Sunday, July 27, 2014


If hotcakes sell like my books there are a lot of people not eating breakfast!!

After much coaxing and cajoling Matthew finally got around to writing the recollections of his life. As he sat with poised pen two themes seemed apparent to him.

The first was how, in reflection, it was almost mysterious how even those shortest days of winter’s bitterness, which had seemed endless as he toiled and trudged through them, now seemed as though they had been fleeting moments.

The second was even stranger in his mind for he well knew that large portions of his life had been spent in pain and suffering, but now as he was about to put pen to paper, his whole being burned with satisfaction and a sense of his life being worthwhile.

With all the urging of his kin, the real stimulus for his finally breaking the barrier of silence about his life, had come just last Sunday when the prestigious pioneer prophet Brigham Young had admonished those who had participated in the restoration’s infancy to chronicle their lives as a legacy to future generations of the Kingdom.

As he listened to the prophet’s voice and those feelings of obedience begin to stir in his soul, the first thought which came to him was, how could it have been forty years since Heber C. Kimball first told him of the earthly visit from the Eternal Father and his Son to a young lad in a small township of the state of New York?

It seemed as though life had turned its pages as rapidly as he had turned the pages of that marvelous book which had been delivered to the young Seer by the ancient writer Moroni.

Yesterday’s watering turn didn't seem much further in his past than those days on the trails between Kirtland and Far West.

The sermons and revelations of Joseph, the prophet of the restoration, seemed every bit as present in his mind’s eye as Brigham’s admonishing words of the Sunday just passed.

He didn't find himself putting many words on the pages in front of him, but as he glanced out his open doorway on this beautiful summer evening he could see the spires of the magnificent Temple reaching to the sky and ever closer to the day of being dedicated as a House of the Lord. A day which would be heralded by the saints when they could once again enter into His house to do the sacred work which had been revealed in the yet uncompleted and soon to be destroyed Temple in the city beautiful on the shores of the mighty Mississippi.

All the years of witnessing babes being born into mortality and of the old and not so old being born into immortality seemed to melt into a strange present. Then, for a moment he allowed himself to be distracted by the gentle busyness of his great granddaughter Leah, so recently come from her Heavenly Parents, who was stirring near his chair.

His thoughts wandered to this morning, or maybe it was yesterday, it was almost alarming how quickly his today’s turned into yesterday’s, as he stood leaning on the rail fence looking over the promised bounteousness of this year’s yield on land that was not so long ago part of a vast valley of barrenness. The thought crossed his mind, wondering if this was what Isaiah and Nephi had seen when they prophesied of a time when the desert would blossom as a rose. He chuckled inside as he remembered that the blossoming wasn't a springing forth miracle, but it had taken the toil of the many, to reservoir water in the mountains and then dig the ditches to the valley floor, which was but a small beginning of the labor necessary to coax grain and fruit from that once dry but now carpeted valley.

The pangs of the many that perished during the trials in Missouri, the persecutions of Nauvoo, the life sucking miles on the plains, and finally the building of Zion on the mountain tops, had long ago been tempered and eased through constant study and increased understanding as line upon line Heavenly Father’s Plan replaced the pain of loved ones lost with the reality of the gifted resurrection and the continuousness of life.

As the shadows lengthened along the valley floor Matthew uttered a silent prayer of gratefulness that the shadows of uncertainty and doubt had been taken away from his mind and heart and had been replaced by the illumination and more sure witness which had been revealed to him by a still small voice from the Holy Spirit.

Matthew leaned back in his chair and a smile broke through the sun baked creases on his face as he once more glanced at his great granddaughter and realized the miracles which had transpired during his life time, as what had seemed like an endless harsh horizon looming before him, had now turned into a soothing hew in the twilight of his mortal phase of existence.

He struggled for a moment to try to see if he could envision what his little Leah would see as she progressed through her probationary period. Whatever he might have seen was quickly swallowed up in the here and now and he knew he would have to wait for a future time to see more clearly.

Matthew laid his pen aside and reread through the dimness of his moistened eyes the last words of his story, ‘Know thou my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” and felt his soul being filled with joy and as he allowed the goodness of the grace of God to envelope him.

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