I have felt for some time the desire to let my children and family know about my father, James Cyril Brown Sr. Thankfully, he recorded several journals over his lifetime. My sister, Suzanne, first recognized the importance of our father’s journal and with Dad’s permission copied what he had written up to 1975. I took that with me on my mission and have read it many times, finding his stories, insights, and thoughts, inspirational and helpful to me throughout my life.
Dad wrote his introduction to his first journal upon completion of that book in 1983, on a page he had left blank at the beginning of the journal. In recording my father’s journals, I have used his own wording, and corrected the occasional spelling and punctuation errors. Some prior copies had altered wording to lend to the narrative, but I have gone back to my father’s original wording leaving any needed interpolations to the reader as I wanted to preserve the integrity of each entry. Any additional words that I felt needed to be added are included in brackets. Some entries didn’t have dates and occasional entries were out of order by dates. I have included them in the order he recorded them in his journals. Some of the entries without dates had only lines separating entries and I have retained a line in lieu of a date in those instances. Abbreviated words I have printed out depending on their common acceptance. Dad’s journals consist of three handwritten volumes and a small travel journal from a trip to Switzerland in 2003
I hope that the love of our Heavenly Father, His beloved Son, Jesus Christ and the love of family and dear friends by my father can be felt when reading his journals. Their love truly was the motivation for my father’s life and faith.
James Cyril Brown Jr DO 2019
This journal is lovingly dedicated to my father, who has taught his family so much what Father-in-Heaven is like because of the good and kind father he has been to us. It is easy to believe in a heavenly parent who loves His children and desires only their happiness, growth and fulfillment because of the mortal parent we have had to with us these few short years on earth.
May the Lord continue to bless him with health and vigor that he may long enrich and bless the lives of his family, friends, and those he serves in out of the church.
Suzanne Brown Gardiner 1975
VOLUME I 1963-1983
January 30, 1982
This journal gives a synopsis of about 20 years of my life which I hope will be of value or interest to my posterity. I have tried to record that which was of value to me, and I do enjoy re-reading it and recalling the experiences. I have tried to reflect in my writing my conviction that the principles taught by the Savior and reflected by his church are true, and that if we follow them in spirit and deed we will find happiness, and that if we do not follow His teachings we can never find lasting happiness and satisfaction. The prophet Joseph said, “Happiness is the chief aim of man’s existence and will be the end there of if we follow the path that leads to it.”
I pray that our posterity will find true happiness. James Cyril Brown Sr.
December 27, 1963
For some time now, I have thought about keeping a journal and recording some of the nice things that have happened to us during the years. It is not intended to be strictly chronological but as events are recalled, that should be entered, I plan to write them down.
At the present time, I am a Medical Doctor nearly 43 years old - as near as I know enjoying good hearth. The genealogy of our family is recorded elsewhere, and this is not intended to be such. We do however have 6 lovely children of whom we are extremely proud, and for whom we are very grateful.
At the present, I have the privilege of serving as a counselor in the West Covina Stake Presidency and generally plan to make entries that I feel have spiritual significance to me, and I hope to those reading them.
I am sorry that my handwriting is poor. Jokingly this seems to be the mark of a physician. Once I wrote my grandfather Brown and told him that my psychology teacher said that there was no relationship in penmanship and intelligence. Grandpa wrote back... “Are you sure?”
In many respects, it is difficult to remember before we were married since our marriage seems so right. Because of several situations and wonderful “co-incidences” we both are sure that the Lord helped us find each other. We enjoy reminiscing about it and our courtship was sweet and precious.
The Arizona Temple President, Harry L. Payne, particularly counseled us to hold family prayer right from the beginning. So, we started kneeling down as two - now it is perfectly natural to kneel down as eight, and hope we are still together to kneel down as two again and the children are kneeling with children of their own.
When we were first married, and I was just starting medical school, we owed $20 tithing and $20 was all we had. So of course, the question arose, do we eat or do we pay our tithing? Fortunately, we won out and paid our tithing. That very day I ran into the man I had worked for during the summer and checked with him about working Saturdays filling and relighting lanterns that his crews put out by the trenches left open. Not only did I get the job but he paid me time and-a-half for one day per week and I worked all four years - when my studies were heavy work was light - when our finances were low work was heavy and we worked enough hours to meet our bills. We were blessed in that all through school we did not want for food or shelter and instead of being in debt as many of my classmates, when I graduated, and finished internship, we had twenty-five hundred dollars in the bank. We still pay our tithing. Even during internship at $65 per month, we tithed that and got by.
The Lord still blesses us, and we love the Law of tithing.
CHURCH ACTIVITY DURING SCHOOL
After my pre-medical work and as the first year of medical school began, I was worried about passing or failing. This was just after World War II and so many veterans were qualified and anxious to go to medical school, the pressure was really on those of us fortunate enough to have been admitted. I was so concerned that I only half-heartedly
fulfilled my church callings in deference to my studies. At the end of the year out of a class of 96, I was number 51 in class standing.
The following year I was called to be the Elder‘s Quorum President in our ward. I decided to do my best. I quit studying altogether on Sunday and fulfilled all my assignments. At the end of the year, I was number 27 in class standing. During my senior year I served in the bishopric as a counselor, and at the year's end, as I graduated, I was number 5 and had my choice of Internships.
We have observed that if students were too busy to work in church while they were going to school, they were still too busy when they got out of school.
Apparently in this life as we know it now, we never become less busy, and the Lord will bless us to accomplish more in less time if we will trust Him.
I have always been impressed when set apart in the callings given me and have tried to live up to the blessing or I should say, I believe that those in authority have the power to bless.
In 1956 I was set apart as a member of the Covina Stake High Council by Elder Elray L. Christiansen, an assistant to the Quorum of Twelve. He specifically blessed me that my medical practice would not interfere with my church calling. At that time, I had a heavy solo practice, including a large obstetrical practice. During the 3 full years I served on the council, I never missed a single meeting due to my practice. My deliveries scheduled around but not during my meetings and other emergencies were at a time that did not prevent me from going to the meeting I was expected to be to. When I recall how busy my practice was, this becomes a great miracle. I have not generally told this as I feel this is sacred to me, but many have remarked how I never missed a meeting and at the party given when the Stake was divided part of a song composed for the occasion stated, "You could count on Dr. Brown's babies not coming during a meeting."
FARMER BROWN'S FUNERAL
Being the eldest grandson, I always felt close to my grandfather Brown, particularly since our families lived so close together during my childhood. As I grew into manhood I knew that grandpa loved me, and I felt secure in this.
Grandpa was well known in Arizona, he was Arizona's first Farm Bureau President, and was an eloquent speaker - very much in demand. He was also very witty and enjoyable to be around. He also worked for President Hoover on the Federal Farm Board, and I believe spoke in every state in the Union.
When I was a boy, I was quite impressed that he was offered a new Graham Page car for speaking at the Washington State Fair but wouldn’t accept it because he worked for the government. He had the nickname of "Farmer" and nearly everyone knew Farmer Brown. Grandpa had 2 nephews in the First Presidency, President Hugh B. Brown and President Nathan Eldon Tanner, also a nephew in the Presiding Bishopric, Victor L. Brown. He used to tell President Brown, "Come out and sit under the lemon tree with me and I'll tell you how to run the church." They used to visit quite a bit.
Grandpa was nearly 89 when he died. It was a shock to me — I thought he was indestructible. He was still riding horses, etc., In fact, he was deep in Nevada helping his daughter and son-in-law set up their ranch when he had his heart attack over 100 miles from a doctor etc. and withstood the long drive over desert roads only to find the doctor gone and they had to take him to another town.
President Hugh B. Brown was on a church assignment to Europe and couldn't accept the invitation to speak at the funeral. The family then asked me to speak. Actually, in my heart I wanted to speak. Somehow it seemed more appropriate to have family members speak and I felt I knew what he and the Lord wanted me to say. I fasted and prayed for help and I received it. I can tell when I have the Spirit with me. The words seem to flow, and it is a sweet special feeling. When I don't have it, I just as well sit down, because I flounder helplessly. At the beginning, there was a sadness common to funerals but when I arose to speak, I told how Grandpa felt about funerals and his in particular, and that he wanted them to relax and visit and even tell stories - then as I talked about the Gospel, a sweet feeling came into the chapel and I could feel the large congregation relax. After the services, the people did stand around, visit, and reminisce. To me, it was a choice experience, and I felt close to my grandfather and the rest of the family.
I look forward to more visits with grandpa, and I know this life is not the end of our relationship.
______________________________ One day at church I was carrying Jimmy, and someone came up to me and said,
"He looks just like you, But he's healthy." I guess there are some compensations for Jimmy even if he does look like me.
I had an awakening today as to age. I treated a girl that as I talked to the family turned out to be the granddaughter of a girl I went all through grade school and high school with. We get busy and forget that time goes on. Having married somewhat late and then moving away from where I was raised I suppose many of my old friends have grand kids.
One evening at our Stake Bishopric meeting we were instructing the bishoprics as regards the new home teaching program, and as I talked to the group I told them that the most single effective thing they could do to offset the threat of Communism was to make the Home teaching program work. Something happened at that point and there was something like an electric charge in the room and I knew I was telling them what the Lord wanted me to.
After the meeting, a brother came up to me and said that at that point a voice whispered to him “Listen to this man.”
To feel the Spirit when you speak by assignment is a wonderful feeling. To not have it gives you a helpless feeling and you realize that you just as well sit down, because the words sound hollow and empty.
Last night just before retiring, I checked on the children to make sure they were covered, and as I looked at each one, and sensed how sweet and precious to us they were, I wondered, can we ever live worthy of the blessing of lovely children - and I couldn't help but walk out on the balcony and ask Father in Heaven to help me be a better earthly father to these precious souls.
Late summer 1963 I received a call at the office that our hill was on fire and as I drove up it looked (like) everything was gone but later found that it was largely smoke and had burned around the house and the family was safe as well. Later Charles our four- year-old took me out to see where the fire was and put his arm around my leg as we surveyed the charred trees and said, "Jimmy boy and I knew that Heavenly Father wouldn't let the fire burn the house and Mommy cause we knelt down and prayed.” This was worth more to me than the lost trees. The firemen indicated that the wind shifted, and the fire stopped about 100 feet from our house and went back into the canyon and burned
itself out. Marjorie also knelt and prayed at this time and she too feels that prayer saved our home.
At one of our Stake Conferences the Stake Presidency needed to call a High Councilman and we couldn't seem to make a decision. Finally, President Smith [Mark Smith, West Covina Stake President] told Elder Boyd K. Packer, who was the visiting General Authority, that we couldn't come to a decision and would have to wait. Elder Packer said, "The Lord will bless you, and during this next meeting you will know who he wants you to select." When the meeting ended President [Richard E.] Miner [second counselor in the Stake Presidency] and I, without consultation at the same instant turned to Pres. Smith and recommended the same man – and we knew that individual was the one the Lord wanted.
At the October 1963 General Conference as President David O. McKay was presented to be sustained as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, I had the urge to raise my hand as high as I could and it seemed that I couldn't raise my hand high enough and as we looked around we noticed tears in the eyes of many of the brethren and we knew the Lord had given us a personal witness that President McKay was indeed a Prophet of the Lord.
A non-member attending a conference asked his friend “why did I get tears in my eyes when your prophet was sustained?”
At our March 1964 Stake Conference we had as our visitor Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve. One of the real blessings of my calling is the associations with the General Authorities. At the close of the conference, I feel so buoyed up and have a sense of well-being. I think being in the presence of an apostle does this to one, and I wonder what it would be like to be in the presence of the Savior or our Father.
We need these conferences to keep us going. I can think of no greater blessing than being a servant of God.
When our Charles was learning to talk at around two, I dreamed I saw him telling us "bye bye" and I had the impression he was leaving us, or we were leaving him and I awoke with a wrench at my heart-strings saying, “I can‘t do it.” Shortly thereafter he fell out of the car, the door flew open while we were moving. He sustained a skull fracture and was unconscious a number of hours. I can still see his still form lying at the side of the road. We administered to him and Marjorie stayed at the hospital with him and I too,
except to take care [of] essential matters. I immediately began to fast, and I remember asking Father-in-Heaven to let us keep our son, and as he began to respond and stop his vomiting (vomiting with a head-injury is an omen of increased cerebral pressure). It is very real to me that the Lord answered my anguished request. I surely pray that we can now be worthy of this. When one of our children are in danger it is as though our very hearts are being torn. How our Father-in-Heaven must ache for his earthly sons and daughters when they are in danger of losing their opportunity for Eternal Life.
We had a Christmas dinner at our home inviting a few choice friends. After eating, we invited each one to tell either what Christmas meant to them or a choice Christmas experience. This was a real choice experience. For example, my partner's wife (Bonnie Van Wagenon) told of a Christmas Eve when they were young, and their father had just died and she and her brothers along with their mother were sadly and halfheartedly making preparations for the morrow. There was a knock at the door and there stood 2 little ragged hungry urchins selling home-made candy, to get a little money for Christmas.
When the children left, the mother asked that they go bring them back and find out what their situation was. The urchins were brought back, and it was learned that they were in desperate circumstances, father being out of work and sick etc. It was decided to ask this family over to share Christmas. They found out the ages of the children and all that evening they sorted their own gifts and also their clothing and as the poor family came over Christmas morn, they shared and all at once they discovered that what was at first a sad time now was a happy time in giving and sharing.
We just completed our March 1964 Stake Conference. Our General Authority was Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve. It is a wonderful experience being in the presence of an apostle. They certainly are tirelessly dedicated to the Savior and you know that only love for Him could inspire such devotion and effort and you know that the Lord must give them strength, when you think of these men many in their eighties putting in 96 hours per week.
We witnessed the call of a Patriarch which is the prerogative of the Twelve and they do it by inspiration without recommendation from the Stake Presidency. It is a great comfort to know that the church is operated through inspiration.
A few days ago, I had what I thought was a bad day. We had co-signed a large note for a relative and this relative went bankrupt, also another note we held was jeopardized and I was feeling blue. That day I watched a patient of mine walk down the street, his wife was dead, and his only son unbeknownst to him a moral degenerate. (The son had confided in me as his physician) and I called to mind other tragedies and thought thank goodness our problems are only money - so far our children are clean and sweet.
As I survey our life thus far I know that happiness is not related to material wealth. As I think of our poverty on the farm as a boy, wearing home-made overalls and going bare footed to school, my medical school days and Internship, Residency, etc., and now living in an 8-acre estate on a hill realizing that it could all change again over night. I realize that happiness is what you are striving for, not what you have. It is the smile of a wife, laughter of your children, feeling the Spirit of the Lord.
It is a shame to strive for luxury and comfort and find it was not what we really want.
On a typical day at the office I may see 40 to 60 patients, have several house calls, maybe a major surgery, deliver a baby, sign a death certificate, have to tell a family that their loved one is dying, do some marriage counseling, etc. I see a lot of Life and Death, and I have come to realize that the most serious ills in life are spiritual. I would much rather find a person physically ill than spiritually sick or dead. I would rather find cancer in a man than find he was immoral. Death in itself is no tragedy, not being prepared is a tragedy. To see a fine elderly person die and be released from pain is a blessing. To see a miss spent life end before repentance is truly sad.
In our October 1964 General Conference, our 91-year-old President McKay was not in attendance because of a recent heart attack. My initial reaction was to want to weep as we saw that he did not attend our first meeting. However, it soon became apparent that the Spirit of the Lord was there, and that of course was the important thing and that it is His Church.
We certainly love President McKay. He directed the activities of the Conference and we know he is our Prophet the Lord has chosen at this time.
While attending General Conference I visited with my Uncle W. Ernest Young who works in the Church Historian's office. He was a bishop in the Mormon Colonies in Mexico, also the President of the Argentine Mission twice. He stated that as he studies
the records and histories of individuals in the Church, he has noted that when members fall away it is because they have let their feelings be hurt in most cases. This illustrates why it is a sin to take offense.
It has been my observation that when people lose their testimony it is because there is something in their life that causes them to lose the enlightenment of the Holy Ghost.
One evening or 1 should say morning at 2 a.m., I was called by an old man to come and see his wife, who was dying. He wanted to make certain she did not suffer. When I arrived, I found he was correct in that she passed away in about 15 minutes. I found that she had been bedfast over two years and that her 80 plus year old husband had washed, cooked, cleaned house, etc., and that she did not even have a bed sore, and as his wife passed away without any pain, her devoted husband reached over and closed her eyes and said, "Goodbye, sweetheart, I'll see you in a little while."
CHRISTMAS EVE 1964
Several weeks ago, Marjorie asked me what the full-time missionaries would be doing for Christmas, and when I asked, they said they had no special plans. So, we invited all eight to spend Christmas Eve with us.
What a choice evening it was, missionaries have a special aura about them. We had a nice dinner. We read the Christmas Story from the Bible and Book of Mormon, read the message from the First Presidency, and each Missionary bore his testimony. After that a Piñata was broken with much enjoyment and gifts for all. We feel it was one of our very nicest Christmases with our six precious children.
Our Stake Conference visitor was Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Council of Twelve and we had the privilege of having him stay in our home. We were delighted and enjoyed his sweet spirit. A man presides in his own home even with a General Authority there and it was our privilege to ask Elder Peterson to offer our morning prayers. The visiting leaders are always so gracious.
One of our Conference visitors was Joseph Fielding Smith Jr, son of President Joseph Fielding Smith of the First Presidency and president of the Quorum of Twelve. We had a long chat with him and he told us many stories of the General Authorities, particularly his father, adding to our testimonies.
Our little David will someday be pleased to know that when he was 4 1⁄2 years old we were in the Hall of the Church Historian's office and President Joseph Fielding Smith came by and saw he was having difficulty reaching a drinking fountain and lifted him up to it. President Smith was nearly 90 and still quite spry.
As I think of our children, each one has a special place in our heart. Which one is more precious is impossible to tell, they are different and individual.
Johanna Christine "Christy" or “Janna” our oldest, the one that first made us parents, now a lovely young lady just perfect for a first child. When I called my parents to tell them she was born the operator who was listening didn't charge me for overtime, said, that's all right, congratulations. Christy has had to pioneer us as parents, so the other children benefit from our experience with her. She has done well in spite of our learning.
Suzanne Marie “Suzy,” sweet and sunny with a lovely smile, sensitive to her surroundings, concerned with others, an easy child to take care of. I always think of her as being older than she is. Here again just perfect for a second child. Suzy wrote to President McKay to ask what; she could do to help a little baby she saw with congenital defects. Pres. McKay was ill at the time and one of his secretaries answered her letter. Knowing our Suzy, I didn't worry about what she would write. Suzanne will be a beautiful woman.
James Cyril Jr. “Jimmy,” my name sake, a kind, gentle boy loves to read and yet will be a big man. When Jimmy was born I was in the bishopric of the North El Monte Ward. 1 was conducting the ward meeting when I announced his birth and I asked when the next Father and son’s outing was. Jimmy is a handsome, intelligent boy; perfect for a first son.
Judith Caroline “Judy,” quick, active, very pretty, loves animals, seems to get as much as possible out of every moment. In our ward Christmas program, she sang Silent Night in her sweet child, voice. I’ll always remember it. Here again just right for our third daughter. I have a patient who feels sorry for her for being the youngest daughter and afraid she only gets hand me downs from the other two and she makes little dresses etc. for her.
Charles "Charly Boy," confident and shy at the same time, going to be tall and good looking. I can never forget going to the Lord and asking if we could keep Charles when he was so badly hurt. I was a completely broken father going to Father in Heaven. 1 know that he deigned to let us keep him. Charles is just right for his spot in our family.
David Phillip “Little David,” our baby boy growing up so fast, going to be big and handsome has a sweet spirit. Last year when all the children were getting ready the first morning of school David felt left out and came to me and said, "Daddy I can 't go to school, I have to go to Wee see sytee” (Relief Society). David too, is just right for his spot in our family group. 1 hate to see him grow out of the baby stage and I'm getting "baby hungry" again.
As I've written about our children I wonder where have the years gone. I delivered each one, seemed only proper that I should – being the father and holding the priesthood.
It seems like 1 have been so busy and the time has flown. I wish that I had more time with them. My greatest hope is for their faithfulness to the church – Temple marriage for I know that this gives them their greatest opportunity for happiness, and Marjorie and 1 want the very best for our children.
As I realize how much I appreciate someone influencing for good any of our children, I realize how our Father in Heaven must love those who influence for good the other children he has.
A testimony is a personal thing and sacred, not to bandy about, however, in this journal I want to be certain to include my testimony. 1 have had several direct answers to prayer unmistakably certain that I was being answered. The occasions are deeply personal and someday it may be appropriate to tell them but as yet they seem too personal to me.
September 18, 1966
Tonight, at our Stake Bishopric meeting, President Mark W Smith, our Stake President, told how the Council of 12 have a special quarterly testimony meeting in the temple in their room and bear their testimony to each other and lastly the Prophet bears his testimony and minutes are kept. We turned our meeting into a special testimony meeting and the Spirit was there as sweet and choice a meeting as I have ever witnessed. No preaching, just laid our souls bare and told how we felt about the Lord and His church. I feel so much closer to all the brethren, I know them better.
January 8, 1967
In our Fast and Testimony Meeting today I confirmed Charles a member of the church after baptizing him last night. Each member of our family bore their testimony, Jimmy leading us in bearing his first. As each of our children even little David, bore their testimony I thought how precious they are to us and as my wife bore her testimony I pondered how much is it worth to have each member of your family have a testimony. I can’t think of a price.
We had a nice Christmas this year, we had 22 missionaries over for dinner Christmas Eve with a piñata and a Christmas Eve program.
For some time, our Stake Presidency had been concerned about our financial obligations as a stake. We had appointed a committee to investigate the possibilities of a big carnival type of money raising affair and couldn’t seem to get it off the ground. As we discussed the matter at our High Council meeting somehow the idea evolved of simply asking the people and giving them the opportunity to sacrifice. We all knew that
this was the Lord’s way, that His saints should take care of their own obligations.
We called a special meeting of the entire stake Sunday morning, cancelling all the Sunday Schools and we asked the people to come in the Spirit of Fasting and Prayer. The Sacrament was passed by the bishoprics and High Council and President Smith told the people what was needed, followed by myself and President Miner. The response was overwhelming, especially by our young people and we raised enough to pay our debts.
A number of faith promoting experiences came to us. A personal thing happened to the presidency. President Smith and Miner were in the office and President Smith asked President Miner what he thought we should do as to the format of the meeting and procedure. President Miner told him, and then I came in and President Smith asked me the same question and I gave word for word the answer President Miner gave. President Smith thought we had gotten together ahead of time, but we hadn’t and as President Miner said he and I don’t talk alike even though we often think alike.
Many of our young people sacrificed summer vacations etc. to give. We are surely grateful for the faith of the people.
There is a theme that I’m sure I’ll constantly repeat in these writings, that of my family. The other night we went to the show and during intermission a song was played that was popular when I was a teenager with all my dreams of romance and aspirations. This song had an association for me for those things and it brought memories back of how I felt and as I looked at my wife and children I said to myself, I never dreamed I would be this blessed. This is more than I had hoped for.
Some years ago, during my internship, I was released as a counselor to Bishop Cluff of the North El Monte Ward. It was done during testimony meeting and our Stake Patriarch bore his testimony and said, “you haven’t heard the last of Brother Brown.” Elder Howard W Hunter, then our Stake President, said to me afterwards, “I’m glad he said that, you will literally find it to be true.”
On Sept. 17, 1967 the El Monte Stake was organized out a division of the West Covina Stake and I was sustained as the Stake President with Richard E. Miner and Mayo W. Smith as Counselors. Elder Delbert L. Stapley of the Quorum of the Twelve officiated and set us apart.
There were many things in this connection that have strengthened my testimony. It was interesting to observe an Apostle work. In five minutes he was able to discern things that took we, as a Stake Presidency of the older Stake, over eight years to determine. I have come to know that it is very wise indeed to follow counsel, and as we set about to organize the stake we tried to follow the counsel of the General Authorities.
My selection of counselors was an answer to prayer and as we prayed about the High Council and other Stake leaders we were guided, and as time goes on this becomes more apparent.
As the time for the division of the Stake drew near, I had a premonition that I would be called to be the new stake president. Then an evil influence would tell me that I was not worthy and that I was seeking the position. I spent a great deal of the time praying, and as I prayed a peaceful feeling would come over me and I knew that it would not make any difference what happened, that if the Lord wanted me to be the Stake President, there would be nothing I would want to do more and that if he didn’t want me to be, then it would be the last thing I would seek. A similar thing happened when I was called to be a counselor to President Smith over eight years ago. I had no reason to feel he would call me as we were not well acquainted. Yet, I could tell by the influences besetting me that I was going to be called and as I went into our bed room to pray and ask the Lord to help me, a feeling of peace came over me.
October 1967 Semi Annual Conference
The tabernacle, 100 years old, first used Oct. 1867. President McKay greeted us, 94 years old. As he was helped to his seat he turned and said, “they think I’m an old man.” My great Aunt Mozelle Halls was his primary teacher, and my great uncle John Halls was his bishop. He tells of how he and his classmates would see how high the water mark would be on Sister Mozelle Halls saddle where she crossed the Weber River on horseback to come to teach their class.
This conference brought the announcement of the appointment of 69 regional representatives of the Quorum of Twelve to help in the administration of the church, 443
stakes now and over 4000 wards and branches. ______________________________
Today I went over the tithing and donation record of all the members of our stake. It was quite revealing to me knowing so many people in our stake over the years and knowing of their circumstances. I was amazed to see the correlation between blessings and the sacrifices made by the people. I had never scrutinized these records before and had never realized just how closely blessings parallel a person’s willingness to sacrifice.
Fast and testimony meeting in our ward today. I had fasted the previous day for our quarterly priesthood meeting and thought I [would] just as well continue to fast for today. I really felt good, and as I partook of the sacrament to break my fast it was more meaningful to me.
From time to time I fast before an important speaking assignment. Usually, just one day. I still marvel at my being a Stake President, particularly as I view my talented associates. Earlier in this Journal I commented on age, and how time passes. I just learned that in a neighboring stake, the son of a high school classmate of mine was called to the stake presidency. This is getting serious. I hope 1 can still think young even if l ‘m getting older.
January 7, 1968
Today was one of the most joyous days of my life. We had our first Stake Conference as the El Monte Stake. Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Council of the Twelve was our conference visitor and stayed in our home, ate with us, prayed with us, appreciated our children with us, even drove my old Rolls Royce. He asked me why I was so blessed, and I told him I didn't know, but that I felt my forebears had something to do with it and he said, "I feel the same way”, that he didn't talk about it much, but he sincerely felt that his father was a greater man and more talented than he, and that he had a wonderful mother, and that he was blessed with his call because of the faithfulness of his parents.
We also participated in the dedication of our chapel and Elder Hinckley gave the dedicatory prayer.
Our Conference meeting was well attended as well as our leadership meeting.
There was a sweet spirit present and we were well instructed. And tonight, as we sat around the dinner table relaxed and happy, the children obviously secure and contented, happily talking, I couldn't help but ask myself as I looked at my sweet wife, lovely children, "What more could I ask for?"
March 2, 1968
My little Judy broke her arm today. I happened to be near where she fell and saw her arm obviously deformed. I set it immediately while she was still uncertain as to what had happened and apparently saved her having to have an anesthetic and did it before the swelling and spasm set in, and when we x-rayed it, both bones were in good position. The first thing she asked me was can we still go to the Daddy Daughter Date tonight at primary? She had looked forward to this for some time. So we went about 2 hours after breaking both bones in her left forearm and wearing a full cast to her shoulder.
I ordained my first son to be a deacon, conferring the Aaronic Priesthood. This was very sacred to me. I hope I never forfeit the right to fulfill priesthood responsibilities to my family.
January 5, 1969
A wonderful day. Stake Conference – an excellent attendance despite a flu epidemic. Bruce R. McConkie of the First Council of Seventy as our visitor and house guest. A lovely Sacrament meeting tonight.
One of my choice privileges is to interview returned missionaries as they return to our stake. I had to smile when I remembered interviewing one young man and spending a lot of time instructing him on his behavior as he now begins to date, being released from his mission, and I now discover he is dating our daughter.
September 7, 1969
Tonight, I had the privilege of giving our oldest daughter a father’s blessing. The occasion being her eminent departure for the BYU. A sort of milestone in our family, our first to leave the nest.
Today I obtained the history of my great grandfather William Halls and was very touched by his victory over tremendous odds to educate himself and his devotion to the church. The reading of his history stirred in me a great admiration for him. It calls to mind the expression, we stand on the shoulders of giants.
September 28, 1969
We had a very fine Stake Conference today. The conferences are a rich experience, we always undergo a certain amount of anxiety, but somehow the Lord always seems to bless us. I have had the privilege of participating in over 40 Stake Conferences. I should strive to be more worthy.
September 9, 1970
It has been a whole year nearly since I have written in this journal. Tonight, I had the privilege of setting Thomas and Christofer Stevenson apart as full-time missionaries. In January 1970, the First Presidency gave the Stake Presidents the privilege of setting apart missionaries leaving their stake. The general authorities used to set them apart.
I wish I could describe the sweet spiritual experience that comes in setting a missionary apart something unseen but physically felt actually happens when you lay hands upon their head. An actual thrill or quiver goes through your body.
O how I pray my sons will all be worthy and anxious to go on missions for the church. It would be hard for me to put a price on that.
November 24, 1970
I set Susan Louise Erbe apart as a missionary to the France Belgium Mission tonight. As we gathered in her parent’s home, surrounded by family, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, I couldn’t help but think of the great strength of family ties.
November 22, I set Robert Vul Williams apart as a missionary to the Maryland Delaware Mission. He was in his parent’s home surrounded by his family. It seems so appropriate since the home should be the most sacred place on earth outside the temple, (I haven’t recorded all the missionaries I set apart).
January 3, 1971
I ordained my son Charles Thomas Brown a Deacon, conferring the Aaronic Priesthood. My 2nd son to hold the priesthood.
Set Ronald Odell Talley apart as a missionary to the Japan Mission 1-3-71.
Christmas Eve we had 16 full time missionaries in our home for dinner and a Christmas program. All our children also present. Read from the Bible and Presient Joseph Fielding Smith’s Christmas message, then heard from each elder telling what Christmas and the Savior meant to him. We felt we were worshiping the Lord.
April 10, 1971
Just returned from General Conference in Salt Lake City. Took the family, meeting Johanna who is at the BYU. President Joseph Fielding Smith presided, and the conference as is usual was the best of many that I have attended. I thought about this one night and it came to me as to why we gather from the stake to hear the General Authorities. It is so we can go back and let our people know that the Lord still leads the
church, that the brethren are inspired and directed by Him. This is the assurance we receive who attend.
I particularly remember Elder Boyd K. Packer, the most recent member of the Council of Twelve, who very effectively bore witness of the Savior and said that perhaps this was his only qualification to be a member of the Twelve, that he could bear witness of Him.
We visited my uncle W. Ernest Young, now 84. The first president of the Argentine Mission. He told how one of his little primary boys in the mission is now the Regional Representative of the Twelve there.
August 29, 1971
Recently a patient of mine Sister Eleanor Green, a gospel doctrine class teacher in another stake, asked me this question, “What would you do if you found out that this was your last night to live?” I told her that I would finish up at the office as usual, go home and have family prayers as usual, and keep the appointments that I had for oral evaluation with 4 priesthood leaders in our stake. I don’t think I would have to tell my family how I feel about them and the church or of my hopes and aspirations for them.
I have made several observations about happiness and I think happiness is coming home and hearing one of your children practice on the piano for Jr Sunday School and the rest of the family busily getting ready for church.
Our eldest child Johanna Christine is getting married in the Los Angeles Temple next month. My wife and I were talking the other day about our goals for life and we both feel that our goal now is to raise our children to marry in the temple.
September 7, 1971
Saw 80 patients in my office, made 2 house calls, delivered 2 babies, and held our regular Stake Presidency meeting. Began my day at 3 AM, finished after midnight.
December 10, 1971
Went to Thyrille E. Ellsworth, our Stake Patriarch, and my Judith and Charles received their patriarchal blessings. Afterwards, we went out to dinner, a very special family evening. My wealth is my family.
I was very sentimental at my daughter Johanna’s wedding in the Temple, our first to leave our nest. It was a real thrill to interview her for her recommend. To have a child tell you that they are clean and worthy to go to the House of the Lord is a special experience. I delivered her, blessed her, baptized and confirmed her, signed her seminary graduation certificate, signed her health certificate for her marriage license, signed her Temple recommend, but was happy that I didn’t perform the marriage as Stake President, but that she could be married in the temple.
I have had the privilege of speaking at many funerals. The other day I was telling of the importance of family ties and how we tend to judge a person by his family.
I remember when I was young and naïve going to our local bank to borrow quite a bit of money to buy a house trailer for Marjorie and I to live in when we were first married. It never occurred to me to wonder why I was loaned the money with no co- signers or collateral until later I realized it was because they knew my father and always trusted him.
I very often meet individuals who knew my grandfather Brown and remember specific stories he told and talks he gave and what he said. My grandfather Young also had that quality of impressing those that knew him. He served as the community doctor when a licensed physician was not available. He just had a knack for knowing what to do. I wish that I had known him.
I was riding with Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Quorum of the Twelve and he asked me “why are you so blessed?” With hardly any hesitation I said, “I think it is because of my fore bears”, and he said, “I believe that is true, my own father was the finest man I ever knew. I believe my blessings are in part because of him.”
I have thought about this many times. I believe that the good people I came from
play a tremendous role in my blessings.
July 30, 1972
Since last fall, the El Monte Stake has been confronted with the serious illness of my 1st counselor President Richard E Miner. He was found to have cancer of the stomach and esophagus completely obstructing him. In January 1972 he survived an 11-hour surgery removing part of his stomach and part of his esophagus and rejoining them in his chest. In May, he began having symptoms of the cancer spreading and I began to give him 5 FU a new anti-tumor drug. He has improved greatly. For how long I do not know. We have had special fasts for him and know that the Lord is mindful of him. He is the kind of man that can serve anywhere in this life and the next. He and I have been side by side 13 yrs. last May. At this point, we have participated in 53 Stake Conferences, about 650 Stake Presidency meetings and, of course, the many other meetings would be a large cumulative figure. I love him like my own flesh and blood.
He has really become sanctified through this illness. He was of course a good man before, but his great courage, faith and love shines like a beacon for all to see.
September 10, 1972
President Miner still fights a courageous battle.
My oldest daughter gave birth to a still born son several days ago, cause unknown. Their faith and attitude is good. So, we have yet a while to have our first grandchild.
Tonight, at sacrament meeting, Sister Mildred T. Pettit was honored and many of her songs were sung by the children including “I am a Child of God.” 25 years ago her husband was our Stake President and she has been our Stake Primary President, such a lovely, gracious woman.
September 16, 1972
My beloved associate in the gospel, Richard Earl Miner, 1st counselor in the Stake Presidency was called to a new assignment by the Lord at 6:30 AM. He left his thin suffering body that struggled so valiantly and went home. He had prepared himself well for whatever responsibility he may have on the other side.
He knew he was dying. He struggled to stay until his children came from BYU, they arrived at 2:30 AM. He aroused from his unconscious state, thanked them for coming, told them to take good care of their mother, then said three things: (1st) “I love you,” 2nd “Stay close to the Lord,” 3rd “I bear you my testimony that the gospel is true.” The sacredness of that occasion touched all our hearts and we wept. Then he kissed his family goodbye one by one and lapsed back into unconsciousness. He feebly rallied several times but that was his last real message.
November 26, 1972
I spent the afternoon going through President Miner’s church papers, sorting them out, and recalling his great contributions to the stake, his loyalty and friendship. I miss him so much.
October 1, 1972
Stake conference with Elder Franklin D. Richards, assistant to the twelve as our conference visitor. Joics Bagley Stone was sustained as my new counselor. He has served as a bishop and in a stake presidency before. We were in the army together at Fort Douglas 30 years ago.
Bishop Murray Cluff was released as bishop after 22 1⁄2 years. I served as his
counselor twice. Certainly seems strange to see him sitting in the congregation.
December 18, 1972
My younger brother, Harold Leland Brown passed away and his funeral services were today. I had the privilege and responsibility of speaking at the service. How can one somehow in a few minutes summarize, and in some way express family bonds, and the value of a life – there is no way except through the Gospel and the knowledge of the eternal nature of man.
December 31, 1972
The end of another year, momentous in many ways. We had the missionaries again Christmas Eve, once again a choice experience with the reading of the Christmas story from the Bible and the bearing of testimonies. All our family home, including Johanna and Glenn.
Today was our testimony meeting because of next Sunday being stake conference. I had been up all night at the hospital and was so tired. I was tempted to go to bed instead of meeting, however I went and felt so much better because of it. I can see the need to partake of the sacrament often and I needed to attend today. My wife and daughter bore their testimony and I am so glad I was there to hear them.
April 29, 1973
Attended a devotional today at the Long Beach arena for President Harold B. Lee, 14,000 young people attended. President Lee spoke for over one hour and greatly enriched our lives and increased our testimony. I wrote and told him how much I appreciated what he did for my children.
May 6, 1973
In looking over this written account of events in my life I note the ever-increasing gap in dates and realize that I have been remiss in making notations of important events, Stake Conferences, Priesthood meetings, General Conferences, Wonderful Family activities, choice personal experiences with my loved ones and friends and associates.
I think I appreciate most of all, tender special moments with my wife and children. It would be difficult to do justice to, and adequately describe my feelings. I know I should try.
May 11, 1973
Attended a Stake Aaronic Priesthood Commemoration banquet for the boys and girls of Aaronic Priesthood age and their parents, spoke using as a theme, 4 F: 1) Freedom or free agency, 2) Family and future family, 3) Friends, and 4) Future or our forever.
Before the meeting, Charles said “they will have dinky little sandwiches, can we go out afterwards and get something to eat.” Our sandwiches were 10 feet long.
May 13, 1973 Mother’s Day
I really appreciate the Mother in our home for our children.
Tonight, I sat listening to music that I knew and loved as a youth on our old had cranked Victrola. My mind went back through the years to the scenes of my childhood - big fields, barns, trees, wide open spaces we don’t have now. Where I used to milk cows, there is a city side walk. I thought of the hard-strenuous work, milking cows by hand, pitching hay by hand, using teams of horses to do field work – many scenes I do not have the ability to describe. I thought of the people, friends, family, so many of whom are now gone ---. If I, with my present experience could reach back and say to someone I loved then, “take this course or that course in life, not the one you are now on.” How my heart aches for the missed opportunities for happiness.
This I think is what prophets can do for us now. Tell us what course to follow. I would with all my heart and soul tell my children and those that come after them, “live the principles of the Gospel and follow the counsel of the Prophets of God.” I tell you this with over a half century of experience and personal knowledge. How I marvel at the mercy of the Lord in my life.
June 3, 1973
Stake Conference, another special sweet experience. The Spirit of the Lord attended our meetings and we were blessed.
June 17, 1973 Father’s Day
My children have particularly brought me great happiness and I have been so proud of them, and so touched by their love and respect. I wonder if I shouldn’t in like manner please our Father in Heaven.
July 7, 1973
Had the privilege of calling Robert M. Johns to be the bishop of the Rowland Heights ward.
September. 30, 1973
Stake Conference, David B. Haight, Assistant to the Twelve was our conference visitor. A wonderful conference. Elder Haight is a truly great man.
This summer, we flew back to New York City, rented a motor home and drove out to Palmyra to see the pageant, went to a special testimony meeting in the Sacred Grove with Elder Mark E. Peterson of the Twelve, went to Washington DC and Nauvoo, saw the Carthage jail where the prophet was martyred. It was a profoundly moving experience for us.
December 26, 1973
President Harold B. Lee passed away. I have known him over 30 years. When I was presiding elder at Fort Douglas Utah, I became acquainted with him. Pres. Lee was a vital force in the evolvement of the welfare plan and later received the assignment from President McKay to develop the correlation program, which he was able to do, and fully implement when he became President of the Church. I was conducting a Stake Melchizedek Priesthood committee meeting when we learned of President Lee’s passing. As we talked about it and were saddened, we reflected on how the church carries on under the direction of the Lord. President Kimball who is President of the Twelve will assume the role of the Prophet Seer and Revelator. A role he has been prepared for by the Lord. All will be in order. No struggling for power or position. President Kimball has been a family friend since his youth in Arizona when he was at the University of Arizona, and lived in the little Mormon community of Binghampton, a suburb of Tucson at that time. It is now swallowed up and identity lost as Tucson sprawls out. President Kimball is a great man, I know the Lord loves him.
December. 27, 1973
Our first living grandchild, a son was born to our eldest daughter this morning, weight 7lbs 5oz, 20” long. We are so happy. It is easy to sit back and reflect over the years that have gone and wonder at the years to come. Life has been good.
I note that the time intervals between writing in this journal have increased and I am derelict in not writing more about important events. Suzanne going to BYU, of her being chosen to speak at her high school graduation exercises, and doing so well, giving her a Father’s Blessing before she went away to school.
We have had some choice church meetings. Christmas Eve at our home with the full-time missionaries, many special sweet experiences with my children. I hope I don’t take these things for granted.
January. 10, 1974
Attended a funeral for a 9-year old boy, a member of our stake, James Orville Fitch. The service was so lovely and the spirit so sweet. I wondered if I have really let each of my children know how precious and dear they are to me. I thought how vulnerable I am where they are concerned.
January. 27, 1974
Marjorie and I flew up to Marysville California to see our first grandchild blessed – a milestone in our life. It seems only yesterday his mother was a babe in arms. He looks like both sides of the family. The best features of each.
In going up for this special occasion in our lives, I missed the first ward conference I have ever missed in 18 years of any ward in our stake.
March 24, 1974
Stake Conference with H. Burke Peterson, 1st counselor in the Presiding Bishopric as our conference visitor. I remember when we had a General Authority every Stake Conference, we also had a morning and afternoon session on Sunday. The general board of the auxiliary organizations would be assigned to visit us also. Since I have been in a leadership position to notice the church has grown from 216 stakes to 640. I know that years from now the visits from general authorities will be less frequent or at least different.
April 6, 1974
Attended a Solemn Assembly where Spencer W. Kimball was sustained as the 12th President of the Church. He is truly a great man prepared for this call from the Lord.
June 2, 1974
Stake Conference – a great experience, good counsel from the speakers.
August 18, 1974 Ordained my first son an Elder. How blessed I am.
October 13, 1974
Elder LeGrand Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve was our Stake Conference visitor, stayed in our home, nearly 89 years old, vigorous mind, alert, perceptive, striving to remain faithful to the end.
He told our family of his grandmother telling him about being in the meeting where the mantle of the Prophet Joseph fell on Brigham Young, said he looked like Joseph, sounded like Joseph, and the people knew who the Lord wanted to have lead the church.
February 14, 1975
My oldest son, Jim left today for his mission and as I watched him climb the ramp to the airplane my heart ached and swelled at the same time knowing a milestone had come and after having him for 19 years in our home we were sending him out. I was sad to see him leave but would have been sadder still if he would not or could not go on a mission.
How I wish I could express how much my children mean to me.
December 21, 1974
My beautiful beloved Suzanne was married in the Los Angeles Temple this day. I watched her kneel across the Holy Alter in that sacred place, radiant, trusting the future. We raised her to get married and yet somehow you feel the years were to swift and are not enough and yet the adult relationship with your children is even better. It seems paradoxical to reach out to the memory of clasping their little hand, holding them in your
arms and still being pleased with the way they are growing and enjoying a deeper richer association with them.
There are certain memory pictures that are etched deep in my soul. Marjorie kneeling across the altar from me in the Arizona Temple, modeling her first maternity dress, holding our babies – other moments to sacred to attempt description.
November 2, 1975
1975 has been an eventful year, the First Quorum of Seventy reorganized, Stake Presidents now ordaining Bishops and setting them apart. Church membership approaching 3 1⁄2 million.
During our October Stake Conference while Elder Rex D. Pinegar was our visitor, my little grandson Ben looked up and saw me on the stand and called out “grandpa, grandpa”. Everyone smiled including me.
Johanna stayed with us 10 months while her husband was in Thailand with the Air Force. I had the privilege of delivering my second grandson Mathew James July 10, 1975.
We took Judith up to BYU for her first year in college so now we just have Charles and David home, soon Marjorie and I will be alone.
January 12, 1976
We had Victor L. Brown, Presiding Bishop, of the Church as our conference visitor; he even admitted he was related to us. We share the same great grandfather, Homer Manly Brown. A very gracious Stake Conference visitor.
February 1, 1976
My Suzanne typed my journal and gave copies to my other children for Christmas. She said some nice things about me which is more of a credit to her loving generous nature then to me.
February 29, 1976
Had the privilege of ordaining and setting apart Clarence Elvin Bair as the Bishop of the El Monte North Ward, my first time to ordain a Bishop since the First Presidency gave the Stake President the authority.
May 8, 1976
I had the privilege of delivering my Suzanne’s first-born child. A son named Chad Aaron.
Another eventful year. Ordained Maurice Emil Drew Jr Bishop of newly created Rowland Heights 2nd Ward.
Became Chief of Staff, Greater El Monte Community Hospital.
A wonderful motor home trip with Marjorie, Judy, Charlie, and David up thru the Gold Rush Country in California, Virginia City Nevada, thru to Provo Utah to see Johanna, Glenn, Ben and Mathew.
A letter from the First Presidency indicating that my length of service as a Stake President should now give way for someone else to have the blessings of that calling. What a choice blessing and experience it has been to serve, especially with such wonderful men as counselors.
Mayo Wilford Smith, I paused here at writing a long time trying to adequately express my love, appreciation and admiration for him. Any term or expressions that denotes the highest most precious qualities of men would apply to him.
Joics Bagley Stone. faithful, qualified, loyal, helping to ease the terrible void left by President Miner. I want both to be my friend and brother forever.
Each member of the High Council has a special place in my heart. I love the bishoprics, priesthood leaders, stake families. My journal is not long enough to let them know how much I appreciate them.
January 6, 1977
Our regular stake family meeting, my last as Stake President. Unbeknown to me, my wife prepared excerpts from my journal and read them with slides highlighting my life and Elfreda Clark sang the Relief Society song “Love One Another” which is my favorite and I think only Elfreda can properly sing it. There and in Bishopric meeting, people said nice things about me and I told them it was more of a compliment to them than to me for them to think well of me. I’ll be hard pressed to live up to their expectations. I told them that they had a look inside my heart.
January 12, 1977
We held what may well be the last Stake Presidency meeting I’ll preside at, and may be participate in. Counting the other Stake Presidency, I have knelt in prayer in a Stake Presidency over 800 times not counting High Councils, leadership meetings, and so forth.
I feel the poignancy of the occasion - I tend to be sentimental. After the brethren left my study, I knelt to thank the Lord and I realized I was kneeling where President Miner used to kneel, and I remembered his last prayer before going in the hospital for surgery for his cancer, and I wept.
January 13, 1977
Conducted my last High Council meeting. Each kind of meeting I think “this is my last of this type to conduct”. We took pictures. Merwin Waite made up a song about me, many words of appreciation were expressed to each other. James Floyd Smith, the senior member of [the] High Council used to be one of my Deacons when I was advisor to the Deacons. He is the last of the original High Council we started with as a new Stake. He told how by following the counsel I gave him he found his wife. President Mayo Smith spoke, President Joics B. Stone also, I know I will miss these men.
January 16, 1977
Today at Stake Conference, I was released as Stake President and sustained as Stake Patriarch. Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve ordained me. This afternoon the mantle of presidency was removed from me. I could feel it slipping away,
and now I have the very serious responsibility to live so that the Lord can bless this stake through me giving blessings as He would wish and direct. I’ll need some time to prepare.
My former first counselor, Mayo Wilford Smith, was sustained as Stake President. I don’t know of anyone I would rather have be my Stake President.
Henry L Whiffen is his first counselor, James Floyd Smith is his second counselor. I am so happy to see these great men have the blessings attendant to these callings. I’m sure that there will be times when I will ache for former experiences, but I hope I can sustain and be a good ex Stake President and the Stake Patriarch I should be.
The conference was a moving experience, many expressions of love were given, tears were shed. I marvel at the love the people gave me and have given me over the years. I am so grateful.
It was nice to have Elder Perry in our home along with his wife, very gracious and easy to be with. At morning prayers, I asked Elder Perry to leave his blessing on our home and family which he graciously did as he prayed.
On the way over to our morning meetings Sunday I asked Elder Perry if he had any counsel for an old Stake President and he said “yes, I’m going to ordain you a Patriarch after the morning meeting”.
January 22, 1977
Today a Solemn Assembly was held in the upper room of the Los Angeles Temple under the direction of the First Presidency. Each spoke and gave us instruction on basic Gospel principles and procedures, President Kimball, President Tanner, and President Romney. President Ezra Taft Benson, President of the Quorum of the twelve, and Elder William H. Bennett of the First Quorum of the Seventy also spoke.
Afterward I was waiting outside for the traffic to clear and I noticed some people standing by a door, I walked over, and President Kimball came out and shook our hands, he looked at me as he took my hand – tears came to my eyes and he said, “you are Brother Brown, aren’t you?” I was amazed, it must be years since I’ve seen him, at least 12. I’ve seen him as a spectator at General Conference of course, but to shake his hand it’s been 12-13 years, and to think he would remember me. I floated on air all the way home greatly humbled and impressed.
February 6, 1977 It has been a very soul stretching experience to go through all the papers I’ve
accumulated as Stake President. Not having a Stake Center, I used my home to keep the papers in. So, it was necessary to sort through them to see what the new Stake President should keep. Some of the correspondence goes back over 20 years and it was a very nostalgic experience. Many of the people have passed away, some are lost and haven’t found their way back. I paused to reflect on what is really important in life. I would say that:
1. LIVING THE COMMANDMENTS 2. STRENGTHING FAMILY TIES 3. FOLLOWING COUNSEL OF THE PROPHET
would be what is really important. I’ve seen so many blessings gained or lost according to how the above 3 principles were handled.
March. 3, 1977
My son James C. Jr. returned from a successful mission in the Washington Seattle Mission. How great it was to see him. My heart really throbbed to see him and see that he really had a testimony and served well. How grateful I am for special children.
March 13, 1977.
Jim has been home 10 days, has found a job, is saving for school, gave one of the finest reports to the High Council I’ve heard, is busy studying, being active, and doing what he should. I am so proud of him.
March 16, 1977
I gave my first patriarchal blessing tonight and it was given to my son David. He was the only one of our children who had not yet received one. I am glad one of my children could be my first. David is such a special boy. I know the Lord loves him and sent him down by assignment to our family and that he will render a great service to the
I am practicing medicine with my office still in El Monte, I am Chief of Staff at Greater El Monte Community Hospital, I still see 40-70 patients a day.
Marjorie is on the Stake Relief Society Board, still as lovely and gracious as ever.
Johanna and Glen are living in Provo, expecting their 3rd living child. Glenn is finishing school at BYU and is a Seventy.
Suzanne and Kent are living in Panorama City, have 1 child. Kent is teaching school, is Elders Quorum President, Suzanne is in APYW [Aaronic Priesthood Young Women].
Jim is home from his mission working to save for BYU and is doing well as a returned missionary.
Judith is at BYU enjoying school and social life, serves in her branch Relief Society.
Charles is in his last year of High School, is an assistant to the Bishop in the Priests Quorum and getting ready for his mission.
David is in his 2nd year of High School, in the Teachers Quorum Presidency and is really growing.
I hear good reports about our children and I appreciate it very much. It made it so much easier to be Stake President, having a family that set a good example.
March 17, 1977
The Stake held a special program honoring President Stone and myself. It was a very special evening, everyone was so gracious and kind, many nice things were said about us. We were given a set of tapes each, of the Book of Mormon and the doctrine and Covenants, and I was given a choice scrap book with letters from the stake members. I’ve been reading them including those from my children. As I ponder and read with amazement what they have said I realize it is a tribute to their love and charity and not necessarily to me and I must not let it turn my head.
Perhaps I should recap our family situation as of now.
March 27, 1977
Stake Conference, the first I did not conduct since the Stake was organized. I was called on to speak extemporaneously “in retribution for calling others without notice”. Elder Robert L. Simpson of the First Quorum of Seventy stopped in on our conference unexpectantly – a real pleasure to have him, I didn’t know he was there while I was speaking.
April 3, 1977
Attended General Conference, the first 2-day conference instead of 3 and the first not held to include April 6, Jimmy attended with me. We went to the Tabernacle 1 1⁄2 hours early to get a seat for Priesthood meeting. Attended a special instruction meeting for new patriarchs (very helpful), also, went to church Historians office and read copies of blessings given by other patriarchs. The church provides them to give you an idea of the language used, not to tell you what to say.
Elder Packer told us that, “Heaven help the church if they (General Authorities) answered every question and short-circuited local inspiration.”
April 24, 1977
My son Jim reported in Sacrament meeting on his mission, gave an excellent talk. I was real proud. I told our High Priests Quorum that night that I think happiness is sitting in Sacrament meeting holding a grandchild and listening to one of your children report on a successful mission. The same evening it was announced that Charles would serve a summer 2-week mission getting ready for his own mission.
April 29, 1977
Johanna gave birth to Nathan David this AM, wt. 7lbs. 8oz. Marjorie went up to function as a grandmother.
May 14, 1977
25th reunion of my medical class – a very pleasant evening of re acquaintance and reminiscing. Most are very successful and generally quite mellow, some of course are gone. Most accomplishments were listed in terms of family – not wealth. Most are decent men, and we had a good time. I wish that I could have influenced some of them to join the church. We have had a good relationship however, and they all knew I was a Mormon and when it was opportune we would talk about the church. Many are Jewish.
June 18, 1977
Attended a family reunion of one of our lines, saw many of my cousins I hadn’t seen in 30-40 years. I was amazed at how much they look like I remember their parents, also how their characteristics are so much like I remember their parents being like. We had a good time getting re acquainted.
June 19, 1977 Father’s Day
My family have made me very happy. They have given me the gift of love and affection, there is no more precious gift.
August. 14, 1977
Sunday attended all my meetings, spoke in sacrament meeting, delivered a baby, gave 3 patriarchal blessings. It occurred to me that each time I partake of the Sacrament I ought to do so more worthily then the last time. This seems like a good goal to work for.
August. 18, 1977
Stake Priesthood meeting, Charles was presented to be an Elder, and I had the privilege of ordaining him after [the] meeting.
September 1, 1977
Just returned from an automobile trip with my father 80 years old and my brother, Robert. We went up to Mancos, Colorado where he lived as a boy. Went up in the La Plata Mountains where he and his mother took their cows each summer, lived in a log cabin, made cheese and butter and came down off the mountain only occasionally during the summer. We visited old timers in their 80’s and 90’s who fondly remembered my grandfather and grandmother. “So, you are Charley and Mary Brown’s grandson.” They were great people. Charley was a great Sunday School Superintendent. We remember the plays he was in, the little community had to provide its own entertainment. My great uncle George Halls was Bishop for years. My uncle David Halls was Bishop and Stake President. Under his direction the chapel still in use was built. My uncle Lewis Halls was Bishop and Stake Clerk. David’s son, Harry Halls, was just released as Bishop, serving faithfully. My great grandfather, William Halls, was in the Stake Presidency and was Stake Patriarch. In his journal, he wrote that he had traveled 45,000 miles by horse and buggy in the performance of his duties.
We stopped in Monticello Utah, saw my great uncle Frank, grandmother Halls last living brother, 90 years, old quite ill but with a sense of humor – said he didn’t think he’d go to Hell, it was too full, and he didn’t have a reservation. Uncle Frank was county clerk for years.
We stopped off at Aneth, Utah, an Indian trading post owned by grandfather Brown, 70 years ago. Some of the original building still stands. My father at eleven years of age rode horseback 25 miles each way through Indian country delivering mail to Bluff City. When grandfather left with goods for Denver, and Salt Lake, my grandmother would lock up all the guns he had left, saying that if anyone was going to shoot them they would have to do it with their own guns, not hers.
It was a sentimental journey, we enjoyed it. I wish I could have done something like that with my father years ago and not have waited so long. I caught glimpses of my family spanning about a century, can partially see different directions and goals and know a little of the end result. I can see the fleeting value of worldly goods and fame. I measure success in the quality and permanence of family ties, service to mankind, particularly through church channels, and the strength of character developed under Divine guidance. We have a distinct advantage in being able to see what happens to our forebears, who followed or did not follow the leaders of the church.
As I find out more about my family I am more grateful for their pioneering the way for me and my family.
September 4, 1977
As I give patriarchal blessings I am greatly impressed with the feeling of how much the Lord loves us and wants us to have the blessings in store for the faithful, and how much he wants us to escape the paths of sin and subsequent sorrow.
September 17, 1977
Marjorie has been assembling pictures and documents for our book of remembrance, the pictures of the children as they were growing up really tug at my heart. I wish that I could gather them in my arms and somehow let them know how much I love them.
September 27, 1977
I just returned from a hospital executive meeting and I thought on the way home that there is a side of my life I have not written much about. I have served as chief of staff of two hospitals, conducted seemingly endless and countless meetings dealing with important matters, policies and procedures pertaining to health care, increased government regulations. Each day at the office I deal with many very important problems - sometimes far reaching decisions are made as it affects the life of some individual, nights and days at the hospital, emergency surgeries. I’ve never counted how many babies I’ve delivered. I started practice as a family doctor when we did almost everything, prior to the time of great specialization. One day I made 19 house calls during a flu epidemic, it took about 24 hours – getting up 4 or 5 times per night was not uncommon. The practice of medicine has changed a lot. In the last 25 years considerable government control and the erosion of private practice. Of course, not so many house calls, although I still make them occasionally. Patients usually go to the emergency room at the hospital during the night, which probably is good. It is very expensive though.
There is a separate world almost for a doctor that many people little realize. Just as other professions have their own unique circle of associations.
My medical life has been important to me but not as important as my family life or church life and I guess that is why I haven’t written so much about it.
December 11, 1977 I have given 82 patriarchal blessings as of today.
December 22, 1977
Had the privilege of giving a patriarchal blessing to Mark James Miner, youngest son of my late counselor Richard Miner (I delivered him). I was able to tell him that his father approved of his mother’s re-marriage and that he was busily engaged on the other
side doing the work of the Lord. It was a good feeling to know that.
December 25, 1977
Spoke in 2 Sacrament meetings. I felt impressed to express that if we did not accept the gift of Christmas, (or the gospel of Jesus Christ), then it was of no value to us, or if we do not receive it.
January 14, 1978
Our new stake center was dedicated by Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Quorum of Twelve. His plane was delayed because of rain and the meeting started 10 minutes late; when I spoke, I said that was the shortest delay the building had. We had quite a struggle over the years getting the building built, but now it is worth it. I hope our offering and sacrifices were acceptable to the Lord.
I feel that tithes and offerings are not sacrifices, just business and fire insurance. Building funds could be considered a sacrifice, and if it is, we should ask the Lord if it was acceptable to him.
January 24, 1978
I had the privilege of delivering our first granddaughter, Rachel Ann Gardiner. What a sweet experience and a precious baby. What can I say more?
March 12, 1978
Rachel Ann was blessed today. Charles and I stood in the circle and she was surrounded by uncles, 2 grandfathers, a lot of people interested enough to drive a long way to be there.
I’ve been aware recently that I am in the beginning of probable the last third of my life here on earth. It would be nice to think it was the beginning of the last half of this journey, many of my fellow travelers have gone on and I hope they will be glad to see me, and I will be prepared and ready to see them.
I look at my life and the lives of friends and loved ones and wish I could convey to those who read this poor journal that the most important matter in life to concern ourselves with, is to keep the commandments of the Lord and follow and sustain his prophets. Our only security is in the Lord. Wealth, health and worldly security can ebb away, or vanish instantly-but, if we are one with the Lord and His church, we are safe, and our journeys end will be sweet, and we will fulfil our mission in life regardless of how long we live.
I recently visited the place I lived as a boy. The school I attended 50 years ago is now a library building, the high school has burned down, most of the landmark buildings are gone or remodeled. Most of the important people I knew are gone, no one seemed to be famous and important enough to last. So again, you wonder what is worth striving for, what do you take with you to the next life, and will you be welcome there.
I recently had the privilege of speaking on the atonement and became more aware of my own dependence on the atonement and that if we do not forgive others, we, in a sense are trying to withhold the atonement from them, and if we persist perhaps the atonement is not efficacious in our own life.
April 2, 1978
Attended General Conference, President Kimball conducted. It was announced that there would be only 2 Stake Conferences a year instead of 4. Church is four million now. Pres. Kimball is a great leader.
While I was in Salt Lake City I had a nice interview with my daughter Judith’s
fiancée. I told him we trusted Judy’s judgement, also that I hoped that I would never have to perform ordinances for our grandchildren that their father should do.
I’ve appreciated going to General Conference all these years to sit at the feet of prophets of God. I think the main purpose of our attending is to reaffirm to us the truth of [the] gospel and that the Lord still leads his church. Our responsibility is to convey that to others we are responsible for.
The church accommodates to growth and will evolve more I’m sure as time goes by to fulfil the will of the Lord and still give us training.
April 30, 1978
Three wards in El Monte were combined to make two. I think of all the people trained in El Monte gaining church experience then moving away. I was Elders Quorum President there, and many others received training there that they may not have in other places and even though population changes the wards served a real purpose.
May 2, 1978
Had 3 patriarchal blessings tonight. I’m becoming more aware of how much I need to be able to receive and say what the Lord would have me say, it is frightening.
June 9, 1979
President Kimball announced to the world that the Lord had revealed that now all worthy men regardless of race or color who were worthy could receive the priesthood. I sustain the prophet.
June 14, 1978
My daughter Judith Caroline received her endowment and was married to Michael Chapman Wooten in the Los Angeles Temple. President Richard C. Stratford performed the ceremony. My son Charles Thomas received his endowment also so as I sat in the sealing room and saw 5 of our 6 children, my heart swelled with gratitude. David being 16, was not old enough and yet he was worthy.
Elder David B. Haight of the Twelve tells of dreaming of a moment of glory as a youth of standing before a cheering crowd at a World Series baseball game, but when his youngest child was married in the temple and he looked and saw his entire family with their spouses gathered, he realized that this was far greater than any possible worldly acclaim.
The night before her marriage I gave Judith a fathers blessing and tried to convey to her how much we loved her. How can one express adequately love for a child? Or the feeling you have as you see their radiant face as they kneel at the alter in the House of the Lord surrounded by those she loves and across from her new husband.
I was pleased that Charles elected to take his endowments the same day and witness his last sister’s marriage, we are anxious to know where he will serve his mission.
June 23, 1978
Judy and her new husband left tonight for their new life in Provo, so for all intents are on their own. As she left, she knew we loved her and would miss her and we knew she loved us and would miss us and I reflected how fortunate I have been to have known the love of children, and I sorrowed for those who have never known it or have rejected the love of family.
August 6, 1978
Fast day, had a nice testimony meeting, such fine people in our ward.
Yesterday, we returned from a trip to Yuba City to see our grandchildren, Johanna and Glenn’s family. The children are the same age as I was when I first remember my own grandparents, now they are in the next life and it is sobering to me that I too will leave this life in the relatively near future, even if I stay as long as my grandparents, and I wonder if my posterity will have good memories of me and if anyone will be glad to see me in the next life.
We saw “Hearst’s Castle,” a magnificent estate with priceless antiques. We saw the Winchester house in San Jose, a result of years of building night and day. Yet, these were all left here and not taken on the other side. I feel that in grasping for all we can get out of life we miss the things of real and lasting value.
August 9, 1978
Our son Charles Thomas was set apart as a missionary tonight in our home by President Mayo W. Smith. We had a choice testimony meeting, Ada Swain, age 95 spoke, Bishop James T. Davis, Joice B. Stone, Suzanne and David, Marjorie, President James F. Smith, President Henry Whiffen, and President Mayo Smith. When it was over we all gathered for family prayers and Felice Smith offered a beautiful prayer. Later, I gave Charles a father’s blessing.
I wish we had recorded the evening. There was such a sweet spirit and I don’t know how to describe it. The feelings of love, the spirit of the Lord, the bonds of friends and family.
September 3, 1978
Just returned from a grip to Arizona yesterday. Marjorie, Jimmy, David and I saw my parents and a few of our ever-diminishing number of aunts and uncles. So many of those we used to go see are gone - so many of the land marks are gone. In many ways, it saddens me to go back to the scenes of my youth – so much change; farms, buildings, open spaces, trees I knew – all gone. Housing tracts and commercial developments cover the old familiar places, the only way I can tell where I am is to look up to the hills and
mountains. I suppose a lesson is involved in this, if we look up to God and the prophets in this fast-changing world, we will know where we are.
We visited several old ghost towns, also, Marjorie’s grandmothers old ranch in Dewey is gradually being broken up, some of the old building are still there. I stood and looked at the stars, listened to the night sounds and thought of all the people who once lived and worked there, came back for Christmas and other holidays – mostly gone now – even some who we visited this year may be gone soon. I asked myself, what do we work and struggle for that is of lasting value? Would it not be family ties, friends, worthy associations, eternal ordinances? We’ve seen many family possessions dissolve away or lost, once prized valuable heirlooms sold or given away. Many of our own antiques were once cherished by someone else, and when we leave, we won’t be able to take them along. What then can we leave our family that will be of worth, real worth? Would it not be cherished memories, a heritage of love, prayers together, gospel experiences, family bonds that are eternal, confidence in the Lord and His church, in His prophet, a desire to serve ones’ fellowman.
November 11, 1978
Our oldest daughter Johanna had a baby girl tonight, her first daughter; about the same time, I was delivering a boy at San Gabriel Valley Hospital to a LDS couple. I wonder if these 2 new spirits knew each other and traveled together down to earth.
I was talking to my Uncle George the other day and he told me of something Grandfather Brown told him when he got married, “If you are not happy when you don’t have very much, you won’t be happy when you have a lot.”
December 31, 1978
We had a very choice Christmas, our children were either home with us or where they should be, Charles on his mission and Johanna with her little family. The rest were home with us. We also had 14 missionaries for Christmas Eve and dinner and testimony.
Tonight, is New Year’s Eve. Marjorie and I are home alone waiting up for Jim, David, and Julie, our niece, who have gone to a church fireside and are to end up at a
New Years breakfast after midnight. Marjorie and I have spent 31 New Year’s Eves together, many of them at a church dance or activity. During our Holidays this year with our children, I became aware that my greatest contentment seems to be watching our children be happy and enjoy associating with each other. I hope they always enjoy each other. We receive many compliments on our children, this is very gratifying and humbling. I’m not sure I deserve such good children, but it surely is appreciated.
January 7, 1979 Had four patriarchal blessings today.
March 25, 1979
Attended a Stake Young Women’s conference and heard a beautiful woman (a stake leader) bear her testimony. I felt her sweet spirit and was touched as I remembered excommunicating her husband a few years ago and it occurred to me that Hell may well be finally realizing what you gave up and how precious your family really is.
Tomorrow I will be 58 yrs. old. Someone told me, “You are only as old as you feel,” and I said that’s what I’m afraid of.
Spoke in Sacrament meeting tonight.
April 1, 1979
Marjorie and I just returned from the 149th annual conference of the church. We have nearly 28,000 missionaries and Pres. Kimball says we should have 50,000 including an older couple from each ward. He says he feels we are ready now to begin to teach the whole world. Marjorie and I would like to go in a few years after David comes back from his mission.
Met Jim’s Fiancée, a very lovely girl, who will fit right in with us and be a good wife for Jim.
Judy and Michael are happily expecting their first baby. Saw my uncle W. Ernest Young, 91 years old, my Mother’s last living brother, 1st president of the Argentine Mission and went back again as president (served to separate times). He said the first time he went down there were about 26 members in all of Argentina.
April 8, 1979
I have been thinking about how my life spans the development of visual communications. I remember the first talking motion picture, the old silent films – radio and phonographs were really just developing when I was small. In looking at old movies starring actors and actresses who were then young, rich, vibrant and famous, and who are now old or dead - presidents, dictators, rulers, generals, heroes, etc., who are now similarly gone to meet and await judgement - I marvel at how fleeting life is. I have had the privilege of watching six presidents of the church and numerous great church leaders and there comes a time, no matter how great we are in the eyes of men, when we must die leaving everything worldly and taking only what we have become – quality of character, depth of understanding, ability to keep the Lord’s commandments, and serve our fellow men, viability of family ties, etc.
I think at some time in our life we have a glimpse of these things but some of us have our minds dulled and lose sight of what is truly important.
We have been asked not to dwell on our mistakes and as I look back on my life I marvel at the Lord’s mercy to me in my mistakes. One reason I would not want to live my life over even though there are many things I would hope to change is that I would not want to risk not having my present family.
June 3, 1979
This morning Marjorie and I met in the Los Angeles temple with President Spencer W. Kimball and there in the temple president’s office he conferred upon me the sealing power to be exercised on behalf of the living and the dead in the Los Angeles
Temple, Elders Boyd K. Packer and David B. Haight assisted. I’ve reflected all day on the privilege of being in the presence of the prophet, and wonder why I’m so blessed.
Today, also, our youngest son David graduated from seminary and spoke at the services. We are so grateful our children went to seminary, and all graduated, we are very proud of them.
June 16, 1979
Attended a reunion of the James Absalon Young descendants. It was held in the mountains out of Tucson, Arizona. My brother Robert and I took our mother and Marjorie went with us. Once again, I was struck by the resemblance of children to their parents I once knew and who are now gone. There was a good feeling and I think I would like to participate more in our family organizations and become better acquainted.
June 17, 1979 Father’s Day My children have honored me by their goodness, I can ask for nothing more.
July 1, 1979
Marjorie has gone to Arizona to visit family and I am acutely aware of how much I value her presence and want to always be with her. She is a very special person and life without her is inconceivable to me - I don’t even like to think about it.
July 3, 1979
Performed my first sealings in the temple - it was a sweet experience.
August 18, 1979
My family gathered with me in the House of the Lord and there I had the privilege of sealing our eldest son, James Jr. to his bride, Carol Joyce Notter, for time and all eternity. In the evening friends came to our home for a reception, our children and grandchildren were here, Charles called us from his mission and I have such a feeling of being blessed.
August 19, 1979
Johanna our eldest’s birthday. Also, Adam Michael Wooten, our youngest grandchild was blessed today, surrounded by both grandfathers and many uncles and blessed by his father.
August 26, 1979
Taught a Sunday school class, spoke in a sacrament mtg., attended another sacrament meeting, and priesthood meeting, gave two patriarchal blessings, and spoke at a stake fireside.
October 21, 1979
I have re-read this journal as I frequently do reminding me of blessings, perhaps the chief benefit of a journal, (I am embarrassed at the hand writing however).
I enjoy my work at the temple. The sealers dressing room and study lounge is on the 3rd floor at the west end of the huge solemn assembly room. I’m always impressed as I step out of the elevator and view that room where so many of the prophets have been.
I have had some very sweet sacred experiences in connection with the sealing privilege.
Sunday November 11, 1979
Attended a special meeting at the temple for the sealers and the temple presidency. Instruction was given, and sacred experiences shared. It was one of the richest spiritual meetings I’ve ever been privileged to attend.
November 30, 1979
Met Elder Robert L. Simpson in the hallway of the temple, and as we visited, he told me he had been called to be the president of the Los Angeles Temple. It should be a great experience having a general authority as our temple president. We have had him in our home as a conference visitor and he remembered us. He will be a great president, and his wife a most gracious matron.
December 1, 1979
For several days I’ve been thinking about a time when I was young and tried to ask my grandfather some questions about life. I was not sure what I wanted to know, and he was not sure what I was asking for. As I ponder this, I’ve been trying to formulate what I would tell one of my own grandchildren now, if I had the opportunity and I think I would like to tell them this:
1. As quickly as possible determine the truthfulness of the gospel and strive to live it.
2. Strive to understand the Saviors statement, “The kingdom of Heaven is within you”, and “as a man thinketh, so is he” (we create our own happiness or sorrow by what we allow to come in our heart and mind).
3. Understand that forgiving others and accepting forgiveness is one of the greatest purifying experiences we will have in life.
4. All our actions and thoughts should reflect understanding the Fatherhood of God, brotherhood of man, and our relationship to our forebears, present family and our future family.
My grandfather may have known that I would take years to get a glimpse of what these things mean, and I was not ready.
January 13, 1980
Ordained David Phillip, our youngest son an Elder - my heart was full of love and appreciation to him, and the Lord.
January 20, 1980
Marjorie and I had the privilege of attending a special meeting at the Los Angeles Temple. President Kimball presented the new temple presidency and we received some valuable instruction and a rich spiritual experience.
March 26, 1980
My birthday, and a special one. Some very nice cards and letters from my children, remembering things we did together, and some kind, sweet sentiments.
We had two of our grandchildren with us, and some sweet opportunities to love them.
Then I had the privilege of delivering our daughter Suzanne’s third child, a son. What more could I ask for my birthday.
The most valuable asset I have is my family, how dear they are.
In a sense, today I ran the gamut of life’s experiences. In the morning, I delivered a baby to a fine young couple, then went out to the temple and performed the marriage of a sweet bride and handsome groom, then came back to the hospital, removed the life support from an old dying man, let him die in peace, and comforted the family who were ready for him to go and knew they would see him again.
March 30, 1980 (Sunday)
Attended a special meeting at the temple for those who have been given the sealing power by the prophet, there were about 35. President Simpson told us we were foreordained to that service. He also gave us instruction and called upon several to express their feelings. I expressed a feeling that I have that the greatest miracle of the temple is what we can become if we live worthy of the covenants made in the Lord’s House. That is, we can prepare ourselves and know how to come back into the presence of the Lord.
The meeting was one of the great spiritual experiences of my life and yet as I try to write about it, I can see the value of writing while yet in the spirit for now several hours later, I’m having difficulty expressing how I felt being in the same room with such great people whose lives have been directed by the Lord, former Stake Presidents, Bishops, Regional Representatives, many also serving as Patriarchs, and whose lives have touched literally ten thousands of individuals over the past 30-50 years.
When I ponder about President Simpson’s statement, “you were foreordained to this work,” to exercise the sealing power for the Lord. I can’t help but marvel how indeed the Lord can by weak things accomplish a great work. For I of all people am weak. A journal is not a place to list all of one’s short comings and failings and because I have not written of them, does not mean I do not have weaknesses and problems to overcome. I have tried to play the role and act my part as a physician, Stake President, Patriarch, Sealer, and especially and particularly as a Father, and sometimes people ascribe to me qualities I do not feel I have. I hope no harm is done if there are those who think well of me. Dr. George Judd told me that he “never believes what his friends or his enemies say about him.” Perhaps we are not as good or bad as some say we are.
April 6, 1980
150 years since the church was re-established on earth. A momentous General Conference of the church was held. President Kimball presided at the Saturday morning conference, then flew to Fayette, New York and Sunday morning in the re-constructed Whitmer home spoke to the conference and the world via Satellite TV and had Elder Gordon B. Hinckley of the Twelve, read a proclamation to the world as to the progress of the true church, and invited honest men of good will to embrace truth and brotherhood and to accept the Fatherhood of God. I feel that someday this will be made special note and great significance given to this occasion. I feel the time is rapidly approaching the coming of the Lord.
May 4, 1980
A large number of us gathered for the blessing of Eric James Gardiner. He was surrounded by 2 grandfathers and a number of uncles. Suzanne and Kent bore lovely testimonies. Kent was called and set apart as the Ward Mission and Seventies group leader.
May 18, 1980
The first area conference of the church in Southern California was held yesterday and today in the Rose Bowl at Pasadena. President Kimball Presided / spoke and blessed us. He expressed great concern and interest in the Spanish speaking people in our midst and desired that we teach more of them the Gospel. The meeting today was quite likely the largest gathering of Saints in one location. I am pleased to re-affirm that President Kimball is our Prophet for this time in the church’s history. I am grateful for the contact and opportunity to sit at his feet.
June 7, 1980
Attended a family reunion of the James Absalon Young family at Mt Lemmon out of Tucson. I drove down from Mesa with my mother who was the oldest child of James Absalon Young there. Uncle Ernest 92, was not able to come, but sent an appropriate message. We had a good group and a warm spirit of love and affection. As we traveled up the mountain on a good road, we still saw vestiges of how it used to be when Grandfather Young found it when he and his family were driven out of the Mexican Colonies, and while conditions were bad and hard. I do not believe the dangers are as great as now. The people who offer us substances or situations that would damage our Eternal wellbeing are more dangerous than outlaws or mobs. The hardships of a desert land in pioneer days with burning heat, cold, hunger, etc. are not privations at all when you consider some of our families now being deprived of love, family prayer, Home Evening, and feeling part of an Eternal family with a testimony of the Gospel.
June 8, 1980
We had an exceptional Stake Conference. The Stake Presidency indicated that time permitting I might be called on. There were so many who were supposed to speak: Stake Presidency, Mission President, Regional Representative, a fine older couple going on a mission, that of course there was not time. Each speaker gave what should be said and our stake needed to hear it, and I did not feel slighted. I have had the privilege of speaking at about 75 Stake Conferences. What a marvelous blessing to have had that experience. I love Stake Conferences. I’m sorry our Stake Presidency only get two a year instead of four like I did as Stake President.
June 14, 1980 (Judy and Michaels wedding anniversary)
Performed a wedding in the temple for a young man in our stake. And as I got acquainted with his bride I discovered she was the granddaughter of a girl I went to grammar school with in Arizona over 50 yrs. ago. I also saw my beautiful Suzanne at the temple and I reflected again on our 6 wonderful children and how proud we are of them.
July 6, 1980
Jim Jr. blessed his first-born, Jennifer Carol, at our ward today, with Susie and Judy’s family here for the occasion. We took up an entire row in church like we used to. Afterwards we all gathered at our home, had a family meeting, made plans and goals, broke our fast with Marjorie’s usual delicious meal and had one of those special days.
13 July 1980
Recently Marjorie and I took Carol and baby Jennifer to a museum. As I carried the baby, many people were more interested in her than the so-called priceless masterpieces and we agreed we would not trade her for anything in the museum. The sons and daughters of Heavenly Father are the real masterpieces on earth.
July 27, 1980
I have had a health problem recently that has concerned me. Today my sons Jim and David gave me a blessing and it was very touching experience for me. I don’t know who I would rather have exercise their priesthood for me than my own sons.
September 3, 1980
Our son Charles returned home honorably from his mission after his 2-year term. I was very touched as I saw him walk through the airport door, tears sprang to my eyes.
September 4, 1980
Charles gave a very fine report to the Stake High Council. His mother and I were very proud of him.
September 14, 1980
Had a nice day. Charles gave a very fine home coming talk in Sacrament meeting. We were pleased at the depth of his understanding of the Gospel and his spirit.
Also had a chance to visit with Suzanne as we rode together to see Judy and Mike. I enjoy having an adult relationship with our children, it compensates for missing having them as little children.
September 25, 1980
Performed a sealing at the temple, a man in the party came up and re-introduced himself as a man I knew when I was Stake President. He was a very unlikely candidate for a temple recommend. He said you will be pleased with the change in my life, I’ve even served as a bishop. He looked so happy and at peace, a graphic example of what the church can do for someone, and I thought to myself, there is hope for all of us.
September 28, 1980
Marjorie and I went to Arizona this weekend and we drove out to the area my parents and grandparents lived when I was a boy. I couldn’t even find where our homes were, it’s all been obliterated. Tract homes fill our fields, in fact I couldn’t tell where our fields were. Previous years I could spot a few trees or landmarks but now nothing remains, even the few old homes along that old dusty road have been torn down. Not one familiar building or tree remains. New homes, paved streets, lawns, street lights, shopping centers, fill the space where I wandered bare footed among the fields, ditches, paths, trees, etc. I couldn’t go back even if I wanted to. Yet I’m glad I knew how it used to be, wide open spaces, neighbor 1⁄2 mile apart, working with horses on the farm. I remember our first tractor, our first radio, when we got electricity in the house and indoor plumbing.
It seems like all of a sudden, I’m an old timer. People ask if I’m still practicing or have I retired. Somehow time has passed far too quickly and I’m probably in the last 3rd (if fortunate) of my life in this estate.
October 9, 1980
Marjorie and I returned from a trip to General Conference in Salt Lake City. We rented a car, drove over to Arizona, saw family and friends, then on up through Utah. We enjoyed conference – willingly sustained President Kimball as prophet, appreciated the messages. We drove up to Huntsville where my Halls side of the family lived, saw President McKay’s old home that we had seen so many pictures of.
October 12, 1980
Attended a special testimony meeting at the Los Angeles Temple with the temple presidency and the other sealers. It lifted my spirit and I am resolved to try and do better. Pres. Simpson told of the prayers of the General Authorities in behalf of President Kimball that he would be able to speak at conference. His voice previously had just been a whisper with his cancer of the larynx and he was able to speak better than he has in a
long time and conduct the conference. President Kimball is deeply loved by our family.
October 18, 1980
While doing some family sealings at the temple for some patrons who were doing the work for their great grandparents and their children, I became so touched by the spirit, I could hardly proceed without weeping and I noted that all in the room were deeply affected, tears and open weeping even those not connected with the family, and we knew those people had waited long, accepted the ordnances, and may have even been present in the room.
December 11, 1980
Marjorie and I took our last child to the temple today to receive his Holy Endowment. David has been called to the New Zealand Mission (Christ Church) on the South Island. Brother Leonard Bellamy who taught me in the 6th grade in Arizona was the ordinance worker who helped David. It was a sweet experience and as we waited for David in the celestial room we felt so grateful to the Lord that all 6 of our children have entered the temple.
December 18, 1980
Had the privilege of conducting a sealing session at the temple with my family acting as proxies, David, Charles, Judy and Michael, Suzanne and Kent, Marjorie and her mother, a very special experience.
January 4, 1981
Tonight, our son David was set apart for his mission by our Stake President Mayo W. Smith. We met in our home with family and close friends, had a short meeting with a few choice speakers 2 of our daughters, Judith and Suzanne, our old friend Bishop Murry Cluff, our Bishop, Merwin Waite, and our Stake Presidency. President Smith gave David a beautiful blessing.
David’s sacrament meeting program was December 28th He, Charles, and Marjorie, gave lovely talks. I was so proud of them.
January 7, 1981
We put David on the plane to leave for the Missionary Training Center. He looked so young, but capable and we were proud of him. Last evening, I gave him a Father’s Blessing, just as I have each of our children prior to their leaving Home. We anxiously await his safe, honorable return home.
February 12, 1981 My father’s 84th birthday.
David had a 3-hr. layover in Los Angeles prior to flying to New Zealand so Marjorie and I, Mike and Judy, Marjorie’s mother went down to the airport to see him off. He surely looked good and more mature already. We are proud of our children.
February 20, 1981
Our stake held an anniversary ball and had pictures of the stakes history with a slide presentation also at intermission. I really enjoyed it and had such a good time visiting with friends. I think I knew nearly everyone there and either as their former Stake
President or their family Doctor or both. People treated me so graciously and it was very rewarding.
February 28, 1981
Received a very nice letter from our son David’s mission president in New Zealand, Keith R. Oakes, who was in our Stake Presidency in Covina Stake when I was a member of the High Council. He and his wife were also patients of mine.
Also attended a special meeting at the temple prior to its re-opening. There was a special meeting with the sealers and the temple presidency and all of the workers met together in the chapel for instruction. Then we all went up to the celestial room and President Robert L. Simpson offered a prayer of re-dedication of our selves and asked the Lord to accept the re-modeling changes.
March 14, 1981
A happy day – Had the privilege of performing the marriage of our son Charles Thomas, and Barbara Elaine Layton in the Los Angeles Temple. The night before, I gave Charles a father’s blessing and felt very good about it.
The sealing room in the temple was filled with dear friends and family. All our children and spouses, except Jim who had final exams in his first-year medical school back in Missouri and David who was on his mission in New Zealand and they were worthy to be there so what more could Marjorie and I ask.
We share many friends with the Layton family and those in attendance were generally close to both of us.
May 26, 1981
Spoke at the funeral of Ada Mortensen Swain age 97 years, she is the mother of our Stake President’s wife. She grew up in the Mormon Colonies in Mexico, knew my grandparents, [and] my mother. I think I can honestly say I’ve known a saint in her. I felt impressed to say that her husband Eli Swain, wanted me to thank those who were so kind to his wife and that he had waited long enough for her to join him.
May 27, 
Yesterday I walked 8 miles in my exercise program, saw 51 patients at the office, spoke at a funeral, made 2 house calls, attended a hospital executive meeting, and taught a temple seminar class. It was a good day.
June 7, 1981 Stake Conference today very good. We have a great Stake Presidency.
August 2, 1981 Fast Day
Jim blessed Christine Yvonne, assisted by Kent, Charles, and myself. Afterwards Jim and Marjorie bore their testimonies, I was proud and grateful. We receive very good letters from David.
September 13, 1981 Last week Charles and Barbara took me out to the temple and I thought how
blessed I was to be able to go there with my children.
Recently, I have been trying to use more care in how I observe the Sabbath and am trying to eliminate those activities and thoughts that are not conducive to worship, even to not reading the Sunday newspaper. When I go to bed each Sunday, I try to review my activities to determine what I could have improved upon. I find that I enjoy the Sabbath much more, and I am more reluctant to do anything that diminished the spirit of worship.
September 27, 1981
Yesterday I attended 2 wedding receptions. I happened to have performed both marriages in the temple, and it so happened that many of the people attending were those whose weddings I had performed or whose children I had delivered, or I had spoken at a family member’s funeral or we had another special relationship in giving a patriarchal blessing or as their Stake President. I enjoyed mingling with them and feeling love and friendship. I came home, pondering whether I deserved my blessings, and realizing that I do not, and could not be worthy of all the Lord has allowed me to have in the way of family and friends. I don’t think a day goes by but what I marvel at the goodness of the Lord in giving me this lovely woman for a wife and our beloved children.
October 11, 1981
Last week I attended the General Conference, 151st semiannual, of the church in Salt Lake City, had the privilege of attending and staying at a hotel (Temple Square Hotel) with our beloved Stake Presidency. President Smith and I were in the same room and attended most of the meetings together, just like old times. President Kimball was ill in the hospital. Great love and appreciation was expressed for him and for the Prophet Joseph and especially the Savior as the Head of the Church. All talks were inspired. I think the greatest conference I’ve attended thus far.
Marjorie has been in the Holy Land 10 days, she had an opportunity to go with her mother. The only dread I have of death (other than not having fully repented of my sins) is the fact that I would be separated for a time from my wife, regardless of which
one of us dies first. She has become such an important part of my life. I feel empty and incomplete without her. She is the heart of my life.
Today in Fast and Testimony meeting I watched the proud happy look on a young mothers’ face as her daughter went up on the stand to be confirmed a member of the church by her father and grandfather. How blessed we are, when we ensure that each family member receives each ordinance and blessing of the gospel. The little girl was so pleased and happy, and I thought how wise the family was to make such a day so important in their daughter’s life.
I’ve seen fathers or mothers not be present or be away on a trip on these special occasions in their child’s life and I’ve felt it was tragic.
October 18, 1981
I’ve been contemplating this morning on the changes that have taken place during my administrative experience in the church from about 200 stakes to well over 1000 and still growing – having at least one general authority 4 times a year visit our stake conference to barely 1 per year. Those years were exciting and golden. There are 4 stakes where there was only 1 ward when I first moved here.
The church is about 5 times as large now and naturally has to change the mechanics of administration and I’m sure will change even more to take care of and train new members. When I was first called to be a counselor to a bishop I was set apart by an apostle, now they couldn’t possibly do that. I’ve had 4 apostles set me apart to positions and 1 president of the church. How blessed I’ve been in my church experiences.
I have been in a position to know something of the personal lives of many church leaders and I can’t think of any that did not have some cross to bear or personal heart ache. I’ve learned not to envy any one general authority or local leader. I may and do admire their righteousness and devotion to the Lords work, but I do not know of one that I would want to trade places with. Sometimes we just see them in the lime light at conferences etc. and little know of the hard work, personal sacrifices, family heartaches, and concerns they have, just like the rest of us, or more so, even personal health problems, cancer, heart trouble etc. and yet they carry on. I do admire them for that.
November 5, 1981
Today I delivered a 7lbs 15oz girl for Judy, she did well and I was proud of her. Nearly 24 years ago I delivered her in the same hospital, same room
December 5, 1981
Special devotional meeting in the upper room of the temple commemorating the 25th year of the Los Angeles Temple. Elder Howard W. Hunter represented the First Presidency, Robert L. Backman of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy spoke, also our temple presidency and matron. About 2,500 temple workers and spouses attended.
December 12, 1981
Attended a meeting of the temple presidency with the sealers for some special counsel and inspiration. I looked around the room at those great men and marveled at even being there. Without elaborating on my weaknesses may I say that the Lord has been most merciful to me.
December 27, 1981
We had a lovely Christmas, 13 missionaries in our home Christmas Eve, many warm expressions of kindness from family and friends. December 19th was our wedding anniversary, 34th. We were at a Christmas party at the ward and were honored and our anniversary acknowledged, and we were given much love.
Working in the temple has made me more aware of my heritage, and has increased my appreciation for my forebears, and it occurs to me that if I would please my parents, grand, and great grandparents, I would reach out to their posterity who need help
in understanding the Gospel. Should any of my posterity wish to honor or please me, I would be grateful if they would reach out to any of our descendants who are not enjoying full fellowship in the church, and help and love them and show by example, the love of Christ. And to those of our posterity who ever become offended, may I say taking offense is a sin, it is harmful, and an offended person is unpleasant to be around, regardless of any justification.
January 17, 1982
Stake Conference, our visitor Robert L. Backman, First Quorum of Seventy, delightful man. I spoke at old folks conference on Saturday. I started the old folks meeting with our Stake Conferences about 20 years ago. Marjorie gave the opening prayer at the general meeting Sunday, as we felt her sweet spirit tears came to my eyes as I thought of this angel the Lord sent to save me. (a very personal, sacred matter to me)
February 22, 1982
Charles and Barbara had their first-born son tonight, 7lbs 6oz. Jeremy Charles. I had the privilege of delivering him. He is a fine special spirit, and my mind harkened back to the time I delivered his father in the same delivery room 23 years ago. I pray my children will be as happy with their children as we are with ours.
February 28, 1982
Judy and Michael spent the weekend with us from Lakeside. As we had family prayers and Judy gave the prayer I remembered all the sweet prayers she and our other children have given over the years. As we knelt as a family, I’ve always felt the Lord would hear our children’s prayers before mine. I can never write enough to thank the Lord for our family and his great mercy, and blessings to us. Each of our children give us
honor and make me feel my life has been fulfilled and somehow justified, just to have been the father of one of them.
March 28, 1982
Jeremy Charles Brown was blessed today by his father, assisted by both grandfathers and his uncles Kent and Michael. Charles gave him a very sweet and appropriate blessing. I was proud of him.
April 4, 1982
I didn’t go to the General Conference for the first time in the last 45 conferences, I listened to it at home. Our granddaughter Jennifer was seriously ill with meningitis and in the hospital and Marjorie went back to Missouri to be with Jim and Carol and help them take turns being with her in the isolation ward, and I felt like I should stay home close to the phone as well as I now think it is time I give up my seat to the younger new leaders, to give one of them a chance to sit at the feet of the prophets. I feel I have had more than my share and will do well to live more worthy of what the Lord has allowed me to see and hear from his chosen leaders.
June 27, 1982
An eventful week. We had a James Absalon Young family reunion in Payson Arizona June 18, 19, 20 1982. We had a sacrament meeting Sunday in the pine trees. I was asked to speak and discussed the legacy we had and what I would like to leave my posterity. I have discussed this elsewhere in my journal. I particularly appreciate four of my children and their children being there, along with my own father and mother. I’m pleased at the feeling of love of family being generated. I think our forebears desire this and are using their influence.
June 22-24, we had 5 of our children and all 13 of our grandchildren up at a home in Big Bear Lake. How sweet it was to see our grandchildren getting acquainted and enjoying their cousins.
June 25, I had the honor of having 4 of our children and their spouses at the temple to do sealings in a special session. I’ve never seen them so beautiful and handsome. David was on his mission, and Judy stayed home to take care of all the children, but all have current temple recommends.
June 26 – Performed 3 weddings at the temple.
June 27, 1982
Attended a special meeting at the temple where President Gordon B Hinckley changed the temple presidency, a very special sacred experience. I also gave 3 patriarchal blessings this afternoon.
We have Jim, Carol and their children with us for a month while he fills a medical clerkship at the Long Beach Naval Hospital, he is between his 2nd and 3rd year of medical school.
October 3, 1982
Just finished listening to General Conference on our side band radio. We received all sessions, and I attended priesthood meeting with Charles at our Stake Center where we had a direct broad cast via the satellite. We can now hear all of the conference sessions without traveling to Salt Lake City and it is a real blessing. I miss being in the Tabernacle, that is hard to describe, but even so you catch the spirit listening at home.
I’ve had many experiences that I have not recorded, family activities, temple experiences, meetings with the Temple Presidency, personal tender experiences with patients, and friends, some, very well-known but who are entitled to privacy, even in a journal that may never be read. I’ve spoken at many funerals, and have not recorded it, perhaps I should have, because I cannot estimate how many. I’ve always felt it was an honor to be asked to speak at a funeral, and it was a great opportunity. Many of my
nonmember patients have asked me to conduct and speak at funerals.
I wish I could properly express feelings and convey thoughts on paper so that my posterity could really know how I feel.
I was taking a group to a sealing room in the Los Angeles Temple to perform sealings and in the hall I met my wife coming from the celestial room dressed in her temple robes so beautiful and serene. I caught my breath and marveled at the privilege of being her husband. How could this feeling be conveyed so that my posterity would realize how desirable Temple marriage is? How do you describe the love you feel for your children? Or the trembling sacred hope that the Lord is mindful of you and loves you, despite shameful sins and weakness that only a merciful God could remember no more!
As I enter what is undoubtedly the last quarter of my life if I’m fortunate, and that my role is different now, and that as a Patriarch and a Sealer, my responsibilities are no longer administrative but spiritual. I hope and pray that I can fulfil my role.
October 24, 1982
Had 2 blessings today. One boy I delivered 16 years ago. Also had a pleasant visit with Mark and Gladys Smith who are moving back into the area after being away several years. I was his counselor 8+ year years, then we were Stake Presidents together, then Patriarchs together. How good to see beloved friends.
David has a little over 2 months to go on his mission. Marjorie and I hope to go to New Zealand to meet him and come home together.
I had a sobering experience the other night, a man came up to me and told me he had hated me for 15 years. When he discovered that I didn’t remember him, he was taken back and said, “It’s ironic that for 15 years I’ve hated you, and you don’t even remember me.” It seems I had told him that his was the greater sin because he wouldn’t forgive his wife. As he talked I began to recall the circumstances, a very talented young man with a lot of promise. He and his wife have since divorced and have remarried someone else. He didn’t get to raise his children and he has been bitter for 15 years.
November 27, 1982
N. Eldon Tanner, counselor to 4 prophets died this morning. He is one of the truly great men of this era. Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith said of him “He is a man of perfect integrity.” I have appreciated the opportunity to observe him, and feel I have benefitted, I shall always admire him.
December 19, 1982
Our 35th wedding anniversary. As I knelt in prayer with my wife and heard her pray and thank the Lord for each other, our children and our love, I marveled at my blessings and realize that the love of your companion is most precious above all.
Performed 4 Temple marriages yesterday, have 4 Patriarchal blessings today.
January 23, 1983
Marjorie and I just returned from New Zealand where we picked up David at the close of his mission and along with Marjorie’s mother picked up our missionary son and toured New Zealand. When we saw him at the airport I could hardly keep from weeping just as I did for each of our sons at the first sight of them in 2 years.
We had dinner that evening with President and Sister Keith Oakes, his Mission President, then toured North and South Island, attended church in Invercargill, which at this time is the southernmost chapel of the church. Went to the New Zealand Temple at Hamilton, also attended the pageant, witnessed the annual miracle of not being rained out. We had lots of rain on our trip, 1 [one] 24 [hour] period of 15 inches. At the beginning of the pageant a huge black cloud loomed over the temple then I know many prayers were answered and it was moved aside. Even in the prayer circle of the temple that morning, the Lord was petitioned to bless the pageant. When we went to the visitor’s center of the temple I discovered the director was Stanly Julian a friend of 55 years, grade school [and] high school. He and I were among 5 who skipped the 6th grade at Franklin School in Mesa. And, we had a delightful evening.
We left New Zealand for Hawaii, spent 2 days there, attended the temple, also the Polynesian Cultural Center. All in all, had a delightful trip. Felt blessed of the Lord.
January 30, 1983
I had a rich spiritual day. Spoke at an El Monte Ward Sacrament meeting on the Temple. I knew-most people there for years as Stake President, Physician, Patriarch, or all 3. A little family sang the special musical number and I had delivered all the children, and they dedicated the song to me.
David gave his mission report in our sacrament meeting and gave a very good sincere talk with conviction and testimony. I was so proud and grateful. We had Susie, Kent, Judy, Mike, Charlie, Barbara and their families at the meeting and after we all gathered here at home with close friends and had a delightful evening. Marjorie had prepared a lovely meal the night before to eat. I also gave 2 patriarchal blessings to 2 wonderful converts.
As I close this journal I must confess the Blessings, Mercy, and Kindness of the Lord.
James Cyril Brown Sr. Journal Volume 2
June 26, 1983 to May 26, 1991
June 26, 1983
This is my second volume of personal writings. Several months have elapsed since my final entry in my first journal. My purpose will be again to write things that are important to me, and I hope of interest to my family.
At present, I am still practicing medicine, somewhat curtailed, because I have decided to stop delivering babies, and I don’t do as much surgery as I once did.
I am serving as patriarch to the Hacienda Heights California Stake, have given 499 blessings as of today. I also am a Sealer in the Los Angeles Temple – performed 6
marriages last week. I regularly go Tuesday and Friday evenings for regular sealing sessions and go in addition when I am needed or if I have a request to perform a marriage or sealing, so I often go in 4 or 5 times a week, once 6 times.
We now have 14 grandchildren, with 2 more on the way, Suzanne due in July, Barbara in November
Marjorie is an ordnance worker at the Temple, and has had some sweet sacred experiences. She is troubled with her arthritis, but manages. I have lost 60 pounds in an effort to control blood pressure along with a diet and exercise program. I walk and run 7 to 8 miles each day except Sunday.
Johanna and Glenn have 5 children, are living in Yuba City, California where Glenn is a certified public accountant getting established as an accountant and may move to a more favorable location for his profession.
Suzanne and Kent live in Saugus, California, have 3 children, are expecting a new baby next month. Kent is teaching school and looking to get in administration.
Jim and Carol live in Kirksville, Missouri where Jim is finishing his last year of medical school and will serve as a Naval medical officer several years when he finishes. They have 3 children.
Judy and Michael live in Lakeside, California, have 2 children and Michael is working for Sears, and is in their collection, public relations, and administration department.
Charlies and Barbara live in Glendora, California, have 1 child, are expecting their 2nd in November. Charlie is taking pre-law and accounting, hopes to get into tax law.
David is home with us taking a pre-medical course at a local college and is active in the singles ward, having recently returned from his mission.
All our children are active in the church, are honest, and upright, are good husbands and wives and are married to good spouses except David who is not yet married.
June 12, 1983
Our Stake Presidency was changed. Mayo W. Smith, who was my counselor and served as Stake President 6 1⁄2 years was released, and James F. Smith was called as President. By coincidence Elder L. Tom Perry effected the change. He was the one who released me and ordained me a Patriarch. He said that the church takes into consideration the length of time in a Stake Presidency either as President or counselor and President
Mayo Smith had served nearly 17 years – nearly 10 yrears as counselor. I had served almost 18 years. I told Elder Perry in my interview, that I felt the Lord had prepared Jim Smith to be a Stake President.
Last week, June 17-18-19, a reunion of the James Absalon Young family was held in Alpine, Arizona. My father rented a motor home, and we took my mother who is generally in a wheel chair. There was a sweet spirit of love and respect. Sunday, we held a sacrament meeting – I was asked to speak. I still marvel at how much the children now look like I remember their parents. My mother is quite infirm, and as I saw Marjorie be kind, attentive, and patient with her, I thought again, how much I appreciate my wife.
I will be glad when we can be changed in a “twinkling of an eve” when we get old. As I observe the patients I have in convalescent hospitals just exist, some without any sign of knowing where they are, I wish we could find a way to halt or reverse the ravages of age and so-called senility. I read all I can about it maybe because I do not want myself or loved ones to get in the state I’ve seen others in. Maybe it is a test for those who must care for them, an opportunity to show love. Some families really rise to the occasion and demonstrate boundless love and tenderness.
July 3, 1983
Last week I drove out to the temple 5 times (300 miles), performed 3 marriages as well as 3 sealing sessions, only had 1 patriarchal blessing.
Today, I have been asked to review my life in our High Priests group. This is a rotating assignment to give our group a chance to get acquainted with each other. It is interesting to go through pictures and mementos to share memories with my brethren. I feel my greatest accomplishment in life is the marriage to Marjorie, and the children the Lord has given us.
I told Mayo Smith that being ex Stake President was a very important responsibility, and I appreciated the help, that it was getting hard to do by myself.
A close friend, medical school classmate who specialized in surgery and helped me in most of my major surgeries, had a serious heart attach this past week. He is a little younger than I am, and I have to recognize my own mortality and that I am most likely entering my last quarter or less of life on earth. I am a private person and like to keep my ailments personal and to myself, perhaps it is a form of denial. I think I would like to die all at once as dignified as possible. I am not anxious to go, I do not feel I have done enough to merit a joyful reunion with our ancestors. Besides, I would ache to be with Marjorie and would feel incomplete. I am not just being modest, in saying I don’t feel I’ve done enough. While I’ve tried to play the roles the Lord has given me, I have not written of my warts and defects and many things I am deeply ashamed of. My children have been charitable enough to perceive of my role as a father favorably, and there are some who view my other roles in a kind way, but that is a tribute to their charity.
July 10, 1983
2 temple marriages performed this week, and my 500th Patriarchal blessing. I also delivered what is probably my last baby other than grandchildren, this was the granddaughter of Marjorie and my first Bishop in California, Williams Woolley. I feel it is time to quite deliveries as a general practitioner and let the new young specialists take over. Also, I don’t tolerate the anxiety and worry about being always available – going out to the temple as much as I do, is difficult also [to] have an obstetrical practice. The Lord has been kind to me, in that generally the mother and baby have done well. I’m reminded of an incident in the history of the 4 corners area [of] Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, when there was no medical care available, and the Stake President called and set apart a woman to be the doctor, told her to read, study, and she would be blessed. She later said that at times a voice would tell her what to do. The Indians came from miles for her help. I know that I could not have gone to school and graduated without help from the Lord. You would have to have known y circumstances to fully appreciate this. I also feel I was led to this area of the church, and that Marjorie and I had a role to play. I hope we have done so. I’m sure we could have done more and better.
July 24, 1983 Pioneer Day
What a heritage we have, and how blessed we are because of our wonderful forbearers, those who prepared the way for the Gospel, and those who received it, and helped build the church. In Sacrament Meeting as we honored the Pioneers, I looked at my wife – loved her, and realized that if it were not for the Church and our Heritage, I would not have her, and our particular family.
On Friday July 22, 1983, our Suzanne delivered her 4th child, a handsome 9lb1oz boy 23 inches long. I had the privilege of delivering him. I was real proud of Suzanne as I was of each of our children in having their children. They have conducted themselves well.
I performed 2 marriages last week, went out to the temple 3 times. I feel fortunate to be a sealer in the Los Angeles Temple because we have the privilege of doing so many marriages and sealings. In some of the smaller temples the Temple Presidency perform most of the live sealings and marriages. In the journal of one of my relatives who was a sealer in another temple he wrote how pleased he was to have performed 2 marriages before he died, and to think, I have done 6 in one week plus of course the hundreds of sealings for the dead. How blessed I am!
July 25, 1983
Marjorie is out at Suzanne’s helping with the new baby. I awakened early this morning because I went to bed early which I often am not able to do. When I do wake up early – I sometimes lie in bed listening to the early morning sounds, crickets sometimes – usually roosters crowing (I’m glad our neighbors have chickens). My thoughts go back to
my childhood and youth, people I used to know, the fields, trees, barns, lanes, ditches, etc. that I knew in Mesa Arizona have all been obliterated by housing tracts. I have often wondered if it would be possible to transfer the memories of one person to another. Some of my memories I would not want to give someone else because I feel they would be a burden and would not be a blessing to them. Sometimes we try to push our own burdens onto someone else, particularly when we tell of weaknesses and supposed sins of others.
Morning sounds evoke many memories for me, because on the farm I had to get up early to milk the cows while it was still dark. I’d go out in the fields to find the cows and drive them into the corral, so we could milk them. During the school year, I would usually have to run to catch the bus. I’d lie in bed as long as I could. Part of the time I also had a paper route and delivered papers by bicycle 10 miles night and morning. My brother Bob and I shared this. I am not sure I would have been very good at sports in high School, but I was not able to participate in any except Track because of the chores at home. I could go to some of the track meets on Saturdays because I did not have to practice.
As I think about my childhood and the feelings, worries, and hopes I had then along with the anxieties and, wonder now why I thought some things were important then, and also why other things were not more important. I often reach over and touch Marjorie and am brought to the present and the real miracle of her in my life, and our children, and now their children. When our children think of me in their own memories of childhood, I hope they remember that I loved their Mother, and that I loved them, that I loved and appreciated the church and its Leaders, and that I knew the Church is true.
July 31, 1983
This week, another famous, motion picture star passed away. By coincidence, I picked up a book written by him of life and personalities of the movies, most of them were well known. There has been a large number of personal memories written recently by some of these famous individuals or some of their family, each seemingly trying to outdo the other in revealing the scandals and personal weaknesses of their lives. If we can believe even part of what they wrote, we can know that many of them were desperately unhappy, and insecure. As I read this particular book and got a glimpse of the personal lives of these people I watched on the screen and read of their escapades in the newspaper as I was growing up. Any trace of envy I may have felt as a youth was obliterated. So many reached the end of their lives without any real happiness or the assurance of family ties. Also, no real understanding of our relationship to the Lord, our purpose in living on earth.
Marjorie and I spent the evening with Mayo and Felice Smith, they also had a lovely lady educator from Egypt who is in the U.S. for a year exchange teaching in Whittier College. They also had the Lady missionaries teach the 3rd missionary discussion. It was interesting because the Egyptian is Moslem, reads the Koran, prays 5 times a day, and feels Mahomed is the Lords Prophet. It will be hard for her to change,
particularly since she will be cut off from her family and friends. I hope she can exercise enough faith to ask the Lord what to do.
We just learned that Johanna is expecting her sixth living child in early 1984, our 17th grandchild.
August 7, 1983
Marjorie and I flew to Yuba City via Sacramento, then a rented car to be at the baptism and confirmation of Mathew James Goodman. At Testimony meeting Johanna bore a sweet testimony and Ben our oldest grandchild gave a very mature testimony. We enjoyed the sweet spirit of their ward, also greatly enjoyed our grandchildren. Marjorie is a sweet grandmother and is very good with the children.
August 21, 1983
Our Suzanne has been in touch with some of Marjorie’s Jones relatives in Tennessee, writing and phoning etc... exchanging pictures and family information, and she got them excited about having a reunion this summer. Of course, she had Ryan Philip about that time and couldn’t go, so Marjorie and I were elected to go. We flew to Atlanta, Georgia, rented a car and drove up to the Atlanta Temple where we attended a session, were given a personal tour by President Stanly Julian, counselor in the Temple Presidency. We stayed with Julian’s 2 days. He was a childhood friend of mine in Arizona and is a nephew of Thyrle Ellsworth, our former Stake Patriarch. At the Temple, we had our first introduction to the use of the computer in the Temple.
We then drove up to Chattanooga, Tennessee and visited William and Marjorie McLin. Bill is a Southern Baptist minister who lived in Calif. for a time. He and Marjorie and his mother were patients of mine and became good friends. He was particularly intrigued with the temple and made a special trip to Provo, Utah to go through the Provo Temple before it was dedicated. We were treated royally. I’ve had some nice visits with him and one time he told me with tears in his eyes that he wanted me to know that in his circles, whenever the subject of the Mormon church came up, the church had a friend. I wish he could join the church. He loves his family so much.
We then drove up to Allgood Tennessee, where the Jones relatives welcomed us with open arms. The reunion was held in a little community called Shady Grove where Marjorie’s Great Grandfather John Jones settled. About 200 of Jones cousins gathered, became acquainted, exchanged pictures etc. There was a nice spirit and I think much good accomplished. Some of Marjorie’s father’s cousins who she had never seen would kiss her and tell her they loved her. You could feel the spirit of Elijah working on them. I hope that through the years we can gather some of them into the church.
One of the cousins, Delbert Jones took a day off work, and drove us around into the back-hill country where the Jones settled and showed us the small grave yard where John Jones was buried. It filled a gap in Marjorie’s life. Her Grandfather William Alfred
Jones left Tennessee, came to Arizona, married, had 4 children and died young, so Marjorie never knew that side of her family.
After the reunion, we drove to the Great Smoky National Park and into North and South Carolina. I never realized how beautiful and green it was in that area. We then drove back into Georgia and saw some of the fine old pre-Civil War homes. The Civil War was a sad time. I think it came about in consequence of the persecution of the Saints, then the Lord moved the Saints out west and they escaped the Civil War.
I performed 3 Temple marriages when we got home this weekend. One was a man, a widower whose wife I took care of when she died. I spoke at her funeral, delivered their grandchildren, then performed his 2nd marriage. The 2nd was the sealing of one of my bishops’ parents, then the children to their parents. The 3rd was a girl in our stake who requested me, and in getting acquainted with the grooms’ parents, I discovered that we share a great grandfather.
August 28, 1983
Yesterday I attended a meeting held for Patriarchs in our area conducted by Elder Robert L. Bachman of the First Quorum of Seventy. It was the first such meeting for us and we received counsel and shared our experiences. At this time the Stake President can ordain Patriarchs. Up until recently, the Patriarch had to be ordained by the Quorum of the Twelve. And now the church has grown to the point where the Stake President can do nearly ever thing, which is an indication of tremendous growth not only of the Church as a whole, but of the individual as well. When I was first called as a counselor in the Bishopric I had to be set apart by a General Authority. Now the Stake President can ordain Bishops, Patriarchs, and set apart his own counselors. I have been set apart or ordained by at least six General Authorities so far. There will be leaders of the wards and stake now who will never by ordained or set apart by a General Authority. I have had the President of the Church, the Prophet of the Lord, place his hands up on my head. What a privilege
Today I have 4 Patriarchal Blessings to give, only 1 hospital visit, but I need to prepare a talk for the funeral of Dennis Peterson, 35-year-old husband and father. His father was a member of the Stake High Council when I was Stake President, and he died relatively young. It is a tragedy of course, but we need to consider the positive aspects. He had what many who lived on earth never had in mortality: 1) A father and mother who loved him and were active in the church, 2) The Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood, 3) The privilege of serving a mission for the Lord, 4) Receive his Holy Endowment in the House of the Lord, 5) Take a lovely young woman to the temple and be sealed, 6) The privilege to be a father, 7) To have the love of a beautiful wife plus many other things. The only thing lacking was more time on earth and as we consider the Eternal nature of life, that is not so important.
4 September 1983
Today, Ryan Philip Gardiner was blessed in the Saugus 2nd ward by his father. He was surrounded by 2 grandfathers and 5 uncles, also I heard my daughter, son-in-law, and 2 grandsons bear their testimony. I hope all our grandchildren can be surrounded by such love, especially on these significant occasions.
25 September 1983
My dear friend and associate Mayo W. Smith has been called as a sealer in the Los Angeles Temple. I’m looking forward to further association.
I had a good weekend, 3 marriages, 4 patriarchal blessings and a fireside to speak at. I needed some reassurance and spiritual food. I had just experienced a terrible feeling in that for 2 days I felt responsible for the death of a 21-year (old) girl I had cared for since birth as a patient. I felt I had missed a diagnosis that led to her death and had I properly intervened, she would still be alive. I was in Arizona helping my father, when I got word of her death, and did not get the whole story. Subsequent facts brought out that I probably could not have saved her. Had she lived she would have been seriously handicapped, but for a 48-hour period I felt utter despair. I can’t describe it. She was an only child of parents who waited for years to get her. It is a terrible burden to feel responsible. I was not sure I could ever smile again.
9 October 1983
My father arranged a luncheon for he and my mother’s 64th wedding anniversary in Mesa Arizona. My brothers, Robert and Floyd, and [I] attended along with Marjorie. It was good to be together. The anniversary was the 2nd of October, but the luncheon was on October 5th. Mother was in a wheel chair, very feeble, and dad could barely get around, but we enjoyed being together.
16 October 1983
This weekend, the last meetings were held in the El Monte Second Ward building prior to its being torn down to make way for a new building, many came from far away for a reunion and dinner. A lovely program was presented bringing back many memories. I was asked to speak in the last Sacrament meeting. I helped build the building and knew all 12 bishops. I served as Elders Quorum President there and years later when I was Stake President we held our stake meetings there. In those days, we had General Authorities 4 times a year, so I suppose that building had more General Authorities in it than any building in our Stake. So many good memories. I wonder how many people that ward trained and sent out into the world? Many people started out in the church in El
Monte, then as the Lord blessed them, moved on. Many newlyweds could only afford their first home in El Monte, then as they paid their tithes and were blessed, they moved to a more affluent area.
Later, ground breaking for the new building, was held. We had civic leaders, and a program. I was asked to give the opening prayer. The fixtures and salvageable accessories to the old building were auctioned, and I took one last tour through that old chapel that Marjorie and I helped to build and, in a sense, started our married life in. Marjorie put up some of the plaster board, and because she is compulsively neat nailed them all in a straight line instead of overlapping, so they had to be replaced. When I was Elders Quorum President, we bought a flour mill and ground wheat for the members – had the mill in one of the classrooms. I thought of all of the funerals I had spoken at, held in that building, the High Council trials I had held there, many rich spiritual experiences in Stake meetings. I was ordained a Patriarch in the Relief Society room – the list could go on and on.
Later in the day I made some convalescent hospital calls, visited 3 elderly patients who by coincidence were members who used to meet in the El Monte Chapel and were now senile, apparently unaware of their circumstances and completely helpless. I wish I knew what to do about this and how to prevent it from happening. It is something that troubles me very much, and so far, I have no firm answers. Two of the three I’m speaking of do not ever talk, just stare at you vacantly. I hope I do not become that way.
23 Oct. 1983
Last Friday evening as I finished my sealing assignment at the temple I took a different route to our dressing room than I normally do, and ran into an old friend of mine, Van B. Brinton Jr. as he was leaving the celestial room. He was over here on a visit from Mesa, Arizona, decided to take in a session. I hadn’t really had a chance to see him for about 45 years, although we had bumped into each other at General Conference a few times. We were once very close friends in grade school and high school. He and his wife came out to the house the next day and we had a real good visit. Van’s father, Van Sr., was a good influence in the old Mesa 1st ward where we used to go.
November 3, 1983
Robert Thomas Brown was born to Charles and Barbara. I had the privilege of delivering him, 8lbs. 1 oz., 22 inches, seems like a fine baby, our 16th grandchild. I wrote my usual unbiased observation on the baby’s hospital record.
November 6, 1983
I am not sure how much these poor writings will be read by my posterity, if at all. I benefit from trying to put into words how blessed I am. One thing I hope is, that in these pages the reader will gather what a wonderful woman my wife is. I’ve tried to encourage her to write her own journal, and I hope she will, because it would be a shame for our posterity not to know of the great esteem she is held in this area of the church and community. In all my callings she has been my greatest asset.
November 13, 1983 This weekend, we had 8 of our grandchildren over and the sounds were sweet.
November 18, 1983
I performed the marriage of Eric James Wible and Lee Ann Sanford in the Temple today. By co-incidence, I delivered them both 5 days apart in the same hospital. He grew up in California, she grew up in Nevada, and they met in Hawaii.
December 4, 1983
Robert Thomas Brown was blessed by his father Charles today, was given a nice blessing by Charlie. Robbie had two grandfathers and a great grandfather in the circle, as well as two uncles. Barbara’s grandfather, Leslie Smout was there. Charles also bore a wonderful testimony, Kent, Suzanne, Judy, Mike, David, and their grandmother Breiten, Barbara’s father and mother, a nice family affair.
January 8, 1984
We had a lovely Christmas, followed our custom of having the missionaries Christmas Eve.
Performed 3 marriages December 27 by request. One young man told his mother that the reason he wanted me to perform his wedding is that he always enjoyed the spirit of our home and wanted to have a home like ours. I told Marjorie about it and she said she thought it was because we loved each other. There have been others who have felt the spirit of our home and have mentioned it. I do feel the Lord has blessed us, and of course Marjorie adds immeasurably to the spirit of any place she is present.
Karl Durham who is supervisor of sealers at the temple told me that in 1983 I had performed 64 live marriages and sealings. I don’t keep track, just as I have never totaled how many babies I’ve delivered.
January 15, 1984
Stake Conference. Elder Paul H. Dunn our conference visitor, I became a fan of his. We were invited to lunch with our Stake President and Elder Dunn. I gave 5 blessings in the evening.
February 5, 1984
Fast Day. Did my initial Home Teaching visits for February and gave 3 blessings. The last several weeks have had me traveling back and forth from Mesa, Arizona. My father has cancer of the colon, was operated on, developed pneumonia [and] was in intensive care a long time. He is finally home – but quite likely will be finishing his mortal life. The cancer was not entirely confined and if he doesn’t die from his heart condition he will probably not last longer than 2 years from the cancer. I wish we had accomplished more together over the years. I don’t suppose we would ever have enough time.
February 26, 1984
My father has suffered a major stroke, is helpless and paralyzed not able to speak or respond, it is not likely he will recover. I have been over to see him in Mesa, Arizona. He just lies there. I took my mother over to see him. It was difficult for her to comprehend seeing him like that. She has been in a convalescent hospital largely helpless also. I phoned Dad two days before his stroke, we had a good visit, told jokes etc., it was his 87th birthday. I feel it is a special bonus to pass from this life quickly – although I am sure the[re] is a purpose for some lingering either for them or others so I don’t want to question the Lord’s schedule for us.
At the other end of the spectrum of life our daughter Johanna gave birth to her 6th living child, a son to probably be named Jonathan. Marjorie is with them functioning as a grandmother, our 17th living grandchild – our first was born dead.
March 3, 1984
Last week my cousin, Susan Halls called and said she was into the hospital to see my father, and he awoke from his coma after about 10 days, told her he had died and seen his parents and his sister. I went over two days later, and it is a miracle he is still alive. His physician told me he has had one other case like it. My own experience made me
feel he would never survive, much less regain consciousness. I don’t know how much he can recover, but he can move all his limbs and speak. He sleeps a lot and is difficult to arouse.
Yesterday I performed two live sealings at the Temple. They knew each other and had attended the same temple preparation seminar. The ward was out in force and we did them together. There were 11 children involved.
Today I have 5 blessings to give, attended my meetings, and did my Home Teaching visits. I have quite a few Lamanites come for blessings. I am very impressed with them as I feel the love the Lord has for them.
March 11, 1984
Last evening Marjorie and I attended a golden wedding anniversary gathering for Jack and Olive Monaham. There were so many friends gathered that we have known for many years. Many we knew as young, are now old. We so enjoyed visiting and such. A warm friendly spirit was present. I wonder if the here-after will be like that.
I spoke at a fireside tonight. It was taped for replay on the church side band radio. The fact that I knew it was being taped made me a little self-conscious.
March 26, 1984
My 63rd birthday. Marjorie had a dinner party with close friends and associates. She is a joy to watch being a gracious hostess.
April 6, 1984
Was key note speaker at a Riverside West Stake youth conference held in the San Bernardino Mountains. I took the place of the Temple Presidency who are attending General Conference. The youth were unusually well behaved and were easy to talk to.
April 8, 1984
Have been listening to General Conference. Elders Russel M. Nelson and Dallin H. Oakes have been called to the Quorum of the Twelve, filling the vacancy caused by the death of Mark E. Peterson and LeGrand Richards. President Kimball attended the conference despite his age and infirmity. A wonderful conference.
April 22, 1984
This weekend had 2 temple marriages to perform, appointments for 2 patriarchal blessings, 2 sacrament meeting speaking assignments and 1 fireside to address. The Sacrament assignments were for the Easter Programs of the Hacienda Heights 1st ward, then later the 2nd Ward. The fireside is for about 200 young people from [the] BYU music department down here to put on a series of musicals and they wanted a fireside of their own and called the temple Presidency for a speaker and I was given that opportunity, and I appreciated it. Marjorie was asked to speak at one of the Sacrament meetings with me and I always appreciate having her by my side. I realize more and more that I am nothing without her.
May 13, 1984
Yesterday our grandson Chad Aaron Gardiner was baptized by his father. Suzanne and Kent arranged a family meeting and baptism with permission of their bishop. Both grandfathers spoke, and the grandmothers gave the prayers and the cousins sang and we later gathered at their home. Charlie, David, and I assisted in the confirmation as well as Kent’s father and brother. A very nice family affair. We are so proud of our children and their children.
Today I was asked to speak at the ward Mother’s Day program in Sacrament meeting. I pointed out that perhaps it is harder to be a good parent in our later years, and while we may not be able to prevent being a physical burden, we should prevent being an emotional burden by being happy and secure in our faith in the Lord and not burden our children with bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. I also feel that all those who are worthy or become worthy will be parents if they desire. There could be no Eternal Progression otherwise, even if not privileged to have children in this life. Our children remembered their mother today which pleased me very much.
May 20, 1984
Today our ward bishopric was released, Bishop Waite with his counselors, Sherl Plowman, Lee J. Oldham. Great Men. Our new bishopric is Reid J. Fuhriman with counselors Sheldon J. Sargent, and Jerry Roberts. As President James F. Smith made the change, I recognized the spirit he felt indicating the Lord’s approval. We talked about it afterwards. We feel a sense of loss in Bishop Waite’s release, and a sense of anticipation with Bishop Fuhriman.
May 26, 1984
Performed 2 marriages yesterday, have 1 blessing today [patriarchal], and 1 speaking assignment. In 3 days, Marjorie and I are flying back to Missouri for Jim’s graduation. The time for him seemed to us to pass much faster than it did when I went to school. I guess it depends on which end you are. I’m sure Jim and Carol felt it took a long time. We are proud of our son “the Doctor.” We are equally proud of his wife. He could not have managed without a good wife.
June 10, 1984
Just returned from a trip to Kirksville, Missouri where Marjorie and I saw Jim graduate as a physician and surgeon and be sworn in as a Naval Medical officer. We were naturally very proud and happy for them in their successful struggle. We were even more proud that they were active in the church and extremely well thought of in their ward. Many of the ward members came up to tell us of their high regard for Jim and Carol.
We somewhat toured the state in a rental car. Went to Nauvoo, Illinois; Liberty Jail, Missouri; and Independence (church history sites), stopped in Newberry, Missouri, saw Frank Gastlin, the man who hired me to fill lanterns on weekends when I was a medical student. He and his wife are such outstanding people, would make such good L.D.S. [Latter-day Saint]. I feel I’ve failed them. I did baptize one of his daughters and spoke at his son’s funeral.
I enjoyed being with my wife. We had a good time together.
We had Stake Conference today. Our visitor was Brent Richards, our regional representative. We had a great conference. Our Stake Presidency are doing a[n] outstanding job.
June 17, 1984
Father’s Day. My children have made me proud to be a father.
Yesterday, Marjorie, David and I flew to Mesa, Arizona for a James A. Young family reunion. I commented before on how the children look now like I remember their parents looking years ago, and now the grandchildren are taking on the same family traits and appearance and you can spot them.
We took my mother in a wheelchair from the convalescent home where she and my father are staying in their declining years. I wish we had a better way to take care of our older family members. I have been concerned from the physicians’ standpoint and now I am personally concerned and wonder if we are utilizing it as a learning experience and showing as much love as we can and what is the best way to show love. I wonder what we need to learn from the last days of life. I feel that we best learn how to prevent or slow down the deterioration of our mental ability as well as our physical wellbeing. I take care of many that I’m relieved when they can die, particularly when they are confused, suffering, or just existing almost vegetable like. I’m sure there is something to
be learned, and I think the Lord expects us to improve our later years as well as eliminate disease and pestilence and progress to the point when we can be changed in a twinkling of an eye. I feel to die well is a blessing, and to many a gift. My uncle, Ernest Young, who lived a useful, good life and was a temple worker and home teacher at his death, had been a Bishop many years, a Mission President twice, died peacefully in his chair at age 95, fully alert to the end. Some may be called to suffer or to test the rest of us. I don’t know what the answer is, except to trust the Lord and do the best we can.
I had my first patriarchal blessing to those of the Negro race today, gave 2 fine young black women a blessing, it was a nice experience.
June 24, 1984
Yesterday, I performed 3 marriages at the temple and spoke at a funeral. Today I gave 2 blessings (patriarchal), also I gave two of our sons a Father’s blessing. Jim, as he starts his training as a Naval Medical officer, which will require long hours and time away from his family, David, as he leaves home to go up to B.Y.U., our last child to leave home. It seems that once they leave home for school, essentially, they have left the nest, so Marjorie and I will have some withdrawal pains. We have enjoyed our children and love them very much, and thank our Heavenly Father for the privilege of having them in our Home.
July 29, 1984
Last Sunday, I gave 5 Blessings [patriarchal], 3 to Chinese converts. What an exciting time to be in. We have had some nice experiences since I last wrote, but have not recorded family visits, etc. Our grandchildren are enjoyable to be with.
Also, we saw the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics here in Los Angeles. Awe inspiring on a grand patriotic scale. 84 grand pianos were used in one musical number.
August. 5, 1984
2 Blessings [patriarchal] today, 3 sealings yesterday, a marriage, a sealing of an adopted child, a sealing of a Korean couple plus sealing their children. The little 6-year- old told the nursery attendant, “I felt something happen when I was sealed.”
A talk I gave at a regional fireside was re-broadcast today over the L.D. S. side- band radio. It is a shock to hear your own voice.
August 11, 1984
Performed 5 Temple Marriages last week. One was the granddaughter of the athletic director of Arizona State University I knew before World War II. I remember her father as a little boy. He is now a member of our Stake Presidency.
I attended track and field events at the Olympics, saw some world records made.
August 19, 1984
Yesterday was a special day in our family. All 30 members of our family gathered in our home. It was difficult. David drove down hurriedly from BYU. Jim managed to get away from the hospital and Johanna and Glenn drove down from Yuba City. Charlie, Judy, and Suzanne and families came. Our wonderful Stake President came over and videotaped part of our gathering. We had our house and hearts full.
Today is our oldest child Johanna’s birthday. I guess that is an appropriate time to gather posterity. We enjoyed being together and watching the grandchildren get acquainted with their cousins, aunts, and uncles.
September 2, 1984
Marjorie and I flew up to Las Vegas last week, rented a car and drove to Cedar City, Utah and attended the Shakespearean Festival. We also drove up to Cedar Breaks National Park; Brian Head; Navajo Lake; and Zion National Park. We really enjoyed our trip. We stopped in St. George on the way home and attended a temple session. The first time we ever attended a session at the St. George Temple. We enjoyed it.
We flew back home from Las Vegas and on our way to the airport in the rental car van we talked to another couple who were on their 3rd trip to Las Vegas without ever seeing the beautiful surrounding area, only taking in the shows, gambling and glitter of Las Vegas. They are missing a lot. Had only 1 blessing today but spent the evening with Charlie and Barbara and their sweet children.
September 9, 1984 Had 3 blessings today, a regional Young Adult Fireside to speak at tonight.
September 16, 1984 Performed 3 temple marriages yesterday, one blessing today.
September. 23, 1984
Yesterday our family had a special experience. Suzanne had through her contacts in Tennessee had gathered enough information to have some sealings done at the Temple after clearing with the Genealogical department, and we performed their sealings in the temple using family members as proxies. As we sealed John Jones to his family we wept, the Spirit was so strong, all of us felt it. John Jones was Marjorie Jones ancestor in Tennessee, and we knew he loved his family. Suzanne feels, and I agree, that it was miraculous to have made the contacts and ties, because he had no previous contacts. Marjorie’s grandfather came out to Arizona and died still a young man, and we had no real knowledge of his family in Tennessee.
Had 4 blessings today, 3 temple marriages yesterday.
September 30, 1984
Last week I was in Arizona tending to some of my parents’ affairs and visiting them in the convalescent hospital. In the room next to my father is a physician who, during the depression was a wealthy, well-thought of doctor in town, while my father was a poor struggling farmer. Now they are in the same condition in the same rest home.
October 7, 1984
We listened to General Conference this weekend with gratitude for the privilege President Kimball was able to attend 2 sessions but was not able to speak because of the infirmities of age. How blessed we are to have the Gospel and the Prophets of the Lord.
Also, on October 5th, a dinner and program was held commemorating the closing of the San Gabriel Valley Hospital where I served my internship, residency, and 32 years’ hospital practice, delivered 5 of our 6 children and 8 of our grandchildren. Many of my former associates are retired or dead. The time has passed quickly, and events I once thought were of great significance have paled in importance and others have become more important. I feel that events great or small that affect our character are of the utmost importance.
I was often asked to give prayers and talks at our hospital meetings, dinners, etc. I hope I favorably represented the church, as it was general knowledge that I was L.D. S. [Latter-day Saint].
October 14, 1984
This weekend was involved in the San Gabriel Valley Regional Conference of the Special Interest or Singles in the Church. I was asked to speak on the blessings of the temple.
November 4, 1984
Yesterday I attended a special meeting in the temple for the sealers and the temple presidency. I looked at my great and noble associates and marveled again at my even being there.
For the past year a small group of us have held family home evening about once a month. Marjorie and I, Murry and Fae Cluff (he was a bishop 23 years), I was his counselor 2 times, she taught some of our children in her dancing classes, James and Nell Ellsworth (he was Pasadena Stake President, a mission president and is now a sealer in the temple, she is a coordinator and supervisor in the temple), Jack and Betty McEwan (he is a patriarch, a former Regional Representative of the Twelve, and is now in the Temple Presidency, she is assistant Matron of the temple), George and June Olson (both temple workers and lovely people). We have some fun and spiritual activities. It was our turn last month to have it at our home. For our spiritual activity we shared favorite scriptures, each contributed a great deal to the evening and fit in as though it had been planned out in detail.
Jim Ellsworth discussed “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he” and how we can achieve what we desire in righteousness, and that we can achieve and set goals if we think about them in a positive way. I began to think about some goals for me and one that comes to me is to be a better steward of my Blessings and responsibilities.
December 2, 1984
We had a nice Thanksgiving with Judy and Michael and their children. Carol and children went with us as Jim had hospital duty. We saw him later in the evening.
We also have been over to Arizona to see my mother and father who are still in a convalescent hospital.
Also, in November, Kent, Suzanne, Jim, Carol, and Charlie, Barbara planned a surprise birthday party for Marjorie, it was a nice thing to do for their mother.
As Marjorie and I have time together now, we find our love is growing even more special and precious, and one of our greatest gifts from the Lord is our love for each other.
December 30, 1984
We had a lovely Christmas with most of our family present. We recognize that our children will spend more and more holidays on their own now, and with other family members, so we value the time we do have. For the first time in over 20 years we did not have the missionaries. We felt it was time to let some other family with younger children have the blessings of the missionaries in their home.
I found remnants of my Grandfather Brown’s (Charles Sidney Brown) missionary journal among my parent’s papers. The writing is faded in spots, but his penmanship is better than mine. He frequently mentions walking 20 – 25 miles to attend an appointment, being cold, wet and hungry. I wish I could visit him again, tell him I love and miss him. It is sobering to reflect that at best I probably have about 20 years of mortality or less and that if there are things I want to do, I better get started. I wonder why I thought I had so much time, when I was young, seems like all of a sudden, I’m old.
January 13, 1985
Stake Conference weekend with Elder F. Burton Howard of the First Quorum of Seventy as our visitor. Our Stake President, James F. Smith, was gracious to me and invited me to the leadership meetings, and I enjoyed them very much. I had no previous contact with Elder Howard, and I enjoyed listening to him. Also, yesterday, January 12th, the El Monte 2nd ward new building was dedicated by Elder Howard and since the Spanish branch also meets there, he dedicated the building in English and Spanish.
At our Saturday evening leadership meeting a lovely, poised sister gave the opening prayer. As I saw her on the stand looking so nice and gracious I could recall how she used to appear when she first began to come to church, poorly groomed, insecure and timid and now she can do anything she is asked to do, and I feel it is because she was willing to follow counsel and participate. I’ve seen others once capable, now no longer capable. She has caught up and passed others in her progression.
A man was presented to be ordained a High Priest, He joined the church after his family was raised, has since been to the temple, had his family sealed, and he and his wife have served a mission to South Africa. He has caught up with and passed many who were active in the church when he was a nonmember. I remember his faithful wife serving for years in Primary, also caring for a helpless, paralyzed niece confined to a wheel chair. This man’s son ordained him, and I was very touched as I stood, by invitation, in the circle. I’m sure there is a lesson in how the Gospel can change lives, also that it is possible to lose progress by not continuing activity. Many of the polished, accomplished leaders in our stake were young, untrained, inactive or nonmembers when I was Stake President. Some, but not many, of the fine leaders I worked with are not as valiant as they once were and could not do as well now.
March 3, 1985
Had 3 blessings today. Last week Judy had surgery for acute appendicitis. Marjorie went down to help a few days.
Marjorie and I are planning a trip to England this month. Just a vacation trip, will visit the temple and drive around the countryside. I spent 4 months in England during World War II and have not been back for 40 years. Then, as we were preparing to go to Germany I could not foresee that in 40 years I would have 6 wonderful children, a lovely wife and lovely, sweet grandchildren. If I could have had my wish then, I would not have known enough to conceive what I have now. I had no concept of the love of little children. I didn’t know how sweet it is to kneel to pray with a wife and have her slip her arm in yours and squeeze your hand in love. All this far exceeds the vague romantic notions I had of love. Some of my friends had their lives snuffed out before they could have these things. Some are still alive and still have not known some of these blessings. I can only attribute my own blessings to the mercy of the Lord, and I feel that some of my friends who died or were killed, will yet know these sweet experiences.
My father and mother are “alive” at least partially. They are both confined to a rest home in Mesa, helpless and without their full faculties. I wonder a lot about this, and I am troubled. There must be a better way to take care of our older people or to prevent helplessness. I will be glad when we can be changed in a twinkling of an eye. I think how blessed President Joseph Fielding Smith was in never being a patient in a hospital and dying in his chair at 95 or 96, I think it was. I think my grandfather Browns passing quickly at 88 was a good way to go.
I feel preventative or restorative medicine is the wave of the future and I think we need to know when to let go, and let people die gracefully in dignity. I’ve heard stories of certain Indian tribes taking their old out in the forest to die. I used to think that was cruel but I’m not so sure now. I wonder how the decision was made as to when it was time to do so.
March 10, 1985
1 Patriarchal blessing today, also was to speak at a youth fireside, but it was rescheduled due to another meeting, so I have a talk prepared. I had just finished my outline when I received the call telling me of the change. It didn’t hurt me to prepare. I probably should research and plan a talk every week.
Last night I watched a movie made during World War II using many of the Hollywood personalities of that time in bit part cameos. Many are dead now or at least quite old and changed. It made me nostalgic for the youth of my parents and family. How fleeting time is. If we really had understood then, perhaps we could have changed our concerns to more important things than what we worried about then.
March 24, 1985 2 (Patriarchal) blessings today, plus a youth fireside to talk to.
Since my birthday approaches, I had some of our grandchildren over. They reminded me so much of our children when they were young. I just ached and wondered if I had really loved our children enough. Did I really hug and hold them close enough?
April 13, 1985
Marjorie and I just returned from a beautiful trip to England. We landed in Gatwick airport near the London Temple, took a taxi to the temple, and found that our good friends Jim and Winona Hoyal who are there on temple missions had reserved a room for us at the accommodation center for the temple. We freshened up and attended an afternoon session at the temple, met the temple President, Joseph Hamstead and his wife, became immediate friends as if for years. We then found that the new Missionary Training Center was adjacent to the temple and that our friend J. Talmadge Jones and his wife Vera Jean who head the center were between mission groups, and we went into London together for the weekend. We saw a good play, took a bus tour, shopped, then Sunday attended the Hyde Park Chapel.
Monday the temple was closed, and the temple workers had planned an excursion to France and invited us to go along. We went to Dover by bus, ferried across the channel to Boulogne, France, spent the day, and came back that evening. Tuesday, we attended the temple again, and I rented a little car. Wednesday, we took off. I felt like an orphan leaving the security of friends and the temple in a strange land driving a car on the opposite side of the road and the steering wheel on the opposite side of the car. I was constantly getting in the wrong side of the car.
We toured Canterbury Cathedral, Leeds Castle, Warrick Castle, Blenhem Palace, saw Merry Wives of Windsor in Stratford on Avon, stayed with some friends of the temple president in Painswick and went to church with them in Stoud Ward. We then drove through Wales back into England down to Oxford, then Amersham, where we stayed with Alan Phipps, who is our family genealogist on the Halls side, his mother was a Hall. He took us to the area in Orsett where my Great Grandfather Halls lived and joined the church. We then returned to the temple area. The Hamsteads took us to dinner in a restaurant built in the 14th century. The next morning, we got up at 5 a.m. to go to the early temple session then returned our car and flew home. That day was 36 hours long because of the time difference.
In the little town (village) of Fifield, Marjorie became quite ill during the night, fainting and symptoms suggesting appendicitis, we were at a Bed and Breakfast home in the country at 1:30 a.m., no close medical help, and even though I am a physician, I had no facilities or base hospital to fall back on, and we had to turn to the Lord and the Priesthood. We received the help we needed and were able to continue.
We saw a great many lovely things, saw the real royalty of Britain at the temple.
I love being with Marjorie either at home or travel. There is no one I’d rather be with. We hope to go back to England, also to take other trips.
When we returned to the temple prior to coming home Pres ident Jones was involved with another missionary group, and he invited me to speak to them. We had many wonderful experiences.
April 28, 1985
Had 4 temple marriages this week and had 4 of our children home this weekend. I enjoy watching our children enjoy each other along with their children.
May 4, 1985
Had the great privilege of doing family sealings with my family. Suzanne gathered genealogy on her mother’s line and we went to the temple and performed the sealings including for Marjorie’s grandmother whom I personally and again had a personal witness of the sacredness involved. It was nice to have family members act as proxy.
May 5, 1985
Charles, David, Mike and I helped Jim bless his 1st son James Edward Brown in the Fallbrook Ward. How nice it was to be with all 3 of my sons and one of my sons-in- law in the priesthood circle. We gathered afterwards at Jim and Carol’s home. It was good to be together. In the last general conference Elder L. Tom Perry spoke about gathering for these important family occasions, blessings, baptism, ordinations, etc. Traveling great distances to do so and how valuable it was as a family to do so. I spoke in a ward fireside tonight.
Charles received word this week that he has been accepted into the BYU school of law. Great News!
May 12, 1985
1 Patriarch blessing today, and Marjorie and I spoke at the El Monte II ward sacrament meeting. Marjorie did a nice job, and it was good to be with her. We were asked to speak on “Mother’s Day.” Performed 1 temple marriage yesterday.
I’m contemplating our talk on Motherhood and of course parenthood. I thought of how our roles change as our children grow. While we may not help becoming a physical burden to our children, I hope that we will not be an emotional burden, that we will always be happily active in the church, supporting our leaders and never inflict or burden our descendants with any bitterness or resentment.
May 19, 1985
2 patriarchal blessings today, also home teaching visits a little late in the month due to conflicts in our schedule.
Last evening, Marjorie and I attended a 33-year reunion of my medical class. We decided to hold them more often because each year some die. I’ve mentioned before what a diverse group we have. The years have mellowed most of us. Many are retired or in the process of retiring. Again, I distinguished myself by having the most grandchildren. I suppose most of my class have been more affluent than I, but I cannot think of one who has been more blessed.
May 26, 1985
Last week my mother had a stroke and was unconscious and paralyzed on one side and while she may partially recover, she will quite likely never be whole again in mortality. I flew over to see her and as I saw her lying helpless and unaware in the hospital I found myself wishing she could pass away and start her life on the other side and wondering if I was not more concerned about my own convenience. I hope I can fulfill my responsibility to my parents while they are helpless.
June 2, 1985
Marjorie and I along with Marjorie’s mother flew up to Sacramento, rented a car and drove to Yuba City to attend Nathaniel David Goodman’s baptism and confirmation. We enjoyed our visit with Johanna and Glenn and the children. We like their ward, and at sacrament meeting fast and testimony portion Johanna bore a lovely testimony. It would be difficult to place a value on having your children have a testimony of the Gospel.
As I flew home high above billowing clouds, I remembered that as a little boy before the advent of commercial air travel, I would watch the clouds and think of climbing on them and looking down below, imagining them to be at least as firm as cotton, soft to walk on but able to hold me up. For some reason stars, clouds, sun and moon fascinated me and I loved fairy tales about being on them and traveling through the air, flying carpets, etc.
June 9, 1985
We had a lovely Stake Conference. Our Stake Presidency gave excellent counsel. Marjorie was asked to speak at the Saturday night leadership portion and did an excellent job, received many compliments and I told some that the stake had missed a great deal
over the years in having to listen to me instead of her, also gave 3 patriarchal blessings today.
June 16, 1985, Father’s Day
Had some nice expressions of love from our family, dinner with Charlie and Barbara last evening. I surely am blessed. I hope I can begin to express greater respect, love and service to our Heavenly Father.
I don’t know how much benefit my journal will be to anyone except myself. I quite often re-read it and enjoy the refreshing of memories it brings. I don’t know why my handwriting is so poor. I think my right hand is a little spastic. Maybe I should have been left handed. I have difficulty in smooth flowing motions with my right hand and it frequently tightens up despite my efforts to relax it. Maybe I am just making excuses for my very poor penmanship.
June 23, 1985
Last week, I spoke at a funeral, which is not unusual, as I’ve had the honor of speaking at many funerals, but this one was special in that as I sat on the stand, I saw Marjorie in the audience and I hadn’t realized she was coming. It gave me such a lift. Most funerals I’ve spoken at have been at times she couldn’t come because of children, etc.
This weekend the 25th anniversary of the Los Altos ward was held. Marjorie was chairman of the reunion and did an excellent job. We had ward dinner and picnic, an evening show of slides and memories, a special Sacrament meeting. Former members including all 7 bishops came. Nobody wanted to go home, there was such a sweet spirit. After each meeting people would stay and visit a long time. We wondered if the reunion in the next life will be like that. Many there had had personal experiences with Marjorie and I, calls to bishoprics, high council, etc. I was involved in the call of 5 of the 7 bishops of our ward. So many people were gracious and kind in their expressions to Marjorie and I, saying that we were a good influence in their lives. We have about 24 we can think of that have since served as bishops in their respective wards since leaving here, and a number of them came back. Our former stake clerk brought 2 of his children back for their patriarchal blessings. He got permission to do this from his stake president in Utah where he now lives. We had a nice time remembering our association.
June 30, 1985
Many of us still feel a glow remembering our lovely ward reunion, hoping we can have another in 5-10 years. This week our ward sacrament meeting was not near as high
as last week when our attendance would have been 98%, 381 out of a membership of 391.
Had 2 patriarchal blessings today, #630, 631, and had 2 temple marriages yesterday.
July 7, 1985
Two (Patriarchal) blessings, a marriage and a funeral to conduct and speak at this week and I had another marriage request, but it was the same time as the funeral, and since the funeral was for non-church members I thought I should be there.
July 14, 1985
I’ve had a large number of serious illnesses in the hospital this week, several deaths, 4 more that may soon die, and each case involves a human-interest story of tragedy, lost opportunities, and love. Also, in our sacrament meeting I watched a family that gathered to hear a returned missionary, the father and mother had divorced and gone their separate ways, brought different partners to the meeting, and I thought of what a tragedy and missed opportunity was theirs. To me, a divorce can be more tragic than death.
July 21, 1985
Tomorrow I am to speak at the funeral of Thyrle E. Ellsworth, our former stake patriarch who I replaced when he moved from our stake. I spoke at his mother’s funeral years ago. I knew many of his family in Arizona going back 60 years ago. His sister lived through the field from us and we bought vegetables from them. His nephew (Stanley Julian) was a dear friend all through school and is now in the Atlanta Temple Presidency. His son-in-law was Marjorie’s and my first bishop in California (William Woolley). Brother Ellsworth gave Judy and Charles their patriarchal blessings, has served as bishop, was on the Pasadena stake high council under Howard W. Hunter, now of the Quorum of the Twelve, served on our high council before being called as patriarch and was a man of great stature and wisdom who we called on many times to help us with high council courts, etc.
One time I quoted from a poem “Legacy” by Maude Parker. Brother Ellsworth liked it and I asked him to share with me his legacy to his children, since he had asked me to speak at his funeral. He did this several years ago and I’ve kept it to share at his funeral.
July 28, 1985
Brother Ellsworth’s funeral was nice. I got to be on the program with Mark W. Smith and James E. Hoyal who have shared the program with me many times over the years in various meetings, conferences, funerals, etc.
In the obituary, it was brought out that Brother Ellsworth was delivered by a mid- wife in Mesa, Arizona. That could well-of been my great aunt Sarah Vance, who was the mid-wife in Mesa at that time and here years later, I deliver some of his grandchildren and speak at his funeral.
Also, this week I performed 3 temple marriages and gave 1 patriarchal blessing.
Aug 11, 1985
3 temple marriages yesterday, 1 patriarchal blessing today. Last week we had our entire family home, all 31 of us. We took pictures and had a good time. Charlie was our official photographer. Charlie and Barbara will leave soon for BYU law school. David leaves also for BYU, so Marjorie and I will be alone again. Next week we hope to fly up to western Canada, rent a car, go to the Cardston Temple, see the parks, etc.
September 1, 1985
Marjorie and I just returned from a very pleasant trip to Canada. Our first visit to that lovely land. We were able to attend the Cardston Temple where the live sessions are still presented. A very lovely, sweet experience. We also went to Banff, Lake Louise, then flew to Vancouver, rented a car and took the ferry over to Vancouver Island and Victoria. We liked Victoria very much, went to church there. If we were younger and wanted to live in Canada, I’d certainly consider Victoria. All of the Canada we saw was beautiful, but I suspect very cold in winter. Vancouver Island is moderated by the ocean.
September 15, 1985
3 (Patriarchal) blessings today, spoke at the Rowland Heights 1st Ward fireside for the adults, on the temple.
September 22, 1985
I flew over yesterday to Phoenix to see my parents in the Mesa Christian Care Center where they are both confined, bodily at least. I couldn’t rouse my father. The nurse told me that some days they can wake him up. My mother is still unconscious being fed by a tube into her stomach. I wonder what is happening to the spirit in that situation, and if there are benefits to be had. Could it be an opportunity for cleansing or discarding while still in the flesh? When I looked at my mother lying there I really did not feel she was there, at least in spirit. Questions arise in my mind, I hope not unrighteously. For example, we hear of bodies being possessed in the scriptures, could this be a situation where other spirits would be able to take over? I do not have an answer. Some die so easy, others die so hard over a long period. I guess we just do the best we can and trust the Lord.
September 29, 1985
Judy, Michael, Adam, and Lechelle came up this weekend and we had a lovely time together. Judy and Mike attended the temple, also Judy, Marjorie, and Suzanne attended the women’s broadcast of the church with Marjorie’s mother and her sisters Judith and Peggy who were visiting along with Marjorie’s sister, Norma. Sunday, I spoke at the Hacienda Heights 2nd Ward youth meeting on patriarchal blessings.
October 6, 1985
General Conference this weekend. We saw all sessions at our stake center via satellite broadcast. M. Russell Ballard was called to fill the vacancy in the Quorum of Twelve due to Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s passing. I enjoyed conference, the messages were so inspiring. I hope that I can do better. Had 3 patriarchal blessings today.
October 13, 1985
Went to Arizona yesterday to check on my parents. No change in their status. I feel guilty in wishing they could die easier and not be trapped in their bodies.
October 20, 1985
Had one temple marriage yesterday, one patriarchal blessing today. Wednesday Marjorie and I drove down to Camp Pendleton and spent the evening with Jim, Carol and children, very special and enjoyable.
Last evening, we attended a party and Del Clawson, former congressman from our district, brought his saxophone and played many of the old songs we grew up with, danced to, etc. Most of us were and are in our 60’s and 70’s so we go back quite a while. I look at those I’ve known so long and realize I probably look as old as they do. It’s quite a shook.
October 27, 1985
Good church meetings, also 2 sweet, special patriarchal blessings. I am currently reading a book, “The Church in the 20th Century,” by Richard Cowan, very well written, and of particular interest to me because of having known many of the people and events described.
Last evening, I spoke at the El Monte 1st ward High Priest’s social.
November 10, 1985
A great prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, finished his mortal assignment as President of the Church and passed on to the other side this past week. What a great leader he has been. He has touched my life considerably, having called me to a Stake Presidency, also conferring upon me the temple sealing power, and having been our conference visitor 2 times while I was in a Stake Presidency, plus other personal contact. Today, I understand that the Quorum of the Twelve are meeting in the Salt Lake Temple for the purpose of reorganizing the First Presidency of the Church. I will be pleased to sustain whoever the Lord calls.
There has been a flurry of anti-Mormon publications lately with supposed early documents, etc. What most anti-church individuals do not realize, is that a testimony is individually gained and maintained through the Spirit and not dependent upon some other individual. Each person has the right and responsibility to gain their own testimony. To me, that is one of the beautiful aspects of the Church, that each person can and should gain their own testimony, work out their own salvation and exaltation, regardless of our callings, station in life, profession or wealth or lack.
December 1, 1985
Yesterday at the temple, I passed the temple president’s office to deliver a marriage certificate of a couple I had just married, and who should be standing there, but Elder Howard W. Hunter, acting President of the Twelve. He warmly greeted me, and we had a lovely visit. He had been our stake president in [the] Pasadena stake, called me to our first bishopric assignment, was the attorney in many of my adoption cases, and we had many experiences together over the years, many mutual friends, etc. It was such an
uplifting experience for me. He was so gracious and warm, and radiated the spirit of the gospel. I doubt the Brethren realize how much they can lift and encourage those they come in contact with.
Today at church, we were saddened to learn that the daughter of some dear friends was paralyzed in her legs from an auto accident, she also is about 9 weeks pregnant. At testimony meeting, a man who is himself afflicted with a severe neurological disease told of his sister who is, despite a serious physical problem, is so gracious, happy, and uplifting to be around. He asked how she could be so happy, and she said she was not always so. At one time she was very bitter and in an act of upbraided [upbraiding] the Lord she saw in a vision her pre-mortal state and standing before the Lord rejoicing in the prospect of mortality, she literally jumped for joy and when the Father told her it would be hard, she said, “I don’t care, I just want to go.” And again, He told her she would have great problems to overcome, but she still rejoiced in the prospect of mortality.
December 8, 1985
Today a multi stake conference was held in the Los Angeles Sports arena, 11 stakes participated. Elder Howard W. Hunter presided. Elder Dallin Oakes of the Twelve was there as well as our Area President John K Carmack, who conducted the meeting, we were well instructed. The lovely printed program included a short history of each stake. I had been asked to write ours, I went back to my journal for dates etc.
Yesterday, December 7, Pearl Harbor day was so different than that day in 1941 when we went to war. How well I remember the black, ominous feeling as I heard of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Then of course followed the war years, loss of friends killed, not being able to foresee peace and a home and marriage. Old movies and documentaries bring it all back. I used to have a recurring dream of being back in the service and I trying to tell them I was a doctor now and should be taking care of the sick.
Yesterday, 44 years later, I was in the Los Angeles Temple in a special meeting of the sealers and the temple presidency receiving such good counsel and feeling the Spirit of the Lord: not only from our very special temple presidency, who are so capable and devoted, but from each other as well, bearing our hearts and testimony to each other. I told them that I could not possibly express how I felt. Words could not express, tongue could not tell, and now I find I cannot describe the sweet spirit in writing. The feeling of love for each other and the Lord. The gratitude for the privilege of being there. What a rare privilege to be entrusted with the sealing power of the priesthood and being given that authority from the prophet. I was very touched.
Last night, Marjorie and I lay awake in the early hours, and had a special pillow talk reliving our childhood memories and the events leading to our special marriage, our children, and the happiness we have had together. How we love each other more every day, how we know the Lord helped us find each other, and prepared us for each other. How much our children mean to us and their children. We feel such a bond between us. The sweetest sound in the world to me, is the sound of my wife’s voice, and there is no place on earth I’d rather be than with her.
Only had 1 patriarchal blessing today. I miss it when there are no appointments, I need that sweet experience or at least feel the loss if I have no appointments. The one today was for such a fine young man from a wonderful family.
December 16, 1985
Had a special home evening with our 5F [family home evening] group. Christmas theme at the Ellsworth’s, 4 of their granddaughters came and sang for us. As I watched the obvious love among the family, my heart ached for those I know who grew up with their lives devoid of such love, and I wished I could go back and provide more love for them. I think some of our bitterest regrets will be of the times we did not love as we could have, kindness we could have shown and did not.
December 22, 1985
Yesterday I went to Arizona to see my parents again, my father recognized me but my mother did not respond.
I also looked up some friends I knew years ago in Mesa, and have had no contact essentially for 40 years, we talked of people we knew etc. I thought of how my life might have been, had I stayed in Arizona. I can’t conceive of it being better. I tremble to think of not having my family and present friends. I know the Lord was kind to me, and in his wisdom and mercy led me to this area to play a role here.
December 29, 1985
We had a lovely Christmas with all of our family here except for Johanna and her family who are too far away. Marjorie fixed a wonderful feast and we had a program. Our grandchildren enjoy each other, and we are grateful for that. Our Christmases have been blessed.
This weekend, I had 3 marriages at the temple, 3 blessings, and a lovely 2-hour visit with our stake president by appointment. He was so gracious and kind.
January 5, 1986
Yesterday, I attended a funeral for A. Kay Berry, a member of the BYU club we belong to. He was a counselor to President Howard W. Hunter when he was president of the Pasadena Stake and when we were part of that stake. I called his son David to be a Bishop in our stake, and I gave one of his granddaughter’s a patriarchal blessing, so our
ties go a long way. He was from Arizona and married into the Whiting and Brown family, or I should say his mother was a Whiting and his wife was a Brown (different line than ours), but I knew many of them and their descendants, many are patients etc. Elder Hunter came down from Salt Lake and spoke. Two of his children spoke and gave beautiful tributes, his grandchildren sang and there was such a sweet spirit of family love. While he was very successful financially, he was most successful spiritually and a successful husband, father, and grandfather.
It was good to see Elder Hunter again, he gave a sweet comforting talk on the reality of Eternal Life. He looked like he did not feel well, and quite likely is ill and tired. I was thinking of that, and Marjorie mentioned him in our family prayer, thinking the same thing.
January 25, 1986
Attended a lovely baptismal for our granddaughter Rachel Gardiner. It was entirely a family affair: her great grandmother Breiten spoke, both grandmothers spoke, her 2 grandfathers gave the prayers, her cousins sang, and her father performed the ordinances.
February 7, 1986
My mother, Mary Agnes Young Brown, left this mortal life tonight. I had been at the temple and couldn’t be reached until later. I had a peaceful feeling all day and remarked about it to Marjorie, then came home and found that the hospital had tried to reach me. I was glad that this good woman could be released to go on. I hope that many of the ones she did temple work for appreciate her and greet her. She missed her parents, her mother having died when she was young, also all her brothers are waiting for her. While I’m sad I’m not sad she died. I’m sad and regretful of missed opportunities our whole family had to be more understanding and loving to each other.
February 16, 1986
Wednesday, the 12th, we held the funeral service for my mother. While normally I don’t pay much attention to bodies as I feel the person is no longer there, I did think she looked beautiful, almost radiant. The service was lovely. Prayers were given by two of her nieces, Jerri Bowden, and Melda Farber. Her nephew, Ivan Young, gave the eulogy. Our son Jim spoke, and gave an outstanding talk. Her brother in law Walter Mason (a patriarch) gave a very special talk. The grave was dedicated by our son David. My Father’s brother David gave the family prayer. I felt everything went well.
Last Sunday, the 9th of February, I was asked to baptize Lisa Rasmussen, the wife of a longtime colleague and friend, Dr. Charles W. Rasmussen. When I baptized her, I felt the witness of the spirit that the Lord loved her and approved.
When we visited my father at the rest home, when we went over for mother’s funeral, we had quite a hard time getting a response from him. But when Jimmy showed him his little son, my father’s great grandson, my father seemed to come alive, literally lit up with a happy smile, and reached for the baby.
February 17, 1986
Our beloved Judy delivered her 2nd daughter and 3rd child, Noelle Joy, our 19th grandchild. Marjorie went down this week to help and reports very favorable on the attributes of our granddaughter and since I respect her judgement, I know she is perfect.
February 22, 1986
Another granddaughter to report. Early this morning I got up and ran my 3 miles, went to the temple, and performed 2 marriages, drove down to Lakeside to pick up Marjorie and see Noelle Joy Wooten, and of course the others, and got a call from Suzanne that she was in labor, hurried back, took 2 hours 15 minutes, just walked in the door. Got a call to come to the hospital, drove over in time to deliver Ashley Rebecca Gardiner, our 20th grandchild. As I hurried to the hospital I remembered why I stopped my regular deliveries, and the anxiety, everything went well however.
March 3, 1986
A busy week, taking Marjorie out to Suzanne and Kent’s home to help with the new baby, then picking her up at the end of the week, going down to Lakeside for the blessing of Noel Joy Wooten and stopping by Jim and Carols home at Camp Pendleton and learning that Jim was called today to be the elders quorum president. Noel received a lovely blessing from Michael and we had a good visit with family.
March 9, 1986
A good day, church meetings, a special meeting for patriarchs of the area with Elder Enzio Busche of the Quorum of the Seventy. We did our home teaching initial visits and I have 4 blessings scheduled.
March 30, 1986
A good week. Turned 65 last Wednesday, the 26th, officially a senior citizen I guess. It’s hard to realize that I am now older than my grandparents were when I thought they were ancient. In many ways I do not feel any different than I did as a teenager, and it’s always a shock to see recent photos and realize who that old man is. I went over to Arizona on my birthday to take care of my father’s affairs and came back in the evening and Jim and Carol were here and made a nice birthday evening for me. Then Suzanne and Kent came out the next day and Eric and I celebrated together.
Today was Easter Sunday. Marjorie and I were invited to speak at the Rowland Heights 2nd ward Sacrament meeting. Afterwards, someone told me, you do better when you are together.
April 6, 1986
Marjorie and I attended a solemn assembly via satellite at our stake center for the sustaining of President Ezra Taft Benson as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. As I witnessed the conference proceedings I felt real good and assured of the leadership of the church. No Question in my mind that the Lord called and prepared these great latter-day leaders. It was a privilege to sustain them. President Benson particularly urged the church to read and study the Book of Mormon. He also urged us to be morally clean and to eliminate pride from our lives. All the talks were inspired, timely, and well given.
Had 3 patriarchal blessings today, very choice families, also went home teaching.
April 13, 1986
Drove out to Saugus to be at the blessing of Ashley Rebecca Gardiner, a lovely event.
April 20, 1986
David arrived safely from BYU last night, it is no small matter to have your children safe. Charles and Barbara are on their way via Johanna and Glenn.
June 1, 1986
Had 3 blessings today and went home teaching. It has been awhile since I’ve written, but we have had some nice family experiences. Johanna and Glenn have been down, and with Charlie and Barbara here plus David, we have had all our children home at some time the past few weeks and we loved it.
June 8, 1986
Stake conference, our stake president, James F. Smith, presided and did an excellent job. He is well loved and respected, we had a good turnout. President Smith asked me to speak and show our first edition Book of Mormon and bear my testimony as to its divinity.
June 15, 1986 Father’s Day
My children honored me this weekend in word and deed, more especially by being fine children. 2 weddings yesterday at the temple, 1 patriarchal blessing today, also I spoke at our singles ward relief society on priesthood blessings. I thought about it a great deal and asked several wonderful sealers how they would approach the subject and had some good ideas given to me. Last night it came to me very clear that the earth was organized by the power of the priesthood. We came to earth by priesthood assignment, the church was organized by the priesthood authority, the Relief Society was organized by the priesthood. Without the priesthood there would have been no sacrament this morning. I listed a number of other blessings and at the end pointed out that without the priesthood there would be no celestial marriage and finally no resurrection.
July 6, 1986
Had quite a few marriages in June and yesterday I performed sealings for 3 Vietnamese families from the Hmong Hill tribes. One family had nine children, the 1st 5 dying in Vietnam due to the communists. We did their proxy sealings, then the 4 living children. There were some tender moments.
This month Jim has been working with me as part of his training. The Navy wanted him to work with a private physician for a month, he asked for and got permission to work with me. It has been a delight to have him. He does very well, and is better trained than I was, has a good manner about him and I think he will do very well as a doctor.
August 3, 1986
Marjorie and I are leaving for mainland china Aug. 9. I have been invited by a group of Chinese doctors to join their tour. China is just opening up to outside travel and we are excited about the prospect. We will attend several medical gatherings with Chinese doctors and dignitaries. I have been asked to speak.
Did my home teaching visits today, had 2 blessings, bore my testimony in Fast and Testimony meeting, also passed the sacrament.
Charles came over tonight, he has had a nice experience this summer working for BYU education week arranging the facilities and supplies housing etc., for the speakers and has had some nice contacts with church leaders.
August 31, 1986
Back from China, a memorable experience. China has not been open to the western world very long, and they are still trying to recover from the so called cultural revolution. I hope that somehow with the help of the Lord they can come out from communism. They speak of the liberation when communism came to power, but they traded one master for another. They are still slaves, with still no freedom.
As I saw the vast numbers of people, 1⁄4 of the world live in China, it occurred to me that part of the 10 tribes must be there, as well as the Russias [Russia], Indonesia, and we simply have not identified them.
We were well treated, met with a lot of dignitaries. I drank an innumerable amount of toasts with orange pop. I was on Chinese T.V. [television] presenting a gift to the mayor of Shanghai, representing the California Doctors Friendship group.
We saw the Forbidden City, walked on the Great Wall, rode trains, river boats, saw great poverty, rice paddies, water buffalo, pagodas, temples, lived in luxury in our hotels yet surrounded by squalor. We were shepherded by 3 communist guides, only went to certain places that were prepared to handle tourist. I think many places were off limits simply because they could not accommodate us. We could not safely drink the water, and about all we had was warm orange soda pop. I don’t think they have any other kind of soft drink.
The cities are literally a sea of humanity, crowded streets, sidewalks, alleys, shacks, hordes of bicycles. I can see why they entertain the one child per family concept. I felt it was no place for me to brag about my children and grandchildren. How sad it would be for me to live where I could not have had our 6 children. We just picked up a recent family photo, and as I looked at our six beautiful children I felt justified in living, to have been involved in bringing such fine individuals into this world. Through them, I have improved the world.
September 7, 1986
Attended a special meeting at the Los Angeles temple where our good friend Jack B. McEwan was sustained as temple president. President Ezra Taft Benson presided. Marjorie and I rode over with our stake president and his wife. I was very touched by the spirit at the meeting, President Benson told us we were engaged in the greatest work on earth and it is on both sides of the veil. I was very grateful to be there in the presence of the prophet. Also, had 2 blessings today, my initial home teaching visits and a fireside to speak at. Yesterday I had 3 temple marriages.
October 5, 1986
Watched general conference on T.V. (television). President Benson presided and gave excellent counsel particularly instructed us to read and ponder the Book of Mormon. Joseph B. Wirthlin was called to the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder A. Theodore Tuttle of the first Quorum of Seventy was obviously very ill but gave a sweet testimony of faith. President Benson announced that the stake seventies quorums would be disbanded, and the seventies would go back to the elder’s quorums. Some will of course be eventually ordained high priests, but the stake mission president can be either an elder or high priest.
October 19, 1986
A good day! Taught our priesthood lesson, have 4 patriarchal blessings to give and a fireside speaking assignment. David asked me to give him a priesthood blessing and I admitted a patient to the hospital. I enjoy being busy, particularly when I feel good, or maybe I feel good because I’m busy.
Last Wednesday, Marjorie and I flew over to Arizona, rented a car and visited my father. He seemed to know me, but we had difficulty in communicating. We also drove up to Dewy, saw Marjorie’s aunt Ester at the old ranch. Saw my uncle David and aunt Fern in Mesa, they have sold their home of 50 years and are moving to a retirement complex. Marjorie and I are rapidly becoming the older generation.
Yesterday Jim and Carol were here with their sweet children. Jim was to have his final interview to receive his license to practice medicine in Calif.
Our children seem to be training their children well, and we admire them for doing so well.
October 26, 1986
Performed 3 temple marriages yesterday and had 5 patriarchal blessings today. Every Tuesday and Friday evening for the past 7+ years I have fulfilled a sealing assignment at the temple except for a few holidays. I usually seal 200 children or 60 couples each session, and occasionally some extra family file sealings. Sometimes, I go
in an extra night if the temple is short of sealers. It has been a rich and rewarding experience. When President Kimball gave me the sealing authority, he said I would seal thousands of our dead.
November. 2, 1986
Have 3 patriarchal blessings today, home teaching and it is time to renew our temple recommends. We have an appointment with the bishop tonight.
Charles and Barbara are down from BYU this week for Charles to interview for law clerkship positions next summer. We had a nice birthday party for Robbie last Monday evening at the Layton’s.
November 23, 1986
1 temple marriage yesterday, 2 patriarchal blessings today, spoke in sacrament meeting, and at a fireside. This week we are going to Charlie and Barbara’s for Thanksgiving.
November 30, 1986
Yesterday Marjorie and I returned from Provo, and Salt Lake, had a nice Thanksgiving with Charlies, Barbara and Jeremy and Robbie. They are doing well struggling through law school. As I drove around Provo, I was flooded with memories. In 1941 Aug. (or) Sept., I left Tempe, hitch hiked to Provo, picked peaches in the daytime, worked in a tomato cannery at night, and got enough money to start my Senior year at BYU, transferring from Arizona State at Tempe. I needed a change in my life, and it certainly did change it. BYU, with its devotional programs gave me exposure to church leaders I had not experienced. I remember vividly Pearl Harbor. I was riding with Bruce Lyman, my father’s cousin, and heard about it on the car radio. Since I was registered for the draft at Provo, I was drafted into the army from there instead of Phoenix where I normally would have been. I was stationed at Fort Douglas out of Salt Lake City for a time giving me additional exposure to church leaders, having served as Presiding Elder at the reception center, holding services for the new inductees each week. I worked with Don B. Colton who was a former congressman and was in charge of the LDS Servicemen’s home in Salt Lake. He would obtain speakers for me each week, frequently general authorities or men who eventually became General Authorities such as Hugh B. Brown and John Longden. I went to a combat engineer battalion in Texas and then overseas to England, France, Germany, then the Philippines from there. Hence my whole life was different. I really feel the Lord had his hand in my life, probably due to the prayers of my mother.
While in Provo, we noted that the flag at the Provo Temple was at half-mast and learned later that Elder A. Theodore Tuttle had passed away. He had also served as president of the Provo Temple. He died very much like Elder Bruce R. McConkie, I think the same cancer diagnoses, and having born a marvelous dying testimony at the last General Conference.
In re reading this journal, I note that nearly 3 years ago I did not expect my father to live much longer. He is still alive, nearly 90, but sleeps much of the time, and when he is awake, I’m not sure how oriented he is. He does know me. I try to fly over to check on him fairly regularly. My brother Bob tries to get over also.
December 7, 1986
45 years since Pearl Harbor this day. I went to church, did my initial home teaching visits, gave two patriarchal blessings and attended a Christmas fireside direct broadcast from Salt Lake City presented by the First Presidency, a lovely program and wonderful talks by the First Presidency.
December 19, 1986
Our wedding anniversary, 39 years. One of the most significant events of my life. My wife is truly a gift from the Lord. I cannot even begin to express her importance to me, the impact, and direction of my life because of her cannot be measured by me. She is far more than I dreamed or romanticized about. It would be impossible to list the blessings she has brought to me. She has made Eternal Marriage precious to me, a Pearl of Great Price.
January 4, 1987
Went up to Yuba City to be present at Jessica’s baptism and confirmation. Johanna and Glenn have a good family. We enjoyed being with them.
January 11, 1987
Stake conference with Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin newest member of the Quorum of Twelve. He met with me to review my patriarchal duties and was very gracious. Our stake presidency treat me so well. I was invited to all the meetings, and we had lunch together afterwards in President Smith’s home. It was a real treat to get acquainted with this great man.
February 8, 1987
For over 30 years, we have had in our possession a first edition of the Book of Mormon which we have treasured and kept on display in a glass case, we felt we were custodians of it for the church since we could not divide it between our 6 children. Marjorie and I felt this last week that now would be an appropriate time to give it to the church. I called our stake president James F. Smith and asked him to arrange it. He in turn called Elder John Carmack, our Area President, and he knew that President Ezra Taft Benson was going to be at a youth conference in Santa Ana Calif. this week, so President Smith and Elder Carmack arranged for Marjorie, David and I to have lunch with President Benson before the youth conference and make the presentation to him. He was most gracious and kind in receiving it for the church, and it was a privilege and honor to be in the presence of the Prophet of the Lord for about an hour and a half. We afterwards attended the youth conference and heard him speak to about 9,000 seminary and institute students.
February 22, 1987
Attended a church wide fireside broadcast via satellite to our stake center. The subject was on being parents, particularly focusing on mothers’ role. President Benson told of the qualities a mother should have and I felt Marjorie has more than exemplified those qualities. I told her she gets an A+ on her scorecard from her family. President Benson then expressed appreciation for his wife, the mother of their 6 children. I can do exactly the same and know that our family has had the same blessings through the wife and mother in our home.
March 15, 1987
I have put off writing about a recent challenge Marjorie and I have to face because I do not know how I can put into words the depth and magnitude of my feelings.
Since mid January of this year, we have known that Marjorie has cancer that has spread (metastasized) to her spine, ribs, skull and pelvic bones. We first discovered it when one of her vertebra collapsed. Biopsy showed adenocarcinoma, but the primary sources is not known. Normally the original tumor shows up first then spreads, but in her case the spread or metastases was our first inkling.
She had passed a kidney stone last summer and a complete work up did not reveal any other problem, and other than her arthritis she felt quite well for our China trip.
In November 86, last fall, she complained of back pain and we felt it was another kidney stone, however X-rays, etc. did not confirm it, and this time blood tests were
suggestive of a malignancy and bone scans revealed extensive involvement. Breast, and chest and abdominal and pelvic scans reveal no original tumor site. We are reluctant to do an exploratory surgery because we do not feel we can gain anything and only make her uncomfortable. We are treating the most painful areas of her back with radiation to ease the discomfort, and it has done that despite the nausea and anemia from the radiation. With the vertebral collapse, she is over 2 inches shorter and spends most of her time in bed. I take her to Church in a wheel chair.
February 1, she bore her testimony at Fast Meeting, told our ward she had cancer but not to feel sorry for her, she had every blessing she ever dreamed of and her only regret was not to know David’s wife. The whole ward was touched. Suzanne and Judith each said a beautiful tribute to Marjorie and my beloved associate Mayo Smith gave a moving tribute to her and Bishop Fuhriman did likewise. There was not a dry eye in the congregation that I know of, a Sacred Spirit prevailed.
We have wept together and alone. My heart aches as I picture her in bed alone coming to the realization that she will likely die soon. Then coming to grips with that knowledge with so much faith and trust.
When I began to try to conceive of life without her I was filled with deep despair. I had always assumed I would die first, and I selfishly wanted to live long enough so she would not marry someone else and find out that I was not so much. She, on the other hand, has graciously urged me to remarry when she dies. She wants someone to look after me and love me as she has done.
Lately we have had some sweet pillow talks and review how greatly blessed we are. I for one have had more than most men, to have a beautiful woman love me for over 39 years, six wonderful, faithful children, plus such marvelous grandchildren.
I am grateful the Lord somehow was kind enough to give her to me and am especially grateful that I’ve always known how special she is. I am also grateful to the Lord that I was impressed to do the things we have done together and not postpone them, our trips, gifts, etc.
The most beautiful sound in the world to me is her voice. Each time she offers our prayer I marvel. When I call home and she answers the phone with that lovely cultured “Brown residence,” my heart leaps and always has. Even before she became ill, I would lie in bed, turn to look at her and thank the Lord for her and still do.
I try not to think of how much I will miss her but try to concentrate on how blessed we are. I can not conceive of a better wife for me and she tells me that I have fulfilled (The Lord helped me) all her dreams of a husband. What more could I ask.
Marjorie never realized how much she is loved by the members of our stake and the temple workers and she has been touched by the scores of letters telling her how many have used her as a role model in their lives. Many, many beautiful tributes have been written and spoken.
So many have been kind, it would be impossible to list all the gracious generous things done for us, and all the things people want to do.
March 29, 1987
Marjorie has improved somewhat, has less pain, and is able to get around a little better. The radiation therapy seemed to alleviate the pain a great deal, plus and especially, I don’t know of many people who have had as many pray for them as she has. I’m grateful for each day the Lord gives me with her. I am humbly grateful, and even forget how sick and frail she is at times because of her improvement.
Yesterday Suzanne, Judy, and Jim’s families came to celebrate Eric and my birthday.
April 5, 1987
We watched General Conference on television this weekend, did my home teaching initial visit, gave 2 patriarchal blessings. Marjorie still seems to be improving somewhat. I miss having her with me when I give blessings, she has added so much to the experience for those receiving blessings. I’m so grateful she is better. I am afraid to hope.
April 19, 1987 Easter Sunday
Had lovely meetings, gave 2 blessings, and had dinner at Reese and Elaine Layton with Charlie and Barbara also. Friday, I performed the Temple Marriage for Michael James Taylor whom I delivered (hence his middle name). Marjorie still is improving and is trying to sort our book of remembrance material. It is interesting to see the old photos and read letters, etc. We have had a wonderful life together. I ache with love for her.
May 17, 1987
When I was telling my good friend Dr. Jeffery Tsai about some of the sweet experiences Marjorie and I have had since her illness, he said the Chinese have a poem “The sun set is the most beautiful part of the day (or life) but then the day ends.” This time with Marjorie has been beautiful and sacred. I dread the night, but will look with faith to the sunrise.
I don’t know what is happening it is a miracle she is alive and doing as well as she is. I’m grateful we have had this time together. I remember Elder L. Tom Perry telling what a privilege and sacred experience it was to take care of his wife when she had cancer. The children have each had some time with their mother that is special to them, and I appreciate the Lord letting us have this experience. I hope I can measure up to the opportunity, I pray that I can.
We have had some family get togethers that I really should have written about, but I have been sort of numb with gratitude. Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and I think Marjorie felt loved. Jim was asked to speak extemporaneously in Sacrament meeting, did
so well, and afterward the family gathered at home, (those who could), others were here the day before.
June 7, 1987
Yesterday our family gathered at the Los Angeles Temple and I had the privilege of sealing Marjorie’s mother to George Jones, our children’s grandfather, and then sealed Marjorie, her sister Norma and their brother Lloyd, who died as an infant, David acted as his proxy. Wayne, Norma’s husband, acted as proxy for Marjorie and Norma’s father. We had the sealing room all to ourselves, just our family were there, and a sweet sacred feeling prevailed. I’m sure there were representatives from the other side. Marjorie never dreamed she would have the opportunity in this life to be sealed to her father and Mother. Marjorie feels the Lord let her live long enough for this.
It was a wonderful weekend, in addition, it was our stake conference. I was asked to speak in the Saturday night meeting and again unexpectedly in the morning general meeting. This was all the more unexpected because there was only 20 minutes left and the Stake President had not yet spoken. Unknown to me, arrangements had been made to let Marjorie hear it by phone. She had not felt like going and last night I had to give her a pain shot.
I am sorry I cannot fully describe all the poignant events in our family right now. I feel like I’m dazed and numb, so many things seem to be out of my control, and are just happening, I’m sure not by accident. I pray I can measure up to what my opportunities are. I particularly pray that I can do all I can and should do for Marjorie. I want to do everything I can to make her feel loved, cherished and special.
June 14, 1987
Gave 3 blessings today. Yesterday, I took our van and transported our dear friend Murry Cluff to a surprise birthday party (80th). All his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, 45, were there. He is dying of cancer. He traveled lying in the bed in the van and 2 of his strong grandchildren took him in the house. He served as bishop 23 years. I was his counselor twice, and our current Stake President also served as his counselor.
June 21, 1987
Performed 2 marriages yesterday at the temple, then took Marjorie, her Mother, and David out to Suzanne and Kent’s for a Father’s Day get together. Jim and Carol came as well as Charlie and Barbara. Judy and Michael had to be in their ward for Sunday speaking assignments, so could not come, and Johanna and Glenn were too far away.
Judy and Mike are getting ready to move up this way closer to Michaels new job, he had been spending weekdays with us.
Marjorie is getting weaker, has a lot of pain and has difficulty eating without getting nauseated. I took her in the van to Suzanne’s, even so, it made her very tired. I watch her suffer, struggle to move without pain. I haven’t found a pain medication that she tolerates well without troublesome side effects. I am torn between not wanting to be without her and not wanting her to suffer, When I see her in pain, a knife goes through me.
June 28, 1987
Marjorie is still failing, seldom comes down stairs now. She did go to Sacrament meeting today, but left right afterward and could not stay for Sunday School and Relief Society. I helped her shower and dress and it was very tiring for her.
June 29, 1987
Our 5F [family home evening] group met for home evening under poignant circumstances. I took Marjorie to Jim and Mell Ellsworth’s, and as I had Marjorie lying down on the bed in our van, the group came in the van and we met there. We then went over to Fae and Murry Cluff’s where Murry was in bed, too ill to come to our gathering. We gave Murray and Fae a priesthood blessing, George Olsen being mouth to Murray’s blessing and Jack McEwan for Fae. It was a very tender occasion. Probably Murray’s last time to be with us as a group and possibly Marjorie’s last time also. We reflected on the great spiritual experiences we have had together as a group and hope Murray and Marjorie will have things ready for us on the other side.
3 of our 5 couples are fighting or contending with cancer, George Olsen has cancer, but is probably going to survive it.
At our meeting, Jim Ellsworth reported that he had called Howard W. Hunter of the Quorum of Twelve (he is also ill) and told Elder Hunter who has been convalescing at home that our group was meeting that night and since he knew each of us, Elder Hunter sent his regards. Each of our group has had some choice personal experiences with Elder Hunter who had been our Stake President.
July 5, 1987
Marjorie was not able to go to Sacrament meeting today. Bishop Fuhriman arranged to have the priests come to our home and give her the Sacrament. Marjorie has a lot of pain.
Woodrow Scott of the High Council, who is a dear friend, has gone to each high priests group in our stake, and asked each to particularly remember Marjorie and I in their prayers this fast day, to ask the Lord to comfort us. We appreciate that.
Last week Jim and Carol had our 21st grandchild, Jacob Cyril. All reports are very favorable.
Marjorie wrote this on July 1, 1987 He Says - She Says
He says I love you She says thank you. I need your love
He says I love to look at you She says I am no longer physically beautiful
Now that I am ill there is no Dignity left
He brushes my hair He takes my dresses from the hanger
And helps me put them on I say no that’s the back
Not the front He puts my hose on
I say pull them up tight They will bag at the ankle
I say I have lost my independence And I miss the touch of your hands
But that is all right because We can talk We can cry
We can share
We can be together After almost 40 beautiful years
He says I can pick it up Let me bring it to you
I can do this, I can do that She says I don’t want to be a burden He says I love you She says Thank you I need your love
I love you very much I wept when I read it.
July 12, 1987
My father, Harold Cyril Brown, passed away about noon. He had just been fed and suddenly lift mortality. He lived much longer than I expected, having had a heart attach 31 years ago, then cancer and then a stroke.
Dad said he lived poor and died rich. He struggled during the depression buying a farm, then sold it when he was old, getting enough to keep he and Mother confortable and they could have done many things had they had the health to do it.
I hope he and Mother are happily united.
July 20, 1987
Flew over to Arizona, for my father’s funeral service. Johanna gave the eulogy, Suzanne and I spoke, Judy gave the opening prayer, Charlie the closing. David gave the family prayer, and I dedicated the grave.
I struggled with the decision to go over because I knew Marjorie was dying and I did not want to be away from her. I prayed about it and discussed the matter with our Bishop. While Marjorie was only dimly aware I said please wait for me and she said, “I will try.”
July 22, 1987
Wednesday July 22, 1987 9:15 PM, My wife completed her mortal life as I held her hand. She left sweetly and quietly having been unconscious most of the day. One of the last things she said was “Will I still hurt?” and I told her “No, you will not hurt.” Her passing was a release and I knew I could not try to hold her back, even though I was content and anxious to continue to care for her indefinitely. Judy and David were with us up in our upstairs bedroom. I called the Mortuary and they came and took her body. I did not feel it was her. I know her Spirit was not in it. President John Allen came over, Our Stake president was out of town. I called our Bishop and told him that I was all right and did not need any one to come over.
The night before as I lay beside her it came to me what the funeral service should be. I knew there would be a large attendance of both members and non-members, and I knew she would want the Gospel taught so that members would want to live it more fully, and non-members would want to know more about it. I asked our new mission President, Gary Coleman, who I had just met the week before and knew that he was a special servant of the Lord prepared, and our beloved Temple President and friend Jack B. McEwan, and Suzanne to represent the family. The music would be “O Divine Redeemer,” “Love One Another,” “I am a Child of God,” and “O My Father.”
July 22, 1987 - August 2, 1987
How can I describe and share the events of these days? I’ve sat here a long time trying to formulate how to do it. I felt it would be easier for me to keep busy, so I went to the office the next day and have kept regular office hours. I gave two patriarchal blessings as scheduled and kept my temple sealing appointment, purchased 2 burial plots for Marjorie and I, arraigned for an autopsy on Marjorie and discovered that her cancer originated in her liver (very unusual). I and the doctors who helped me care for her were relieved to know that we could not have altered her course, and had we vigorously treated or explored, we would have only shortened and made her life more uncomfortable.
Marjorie’s service was lovely, huge attendance like Stake Conference, the speakers and musicians were inspired. All were touched by the spirit. Some of our doctor friends told me they had never experienced anything like it. My Indian Pathologists friend who performed her autopsy said he felt exhilarated rather than depressed. Our radiologist friends Dr. Hans Jultner said he had spent 2 years in Africa with Dr. Albert Schweitzer but had never had a spiritual experience like her funeral. I have since taken he and his[wife, who is also and M.D. [medical doctor] a personally signed Book of Mormon and got permission to send church people from the ward near them to call on them. I hope it will result in baptisms for Marjorie.
A number of things have happened that may seem small, but to me are significant. Judy’s family being with me while they wait to get settled, David being home, Marjorie waiting for me to get back from dad’s funeral, a guava tree dropping a single large guava just right to eat 3 mo. (months) before they normally come on for Marjorie to enjoy the last meal she sat up for. There hasn’t been one since, and normally will not be until latter part of September.
I was afraid I would break down when I saw my wife in the casket. But I got down to the Stake Center 11⁄2 hours early and when I saw her, and fully recognized that it was only her body and that her beautiful Spirit was not in it, a great calm came over me and I had the casket closed after letting the children see it and did not have a viewing. I put 2 pictures of her on the casket. There were lots of flowers despite requesting donations to charity instead.
July 29, 1987
Funeral for my beloved friend and longtime associate Murray Cluff. His oldest grandson Dirk, who I delivered, gave the eulogy. Jim Ellsworth spoke, then I spoke. A wonderful, sweet spirit pre-vailed. I could feel that I was saying what Murray and the Lord wanted said. His service was at 11 AM, and I had to leave quickly to get to Loren Hales, another friends’ funeral at 1 PM where I also spoke.
August 4, 1987
Spoke at Anna Wilson’s funeral. She used to live across the street from us in El Monte, baby sat on occasion. Our children called her “Wilsie.” I also spoke at her husband’s funeral many years ago. She eventually joined the church.
August 10, 1987
Have had some lonely, depressed times interspersed with gratitude for my blessings. I still talk to Marjorie and tell her how much I love her. I think she is aware somehow of what I’m saying. I have noticed the birds don’t sing as they did when she was here.
August 16, 1987
Performed 4 temple marriages yesterday. Today, I attended the setting apart of 2 missionaries, Aaron Merrill, my home teaching partner, and Tyson Smith, our Stake President’s son. I was touched by the sweet spirit in each home. President Smith, asked me to speak in his home.
August 23, 1987
5 patriarchal blessings today. Last week I attended Education Week at BYU, sat in some very good lectures, spent 2 nights with my good and generous friend Jim Hoyal, then the rest of the time with Charlie and Barbara who by this time had arrived for the last year of law school.
Had lunch one day with Henry Whiffen, the next with Robert Johns. Both were very kind and gracious and attribute to me qualities I do not have. I also met with Stanly Peterson of the Church Education Department. We are longtime friends and he told me of some deeply personal family experiences of glimpses of the spirit world that helped me realize that Marjorie is busy helping her relatives with the temple ordinances. I feel the Lord wanted me to hear those experiences. My chief goal in life is to be worthy of my wife.
I have been rereading my Uncle Ernest Young’s diary. I’m so impressed with him, and his service, a real giant serving in the Old Mexico and Argentina. He tells of people, places, and events I am somewhat familiar with. I noted that my cousin Amy Young Valentine, who is Uncle Ernest’s daughter, and who had Charlie, Barbara and I over for dinner last week when I was in Provo, has been a widow 20 years this month. So many have had to go through what I am experiencing.
August 30, 1987
Taught our High Priest Group lesson this morning and am speaking at a fireside tonight.
Judy, Michael and children are still with me, apparently have now found a home and will move in about 2 months. I’ll miss them.
September 6, 1987
3 weddings yesterday at the temple, 3 patriarchal blessings today. Did my initial home teaching visits and spoke at the Whittier Ward young men’s and young women’s meeting.
September 13, 1987
Have been going through some of our papers. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in papers. We have received so many special thoughtful cards and letters that I’d like to personally respond to. Also, going through papers, pictures, mementos, etc., that Marjorie and I saved. It’s hard to discard any thing connected to Marjorie but I must sort out and refine what we keep and try and get some semblance of order, so it will be easy for the children when I join Marjorie. As I go through papers, letters, pictures, etc., I’m flooded with memories and love for her.
I haven’t been doing well. I try to keep busy but wonder if I’ll ever be happy or complete until we are reunited.
October 15, 1987
Judy and Mike woke me up early this morning to see if they had time to drive down to San Diego where the baby was to be born, according to their insurance. I examined her and told them they couldn’t make it. They went to the Queen of the Valley Hospital and in about 30 minutes Julia Yvonne, our 22nd grandchild arrived. Weight 7lbs 5oz, looks like the others and all seems well.
October 25, 1987
Two blessings given today. Last week Judy and Mike moved to Palmdale. Mike’s parents came over to help. I like their home.
On the 23rd, I went to Mesa for the temple marriage of our niece, Jill Wadsworth to David Heywood, the grandson of the man who sold my parents their farm in 1936. I also obtained a baby boy for his daughter to adopt 25 years ago. I met the boy at the reception, a fine young man, served a mission.
The marriage was performed by Elder H. Burke Peterson of the 1st Quorum of Seventy. I knew him and had given him a copy of Marjorie’s “He says, She says.” He read it to the group in his remarks. All were touched.
Sunday October 18th Dr. Hans Juttner and his wife, Dr. Joan Juttner, invited me for dinner and asked me if I would perform their baptism if it were at a convenient time. I told them that they could not make it inconvenient. If all goes well, that will be 2 converts for Marjorie since their interest in the church stems from knowing her and attending her funeral service.
November 1, 1987
Julia Yvonne Wooten was blessed today at our Sacrament meeting by her father, assisted by her 2 grandfathers and several uncles. I felt a special, sweet spirit and tears came to my eyes. Afterwards Bishop Furhiman said he felt like crying because he felt Marjorie was there.
November 29, 1987
Spoke in Sacrament meeting today, and tonight, after giving a patriarchal blessing, I went to the San Marino Ward and baptized Hans and Joan Juttner, a very sweet, sacred event. Marjorie’s converts.
I found this written by Marjorie:
Yesterday I Loved You
Tomorrow is a Vision of an
Eternity Together And Today is a
Pleasure an Excitement of Time Together A Sweetness of Dreams Fulfilled
I Love You Dear Margie
December 6, 1987
Attended a Christmas fireside program presented by the First Presidency and viewed in our Stake Center via satellite. a lovely program. I wonder how anyone could view it and say, “Mormons don’t believe in Jesus Christ.”
My brother Robert is 64 today. Yesterday I drove out to see him in their new home. He and Ann took me out to dinner and then to their daughter Beverly’s home.
In the last Ensign, Elder Robert E. Wells said, “It may be that pain and suffering at the death of loved ones is an essential part of our mortal experience that obliges us to face the question of the reality of the spirit world and the hope of the resurrection. It is through suffering that we discover what is eternally important.”
December 13, 1987
Our stake presented a beautiful Christmas musical tonight. The theme of the narration was, “Home for Christmas.” As it developed you knew the father in the home had passed on since last Christmas and the initial sadness of him not being there was offset by realizing he was home, that is in his Eternal home with the Lord and other loved ones. I think of Marjorie being “Home” in a real sense with her other loved ones. I had her for 39 Christmases.
Last Christmas we were not yet aware that it would be Marjorie’s last Christmas in mortality. Marjorie’s birthday, our anniversary, and Christmas are all within 1 month or 30 days and for some reason I was able to get her gifts that particularly pleased her. She has always been gracious, but I could tell these really pleased her. For instance, on our anniversary I gave her Florence Hanson’s Joseph and Mary, depicting Joseph kneeling beside Mary with his protecting arm around her. I told her and the children that it represented to me how I feel about Marjorie, wanting to cherish and protect her, and each child. Marjorie has always liked nativity sets and scenes. It is sort of a family joke trying to count how many we have. She didn’t put them all out each year but would rotate them. The major ones always went up each Christmas however.
I should have mentioned that we went to Judy and Mike’s new home for Thanksgiving, a wonderful dinner. Marjorie had suggested once, that instead of trying to remember all our grandchildren’s birthdays, that on my birthday we give them all their birthday gift. I told her before she died that I was going to do it on her birthday instead, so this year that is what I did the last week in November.
It is not getting any easier to be without her. If anything, it seems harder. At first, I think I was sort of numb. I look around however and feel so blessed that my heart was always safe in Marjorie’s hands. I would much rather lose her in death, than lose her love. I think the gift of the love of a beautiful woman is one of the most precious of all gifts and is really a gift from the Lord.
December 20, 1987
Many nice experiences past few days, performed the marriage of Bishop Cluff’s granddaughter Noelle Smith, hospital made a fine presentation to me as outgoing chief of staff, expensive gifts and verbal tribute. Material things don’t mean a great deal now other than appreciated generosity and thoughtfulness.
Will have several of the children and their families home for Christmas.
December 27, 1987
We had a nice Christmas, Suzanne and Kent, Jim and Carol, Charlie and Barbara with their families. I enjoyed the grandchildren. Marjorie’s mother came and we held Christmas very much as if Marjorie were here. Perhaps she did look in on us. We ate about the same, had the same program Christmas Eve and spent Christmas Day about the same. It was my first Christmas in 40 years without her. We tried not to dwell on her absence.
January 3, 1988
Fast Day, good meetings, made my initial home teaching visits, had 1 blessing, made a house call, hospital visits.
Yesterday I learned of my uncle George Halls Brown’s passing. He was only 4 years older than I, lived next farm to us during the depression, my father’s youngest brother. He was like a big brother to me and always kind and considerate, also the day before, my father’s last living sister died, Elna Brown Fair. My grandparents now only have one of their 11 children still in mortality and being the eldest grandchild, I’ll be the older generation.
January 17, 1988
11 years ago this weekend, I was ordained a patriarch, and gave 3 blessings today making 787.
We had Stake Conference with Elder Marion D. Hanks of the First Quorum of Seventy as our visitor, what a Magnificent man. Our conference was the best, every speaker did so well, exceptionally well. Not one spoke too long, and each had the spirit. I was very impressed with Elder Hanks, had a sweet personal visit with him in the Stake Presidents office.
January 24, 1988
Last night I spoke at a farewell party for Kenneth and Betty Lohrke who are moving after 30 years in our ward. Our kids grew up together and our lives have somewhat paralleled each other. They have made significant contributions to our ward and stake.
Today I gave 2 blessings, and attended a meeting making 3 wards out of the 2 Rowland Heights wards, I was asked to speak briefly.
Just learned that Johanna is expecting her next child in August or September. With Barbara’s coming up, that will make 24 grandchildren for Marjorie and I.
February 7, 1988
Yesterday I took Marjorie’s mother out to see Judy and Michael’s family, then stopped off at Kent and Suzanne’s on the way home. We enjoyed seeing all of them, they are doing well. I’m so proud of our children.
Today had 1 blessing, gave our priesthood lesson, made my initial home teaching visits, also hospital call, etc.
February 14, 1988
Valentine’s Day, I wish I could offer a Valentine to my sweet heart.
Performed 2 weddings yesterday, also conducted a funeral, spoke, etc. Tonight, watched a church wide fireside on the 75th anniversary of scouting in the church. A great tribute was given Pres. Benson, also he spoke very well. I watched at Bishop Fuhrman’s home on television. He gave me some counsel on beginning to socialize.
February 21, 1988
David, and Michael, by coincidence were both called and set apart by their Stake Presidents as the Ward Clerk of their respective wards. I am proud of them.
Gave 2 patriarchal blessings today.
February 28, 1988
Gave 2 blessings today, taught a Sunday School class, have a funeral to speak at tomorrow.
March 6, 1988
My beloved, dear, and cherished friends Joics Bagley Stone and his wife Gene Holt Stone and her mother were killed today in a head-on collision with a drunk driver who was driving 75 miles per hour the wrong way on the 57 Freeway. I have a great sense of personal loss. Since Marjorie passed away the Stones constituted most of my social life. They were very thoughtful about including me. I’ve known Joics since World War II and he was my counselor in the Stake Presidency.
They had been widowed before and combined their families and raised 12 children, having one of their own who is serving on a mission to Hong Kong.
One of my first thoughts is now they will not have to go through the experience of widowhood again, also along with their former mates, Marjorie will enjoy seeing them again, since they were such good friends.
Last Wednesday, I finally went back to Marjorie’s gravesite to see the head piece we ordered. I was alone, so I could weep in private.
Gave 2 blessings [patriarchal] today, also did my initial home teaching visits.
March 13, 1988
Joics and Gene were buried together with their former mates in 4 adjacent grave sites. Their children arranged it. I felt it was a nice show of unity.
The service held March 10, 1988 was so sweet and spiritual. I felt it a privilege to be asked to speak. The children participated in the service, prayers, eulogies, etc., and did so well. We could feel all was well and peace prevailed.
Today, I was invited to speak at a regional conference for adult singles. It is the first time I’ve spoken at a singles conference as a single.
March 20, 1988
Had a nice weekend, went to a Glendora Stake play with Barbara and grandma Breiten Friday night, then Judy and Mike came over with their family for Saturday morning, and that evening Jeff and Annie Tsai took me to dinner and a show. Also, today I had one patriarchal blessing.
March 27, 1988
For Eric and I, a birthday celebration by his baptism then a party at his parents, Suzanne and Kent. It was a family program, we had the stake baptismal facilities all to ourselves. Grandparents took part, I suspect Marjorie was there. Barbara is still restricted to home because of the danger to her pregnancy, so David, grandma Breiten and I took Jeremy and Robbie with us to the baptism. Charlie is still at the Y finishing law school.
Had 4 blessings today, a temple wedding Friday. I am now 67.
April 3, 1988
Listened to General Conference on our television in our home. I recall the long trips by automobile and later by plane to sit at the feet of the prophets. Now to be able to sit in our home and receive it so clear is a marvel to me.
Last Wednesday I flew to Arizona, went to the temple with a special friend, visited my uncle David and aunt Fern and attended the Easter Pageant on the Temple grounds, flew home that evening.
Spoke at a funeral Friday morning. I love Marjorie more each day.
April 17, 1988
Went to my high school 50th reunion in Mesa Arizona. I actually graduated from Tempe, but since I had gone to Mesa through grammar school and the 1st 2 years of high school they included me. It was quite a healing experience. I hadn’t seen many of them for at least 50 years. I was astounded at how old some of them were. I thought at first some of the parents showed up. Some had aged to the point they didn’t even recognize me!
Seriously, I was impressed that those who stayed close to the church generally turned out quite well and some who were apparently important or influential 50 years ago haven’t done so well as far as happiness is concerned.
I also realized I did not really know them when we were school mates. I was telling Merwin Waite this, and he profoundly said you didn’t even know yourselves.
Spoke at Sarah Collinwoods funeral April 15. 19 years ago, I spoke at her husband George’s funeral.
Last Sunday I spoke at a fireside in the Santa Monica Ward.
May 15, 1988
Trevor James Brown was born to Charles and Barbara April 26. A nice-looking baby, our 23rd grandchild.
Charles has a position with a law firm in Tustin and has the State Bar Exam ahead of him to pass.
A few weeks ago, President John Allen of our Stake Presidency called me about a matter and told me that he had been thinking of me and felt prompted to tell me to go see Elaine Phelps, a widow I’ve known since grade school. In fact, we went together during World War II before I went overseas. He knows her and felt inspired to suggest it.
I had about decided not to go out and had not entertained any thoughts of dating. I felt I should follow counsel and phoned Elaine, and we have had a good time together attending the temple, picnics, shows, etc. We enjoy each other very much and have a lot in common. She lives in Mesa, Arizona, so there is quite a bit of travel involved, plus a phone bill that has increased.
May 30, 1988 Memorial Day weekend.
David, Charles, Barbara and boys plus Grandma went up to Lemoore Ca. to attend Jenny’s baptism, had a nice visit with Jim and Carol.