Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 153, May 31

A dear friend sent me this breakdown on the Lord's Prayer.  It intrigued me, and I thought it worth repeating here.
REVERENCE -- Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.

RESPONSE -- Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

REQUESTS -- Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

READINESS -- Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

REVERENCE -- For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
So, for today, I'm grateful for all that prayer is.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 152, May 30

During the latter part of the 19th century, Mormon missionaries proselyted in the Sandiwch (Hawaiian) Islands.  George Q. Cannon, one such missionary, made an immediate friend, Jonathan Napela.

Jonathan immediately embraced the gospel.  However, his conversion cost him a great deal.  Napela had been a civilian municipal leader, a city father,  a landowner, a judge.  When he converted, bringing many of the villagers with him, he lost the respect his peers and friends had for him. 

Jonathan did not let this prevent him from serving the Lord or His gospel.  He started an unofficial Mision Training Center in his home.  He housed the missionaries and coached them in Hawaiian. 

His sacrifice did not stop there, though.  When his dear wife, Kitty, contracted leprosy, Jonathan stood by her.  At that time, Hawaiian law made divorce very easy for couples in their situation, since the afflicted person was quarantined for life in a colony called Kalaupapa.

Napela chose not to abandon his wife.  He went with her, living in the squalid conditions, as her kokua or help.  He went to work as a branch president and government liasion to improve conditions in the leper colony.  Two years before Kitty passed away, Napela died.

His testimony and faith sustained him throughout his trials.  "It is very plain to us," he wrote, "that this is the Church of God, and that it is the gospel which is preached by the white men from the Rocky Mountains.  There are many upon these islands who have obtained strong faith by the grace of God, through Jesus Christ the Lord, that we might receive the Holy Ghost.  Amen."

So, for today, I am grateful for Jonathan Napela's example of testimony and faith.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 151, May 29

"When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won't get it, but if you trust God to do what's best, and wait on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better."

A friend sent me a list of inspiring quotes, including the above.  It immediately caught my attention, a reminder that my time is not God's time, my plan, not His plan.  His timing is always impeccable, His plan always perfect.

My job, the job of all of us, is to have faith in Him, to believe Him, to believe in Him.  That's tough.  When things around us are falling apart, it's just hard to believe.  It's hard to have faith.  It's hard to endure when we don't understand the timing or the plan.  I am the poster child of faltering in faith, but after an hour (or day or week or month) of whining, complaining, or weeping with despair, I pick myself up and remember that I'm not in charge.

He is.

So, for today, I'm grateful that God is in charge.   

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 150, May 28

"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened."--Anonymous

I've written before about our kitty Harley.  She is a treasured member of our family.  She is also my constant and ever-faitihful friend.  Loving an animal brings out the softer part of ourselves. 

Even the most hardened person frequently melts when an animal is placed within reach.  I am ashamed to say that my own heart is occasionally cold toward some people, but it is always softened when I pet a sweet animal.

Many hospitals, care facilities, and nursing homes encourage visitors to bring (well-behaved) dogs and cats to see the patients.  Studies show that petting an animal can lower blood pressure and give a sense of well-being.

So, for today, I am grateful for "all creatures great and small."  Truly, the good Lord made them all.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 149, May 27

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.   Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate  soldiers who died in the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. 

Many of us have family members and ancestors who died while defending our country.  When I think of this, the ultimate sacrifice, I am both humbled and chastened.  How often do I take our freedoms for granted?  How often do I criticize our country for policies with which I don't agree?

With all its problems, America is still the greatest land in the world.  It always will be.  Those who gave their all in serving America deserve to be remembered, not just on this day but on every day.

So, for today, I am grateful for those men and women who paid with their lives to protect our way of life.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Day 148, May 26

Yesterday I wrote about prayer, what it's purpose is, what it's purpose isn't.   Today I'd like to continue on that same theme of prayer.

How do we know when we have received an answer to prayer?  Will it come with a feeling of excitement, hoopla, or agitation?  Probably not.  The Lord's answers most commonly come in the form of a "still, small voice."

A Primary song tells us that in "Listen, listen to the still, small voice."

The key word here is "listen."  Frequently I find myself so involved in telling the Lord what my needs are that I forget to listen to that still, small voice.

So, for today, I am grateful when I remember to listen.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 147, May 25

"Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other.  The objet of prayer is not to change the will of God."--The Bible Dictionary

How many times have I prayed, seeking to instruct God, counsel Him, persuade Him to my way of thinking?  Far too many.  How can I ever think I know best--about anything?  And still I seek to instruct, counsel, and persuade the Father of us all.  How arrogant.  How foolish.  How naive.

My prayers should be those of thanksgiving and, occasionally, beseeching, but never direction.  I am the one who needs instruction.  I am the one who needs counsel.  I am the one who needs persuasion.

So, for today, I am grateful for those times when I remember the true purpose of prayer.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day 146, May 24

Most Mormons know Porter Rockwell as the Prophet Joseph Smith's bodyguard, and, later, a US Marshal.  Both are true.  However, Rockwell had a softer, gentler side as well. 

At one time, Rockwell served time in prison, put there unjustly by anti-Mormon mobs.  When he was released, Joseph Smith gave him a mandate to not cut his hair.  "Neither bullet nor blade will take your life," the Prophet said, "if you don't cut your hair."   From then on, Rockwell wore his hair long, occasionally braiding it up under his hat so outlaws wouldn't recognize him from a distance. 

Years later, Rockwell sacrificed his hair to make a wig for one of  Joseph's sisters-in-law who had lost her hair to typhoid fever.  He was willing to surrender the spiritual and physical protection of keeping his hair to come to the aid of a woman who was dear to the Prophet.

So, for today, I am grateful for a man who was both courageous and compassionate.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Day 145, May 23

One morning I turned on my computer, went to AOL to look at my email, and found two comments on this blog.  I am always excited to read the comments, hoping my words had touched someone in some small way.

Well, my comments had touched someone, though not in a good way.  The unkind comments left by a former member of the family hurt and distressed me.  Why had this person felt it necessary to say those things?

An email conversation with my tech-savvy daughter resulted in the comments being deleted and this person being blocked from making further commets.

This is a rather long story to say that this was a wake-up call for me, to watch my own comments, whether on blogs, in email, or in person.  The old childhood saying "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me," was false 50 years ago and is still false.  Words hurt.

So, for today, I am grateful for those who use their words to build up rather than to tear down.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Day 144, May 22

"Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues, when exaggerated, it transforms itself into a vice. We need to be careful of the  'tolerance trap' so that we are not swallowed up in it. The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate . . . does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result of the violation of God’s law."--Boyd K. Packer, President of the Council of the Twelve, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

As always, President Packer has hit it just right.  Tolerance IS a virtue, but unwisely applied tolerance gives license to sin.  With foolish tolerance, we accept, then embrace behavior we once claimed to abhor..  When we accept the dishonesty and deceit as displayed by government officials or others in the public eye, we  say to them and to others, "It's okay.  God will beat us with a few stripes, then we can go on our merry way." 

So, for today, I am grateful for the wise words of a disciple of Christ.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 143, May 21

I am always touched by a child's prayer.  A few days ago, at a family gathering at my sister's house, one of her granddaughters gave a simple but heartfelt prayer and blessing upon the food.  Her sweet words reminded me that the Father does not want or need fancy words when we address Him.

He simply asks that we speak from the heart, that we remember Him in our doings, that we give thanks to Him for the blessings He has bestowed upon us.

Ancient scripture tells us of men who offered prayers with great rhetoric and oratorial skills.  However, the same scripture warns against such self-aggrandizing words.  Those people who pray with the intent to puff themselves up in the eyes of others will have their own reward.

So, for today, I am grateful for the reverent words of a five-year-old child.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day 142, May 20

"Progress along the journey is measured by each step taken. And with each step comes growth regardless if the step was positive or a misstep. With those missteps you get to re-assess, re-learn, and try again. Those are good things. At the end of the day success comes by being active in the journey. Go take an extra step today."

I found this on my son Rob's Facebook posting.  It immediately tugged at something in me. 

Frequently, I am dogged by depression and its twin discouragement.  They pull me down, dragging me to places where I don't want to go.  Then I remember:  take one step, a baby step even, and start moving.  Just move.  Inevitably, I start to feel better, if only fractionally.

So, for today, I am grateful for Rob and his reminder to take an "extra step today."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 141, May 19

Finding the positive in everything is not something at which I excel.  Too often I tend to dwell on the negative, on what could go wrong, what has gone wrong, all those wrongs that plague a worrywart like me.

I didn't find much positive in all the snows of April and May.  I didn't find much positive when I spilled shampoo all over the sink.  And so on.  No doubt about it--I'm a gloomy gus.

Then I made a conscious effort to find at least one positive in those two insignificant but bothersome things.  The unexpected snows meant that we didn't have to turn our sprinklers on as early in the season as we usually do and therefore saved a bit of money.  The spilled shampoo made me think "Hey, this would be a good time to scrub the sink."

Small steps, to be sure.  But at least I was able to look, if not on the bright side of things, on the brighter side.

So, for today, I am grateful for those times when I'm not a GG.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 140, May 18

Are you ever frustrated with what seems like the unfairness of life?  The wicked prosper; the righteous suffer.  There is scripture (somewhere)  to that effect.  At times, I grow very discouraged about it as I watch friends and family members undergo difficult things:   illness, the death of a belovedspouse, financial hardship.  Each of these people has led a good life, so why do they suffer unimaginable pain and worry?

The Father answered that in part when He told us that this life is a test.  (One I often feel that I'm failing.)  He also told us that there must be opposition in all things, otherwise how will we know the good if we have not tasted the bitter.

All this sounds good, and yet ...

That nasty little part of me wants to see the bad guys suffer sometimes.  Doesn't that seem right?   I know, this is not the proper spirit, but there you have it.  I am frequently not proper.

My husband, a scriptorian, assures me that the bad guys will suffer and that the righteous will overcome all the challenges they face.  But it may not, in fact, it probably will not be in my timing.  It will be in the Lord's time.

So, for today, I am grateful (or trying to be) for the Lord's timing.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 139, May 17

Last Sunday, in Sunday School class, our gifted teacher gave a beautiful lesson on gifts of the Spirit. Class members listed different gifts, including healing, faith, teaching, music, and others.

I've never felt like I had any gifts of the Spirit, but her lesson made me think that perhaps I have.  Could an ability to care about others be a gift of the Spirit?  It is, if I act on it. 

Isn't that the way with any gift?  If we are fortunate enough to have a certain gift, we must act on it, or it will likely fade or perhaps even disappear altogether.

So, for today, I am grateful for those times when I--or anyone--choose to act on a gift.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 138, May 16

A few days ago I wrote about my husband's and my experience of renewing our drivers' licenses.  I realize I neglected to share another incident that occurred during that time.

Upon entering the licensing bureau, patrons take a number.  A number of people were already in line and we resigned ourselves to a long wait. An elderly couple entered some time after had.  They explained to us that someone had stolen the wife's purse, including her wallet with her driver's license as well as other indentification.  My heart went out to her.

Shortly before it was our turn, a woman and her son discovered that they could not wait the entire time and kindly handed us their number.  I looked at the older couple behind us and whispered to Larry, "Let's give the number to them."

We did so, and they thanked us graciously.  It was a small thing, but made us feel good, knowing that we had saved them an hour or so wait.

I pondered on how one kindness prompts another.  A stranger gave us her number which we passed on to someone else.  What if we all did that, pass on a kindness with no thought of reward?  Like the movie PAY IT FORWARD, we could change the world, or, at least, our world.

So, for today, I am grateful for the kindness of a stranger.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 137, May 15

There were very few African Americans among the first members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, Jane Manning James was baptized only one week after hearing the Mormon missionaries preach the Gospel in her hometown in Connecticut. Eager to join the body of the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, she journeyed there, having to prove that she was a "free black" along the way.

Her testimony and faith were immensely strong, enabling her to walk several hundred miles on foot to resch her destination. In an autibiographical sketch, she wrote, "We walked until our shoes were worn out and our feet became sore and cracked open and bled untiil you could see the whole print of our feet with blood on the ground. We stopped and united in prayer to the Lord, we asked God the Eternal Father to heal our feet and our prayers were answered and our feet healed forthwith."

Jane's faith also carried her across the plains when the pioneers traveled to Utah. She had little but she was always willing to share. Another pionner sister, Eliza Lyman, who couldn't get flour until after the harvest, was nearly destitute. She wrote that Jane " ... gave me two pounds of the stuff ... it being about half of all she had. "

So, for today, I am grateful for this pioneer woman, an example of courage, faith, and compassion.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 136, May 14

A few days ago I wrote about an answered prayer.   It seemed that Heavenly Father wasn't ready for me to be finished with that subject because He put an article on prayer in front of me (or, at least, so it seemed) that begged to be included in another post.

The author of the article differentiated between sincere prayer and those offered in vain.  He quoted Shakespeare's Hamlet, where Claudius, King of Denmark, kneels in prayer to seek forgiveness.  Upon rising, he knows that his entire prayer has been one of useless words:

My words fly up,
my thoughts remain below:
Word without thoughts
never to heaven go."

I wonder how many of my prayers have been as that of Claudius, "... never to heaven go."  Too many, I fear.  My prayers are frequently said by rote, and I cringe at the Father's  probable reaction to them.  Only when I pour out my heart and beg for His wisdom and strength do my prayers begin to find their way to Him.

So, for today, I am grateful for prayers that come from the heart.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Day 135, May 13

Yesterday, in our church services, two beautiful women spoke on mothers.  I was touched by their words, especially their sentiments that a woman can have a mother's heart even if she is not biologlically a mother.  Isn't that wonderful?  To have a mother's heart is to care, to love, to tend. 

I have a number of friends who are not biological mothers, yet they have a mother's heart.  One friend dresses dolls every year and gives them to a charity where they will be given to little girls who might not otherwise receive a special doll.  Surely she has a mother's heart.  Another friend cannot have children, but she teaches in Primary and shares her love of the Gospel with the youngest and most precious of the Lord's children.  She, too, possesses a mother's heart.

So, for today, I am grateful for those have a mother's heart.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 134, May 12

Today is Mother's Day.  It is a day of varying emotions for many of us, whether we are thinking of our own mothers, of the mothers we are, of the mothers we want to be.

As a young mother, I resented Mother's Day.  It seemed a day fraught with guilt, unmet expectations, on our part and that of others.  For a few years, I actively boycotted Mother's Day.  I refused to go to church, to be handed a wilted plant that would undoubtedly die when I got it home and hear talks about the sanctity of motherhood.  Where was this supposed sanctity, I wondered, when confronted with a dirty house, dirty dishes, and dirty laundry? 

As an older and, I hope, a bit wiser mother and now grandmother, I have learned to appreciate Mother's Day more.  I remember my own mother.  She wasn't perfect, but she was there, for me, for my sister.  Just as I was not and am not perfect, I tried and try to be there for my children and grandchildren.  I think of my daughter and daughter-in-law, each trying to be good mothers to their children.  And maybe that's all we can do, to try to be good mothers, despite our own imperfections and shortcomings.

So, for today, I am grateful for Mother's Day, a recognition that we are trying, each in our own way, to be the best mothers we can be.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 133, May 11

Yesterday my husband and I planned to renew our drivers' licenses.  To do this, of course, one needs to have a current license.  At the last minute, I checked my purse to make sure my license was there.

It wasn't.

It wasn't in my change purse, wallet, or anywhere else.  It wasn't in any of my umpteen purses (yes, I have a purse addiction).  I checked the car, looked under the mats, in the arm rest, everywhere I could think of.  Finally, I did what I should have done in the first place:  I said a prayer.

"Heavenly Father, please help me find my license.  I know it's not the end of the earth, but it's going to be a big headache if I don't have it."  I waited for a few minutes, then continued with the search.

I went back to the first purse, the one I had been carrying lately, and checked again.  A zippered compartment caught my eye.  I thought I'd looked there, but I did so again.  There it was.

Would I have found my license without praying?  I honestly don't know.  But I do know that the prayer quieted my worry and made the search much shorter than it might have been.

So, for today, I am grateful for prayer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 132, May 10

Yesterday I wrote about the world Heavenly Father created for us, particularly the varying kinds of birds.  As I listened to their differing sounds, I marveled that each was distinctive, that each added something to the medley of music that serenaded my ears.

And isn't that the way we are, whether in a family, a church, a business?  None of us can do everything well, but we each have something to contribute.  In our ward are many talented musicians who enhance our meetings and classes with their beautiful voices and playing of instruments.  There are others who teach with passion fueled by the Spirit, giving our children and grandchildren a greater appreciation of the Gospel.  And still others who excel in organization, keeping everyone on track.

Isn't it wonderful that everyone has something to give?  How boring it would be if we were all the same?  And how boring it would be if all the birds made but one sound.

So, for today, I am grateful for Heavenly Father's master plan of giving each of us a unique voice.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 131, May 9

A few days ago, as I walked around our neighborhood, I made a special effort to appreciate the beauty of a spring morning.  In particular, I paid attention to the sounds.  Though no expert on birds, I identifed the cooing of morning doves, the sassy chirp of sparrows, the sharp caw of a crow.  They blended together to make a lovely symphony, complete with high and low notes.

It reminded me of a Primary song from many years ago.


"Whenever I hear the sound of a bird,
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face,
Or the wind as ir rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by a lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heavenly Father created for me."

So, for today, I am grateful for this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me, for all of us.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 130, May 8

Stella Harris Oaks, mother of Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, was a pioneer in women's rights, though she would never have described herself as such.  Instead, she simply did what needed to be done, whether it was caring for her family of three young children when her husband of 11 years died, or serving on the town council and as assistant mayor of Provo, Utah in the 1950s, at a time when such positions were generally not held by women. 

After the death of her husband, she went back to school, determined to get more education, more learning, to better support her family and to contribute to the community.

Despite her many accomplishments, however, her first priority was always serving the Lord and her family. Whatever she did, it was with gratitude in her heart.  "I watch for little signs or signals each day that the Lord is watching over me," she once wrote.  "A thousand things each day show me that He is concerned about me and that He loves me."

So, for today, I am grateful for this woman who truly knew what women's rights meant.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 129, May 7

Our son Rob and his lovely wife Jenny are working hard to teach their boys, Brigham and Isaac, about self-reliance.  Included in their teachings are lessons about handling money.  Rob and Jenny encourage their boys to save their money, for schooling, for missions, for a trip to Disney World.  They also allow the boys to spend some money, even when that money is used unwisely.

The other day, Rob related to me how Isaac, five, wanted to buy something at the store.  Nothing would do but that he spend $3.00 to buy a toy.  Predictably, the following day, the toy broke.  "A waste of money," Rob said and sighed.  "But maybe he'll learn something."

I'm sure Isaac did learn something, whether he cognized it or not.  Lessons learned are never a waste.

So, for today, I am grateful for parents who allow children to make mistakes.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 128, May 6

 A week ago, my husband and I bought a new (to us) car.   By no means a trendy person, I did not want a sports car, or even an SUV, so popular among our friends and family.  I wanted a Park Avenue Buick, similar to the one we were driving.

The Buick is thirteen years old, has 133,000 miles on it, and is staid and conventional, much like me.  The fact is, the Buick and I are pretty much interchangeable.   I don't see that as a failing, though.  I see it as saying, "I'm still here.  I've endured much and will undoubtedly endure more."  Like the Buick, I've weathered storms, even a tornado or so.  And I'm still standing.

The things and people of lasting value will probably not be trendy or shiny or new.  They will be the ones slightly weathered, a little bent from withstanding the winds of misfortune, a great deal humbled by those same winds.

So, for today, I am grateful for cars ... and people ... who are still standing.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 127, May 5

A few days ago, our son Robert posted a picture on Facebook.  (I wish I could reproduce it here.)  The picture consisted of the word "ABORTIOIN."  The "B" and the "R" were slashed out to be replaced with a "D" and  "P," changing it to "ADOPTION."  A change of two letters equals life rather than death, love rather than selfishness.

Adoption is special in our family.  Twenty-four years ago, our family became foster parents to a beautiful baby girl, Ann.  We fell in love with her instantly.  Nearly three years later, when she became eligible for adoption, we adopted her and were sealed together in the temple.  Rob and his wife have two adopted sons, Brigham and Isaac, also beautiful, also much loved, also sealed in the temple.

Friends and other family members have also adopted children, opening their homes to these children of the heart. 

So, for today, I am grateful for children of the heart.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 126, May 4

A few days ago, I was watching a lifestyle program on television which featured a segment on prom dresses.  Having raised two daughters, each of whom attended several proms, and having a granddaughter who will, in a few years, be attending prom, I was interested in the current fashions.

To my disappointment, each of the five dresses shown was immodest in the extreme.  Strapless and low cut, the dresses did not flatter the lovely young models.  I could not help but contrast them with the dresses worn by girls in our church.  (The girls often wear their prom dresses to church the Sunday following prom, a practice I enjoy.)  Invariably, the dresses are beautiful as well as modest.

The world would have us believe that it is not possible to have a dress that is both stylish and modest.  These girls prove the opposite.

So, for today, I am grateful for girls who choose to dress modestly.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day 125, May 3

Can you imagine a world without books?  I can't.  Nor do I want to.  What would our world be without books, magazines, any kind of printed material?  I shudder to think of it.

None of these would be possible without Johannes Gutenberg, who invented movable type somewhere around 1430.  From movable type came the printing press, also invented by Gutenberg.  This eventually led to the mass production of the Bible, putting the holy book into the hands of people who would have never had access to it otherwise.

Gutenberg's vision brought learning and enlightenment to a world that had literally been in the Dark Ages, an era of unimaginable cruelty, ignorance, and intolerance. 

So, for today, I am grateful for a visionary man.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 124, May 2

May Elizabeth Rollins continues:

"When the mob was busy at one end of the house, we (the two girls) ran) and filled our arms with the precious sheets.  The mob saw us and ordered us to stop.

"We ran as fast as we could.  Two of them (the mob) started after us.  Seeing a gap in a fence, we entered into a large cornfield, laid the papers on the ground, and hid them with our persons.  The corn was from five to six feet high, and very thick; they hunted around considerable and came very near us but did not find us."

When the mob members had gone, the girls made their way to an old log stable.  Here, as reported by Mary Elizabeth, they found that "Sister Phelps and children were carrying in brush and piling it up at one side of the barn to lay her beds on.  She asked me what I had--I told her.  She then took them from us.  They got them bound in small books and sent me one, which I prized very highly."

So, for today, I am grateful for the courage of two young girls.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 123, May 1

In Sunday School, our teacher shared the following story which took place in Independence, Missouri during the 1830s, at the height of the persecution of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Mobs had attacked the printing shop where copies of the Prophet Joseph Smith's papers were being printed.

The most important project being printed at the newspaper office was the Book of Commandments, the first compilation of revelations received by the Prophet.  When the mob attacked the building, they tossed the unbound pages of the book into the street.  Seeing this, two young Latter-day Saints, Mary Elizabeth Rollins and her sister, Caroline, at the periol of their own lives, sought to recuse what they could.

Mary Elizabeth recalled:

"The mob brought out some large sheets of paper, and said, 'Here are the Mormon Commandments.'  My sister Caroline and myself were in a corner of a fence watching them; when they spoke of the commandments, I was determined to have some of them.  Sister said if I went to get any of them she would too, but said, 'they will kill us."

(Stay tuned tomorrow for more of this story.)