First of all, July 24th, Pioneer Day as celebrated in Utah and for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all around the world, is also my mom's birthday, so Happy Birthday to you, Mom!
My parental units in Hawaii.
My dad with his mother.
The pioneer in my family that I want to tell you about is my father, James Richard. Isn't that a distinguished name? He's a distinguished fellow in my eyes. My father was raised Catholic, attending a Catholic school through eight grade, but he's said that the Catholic religion didn't make much sense to him. It's a bit mysterious, I guess. While in high school, my dad knew some Mormons and had one good friend that I know of, Gordon, who was a good example to him.
After graduating from high school, my dad pursued higher education at University of Idaho, where I believe he had more member friends. He also met my mom, so between Gordon and Kleone (my mother. Isn't that a cool name?), he was baptized at age 21, I believe. As I write this post, I realize how vaguely I know this story, so I'll have to ask my dad for a better account when I see him next month! He did not serve a mission, but rather got married to the beautiful Kleone. They were sealed in the Cardston Alberta Temple, the closest temple at that time. My, how times have changed! They now live 1/2 mile from the Spokane Washington Temple!
(As a side note, hubby and I honeymooned in Banff, Alberta, Canada, a retreat I highly recommend. On our way home, we took a roundabout way and went to the Cardston Temple. We were able to be the witness couple. It was a great experience!)
My father and mother had five children who are still faithful to our religion and have all been sealed in the temple. My father is a wonderful example of faithful living, trying to keep himself unspotted from the world. After he was baptized, his family rejected him on some levels for a time, though that subsided. He remains the only member in his immediate family. I think I inherited from my dad my sense of principle. If we think a thing is the right thing to do, we will do it. I remember him telling me on one occasion that he really did have to take a leap of faith before being baptized. Ether 12 teaches us, "there is no witness until after the trial of your faith" (Ether 12:6). He felt good about being baptized, but did not receive the confirmation until after his baptism. It is wonderful to think about the legacy my father began with choosing to be baptized and married in the temple. Five children, 13 grandchildren, and many more descendants to come. Thanks y
|Cooling off at Zions Nat'l Park|
Hiking the PCT with me and HH.