house to live in, but before long he added another room and then three more. He built barns and chicken coops too. In May 1896, their barn burned down and everything in it. They only saved the cow. Bishop McMaster of the First Ward felt so sorry for them that he had the Ward members built a new barn for them. Clifford had died in January and Lars had been laid up with rheumatism for six months unable to work. He was troubled with rheumatism a lot and working out in all kinds of weather contributed to his ailment. Amy would rub him with liniment until her arms ached so much she could not rub longer. This rheumatism crippled his hands but nowhere else. The cords in his hands drew up until toward the last of his working days he could barely span over a brick as he was laying them. In 1905, they sold their home and moved into a big new 9 room modern beautiful brick home which Lars designed and built by himself. Many a time I saw him design and draw blueprints of the homes he had contracts for, for he became a contractor and builder. His blueprints were beautiful and so accurate. This house was built in the middle of the block across the street from the East end of the Box Elder Stake Tabernacle. He bought new furniture for it too. He sort of always wanted to buy the best. He also built a fine barn and chicken coop on this place too. Later he added considerable to it as a cement block shop for him and a granary for feed for chickens and cows. These he built with cement blocks which he made himself. These blocks were made with interior spaces that provided insulation that kept the buildings cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. He used them in some of the homes he built. He couldn't use them for all because he couldn't make them fast enough. But, Uncle Ren had the bottom half of his brick home made with these blocks and Lars used them for the entire walls of the "Flat" apartment building he built for rental property. This building was two stories and had two apartments. It had a flat roof. All of this was a new concept. The blocks were about a foot thick and a foot and a half long. They were much different and nicer than the cinder blocks they use today. Lars tried to get a patent on them but never succeeded; I guess because they were slow to make with the setup he had. | Lars Jorgen Hansen By: Vida Hansen Lind
141: He built Eccles big fine home in Ogden. He would bring perfumed candy coated balls about the size of a pea and other treats home to us. In Brigham he built homes for A. M. Hansen, Chris Simonson, George Ingrams, Charles Munns, Ren Peterson and many others. He built homes in Bear River City, Collinston, Portage, Mantua, Corinne, Honeyville, Perry, Willard, and Mink Creek. And, many of them were up-class finer homes. He did a little remodeling of the John Lind home in Lynn, Utah, in the Fall of 1923 and the summer of 1924 staying with Verna and Raymond. In Brigham he also built the Craighead rental area of six houses for which he never was fully paid. If he could have collected all that people owed him, he would have been well off for retirement. He did the brick work for the First Ward Chapel, working off and donating $800 to the building fund. Lars was not a very religious man. He never went to church after he was disturbed by one Bishop. (I never know the cause). But, he was always religious in his dealings with people. Mother and we children always took an active part in the church and he never objected to Mother paying an honest tithing. When he was younger, he liked to go to dances and was usually asked to call for the square dances. When Amy could not go with him, he would take Amy's sister Celine. Lars took sick in the Fall of 1928 and died March 29th at the age of sixty-one. It was a severe winter. Both he and Verna had snowy graves, she having passed away in February. The doctor said that his heart had enlarged so much that the sack around it was too tight and stopped its beating. He was buried March 14, 1929, but I Vida could not come to the funeral as we were snowed in at our ranch at Lynn. I always felt bad for this. I would liked to have been there, but I never even got word of his death until after the funeral was over. He was always a very good father to me and I loved him dearly. | . Nephi P. Andersen, Lar's father-in-law, was teaching him surveying. But when Nephi died in 1910, Lars did not know enough about it to go on his own, so he stuck with the building profession. Lars planted trees and raspberries, strawberries, six cherry trees, peach trees and apricot trees. We always had a vegetable garden, a potato patch, a corn patch, an asparagus patch, and a cow, chickens, and sometimes a pig. So, we raised most of our living. All this was on a one-half acre lot. The place was beautifully landscaped with pine trees, hedges, a rose garden and different flowers as they were in season. He had garages of lumber for the cars of those renting the "Flat". The Maybees and the Hanlins, our renters, were the first in Brigham to own cars. What a thrill it was to go for a ride in them. I remember when Uncle Peter, Lars's half brother, came from Australia. He hauled all of the rocks off of the garden and kept our place neat as a pin. He had joined the church in Australia, and his family were so unhappy with him that he left and came to Utah. At one time after he left us, he lived in Ogden and would come to visit us. Whenever he came he endeared himself to Dewey and me by giving us each a $1.00, a lot of money in those days, --and he wouldn't stop there for he would give all of our friends who happened to be with us some money too. As a contractor and builder, Lars built the City reservoir. He built the first ten houses in Mink Creek. He built the City Hall and the library in Brigham. He had the contract for the brick work for the LDS Seminary. He built Horsley's store and Brown's shoe store and home. (While building the Brown's shoe store he slipped on the wet grass in the front of our house as he was sprinkling and his right knee hit the hard pavement hurting it pretty badly. But, he took himself off to work. About 11 o'clock he was brought home. He had fallen off of the scaffold as his knee bothered him so much he sort of fainted. The doctor put his leg in a plaster cast and he had to go on crutches for six weeks. He had cracked his knee cap.)