Edward Loyn Blacker and Mabel May Brown
Mabel Brown and Loyn Blacker on their wedding day

Each of my parents wrote a life story that started with their birth and continued through much of their marriage. My father's is fairly complete up to 1990. My mother's contains some until 1989 but is not a complete as my father's. I have removed the material after their marriage from their personal histories and have put it in this document. My father's words have a blue or green background. My mother's words have a paper background and a different font.

Ruth May Blacker Waite

Edward Loyn Blacker and Mabel May Brown History

In leap year on March 21, (1936) Mabel May Brown started our venture toward married life which resulted in a ring being presented while in Salt Lake City at the Coconut Grove, on May 21, 1936 and being married in the Salt Lake Temple on October 9th of the same year.

Our first home was two rooms of a four room house shared with Wayne and Mabel Hanks. He also was teaching school. We borrowed from Mother an old fashioned stove that Dad had discarded years before and had kept instead of throwing away. They didn't dream they were saving it for me. Alice and Bill loaned us a cupboard and Loyn made a clothes closet for us. With a few articles the landlady rented us we set up housekeeping with fear and trembling. We were poor in worldly goods, but rich in spiritual materials. We had decided before we were married that we should have prayer always in our home and this we have always done. We also both desired to have an ideal Latter Day Saint home. We have paid our tithing and offerings and all dues of the Church regardless of what else we had.

Church activities continued on. Mabel had always been active in Church work. She fulfilled a mission in the Northern states in 1931 and 32, and had been active in the local organizations ever since her return. On December 13, 1936 I was set apart as first counselor to Bishop Joseph M. Martin of the Hilliard Ward. During that entire school year I taught the Gospel Doctrine class in Sunday School. In January of 1937 Mabel was set apart as a missionary of the Woodruff Stake Mission in which capacity she acted for about twenty-seven months.

When we were married I was starting out on my second year as President of the Young Ladies Mutual and was also Secretary of the Relief Society, second counselor in the Primary and also Bluebird advisor in the Stake Primary. I also taught Literature in Relief Society and Bluebirds in Primary. Sounds as if I was busy, but I've always loved to work in the Church. In December Loyn was called to be first counselor in the bishopric and was also a ward teacher. The Stake Missionary plan as just being started and early in January I was called to be a stake missionary. I also carried on with the same jobs above mentioned.

Loyn had a Ford coupe, but after Christmas we were unable to use it because of the snow, so we walked a great deal. Loyn had a pair of skis which he used a lot.

Leaving home was hard for me. I always had been a home lover, and during the winter I spent many days home while Loyn was at school.

The home in Almy

In the spring of 1937 I was offered a better teaching job in the Almy School where we moved that fall. The house had to be furnished so here commenced the buying of furniture and appliances which we seemed to be everlastingly at.

We went to Almy in September. There was a little four room house for the teacher to live. They had painted the walls but the roof leaked a little. We had to buy all our furniture now, except a stove. There was an old Majestic Range and that was all. It was fine to cook on, but wouldn't bake at all. I learned to cook on top of the stove. Necessity is the mother of invention, so they say. An old pump that had to be primed furnished our water. We bought a bedroom set from Consolidated in Evanston; a davenport and chair from Sterling Furniture in Sugarhouse, Utah; also a table and four chairs. Again we set up housekeeping.

The finest thing that had ever come to our house arrived October 18, 1937 when our baby boy was born to us. He was not with us long when he took over the government of the family. He has been an exceptionally good baby and toddler, two years later, he has had no serious illness nor caused any difficulty. On the other hand he has brought joy and happiness into our lives. Our home would indeed be empty if it were not for him.


October 18, 1937, was I believe, one of the most important days of my life. This day I became a mother. A son was born to us about 8:20 at night. It was a humble home - we didn't have electricity, but by a gas lamp's rays I first gazed on my son. But his coming brought new love and joy to us. As I held him in my arms, I thrilled with sincere joy as I tasted of motherhood for the first time. I had been admitted into that great assembly of elect women who had obeyed the first commandment of the Lord. This mission of motherhood was most sacred and glorious to me. We called our son Paul.

We had our baby problems although Paul was always a good baby and we were never up at nights only on a few slight times when he was ill. His coming curtailed my Church activity to a great extent. But I kept on with my missionary work. Loyn was wonderful in his help. We visited, Helen Nixon was my companion, nearly every home in Almy and also our assigned district in Evanston. I enjoyed this mission very much, although it was at times very difficult. I was released March 26, 1939, serving about 26 months. During this time Loyn had been Stake Sunday School Superintendent.

In December of 1937 we traded the model 'A' Ford for a 1936 Chevrolet Coupe.

The summer of 1938 was spent in Rupert again, this time building a new dairy barn, 48 by 34 ft, with a concrete floor and steel stanchions. During the summer of 1939 we sold "Wear-Ever" aluminum cookware, but did not take to that type of work.

Spring came. School closed and we stored our things with Mother and went to Rupert for the summer. Loyn's Dad wanted him to build new corrals and a shed. So we spent the summer doing that. However, before leaving Wyoming, Loyn had secured another job as teacher at the Almy school. This was back to the old homes of my folks and also Loyn's father's folks.

In the spring of 1938 I was set apart as Stake Superintendent of the Woodruff Stake Sunday Schools which position I held until February 18th, 1940 when I was released and set apart as Stake Genealogical Representative of the Woodruff Stake. From January of 1939 until the present, February 21, 1940, I have been teaching in the Genealogical class of the Almy ward which class is completing the first year of Junior Genealogical work.

My calling as Stake Genealogical Representative proved interesting for both Mabel and I had done that type of work and were interested in it even prior to our experience in the Almy ward. The work presented a challenge to us for it seems of all the organizations of the church people are less interested in genealogical work than any. They profess conversion but, possibly due to the nature of it -- book work -- record keeping etc. -- which requires time and effort and means and so often discouragement, the work is procrastinated. It is felt that it is a work that can be postponed until a day when more time will become available and the trials of the present will be behind. It all adds up to the fact that those who are charged with work either in the wards or stakes accept a work which is difficult to secure responses and for that reason very often one becomes discouraged. On the other hand there comes to no one more real joy and satisfaction than that gained through this work. The very nature of the work is stimulating. The fact that any progress in research is 'discovery' and that any success is actually but the opening of a broader and bigger field for research definitely keeps one on the frontier of the unknown and proves a stimulus for further work. Also, and this above all, the spirit of satisfaction one receives in making it possible for others to enjoy the fruits of his labors is soul satisfying, and as one performs this work in the temple one feels the nearness of the Unseen World as no where else in all the world. Despite all the discouragement work in this organization proves to be most interesting and inspirational.

Loyn and I decided to do some genealogical work. This phase of church work had always interested me, but I had done little about it. We had a brother from Idaho to do some research work for us in the Genealogical Library and we sent these names to the Temple. A Genealogical class was started in Almy and Loyn was the teacher. The course studied was very interesting and all in the ward was enthused and we started to make Books of Remembrance. Loyn made a cover out of plywood for Paul and I. My book won the prize. The real prize was my own book I'd promised myself so long I'd make. Loyn was called to the High Council and was given the job of Stake Genealogical Chairman. I was a board member.

We enjoyed success in the Genealogical class of which I previously mentioned. A project of having all in the ward who would write and make up individual Books of Remembrance was started and proved to be exceedingly interesting. The writing of personal history, of the history of forefathers, of the taking of pictures and gathering photos of progenitors all proved very interesting. At that particular time the Genealogical Society of Utah offered awards for the completion of the year's work and upon my making application for these awards the society officials wrote an article in the October 1940 number of the Utah Genealogical Magazine which I copy verbatim:


An unusual and interesting application for genealogical awards has been received from Representative Loyn Blacker of the Woodruff Stake. We quote from his letter; "Below are the names of individuals, both adults and young people, who have completed their first year's "Book of Remembrance" lessons including all activities of that course and who are eligible for the First Year award.

"The entire group are members of the Almy Ward which has a total population of but seventy members, thus making a total of over twenty-five percent of the entire ward population having completed the course. Two or three others have not as yet completed all the assignments......

"The first year's work has been completed and the class is carrying on with the second year's work with the same enthusiasm as previously shown and we hope to have all the group complete the second course.

"We are grateful to the Genealogical Society for the lessons which have been prepared. Outstanding are the activities which, when completed, become such an interesting and vital addition to one's achievements."

Among the names of those completing the course are those of the Stake Representative, his two Counselors, Ward Representative, and Ward Secretary.

Soon after this I was informed by Stake President James Brown of the Woodruff Stake that I had been selected to serve as a member of the High Council of that Stake. At that time it was rather unusual for younger men to hold a position on the High Council and I felt rather conspicuously out of place due to the fact that I was possibly twenty years younger than any other member

It was but a short time following my appointment as Stake Chairman that we decided we would be able to create more interest in our work and keep the ward committees more united and their work more uniform were we to publish a stake genealogical paper in which articles, reports, instructions etc. could be inserted. We had no previous experience in such a venture but it proved interesting and in our opinion, very worth while. After considerable consideration we decided on a name. We had never heard of it before but it has proven rather suitable for our purpose. "The Genealogue" was put out each month and a number of mimeographed copies were sent to each ward. This paper required a lot of time and planning and many a night we have worked on it far into the morning hours. It received a good reception among the people of the Stake and was an incentive toward better reports.

Diary for a Week

Tuesday, February 13, 1940 - Got up about 7:30 a.m. Prepared breakfast and although it seemed a miserable morning I decided to do the washing. Finished it after dinner. In between times I made the beds, cleaned up the bedroom and living room and prepared dinner. After dinner and the washing were done, I washed the dishes, cleaned up the pantry, mopped the pantry and kitchen floors and straightened up the house. Paul had played outdoors all morning and I put him to bed as he was tired out. Loyn brought the mail at recess, which was a letter from Brother Cole in which he enclosed the names he had gathered for us at the Genealogical Library. We each had about 200 names of our dead relations, some of which had lived before 1600. We were thrilled about them. After school was out and we had done the janitor work we went to town. Visited and had supper with Bill and Alice. Came home, put Paul to bed and then we both copied some of the names we'd received today on Baptism and Endowment sheets. Retired about 11:00 p.m. Tired out.

Wednesday, February 14, 1940 - hated like everything to get up this morning, but did about 7:30 a.m. After breakfast was over I got Paul ready to go out to play, even though it was stormy he wouldn't stay indoors. It made a Devil's Food Cake for the school party in the afternoon. It was passing fair after dinner and dishes were behind me. I wrote in my Book of Remembrance for awhile, prepared my lesson for Primary and got ready for the party. About two o'clock I woke Paul so he could go to the party. I helped Miss Bowns and Mrs. Williams service ice cream and cake. Paul enjoyed the ice cream very much. Primary followed the party. My lesson was about the obedience to the commandments of the Lord of Abraham and Moses. Only one of the four girls had even heard of either man. For supper we had chili, fruit and cake. Worked on my genealogical work after Paul had gone to bed for nearly two hours, and then went to bed.

Thursday, February 15, 1940 - The usual routine fo family life was followed this morning, after which I did some ironing. Prepared and had dinner, after which I put Paul to bed. He slept for about an hour, during which Loyn had brought the mail. I got a letter from Ethel M. Godber, a relative of Mother's in Sharon, Pennsylvania, in answer to one I had written in December regarding the Godber genealogy. Her letter was very kind and interesting and she gave me some valuable information; also the address of a Godber in Florida and two of Godbers in Los Angeles, California. Pictures which we had sent away to be developed were in the mail and they were pretty good, specially the ones of Paul. While I was dressing Paul, Aunts Ettie, Liza and Sadie and Helen came to visit. After janitor work was done we made a hurried trip to Evanston to post an urgent letter of Loyn's to cancel a photographer's engagement for Sunday. After supper we went to a cottage meeting at Bown's. Listened to an electrical transcription of the first of the "Fullness of Time" series. Enjoyed it very much. Came home about ten o'clock and soon afterwards went to bed.

Friday, February 16, 1940 - After breakfast and the morning work was done I finished the ironing. Wrote a little in my Book of Remembrance. Paul visited the school this morning and played in the band. He surely enjoyed it. After dinner was over, Paul went to bed, but not to sleep. He sang and played until I finally let him get up and dressed him. Wrote a little on my life's story. Helped to the janitor work. Wrote on my story and then went to bed after eleven. Not a very eventful day.

Saturday, February 17, 1940 - The usual morning jobs disposed of, made a cake for Jim and Melvin. Scrubbed, dusted and cleaned, bedroom, living room and kitchen. Received word from Loyn's folks of the death of Hyrum's baby. We were dreadfully shocked. Went to town and bought the things we needed. Came home at 5 o'clock and Loyn helped Rulon Nixon with his chores so they could go to Priesthood meeting in Randolph, while I prepared supper. After the dishes were washed, I bathed Paul and put him to bed. Made a cake which wasn't as good as I'd have liked it to have been. Commenced the story of the life of my Grandfather Brown. It was after ten o'clock when Loyn came back. We talked for awhile about the meeting. Elder Samuel O. Bennion is the visitor from Salt Lake for Conference. Had a bath and went to bed after eleven.

Sunday, February 18, 1940 - Got up about 7:30 a.m. although I'd have given a lot to stay in bed. Prepared breakfast - grape fruit, corn flakes, bacon, eggs and toast. Bill brought Alice to go to Randolph with us. Made sandwiches, iced the cake and got ready. Left about 9:15. It was snowing quite hard when we left, but we had no trouble and arrived about 10 minutes to ten. Enjoyed meeting very much. At the close of the meeting Loyn along with about a dozen others were requested to meet with the Stake Presidency right after the meeting. He was gone nearly an hour while Alice, Paul and I waited in the assembly. Paul took in all the sights and learned the details of the building. Finally he came. We ate our lunch in the car and learned that the change we had heard might occur was going to. That was Loyn should be changed from Stake Superintendent of the Sunday Schools to Stake Genealogical Chairman, also of the release of the Stake Relief Society officers. Loyn talked in afternoon meeting and did very well. Had another wait of nearly an hour while the new officers were set apart. Had supper, finished the story of grandfather Brown's life and went to Genealogical meeting. Went to bed at eleven and was nearly too tired to go to sleep.

Monday, February 19, 1940 - Got up about 7:30 this morning and felt as if I needed about twelve more hours of sleep. Alice stayed with us all night. After breakfast and the dishes were washed I cleaned up the house. Paul slept until 9:30. I dressed him, fed him his breakfast and embroidered a little on pillow cases, of course talking to Alice all the time. Paul played outdoors until noon, had his dinner and slept until nearly 3:45. He had a big day yesterday and was tired out. Sewed until school was out. Received a letter from Violet and Dorothy. They are all well. John and Dorothy are planning on leasing his mother's place with Lew this summer. Did janitor work and took Alice home. Went to the dentist, but he was too busy to fill two teeth of mine. Came home, prepared supper and afterwards cleaned up the kitchen. Wilbur Bown's and Elwin Sessions came for donations to the new church to be erected in Almy this summer. Loyn promised $25.00. Wrote in my Book of Remembrance until 10:30 and then we went to bed.

At four o'clock on the morning of the 7th of May 1940 our first little girl was born -- Ruth May was the name given in the Almy Ward on June 2nd. The meetings were held in the school house, therefore, as with Paul before, they were blessed in that building.


In the passing of time another important event occurred, just as big and as thrilling as the one before. A baby girl was born to us May 7, 1940. A baby girl! It didn't seem true - now I could have a baby to buy a pretty lacy bonnet for! And a sister for Paul. She was born in the same house Paul was, only it was spring and in the morning. I could hear the birds singing outside and the baby crying inside. Loyn was going to call it Jerry, but when it was a girl we called her Ruth May. She was always sweet and nice.

For three years I taught school in Almy and, as I could, took correspondence courses from the BYU. I secured a teaching position in the Evanston city schools. I had not had sufficient college work to be eligible for high school nor junior high teaching, therefore, had to teach in the grades in the Clark School.

On the day that school started we moved from Almy to a new home which we purchased in Evanston. It was by far the best home we had had since we were married. It was at 211 Front Street, the only disadvantage of it being that it was a mile from school which proved a rather long walk, particularly at the noon hour for I usually preferred walking home for lunch rather than eating a cold lunch at school.

The salary was low and the little family required more and more so it was necessary for us to be as saving as possible, therefore, I used the car as little as possible. To supplement our school year income it was necessary that I find employment during the summer months. The summer of 1941 was spent working for a firm know as Cazin and Houtz, an electric shop in Evanston. They had received a contract from the Union Pacific Railroad to service water and particularly steam valves which had become defective through use. The following summer was spent working on the labor gang in the railroad yard of the Union Pacific at Evanston. The work was rather menial but honest toil. To make ends meet we went into the chicken business as there was a coop on our place. The first year we raised cockerels as well as a bunch of pullets which were kept for laying purposes. Beside the extra income from them which was not great due to the fact that all feed had to be purchased we also found in the venture considerable extra work.

We lived in Almy for three years and both learned to think a lot of the place. It was always a source of interest to me as it was once a large mining town. I've always loved old places. We loved the people and we entered into the community and church activities. I was first counselor in the Primary and also taught the Bluebirds the last year we lived there.

The home in Evanston

Our church activities had not decreased by our moving from Almy to Evanston. I continued with my genealogical assignment as, also with High Council work. During the winter or 1941-42 the Woodruff Stake was reorganized. Due to President Brown's health a change in the presidency was necessary. Under the direction of Elder Harold B. Lee, President Joseph I. Williams of Evanston was selected as the new president of the Stake. By the release of the old presidency the High Council was disorganized. With the reorganization I was again appointed a member of the Council being third in seniority. I was again assigned to work as Stake Chairman of the Genealogical Committee. I believe my testimony of the Gospel was influenced as much or more at the time of the setting apart of the officers of the Stake by Brother Lee as any other experience I had ever had. There was evidence that he was inspired as he set each one apart for, though we were all strangers to him he seemed able to read our very lives, telling us of the things we were to particularly be careful against and also of what we should do. The spirit of the meeting was unusually sacred. Due to the slowness of Church members to respond to their research and temple work we had, at times, felt to complain to ourselves, wondering what we could or should do to awaken more interest. Probably Brother Lee sensed this for in his blessing he told me to not become overly concerned with the progress of the work for the Lord would touch the hearts of the people in His own due time and things would progress as He willed. Another item of interest which depicted the type men our leaders are was demonstrated in Brother Samuel O. Bennion of the seven Presidents of Seventy who was visiting and assisting Brother Lee. As I entered the building on that particular Sunday morning session Brother Bennion was at the door greeting the comers. As he shook my hand he asked me to go with him toward a quiet spot in the chapel. He informed me he had sat on the stand the evening before during Stake Priesthood meeting and had studied the people of the congregation. He said, "I want you to stop worrying. As I looked over the congregation last night I picked you out as the one who worries most over his work." He continued to advise me of the uselessness of worry, etc.

During the first year in Evanston I taught the Genealogical Training class of the 1st Ward Sunday School and the second year taught the Gospel Doctrine class. During this time I also was a Ward Teacher.


On the 30th of April 1942, Lois, our second daughter and third child was born. We were happy with our children and not too discontented with out lot. However, it was our desire that I obtain further schooling that I may get in higher-paying teaching positions. But it was impossible for me to go to summer school nor could I find time to take correspondence courses. Therefore we were concerned as to what we would be able to do to earn more money. The home we purchased was bought on a long time payment basis. We borrowed the $200.00 down payment from my brother Fred who was living in Rupert and the balance of the $2,500 was to be paid by monthly payments for the next ten years. It was a heavy debt considering the fact that my school wages were $110 per month with payment on the twelve month basis. I started my teaching at Hilliard in 1935 at $90.00 per month on a nine month basis. I started at Almy on the same wage excepting on a twelve month salary.

Conditions throughout the world were serious by the summer of 1942. War had been declared and shortages were beginning to appear. I was within the draft age limit, however, I was in the older bracket at time of registering, therefore never in any immediate danger of being drafted. Things were going along in this manner when I started teaching for the school year of 1942-1943. I had been teaching about six weeks when Dad and Mother came to Evanston to see us. They had farmed all their married lives and felt they would like to retire from it and felt they couldn't operate the farm another year. There was danger that George, Earl and Verl who were yet unmarried would be called to the service before another year was up so we were asked if we would like to rent the farm.

We didn't want to leave or home nor the people in Evanston but we realized we had to look for something other than teaching and it seemed this was our way out. We decided we should make the move and started making arrangements immediately. The superintendent of schools, Mr. Clyde Kurtz consented to release me and within a few days time I quit teaching. I went to Rupert and helped in the beet harvest for two weeks or more and then returned to Evanston to get the family.

Just prior to our leaving Evanston the ward genealogical committee held a farewell party for us. They presented us with a set of dishes as a token of their appreciation for the work we did while with them. It was hard for us to leave Evanston for we surely enjoyed our friendship with the people there. We have often said there is no better people anywhere than there. It was also hard for me to leave my school. The youngsters appeared to have enjoyed me. When I informed them of my intentions to leave a number of them wept. They were good little "kids" and presented me with a nice little suit case which I have used considerably.

The home on the farm in Rupert

We moved from Evanston about the middle of November of 1942 and started our farming career again. We bought Dad's herd of Jersey cows which necessitated buying the hay also -- going further in debt than ever. We had sold our house in Evanston to Mabel's mother, Grandma Brown for the same price we had paid for it, thus we got our equity out of it and applied it on our new debt. Dad and Mother, in the mean time, had purchased a home in Rupert and moved there.

Again we found we had our hands full. The milking machine was a great boon to us for we were milking twelve to sixteen cows most of the time and with what other work the farm provided we didn't get into trouble from idleness.

Our moving did not relieve us of the responsibility of Church positions for long. Within about six week's time I was asked by the Minidoka Stake Presidency to serve as a member of the High Council and to have charge of the work for the Adult Members of the Aaronic Priesthood. For awhile I thought I had jumped from the frying pan into the fire so far as working in work in which there was any encouragement. This position placed me as a member of the Stake Welfare Committee. This phase of the work I enjoyed very much and it was through this that we met with most success with the Adult Members. I was assigned to work as a ward teacher, also. About two months after we moved to Rupert Bishop Lionel May asked me to serve as Ward Chairman of the Genealogical Committee. We enjoyed this work immensely, Mabel being the secretary. Genealogical interest in Rupert was much the same as in the Woodruff Stake, however, in the ward we worked directly with the members rather than through Ward Chairmen as when laboring in a Stake position. We instigated the project of paying for endowment work and joined with all Stake Excursions. During the years of 43-44-45 we performed an average of from 1,200 to 1,500 endowments, including personal and paid endowments.

As I have said previously, farm work kept us busy. During the first summer we worked with my brother Roy. He had his eighty, we had an eighty and between us we hired Earl and Verl to work for us. We leased the Keck eighty north of Paul, planting most of it to beans and potatoes. We had a lot of work, particularly during the irrigating season. It meant day work and a lot of night work but we managed. We could never had done it had it not been that Mabel was able and willing to help. She took care of the milking a good part of the time. It was hard for her for she had the house work, the children, and cooking for three men beside.

George, Earl and Verl were all called into the service, however, George was turned down due to a bad foot. Verl was unable to remain in the service for long. The training was too hard for him. He had always been delicate and not strong and when he had to undergo the hardship of training his health failed. He was sent to and remained in the hospital for several weeks and was finally honorable discharged, however his health never permitted him to work on the farm so long as we were there. Earl ended up in the occupation forces in Japan.

The second year of farming Roy and I confined ourselves to the two eighties. This year we enjoyed an unusual harvest, both as to crops and prices. Labor was very short. Excepting a few Mexican nationalists and Italian and German prisoners of war we had no help and that help was a real problem for, in the most cases, they had no previous experience. In case of potato picking they got along fairly well, however, one couldn't turn any equipment or teams over to them. This particular year we had thirty acres of potatoes and the balance of the farm in hay and grain. Our potatoes were outstanding. The nine acres north of the barns yielded better than four hundred sacks to the acre and the balance was about three hundred twenty-five. We sold the entire crop at $1.75 field run -- that is, per one hundred pounds.


We were greatly blessed in our family life as well as in our fields and herds. On the 18th of July 1944 a new girl arrived whom we named Mary Esther. She totaled our family to four each of whom we dearly loved. We have always felt out family was our real treasure and that our worldly interests were secondary. It is our desire that we shall be able to raise them to honorable manhood and womanhood with a deep interest in the gospel. Shall we be able to do this is a real concern. To assist us we have endeavored in our weak way to be loyal to the Church and honest in our dealings for we realize example shall be the most effective method of teaching.

During these years we attempted to maintain and improve in some instances the fine herd of Jersey cows we had purchased. We purchased a young heifer just prior to her first calf through the Western Representative of the American Jersey Cattle Club paying two hundred and fifty dollars which, at the time, was nearly twice the price of a good cow. She proved to be a disappointment for due to the fact she was of a nervous disposition and sentimental, we could never depend on her being consistent in her milk flow. One milking she would give twenty to thirty pounds of milk and the next two or three. This continued through two lactations which, of course, couldn't be tolerated. Being of such a nature, she of course, dried herself up long before she should have been. We also purchased a young bull calf for a herd sire. We paid three-hundred fifty dollars for him when but a week or so old. Six to eight months later we lost him through bloat. We felt badly but didn't give up. We then bought one from Salem, Oregon for five-hundred dollars. It was delivered as far as Boise and Roy and I drove there to take him on to Rupert. He was but ten days old at the time. We never remained on the farm long enough to mature him, however, my brother Earl kept him with the herd until a change was necessary due to inbreeding.

The work as we were doing it was quite pressing. These years were during the war years and we gave it about all we had. Following the war we felt we should get into something a little less exerting. Earl had not returned from Japan and we knew it was the desire of Dad and Mother that the twins should have the opportunity of purchasing the farm when they were able and to operate it to get a start. We had farmed the place two years and were into the third when an opportunity came to purchase, with Fred, a furniture store in Ontario, Oregon. Fred operated it from May until December when we moved to Ontario, thus completed three full years on the farm. This change was a decision which was hard to make. My brother Hyrum had expressed himself as being desirous of farming and needed an opportunity to get a start. We felt, in all fairness, in as much as we had done well, that the least we could do would be to give him an opportunity before Earl returned.

The furniture business, including accounts, cost us eleven thousand. We sent Fred a check of five thousand five hundred for our share without seeing the business. Soon after, we drove to Ontario to see what we were getting into. We were not convinced, even on that trip that we were doing right. I felt that I couldn't continue farming as we had been. I don't believe I could have taken another year. Mabel was more reluctant coming than I, mainly due to the fact that we were getting further from her old home, Evanston. The fact that we were interested in temple work was a factor which made it the harder for us to decide. We knew the opportunity to attend would be few times and far between. We genuinely wondered whether we were doing right. Probably we shall never know whether our choice was for the best or not. So far as finance is concerned I doubt if we did the best thing. Life has not been the hurry and strain it was however, and though we don't enjoy anymore spare time, if as much, we do enjoy more of the comforts, however, they may have come had we continued on with the farm.

During the week bet ween Christmas of 1945 and New Year's Day of 1946 we moved to Ontario, having purchased a home from Roy Wexcott at 241 NW 1st St. for the price of $6,000.

Lois, Ruth and Mary in front of the home in Ontario

We enjoyed our new home despite the fact that there were certain handicaps it presented. It was less than six blocks to the store from the house and four blocks from the church house at West Idaho Ave. and NW Third St. The sawdust furnace was a new experience in house heating. Sawdust was, at times, a little difficult to obtain, however, we were always able to secure some. Should one have ample storage space wherein he might store sawdust which is available in the summer season he would have no difficulty. It is the most economical heat by far that we have ever experienced using. From the time of entering the home until we ceased using fuel in early summer we spent $17 dollars for fuel to heat the entire house continuously day and night. We may have been back-woodsman but we enjoyed the odor with the house coming from burning sawdust. The house was a two bedroom home and we got along very well due to the fact that the front porch had been petitioned for an extra bedroom suitable for Paul. As the family grew older it would have become too small a home. Also, so far as yard room was concerned we were cramped. We had but a very small garden spot in the back and the lawn space was limited, therefore with the youngsters spending their full time in the yard during good weather we soon found we needed larger quarters. Also, so far as raising children is concerned, we, at times, felt our children should be by themselves, at least part of the time. This was seldom at that home, While we preferred our children to remain at home that we may watch them more closely we invariably had children from the whole neighborhood, sometimes from six in the morning until ten at night.

Weighing the disadvantages against the advantages we were not long in deciding we should find a larger place, in fact, we would have purchased an acreage at first had we found one available. In August of that year, while delivering a desk to the home of Ronald Freese I asked him if he were interested in selling his acreage which he said he would do if he could get his price which was $8,000. The land was choice but the house was small and not modern excepting water to the kitchen sink. It was about what we wanted, excepting the house, located near town, in fact, within the city limits. We attempted to picture in our minds what it could be made into and after a week or two of consideration decided we would attempt to sell our home in town and purchase it. We had no difficulty selling through a real-estate office to the Amalgamated Sugar Co. They were looking for such a home for their fieldman, Bernard Johnson. After becoming acquainted with Bernard we found he was an active church member and that his wife was a girl from Rupert, Erma Thies, who graduated from High School the same year as did I. The sale of the home was a cash deal, we getting $8,000 for it excluding the real-estate fee. With this sum we were able to pay cash for the new home so early in September we moved into it.

The rock house in Ontario

The farm land had been leased to some Japanese who had the entire place planted to onions. There wasn't a blade of grass, excepting the ditch banks, on the place. The yard was overrun with weeds, in fact, we had to cut weeds with a shovel in order to get to the clothes lines. The yard had no gravel and the car tracks were rutted six to eight inches deep, the tell-tale tracks of what the yard was like in wet weather. Our only consolation was the hope which we had of what we felt we could make the place. I think no one was more disappointed than we when we finally needed a drink of water to quench our thirst and found that the water had a strong taste of sulfur. That was about the last straw. We were sure we had made a mistake in the deal. We had never lived where drinking water was not good and it never entered our mind to inquire of such a thing before buying. The only consolation we could hope for was that perhaps because the water had not been used too much the bad water could be from the little used pipes and tanks. We turned the tap on and let the water run. It also proved to be gas filled as well as sulphuric and while, after long running, there was an improvement we definitely had poor quality drinking water. This was hard to become adjusted to however we did become more accustomed to it. Approximately a year and one half after, our water failed us. After considerable difficulty determining what the difficulty was, first thinking it to be the pump itself and having purchased a new and bigger pump, and finding it didn't bring water, the well man decided the well had gone dry. The pipes were pulled from within the casing, examined, cleaned etc. and reset but still no water. This proved the well to be dry. The old depth was approximately 160 feet. Other wells in the neighborhood were examined and it was found they were from 50 to 400 feet in depth with the 50 foot well giving the best water. Mr. Paulson said he had had some experience with such wells and at times by blasting the casing at different depths he had had success in finding water, other times he had failed to find water. So the proposition was put up to us as to what we wished. We needed a well, the present one was dry. We decided that were we to blast it we wouldn't have less water. He dynamited at fifty one or two feet and though there was no water he did get a sandy clay, which, when he examined said he was close to water but just a little too low. He put down another charge three or four feet higher and found water. Naturally it was dirty but there was water. The pump was installed and was let to run a couple of hours. To our pleasure we found we had good tasting water but it was not certain whether we would have sufficient, however it has never failed us to this day some two years later and we have used a lot of water.

In the mean time we had operated the furniture store and found it to be a fairly good business. Merchandise was scarce following the war but as the availability of it improved the quality also improved and as appliances began to return we found our building was entirely too small. Another building in the block in the center of town, next door north of the "Big Four" became available and in April of 1947 we opened another store, taking appliances and pianos down there. We operated that business for three years when the grocery store just north and joining the furniture store closed its doors and we leased it making an archway between the two store rooms and combined our business again. The new set-up provided nearly as much floor space as the two business provided and it made it much more convenient for us. Also, we were able to eliminate considerable overhead expense. The appliance business was interesting but presented many more problems than the furniture business. We had to depend on hired help for our service work and it proved difficult to obtain good help who could be depended upon. From past experience we shall never become well to do in our business. As I related at one point previously, we have never been able to determine to our satisfaction that we did the right thing by coming to Ontario. We haven't been so successful in the matter of making money as we were on the farm, however, we realize we were farming during unusual years with unusual prices and know that those same conditions haven't prevailed since, however, they have been good years. We cannot complain with our business. We have made a living though we would have a difficult time had it not been for our little place on which we always had a good productive garden and chickens and cows to supplement our income.


I did not take the opportunity to state in this account that while living in Ontario we had another little girl-arrival. Beth was born at the Holy Rosary Hospital on the 8th of May 1946. The older children were sufficiently old to really enjoy the new baby and she has been a joy to us all.

Four girls and a boy, making a household of seven of us, places a great responsibility upon us and furthermore in the days of high-cost living keeps us on our toes as to thrift and management. Our home is one of happiness. We all love and respect each other and love to be in one another's company. The children play very well together. As can be expected they occasionally have their differences but nothing of a serious nature. Very often we are commended by our friends on the well-behavior of our children in both school and church. We insist on consideration of other's rights by the children in regard to property and civil rights. We hope these teachings shall remain with them. They are likewise taught to the best of our ability the observance of the principles of the Gospel and at the same time leave to them their free agency so far as we feel it is right. For example, Fast Day, while the children sometimes wonder as to the value of it, is observed. The babies up to eight years sometimes feel they need a glass of milk or some little thing while those older than eight are instructed that Heavenly Father has asked us to observe that day by refraining from eating for the period of two meals. They are told that if they feel they just can't wait they may take a little nourishment, however, they are reminded that it is a law and that Heavenly Father knows that they can observe it or else He wouldn't have asked us to. Also they are instructed that He will help them if try to help themselves, and it is very seldom that one of them will break their fast, even to the extent of taking a thing. They enjoy going to their meetings and do attend to all they are expected to be at. They have never been too young to attend Sunday School and Sacrament Meetings. The belief that youngsters have to stay home because they are not old enough to be quiet is not our philosophy. Occasionally it has been necessary to take a young child from the meeting to correct their behavior however that has been very few times. We realize they are still young and that our problems may yet be little ones, however, we are grateful they have been as easy as they have been and hope we shall be able to cope with other problems as they arise.

Soon after coming to our present home (the acreage) we bought us a cow and have been in the cow business since, milking from one to four cows. Also we keep a small flock of chickens for our own eggs. The first year we were on the place we raised wheat as a nurse crop to pasture grasses. Since that time the entire place has been pastured. The first year we leased pasture but since have utilized it ourselves. The place requires a lot of extra work so we still find ourselves with no spare time, in fact, with far too little time to accomplish what we wish to do.

Two years after moving into our new home we decided to enlarge the house. We realized the amount of work and anxiety it would cause for we decided we would do as much of it as we possibly could. We decided on a rock veneer having a man, Mr. Haaggard, who was experienced in laying such rock do that work. The rock was cut at its origin , near the Owyhee Dam, and was hauled ready for the building. Prior to the rock work, of course, the frame work was done. To date, more than two years later the inside has not completely been finished. The kitchen and dining room section was completed first and equipped for living. While our home is not elaborate it is a home in which we can enjoy living. the kitchen is large, in the center of which is an island made up of the range and a small cabinet extending around the back and one side of the range. Cabinets are built-in along the entire length of the kitchen in which is placed the dishwasher and sink. The automatic washer and clothes dryer are placed in the kitchen, thus making it the most important room in the house. The room is sufficiently large that the table is there thus our meals are eaten there also. The house has four bedrooms, a library, two bathrooms and a large living room, an insulated fruit room, an entrance room from the back where we intend placing a home freezer. The garage is also completely within the main structure of the house. This may be temporary for it was built that it may be changed with but little difficulty to a recreation room. The front and rear entrances are both covered by the extending roof. We hope to have the house finished within a few months. It has become a major project with us due to the fact we are having to do as much of it ourselves as is possible. This has to be done in our spare time and we hardly have an idea of what spare time is.

One of the larger projects our business has undertaken was the floorcovering of the Nyssa Stake House. It happened that I fell heir to a great extent of the linoleum work done there, both in the class rooms, the chapel, and the hallways. While I have no intention of ever becoming a professional linoleum layer I have done a number of home and some commercial jobs. I like the work but have trouble because of my legs being cramped so much so I intend not to do more of that type of work than I need to.

Since coming to Ontario I have been active in church work. Less than three months after coming to the Stake (at that time, Weiser Stake) I was selected to serve on the Stake High Council having direct charge of the genealogical work of the stake. Soon after my appointment we again started the monthly paper, The Genealogue, which here again , we feel , has been a great asset to our work. Mabel again was selected as Stake Secretary. Very little had been done with this work in the stake, probably due to the fact that the nearest temple was four hundred miles away. We instigated "paid endowment" work and started having regular temple excursions three or four times a year. The work started off slowly and has been rather discouraging a good part of the time, however, we have fought discouragement all our lives for it seems our church assignments have been with the organizations which present discouragement. The Weiser Stake was very large geographically. From Vale on the west to Cascade, McCall and Stibnite on the east made a stake which required much traveling. There were twelve wards beside, at different times, two or three independent branches as well as a number of dependent branches. We found, as we found in the stakes in which we previously had lived, a wonderful type of people, some of the very finest in the world. The area was relatively new so far as the Church was concerned and due to the great influx of church members following the war the meeting places were, for the most part, entirely inadequate. Within a very few years the population of the stake practically doubled.

In 1949 the Stake Presidency was released and therefore the High Council. President Luther Fife had served as president and President Arvel L. Child was sustained as the new Weiser Stake President. I was selected a member of the new High Council and assigned to my old position as Genealogical Chairman. I served on this council for about a year when the Weiser Stake was divided and the Nyssa Stake was created. Again I was called to serve as Genealogical Chairman, this time of the Nyssa Stake. This appointment was the sixth High Council I have had the privilege of serving on, this time being second in seniority.

During this time I have also been a Sunday School teacher in the Senior class and Mabel and I have shared in teaching the Genealogical Training Class. Recently I was called to teach the High School Seminary class being held once each week. Ward Teaching has also been and is an assignment.

While writing of interesting experiences while in Rupert I failed to mention two very important items which I shall here take the liberty of mentioning. The first being that due to shortage of Church Seminary teachers and the fact that Brother Larson of the Rupert Seminary had been called to live with President and Sister Grant in their home during President Grant's illness, I was asked to teach the Rupert Seminary, as I now recall, during the school year of 1944-45. This required the teaching of three one hour classes each morning. The work itself was interesting but due to the fact that we had so much to do in the farm it became more than I could do. I continued with it during the fall and winter but when spring work started on the farm it became necessary that I ask for relief. I felt very badly about this and hesitated asking to be relieved. But the labor situation was such that we couldn't get help on the farm and it was possible to replace me in the seminary. Sister Zella Humphries was my successor taking the work for the last two months.

The other experience which I must mention was the dedication of the Idaho Falls Temple. We were privileged to attend the second session of the dedication, having reserved seats within the Celestial Room, therefore near the temporary pulpit which had been placed for the President of the Church, President George Albert Smith and other General Authorities. It had been my privilege on two separate occasions prior to the dedicatory services to take the seminary students to the temple and to be directed through the entire building by guides. These experiences proved very interesting, for one sees and learns so much about the parts of the temple of which he never sees when attending regular sessions. The Dedication was a unique experience and one which I had anticipated for it is not every day one has an opportunity to be in attendance at a temple dedicatory service. We enjoyed a wonderful spirit and were thrilled with the experience.

Also, while in Rupert, and as Chairman of the 2nd Ward Genealogical Committee Mabel and I wrote and directed the presentation of a pageant entitled "Birthright Blessings". First it was presented to the ward and then we were invited to present it to the entire stake. A picture of the cast was taken following the stake presentation and is included within my Book of Remembrance.

The cast of the Birthright Blessings pagent

The saddest experience which has come to me to this date was the death of Mother which occurred on the 12th day of October 1947. She was at the hospital following an operation but we had received word from Dad that she was recovering satisfactorily, which she was, according to the doctors, and plans were being made for her return home within the next day or so. A blood clot was the immediate cause of her death and it was as much a shock to Dad and the others at Rupert as it was to us at Ontario. She passed away shortly after midnight and we received a telephone call from the doctor shortly after that. One has to go through the experience of losing his mother before he can understand the loss. Though I was married and had a family of my own I believe I felt the loss of her as badly as I ever could have done; those of the family who were living with her naturally would miss her and notice her absence far more than we who were not living there, however, there came into my heart an emptiness which has not nor will ever be eliminated. Mother was nearly 64 years of age. In reality but a young woman and could have lived many years of usefulness had she been permitted. Mother was a wonderful woman and mother, She was not spectacular so far as worldly prominence is concerned but she was outstanding as a homemaker and mother. Her life was not one of ease. She mothered twelve children, eleven of whom reached maturity and were living at the time of her passing, three girls and eight boys. Theodore passing away when but two years of age in 1907. She knew the meaning of hardship even from the time of her girlhood. Only during the last three or four years of her life was she at liberty to take things a little easier and even then she was not content to do so. Her life was one of service to her family. She loved her children dearly and was continuously concerned for their welfare and saw to it that all were taken care of even though she had to go without on occasions. An expression of her love was demonstrated at the time of my going into the mission field. She was raised in a home of pioneers of English descent and tea was thought to have been a 'must'. She used it, particularly each morning. she felt she had to have it. She had tried to stop a time or two but the habit had conquered. Her body actually required it so she felt. She always had a fear of the ocean and when I received my call to the British Mission in the fall of 1927 she became very much worried as to my safety. That seemed to be her greatest concern even though she felt she couldn't stand to have me absent for that length of time. Just prior to my leaving and as she was endeavoring to hold up under the experience of parting she told me she had promised the Lord that should he protect me going and returning on the water she would never "touch tea" again. I never heard her say that the tea problem was a hard one but she did tell me after her return that she couldn't stand to go into my bedroom for days after I left. She bore testimony that she kept her part of her promise concerning the tea. She never used it after that time.

Things were easier for her after they moved to Rupert but she didn't remain long enough to enjoy the convenience of life in town. Her funeral was held on the fifteenth of October and she was buried in the Rupert Cemetery. As I previously stated, that was the hardest experience of my entire life, and I cannot write sufficiently nor eloquently enough to express my gratitude to her for what she has done for us. This I know, she has earned a rich reward and may we be sufficiently worthy to have the privilege of again being with her.

Shortly more than a year following Mother's death my brother Hyrum who was about 34 years of age and the father of two children passed away at his home in Vernal, Utah. His body was brought to Rupert where his funeral was held and he likewise was buried in the Rupert Cemetery.

Less than three months following Mother's death, Mabel's mother passed away in Evanston. She was making preparations to come to Ontario for a few week's stay and had left her prepared suit-case at the house and walked down town to take care of a little last minute business before she left town. She dropped dead on the steps of the City Hall. We had just gotten our bearings from the shock of Mother's death then we got this word again by telephone. She was a very fine lady also, and had raised a fine family of two boys and four girls to maturity. She had been left a widow to raise the younger members of her family some twenty years previous. Her funeral services were held in Evanston and she was buried in the family plot in the city cemetery. The same can be said of her as of my mother. To them we owe a debt of everlasting gratitude.

Paul as a senior in high school

As the years passed, naturally, the children started, each in their turn, and continued their school work. Our home was nearly a mile from the school buildings, however, they were between home and the store so it made it quite convenient for me to pick the youngsters up, particularly at the noon hour. They walked most of the time during good weather when it wasn't convenient to pick them up. During cold and wet weather, Mabel would take them in the car. Paul started in the band when he was in the sixth grade and following that year he was asked to play in the high school band which he did for the following years until his graduation from high school in 1954. He enjoyed his saxophone and benefited greatly by his experience there. When Paul entered his sophomore year he entered the new Ontario High School which was built on property adjacent on the south to our place. This made it very handy for us. In three minutes time those attending that school could either be home or to school. Naturally, the building of the new school increased the valuation of our nine and one half acres to which we could find no particular reason to complain.

In April of 1951 we decided it wise for us to consolidate our furniture business with the G and B Furniture store of Vale, Oregon and purchase the big C.C. Anderson furniture store in Ontario. To do this it was necessary to bring in additional finance to add to the capital assets of the two businesses. This was a real decision to make. The G and B Store intended to get the Anderson store. If we didn't choose to join them we would have them as competition and being almost next door to us we felt that it could be serious with us. Those having stock in the Vale store were Rex Tolman, he being the manager and only active man in the business. Others interested were Nephi and Golden Grigg and Ross Butler. In the new business, in addition to them, were Rulon Huntington, Leon Hales of Nampa, and Waldo Thurber of Boise, the latter three to buy ten thousand dollars worth of shares. We, who had been in business, were to receive credit according to our inventory, contracts, furnishings etc. Rex Tolman was credited with about $50,000, the three others from Vale with $17,500 each and Fred and I with $22,000 each. The name G and B was voted to be the name of the new Ontario store due to the fact that the majority of the stock was from the source of the G and B Store in Vale. That store was to continue as it was excepting Rex would move to Ontario to manage the entire business and another hired to handle the managing affairs of the Vale store. The active stockholders who would work in the two stores were to include Rex, my brother Fred, and myself, and Rulon Huntington. The store was large and soon became very active. It was only a matter of a little time until a reasonable large brick building just across the street was rented for a warehouse and to house a department of used furniture. It was later purchased by the store. A year later a large garage joining our store became vacant and we leased it for a warehouse. This proved to be a great advantage. It had a good cement floor and extended, as did the store, the full length of the lot from the front street to the alley. Doors were large enough so that trucks and even the large van could be driven in, either in front or back.

Our major line of appliances was General Electric with Westinghouse as our second line. Business was sufficiently great that many of our purchases in both furniture and appliances were bought by the carload lot. Particularly was this often true with mattress purchases. A great deal of advertising was done both by radio and later by TV when it came to the area. During the five years that I remained in the store a terrific volume of merchandise was handled. We were not sufficiently financed to be able to handle our own paper such as contracts and other forms of agreements to pay. We were not in business long when finance business vied for our business and offered rate incentives that were offered to only the largest businesses of the country. In fact, we were one of the larger businesses. We were advised that we were considered the biggest retail business between Denver and Portland. In 1955 our sales totaled very close to one million dollars. This represented a lot of merchandise handling for nearly all of it, after being sold, was delivered to the homes of the purchasers. The expenses were high and the margin of profit was small, particularly in the appliance field. I spent quite a lot of time during the first year or two working in the floor covering department. I learned carpet laying and having laid linoleum etc., from our old store I was often used in emergency laying jobs. This work was always interesting to me and I took a pride in doing it. I don't recall ever leaving a job where the customer wasn't thoroughly satisfied with the work. My regular assignment in the business was floorcovering department manager and the responsibility of overseeing all incoming and outgoing merchandise and the pricing of new merchandise as it came in, that is, putting our cost code on each item. This led to my having charge of the delivery men and doing most of the warehouse managing. For about a year's time after we had been in business for approximately a year I was asked to keep a card inventory of all merchandise noting on the card the date of its arrival, the number of articles etc., and then deducting on the card each item as it left the store. This made it possible to determine from the card index exactly what we had in stock. No one would realize the number of items handled unless he had had experience. The repair or service department had numerous parts for we had two service departments. One for appliances in general and another for radio and TV. Beside these assignments I was to spend time on the floor as salesman whenever needed and with the traffic we had, help on the floor was needed a good share of the time. During the year or so we were keeping a card inventory I spent many more hours working than the management ever knew, particularly during the time that it was being set up over a period of months. I did my best to keep up with my assignments but for the life of me I couldn't do it. Often during this period I was asked to go out and lay floorcovering for a day or maybe two or three days at a time. This played havoc with my store work but I enjoyed getting out away from the hubbub of the business. I was relieved of my management responsibilities in the floorcovering because I couldn't always be there. Later I was placed as manager of the TV department in connection with some of my other work. In two years time our business sold over 3,000 TV sets. Quite occasionally it became necessary to either assist or in some cases install TV antennas, sometimes after working hours in order to keep the promises of some of the salesmen on the floor.

After five years of this type of activity I felt I couldn't continue and remain happy so I sold over one half of my stock in the business. At the time of moving we still retained an interest in the business.

During these years of business activity we were busily engaged in Church activity. In July of 1953 I was released from my position as Stake Genealogical Chairman and from the High Council and was called to serve as a stake missionary. Missionary work in the stake had proven to be of great concern to the stake authorities. This type of work was under manned either because the bishops were reluctant to give up help from the ward ranks or that they weren't aware of the important field that it was. The stake presidency took the matter into their own hands and called a goodly number of missionaries from the ranks of stake workers and members of bishoprics. Three of us from the High Council were released and placed in as District Presidents in our respective wards and given the charge of seeing that the field was ripe for harvest in stake missionary work. I felt very incapable to fill the assignment. I had felt a fear of missionary work but had resigned myself to the fact that it would probably be an assignment for me after I had become too old to profitable serve in other Church assignments. I had observed that it had been used as a training field so to speak of a number of young people or else was done by older retired folk who weren't able to 'hold their own'in active church work. I never realized that I would be called to missionary work so early. Twelve of us had been appointed in the Ontario District and worked together during the following two years as unitedly as could be hoped. We held weekly report meetings during the two years with a very high percentage attendance each week. Due to a call to the hospital one evening prior to a report meeting we were one minute late starting the report meeting. This was the only meeting during our mission that was not started on time. The missionaries appreciated this promptness and the regularity of the meetings and the fact that the meetings were interesting and I think, worthwhile. We had wonderful support and about fifty baptisms as a result of the activities of the missionaries of the district shows that there was a lot of activity. I became convinced that the good people out of the Church are willing and in some cases anxious to hear what the Church has to offer. During the two years I, and later Mabel, averaged three nights a week, beside our report meeting night, doing missionary work. Many weeks we were out every night excepting Sunday and occasionally we held meetings on Sunday. The new missionary plan of the Church had been started but a year or so before and it was recommended that we use it which we did. I can bear testimony of its effectiveness. There are seven lessons outlined to be given in the form of cottage meetings. It is a much faster method of presenting the gospel than I have ever seen used before. The questions and comments were very pointed and effective. I became convinced that the missionaries who enjoy the most success are the older members, that is, men or women who have experience in the Church and who are respectable members of the community who are well known and enjoy a good reputation and who have their homes established and not such outside interests as so many younger, unmarried members have. There are, of course, exceptions. During the two years we never found it necessary to go up and down the street knocking on doors for contacts, This type of missionary work was exceedingly rare among all the missionaries in our district. In most cases our closer friends and acquaintances were our contacts, Almost invariable we could hold meetings with the people we asked. During the whole of my experience I don't recall more than one or two cases where we were refused and in those cases they excused themselves as not having the time just then but that they might at a later date. When we were inquiring for permission we were very sincere and frank, informing the prospective contact that we had a message to deliver to them, that the Lord had spoken in this Dispensation and gave the members a charge to warn our friends and that until we did give our friends an opportunity to hear it that the Lord held us responsible. To the few who delayed our teaching them I asked if they were willing to stand as a witness that missionaries had called and offered to give them the message we were charged to give and that they were willing to accept the responsibility at the Judgment Day. This, naturally, had to be done in kindness and in such a spirit that it would not create a spirit of resentment or be, in the least offensive. These tactics were used only when there seemed to be developing an opportunity for us to be turned down. In one case it provided us with a meeting which we otherwise wouldn't have had and eventually resulted in baptisms.


Brother Rex Ashcraft (I have since learned him to be my 3rd cousin) was my first companion. One of our first contacts was June Monahan, daughter of a member of the Church. She was about fifteen and had been living with relatives in California who were non members of the Church. She was baptized in less than a month from the time we started having meetings at their home. At the same time we started holding meetings with the Bert Ivie's. She was an inactive member and he a fine young man of about twenty five years of age. They had two little boys. I called at their home one day and asked her if we could meet with her and her husband for a few minutes some evening. She set a date thinking it would be all right for all concerned. When we met with them he said we were welcome but didn't think it would do us much good because Mormon missionaries had met with them when they lived in Payette before they had moved to Ontario. We found him to be alert and interested and one who did considerable reading of the better type of literature. We looked forward to each of the meetings held in their home. We always enjoyed a fine spirit while in their home. He asked to be baptized after we had held a few meetings. We continued holding cottage meetings with them after he was baptized and it proved to be our privilege to see him become active to the extent that he was selected as a stake missionary and worked with our group several months before we were released. During the early weeks of our visiting the Ivies I was out to Paul Robert's garage and visited for a few minutes with Preston Jackson whom I had become acquainted with through business at our store. I asked if we would be able to have permission to take a few minutes of their time that evening at their home. He consented. When Brother Ashcraft and I called on them we visited for a few moments and asked permission, as missionaries of our Church, to hold meetings with them to explain some of the teachings of the Church. Here again they offered to listen but that she was attending a church (I think it was the Baptist) and that he wasn't religiously inclined. They had a boy, Herschel, who was seven years old and Donna, five. In a few weeks she asked to be baptized which was done at the next baptismal. The following Sunday I had the privilege of confirming her and blessing her two children as children of record in the Church.

At about this point in our missionary experience my wife, Mabel, was set apart as a stake missionary and from that time until nearly the end of my two years we worked together as companions. This proved to be an ideal set up for us. It did take the both of us away from home a lot but the older children were old enough to take care of the younger ones. It became tiring for the children because they were alone a lot. Among others we visited we called on the William Konold family. Having something in common with folks has always proven an asset in binding friendships. This holds true usually whether it be in merchandising or any other endeavor. It proved helpful in getting permission to hold meetings with these folks. Mrs. Konold attended the Baptist Church with her two sons, Tommy eleven and Billy, nine. She was born and raised in the Bridger Valley area and while Mabel didn't know her personally she knew of the family. Bridger Valley is not far from Evanston and so they had locality as something somewhat in common. She had been born and raised as a girl as a Catholic but in their locality which was scattered she didn't have close access to the Catholic Church. The little contact she got later didn't leave an impression which influenced her too greatly. Mrs. Konold was a son of a railroad man from eastern Wyoming. He hauled milk for a livelihood at the time. He was a well educated man though he didn't have a degree from a university. He had considerable schooling, however. He was a deep thinking man and had a remarkable vocabulary. She was a former school teacher. His father was a railroad associate of Jeffries, former president of the UP Railroad and was a friend of former President Heber J. Grant. We had a number of lessons beyond the seven suggested in the course. We had about decided they were merely polite to us by asking us to return each time, yet they asked that we not neglect to return. Actually they expressed themselves as having a high regard for the teachings of the Church. We knew they would never be satisfied with any other church for they could accept, by vocal consent, our teachings, They attended meetings at the church occasionally and were interested in its activities, particularly those affecting the young people. One evening in our discussions Mr. Konold asked that the four of them be baptized. This was indeed a thrill to us. We had worked hard with them and were so grateful that the Lord had touched them that they might be able to recognize the truth and have the courage to accept it We felt very humble in the results of our meeting with this family knowing that we were but instruments in the hands of the Lord. We feel we have friends for life in these folk. They insisted that I baptize them and confirm each of them. I suggested that it would be nice to invite a close friend or two who had the authority to participate with us but they declined the suggestion. It was not many weeks following their baptism that he sold his milk route and went to Seattle where he found employment.

At a report meeting of ward teachers which I was attending in the ward, Brother Bernard Johnson informed me of a couple in a family in his district who should have missionaries. He said he didn't know them well enough to know for a surety that missionaries would be welcome but he suggested that we attempt to meet with them. He was on record as a Priest. She was a nonmember. As soon as we found the time to call on them Mabel and I did so. They were about forty years of age and were relatively newcomers to Ontario having moved from Baker, Oregon. He was employed by the Agricultural Department of the State of Oregon, having charge of all brand inspectors in the four southwest counties of Oregon. He was subject to call by the State Cattlemen's Association as he served as a cattleman's policeman looking into cattle robberies and policed the area hunting seasons to protect cattlemen's interests from careless hunters, etc. He holds a good responsible position and is out of town quite often on special call yet he is his own boss in that he is able to govern his own time to a great extent. They were both heavy smokers and had been most of their lives. The house spoke of that fact when we entered. We became acquainted by just dropping in on them and telling them we were missionaries and would like to visit with them occasionally to present some lessons relative to the teachings of the Church. They were friendly folk and due to the fact that they hadn't been in the area long, appreciated a visit from almost anyone. They had been married for years but their home had never been blessed with children which they longed to have. In fact, they had made application with various agencies to adopt children and were being considered by some but the fact they were forty were considered on the border of being too old.

They laughed at our suggestion but said we would be welcome. He told us the story of his Church experience. He used to attend church occasionally when a boy but never took it seriously. He said he had been ordained a Priest, at least he thought it was that, anyway he said he had been asked with a companion by the bishop to administer the sacrament the following Sunday. Like most young people at the time he and his companion went to the dance the evening previous to the Sunday when he was to administer the sacrament. Apparently they drank more than they intended. Anyway they went home in bad shape. The next day when it came time for the meeting he felt that he couldn't go to complete the assignment. For that reason they delayed they going until they felt they would be sufficiently late to have to do it. To their dismay when they arrived the bishop was on the step waiting for them and the meeting hadn't started. Brother Ferrin Woll said that as he was at the sacrament table he resolved to himself that it would never happen again. He was going to be one or the other, but he wouldn't assist with the sacrament unless he was worthy. That was in 1932. We called on him during the winter of 1954. At that time he had never been on the inside of the church. In the meantime he married his wife Edith who was a nonmember. During their married life they never had a piece of LDS literature in the home. They were both almost complete strangers to the teachings of the Church. He said he knew that there was a Relief Society, and a bishop, and deacons, and priests. Other than that he claimed he knew nothing. Even the story of Joseph Smith's Vision was entirely new to him. He claims he never remembered hearing of it before.

They admitted they had no special reason that we couldn't present the lessons but she said she had always made the claim that she would never have anything to do with the Mormon Church and that she wanted us to know that she was not intending to change her mind now. She said it would be the last thing she would ever do to join the Church. If under those conditions and with that understanding we would like to visit with them we would be welcomed. To make a long, interesting story and testimony short, I will but mention that within a few weeks they had both quit their tobacco smoking and in a few additional weeks she asked for baptism in the Church. In no home have I ever witnessed such a change. No smoke odor in their home any more. I know of no one who is more loyal to the Church than Edith nor of anyone who reads more. She picked up the Book of Mormon one evening and read it completely before she went to sleep the next morning and she bears testimony that the book will convince anyone who would read it with a prayer in his heart. If time and space would permit I could add considerable to this brief story of these two fine people, two of the dearest friends we have on earth,

Before closing this short history of our missionary experience I must not overlook another dear lady we had the privilege of working with. Mrs. Hofman, a sister of Sister Balt Nalthanius who came over to visit her and family directly from Holland. The Nalthanius's had come over to this country about four years previous for the Church. They were educated, refined folks who were practically disowned by their relatives in Holland. To be a Mormon in their locality was a very unpopular thing. Curiosity and a desire to see her sister again brought Mrs. Hofman to this country to spend six months. Brother Nalthanius asked that Mabel and I go to the place as missionaries and hold cottage meetings. At this time Mabel was working as companion to Sister Alice Hepworth so the three of us called at the home. Mrs. Hofman, being directly from Holland could not speak English any more than we could speak Dutch. Again we heard by the interpreters that Mrs. Hofman was not interested in our Church. She didn't come to America to look into it but because she was in the home of her sister she would meet with us. This was a new experience for us. Never before had we attempted to give lessons to one who didn't understand our language. The fact that interpreters were needed required more time than it we were speaking directly. She read from her Dutch Bible, we from the English. We bear testimony that as fine a spirit was enjoyed as in any cottage meeting we have held. Sister Nalthanius says she was worried at her sister's coolness during the first meeting but she said she could see her sister's castles falling during, particularly, the second lesson. She agreed, after weighing the question carefully, that her church could not have the necessary authority to be recognized by God. She didn't want to accept Mormonism because she had to return to Holland to live among the other members of her family who felt that the Nalthanius's had made such a mistake in accepting it. They claimed that the members of the Church in Holland were not of the higher type people, that the better class had nothing to do with it or else they immigrated to America. She was worried as to what her family could think. By the time we had finished the lessons she had asked to be baptized for she felt that it was the truth. I shall never forget the disappointment which came to her face and on the faces of the Nalthanius's when she asked to be baptized and we answered that we were very sorry but that we were unable to have it done. I explained that it was the rule of the Church that no married woman could be baptized in the Church without the written consent of her husband. They all shook their heads. It Just can't be done, they said. He will never give his Consent. He was reported to be a good man but to ask him to consent to this would be asking too much. She said she would try. I can assure you she and he had our prayers in her behalf. We knew she was converted and that the Lord would not hold her guilty of not accepting the Gospel even if she were denied the privilege by her husband. She wrote him. We all waited anxiously. Finally an answer to her letter arrived after some delay but to all of our dismay he ignored the particular question we had all been waiting an answer for. she had to write again. Apparently the second letter asked the question in such a manner that he could not ignore it. We couldn't have hoped for more. He told her that it was up to her, that if she felt she was doing the right thing he would give his consent. I can assure you there was a happy household at the Nalthanius's the day that letter arrived. Brother Nalthanius came down to the store as soon as he got word of it. They could hardly wait. So, at the next baptismal service I had the privilege of baptizing Sister Hofman and confirming her the next day. During testimony meeting she walked to the pulpit to bear her testimony. The bishop asked brother Nalthanius to interpret. She bore a strong testimony to the truthfulness of the gospel and expressed appreciation to the Lord for the privilege of her joining His Church. There were many moist eyes in the audience who felt her sincerity and joy.

Not many weeks after her joining the Church she returned to her home in Holland. We have heard from her by two or three different letter written in Dutch expressing her appreciation to us and informing us that she is a attending meetings in their little branch and expresses the desire that some day she will be permitted to acme to this country and enjoy the nice facilities we have in our wards.

I must not spend more time with our missionary experiences. We had two years of the most satisfying Church activity I have ever enjoyed. The blessings of the Lord were with us. We worked hard and our desire was to faithfully perform our assignment to the best if our poor ability. This one thing I am sure of whether we did any good or not we emerged from those two years with a number of the very best friends we could ever hope for. Nine adults came into the Church and two children, one, when he became of age, Herschel Jackson, later being baptized were part of the pleasure we enjoyed. We had letter than fifty baptisms in our district during the two years we were in. We came out convinced that Stake missions are more productive than foreign missions, particularly if they are worked to an advantage. We are all missing wonderful opportunities to do missionary work right among our closest friends and associates.

A few hours before receiving my official release from the stake mission I was sustained as president of the High Priest Quorum of the Nyssa Stake. This was one of the biggest surprises of my life. Never in all my life had I ever given a thought of this position being mine. I felt more unqualified for this than I have any other position. When I thought of presiding over all the High Priests in the Nyssa Stake which would naturally include the Stake President and the bishops and others of the brethren who had had a life time of experience and activity I felt that I wasn't the man for the job. There were older men such as retired bishops, a retired stake president etc. who I felt would serve in this capacity much more capably than I. As I have previously said and I hope it will always be as I have always felt that when one is called he should accept the call willingly. I didn't, want the position because I felt my inability but I knew that if I did my best and applied myself the Lord would bless my efforts in it. I selected Brother Glen Peterson of Nyssa as my first counselor and brother Orson Clark of Vale, a former High Council companion and former member of the Stake Presidency of Bountiful, Utah. We selected Brother William Winegar as secretary. Later Brother Winegar moved to Weiser and we selected Brother Ray C. Lewis to succeed him. We served in this capacity, I think satisfactorily until we moved from the stake which was one year. The work was interesting but of a different nature than my previous experiences.

During these years we occasionally attended the family reunions of the Blackers and the Wilkes. I said occasionally - I think I would be safe in saying two thirds of the time if not oftener. Mabel and I have had the assignment in each of the family organizations of genealogists. The first few years we were working on this we did considerable research by letter and at the Genealogical Library in Salt Lake. After we went as far as we could with the material that was available we hired the research done by the Genealogical Society. Most of the money was raised by the members of the Family Organizations. For the past twenty years (since about 1936) almost without exception money has been kept in the organizations'accounts at the Genealogical Society for research purposes. This doesn't mean that researchers have been working continuously on our lines. The Genealogical Society has been limited in the number of researchers they have been able to secure in England and there are many patrons who wish research work done, therefore we but take our turn securing the services of the researchers. Each patron get but three or four turns each year. Some of these searchers prove fruitful and others don't so, actually, genealogical research on our lines has been relatively slow and yet, due to the fact that our efforts have been constant considerable information has been gathered over the years. We appreciate the confidence the family Organizations have in us and hope we have not been disappointing to them. This assignment from the families has brought pleasure to us. The many hours we have spent writing letters, gathering family data, compiling information at hand etc., have been a joy to us and not a burdened. While many find the spare time interests in social activities and shows or visiting with friends we find contentment with genealogical work.

For several years we had our acreage in pasture. At times we rented it to others and other years we had an over abundance of pasture for the few animals we kept, among them being two or three Jersey milk cows, a beef animal which we slaughtered for our own use, and a Shetland pony named Muggs which had been trained to do such tricks as to sit down, to lie down, to count by pawing, to nod his head etc. The pony was a great friend of the kids, especially Ruth who loved cows and horses. In 1951 or 52 the Grigg Brothers from Vale who had been in the business of shipping fresh corn and were interested in freezing corn organized interests to purchase the defunct Bridpeford Frozen Food plant at Ontario. The business had been closed down for a couple of years and the plant was lying idle with the government agency, the Reconstruction Finance Corp., holding the mortgage. Due to the fact that it had been idle it was depreciating and was valued at a million dollars. The Griggs formed a company known as Oregon Frozen Food and solicited money from interested investors. While visiting with Nephi Grigg one day I suggested that he buy some of our land to build him a home on when he moved to Ontario I offered to sell him the six and one half acres, leaving us an acreage of three acres which would still be sufficiently big for us to take care of our needs as far as pasture etc., was concerned. He said he would be interested in it if we would take stock in the company to the value of the land and then for us to buy 50% more shares by paying cash. Any real estate they could own could be borrowed against to assist financing their proposed purchase. After Considerable dickering and dealing we propositioned them to take our land at $1000 an acre. We were surprised to find them interested. Our problem then was to raise one half of that in cash in addition to that amount. We finally made the deal by borrowing on our home. From that time we were stockholders in Oregon Frozen Foods. The business was purchased from R F C for fifty cents on the dollar. The first year they processed corn only. It being seasonally the plant operated for six or seven weeks. Plans were made to attempt other types of produce so that a longer run could be made. After four years time they found that the processing of frozen potatoes was even more profitable than corn. They patented a product known as potato patty which became very popular. Also, french fries became a big item. With the freezing of corn and potatoes the plant operates from ten to eleven months of the year. There is no end to the possibilities of the plant with the raw products of the area. There are sufficient by products, particularly from the corn to provide feed for hundreds of head of beef cattle which business they have gotten into. A new company, expanding as it can has its growing pains and for the first three years all profits were turned back into the business which has increased the value of the stock to nearly twice the original cost. Prospects are good for the business. In 1954 they froze 27% of all corn frozen in the United States. During 1955 seventeen per cent of all french fried potatoes (frozen) in the United States was frozen by Oregon Frozen Food.

During the years when the children were small we stayed at home most of the time instead of going on any extended vacations. Each year or two we would plan to spend a day or two at Rupert visiting the folks and going on to Evanston to visit with Mabel's folks, but that consisted of our vacations. We made one exception in the summer of 1954 when we arranged with Rex and Bernice Ashcraft and their family to drive to the Pacific Coast. We were gone for four days and enjoyed ourselves very much. We stopped at motels at night (we were out three nights) and spent the days mostly traveling. It was the first time any of us had seen the Pacific and the first time any but myself had seen an ocean. Rex and I, with our older children went deep sea fishing for a couple of hours. It was our misfortune that the fish were not in that particular day. We had a boat ride but caught no fish. We were disappointed about it for we had looked forward to see the catching of a few fish. We drove south, down onto northern California and saw the huge red wood trees. From there we returned back into Oregon and then the next day returned home. It was an interesting trip and one that we shall never forget.

In the spring of 1955 Paul graduated from High School. How time passes. It had been only a short time before that he had started in the first grade. The other children progressed in their school grades accordingly and we began to realize that we were now facing the problem of our children going away to school for their higher education. We would naturally miss them but the real problem was financing such a project. We wanted them to have an opportunity for higher education if they desire so it became a challenge to us. We weren't overly contented in our business and as careful as we could be it required all we made to provide for the family. Approximately a thousand dollars a year to send one to college was becoming a concern to us. We started thinking of something we could do other than what we were where we were located. As we pondered it over we wondered if, perhaps, it wouldn't be wise, if we were to make a change, to move to a town where there were schools of higher education. We started looking for business possibilities and even for a farm. We were acquainted with farming and felt that we could make a living there, however, we weren't as young as we used to be and the children who would be able to help were all girls.

Paul would be away to School and John was but two years old so we couldn't expect help from them. We investigated possibilities in a business or two and made inquiry in the motel business. This seemed to appeal to us as much as anything and the more we looked into it the better we felt we would like it. If we went into that business we felt we should move to Provo where we would be close to a school.

We saw an advertisement of a motel in Provo and went down to investigate. After getting down there we checked with real estate people and located other motels for sale. We returned to Ontario to ponder what we should do and to see if we could find someone interested in our business for in order to get into another business it would be necessary to sell. Those at the store agreed to purchase part of our interest there so we felt with what we could sell there and our home that we would be able to raise enough to make a down payment in another venture. The better motels were expensive but we felt that it wouldn't be wise to get into anything but one which was enjoying a good business and one which was in a good location. These were selling all the way from one to two hundred thousand dollars and that seemed a lot of money for any business. The more we looked into the motel business the more we felt we would like to try it but we saw the need of caution in selecting one centrally located or one on a permanent highway which carried a lot of traffic. People catered to the newer and better looking motels and highways were being changed from the old highways to new improved thru ways which were made for the handling of the much increased traffic of the present day.

We realized that should we purchase a motel and that the thru highway on which it would be located were moved that we would never be able to pay off. The Uptown Motel in Provo had a fine location and we seriously considered buying it, in fact, we made up our mind to do so. It had its drawbacks. We, having a family of six Children would be right on a busy street. The house on the premises was a large unsightly old house which would require, either replacing in a short time or undergo a big remodeling job. Also, while there were eighteen units they were sleeping rooms only and constructed about as cheaply as could be. Twelve of the units were new which was to its advantage. The court was crowded so it would be difficult to expand if a person ever desired to do so. We made two trips to Provo and while down on the second trip decided we would take the Uptown Motel. Before winding up the deal we decided we would spend an hour and inquire of Meyer's Western Motel on the highway between Provo and Springville but yet very close to Provo. This was an older motel but in good shape and had a good history behind it. There were twenty seven units here with about half of them with kitchens. Mr. Meyer's argument in favor of kitchens was that Provo was a seasonal spot so far as tourists was concerned and that due to the fact the B Y U was there he had no difficulty in renting apartments during the school year, hence he had b much better business than he would have had were there no kitchens. This appealed to us but he was on a highway which we were afraid might someday be changed. We had been advised when we had previously looked at a Best Western motel near Springville that there had been some talk of changing this same highway. Meyer's motel had a nice home and for raising a family it would be much better than the Uptown. We decided to look into the highway change possibility.

After returning home I wrote to the Chairman of the Slate Highway Commission and after a week or two received word from him that to date the Commission had no intention of recommending a change on that particular highway. He said he could not say there would not be a change at a later date. Due to the fact that the highway has several turns as it leaves Provo and that by going closer to the lake they could construct a highway with a shorter route we felt that the time would come when a change would be made. Even though a change wouldn't be made for five or six years we would still have a heavy indebtedness and it could prove serious. Rather than gamble we held off.

About this same time I read in the Deseret News of a motel for sale near the Mormon Temple in Los Angeles, California. This ad appealed to us for another reason we were desiring when we did make a move was to get closer to a temple, so I wrote for further information. We were informed, when word came back, that that particular one had been sold but that the company were going into the business of building motels and selling an interest in them, the purchaser to do the managing of them. They already had a site in Riverside, California some sixty miles from Los Angeles. With this letter they sent a sheet showing the anticipated operating cost statement with the financial arrangement which would be made with the anticipated purchaser. The motel was to be a fifty unit deluxe motel with a separate office and coffee shop. It was to have a swimming pool and a home would be builds for the owner-manager. They praised the location as being one with an ideal climate and with traffic the year round. They wanted to sell a half interest to the owner-manager. This was fantastic. It looked so big that it appeared hopeless. It was to cost $440,000 and would require a down payment of $50,000. The more I mulled over it the more interested I became and the more I asked myself, "Why impossible?" When I expressed an interest Mabel laughed. She thought I was joking and then she was afraid I was becoming seriously. From that day to this the deal has been against her wishes. I persuaded her that it wouldn't hurt to look into it further so I wrote to the company for an appointment. They telephoned back informing us that it looked as if the Riverside deal had been taken up by others but that they had other sites, particularly one in San Mateo near San Francisco where they planned on building a 200 unit motel. I informed them there was very little chance if any for us in that size deal. Later they telephoned and said the people who were interested in the Riverside spot were interested in the larger one if we would be interested in Riverside deal. An appointment was made for me to meet them in San Francisco on a certain date. This I did. Mr. Jack Moore from their Los Angeles office had driven up and was waiting at the San Francisco office. He went over the details, most, of which I had already received by mail and told me we could still have our choice of the two spots. We got in his car and he drove me to San Mateo to see the spot there and then down to Palo Alto where they were building a smaller one and then on down to San Jose where they were just getting started constructing a 50 unit motel. I met Fred Pfieffer, the owner-MANAGER of that one. He was very enthusiastic about it and thought the one at Riverside would actually be a better spot than his. In fact, he said he would trade if I preferred his.

We returned to San Francisco and had supper at Fisherman's Warf and then were taken to a hotel, which had been arranged for by Mr. Moore. The next morning at six we got in Mr. Moore's Lincoln and drove that day to Los Angeles. It was in December and the country looked good to me. While our climate in Ontario was not at all severe it looked like winter with the little snow that was on the ground and the barren appearance of the fields. In California, for the most part, it was green, oranges ripening on the trees and as we neared southern California the farmers were sprinkling their fields with irrigating water. We arrived in Los Angeles between three and four that afternoon and went directly to the company's office where we stopped for but a few minutes and then continued on toward Riverside. It was night time by the time we reached there. Riverside was beautifully decorated with Christmas lights and other decorations appropriate for the season. We drove out to the end of Eighth St. where the location for the proposed motel is. Frankly, I was disappointed. I had been convinced that the best location would be close to town. This was two miles out from the center of town. I had to be convinced that there would be sufficient traffic that far out to warrant a fifty unit motel. They explained that it was next door to a very fast developing and growing University of California branch and but five or six miles from March Air Base, one of the largest in the United States beside the heavy traffic on Highways 60 and 395. After stopping at the site for a very few minutes (it was an orange grove at night) we returned toward Los Angeles. On our return Jack (Mr. Moore) took a route other than the freeway and stopped at a Motel which was considered one of the same quality as the new planned one was to be, excepting this one had four apartments rented by the day at the fantastic price of $30 per day. At that time, eight o'clock in the evening two of them had been sold for the night. We returned to Los Angeles and went to the office where I met Fred Henderson, the key man for Great Western Hotel, Inc. This trip was solely for me to get a once over of the situation and report back to the family. I explained to Henderson and Moore that my assets were tied up but they could see no reason why I couldn't sell and get the down payment and then we would be in business. Shortly after midnight I got on a bus for home. The trip was a hard one but it was very informative. While talking to Henderson I asked if there would be any objection to my getting a partner to share the one half interest if we decided to go with them. He said there wouldn't be. My brother Alma had expresses that he might be interested in such a venture but upon checking with him by letter they decided they wouldn't at that time. The more I thought of it and figured the more it appealed to me, but there was no question as in any new venture, there was an element of gamble. The company we were dealing with was a relatively new company. Certainly they were strangers to us and fabulous and fantastic California had its share and more of 'slickers'. Also, this was big business and we were inexperienced in the motel business, so all in all, we felt that it would be safer to (1) not invest all our assets and (2) to see if any other party could see possibilities in the venture as I could and to be willing to invest and share the responsibilities. The business was sufficiently large that two families could find employment and the income would be sufficiently great to provide two families, particularly if the business produced as it had been pictured and with us living normally for, while we enjoyed a nice home and had most of the modern conveniences, yet our living was relatively simple. I felt hesitant about going into the venture because Mabel was not nor had been from the beginning, enthusiastic about the deal, in fact she was very skeptical. We had worked hard to get what we had and none of us wanted to lose what we had. It was a real problem but I realized that we had to provide for our family. There were eight of us now, six children and Mabel and myself, and the cost of living was high. We had to get in something that would provide and income. We knew that President Nelson of the Nyssa Stake Presidency and Sister Nelson who were farming and not enjoying the best of health and looked into the motel business a year or so before and were desirous of getting something other than farming. They were the first we thought of when we decided it might be wise to get a partner. Mabel and I drove to their home one evening about Christmas time 1955 and reported our situation and gave a report of what we knew relative to the deal. They were interested. We left our literature with them to make their decision.

To make a long story short, The Nelsons and we drove to Los Angeles during the last half of January by way of San Francisco. Mr. Moore telephoned Los Angeles from San Francisco and reserved motel accommodations for the four of us at the Del Capri on Wiltshire Blvd. For the following night at which time we were to be in Los Angeles. This place was selected so we might have an idea of the type of motel they intended to build for us. It was a lovely place and sold for $14 per night per unit. In Riverside the following night we stopped at Travelodge, a nice place which will be probably our greatest competition, however, they have only a sleeping room with bath where ours was to have a complete apartment with living room, bedroom, hall, bath, and kitchenette. Our trip was enjoyable. The papers for our signatures were ready but we wanted more time to consider so we took them back to Ontario where we had an attorney examine them and who found them to be in proper order.

This proved to be but the beginning of a long period of waiting for one party of us or the other. During the interim Mr. Moore made a trip to Ontario and another to Boise where we met him. President Nelson, Paul, our son, and I drove to Los Angeles during the fore part of June and then again the Nelsons and Mabel and I drove to Los Angeles. In financing the deal it was necessary to secure a first and second loan which was difficult to get for at the particular time money for loaning purposes was scarce and the amount of two hundred fifty to seventy five thousand dollars in the first loan was no small sum. Prior to this time both the Nelsons and us had raised our down payment of fifty thousand but due to the fact that the company we were dealing with were relatively new and due to the fact that they were building a motel at San Jose of about the same price they were crowded and it proved that they had to try in two or three different places to secure it. This, of course took time.

Many times we wondered if we hadn't made a mistake but we felt the thing would eventually work out if time were given. In the mean time the construction plans had been drawn up which gave us a better idea of just what to expect. I must admit, they were appealing and looked good to us. In order to raise the money we sold our property at a lower price than we felt we could have gotten but we felt it wise to go ahead. This was true with the Nelson's farm and our home.

The Nelsons left Ontario for California in the first part of August. We hadn't sold our home but later sacrificed it and moved to Riverside during the early twenties of august. While we were in Riverside in July we looked around for a home. We thought of renting a home but it would cost us from a hundred to one fifty a month so we thought it wise to purchase a home suitable to do us for a few months while we were waiting for our new home to be built. Among others a real estate salesmen showed us was one we decided we would purchase providing our home in Ontario sold. At the time we left on the trip a party showed interest in it but we had to return to find whether or not he would take it. It happened that he did so we sent a check of $500 as earnest money to hold the house until the necessary papers were completed and signed.

At the time I sent the check I also wrote to Mr. Clark Hapeman, a real estate man who had located the land for our motel and who showed us a new, more expensive home, to inform him that we would drop the thought of buying the new home. He had been a very fine person to us and really seemed to have our interest at heart because he was interested in bringing the type motel we were planning, into Riverside. I informed him in the letter where the cheaper house was we were anticipating buying. He wrote back asking if we had been informed by the salesman that a new planned freeway was to go in just a few hundred feet from where the house was. This was new to us, of course. We were very anxious to have a place that would resell easily and one that we could get our money out of so we decided to cancel the deal on the house. We felt a freeway so close to a residence would depreciate the value. We telephoned the bank and had payment on the check canceled and wrote to the real estate people who were selling the house to us that we felt the place should have been sold with the understanding of the freeway and that it was misrepresented to us. It was fortunate the check had not been sent in for payment.

The house in Riverside

In the mean time the Nelsons had gone to Chino near Riverside, to work with Sister Nelson's brother in a produce warehouse. We wrote to them and asked if they would go to Riverside and buy us a house. They got in touch with Mr. Hapeman and located a house at 3764 Roslyn St. at a price of $13,600. President Nelson gave a check of a hundred dollars to hold the deal. The down payment and other incidental expenses such as insurance etc. cost us nearly $2500 and the balance was put on contract. I should have said we took over the contract of the former owners. We now had a new home which we had never seen. To move to it was our next chore.

To leave Ontario after living there for nearly eleven years would bring its regrets. That had been our home, a fine , large, livable home in a pleasant neighborhood. We all had and shall always have many experiences attached to the place that would bring memories after we left , pleasant and some not so pleasant. We would be able to see in our memories the big picture window in the north end of our 18 by 26 wall to wall carpeted living room. The sight of our youngsters running and playing with a yard full of neighbor children on the vast expanse of a newly mowed lawn. Those ripe cherries hanging from the three cherry trees or those lucious peaches from the early peach tree or perhaps the semi early or maybe the late peach trees. The garden beside the house and in the rear. Maybe it will be a memory of the garden at a time or two the morning after some strange cattle or perhaps our own had feasted in it during the preceding night. Perhaps it would be the time the septic tank became full and started running over or the neighbor irrigating having turned more water down the ditch than his outlets would accommodate and the little pond in our yard which resulted from it . That raspberry patch with its many, many beautiful red berries as large as the end of one's thumb which required so much picking but which filled hundreds of quarts for our use. Maybe it was the tumbles resulting in pitiful hurts of the children or the strolls we had in the pasture with several kittens and old Rover following at our heels and the children running to and fro. The walking out after night to turn off irrigating water on the pasture which hadn't quite gotten finished when the darkness settled. Muggs, the Shetland pony, carrying the youngsters, particularly when the older ones would lead him while a baby just large enough to keep his balance would ride as tho he were royalty. That one time when we were completing the new part of the house when we hired a trench digger to come and dig a drain for the new septic tank when I forgot to tell the operator that the trench would cross the water line from the pump to the barn and received a telephone call that afternoon on that cold day that his big bucket teeth had grabbed hold of the pipe and that water was running out of every joint of that pipe, including our new plumbing to the new section of the home. How so many joints were cracked and had to be replaced, etc., all before we could get water back into the house and of that bitter cold night when we worked until the small hours of the morning crawling under the house repairing the plumbing that had been so damaged in just one pull of the big digger all because I overlooked the fact that we had a water line to the barn. That experience I shall never forget. Oh, there are so many experiences sweet and a few bitter that shall linger with us, I believe to eternity.

Then there were our friends of which we had many. Our neighbors with whom we have never had disagreements and who were so considerate of us. The many friends with whom we had become acquainted in our business or through church, not forgetting those who remained in Ontario of the few whom we worked with doing missionary work. We visited with many of them just prior to our leaving and made a trip to Pasco, Washington to see Roland and LaVon Washburn and family and then to Nampa, Idaho to see Rex and Bernice Ashcraft and their family. It made it difficult to leave and yet we were happy with the thought that we had the love and respect and best wishes of all so far as I know. It was between ten and eleven years before we had moved into Ontario we hesitated leaving Rupert for there we had so many friends and we wondered and prayed if we were doing the right thing by moving to a new place. It was just as hard if not harder to leave Ontario and we wondered and prayed if we were doing the right thing. How happy we are now that we have had the privilege of knowing so many fine people we would not have otherwise ever known had we not left Rupert. In that one thing alone our move was worth it many times over. The same could be said of our move from Evanston a few years before that. I am sure one's life is richer by making a few changes in one's life time. Certainly it is broadening in more ways than one.

The Lord had been good to us in Ontario. We had in our home about every convenience a modern home could have. We drove a new 1955 Buick so we had no room in the world to complain. Our testimony of the gospel had increased for things and experiences had come to us during those years which were, without question, from the Lord. I think maybe this history would not be complete should I not write of an instance or two. They are sacred to me and I hope they shall be of a faith prompting nature to those who may read of them. What I say will not be an exaggeration in any sense. It is the truth if I ever told the truth in each case, the Lord being my witness. I had decided not to write of this first but I feel prompted to do so. I have a wonderful patriarchal blessing with wonderful promises some of which have literally been fulfilled. I have confidence the others will be if I prove worthy of them and if the Lord be willing to forgive me of my many failings. One promise states that "Tho the elements may rage and the winds may bellow, yet you may command, through the power of the Priesthood, and they shall obey."

Perhaps my experience on a windy afternoon in the summer of 1943 does not fulfill that promise entirely but it is an experience which may be closely related to it and without doubt in my mind an answer to prayer. Perhaps only those who have actually had experience burning grain stubble of a goodly size field can realize this to the fullest. They know how difficult it is to stop a fire during a wind once it breaks loose. I had been burning weeds and grass along a ditch bank on the west side of a grain field. I had so very much work to do that I felt I couldn't leave the burning of the ditch to another day so I thought with utmost care I would be able to complete the ditch and keep the fire under control. An eighth of a mile away in the midst of the field of dry stubble was a straw stack belonging to the to the owner of the place, Mr. Keck of Paul, Idaho. He had told me just a day or two before that he had use for the straw and would remove it within a day or two so we could plow the piece of land. While a straw stack is not of so much worth that it couldn't be replaced or that it is invaluable, yet I was concerned when the fire in a heavy gust of wind got away from the ditch into the heavy, dry stubble. I did my best to put it out but it was bent on racing down through the stubble field. In only a minute or two it had circled way out into the field and headed directly toward the straw stack. I don't know when a matter is too insignificant for the Lord to pay no attention to it. It never entered my mind that the straw stack was not worth bothering the Lord about. I knew it meant quite a lot to Mr. Keck and I knew that it meant a lot to me to not have it burned tho it wouldn't have probably cost me a red cent. I am sure Mr. Keck would have accepted it as a misfortune which had overtaken me. I fought the fire until I could see I absolutely had no control over it. I prayed earnestly as I was working. I prayed aloud without stopping to kneel and the Lord heard my petition. It is difficult to believe and I presume there will be some who couldn't accept it for I had no one with me as a witness but within a minute after my humble prayer was uttered the strong wind from the west completely reversed itself and tho not as strong as formerly blew in from the east and stopped the racing flames and were I not to have put forth an effort I am confident the flames would have died out of their own accord. I have seldom mentioned this experience for it has been a sacred experience to me. To some it may be but a coincidence that the wind changed to the very opposite direction and remained that way for several minutes, at least long enough to put the fire out., and then it started coming from the west again. To me it was an answer to prayer and I shall always feel that the Lord will be mindful regardless of the magnitude of the problem.

Another experience which is faith promoting to me, as well as to Mabel, has to do with her genealogical work. There is no question but that those on the other side of the veil are interested and influential in what we do here relative to genealogical and temple work. Mabel's mother, Mabel Alice Godber Brown had the misfortune of never remembering her mother. When but a girl of very tender years, after the death of her mother and all other children numbering several who were brothers and sisters to her, her father with only his daughter of about three came to America from England. They had never heard of the Church nor did she accept it until after she was a mature woman. After joining the Church and understanding the principle of salvation for the dead she had, naturally a desire, to take care of this important work for her dead relatives. Her father, in the mean time had passed away. She hadn't realized the importance of inquiring much of her ancestry. Her father's brother came over to live with them, the only relative of the family but he died when he was a young man so she had no one to turn to for help to obtain first hand information. She didn't remember of ever hearing the name of her grandmother on her mother's side. As she grew older she became much concerned of her family who had passed on and started working to gather some information which would be helpful to her. She went as far as she could and then asked the Genealogical Society at Salt Lake to help her. They worked on the lines but of the information they got nothing gave light to who her mother's mother was. The first search wasn't helpful. She had them search again and again and tho hundreds of dollars were spent by her, her grandmother's name didn't show up. I remember, after Mabel and I were married of their concern over the difficulty and remember well Mabel's mother saying, " I wish I could go and talk to them for just a few minutes; I believe I could get what I want. They could either tell me or else they could tell me where I could find the information." So the unsolved problem remained but was continuously in her mind. The Society said there seems to have been no record left. In the mean time Mabel had more or less taken the initiative in genealogical work for the family but, of course, was against a 'stone wall' so far as that line was concerned. In January of 1948 Mabel's mother suddenly passed away on the streets of Evanston by a sudden heart attack. Undoubtedly she took with her that desire to locate her grandmother so work could be done on her line. Just what influence she had , just what she had to do to accomplish it but this we are sure of that within a few months after her passing the Genealogical Society located, in another parish from where they had been searching, the name Sarah Holland Godber, the name which had so diligently been searched for over twenty years, was at last found. We shall never know for a surety but can't it be possible and very probable, that Grandma Brown actually played an important part in it, causing that the name of her grandmother be located. Again, some say it was just a coincidence but to us, and Mabel shares it with me, there went someone to the other side in search for information and obtained it, which would be helpful to us yet living to complete work that could never be done without the information.

I mention another incident relative to the gathering of family information which may be called another coincidence. Even coincidences must have some one to develop them. There has to be some force to bring them about. In the summer of 1950 a relatively young lady came into the store to be waited on. She was interested in some small appliance which we didn't have in stock. When she spoke I knew she could be of English descent for she had a definite English brogue. Having been to England on my mission I am always interested in anyone who speaks as though they came from there. I asked the lady if she were English and she said not but that she was directly from Australia, that she had come over to marry or had just married an American GI, I don't recall which. We visited for a minute or two and she left. The next morning, as was customary, I was dusting the merchandise and sweeping the floor when I came across a double sheet of paper from a very small note book. When folded as in a notebook it measured about 2" by 3". Upon first noticing it after I picked it up I noticed that it was written in old English style. I suspected immediately that it belonged to the lady from Australia. I didn't know who she was, I didn't know whether she intended to make her home in that area or whether she was just passing through town. She was a complete stranger to me and to my knowledge I have never seen her since. For one thing sure, I have never talked to her for I would have recognized her. I have been so anxious to meet her again but she came and went that day. I glanced at the paper and noticed that it contained a few names and addresses, apparently of friends in Australia and among the name was Mrs. J. E. Blacker, Avalon, Peden St. Bega. With the Blacker name being so uncommon and the fact that that little slip of paper should drop in our store in the little town of Ontario way over here in America by a complete stranger is remarkable to me. I don't know that the lady knew she was in Blacker's store. She surely would have mentioned it had she been aware of it. At any rate it aroused my curiosity and I wrote to the name and address mentioned. Fortunately it was a recent address for in answer to my inquiry and in letters since the first one I have gathered considerable information of that family learning that one George Blacker, the day following his marriage left Clutton, England with his wife for Australia. They are able to trace their line back several generations and as yet we have not made a direct connection to our line but the fact that they came from the little village of Clutton assures me that they are relatives and I hope before long to be able to find the connection which will show relationship to us. In one of the letters received form them they stated that a man by the name of Rowland Blacker of Canada had written them. They did not know whether or not he was related but thought maybe there was a chance. From that lead I wrote to him in Canada and with the information the two have given find that they are reasonably closely related, in fact first cousins. To me there was more than just a coincidence in this experience. I am hopeful that I shall remain sufficiently simple believe that the Lord influenced these various situations to be brought about. It is true that it has been done in a natural way but yet it is almost phenomenal that it should come about in the manner in which it did.

Again I must repeat, the Lord has been mindful of us for which we are deeply grateful. As I have mentioned earlier, The time had come for us to start packing our household goods and move from out home in Ontario to Riverside, California. Our big home had required a lot of furniture. I had previously checked with the various companies who had facilities to move us and decided the best for us would be to crate everything and ship by rail. Due to the fact that we had access to crating, particular card board cartons in which most types of furniture were being shipped, we secured most of them from the store. We started several days before we planned to leave, so by taking our time, it didn't prove to be a bad job at all. Having had experience in particularly unpacking furniture, I knew how it should be done. By Aug. 17th,(1956) we were completely packed and the railroad pick up truck had taken our belongings to the freight depot. Between seven and seven thirty that evening we were ready to get in the car and leave. It is unfortunate in one way to have been born with a tender heart. Our entire family has been blessed with that weakness of virtue whichever one feels inclined to regard it and the lumps in our throats were mighty big as we drove from the home that had been so dear to us. Of course there were tears. One's heart almost broke as the girls tried their best to hide their feelings. One wondered if he were fair to the family by pulling up 'roots' so to speak and bringing on the sorrow and regrets of the children. I think no on in the world loved their home more than we but we had to keep going. It was too late now to turn back. One thing for sure which was consoling and has since proven such is the fact that we are able to carry memories with us to linger in our hearts until the time, in its own way, gradually erases them. Time is kind however and it permits many of those tender memories to linger so long as there is life.

We had originally planned to get away in time to drive to Rupert that night due to the lateness and the fact that we were very tired we accepted quite readily of the invitation of Fred and Elva to stop with them that night. Because of there being the eight of us we had some of the children stop with Ed and Isabel Wenzel, some of our closest friends. I don't recall that I have mentioned it in this history, but Ed and Isabel were close friends of ours in Evanston, Wyoming before we moved to Rupert (after we were married) or, of course Ontario. After Isabel's mother, Sister George Sessions, died they remained in Evanston to be close to Isabel's father in his declining years. Following his death in about 1951 or 52 the Wenzels, who had been in touch with us during the intervening years decided to leave Evanston and due to the fact that we were such close friends they decided to go to Ontario where we found employment for Ed at our store. The fact that they went to Ontario under the circumstances made it the more difficult to leave there.

Finally, on the morning of the 18th of July we left Ontario for Riverside by way of Rupert and Evanston. We had been advised by the railway people that we shouldn't expect our furniture to reach Riverside for seven or eight days so we would have time for a good visit with my folks at Rupert and Mabel's folks at Evanston. The day following our arrival in Rupert was the Wilkes family reunion at Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. With Dad and Aunt Luella, Mabel and I, leaving our children with their cousins in Rupert, went to the reunion. For the first time in years all living children of Grandpa and Grandma Wilkes were in attendance. Of the nine children born there were but four children living, Uncle Ed, Uncle Noan, Aunt Lola, and Aunt Mabel. It was the first time in years that Aunt Lola had attended the reunion. We had visited with the others at the reunion in Logan the year previous but it was good to see them again. I hadn't seen two or three of my cousins who were there for over twenty years. What a blessing family reunions are and yet it seems so hard to get all members of the organization to cooperate by attempting to be present at the annual gathering.

From Rupert we went to Evanston to spend a few days with Mabel's folks, arriving there Monday evening of the 20th. Wednesday morning I telephoned Mr. Hapeman's office at Riverside to learn whether or not our new home was vacated and ready for us to move into when we arrived, also for them to get in touch with the railroad freight office to learn when our furniture would arrive and for them to notify us at Evanston. We received a real surprise for he had already been advised by the railway office that our furniture had arrived a couple of days before. The house had been vacated and was ready for our moving in. We were very much surprised about the furniture for the office at Ontario told us not to expect it to be in Riverside in less than seven or eight days and the freight agent in Evanston said it couldn't be there even that soon, to allow at least ten days. It had taken less than four days so we had to change our schedule. We left Evanston for Riverside at 4:30 on the afternoon of Wednesday, 22nd. We traveled the length of Utah through St. George and across Nevada through Las Vegas into California. We couldn't have planned a nicer trip. We were crowded in the car. Paul, Ruth, Lois, Mary, Mabel and I each took up the room of an adult. The children mentioned, while still in their teens were nearly as large as adults. Besides the ones mentioned were Beth who was then ten and John who was nearly three. The sky was beautiful with a bright full moon which came up soon after dark. The temperature cooled off to where we could travel with the car windows mostly up to make it comfortable and by doing so the rush of the wind from an open window and the noise could be nearly eliminated. The road was good which permitted us to travel safely between sixty and seventy miles an hour. We arrived in St. George about 12:30 a.m. and got into Las Vegas something after 3 a.m. Our drive through Las Vegas was a beautiful sight. Even at this time of the morning there was considerable activity on the streets and the many beautiful signs and other light effects were outstanding. Never before had we seen so many elaborate signs and lighting effects. I had been through the city before during daylight hours but I learned that one never sees that city unless it be at night. The children, I am sure, will never forget the beautiful drive through Las Vegas.

We arrived at Riverside shortly before 9 a.m. on the morning of August 23rd. We went to the real estate office for the key to our house and made arrangements for a transfer company to haul our furniture from the railroad car. They were busy and would not be free to help us until one thirty at which time I made arrangements for Paul and me to meet them at the car. In the meantime we drove out to the house at 3764 Roslyn St. and saw for the first time our new home. It was a nice little gray stucco house with which we felt quite satisfied. It was going to be too small, we realized that from the beginning, but it would be large enough that we could get by until our home at the motel could be built. The day was warm. It reached 108 that afternoon. At 1:30 we went to the freight office, paid our bill of $408 less a few cents and within a little more than two hours had all our belongings in our back yard ready for unpacking. We unpacked only the furniture we needed such as beds and the dinette set so we could get by for the night . It had been warm and we were tired for we had practically no sleep the night of our traveling. As evening came on and it began to cool off we stopped our unpacking and spread blankets on the back lawn and just quit for the day. We retired early and enjoyed a real sound sleep. Not many days passed before we began to feel very much at home. We found the people very friendly as we have done wherever we have lived. We were in a neighborhood which was relatively new. The houses in the entire area were less than three years old and for the most part most of the families were young and yet there was no children problem, in fact, we hardly saw youngsters unless they were in their own yard.

We lived in and became members of the Arlington Ward of the Mr. Rubidioux Stake. It was not long until we were made to feel at home in this new ward. This experience has always been true wherever we went. Regardless of where we went we always made it our business to locate the ward house and attend the meetings of the church. Very soon after attending for the first time we were invited to assist on the Ward Genealogical Committee and availed ourselves of the opportunity to attend the temple in Los Angeles, Mabel was asked to teach in Relief Society and in the Sunday School. Within a month or two of our moving into the ward I was asked to serve as Ward Clerk which position I held until the time of our moving from the ward. We learned to love the Arlington Ward. We shall always appreciate the many friends we made while there. If moving from one place to another has its disadvantages they will certainly be overshadowed by the blessing of making new friends and acquaintances who enriches ones life beyond what it would have been had he not moved into the new locality.

We live in a world of dreams, and so many of them burst. Such was our experience in Southern California. The motel business never materialized. Many and many an anxious day was spent waiting for those who were responsible to get the motel under construction but there was always a delay. Sub contractors etc. were ready to start as soon as the go ahead signal was given. We spent a couple of months waiting and as the days passed our concern became greater. In the mean time Mr. Henderson, the head of Great Western Motels, Inc., was making plans for a big luxury motel in San Francisco. It seems that this venture was the beginning of our collapse. He got in difficulty and suites were started. It soon became apparent to us that we were losing everything that we had put into the venture with no possibility of recourse. We immediately got in touch with the Attorney General of the State of California and the district Attorney at Los Angeles but things had gone too far. The money we had put into the venture had been spent and by charges of fraud by others ahead of us Henderson was found guilty and sentenced to the Federal Penitentiary. The District Attorney advised us that it would do us no good to press charges because there were so many charges ahead of us that in one lifetime Henderson could never spend enough time to satisfy the suites waiting for him.

Unless one experiences such a thing of standing by and witnessing the tumbling of his castles into a heap of ruin he will never know our feelings. We were able to pay but a small payment on our home, therefore we had the concern of keeping our payments made plus the fact that Paul was at BYU attending school and our five other children were depending on us making a living and providing the family with the necessities. I think, never before nor since has the responsibility of presiding over a family been so terrifying. Practically every thing we had in this life had slipped from us in the way of earthly belongings. At times during those dark days we wondered if we had been forsaken by the Lord and yet we knew differently for we still had many things for which we could be and were thankful for.

I had been looking for work for some time but it was during a period when employment was hard to get and I was having no success, but with continued persistence I visited a furniture store in a little town about eighth miles from Riverside called Corona. I visited with Mr. Graebner, the owner. He stated he actually didn't need a man but because of my experience in the furniture and floorcovering business he said he would make room for me. What a relief his acceptance was to us. We were so grateful to our Father in Heaven for this blessing. I worked for Larry Graebner for approximately six months and found him to be a wonderful considerate employer. Business was very slow and I couldn't see why he ever kept me for actually I wasn't needed when misfortune overtook him. He had taken his family for a few days vacation to the beach and while playing a game of beach ball slipped and twisted his knee, throwing the joint out of place. Apparently it was very painful to him. He had to spend several days in the hospital where he had a cast put on. It was necessary for him to spend several weeks away from the store during which time it was necessary that a man be there. His misfortune seemed to come at the time I most needed work. After he returned to the store, and while yet on his crutches he visited with me and told me that due to the slowness of the business he was becoming concerned. He told me not to become concerned because he wasn't anticipating letting me go but said he was considering setting up a catalog business in Magnolia Center ( a suburb of Riverside and much nearer to our home) and wondered if I would be willing to manage it for him. This business would have been but an office wherein furniture and appliances would be shown from a catalog with the help of swatch materials as samples of furniture coverings and would be sold to interested customers for a figure of a certain percent above actual cost. This new business never materialized for it was about this time that I received word from Rupert that the Home Furniture Store was going to be sold by its owner, Charles N. Campbell.

It was while living in Riverside that sorrow again came to us in the illness and death of my father who was spending the winter in Mesa, Arizona. Following Mother's death in 1947 Dad married Aunt Luella Wilkes, the widow of Mother's brother, John. Aunt Luella had been a widow for over forty years. Dad and Aunt Luella had been married eight or nine years when he was taken ill in January. He had had poor circulation in his right leg which had been giving him trouble for a year or tow. It continued to get worse until it was necessary to have an operation in his right groin where the doctors found a blood clot. His main artery had collapsed so they rerouted his blood through another vein channel to keep his foot alive. This didn't work satisfactorily and after a few weeks of suffering intense pain the lower part of his foot and leg failed to receive the necessary circulation and actually died. The poison worked up his leg until it was decided by the doctors and permission given by the family and Dad to have his leg amputated above the knee. Dad lived only about a month following this last operation. For weeks the family and friends had prayed for his recovery but when his severe suffering continued and it became apparent that there was no chance for him to recovery the family joined in praying that out of mercy the Lord would take him and he passed away early in the morning hours of March 28th 1957.

We made four trips from Riverside to Mesa during those several weeks and did all we could to comfort and help. Others from the family made one and two trips from Rupert. Between my third and fourth trip, that is, while back in Riverside just before being called back to Mesa just before his death Dad called all who were in his room in the hospital and talked to them individually and as a group during which he counseled each and expressed appreciation for being the type of sons and daughters they were. It was reported by those who were present that, while it was a sobering meeting, it was an inspiration which shall never be forgotten by those in attendance.

At the time of his death Roy and Hilda were the only ones of the family in Mesa. Mabel, Ruth, John and I left early in the morning (four or five hours after his death) and arrived in Mesa about noon of the 28th.

The following morning his body was sent by train to Rupert. Roy and Hilda brought Aunt Luella in their car, Mabel drove our car with Ruth and John, and I drove Dad's car with Elva Reed, Aunt Luella's sister. After a long trip we arrived in Rupert about noon of the third day of travel.

The funeral service was held in the tabernacle on April 3rd 1957. A large crowd was in attendance. Father had a multitude of friends both in and out of the Church. He had served several years as Probate Judge of the county following his retirement from the farm. Ten of his twelve children were still living and were in attendance at his funeral service with their families. He was honored and respected by all who knew him. It is not uncommon, now for a few years following his death, to have folk in and out of the Church state that "your Dad was one of the finest men I ever knew". We as a family are appreciative of the privilege of having been born to a good father and mother and are ever grateful for the heritage left us. We owe all that we are to our goodly parents. Our prayer is that we may be true to them and honor them by being what they had hoped we might be, that is honorable men and women. To be less would surely be a disappointment.

It was during these weeks of anxiety and concern for the welfare of Dad that we learned there would be no chance of saving any of our investment in California. It was indeed a dark time for us. Of the many day's absence from my job with Mr. Graebner he would not consider deducting anything from my salary which I felt that he should do.

We had not learned of the fact that the Home Furniture Co. of Rupert was to be sold until after we had return to Riverside from the funeral. My brothers, Roy and Alma volunteered to give assistance if we would contact Pres. Campbell (He was first counselor in the Minidoka Stake Presidency) and make arrangements for the purchase of the store. We realized that if we had the assets we had lost in California we, by ourselves, would have been able to purchase the business and pay cash for it but as it was we had almost nothing. Literally, we had to start over.

Within a month's time, from when I was in Rupert, I found myself back investigating the possibility of getting into business again. Mabel, John and I drove back and with Alma providing the bulk of the needed cash and a thousand we were able to borrow plus a couple of thousand of Roy's we made a down payment of seventeen or eighteen thousand dollars on an approximately forty five thousand dollar deal and thus found ourselves again in business. We shall always be grateful to my brothers who came to our assistance when things looked most dark.

After returning to Riverside I advised Mr. Graebner of our future plans and thus ended my work with his establishment. That meant that until I could draw a little from the store in the form of a salary we would have nothing coming in and we really wondered how we were ever going to make it.

With this concern on our minds we received word from Paul to the effect that he had enlisted for two years in the army which would become effective following his completion of his second year of college work. This again was a real concern to us, however, we were aware of the fact that he was seriously considering joining. He had telephoned prior to our receiving his letter asking what we thought of such a thing. We were hesitant in giving approval for, as we told him that evening on the phone, we had hoped he would go on a mission before he went into the service. I called his attention to the fact that if he had two year's experience in the mission field he would be better equipped to face the problems of the service. He responded that if he had two year's of service he would be, likewise, better fitted for a mission. Before leaving the phone I suggested that we had confidence in him and that we would let him make the decision. The letter mentioned above was the next word we had from him. At this time of writing, 24 Dec. 1961, Paul will again enter the B Y U following two years of missionary work which, in its turn, followed two years in the service with Uncle Sam. From this vantage point we can look back and feel that perhaps Paul was right in his selecting the service first for had he gone on a mission first and then got into the service, with world conditions as they are today when we are building forces for a means of defense as never before, it would be entirely likely that Paul would have to remain in the army longer than his two years for many are having their time extended. Whether it be a matter of coincidence or whether Paul's good judgment we feel that the Lord was with him in his decision. Nevertheless, at the time we received his letter it seemed but an addition to the dark days we were going through.

On the morning of the 27th of may 1957 which was a Monday I started working in the store by assisting to take inventory of the stock and on June the 1st I had the responsibility of managing the business of which I had such minor interest in. With the available money the three of us had we invested so it was necessary to borrow operating money which we did to the extent of one thousand dollars. Four and a half years later I can report that we are still in the business and have made very satisfactory progress even tho we have gone through a period of "squeeze" due to starting out under-financed. It hasn't been easy but despite the fact that we have had economic reverses with the farmers we have been able to keep up with our business payments and are otherwise gaining.

The family remained in Riverside until school was out and Paul had finished his year at the Y. They moved up and arrived in Rupert on about the 28th of June. Arlo Morgan, Alma's neighbor took his farm truck down and brought the furniture back. We rented a house at 501 F St. where we stayed for about three months. Due to the condition of the house we decided that we didn't want to attempt to spend a winter in it and located the present home which we were able to buy with a borrowed thousand dollars down. It is at 905 E Street, not the finest house in the world but it is home and we love it for that reason.

The house at 501 F Street
The house at 905 E Street

While Rupert has been our home before, we found that there had been considerable development since we were last here. The big G I Farm Project in the mean time has been converted from sage brush to productive farms and so we found many folk with whom we were not acquainted but here again we became active in the Church. Our first residence was in the Rupert 4th ward which we enjoyed very much. After moving into our present home we became members of the Rupert 1st Ward. it seems our lot follows genealogical work. I was selected as Ward Chairman of the Genealogical Committee with Mabel as my secretary. Mabel taught in Relief Society and I taught a very interesting Special Interest Class in M.I.A. We regretted having to give these positions up when we moved into the First Ward.

We didn't have to wait long after moving into the new ward until we were again busy. Mabel has been teaching in Relief Society and the Genealogical Training class in Sunday School. I was called as a member of the Stake Sunday School in charge of the Genealogical Training Class department and also served as a teacher of the Junior M Men class in the ward for a few months at which time (February 1958) I was appointed Mission President of the Minidoka Stake Mission in which capacity I served for two and a half years. Prior to the mission call I also served on the Stake Genealogical Committee with research work as my special assignment. All ward and stake positions gave way at the time of my call to work in Stake Mission work. My companion and I baptized thirteen of our contacts for which we are very grateful.

Since being released from the stake mission I have been selected to serve as first counselor on the Stake Genealogical Committee with research as my direct assignment. Mabel has also been called as a member of that same committee.

In the intervening time our family has been our major interest. To the present date we have been spared any great concern relative to their behavior. How grateful we are that they have been interested and active in the Church and now as they have become older they are accepting positions of responsibility in the Church organizations, particularly the M. I. A. and are happy with their activity.

Paul returned from a two year mission in the North Central States Mission with head quarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota from about the first of September 1959 to September of 1961. For six or seven months of the time he had the privilege of serving as Secretary to the Mission President. Since his return he has been working at the Sugar Company and plans to attend college at the beginning of the next semester.

Ruth ready for the misionary home.

Ruth left for the Scottish-Irish Mission during the last few days of June of 1961 and has now been there about six months. She is enjoying her mission very much and is happy with her call to one of the most fruitful mission in the Church. Prior to her call to the mission field she taught one of the fifth grade classes in the Rupert Schools following her graduation from Ricks College the year before.

Lois is now working with us at the store following her graduation from the L. D. S. Business College in Salt Lake City. She is serving as Speech and Drama Director in the Ward M. I. A. of the Rupert 1st Ward.

Mary, this year, is a senior in Minico High School and plans to go to Business College following her graduation. She is serving as Sports Director in the M. I. A. and was assistant to Ruth in the same position last year.

Beth is now a sophomore in Minico and John is in his third year at the Memorial Grade School just a block and a half from home.

I complete this brief history of our family this Christmas Day of 1961.

After a few weeks and two years following the writing of the above story of the family I again sit at the typewriter and add a few comments to that which has already been written and bring the story of the family up to date, viz: January 1964.

I mustn't say that the past two years have not been eventful and yet there hasn't been anything that would set it apart as a particularly newsworthy period. There have been changes, many of them. One doesn't live with a growing family without there being changes.

To begin with, each of us has added two years to his life. We older ones are not so noticeably affected by such a short time but the children mature rather rapidly in that time. Paul entered the Brigham Young University in his junior year of college work at the commencement of the winter semester which he satisfactorily completed and continued through the two semesters the following year. It was during this last year of his schooling that he started considering seriously a girl friend whom he first met while on his mission. He was serving as secretary to the mission president when a young lady who had been hearing the lessons of the two lady missionaries who were also laboring in the mission office and asked to be baptized. Paul was invited to baptize the young lady, Lynn Sprague Rose. She had been married and had a little girl but had separated from her husband. Following her graduation from the Business College she secured employment in the offices of the Building Committee of the Church at which time she brought her little daughter to live with her. It was at this point that she and Paul began seeing more of each other and were married in the Logan Temple on August 30, 1963.

Paul had secured work at a service station in Salt Lake and has continued working there while, at the same time, entered the University of Utah where he is presently completing the last semester of his four year's of college work. He is majoring in for his master's degree. He has remained active in his church and priesthood work and has a wonderful companion who is just as dedicated to the Church as is he. Her parents and brother are not members of the Church and it is her desire that someday she may see them join the Church also.

At my last writing, Ruth had been serving on her mission for six months. She completed eighteen months in Scotland and was honorably released and arrived in Salt Lake on a jet airliner the afternoon of December 24th (Christmas Eve) of 1962. What a wonderful Christmas present it was for us all! Seeing her make her appearance in the door of the plane was a thrill one has to experience. Words cannot describe it any more than words can describe the feeling of apprehension one has when he sees a daughter or son go through the door of the plane as she leaves for her mission -- and then the closing of the door behind her, followed by the roar of the plane motors and the whirring of the plan off into the darkness of the night. Indescribable is all I can write of it.

With her mission over Ruth returned with us to Rupert but not for many weeks. We all felt that she should continue her schooling that she might be able to renew her teaching certificate and become qualified to continue with her teaching so when the Spring quarter started at the university of Utah Ruth became a student again. Lois and Mary were living together in an apartment in Salt Lake and had room for Ruth to join with them in their living quarters.

Following her quarter of schooling she returned home for the summer and resumed her school when fall came, this time at the Brigham Young University. At this writing she is completing her last couple of weeks of three year's of college work. She will now be in a position to have her teaching certificate renewed for the state of Idaho.

While attending Ricks college in 1959 Ruth met a young man, Laron Waite, of Homedale, Idaho and they were attracted to each other in what amounted to something more than a passing fancy, in fact, as early as that they seriously considered getting married. After consultation with us they decided that they should both go on missions which they did. Laron served in the North British Mission, going out a little more than six months before Ruth was called to the Scottish Mission. Their paths crossed, at least, one at a conference of missionaries, as I recall, at the time President Mckay visited Scotland.

Laron served for two years and returned home a couple of weeks before Ruth. They still seemed to have an affinity for each other but due to the fact that it is so difficult for young couples to start out for themselves without having completed their education we encouraged them to continue on with their education and prepare themselves for what lay ahead and that if they were for each other the time would soon come when they could start. They accepted it with a wonderful spirit. Laron enrolled in the College of Idaho at Caldwell not far from his home. We had hoped that they would finish the entire year but it seems they have stayed apart as long as they think necessary and they feel that they will be able to make of it from here on. Just this week Ruth wrote advising us that they would like to get married in February. They have been so patient that we can say nothing against it and are willing to give them our blessings . They are both worthy young folk and are certainly sufficiently mature to make the decision. Our family is growing. We have gained a daughter and granddaughter (Cindy) and now comes a son.


On to our daughter, Lois. She remained with us at the store for a few months but was offered a good job in the main branch of the First Security Bank in Salt Lake as secretary to one of the vice presidents. She had become adept with her shorthand work and became very well liked at the bank. After working there for over a year she contracted mononucleosis, a sickness to which young folks are sometimes afflicted. She was under the best of doctor's care but could not throw it from her system sufficiently to fully recover. The doctor said rest was requisite for recovery. She had been in the hospital for ten days or more and the doctor ordered that she take a complete rest for as long as it was necessary for her to recover. The bank officials told her; her job would be waiting for her when she recovered and that she would receive full pay while she was off. She returned home where she remained from before Thanksgiving until after the first of January of 1963 at which time she returned. She felt the effects of the sickness after returning to the bank and was permitted to work when she felt she could. She continued to feel better and started to gain weight which was a good indication that she was recovering.

When Lois reached her 21st birthday on the 8th of April of 1963 she was approached relative to her feelings about going on a mission. She had always expressed a desire to serve a mission. While we had always expressed a desire that we would like our children to serve a mission we left the final decision to her and she said she would like to go. She was living in Salt Lake and attending a ward there but our bishop, Bishop George Neilson, asked her to go from this, her home ward. After a farewell testimonial in the Rupert Ward September 15th and a farewell testimonial from her Salt Lake Ward September 22nd she entered the Mission Home in Salt Lake City Monday September 23rd, to serve a mission in the Spanish-American Mission.

Following her mission home week she, with others who were to learn the Spanish language were went to the BYU at Provo for an intensive twelve week training period. Learning a new language plus the missionary lessons which have to be memorized is a real assignment. Only those who show an aptitude and ability to readily learn are permitted to remain. A sizable percentage of the missionaries are unable to grasp the work sufficiently fast and are transferred to English speaking missions. This places a considerable strain on those who remain.

After about six weeks of this intensive studying Lois became ill. At first it was felt that it might be a recurrence of her earlier sickness but it was later determined that it was a virus she contracted. The doctor she was sent to prescribed and gave her three shots of iron thinking she was low in iron. She got worse instead of better until she asked the mission president if he would permit her to go to her doctor in Salt Lake City who had become well acquainted with her problem. He immediately decried what the Provo doctor had given her for, he stated, she was not low in iron and that if the problem were a lack of iron she should have only one shot every two weeks instead of three shots in one week. It was here that Lois learned that it was not a recurrence but a virus. He told her she had the double problem to overcome now, the virus as well as the overdose of iron and that she would have to have rest and good food.

The mission president advised Lois to call home and have us bring her back until she recovered and suggested that, at that time, she could take up her language and missionary lesson work where she left off or she could leave with the group for her mission at the end of the twelve week period. We went to Prove and brought Lois back home. After about four weeks she received a letter from her district president who told her that due to pre-Christmas traffic it was necessary for the group to leave for San Antonio, Texas a few days earlier than planned. Lois had recovered to a great degree during her stay at home and wanted to go into the mission field with her companions so she decided to return to Provo. Prior to her returning it was necessary that she receive a letter from the local Stake President and Bishop confirming her continued worthiness to return to her mission.

Mabel left on the bus with Lois from Burley and she, with Ruth who was in Provo at school, saw Lois and the other missionaries off to the mission headquarters, Tuesday morning December 17th at 6 a.m.

Two farewells in which we had to part with Lois were experiences which we shall not soon forget despite the fact that we were happy to see her accept and leave for a mission.

She labored for two weeks in San Antonio and was then transferred to Albuquerque, New Mexico where she is presently laboring.

At the last writing Mary was a senior at Minico High School. Following her graduation she attended and graduated from the LDS Business College and secured work as a secretary and receptionist at an electronics plant called Montek which is located in Murray, Utah just south of Salt Lake City. She loves her work but is always happy to come home whenever an opportunity affords itself which seems to be only at holiday time.

Beth, a senior in high school, has but four more months at school and then will come another college applicant. She has done well in school, especially in her shorthand work. She is serving as a reporter on the high school paper and was selected as an employee in the County School office where she spends a couple of hours each day following her regular school hours. She is a member of the school's pep club as were Mary and Lois before her. With her church work and her school work she keeps busy most of the time.

John is maturing rapidly, both in years and actions. He is presently in the fifth grade and doing well. He is getting large enough that he can be a big help at home and with many of the chores at the store such as sweeping sidewalks, cleaning windows, dusting, helping move furniture, etc. He will soon become our right hand man.


We remain very grateful for the children with whom we have been blessed. Without an exception each of them has been very livable with. By that I mean we never had a problem of behavior that has caused us concern. Each has been obedient and respectful at all times. They have all taken to 'church' like ducks take to water and have participated in everything in which they have been asked, so far as we know. It has been hard for us to see them grow up and leave home for whatever the cause. Their absence is keenly felt and as we look back over the golden years of the past when they were crawling up on our knees and we were reading stories to them and tucking them in bed at the close of the day's activity we sometimes weaken and wish that we could experience it all over again. We realize that life cannot be turned back and we have to accept passing of time as part of living and acknowledge the fact that those days of our children's childhood was a chapter in life's book and that we have the responsibility of preparing for tomorrow's chapter through today's chapter which we are currently 'reading'.

Other than the activities of our children as has been noted our lives have also been full. Our business has not been without its concern. Farm prices have not been good the last two seasons and money has been scarce with the farmers. Due to the fact that our entire economy is based on farm structure the merchant as well as the farmer has been hard pressed. While the national economy is probably at its all-time peak the same cannot be said of this area. Due to the depressed condition sales have actually been affected and, as a natural result, when sales are down, in order to promote business, the profit margin is cut therefore our net earnings are affected also. We have been able to meet all our commitments but it has been a greater problem than it had previously been.

During the last year we seriously considered moving our business from Rupert to a new location across the river to the north of Burley. There was considerable talk of new shopping developments in that area and in as much as that area appears to become the hub of the Minidoka-Cassia area we felt it would be a good location, in fact, a better location than where we are in Rupert. Our business is attracting people who live in Burley, in fact, a goodly percentage of our customers are Burley people which we are drawing because of the better type merchandise we handle. We have felt that if we became more centrally located we would see an increase in sales.

With this situation in mind we purchased a nice corner building lot. Due to the fact, however, that the area was not a 'proven' area and was in an undeveloped condition loan companies felt the risk was too great to give a loan. We reconsidered and wondered if it wouldn't be wise for us to proceed with greater caution and wait until the area became more developed. At the present we are holding 'tight'on the proposition and shall wait.

At the time we purchased the business we took a five year lease on the building which housed the business. President Campbell, the owner of the building and former owner of the business proposed a sale of the building with no down payment and a ten year contract to be paid off by monthly payments less than our past rent had been. We felt it would be a good investment so we purchased the building on that basis.

In July of this past year, 1963, my stepmother, Aunt Luella passed away at a hospital in Pocatello. She had been living with her daughter-in-law, Ann for nine months prior to that time. She had been in the hospital four or five days when she passed away. She was nearing her 89th birthday and had been in reasonably good health until the end however her eyesight had failed her to the point where she had to leave her home here in Rupert. Her leaving Rupert ended a period of nearly five years of careful attention we have had to give her following Dad's passing away. Aunt Luella insisted that she stay in her home. For a few months following dad's death her sister, Elva Reed lived with her but she passed away within a few months of Dad's passing and Aunt Luella was left alone.

Due to the fact that there was a large yard to take care of it required considerable time and work to keep it up. Dad had always been a garden lover and always kept his yard immaculate. Aunt Luella loved things to be nice and beautiful and in order so our obligation became doubly difficult. For five summers we kept her yard as near looking like Dad had kept it as we could. We kept our yard at home as simple as we could so as not to create more work. In addition Mabel took care of all her shopping, which, living as we do in these modern times, trips to grocery stores are made quite often. Aunt Luella, due to poor eyesight was unable to read, sew, or even watch television to any extent so her life became very lonely and she needed company. Almost without exception during those years we called on her to spend at least, a few minutes to an hour every day. During the periods when she wasn't feeling the best one of us would sleep in an adjoining room and, in case she needed us during the night, she would tap on the wall and we could go to her aid.

Usually, once or twice a summer she would visit with her relatives in Star Valley or Utah but her visits were never more than a few days at a time. Once or twice she may have stayed two or three weeks. She always felt she had to get back home to take care of things. She didn't seem to realize that her visits away from home relieved our work considerably.

Other members of the family were very busy with their farm work and other responsibilities and as time wore on after the passing of our father visits to Aunt Luella seemed to come much less frequent until, at times, we wondered if we had been forsaken in our responsibility to assist in watching over Aunt Luella. We question whether folk will ever know or realize the hundreds and hundreds of hours we spent during those years. I don't wish to infer that we worked at our 'inherited' assignment grudgingly. We realized someone had to do it and that we were the only ones of the family living in town so as to be free of some of the tying chores of the farm. Certainly, we had other things we should have been doing but for the most part they were things that could be overlooked or postponed.

Aunt Luella was a kindly, pleasant woman who made one feel welcome and at home, but a woman who also had an uncanny way of getting the things done the way and when she wished them done. She had operated a grocery store for many years and was a business woman from beginning to end. She loved to attend church, particularly Sacrament Meetings, and enjoyed discussing subjects pertaining to church. She always regretted having been left a widow by the death of her first husband, my Uncle John Wilkes, due to the fact that she had the responsibility of taking care of her interests which were shared by her only living son, Edgar, during his younger years. As he reached maturity and for the few short years he lived after that, he assisted, but it was not like Aunt Luella to relinquish her executive responsibilities. Because of this she sacrificed much relative to Church activity during her working years for her business. She felt she had missed much and it seemed, for this reason, that she wished to attend church as much as possible. The fact that Dad was active in the church and always attended made it a pleasure for Aunt Luella.

We felt Aunt Luella appreciated the things which were done for her, particularly did it appear such at the time. Later circumstances has caused us to wonder some but we hesitate to judge another for we don't always know the background which may have played a part in determining a decision.

After Aunt Luella left Rupert and her home, her furniture, etc., was stored for her intended future use. She always said she intended to come back home and set up housekeeping again. This we knew would be impossible because of her age and condition. Upon her leaving we rented her home unfurnished for one hundred dollars per month which provided with that amount plus her social security which she regularly received would far more than provide her with what she needed unless through illness she would have hospital and doctor bills. She was fortunate in that she had very little of this type of expense.

Prior to Dad's death he willed the farm to his family and the house in town to Aunt Luella. Prior to his death he told us that he willed the house as he did for he felt, by so doing, he would provide for a certainty for her eventual needs. He did say that due to the fact that she had sufficient of her own to take care of her under normal conditions he desired that she return the home to his children unless it became necessary for her to sell it to sustain her. Aunt Luella told us many times that this was Dad's desire and that it was her desire to do so, also. When she made her will through the local attorney she requested that the matter be handled in such a manner. We were very much surprised to learn at her death, a few weeks or months after she moved to Pocatello that she had a new will drawn up by an attorney who was a nephew-in-law which rescinded, naturally, the old will. In her last will she declared that 50% of the house was to be given to her daughter-in-law and grandchildren. It seemed that after she left the closeness of the family her appreciation for Dad's family soon was forgotten. The family, to a person, feels to have been wronged, for it was not her earlier intent nor certainly was it Dad's nor Mother's intent that the house should go as it did.

Our church activities have remained about as previously mentioned. We have continued working as members of the Stake Genealogical Committee. During 1962 and part of 1963 I served as Ward Genealogical Chairman in the Rupert Ward. Due to my stake and other activities the Stake Chairman and Stake Presidency requested the Bishop to release me from ward work.

I don't recall that I have previously mentioned in the story the fact that for a number of years in various stakes in which we have served on stake genealogical committees we have put out a three or four legal size page paper each month containing genealogical information and ward and stake genealogical reports for the particular month. We started our first paper while living in Almy, Wyoming and serving as Stake Chairman of the Woodruff Stake in 1939. We made up the name "The Genealogue" and have retained that name whenever we have put such a paper out. We put it out for a period of about three years in the Woodruff stake. We used it for two years in the Weiser Stake, for about three years in the Nyssa Stake and for two years in the Rupert Ward and the Minidoka Stake. This project has required many, many hours of time but we felt it served its purpose very well by informing members of the various wards and stakes regarding genealogical work and its importance.

The four stakes in this area; the Burley, Cassia, Minidoka, and Raft River Stakes met under the direction of the stake presidents of each stake and proposed that a genealogical library be established for the use of the members of the four stakes amounting to approximately fifteen thousand members. The stake presidents appointed their respective chairman to serve on the executive committee to select a location for the housing of the library and assigned them to establish it. The stake presidents selected me to serve as secretary and treasurer to this committee. The committee was set up in August of 1963. The new library is housed in the basement rooms of the old seminary building in Burley and materials and equipment are now being gathered in to form a library which, we hope, will someday be selected as a branch library to the Genealogical Library in Salt Lake.

Anyone attempting to keep abreast of his own life story should certainly not wait seven and one half years but such is the length of time which has elapsed since the paragraph just above this was written. This evening is near tine end of the 17th of' January 1971 and is far too long for one to go between writing of his experiences. Certainly much has transpired which could have been written the better had it been written nearer the time of he event. The only good I can now think which come from such a long delay is that the story itself will not be so long as it would have been had the writing been current with the happenings.

To go back to pickup the family happenings and keep them in sequence is probably an impossibility. In reality sequence may not be the all important thing, however, I am confident some things may be overlooked which may deserve mentioning. As I sit and look back from this point my first reaction is that the past seven and one-half years have been relatively uneventful and yet this can't be. Much has happened to us but as we live one day at a time we experience events of importance and then to on to the next event and with time, fleeting as it is and with memory 'slipping' perhaps by having new events crowding the old ones into the past we look back and think things were but routine.

To begin with it might be reported that we are still in the furniture business in the same location and enjoying fair success. Extremely strong competition and a long continued depressed farm economy keeps us guessing however we are being blessed with all we need and are all enjoying reasonably good health. I am yet only 63 years old and tho my hair has turned as white as it will ever be excepting perhaps the little darkness at the back of my head among it yet I feel I am able to do as much work and about as easily as I did seven and one-half years ago. I must confess that I have a little concern but the doctors say a little corrective surgery will take care of my problem.

To pick up the pieces of my story it seems that I might start with our oldest and work toward our youngest children and relate briefly where they are and what they are doing. Our children are yet our concern and are the story of our lives, both Mabel's and mine.

Earlier in the story it was related that our eldest son, Paul, had married and was living in Salt Lake City where he had graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in zoology and that he had started working toward his masters degree. Over a year ago he received that coveted degree and is still continuing toward his doctorate. Paul has had an unusual experience of which we are all proud. In writing his master's thesis he concluded that he would gather material and specimen of bacteria to show the comparison of protozoa of the Salt Lake Valley to that of Death Valley of California with the supposition that, in as much as both valleys were, in reality, dead valleys, that as fresh water ran into them but there was no outlet from either, thus giving reason for protozoa being similar. Spending part of his Christmas holidays in Death Valley two years ago he brought back to the university a series of samples of water. During the following weeks he grew protozoa and to his surprise, as well as his professor's surprise found they were not the same in all instances, in fact, from these experiments those of his 'field' concluded that he had discovered two new species of which science had no record. After careful study and renewal of experiments his professor, Dr. Evans, head of that department at the University of Utah reported his findings (Paul's) to other protozoologists. On the 18th of November, 1968 a letter was written to Paul from Leningrad, Russia inviting him to present his discoveries to the world-wide International Congress of Protozoology meeting which was to be held in Leningrad from July 2nd to the 10th of 1969. Naturally, it became a must in Paul's and Lynn's plans for him to go despite the fact that, with the exception of his plane ticket to New York and return which was given him as a grant from the University of Utah, he had to stand the expense personally.

Space will not be given to details of his trip but suffice it to report that Paul spent some ten days in Russia completing the assignment of the invitation. Ten days came to my mind however, upon checking I find that it was actually over three weeks that he was gone. This proved to be a wonderful experience for Paul and since his return, in fact, in September of 1970 Paul was invited to lecture and present slides of his finding at Old Faithful Lodge in the Yellowstone National Park at a conference of Western Universities under the sponsorship of the University of Montana.

To continue his schooling toward his doctorate it has required that it be cut to part time only for to maintain a family and home it has required, and still does require, having employment for an income. For a couple of years Paul has served as a chemist at the Salt Lake Metropolitan Water Company full time during the summer months and part time during the school months. Paul also teaches on a student teacher basis at the University and manages to earn sufficient, however, as one can readily see his hours are long. As parents we are most grateful that Paul and Lynn and family are active in their ward and stake and despite Paul's pressing schedule of school and work they stay close to the church. A couple years ago Paul was selected as an alternate high councilman in his stake and about a year ago he was selected to the status of high councilman. Lynn, with Paul, are active with the Young Married groups. Their daughter Cindy, under the close guidance of her mother has had two or three years of piano lessons and thru an aptitude for it has made wonderful progress. A few months ago her teacher had her give a recital at the music conservatory of the music department at the University of Utah.

One of the great blessings that has come into the life of Paul and Lynn was the arrival of little Laura now nearing two years of age. We must not overlook reporting the fact that Lynn is interested and active in genealogical work. The fact that she is the only member of her family in the Church places a great responsibility on her in the regard and she is doing something about it.

Next in line, by age, we make a brief updating report on Ruth. At last writing in this story she was about to finish her third year of college, this last phase at the BYU, and had made plans to marry Laron Waite of Homedale, Idaho. With going into detail, all of which I frankly admit I do not remember, I can report they were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on the 28th of February, 1964. Without going into the details of wedding receptions etc., I shall note the fact that they made their first home in his home town, Homedale, Idaho. He was attending school at Caldwell where he continued until the end of the term. We had a job opening as a floorcovering installation man which he decided to try and so they moved to Rupert and remained with the store for a couple of years and became proficient in his work. While they were yet with us Adin and Jennifer were born and it was a blow to both us and our business when they left. We knew that the time would come when they leave us for Laron had in mind his going back to school so in the fall of about 1966 Laron entered the Boise College and Ruth went to work as a school teacher again, this time living in Boise but driving back and forth to Middleton where she taught the first year and to Eagle, closer to Boise, where she taught the next year. This gave Laron time to obtain his teaching certificate and so in the fall of 1969 they moved to Emmett where Laron had secured a teaching position in the Emmett elementary school. This was a much better arrangement, particularly for Ruth for now she could stay home with her family. Fortunately Beth and Terry were living in Boise during the same years and Ruth would drop Adin and Jennifer off at Beth's place where they would stay during the day time and Ruth would pick them up on her return trip from school. These were two hard years for Ruth for she has always been very conscientious with her teaching and has been an exceptionally fine teacher. This was her rating when she taught in the Rupert schools prior to her becoming married. School officials here have often commented on the fine teacher Ruth was. During the years of their married life to the present they have been active in the Church wherever they lived. They taught in the various organizations and when they got to Boise Laron was called as president to an elders quorum. Ruth worked in the Relief Society in the college ward as well as other organizations. After going to Emmett Ruth was called into the Primary presidency in the ward and not long after moving into the area Laron was called by the Weiser stake presidency as stake executive secretary in which position he became the stake president's right hand man and has served closely with the stake presidency at their meetings and with their visiting with the wards of the stake. To this writing a year and a half later he is serving in that capacity. Living such a distance from stake headquarters-perhaps 25 miles-Laron spends considerable time traveling to and from. Another little girl, Amy, moved into Ruth's and Laron's home so presently they are living contentedly together.

Now we return to Lois who, at the last writing, was on her mission to the Spanish American Mission shortly before Christmas of 1963. Time passed as it always does and Lois enjoyed her mission very much. Lois has been adept with her shorthand and other secretarial work and was called into the mission office where she served as personal secretary to her mission president. After she had served for several months in that capacity her mission felt she should have another opportunity to get out among the people and experience some more of that type of missionary work before she was released. This he did and Lois went out proselytizing and enjoyed this phase of her missionary work and was successful in obtaining converts, however, for the last few weeks of her mission her mission president called her back into the office to "get things straightened out again before she left".

Lois flew back and came to the Twin Falls air port where we drove to pick her up after dark on the evening of two or three days before Christmas of 1965. Ruth had returned from her mission to Scotland the day before Christmas three years earlier so you can see those two Christmas' were joyous ones to us, indeed.

Following her return and a stay at home for a month or so Lois secured a position with Zion Securities in Salt Lake where she was working at the time she was married to Glenn Stott, also a returned missionary from the Spanish American mission who was serving in the mission during the same period that Lois was there. They were married by President Theodore M. Tuttle whom they both knew from their mission experience, in the Salt Lake Temple on 1 September 1966. Again, without going into the details of wedding receptions, Lois' and Glens', like Paul's and Lynn's was held at their home. The second one was held in Glen's home ward an evening or two later.

Lois continued to work at Zion's Security while Glen continued on to school at the University of Utah. Putting a husband thru school seems a modern conception of many young men going to school however this was their choice for both Glen and Lois was some beyond legal age at this time. Lois worked until a short time before Kimberly was born and started working again soon after for she was able to leave the baby at Glen's mother and later a baby sitter whom they knew well. A job opening showed up at the University of Utah and after due consideration Lois decided to change jobs for the one up at the school was much more convenient for her and Glen so far as transportation was concerned and it was here that Lois worked until after Glen received his degree from the university and departed to Los Angeles where his new job as a civil engineer for the City of Los Angeles took him. Soon after this Lois and Kimberly joined Glen and in the mean time he found a place for them to live. Approximately a month after Lois joined Glen she returned to Salt Lake where their second baby, Gregory, was born. Lois had been under the care of a Salt Lake doctor whom she had a great deal of confidence and felt she should return. She again flew and stayed with Glen's folks for a day or so until she went to the hospital. Following her release from the hospital and a day or two following that her brother, Paul, brought her to Rupert in his car. She stayed here for a week or there-abouts when she returned to Los Angeles by plane, we taking her to Salt Lake the evening before and to the airport the following morning. As of this writing - - January 18th, 1971 they remain quite content in San Gabriel, California from where he commutes to his work.

Mary at last writing was working in Murray, Utah tho living closer into Salt Lake proper. We needed and office girl at our store and Mary agreed to come home and work for Cameron's Implement, Inc. here in Rupert and it was while working out there that she met Bryce Chugg whom she married on the 29th of December 1967 in the Idaho Falls Temple. Another wedding reception in the Rupert ward cultural hall, one of the largest we have experienced as well as having seen. The abundance of gifts they received was very much appreciated and, for years yet to come, they will be using some of the gifts they received.

Bryce had worked for us at the store for a number of months when a job was offered him as Deputy Sheriff of the county in which Hailey, Idaho is located and he worked there for three or four months prior to their marriage and where, of course, they returned following their marriage. Due to the fact that his job was indirectly a political job, he being employed by an elected official it could be seen that his fortune turned the way the voters decided the sheriff's office should go and when an opening was offered in the Rupert City police department he accepted it. We were pleased of this for this brought them back closer to home. On the 16th of January 1969 a little girl, Victoria, 'Vicki' for short, was born. Bryce had never felt that he wanted to make a career with the police work due to the hours and the environment he had to be in and he was persuaded to take employment with the local Big O Tire shop. This proved to be a change for the better how ever, after working there for a year, more or less, and opportunity came his way to work for the city of Rupert mainly as an electrician. He and Mary debated sometime before he made the change but hours and other benefits of the city job plus the monotony of the tire job aided him in selecting the new job. In addition to his regular work he assists his widowed mother on her farm whenever she needs a hand. A second little girl, Tamara, came to keep Vicky company on the 30th of June 1970. As all of our grandchildren has been a joy, not only to their parents but also to their grandparents, this new little gal soon won a place in the hearts of those about her.

In Mary's employment here at Rupert, prior to her marriage she worked for several months at the Amalgamated Sugar Company in the main office and it was while there that she contracted a health problem in her throat called Myasthenia Gravis which is the loss of muscle strength in the muscles of the face and neck. Actually it appears as a partial paralysis and has brought considerable discomfort to Mary. She has been to some of the best doctors in the West but there seems little that they can do for her. Her speech and swallowing has been quite noticeably affected and her general physical condition has been weakened. We are all grateful, despite Mary's illness, that she is able to stay as cheerful as she is and is able to take care of her family, however, we realize it requires extra effort on her p[art. All who are with her are willing to assist her and this she is very appreciative of. Our hopes and prayers are that someday she may be able to overcome the problem and be able to enjoy her one time normal health. Bryce an Mary are active in the Church as are all of our children. Each of our married children have married companions who love the church and all are active and faithful members. Of this we are most grateful for we know our grandchildren will receive good training in the form-able years.

Next in age come Beth who was last reported as being a senior in high school. As with the others, the past seven years have brought changes with Beth. Upon completion of high school Beth worked through the summer at the Minidoka County School Central Office and attended Ricks College the next year. Her second year was spent at the B. Y. U. after spending the intervening summer back at the school office. The following year she again returned and completed her junior year at the B.Y.U. Again she started the summer working at the school office. Mr. Camden Meyers, Superintendent of Schools always had a high regard for Beth's ability and dependability in her work and has personally told me he wished he could retain Beth indefinitely for, not only was she thorough and dependable but he said that she was the fastest in taking dictation that he had ever had. He said, as I remember the exact words, "I am accustomed to speaking fast and when I dictate letters and other materials Beth has no trouble keeping up with me and she takes it accurately. I wish I could keep her."

While speaking of Mr. Meyers I might report that he had previously been most complimentary of Ruth with her teaching. He has told us on several occasions while Ruth was teaching and he has since, that any time Ruth wishes to teach in the system under him she will have a job.

Back to Beth. On the 7th of July 1967, the summer following her completing her junior year at the 'Y' she and Terry Levanger, a senior, at B.Y.U. and who was also from Homedale Idaho, the same town as Laron, were married in the Idaho Falls Temple. Our loss was another's gain and after the wedding and reception we really sensed the loss of a sure to lose game. One wedding in '63, one in '64 one in '66 Beth's now in '67 which was but four or five months prior to another we knew was coming in December of this same year was beginning to put a 'crimp' in our family number. Following Mary's wedding, three in about 16 months we had only John left of our family of six children.

Ruth's and Mary's wedding receptions were held in the Rupert ward cultural hall while Paul's, Lois's and Beth's were held at our home which included the house proper, the patio, a decorated-up double garage in the case of Lois' and the back yard, the latter particularly in the instances of Beth's.

Terry and Beth started house keeping in Homedale in a house on his parent's farm and he worked with them on the farm for a month or two and in the mean time was looking for work. His training in school was in the line of computer programming. One day while in Boise looking for work he called at the main office of the Boise-Cascade company and made inquiry. This was probably in September. "Filled up and won't take any more applications until after the first of the year" was the reply to his query but they suggested that he might fill out a form while there and take a brief test which he did and was told that if he was still interested he might renew his application in January. Within a couple days he received a telephone call inviting him to visit their office in Boise. This he did and he was invited to take another test. He questioned the purpose of the test if no applications were to be accepted before the first of the year. I don't recall this answer, but let it suffice to report that he was an employee within the next few days as a result of the tests he took.

With Terry's new employment they found it advisable to move to Boise where they rented a house. They were assigned activity in their new ward shortly after their arrival. Terry served for some time as ward financial clerk and Beth has served in several capacities including president of the Y. L. M. I. A. and as president of the Primary organization plus teaching positions.

During the summer of about 1969 Terry received and assignment from his company to go, with two others from his department, to Richmond, Virginia to assist the city of Richmond in setting up their city offices with a computer program. This was intended to last from several months to a year or two depending upon the progress of their undertaking. Each of the three were instructed to move their families back with them so their first major move was made. Prior to this their little son, Nathan, was born and so with him only a few moths old they made their move. Things did not materialize as planned between the company who was leasing them from Boise Cascade and the city of Richmond so they were called back by Boise Cascade after a couple month's stay. We were happy to see them come back to the West although they enjoyed the experience and got to see considerable of the country and included in their return trip, they visited most of the early Church historic places. The entire expenses were covered by money allotted by the company. Since then terry has been called several times by his company to go to Sacramento, California in the interest of the computer programming. Following their return from Virginia they purchased a home in Boise.

John, now a junior in Minico High School is the only one of our children at home. Even the thoughts of the time soon coming when he, also, will be away whether it be to college or a mission or the service or whatnot brings with them a feeling of loneliness. We often think how wonderful it would be if we could get just far along with our family and bring about a condition of status quo wherein things would stand just as they were at a given time. This condition, we realize is not life. Life doesn't stop nor would it be for our good if it could be stopped, but there are stations along the way, especially it seems so as we look back, where it seems that nothing could be more desirable-places in our experiences when we can say to ourselves, "this is Heaven". In reality we should be able to say, "these are conditions which will go toward making heaven".

We are grateful that John is following in the footsteps of his older brother and sisters so far as being a good boy and finding it pleasurable to him to be close to the Church and his home. Presently he is serving as the secretary in the priest's quorum and every year since receiving the priesthood at the age of twelve has received his Individual Award which is given to those boys and girls of the Church who qualify. Among his ambitions has always been to fulfill a mission. For this we are grateful. John is on his way to, probably become the largest, physically, of the family. At the age of seventeen he is nearing six feet two inches in height and weight of 195 pounds. He is taking far more interest in his school work than in the past and has certainly given is but very little cause for concern. Probably his greatest pleasure is for us to go visiting with his brothers and sisters. For the past summer or two he has spent considerable time working on the farms of the area for those who are needing help. For the past four or five months he is working at Safeway store and enjoys this very much. Naturally most of the hours he spends are after school and on Saturdays, however, occasionally he puts in three and four hours in the mornings before school. On two or three occasions he reported to work at 3 a.m. for four hours and another four hours after school. While such a day is tiring to him he recuperates rapidly.

After reporting briefly on each of the children I might report on Mabel. She is still as faithful and loyal to us as she has ever been. Her family is her life as, I am sure, it will always be. At the time of my last writing I reported that the four stakes of this area formed a library at Burley for the genealogical use of the members of this area. At the time, while Church sponsored, so far as the stakes are concerned, but it had no direct connection with the Genealogical Society and their library in Salt Lake. Other than my specific call to serve as secretary and treasurer to the library board, Mabel and I were called to serve as librarians with the specific calling of representing the library in English research. This assignment required that, at various intervals, we give class instruction to not only the librarians but also on an occasion to all Church members of the four stakes a series of lessons were presented at the library.

At the time of our call the intent was that librarians would be called for a period of two years. To the present we have served over seven and one half years and nothing has been indicated that our period of service is about over. In July of 1965 the library was selected as the Church's 17th branch library and our assignments have remained the same. We are expected to spend two nights each week at the library and there have been very few exceptions during the time since we started that we have failed to be there.

Over three years ago Mabel was called to serve as Relief Society Stake president of this, the Minidoka stake. Naturally this has been a time consuming assignment and one that, so far as I know, she has handled very capable. She has felt the Relief Society assignment has had priority over the library but it has been only on occasions when there has been a stake meeting with the stake presidency that it has interfered with her library assignment. At times it looked as if it was more than she could do but she has remained faithful in both callings.

Besides her church activity she, of course, has had her home responsibilities and for the past three or four years she has worked at the store handling our book work. Naturally, we see that her work at the store does not interfere with her church assignments. What with her visiting wards rather regularly and always on ward conferences plus other occasions and the weekly meeting of the Relief Society of her own ward she does have to leave her store work. It has always been our policy that our business never interfere with any specific Church assignment. There is seldom such an occasion but ways can be arranged to take care of our Church assignments.

The above few paragraphs have pretty much told the story of my personal activity during the past seven years. The library assignment has occupied a good many hours each week and to this date any ward assignment has been of relatively short duration. I must make one exception and that was that I served as high priest group leader in the Rupert ward for a couple years or more with the responsibility which fall to that calling of directing the activities of the high priests group; and having charge of home teaching which was done by high priests as well as assisting the bishop with temple and genealogical activities of the ward, and due to the fact that there were high priests who had little or no assignments other than, perhaps home teaching, the stake presidency felt that part of the load I had in the church should be shared and so, again and such as it has been for the last about four years my Church assignment has been solely with the library. Mabel and I have been called on an occasion or two to teach brief series of classes to high priest group leaders of the twelve wards and ward checkers in the fundamentals of genealogy as the newly innovated genealogy program presently exists, this is relative to the Entry Forms, Marriage Entry Forms and family group sheets.

Under the present genealogical programs of the Church (1970) ward genealogical training classes are to; be held with an eleven week course being presented to a group which is called by the bishop and the course is to be repeated over and over again until every adult member of the ward has had an opportunity of responding to the call of taking the class. Mabel and I have been assigned to assist in the instruction of this class in our ward and the distinctive call was given me by the stake presidency to write a lesson course covering the eleven lessons which might be used by all wards of the stake. These lessons have now been completed and are presently in the hands of each of the wards. This was a challenging assignment but one that has been a pleasure to me.

Another little project I took upon myself was back in 1963 I started writing a quarterly letter to the families-about 125-of the Edward Blacker Family Organization as well as a like quarterly letter to the nearly one-hundred families of the John Wilkes Family Organization. This double project was very interesting but was quite time consuming. Most of the letters would average probably four legal size sheets of single space type but some had as many as seven sheets depending on the information available. Included in the letters was the history of those of what we have called the first generation following the family organization and, of course, all the information I had gathered of the earlier generations of the families involved. The Blacker family letters were continued until the May letter of 1967. At the reunion following this letter we suggested that it might be assigned to someone else and so following this brother Roy and Hilda wrote the letter for a couple years and at last reunion it was assigned to cousin, Delos Gardner and Lorene his wife. The Wilkes family letter has been continued thru September of 1970-into the seventh year of regular quarterly letters. The Wilkes letter project has become quite discouraging due to the lack of interest shown by family members not sending in family information. Thru the last several years the Wilkes letters have been continued because Aunt Mabel had expressed herself as it being her desire to encourage the family at large to remain interested in each other and the letter plus the annual reunion seemed the only possibility that encouragement could be given along this line. Just two or three days prior to Aunt Mabel's passing away in May of 1970 as we visited with her in the Logan hospital she expressed appreciation to us for the letters we had written in an attempt to keep interest going within the family and she said she couldn't ask us to do more and of we felt inclined we could be relieved of the assignment so far as she was concerned. This was on her death bed and tho we hope to occasionally write a letter to the families we have felt perhaps they could be on a six month basis or even a yearly basis. If there were interest among the family we wouldn't mind writing regularly. When we say there isn't interest I must hurriedly qualify the statement for there are three or four who have supported us in the project. To these individuals we are most appreciative. We hope the Wilkes Family Organization can be continued, however, with Aunt Mabel now having passed away it is going to be a real problem however, for the present we are not going to give up and we hope an attempt will be made by all of us to hold a reunion this coming year.

Aunt Mabel, particularly in the last few years has been a treasure in our lives. She so appreciated our efforts to keep the family together and certainly she and Uncle Loraine did all they possible could do to keep the family in touch with each other. One of the deeply appreciated honors bestowed upon me was to be invited by the family to offer a few remarks at Aunt Mabel's funeral. She was very dear to us. About three years prior to her passing we took the liberty to go to Logan to their home where we spent a couple hours visiting with Aunt Mabel and Uncle Lorain and made a tape recording of their telling the story of the John Wilkes family. It was a cherished day for us and the tape has become one of our chosen possessions.

In mentioning tapes and recordings I might mention here that a couple or more years ago we visited with Uncle Will Blacker in our home and took down practically an hours recording of his story of his life and the story of the Blacker family in which he was a child. This record, likewise, is of great value to us.

To you who read this account, should there be anyone, you might wonder of my interest in our means of making a living for so little has been said about our business. Certainly, as you can surmise, our business is secondary to our family and the Church. It is relied on only for providing us with a living. It has made it possible for us to have maintained our home and provide means to assist our children with their education and missions etc. The Lord has blessed our business to the extent that it has provided us the necessities and many of the comforts of life and for this reason we have been able to take the time and gather from it the means to do what we have done. I have no intention of letting it become the driving or dominating force in our lives for truly it is but a means to an end. We keep busy with the business and it is not without its problems but, as stated earlier, we have no other interests in life that are more important to us and so long as we feel this way and take care of our family and Church obligations we are confident the Lord will be sufficiently kind to us to see that the business adequately takes care of us. I would be very much mistaken if the Lord hasn't promised that such will be the case.

Our home has always been a joy to us and certainly a haven of rest and a place where we all love to be. It is not pretentious but it is adequate. As we could, during the last few years we have remodeled, added a nice two car garage which was not with the house when we purchased it some nearly fourteen years ago, have changed the downstairs room situation and enclosed the former open patio and made it a 'family room'. The latter having been completed but a few months ago. It - the home - is loved by us the more because we have done all the remodeling work ourselves and while it may not be so nicely done as professionals would do we have made our home quite comfortable and livable. We seemed to have ample room in our home when our family was home but a year ago last Christmas when three or four of our children came home with their families for a week or ten day stay we saw that more room, particularly in the dinette area was needed so this inspired the need to enclose the patio for another room in the home and it is now able to serve the purpose for which it was made - - the providing room for our families when they come home. All five families can now come at once and we will be able to make us all comfortable thru their stay.

There is nothing in the world we love more than to have our family members return and the only regrettable thing of that is that there is another farewell which must be faced. It seems so much of our lives have been in bidding farewell. Our hearts have ached and tears have been shed on the farewell occasions, however, on the other hand our children and their companions and our grandchildren have brought far more pleasure than, perhaps, we deserve and with it all we have the satisfaction that all of our children who have married have married in the temple and we are confident John, the last remaining unmarried one - - and his time for such has not come - - will follow the example of his older brother and sisters. We are proud of them all for their accomplishments and particularly for the fact that they have remained close to the Church and us, their parents, and to each other. Our goal is to become part of a patriarchal family throughout all eternity and despite of weaknesses we hope this will be our lot. With this as of this date, 24 January 1971, we conclude another chapter and await the passing of time for additional to write.

How slow some of us are to do the things we know we should do. As I, today, proceed with another attempt to add to my life story - - the 27th day of March 1981

I realize it has been over ten years since my last writing this particular account.

Certainly this was not the intent when I last wrote. Now being 73 1/4 years of age it would seem such lengthy periods between writing will not continue for many more times. I promise from this time on I will try to do better.

Following the pattern of the past let me again start this phase of the story be returning to the eldest of our children and briefly report on each of them. Certainly, for details, it will be necessary to go directly to each of their personal stories which, hopefully, each of them are keeping up to date far better than I will be able to do. I shall have to rely on memory. One can readily see how brief these accounts will be, despite our interest in each of our children and their families. By this age of our overall family it can be well understood our children's families are well entrenched into separate family units and most of the living is done within the walls of their own homes and we are not always aware of what transpires on a day to day basis. It must be understood that our relationship with each of our children and their families is exceptionally good and seldom does a week go by but that we are in personal contact with each of them, usually of these years by telephone conversation, there yet remains much that transpires with them of which we may not be fully appraised.

At the off-set I may apprise the reader of the present whereabouts of each of our families at the moment and, in each case, has been for well over the past two years. Paul and Lynn and family are in Alpine, Utah; Ruth and Laron and family are in Heyburn, Idaho; Lois and Glen and family are in Providence, Utah; Mary and Bryce and family are in Rupert; Beth and Terry and family are in Boise, Idaho; and John and Mary and family are in Idaho Falls.

Now, to Paul and Family: For several years while he was attending school they lived on Coatsville Avenue in Salt Lake City which home was in the neighborhood of 7th East an 19th South. Paul continued to teach human anatomy and other related subjects on a part time basis at the university and, for many months, ran a shift in the evenings at a service station. His time spent at the Metropolitan Water plant at the mouth of Little Cottonwood canyon was probably toward the last of his part time jobs. He obtained his doctorate several years ago from the University of Utah and we went down to attend his commencement exercises. He was hired by a Salt Lake engineering firm with his work being in environmental pollution work, particularly in connection with water and air purification.

Approximately eight or nine years ago they bought a newly constructed home in Sandy, Utah which was a nice split-level home which they decorated themselves. They spent much time and worked extremely hard landscaping the new yard. Lynn, particularly, is a green-thumb gal and their yards - - both front and back yards - - developed into yards of beauty.

During the years they were on Coatsville Avenue, as I think I mentioned, Paul served on the stake high council and Lynn worked with the Relief Society and Primary and was concerned with genealogical research work. Cindy was extremely talented on the piano and participated in recitals - - some competitive - - such as in the Utah State Fair. At one of the recitals she placed second in all the state of Utah with some of the judges claiming she should have had first place.

While living in the Sandy area Paul served as a counselor in the bishopric and Lynn taught in the Relief Society organization.

In about 1977 they sold their home in Sandy and bought a newly constructed home around the Point of the Mountain, in Alpine. They appeared to be gluttons for punishment for, again, they had to start from scratch with the fixing their home and yard up from scratch. The basement was completely unfinished and over the years they have it well along to be completely finished. Their summer-time yards have been a thing of beauty and tho they are the last home on the street on their side and the street is a dead-end many people drive up and turn around just to see their yard.

Soon after moving to Alpine, Paul received the assignment of instructor in the high priest group and later was called as high priest group leader. Lynn always finds herself with teaching responsibilities and remains faithful with her genealogical research work. Being the only member of her family belonging to the Church, she has found much to do along research lines of work.

During the years their family increased. A family, for a few years, had proven of real concern. They waited for five years for Laura and she came in answer to special prayers and blessings which Paul and Lynn have been personally assured came to fulfillment by the exercise of their faith. On an occasion, after having visited doctors over a long period of time Paul telephoned from Salt Lake and asked if I would give him a special blessing as to this matter. Upon their arriving in Rupert we drove to my brother, Leroy's home where, after being anointed with oil by Roy, I gave a blessing in which they were promised they would yet live to have a family. Less than a year later Laura was born to them. Subsequently Julie came to live with them and then Jeffrey who was followed by Jimmy and lastly to this date, Allison.

Paul has born testimony to us that following their decision not to have any more children which, if I recall correctly, was Jeffrey, that he was literally awakened from his sleep one night by a voice of a little child. Paul was confident it was not a dream and that the voice was not the voice of any of his children in the house. The voice was repeated and said, "Daddy, don't forget me", pleading as though a little unborn spirit who had previously arranged to come to their home in mortality in the spirit world, was being denied that privilege by the decision of Paul and Lynn that, due to Lynn's delicate health situation, they felt it advisable to have no more children. After this experience they concluded this could not be the end for, apparently a pre-earth promise was being denied if their intent was to be carried out.

As of this writing in March of 1981, Allison is but two and Jimmy four. Jeffrey is attending kindergarten and Julie and Laura getting along in the grades of their school in Alpine. They play the piano well for their ages and both are unusually rhythmic. During the last year or two they have learned to clog dance. A clogging dance group was formed of ten of a dozen children - - boys and girls - - of their own age. With the use of an appropriate record or two Lynn has taught them new steps and coached them until, thru their many performances they have become a noted group of entertainers. This last year the group has danced in the Utah State Fair winning first place in their age group and have performed at the B.Y.U. and on the 1981 March of Dimes 24 hour continuous program and, of course, were shown over the air. They, among many other places, were part of the half-time performances at the 1981 B.Y.U-Utah basketball playoff. Not knowing that they were to perform, Mom and I were watching the March of Dimes program when of a sudden a clogging dance was announced and there with a group of about ten were our own two little granddaughters performing. We were so very proud of Laura and Julie who were performing as a pair. They were then at about the ages of 9 and 11.

Paul's work has taken him from home considerably but usually on relatively short trips. He was selected by a much larger engineering company, in fact, an international concern by the name of Ford, Bacon and Davis with a large office in Salt Lake City near the University of Utah where Paul has his office. One will need go directly to Paul or his personal history (hopefully he is keeping a written story) for details. From what we know he heads a phase or department environmental work offering assistance to large companies or corporations even including states and countries. He heads a contingency of experts over whom he is responsible. Major cities who have environmental problems seek their assistance particularly with situation related to water pollution and that which contributes to such problems. Among other area Paul often goes into underground mines to determine the seriousness of pollutants in connection with their business. At one time he was leading an evaluation team to determine the extent of pollution by oil drilling outfits out in the waters of Great Salt Lake and the possible hazards to shoreline activities such as salt manufacturers and swimming facilities and other activities related to human or animal activities over which the state of Utah has jurisdiction.

It is foolish for me to even pretend that I understand what Paul is doing. Out of modesty Paul seldom mentions what he does and when he does it is in answers to questions by some of us who don't fully understand even after he gives the simplest answers he can come up with. But one other example I might mention was one, if not more, trips to the country of Morocco in Northern Africa. That country was operating a mine in a mountain and seemed to have an over-abundance of tailings or other residue which had become of great concern to them. As the rain water and even spring water drained from the area toward the nearby city's drinking water reservoirs they were concerned about possible contamination. Paul was to make the decision and suggest a solution should there be danger. This, of course, probably could not have been made without further testing back in his own laboratory. Paul wold have an answer to the outcome. I could be of no help.

On this assignment to Morocco Paul had a traveling companion from his own company on the way to. His assignment was entirely separate from Paul's and after the other fellow finished his he went on to Germany on another assignment while Paul flew back to New York and subsequently to Salt Lake and home.

At the moment of this writing, April 6, 1981, is a day following a short visit by Paul and Lynn and their three youngest children, Jeffrey, Jimmie, and Allyson. They returned to their home in Alpine last evening. It is always good to have our children and their families come home be it ever a brief stay.

Paul, for a period of about ten days prior to their visit, was in St. Louis working on his companies contract with the government which was to do with the testing of radioactivity signals from the ground in certain areas where, in years past companies had refined certain minerals such as minerals containing radium or uranium which had the property of emitting particles or radiation in an atomic nucleus situation. Some of these sites had been vacated many years ago and the government or private companies are now concerned about making these radiation infested areas safe for private or public use.

As one can already discern from reading my endeavor to explain what Paul does I am so ill informed that my explanation may be more confusing than helpful. Paul explains that there are ways such contaminated areas can be cleared up but usually the ways are more expensive than practical. One way is to literally excavate and haul the contaminated soil away but the next question is to where will it be hauled for it will but transfer the contamination to another area which could be more serious than its original location. The results of Paul's tests are very important to the agencies involved for over radiation is a serious matter to the environment. For example, should water drainage carry sufficient of radioactive particles into areas which feed drinking water supplies contamination can result.

My suggestion is that the reader have Paul, himself, explain the nature of his work.

As I review, in turn, each of our children and his or her respective companion and children our attention is turned Ruth, Laron and their family.

At the last writing Laron, Ruth and family of three were living in Emmett. Very much has transpired during the past ten years. To this date the family has blossomed out to include nine children, namely, Adin, Jennifer, Amy, Ethan, Ryan, Chelsea, Megan, Jarom, and Caleb.

While in Emmett where Laron taught school they bought ground and had built a split level home on the hillside on the north end of the Emmett valley. The construction company actually bulldozed out of the hillside to make sufficient space for their home to be constructed with little more room than space enough for a small lawn and parking spaces for two or three cars. Their garden spot was down in the valley of the gully stemming from the hillside beyond the house and lawn. A bulldozed driveway perhaps a hundred yards long led from the graveled county roadway to the elevation on which the house was constructed. This home was approximately four miles from Emmett town. Laron, having had experience with installation of floorcovering bought their linoleum and carpet from us and installed it.

Mention was made in the previous account of their Church activity which continued. Following Laron's serving as stake executive secretary Laron served on the stake high council until such time as they eventually moved to Heyburn, a small town across the river from Burley and close by to Rupert. A higher paying school district - - Cassia County - - hired Laron to teach in the Declo schools so after about four years in their new home in Emmett they moved to a relatively new split level home just across the road from the river south and east of Heyburn. This move was about the first of June of 1977 and to this date four years late they are still there. Jarom and Caleb were born since their arrival in Heyburn.

The Waite family became members of the Heyburn 2nd Ward and soon became very much involved with church activity. The children's school was at Heyburn through the first six years and as they reached the seventh grade they attended West Minico junior high school with Adin now having reached the sophomore class in Minico High School this year.

With the Heyburn Wards being in the Paul Idaho Stake their stake meetings have been at Paul. Ruth found waiting callings in the Relief Society and Primary organizations and was later called as president of the Primary. After a couple years Laron was called to serve on the Paul Stake high council where he served for a couple years and was then called as bishop of the Heyburn 2nd ward in which position he is now serving.

Their children have been doing well in the school and ward activities. They have been ranking as A or near A students. While Adin was in the 6th grade in Emmett Adin was selected as the outstanding boy of that grade for that year in the entire country. This project was sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Emmett. Two years ago while attending West Minico Adin participated in an essay writing project sponsored by the Elks Club of Rupert which project was for country-wide school participation. The subject for the essay was America and Adin won first place in all 7th and 8th grades for the country. This distinction won for him public commendation in the local news paper as well as a $75 government savings bond.

When in the 6th grade in Heyburn Jennifer was selected by local Kiwanis Club as the outstanding 6th grade girl for Minidoka County. She received public commendation and a plaque for this distinction for the year 1978.

Just two days ago Amy received a telephone call from the local Elks Club to the effect that she has been selected as first place essay writer for the 5th and 6th grades of Minidoka County. This distinction is yet to be publicly announced in the local papers. Since then she, with her parents, met at the Elks Club meeting and was asked to read her essay before that meeting. I asked Ruth if I could include the essay in this story in as much as its timing coincides with this writing. The following is an exact duplicate of Amy's entry:

My Responsibility to My Country

5th and 6th Grades

Two-hundred five years ago in Philadelphia 56 men signed a parchment saying the thirteen colonies should be free. It took hard work, sacrifices, and bloodshed to make our country free. Our country became the greatest country in the world. Because I am so lucky to live here, I have responsibilities.

I can be responsible by reminding my parents to vote. At a parade or a special ceremony I always should stand up and salute the flag when it passes. We do this to show respect we have for the flag and for our country.

I should obey the laws of the land. If we didn't have laws there would be lots of trouble in the land.

I try to keep my country clean by not littering and by picking up papers and junk.

I believe that God helped the 56 men to start our country. I can pray that he will bless our land.

By Amy Waite

Grade 5

Ph. 678-0688

Other than public recognition which is to come Amy received a $50.00 check from the local Elks Club.

Adin was ordained a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood a couple months ago and is a member of the Minico High school track team, he being a sophomore. While Adin was in the West Minico Jr. High School he played a saxophone for two years

Jennifer has participated in the West Minico Jr. High School chorus for the past two years and two or three weeks ago she was selected to have the leading role in an operetta which will be presented by her school in a few weeks from this writing. Quite occasionally Jennifer is called upon to sing solos in church as, also, with duets and choruses. Amy often plays the piano for Primary numbers in Primary. Children who are old enough are taking piano lessons in the Waite household.

I now turn to the Glen and Lois Stott family, Lois being our third child and second daughter. At my last writing they had previously moved to the Los Angeles area, more specifically, to San Gabriel. Their baby, Kimberly was naturally with them. Within weeks Lois returned to Salt Lake to her own doctor when their first son, Gregory was born. They subsequently returned to San Gabriel.

Glen continued with his engineering work with the city of Los Angeles and eventually purchased a nice home in Walnut , California. Commuting approximately 30 miles each way became Glen's way of life with much of this being done on his motor cycle.

In 1977 Glen and Lois, with their children who had increased to include not only Kimberly and Gregory but also Matthew, Gary and Kevin, moved to Providence, Utah where Glen had secured employment with an engineering firm in Logan. They purchased a nearly new home at 391 South Spring Creek Road in Providence at which place they are still residing as of this date (April 1981).

On the 13th of November 1978 Lois gave birth to a little son whom they named Mark but unfortunately he was premature and lived only a few hours despite all the doctors could do. He was buried in the Providence cemetery with graveside services.

While in California and since coming to Providence Glen and Lois and their children have been active in the church. Glen has worked in Elders Quorum presidencies and scouting and Lois has served as Primary president and other positions in that organization along with Relief society positions.

The children are doing well in both church as well as school work. Quite regularly Kimberly has been listed on her school's honor roll.

At my last writing daughter Mary had graduated from the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City and was employed in that area for some time when she left and came to work as office girl and secretary in our furniture business. She subsequently worked at Camerons in Rupert and then to the Amalgamated Sugar Company in Paul, each of her new jobs being a step-up from the previous job. Mention was made of her and Bryce Chugg getting married in the Idaho Falls Temple and their first two little girls, Victoria and Tamara. Also of Mary contracting an illness which has affected her thru the years.

Returning as I am to the writing of events many years since they occurred I am uncertain of their exact sequence. Mary's myasthenia gravis which has affected her even prior to her marriage was of continuous concern. Whether a serious recurrence of it appeared before Tamara's birth or following it I don't fully recall. She became very serious with it which required her being taken by Bryce to the University of Utah hospital. She hovered between life and death for many days and was in isolation much longer than that the muscles, particularly in her throat and lungs could not function and the doctors were utterly helpless to bring her relief. Actually it appeared to be a student doctor who ran onto a prescription which started to bring slight relief to her. After many weeks she was able to return home and to the care of a Burley doctor who kept in touch with the Salt Lake doctors by telephone where instructions and reports were given back and forth.

Over the years, with continued medication, Mary has been able to live with the malady for which there seems no cure. I am confident she is alive today in answer to the many sincere prayers and administrations offered in her behalf. Their two little girls stayed with us during these weeks, naturally being visited by their dad almost without missing a day. His work had to be taken care of and he had much concern, as did we, for Mary's well-being. We grew to love Bryce, probably as never before and our love for him has never decreased. If we ever find ourselves with a problem, whatever it is, Bryce has been the first one we have turned to. He has a heart as big as all out-doors and with him being mechanically minded whether it be our car, our home appliances from range, washer, refrigerator or what not down to lawn mowers, electricity, safe, door hinges-you name it-Bryce can make it work. He probably never knew there were people as stupid about these matters as are we. Fortunately for us, Bryce and Mary have lived in closer proximity to us than any of our children and their companions so we have had occasion to call on them more often than others.

Bryce resigned from his job with the city and worked for us at the store until we sold the business in 1979. He subsequently has worked with Simplots as a truck driver with a part time job with one of the small electric companies in Rupert.

Two little girls have subsequently come to live with them, Melissa and Sara. Vicki and Tami are taking piano lessons and it was just a week ago the Vicki's piano teacher joined with others for a piano recital to which a judge of piano from Twin Falls came to classify the piano pupils. Vicki received a rating of superior which pleased us all.

Now regarding Beth and Terry and family who are still in Boise with him still employed by Boise-Cascade. Nathan, their eldest, was born prior to Terry and Beth moving back to Virginia and subsequently Erin, Jared, Paige and Adam have come to live with them - one at a time.

For a few years Terry served as counselor to the bishop of their ward and within the past year was released by the suggestion of their stake president that he might be called to serve as scout master. In the Church a person who has the ability and an inclination to scout work has become more important than any other position in the ward. We gather from reports that Terry is doing an excellent job with his new position.

Beth keeps busy and important to their ward. For at least the second time she is president of the primary and has responsibility with the Parent-Teacher organization, this, of course, in connection with the public schools.

A few years ago they sold their first home on 30th St. and purchased a larger one just a few blocks away, this time on 31st St. For the past several years they have had an almost continuous project of going to the hills with their pick-up and trailer to bring down wood for auxiliary winter heat.

Nathan, for the past two or three years has played football in the Little League circuit and has become quite adept at the game. For the last couple years he has been one of the mascots or water boys for one of the high schools in Boise. He appears to have no difficulty in being on the honor roll of his class and is getting along very well with the scouting program. He is presently twelve and takes a great deal of pride with his new calling as a deacon. He is also taking lessons on the piano.

Erin has done very well with her piano work and is real proficient with her dancing lessons and has participated a number of times in dancing recitals. She is also talented with her singing voice. Jared, likewise, is doing very well with the piano and his school work. Paige and Adam are following in the footsteps of older ones of the family and each of them does super in conducting their regular Monday Night Family Home Evening when it comes their turn to plan and conduct.

John was a junior in Minico high school when I last wrote regarding his activities. Considerable life's water has run under his bridge from that time to this in 1981.

Let me again remind the reader that I am making no pretense that the few brief remarks I write here relative to our children and their families to be a complete story. Undoubtedly many very important events in their lives may not even be mentioned. Each of their respective stories will be found in their own personal life's stories. I but mention a few highlights that it might be known that I am cognizant of the fact that they are alive and active and are a part of our family Surely each of them will be able to write a far better account of their experiences than can I.

Let me but mention that John completed his high school. The exact year, without research, evades my memory, however, the date will appear in his story. The year following high school he attended Ricks College for the first semester and by its end his mission call processes had developed to where he could not include another semester of schooling in his future plans for the present.

His mission call was to the California Oakland Mission where he spent the next two years. While attending Ricks he net a lovely girl friend, Mary Chandler whose home was in Idaho Falls. She waited for John and was at the plane in Salt Lake with us when John returned and within a couple months following John's return they were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on the 28th of March 1975. To us, his parents, it was a dream-come-true in that each of our six children had selected a companion worthy of the privilege of going to the temple to be sealed together for, not only this life's span but, also, for eternity.

All our lives their mother and I have hoped and prayed that we would be sufficiently fortunate with the teaching of our children that they would stay close to the Church that it would be their desires to marry properly. Fortunately they each selected companions who had the same ideals It was Just understood by all concerned that there would be no other way. It is our hope and prayer that each of these couple will have the same success in this matter with their children when they reach marriageable age that there will be no thought other than be married in the temple. Families cannot be eternal without planning and working for them to be and only the Lord's way will bring Forever Families.

Less than six weeks following John's and Mary's marriage they moved into our home to care for the home and business while we were on our mission to England. It was a sad day to all of us, including us who were in far off England, then John telephoned us that they had a little boy born to them but who died shortly after birth. They named him David and buried him in the Rupert cemetery.

Things at the store became of real concern for John and Mary particularly because both the men who were working at the store left their work. Steve Curtis decided to continue with his education to there he could get a teaching position which he did in the Declo schools. Rex Ashcraft who had been with the store for probably fifteen years concluded that he might go into the furniture business for himself so he rented a small space of a building on the east side of the square and went into direct competition to us. This left John and Mary alone which became very difficult. They picked up schoolboy help for deliveries which helped to that extent only.

Upon our return from our mission in October of 1976 we asked John to continue managing the business which he did for another couple of years, the last two years with our son-in-law, Bryce Chugg as his assistant.

John and Mary had purchased a house from Harlow Davidson on East 6th Street and had moved into it Just the day before we returned. They lived there for a couple years when they had an opportunity to sell it and they purchased a much nicer home on 19th St. Just east of East Minico Junior high school there they lived for Just a few months. An opportunity arose for John to get a job with the Idaho Falls city which position he took in about February of 1979 and so moved to Idaho Falls. They sold their home in Rupert and purchased a good solid brick home which, though it was an older home proved to be a good buy for them.

In the meantime another little boy, this time Ian, came to their home and he was abundantly loved. Perhaps he will be a football player or, perhaps, like his Dad will content himself by playing in the band. A couple years later along came a little girl, Kristy who has, likewise become a Joy to her parents and, to her grandparents. We are now awaiting another little grandchild in this same home.

John and Mary have always been active in any ward in which they have lived and continue to be so in their Idaho Falls home. They are always interested in their home and have one project or two going regularly in improving the house. In this home, for instance, they have partitioned their enclosed front porch and have taken their old coal furnace out and installed a nice electric furnace. With the coal furnace and all its unsightly ductwork gone they have considerable room in the basement. A nice large bedroom has already been finished downstairs and a family room is in the planning stage.

Each of our children and families are in nice homes having made their purchases before present-day high inflation has come upon us. Our suggestion to them is to now 'hold tight'. until our economy levels off and things become more normal.

Such has been a very brief report - - perhaps inadequate in some areas - - but now I return to our own personal stories which, in all probability will come to an end far sooner than our children's accounts. Such would be normal but of such things we do not know.

Journal Entries for 1979

January 1, 1979 - Here begins another year. 1978 has passed into history and all we have left is our memories. It's been a good year - we've had enough of good and bad to feel we've truly lived. Now we'll see what's ahead for another year. Bryce and Mary and the kids, and John and Mary haven't returned from West Yellowstone. We've been concerned ever since they left Saturday in 16 degrees below weather. Laron and Ruth invited us to dinner. We had fried chicken, hot rolls, mashed potatoes, dressing, gravy, corn and carrot pudding. We had an enjoyable time with them. It's still cold. We came home and waited to hear the telephone from John and Mary. While waiting Lynn called about 10 and said Jeffrey had chicken pox and was really covered with them. Also said Allison was having trouble breathing. After she had called Bro. Chandler, Mary's Dad called from Idaho Falls and said Mary had called from St. Anthony and Mary and Bryce would be home about 1 am. She and John would be staying in Idaho Falls with them. They'd had trouble starting their cars, but they were all right. That was a relief for we'd surely worried about them. We went to bed but not to sleep. I got up at 12 and at 12:30 and called, but no answer. At 1:05 I called and Bryce answered. They were home and all well. Loyn and I thanked the Lord for their return.

January 2, 1979. Had d hard time going to sleep. Finally I did. Morning came. Lynn called again. During the night Allison became worse and they had taken her to the Primary Children's Hospital. She had trouble breathing, but seemed to think she'd be all right. Paul is looking for a new job. John and Mary came back before noon. They seemed to enjoy themselves. Mary called and was sorry we'd been upset. We called Paul at night and Allison seemed better. Border line pneumonia and all seemed well. Went to bed.

Wednesday, January 3 - Today is the Sunday School work shop. John Fennell and I was asked to be responsible for the Gospel Doctrine class. He surely has been a help for he's called and made the arrangements. Loyn went to the Library and me to the Stake House. Our presentation was really good. Walked home - it was cold. Worked on my R.S. lesson for tomorrow. It's about Satan and his power and how we can protect ourselves.

January 4 - Went to R.S. and gave the lesson. I learn more than anyone else. Thankful for this privilege of teaching. Took care of Ian in the afternoon. Started to snow today. Some warmer, but not much.

January 5 - Cleaned house. Finished crocheting a crib blanket for Jarom. Went to Jeanine's wedding reception. Surely was cold. Enjoyed helping at the reception. The Blackers are a grand group of people - a good family. All day I've been thinking of the day so long ago that Mother died . During all the years since then, Mother has helped me along ever since she left. She's always been my help - ever since I was born. Thanks Mother.

January 6 - Still cold - in fact colder. Nothing much happened. Stake Conference. We didn't have a meeting so tended Ian while John and Mary went.

Sunday, January 7 - Made codfish gravy for breakfast along with the bread I made yesterday. At 11 am walked to Conference. It was cold. Elder D. Harris, regional representative, was present. Also, the Idaho Pocatello mission president. All the talks were inspiring and encouraged us to do our part in the church. Missionary work was stressed. I love missionary work. Wonder if we could go again. Afternoon drove out to see Bill Hepworth. Alice was gone to Sacrament meeting. Dan was with Bill. Came home and went to Sacrament meeting. Still cold and an east wind.

As I check back on my story I find that it has been Just ten years - - a few months beyond the 10 years - - since I recorded an event. One great advantage a reader will have with my method of writing my life's story over keeping a Journal from which to trite a complete story is that fact that mine will be much shorter and sometimes there is virtue in briefness. The reader must be the Judge to that.

So very much has happened during these last ten years. As stated, we experienced our last to leave home for a home of his own. The business of seeing one child after another leave home is not easy for a parent and yet, we realize this to be the proper and normal thing. Such is part of walking along life's highway. Each of our mission is to mature - - physically, mentally and spiritually. Normalcy seems to dictate that it be- Lack of normalcy would be a problem which none of us need.

Basically our interests have been church oriented when being not involved with our family. Actually to us there has never been a separation of family and church for they are one. One should do neither without the other. After all the family is the basic purpose of life and the church is but an aid to the structure of the family. The gospel plan is but a way of life and the family is life. If one can inculcate into the family members the righteousness of the gospel he has produced the family. Such has been our philosophy and we think it is as the Lord would like to have it.

We both continued active as librarians in the Burley regional branch library spending at least three hours each week serving library patrons. At the time I was serving as secretary and treasurer to the four stake presidents who became the chairman and board members. I designed a rather extensive reporting system; and a copy of each month's activity was mailed to each bishop of the region. As I now recall they numbered about 30.

For a few years we were denied the blessing of keeping one of our children on a mission but were awaiting John becoming of age to go on his anticipated mission. On the 2hth of September 1972 our stake - - Minidoka stake - - was divided by Elder Ezra Taft Benson. The stake presidency consisting of President Rodney A. Hansen, Jay W. Merrill and Earl H. Griffin was released as were all other stake officers. This meant the release of Mom as Stake Relief Society president. She had been serving for probably over five years and actually continued on for about a month following the division of the stake.

The new presidency in the Minidoka stake consisted of Garth G. Eames as president Leigh Ingersoll as 1st counselor and LaMar Nef as 2nd counselor. I was called to serve on the high council with genealogy and temple work again being my particular assignment. Some 33 or 34 years before I had been called to the Woodruff stake high council with that assignment. Two years later I was again called to a new high council under a new stake president with the same assignments In 1943 we had moved from Evanston back to Rupert where I was called to serve on the Minidoka stake high council, this time to be responsible for the Senior embers of the Aaronic Priesthood. In 1946, after moving to Ontario, Oregon I was called to direct genealogy and temple work on the Weiser stake high council under President Luther Fife. Upon his release a year later I was again called to the same assignment under a new stake president, President Arvel Child. The stake was subsequently divided and the new Nyssa stake was organized and a new high council formed to which I was called with the same assignment. and now, in 1972, as stated above I was called on the Minidoka stake high council with the same assignment. As can be observed, of the seven high councils on which I served all of them but one the assignment was genealogy and temple work. Church-wise, genealogy and temple work has been the major church assignment I have had thru the years.

Our activity continued much in this manner for the next three years. As John was nearing the end of his mission - - four or five more months to go " as pondering over a recent General Conference talk given by President Spencer W. Kimball while working in our garden. He had been speaking on the great need for more missionary work to be done and he suggested to the membership of the Church that we 'lengthen our stride'- All thru our married life in doing our English research work we had looked forward to a day when, perhaps, we could travel back to England - my first mission was there - - and visit our ancestral homes and attempt to glean records for additional family names As I pondered the thought came to me that this would be a good time to leave our home and have John and Mary oversee the business as well as our home.

We pursued this thought and visited with President Eames about the matter. Our question was whether he felt it acceptable to the Church to tell the Missionary Committee that we would like to combine our research trip with a mission. President Eases felt there was nothing wrong with our suggestion and he telephoned Brother Theodore Tuttle of the First Council of Seventy who responded affirmatively to the query The wheels of a mission call were beginning to turn.

About the time John returned we had received our call to the England Leeds Mission. Things were commencing to work out as we hoped they would but our plans were not to continue as we had hoped. It has been a requirement that a missionary qualify for a mission by passing a physical test. Normally from Rupert we would have gone to our family doctor for such an examination, however at the time Dr. Dalley was out of town and we concluded we might go to an L. D. S. doctor in Burley which we did. As I was being examined by Dr. Nichols he told me I had a problem. "Are you aware you have a hernia?" I told him I was sure I didn't but he convinced me I had and that there appeared no way I would be able to go on a mission without getting it corrected. He suggested that I go to another team of doctors to get their opinion which I consented to after talking it over with Mabel and so to Drs. Ellingham and DeCeaire I went. Dr. Ellingham had received a call from Dr. Nichols so he was aware I was coming. He concurred with Dr. Nicholas finding and sent me home with instructions to return 30 days later. This, of course, would postpone our mission. At first he said to return with 25 pounds less than I then had. I reasoned with him that he was asking too much for that was nearly a pound a day I would have to lose. "Alright, lets settle for 15 pounds off in 30 days'. He advised there would be a possibility for an operation. He suggested an exercise program which would help and so for 30 days I went about my daily work with an exercise period night and morning by laying on my back on the floor and raising my feet as high and far back as I could one leg at a time. The first period or two fifty times each leg and increasing it until I was able to do it 200 times each in quite rapid succession and another exercise of pulling my stomach in to as near my back bone as I could at any convenient time including such times as then sitting in the car waiting for a green light to come on.

I worked hard with these exercises and returned to the doctor's office 30 days later. Dr. Ellingham who checked me the first time was not in and so Dr. DeCeaire who was not in the first time turned to my file and became acquainted with my case. First he weighed me. "Fifteen pounds less, exactly was his report. He then examined me for the hernia. I can't find any sign of one", he stated, "Where did Dr. Ellingham find it". I showed him and he said, "Well, there is no sign of one now".

I told him of that had to be done to qualify for my going on a mission for the L. D. S. Church and that it now looked like I could get ready to go. I asked him if he would telephone Dr. Nichols and report his findings for Dr. Nichols had our missionary papers He agreed to this and asked me to go into his office with him. He called Dr. Nichols and told of his finding or of his 'not findings' and ended by saying that his suggestion would be "To have Mr. Blacker serve a 30 mission in Burley for the Presbyterian Church and he would then be ready for an L D. S. mission". The two chuckled over his last recommendation and then he asked me to return his report to Dr. Nichols. When Dr. DeCeaire reported that I had no sign of a hernia Dr. Nichols asked him to make such a statement in writing and to be sure and add his signature for Dr. Nichols did not want to be responsible for such a statement.

No mention was made by me that, along with the exercising, went a great deal of praying by us during the thirty days It is to prayer that we attribute my shaping up to be ready for a mission. The doctors were not expecting such a result for they could hardly believe it. We knew the Lord was assisting us in preparing to go to serve Him. It was not until our physical examination papers were completed and sent in that we received our mission assignment mentioned above, to the England Leeds Mission.

It was with this appointment we were advised that we were to report in the mission home across the street from the high-rise Church office building on East North Temple St. on the 10th of May this being 1975.

I overlooked mentioning that after our visit with President Eames and volunteering for a mission we visited with our bishop, Bishop Dale Garner, who was surprised that he had members he could have called. A farewell testimonial was held for us the last Sunday before we left which was very well attended.

Getting ready for a mission had its time for concerns. We didn't overlook the fact that we would be separated from our family and about 24 grandchildren. Such thoughts literally pulled at our heartstrings until they would actual push tears right up through our eyes. This didn't happen only once but about every time we would give our separation a thought. It hurt and, in fact, we never got over that hurt for it would continually swell up every time we would think of our loved ones not only before we left but until we returned a year and a half later. We are sure we are not unique with this feeling and we realized that undoubtedly, nearly every home in the Church from which a missionary leaves the same is transpiring or has transpired. What a Church! Where would one go to find its equal. A Church which makes one feel good to sacrifice family relationships temporarily that we might have eternal family relationship. Such is this great Mormon Church.

In my timing of events in proper sequence in this account I have overlooked one little item pertaining to myself and another not so little experience with Mom. Mom's came first so let me review it first. In as much as I have recorded the major faith promoting experiences which have occurred in my personal experience in what I call my Blue Book let me copy word for word what is there recorded. I titled it


During the middle part of October of 1972 it was necessary for Mabel to undergo an operation for gall stones. She had been troubled with them for several weeks and we concluded the problem had to be corrected. It was not an easy ordeal for her, however, she got along as well as we could expect and she returned home on about the 29th of October. John was the only one of the children not married. He had finished high school the Spring before and was attending the fall semester at Ricks College and Mabel and I, therefore, were alone at home.

Two days later, this on the evening of October 31st - - Halloween night - the 'trick and treaters' were coming regularly at the door as was customary on that night each year, and I was answering the doorbell while Mabel rested on the loveseat in the family room in the back part of the house. The trickers had mainly come and gone and the evening was beginning to quiet down. On one of my returns to the family room Mabel, being yet in a weak condition from her operation, wasn't feeling too well at the moment and she put out her hand and asked that I help her up from the loveseat in order for her to go to the bath room.

As I did and got her to her feet I could sense that she was unusually unsteady. I put my head under her arm with it extended across my shoulders in order for me to be of more support. She took about two steps and slumped to the floor. I was not fully braced so as to hold her entire weight and so it was necessary for me to let her down on the carpeted floor as easily as I could. I attempted to lift her to either get her back on the loveseat or to continue our way to the bath room but she could give assistance. I could see she was too weak to help,

Sensing the need for help I went to the telephone to call Dr. C. Hayden Ellingham, the surgeon who operated on her some ten days before. Not being able to locate him I telephoned for our family doctor, Dr. A. F. Dalley, but got a recording which stated Dr. Don C. Pates was his relief doctor at the time. Upon Dr. Pates receiving my call, when advised of the sharp pain which Mabel had experienced in the groin of her left leg he advised me to go to the hospital for some pain killing pills which he would phone to have ready for me. He also suggested to place a hot pad on the spot.

I returned to Mabel and saw her condition had worsened so I immediately returned the call and informed Dr. Pates that we needed immediate help. Normally a doctor would say "Take her to the hospital and I'll meet you there", but he didn't. He asked for our street and house number and, believe me, within minutes he had traveled the mile and a half from his home and was at the door. In the mean time I called our friend, Sister Modenia Barnard, a nurse who lived but a couple blocks away and she arrived about a minute before the doctor.

In the mean time I had returned to see if I could help Mabel. She was still lying on the floor. I had put a pillow under her head and covered her with a blanket. I became very much concerned for, by now, she could but whisper and that not very audibly. Her arms and hands and face had gone as cold as a corpse. I kneeled and prayed alone - - we were still alone in the house. I pleaded to my Father in Heaven to spare her life and to bring help. I was never more earnest.

Sister Barnard had just arrived when the doctor came. He immediately took out his blood pressure instrument and we watched. He pumped on it and the hand of the instrument immediately turned back to zero. He said, "She has no pressure". I could see he became concerned as he asked for the telephone.

His first call was for the ambulance and within minutes Mr. Bob Walk was at the door with his stretcher and following him came City Patrolman Smith to offer and give assistance. The hospital was alerted to make ready for an emergency and Mrs. Dottie Burton was called for Blood Bank help. Dr. Pates also called for Dr. Ellingham whom I was unable to locate and he was located this time. It seems doctors have a way of locating each other when needed. The hospital was aware from its records that Mabel's blood was a rare type - - AB negative - - and thru Mrs. Burton four homes were disturbed this Halloween night for Robert Kidlou, William Nichols, Al Whiting and Mrs. Mardenne Nield all rushed to the hospital to give blood of the type needed which was done under the direction of Mrs. Jane Richardson who was also called in.

Later Dr. Ellingham reported he traveled from Burley to the Rupert hospital at speeds up to 110 miles an hour to give his assistance. The first thought of all concerned was that the previous operation was the basis for the problem.

It seemed everything that was being done was falling smoothly into place and, as can be seen, there developed quite an extensive emergency organization. The floor nurses, after the ambulance got Mabel to the hospital, Elaine Pates, Caroline Thaete and Karen Taylor were ready. The whole hospital was geared to saving a life. There was an air of excitement as these three floor nurses hurried and scurried back and forth from the room into which they had taken Mabel to the supply rooms up and down the hall. For several minutes they were actually running from place to place. No one was ever, nor could be, more dedicated.

For what seemed an eternity, but only about thirty minutes, I personally used the corridors to pace back and forth to relieve tension and suspense and, believe me, all the time fervently praying for my dear companion to live.

After arriving at the hospital I telephoned our daughter, Mary. This was probably about 11 p. m. Within minutes she was with me and, to our surprise, in rushed our bishop, Bishop Del Thompson. I had not had time to telephone him up to this time but he said his neighbor, Larry Larson, had contacted him after Larry had seen the ambulance at our house and had sensed something was wrong and thought he should report to the bishop.

Prior to blood becoming available the doctors administered a fluid the name of which I do not know - - probably a glucose - - and then came the life giving blood of the first donor. The doctors could find no relationship between her problem and the previous operation. Dr. Ellingham came from the room to visit with me and frankly said they could not determine the trouble without performing an operation. He asked that I sign a waiver giving consent, which I did.

Mabel was immediately taken to the operating room. The night was wearing on by this time - - it must have been nearing midnight. The doctors and nurses were still rushing back and forth and Bishop Thompson, Mary and I were obliged to wait and it seemed a long time. Occasionally the nurses, one at a time, would come by for an item and would assure us things were going along alright. Of course, we were not sure for they were not at liberty to say anything else, even if they knew otherwise.

After that seemed an eternity to me they finally returned Mabel to the room she first was in. Naturally, she was not aware of what was going on. Following the last operation and the doctors removing their surgical gowns and washing up Dr. Ellingham told us what they had discovered. They realized that whatever the trouble was that it was in her lower abdomen and so an incision was cut below the incision of the previous operation which was still but a few days old. They found that the main blood vein which feeds the left leg had ruptured and the blood freely flowed into her abdomen thus, she was bleeding to death and would have done so within a few minutes had not attention been given as it was. Dr. Pates later told me that had any one single event - - my telephoning to him, his coming to the house when he did, the ambulance not coming then it did, the four blood donors not coming, Dr. Ellingham not coming then he did - - had any one been delayed as much as five minutes it would have been too late.

Our prayers were answered. There is no question in my mind but that the Lord touched every person involved. Everything appeared to work like clockwork, the one involved at the time having depended on the preceding person on and on thru the evening. I have nothing but gratitude for the preservation of the life of my loving companion. Our work together seemed not to have been completed. Both Mabel and I love every soul who was involved in this experience and thank them all, including the Lord for his kindness to us.

Now, back to my own personal experience to which I referred: Mabel had not fully recovered from her double operation then John left on his mission in January of 1973. Shortly following his leaving I began having serious problems - - in fact the problem had been surfacing for several previous months - - with my personal plumbing. On the 2nd of March 1973 I was operated on in the St. Alphonso hospital in Boise - - a prostrate gland operation. Fortunately for us our daughter Beth and husband Terry and family lived in Boise so it was convenient for us that Mom could stay at their home while not at the hospital. I had been in a hospital before - - in Rupert and then taken to Twin Falls hospital - - for a kidney stone but an operation was not needed, but this prostrate operation went along as well as could be expected. The operation was by incision and it required a stay in the hospital of five or six days. I did well enough that prior to the normal length of stay Dr. Jepson asked if I felt I would be well enough to go to Beth's home for the last few days of a normal hospital stay due to the fact that the hospital was overcrowded - - more patients than they had room. I was happy for this suggestion and so was taken to Beth's. Two or three days with a couple of office checks with the doctor made me ready for our return home to Rupert.

During this operation was the only time I have experienced anesthetics to this date. Mom and Beth continue to remind me of my experience coming out from under the anesthetic. While still on the wheeled stretcher or cart coming from the operating room I 'enjoyed' the sensation of having my feet floating above the level of my body. I asked them if they would please push my feet down on the stretcher for, seemingly, they were raised. They playfully refused to help me because they said the feet were where they belonged.

Three or four days following my leaving the hospital Mom drove me to Rupert in our car. I lived to regret our coming home perhaps earlier than we should have done for that evening I experienced by far the most severe pain of the entire operation. I could hardly stand it. I endured with it thru the night and by morning Mom called Bishop Thompson who brought Brother Leigh Ingersoll and they administered to me. I actually was feeling much better, however, by this time but was still in pain. My brother Verl called to see me and he and Mabel decided, after calling Dr. Dalley, that I should go to the doctor's office there he gave me a shot to further relieve the pain. From that time I seemed to recover. I returned to Boise for a final check-up thirty days following the operation and pronounced as being O. K.

Returning to my story relating to our preparation for our mission: Mention has already been made of the farewell testimonial for us which was held in our ward meeting house. At that time we were meeting in the 3rd and 4th ward building on South F Street.

Good-byes had been said to all our families and friends. We moved our personal belongs into certain portions of the house so as to leave plenty of room for John and Mary when they moved in. our garden had been planted and was coming up. We looked longingly to it and to the roses etc. which were scheduled to come into blossom in a few weeks time. The experience wasn't easy but we were adults - - so we indicated to ourselves but that was but a pretended cover-up. There was hurt. We couldn't altogether cover it up.

Into the car for the last time we slowly drove away. At least we supposed it to have been the last time for a while but as we were crossing the railroad tracks leaving Rupert Mom said, "Oh, I've forgotten my rings". Either the evening before or that morning she had removed them. Of course there was nothing to do but to return for them. The next time we drove away was to be the last time. We again entered the house for the rings. Probably thirty minutes later we left but with no rings. They couldn't be found. We looked everywhere. Mabel was gravely concerned for she had prized them highly. We pacified ourselves by saying that John and Mary would run across them and that they would send them to us. Lest I overlook reporting later let me here state the rings were never found. They have been the object of many searches even since we have returned and now, some four and a half years since our return they have failed to make their appearance.

We drove to Salt Lake to Paul's home from where John was to pick up our car and return it to Rupert at the time they came down to the airport to see us off on our Journey to England.

The four or five days spent in the mission home was an interesting experience. There were five or six older couples, perhaps none being as old as we. We were the only ones of the couples going to England. One relatively young couple was scheduled for a new visitor's center in New York City. Another couple of couples were heading for the Netherlands. They were originally from there for their broken speech told the fact. The spectacular which we witnessed was the great number of young missionaries - - a few young ladies but mostly young men - - who were going on their first mission. Clean, handsome, well-groomed, alert young men all dressed in dark suits - - a beautiful sight to witness and we marveled, this time that the Church could draw such representatives from its numbers week after week as groups came and went into the mission field only to be replaced the next week by another such group. No other church organization in all the world can equal it despite the fact that they would like nothing else better. This was but part of that great 'a marvelous work and a wonder' which the prophets of old had prophesied would come into being when the great Restoration took place in the latter days.

We purchased our manual of Missionary Discussions for memorization and spent several hours each day to memorizing. Young recently returned missionaries had received special calls to go to the Mission Home to assist with these lessons. It was a wonderful set of lessons which, When properly presented, should convert anyone but the willfully rejectionists who could be shown but willed not to accept. How anyone can listen and pray about the story and yet not believe is almost beyond comprehension. Yet there are many in the world who will close their mind and heart to the message. Only those tho are cold to the Spirit can fail to be touched. Surely there must be reasoning to the statement the Savior made when he said, "My sheep know my Voiced bearing out the fact that in pre-earth life the gospel plan was there and was accepted by some and to them the present day story touches a memory-cord and it is recognized as truths formerly accepted.

Early Friday morning of the week we were at the Mission Home a bus was boarded for the Salt Lake airport there we were to check our baggage and tickets in preparation to board the plane. We had, perhaps, an hour at the airport where family and friends of the missionary could have a parting farewell. John and Mary had come from Rupert to return our car to Rupert and bid us farewell. Mabel's sister, Dorothy and husband John from Evanston were there as was sister-in-law Lucille Brown. Also, Mabel's nephews Herb Scovil and family and Bill Brown and family were there as was our son, Paul, and Daughter Mary and daughters Vicki and Tami. Some of the family would have been there had there not been illness in the families. We felt good that there were as many interested in us as were there. I probably have failed to name some who, for the moment I have overlooked. Should any read this who were present and not mentioned, I apologize.

The United Airlines plane which we boarded was larger than any plane I had previously experienced and when its giant jet turbines jetted the huge monster of a plane along the runway, Just taxiing at first to the take-off runway, it gave us a feeling of security for we knew we were off on the Lord's errand.

It was a beautiful spring morning with the sun just recently having come up. A few scattered but huge white clouds were off along the horizon and it was not long until we were above them. As we were ascending, the course took us over familiar landscape such as some of the area to the east over the Wasatch Front into and over the Coalville area and over Hilliard Flat south of Evanston, Wyoming Mabel's home area. We were able to identify the various homes on the Flat for they were very familiar.

And away we flew high above the clouds for there were more of them as we crossed the Midwest states and as we neared Chicago where we changed from the U. S. Lines to a plane of the Canadian Lines. After about an hour's stay in Chicago we enplaned for Montreal, Canada. It was getting well along in the afternoon when we landed in Montreal. Never had nor have we since been in a place more cosmopolitan. Salt Lake City is known as the crossroad of the West. Montreal must surely be the world's crossroad. Seldom did we hear English other than amongst our own group of ten or twelve. It seemed every nationality on earth was in that airport that evening. Not only language but custom and color. Our stopover here for probably two hours was interesting and almost awe-inspiring if one could phrase it as such. How could so many people from so many nationalities all descend at one place at a given time and actually know what they were doing - - at least so it seemed quite commonplace to most of them. If there were any apprehension amongst any who were there surely it would have been with us - - Mom and I being the oldest with perhaps three-fourths of a dozen young men. Would it sound 'fraid-cattish' if I said, as it was now becoming twilight, that it carried a certain relief to have the time arrive for the announcement by the British Air Lines of a plane loading for England? If it sounds that way then that was the way it was. Have you had come to your consciousness the name of a place where you, perhaps, would rather not be by yourself on a dark lonely night? I have.

A few minutes after boarding our plane for the third and last lap of our journey to England the plane arose into a misty sky with a crack close to the western horizon thru which a red bank of clouds was reflecting what appeared to be the final rays of a disappearing sun of the last day for us for a time in the western hemisphere. The plane was directed north into a still darkening sky and window watching came to an end for the day.

No sooner had we become airborne than the stewardesses started distributing dinner and what a dinner - probably England's greatest roast beef dinner of all time. We had been slightly hungry despite the fact that we had had lunches and refreshments practically all the way from Salt Lake City but this was different and we ate as though it was the last we would ever have. As we were leaving we were advised to advance our watches five hours - - we had already advanced our time two hours - and so our watches jumped to 2 a. m. even though it was but 9 p. m. Our watches then were on England time, therefore, no changing was needed when we landed.

With a big dinner over we relaxed back in our partially reclining seats for a period of reading or napping little of which any of us did. The scenery was not what one could call spectacular for even with extreme effort one could but see what was behind him. The outside was pitch dark excepting as a little light from the cabin of the plane rested on the surface of the plan's wing for just a little way out. We were told we were to stay on the Canadian side of the Atlantic for most of our distance north and we accepted the fact that in all likelihood the pilots knew their way. We were flying by faith - - the pilots by sure knowledge - - and we appeared to be doing as well as they.

Due to the fact that we were to be landing at Paisley, Scotland for the plane's first drop-down on European soil and that at an early morning hour it became necessary for breakfast to be served probably not more than an hour or two following dinner. It was beyond belief - - the stewardesses slipped from the kitchen with their breakfast trays loaded with food seemingly before our physical distress of the roast beef dinner had subsided. This was a moment when any of us would have been first in line had it been our choice to share our bounties with the world's unfortunates. To think that there were, at that moment, youngsters and, perhaps, oldsters in many places of the world who were actually so malnourished that life held little promise for their survival while we, had it not been for our better judgment could have been headed for our end but in our case because of an overabundance. It became so very evident that the Lord know what he was talking about when he inferred that in the earth "there is enough for all".

Our tickets had purchased the breakfast but better valor suggested that we decline. A glass of 7-up was sufficient.

About this time we could tell we were traveling eastward - - this would have had to have been across the water - for ahead was the very commencement of the breaking of the dawn. Perhaps, in our experience, no day-dawn had broken faster for day light was coming toward us at the same time we were Jet-flying into it. We detected that the sky was partially clear and as we traveled east it cleared the more. What a beautiful sight. From our high altitude - - far above the clouds we could dimly at first see spots of darkness below which later proved to be the Atlantic. Not too long after we could feel the Jet power to the plane was lessening and there came the feel of losing altitude. We did not have long to wait until a voice from the headquarters of the plane called to our attention that Ireland was ahead and to the right. This comment brought us to the windows and there, sure enough, was the Emerald Isle. I had a particular thrill with this sight for it had only been 47 years earlier that I was actually living on the northern part of that beautiful green island. Memory brought back those earlier rich experiences which, never in this life, will I forget. By now the rays of the morning sun was mingling amongst the clouds thru which we were still above. How I wished we were but a few minutes later that we might be able to see and I show Mabel what Ireland looked like with the sun shining directly on it but we were just a little too early.

As we passed Ireland - - we were to the north and it was, naturally to the south of us - - we could make out traffic on the water, mostly fishing vessels we supposed. Undoubtedly other type boats were amongst them but with it all there was evidence that there was life below. We were lowering and Scotland was ahead. Much more came into view and ahead the rays of the sun were now hitting the tops of the Scottish hills. They were beautifully green - - maybe nearly like Ireland would have been but yet there would have been a difference. It seems Ireland has a green of its own but surely Scotland is not far behind. We were dropping and we were now over the shores of western Scotland - - Paisley they said was the airport - - and we touched earth again. Not a big airport and it was quiet. A few passengers got off and walked into the building a little distance from the plane. We sat there for perhaps, ten minutes and it was while there the direct rays of the sun had actually touched down. Perhaps the only thing that could have improved the beauty of the trip's end would have been a thirty minute delay. Just thirty minutes later the sun would have been on the scenes of the last few hundred miles. This would have been ideal but, believe me, as it was even breathtaking as we experienced it. Words cannot paint the picture. Mother nature, thru sight, has no equal. While some of the details of the beauty of that spring morning back in May of 1975 may be lost surely memory is yet storing in my memory bank a picture of nature of that far off part of the world which probably surpasses any other such experience I have ever had.

Just a side thought of another - - shall I call it sensation - - experienced while sitting in the plane at Paisley. Paisley is a nearby town to the great city of Glasgow, Scotland -- actually, almost a suburb. It was here in Glasgow that our dear Scottish missionary, daughter Ruth, had served part of her mission some thirteen to fourteen years earlier - - Just a very few miles away from where we were now waiting for the plane to resume its flying trip. Would it be thought so immature of us to wish that we could just touch a doorknob or even step on a single cobblestone in one of Glasgow's streets where Ruth had touched or stepped?

Too, it was the town of Paisley where Uncle Archie Nisbet had spent part of his boyhood before his family moved to America. We were at a place which once knew a close relative and which could tell us a great deal of history of him and his family if the place could but have related it to us. In reality, while we were a little ahead of the hour we should have liked to have seen the beauty of the morning we were years behind the actual experiences of Ruth and even more so of Uncle Arch. But such is life.

We suddenly came to realize - - amongst the thoughts of the previous paragraphs - - that the plane had started and was commencing the next leg of its flight. The few miles - - few as compared to the actual distance of our overall trip - - were few indeed for we were within about 250 miles of Manchester, England, our final flight destination.

And to Manchester we went. The way was beautiful. We didn't have to reach full height on this leg of the trip and all the way it was the green beauty of England. As one glanced down on the green hills and fields the outline of the irregular fields showed up. We were too high up to make out that the 'fence' lines were actually stone fences. When I was in England on my first mission I didn't get into northern England so perhaps I suspected the dividing lines between farms were green hedges. That's what they were in the Midlands but after getting onto the ground we learned these fences of this part of England were stone - - actual flat stones from two to eight inches thick with an irregular diameter of about 12". Surely it must have taken centuries to have completed the miles and miles and miles of fences perhaps averaging four to five feet high and perhaps at least a foot thick at the top of the fence - - somewhat wider at ground level. Seldom did one find these stones cemented together with mortar - - dry walls, they called them after they were finished. Rocks and Stone - - northern England has little land surface which Is not literally rock and stone. They made an attractive and interesting sight from the air and since they have aroused curiosity and even amazement for the total were not done overnight nor surely during one or even two generations.

The Manchester airport was huge and again brought amazement. This was the first sight, close-up, I had which indicated that England had become as modern as the U. S. I soon learned in many ways that this England was not the old England I had become acquainted with nearly fifty years before and probably half supposed it to have remained that way. That fact of maybe even medieval England was what I had thought Mabel would have been very interested in. In a sense I was disappointed. No longer were we to see the horse-drawn carts in the countryside hauling bundles of grain or scythe-cut hay - - one horse drawing a two wheel cart with a man leading the horse by the bridle rein or if more than one horse the second horse hitched ahead of the first horse 80 as to travel in single file. Fifty years before - nearly - - I had seen as many as four horses pulling a four-wheeled wagon with a heavy load. The familiar coal man of those earlier years didn't make an appearance all the time we were over on our last trip - - he who was about as black as the coal that he had sacked in 100 pound lots in burlap bags which he carried, naturally One at a time into his customer's back yard or maybe even into their sculleries which, of course, were at the back of the house. Nor did we see on this last visit the single horse drawn light weight two wheel cart with its highly polished brass tank which, on the back and bottom had a spicket thru which the milkman would run a little stream of milk into the housewife's pitcher which she brought into the street for, perhaps a quart of milk or maybe more depending on her needs. The old-time bread-man's cart was also missing. Not once did we see the old familiar bread wagon drawn by a single horse up and down the streets with often a great variety of unwrapped loaves of bread or unwrapped cakes or other sweets of a cake nature such as cookies or rolls.

A few of the old cobblestone streets were yet being used but most of them had been surfaced over with an asphalt covering. True, many of the roads, particularly many city streets were as they were excepting, perhaps, their surfaces. The buildings among which the streets, like trails meandered here and there. On these streets there was not width for modern heavy, long or wide loads. Such had to be taken elsewhere to a street which would accommodate them. The beautiful cross country motor-rays were every bit as modern as our free-ways but with less traffic. Much of England's heavy traffic was by motor lorry - - beautiful trucks and vans. as in America the railroad had lost a great portion of its shipping to motor traffic. English cars were smaller and petrol was much more expensive than back home. As every reader will know, the English driver drove from the right side of the car rather than our left hand custom. The virtues of either seemed to be in what one was accustomed to.

In downtown areas modern ways of merchandising was evident. America's downtown businesses seemed not a whit more modern than England's in many instances. One can find escalators and modern displays in mange of the modern down town business and while one were within modern shopping centers he could, without stretching his imagination, could think himself in Salt Lake's Z. C. M. I. Out more into the residential areas this would not be so true. Even on the outskirts of the towns the shops are not so modern. Particularly is such so with open front grocery and meat markets. Vegetables are stacked in bins and poultry, pork, sheep and other sources of meat are still much in the open air and many are hanging by meat hooks with the poultry and animal's heads still on. In many shops eggs are stacked loose much like oranges, grapefruit etc. Fish and chip shops are busy and often is carried away in the customer's hands with nothing more than an open piece of butcher's papers or at times an outdated newspaper or, perhaps in paper bags with a customer munching it as he or she walks down the sidewalk. Public houses are very much a social center and particularly out from the downtown areas the customer parks his dog on the outside while he goes in and imbibes and such areas become known as a dirty dog corner for foot traffic has to go out in the street to get away with clean shoes.

I could continue on other phases of England's way of living which differs somewhat from ours but I just remember my story is still back in the Manchester airport. We had landed.

The mission home had been alerted that an older couple and several missionaries were to land in Manchester by 7 a. m. on Friday and arrangements had been made for a bus to pick us up and take us to the England Leeds mission home which was located in a suburb of Leeds in a place called Harrogate. The bus was there and we boarded it. While this bus was not a modern English bus yet it was a nice bus with side windows far larger than the bus windows in America. Had American buses as much glass as English buses the heat from the sun would become unbearable. Other than the single deck buses of which I have mentioned the regular city buses are double decked and probably carry 80 to 90 percent of the folk back and forth from home to town or home to school etc. They have a wonderful system of inter-city busing and in many cases intra-city.

After riding for three-quarter to an hour we arrived at the mission home and were met by a couple missionaries one of whom was Elder Ditty, a grandson of Brother and Sister Joseph Ditty who were faithful members of the Belfast Branch when I was in Ireland back in 1928. They had emigrated to Salt Lake City unbeknown to me and their grandson was serving a mission in England.

The mission president and his wife were not at home at the time but instructions had been left that the new missionaries were to be welcomed and assigned rooms for resting purposes, first, however, to be taken to a local bank and exchange American money for English.

The main guest bedroom had been reserved for Mom and me - - a large second story room quite luxuriously carpeted with beautiful twin beds - - the room in which the General Authorities of the church occupied when any of them visited the mission. It must have been approximately noontime when we arrived. I suspect they figured we were more tired than hungry. Anyway we were advised we would be called for dinner at five o'clock- We were indeed tired and were happy to go to our assigned roomed. First off we concluded it would be well to start our Journals. Naturally, there wasn't a typewriter and anyway one can't type in a bound Journal. Whether I got to the bottom of the first page I don't recall and regrettably that was the last that was ever journalized. It is not that I am not converted to journal keeping. I think such a practice to be admirable. Certainly far more detail can be recorded if one keeps his journal than if he does as I end up doing, writing in essay form once every ten years. I am not attempting to discourage any one from keeping a daily Journal. I honestly wish I had done but handwriting is so slow. Subconsciously I think I lack the time. I admit this is but an excuse. On the other hand I am a strong advocate of history writing. I think it to be very important - - crucial, in fact - - that one write a general history or biography of himself, if for no other reason that he become cognizant of the fact that his life has been important to him if to few others. By recording it he can't help but recognize that he has been blessed and that the world has been good to him. Hopefully, too, that someone else will find a profitable lesson - - if not something he should emulate then surely something he Should keep from. After all, life's lessons should be related as an educational process to others and very briefly there are two classifications - - things to do and things not to do. The latter appears the simpler for most of us.

As we sat in the comfortable upstairs bedroom the windows revealed the whole of the nearby countryside. A small flock of sheep in an apparent luscious pasture was separated from a few head of black Angus cattle by a dry wall stone fence. Here again I can't refrain from mentioning those miles and miles of stone fences and they didn't Just happen to be there for unlike plant life and human beings they weren't 'placed' there in the Creation. So far as I know the rock and stone were more or less strewn and remained where they fell after the catastrophic writhing and belching of the eruptive processes which took place at a long ago period when the world was awaking. Certainly, throughout the long Intervening time the present day rock of England has been worn down by the wind and the rain and the frosts of the centuries until it has received a rough polish. Much of it seems to have been in a flat formation such as we know shale but with layers far thicker than shale but yet varying from a few to several inches.

I never see those stone fences climbing the hills and descending into the vales and crossing from one to another like a great giant spider web without thinking of the toil involved. Each stone had to have been carefully placed by someone. Carrying or hauling had to be resorted to for stones are immobile of themselves. They either originated from the surface of the fields in close proximity to the fence or, perhaps came from a quarry either near or far but which ever, human toil was involved and please don't try to convince me that rock picking up and stacking is not toil for when but a small boy on my Dad's farm in Afton, Wyoming rock gathering and hauling was an annual assignment with others of my family. Our Job was but to pick rocks up and throw onto a wagon with dump-boards so as to be able to unload the rocks by removing, one at a time, the two by six inch side or bottom boards so as to let the rocks fall by their own weight to the ground. Somebody and, probably, many somebodies had to again handle their rocks and patiently fit them one above the other so as to have them form a fence. Undoubtedly this constructing a fence was the best means they had to keep their livestock be they sheep, pigs, cattle or horses from straying. I have asked the question before and I'll probably continue to ask how many human bodies were literally torn out for the completion of those fences required years and years into more than one generation and, perhaps more than two or three. Today some fences are being permitted to deteriorate - - stones falling from their original positions. Modern fencing is much easier and so stone fences are being abandoned.

For one I hope the time does not come when those landmarks are erased. Truly, northern England would not have the aesthetic grandeur that it has today were there no more stone fences.

Now, again back to our room at Harrogate. The weather in England, though it was a bright clear day, was not sufficiently warm in that big roomy house, to stretch out on the bed and sleep. We put our sleeping clothes on and covered ourselves with blankets and got three or four hours sleep. After all, we did not have much deep sleep since the night before we left Salt Lake. Planes may provide moments for dozing but not sleep as one gets from a good bed.

We were awake and about before five that afternoon for we had been asked to be on hand for dinner at that hour and we were. President and Sister Royden G. Derrick had arrived home and as we met them we were welcomed formally to the England Leeds Mission. As I remember we had met other missionaries of the mission office earlier in the day. A nice dinner was served and we were introduced and reintroduced as the case may have been - - Mom and I for I had been in England years before " while most, if not all around the table were from America, the lady cook for the Mission Office was an English lady, not yet a member of the Mormon Church, so the meal was very much English. Most missionaries, by the time they spend two years in the mission field succumb to the English eating habits, particularly the eating with the fork in the left hand which is supported by the knife in the right hand - - a two hand operation. I very much adopted that eating style on my first mission and continued with it for some time after I returned home, however, basically it had slipped from me during the intervening 47 years. On this new mission I found myself able to cope with it again, however, I never really adopted it fully.

Following dinner President Derrick had some important office work to do so we were all excused to do as we wished for an hour when we assembled in the large living room in a missionary testimony and instructional meeting. This, of course was conducted by President Derrick. I am sure the real purpose of the meeting was a get-acquainted meeting for President and Sister Derrick. He was a great president for listening and what a great president he proved to be. Approximately two hundred missionaries under his jurisdiction for two years each and for him and Sister Derrick a three year term was not an easy assignment. After all, most of that number were young men with the majority having Just turned nineteen. Believe me, many belie their age and appear to be just growing up kids then they first go into the mission field. True, for the most part, they mature with the responsibility of a missionary, but some need patient guidance. Others - - in fact the majority - - are super. They learn the discussions readily and learn to use them effectively. Some go to the mission field with strong testimonies of the Restoration. Other have much of it to learn and experience but when one reviews the overall missionary effort of the Church he has to marvel that the Lord and his mission presidents can do so much with and thru these young men. Not only the young men but also the young lady missionaries. These are required to be two years older than the young men and, perhaps, partially because of this advantage of age the young ladies, for the most part prove to be truly dedicated in their assignment. Very often these sisters are more effective and can get into many homes where the Elders cannot. Perhaps not more than ten percent of the missionary force are lady missionaries and instead of the two year assignment as the elders receive the sisters are assigned for an eighteen month stay. Very often it seems the disadvantage of having 25% less time than the elders the sisters make up for it in their increased effectiveness.

And then there are the couples. While couple missionaries have gone on missions, probably from almost the beginning of the missionary system of the Church, they have been very much in the minority. From personal knowledge I know of couples having served missions together as far back as sixty years ago but it has not been common practice for couples in the Church to have a long time itinerary planned throughout their married life to serve a mission then their family responsibilities have diminished at home and their children have matured and left. Of late years this has been encouraged by the General Authorities and as of the present this policy has become a suggested part of missionary work.

When Mom and I arrived in the mission field we were then the number two couple in the entire mission. Another couple, Brother and Sister Melvin Hansen from the Boise valley, as I remember, from Nampa, were serving in the Liverpool District. They had come but a few months before we arrived. There had been a few couple missionaries in the mission previously but at the time the above situation prevailed.

At the conclusion of the Friday evening's testimony and instruction meeting President Derrick assigned the other missionaries with whom we traveled to their respective districts. Whether or not Mom and I were an enigma to him or what-not we still don't know - - probably never will know - - but he told us he had not decided Just where we would be assigned. Under such circumstances one can wonder and we are still wondering. He knew we were coming for we had received a letter from him following our original call While we were still back home. Certainly it wasn't a surprise to him. Had we have just dropped in one could readily see why he might have a question- we have often wondered if, perchance, he had a difficult area he wished to send a couple into which would have required able and dedicated missionaries and that then he met us we failed to be sufficiently impressive so as to change his mind.

Undoubtedly that evening or night he offered up another prayer and pleaded for HELP. What type of revelation he received we do not know. We must remember that inspiration is a form of revelation and there is no question in our minds but that he was impressed as to there we were to be sent.

My memory does not serve me well enough to make a positive statement that we did but it is most likely we wrote letters home that evening following the meeting. Our family has ever been on our minds and a letter at the first opportunity was what we probably did.

The next morning we had a Sister Derrick missionary breakfast. I term it in this manner because President and Sister Derrick had just prior to this time received for the mission a ton of Canadian hard wheat which was subsequently packaged in paper sacks of five pounds each for distribution among the missionaries. Paid for by the missionaries, of course, but in as much as most if not all of the missionaries were batching - - cooking for themselves - - and we were all urged to have a whole wheat cereal breakfast. Sister Derrick often encouraged the missionaries at our Zone Conferences which were held each month. Her suggestion was that each pair of missionaries buy a thermos bottle and pour a half cup of whole wheat into it each evening before retiring and fill the balance of the bottle with boiling water. After sealing the bottle and let it sit till morning a delicious cooked cereal breakfast was ready for breakfast needing only a little sugar and milk. We have used this process quite regularly ever since. There can be no simpler way to prepare a whole wheat breakfast and, of course, it is very nutritional.

Following breakfast we were told by President Derrick that he had decided to assign us to the Bolton Branch about 30 miles inland from Liverpool on the west coast. Fortunately for us he said he had an appointment at Preston and that it would not be far out of his way to go by Bolton- In the mean time he had telephoned Elder West, the Bolton District president - - a missionary from the Cardston, Canada area - - to that day find a home for us which Elder West did and surely the Lord was with him for housing for missionaries is not that simple a thing to do. President Derrick had received a call back with the name and address of there he was to deliver us.

We left the mission home following lunch with President and Sister Derrick. While the trip was quite uneventful we had a very interesting visits We learned the Derrick's were from Salt Lake City and that he owned - or largely so - a steel mill and that he was president of that company - - Western Steel of Salt Lake. He advised that he was a graduate of the University of Utah and when we told him we had a son, Paul, who had received his B. A. degree, his Masters degree and his doctorate degree from the same university he asked for the date. He suggested we might ask Paul to check his degrees for in all likelihood the name of Royden G. Derrick might be on it for, for several years while serving as a regent of the University of Utah he signed that school's diplomas.

Digressing from the story of the trip to Bolton I might relate that thru the months we served under President and Sister Derrick we learned to respect them highly and to love them deeply which we still do. After we became better acquainted we mentioned to each other that if there is inspiration in the leadership of this Church, which we were and are positive there is, that Leadership will someday call President Derrick as one of the General Authorities. Surely enough, a few years later he was called as a member of the First Quorum of Seventy and subsequently to that he was called as one of the Seven Presidents to that Quorum with the particular assignment to direct the Priesthood Genealogical work of the Church. At this writing he is so serving.

We marveled how President Derrick had learned the motor ways and other roads as well of northern England for he had no difficulty getting us to Bolton and even to the new Bolton chapel which is so located that it is not an easy place to find. While Bolton is not considered as a metropolis - - it is not a city because it has no cathedral - - it is a big town and like many other towns and cities of England there is little rhyme nor reason to the plan of its streets. Upon reaching Bolton President Derrick started looking for an address of 11 Larkfield Grove. This was in a recent housing development and did not appear on the city map and difficulty was encountered. After taking us to the new chapel, which of course was locked we returned to the center of town for directions. President Derrick stopped at a telephone - - this probably about 5 p. m. - - and he called Sister Elizabeth Mohammed for directions. Bless her heart, she is now deceased, but for an Englishman of either sex to give directions the seeker gets little help unless he can follows such instructions as go to such and such corner turn right for so far and turn left for a block and then right and left and right and left until the place is found. The instructions seemed but little help to President Derrick and he contacted a policeman who said that the address was not in his area. Another Bobbie, as policemen in England are called, told President Derrick to go to the next corner and turn left and go under the railway underpass and he would find himself on Tonge Moor Road. He said to go to the first road after crossing the little Tonge River just beyond the underpass and go up the winding incline to Shawcroft Street on the right which street we were to turn on to and this would lead us directly onto Larkfield Grove, a short street of but two or three blocks of a recent housing development area.

These directions were followed and the home was found - - 11 Larkfield Grove - being the address. Our number was the sixth entrance of a series of 6 homes - odd numbered houses on that side of the street - - and when President Derrick went to the door he was assured that it was the right place. It was now about 6 p. m. and as we entered we met our to-be landlady for the entirety of our mission for we were there until the day of our return home.

Sister Elizabeth ('Betty' for short) Mohammed had 'tea' as they call the evening meal, on the table and had had for an hour for she was originally told we would be there by about five o'clock. She, of course, begged President and Sister Derrick to stay but they were getting late for their appointment in Preston still some 30 miles further. We bade the Derricks goodbye and thanked them for our stay with them as also the pleasurable motor trip for the past couple hours. They told us we would see them at the next Zone conference in Preston in two or three weeks.

Now, to Sister Mohammed. There was much about her of which we never learned. She was a native Englishwoman born in Lancashire inland from Liverpool but not so far east as Bolton which was some 30 miles inland from Liverpool. She had married twice. She divorced her first husband after having two or three children who died as infants, the oldest living until he was five years of age, the other two having died younger. She grew up with little respect for her mother for she accused her mother of being unnecessarily strict and Betsy claimed she got the bulk of her impatience and lack of love. Her mother had been dead for many years but to Betsy there was no love lost This was sad indeed and try as we would we could not make her think or feel differently.

Sister Mohammed started working when but a child and was required to turn all her earnings to her mother to assist providing for the family. As soon as she was old enough to leave home she did. After her divorce and the death of her children she had but herself to care for. Just when she was hired by the Metropolitan Bus company to serve as conductor I don't recall. This meant that she was in charge of the bus and accounted to the main office of her ticket sales on inter-city buses traveling up and down and across northern England. She apparently became quite proficient with her work and she enjoyed doing it. Subsequently to her getting this type of work she made her home in Bolton.

She later met and married an army officer by the surname of Mohammed. Though he was claimed to have been an Englishman his name did not suggest it. She had no children by him and subsequently, and in the very home we had moved in with her, he passed away and she became a widow. She seemed to have had high regard for him. She said she had had so little happiness in life that it seemed unfair to her for the Lord to take him. Deeply within her this resentment remained. What little religious interests she had was with the Church of England but, for the most part, she said she could take or leave. Such an attitude on her part relates an interesting story.

She had, prior to this, reached 65 and had been retired from the bus company. After her husband's death she had time on her hands which became 'heavy' for her. I must state that she and her last husband had a large pet dog named Rufus which assumed almost an exalted place in the family. Such a pet was and is not unique with many English people for often a pet is as much a part of the family as is a child. Sister Mohammed told us of the deep love the dog had for her husband. A couple years or three before we arrived her husband suffered a severe stroke at home. The ambulance took him to an infirmary where he passed away within a few days. Believe it or not, according to Sister Mohammed, the very day of his passing and as she returned to her home she was doubly sorrowed to find Rufus was dead. She was deeply bereaved for she felt the Lord was doubly punishing her.

With such bitterness and eventual loneliness she endured the long days and depressing nights until one day shortly after the burial of the whole of her family her husband and beloved dog - - two Mormon missionaries knocked on her door. In her bewilderment with life she listened and their massage gave her hope. She had been forsaken, she thought, by her Church of England minister for she was receiving little or no consolation from him nor his congregation nor did the teachings of her church offer comfort as she understood those teachings.

The missionaries of the Mormon Church did not have to labor long until they had a new convert. Their message included the thought that she could have her husband again in afterlife and, in her mind, whether it was by her missionary teachers or her own assumption, Rufus was to be with them.

She moved into a new world of light. She had been given hope and how she appreciated the Mormon missionaries. From the day of their first coming to her door until we were in her home she treated the missionaries royally. Subsequently to her baptism for several months the missionaries found lodging in her home for they rented an upstairs bedroom and had house privileges. Usually there were, at least, two sets of missionaries in Bolton and often her table was spread for other missionaries than the two who were living there. We learned and always said that her heart was as big as the all outdoors. Her health was not the best and she had a back problem which gave her a great deal of distress. While having the missionaries brought a great relief to her emotionally it also had its telling effects in a physical manner. After about a year of her home becoming somewhat the headquarters for the Bolton missionaries the mission adopted the policy of missionaries not living in member's homes. They found new lodgings but Sister Mohammed often invited - - or they 'just dropped in' - - for a now and again snack or rest period.

Housing was so difficult to obtain for Mormon missionaries at the time we arrived in the mission field that when President Derrick telephoned Elder West - - the Bolton District leader - - her home was the only possibility for us.

For a year and a half Sister Mohammed provided us our living quarters. We became very well acquainted and we developed a great love - - perhaps I should say a great sympathetic love for her. she did not have a deep understanding of the gospel. She was older and the majority of the Bolton branch membership were still in their ascending years of maturity. At our first meal we found that she was three months older than I and nine months older than my Junior companion. We often kidded each other as to who was the boss (by age) and when two of us were equal which did occur for six months of the year and then for a few months all three of us were in the same year of our age.

With her back problem Sister Mohammed found it painful to go to church and sit on the folding chairs and, frankly, only attended intermittently and these times to sacrament meetings. She had no car and the bus service was not the best from her home to the chapel for if we ever went by bus we took the bus to town and exchanged to another bus to the chapel. At times there was considerable waiting in the open air. Too, when Sister Mohammed went to the chapel there were so few of her age, and at times none, that little visiting attention was given to her and she began to feel slighted. Such was not the intent of anyone at the chapel but their interests seemed to turn to folk more their own age. Too, we must remember, perhaps 75% of those at the chapel were either children or teenagers, particularly the latter many of whom were the only Mormons of their family.

Sister Mohammed held firm to her belief that the gospel offered her togetherness with her husband and Rufus - - and prior to the time we arrived she had acquired another black German shepherd dog, Mike, which she dearly loved and which loved her. She was to have her husband and two dogs when she left this cold and forbidding world.

As we were visiting shortly after our first arrival the subject of family togetherness in the next life came up and Mabel called her attention to the fact that she had three little children who had preceded her and that they would be there to welcome her. This was a totally new thought to her. How she missed this point in her receiving the gospel is hard to understand for yet in her mind she had lost her babies for none of them had been baptized and her church taught their spirits would never mingle with those who had. She had trouble erasing her old belief and adopting the Mormon version of family togetherness. Frankly, I somewhat question that she ever fully came to realize the full meaning of family life hereafter and it was not that she was incapable in any sense of the word. It had never been in her thinking and after 70 years of erasing from one's mind the fact that unbaptized infants have no future with the Lord it becomes a little understandable as to the difficulties of completely changing from one philosophy to its opposite.

Now, with such a long break in this story let me return to President and Sister Derrick leaving us. The table had been spread and it had been awaiting us as mentioned earlier. Our new landlady had prepared 'tea' with a beautiful green salad of mixed vegetables of lettuce, radishes onions and what not in a sizable glass bowl. Two or three different cold meat dishes, a dish of sliced bread with butter already spread and a couple large saucers filled with cookies in variety The table had been covered with a beautiful white linen - - Irish - - tablecloth and the whole setting looked beautiful.

We had a most friendly welcome to her home and we had soon learned that we were welcome. It was May time and her small front yard was blossomed with spring flowers. Her flowerbeds were literally overloaded with plants - - nothing skimpy with Sister Mohammed. Her back yard was like the front - - the flower beds were very much in blossom and they were beautifully No one up and down the street had flowers like Sister Mohammed and she was proud of them.

This was Saturday evening. We had already been introduced to our room which was upstairs and to the front of the house. Having been in the furniture business for many years we could tell in a moment that the room lacked a good bed. The bed showed signs of pre-use, in fact pre-used to the point that when made up with a spread over it showed a definite dish-like surface. We regretted this for we had become almost cranks about the quality of our beds And when we eventually climbed into it that night we found we had not misjudged. Probably one of our greatest accomplishments on our mission was to endure our bed.

Sister Mohammed informed us of the meeting times for the next day. Ten thirty was Sunday School and five p. m. was sacrament meeting. Priesthood meeting was an hour before Sunday School and Relief Society was Tuesday evening. The chapel was about a mile and a half from our new home and, of course, we didn't not know how to find it so sister Mohammed called a ride for us for the next morning. At approximately ten 0'clock Sunday morning a small car stopped at the front door and when the driver came to the door he was introduced to us as Brother Arthur Robinson, a member of the presidency of the branch Sunday School. As we got to the car we were introduced to his about seventeen or eighteen year old daughter, Jackie, a gal who much sooner than we ever thought at the time would visit us in our own home back in Rupert and meet a young man, marry and have their own home in our ward. This is for later in this story.

The evening before President and Sister Derrick had introduced us to the relatively new chapel so this Sunday morning there was no surprise to us. The small front lawn and the very large back lawn appeared as areas of meadow. This late in springtime - - a little past the middle of May - - in England the grass had time to actually blossom and reach the heading-out stage. The large back yard included a blacktop parking lot sufficiently ample to park all the cars in the Preston District of which Bolton was a part. Completely around this large lawn and parking space was a five foot board fence with the boards in a perpendicular position. At most the building was not over three years old. The building, though relatively small - - it was known as a first phase building - - had all the earmarks of an L. D. S. chapel which, of course, it was. It was constructed of cream colored brick and had the Mormon steeple to the front of the building but separate from it. The steeple was constructed of the same type brick about four feet square on its foundation at the ground to about twenty feet high plus another eight to ten feet of metal spire probably covered with a copper surface.

Arriving in time for Sunday School prayer meeting we were introduced to several members who had already arrived. More were to be introduced as the time neared for the meeting.

It was a typical setting for a Mormon Sunday School even though it was in far off England and to come to think about it as I write this account, why shouldn't it be Mormon-like. We were only about 30 miles from where the first Mormon missionary work was begun in England 138 years earlier than when this Sunday morning Sunday School was being held. Mormon meetings had been held in this area of England ten years before there was ever a Mormon meeting held in Utah. Mormon meetings in this area of England was almost as old as the Church itself - - Just seven years from being the age of the Church.

Everything appeared in order. The president of the Sunday School was Sister Merry Liptrott who was a good organizer and a stalwart of the branch. There were approximately sixty members present out of approximately 275 on record in the branch. At the time Sister Bessie Harrison was the coordinator of the Junior Sunday School and Brother Arthur Robinson with whom we had ridden to Sunday School was the Gospel Doctrine Sunday School teacher and a good one. As my memory takes me back over my gospel Doctrine class experience 1 l nave to suggest Brother Robinson to have been among the superior teachers over the fifty or more years of my history.

Priesthood meeting had, supposedly, been held. We had not been made aware of its time but subsequent priesthood meetings were held prior to Sunday School.

The Bolton branch was known for its congregational singing ability. They sing with more than normal gusto - - loud but yet sweet- - with a couple of the brethren demonstrating the volume of a dozen men. Among the ladies there was a sprinkling of good singers with Sister Joan Harrison lending an almost operatic soprano voice to the community singing. From the music standpoint it was good to be present. Accompaniment was not always needed nor available. There was but one sister who could play, Sister Gladys Sumners, and she was inclined to be independent. Too often a meeting was delayed a few minutes in awaiting her arrival but this practice was rectified. On a few occasions she was early enough to assist with the second or sacrament song. She learned that the meetings were to start on time. Due to her health she was not always able to attend and on those occasions Mabel would accompany the singing but only when local talent was not available.

We had been informed by President Derrick that the Bolton branch was having problems. Over the years prior to the last couple they had to rely on rented halls for a meeting place and these places were not always conducive to church services. The mission president, this prior to President Derrick, and the district president with headquarters of the latter in Preston, urged the Bolton members to participate with them in building the first phase building which consisted of an assembly room, a chapel, to the rear of which folding room dividers were hung from the ceiling making it possible to form three small classrooms. These dividers, when pulled back, added to the size of the chapel to the extent that perhaps a hundred people could be seated. With the open area of the chapel without the help of the three small class rooms an ordinary sacrament meeting or opening exercises of a Sunday School meeting could accommodate sixty to seventy people.

In one of the small room areas a baptismal font was provided for baptismal purposes. Three sections of the floor covered the font each of which had to be lifted up by embedded rings by two individuals, one on each end, thus, when the baptismal font was not in use it could be walked over or otherwise used for regular floor purposes.

With such meeting houses in the mission fields the Church furnished 80% of the money required with the members of the branch supplying 20% with local donated help to be given credit by the contractor toward the 20%.

When the building was completed the branch owed a balance of the equivalent to $2,500 which was agreed to be paid to the Church within three years time. At the time of our arrival according to President Derrick only the equivalent of $100 had been paid. The Mission and Preston District were by now, urgently encouraging the branch to take care of this obligation. Fortunately for the branch this unpaid balance was to become as a loan without interest to the Church.

President Derrick reported a very high percentage of inactivity among the membership of the branch and that home teaching was next to none. Even among the active members there were some not on speaking terms with others. Some were not attending because of sensitivities of feelings. The branch records were reported by President Derrick as not being current with many members of record not being accounted for and many on the record who could not be located and that such a situation had been going on for many years.

President Derrick said they had found it not wise to assign a missionary as the president of the branches for the branch would not be any better off at the conclusion of a brief mission. "A branch president needs help but not for his work to be done for him" he said. "I want you and Sister Blacker to go to Bolton and 'prune the vineyard'"

He mentioned that the branch president did not, at the moment, have a second counselor and that he would suggest to the district president that I be called to that position.

President Derrick suggested that when and if possible we might participate with the young missionaries in proselytizing but that our special call was to work with the members.

When President and Sister Derrick left us in Bolton we already knew that we had our work cutout for us. Contemplation on the situation became humbling. We saw we were already needing the Lord's help.

Within a couple weeks the District President, President Cryer and his counselor, President Tribilcoe, came to the Bolton branch for the purpose of inviting me to serve as second counselor to the branch president, President James Millington. President Millington was then 37 years of age and had been in the Church less than three years. His was a family conversion for with him his wife, Barbara, and two children were baptized. Three younger children were under eight Barbara was Relief Society president of the branch.

By the time I was called to the branch presidency we had already borrowed and got permission to take the branch membership book to our home and had started visiting the members of record.

The records showed that the membership was scattered over the entire area of Bolton and it was not a small place. We purchased a large folding map of the town and starred with a blue star every residence we could locate. Those we could actually locate numbered well over 100 families. The town covered an area of approximately 20 square miles - - about four miles across and more than five miles north and south. The municipal bus system was our vehicular means of transportation which we used quite extensively, however, it was surprising the distances between bus routes which could be reached only by walking- Even on bus routes long waits were often required which made is faster to resort to walking. It was not unusual to wearily wend our way homeward after walking five to ten miles. More days than not we found it advisable to spend four or five hours out from the mid portion of the day and return to our home quarters for our five p. m. dinner which Sister Mohammed would have prepared for us and then spend another two to three hours out during the early evening. In many cases folk were hard to find at home due to their working hours. Waiting for buses became a popular pastime - - not always our favorite - - this particularly in the evenings. During windy, stormy weather - - which was not at all unusual in England - - we were forced to forget about comfort. While there was a reasonable number of bus-stop shelters - - two paralleled glassed-in walls with a metal top, the walls being about three feet apart - - one could keep reasonably dry in case of wet weather providing all waiting passengers could crowd into its approximately twelve foot length but with an entrance and exit in either end it became a perfect breeze-way for the North Sea ice-chilled wind. It was not an uncommon thing to grit one's teeth tightly to keep his or her teeth from chattering exhilaratingly. Umbrellas were always in good taste for a fair day could go awry before an anticipated return home.

The Bolton bus system was actually a subsidiary of the Greater Manchester system and we found little to complain about. The Bolton system had its central bus depot in downtown Bolton where dozens and dozens of two storied yellow colored buses entered and left according to schedule within any one hour between probably 7 a. m. and 11 p. m. with heavier traffic at certain times of the day. Mornings between eight and nine was a busy time in some portions of the town due to the fact that school children were able to purchase passes for the week or the season to ride to and from their respective schools. School systems had no regular bus service of their own. The morning hours also found the working folk riding to work. Usually the school children returned prior to the working people so afternoon congestion was not so serious as morning. During mid-day hours the buses ran less often but often enough to give reasonably good service.

We had to walk probably a quarter of a mile from home to catch our closest bus going north or south. Depending where we were going it often required changing buses two and three times to get to our planned destination. Weekly passes from the downtown main office became a saving to us where we were traveling as much as we did. For about two and one-half pounds per week a ticket could be purchased which would take a person wherever and as often as he wanted during that week. With such a pass one could ride all week which pass was honored by other buses belonging in the Greater Manchester area. This was much cheaper than buying a ticket on each separate ride.

Metropolitan areas of England depended on such means of transportation for most families were without cars. As an example, in the Bolton branch of well over a hundred families only three or four families could afford cars. Had we been English citizens we would have been eligible to travel on the buses at a fraction of what we had to pay due to our age. Pensioners - - after sixty-five - - have many government subsidized benefits but we were not to be included. Other than transportation this also applied to chemist shops regarding any type of medication which we may have required. For instance Mom required a prescription for high blood pressure to be filled. First, this became a little problem at the chemist shop because English formulas were not identical to American formulas. Some medical terms and chemical ingredients appeared to be classified differently. This required a degree of experimentation in order for the same effect to be obtained. Secondly, due to the fact that our citizenship didn't qualify us to benefit from government subsidized medical benefits our prescriptions were more expensive than otherwise would be for folk of our age. A like situation existed when either of us required medical examinations from doctors.

An interesting observation was that we found under the English nationalized medical system that people are obliged to visit doctors to which the neighborhood has been assigned. Again an example: we American visitors - - and supposedly this applies to any area visitors - - in order to obtain the services of a doctor we were obliged to go to Sister Mohammed's personal physician or to a clinic in the neighborhood.

Nationalized medicine was not wholly approved particularly by many doctors. Many of them preferred private practice, especially some of the better qualified doctors, and it was reported, because of nationalized medicine many doctors were going to other parts of the world to practice such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Also to the U. S. when immigration restrictions could be met. A rather high and growing percentage of doctors were Palestinians which nationality was becoming of national concern because of their growing number. Many other dark nationalities were becoming a part of England such as the native Indians from India. The English government provided a home for many of the Loyalists from these other countries when England lost political control of these countries.

One of the major changes I personally noticed in England from the time I was there on my first mission in 1928-29 was the fact that there was such a drastic change caused by the 'foreign element'. Seldom then did one see any evidence of the dark nationalities whereas, on this mission, large segments of the population of the towns and cities were dark. England was no longer the England as I had remembered it.

To return to the purpose of our being in England - - our mission assignments Each Wednesday morning the six or eight missionaries of the Bolton District met in a report type of missionary district meeting conducted by the district president. Missionary activities of the past week were reported and challenges and assignments were made for the coming week. We were to correlate our work with the regular missionary work of the full-time missionaries and assist them whenever practicable.

At one of these meetings - - always held at the chapel - - a knock came at the front door. The inquirer was asking for someone who was in charge of the building and the missionary answering the door called on me to visit with the caller. The visitor was from the Electric Board as they called the department of electricity of the city. It so happened, unbeknown to me that the electric bill for the chapel had not been paid for a few months and we had now reached the point of time when the electricity was to be turned off. I had already been made aware that the telephone had been disconnected for the same reason.

The man at the door had been instructed by his superiors to disconnect the electricity on this visit. I asked for a few day's grace period to give me time to meet with President Millington.

It so happened that the regularly scheduled branch presidency meeting was to be that very evening on which evening belief Society was also held so Mabel and I both had occasion to be at the chapel at the same time. Of Course, it is understood, missionary rules require companions be together or, if ever separated, that each be with another as responsible as a companion. Branch presidency members, home teaching companions, Relief Society visiting teacher companions and the like would qualify for the exceptions.

During this first branch presidency meeting I mentioned the morning visitor at the door of the chapel. President Millington and Ronald Kirby, first counselor, were present. President Millington reported the financial condition of the branch. Not only was the telephone disconnected due to lack of branch funds but also, the branch had a one hundred pound check paid to the church which had been returned due to insufficient funds to cover. With the Church this was not the thing to do so President Millington had problems and now the Electric Board's threat to discontinue service. President Millington reported that he was constantly reminding the members from the pulpit of the financial condition of the branch but with little or no result. Too, he mentioned that the district and mission were becoming concerned with the balance the branch owed the Church for the building which was now past due. (Rather than use the English money system for this history it appears that it would be wise to convert the figures into American dollars for most, if not all readers of this account will be more cognizant of the value of the U. S. money terms).

President Millington was at a loss as to how to cope with the situation. It was very true, and we early found it to be a fact, that the members of the Church in Bolton were extremely limited in finances. A large portion of the active members were young unmarried folk with the great majority of them being young ladies who, if they worked, received small salaries and who had obligations at home to their families, who often were not members of the Church. There were a few families of older couples who were on government pensions - - as we would classify it here, on Social Security. Conditions were dark indeed for prospects of keeping the branch solvent, especially the paying of the balance of $2,400 for the building. As stated earlier, but $100 had been paid during the past three years and now it was all due.

I don't know what impelled me to do it for it is not considered proper to ask for an assignment in the Church. We wait until we are called but we were called on our mission to help the Bolton branch and encourage the members in their respective responsibilities and this appeared to present an opportunity to do Just that. As near as I can remember the exact words I said, "President Millington, would you be willing to give me as your second counselor the responsibility of directing all affairs pertaining to the branch budget"?

There is only one President Millington laugh or chuckle in all the world and he laughed that laugh. One could see the great relief which came to him as if a great burden had been lifted from his shoulders. He said, "Elder Blacker, I would appreciate your help. What do you want us to do?

I suggested that he give me until next meeting for suggestions. In the mean time he had scraped up enough money to pay the Electric Board what was required to keep the electricity connected. He volunteered to take a check to their office the next morning. The telephone reconnection would have to wait as, also, the overdrawn check had to wait.

We could see that our work had been cut out for us. How it was to be done became a matter of earnest prayer and pondering. We saw what needed to be done. We were well aware that if anything was done it would have to be done by the approximately 275 members - - men, women and children - - who were on the branch records. Word had to be gotten to everyone of them as to that our problem was at the branch and what their responsibility was. This early in our mission we had become acquainted with but a few. The urgency was such that there was not time for us to become personally acquainted with these unknown families Too, we realized the Church had a recommended procedure for handling ward and branch budgets which, if applied discretely would be successful and so the recommendation given at the next branch presidency meeting was that a well written letter be personally addressed to each family telling them frankly the financial condition of the branch and pointing out to them the responsibility of each family member and suggested an easy payment plan for the family to handle an assessment suggested by the branch president.

Our past experience and common sense told us not all would favorably respond to such a request by the branch president. Perhaps only 50% response could be expected. Some families had greater ability to pay and so the total amount required was proportioned as equitably as possible - - some more than others according to circumstances as we understood them to be. It was suggested that, wherever possible the assessment be paid with a five to six month period or faster where possible.

If everyone paid this first determined amount the total received would equal the total required. We, as stated, were well aware this could hardly be hoped for, therefore, on a 50% ratio each assessment was doubled. The total required would still be acquired Every reference to an assessment was termed as a 'suggested assessment' and that if any felt it was too high to set their own figure. On the other hand every opportunity was given those who felt they could contribute more than that suggested to pay what they felt they could. The great principle of sacrifice was alluded to as the Prophet Joseph described it as being essential to exaltation.

The two others of the branch presidency concurred after reading an example of a letter that such an undertaking should be made Permission was given for me to take the branch typewriter home where, for the next couple weeks individual letters were written for each of our signatures and then mailed.

As I reminisce on this activity just six years later it was probably well into July of 1975 when the budget protect got well underway. There was response - - any response on such a project is good - - so we would have to say there was excellent response. We were not wrong on our supposition that 50% would fail to respond. In fact, a greater percentage than that failed to respond but we have to remember that when the project was started many members were absolutely indifferent, some denying they had membership and some bitter against their membership in the Church.

The families were invited to respond to the letters with their voluntary commitments which many of them turned to President Millington either vocally or written. As these first weeks and even months passed Y. I. A. activities such as socials and dances were held at which there was a small charge, particularly for refreshments, and the proceeds were turned to the building fund. Naturally, early in the process of fund raising the branch was able to pay off any delinquencies such as light bills, telephone bills, district assessments etc. and our attention was later confined solely on the balance the branch owed on its share of the building.

A sketch of the chapel was drawn on a placard perhaps 24 inches wide and 30 inches tall and it was placed on the bulletin board in the foyer for all to see. The separate structure of the building's spire was made to represent a thermometer and the progress of the fund-raising activities showed up in red climbing steadily toward the very peak of the spire. Each week interested members could see the progress being made.

Early in the period in which members were determining their commitments we played a tape of a talk which President Ezra Taft Benson gave to the B. Y. U. students at one of their devotional The subject of the talk was of the importance of sacrifice on the part of those tho were to receive exaltation. It was very timely for the experience we were in for the members could see that sacrifice was not foreign to the Lord and that other blessings than exaltation comes to members who are loyal to the Church and the building of the Lord's Kingdom.

On an occasion or two we took the tape to the homes of members who could help with the finances if they would and who were not at the general meeting at the chapel at which the tape was played. We feel the message of the tape was good for the people. They may not have become inclined to act upon the message but they could not help but have an understanding as to what was required of a good Latter-day Saint.

From whatever message the desire came I am not prepared to say but a few were touched and the Spirit bore witness to them that they should put their hands to the plow. Sacrifices were made even to the widow who gave her mite and many others in proportion. Two examples: A young girl then sixteen who had joined the Church three years before - - her father only a while before she did - - had been very faithful in the Church. Her father not so much so but yet a good man and considered active. The girls of this nature have dreams and the dream is to come to America if it be possible. If not permanently then for a visit and all the money Jackie Robinson could save from her meager wages had been put away for such a trip. Her savings were cherished and getting well along to where she would have only another year or two to wait. Her parents heard the tape from their home and she for the second tine. Prior to the tape in her home - - from the chapel presentation - she had made her mind up and as good children will, she approached her parents for permission. Her mothered a very good woman and her two younger sisters were not members. There was no conversation in our presence between any of them, in fact, at the time of this visit to their home we were not aware of Jackie's decision. While the parents were proud of their daughter they attempted to persuade her that she was being too liberal that, perhaps but part of it but not the whole of it. She didn't feel a part of it was sufficient. The Lord's Cause was asking for all to sacrifice to the extent of having good feelings. We never knew she had a pence to give so we certainly were not influencing her to give what we never knew she had.

The program called that all money be turned to the branch president. It was thru him we learned that Jackie took every pence of this cherished savings account for her contribution - - a total of not much less that 100 pounds- we never learned the exact amount but it was the seed of her dreams which now had to start all over again. With moistened eyes we congratulated Jackie for her devotion to the Lord and promised her that the Lord would prepare the way for that dream to be fulfilled.

Interestingly after we returned home and had been home for a couple years we received a letter and subsequently a telephone call from Salt Lake city that Jackie had arrived in Zion. Her mission president - - new to us - - had a business partner in Salt Lake City who needed a young lady to assist in the care of their children. The mission president asked Jackie if she would be interested.

We were thrilled with Jackie's situation and over the phone suggested a visit with us when she could spare a few days from her new work. She claims one of the purposes of her coming over was to visit with us. A very few days later we met her at the bus in Burley. It was good to see Jackie. Actually she supposed her trip to America was relatively temporary but we felt good about it for we were well aware of the great sacrifice Jackie made in permitting her dream-bubble to burst for the building of the Kingdom.

The story could take a full page but it will remain brief. Brother LeRoy May, the husband and father of a family assigned to me to visit as a Home Teacher had very recently suffered a serious heart attack and was in the local hospital. The very night of Jackie's arrival Mabel and I had planned to visit Brother May. We had been in the huge hospitals of England as Jackie had and just for the novelty of our favored little hospital we asked if Jackie would come with us. She did and met Brother May on his hospital bed. The next evening I visited Brother May by myself and he said his son Brian who had Just recently returned from his mission had come in the previous evening following our visit and Brother May said he had told Brian that he, Brian, had missed a special privilege meeting a girl fresh from England and that he should make it his business to meet her for she was to be here but temporarily.

On my second visit Brother May related to me what he had told Brian and that Brian had expressed a reluctance in being so forward as to come to our house with_ out an invitation. Brian knew us and we knew Brian but not all that well. Brian felt it was so obvious without an invitation he would have to decline. Brother May was expecting Brian to visit him just a little later on this my second visit to the hospital and I told Brother May to tell Brian for me that he was invited to come to the house and that we wanted to introduce our English friend that she might not feel so much alone.

An hour later the doorbell rang. It so happened that Jackie was sitting in the living room while Mabel and I were out in the dinette area working on our genealogy. I answered the door and introduced the two young folk. Jackie put down her reading material and we visited for not over seven or eight minutes and then I excused myself so I could continue with my genealogy. The rest is already history.

Brian and Jackie were married in the Logan temple in about February of 1980. They are happy together and now as of the middle of July 1981 they are expecting a little one with plans to visit her family in far off Bolton this coming October after Brian's crops are out. I never think of Jackie's present life but that my mind goes back to her willingly giving all she had saved. The Lord did not forget. To have a loving husband and a family in Zion is the dream of many girls in the mission field.

Now, back to the Bolton branch and our budget and building fund: A young widow but 31 years of age with three children ages 7, 6 and 4 had lost her husband about four years before. While far from being well off with the insurance from her husband's accident she was above poverty level in which category many families of the branch would have been classified. The loss of her husband was traumatic. The hurt and void was deep. Even with her children her life had little purpose. She had no God to turn to for she claimed atheistic-ism.

Three days following the accident taking the life of her dear husband she had a dream - - a very vivid dream in which she saw her husband walking in a rainstorm. He was not happy but he spoke to Meryl and told her that he was not dead but that he was alive. This brief interview brought relief to her, in fact, she said it momentarily brought Joy and the dream was gone. she was in reality with the same despair. The road was to be long and the road was dark.

She claimed that her only comfort was in eighty cigarettes a day mixed with frequent cups of tea and coffee and not infrequently alcohol- Though she was a confirmed atheist her friends persuaded her to visit her minister and on occasion when evangelists or other religionists knocked on her door she listened but received little or no consolation, in fact, they made her stronger than ever in her lack of belief in God. There couldn't be a God for no loving God would take her husband from her and her children.

The months past and they were long months and hard months. Time has a way like that when one is without hope. The question 'Why'? Seems to have no answer and so it was with Sister Liptrott when one day a knock came at the door - - two young seemingly happy Mormon missionaries who seemed to her to be extremely happy and while she had always resented "Bible pushers" as she called regular Ministers or missionaries of other churches she permitted them to return that evening for they had a film they recommended. She said that after they showed 'Man's Search for Happiness' she felt she could believe in something like that, especially when the father died and was welcomed into the spirit world by his loved ones.

The elders asked if they could come again following their bearing a strong testimony which she claimed impressed her. They had even promised her that if she would pray she, too, would know.

Sister Liptrott says that between that evening and their next return she had talked herself out of listening to them and fully intended to not answer the door but to pretend she was away from home when they came at the appointed hour but they surprised her by coming an hour early on this visit they left the Book of Mormon which, because she loved reading, she told them she would read from it.

She claimed that only because her children were excited about going to Sunday School did they attend. She didn't want to go to Church but promised she would and it was rather ironic that the lesson in Sunday School was on work for the dead. This was startling to her because the concept was so new to her. It was something for her to think about but before the day was over the name Brigham Young and the word 'polygamy' were brought up. As she drove out of the parking lot she lighted up a cigarette and swore to herself that she would never return.

That evening after the children were in bed she related how she again picked up the Joseph Smith Story pamphlet. She read it and asked herself thy he should make such a story up. From that story she turned to the Book of Mormon and relates how difficult it was to put down even though it was then after midnight.

That night before she went to sleep, so she reports, she decided to earnestly pray and ask her Heavenly Father if there really was life after death and she claims that very night she again had a dream and sat her dead husband but this time he was; dressed in white. She said it was like as though he were in a beautiful garden with flowers and trees and there was a beautiful green field. He again spoke to her and told her that he was not dead but that he was alive. She enjoyed hearing this.

She permitted the elders to continue with their lessons. She was an avid reader and read from the Book of Mormon , in fact, practically all of it the very next night following her dream.

She had a lesson on the Word of Wisdom. This seemed more than she could commit herself to. She claims she smoked one cigarette after another even while the missionaries were giving her the lesson. She told them she couldn't quit but they persuaded he to kneel and pray with her for they knew she could quit. Sister Liptrott was earnest when she told them she would try to quit and even permitted them to take with them her cigarettes. Today she testifies that she has never wanted a cigarette since that day.

Sister Liptrott was converted to the gospel. She knew the Lord answered her prayers and she says that just seventeen days after the missionaries knocked on her door she was baptized and that there has never since come a doubt but that what she did was right.

While she was a member of the Church for only two years when we first met Sister Liptrott. She went to the London temple as soon as the year passed and was sealed to her husband after his endowment work was done and she had their children sealed to them.

She has subsequently made this statement: "I have been in the depths of despair and I know that if I stay faithful in the gospel I will soar to the peaks of happiness, for the Lord has given me back my hope".

When we were in Bolton she reached her 31st birthday. She is rather a large lady yet physically active. It was said that during her first year in the Church when the new chapel was under construction that she pushed far more wheelbarrows of wet cement than anyone else. Local help was given credit for the hours they contributed toward the erection of the building. Knowing Sister Liptrott as we do we can easily believe such a statement. She was decisive and an able leader and we have often wondered aloud to ourselves what Bolton could have become were she the branch president.

The story of the raising of funds to pay off the building indebtedness was of longer duration than for me to climax the story at this point. While that big and exciting venture was underway many other things were also underway, some of which I might report on and we shall later return, probably again and again, to the stabilizing of Bolton's finances. Let me report, however, that the great concern of the branch president of staying abreast of his daily financial obligations of the branch became but a memory.

On several occasions - - let me more correctly state on three or four occasions - - we were privileged to participate with the branch members on their assignments to the London temple. President Derrick said, by all means, lead the branch members. When asked if that meant going to the temple with them he encouraged it. The branch's assignment was about once every three months for we were almost the full length of England from the temple- President Millington worked for a car rental service and he arranged to have available a mini-bus which would hold nine or ten passengers. Usually he would take us but on an occasion or two the first counselor, Ron Kirby would drive. We would leave Bolton during the early afternoon hours and arrive at a Church owned estate house about four miles from the temple. Usually it was after dark when we arrived at the house and we would register for a room - - sometimes a kitchenette and bedroom - - and pick up a pair of sheets, make our own beds and perhaps a little lunch would be had and maybe a little visiting was engaged in before lights out and sleep. Four o'clock in the morning was getting up time in order to get to the temple for the five a.m. first session.

The London temple was and is, as all temples are, a beautiful structure surrounded by beautiful landscaping and floral beds. Under the administration of the temple at the time we were there all shoes are removed at the door and carried to storage shelves to be picked up again as one prepares to leave the temple. One recognizes the spirit of the temple as one does in any temple. Most conversation is in whispering or very 10N voice.

The temple is small but seemingly adequate. But one session at a time is held. If one misses a session it is necessary to wait until the session has been completed before another session is started- Obtaining one's proxy name is different than any temple we had been in before- One registers as he or she goes in but does not wait at the typist for his name flip but after registering where he leaves word of the number of sessions he will be attending that day he goes to the locker rooms for changing into his regular temples clothes and then goes to a rather open inner foyer or room where, on a table in the center of the room, he will find his name slip which has been filed in alphabetical order. Another name slip will be typed for the person if he registered for a second session and will, in turn, be waiting for him by the time the first session is completed and, so, likewise, the third session, etc.

Because of distance we usually planned on three sessions before leaving for home. Usually, on the way to the temple it was dark by the time we reached London so we had an opportunity to view the big city with its lights but each time our schedule had us returning thru London during the daylight hours. The road took us past the back of Buckingham palace and as we passed over the Thames River we were able to see, in a short distance from us, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. We never had the time to stop at any of these historical places. If we happened to be going home during the heavy traffic on the streets we were slowed down considerably. Their traffic system is much the same as our excepting, of course, they drive down the left hand side of the street where we drive down the right hand side.

Usually we arrived home before midnight on such trips as these. After a nearly three hundred mile trip each way we were usually tired by the time we arrived back home. Tired but happy for the experience- The spirit doesn't tire when we comply to the program of the Church but rather it becomes rejuvenated.

The locating members of record tho had not been active, some as long as twenty to 25 years was a mission-long challenge, in fact, a few were never located. They had left their last known address as if they had gone into hiding so far as the Church was concerned. Actually they had probably given the Church little though and cared the less. Occasionally a family could be located by going to the electric company for if a family was in the town they were very likely using electricity and the company would be charging them for electricity being used. The same would apply with water in the home or taxes etc. etc.

In one instance we discovered a family we could not locate were distant relatives to an inactive family who reported the lost family had gone to Australia many years before but had returned to Bolton for a couple years and for the second time had moved to Australian Their record was still in Bolton.

Many of the inactive family said they were not aware there was still a branch of the L. D. S. church in Bolton. One such family never knew there had ever been an L. D. S. branch in Bolton for then, as they put it, two smooth-tongued Mormon missionaries baptized they had to be baptized in a branch some twenty to twenty-five miles away over by Manchester and for a few weeks, in order to attend church they had to travel by train or bus. They missed attending a time or two, the missionaries went home, no one cared, they were never visited and apparently forgotten about. In due time the glamor of it left them, their testimony of the truthfulness of its restoration also left and they began going back to the Church of England which, thru the years, had been just around the corner from their home.

Many of this type of family - - in some instances their children now grown and off in homes of their own and not following the Church - - became very bitter and asked that they be left alone. They wanted no more of the Mormon Church. Too, in a few cases, young girls had Joined the Church when 16 or 17 years of age and were active until they were married - - very often no L. D. S. boys to marry - - and their new husbands would not consent to their remaining active.

One such case we eventually found. With their name being changed they often were hard to locate and in this case - - now a young mother with two or three children - - appeared happy to again meet Mormon missionaries and she told of the many good times she used to have, particularly at M. I. A. Her husband happened to be in the house - - we were at the door but outside - - and he yelled out to her to shut the door and send the Mormons away. She answered him that she wouldn't and they had strong words with each other. We saw we were causing trouble and told her we would leave. She asked us to come back sometime when he wasn't there. At a later date we made a call back and with regrets she told us she didn't want to break up their family and felt she would have to forgo the Church for the present. He insisted that her name be taken from the records of the Church which she had to consent to.

We called on a couple - - not yet middle age - - and found the wife home alone. She was quite upset with us because she said they had requested time and time again that their names be removed from the rolls of the Mormon Church and thought that it had been taken care of. She warned us that we had better not be there when her husband returned from work and that she was expecting him soon. She said that if he caught us in his home he would literally pick us up and throw us out. We really didn't scare that easily and called her attention that such a request had to be made with their signature as evidence that it was their request so it was necessary that we see him also. He came shortly and we had a reasonably pleasant visit with them but we didn't change their minds.

We were truly well aware that anyone who wished and requested his name removed from a standing membership in the Church did not fully realize that they were doing. President Derrick asked that we take care of this type work in the branch but he asked that we do all we could to get such members to see the mistake they were making. In no case excepting one did the man hold the Melchizedek priesthood in which instance it required that a District court be held to excommunicate him. All others either didn't hold any priesthood or else they held the Aaronic priesthood which were handled in a branch court.

In every case they were visited and where we were given permission to visit with the people we visited and attempted to show the error they were making. In every case we later also wrote a letter explaining to them that their baptism into the Lord's only true Church had offered them, that they had applied and had been granted citizenship into the Kingdom of God and entrance into the celestial kingdom dependent on their future worthiness. We also called their attention to the fact that the only way they could remove their names from membership in that Church was by excommunication thru a Church court and that if the Court was held it would honor their wishes by voting to remove their names. It was also called to their attention that once their names were removed by the court process they had no claim whatsoever to the promises and agreements made at baptism and the only way for them to regain membership in the Church would be by repentance and baptism.

Probably the most heartbreaking experience of our entire mission was a family of a husband those name was John Lee with his wife and four or five little children, all girls, probably with ages between 4 and 12. This was their story

The husband and wife were newlyweds then World War II was on. He was mustered into the English navy and was in a status that, during his training, he was permitted to have his wife live at his training base in Southampton on the south coast of England. Their original homes had been in Bolton.

Mormon missionaries had knocked on their door and the Lees were receptive. They were happy with the Church. They - - at least he - - did considerable traveling for, for some time, he was stationed in India. As I remember she was also there but, be that as it may, they did have several military souvenirs in their home which originated in India. When the war was over and they returned to Bolton they were not aware that there was an L. D. S. branch in Bolton and it is quite possible there wasn't. Their membership eventually arrived in Bolton, however, but there was no contact made by the branch authorities or any members.

Sister Lee told us that as she was standing in their front room which had a bay window to the front. By way of explanation a bay window is quits common in English homes and is such a window that is built out beyond the square walls of a room. Usually a bay window actually has three panes of glasses a pane that is furthest out and two side panes at an angle thru which two panes one can see up or down the street the easier. As Sister Lee was looking out one of the side panes up the street she saw, several houses up the street from their house, a couple well dressed young men get off the bus. Her first impulse was, she said, "The Mormon Missionaries". She wasn't sure but if they had come in her direction she said She would have inquired of them. They didn't come her way to her disappointment and said that she had the urge to go after them but they were too far away.

This was years before Mabel and I sat with them in their family room. We shall never forget the heartache of that evening in the summer of 1975. They had welcomed us into their home and for a few moments we were asked to wait until they had finished with some final housework following their evening meal and the preparing some of their smaller children for sleep time but before the children were sent or taken to bed the Lees had them come into the room and asked the children to sit on the sofa - - five of them as I picture them in my mind's eye, probably from three or four years of age to about twelve. A beautiful sight - - the younger ones in their night gowns or pajamas and so very well behaved. Our minds went back to those years when our little ones were Just like them. The sight affected the both of us and we made comment to Brother and Sister Lee.

I had been to their home a few days - - maybe a week or so before - - but Brother James Stokes, the president of the Elder's quorum, had taken me then as we were attempting to get a home teaching program going which proved, at the time, to be just a social call. This night with Mabel we learned some hard, disappointing facts. Our hearts sank then Brother Lee told us they were no longer interested in the Mormon Church and then proceeded to tell us why.

Soon after returning to Bolton follow the war a team of Jehovah Witnesses knocked at their door and persuaded them to visit their church which they did. They were fellowshipped and a close personal friendship sprang up between the Lees and members of that congregation. Over the years the Lees assisted with their missionary efforts and became officers in the organization until, at the time we were visiting them he was a high ranking official in the Bolton organization. They now could not leave their friends They told us it was needless for us to come back for they didn't have the time. We pleaded with them to take more time on their decision but they said they didn't need more time and that we would be also wasting our time by making return visits. There was no ill feeling - no evidence whatever.

We didn't give up entirely but prospects were very dim. We wondered if we could not touch them were we to write them which we did. It was a few page letter and in it we reminded them of the Joy that the gospel had brought to them when they first heard it and how the Spirit had witnessed to them that the gospel had been restored. We bore testimony, as we did the evening we were there, that we knew the vision the Prophet Joseph received actually occurred and that no other church on earth had the authority to act in the name of the Lord and to have families sealed together. "At one time you knew this fact as well as we so think seriously and pray about the matter" we cautioned them.

We hope some day they will again see the light but they insisted that their names be removed from membership in this Church. It was hard for us to accept and do. Of the nearly forty members - - and this number does not include unbaptized children of record - - this family was the most difficult for us to bear witness against in regard to membership in the Church. They would have been an outstanding family in the branch. He could easily have qualified as a branch president or a district leader or eventually a stake president. And we thought - - not meaning to condemn - - all this could have been different had the local leaders contacted them when they first returned to Bolton. The lesson we learned was that the time sometimes comes in the lives of church members who, for one reason or another, get separated from the body of the Church, even good fellowshipping, if it does not come in time, actually comes too late. It is sad but it was true with the John Lee family of Bolton. Yes, the Lord could again touch their hearts but even He cannot take their agency from them. Believe me, some times a mission is not all Joy. There are heartaches, too.

I mentioned one case, an elder in the Church, once active and who, in fact, had worked as a carpenter on the London temple who, he claimed he was a homo-sexual even at the time he was in London and that he had not kept the fact hidden. He had been worked with and had been encouraged to repent but failed to. He was totally inactive then we were there and had not repented. We had no other choice than to visit him relative to the mattered He claimed it was not wrong and felt it would be unfair to him to be excommunicated. Again, we had no choice but report his unrepentant attitude to the District president. We later was asked to appear before the district council - - similar to a stake high council - - and testify against him. He was invited by us and by a letter from the district president to be present at the court but he was not interested enough to openly contest the charges against him and as a result of the court he was excommunicated. President Millington and I delivered to him in person his final excommunication papers. Apparently he had prepared himself for the result for he showed no emotion of regret at that time. We again suggested that he think seriously now of his present standing in relation to his future well being and that it still was not too late for him to start again after showing fruits of repentance.

These activities in "pruning the vineyard" as President Derrick had described this phase of our mission to be was over a long period of time, practically throughout the entirety of our mission.

Mabel had had a 'touch' of arthritis for several years and living in England failed to improve her condition despite the fact that the first summer in England was unusually dry so far as rain was concerned. The lack of rain became a serious problem in England and it became known as the year of the drought. Towns and cities depend on runoff rainwater from surrounding area which find itself draining into man-made reservoirs in connection with which are water purification plants. Water in the reservoirs all over England was being watched closely and with concern for some were actually drying up and in some areas without adequate reservoir size it became necessary for water to be hauled by trucks.

The arthritis became a great concern to us. Mabel took aspirin and other medication she got from the chemist shops but she got little relief. It worsened as the weeks passed. Her pain became very discouraging to her. Often during the wakeful hours of the night she would sit on the side of the bed and rub her arms and shoulders with hands that were as painful as her arms and shoulders. At times the pain was so severe that it caused her to cry.

We became determined that if she didn't get better we would have to ask the mission president to arrange for a transfer to some place somewhere - - perhaps to a mission where there was a chance Mabel's arthritis would not trouble her so much.

Naturally we both felt badly and we sincerely prayed - - in fact we had prayed for weeks but seemingly the Lord was not ready to answer our prayers as we had hoped He would. We were in His work and we felt our prayers would eventually be answered but seemingly it was not yet time. We felt that if Mabel was able to 'hold out' until Zone Conference time which was to be held at the chapel in Rawtenstall within a few days we would ask President Derrick to assist in an administration.

The morning of the zone conference arrived and with four other missionaries from Bolton we took a bus for the missionary conference. When it came our turn for the mission president's personal interview which is always part of a zone conference we asked President Derrick if he would give Mabel a blessing. We told him of our wondering if a transfer might eventually be necessary. He listened but made no comment on that particular statement. He complimented us on our missionary work and at this time stated that he had only two of us couples in his mission, a couple in Liverpool and us in Bolton and stated that he had made a request to the Missionary Committee of the Church in Salt Lake to send him as many couples as they could let him have. Then he said, "You missionary couples are worth your weight in gold". He repeated that statement to us on a couple of other occasions prior to his release at which time we still had between three and four months time left.

In administering to Mabel I anointed with oil and President Derrick sealed the anointing and he promised Mabel that the Lord would bless her in her body that she would become free from her pain. He gave her a very spiritual blessing and when he finished we knew he was the Lord's servant and that he was a close companion of the Lord. We both said after we were alone as we had said before, "If there is inspiration in the Leadership of the Church they will one day call President Derrick as one of the General Authorities. Of course we had no way of knowing that within as little as two or three years President Kimball would call more brethren to the First Quorum of Seventy but such did happen and among those tho were called was President Derrick who subsequently was not only called as a member of that Quorum but also, he was called as one of the seven presidents of that quorum. He was a man we had already learned to love.

To the reader of this account let me bear a testimony as Mabel has and will continue to do so, from the moment President Derrick completed his blessing she never had another 'streak' of arthritis in her arm, shoulders and hands until her mission was completed. To us it was a miracle. The Lord, thru his servant, gave Mabel a much needed relief. We both long knew that there was healing power in the Priesthood. Don't let anyone ever try to convince any of you, our children and grandchildren on down thru the coming generations, that that there is power in prayer and in the Priesthood. We have witnessed such experiences too many times to ever question it. This Church is the Lord's restored Church and how fortunate we all are that we have been born in the earth after this great restoration. Our challenge is to remain faithful.

Again, back to our branch activities. About six weeks following our arrival in the mission field we suggested to the Bolton branch president that he grant us permission to prepare a branch news bulletin and on July 1st the first of a sixteen monthly consecutive series of the BOLTON BRANCH NEWS was prepared for every family in the branch. We passed out as many copies as we could at meetings on Sunday and personally delivered as many as we could. This gave us another excuse to make a personal call to inactive member's homes and to those families we couldn't get to we mailed copies of the bulletin or news letter.

The purpose, of course, was to keep members of the branch informed of the activities of the branch including each of the organizations of the branch both by way of announcing activities which were to be held as well as to report the activities which were held. Special attention was given, whenever possible, to build testimonies in the hearts of the readers, many of whom were without testimonies or at best with testimonies which were badly in need of being strengthened. Lack of communication is probably one of the greatest deterrents to strong testimonies and to many members the News Letter was the first contact with the Church for many years excepting a brief visit or two we may have made with them. There were 16 months in succession we, personally, issued the news letter. We encouraged the branch leaders to keep it going then we left but, according to letters, several months elapsed and then Dawn Crook, a recently baptized member put out a couple and then it lapsed again.

We felt an urgent need existed for greater L. D. S. Church exposure in the press. The people of Bolton were not hearing or reading of the Mormon Church and we felt that, until they did, the response to the Church would remain limited. We fully realized the Church did not have finances to advertise its position in every little newspaper in England but could visualize a better and quicker response to the Church if the people knew more about it.

We wrote to President Derrick for permission for us to personally make an attempt to do a minimum amount of advertising at our own expense. In his answer he recognized the need for more coverage than the Church was getting and told us he would have no objection for us to try and a small scale. This we did and so during the months of July, August and September of 1975 we made up some limited advertising by the way of announcements in the fords of DO YOU KNOW? questions about the Church combined with answers or explanations.

After nearly three months we concluded that the need for our project was very evident but that the extent was not adequate to bring apparent results. We probably deserved 'A' for effort but far less for results. I have always maintained and very often tell people who are not members of our Church that if they knew as such about the Mormon Church as I do there would be no question in their minds either of the divinity of this work and that the gospel has actually been restored. I oft times wonder if that is not the reason many of them do not learn more about it because of the fear that they might learn enough to condemn them. How foolish of them for they are actually denying themselves from having more happiness in this life and certainly denying themselves the great blessings our Father has to offer his children.

Since writing the account of our mission I keep reminding myself of a wonderful experience Mabel and I had within three or four weeks of our arrival in Bolton. I shall insert it at this point despite it being out of chronological order.

While attending church one Sunday Brother and Sister James Stokes, Elder's quorum president of the branch approached us and said of their own volition they had telephoned President Derrick and asked if he would give them permission to the Blackers on a day's tour of that they called the Lake Country north and slightly west of Boston some fifty miles Brother Stokes was well acquainted with the entire area for he lived in the area we went thru then he was a boy.

On the way and on our return Brother Stokes picked out historical landmarks and drove to them. Preston was on the way and we had never been there before that time even though we visited it several tides subsequent to that time. We stopped and turned off the highway before crossing the River Ribble and parked and got out and walked down next to the water on the side opposite the river there Heber X. Kimball and others of the Authorities of the Church and other missionaries held the first baptismal in England in 1837. This experience thrilled us for in our interest in Church history, particularly as it had to do with England, we had read many times the accounts of that baptismal. We were within two or three hundred yards of the spot and could easily see it. There was no entrance way or parking on the other side of the river but we couldn't have seen it better or as well had we been on the north side. The river itself empties into the Irish Sea and is affected by the ocean tides, in other words when the tide is in the tidewaters go up the river for some distance and then the tide is out the river again returns to its natural channeled In reality this stop was one of the highlights of the day's trip for it still remains today one of the more historical spots of England which relates to the Mormon Church.

Lancaster still further north is the home of the great Lancaster Cathedral and while we couldn't gain entrance into the cathedral proper due to our being there before visiting hours we did take pictures and visited the yard in which was the graveyard. There were other old government buildings in Lancaster which were pointed out to us by Brother and Sister Stokes including a big northern England prison there, at that very time, seven prisoners were being held and were to go to court that very day which had national interest. At the moment I don't recall the circumstances but we did know of it at the time.

We were going up the country relatively near the west coastline but remained inland going from Lancashire into Westmoreland County. Brother Stokes left the main traveled roads and we could see that he was looking for a particular place without telling us the place he was looking for. He knew where he was going but the little side lanes which run up thru the agriculture areas often lead only to a single farm house and there were many of them but that wasn't quite the type road he w as looking for. We eventually found the road he was quite sure was the right one - - Just a very narrow road with blacktop wide enough for only one car at a time. I don't recall that we met a car while on that road but it is possible to pass if drivers get two wheels of their respective cars off the blacktop and over next to the stone fence or hedge as it might be at the spot of passing. This was beautiful country, all green with wild flowers as England s countryside is at that time of year - - and almost any other time of the year - - for this now was early in June, while yet the May flowers still lingered. The dry-walled stone fences - - dry in that no mortar was used as they were structured - - were a little less than about eye level as one sat in the car, At times one couldn't see the fields beyond the fence, at other times one could. The object of the fences as mentioned earlier was not only to divide property but also to contain grazing cattle and horses or other animals such as sheep.

After traveling, perhaps a half mile down the little winding lane - - for that is about all it was - - we arrived at a neat appearing white house, as I remember it at this writing it perhaps had been stuccoed and painted white. The house bordered the road as did the farm sheds on the other side of the road. It was first thought by Brother Stokes that this was the farmstead he was looking for, the birth place of President John Taylor, third president of the Mormon Church, but he learned that it was the next house further down the road.

Traveling another, perhaps quarter mile we did come to the house we were looking for. The description of the previous house and yard almost exactly fit President Taylor's place of birth. This house had a plaque attached which read "THE BIRTHPLACE OF JOHN TAYLOR, THIRD PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTERDAY SAINTS, 1 NOV. 1808".

It was reported by President Derrick to Brother Stokes, when President Derrick suggested to Brother Stokes that on the day's outing to be sure and show the Blackers the place that the historic marker had been placed within the last few years prior to that time that we were there.

The locality was known as Milnthorp. We saw no evidence of there being a village or other type of settlement in the area. There could have been in another direction than the way we went in or went out, however, if there was such a settlement we were not informed of it.

As stated previously this was beautiful countryside and Mabel wondered aloud as to that President Taylor must have thought as he compared that countryside to what he found in the United States particularly as he, with the thousands of Saints who were exiled to the desert wastes of the Mormon Exodus, this of course, many years prior to his becoming the president of the Church.

We probably spent an hour in the vicinity of President Taylor's birth place for we drove us the lane Just a little further and their in that narrow lane parked long enough to have a lovely lunch of sandwiches, cakes and drink brought along by Sister Stokes. We volunteered to bring some but they would have us not even think of it. This trip was to be their gift to us which we very much appreciated and such an expression was given then and often since.

This and the River Ribble stops were the high points of the day however the trip was made up of many interesting stops. As we reached the furthest point of our day's Journey we had reached the Lake District proper we stooped at Windermere, a village and Grasmere a second village and it was at one of these places we visited a churchyard in which the English writers of fame, Coleridge and Wordsworth were buried. The exact place of the two we have forgotten. We saw the burial stone of each and drove past the Wordsworth cottage there he lived the last years of his life.

Our return trip was by another route most of the way home and stopped at interesting historical sites, particularly the old - - sometimes ancient - church houses several of which we went in as tourists. This trip was a 'one of a kind' day in most of our lifetimes, especially ours.

In the late twilight hours of that long day we returned to Bolton and shall be ever grateful to Brother and Sister Stokes for a most interesting day.

Branch work continued much as has been previously explained. We attended practically all meetings with most of our visits to the chapel being made by walking. Always on Sunday morning excepting the first Sunday of which we wrote about was by walking for the buses didn't start running until later in the day we walked as usually we did on our return following Priesthood meeting and Sunday School. The distance was approximately two miles each way. On occasion President Millington would pick us up at our home and take us to Sacrament meeting and return - - this during the latter part of our mission more so than earlier. Earlier in our mission we did a great deal of walking - - miles and miles of it - - but later we relied on the buses more. We felt we were walking ourselves out.

Shortly after we arrived we worked on the home teaching program with Brother Stokes who was the Elder's quorum president and we received permission from the district president, President Cryer, to take credit for home teaching for the visits to homes of members during our missionary work. For most of the months while we were in Bolton we did practically all the home teaching that was done while, at the same time, we were directing our influence to taking one of the priesthood brethren with us in evening visits. From almost nil home teaching visits when we arrived we reached and pretty much maintained about an 85% average month after month. Of the 110 families to visit there were some who refused to accept home teachers and a few families we were still trying to locate.

We attempted to continue an interest in the fund raising project. As fall approached in 1975 Mabel and I concluded that on the regular American Thanksgiving Day - - England does not observe it for it is a traditional American holiday - we suggested to the branch president that we would like to furnish a. Thanksgiving dinner at our own expense and as much as possible with our own effort. We proposed to have a turkey dinner, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, dressing, hot rolls all to be topped off with American pumpkin pie. Tickets were to be sold and all the proceeds were to go toward the budget which by nor was almost solely for the paying off the indebtedness toward the building.

Probably if we knew as much before and we learned during the process we would not have been quite so foolish. One has said that success is biting off more than one can chew and then chewing it. This we did. We stayed with our proposition and the whole affair was very successful thanks to Mabel who has always been one of the best of cooks. Our total expense the exact of which I do not now remember but it was probably not more than $25. The proceeds amounted to approximately 80 pounds or approximately $165. We never regretted starting it but some of our challenges were Looking the range over we could see that it - - the cooking - would crowd it to the limit for it was but a small 24 inch range, what we would call an apartment house model with one burner not working properly. We had use of all the Relief Society silverware, pans, dishes and drinking glasses and or cups which consisted of not over a half dozen odds and ends of knives, forks and spoons two or three small cookie pans and, perhaps, a bent up sauce pan. Dishes were practically nil - - perhaps two or three odd plates and a platter or two. There were a couple drinking glasses. At best one can hardly feature a Mormon chapel kitchen provided with so little. There was a small double sink in the cabinet with cold and warm water available.

We had visited with Peter Williams at his butcher shop on Tonge Moor Road and arranged for him to get in about a 20 pound turkey for us which he did. Mabel borrowed a few little items from Sister Mohammed and we walked a long tiring walk to the chapel the day before the supper. Naturally it was necessary for considerable shopping to be done - - bread for dressing, seasonings etc. etc. some of which was hard to find for items are not the same in England with what Mabel was acquainted in her cooking. We purchased several packages of dried potato flakes from which to prepare for mashed potatoes. A few inexpensive pans had to be bought for cooking purposes.

Long prior to this day we had made inquiry for pumpkin which we found to be a real rarity. We went from shop to shop and no one knew what we were talking about. One man who would like to have helped us said the last time he had heard of pumpkin was when a certain prince made a carriage out of a pumpkin to take Cinderella to the ball. They actually didn't know what we were asking for - at least most of them. We had started searching for pumpkin early enough so we had time to write Sister Derrick at mission headquarters and asked if she would attempt to locate us a few cans of pumpkin at the U. S. Army or Air Force base, I can't tell which nor, which was located near the mission home. She found some there and the next time the Zone leader from our Zone and his companion went to mission headquarters which they did quite frequently they brought the canned pumpkin to Bolton when they were next to come.

The story could be made much longer than I have the space and perhaps much longer than the reader has interest and sum it all up by stating we had the drone The turkey had to be well wrapped in tinfoil and placed on a flat cookie pan. Mabel partially cooked it the afternoon before the dinner so by the time we got down to the chapel the next morning she turned the range on to finish the turkey early in the day. She needed the oven for other items and lastly for the pumpkin pie of which she made several which required taking turns for there wasn't room for all pies in the oven at a time. The hot rolls for which Mabel is famous with her own family and friends likewise required the oven two or three times.

From reading this account one who may be a housewife and/or cook will have difficulty realizing what Mabel's challenge was. We had borrowed a type of a hotplate - - electric - - to turn on low temperature to keep the turkey warm as well as, in turn, there food in it turn.

The folding banquet tables which were stored in the loft of the chapel were gotten down and covered with paper. Some of these things we had invited three or four folk to assist with as also with the serving. A few serving bowls were borrowed from a few members as also serving spoons. In announcing the meal - - about a pound for adults and perhaps half that for folk under twelve - - the request was: made for all to bring their table service. There just wasn't any at the chapel, so most brought their own table service. We were honored by having Sister Hardy, the stake Relief Society (district) president and her husband whom we had become acquainted long before this time. He was on the district (high) council, the district president (stake) Pres. Eric Cryer and Sister Cryer from out of town. In our announcement we had stressed an American Thanksgiving Dinner and, too, that it was for the building fund and folk responded very well.

The dinner was served family style with the serving dished being placed on the table. For awhile we wondered if this was too much of a gamble. Despite the cooking handicap Mabel 'hit the jackpot' with her luck. It was her usual Thanksgiving dinner with all its trimmings. The food seemed to be relished for the serving dishes were being returned for refills. We thought we had ample enough of everything and seemingly we did excepting there was nothing left for the cooks. While taking some food to the table near the end of the dinner President Dryer said, "Elder Blacker, is there any 'stuffing' left"? meaning dressing. He said he had never had 'stuffing' like that before and his wife said she would have to see Mabel after dinner to get the recipe. The hot rolls seemed to have been the most popular of all. Visiting with a member after the dinner - - and she was at the able to become a witness - - said the second time the serving dish of rolls was passed around one particular lady - - and she named her - - took five or six rolls at a time. Everything seemed to have gone as well as one could ask for.

And now to the last course. The pumpkin pie was served and it was so amusing. Not a sole present had ever tasted pumpkin pie. They didn't know what to expect and as they tried it most of them would first smell it and then smell it again and then, ever so carefully they would put their tongue on the filling of their first fork or spoonful. They should it to their neighbor and put their tongue on it again and carefully tasted it - - all this with a lot of conversation. As we watched, unnoticed from the doorway, we could see some taking to it with gusto and a few of what we call the more finicky ones continue to smell and taste. Some were like the little kid, when his mother put a new or unknown to him, food on the table say, "I don't like this what is it"?

The dinner was over, the tables taken down and records were played for a dance. All seemed to have a good time and some of us were 'literally bushed'. Several of the members were very willing to come to the kitchen where, in a hurry the dish washing was done. In connection with the cooking utensils and other dishes of the kitchen to be washed many brought their own table service and washed it. The whole affair , was counted as being very successful. The money brought in from the dinner was the most of any single event we had in the branch which was classified as a money raiser. Actually it proved to be two to three times more successful money-wise than any other event including a well advertised branch dinner which was held two or three months later.

It has been of interest to us to observe that the area encompassed within the England Leeds mission - - mainly the northeastern area of England - - was the first area in all of England to have the early-day Mormon missionaries. As has been reported earlier in this story Heber C. Kimball with a few other of the Quorum of Twelve of the time and others set foot in England and first baptized in the River Ribble at Preston. Many were converted and they subsequently emigrated to the U. S. but in more recent times it seemed this very area proved to be the slowest of all England so as baptisms were concerned. Many of the other missions in England found enough local activity for stakes to be formed. Many of the other missions in England found enough local activity for stakes to be formed. This did not happen so readily in England's northwest until in March of 1976 the Liverpool District was made a stake and there came a rumor that the Preston district of which we at Bolton were a part had but a little further to develop before it could be made a stake.

President Cryer came to Bolton to encourage the branch. Priesthood activity had to improve - - this had always been a handicap in Bolton - - and attendance at sacrament meetings was expected to increase. The district leaders issued a challenge for the branch to complete paying off its indebtedness to the Church for the building which would strengthen the position of the branch financially and with that behind them the branch would stand in a better position to gain the status of a ward* Things were beginning to move in the England Leeds mission. President and Sister Derrick had made great progress in the two and one half years they had led the mission and they had goals - - goals which seemed beyond reach in the eyes of many and one of those goals was to get the entire mission into stakes before they left which would be by 1 July 1976. From Brother and Sister Hansen, a couple missionary pair in Liverpool and us subsequently arriving President Derrick hurried a request off to the Missionary Committee of the Church that he needed urgently five or six additional missionary couples to be placed in the branches of the various districts of his mission all to assist to place every inch of his mission within stakes before his release.

The story is long but things started to happen during their last four months. As stated the Liverpool district became a stake. The goal was nearing for the Preston stake. A stake had been created from the eastern portion of the mission, this entirely within Yorkshire. The Preston district nor was the very last district in all of north England to become a stake. History ryas in the making. Everyone was excited in Bolton and it was great to be alive and to be a part of what was to transpire.

Much more time could be taken in this story relative to the fund raising project of paying off the $ 2,400 long past due building note to the Church but by the 15th of April President Millington wrote out a check for the bill to be paid in full from the funds gathered within the last few months. It was said it couldn't be done but we did it. There were other projects of which no mention has been made here which should have been mentioned. One I must not overlook was a family project initiated by Brother and Sister Arthur Robinson, she not a member nor their two younger girls. Mention was earlier made of their daughter Jackie's important contribution which was indeed a sacrifice. Brother and Sister Robinson called the affair an 'Open House' at their own home which was, in part, a "Good as New" sale which consisted of a type of rummage sale of their own contribution as well as other members of the branch being some wearables. This was held in an upstairs bedroom. In their spacious and comfortable family room was served open face sandwiches and drinks. Naturally considerable socializing was done here and, lastly, in the big front living room Brother Robinson had his screen and projector set up where he showed an hour length set of beautiful slides of his four year previous "Cross America with Greyhound" trip. It required two showings with the room filled with spectators each time. The Robinson's turned in more than $150 as their contribution of the evening.

Another project which Mabel and I spearheaded was the selling of pictures of the First Presidency of the Church. Interestingly it was Bishop-Ray Condie of the Rupert 2nd ward who gave us the idea. It so happened that our daughter, Mary and Bryce and girls were members of Bishop Condie's ward. From the Christmas card we received from Bishop Condie we got the idea that if we made or purchased a nice looking frame of about 5" x 8" with this picture of President Kimball and his counselors, President Tanner and President Romney standing with President Kimball's hand on a globe map of the world indicating a world-wide church all in color that there would be interest. We immediately wrote to Mary and Bryce to see if they would inquire of Bishop Condie to see if he had a few more such Christmas cards left. To our great surprise he had probably as many as 50 which he donated and Mary and Bryce mailed to us. We were delighted for they made a beautiful buffet-type picture when put in a nice looking frame.

We purchased frames from stores such as Woolworths and sold the completed pictures for about $5 as I now remember. A goodly number were sold in the branch and several in other parts of the district when they learned we had them. President Derrick saw them and they appealed to him.. He bought about twenty pictures and said he would locate frames in his area. He wanted to give a number away to the many folk who worked closely with him and Sister Derrick such as stake presidents, bishops etc. etc. He was very liberal and sent a check for $100 which he donated to the Bolton building fund.

Another project presented by a newly baptized middle age lady, Sister Jean Entwistle, I think a librarian in a local school who was able to rent from the school the film, The lobe, a full length movie. A special evening was set aside for her presentation and a few pounds were garnered for the branch fund.

Other projects could be mentioned all of which added to the fund until as mentioned above sufficient was raised to fully pay the debt off by the 15th of April 1976.

While every little helped we would not have completed the project as early as we did had it not been for Sister Meryl Liptrott of whom I wrote much earlier in this story. I hesitated to mention her contribution earlier for hers was one that cams more to the last of our collections than the earlier ones. We never knew exactly the total of her contribution but she had to have given very close to a thousand dollars. President Millington held in confidence her total which was proper for him to do. Apparently she was not inclined to have it published. It would have taken the branch much longer hack it not been for her great sacrifice and I'm sure it was a sacrifice. It is true she had more than most others of the branch but not that much more as compared to some other's contributions. She was a choice member.

President Millington informed us that when he reported to President Cryer that the building indebtedness was paid off President Cryer suggested to him that the branch keep raising as much money as possible toward a new phase of the building while the Blackers were yet in Bolton. All of the planned projects had not had their turn and until these were completed we did keep raising money. We have understood froth good authority that the branch has since seen dark days with their budget. As stated earlier the members of the Bolton branch are not well off, in fact, most will have to be classified as poor. Since we left Sister Liptrott bought herself a shop in Chorley and moved from Bolton. She must be greatly missed.

With the branch indebtedness nor paid off there was great interest in getting the building dedicated. No church building is ever dedicated until it becomes entirely free of debt so for nearly four years the building had been awaiting dedication since its completion. President Derrick had been such an outstanding mission president and had encouraged and helped with the paying off the debt we all felt we would like to have him assist in the dedication before they were released from their mission. An application was sent in with the check and we could see no reason why we would not have ample time for him to have that privilege.

Upon receiving the request for dedication the Church building inspector for England who lived in Lichfield wrote and said he would be in Bolton to inspect the chapel on May 8th. In as much as the building had had considerable use it was now necessary that the building be inspected and any problems showing would need be taken care of. President Millington asked Mabel and me to meet him on that particular day at his appointed hour which we did.

The inspector found a number of minor repairs to be taken care of. A complete repaint job would be required, inside and out. The asphalt tiled floor would have to have to be stripped of its wax and finish and refinished. The wood fence surrounding the yard needed a coat of oil preservative and all brick and other masonry showing anywhere on the inside of the building would need be washed. The baptismal font had to be repaired - - some tile had come loose and the handles on the lids had to be replaced etc. etc. - - there was considerable to be done.

With just a little over six weeks before President Derrick was to be released was now seeming to be such a short time but we made plans to be ready. It would seem unnecessary for me to report in detail the problems which confronted us.

Brother Vic Harrison., a strong member of the branch, after learning what needed to be done brought scaffolding in from his business where he was employed. This was a great asset to us for the steel frames which could be added one onto the end of another frame made it possible for us to scaffold right to the ceiling where the ceiling tile had to be painted. The ceiling of the chapel was probably twenty feet high at least. Mabel and I started a couple hard weeks work. We tried to organize work crews but most of the members of the branch were working and our crew schedule became disappointing. Here was a case where the few had most of the work to do.

Brother Harrison claimed that at the time the building was being constructed he had received the assignment as the local. superintendent of the building and that he felt he should be the one to direct all that was done. He claimed to be a professional builder which, undoubtedly he was but President Millington said his earlier assignment when the building was being constructed did not continue to this point. At arty rate Brother Harrison was employed by his company and could not spend but little time other than very early in the morning before work and only on occasion in the evening. The entire front end of the chapel from the floor behind the pulpit to the ceiling was light finished oak paneling with a special finish which had to be applied by brush and rubbed with cloth and then re-brushed. He said only he :the expertise to do this type of work. The rest of us were instructed to wash it down but it was to be left to him for professional finishing. This also applied to the front railing across the platform, the pulpit and the sacrament table.

On the outside of the building to the back the building was finished in wood for it was on this end the next phase of the building would be attached therefore it was not bricked as the other three outside walls had been. This paneling was from the ground up to the rafter or roof. This reached up at least twenty-five feet from the ground. All of this paneling also had to be sanded and refinished. Brother Harrison, with our help, put up the scaffolding outside and showed us how to do the first sanding but that he being the professional would have to take care of the fine or second sanding and would have to do all the finish work for it was very essential that the finish be put on by one who knew what he was doing so there would be no brush marks or streaks.

One or two of the more daring brethren did the high work with the sanding machines which, by the way, had been rented by Brother Harrison from his company. All of this renting of scaffolding and sanders etc. was done without President Millington being aware of it and the days were passing and Brother Harrison was not getting much done.

The tile floor had not been taken care of properly by the custodian and wax had been applied, one layer over another, until little could be done with it to make a polish. Other chapels in the mission were experiencing the same floor problems of which President Derrick was aware. Liverpool chapel had just been refinished for their acceptance as a stake and was done by Brother Hansen of the missionary couple of Liverpool of whom I have previously made mention. He had had floor finishing experience at home before going on his mission, they being from Nampa, Idaho.

When President Derrick became aware that the Bolton chapel was redecorating and having the floor refinished he called President Millington told him he had asked Brother and Sister Hansen of Liverpool to come to Bolton and give us a hand. Our number at our home was given to Brother Hansen and he called us to ask if we would meet them on a certain morning in front of the Bolton town hall. They were not acquainted with Bolton but figured they could find the town hall and if we were there we could direct them to start on the chapel floor as President Derrick had asked them to do, with of course, permission and notification from and to President Millington. So, on a certain morning we met the Hansens near the town hall. We had never met them before so we did not know them. This missionary trip they were not dressed in their Sunday best but despite that we recognized them as soon as we saw them and they us. They had their own car which venture we never attempted.

Brother Hansen had a rented sander and buffer for they didn't know what equipment the Bolton branch had. The stripping and sanding the floor which included, not only the chapel but also the full length foyer, required considerable hard and tiring work. All the work near the walls and door casings etc., had to be done by hand which was very tedious. Also, several joints of the old tile on the floor, and especially on the rostrum, were "bleeding" black asphalt emulsion. When the floor was laid too much emulsion was used and it continued bleeding and would throughout the life of the tile.

I had had a lot of experience with asphalt tile floors for many years in our business we sold and installed the product. It wasn't new work for me and we could have done all that Brother Hansen did, had President Derrick been aware of it and had we the equipment. I felt good about it in not having the responsibility.

President Derrick did what he did most innocently. He made the proposal thru President Millington neither of whom were aware that Brother Harrison claimed title to the position of superintendent of the building.

Brother Harrison had made plans to prepare the floor for refinishing with the thinking he was the professional who know how and would have to do the floor.

Apparently he made his complaint to President Millington. We had not seen him but he told President Millington that he had already ordered the solvents and the final finish from his company, this again without President Millington asking him to do it or without him even knowing that he was taking it upon himself to do.

When we returned to the chapel the next morning to assist the Hansen's all the scaffolding and rented tools were gone. We had plenty of work to do for the next day or so, so, until the floor was finished we had no need for the scaffolding or the sanders. That evening president Millington came to the chapel before we left and told us about Brother Harrison's disappointment and consternation.

None of us had done anything knowingly against Brother Harrison so he had no reason whatever, to become upset with us but he was upset and, I might state here, he never returned to help complete the work on the building. While Brother Harrison felt he was the only member of the branch qualified to take care of any of the finish work I felt quite at ease taking over for, while I never claimed to be a professional there was no type of work to be done which I hadn't done many times before.

Our big problem, and it was quite serious with us, we had no scaffolding to reach the high places, however, President Millington rented a long extension ladder and we did all the necessary off ground work with that ladder and a couple step ladders which the branch had.

When we had the cleaning and painting etc. completed and probably four hundred lineal feet of five foot high board fence creosoted President Millington called for the inspector who highly complimented the branch for the excellent work which had been done. Well before the first of June we were ready for the building to be dedicated and the inspector said it was his responsibility to report a readiness for dedication of any such building to Salt Lake.

While dedication of the chapel was foremost on our minds other events were approaching. The month of June 1976 was to go down in north England Church history as a flood of memorable events.

Events actually moved faster than we had anticipated. Word came to the branch several weeks before the event that a great Area Conference was to be held in Manchester for all of north England. For the past very few years the policy of the Church had become that the General Authorities of the Church would come to the Saints I n the far reaches of the Church rather than inviting the members to go to Salt Lake City for the Annual and/or the Semi-annual conferences. It was England's turn, both in Manchester as well as London and still the third, in Glasgow, Scotland all to be either simultaneous or Scotland's to follow the others but to be held while the Authorities were making the one trip.

Manchester's Conference was to be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday June 18th, 19th and 20th. The Friday evening session from 7 to 9 p. m. was scheduled as a Cultural Program. On Saturday a general session was scheduled for 9 to 11 a. m., a Mother's and Daughter's Session from 1 p. m. to 200 p. m. and a Priesthood session from 3:30 to 5 p. m. Two sessions, both general, for Sunday from 10 a. m. to 12 noon and from 2 p. m. to 4 p. m.

A report will later be made of this Area Conference to which President Kimball, President Ezra Taft Benson, Mark E. Peterson both of the Quorum of Twelve and other General Authorities were to be present.

At a later date and to our great surprise and pleasure an announcement came that the Preston District, now the last district in northern England had qualified to become a Stake of Zion and that President Spencer W. Kimball, with others, would be the Authority transacting the business and that due to the Manchester Area conference being held on the evening of Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday it became necessary that the .-Preston District meeting would, of necessity, have to be held on Thursday evening at 700, It was reported that every effort had been made to hold the meeting in Preston which was the headquarters of the district but no building in that city was available to hold such a large meeting as it was anticipated to be large due to President Kimball coming the Windsor Hall at Blackburn was selected which would hold eight to nine hundred people.

Speaking of this great coming event and the event at Manchester which was to follow let me quote direct from the BOLTON BRANCH BULLETIN, Vol. 1 No. 11 dated 1 June 1976:

"The first event to which President Kimball will be present will be an historic event peculiar to the members of the Church living within this, the Preston district.

"To this very area in 1837 - - 139 years ago - - Mormon missionaries first preached the fact to Britishers that the Father and the Son had appeared to the boy, Joseph Smith, thus commencing the great Restoration of the gospel in accordance to the prophecies of the scriptures that the Lords Kingdom would be restored preceding the Second Coming of the Savior. Too, of the angel which John, while on Patmos, visibly witness in vision, would "Fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth" Had made that visit. Also, that it was the commencement of the Lords "Marvelous Work and a Wonder"' which the Prophet Isaiah predicted as he looked down thru the stream of time which was to be ushered in just before the Saviors Second Coming.

"In reality it was these same missionaries who announced to the people of Great Britain that the true Church of Jesus Christ had been established on the earth again, this time for the last time as the Apostle Peter said would happen as part of the" - restitution of all things' in the last days.

"Indeed, the event of the coming of the Mormon missionaries, headed by President Spencer W. Kimball's grandfather, President Heber C. Kimball, an apostle of the newly organized Church and, to become later, the first counselor to President Brigham Young.

"How appropriate it now is that this famous early missionary's grandson, now, in his own right, the Prophet to the Church, should have the privilege of participating in the achievement of the Preston District reaching the status of Stake hood.

"This great event is to transpire on the evening of Thursday, June 17th, in the Windsor Hall, at Blackburn at 7:30 o'clock. Also, in attendance, will be Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Quorum of Twelve and possibly others of the General Authorities as well as our mission president and district officials. - - -

"Certainly no reader or hearer of this announcement of the coming visit of the Prophet will want to miss this great historic event."

We had, within the past few weeks, finished the redecorating of the chapel and, by appointment we met President Derrick at the Bolton chapel. He had heard that the indebtedness had been paid off, that the cleaning and painting project was over and that it had passed inspection and that application had been made for dedication two or three weeks before. He was passing thru Bolton and desired to see it. As I was showing him what we had done he asked if the pulpit might be portable. I shored him that it was and he asked, "Do you think we could borrow it for President Kimball when he comes to Blackburn to form the Preston Stake"? He went on to say that the hall, they had arranged for did not have a pulpit and that they had been looking for a portable pulpit from somewhere in the mission.

I told him that we would see that it was in place in time for the meeting. I telephoned President Millington when he got home from his work and he concurred very heartily and was, in fact, elated that his branch could provide such an important fixture. I suggest to him that after President Kimball had used the pulpit and it was returned to Bolton that he, President Millington, should charge sixpence for everyone who spoke over the pulpit the Prophet used and that the money should go to the branch budget. He laughed and thought it to be a good idea.

President Millington was going to be busy the next evening but said he would call Ron Kirby to see if his little station wagon would be available to take the pulpit to Blackburn. Brother Kirby later called me Wednesday evening he and I picked the pulpit up from the chapel and took it to Blackburn, a town about half way between Bolton and Preston but off considerably to the east, actually it was probably 15 miles from Bolton, perhaps 20.

Thursday afternoon at 4:30 a chartered bus left the Bolton chapel and better than thirty of us were on it, Two or three families went by car. An hour later would have been ample time but our group wanted to be early in case of a crowd and we were early enough to get the front seats directly under our Bolton pulpit.

No one in our branch had ever seen a president of the Church and very few, if any had ever met a General Authority other than a Regional Representative which, at the time was Bernard P. Brockbank, Assistant to Quorum of Twelve, therefore a General Authority.

Just before 7:30 - - the building was nearly filled - - President and Sister Kimball and others appeared on the stage coming in from a back door. As they came in the audience arose as is customary for a Church president.

The members of the Church, I am sure with few exceptions, thrilled at the sight of a prophet of the Lord. President Cryer, the Preston District president, conducted the meeting and Elder Mark E. Peterson transacted the business for which the meeting was called, that of organizing the Preston stab. The new stake president, as was expected, was President Cryer who had served as the Preston District president. His first counselor was retained. James Trebilcock, and the second, a Brother Bishop. Each of these brethren spoke including, briefly, Elder Mark E. Peterson.

The principle speaker, naturally, was President Kimball who dwelt mainly on the relating the story of his grandfather and associates, Heber C. Kimball who brought the story of the restoration of the gospel to England - - into this very area including Preston a few miles away - - and of their hardships they endured. More of President Kimball's talk will be reviewed later in this story.

Most of us who were present will never forget the experience of that evening. While it was not new for a very few of us who were present to sit in a meeting where the Prophet was with us, by far the majority of that audience had never had such an experience before and when the audience sang 'We Thank Thee 0 God,-''or A Prophet, tears were shed as a reaction to the presence of the Spirit for it testified to our spirits that Spencer W. Kimball was, indeed, a living prophet for us in our day as much as any ancient prophet was for the people of his day.

To most of us it was unbelievable that there was, at least, one in the audience, and regrettably it had to be within our own group from Bolton, who did not feel of the same spirit as did most of the rest of us. Sister Jessie Monks, a middle aged convert of two or three months had traveled on the bus with us to Blackburn. On our return trip to Bolton, and by the way, the pulpit was brought back in the baggage compartment of the bus, we never heard a statement by anyone but what was complimentary to the meeting and President Kimball, however, subsequently noting that Sister Monks had ceased coming to the branch meetings we visited her and found that the very meeting which thrilled the most of us had actually 'turned her off' so far as her interest in the Church was concerned and she attributed it to her disappointment in President Kimball as a prophet. She said, "I looked forward to seeing a prophet but I found that he was just another man". The Spirit which touched the most of us failed to reach her. When asked what she expected other than a man she could find no adequate answer. In working with her we discovered that while she claimed she was ready for baptism - - we were not the missionaries who originally worked with her and baptized her, but when she became a members of the branch then she became a part of our responsibility - - she later stated that she never fully ceased from her coffee and alcoholic drinks. Up until about the time of her baptism she entertained by singing in the pubs of the neighborhood. She admitted she had not fully forsaken such activities and habits. She never returned to the branch during the three remaining months we were there and inquiring of her from those we have visited with and corresponded with since our return home she apparently, to this day, has not returned. This was and is sad to us and especially for the reason she gives.

Interestingly, and it was about this same time, Mabel and I had become acquainted with a man - - unmarried but probably 35 years of age - - who wanted to visit with us relative to the Church. Due to home conditions he didn't want to invited us to his parent's home but did consent to go to the branch where we presented the missionary discussions to him, however, we were never able to get a baptismal commitment from him, mainly, we feel, because of his family. On one occasion while presenting the lessons in the branch president's office at the chapel he made comment of the photo of President Kimball which hung on the wall. We called attention to the fact that President Kimball was the Lord's prophet on the earth today. He was surprised and became critical. While he could accept the principle that it might be possible for the Lord to have prophets on the earth today just as had them during Old Testament times, he questioned President Kimball for he said: '"I don't believe he would be a prophet for this man is wearing glasses and if he were a prophet he would heal himself'.

I have digressed from the great events which were transpiring in our area. From the meeting with President Kimball in Blackburn as previously described we returned home. The great Area Conference at Manchester was scheduled to commence the next evening with the cultural presentation. Many in the branch were financially unable to make all the trips necessary to attend all the activities of the Area Conference so no bus was chartered for the occasion. While it was possible to get to Manchester by bus without any great problem there was a serious chance of finding bus service from Manchester to Bolton as late as it would be when the activities were over. We, ourselves, concluded not to attempt the Friday evening activities but a bus had been engaged for Saturday morning 9 o'clock general session and others sessions which were to last until 5 p. m.

Again, a chartered bus picked us up at the chapel Sunday morning for the 10 o'clock session which required that we leave Bolton not later that eight o'clock. Both Saturday and Sunday mornings the waiting line was long for the doors were not opened until probably 30 minutes before meeting time. We must have stood in line approximately an hour each day. The weather was nice and it gave us an opportunity to visit with folk we knew from throughout the Preston district. It was on this occasion that we met for the first time in England Kurt Catmull from Rupert who was serving a mission in the England Leeds mission but who was laboring in another district than ours.

The Belle Vue hall or arena was Manchester's place of assembly probably such as Salt Lake's Salt Palace, undoubtedly the largest such place of assembly in Manchester. Interestingly, as I previously mentioned, the Manchester and London Area conferences were scheduled for the same days and more than the usual number of General. Authorities were in England attending the two conferences than would be normal for a single Area Conference and, fortunately for the members of both North and South England, due to the authorities alternating to one area and then the other a goodly share of them had an opportunity of being present at one or another meeting.

Particularly President and Sister Kimball were well covered by the Security people, not only of England but also of the Church itself. The Church Authorities while in Manchester made their headquarters in a large Manchester Hotel and the Priesthood of the nearby stakes were called upon to serve as Security Agents. Brother Tony Wiseman of the Bolton branch volunteered to assist with this assignment and was assigned to guard the hotel hallway on certain shifts during the three days the Authorities were in Manchester. Tony was very pleased with this assignment for it gave him an opportunity to see the Authorities come and go - - some were leaving for and arriving from London at various hours of the nights for their respective assignments. He reported that they spoke to him and on an occasion visited shortly with him and others as each was stationed a distance away from another. He was very pleased with the fact that President Kimball stopped to briefly visit with him. No untoward incident was reported during the three days and two nights. The General Authorities moved on to Scotland the Sunday evening of the last session. It was interesting to observe that while same of the Quorum of Twelve visited with some closeby members of the audience President Kimball was ushered to the rostrum about the time for the meetings to start and left without mingling with the crowd and with-a very limited amount of handshaking even on the stand.

Interesting to Mabel and me was as we entered the building about thirty minutes prior to the last Sunday session there were empty seats down near the side of the rostrum but far enough to the front that we could see the pulpit. Just taking his seat where various dignitaries sat such as stake presidents, mission presidents and others President Arvel L. Child, former president of the Nyssa stake and on whose high council I had served for several years but now president of the Ireland Belfast Mission caught our eye as we caught his. The empty seats we were taking were but a dozen paces from the railing which separated the two areas of the hall. We arranged to reserve our seats for us and walked over to visit him. We knew he and Sister Child were in Belfast but we hadn't seen him, in fact, for several years - - since my father's funeral service in 1957 in Rupert at which he was a speaker. We inquired of Sister Child and he pointed her out in her seat a few rows in front of the podium where as, as stated, we were to the side. She happened to already to have had her eyes on us and as we looked to where she was she waved to us.

I was particularly interested in President Child's mission for it was in Belfast where I spent my first year of my first mission back in 1928. At the time of that mission Ireland was a part of the British Mission whereas of now most of England was made up of stakes while all of Ireland, the North and South.

It was very shortly following our visit with President Child that he had very serious problems in his mission. As the reader may be aware, the northern five counties of Ireland are governed by England and are bas Protestants. The southern, approximately two-thirds of Ireland is independent from England and an independent country in its own rights with the capitol being Dublin.

Ever since south Ireland became a Free State there has been strong animosity against England particularly in the south but to an extent also in the north. Other than political contention there has always been strong feelings between the Protestants and Catholics. With these strong feelings between, particularly the radicals of these interests there has been contention and, in the north with England trying to protect her interests there has been strong feelings for, at least, the last hundred years.

With all of Ireland being in the same mission President Child and his missionaries found difficulties moving about freely from north to south and south to north. They became suspects in the eyes of the radicals as they drove across the border and back.

On one occasion President Child's red car was spotted and mistaken for another car. Re was followed to the garage where they had arranged to park the car, the garage being owned by a neighbor and the radicals planted a bomb which, when it went off destroyed the car, the garage and killed the owner of the garage. The bomb had been planted against the innocent but nevertheless it affected President Child emotionally enough that the Church's Regional Representative, and perhaps the Missionary Committee of the Church felt it wise to transfer President and Sister Child to complete their mission assignment by serving in the London Temple. We haven't seen the Childs since.

Due to the problem in Ireland the Church confined t he missionary work in Ireland to the south of Ireland or the Free State with headquarters now to be in Dublin and assigned the area of northern Ireland consisting of the five northern counties to the Scottish mission making it unnecessary for any direct travel between northern and southern Ireland. More will be mentioned about the Ireland Dublin mission a little later in this account.

Back to the great Manchester Area conference to which many of the General Authorities including resident and Sister Kimball: Following the afternoon session I asked one of the ushers who had assisted in counting the attendance and he said they estimated around 12,000 people were present. We later heard a smaller number than that by a couple thousand, nevertheless, there was a very large attendance.

The spirit of the entire occasion was outstandingly spiritual. At the conclusion of the meeting President Benson who was conducting the meeting because President Kimball. and party had gone to the London meting, when he saw the people were not wanting to leave suggested that the conductor lead the audience in "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". Those of the audience who could sing sand. Others of us who couldn't sing because of emotion supported the singers as the words would come. Tears were in nearly every set of eyes in the audience with some faces, unashamedly., showing tears dripping from the checks to their shoulders. All verses of the song were sung with no one leaving and even after the people were slop to be on their way. I have often thought since that the experience with the early day apostles on the Day of Pentecost couldn't have been more spiritual than was that gathering on the 20th day of June 1976 in Manchester, England. It was a never to be forgotten occasion.

Following the meeting Mabel and I went up on the stand and awaited our turn to spend a moment with President Benson, the president of the Quorum of the Twelve who has direction over all dedication of buildings in the Church. We in Bolton had been waiting for weeks for a date of dedication of the chapel. President Derrick didn't know why it was taking so long for an assigned date to materialize so we concluded to ask President Benson if he could help us. When asked he was unable to give a definite answer but supposed that the request was with some other unfinished business on his desk back in Salt Lake City. He said he would look into it as soon as he got back but we felt, by then, it would be too late to have President Derrick do the dedicating because his release was due by the 30th day of June, just 10 days hence.

June was a month of great events in the lives of members of the Church in our area particularly as I have related the forming of a stake and the Manchester Area Conference and with regrets: to those of us who were a part of the England Leeds Mission. We had not been appraised of plans to divide the mission but about the time of President and Sister Derrick's release - - probably a daffy or two before - - we were advised that the mission was to be divided with the eastern half of the mission to remain in the England Leeds mission and the western half of the mission to form a now mission to be known as the England Manchester mission and that two new mission presidents had been appointed to head each mission. President and Sister Derrick had completed their three years and would be released to return to their home in Salt Lake City.

There was no special meeting of the members of the mission to meet and approve or disapprove. The decision had been made from headquarters. It had been President Derrick's goal when he came to the mission field that within his three years every inch of his mission would become part of a stake and it so happened that three stakes had been formed, the Preston stake the last of the three.

At the time the two new mission presidents took over I knew of the nay of the new president of the England Leeds mission but I have since forgotten. The new mission president of the new Manchester England mission was Orin Z. Alder. Let me here quote from our article as written on July 1st, 1976 in the Bolton Branch Bulletins

From the Church News of April 24th the following introductory information is givens 'President Alder, a retired mayor general in the army (U. S.) and now deputy controller, energy research and development administration in Washington will preside over the England-Manchester mission.

"The Alders, who reside in Fairfax., Virginia (eastern U. S.) have three daughters and one son who was called to the Taiwan Taipei Mission in February.

''President Alder was born in Preston, Idaho and was graduated from the University of Maryland, and received his MBA degree from George Washington University. He has done graduate work at Harvard Business School, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

"Sister Alder is a native of Soda Springs, Idaho"

In the same issue of the Bolton Branch Bulletin we wrote:

"Members of the Bolton Branch will always retain fond memories of the leadership and friendship of President and Sister Derrick who have mar been released as president of the England-heeds mission.

"President and Sister Derrick played an important roll in assisting us with the construction of our chapel and assisting making it possible to move into it two years ago.

"Since then they have met with us on occasion and each time brought an inspiration with them for us to become faithful members of the Church as we knew they were,

"During the concluding months of their mission they provided inspiration for us to clear the indebtedness of our chapel and grounds and prepare it for dedication. We accepted the challenge and so hoped that we could share with them in the actual dedication. This now seems not to be our lot despite the fact that the final inspection report was mailed to Church Headquarters on June 18th in, what we felt, was ample time.

"As President and Sister Derrick now return to their normal. pursuits of life every member of the Bolton Branch extends our heartfelt gratitude and love to them.

"They have left us, but fond memories will remain with us. Our prayers are for a safe journey home and the best of life's blessings always".

Between their release on the first of July and their arrival home in Salt lake President and Sister Derrick visited other areas of Europe. Their itinerary and schedule we never knew but thru our near mission president we did learn that when the Derricks arrived in Salt Lake President Kimball asked them if they would again leave their home within 48 hours and proceed to Dublin,, Ireland to serve until July 1st, 1977 as president of that troubled mission to replace President Arvel L. Child whose term was cut short because of bombing disabilities suffered a month earlier.

The Derricks were ready to answer another call from the Church. This is the type people these people are. This had to be a sacrifice for we know what the longings of a couple are even after but 18 months. They had been away three years. We yearned to be back home but we didn't let that yearning interfere with our missionary work. Had we been away twice that long as the Derricks had would our longing to be back home with our families been so important to us that we would have not answered another call for another year as the Derricks did? I am so very happy to be able to report 'yes' to such a call had it come to us. I am sure both Mabel and I would have been willing to have done just what the Derricks did but, nevertheless, the Derricks demonstrated a great example to every one of us.

While it will be out of context in this story we are all aware that before President and Sister Derrick were released from this new one year mission in Ireland the First Presidency had called him as a member of the First Quorum of Seventy and thereby became one of the General Authorities of the Church. Subsequently to that call President Derrick has been called and is now serving as a member of the presidency of that quorum having the assignment of directing the great genealogical work of the Church. As I remember I have heretofore made the statement that Mabel and I have openly said, and did so early in our mission, that if there is such a thing as inspiration in this Church the Authorities that be would call President Derrick as one of the General Authorities.. We didn't think it would take too much of a prophet to correctly predict that.

Now back to the mission field and President Alder. Another great man. My, what a power, what a force and what humility despite the fact that he was very much different than his predecessor. Here was an army man and very much regimented. He had been successful in his army career and reached the high status of deputy comptroller of the Energy Research and Development Administration in Washington. Visiting with him on one occasion he said that while he was so serving he oversaw the expenditure of a sizable portion of the money spent by the United States army which amounted to billions of dollars every year.

We were under his presidency for the concluding three months of our mission but even tho it was a short while we learned to love and respect the Alders. More later.

When the Preston stake was organized a fear of the branches became wards. We had so hoped the Bolton branch would qualify as a ward but we didn't reach that status nor have they doing the five years since we were there. Perhaps I can best quote directly from an article we included in the Bolton Branch Bulletin dated 1 July 1976:*ANOTHER CHALLENGE TO BE MET'"

"It seems the past year has been fraught with challenges. One following another has confronted the branch and each of them has been met and to spare. We have made tremendous gains and, for the most part, there is satisfaction. As always, too few of our number have put our whole heart and soul into it but encouragement has come to those who gave full support as well as encouragement to those of us who have stood on the sidelines and watched. Both categories of us have been encouraged in being able to see that the Lord's work will go forward regardless of willingness or unwillingness to assist. The Lord's work will not be thwarted and this includes the work here in Bolton.

"As we are all aware, Preston District has become Preston Stake. It has not been Bolton's lot to have become a ward. This is our next challenge. This challenge will not be so easy as our past challenges to meet for this will require a dependency on a greater number of branch members. With the paying off the indebtedness one single person could have met the challenge. It is true, more than one did meet the challenge but as we all know, too few helped.

"With cleaning and painting and preparing the chapel and grounds for dedication, one person could have eventually done it. It is true more than one did meet the challenge but actually too few did the work.

"This, our next challenge, entitling the branch to become a ward will not nor cannot be accomplished by one nor by a few. This will require cooperation of all. Let us review ten categories the branch will need to do in order to qualify:

  1. Membership required: 250. We have 254. We qualify.
  2. Twelve active Melchizedek Priesthood holders required. (To be classified as active an Elder has to attend 25% of the priesthood meetings) Presently we have nine who meet this. Inactive Elders can assist and/or some over 18 of the Aaronic Priesthood can become active and be ordained as Elders after a few months. This remains a challenge.
  3. A sound operating budget system is required. A budget program is being used, however there remain several who agreed and so committed themselves to contribute to the budget for the year but who have neglected to varying degrees. This is an area where help is needed but it can be done with mare help.
  4. Aggressive support of genealogical and temple activity. On this we need more participation.
  5. Officers of the branch should be full tithe payers. This is not impossible. A few members not now qualifying can correct our problem.
  6. Sacrament meeting attendance needs be between 65 and 70. Last month we averaged 48 as we did the previous month also. The summer months are not as high as last winter's attendance. This challenge can be met but it will require help from some not now attending.
  7. An aggressive Home Teaching program is necessary. This we are working on. We need a few more brethren who will be willing to assist with this assignment. It can be done.
  8. All auxiliary organizations need be operating successfully. More participation is needed but it can be done.
  9. A cooperative attitude of love and harmony must exist in the branch. This is far less a problem than ever before. This can be met.
  10. The branch needs an aggressive Youth Program. This is being done. While more support is desired this is being met.

"Now, Brethren and Sisters, as you ponder over the above criteria in which help is needed will each of you bless your lives and the lives of your family by assisting to strengthen our position? Consider item by item and if it is within your ability to add strength to that of others of the branch please give your support.

"You who are Elders or who are 18 and over and wish to become Elders, attend the weekly Priesthood meeting which is held each Sunday morning at 9:30 o'clock. If you are a sister 18 years of age or over and don't attend Relief Society please join with the sisters. For the next two summer months Relief Society will meet on the 2nd and 3rd Wednesday evenings at 7:30. After September the meetings will be each Wednesday evening. Those of you not attending Sunday School, remember 11 a. m. each Sunday. Primary children 4 thru 11 each Tuesday evening at 6 o'clock. Youth between 12 and 18, each Tuesday evening at 7:30. Sacrament meeting on Fast Day -- 1st Sunday of month - - 12:45 and at 5 p. m. on other Sundays. Those who behind on your budget commitments, please plan to consider taking care of this needful blessing.

"We shall not list more but each of us can determine where we will be able to give assistance. We sincerely feel and know that this support you can give the branch will bring joy and happiness and, afterall, isn't that what each of us desires out of life? Can joy and happiness come any more easily than this way?

"Please join with us and be assured our love is with each of you'.

I have taken the liberty of quoting from our branch bulletin at length which perhaps portrays the existing atmosphere of the branch at the time. Such in brief was our assignment but to get 251 individuals to feel as we felt was not an easy thing. An Englishman half divorced from the Church is a hard character to change and I am well aware that I am but one generation from being a full blooded Englishman. I am not decrying English stubbornness for if it is handled properly it is a virtue. Let us keep in mind that Ephraim was scattered rather freely into the British Isles. Even the Lord had a harsh description of him and his posterity but yet he remained the chosen of all of Israel. Some of our Bolton member's heads were as hard as a rock but yet we loved them.

For many years prior to this writing I have been adding an incident at a time to a separate record I have been keeping which is entitled, "MIRACLE, NEAR MIRACLES AND OTHER FAITH PROMOTING INCIDENTS IN MY LIFE" which I have been making copies of and furnishing each of our children. My first thought in writing this brief history of myself has been not to include the full account of those incidents in this story but rather have those accounts appear separately and have that record as a separate companion record to this history. The prompting has since come to me to keep that account and add to it as events worthy of being included come. For easier referral purposes that record will remain as originally intended but in as much as those experiences were, indeed, part of my life and a very important part, I am now intending to include them in their entirety in this history also. This means that my intent is to, therefore, have a duplication of the experiences even tho it will probably lengthen this story over what it would have been had I kept them separate.

Two or three such events occurred during the last half of our mission and in the proper sequence of the events I now copy from page 41 of the compilation as previously described.


We had visited the Birch family at 39 Netherfield Road a number of times encouraging them to become again active in the Church. Peter, a 27 year old unmarried son, with others of his family, was living with his widowed mother. He promised time and time again that he would someday return to the Church but invariably we were disappointed.

Peter had a deep interest in gardening and seemed one of those born "green-thumbers". One day as we were visiting with him in May of 1976 we found ourselves conversing about gardening and he invited us to go into their back yard to see his garden. During the earlier spring months he had purchased and installed a 'greenhouse' perhaps a six by nine footer - - just a small one - - with a height that a six foot man which he was could walk comfortably if he stayed in the center of the structure.

He already had pots of tomatoes and a few other plants started. In the garden proper his potatoes were just coming thru the ground and his cabbage, cauliflower, onions, peas etc., were up and looking strong and healthy. His entire back yard, excepting for a new pathway he was preparing down the center, had been planted to various garden plants.

He had made arrangements, he proudly told us, to use parts of both his neighbors' yards on either side of him. He showed us a dugout--hole about three by four feet into which he was putting his neighbors lawn grass and some types of waste from the kitchen. This compost was preparing fertilizer for the next year. Also a 40 to 50 gallon metal drum at another spot in the yard was partially filled with water into which he emptied store-boughten barnyard manure to manufacture liquid fertilized to, later in the season, he sprinkled thru a water can onto the ground where plants needed booster-shots.

Peter was interesting to visit with and certainly indicated that he had a good knowledge of gardening.

An inspirational thought came to me and, without conferring with other members of the branch presidency - - I was serving as second counselor - - I said, "Peter, you have a gift and a knowledge and a love of gardening that I am sure others in Bolton would appreciate your sharing that knowledge and know-how with them. The branch presidency needs such a man as you to assist them to teach members the principle in the Church Welfare Program of raising foodstuffs to supplement the year's supply program. Would you serve as the Bolton Branch Home Garden Advisor"? Frankly I had never heard of such a Church position but the need for one in England was very evident. Some members had back yards not being used. Others were needing counseling as was evident by the looks of their gardens.

Peter said he would be willing to show people how to raise gardens. I assured him he had a calling in the branch and that we would help him whenever he needed help.

I had the concern of reporting back to my branch president that he had an office in his branch which he never knew he had and, what was more, that that office was now filled by a man who was ready to go to work.

I actually wasn't worried because President Millington, I felt, would go along with the idea - - which he did - - when I reported it to him. I felt quite secure in that I wasn't becoming an apostate in the Church by adding or taking from the organization set up by the Lord thru his prophets.

Two or three weeks later we attended a missionary Zone Conference at which President Derrick of the England-Leeds mission interviewed each of us missionaries. I asked him for his opinion of the forming a new office in the Church and explained what it was. He assured us there was no reason why the talents of a member couldn't be shared with others and that he thought it was a good idea.

Mabel and I had volunteered to edit a monthly branch bulletin the first of each month so in the next bulletin we wrote an article telling of the new assignment and that Brother Peter Birch had been appointed as the Bolton Branch Home Garden Adviser and that we recommended all members to contact Brother Birch. We gave his address for many of the branch were not acquainted with Peter for the family had been inactive for several years.

Actually, we were a little late in the season for the gardening season was getting well along and most, if not all, who planned gardens had them started but he would have suggestions for them and certainly he could advise them in preparing for another year.

In the next bulletin mention was again made of Brother Birch and that, perhaps, Brother Birch might be helpful if, later in the fall, he would write an article in the bulletin suggesting steps which might be taken for members to follow. This interested Peter.

On the 24th of July at a Missionary Fireside at the chapel for which missionaries had done considerable advertising Peter made his first appearance to the branch since we had been in Bolton some 14 months. In visiting with him he mainly had his garden assignment in mind and said he thought it would be about time for him to get an article to us for the next bulletin. We told him it was being prepared and I suggested he get an article prepared and bring it to Priesthood meeting the next Sunday morning following the next Sunday for the fireside was on a Saturday evening and he would not have time to prepare for the next day. He told me he had planned to come to Priesthood meeting the next morning and that during the next week he would prepare his article.

The next morning Peter was to priesthood meeting as he said he would be. He was a priest and, of course, due to his age was in the category known as Prospective Elders.

I, at this time, was also serving as president of the Elders quorum. The following Sunday morning he was again to Priesthood meeting with his article for the bulletin and he proudly turned it to me and said, "I think you should know that your asking me to help with gardens and writing about the subject is the bulletin is the thing that got me started to thinking that I should be active". He bore testimony that he was converted to President Kimball's request that food should be raised and stored and that he was going to do all he could to help convince members of the branch of its importance.

So long as we remained on our mission Peter not only attended Priesthood meetings one of which he was given an entire class period near the last of August to instruct the brethren on garden plans for next year and hour to store certain foods, but he also attended sacrament meetings regularly and within a few weeks, as a priest, participated at the Sacrament table. By the time we were released from our mission his name was planned by the branch president to be submitted to the Stake President to be ordained an Elder.

Thru his becoming active he has encouraged his younger sister, now about 14, to hear the lessons of the missionaries and she is planning on being baptized.

Peter brought a close boy friend, Chris Whitehead, about 22, to Church and the missionaries taught him and he joined the Church by being baptized on August 20th. He is a choice young man thoroughly converted to the Church. The second time Chris came to Church he brought a friend, a middle aged man who has committed himself to join the Church.

Now that we have returned home we have deep concern as to the dedication of the branch leaders and quorum leaders in staying close to such men as Peter and his friends. Such missionary work as we were called to do with members of the branch can best be done by missionary couples. No wonder President Derrick told us that "You older couples are worth your weight in gold" to the members of the Church in the mission field.

There were many such members as Peter which we had the privilege of working closely with and it was for these reasons we wished we could have stayed longer and provided, in our weak way, encouragement and strength. The soul of a member is as valuable as a new convert. Such was our mission.


On Saturday morning, July 31st 1976, the Bolton Branch Elder's quorum presidency was in the branch presidency office holding its regular weekly meeting. I had been called to serve as president of the quorum, among my other callings, a few months previous to this date and with me were my counselors, Tony Wiseman and Arthur Robinson.

The telephone rang which I answered and on the other end of the line was Sister Meryl Liptrott, a young widowed member of the branch. She reported that she had just received a call from Sister Shannon Howells, a Salt Lake genealogical visitor to the Bolton area who was staying at Sister Marion Fenney's home. Sister Fenney was a faithful member of the branch but was going thru divorce proceedings due to her husband having deserted her for another girl friend. The word was that Sister Fenney's year old boy had just received serious scalding burns. He was just learning to walk and was with his mother who had just set a bucket of scalding hot water on the floor. Momentarily her attention had been drawn the other way and the little toddler backed and sat in the bucket immersed in the water from the back of his neck to the underside of his knees.

The Bolton infirmary was called and they rushed an ambulance to pick Sister Fenney and Christopher up. Upon examining him the hospital recommended that the seriousness of his burns called for more professional expertise should be sought and they immediately rushed the ambulance on to the Booth Hall hospital some thirty miles away and on the east skirts of the city limits of Manchester. This hospital takes no other cases than burns and it specializes particularly in severe burns.

As Sister Fenney was preparing to continue her ambulance journey from the Bolton infirmary to Booth Hall she telephoned Sister Liptrott and asked that she get a couple Priesthood brethren to administer to Christopher as soon as possible. This was the telephone call mentioned above.

It so happened that that morning Brother Stuart Glen-Humphreys who had had a toe operation in the Townley hospital - - another hospital in Bolton - - and that he was having problems and wished to have someone administer to him. The arrangements we made were that Brother Robinson who had a car at the meeting house would pick up Brother Vic Harrison and go to Townleys to Stuart and that Mabel and I with Brother Wiseman would go with Sister Liptrott to Manchester to administer to Christopher.

Within minutes we were on our way and after arriving at Booth Hail had to wait for a brief while before we could be admitted into isolation where Christopher had been put in a special crib and by this time had been attended to by doctors and nurses. In such cases as Christopher's the parents of patients can invite spiritual leaders into their isolation rooms providing the visitors first was their hands in an ante-room and put on hospital gowns and masks which we did.

I should add here before proceeding further that Sister Fenney is a registered nurse and when she picked Christopher up from the bucket of hot water she rushed him to kitchen sink and put him in cold water until the ambulance got there. The baby had diapers on over which was his plastic pants which, fortunately assisted in protecting that part of his body from the maximum heart of the water so, actually, his burns were more confined to his back above the plastic pants and below on his legs which were out of the protection of the plastic. The area which was most severely burned which was all of his back from his neck down and the back of both legs as well as around to the side of his legs had the skin all peeled away and the burns were deep into the flesh constituting what the doctors termed as third degree burns.

Brother Wiseman was a convert to the Church of but a few months and had never had the experience of assisting with an administration but with directions he was mouth for the anointing. I was asked by Sister Fenney to seal the anointing and in so doing I asked the Lord to aid the doctors and nurses and I blessed him that he would recover and that he would be able to rest reasonably comfortably and that he would eventually be alright. The prayer included that the doctors would be guided and those who cared for him would prescribe what would be best for him.

Mabel was later permitted to go into the room when we came out - - only two were permitted in at a time and this with cap and gown and a mask as explained earlier and she, with us, concurred that none of us had ever witnessed such a severe burn.

We kept in touch with Sister Fenney who had to return home to her work during the following days but who returned every evening for visits with Christopher.

Two weeks later at a Sacrament meeting of which I had charge as part of may assignment in the branch presidency, and due to the fact that the district councilman - - the equivalent of a high councilman in a stake for we were then yet in a mission - - did not make his assigned appearance I called members from the audience to fill in his time. Sister Fenney was called and she reported that Christopher was making splendid progress and that from the time he received his blessing he never appeared to have pail. This, of course, was on a Sunday.

Wednesday evening Sister Fenney who was a counselor in the Relief Society, came to Mabel and me and reported that while Christopher had made good progress, upon the doctor's last examination he found three or four spots on his back and a couple on one of the upper part of his legs which didn't seem to be healing but that he would wait for a few days until he checked him again and, if at that time they hadn't improved considerably he would resort to grafting skin o n the spots.

She said, "I know he won't have to graft skin if you will come over tomorrow and give him another blessing".

What a challenge! It was frightening but what could one say to that? What faith? but I must confess she had more than I. We had seen the burns and this was but two weeks following the accident. When the doctors said it looked like grafting was possibly necessary who were we to dispute him?

I worried most of the night and told Mabel of my concern. I sincerely wished it hadn't been me whom she asked and yet, on the other hand I felt honored. Believe me, it was a night of prayer. The next morning I told Mabel that had to fast and with that she insisted that she would join with me. I reviewed in my mind my patriarchal blessing which promised "You shall heal the sick and those that are lame shall walk", but sincerely felt that I had not yet qualified myself to be worthy of performing such blessings. There was a prayer for help in my heart continuously.

Mabel and I took the bus and after an hour we had to transfer to another bus and, again, after another thirty minutes we arrived at the hospital.

Through the lack of faith on my part I ended the blessing that Sister Fenney would understand and take solace if it was the will of our Father in heaven that he felt that the skills of man were to be used to graft skin that she would be aware the Lord was with her and her baby and that the final result would be a perfect body for her Christopher.

This was Thursday. Three days later she came to us and said the doctor had taken the bandages off for examination and his back was literally healed over and with the exception of a pink colored skin one would not detect a fault and that certainly no grafting would be needed. He concluded that it was amazing.

She reported that it was possible Christopher would be home by the end of the week. This was but to the end of two weeks and another week even would be three weeks of an estimated doctor's appraisal that it would require at least six weeks in the hospital if not more. At the end of the third week he was home and attending church without a blemish on his entire body.

At the time of the accident Sister Fenney and a newly converted branch members, Brother Ray Unsworth had plans to be married within two to three months - - as soon as Sister Fenney's divorce had been granted - - and following their wedding their plans were to visit Salt Lake City and returned missionaries with whom they were acquainted.

Things worked out as they had planned even though for a time, because of Christopher's burn it looked doubtful that they would be able to cone to the States for they wanted to bring the baby with them. They left Bolton on their U. S. visit a couple weeks before we were released and were able to be with us in Rupert at the time of our welcome home testimonial about the middle of October 1976.

Examining Christopher's back when they were in our home one could never detect he had been burned. His skin was perfectly normal. Sister Fenney, now Unsworth, is a woman of great faith and it was a wonderful experience for us to have been a part of it.


Sister Susan Brewer Purvis, and her husband Lyle, had been married for a period of years - - perhaps five or six. They had been visited by the missionaries and she was converted to the Church and was baptized and proved to be a faithful member of the Bolton branch having held several positions and when we arrived she was a successful president of the Primary organization as well as holding teaching positions in the Sunday School and was Institute teacher which class was designed for young people eighteen years of age and over. The course was a class held once each week with the subject material from the regular manual taught in Institute classes throughout the Church on college levels.

Her husband never saw fit to join the Church but half-heartedly permitted her to attend meetings providing she spent only a reasonable amount of time. He was somewhat jealous of her time and wanted her to be home when meal time came around and often, otherwise when he was hone.

Rather than he becoming more lenient with her he became more demanding. She desired, for example, to have the blessing on the food as they sat to eat their meals and, at first he consented so long as she was spokesman. She always kneeled at her bedside before retiring to say her prayers but he got to the point where he started to make light of her doing so. She sensed the sacredness of these occasions and was very much saddened by his attitude. She would often openly weep in testimony meetings when she related her problems in these matters.

She was twenty-five years of age by the branch records and she had been a member of the Church but one year prior to our going to Bolton in 1975. Her husband may have been slightly older than she but not much. He seemed a likable young man when we visited him on occasions, however, he told her and she, in turn us, that he preferred no missionaries or members would go to their home. He was not interested in the Church, however, he was a fellow who liked to be with his boy friends at the pub or apt sport events etc., so her church attendance often had to fit in a schedule when he was not at home.

Both Susan and Lyle had wanted a baby since their marriage but it seemed they were unable to have this blessing. Sue felt that if they had a baby he would become come more interested in staying at home and may, hopefully, take a greater interest in the Church.

Due to the fact that we were assigned to serve our mission basically with the Bolton branch members - - active and inactive and of the latter there were many - it was our privilege to attend the London temple when the district and branch had a temple assignment. The assignment came about each three months and on most of those occasions President Millington., branch president at the time, took those of us who were able and willing to the temple in either his car or a rented twelve-seater bus or van as it was called.

On one such occasion Mabel and a faithful young widow of the branch, Sister Meryl Liptrott concluded that they would include Sister Purvis' name on the temple prayer roll, this solely in anticipation of a baby which she had not been able to have. This was in late January or early February of 1976.

A couple months later Sister Purvis let it be known to Sister Liptrott and, perhaps another one or two, that she was with child and as the sisters listened with delight it was concluded that the conception started about the very week her name was placed on the temple prayer roll. Everybody was happy and, especially, Sister Purees.

As time passed - - and Sister Purvis was not without health problems with her expected child - - she anticipated its birth to be the first of November of 1976, right about the date of our mission release. She had approached me and said that she wanted me to bless the baby but was somewhat concerned because of the nearness of dates - - of the anticipated baby's arrival and our release. She said she was praying that things would work out as she hoped.

It so happened that due to our son, John, having store problems at home by both men employees who had agreed they would remain with the business until. our return, had left the business for one cause or another and John was left as the only man-help which made it difficult with the handling of heavy furniture and carpets etc* John and Ray Condie, our public accountant who was handling the technical bookwork and tax reports, had kept in touch with us by phone and it was concluded, if we could get permission to return home a month earlier than planned that it may be advisable so far as the business was concerned. We contacted our mission president and he suggested that we conclude our mission and return home as of October let, one month early. This was but a week to be subsequent to our visit with President Alder - - but one week to get ready to leave.

This decision was a great disappointment to Sister Purvis as we met her on Sunday. She cried and asked if I would, at least, give her a blessing which I did in the branch president's office. This was the last Sunday we were to be in Bolton and the arrival of her baby was not for another month.

As we parted that evening, not knowing whether or not we would again see each other, we parted with heavy hearts as only dear friends do when they see each other for the last time - - very probably, as in this case, not again in this life.

The next day was Monday. There were many things we had to take care of before we left Bolton for a whole month of the normal conclusion of a mission had to be done with less than a week remaining. Throughout our entire mission we had planned on spending two or three days visiting the ancestral areas of Mabel's people in Derbyshire but that had to be forfeited, however, President Alder suggested we take at least one day of the few remaining days to make that visit. Sister Liptrott had volunteered to drive us the 150 to 200 miles whenever we planned to make the visit so the next Wednesday was agreed upon.

Monday morning Sister Liptrott telephoned us with a surprise we had never dreamed of. During the Sunday night or early Monday morning following our parting with Sister Purvis - - literally within hours - - Sister Purvis had to be taken to the maternity ward of the hospital where she had given birth to a small pre-mature baby boy who was immediately placed in an incubator. The word was that mother and baby were doing nicely and that she expected me to bless the baby and give him a name as was originally planned.

Due to urgency we didn't have time to visit the hospital but on Thursday, the day following our visit to Derbyshire, and the afternoon before our departure for home we went to the hospital, again with Sister Liptrott's help, bless her, where we saw Sister Purvis all smiles and as happy as we had ever seen her.

In as much as the ordinance had to be performed with the knowledge and invitation of the branch president, this time President Len Boydell, he met us at the hospital. Permission had been obtained by Sister Purvis of the nurses in attendance that President Boydell and I, by the hospital's term 'spiritual advisers' were permitted to put on hospital gowns and masks and, after washing our hands with a disinfectant, go into the new born babies' section and to the incubator which held the tiny boy. The nurse opened the door of the incubator for President Boydell and myself to reach our hands in on the head of the new arrival and, as requested, I named the baby Glen Lyle Purvis. He was promised to live and become a comfort to his parents and, particularly, to his mother. At the time, the ordinance was performed without the knowledge of the father for Sister Purvis was fearful he would not consent to have his child become a child of record in the Mormon Church. We have never learned whether or not Susan ever divulged the information to him subsequent of that time to this day.

Whether the events were coincidental - - our departure and the arrival of the baby - - is not ours to say but Sister Purvis said it was an answer to her prayers. I don't have any doubts either.


On Saturday evening August 14th 1976 in Bolton, Lancashire, England Brother James Stokes telephoned us and asked if he would drive over to where we lived if we would accompany him back to his home to assist in administering to their little ten month old grandson who had been quite sick for two or three days.

Michael William was the son of David and Eilene Stokes, the mother a nonmember and the father a totally inactive member neither of whom were present. The child, for a day or two, had been with his grandparents and had been almost continually in his grandmother's arms and for the past hour or two was vomiting. He had been visited by the doctor an hour before.

Upon arriving at the Stokes' home the baby was, as stated, in his grandmother's arms fussing a little and with quite a high fever which he had had for some time. Brother Stokes anointed and asked that I seal the anointing and give him a blessing which I did.

Within minutes following the blessing Sister Stokes said his fever was going down and in, another five minutes he was sitting up and climbed down to the floor and Mabel picked him up. He was contented to go to her and he played, first with her beads and buttons on her dress and sweater and then he wanted to stand on the sofa and he began climbing up the back of the sofa into the window to play with items in the window. We stayed still another fifteen minutes or so and all the time he played as though he were normal.

The next day we inquired as to the baby's welfare and his grandmother said he had been normal ever since the administration.

In the Bolton Branch Bulletin we placed an article which I will here copy verbatim:


"A copy of the Book of Mormon, the Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage and The Mormons by Robert Mullen have been presented to officials of the Central Library to be cataloged and placed in the Deane Library.

"Prior to this presentation like books were made available to the Central library, the Tonge Moor branch library and the Harwood branch library."

"Members who haven't read these books are encouraged to obtain them. Library officials will await to see what readership they will have."

Such was a project Mabel and I took upon ourselves after we had observed there were no L. D. S. Church books in most of these libraries. As we checked thru the card index file of the Central library we did find an index card for a Book of Mormon and also for Brother Talmage's Articles of Faith but even with the help of the attending librarian we were never able to locate the books on the shelves. The only reason he eventually suggested was that on occasion the library staff has a library clearance and the books which are seldom or never used oft times are taken out and replaced with more popular books. We suspect this was what had happened to the books. There was no record that they had ever been in the three branch libraries in the far parts of the city.

I trust the reader will not overly mind the lack of continuity in this story. At one point I decided against copying a long letter we wrote to the members of the Bolton branch on the day following the Manchester Area conference but subsequently I have reconsidered and felt it may portray our activity so now, even tho it has length I feel prompted to use it. In some respects it has duplication and in inconsequential instance it may vary slightly from what I have already written. That which I have written above is from memory with a few notes helping. That which is contained in the letter which I will duplicate is very near the actual event.

11 Larksfield Grove

Tonge Moor

Bolton, Lancashire



This Monday morning's sunshine is typical of our personal feelings. A great week has just passed. The privilege each of us has had - - first the meeting at Blackburn at which the Preston stake was created arid, secondly, the Manchester Area conference - - have become landmarks in our experience. Each of us had the opportunity to be blessed by these opportunities. Some took full advantage of all, some of but part and others of us found reasons not to be blessed by what was afforded us.

As we look out the window this beautiful morning these three categories just mentioned - - the one who took full advantage, the ones who took partial advantage and the ones who neglected to share in arty of the privileges - - are typified by, first, the clear of the high heavens where the sun is brightly shining; secondly, the haze dividing the clear sky from, thirdly, the darker, heavier mists and clouds down against the horizon. The natural phenomenon of the morning sky is immutable for the existing conditions are determined by the laws of nature. That is a fixed situation pre-determined. The conditions relating to the individual or personal experiences of the past week have been determined, for the most part, by our personal choices. In most cases it has been of personal priorities. There have been instances of legitimate excuses. Such is acknowledged.

Regardless, let us share a little of the sunshine of the past few days.

Thursday evening a new stake was born and many of us shared in the thrill of it. The old Preston District is no more. It has been superseded by a high and more exalting condition. Using a comparison: The bridling matured and flew from the nest. No longer does it receive the protective warmth of its mother's body. Its infantile dependence for food, once fed by its protectors, its parents, now rests within itself. In 'stake' language, no longer does the Preston district rely on it mission leaders for help and guidance. It is now the Preston Stake and will fend for itself, responsible directly to the First Presidency. Heretofore the England-Leeds Mission has been responsible to the First Presidency for the Preston District. The new status is good - - good for us who are members of the new stake. Just as the bird can never grow to its full potential by staying in the nest, so neither can an area develop to the full potential while under the protective dependency of a mission. Autonomy is progression - - we are maturing.

Certainly with our new situation, new and greater responsibilities are upon each of us, individually. Those who are willing to accept a proportionate share of the extra load will grow. Those of us who are, and will continue to be, content to stand by the wayside will be left. Either choice will be by our own choosing and from our choice we each will have to carry the full responsibility. Our dear Brothers and Sisters, let each of us accept the new challenges and, by so doing, bless ourselves and our families. You who have been 'resting' come, join with us and bring joy into your lives. The whole message of the past week's activities has been just this. It is now time to join with the Church and assist to build the Kingdom of God in Bolton. Such a step will return blessings to each of us a hundred-fold and, by so doing, we will become a savior to, not only ourselves, but to our families.

Following the business of Thursday evening's meeting the time was turned to the Prophet, President Spencer W. Kimball, who, for an hour related the story of the gospel being restored. He related how, within seven years of the organization of the Church the Lord told Joseph Smith to send missionaries to this great land of Britain from whence succor would come to save the infant Church in America where, due to almost unbearable persecution and financial straits, brought on by an American, if not a world-wide, financial depression, things looked dark, indeed, for the infant Church.

President Kimball's grandfather, an apostle, with others was sent to England. As they found themselves in Liverpool, and thence to Preston - - total strangers and absolutely penniless - - they accepted the challenge of teaching the restored gospel. The story is too long to relate here but success came, not without discouragement and not without a real struggle both from some of the local citizenry, and, also, from the unbelievable power of the Unseen, but nevertheless, real world of the Adversary.

At times their lives were threatened and they were oftentimes hungered and the soles of their shoes became worn to where their feet were bared to the gravel of the roadsides. Yet they worked and within eight months they had sufficient converts to form branches of the Church in many nearby areas including Bolton. When they held their first area conference at the end of the eight months in Manchester there were in attendance more than two thousand members and friends.

It was thrilling to, literally, sit at the feet of our modern-day Prophet to be encouraged to be faithful to the Church and the teachings of the Savior. He said, '"It is not good enough to live a good, upright, respectable life. This Church and this Work requires effort". He mentioned that many people don't know what they want but that ;during their serious moments they realize they want something "'more than just food and clothes'. There is a natural desire and longing for a something which can only be fed from Above. Brethren and Sisters, this is the Lord's Church"' was his constant theme.

"This land of Great Britain is a Land of Promise from who people - members of the Church - - must come missionaries'. He inferred that England has not yet accepted its share of proselytizing missionaries. Out of the 23,000 missionaries now in the mission field England "'is furnishing only about 100". President Kimball counseled parents to accept the responsibility of teaching and training their boys - and some girls - - to prepare for missions. "This is not to be a choice, this is a responsibility and this responsibility rests squarely on the parents to see that it is accomplished" was his stern instruction.

President Kimball is, in reality, "a miracle man". At 81 years he is straight and active - - very much so. Within the last ten or twelve years he had a series of throat operations. Due to cancer of the throat his vocal cords were almost fully removed and for some months after recovery, he had no voice whatever. His communications depended entirely by hand or facial motions plus my typewriter's he smilingly recalled. "The Lord gave me another voice"' he told and that through personal training and aspiring to speak he has developed it to where he is using it extensively in public speaking. Since his throat operations he has undergone open-heart surgery. His pressing time-schedule and heavy responsibilities belies such and experience.

It became the privilege of the Bolton branch to loan its pulpit over which Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Council of the Twelve transacted the business of creating a new stake as well as serving as the pulpit over which the Prophet spoke. By actual count there were sixty members from Bolton who attended this special meeting.

There was but one disappointment of the entire evening despite the fact that we anticipated it in recent weeks and that was that Bolton had not yet earned the right to become a ward. We, Sister Blacker and I, accept this 'defeat' humbly but sorrowfully. Over a year ago we were called by the Prophet to come to Bolton to assist with preparations for stakehood. Somewhere we have failed and humbly ask the branch members and the Lord to forgive us. Our influence has fallen short. It has been our desire to have set a proper example but our influence hasn't yet touched the hearts of enough of you good people to bring to fruition the goal we had hoped to reach. We accept this as a lesson that we must try harder. May we have your prayers and assistance. The big problem has been the branch's failure to have sufficient activity to become a ward. Where we have needed an average of 65 to 70 in attendance at Sacrament meetings and Sunday School we are considerably below. Home Teaching effort has fallen short. Priesthood activity, both Aaronic and Melchizedek, needs to be increased. Sisters of the branch are not sufficiently supporting Relief Society. The list could be made longer.

Following dedication of our building which date will soon be announced we will accept another challenge - - that of qualifying the branch to become a ward. In another five or six month's time this could be accomplished if all of us maintain sufficient desire. If there are enough of us who will each commit himself and his family to give full effort toward this goal there will remain no question.

By anyone's standards the Manchester Area Conference was an inspirational success. Space in this letter will not permit relating a one-hundredth part of what could be written. We shall touch on but a very few points.

The Cultural Program Friday evening was, indeed, a show of talent with which army professional group of entertainers would be happy to demonstrate. A large crowd was in attendance.

Saturday morning crowds started gathering as early as seven o'clock to stand in line for the opening of the doors at eight for the meeting which was to commence at 9 o'clock. The main floor was soon filled and before all were in, the balcony was well filled.

President Kimball presided over and conducted the meeting. With him were Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Council of Twelve and Elder Bernard P. Brockbank, an Assistant to the Twelve. Also Bishop Burke Peterson, 1st counselor in the Presiding Bishopric and Elder Robert Hale of the First Quorum of Seventy were present. Elder David Kennedy, former Secretary of Treasury of the United States and later U. S. Ambassador at Large for President Nixon of the United States and presently Church Ambassador to the World was likewise present. Naturally, Regional Representatives and mission and stake presidents of all of Central-North England and Ireland were present also.

President Kimball again spoke of the need for England's own missionaries. He reported that he was accosted by a party not long ago who asked, "Why do you send Americans to preach the gospel. We can do it here.", President Kimball stated his reply was, "'You are right, you can. We expect you soon to provide 1,000 missionaries. There are but approximately 100 at present'. He called attention to the fact that the Lord has commanded the membership of the Church to preach the gospel. It is not a matter as to whether or not we would like to. "There is no option"' he stressed as he named many countries in which the gospel is not being preached presently. "The Lord will open the way where countries are presently closed. This is the Lord's program, not mine"', he said, at the same time pointing out the fact that Church members in England are to be stimulated to provide more missionaries. 'There will be nothing of more value to a young person than a mission. When a young man becomes of age nothing should interfere"'. President Kimball suggested that parents are to teach this principle early in the life of their children. Beside, stressing missionary work he warned parents that they are going to be held accountable if their children are not taught the gospel and to be baptized when eight years of age. He referred to the scriptures that this is a strict requirement of the Lord. Still further he said, "'Parents are going to be held responsible if their children do not marry in the temple"'. "Never fail to kneel with your family in prayer"', he advised. "Teach your children all these principles of the gospel starting when they are one, two and three years of age. "Don't wait until children are teenagers to teach them", he said. Also, "To rear children and give them food and clothing is not enough. Make family-life supreme, this is the gospel"' the Prophet warned. Again and again he stressed that "'Parents will be held responsible"'.

Elder Brockbank followed President Kimball and stated, "We have heard the Lord's prophet, are you listening"? He stressed the importance of reading the scriptures. "The Lord will hold us accountable for not knowing the scriptures. They have been given for a purpose and are for the benefit of man if we but use them". "The scriptures are as important as eating - - we eat every day. Read them every day for they will feed the spirit"'. He bore testimony that the scriptures are as " - an oasis of peace and comfort in this troubled world. Ask, seek and knock".

All speakers of the entire conference were excellent with their presentations. Any one may have said something which would have been sufficiently impressive to change the course of one's life for good had he or she been present.

We have heard Elder Mark E. Peterson many times since he became an apostle back about 1942 but never have we heard him speak so forcefully as Saturday morning. "We are in the world but we must not be of the world" he warned. He urged his listeners to search first the Kingdom of God. "The Lord is extremely strict and we cannot become perfect by following worldly ways". He called our attention to the fact that we are the Lord's covenant people. When we were baptized we took upon us His name and covenanted to keep his commandments. "Isn't this sacred to you? Think of Christ's sacrifice and remember that He died for us. There is no half way to inherit eternal life"`? He spoke of the covenant of the Priesthood entered into by those holding the Melchizedek Priesthood in which they solemnly covenant to keep the commandments.

Mothers and daughter gathered in a special meeting Saturday afternoon at which President Kimball counseled the sisters that they are co-responsible for family life in their own homes. He suggested that mothers see that their children obtain a patriarchal blessing for it will become a line to guide them down the road of life.

Sister Kimball urged daughters to stay close to their mother and she related instances in her life of the value of having stayed close to her mother. She, likewise, urged mothers to stay close to their daughters. "One cannot live selfishly and be happy, she said.

Elder Hale instructed mothers that they were to start teaching their children from birth. They should teach their sons that the greatest strength of the Church is a mission. He cautioned that sisters who fail to attend Relief Society do not understand its importance and he begged sisters to support each other in this organization.

President Kimball presided over and conducted the Priesthood meeting which was held following the Mothers and Daughters meeting. The large crowd of men and boys were told that nobody can b e exalted without the Melchizedek priesthood. Priesthood was reported to be a principle and power of our own salvation and exaltation. These blessings will come only to those who are active and honor their priesthood.

Attention was called to the fact that every member of the Church should regularly attend Sacrament meetings. Bishop Peterson observed in a little survey he made that over 1,000 wards had averaged better than 60% attended Sacrament meeting on a yearly basis. Church-wide the average should not be less than 50%. Fasting and Fast Offerings needs our personal reviewing. We should pay as Fast offering the full value of the two meals we abstain from eating.

President Kimball spoke strongly of parents not preparing their boys to hold the Priesthood when 12 years of age. He said, "This should be the privilege of every boy. Shame on a father or mother who does not prepare their boy to be ordained when 12". Speaking of preparing children for baptism in the Church he said, "I can't understand a parent not wanting his child baptized". "When a child is born we are not only to feed and clothe them, we are to prepare them for life" and he went on to say that having them faithful in the Church was the Lord's way of life. Speaking of Family Home Evening which every parent should have in his home weekly he said, "No one who loves his family - - really loves them - - will miss a Family Home Evening". He repeated again, "Marriage in the temple of the children depends on the parents."

Bishop Peterson called for all boys of Aaronic Priesthood age to stand. After they were seated he recalled to them several accounts of the boyhood life of President Kimball and the commitments he made that he would not break the Word of Wisdom commandment and told of other standards President Kimball had set up for himself. He admonished every boy to set standards for life and live up to them.

The General Authorities who attended the Saturday meetings in Manchester moved to the London Area Conference for Sunday and those of London came to Manchester for the Sunday meetings.

More than two hours before starting time, lines of waiting people again began to form to await the 10 o'clock meeting. This proved to be the largest meeting of the conference. Following the meeting an usher reported there to have been 12,454 in attendance. Undoubtedly the London Conference would have had a similar attendance and on Monday and Tuesday following, the Glasgow Area Conference, well attended meetings could be anticipated. All this indicates the growth of the Church in Britain.

Sunday's meetings were conducted by President Marion G. Romney, second counselor in the First Presidency. As a matter of business at this session Elder Ezra Taft Benson, president of the Quorum of Twelve, presented the names of the General Authorities for the voting approval by members of the congregation.

Sunday's meetings enjoyed the spirit of the Lord as much so, if not more, than the previous meetings. Elder Bangerter of the General Authorities spoke on one of the doctrines of the gospel of which the world knows little but which has been taught by the prophets from the beginning - - that the elevating principles of the gospel is for all of God's children regardless of the period of time they were born into the world. The Lord has a single plan and every person who has ever lived or grill live will have the same opportunity as another. Elder Bangerter dwelt on the great sealing powers of the Priesthood and the blessings that are to be derived thru the Keys of Elijah. He said, "This work in the sacred temples is as much for the living as for the dead. Only thru the sealing ordinances which are performed in the temples will anyone be enabled to reach exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom". He expressed alarm and regrets that members of the Church are so slow in accepting for themselves this great opportunity and that, in many cases, after accepting and receiving they become negligent in conforming to the sacred covenants made there.

Elder Bangerter stated, "Half of the families in the Church do not have the wife sealed to the husband nor their children sealed to parents thru temple ordinances". "This", he said, "is serious" and indicated that this is by personal choice in most cases for, if people had the will, the work could be taken care of. With a temple here in England there is little excuse.

Regrettably, the lack of space here does not permit mentioning many of the splendid talks by the speakers in these meetings. Several English local leaders such as stake presidents and regional leaders presented outstanding talks. Sister Blacker and I, on several occasions called attention to each other of the high caliber of 'native' leaders. They were not one whit less impressive than speakers from among the General Authorities. They were as spiritual and otherwise capable as any in the Church. This is what gives us an assurance that where the stakes of Zion are organized here in Britain the Lord has raised up men with qualifications to literally "'carry the load' of leadership of the Church in their respective areas, naturally, accountable to the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve for such is the way the Church functions throughout the world.

To mention but one sermon from among others which were just as impressive we mention the remarks of President Williams of Huddersfield stake who spoke to the subject, "Was Joseph Smith a Prophet or an Imposter?"' and he continued, "You decide". And then he mentioned various phases of the gospel and the Church wherein prophecy was fulfilled by Joseph Smith proving beyond question that he was a prophet. He would then repeat the question and comment, "Was Joseph Smith a prophet or an imposter? You decide". President Williams repeated the oft heard expression "Joseph Smith has done more for mankind than any other person excepting the Savior, Jesus Christ"'.

Elder Joseph Wirthlin, Assistant to the Twelve, gave strong admonition of the importance of obedience. "Obedience is one of the great laws of the gospel. Obedience is the key word that unlocks the door to blessings", he said and stated obedience to the principles of the gospel and faithfulness to the Church remains a personal choice of which each of us will be responsible to the Lord. Our personal blessings will be commensurate to our obedience.

President Ezra Taft Benson, Senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve who by virtue of his position could become president of the Church should he outlive President Kimball, and former U. S. Secretary of Agriculture for eight years said, "Freedom loving men owe a debt of gratitude to England" for it was here that many men became dissatisfied with religious oppression and rebelled by moving to America and fighting for that God-given freedom". " Eighty percent of the converts to the Church have been of English stock".

He called attention to the great work the Church still has ahead. Missionary work has to be taken to yet another billion people. Approximately 45% of the earth's population yet reside among 65 nations which are still under Communism. "The gospel will be taken to them for nothing is impossible to the Lord", he said. "Our challenge is to be prepared with missionaries when the proper time comes". President Benson bore a strong testimony that he knew "that Jesus is the Christ, that the Father and the Son appeared to Joseph Smith and that the gospel has been restored to the earth".

President Romney followed several other speakers of whom we can not report due to lack of space. He started by quoting, "This is life eternal that they might know thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent". He quietly but forcefully asserted that "this gospel of which we are a part is the way to eternal life'". In his further comments he stated that, "Of all the knowledge in the world the gospel itself contains the most important knowledge to us for it pertains to the ways and means that will lead us bark to the presence of God in the Celestial Kingdom."

He bore witness that the Lord has "sent angels to minister to me". He pointed out that visitation of angels to men of different dispensations was essential and that it again occurred to the Prophet Joseph Smith and, since, to other prophets, and that it will continue where and whenever necessary.

He was unequivocal in his counsel to parents and, particularly, fathers. "Fathers have the responsibility to teach the gospel to their families. To be a father of children in the Church requires great things". He referred to early revelations in the Church wherein the Lord announced himself to some of the early leaders of the Church as being displeased with the way they were failing to teach their children. President Romney, with kindness but with firmness, quoted the scripture and in his own words said, "Parents who do not teach their children the gospel will be held responsible"'. "This", he said, "is the Lord himself who has spoken it"'.

"No youth ever stood in greater need", he said, referring to the young people of today and he said, "If the Saints obey the counsel of holding regularly their Family Home Evenings we promise great blessings will result. He closed by saying that we should "instruct your families in truth and honesty. Guide your children by example and by magnifying your Priesthood". He quoted President David 0. McKay as saying what has become a universal truism, "No other success can compensate for failure in the home".

This report on this conference must not end without mentioning the three or four choirs each made up of members from at least two regions of middle and northern England. The Sunday morning's chorus was composed of children. Sunday afternoon's choir was made up from the Manchester and Birmingham regions and had some of our own Bolton members as part of it. The music was special and contributed greatly to the success of the conference.

Following the final song by the Choir, "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" and the closing prayer, President Romney arose to the microphone and said, "President Benson has asked for the choir to sing one verse of the last song with the congregation joining in. The great audience of 10 to 12 thousand arose and joined with the choir - - not only one but all verses. If there were dry eyes we didn't see them for ours, too, were wet. The congregation never stirred from their places after the song was over. As planned, the choir then hummed and sang their prepared postlude hymn which was designed to give background music to the departing audience but the people didn't move. With tears continuing in our eyes the audience again joined with the singing, "I Need Thee Every Hour". No one was ashamed to let tears roll over their cheeks. With hardly a stir in the audience it stood, almost to as man, until the last words of this second song were sung. No one wanted to leave. The Spirit of the Heavens was resting mightily on the multitude but the time came when departure was necessary and so, with grateful hearts we wended our way outward.

Brothers and Sisters, many a time in the life of Sister Blacker and I, have we been to meetings, - - and often in the temples - - when this same spirit hovered over and was felt within us. It has been as though, were we to pause just a moment longer, the veil of the Heavens would part and heavenly hosts would be seen. These are moments of great joys the world knows nothing of, but never in our experience have we witnessed such a large congregation where thousands were experiencing the same feelings. Indeed, it would not have been surprising had the veil of the eternities been parted and angels have joined with us.

Brothers and Sisters, the gospel is true. The Church has been restored. We know it as we live.

With love to all,

The Blackers

Such was the letter we felt impressed to write and mail to every member's home in the branch. After all, considerably more than 50% of the membership of the branch were not there and many of them caring the less. Our experience had been that we knew by now nearly every member and we knew first hand how spiritually dead many of these members had become. We had done everything we knew how to do to revive that spiritual spark which we felt they must have once had. We felt that a report of the past week's meetings would be another direction from which we could plead. If there eras a possibility of touching someone we didn't want to be the ones to fail to pursue that possibility.

A few events in our mission experience following this great conference have heretofore been related and need not be repeated here in an attempt to strictly follow sequence. That virtue has long since been mutilated in this story.

Intermittently, perhaps seven or eight times during our stay John telephoned us from home, as had been asked of him, to keep us informed of the general welfare of the family at large and of the business. On a day late in September, this in 1976, he telephoned reporting of business problems. Steve Curtis, an employee had left the business a few weeks earlier to teach school in Declo and now, Rex Ashcraft, our longtime employee had worked himself into an opportunity to start up a business of his own in direct competition to us but, in doing so needed money for his interest in the business. Throughout the years he had been with us he, as part of his monthly salary was paid in accumulating stock in our business solely for the purpose on our part, to maintain his interest in the business. This accumulation now amounted to several thousand dollars which he needed at once.

Brother Ray Condie, our accountant throughout the years was on another phone as John talked to us and for the next few minutes we discussed the problem. With John and Mary being alone in the business it was more than they could handle so all in all we all concluded that we were needed at home if at all possible for us to wind up our mission a month early which we didn't want to do but the emergency, at the moment, seemed to justify a visit with our mission president.

This was late in the evening and early the next morning we telephoned President Alder for an appointment with him that afternoon in his office in Manchester. In presenting the situation to him he felt the need for us to be at home and suggested that we wind up our mission activity in a week's time. This was to the end of the week, either Friday or Saturday.

It had been our full intent, if permission could be obtained from mission authorities and we didn't question but that it could, to spend a week down in Derbyshire among the villages of Mabel's family's ancestral homes for the dual purpose of having her experience the seeing and the feeling of walking on the very soil her ancestors had lived for centuries before and in which they were buried which spots had become hallowed, even if it were only to her their granddaughter of a future generation from them.

The next day, a Sunday, the last Sunday we would have in England and the one of Sister Purvis' experience related earlier, we informed the members of the branch. By this time and a few months previous, Leonard Boydell was branch president, President Millington having been released to become executive secretary in the Preston stake. We were heavy of heart that day - - we loved the members of the branch and it was very evident they shared a love for us. Their conversations, invariably, included, "What will Bolton do"? Feelings toward us made us very humble.

Sister Liptrott insisted that she was intending to take us to Derbyshire. She would not listen to any dissenting comments and she did. Tuesday morning early she was at out door with her car and smallest son, Daniel, then about 5.

It was a beautiful day. While Sister Liptrott had not been in the Derbyshire area before she was one to find her way around with ease - - of course, with the use of a road map. The countryside was still green and beautiful even tho in now was in the last week of September.

I shall not attempt to go into detail of our travel that day. That story is to be Mabel's - - this was her day. The distance was perhaps fewer than a hundred miles one way and we went and returned by dark or thereabouts. The day was full and interesting. We visited four or five stall towns and their respective church houses and churchyards including South Normanton where Mabel's mother was born, and other places including Alfreton, Pentrich,. Ripley, Belper, Denby, Heanor all localities of her pedigree chart and possibly another or two I am not thinking of at the present. A dream of Mabel's lifetime came to pass and it was a day neither of us will ever forget.

Much was left to be done back in Bolton and we utilized every minute of it Wednesday. It was a must that we visit Sister Purvis and her little son at the infirmary the experience of which has been heretofore related. Mary a visit to special homes had to be canceled - - we just didn't have the time. Hurriedly the past Sunday a farewell social was planned in our honor to be held Wednesday evening instead of Relief Society and it was held and we were in attendance.

It was a lovely occasion. It seemed the members were genuine in their regret of our leaving. A few numbers on the program and a few remarks were made by some of us involved. An interesting number - - and I think we have never laughed harder - - was a number by President Boydell. One cannot explain to portray the reality of it. It has to be seen and heard for it was done to music - - a recording of, as I now recall, piano and guitar - - with President Boydell singing the lyrics.

The song could have been titled, and I think it was, "The Three Legged Man's. A regular pair of bib-overalls had been remodeled with a third leg attached. An artificial leg with a shoe to match his regular pair of shoes made the artificial foot so real that in the dance which accompanied the words to his song one was kept guessing which was the artificial leg and foot. The act was very cleverly done and it so happened that it was the first time any of us had seen the act for the Boydell family had lived in Wales for a few years following their originally leaving Bolton and it was an act he had picked up while away. The leg, by the way, was manipulated by the right hand from the right-hand front pocket of the overalls. The words to the song were about as comical as were the actions and it took a character such as President Boydell to make it as realistic as it was.

The branch presented us with a beautiful silver tray inscribed on the front center, ''Love and Appreciation from the Bolton Branch". This has been and is treasured by us and ever will be. David and Kathy Hamblett and her parents, both the latter, non-members presented us with a mantelpiece Clydesdale horse and cart. The beauty of such sets was admired by the both of us from the time we set foot in England. This particular horse stands about eight inches tall and nearly twelve inches long. The color is dark brown with the horse having its regular white feet and a large white streak the length of its face. The cart - - two wheel with a pair of shafts is attached by a chain and leather looking harness and is well proportioned to the size of the horse. This too, we treasure despite the fact that we had purchased for ourselves a slightly larger black with white horse as our choice of mementos from England.

Following the program and refreshments came the final farewells. My patriarchal blessing given prior to my leaving on my first mission to England of 1928-1930 told me that "- - you will find fathers and mothers who shall love you and when the time comes after your mission is completed and you are released to return home the parting will be more sorrowful unto you than even at present time in leaving your father and your mother". This was literally fulfilled then but on this mission some 4.6 years subsequent to the first it was even more realistic excepting in this case, rather than as fathers and mothers to me, these by a larger majority, could well have been children and grandchildren to us. We worked hard to keep our composure and did reasonably well but when grown men embraced us separately and let their tears unashamedly roll over their cheeks and onto the lapels of their suit coats we might be forgiven for having to wipe swelling tears from our own eyes.

During our entire mission and, particularly, as it was nearing its end and on this farewell night we realized that these folk appreciated us. If nothing more they certainly had our sincere prayers all the while we were there and those prayers on our part have continued and will continue despite the fact that sometimes, in righteousness, we feel like putting some of them in a bag and shaking them thoroughly.

President and Sister Millington and family, as they had so often done, took us home following the farewell social. We shall always be grateful to them for they literally saved us from many a mile walk. We have now been away nearly five full years and during that time on an average of about every six months we receive a telephone call from them.. He lovingly calls Mabel, "My mum". His last telephone call of a few weeks ago confirmed what we knew earlier that he and Brother Vic Harrison were coming to see us by way of the 1981 October semi-annual conference of the Church.

Sister Liptrott had previously insisted that it would be she who would take us to the airport in Manchester and she was at our home about eight a. m. on Thursday morning. She knew Sister Mohammed would want to accompany us and so we left for the first leg of our journey homeward. This was very hard for Sister Mohammed. She told us that after we left Manchester we would never see each other again in this life. She can never be accused of ever neglecting us nor our wants from the day we first entered her home. She admired out way of life and would often say how fortunate we were to have a family as we had. True, Sister Mohammed never had the opportunities of being born in a close-knit family and it was not until just two years before we arrived in Bolton that she became affiliated with the Church and even then, we often thought,, she never fully comprehended what it was all about.

Bless her memory for within two years word came to us thru her niece whom we had met two or three times, after locating our address from Sister Mohammed's letters wrote us knowing we would want to know that her Aunt Betsy had passed on.

At the airport in Manchester was President and Sister Alder with another missionary from his staff who had purchased our tickets - - the Church provides return tickets home to all missionaries who are being honorably released and apparently we qualified - - with the first leg of our flight to be to London where we were to transfer to another British Airlines' plane for the Trans-Atlantic trip to land in Chicago.

England's final good-byes were said at the Manchester airport after our three suitcases were checked. Beside Mabel's fur coat which we were to carry with us we also had a fair size cardboard box carrying our two ceramic horses which we felt safer with our personal attention than if they were to be sent as luggage. Just at the departure Sister Liptrott presented Mabel with a large spray of fresh flowers which would need close personal attention all the way. Mabel walked onto the plane like a lady of royalty and fortunately the over the head racks on the plane accommodated the flowers quite nicely.

The plane retraced our journey down to London and traveled northwest until we flea out across the Irish Sea and across Ireland and somewhat followed the route we had come into England but instead of turning our clocks ahead as we then did we were reversing our clocks. It must have been about noon when we left London and by the time we reached Chicago the day,, indeed, had been long - - already long - and we were far from seeing the end of our trip.

Leaving the British Airlines we were to pick up our luggage on the turn-around table prior to proceeding to the U. S. Lines which was to be done by a bus taxi inter-terminal conveyance. Instructions were to personally take luggage. One of our total of three pieces of luggage showed up. Officials told us to wait until the others showed up but they didn't show up. Nor did they ever show up while we waited. We missed the United Airline plane on which we were scheduled but went to their air terminal hoping to catch the next plane which wasn't to depart until early the next morning. This would mean' hours of waiting at the airport. We went thru customs and had our things checked in the meantime before going to the next terminal. As we presented our tickets and had to send our luggage and other things which we were carrying along the conveyor belts to check for guns etc.., we walked around to the other end of the conveyor belts to again pick our belongings up. Filling our arms again with our belongs we went into the waiting roan for we had resigned ourselves to the long wait. No sooner had we reached there than I thought of our camera which I had sent thru on the conveyor belt for inspection but failed to pick up. Up to that point it had been on the strap over my shoulder and when we picked up the other belongings we had the same number of items in our arms but we lacked the camera over the shoulder. Hurrying back to the entrance there was no camera to be found. The story is longer than I shall take to relate here but despite forms which we filled out and checking the lost and found department the camera was never found. Someone just behind us must have picked it up. None of the attendants had seen anything of it.

Visiting with one of the officials we reported our missing our plane to Salt Lake and the reason why. He was very accommodating and told us that we could go by another route rather than waiting until morning and suggested we take another airline's plane to Denver and there wait until a plane flew from Denver to Salt Lake City the next morning. We could gain two or three hours by going this route. This we decided to do for our tickets would be honored even by changing lines.

Paul, in Salt Lake City, had originally been advised as to our landing time on our originally planned scheduled. We telephoned him from the air terminal and told him to stand by and that we would telephone him from Denver in two or three hours after we had learned when we could get there for it looked like three or four hours in Denver but not as long as if we were to stay in Chicago. This was prior to his going-to-bed time and around 8 to 9 p. m.. in Chicago.

We arrived in Denver a little before mid night and as we got off the plane we asked a man wearing a uniform to advise us of the area in the terminal where tomorrow morning's United Air Line's plane would be leaving for we figured we had a few hours wait. He showed us but he asked why we were planning on waiting until morning when there was a plane leaving in a few minutes for Salt Lake City by a Phoenix Line and that if we hurried we would be able to catch it. "You won't have time to walk down there. Get on this motor car and I'll take you down" and he did. We never realized the length of some of these corridors in some of these terminal buildings. This seemed like a quarter to half mile. He rushed us to the ticket office where we showed our ticket and he told us we still had five or six minutes before we would board the plane so I rushed to a telephone booth and called Paul to tell him we would be in Salt Lake in approximately an hour. As I now remember this was about midnight and that we would be in Salt Lake about one o'clock.

And so, we were met in Salt Lake by Paul, Lynn, Laura, Julie, Jeffrey and Jimmy, the latter two probably not having remembered - - a possibility Jeffrey could have done. What a day and what rejoicing in our hearts that we were back with, at least, part of our family.

The next morning we returned to the airport to start claims for the luggage we hadn't seen since we checked it in London. While on this subject I might report that we eventually received the lost two pieces of luggage. I have no explanation for it but for one reason or another the two cases never left London. The British Airways telephoned Sister Mohammed a day or so later to get our U. S. address. They apparently failed to tie our destination cards to the cases. A few days following our arrival in Salt Lake the United Air Lines of Salt Lake telephoned Paul that the cases had arrived and he picked them up and put them on Grey Hound bus to Rupert.

This was Friday morning we arrived in Salt Lake. As stated much earlier in this story our newly married couple of Bolton, Marion Fenney and Ray Unsworth were in Salt Lake on their honeymoon trip at the time we arrived. We had the address of Shannon Howell where the Unsworth were to be visiting. We had Paul drive us up to her apartment below the University of Utah and, sure enough, there was our English couple with Shannon. We visited for a few moments only for we were to take another plane for Boise, the end of our paid fare. As I now recall it must have been near noon we were to enplane and we did. We kept Paul busy that morning running us thither and yon.

With all our flight problems we were back on schedule again as we left Salt Lake for the bulk of the family was to meet us in Boise. In the neighborhood of one o'clock on Friday October 2, 1976 our plane touched its wheels down and we were in Boise. Walking up the corridor from the plane to the waiting room at the airport we were full of anticipation - - we were being met by more of our family, this time quite a few more - - and as we walked up the incline and turned the corner into the waiting room we heard they kids cry out, "There they came, there they come". What music to our ears. We were back and there were tears again. The larger of the children ran down the incline to meet us and greet us with their kisses. Whether it was Terry or Bryce or John or Laron I don't remember but pictures were being snapped and a movie camera was amongst the cameras and with the lights and the cameras was a huge long sign each end of which was held up for all to see, "WELCOME HOME". The sign was probably with two foot lettering which extended some twelve to 15 feet long.. We never learned what the other passengers and others at the air port thought when such a to-do was made over such folk as us.

Those at the airport were of Laron's and Ruth's family, Bryce and Mary's family - - the latter of Rupert and Laron's family of Emmett., Idaho - - Terry's and Beth's family of Boise and John. His Mary remained in Rupert to handle the store. What a welcome! If, when we get to the Pearly Gates, our family will be there to meet us it, indeed, will be heaven.

From the airport we drove to Terry's and Beth's home where the girls had prepared a big dinner and it was a wonderful dinner and, had it been far less than it was it would still have been wonderful for we were with our family.

The next two or three hours were spent visiting when John, Bryce and Mary and girls - - Vicki, Tamara and Melissa who was a new born since we left - - returned to Rupert and Laron and Ruth and children, Adin, Jennifer, Amy, Ethan, Ryan and I think Chelsea returned to their home in Emmett. (One with a better memory corrected me at this point and said Vicki and Tami remained with us and that we went to Emmett where we spent the night).

The next morning was Saturday and we left Laron's and Ruth's, returned to Terry's and Beth's and from there drove to Rupert. John had taken our car to Boise and he returned with Bryce and Mary. We arrived home about 2:30 p.m. and here the sign used at the Boise airport was strung across the front of our house at 905 E Street in front of which cameras took more pictures. And now we were HOME. What a place to be, be it ever so humble. The place looked wonderful.

John and Mary had moved into it when we left and took excellent care of it. Sadly it was while living here in our absence that their first born, little David, had been born and lived for a very short while and had been buried in the Rupert cemetery. We are now looking forward to meet David over THERE for surely we knew each other before either of us came for, afterall, families are forever.. Our challenge is to be able to go where he is.. Supposing Mom and I may prove sufficiently worthy to reach that point then right here I am going to challenge our children and our grandchildren to live so each of them can get there also for none of our posterity has a right to deny any of us the pleasure of all being together again. Let's not disappoint any of the rest of us. We all can make it if we are willing.

A few weeks before we returned John and Mary purchased Harland Davidson's home on East 6th St. and had just moved in within days of our return. Our home was ready for us and we kneeled that night and thanked the Lord from the bottom of our hearts for that great experience He had permitted us to have - - to serve him on another mission. As I now remember it was the following Tuesday evening that we reported to the stake presidency and high council where President Eames presented us with our honorable releases.

The ward welcomed us back on our first Sunday home and announced that the following Sunday, October 18th would be our welcome home and missionary report Sacrament meeting. It so happened that Ray and Marion Fenney Unsworth with Christopher would be in Rupert visiting us that Sunday and we shared the time with them.

Very shortly following that Sunday we received invitations to speak in every ward of the nine wards of the stake but one at a sacrament meeting and an invitation to speak at the Pella Ward sacrament meeting - - this in the Oakley stake. lie were invited to speak at a high priest group fireside in the Emerson ward of the Paul stake and a Young Adult fireside in the Burley 4th ward. I was invited to speak at the Rupert Rotary meeting, an organization I had been a member of for several years. I was also invited to speak at the Burley Rotary meeting on week plus both Mabel and I spoke at a meeting of all. Librarians at the Burley Regional library and still another high priest group fireside of the Heyburn 1st ward. These invitations covered a span of time of perhaps three months following our return.

Following our return we spent considerable of our working hours time helping at the store until Bryce concluded to leave his work with the City of Rupert and come into the store to help John. Purposely we decided not to take over the management of the business but we were on standby whenever needed.

We immediately returned to our regular librarian assignments at the Burley Regional Genealogical Library and Brother Merlin Stock, chief librarian accountable to the Salt Lake library - - Burley had long been a branch library - - asked President William Matthews of the Burley stake that I serve as an assistant to him,. Brother Stock. Permission to use me was granted by our own stake president and President Matthews set me apart as the assistant which position I have since held with the explicit responsibility of sponsoring any instructional activities, classes etc., in the training of the approximately 100 librarians, particularly new librarians as they are called and to direct the regular quarterly librarian meeting following the business which may be taken up.

Two years later, mid-year of 1979 Mabel and I were asked if we would assist in the Extraction program which had recently been set up by the Genealogical Department of the Church and serve as 'checkers' which required, after two extractors had separately extracted names from a film, placing the entries on individual cards by each of them separately, that we compare their findings to the minutest detail and where there was disagreement that we underline it on each of the cards and then return the cards back to the extractors for a close examination of their difference. Oft times this procedure is repeated the second and third time.

Two divisions of the Extraction program were set up, one for the Spanish under the direction of Sister Ann Kane and one for the German under the direction of Sister Hilda Smythe and Eunice Harmon. We checked for the Spanish sector at first for they got started earlier than the German. Eventually we were transferred to check the German extractions until Brother and Sister Wendell Young were recalled to their mission from which they had to return because of his heart condition.. When they returned to their mission new checkers were to be called for either the Spanish or the German and we would continue with the other group. As of this writing six months later Mabel and I are checking for both languages. On occasions we have spent up to 35 hours (together) in a week. Salt Lake recommendations are that all extractors be called specifically for that work and set apart to it such as full time mission and are to be released from all ward and stake assignments. They ask that each extractor serve between twelve and twenty hours per week. For this reason the stake president asked that Mabel be released as a teacher in the younger Gospel Doctrine Class which she felt badly having to give up for she loves teaching. We spend at least three hours a week - - another hour going and coming - - at the library in regular librarian service. We haven't been required to give that work up for the Extraction service.

Getting onto a trend - - genealogical library work and its resultant ramifications - - I completed it to the present and now I must return to pick up loose threads of other activity which were concurrent.

In about 1978 the bishop of our ward moved away which required a new bishopric with Arlin Glines being called to that position. The stake presidency were to a degree aware of financial straits the Rupert 1st ward was in and this became the first request of the new bishopric to get this back in order. Soon thereafter I was Balled to serve as chairman of the ward finance committee. This appeared to me a step backward in the policy of any ward. Years earlier I well remember every ward had a finance committee and they traveled from home to home encouraging the families to meet a certain assessment in order to keep the ward operating. As I had come to understand the policy of the Church such a committee was not necessary and it had become a bishopric responsibility instead.

Shortly following this call the stake officials determined the need for a new stake house in the Rupert Idaho stake which, of course, was to add to the financial responsibilities of the ward to an amount of an additional $50,000 half of which they wanted within six months and the balance within another six month period. Our ward was generally classified as one of the two poorer wards in the stake but we approached the problem from my thinking, the way the financial program in a ward should be run.

I came back from my experience in Bolton with definite ideas relative to the matter, It was successful there, it should be here. First, people had to know about the program and -what the money was to be used for - - a two-fold ward responsibility on us at the same time, our local budget -which-was far in the red to the stake and now a new building.. Secondly, it would be natural for members to know approximately what would be expected of them.

At about this time - - a few months following my being appointed chairman of the ward finance committee which, by the way, when the bishop asked me who I would like to serve on that committee with me I had told him the three members of the bishopric would be all I would need - - as I commenced to say, about this time the finance clerk moved away and I was called to serve in that capacity o n the ward clerk roster.

Receiving the new assignment Bishop Glines suggested that I think about the overall projects and bring back at a subsequent meeting of about a week hence, a recommended plan for the ward to follow.

From the ward membership book I secured the name of every family and the address. While I didn't know every family I was acquainted with most of them. I 'roughed' out a letter to every family which was to carry the signature of the bishop and his two counselors. Our ward had a high ratio of widows in particular and more than its share of older folk all of retirement age and over, plus another high ratio of totally inactives with not a family one could classify ,with the wildest of imagination, what we would call modestly well off. On the other hand I recognized that we had, at least, one advantage over some wards. While some of our older folk didn't have a car or, if they had, it was old enough to have been cleared of indebtedness and while many of the widows and older folk had very modest homes they were paid for. Most of the oldsters were on Social Security and while they had no jobs bringing in a fat paycheck they were not in want and probably had a little in savings.

The suggested letter contained, first, an atmosphere of friendliness and appreciation. In as much as Bishop Glines was relatively unacquainted with many the letter indicated a sincere desire to become acquainted and then went on to let the reader know of the need for the money such as building maintenance, lights, heat, janitorial service etc. etc. and what a well kept building meant to everyone of us. The need for a new stake building was dwelt upon and responsibility of every member was to assist in the Lord's work and the good feeling which results from doing ones share and,: in case, of little of this world's good we can all share a little and where many slave the burden is light etc. etc. About a page and a half letter which,; while single spaced, was not crowded.

On about a half page mimeographed form a commitment was suggested. To the lower income families I suggested $5.00 per month or total of $60 and from this low I suggested another category of a total of $250, then a category of 500 and a category of $1,000.

Actually, in determining these totals, particularly of the three higher groups figures showed that actually about half that amount would be ample if every family participated to the full amount.. Things don't work out this way so of these three groups I actually doubled the amounts such as, instead of $125 the suggested amount became $250 etc. My reasoning was that receiving a little more than needed is much better than not suggest enough and then have to go back for more.

Keep in mind, the commitment sheet was suggestive only so people would know about what was expected of them if they did their share. The bottom half of the commitment sheet contained a form for their definite voluntary commitment which they were to fill in after visiting with the family in their Family Home Evening.

A special request was that every family take the commitment personally to the bishop in order for him to answer any question and that he might personally know what the family was willing to do. Time the bishop would be available was stated.

While the ideal is directly to the bishop in his office we realized 100% in this manner would be wishful thinking,, so, with the inactive and others we felt would not got to the bishop a pre-addressed return stamped envelop was to be included with the letter so there would be no excuse for not answering.

I wrote the letter and planned payment suggestions so I felt the bishopric would do as I suggested. Happily for me they accepted it and bishop and I went out one evening to his place of business where he had a photo-copying machine and we prepared enough letters and forms. In as much as the commitment copies were different the original forms were left blank and I typed the suggested amount in before mailing.. I might state that in several cases members of the bishopric changed my suggested figures where they felt more or less should be suggested.. At their suggestion several of the $1,000 category were raised to $1,500. This I felt good in doing for there were rumors that additional may be needed a t the stake level for furniture and furnishings etc.

Another item I suggested was that most, if not all names, of folk who attended sacrament meetings - - providing they were there at the particular meeting - - have their names read off with the request that they visit in the bishops office. Following that particular meeting. This covered a period of two or three meetings and it was here they made their commitment. So far as the members knew no one but the bishop and his counselors asked for the commitments.

Members responded. Quite a number of inactives participated up to as much as five and six hundred dollars. Nearly everyone meet the minimum and all but one paid their thousand or fifteen hundred. Many gave more than their commitment. One older brother whom there was concern as to whether he was needing county welfare, let alone Church assistance paid a total of $2,500. A couple 17 and 18 hundred each.

During the first three quarters of the period of a year which was given the stake was continually congratulating the ward on the splendid progress being made and President Ingersoll, having been told by the bishop that I had assisted in setting up the program told me personally that some wards had asked hour the Rupert let ward was doing it and he told them he would find out and pass it on to them.

We weren't the first of the wards to complete our assessment, however, we could have been had we pressed the matter. We let it run its course for we knew the commitments were not all in because some - - several in fact, were paying by the month. A couple of the farm wards - - wards with farmers, who had a good year - - paid theirs off when their harvest was sold.

The new stake house was completed and two ward moved in to it. This meant that our building in which we were meeting - - the 3rd and 4th ward building on south F Street - - which had three wards using the building could now transfer over to the old stake house which is just a couple blocks from our home; that is, one of the three and because of the fact that, by actual count, no fewer than forty families lived within 3 1/2 blocks - - easy walking distance - - from the former stake building it became logical for our ward to be assigned to that building. During the five or six years we had been meeting in the building on South F Street four or five families living directly across the street from the former stake house with another 35 or more families of us living within walking distance were asked to go completely out of our ward boundaries over three quarters mile to the other building. Also, the old 1st w and red brick building at 8th and B Streets was only four blocks from our home so, in reality,. while we had two buildings, both in first class shape within the boundaries of our ward we were not assigned to either of them.. The original choice of places to meet was by the whim of our bishop of the time . There were minor complains by any number of the ward, however, we acquiesced to the desire of our leader and the great majority remained faithful and served to the best of our abilities in any assignment and, certainly, by regular attendance.

Our business became very worrisome. Farmers who were, by far, the majority of our customers were in financial straits due to consistent low produce prices and, at the same time, the furniture business has always been exceedingly competitive. Rather than things getting better they worsened until finally the boys decided they might take on a lire of appliances and this proved to be the wrong thing to do for, to begin with, appliances were, likewise, very competitive. The big stores regardless of location, Burley, even Rupert, Twin Falls, Salt Lake, you name it, were not so far away but that, with their car-load purchases, the small dealer could not successfully compete. A couple super-salesmen talked the boys into overloading themselves with a couple back-up numbers in the warehouse for every model on the floor which is good if there are sales but not so when the sales were too few. The business didn't have the money to pay for them with a discount for cash to the supplier and a floor-plan was entered into with a finance plan with Borg-Warner of Boise. Their interest rate at 18% at that time literally 'killed' the business. The was nothing but discouragement for John and Bryce as well as us. The boys preferred getting out of the hassle. Mabel and I were each well over seventy years of age so, with the approval of all concerned, seeing the handwriting on the wall, we concluded to attempt to sell.

The Lord was exceedingly good to us for our neighbor, Larry Larson, a dealer in cars across: the street, had expressed himself as being interested in some day getting into the furniture business. His interest waned after two or three weeks for he was unable to consolidate his business interests sufficiently within such a short time but one day he brought a man in looking for such a business. Lee Lowery, a man of the area but whom we did not know had the money to pay cash for the balance of stock we had on the floor by turning back to the appliance supplier all appliances for he was not interested in that phase of the business.

To make a long story short let me briefly terminate the story by stating that we turned the keys of the business to him on the 1st day of May 1979. It was not the way we had anticipated ending our business career for we had long hoped that some of our children - - sons or sons-in-law would continue with it but after their short experience they concluded such a business was not for them. Long ago we learned that unless one enjoys his work that particular work is not for him. Life is too short to not enjoy one's work and, after all, it was the prophet Nephi , who said "'Men are that they might have joy."

Now, 2 1/2 years following our selling the business: we can see it was a wise thing we did. We do have a sincere regret, however, that Brother Lowery, - - he was and is a member of the Church and, in fact, presently is president of the Stake Sunday School - - after going to a great expense to decorate the building inside and out and to stock it with new furniture, decided that type of business was not to his liking and, within two years, closed the business up and the building now sits empty with a for-sale sign in the window.

When we first heard that he was intending to sell we purposely went in to see him to tell him how sorry we had sold him something he did not like. We felt we had been very fair to him when we sold and there was the very best of feelings between us. At the time of our last visit he told us that in no way did he criticize us. We hadn't misled him in any sense of the word but he said he just didn't like working with the public as a salesman of merchandise and, particularly, he didn't like for he early came to odds with his suppliers and he said he was not the man to operate that type of business. We were happy to learn that he did not feel we were, in the least, responsible for his findings. What he is planning on doing we do not know. He is yet a relatively young man, perhaps forty, and he appears to have assets thru which he will be able to get into another venture.

During the years, shall I say of 1978, 79 and 80 I turned back to a little project I had undertaken even as far back and 1974 when,, at that time I felt I would like to prepare a pageant to present on or near the date the Minidoka stake would reach its Golden Anniversary - - 50 years of stakehood. Such projects were not new to the world nor the Church. I have always loved to write - - not that I ever hope to become more than a first class, by that I mean beginner, novice at writing I still liked to do it. I had done a few little writing projects along that line during my short experience. One of my first such contributions was in Belfast. Ireland on my first mission when I was risked by my District president, Evan Jenkins, while I was serving as district clerk to him, was to write an hour gospel account of the plan of salvation divided into seven or eight parts which were to be memorized by that many persons and presented before a sizable audience of members and visitors who were to gather in the Ulster Minor Hall. The occasions was to be the 1928 spring District Conference to which President arid Sister Widtsoe and the mission secretary, Richard L. Evans, would be in attendance. On second thought, now that I have this written, Brother Evans may not have come on this particular trip. He did accompany the mission president often.

Prior to the conference, naturally, the script had to be sent for President Widtsoe's approval and happily for me he returned it with no suggested change in the script.

On a subsequent occasion - - really not long after - - I wrote a short article for the Millennial Star which was printed at mission headquarters in Liverpool. President Widtsoe acknowledged its receipt and it was printed with very little editing on the part of Richard L. Evans, the assistant editor.

I have previously noted the fact that thru the years - - for the Woodruff Stake, the Weiser Stake, the Nyssa Stake and the Minidoka Stake - - we wrote as part of our genealogical assignment 'The Genealogue' a type of brochure three or four legal size typed pages which served as the past month report with articles which we had hoped would be of genealogical and temple activity interest. This project would have totaled several years of writing.

While teaching in Almy I wrote a little skit - - actually a two act play - which I titled "Memories"' which was put on by Miss Ruth Bowns, an associate teacher of a two room school, and myself using the upper grade pupils. The setting for the play was in a sweet pea flower garden. What a task it became to make all those sweet peas artificially from crepe paper! But it was beautiful and the play very appealing to the audience, at least, that appeared to be the atmosphere judged from interest and comment subsequent to the performance.

Already mention has been made of a pageant Mabel and I wrote while I was serving as ward chairman of the Rupert 2nd ward genealogical committee - - this probably in the early months of 1945. We named it "Birthright Blessings"' for the story covered the promises of the Lord to Israel. It was first presented to the Second ward and by request it was repeated a few weeks later to the entire stake. It was a full evening's length pageant and the stake house where it was presented held several hundred people.

Two or three years later - - probably four or five years later - - in the Nyssa stake - - I was serving on the high council with genealogical and temple work as my peculiar assignment - - we presented the pageant in the Nyssa stake house with a large audience in attendance.

While serving on the stake genealogical committee in the Minidoka stake, perhaps about 1970, I wrote a four act play, "Be Ye Not Unequally Yoked'. This play was different from the usual drama-type play. We had seen a Charles Laughton play read with participants sitting on stools across the front of the stage and they made their separate entrances and exists without drawing the curtain excepting the curtain was drawn at the end of an act.

The theme was one of marriage - - of a young girl failing to follow through with the type of marriage - - a temple marriage - - she had always dreamed would one day be hers.

This was presented by a good cast and the cultural hall in the stake house was well filled.

I had started relating my writing a pageant which I titled, "The Day A Stake Was Born"'. This in 1974 on the Golden Anniversary of the Minidoka stake. This became a rather grandiose affair. The theme followed the story of the prominent leaders of the stake from the beginning to the division of the s take which happened two years prior to the time of the pageant. Four stake presidents had presided over the stake prior to its division, namely: President Richard C. Mary, President J. Melvin Toone, President Davis Green and President Rodney A. Hansen. Each of their regimes were dwelt upon and as many of the living of these men as could be present were there with a family representative in case of the original being deceased.

From the front of the stage but to the side behind the curtain an overhead projector threw colored drawings of scenes which were drawn and painted on transparencies with a very interesting affect. An outstanding male quartet of Every Wiser., Jim Braeg, Alan Hale and Seth Corless sang Capella a number of well known hymns interspersing the story told by the readers, Brother and Sister Hans Hoettcher, who rather professionally narrated the script. The quartet singing of, perhaps, at least a dozen or more numbers with exceptional close harmony, couldn't have been better done. Three or four thrilling musical interludes were enjoyed from three of Alan Hale's high school trumpeters which literally tingled every spine in the crowded cultural hall.. Not to be outdone by any number on the program so far as, musical harmony and beauty was concerned was the beautiful and thrilling vocal duet "Whispering Hope'" by George and Arabelle Catmull of Rexburg, Idaho who were invited to sing a song which, in the history of the stake back in the 1920s and early 1930s was sung so beautifully by President and Sister Joseph Payne, first counselor in the stake's first stake presidency with President Richard 0. May being president.

All in all public comments, following the performance, were very favorable without exception. At the morning session of stake conference the next day President Eames made comment in his opening remarks that the production of the night previous evening should have won an "Emmie Award".

Both President Keith C. Merrill, Jr. and President Eames of the Minidoka West and the Minidoka stakes respectively suggested the material should be preserved in some form as stake history. This encouraged me to make a greater effort to do what I had already felt I would like to do but for the present it was to have to wait.

Even after returning home from our mission at the end of the years 1976 I found other things to do despite the fact that my intentions were to some day write a more complete history of the Minidoka stake. It was not until the latter part of 1978 or even perhaps the early months of 1979 that on one of our occasional trips to Salt Lake did I visit the Church Historian's office whiles Mabel went to the genealogical library - - both in the same high-rise Church office building.

To an extent I was disappointed in the quantity as well as quality of data the Historian's office had from Minidoka Stake. Some records were not available for research purposes and I soon found I had to depend mainly on quarterly historical reports sent in by the stake clerk. Some periods were reasonably complete but other periods suffered from the lack of any kind of information. Fortunately a few minutes were recorded of most of the stake conferences and I depended a great deal on them.. A little over midway along in the time span of which I was to cover the stake clerk attached a copy of the official general and stake roster which was, at first, presented at each stake conference for the voting by the members. Later the roster was confined to only the first quarterly conference of each year.

At first I felt I might make a very brief resume' of the history of each ward in addition to the general history of the stake but I had not gone far when it became very evident that each ward would have a volume of history in and of itself and that it would become altogether too bulky a history to include both stake and wards, therefore, other than obtaining names of all missionaries who left the stake and the names and times of service of bishops and their counselors who served - - these from the Form E ward reports, I confined my research to stake sources only.

It required any number of visits to Salt Lake and the months soon multiplied into years. An important question arose as to when I should extend the history to. My original intent was to the end of 50 years ending with the stake being organized on the 11th of May 1924 fifty years would bring the end of the history to the time of the pageant - - roughly 11 May 1974, two years following the division of the stake. By the time I had to make a definite decision it was in the year of 1980. Should I continue the history to the current date?

I suggested to President Eames that he might visit with President Merrill and together they decide as the closing date for the history. A week or two later President Eames said they had discussed the matter and concluded the simplest for me would be to bring it to the division of the stake. I was happy to hear this for honestly, the more recent the date the less information the stake clerks were sending to Salt Lake. Had they suggested the history should be brought current with 1980 I would have had more difficulty with the last eight years than any other like period of time. The stake was divided on 24 September 1972. For clarification the pageant was up to the time of a year and one-half following the division of the stake.

This story at this point could be made unnecessarily long so, suffice it to say, I completed the manuscript in December of 1980. 1980 was the sesquicentennial of the Church - - 150 years - - and the Church through that entire year stressed not only personal histories but also ward and stake and community histories be written. To myself I set my goal of completing the history during that year and I just barely came under the wire before the end of the year.

On occasions I informed both stake presidents of may progress so they knew I was spending time on it but after completing the manuscript it happened that I ran into President Merrill before I did President Eames. Previously to this I asked our daughter Ruth if she would draw and print a design I had determination for a cover and so, in loose-notebook form I showed President Merrill the manuscript which consisted of 329 typewritten pages.

President Merrill suggested that he would like to have his stake librarian, Sister Wanda Stimpson, photo-copy the complete manuscript a sufficient number of times so each of their four building libraries would have a copy plus a copy for the stake and, in addition, they would copy one copy for the Rupert stake. He suggested they would go this way because that stake had a newer copying machine than did the Rupert stake.

After waiting what I would say as a good month President Merrill returned to our home the manuscript copy and a copy for the Rupert stake. President Merrill said he was amazed the amount of material I had gathered and was quite elated about it and expressed appreciation for my efforts.

I think it was the next day - - by now we were into the new year of 1981 - -that we telephoned President Eames to see if he would be home. In the meantime, when I had next seen President Eames I told him what was transpiring of which he expressed approval. Mabel and I took the copy President Merrill had provided for President Eames. He and Sister Eames sat at their kitchen table with Mabel and me and appeared happy with what they saw. Sister Eames who was a personal friend of Sister Stimpson of the Paul stake already had the subject of the book brought up in a previous conversation and Sister Eames said Sister Stimpson had described the work as "fantastic". Naturally, the response so far was pleasing to us for we had hoped and worked and prayed that we would do satisfactory work on the project.

Following our visit to President Eames and the delivery of his copy he took the copy to his next stake presidency meeting and thence, later, to the next high council. Upon close inspection by several the stake presidency and high council members decided it was worthy of being printed. I might state that to both the stake presidents I turned the manuscript to them as a church service contribution on my part and that from henceforth it was the stakes to do what they wished.

President Earl Griffin - - formerly a counselor to stake president, Rodney A. Hansen in the previous presidency - - was serving on the present high council and he was assigned by President Eames to report back within the next while of printing prices. After some investigation he discovered there was a Watkins Printing Shop in Providence, Utah which under-priced any other shop he contacted. President Griffin suggested 200 copies to be printed. The printer showed him that the fewer the copies the more expensive they would have to be.. The Paul stake didn't feel they would have enough members interested to warrant a printing. This made it all the more difficult for the Rupert stake but, after all said and done, the Paul stake decided to order 100 copies and the Rupert stake 300 copies for a total of 400 copies.

In the mean time I suggested that if there were some to be printed, by all means there should be pictures which all agreed would be essential to a good, interesting history. A part in the overall picture for me started again., I suggested that I would find the pictures I felt would be suitable - - they definitely had to be limited for pictures added to the cost considerably. My thinking was that, to be different than usual, we should have husband and wife teams of pictures. My reasoning was that it would also increase interest. We concluded that the members of the stake presidencies and clerks and stake clerks should be included. Also, that the sister may be included that all stake Relief Society presidents be included and other pictures such as early project pictures, church buildings, a few group pictures of activities in the stake and, perhaps pictures of two or three early and faithful families.

It was suggested that I confine pictures to about 15 pages but I ended up with a number closer to 30 pages. We have never regretted it even though the cost was increased somewhat. I failed to state they were to be printed and bound in a hard back cover. The four hundred copies cost the stake $19 per copy. The stake felt it not to be unreasonable to charge $25 each.

I think one of the finest compliments I received during this entire process was in the fact that Mr. Watkins, the printer, sincerely felt that not sufficient were being ordered and instead of printing only the 400 ordered he concluded to print 800 copies, bind the four hundred ordered, and be prepared to bind the balance in lots of 100 when and if there were future calls. I told him I was surprised that he was such a gambler but he felt it was not a gamble on his part. He said, "I have seen this happen too often with this quality of book''. Only the future will tell the whole story.

Another activity in which I have found much interest and which has been rather time consuming through the years has been genealogical research. Reference has been made to this throughout this personal history. At this point I might only summarize but even in minimizing to that extent I remain hesitant for fear that what I nor write will become repetition to that which has already been written.

Probably one of the greatest blessings which has come to Mabel and me, and in this instance particularly to me is the fact that relatively early in my life I gained an interest in genealogical work. This had already gained a strong hold on me by the time I was released from my mission to England in 1930 and certainly the desire was reinforced by the opportunity given me by my parents to furnish me with means to go into the areas of our ancestral homes in southwestern England and into South Wales including, more specifically Worcestershire, Gloucestershire of my maternal ancestry and Somersetshire and Glamorganshire of my paternal ancestry. Details of these visits have heretofore been given.

After my return home much of the information gathered was tabulated on the old style Baptism and Endowment Sheets as, also, on the old form Sealing of Wives to Husbands and still another form, Sealing of Children to Parents. Not only did I do some of may proven lines but permission was granted me to process many of the names of the Blacker families of northern Ireland in Carrickblacker. These records came into my hand in 1929 while serving in Birmingham, England in answer to my request when I saw a Blacker name in a London newspaper of a Blacker of Ireland getting married. No relationship has ever been proven but from the fact that the Blacker name is not a common name the Genealogical Society which, at the time was needing names for temple work suggested that the names be processed.

Following our marriage in 1936 Mabel and I enjoyed our honeymoon by sitting around an old table and with the aid of a kerosene lamp and a long since worn out coal stove worked on our genealogy, she on her lines and me on mine.

We have our interest in genealogy to blame for most of the opportunities which have come to us to serve in the Church. I'm sure it has become trite to the reader - - and hopefully they will be not only our children but our grandchildren and great-grandchildren - - to hear me relate that of the seven separate high council positions I have served on, six have been solely because of having just a touch of expertise in the science of genealogy and the desire to attempt to influence others along that line.

Well before 1940 Mabel and I had been called by both the Wilkes family organization as well as the Blacker family organization (John Wilkes and Edward Blacker) to become genealogical representatives. I honestly consider these two assignments to have become the most important assignments ever given me whether in the -Church or out and I shall be everlastingly grateful to those uncles and aunts and parents who probably more likely than anyone else at first but certainly cousins came to play an important part in our continuing, had to do by sustaining us in the positions.

It became our privilege to become the contact man between the families and the Genealogical Society and other professional researchers when the families so faithfully paid dues for professional research work to be done. Frank Smith of the Genealogical Society, now the Genealogical Department, has been perhaps our single greatest inspiration for it is he, undoubtedly, who has had more to do with our research work on both family lines than anyone else, perhaps even including ourselves.

For fear I have overlooked the relating of the story much, much earlier than this late part of my life I shall gamble the chance of repetition by stating that in the early experiences of family research work perhaps as early as 1940, when we hired work to be done on our lines thru the Genealogical Society it was Frank Smith, while he and his family yet lived in England, filled our orders by his personally going into the parish records in the various ancestral parishes.

By the late 1940s the Genealogical Society authorities saw what his worth would be to that organization if he were brought over here to superintend the research department. In about 1950 a fellow high councilman of the Nyssa stake, Brother George Palmer was called to serve what they then called a short term mission (six months) in England. When he subsequently returned he came to our business and asked if there was a possibility we could hire a recently made but dear friend of his for there was a widower with two daughters in England who wanted, with all their souls to immigrate, and if Brother Palmer could find someone or a business who would guarantee employment they would come. To make a much longer story short our business agreed to sponsor the family of David Smith. It was indeed a great surprise to find, after the family arrived, that David Smith was the father of our Frank Smith of the Genealogical Department.

This little we did for the Smith welded a stronger band than ever before with Frank and his wife, also of England.

When the Genealogical Society discontinued the sponsoring of research work as Frank immediately contacted us and reported that other than his working hours with the Society he would have time to personally handle a very limited number of accounts on his own time from his home in Bountiful and he asked if we would be interested in letting him continue with our lines which, already, he was well acquainted with. He was too valuable to us to lose. While the amounts of money coming in from each of our families when dues were paid at the reunion were not large amount they had been very steady for several years and even at only three or four hundred dollars a year from each family the steadiness was getting considerable done.

In about 1979 as I now remember (now 1981 while visiting with Frank in his office he suggested that we report to the families - - identical situation in both cases, the Wilkes and Blacker - - that we had now reached the point where, for the time being, at least, more money could not be used for he said, and he later wrote a letter to the effect, "every source of records within a 12 mile radius of any ancestral home has been searched" and wherever possible temple work has been completed for each of these family groups.

These records of these families came in to our possession because of our assignment by the families. Actually, our recent Four Generation request for the Church's Ancestral File has not been a great problem to us because of forty years of almost constant research. The assignment from Salt Lake was that should any family have family group sheets on their pedigree chart with all temple work completed to, likewise, send copies of those completed sheets. On the Blacker lines we had 24 family group sheets with full documentation while on the Wilkes lines we mailed in 34. These sheets with the pedigree charts which were to accompany the family group sheets.

When we disclose this suggestion by Frank Smith that we may temporarily 'hold' so far as providing money for research work we are not suggesting, in any sense of the word, that our responsibility for research to extend our pedigree or, perhaps, even make additions or even corrections to uncovered errors. We must always be alert to such possibilities. We must also be alert to the possibilities that new sources of records are sometimes possible. Brother Smith reported that many records in some of our areas were destroyed by the German Luftwaffe during air raids of World Ward II.

Journal Entries for 1978

Sunday, June 18 - Paul, Lynn, Laura, Julie, Jeffrey and Jimmy had arrived just before dark the night before. Today is Father's Day. Paul and Loyn went to Priesthood Meeting. Ruth and Laron didn't want to come over for dinner because Ethan had his tonsils out Friday. I cook (fried) two chickens and peeled potatoes. Mary and Jon and families said they'd come. Lynn made a cake, some stove top dressing and pork and beans. Mary made ice cream and Vickie helped make a fruit salad. All in all it was all good. I made the gravy. Mary and Bryce and John and Mary had 3 pm Sacrament meeting. Ruth and Laron and family came and visited. They all left the house empty except for memories. We went to Sacrament meeting at 5 pm. Nothing unusual. Merintha called and Sister Hunsaker had died after her operation on her hip. She's 92.

Monday, June 19 - I've been trying to get over this miserable cough I've had for nearly two weeks. Didn't cough too much during the night. When I got up Loyn was watering the front lawn. He didn't realize our day had been Saturday. After breakfast went over to Afton's and worked in the garden over there. Didn't do much all day. Didn't feel too well. Loyn read from the "Life of Melvin J. Ballard" for home evening. Hope I can sleep without too much coughing.

Tuesday, June 20 - After breakfast we (Loyn) and I went to weed the Stake beets. The ward should go tonight, but we decided to go this morning. I hear there weren't too many weeds, but potatoes had been raised there the year before, and the volunteer potatoes were almost more than the beets. Those long rows of beets seemed to stretch right off the hill to the hills on the other side of the valley. We took two rows each down and back. Before we got through it was quite hot and I was shattered. Came home; took a bath, washed and curled my hair. We'd had a piece of apple pie in the car after we had the beets done. Hepworths had their 50th wedding anniversary that afternoon and we wanted to go. Enjoyed being with the family. Bill seems quite well. Came home and had to get the county tax in. Got the letter just as they were closing the post office. Fixed a cake to take to Ruby's and Earl. Went to Bryce's and Mary for milk bottles. It was Bryce's birthday so we took him a shirt. They were just finishing eating. I'd intended getting supper after we came back from Earl's. Loyn complained to Mary I hadn't given him anything to eat all day so Mary warmed up some food and fed him. Visited Earl and Ruby, came home and then bed.

Wednesday, June 21 - Went to Boise. I drove after we were just past Twin. After Loyn drove, I went to sleep. Woke up feeling worse than when I went to sleep. We'd had two letters from England - one from Mr. Parton - wondering if the Church would buy him a house. He's having trouble with the neighbor's children. The other from Jackie Robinson. It seems Stuart and Jackie won't go on a mission, but get married. They needed money. Now they will buy a bakery and get married. Jackie didn't know all the details but said Sister Mohammed had died of a heart attack. We got to Beth's and Terry's. I was so tired I was sick - went to bed and to sleep after supper. Terry went to Bishop's meeting. Loyn and Beth visited.

Thursday, June 22 - Got up at 9 am. Beth, Nathan, Erin and Jared had gone to Primary. Beth is the Primary Librarian. Loyn was caring for Paige. Beth and the rest came back about 11:00 am. We got dinner. Terry came home. Paige went to sleep. Nathan stayed to care for her and Loyn stayed for awhile and then went to see Brother Judd in the Veteran's hospital. Beth, Erin, Jared and I went shopping. We both got tired, came home. I went to sleep. Got up, helped Beth get supper. Terry had a meeting with the stake presidency. He came back and we went see Hyrum Walker and his wife, Loyn's cousin. They were glad to see us and we signed their 50th wedding anniversary book. Talked until 12:30.

Friday, June 23 - After a nice breakfast, I hung Beth's washing on the line, gathered up our things and came home. I slept half the way and Loyn slept a little. Went to the store and checked on things. Came home. Went in the bathroom and was pleasantly shocked and could hardly believe my eyes. This wasn't our bathroom. Those kids had painted, papered and put a new carpet down. It's beautiful. Visited with Earl and Ruby as we got milk, went to Bryce's and Mary's and took their milk. Came home. Loyn read from the Melvin J. Ballard's book. Went to bed.

Saturday, June 24 - Slept all night without coughing. Melissa and I hung clothes on the line to dry. Loyn was down to the store and came home for lunch right after 10 am. Byrce and Mary took the 12 o'clock lunch hour. Read the Church News - It's a great church. Temple rededicated in Hawaii. Don't envy the Church leaders, but they have a lot of grand experiences we common folks never have. Visited with Afton. Had a letter from Sister Ball in Bolton. It seems strange we never get any details about Sister Mohammed's death.

Sunday, June 25 - The choir in Salt Lake sang one of my favorite hymns -- Rest on the Hillside Rest. I'd like that at my funeral. Slept all night without getting up.

Elsewhere but previously I called attention to the fact than in this particular story I have compiled a few faith promoting incidents which have been close to us during our life time and, at one time felt with that compilation that it would be unnecessary to make a duplication of the incident in this story. I have since changed my mind and now feel that it would be advisable to have, at least the more important of those experiences included here. Afterall, those incidents have become very much a part of my life story. I shall copy verbatim at least two incidents as they have been previously written, title and all..


A few days, probably a week, before Christmas of 1978 a small five year old boy, Ryan Waite, a son of Laron and Ruth Waite and our grandson was eagerly awaiting dinner which was being prepared by his mother and sisters on a Saturday at noontime.

As a hungry little five year old will often do in anticipation of the scheduled meal, Ryan took his place at the table s little sooner than need be and while waiting the placing of the food on the table he started to play with part of the tableware already placed before him, a knife, fork and spoon. At this particular dinner steak knives were to be used.

Apparently with an extra bit of pressure from his fingers applied in some manner to the handle of the knife it flipped into the air with the sharp edge of the blade flying directly across the eyeball not even leaving time for the eyelid to close. As a result the sharp blade actually cut his eyeball.

The pain didn't seem to be extreme but the clean cut affected the little fellow as though there were something in his eye. It became so annoying and it did hurt sufficiently that Ruth concluded that she should take him to a doctor.

The day being a Saturday she found that the office of the optometrist was closed so she took Ryan directly to the emergency room of the Burley hospital.

Most doctors who serve at the hospital are not on duty on a Saturday after noon, however, it has been the practice in both the Rupert and Burley hospitals, and perhaps others, to have an intern or student doctor who is finalizing his training at the University of Utah to replace local doctors over the weekend.

As Ryan was examined by the nurses when he first went in an intern was present. As he looked in Ryan's eye he said, "You are a very, very lucky little boy". He then went on to explain to Ruth and Ryan that there are three layers of membrane tissue in the make-up of the eye and he compared this membrane tissue to the layers of onion skin in the makeup of an onion. His close examination with his instrument which magnified was that two of the three layers had been cut through with the bottom of the cut right against the third and last layer of membrane. He said that had it been aver so slightly deeper as to have cut into the next thin skin like layer his eye would have lost its vision.

The cut was so serious that it concerned the intern to the extent that he said it was advisable to call for a professional eye doctor. Such a doctor was not staffed in the hospital so a nurse placed a telephone call for Dr. Cutler, a local optometrist. It proved that he was difficult to locate and it was only after tracing him to the Burley high school gym that he was located. rye was watching a basket ball game which was being played at that time.

Dr. Cutler examined the eye and confirmed the seriousness of the cut and that Ryan was a very lucky boy that it was not worse. He said the only thing he could do at that time was to put an antiseptic, solution in the eye to ward off infection and then to bandage it over tightly so there would be no eyelid movement.

Not only did the intern see the cut but he also showed Ruth and two nurses who were present. Dr. Cutler said he wanted to see the eye the next morning which was somewhat unusual for it was a Sunday morning on which, normally, the doctor does not make appointments.

Laron was not at home at the time of the accident but the entire family was very much relieved that, despite the seriousness of the accident, it was no worse than it was. Dr. Cutler warned Ruth that, in all probability, as the cut would heal, a degree of scar tissue would result which would very likely affect the clearness of his vision following its healing and, at that later time, an eye operation may have to be considered to clear the blur.

We, Ruth's parents, were out of town to Paul's and Lynn's daughter Cindy's wedding. Our granddaughter was being married to Ken Hansen in the Salt Lake Temp. The wedding occurred on December 16th 1978. We returned that evening to Rupert not long after which the phone rang and Ruth advised us of their accident and asked that we go to their home and assist to administer to Ryan.

I was invited to anoint with oil in the priesthood ordinance and Laron sealed the anointing and gave Ryan a blessing promising Ryan that his eye would heal and that all would turn out all right.

The next morning Ruth, Laron and Ryan missed their Sunday School and kept the appointment at the doctor's office. When Dr. Cutler took the bandage from the eye he examined it closely and then again repeated his examination. He asked himself and Ruth if that could have been the eye he worked on the afternoon before and seemed to wonder if he had the right boy. He could not believe what he saw. It was as if he was convincing himself by saying, "I know I saw it and that others saw it, too''. Ruth assured him that she had seen the cut and that Ryan was the same boy, but this Sunday morning the doctor could not find the slightest evidence that the eye had been cut. In its quick healing no scar tissue resulted. This was confirmed by the doctor again carefully making an examination.

Arlene Blacker Koyle, Ruth's cousin, who works at the hospital reported in the next Fast and Testimony meeting - - she being a member of the same Heyburn ward - - bore testimony that Dr. Cutler reported his experience with Ryan's eye and voluntarily brought the experience up to the nurses and others at the hospital the next day or so following his examining the eye and as if to question his own seeing the cut asked the nurses who were in attendance of the first day's examination if they had actually seen the cut. They agreed that they had each, personally, seen the cut as did also the student intern when he made his next visit to the Burley hospital. They could hardly believe Dr. Cutler when he told them that the very next morning there was no indication of any damage whatsoever.

There were too many witnesses to this miraculous healing for there to have been a question of its reality. There remains but one answer. The eye was healed by the power of the priesthood. There is no room for another explanation.

Ryan, to this day - - some three or four months later - - has never shown the slightest indication since the accident of any problem with his eye. He is a living witness to a true principle of the gospel.


Perhaps not so much in our modern day with the sanitary conditions of hospitals and the knowledge of modern doctors, as was the case in days of many yesteryears, is the statement factual that with the birth of every new baby the mother actually enters into the 'valley of the shadows of death' to bring forth her newborn. Yet, even under the best of modern conditions there remains that willingness and, ofttimes, the necessity for a to be mother to have to undergo the reality of such a sacrifice.

This, certainly was not to be discounted at the time during which our daughter, Mary, was awaiting the arrival of her fourth little girl, Sara, who was born on the 30th day of March 1979.

For 15 years prior to this date Mary had been a victim of a rare disease, the result of which was the deterioration of the muscles. At the time of the disease's first appearance it looked very much as though Mary would not survive for local doctors soon realized a successful diagnosis, let alone a successful treatment, was beyond their ability and, even the experts at the University of Utah hospital experimented for weeks to determine what the disease was. During much of this time she was seriously ill that she was kept in intensive care.

The disease had intensified itself to the regions of the throat and lungs where those muscles were not physically able to function properly.

To bring us to the time of the event of which we are relating it may be reported that eventually doctors had discovered the disease was known as myasthenia gravis. The doctors later, thru considerable experimentation, stabilized the problem by medication upon which, undoubtedly, Mary will have to depend during the balance of her lifetime.

Mary had married subsequently to the doctor's findings as of above, and had given birth, thru the years, to Victoria, Tamara and lastly, Melissa, who, at the time of the new baby's arrival, was three years of age. With the previous children the birth process in each instance was not unnormal.

For some reason or another the anticipated new arrival was causing a little concern, however, no serious problem was anticipated. The doctor reported that toward the last the baby was too quiet and had not made its final turn in preparation for birth.

On a Wednesday preceding the Friday's birth Mary felt the time had come for her to go to the hospital. Prior to Bryce taking her on that day they came to the store where Mom and I were working and Mary asked that Bryce and I administer to her for all of us, long ago, had learned that a blessing at such a time was a part of the program.

We retired to the back room of the store where we would not be interrupted should a customer come in. Both Mary and Bryce suggested that Bryce would anoint with the oil and that I was to seal the anointing and pronounce the blessing which is a part of the ordinance of administering to the sick.

I had full confidence that Mary would get along alright with the delivery of the baby and so promised her in the blessing - - that she would have the strength to return to her home with her new baby. There was no question in my mind as to the prompting which I received and so offered it as a promise.

It so happened that when Mary got to the doctor he recommended that the time had not fully come and for her to return home and return back to the hospital Friday afternoon. As I remember the time was set for 2 or, perhaps, 3 o'clock.

Prior to this time a Leeds and Manchester mission reunion of missionaries who served under President and Sister Royden G. Derrick, our mission president, was scheduled in Salt hake and we had planned on attending. With Mary's new appointment being made for the afternoon of the evening of the reunion we seriously debated as to the wisdom of going to Salt Lake. Mary was the first to suggest that we go. Even after Mary got to the doctor we telephoned her at the doctor's office and Mary asked him of the wisdom of our going. He advised us not to change our plans for everything looked good for Mary.

It was with mixed feelings that we left about four o'clock of that afternoon. We anticipated it would take three hours to make the trip one way - - that we would spend a couple hours between seven and nine at the reunion and then return to Rupert that same evening. Too, one never knows of the timing of the new arrival and we hoped we would even be back - - by midnight - - perhaps, in time for the delivery. The doctor said that we would be of no particular assistance at the time of delivery even if we stayed.

We made our hurried trip with a prayer in our hearts that all would be well at the hospital and it was not until we returned and entered the Burley hospital somewhat after midnight - - but before 1 a. m. - - that all had not been all right.

When we announced ourselves at the emergency entrance - - the only door of the hospital which was open at that time of the night - - and that we were Mary's parents, the attendant immediately led us to an intensive care room. The story of Mary's delivery was known by hospital personnel throughout the hospital and while the nurse didn't tell us anything it could be seen that she knew right where Mary was, even though she was not serving in that part of the hospital at the time nor, very likely she would not have been on duty at the time of the delivery.

As we entered the door with a guilt complex Mary was on her bed with the bed raised part way up at the head so she was in a half reclining position. Her first words were, "'Don't worry, I'm alright now". This was all that was needed to have been said to assure us our going to Salt Lake was a mistake.

Her words were the first indication that, a few hours before, Mary was not all right. She told us the baby was born six hours before - - at about 6:30 p. m. We felt badly that we had not been with her but she assured us that we could have done nothing had we been there. She told us they had problems and that they all had - - and still had - - real concern for the baby and that the doctors and nurses were doing all they could to keep her alive and that, even if she did live, that she, probably, would not be a normal child.

Mary had been given anesthetics and was ready for sleep which we did not want to hinder so we left the hospital with a promise to Mary that we would be back early in the morning.

We did not learn the whole story of the evening before until we talked with Ruth who had been in the hospital lounge room during the hours of Mary's delivery. This was the morning after and was by phone. Ruth's account was confirmed and added to by Bryce and his mother, Sister Beatrice Chugg, who was on duty as a nurse at the hospital and was in the delivery room with Mary.

Ruth related that the delivery started at about six o'clock on the evening of March 30th with everyone confident all would be well. Naturally with Ruth being on the outside of the delivery room she did not know all the details of what transpired until after when she was told by those who were at the bedside, however, she soon sensed that all was not going well within.

From thru the door Ruth could hear excited talking and moving about and the door opened and nurses began running hither and thither with apparent much concern. Sister Chugg, so Ruth reported, hurriedly rushed out after something and as she passed Ruth, with tears in her eyes, said, "Ruth, if you have ever prayed pray now. It looks like we have lost the both of them', speaking of Mary and the baby.

Ruth prayed. She was not aware of the blessing Mary received two or three days before with a promise that Mary would return home with her baby and that all would be well. They all, and who knows but that, perhaps, we would have questioned the promise had we been there a t the time.

The story from those who were there was about as follows: In the process of birth the flexing and contraction of the muscles is essential on the part of the mother which, in turn, required muscular activity by the lungs wherein Mary was particularly affected by the disease which seemed to have centered in those now essential regions of Mary's body. It became beyond Mary's ability to cope and her lungs literally collapsed. As her breathing was being seriously affected the doctor instinctively saw problems looming. To make matters all the worse the baby was a 'breech' baby and was entering the world feet first rather than head first. The doctor was reported to have said that he would be unable to save both baby and mother so for a time an element of disregard was shown the baby and by her heels the doctor literally pulled the baby from her mother and placed the baby on a paper-covered table nearby. The baby had not started breathing but was instinctively gasping for air which she could not get because of the mucus in her throat. Both the doctor and nurses momentarily, turned their attention to Mary who had literally 'passed out' for she, too, lacked air. Her breathing stopped. With his finger Doctor Peterson pushed Mary's eyelid open and reportedly said, 'She has gone' or words to that effect.,

During the above activity the doctor asked an aid to ring a buzzer for Doctor Sutton, a baby specialist whom he knew was in the hospital. The intent was for Dr. Sutton to assist with the baby.

For some unexplained reason, in her haste the aid pushed the wrong button and, instead of a signal for Doctor Sutton only, the button actually pushed was an all-out alarm. Not only did it bring the doctor intended but from all over the hospital nurses and other help came rushing up and down the halls.

Doctor Sutton started working with the baby taking her into the special baby's room where he got the baby breathing. It was during these moments of concern which were sufficiently long that the doctor and nurses thought the baby had been without oxygen sufficiently long to cause them to question and even suspect that the baby would have suffered brain damage but they continued to work with her.

In the mean time, back with Mary, they worked feverishly. It so happened that the hospital anesthesiologist was not on duty. She had left for the day but it so happened that she was still in her car somewhere on the streets of Burley and, too, it so happened that her car was wired to accept emergency signals from the button at the hospital and so she hurriedly returned to the hospital in time to get the necessary lung gear on Mary to restore her lung breathing motion until the lung muscles were sufficiently resuscitated to function on their own. A life was saved, probably, entirely due to the fact that the aid pressed the wrong button. It is reported that when the doctor's aid was asked why she pressed the wrong button her only response was her shrugging her shoulders and looking upward toward the ceiling. There had been no willful intent but we all recognize a Higher Power was intervening. To Him we offer our gratitude..

Mary responded quickly as has been indicated previously in this story that six hours later when we entered her room she was able to visit with us.

The doctor and nurses gave constant attention to the baby in her incubator. Her throat needed almost continuous attention to keep the mucus from stopping her breathing. Her head was misshapen which the doctor felt was caused by her lack of movement while in the womb as was previously noted. It was most probable that the problem stemmed from her head laying heavily on her knee or arm and nurses held out very little hope for the baby to be a normal child even if she lived which was a big question from the beginning. What an entry into this beautiful world and to parents and family who had anticipated the arrival of a newly born babe! If she lived and was fortunate enough to be physically and mentally normal - - or even if she were not to be a normal child - - she would be welcomed and loved. Certainly it is unnecessary to state here that there was much concern - - much concern indeed.

The hours of Saturday morning and afternoon passed. In the meantime the doctor had sent word to the Twin Falls hospital for assistance for the baby. At that hospital there was a specialty - - Dr. Wright - - who would be able to do more for the baby than anyone at the Burley hospital.

An ambulance with a driver and two skilled nurses arrived during the latter part of the afternoon and the nurses were introduced to the situation. The baby had had little success in nursing due to the lack of strength of mouth muscles and congestion. It seemed she had inherited the disease her mother had and so was seemingly unable to cope with the problem of taking nourishment. The new nurses immediately set to work to feed the baby intravenously which required skill on their part. They shaved the hair from a sizable spot on the baby's head and attached a tube leading from a bottle of such liquid as glucose. Regrettably my use of medical terms is altogether inadequate to give proper explanation. I hope from my description the reader will be able to get a picture in his mind of what I am attempting to describe.

The baby, naturally, remained in the incubator - - actually it had been transferred to a special incubator for ambulance use for on the trip to the Twin Fall's hospital she needed constant attention and all the aid that could be made available.

Mom and I had been with Mary from early morning but returned home at about noon to take care of some matters but we returned shortly after the Twin Falls nurses had arrived. Bishop and Sister Floyd Merrill., Mary's and Bryce's bishop and wife were waiting in the lounge room when we arrived. It had become necessary for Bryce to go to work. He was unable to be of any particular help at the hospital and his position required that he be to work. It seems, despite problems, life has to go on.

After the nurses had prepared the baby and her 'harnesses' which were attached to equipment or jars - - a supply of oxygen was and had been essential to keep her alive - - the little incubator was rolled into Mary's roan with its little cargo of 6 1/2 pounds.

The new head nurse with the baby asked the family to go into Mary's room in order for her to describe the situation as they found it. She appeared to us as being very knowledgeable and otherwise qualified. It seems the purpose was for her to report the seriousness of the baby's general condition, particularly with her head and lungs.

The nurse very candidly counseled that we not have too high hope of, first, the baby being able to survive and, secondly, if she did survive, of her ever being able to live normally. "She has too many things against her for me to give you much hope"' were her words to us. She then showed how they had actually measured the comparable parts of the two sides of her head. One ear was higher than the other from the corner of each of her respective eyes. She said that this indicated that, in all likelihood, one kidney would be offset from the other for, she reported, there is a definite connection between the ear and the eye positions - - interestingly, the relationship being from the eye and ear on the one side of the head to the kidney on the opposite side of the body. What she was trying to tell us was that, in all probability where there were problems with the head there, very likely, could be internal problems of which no one was yet aware. One side of the baby's head was somewhat enlarged while the other side, including the left eye was considerably concaved. There was a swelling of a gland on the left side of her neck which was not normal. The muscles and cords of her neck on the left side were considerably shorter than on the right side which would not permit her head to be erect. She would always have her head tilted to one side which would be a serious handicap to normal appearance and, perhaps, manipulation. While one could hardly call the shape of the head and its position grotesque it would be very noticeable and would prove a handicap to the baby.

The nurse said there were numerous other problems with which the baby would have to contend, however, she promised they, the nurses, and the doctor to whom they were taking her, would do everything humanly possible to assist the baby. She mentioned that it would take time for her true condition to be known. If the baby were to be retarded the full extent of such a problem would not fully be recognized until sufficient time had passed for the baby's motor reactions be studied some of which would not be discernible until she became of the age to start crawling and then walking and, perhaps, even later.

The nurse spent considerable time with us which was appreciated, and she left the impression that her major purpose for such a meeting was for us, as a family, to not be disappointed overly should the baby not develop normally. She repeated, "The baby has many things against her".

Mary had invited the bishop and me to administer to the baby prior to their taking her in the ambulance. This we did following the nurses visiting with us and which was done in the presence of both nurses whom we suspect were not L. D. S.

Bishop Merrill was invited to anoint the little baby's head with oil and I was asked to seal the anointing and pronounce a blessing.

As I look back on the event, especially, immediately following what the nurse had been telling us I wonder of what I must have been thinking as I was giving the blessing. As of now - - some six months later - - (as I am copying this it is now a few months over two years later) it seems her remarks must not have 'hit home' so to speak for what she said seemed not to affect my thinking in the least.

With our hands on the head of the baby - - inserted thru the holes in the side of the incubator, I was led - - and when I say led, I truly believe it for there seemed no desire for hesitation on my part - - to promise the little girl that she would respond to the treatment of the doctors and nurses and others who would take care of her and that it would not be long before she would be able to be taken to her parents and sisters to a happy home life and that all would be well for her..

Since then I have wondered why I so promised her a normal life when we had just been told that the odds were against her ever being normal even if she lived.

The report came back to us that when the doctor started working with the baby on the evening the ambulance took her to Twin Falls he was stymied. First, the medical history of Mary was studied but he knew little or nothing of her disease. Not only was the baby physically handicapped but he felt she had inherited the disease her mother had, just as a baby who is born of a smoking or alcoholic mother inherits its mother's weaknesses. He asked the nurses to spend time with his doctor books to search for information o n the disease and enlighten him when they learned something about it. They reported that Dr. Wright spent the entire night working with the baby and that he was intensely interested in her welfare.

Mary subsequently returned home from the Burley hospital and regained her strength quite readily. She and Bryce visited the baby in Twin Falls a couple times. On one occasion Mom and I went with them.

After about ten days Mary and Bryce brought the little one home - - they had not as yet decided what her name was to be - - and with loving care and thanksgiving on the part of all of us she was welcomed. She has since been named Sara May and she has won a special place in all our hearts.

At this writing, 10 October 1979, she is just past six months old and she continues to grow and develop. She is our miracle baby and shows excellent indications that she will yet live a normal life. She is very active and while all her problems may not have fully dissipated she certainly is headed in the right direction. We have never been around a happier and more pleasant baby - - she is unusually so.

One amusing anecdote already in her short life happened over a month ago when, in church on her mother's lap, she was entertaining herself by watching her sisters who were sitting next to her and she started laughing which developed into a giggle. She became so amused that she couldn't stop her giggling and it became necessary for her mother to take her from the meeting.

The little girl who, seemingly, was not meant to have a normal life ahead of her is headed for more than was ever hoped for - - actually, a t times, as we watch her movements we wonder if she is not developing even faster than a normal child. By the time she was four and a half to five months old she was able to sit on the floor alone and reach and play with items exceptionally steadily. She loves to be on her feet and it is amusing to see her strut along when one holds her by both hands and leads her about.

According to the nurse, retardation would be noticeable by the time of crawling nap and while she has not yet started to crawl there is no evidence of a forthcoming problem. A stranger, looking at her for the first time, would never suspect her past history, even now.

The Lord has been merciful and, seemingly, has heard our prayers in Sara's behalf. To us who have seen her from the beginning, she is a miracle baby and we are most grateful.

Thus ends the account written originally when Sara was about six months old. This account can become a little confusing to the reader as to sequences of time. Please keep in mind that as of this date, the last of July 1981, nearly 21 years following the above event I am recopying the previously written account into this, the story of my life and, at least at one point, made a comment applying to the present.

Before I leave the subject of Sara's experience let me make a comment bringing Sara to the nearly 2 1/2 year vantage point. She is a beautiful child and as has been indicated she is just as active, if not more so, than any other child her age. She seemingly has inherited the Loveday eyes which is a genetic peculiarity often pointed out in some of the descendants of my great-grandfather, Isaac Loveday. I have never heard of this feature ever being related to good or bad but it does consist of a little deeper eye-set with a little more than usual slope of the bone structure at the eyebrow to the outside of the eye - - the side of the eye nearest the ear. Hopefully sense can be made of such a word picture, but, peculiar or not my father had it, I have it and little Sara has seemingly inherited it. Please do not hold the little girl responsible. Actually, she has had very little to do with it.

Not that I don't love all my grandchildren every bit as much as I do Sara but I have always called Sara, 'my girl'. From the very beginning there seems to have been an affinity between us. Of course, here again, she was innocent in her choice due to her tender age but, if I do say it myself and if I am in the wrong I ask forgiveness, but particularly thru her first year or two tears she has been very special to me and, I think, she has reciprocated the feeling. When she was yet a baby in arms she often had a preference of me over any others and, particularly so when the little girls stayed with us for an evening or overnight. At time during the night when she woke up she wanted me to get her bottle or hold her rather than her grandmother and this has not been the usual thing for grandma has been very close to her grandchildren. No grandchildren has ever had a grandmother love them more than she does our grandchildren.

We are all so very pleased with Sara's outcome to this point. She is very tender hearted but yet can 'rough' it with the best of them. Vie have always acknowledged the Lord's hand with Sara being with us.

As I reach this day, 30 July 1981, I have completed writing a portion of my 'story'. As I look back - - I actually haven't edited it which probably I should do - - but there are things I now think of which I could have included but didn't. After all, there probably is a point in one's history which could rightly be termed 'enough'. Perhaps I have gone beyond that point. As I think now, perhaps it would be better to write more than enough rather than to not write enough. Any reader, of his own volition has the right and the ability to delete any portion of that which he is reading if it prove to be too longs whereas, it becomes difficult for him to add to a story if it has been cut short.

As I now remember, it was about ten years which elapsed from my last writing on this story before I picked up the pleasurable task to add to and bring it more nearly up to date. Perhaps with most of my working years behind me - - I am now over 73 1/2 - - I will not have the same excuse of 'busyness' to justify my taking so long to write another chapter to an ever lengthening life. While my patriarchal blessing promises that I will live to a 'ripe old age' who can say that I haven't already reached it. After all, three score and ten years was the allotted time.

As I am putting to the side the writing of this history I thought of two little items which I overlooked. Of the first I am unable to immediately turn to it if I did write about it. In case I have written of it I shall make this account brief so as not to duplicate too much. In case I haven't written of it this will still be made brief for copies of it were made available to the family and it can be located, In 1971 I started and completed a project which, for years, I had anticipated doing someday when I found the tire. I concluded that one never found the time to do such project so I concluded to rather, make the time. This proved to be a very interesting project, that of writing the story of my parents and after it was completed I gave it the long title of, "BORN OF GOODLY PARENTS - - Story of Thomas and Hettie Wilkes Blacker".

After writing the manuscript and obtaining a number of pictures and other historical items which I chose to have duplicated - - not only including data pertaining to my parents but, also, having to do with our ancestry on both sides of the family I approached the printing department of the Minidoka County News in Rupert as to a possibility of getting the manuscript copied or printed. An employee of the News who served as the newspaper's advertising man and who, for years we had turned our business advertising particular to for advertising in the paper, Dean Wilson, gave encouragement suggesting that it would be cheaper to have the material photo-copied and then with a semi-hard paper back have the nearly 125 pages bound together by stapling. We concluded to have one hundred copies made at a cost of $5004 After the books came into our hands we presented a copy to each of my brothers and sisters. Whatever additional copies they wished for their families we received $5.00, which as can be seen was our cost. We also presented a copy to each of our children and to then. presented a copy for each of their children, our grandchildren. A few copies were held back for any unborn grandchild. During the last ten years this category of grandchildren has increased alarmingly when judged by the number of books we held back. At this point we are not guaranteeing we reserved sufficient. With 31 living grandchildren at the moment and two more to arrive - - and who knows whether it is over - - our branches are nearly reaching the ground with weight. Two of our grandchildren, Marc, Lois' and Glen's little babe and John's and Mary's little David passed away as newly born infants..

The second little item which I failed to mention was a project which resulted from listening on T V to talks given by some prominent evangelists who expounded what we call the "saved doctrine" - - that is that all one needs to do to inherit eternal life is to confess the name of Christ as our Savior. According to the scriptures this philosophy of salvation is as false as is Satan, himself, and has become one of the most devastating tools ever used to defeat the true intent of the gospel. In nay opinion far more souls are being seduced by these evangelists than most, if n9t all, the other sinful issues described in the commandments. To willfully deceive, even in the name of religion, as is being done by these evangelists is wrong and I have not been above writing letters to the major evangelists of the day such as Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell and others. Hundreds of thousands of, shall I say innocent, people - - and there is no excuse for them to be innocent if they can read and think for themselves - - are, as, the scriptures say, being 'blinded by the craftiness of men'.

I have often thought that such as these evangelists should be exposed to the world for their business of deceiving and in my letters to them I have promised that the day will surely come when the accusing pointed fingers of the innocent will have to be faced when the innocent will say, "you promised we could be saved by grace only but your promises have come to naught".

I have wished that I had the power to clearly present before these 'victims' a discussion in which the whole story of the scriptures could be presented simply enough that they would understand what the criteria for salvation actually is as related by the scriptures.

To this end I originally - - probably during 1978 or 79 - - a work entitled, THE YES AND NO OF SAVED BY GRACE - - - IS SALVATION FREE? In this I attempted to explain that among other things there are two threads of thought running thru the scriptures, namely, that which the Savior has done for us which we could not do for our selves including such phases as the universal resurrection which will come to all men, without cost to us, and that the plan of the gospel was freely given to us for our guidance. These were both beyond the ability of us humans to accomplish in and of ourselves. These were given to us by the Grace of God. The other thread of thought running thru the scripture consisted of instructions which we were to conform to in order to qualify for the degree of salvation to which we would attain. These instructions are to be observed and there remains no way that the celestial kingdom can be reached without properly being observed. Faith is a cardinal principle of the gospel as our friends, the evangelists teach. We do not disagree with them on that point. We disagree with them on the extent of true repentance. Vocal acknowledgment of sin in not sufficient. "Bring forth fruits of repentance" was the apostles terse instructions. "Except a man be born of the water and the spirit he cannot see the kingdom of God" was an unquestionable ordinance which the Savior had no qualifications as to its importance. Today's evangelists regard this as not being essential nor that if such becomes the desire of the individual any minister of any church has the authority to perform the ordinance.

I ask the evangelists or ministers what gives them the right to select one isolated scripture and disregard another. Their only answer is that the scripture "Ye are saved by grace" supersedes all others and that man is vain if he supposes his own works can save him. The story is so simple if one would but be consistent. They close their eyes to the truth and the "blind lead the blind into a ditch".

I wrote a manuscript of nearly 200 pages typewritten and our son, Paul, was kind enough to one day go with us to his office where we obtained about six copies and bound separate copies with a ring binder. On occasions I have loaned these copies to believers of the 'Saved by Grace' doctrine.

I have always felt I could improve on the overall product and, as time permits, I am revising it and somewhat shortening it, The final outcome is down the road a ways. We shall await a future time as to what will come of it.

As I start this paragraph we are now into February of 1990, nine years or more subsequent to the previous paragraph. The old story repeating itself for it has been in that manner that the entire story has been written. One could call it a lifetime story "steady by jerks". As to the better way of writing one's biography this way may prove to be the better for certainly the final product wouldn't be so lengthy and should there be trivia some of it would be inconsequential and left out of the overall story. On the other hand some choice incidents may be left out which goes to show that perhaps there is no wrong way of writing one's story. The important thing is "to get it done'.

As I review the last end of what was written, an experience comes to me of the invitation we received shortly follow our return from our mission which was by invitation to speak at a Sunday L. D. S. service at the Idaho State prison in Boise. It came about in the following manner: Our son-in-law, Terry Levanger, at the time, was serving as a counselor in the ward bishopric and the wards of the Boise area were taking turns providing the holding and care of Sunday's meetings. It so happened it fell to Terry's turn.

The experience was little different from what we had experienced many times before when we were invited to go to local hospitals in our own town to participate in a Sunday service. One can, at least say the surroundings were different at the prison so far as security was concerned. There were only three or four in the make-up of the congregation. The emblems of the sacrament were blessed and served by the ward priesthood and I was invited to take a few minutes. I don't recall that I was given a particular topic on which to speak - - undoubtedly our mission entered into it plus my testimony.

As we entered and left the clanging of the locks and bars was very noticeable. Only the invited could go in and certainly only the invited could leave. A lesson pertaining to the final judgment came forcibly to mind. One became limited to the place he had earned for himself. The price of our freedom will become heavily mortgaged and there will be penalties. Certain areas will be locked against us. Perhaps it would be better to say, certain areas will be unlocked for us and we will get what we earn.

As I look back over these last few years I will probably have to admit to be my chief accomplishments would be the compiling of histories. I have already related my compiling a hard back edition of tile history of the Minidoka Stake a copy of which, hopefully will be left with each of our children and, therefore, will be accessible to each of my grandchildren.

During the early years of 1983 I completed compiling a history of the Blacker family which I titled, "Our Kith and Kin, Then and Now - - The BLACKER Epic". Our six children and each of our grandchildren who had arrived in this life at the time were given a copy. Hopefully the late-comers will have access to a copy. Your parents should have had you born before the record was prepared. We thought we were making sufficient copies but other branches of the family ordered more than we suspected they would.

Giving credit where credit is due, I must mention the title of this record must go to daughter, Beth, for it was she who suggested it even over the telephone from Boise. I thought the title was quite appropriate. Both terms, however, have become archaic (no longer used in modern speech) but at one time they applied to families and one's relationship to the family. Our earliest known date on the Blacker family is back into the sixteen hundreds which certainly gives us permission to use the term 'kith & kin' and be current with old word usage.

I shall not attempt to repeat what I have already written in the preface of the Blacker Epic for that story relating to the why and much of the how is contained there for the reading. I shall state this much however, that compiling that history has proven to have been one of the most interesting, however challenging, family projects ever undertaken. I have given thanks and here again express appreciation for the privilege it has been to gather this information into history form. Certainly I have been the benefactor. I realize it lacks professionalism. In the first place it was photocopied rather than printed and rather than regular book binding it was but clamped. To do otherwise was more expensive than we could then afford.

Probably as much as a year I had been writing to other branches of the extended family - - uncles and aunts had all passed away but - - brothers and sisters and cousins asking for genealogical data for every person, living and dead, that we may have a complete record for the book I was compiling. Above and beyond that information I asked for the number of copies of the finished book the families would want and determined that the actual cost of each would be 425 for photo-copying.

We concluded to order 100 copies copied by The Book Store of this town, Rupert. Our daughter Lois had access to the binding equipment at Glen's engineering place of business in Logan and she did the drilling and furnished the material for binding at her cost. Fortunately there were sufficient to fill every order with but one copy left for our own selves. We regret we didn't have more for any grandchildren not born at that time doesn't have a copy left as a birthright blessing. Parents may be willing to have a copy made up to take care of any such need.

During the same years I was doing research work for the Blacker family I was also working on the Wilkes family lines - - my mother's family and had been gathering a like amount of genealogy if not more so my project was but half done when I completed the Blacker family history. By December of 1984 1 had also completed the Wilkes' Epic, using the same general title "Our Kith and Kin - - Then and Now".

I had material sufficient for 100 more pages for this family than for the Blacker book, 261 for the Blacker record and 367 for the Wilkes book. We shopped around a little more for the second job and were able to do it for approximately the same cost despite there being more pages so we were able to sell them to family members for the same price. A total of 125 books were prepared of the Wilkes history.

These combined projects have to be the most pleasurable projects of my life. I had wonderful support from all families involved and hopefully these histories will be of assistance of all descendants of our early families. Regrettably I didn't get around to compiling these histories while the previous generations were alive. They would have been so much help had we had but one older generation to have contributed their personal experiences and particularly the generation who crossed the Atlantic.

During these last nine to ten years our normal living continued on very much as before. Mom and I both reached and passed our 80th birthdays , I a few months ahead. Through these several years Mabel continued with her assignment of teaching the Gospel Doctrine senior Sunday School class. This has given her considerable pleasure and satisfaction. She has always been an exceptionally good adult teacher. Beside being knowledgeable she prepares herself from lesson to lesson. Much to our surprise she was released two weeks ago without being given a reason. We accept releases in this church as we accept assignments. Others need opportunities for growth.

During about the year 1985 the local organization of the Minidoka County Historical Society and Museum contracted with an out-of-town printing and publishing company to print a county history. About this same time I received an assignment thru the regional library to present a series of two or three times a history of Minidoka County which was held in the Burley Stake house. This required considerable research, part of which was done at the Rupert city library.

Undoubtedly word got out to the County Historical Society that I had this particular assignment and, as a result, I received a letter asking if I would assist is gathering material for the upcoming printing of the county history.

They were seeking help on the history of the Minidoka Irrigation Project - - the early settlement of the project and they needed someone to write the early history of the Mormon Church in the county and they were aware I was a Mormon.

To make a longer story short I volunteered to take both of these categories. One thing I was not fully cognizant of was the fact that sale of the book was to be dependent on left after room was provided for 'family histories' which the general public would provide. In other words the price of the book was decided upon at the negotiating table at the beginning. A given amount of space in the proposed book was allowed for each family story providing the party would purchase a hardbound book after printing of approximately 400 pages.

These decisions were made prior to my entering into the picture: the size of the book was determined, the price of the book had been determined ($40) with the agreement that a family story would be printed without charge to the family proving a book would be purchased for every story. The Historical Society's job was to find stories. This simply meant the more stories accepted the less space there would be for other information such as the story of the building of the actual dam, canals, surveying of roads, springing up of tows, establishing of churches etc. etc. No body knew how much space there would be for these other things all of an historical nature.

My article on the history of the L. D. S. Church was of such a nature - mainly names of wards and their respective bishops could not be cut. See "Minidoka County History" Pp. 56-59.

The article I submitted on the history of Minidoka County was cut considerably (from one half to three-quarters) due to lack of space. See pages 9-13. I was not consulted regarding the cutting of the story but have since felt that I would have been more satisfied with the end result had I have been. My assisting with the publication of the book brought reason for our obtaining membership in the organization which, in turn, resulted in more involvement. After the book was published time came for the annual election of officers and I was selected vice-president to Paul Courtright, the long time president. It so happened that after eight to ten months his health began to fail him. I think it had been an oncoming worsening situation. He and Mrs. Courtright decided to go to Arizona for the rest of the winter for it was a lung problem. They went and returned and Paul's condition continued to worsen until he eventually passed away. During this long period the position of vice-president took over the duties of president, one of the purposes of the position, probably the only purpose. By the time of the next election I was voted as president.

The two or more years were an interesting experience. Wonderful people are committed to that organization made up by far more from members of other churches than from the L. D. S. , in fact, an active L. D. S. is a rarity. I have often thought, what an opportunity for missionary opportunities if the Mormon people would mingle only without mentioning religion. Mabel and I were accepted with open arms. At the time I was having a little health problem of dizziness or lightheadedness and knee problems. In fact my knees worsened to where I went to Idaho Falls where I had both knees operated on with very slow recovery. I concluded not to run for office at the museum the next tine around for this and a few other reasons. For over two years while serving I spent many hours, of course, as community service, and too, both Mabel and I had, a year before, gotten into our eighties in age and we were tiring more easily so we decided to retain membership but to decline holding office. We actually did this unwillingly because there is so much to do out there with so very few to do it. The big need right now and one that has been woefully neglected is labeling and otherwise identifying each and every item, particularly, pieces of machinery which has to remain outside in the weather.

The museum is a subject which could be discussed at length but space in this account will not allow but it was an activity in my life which I value highly. I would highly recommend to my children or grandchildren - - men or women - - to consider becoming involved with the museum, here or elsewhere, and volunteer

to assist or take part in any activity at hand. First-hand you will find beautiful people involved and, secondly, there will be interesting work which will prove enjoyable.

During these last nine to ten years, on occasions I have found responding to ministers interesting as I have done over the years. In most cases I have saved a duplicate which will be found elsewhere among the odds and ends of my writings. I do it for two or three purposes, 1st , to advise those to whom I am writing what the Mormons believe on the particular subject of which they are speaking or writing. 2ndly, to assist in keeping myself more in scriptural trim and 3rdly, that my grandchildren will know where their grandfather stood on the subject under discussion.

Undoubtedly the most important dialog entered into during this latter period was Easter-time full newspaper page issued and distributed by the L. D. S. Church thru an edition of the South Idaho Press, printed in Burley. The purpose of this full-page flier was to remind the L. D. S. populous of the reality of Jesus being the literal Son of God the Father and the fact that his long ago resurrection was real. Another purpose, where the readership of the paper is approximately 50% non-L. D. S. to appraise non-members of the position we take on that subject. The article was well done and was not controversial. It amounted to as a simple statement of fact.

Two weeks later, on the 29th of May 1987, as an advertisement rather than as a loose-leaf flier to the South Idaho Press as was the Mormon announcement, eighteen ministers left their separate signatures under what appeared as co-statements with the conglomerate titled "What Do Christians Believe?" which, at once, took on the appearance of a rebuttal of the Easter-time L. D. S. flier. In this seeming rebuttal they announced a united front that their foundational beliefs were identical and differed only in minor, inconsequential matters regardless of sect. They claimed to agree that God is eternal and has always existed, never having a beginning and that God is a Spirit only without a body of flesh and bone.

Another matter in which there is disagreement is the matter of pre-earth life. The eighteen ministers reported, "People are not physical bodies inhabited by pre-existent spirits who can eventually become gods". The ministers stressed as is usual, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast". Eph. 2:8-9.

One additional thing worthy of note the ministers directed against the L. D. S. church was an announcement "We urge you to search the Bible, which is God's only written scripture", undoubtedly referring to the Book of Mormon.

I have long noted the real need for dialog between the Mormon and regular orthodox Christian churches, including the Catholic, and this exchange at the 1987 Easter-time appeared just such a propitious time. The Mormon Church had, in a friendly manner, declared its position so far as, particularly, the nature of God is concerned, that in order for the scriptures to be evaluated with any degree of rhyme or reason there has to be at least two involved - - the Father and the Son and that each of them has a body of flesh and bone.. The sectarian churches, without exception, teach there is but one God and that he is spirit only.

With eighteen ministers leaving their respective signatures decrying as false the messages contained in the Easter-time flyer I thought what a choice opportunity the ministers were offering the area L. D. S. leadership to present in a friendly way a dialog in defense of our beliefs. To this day, nearly three years later, I have never heard who of the Church prepared the flyer. Perhaps one of the stake presidents of the area could have told me had I made inquiry. I have suspected it was done under the direction of the Area Presidency of this area but I am not certain.

From my observation there appears two schools of thought, even among the General Authorities - - those who suggest that when issues arise that they be ignored by members of the Church and other authorities suggest that members open their mouths and defend the teachings of the Church in a knowledgeable and friendly manner. In my opinion it was a prime opportunity and I hoped to see a response made but my hope was in vain for no response came. Months came and went, perhaps six months, until I was quite sure our L. D. S. authorities were going to do nothing about responding, however, in the meantime I let myself do a little practicing to see what could be done were I permitted to respond. No one warned against my doing so but I never fell it was my place to initiate the move. I wrote an eight page response in which I defended, issue by issue, the eighteen ministers' contentions as to what they claimed the Bible taught. I wrote the letter and put it away without dating it and waited three or four months but I never forgot it. I had prayed about it the whole time as to whether I should take the responsibility to respond. I wasn't at all fearful of my ability to defend the Mormon position as to each of the topics. Anyone who knew any thing, about the Church could defend it and, about that time a sense of guilt seemed to come over me. I thought I had, with others, been taught doctrine which is not true. Are you going to let it rest that way when you know differently. Are you afraid to open your mouth in defense of what the Lord has revealed?

In waiting as I had I figured I had given the Mormon Church authorities and any other Mormon an opportunity to make the defense had there been an inclination to so do so by the first of December , approximately six months later, I made eighteen copies of my eight page letter and mailed one each to the eighteen men who had their respective signatures and addresses on the seven column advertisement in the 29 May 1987 issue of The South Idaho Press. The guilt feeling left me and I honestly felt that I did what the Lord would have had me do.

Suspecting my letter had something to do with it, there came another announcement, this time in January 1st 1988, introducing Rev. William Lineberry of Rupert's First United Methodist Church to the fact that he had planned a series of three sermons respectively on the 10th, the 17th and the 24th of January 1988 on the respective subjects of "The 'Nature of God", "The Nature of man" and "The Plan of Salvation" under the overall title, "Mormonism and Orthodox Christianity".

The pastor announced a copy of his typed and copied sermons would be available for the asking to the public. As the weeks passed the first two sermons were supplied me by a member and close friend. Mrs. Ruth DeThomas of that church for the first two weeks and I wrote directly to the pastor for the third week which he (apparently) graciously sent to me thru the mail at my request.

With these three sermons at hand, I had another opportunity to add material for three additional defenses to prepare which I did. The entirety of these two projects, viz: the letter to the 18 ministers plus the copy of the three sermons and my defense to each of them was especially fitted and bound together by Terry and Beth into a spiral binder at Terry's office in Boise. A copy of this material has already been given to each family for Christmas of 1989. If additional copies are desired each family can re-photo-copy as they desire.

I might report, in an attempt to do a little missionary work a copy of the above material plus a copy of The Book of Mormon was mailed to Jim and Hazel Blacker of 118 E. Keller St., Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055. Distant cousins mentioned in "Our Kith and Kin; Then and Now, the Blacker Epic. See chart on page 120. Also to their grandson, William Loyn Blacker on same chart whose address is 903 B, Mariner Drive, Mountain View, California 94043. He is in U. S. Military Service. He is married with no children at this date(1990). So far as I am aware he is my only namesake. We had become acquainted with his grand-parents prior to Bill's birth. A copy of "Our Kith and Kin, the Backer Epic" was presented to Jim and Hazel at the time it was completed in 1983.


December 31, 1983 - This year brought to an end to the life of our oldest family member - our sister Alice. She died December 27 early in the morning in the Salt Lake rest home where she spent many years of her last illness. She had been ill for about eleven years; difficult years for not only her but for us her family as our hearts ached as we watched her fight her final battle of this life.

The winter day, cold and miserable had not yet dawned when she left this mortal life, with all her problems and aches and pains, and crossed into the light, peace and beauty of that other life. What joy and gladness must have been hers as she left her worm out body and met her loved ones who had gone before - Bill, Marion, Eloise, Dad, Mother, Violet and Jim and a host of other friends and relatives, who had waited for her coming.

We, her loved ones, still here thanked the Lord for her passing. We had prayed for it, for years, as we had watched her illness deprive her of all those wonderful activities which she had used to bless all of us.

Not that her passing didn't bring an ache and a deep feeling of emptiness in our hearts. Death, even with its blessings, brings a feeling of emptiness. Alice had always been with us all. Always she had been a help and blessing to all of us - she had helped Dad and Mother care for all of us. She often told of our births and many events in our lives. She told me of the day I was born, when the doctor came to Grandma Brown's in Almy. She was under the impression I was brought in Dr. Wick's black bag. Many during the years she assisted in births and learned the real birth process. Her attendance at these occasions were always kind and comforting. A new life always made her so grateful. Not only at births but she ministered so kindly at deaths and was aware of others in their problems. She loved to work and her hands were never idle. Because of her disease, her hands were only stilled in death. Her home was always clean and so was her family and herself. She loved nice things and used what she had to the upmost. She was buried today, 31st of December, beside her husband. A wonderful meeting with you lies ahead for all of us.


1 January 1984 - Today was the first of a new year. The last day of 1983 was the burial of Alice in Evanston. Weather conditions and my leg problem made it advisable for us to stay home. Our good judgment overcame our desire to attend the funeral. Melvin called about 5 pm yesterday and said Alice was buried and the funeral had been nice. I noted a sound of sadness in his voice. Bill, Alice's son, called and told me how nicely the funeral was. He was glad his mother had finally found peace. He was always good to his mother. The sole responsibility of her care had been his. Marion had been dead for years. Today was Sunday and our meetings have been changed from 2 pm to 9 am. I stayed home because of my legs. I can't stand and I hate to limp around people. I spent the time in reading. Loyn came home right after 12. He had taken my S.S. class. We had dinner, potatoes, some mutton chops, creamed peas and apple sauce. While we were eating Dorothy called. She was tired from the day before funeral, but told me how nice the funeral was and how nicely Bill had buried his mother. She told me that Christmas morning she had seen Mother in her kitchen, how beautiful she looked and the wonderful feeling she brought with her. Dorothy felt either Alice or me would be dying. Dorothy seems to have so many spiritual experiences. While I was washing dishes I looked out the window and saw a squirrel looking for a nut under the snow. He scratched and dug, but went away without one. He was scratching in the wrong place. The squirrels get nuts, climb the tree and eat them and the "crumbs" drop on the ground. Tried to do some genealogical research but finally gave up and sent to bed.

2 January - Didn't sleep well - my leg bothered me. Today the sun is shining and now its 10 above. My leg still aches, but after breakfast I laid down with my leg over the davenport. It seemed to help the ache. Loyn took down the Christmas tree so that's over. Had a nice Christmas. Wonder where we'll be next year. Talked to Ruth and Mary, but we're here by ourselves. Mary and family went to Pocatello for a trip. Adin went to Arizona for his judging contest.

3 January - Slick and icy and cold. Ruth said not to go to their place as the roads are too bad. We went to the library and got back home safely.

January 4 - Sister Taylor called for us to be the librarians from 10 - 1 today. The regular librarians are too old so we were called. We went and had no trouble until we got out to the car - the roads, sidewalks were solid ice, even where the roads were dry. I walked on the grass to the library and then hung on the rails. Did a little research on the Bowers. Came home - took care of some bank business and went to Safeway for groceries. Spent nearly $50. Loyn wanted some germade so we went to Nelsons as Safeway's didn't have any. Not much else to report. Wrote to Dorothy and sent some bills.

January 5 - Still cold and foggy and icy. Made germade for breakfast and orange juice. The usual activities. Today is 35 years since Mother died. The lives of our loved ones are so linked with ours that it seems impossible to ever break the links. Mother was a wonderful person and we still cherish her memory, as well as Dad's, Violet and Jim. Can image they are all enjoying the arrival of Alice. Been living in the past these last few days. Wrote letters to Melvin, Lucille and Bill. Also Paul and Lynn.

January 6 - made arrangements for a permanent and went at 3 pm. She took 2 ½ hours and she had 3 others. Loyn took me and came as the roads are so icy to walk. I filled out several family group sheets. Went to Earl's and got some milk; Bryce is a at guard. Mary and kids alone. Gave us a picture of Victoria. Those kids are growing up a lot since they were babies. Ruth and family well. John had called while I was at the beauty parlor and said he was coming. He got here at 9 pm. Mary didn't come as Sean was ill - a bad cold. Good to see Ian and Christie. Went to bed above upstairs alone. A real achievement for them. Good to visit with John.

January 7, a Saturday - Made cod fish gravy for breakfast. Ian and Christie had cold cereal and some ham. John still likes to come home and have cod fish gravy. He went to Larsen's to see about a trade-in for his car. Then to Mary's and Ruth's. I patched two of Ian's pants. John bought himself a coat at Roper's and two pairs of pants for Ian. Mary left Sara and Melissa here as she and the girls went up town. I made some spaghetti and Sara and Melissa and I walked to Nelsons. Sara and Melissa helped me - the roads are still slick, but we made it safely. Bought lettuce, carrots, ice cream and a tomato for a salad. Tammy made the salad and we had supper. John and the kids and Mary all left. Paul called - Lynn still not well. We left at 7:20 tp pick up Hilda for the evening session of stake conference. Meeting was nice. Speakers Pres. Duncan, the Boise Idaho Mission president and regional repr. Henderson - Theme: Keeping faithful oaths and covenants. Its now 10:30 and I'm going to bed.

Sunday, January 8 - Prayers, breakfast, bath and dressed for the day. Left at 10:10 am to go to the hospital for the LDS Sacrament Meeting at the geriatric port. Loyn gave the opening prayer and I did the last. That was quite an experience and made one really humble and thankful. Except for the visitors, all were ill in some way. The Priests even put the bread and water in their mouths. Some slept all through the services. Janie Kudske gave a talk about 7-10 minute on prayer. Sr. Bertha Hansen who had been so active in the church many years seemed to appreciate and lifted up by the services. She seemed so happy to see us. All seemed thankful for what we did - so they said, but they did far more for me. Life gives us a lot of tests. We picked up Hilda and went to the stake house for our session of conference at 11:30. Received necessary instructions and urged to keep on. Speakers, Pres. Duncan, Nelson, Moeller and the mission president and Bro. Henderson. Hilda came home with us and I got dinner for us. Fried potatoes, corn, meat, raspberries and fruit cake, bread, cucumbers & chili sauce. Worked on my genealogy - made several family group sheets. Records are far from complete.

A comment written across the bottom of the page in Mama's beautiful handwriting
Lois Blacker Cobia:

"The rest of 1984 lives only in memory. I'm sorry now I didn't write more - January 1, 1985."


January 1, 1985 - Another year came. Loyn and I were alone last evening and went to bed early - the new year came in without us watching. We awoke early and I got up to start dinner for all our families living here. Ruth's, Laron's Bryce's and Mary and Sis. Chugg. I felt well and enjoyed cooking. Made rolls, jello, salad, dressing, etc. Sr. Chugg brought a ham and Mary brought mashed potatoes. Jennifer, Amy and Chelsea came about 11 o'clock to help get the things ready. Was a big help. Loyn had got the tables ready. They all seemed to enjoy the dinner and we enjoyed having them with us. The children are all growing up so fast. Mary and the girls went to K Mart and the others went home. Bryce, Sara and Melissa stayed a while and Loyn and Bryce watched a football game. Loyn took Bryce and the girls home. I took a bath and then went to bed and read a book as Loyn wanted to watch the football game between Oklahoma and Washington. I read "Great Moments in Mormonism" vol I by Terry which I enjoyed so much. Several times Loyn came and told me the score - finally when I'd nearly finished the book and the game had only a few seconds I got up to watch. Washington had won and Oklahoma lost. Maybe the "Y" would be #1. Maybe there were some unseen players on the field. Went to bed, tired but happy.

January 2 - Didn't do much - had to recuperate. Loyn and I went to Burley to see about a fan to put in the ceiling. We didn't get one, but came home and read and went to bed.

January 3 - Went to Ruth's to see Jennifer before she went back to Ricks College. She's a sweet dear girl and we love her. She and Adin were our grandchildren and we loved them and Cindy and then others came. Kimberly, Victoria, Tamara, Greg and our hearts loved them all - all then we had a whole lot of grandchildren and all are special. Hate to see them all grow up. Lynn called and told us what a beautiful job Julie had done - before the play started - "The Nutcracker Suite", Julie told her mother with tears in her eyes "Well, Mother, I guess it's up to me and the Lord." That touched both Loyn and me. We pray the children will always be guided as they seek guidance. Lois called and said Kevin will be baptized Saturday night. Can't believe its 8 years since we flew to L.A. when he was born.

January 4 - After breakfast we finished shortening the drapes in the front window. Afton came and visited for awhile. I feel sorry for her but she doesn't seem able to help herself. Walked up town and paid the usual bills. Got a letter from Millington's in Bolton. They received their Christmas present. Bolton will go to the old Spinners Hall while the new addition is put on that old dear little branch in Bolton. Loyn has gone home teaching with Nephi Douglas. The house is empty with no one in it. Loyn came home after being gone three hours.

January 5 - A nice day - cloudy but cold but no storm. I baked bread and made cookies by using the cream I bought at Christmas which went sour. Loyn went to Mary's to get his hair cut and took some bread. I went to town - to Safeway's. tonight is Stake Conference - in both Rupert and Rupert West. We took Hilda. A nice meeting - on obedience and sacrifice. A large meeting for it was for both stakes. All day I've been thinking that it's 37 years ago since Mother died. She's been gone all these days but she still lives in my life and has influence me so much. That was a hard time as I wondered what life would be without her. We were in Ontario, Oregon then and waiting for her to come spend the winter with us. Then John Martin called about 2 or 3 in the afternoon telling of her sudden death. When Dorothy and Alice went into her home after her death on the street they saw her footmarks going out of the house - she never returned - if she did her footsteps made no marks. She had her suitcases all filled for her trip to us. She had a trip, but not to us - she went to the other loved ones. I've been blessed with a wonderful father and mother. I love them.

January 6 - Stake Conference today. We went at the 10 am session, both Rupert and Rupert West stakes both met at our stake house in Rupert at 10. Rupert West at 2 pm. We picked up Hilda and enjoyed the meeting; but not as much as last night's meeting. The choirs of the two Acequia wards were good. President Duncan spoke on the moral problems in the world; President Harmon on missionary work and Pres. Nelson temple and genealogical work - more temple than research. The Idaho mission president bore his testimony, took about three minutes. Reg. Rep. Martin Zackerson took about 30 minutes. He said, or I think he said, if we'd live right we maybe could see the Savior. We came home. I made shrimp sandwiches and cocoa. Bro. Laverl Bingham, stake SS President, came to borrow my SS manual and we visited nearly two hours. Bryce and Mary's family and Ruth & Laron who are in the Rupert West stake came and visited us. Bryce and Mary left. Ruth waited for Laron who had some late business. We made tuna fish and deviled ham sandwiches. Also had some cookies. They are good. They left and David Hernandez came and visited, inviting us to his wedding in S.L Friday. Our water hadn't been good all day, so we went to Earl's and Ruby's for some drinking water and had a good visit with them prior to them leaving tomorrow for St. George and other places. It was good to get in a warm bed and go to sleep. During the day I had several times read the D&C. We're studying the D&C during the year in SS.

January 7&8 - The usual things. The weather cloudy and dull, making one feel the same. Tuesday we went back to the library in Burley after a two week vacation. Christmas and New Years were both on Tuesday, our regular assignment. It was good to get back again and to see those who work there on Tuesday, especially Ernest and Edith Handy. I helped several people and then decided to check the Goobers on the IGI. I was thrilled to find the christenings of Elizabeth and Josiah Godber children of William and Mary Farnsworth Godber. I'd known of these two children, but had been unable to find where they were born. I was surprised that it was Chesterfield for both of them. I was so thrilled for years and years I'd searched for these christenings. It takes time and patience to do genealogical research.

January 9 - It had snowed a little the day before and a little during the night, so after we'd had breakfast Loyn took the snow blower and cleaned the walks. I did a little. It was nice and warm to be out - nicer than usual. Did some research work and the usual around the house. Loyn sent his last Blacker book to his cousin Cumera Miles. I did some shopping Nelsons. Ruth called and said they had received information Ryan would have his heart tested in Boise February 18 and 19. Mary came over for a few minutes. I bought 25 pounds of sugar for $6.69 at Nelsons.

January 10 ----- Date written, but left blank

For several years we have been corresponding with Bertha Jeffers and her husband, Joe of 92-10111 Makakilo #83, Ewa Beach, Hawaii 96707 and we mailed the above listed church material to them. We had mailed to them a copy of "Our Kith and Kin, the Wilkes Epic" in 1984. She is a daughter of William F. Walker (Bill) who lived and died in Boise. He was a son of Aunt Mat and Lo Walker. See chart on page 266 of the Wilkes Epic. Bertha is not a member of the church.

I think, somewhere in this history, I have mentioned a pleasant experience we have had with an exchange student from Australia. I have forgotten the year but it must have been in the 1960s the local Rotary Club to which I was an active member, asked for volunteers to provide a home to a high school senior girl who would come into the area for a year. One of the purposes was to have her live in a few homes for a few months and move on to a second home and a third etc. until by the end of the school year she had been exposed to four or five different families. At the Rotary meeting I committed a turn. A young lady, Kae Rose, Spent a. few weeks with us earlier in the year and then, another turn, later is the school year. Some of our older children were away from home for we had one empty bedroom. There was a time when they were serving missions and/or to college. The exact year Kae was here evades us. Kae has been back on two or three visits. Three or four years ago she and her husband stayed all night with us. This last summer - - 1989 - - Kae was on a hurried trip to Coeur d' alene, Idaho for an international convention with she being the sole representative from Australia. She had arranged with the Bob Balche, another host family of years ago, to have her former hosts, to meet at the Balche home for a 'get-together' which we did and we had a nice social hour. In the meantime she had separated front her husband of a few years ago.


Sunday, January 1, 1989

Once again I've decided to start a journal. Another year has passed. Considering everything it was a good year. The last week was a difficult one. Paul had spent several months in St. Joseph, Missouri, near St. Louis. The family had sold their home in Alpine and would be leaving on the 3rd of January. Paul, Lynn, Laura and Olive Sprague (Lynn's mother) wanted to come up. There had been a big snow storm and the roads were bad. We tried to stop them by calling, but they had already left. Hours passed and they didn't come. We surely worried almost gave up when after 2 they came. They hardly made it and only had time to eat and say goodbye as Paul had to get a plane in Salt Lake at 7 that night. More anxious hours of waiting until Laura called after 8 and said they were home and Paul had gone. We surely hate to see them go that far away. Not only hate, but hurt to see them go. After they left we both cried and we knelt down and Loyn prayed. We surely love our children. We pray this venture will be for their best. Last night I couldn't sleep. Hate those nights and I've had so many lately. When I did go to sleep I had such horrible dreams.

Should say the new year came and now it's 1989. Our meetings started at 8pm under the new plan of S.S. first and 10 minutes of prayer and singing. I've been concerned about the lesson - teaching how to develop more spirituality. I need that more than anyone. The lesson went pretty good - hard to say how it went. Didn't cough like I did in R.S.; started and knew I'd better leave and had a hard spell in the rest room. Didn't cough in Sacrament Meeting, but nearly went to sleep. Both speakers are quiet and didn't speak in the microphone and could hear so little. I guess I haven't started out the new year with my best attitude. See what tomorrow brings.

January 2 - Things look better in the morning. Paul and Lynn left their two cats - Winston, a big black and white one, and Mitzi, a white, orange and brown one. These cats have surely been lost and lonely. All they wanted to do was hide, and didn't eat for several days. I felt sorry for them as I know what it is to be homesick.

January 3 - Library day. The usual except worrying about Paul and Lynn leaving for Missouri. White at the library Ruth came in and said she wanted us to go upstairs. Megan helped her Grandfather and when we got upstairs the big surprise was Jarom walking without his crutches and doing a good job. We were all crying for we'd prayed for this for a year and a half. Ruth was so thrilled and almost beyond belief for this was something she'd wanted, hoped, and prayed for and yet sure it wouldn't happen. They'd been to the doctor and he said it was a miracle the bone had grown so much the last three or four months. We were so grateful and prayed when we got home to thank the Lord.

January 4-5 - Lynn, Jeff, Jim and Allison left Utah for Missouri. It's always hard to break up a home. Homes are such special places. Although they are only a house so much living has gone into it. I thought of the days we helped them move and all the family growth that had gone into it since. The girls and boys had grown and Allison had joined the family. I loved that place - specially the hills in the back. I also recalled all the homes we'd made and left - its hard. The 5th was 40 years since Mother died. We were in Ontario, Oregon then and one of the saddest times - to bury my dear mother and break up her home, a place I'd lived until I was married. Loved that home, and often think of all the wonderful experiences I had there. It still lives in my memory and I often go back and relive my life there. That's all I can do - I can't go back.

January 6, 7 and 8 - Seventh and eighth was stake conference. The weather has been cold and snowing. We even wondered it there would be conference. The evening meeting was good. So was the morning. The 7th ward choir sang in the morning. Theme of conference was ""Preparing for the future"". There was no general authority present. A counselor in the mission presidency spoke at the end to do more missionary work.

Now back to the subject at hand - - church literature - - the Book of Mormon and related literature. The above was sent her this January of 1990. It was a restriction that there was to be no form of proselytizing when housing an exchange student - - just normal living; and this we did and, I am sure, it left a favorable impression.

As stated, we were fortunate to be able to sell our furniture business and in as much as I was 71 or 72 years of age we concluded it was time to retire.

Our health had been reasonably good through: the years but it , was beginning to show such as weariness long before the day was over. Also, I seemed afflicted with unsteadiness or dizziness which resulted in me having to reach out to steady myself. Over the years my knees also began to give me trouble until such time my family talked me into going to a knee surgeon in Idaho Falls who had become noted for his joint service such as knee, elbow, shoulder service. In fact, our son, John, had gone to him for his knee and shoulder problems and claimed he was helped.

My appointment one day in June of 1989 after being checked by the doctor I met the doctor in a nearby clinic center at about 11 a. m. Another doctor gave me an anesthetic shot to put me out and for I suspect not over an hour the surgeon cut three little slits to the front of each knee and, reportedly, with the aid of a camera, scraped into the knee joints to scrape smooth any roughness.

Six or more months later I hesitate to report any improvement in my, particularly standing position. it is very difficult to go to and from a sitting position and put weight on my knees as they go into an erect position. The nearest I can describe it, it feels like bone grinding on bone. One man described his experience with the same type operation as taking at least a full year to recover.

Another little encounter I have had with a doctor is just over. Skin cancer at the side of my nose. The doctor cut the spot out but the test showed he didn't get it all so he had to repeat the surgery, the second time going deeper and wider. This second time it was necessary to graft skin from behind an ear. For two or three weeks it was necessary for me to go out of circulation because of the 'open' wound. The doctor preferred the wound be not bandaged but left open for faster healing purposes.

Mom and I are still serving at the Burley Genealogical Library. Continuous service there since 1963 when it opened excepting the 18 months of our mission - - 27 years. For the last ten years I have been serving as a checker on the Extraction Program. I am permitted to bring the extraction cards home during the week where I can check at own time. The program expects a checker to spend from 12 to 20 hours a week which I probably average. For the most part I am working with Spanish names out of Mexico. For a time the names have also come from Bolivia, from Italy and another source or two.

Mom was released from teaching the older Gospel Doctrine class on 1st of January 1990 after more years than she can remember. We can't figure the why of it excepting we have had a new change in the Sunday School presidency and that they wanted a change to show up in their new administration. Mom has always been considered an exceptionally good teacher. She worked hard at it and prepared. I have never known of her going to a class as a teacher unprepared. To you children who may someday read this account - - and grandchildren I cannot report anything less than that your mother and grandmother has studied herself in church history and doctrine to the point that she can be classified as a scholar. I know of no one better informed in that field.

Now for a short update on our families by age: Paul, Lynn and family seems to have made it in Alpine for eight of the nine years since updating; them nine years ago. As you remember, Paul was engaged with the Ford, Bacon and Davis Engineers as an Environmental Scientist. Paul had expressed himself as seeing and feeling the big engineering concern was showing signs of interest waning in his particular field of activity and because of this concluded to be on the lockout for his field of work with another engineering company who was more progressive in his particular field. Paul located one in St. Louis and requested particulars. Paul sent his credentials and impressed the officials of the newly found company and started working for them between Christmas of 1988 and New Years of 1989. Paul's family joined him in January 1989 excepting Laura who had work and college to contend with and Julie, a senior in high school at American Fork and who was a member of a Utah Valley Ballet group who wanted to stay with he activities. Paul and Lynn's two boys, Jeff and Jim and daughter, Allison, moved to St. Louis with their parents only to return to Idaho Falls by the next New Year, January of 1990.

Paul has kept himself alert to other environmental companies and their advertisements. He flew from St. Louis for four or five interviews in Idaho Falls with different companies and was able to take his choice of good job offerings. At this point I am unable to give the name of the company of his choice but the office of his actual employment is in the new mall south and east of the city of Idaho Falls. If I understand correctly, the actual site of his company's concern it out at the INEL site near Arco. At the present Paul's company is housing the family at the West Bank Motel while awaiting Paul and Lynn finding them a house in which to live. For the present they are anticipating renting rather than starting to buy.

Considerable, with Ruth's and Laron's family, has transpired since last writing in this account. Their older children have graduated from Minico high school having participated in voice music as well as instrumental. Adin and Jennifer have each filled missions, Adin having served in Mexico and Jennifer in Chile. Adin has married and they have a little girl, Mariah and are both attending B. Y. U. where Ethan also attended last summer and is presently in Jerusalem taking a six month course which he plans to complete prior to the time he reaches missionary age. Unfortunately Amy has had considerable health problems and for a number of years has been under the care of doctors. Presently, 1990, she is with Jennifer in Provo where they are working but hoping to get into school at a later date.

Laron is still teaching in the Burley school system dealing with the gifted students and, on the side, has and is developing software for a school computer system. Within this last year he has been joined by Terry Levanger and have sold a number of systems to schools in, particularly, the lower Snake River schools.

With school teaching earnings and their large family they have hoped this extra earnings activity will be a help which it has but it hasn't been fully developed to the present but both Laron and Terry are putting considerable time in it.

Ruth has, also, been teaching in the Declo schools part time, a class of slow learning pupils - - three to four hours per school day - - which income has greatly assisted in the care of their family. Cameron, their youngest, is still at home but he is left with a neighbor which arrangement is proving no problem.. The school officials, after they appraise the good results Ruth is getting from her pupils, are suggesting Ruth complete her graduate work so she can qualify for full pay and, join their regular teaching corps.

The younger family members still at home are doing well in school. As an example, Chelsea and Megan were each listed on their respective honor rolls this last semester. Ryan is with the Dorian choir as also with the schools regular Glee Club. Church-wise the entire family is faithful. Ruth is a past choir leader in the ward and now the Primary president. Laron has six or seven years as bishop behind him and is now a Gospel Doctrine teacher in their ward.

Next younger in the family, Lois, has experienced the tragedy of divorce since my last report in this story. About August of 1985 Glen Stott reported to his family that he was preparing to move out. This was a shock to all. We could hardly believe it. He was active in the Church and at the time, was in the Elder's quorum presidency. Kimberly, the eldest, was 18; Gregory 15; Matthew 14, Gary, 11; Kevin 9; and Amanda 4.

It probably is not, necessary to give details at this point even if I knew them which I didn't. Glen moved into a small, partially furnished apartment and batched for a month or two while his divorce was pending. We never had a chance to visit with Glenn, however, we visited with the family on two or three separate occasions in an attempt to comfort and assure them and assist wherever and if possible. I had secured Glen's mailing address and wrote a frank but friendly letter and received a friendly and appreciative letter back but he insisted he could not go back as things were before. We suspected another woman had entered into the picture which he denied but we subsequently learned immediately following the granting the divorce he married the secretary at his office, a divorcee. The owners of the engineering concern for whom Glen was working relieved him of his employment and the newly weds moved to Salt Lake and subsequently to California where they have since resided.

Such an event does not occur to a family without deep heartaches and hurt. And so it has been with Lois and children. Fortunately, Lois had had experience in the work force and had adaptable capabilities. She found employment at Utah State University with their dairy and has since been with them for a few years.

Thru the Singles program of the Church she met Cliff Cobia from the Ogden area who has been a Godsend to Lois. They were married in the Logan Temple and things appear to be working out for them. I'm sure it hasn't been easy for Cliff but with his patience which, I am sure, which he has had to use with the large family he adopted, he has been a steadying factor and a companion to Lois which has been greatly appreciated by all of us.

Lois' children, Kimberly completed her high school and found employment in a nursing home and has pursued university work as she has been able to. She changed her employment a time or two but it is still related to nursing home endeavors and she still takes courses from the university. Greg also completed his high school and has found part time employment and also is taking courses from the university .

Matthew graduates this year from high school where he has played with distinction, in the marching band where the band has earned national honors. His younger brother, Gary, this past year, is fitting into the same band.

Kevin and Amanda are doing well in school where they are acquainted with honor rolls.

From Lois ' family let us turn next to daughter Mary's and Bryce's family. Four daughters remained the total at their home, good kids all. Bryce continued with his trick driving for Simplots and each fall Mary drove truck in the harvest for her brother-in-law, Boyd Chugg on the average of four or five weeks. Mary's myasthenia gravis remained with her thru the years and had to be kept under control by medication. Despite the handicap few could do better in anything Mary was doing. She tired easily but she was not one for quitting nor did she complain. When any of us complained a little she would remind us to 'throw your shoulders back and be a man'.

Our 'miracle baby' now our miracle girl, Sara, developed, not without problems, but she remained our sweetheart. No one: ever loved his or her Daddy and Mom more than she. She was with them always, rain or shine, in the field or in church. As she got older it became advisable for her to wear braces on her bottom teeth. plainness of her speech was affected but never did we hear her complain. Despite her difficult start she has done remarkably well. We know she is alive today because of Heavenly Father answering the family's prayers.

Next up from the youngest, Melissa, is now in the seventh grade at East Minico. She is blessed with a gift in music and took violin lessons for awhile and then, with her parents, concluded lessons on the piano would be best for her for the time being. She is doing well with the piano.

Now to third up from the youngest, Tamara, completed her high school years at Minico in the spring of 1988. The next fall she attended the University of Southern Idaho at Pocatello for a quarter and due to the lack of finance she spent the rest of the year working at a fast ford outlet and found herself alone in her apartment which became too expensive so she concluded to return home and found local work. Undoubtedly while at her work at the bowling alley she met a young man, Richard Ball, of Paul, Idaho near by. He had graduated from Minico high school a couple years ahead of Tami and had attended Utah State university I understand for about three years. Tami and Richard were married on the 9th of February 1990. ten days prior to this writing. certainly we wish this young couple our very best.

We turn now to Bryce's and Mary's eldest, Victoria known to us as Vicki. Her girlhood days were quite close to us, her grandparents, due, in part, to the health problem her mother had, especially during the younger years of the little girls. We often cared for them, sometimes weeks at a time when Mary was in a hospital and Bryce was working.

Vicki graduated from Minico High school, perhaps in 1986 - - maybe 87 . She later married David Armstrong, also near Paul, Idaho and after their marriage they moved to Pocatello where Vicki registered for a course in hair-styling in which she became proficient. At the present she is in the last two or three months of her training.

We turn now to Beth's and Terry's family. As with the earlier families life brings with it the normal family activities. The babies soon grow out of babyhood into their school years and even school years don't last long. Eldest son, Nathan, graduated from high school in Boise and attended B. Y. U. for a year when he left to go on his mission to the Guam-Micronesia Islands mission. Most of the islands making up that mission were remote and inhabited by original natives using their native tongue. This fact created a problem with missionaries for many languages were used and when one was transferred to a new island a new language was necessary. The island of Guam, itself, which was mission headquarters was the exception on which was a United States Naval and Air Bases, where English was the basic tongue mingled with a multiple other languages.

Nathan seems to have gotten along exceptionally well with his language problem and was moved about by his mission president and during his last six months or more was called to serve in the mission office as the president's assistant. This is now nearing the last of February, 1990 and he is scheduled home shortly after the first of June. He intends to continue his education at B. Y. U.

Beth's and Terry's daughter, Erin, has been an apt student thru the years with considerable extra curricular activity such as is provided by a drill team and attending all-state activities. She will graduate this spring from high school.

Jared, thru the years has been involved with sports such as summer baseball as is Adam with Little League. Jared is proficient with the piano as is Paige. And comes along little (during these years, youngest) Kelsey, not a whit behind any of her siblings. She delights in holding her own whether it be school work or on the piano or anything else. Seemingly she was half mature when she was born.

Now a word relative to our youngest, John and Mary's family. Upon my last report the family had made their move to Idaho Falls where John had employment with the city of Idaho Falls and though he had to start from the bottom he watched his chances for advancement, particularly in electrical department. That department made it possible for him to take courses at night school which would assist him with his work and he took advantage of that. At present he is a lineman on one of the city crews.

Their family has reached a total of three children - - Ian, Christy and lastly, Sean, the baby Mary and John were awaiting when I last brought this family history up to date some ten years ago. Like all of our other grandchildren, these three have proven special. Each of the three were born with honey-blond hair - - our Swedes of the family. They must have inherited their blondness from their mother's family.

Their third, Sean, has inherited a special fondness for codfish gravy which we Blackers have had a special adeptness for. Since Sean vas a small child he has wanted to come "to Grandma's house so he can have' cod-i-fish'. Thru these young years Grandpa has playfully tried to convince him that cod-i-fish is cruddey but he won't become convinced. Some years salted codfish has not been available in our stores and Sean has been on the lookout for it in the larger stores in his hometown and he has persuaded his parents to buy a supply of it from there. He has actually come down with as many as a half dozen boxes of that 'goody' so grandma will always have a supply in the freezer. This is one little idiosyncrasy which has set Sean apart from all the rest. He is now 8 1/2 years of age, like his older brother and sister attends school. He was baptized last September.

I am sure this updating of family history to this date - - the last day of February 1990 - - has left much unrecorded. The last nearly ten years have actually been quite uneventful. We can't complain for the Lord has been good to us and our family.

As can be seen from the above paragraph my father's history ended in February 1990. My mother's is very sparse and the last entry was in 1989. I hope to add this document and fill in some of the blanks and continue until their deaths.

Ruth Blacker Waite - June 2022