May is a time when the sun is warming, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and hopefully, your garden is growing. The saying is that April showers bring May flowers. Even though we have not had many April showers I hope there will be plenty of beautiful flowers for you to enjoy. It is a month that comes alive with Spring! It also brings with it two important holidays. Mother’s Day on May 8th – is a day not to be forgotten. It was officially recognized by President Woodrow Wilson on May 9, 1914. The other is memorial day which is celebrated on the last Monday of the month each year. This year it is on May 30th and is a time to remember those who died while serving their country in the armed forces. It has also become a time to remember those we love who have passed on.
I am thrilled to say that all of our chapters are now meeting face-to-face, and it is wonderful to see them together again. It has been my pleasure to speak at some of them. This past month we have had some wonderful events. First, the National Headquarters Qean Up Day on Saturday, April 16th was a great success. Thank you to all who participated. You are very much appreciated! It helped prepare the National Headquarters for our National Historical Symposium which was under the direction of President-elect John Qayton. Each of the four presenters was excellent and the dinner with keynote speaker Elder L. Whitney Clayton was outstanding. It was amazing how many that are related to William Clayton were there. It almost became their family reunion. By the way, did you know that on May 12, 1847, he invented the odometer while crossing the western plains in a covered wagon? It was a blessing for all the pioneers who followed.
Lastly, online registration is available for the upcoming 2022 National Encampment in Salt Lake City, September 8-10, 2022. It will be a banner event celebrating the 175th Anniversary of the Saints entering the Salt Lake Valley. You will not want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience. You will want to register as early as you can.
Two years ago, the Church closed all operating temples worldwide because of the pandemic and has cautiously phased their reopening. As of today, 83 of 162 operational temples are in Phase 4 meaning all ordinances are being performed. What a wonderful blessing that is for each of us. I hope all of us are regularly receiving the full blessings of the temple in our lives. This is a time when we truly need the guiding hand of the Lord and there is not a better place than the temple to receive those promptings. Did you know that the very first full temple endowment was given in Nauvoo, Illinois on May 4th, 1842? What a wonderful blessing it was to have that ordinance provided as part of the restored gospel.
Here are some historical events that happened during the month of May:
- May 1, 1841: The very first wagon train leaves Independence, Missouri for California.
- May 3, 1494: Christopher Columbus discovers “St Iago”. It is later renamed Jamaica.
- May 4, 1626: Manhattan Island is sold! Native American Indians agree to the deal in exchange for $24 in cloth & buttons.
- May 9, 1869: A “Golden Spike” was driven into the railroad tracks at Promontory Summit, Utah, connecting the tracks of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, creating the first transcontinental railroad.
- May 14, 1787: Delegates gathered in Philadelphia to draw up the Constitution of the United States of America.
- May 26, 1805: Lewis and Clark see the Rocky Mountains for the first time.
- May 29, 1849: Famous Abraham Lincoln quote, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”.
Here are some Church history events that occurred in the month of May:
- May 5, 1834: President Joseph Smith left Kirtland, Ohio, for Missouri as leader of Zion’s Camp to bring relief to Saints expelled from Jackson County.
- May 5, 1855: The Endowment House was dedicated in Salt Lake City as a place for the Saints to receive temple ordinances.
- May 1899: President Lorenzo Snow received a revelation in St. George, Utah, prompting him to emphasize the law of tithing to the saints.
- May 16, 1913: The Church announced the affiliation of its program for young men with the Boy Scouts of America.
- May 15, 1829: John the Baptist conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in Harmony, Pennsylvania (see D&C 13; Joseph Smith- History 1:71-72).
- May 1829: Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, James, and John between Harmony, Pennsylvania, and Colesville, New York (see D&C 128:20).
From all of us here at the National Headquarters, we wish you the very best Spring season as it continues to blossom around you. Please know that we are thinking of you and appreciate the privilege it is to serve you. May the Lord’s blessings pour out upon you and all those you hold dear.
Challenge: I hope you took last month’s challenge and found 2-3 stories regarding your father’s grandfather on his mother’s side to share with your family. I found several stories about John Nock Hinton which I will share with my children. This month find 2-3 stories about your father’s grandmother on his mother’s side (one of your two great grandmothers on your father’s side) that you want to share with your children. Write them and share them.