This presentation was made to the Murray Utah Chapter of the National Society of Sons of the Utah Pioneers.
Transcript by Otter.ai
Unknown Speaker 0:00
It’s all yours. Whatever you want I promise I’m not reading. But I do need now you can move it anywhere you walk. How does this work? Let’s see. Where is my beautiful audience? Right starting here. I need to go back. This is awesome. All the way around the chair. Yeah, there you go. And then I’ve got a little podium.
Unknown Speaker 0:39
Oh, all right. Fantastic. We are so thrilled to be here today with each of you and to share this yummy meal. I had cancer, a diagnosis of cancer about 18 months ago, and had the great privilege of having chemotherapy, losing my hair and by appetite. And it was really a far greater tragedy for me to lose my appetite for my hair. I’m not. I really love food. And yeah, my, my hairs come back a little different than it used to be my 25 year old son, I’m going to start growing packs and mom. You’re so great at the chemotherapy make your hair gray. I said No, darling, you did. I’ve been coloring for many, many years to feel the guilt.
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So my hair came back in rich abundance, but Well, not really. I mean, it’s pretty sure it’s came, I was very involved, wasn’t a good luck on me. But my appetite was slow. And in the last six weeks, it’s come back with a vengeance. And I’m eating like it’s my job. They get nervous when they see me at the Golden Corral. It’s wonderful to share this meal with you and and that we love Pete and Cheryl, and all of our other dear friends who are here and your friends. That’s the wonderful thing about sharing a common passion, isn’t it? And one passion we all share is our love for this great country. And for a legacy of faith that has given us a foundation that is suffering. It’s a glorious thing to have the ancestry that we have, as Pete mentioned that alumni for the last 20 years have had the privilege of leading church history tours about four times a year. We travel with a beloved educator and author who is known as Mr. Kirtland twice a year. His name is Carl Rick Sadler said yeah.
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He deserves an applause
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is any magnificent he enjoys to have become some of our dearest friends. twice,
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two years back in Kirtland with the fabulous.
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His ward. Yes, happy no. See, I knew we were kindred spirits.
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Back there for 26 years. Oh, God, you did that right.
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I’ll see now I have some credibility. Okay, this is parenthetical and Bill’s saying, watch the time because you don’t have time to be very parenthetical. We took a little trip in February, bit when my last chemotherapy I had 13 months of infusions. And so we took a trip to Hawaii, just to soak in some vitamin D. And enjoy time away from the wonderful cancer institute a huntsman, which has been an extraordinary gift and blessing but it was meant to be on sandy beaches. During that cold February, we met my oldest son there who has six sons of his own and his wife. And they have also traveled with Carl and Joyce. On one of our many tours, that’s one of the sweet privileges we are able to take our children with us and have them experience the wisdom and the and the power of those sacred places. And we arrived late on a Saturday night and looked at the 10 o’clock meeting time because that was as late as it got so we could sleep in a little and then attend sacrament meeting and we were sitting with our six grandsons, our son and his wife and listening to that beautiful pollination enthusiasm done they sing with gusto. We were on the second to last row at the Chapel not in the overflow. There was an empty bed He in front of us most of the chapel was full, we thought it was wise that we leave a little space between us and our grandchildren who a range in age range in age. From one to 14. grandsons, they were excited to be in Hawaii, not necessarily as thrilled to be in church, but they were compliant. And as we were singing, I hear Bill gas, and who should come and walk into the bank bench in front of us, Carl and Joyce and or so. And they gasped, and it was a good thing we were singing, because we both started, we all started weeping. And sweet Carl, by utter coincidence, we didn’t know they were traveling. They were there in the very same resort, same building. And he said, and Joyce and I were just sitting on our balcony, thanking our Heavenly Father for your recovery and frequent life and anticipating our next trip together. And here you are, he is so good. Isn’t he the giver of the best gifts. And he is isn’t. There are no coincidences. This meeting tonight he has seen, he has known and so I prayed us as Bill very diligently that we would speak words, that would be uplifting, that would bring you a sense of the love, that not only we have for you, our Father in Heaven has for you. But likewise, our precious ancestors. One of the great joys of walking on holy ground, when we conduct these church history tours, is doing so with individuals like yourself, who are not only experiencing from the soles of their feet to the tips of their head, the sacred nature of this magnificent these miracles that have taken place for us. Likewise, they’re walking, where their fathers have walked, where they’re formed, mothers have walked. And that is a sacred privilege. And a powerful one. Was just doing a little research on angels as late and read a couple of wonderful quotes I’d like to share with you.
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Elder Jeffrey Holland said, I believe we need to speak up and believe in and bear testimony the ministry of angels, more than we sometimes do. You’ve heard this also from elder Holland, in the gospel of Jesus Christ we have had from both sides of the veil. When disappointment and discouragement strike, and they will. We need to remember that if our eyes could be opened, we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at great speed to come to our protection. They will always be there. These armies of hazards in defense of Abraham’s seed. And what is the composition of those armies? Random parents, great great, great grandparents those who have gone before. We are their legacy. And they pray for us and they rush to our aid. I love this quote also by Elder Packer. It is my understanding based on more than 20 years of research, that operations administration’s of angels are largely unknown to mortals. Angels can move about the Earth conducting the Lord’s divine work and they serve minister and mingle among mornings. He goes on most of us in mortality will never see an angel. As parley P Pratt instructed, anxious can be present, without being visible to mortals, as Paul wrote, Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. And so, as I consider those who have gone before, and paved the way for me, and for each of us, I recognize that they are angels, mindful of our needs, mindful of our heartaches and our struggles, but they to mortal heartaches and struggles, and they pray for us and ministered to us of that I’m absolutely certain that Bella my Likewise, in addition to sharing some sweet experiences in the northeast and then into Ohio, with Carlin, Joyce Anderson have the equivalent once each year of traveling to England and Wales, and following the footsteps of early apostles, who and very deed, save the church during a period of great apostasy in the Kirtland area,
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when they were sent and have counterintuitive is this, the young prophet Joseph, vulnerable under attack by those who he loved, sent his dearest and nearest associates across a treacherous ocean. International travel was very different than wasn’t not. He sent those nearest and dearest to him, to gather Israel, in Europe, and gather they did in extraordinary ways. And those immigrants are many, that the people in this room have their faith in their testimonies and their membership in the church and kingdom of God to Yes,
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almost all of us is impacted by one of those early converts from the missionaries across the ocean, those early brethren, who was such courage left wives and children, almost destitute. And went to another land and gathered Israel and gather they did. One of the individuals or families I should say, that heard the voice of the apostles was a family that I owe a great deal to my fourth or my third, rather, my children’s fourth great grandfather, my great grandfather was named Chesterton Gilman, he lived in Great Yarmouth. He heard the missionaries bear witness and knew almost immediately that what they said was true. He was the father of 11 children.
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And the love of his life, his beautiful wife, died not long after they were baptized. Two or three of the children were also baptized, about heartbroken by the death of their mother,
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uncertain about this new American religion, they were very much opposed to their father’s determination to emigrate to Zion, to receive blessings that will enable his family to be sealed under proper priesthood authority forever, and to gather with the saints. Indeed, not only did they oppose him, but so didn’t most of their neighbors. And so he left his beloved children the grave of his, his profession, and traveled by ship to the US this wonderful country. Chesterton was a coal miner and a sailor. And he had an advanced stage at this time. He was 74 or 70, between 74 and 76. But reported, census records confirmed that birth records now we know that that was true at the time that he emigrated, but he recorded his age to be 66 Because his children were the only people trying to discourage him. So we’re the members of the willie handcart company, with whom he chose to travel. heavy winter storms slowed the travel of the willie handcart company and finally brought it to a terrifying halt. By October 20 and members of the company we can’t buy the Sweetwater River not far from the base of the rocky bridge. The cold was intense. A week earlier, the four rations had been reduced to 10 and a half ounces per day for men. nine ounces for women, six ounces for children and three ounces for infants. supplies were dwindling fast the handcart pioneers were in a weakened condition. What led immediately ahead was the treacherous ascent of rocky ridge to the summit. And then the trip onto the camp at Rock Creek Kala, the distance was about 12 miles including a two mile stretch in which the trail rose more than 700 feet in elevation. The snow was already more than a foot deep at Blizzard was raging, and the temperatures were far below freezing. The March took some of the pioneers 27 hours slogging through the snow making an average of less than one half mile per hour with shoes that were worn out. And some unseat that work leaving. Chesterton Gilman successfully made the climb up Rocky Ridge and onto Rock Creek, but then died and was buried together with 12 other pioneers that day. Two of the men who helped to deal with the common grave died a few hours later, and were buried nearby. Because I was there last year for a time, I found out about Chesterton in his sacrifice, and wondered what thoughts must have been going through his head as he realized perhaps that he was losing the battle to reach Zion, that perhaps he was too old to make that journey. And yet who would have been young and strong enough to face some of the challenges that the whether confronted these faithful handcart pioneers with? I wonder if he thought his dream of Zion would never be realized his dream of temporal blessings. Having abandoned his family, still with post or his children to adventure? Wonder what his last thoughts were blessedly, one of his sons, Henry James Gilman, also married, that married to a
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woman who was opposed to his newfound faith,
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determined that he would follow his father to Zion. And two years later, he abandoned his profession, left his wife and his children to follow his father’s dream. He did arrive safely in this valley, received his endowment, and all of his temple blessings, established himself in Lindon, Utah, and is my second great grandfather. My
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legacy of faith and courage gives me so much how grateful I am to Chesterton and James, to my own grandfather, and my sweet father, who likewise provided a foundation of faith who were true to the cause of the gospel of Jesus Christ, despite all odds, and despite what they were required to sacrifice. I am so grateful for them. And I believe that they live on in my life and in the life of their children. Let me just close with this one final quote by Joseph F. Smith. I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. I claim that we live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare. They love us more now than ever. Their love for us and their desire for our well being, must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves.
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And so armed with our own powerful gratitude for this legacy of faith and courage, that those who have gone before us have left for us, their children. We recognize also when I think it’s so important that we constantly recognize that they are with us still, that the veil that separates heaven and earth is thin and that their love for us is constant more constant than we can comprehend. And that we together are joining arms, linking hearts and minds. We cannot be saved without them. Nor they without us. We rely entirely upon one another. How grateful I am for those who went before. Because of their faith and their strength, we are together tonight, sharing not only a meal, but our love for them, and for each other. Because in truth, whether tonight is the first time we’ve met, or whether we know one another for many years, we are in every sense of the word brothers and sisters engaged in the greatest cause. How grateful I am to call you not only my friends, but my family, and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ.
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Thank you, Janet, she’d do a wonderful job of bringing the spirit here. It’s good to be with you, brothers and sisters. I’m going to continue the theme of angels if I could. And I want to bring something to your attention in addition to it. I want to talk about the word I want to talk about the word read memory. I think of all of the various organizations and groups of people that meet in all sincerity. I think perhaps the group that symbolizes the most for me, the point that I want to make all seriousness is this particular group sites, the entire pioneers, as well as the because you do something that the Lord asks us to do very often, which is remember, which is remember. And if I can add a witness to Janet’s, our family members are individually. And I’m personally aware of us, and I want to judge you, and honor you for remembering that we’ll be the source. I’m sure of great happiness to each of us. To each of you someday, as you are thanked for the remembering that you do. In the church history tours I, I have a friend and neighbor who said to me, how can you go to the same places every year. She said, I get so bored seeing the same sites. And I just said where you’d have to come because we’re not sightseeing. Right? You have to be there, right? Places are made sacred by the sacrifices that are made by the individuals that are there. That’s what makes only so and, and we and I it’s just so wonderful to be in these places. And at the beginning of our tours, we say to people expect miracles because of the sacrifice. You’re making me think of just what you guys are doing tonight. There’s a lot of other places you could be a lot of TV you can be watching as long as meaningful things you could be doing. And there’s like 700 channels on TV, right? But but you’re but you’re here people spend their money, they take their time. And they go back to these places where these people sacrifice lived and died. And you’re telling me that the Lord that God has given us in Atlanta be there to walk through spaces within minutes the journey that you’re on when you’re remembering. I’m sure this room is crowded with volunteers of your loved ones to be here with you. Every time you meet, I’m sure a case in point. One of our tours we had a man come who married he so often people do come with us they’re experiencing a difficulty. He’s a senior partner and major Salt Lake law firm. So needs not to be said he had lost his way a little bit as far as his faith goes. But he had his only daughter 14 year old daughter passed away was taken in a car accident he was grieving and they couldn’t overcome it. One of his partners said Come with us to a tour we were this is one to Missouri in Nauvoo hoping he could find some peace and we in This particular tour to Missouri we go to the grave of David Whitmer. And with Mormon Heritage Tours we write little vignettes have been written by Janet and others that tell the story of people in first person. And then the people who come on the tour like we wouldn’t, you could volunteer. And you can read the story of David Whitmer. And it’s written very positive from the viewpoint that David was still a friend of Joseph and he loved him. And we go to David Whitmarsh grave, and it’s a very sad place for me to go and so poorly kept cemetery there’s, it’s I was last someone deserves reduced in partial dirt and weeds. And I just feel so bad for David Whitmarsh memory. But we have there we have so many remarkable spiritual experiences at this place. And I’m sure it’s because David is so grateful that we come back, and that we remember kindly, well, in that cemetery, is the grave of the judge, who put Joseph and Hiram and others in Liberty jail. So we go when we love to just trash him for a minute.
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And not to have any as a lawyer, so they get it. So we assigned the part as Mormon heritage and pray and fast about these part assignments. They gave the David Whitmer part to a man who was in his 70s, who was from Germany who had broken English, but they wanted him to save the part. They gave this lawyer who was grieving the death of his daughter, the part of the judge. And so we’re there at the cemetery. And this man does he gets something from the group is not used to public speaking that way. And he reads the part of Judge Austin king. And it’s a nice part is not particularly spiritual. As you can imagine, and as what had happened before we we got to the as we were coming off the coach, the German immigrant came up to me, he said, Brother rolled in his broken English, I don’t think I can do this. My English isn’t good enough. And I don’t speak publicly ever. And there’s 50 people here, I just don’t think I can do it. And I put my arm around even said the Lord grants miracles to those who come here. Will you try for me? Will you tried? You can’t finish? That’s okay. He said, sure. We went on to the last one came cart, and we go up, he starts, we gather around him with his grave, he starts to speak in his broken English. And then he stops, puts his head down and goes silent for about 20 seconds. I look off to the right during that pause while watching to see what will happen. And I see the attorney who just read the, the the judge Austin kings part, and he’s weeping. So I know something’s happened. And I don’t know what his wife’s got her arm around him. And I thought, Well, we’ll find out what that is. And after about 30 seconds, this dear sweet German man, I can see my my mind’s eye love to picture it. But he stands himself straight up. And he says the park, he drops the paper to his side, and basically gives it as pretty close to Word Perfect. It was beautiful. When it was over, his wife ran over and their arms around him and they were crying and sobbing. And I went up to him and I said, You did it. You did it. I’m so proud of you. And he said, No, I didn’t. He said, I bowed my sword he made he said, Well, I didn’t do it alone. He said, I bowed my head and offered a prayer. And he said, My father, who passed away about 40 years ago, appeared beside me and put his arm around me and said, You can do this son, you can do this. And he said, so with my dad. So I read my part. Thank you. Thank you. Everything you said, you said to us was true. Or not forgotten. What not forgotten. So I left him there. And we came back down the side. And the attorney’s partner came over to me and said, Let me tell you what happened to my partner, who’s been so grieving the whereabouts of his daughter. But he said that when he finished the part of the judge that he walked up the hill, and he said to her turn to his wife and said, Who are all the people dressed in white robes up by that grave? And his wife said, What are you talking about? He said, Well, those people in the white robes, are they part of a program that we’re doing up there by the grave? She said, Oh, sweetheart, I can’t see anybody that white robes will surely are all there and that’s where we were gathering. And he goes on to tell his partner that all the people in that standing in that grade. Were also right out to bite people dressed in white robes and never elaborated anything else. He quietly got on the coat. And we went on our way to how many examples do you want me to give you to make my point? Right? Because I feel the Spirit bearing witness to what I’m saying is true.
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is a wonderful thing that you remember, because you’re remembered, and so many of them are forgotten. Then, just north of down by where the mountain meadow massacre occurred. I wish I could remember the name of this little cemetery. It’s about the size of this room is not a spy in town. It’s all dirt. It looks like an old western movie, a picket fence and about 20 graves. And I made a note years ago, it had on a little stalled ahead here died. The berries, b e, r y, and unnamed three children I think, to two men, and a woman who all died like at the age of 2123 and 25. And as said, killed by Indians all in the same day. Boy, I want to know the rest of that story. And I’m sure they want to be remembered, don’t they? They want to be remembered. You know how it is when you’ve made a sacrifice is so nice to be remembered for having made it so I just plead with you. You keep remembering you keep remembering my one of my grandsons who I guess as I connect with one with you guys is William crouched, I say you guys sons Utah pioneers up at the Salt Lake City Cemetery is one of the sons of Utah pioneer medallions. You know, You’ve honored the worth remembering, which is the same as honoring your grandfather’s old sorry, guys, give me my thank you for Thank, you know, my fourth, my fourth great grandfather, beautiful writer, wonderful man. And I just want to there’s much that can be told about a story in London. When we go to London, we stay about five minutes from where he lived. He was a devout Methodist. And, and he could read and write gives all that credit to his mother didn’t give his father credit for anything. The same situations me and my kids do he? He had just moved into London language Ray south of London. He’s married the love of his life. He’s practicing Methodist. And he tells the story of in those days as you know young girls and boys too, but young girls will be put into service, whatever you would call it, slavery service, whatever be in their teen years in England, and what’s that? Apprenticeship would be a friendlier way to say and they had a girl working for them about 14. And she came to them and said I’ve got a friend and desperate trouble. And I can’t take her she she was working in London, this girl they knew and she she said I’ve got a friend who’s had to leave the house. So some men have tried to assault her. Just like 14 She’s 50 miles from model you take her in. Mr. William Crouch is my third great grandfather and they take her in and listen to what he said about her. So we get to the other side. Well, let’s listen to what he said about this sweet girl. In discoursing with her we found her intelligent and religious. Saturday evening, we were sitting at the table talking and I said, we have just removed from a distant part of London, and we don’t know where to go and worship tomorrow. Nice like to go and hear some good eloquent Minister, the young mate and answered Oh, you would better go and hear the Latter Day Saints. Oh dear, oh dear. This one like a dagger to my heart. I felt mad, real mad. I never heard anything that was bad of them. And I express myself accordingly. I noticed the poor girl’s feelings were hurt. Being of a gentlemanly turn of mind. I apologized and said, if you have anything to say in favor of these people, I will listen to you and not again say anything offensive. And the good girl that she was. She bought a humble and faithful testimony of the truth of the gospel of salvation by Jesus Christ as renewed, a new from heaven, for the better for the world through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I was terribly disturbed in my mind. I thought at all in delusion. I was such a staunch Methodist I was in a very bad condition. And he goes on and on. He said that young woman three days later took service again and left behind some stars and tracks and most importantly, The Book of Mormon. I prayed and read and read and prayed. And a little more than two weeks from the time we first heard the gospel, we were convinced of its truth. He came over through the perpetual Education Fund.
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He said, that’s real immigration fun, thank you. He said, He gave great credit to the church. In the 50th year anniversary, the church in 1887 years after he arrived, that great debt was forgiven by the church because of the Jubilee Year, the restoration of the church. He said this to me. We beg our descendants, to hold a grateful remembrance of this show to the poor saints abroad, and help gather them home. And so Janet, and I went and repaid the debt to the church, that they forgave for him so long ago. He said, Now children, you have our example, before you, please honor it, and improve upon it, little crouch, and he was a member of the Salt Lake City, 10th Ward, the same word that I met him as a young boy, some 70 years later in Salt Lake City. I am so grateful that the men and women connected with this organization preserved and found this experience for me, and placed it in my hands. My dear brothers and sisters, we are never alone. We are beloved. And we are loved. God bless you for remember. Please keep remembering. It’s the same thing that sorry, it’s the same thing as loving. I don’t even need to. I said to Jana, maybe I’ll pray a legal blessing tonight. I don’t need to. I feel almost as if you don’t need prayers, you’ve got too many people watching over you. So grateful for the memory, the memories that you keep alive. God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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I can tell the rest of you feel the way that I do. Normally would have a round of applause right now. But I think that we all feel that it’s too spiritual experience to clap. So we appreciate and love having had you here and be sure that we’re listening. And you’re welcome to come anytime we’d love to have you. Just absolutely loved what you’ve given us this evening. It’s quite a gift. I haven’t asked anyone to give a closing prayer tonight. So I will give the closing prayer. Next month will be same place, same time. I won’t be there next month, Jeremiah will be out of the country. So I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. I love it Father in heaven. We thank thee for this experience this evening father and for the heritage that we share. We think people are those who have the strength or the foresight to make the sacrifices that have paved the way for us in this life. We thank the Father for the guardian angels that surround us and protect us and guide us as we go through each day. We thank thee for thy love with a special plan that that was placed in action for us that we have the opportunity to return to the we pray for thy guidance each day. We pray Father that we might leave a heritage behind us that might guide those who would follow us and years to come. That they might be able to have the love and the devotion that those who’ve gone before us have left for us that we might leave for them. Now we pray that they would watch over six nine as we travel home that we might have safety and health that we might be able to share these experiences with our loved ones and bring them with us to enjoy these these delightful meetings in future meetings and we ask these things. Jesus Christ