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September 30, 2020 Message from the SUP National Executive Committee

Today we live in a fast paced world.  Everyday technology advances and what was the newest technology today will be outdated tomorrow.  We often find ourselves replacing a perfectly good appliance or device with the newest and greatest.  About a year ago I fell into this trap of which I speak.  Our refrigerator stopped working. As we all know, today, a major appliance comes with a life span where repairs are not an option.

So off to the appliance store my wife and I went.  It seems that the newest and greatest refrigerators all come with a stainless steel finish.  Not wanting a miss matched stainless steel refrigerator with all the other kitchen appliances being white in the kitchen, my wife convinced me everything needed to be replaced.  Two days later I had a stainless steel refrigerator, dish washer, range and microwave.  My wife often reminds me that these are stainless steel and not chrome as I like to call them.

After all, chrome is a color.

By now you are probably wondering what in the world does a new refrigerator have to do with the Sons of Utah Pioneers?  Stick with me as I make the connection:

During an American History class in college, my professor made the following statement:

“History is a constant from the past and we often don’t consider what we do today as history”.

He went on to say that sports is the only real history being made today.  His statement can be divided into two parts, the first true and the second also true, if we close our minds and visions of the future towards those who will follow us.  Where would we be as a society if those from the past did not keep journals, records or document important events?

The stories from the past need to be told and retold and never forgotten.  These can be pioneer stories, family history stories or any memory.  If it is a memory, record it for the next generation.

Sometimes, while we appreciate the stories from the past, we feel that what we do is not important and that no one will care when we are gone.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Last night I read the story of my grandfather, David Clayton who died in 1936.  I never knew him but because of his life story that my grandmother wrote and gave to her children, I know him and I have a personal connection with him.  Don’t let the thoughts of “no one will care” creep into your mind and actions.  Your family members that follow you will care and will find strength in who you are.

Now, to the parable of the refrigerator and family history:

I replaced three appliances that still had value to add to our home and lives, the dish washer, range and microwave.  They had value to add to my kitchen and would have served me for many years to come, yet I replaced them, never to be seen in my house again.  Even though you may not think you have value to add to your posterity, you do.  Let your value be your recorded history and testimony.

One final story:

When I was a bishop I needed a teacher for the four year old primary class.  A lot of suggestions were given by the primary and my counselors.  In the end I took a different course.  With the Lord’s help I chose a widowed sister in her 80’s who attended every week but had not had a calling in years.  I felt what the children needed was a grandmother figure who could share her testimony and love with them.  Reluctantly, she accepted.  It was a wonderful and precious experience for everyone involved.  She taught, shared and testified to the children until the day she passed.  Don’t count out the value you have to give.

Have a great week and be PIONEER STRONG

– Brad

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