Donaldson – Williams Wedding

David and Gwenlliam Williams are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Mary Elizabeth to William Scott Donaldson, son of Joseph and Sarah Donaldson.  They were married in her parent’s home in Slaterville, Utah on 2 Oct 1890.

William is currently employed with Union Pacific Railroad as a conductor in Ogden.

The couple will make their home in Ogden.

The farther you get back on some of these family lines, the less we know about the individuals and their lives.  This really is unfortunate.  If they had kept journals, or recorded some of their thoughts and at least given us some history, how much the richer we would be.  Look at how much a few sentences written on the back of this old photograph tell us that we would not otherwise know!

The back of this photograph has the following written on it.  “[illegible] master (??) held this photo for about 46 or 48 years then gave it back to me for a keep sake.  when she left for California to make her home.  she was 70.  taken in 1891 we lived in Evanston Wyo.  Donaldson was Union Pacific Conductor.  Mary Elizabeth Williams Donaldson.  Born apr 7th 1869 on Wall ave. between 24th and 25th street.  Just South of the Brigham Hotel in the old home.  Daddy sold the old home to Barnard White.  William Scott Donaldson Born June 18 1865 Cape Vincent Jefferson county New York.”

I assume the writing is by Mary herself since there is a reference of the photo being given back (William died in 1913).  But then why would she refer to her husband as “Donaldson” in reference to his work?  The details given of the birth and its location with the references of “Daddy” selling the home makes me think it is safe to assume this is written by Mary herself and the language is probably a norm of the time.

The reference to the Brigham Hotel (called the New Brigham Hotel on the National Registry) is interesting because that building is still there at 2402-2410 Wall Ave.  No homes still exist in that block.  We knew she was born in Ogden, but from that little note, we now know which block of Ogden.  I have written about her parents at this link: Williams-Jordan Wedding.

The writer on the photograph indicates that the Donaldson family lived in Evanston, Wyoming in 1891.  William George was born 23 Aug 1891 and David Delos 26 Mar 1894, both in Evanston.  (Read more about David’s family at this link: David Donaldson Family)  Mary may very well have been pregnant in the photo.  The photo was taken in Ogden or Park City as the bottom of the photo tells us that is where Adams Bros (and ride an elevator!) was located.  The family then moved to Park City, Utah where Joseph Ellis was born 28 Aug 1896 and Irvine Todd on 11 Jun 1898.

On 11 Jun 1900, the family lived at 2270 Moffatt’s Lane in Ogden.  Moffatt’s Lane is no longer the name of the street, it was renamed between 1910 and 1920 as Ogden Avenue.  William is still a conductor for the railroad.  On 20 Apr 1910, the family lives at the same address and William indicates to the census taker he is now a plumber and owns a shop.  William and David are both listed as apprentices, and I assume both are for their father. Somewhere in all this, he also had a confectionery store, of which we have one picture but no other information.

William Scott died 12 Sep 1913 of bladder cancer at Dee Hospital and was buried in the Ogden City Cemetery on the 14th.  He was barely over 48 years old.  The death certificate indicates William was the owner of a plumbing business.

William Scott was born 18 Jun 1865 in Joyceville, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada.  His mother was born in Cape Vincent, Jefferson, New York.  You can read more of his parents and siblings at this link: Donaldson-Todd Wedding.  As far as we can tell, all the children were born in Joyceville.  He did mention on both the 1900 and 1910 Censuses though that he was born in New York.  Maybe this was to claim his privileges as an a U.S. citizen.  Who knows.  He is not found on the 1880 Census presumably because he is in Canada.  Several of his siblings also finally show on the 1900 Census in New York and Ohio, but his father and mother lived their entire lives near Joyceville or Pittsburgh, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada.  His venture west most likely came with his employment by the railroads.  He did not join the LDS church until 1911.  His son John Edmund joined in 1910, Joseph Ellis the same day as his father, and William George and Samuel Alvin within the next 4 years.  The others did not join (although David Delos obituary says he did).

Back l-r: Todd, George, Mary, William. Front: Dave, Alvin, Ellis, Ed Donaldson.

Mary probably grew up near where she said she was born.  She was the oldest child (that lived) of 10 children.  The census taker in 1880 described the home as on the railroad grounds in Ogden.  The block where she said she was born is very near the Union Station and may have qualified as the railroad grounds.  The original station which was built in 1869.  No street or anything else, just on the railroad grounds.  The 1870 census does not give any indication where the family lived other than in Ogden.  The last two children were born in Slaterville (1881 and 1885).  The marriage record indicates in 1890 that Mary was a resident of “Slateville”.  The 1900 census records do not tell us where in Slaterville.  Mary’s mother, Gwenlliam Jordan Williams died there in 1900.  When David died in 1911, he was back in Ogden living at 3256 Wall Ave (this home is gone).

Mary remarried 11 Jul 1918 to Anthon Edward Peterson.  The family still lived at 2270 Ogden Ave in the 1920 census.  The four youngest still living at home.  By the time the 1930 census arrived, Anthon and Mary were living at 541 Washington Ave, which house I believe is still standing.  Anthon and Mary would remain together until he passed away in 1942.

All accounts of Mary is that she was stern and cold.  Her grandson, David William Donaldson (Dave), indicated that she was snooty, high-minded, and a brat.  Apparently she was very condescending and negative in every interaction.  After Anthon Peterson passed away, she sought to move in with her son, David Delos Donaldson and family.  The offer was apparently there to take her in for whatever years she had remaining.  However, Dave was not having any of that and indicated that if she moved in, he moved out.  This was between 1945 and 1948.  She ended up not moving in because of Dave.

Back l-r: David, Ellis, Edmund. F: George, Todd, Alvin Donaldson

Mary remarried 20 Nov 1945 to Thomas William Stoker (a cousin of mine on a different line).  They remained together until she passed away of old age 29 Mar 1951 in Ogden, just shy of 82.  At the time, Thomas and her were living in Huntsville.

4 Generations: Jan (boy), Dora, Mary Donaldson, David Donaldson

Williams-Jordan Wedding

Perhaps there is something intimidating about writing your own thoughts. Sometimes those creative juices flow, but usually I sit down thinking I need to write something and nothing is really there. I find life fascinating so I know it is not because nothing is happening around me or in my own life. I write in my journal every night, for the most part, and do not feel like rehashing the same stories. My journals will be available to my family and others probably for a long time to come. However, I do have hundreds of photographs that I think I have learned some stories on which probably are not recorded.

Therefore, as a hope of continuing family history by preserving the stories with some of these photos, I start my new goal. To start posting pictures with my thoughts, perspective, musing, and whatever else I might feel to include.  So, here we go.  A sort of a picture is worth a thousand words expose.  I think part of me hopes I might find further clarification and other answers for the unknown bits of the stories I might present.  Please feel free to share.

Here is a portrait of David D Williams and Gwenllian Jordan.  I do not know what the D stands for.  Still hoping I will find that out at some point.

David was born 12 November 1832 in Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, Wales to John Williams and Frances Henneys.  His father was a Collier (coal miner).  On the 1841 Census, John is then listed as a farmer in Pembrey.  David joined the LDS church 12 July 1849.  His father joined in 1851, and siblings John in 1837, Joseph in 1853, and Richard in 1855.  John Haines moved to Pennsylvania in 1855.

In 1864, David immigrated through Liverpool and New York to America. He met Gwenllian Jordan in Liverpool, probably with the other Saints waiting to immigrate to the Zion.  They embarked on the “General McClellan”  on 21 May 1864 with a shipload of Mormon converts.  The two married on the ship 22 May 1864.  David and Gwenllian married while the ship was still in the Bramley-Moore dock of Liverpool Harbour.  Gwenllian’s sister, Mary Jordan, was also on the boat and married William Evans the same day on the River Mersey as they left Liverpool.  Thomas Jeremy, the presiding Elder on the ship married both couples.  These four disembarked together at Castle Gardens, New York (both Gwenllian and Mary using the Jordan name) on 23 June 1864.  I do not know if any other siblings of either David or Gwenllian were on the ship.  None of the others on the ship appear related.

The company of Saints from the ship were met by Joseph and Brigham Young Jr, sons of Brigham Young.  They then took the “”St. John” to Albany.  From there they took a train to Rochester, St. Joseph, and then Chicago where Parley P Pratt Jr met them.  From Chicago they took the “West Wind” to Wyoming, Nebraska Territory.  There a wagon train awaited and provided transportation to Utah.  The train arrived on 4 October 1864 (depending on which wagon train they traveled).

Gwenlliam was born 2 August 1842 in Merthyr-Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales to Margret Watkins and David Jordan.  She joined the LDS church on New Years Day (in probably cold baptismal waters) in 1851.  Her parents joined a few years before and I don’t know if any of her other siblings besides Mary joined the LDS church.  I believe Thomas did.  Her parents immigrated to Utah in 1872.

I am guessing the photograph of David and Gwenllian was taken while they were in the 40’s.  That is, of course, assuming the photograph is really of them.  This is a photograph in my Great Great Grandmother’s, Mary Elizabeth Williams, possessions.  She was the third child of David and Gwenllian so I have little reason to suspect the authenticity of the people in the photograph.  The photo was probably taken in Ogden since they settled and remained there the  rest of their lives.

David and Gwenllian had 10 children, 5 who lived to adulthood. I list the children below.  David worked as a farmer.  He passed away while sitting in his chair 27 November 1911 in Ogden.  Nobody was around when he passed but it seems to have been peaceful.  He had suffered from some heart problems and senility that came with his age.  Gwenllian apparently died in Slaterville from what her death certificate indicates as paralysis of the brain.

The 1870, 1880, and 1910 Censuses have David and Gwenllian in Ogden.  The 1900 has the family in Slaterville which is where Gwenllian passed away.

I really do not know anything more about the lives of David and Gwenllian.  If you have anything more, please share.

The five who died as children are as follows:

David Moiah Williams – 15 August 1866 – 15 January 1867 both in Ogden.

Margaret Ann Williams – 22 June 1867 – 4 March 1868 both in Ogden.

Sarah Jane Williams – 4 June 1874 – 4 January 1880 both in Ogden.

Katherine Williams – 15 June 1876 – 22 July 1877 both in Ogden.

Rosa Bell Williams – 15 June 1878 – 15 September 1879 both in Ogden.

The children who lived to adulthood are as follows:

Mary Elizabeth Williams – 7 April 1869 – 29 Mar 1951 both in Ogden.  Married William Scott Donaldson (Link to their marriage post here: Donaldson-Williams Wedding).  Five years after his death, she married Anthon Edward Peterson.  Three years after his death, she married Thomas William Stoker. This is my Great Great Grandmother.

John Haines Williams – 14 May 1871 – 29 October 1954 both in Ogden.  Married Bernice Cowan.  He married a Charlotte and Pamela, but I do not know if the information I have is correct so I will not include it.

Joseph Williams – 10 March 1880 in Slaterville – 25 October 1960 in Ogden.  He married Charlotte Dinsdale.

Louisa May Williams – 16 October 1881 in Slaterville – 1 February 1960 in Ogden.  She married Louis Jackson.  Twenty-five years after his death, she married Thomas Wilson Laymon.

Thomas Hyrum Williams – 1 July 1885 in Slaterville – 21 May 1967 in Ogden.  He married Ethel Peterson.  Five years after her death, he married Erma Amanda Carlisle.

Aeroplane squalls

I thought I would take an opportunity to voice a complaint.  I know it isn’t normally in my nature to complain, usually I try to give the benefit of the doubt or to press forward with the ‘can do’ attitude.  But since nobody else seems too concerned about it, I will air my concerns out where a few may agree.
What ever happened to service?  What happened to the customer, the consumer holding a special place for businesses?  It seems somewhere the status quo, business as usual, and possibly profits have taken over.
Two weeks ago I took a pickup in to have it serviced.  They told me it would be ready on Wednesday.  I returned on Wednesday to have them tell me that more work had to be done and I needed to authorize the work.  What happened to calling me to ask to authorize?  What happened to calling me to let me know the pickup would not be done?  I let it slide and authorized them to do the work.  They then told me it would be done on Friday.  I made it clear to them the truck had to be done first thing on Monday morning because I was supposed to drive it to Pasco, Washington for work.  Not only did I need to drive the truck, it would be left there so taking another vehicle was not an option.  Well, Friday arrived and I called in to make sure it was done, and I was assured the job was completed.  I drove in on Friday to pick it up and it wasn’t even out of the back of the shop yet, let alone completed!  Once again, I let my irritation slide, the changing of my plans, and the trip in to pick up the truck.  Remembering, this requires another person’s help to get a ride in to pick up the truck.  Monday rolls around and the truck is still not completed!  Nobody once again notified me, nobody told me anything.  Finally, Wednesday I pick up the truck, pay the bill, and head home.  My boss moved my trip to Pasco for the Monday after.
I then left my personal vehicle for a service.  The story goes on from there.  When I left my personal vehicle I made it very clear I would be in Pasco, Washington for the week and I would need to be notified if they had any problems or questions.  They said there would be no problem for my coming back the following week.  Well, today, I arrived to find my truck had been looked at but nothing had been done!  I was about ready to start swearing at the man!  He told me I had to authorize the work before it could be done because some gasket needed replaced.  I showed him right on the paper where it said I would be out of town and that I would need to be called.  I asked why I was not called.  He said he did not know.  I told him I had been dropped off and was taking my pickup with me.  I was not a pleased customer!  I drove out of the parking lot vowing I would never again do business of any type with Goode Motor in Burley or Rupert, Idaho.  They have forever lost my business.
In conversation afterward I found out my Dad has had the same problem.  He even notified the manager, Garth Williams of the issue.  I guess he took in his truck to be serviced and they started asking him a bunch of stupid questions.  The guy got huffy with him when Dad told him to go out and get the information from the truck.  After two episodes of this, Dad said he would never do business again with Goode Motor.  So all those who read, here are two customers who are highly unhappy with the business, especially with their service department.  They even gave Dad a coupon for service when he bought the truck and they would not honor the certificate later.  How is that for forging loyal customers.
That episode pretty much tainted the rest of my day for me.  Tonight I sat in the airport for my flight from Salt Lake City to Portland, Oregon.  Our flight was supposed to take off at 7:05 PM.  No, the flight was delayed.  Two hours later I finally board the plane.  Just to press the button on their customer service I went to the Southwest Airlines Ticket Counter and complained.  I told them there should be some reimbursement for my ordeal and they were putting me late.  I lied and said I was going to miss my business engagement.  They offered me their sympathies and basically wished me well.  I told them there was not point of going now and wanted a refund.  This request was denied with a document giving me a phone number to call my complaint.  You would think that customer service would be able to take care of a problem in the airport without my having to make a phone call to listen to some fake woman directing me.  What happened to honoring your word?  What happened to pleasing the customer?
Lastly, I completed McCullough’s 1776 this evening in my hours wait to board my delayed flight.  The discontent I noticed of poor service in the Ford dealership and in Southwest Airlines only turned into more rancor as I thought of what it was we fought for in the Revolutionary War.  We separated ourselves from Britain and fought a war for abuses less than what we currently face with our present government.  What is even more frustrating is the fact that we as Americans let business and government so dictate our lives.  Hey look, they are even going to give me $1,500 of my own money back and then want me to go spend it!  Well, geez, thanks for giving my own money back and then tell me what to do with it!

Jonas Family Photos

Jonas Family Photos

It has come time for the information regarding the Jonas Album.  There are a couple of generations in there, but like the Andra line, I will not include much information on the living individuals.  Only those familiar with the line will find those photos interesting or of much value.  However, you may be able to figure some of them out by their names.

Some of this information has been given in previous posts.  Particularly in relation to the Coley album and the Lost Trunk.  I do have quite a bit more information in relation to some of these families.  I have told some of the stories previously as well.  I will have to post more later.

Joseph Jonas
10 Jan 1859 – Frenchtown, Monroe, Michigan
23 Jun 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah

Married
Nov 1883 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Annetta Josephine Nelson
18 Nov 1864 – Logan, Cache, Utah
23 Dec 1907 – Provo, Utah, Utah

Children
Margaret Jonas
17 Jun 1884 – Logan, Cache, Utah
17 Sep 1904 – Thorpe, Kittitas, Washington
Mary Nelson Jonas
17 Jul 1885 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
21 Sep 1899 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
Rosa Nelson Jonas
5 Sep 1886 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
20 Feb 1951 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho
John Nelson Jonas
14 Aug 1888 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
19 Dec 1918 – Richmond, Cache, Utah (Influenza)
William Nelson Jonas
2 Dec 1889 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
14 Apr 1972 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
Joseph Nelson Jonas
19 Nov 1893 – 19 Nov 1893 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
6 Sep 1932 – Ogden, Weber, Utah (electrocuted)
Annetta Josephine Jonas
12 Aug 1896 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
12 Aug 1896 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington

Christian Andersen (married previously to Caroline Mathilde Halverson)
9 Oct 1873 –Christiania, Akershus, Norway
9 Aug 1957 – Ogden, Weber, Utah

Married
29 Jun 1904 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Rosa Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Children
Rosetta Mabel Andersen (married Vordis Rio Cazier)
23 Oct 1905 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
9 Jun 1981 – Townsend, Broadwater, Montana
Christian Cyrus Andersen (married Florence Zelnora Child)
21 Dec 1907 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
7 Jul 1980 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Annetta Cleone Andersen (married Christian S Miller)
24 Nov 1909 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
19 Jun 1981 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Merlin Andersen (married Ruby Harris)
20 Sep 1913 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
30 Dec 1998 – Westpoint, Davis, Utah
Verla Jonas Andersen (married Howard Wayment Lythgoe)
16 Mar 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
22 Jun 1999 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Arvie Jonas Andersen (married Dorothy Dean Hobbs)
30 May 1921 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
22 May 1990 – Ogden, Weber, Utah

John Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
5 Jun 1912 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Nellie Armina Jonas
26 Jul 1889 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
11 Dec 1953 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Children
Calvin Anderson Jonas (married Viola Florance Chapman)
6 Aug 1913 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
17 Jun 1991 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
Melvin Anderson Jonas (married Doris Everts)
31 Mar 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
16 Jul 1944 – San Marcos, Hays, Texas (drowned, married Doris Everts)
Armina Anderson Jonas (married Don Farnes)
5 Mar 1919 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
30 Mar 2011 – St George, Washington, Utah

William Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
6 Jan 1921 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Karen Marie Thompson
31 Oct 1892 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
13 Jun 1980 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah

Children
Delwyn Thompson Jonas (married Myrna Mae Bowman)
4 Jan 1922 – Logan, Cache, Utah
10 Dec 2003 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
Maynard Thompson Jonas (married Lois Rae Lemmon)
9 Apr 1923 – Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho
31 Jan 1997 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Gaylen Thompson Jonas
14 Mar 1925 – Logan, Cache, Utah
19 Sep 1944 – Peleliu, Palau Islands
Vaughn Thompson Jonas (married Dorothy Wiley)
7 Sep 1926 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
8 Aug 1991 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Carvel Thompson Jonas (married Beverly Clayton and Barbara Williams)
17 Sep 1934 – Sandy, Salt Lake, Utah
Still living
William Thompson Jonas
22 Oct 1937 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
23 Oct 1937 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah

Joseph Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
6 Sep 1916 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Lillian Coley
26 Aug 1898 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
11 Feb 1987 – Layton, Davis, Utah

Children
Joseph Herbert Jonas (married Hilma Grace Erickson)
14 Aug 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
23 Jun 1993 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Spencer Gilbert Jonas (married Viola Amelia Cole)
10 Dec 1920 – Burley, Cassia, Idaho
26 Aug 1996 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Irwin John Jonas (married Mary Elizabeth Popwitz)
2 Sep 1921 – Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho
11 Jul 1944 – Lowe, France
Wilburn Norwood Jonas (married Colleen Mary Andra)
15 May 1924 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
14 Mar 1975 – Burley, Cassia, Idaho
Ellis Seth Jonas (married Geraldine Pitcher)
6 Sep 1926 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
12 Aug 2012 – Smithfield, Cache, Utah
Evan Reed Jonas (married Lona Rae Jensen)
4 Sep 1928 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
4 Feb 1999 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Lillian Annetta Jonas (married Ray Laurence Talbot)
15 Jul 1930 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
20 Feb 2009 – Layton, Davis, Utah
LeReta Mary Jonas (married Lowell Hansen Andersen)
1 Aug 1932 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Still living

Universal Health Care

In the recent light of the Presidential politics starting a wave of conversation on Universal Health Care, I thought I would take an opportunity to share what an unwise idea that would be.  Other than my own experiences within the nightmare of a system I found in Britain, I refer to a talk by Neal A Maxwell given to the Rotary in 1978.  It pretty well sums up the issue.

Neal A. Maxwell, “The Prohibitive Costs of a Value-free Society,” Ensign, Oct 1978,  52–55

An address given to Salt Lake City Rotarians, 7 February 1978

One of Rotary’s criteria reads, “Is it the truth?” Note that this very question assumes the existence of a standard by which truth can be tested. Another Rotary standard “Is it fair?” assumes a standard of justice by which certain things can be measured. Not a standard, of course, like metric measurement or yards and feet, but a spiritual standard that is constant even though it may often be applied imperfectly by imperfect people.

Such values involve more than rhetoric. When men and women protest an injustice, they often fail to see either the assumptions or the implications in their protest. C. S. Lewis once wrote to a protesting near-believer as follows:

“You say the materialist universe is ‘ugly.’ I wonder how you discovered that! If you are really a product of a materialistic universe, how is it you don’t feel at home there? Do fish complain of the sea for being wet?” (From Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy, Harper and Row, 1977, p. 93.)

The Rotary motto of “Service above Self” assumes the presence of certain instinctive values attesting that man is more than an animal. It would be ludicrous to have such a standard if it were, in fact, out of our reach. Indeed, our very reaching and stretching tell us much about who we are. Also in your literature is a statement stating how, at one point in the early history of Rotary, it became clear that “camaraderie alone could not sustain the organization; soon service to the community became” your binding strength. You had rediscovered an old truth about human nature: It was said by the Scottish minister, George MacDonald, that love of one’s neighbor is “the only door out of the dungeon of self.” (George MacDonald Anthology, by C. S. Lewis, pub. by Geoffrey Bles, 1970, p. 39.)

I come to you today as one who accepts with most, if not all, of you the existence of certain absolute truths in the universe from which there has been a severe slipping away on the part of many. The slippage has occurred, I fear, without awareness on the part of many as to what happens when we move to a spiritually standardless society. Beliefs or the lack of them do affect behavior.

Lest any here be anxious about whether I will take a theological turn in my remarks today, let me simply say that many of the standards and values in the great religions of the world are held far more in common than some realize. Besides, we cannot fail to notice that we are at one of those hingepoints of history when, as Hermann Hesse said, “a whole generation is caught … between two ages, between two modes of life, and thus loses the feeling for itself, for the self-evident, for all morals, for being safe and innocent.” (Duncan Williams, Trousered Apes, Arlington House, 1971, p. 59.)

For today’s purposes, what I mean by “self-evident morals” and “basic values” are fundamental truths such as the Ten Commandments, which are so much a part of our Judeo-Christian heritage. These values resist rationalization and redefinition, and any amendments to the Ten Commandments would come from the same Source as did those original commandments. We are, of course, free to obey or not to obey those commandments. We are not free to try to amend them to read, for instance, “Thou shalt not commit adultery except between consenting adults.” We may, by legislation and regulation, vainly try to create a zone of private morality. But there is, ultimately, no such thing as private morality; there is not an indoor and an outdoor set of Ten Commandments. Neither is it useful to cite human shortfalls as an excuse to abandon all absolutes, because striving and falling short of accepted standards is very different from having no standards at all.

There is an ecology that pertains to human nature just as there is an interrelatedness pertaining to nature. This spiritual ecology embodies certain laws which, if violated, will produce certain consequences. These laws, though less acknowledged, are as irrevocable and active as the laws of nature. They do not cease to operate simply because we do not recognize them, any more than one is protected from the consequences of eating a poisonous toadstool just because he believes it to be a mushroom.

We had better want the consequences of what we believe or disbelieve, because the consequences will come!

The high costs, indeed the prohibitive costs, of living in a standardless society are also incurred in so many secondary ways. For instance, a society which is uncertain of its basic values will engage in endless and expensive experimentation of both a governmental and a personal variety. The Frenchman, La Rochefoucauld, could have been describing so many of our modern experiments when he said, “There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts.”

Few such recent experiments in America have been more costly and counterproductive than some in our schools. Pupil test scores are declining, and the costs of education are increasing. The move to relevancy has produced a curriculum, some of which is irrelevant to such basic skills as reading and writing. Pass-fail courses and the inflating of grades are milder symptoms. Taxpayers are often paying at least twice to teach some pupils how to read, and in many cases, it is still not happening! Our schools and colleges must respond to genuine needs for changes, but there are times when to be fashionable is to fail one’s foremost constituents.

These things are not said simply to scold the schools, as if the failures were located there and there alone. Nonfunctioning families bear much of the blame. The fact is that basic values are interactive and so are the basic institutions which have rested upon these bedrock values. Alter the basic beliefs and you alter the chemistry of society.

In education or elsewhere it is difficult to say which came first—the reluctance to measure or the reluctance to be measured. But in the end the results are the same. In this connection, some have been too slow to see the implications in the conclusion which is reached by many, “If there is no divine reward or punishment related to my personal performance, why should there be any mortal concern with merit?” The assumptions underlying such a conclusion are in gross error, but the logic is relentless!

Functional illiteracy in America is high in certain age groups. This is in addition to a more massive economic illiteracy about how our system works, which is an even more ominous failure. Even though our governments are bigger and more powerful than ever, many in the rising generation know less and less about how we are governed.

Value-free experimentation is extremely costly—both in terms of money and of souls, and it creates what has been called the worst slum of all—the slum of the human spirit, for many students and citizens are starved for earned self-esteem. A standardless society will also find itself deaf to the costly lessons of history. Winston Churchill chose as a stern warning motto for his concluding volume of the history of World War II these words: “How the Great Democracies Triumphed, and so Were able to Resume the Follies Which Had so Nearly Cost Them Their Life.” (Triumph and Tragedy, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1953.) A value-free society focuses upon things like “me” and “now”—it has little sense of history out of which to fashion the future. If nothing lies ahead of men, how vital is memory? A healthy regard for the past is usually accompanied by a healthy regard for the future; and a lack of one usually means the lack of the other.

But how can a society set priorities if there are no basic standards? Are we to make our calculations using only the arithmetic of appetite?

A society not based upon key values like loving our neighbor will inevitably subsidize selfishness and will place a premium upon an apostate form of individualism at the expense of community. Bear in mind, for instance, that if we do not see ourselves as more than temporary, biological brothers, our behavior changes. When we repudiate our traditional relationships with God and man, it is so much easier to repudiate not only debt but to repudiate relatives. If one really has no relatives, to whom do such people belong? Why, to that collective catch-all, society, of course! But as we generalize responsibility for relatives we particularize loneliness and misery.

Yet if self-interest is the final determinant, why should we be inconvenienced by the needs of others?

We have been used to speaking of our political system (as envisioned by the founding fathers) as one in which opinions collide constitutionally, wherein vested interests cancel each other out, or tame each other before a safe majority is formed, or, at least, in which vested interests are brought out into the light by the democratic process. Indeed, this system has served us well. Winners and losers have played out the drama almost always within constitutional constraints, as turns have been taken at the levers of power by different majorities. What was not allowed for fully, however, nor could it be, is what happened when government, instead of remaining a referee, first became a participant and then became a possibly permanent majority itself.

It remains to be seen whether or not our nation can tame big government. There is, frankly, no precedent for dismantling, even partially, a welfare state, especially in a peaceful and constitutional way. Such a Goliath will not go quietly to surgery.

One analyst of political things has observed that in addition to the happy consequences of democracy, the system tends to produce two unwanted side effects—bureaucracy and apathy. These are not inevitable side effects, but they are probable side effects. We are experiencing these symptoms in America. Yet, alas, Thomas Jefferson said our republic’s future rested on the assumption that our citizens would remain attentive and informed.

The shift in values has produced another shift in political point of view. George F. Will, the perceptive Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, noted just one example in the difference between the old liberalism and a new liberalism:

“The old liberalism delivered material advantages that were intended to enable people to live the lives they had chosen. The new liberalism, typified by forced busing and affirmative action and the explosive growth of regulation, administers ‘remedies’ to what society’s supervisors consider defects in the way people live.” (Newsweek, 23 Jan. 1978, p. 88; italics added.)

Decrease the belief in God, and you increase the numbers of those who wish to play at being God by being “society’s supervisors.” Such “supervisors” deny the existence of divine standards, but are very serious about imposing their own standards on society.

It is no accident that the lessening, or loss, of belief in certain absolute truths, such as the existence of God and the reality of immortality, has occurred at the same time there has been a sharp gain in the size and power of governments in many portions of the world.

Once we remove belief in God from the center of our lives, as the Source of truth and as a Determiner of justice, a tremendous vacuum is created into which selfishness surges, a condition which governments delight in managing. Trends become a theology. A religion of regulations emerges in which tens of thousands of regulations seek to replace the Ten Commandments.

And with this secular religion comes a frightening insistence on orthodoxy, enforced by the withdrawal and bestowal of benefits. Such governments inevitably tend to enlarge taxes and to stunt their citizens. John Stuart Mill observed:

“A State which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes—will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished; and that the perfection of machinery to which it has sacrificed everything will in the end avail it nothing, for want of the vital power which, in order that the machine might work more smoothly, it has preferred to banish. (“On Liberty,” Great Books of the Western World, v. 43, p. 323.)

This dwarfing of the individual is one of the prohibitive costs of a value-free society! The state will never wither away in a spiritually standardless society. It will simply swell and become more strong, more ominous, and more serious. Maxwell Anderson had a line in one of his plays in which a discouraged character asks plaintively why governments can’t be “small and funny” any more.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a martyr in 1945 to a big and serious state, grown impatient with Bonhoeffer’s allegiance to God instead of to the Fuhrer. Of Bonhoeffer’s beliefs, G. Leibholz wrote: “If Christian teaching does not guide us in the use of freedom and God is denied, all obligations and responsibilities that are sacred and binding on man are undermined.” (The Cost of Discipleship.)

The costs of dictatorships are devastating. Even the garden variety versions of totalitarianism are expensive. When “God is denied” all sacred obligations and responsibilities “are undermined.”

Can we really afford a society in which we do not believe in the principle of work? Inflation has several causes, but any lasting cure must include increased productivity. Besides, work is a spiritual necessity, even if it is not an economic necessity, which it is.

Can we really afford a society in which the family, our most basic institution, is further diminished? Most of us revolt at the idea of having children raised by the state, but step by small step we are moving in that direction. If our society’s success depends on having a critical mass of citizens with a sense of fair play and justice, and with love and concern for others, where do citizens usually acquire those crucial virtues, if we acquire them at all? We usually acquire them first and best in the family. The family garden, as has been said, is still the best place to grow happy humans. Society already pays terrible costs for the products of tragically flawed families, but if our nation further undermines the average family, the costs will be catastrophic.

What we do with the family is going to determine what happens to our whole society. The wise Catholic writer, G. K. Chesterton, observed years ago that only men to whom the family is sacred will ever have a standard by which to criticize the State, because “they alone can appeal to something more holy than the gods of the city.” (Everlasting Man, Image Books, 1955, p. 143.)

The basic strands which have bound us together socially have begun to fray, and some of them have snapped. Even more pressure is then placed upon the remaining strands. The fact that the giving way is gradual will not prevent it from becoming total. For instance, schools which fail put even more pressure upon the institution of the family, and vice versa. A lowering of standards or discipline in the one means great difficulty in the maintenance of standards and discipline in the other.

Given the tremendous asset that the family is, we must do all we can within constitutional constraints to protect it from predatory things like homosexuality and pornography. Of pornography Ronald Butt wrote in the London Times:

“The history of the Roman arena instructs in how the appetite of a people can be created by what is fed to it—the upper classes of Rome were systematically addicted by their ruler to the frenzy and titillation of sadistic violence by a steady progression from less to more until the Roman character itself was conditioned to a coarse insensibility to suffering.” (Feb. 1976.)

We need to reflect on how many of our sad trends represent a “steady progression from less to more.”

If the family is not basic, however, and is not something of immense value, why worry about wrecking it?

Our whole republic rests upon the notion of “obedience to the unenforceable,” upon a tremendous emphasis on inner controls through self-discipline. The historians Will and Ariel Durant observed that “if liberty destroys order, the hunger for order will destroy liberty.” But keeping liberty and order in tension balance requires tremendous self-discipline in the citizenry of a nation.

Can we really afford the ultimate costs of governments which, in lieu of self-discipline, impose more and more outer controls?

But if liberty is not basic, why worry over such trends?

If we are immortal, however, we are immensely more important than a government which may only last a moment in the expanse of eternity.

But if there were no God and we were merely transients, then what would be wrong with governments pushing us around? Indeed, what would be really wrong about anything at all?

Our value crisis gathered some of its momentum because at first it produced an artificial sense of new freedom. Morris West warned:

“Without the Faith, one is free, and that is a pleasant feeling at first. There are no questions of conscience, no constraints. … It is only later that the terror comes. One is free—but free in chaos, in an unexplained and unexplainable world. One is free in a desert, from which there is no retreat but inward, toward the hollow core of oneself.” (The Devil’s Advocate, New York: William Morrow Co., 1959.)

Secularism also produced an artificial sense of security. A good example of this is what has happened to our Social Security system in America. Principles gave way to political promises, and the secular theology with its “cast your care upon Social Security” has now exposed its hollowness—like the billboard outside Chicago ten years ago that read, “Borrow enough from us to get completely out of debt.” Sad as it is to say it, the hard choices ahead for the nation regarding our Social Security system could pit the young against the old and the middle class against the poor. The system is scarcely “social” in such a setting; likewise, the financial unsoundness of the system scarcely deserves the word Security. What we have is thus neither social nor security. Ahead of us are additional days of reckoning besides the one noted many times in the Bible.

But those who do not believe in ultimate personal accountability are not as likely to be concerned with the forms of proximate accountability for each of us. Those who lack self-restraint will see little need, for example, for governments to discipline public spending.

We must not dismiss too quickly the importance of believing in the reality of immortality. A friend, Dick Hazelett, wrote perceptively about what happens when life is “continually dampened by the thought of its own continuous annihilation. Then only fleeting pleasures remain, unconnected in time. … When pleasures become disconnected, the intense ones stand out … like branches stripped of leaves. … Raw experience as such becomes the goal. Work becomes drudgery, nature becomes boring, … children are nuisances (which they then become), sympathy and affection are perceived as ‘sticky,’ … chastity is no longer worth the sacrifice, and freedom isn’t worth a fight.”

Different beliefs do make for different behaviors; what we think does affect our actions; concepts do have consequences. As Christopher Booker said:

“When men cease to aspire to the ideal, the good, to self-restraint—whether in their hearts or in their lives—they do not just stand still, but actually turn the other way, finding self-fulfillment in self-indulgence, and in … those three ultimate expressions of the totally self-centered life: sex, violence, and insanity.” (Trousered Apes, pp. 14–15.)

We must bear in mind that while there are obvious differences as to what all the basic truths and values are, having such tactical differences is very unlike the sad conclusion that there are no such basic truths at all. When these basic divine truths do not play a significant role in our lives, it creates much ambivalence over issues such as the relationship of personal property and political majorities. Few things are more frightening to see than envy when it is politicized.

If we are not committed to certain truths, ambiguity will replace absolutes, tentativeness will replace truth, regulations measured by the pound instead of by principles will replace liberty, a tenured bureacracy will replace democracy, and hesitancy will replace heroism.

Once society loses its capacity to declare that some things are wrong per se, then it finds itself forever building temporary defenses, revising rationales, drawing new lines—but forever falling back and losing its nerve. A society which permits anything will eventually lose everything!

Take away a consciousness of eternity and see how differently time is spent.

Take away an acknowledgment of divine design in the structure of life and then watch the mindless scurrying to redesign human systems to make life pain-free and pleasure-filled.

Take away regard for the divinity in one’s neighbor, and watch the drop in our regard for his property.

Take away basic moral standards and observe how quickly tolerance changes into permissiveness.

Take away the sacred sense of belonging to a family or community, and observe how quickly citizens cease to care for big cities.

Those of us who are business-oriented are quick to look for the bottom line in our endeavors. In the case of a value-free society, the bottom line is clear—the costs are prohibitive!

A value-free society eventually imprisons its inhabitants. It also ends up doing indirectly what most of its inhabitants would never have agreed to do directly—at least initially.

Can we turn such trends around? There is still a wealth of wisdom in the people of this good land, even though such wisdom is often mute and in search of leadership. People can often feel in their bones the wrongness of things, long before pollsters pick up such attitudes or before such attitudes are expressed in the ballot box. But it will take leadership and articulate assertion of basic values in all places and in personal behavior to back up such assertions.

Even then, time and the tides are against us, so that courage will be a key ingredient. It will take the same kind of spunk the Spartans displayed at Thermopylae when they tenaciously held a small mountain pass against overwhelming numbers of Persians. The Persians could not dislodge the Spartans and sent emissaries forward to threaten what would happen if the Spartans did not surrender. The Spartans were told that if they did not give up, the Persians had so many archers in their army that they would darken the skies with their arrows. The Spartans said simply: “So much the better, we will fight in the shade!”

People

“I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm and is attentive to administering to the poor and dividing his substance, than the long smoothed faced hypocrites.”
That quote by Joseph Smith sums up much of what I believe.  I have been always so fortunate to end up with the salt of the earth, or at least being amongst them.

No matter where I go, or what I do, I have been very blessed.

I made a stop at the Oneida County Museum on Saturday.  I ended up chatting and visiting with those ladies for a length of time.  Most of them knew or knew of my relatives from Samaria.  It was a good day.  I sat and had lunch with an 88 year old, Daphne King Thompson.  She was a good lady.  We discussed her lawn, and she informed me about the Welsh Festival that had been revived in Malad.  Did you know Malad (Samaria) has the most Welsh people outside of Wales?  Yep, it is a bona fide fact.  BYU said so!  So I think I might join the Welsh Society.  After all, some of those Williams, Jones, and Evans are my relatives.  Also, seeing where I served in a mission for Northern Wales, and my ancestors really did come from Southern Wales, why not?  I can support a good cause.  So, if you are interested, www.welshfestival.com It is only $10!

Meier and Frank continues to go well.  I am now a full time painter.  Who would have thought.  That Law and Constitutional Studies major has come in mighty handy in telling that paint where to stick and not to.  Things are good at work.  I like having a my own list of things to do and having my own drive to get it done, rather than a taskmaster of any sorts.  Oddly, somehow moving from receiving to maintenance, my opinion actually counts for something.  I don’t know how a position change actually gave me intelligence in the presence of others, or at least an opinion to be expressed.

I stopped to visit my cousin Ralph Naef.  He is a 1st cousin, twice removed.  We share Regina Nuffer for an ancestor.  He came to our reception, which is a great thing, seeing how we had never met.  I promised I would stop to visit him.  We had a great conversation.  But moreover, he gave me a book.  Oh yes, more to add to my family history.  It contains the whole Naef family history, but I am only going to add the descendants of Charles Daniel Naef.  Ralph was telling me, that he has 600 and something direct descendents, and like 900 if you include spouses.  That is simply amazing.  That is from a number of descendants that was compiled over 10 years ago.  So I am sure there is well over a thousand now.

A good friend of mine from work, Bob Corliss, allowed me to look up some records on the internet with his information.  I stumbled upon a registration form for my great grandfather, David Delos Donaldson, and WWI.  He was working in Twin Falls, Idaho.  The best part is, we never knew he went to Idaho, ever.  Not only that, he was working there, and was exempted because he was working to support his younger siblings and mother.  He did later enter, we don’t know when or how, but went to France in the Argonne and was gassed there.  He suffered his whole life and eventually died from the mustard.
With this information, I went to visit my Uncle Dave Donaldson because my Dad did not know anything.  So I picked his brain.  We know little about my Great Grandfather before he married.  Now we know he was working for Ballantyne Plumbing in Twin Falls in roughly April 1917.  He served in WWI with two brothers.  As mentioned, he was hit with mustard, spent some time in hospital, and he wasn’t getting better, so they sent him home.  He married my Great Grandmother in 1919, Berendena Van Leeuwen.  They had 5 children.  During the great depression he worked down south as a plumber.  Dave did not know where, but there was a possibility it was at the Hoover.  When they went on a trip to Los Angeles, he insisted on stopping at Boulder City and the dam on the way home.  Oh, we do know that before they got married, he worked as a plumber in Phoenix.  How long we don’t know, but he could not bear the heat down there.  During the depression when he worked down south, the family stayed in Ogden.  Dave was young enough that he did remember his father coming home, but not where from.  Again during WWII, the whole family moved to Napa, California and Great Grandpa was a plumber at the naval yard there, he made it sound like Oceanside.  I do not know if there were any other naval bases down there.  Then they moved back.  The family must not have stayed down there, or he did not work the entire war, as my Grandpa and Grandma met in 1941-1942 at the Berthana on 24th street Ogden at a dance.  They were married in April 1942, shortly before he left for war.  They were not allowed to be married in the temple because Great Grandpa was not a member of the church.  I am not sure if this was to get him to join or what, but it backfired.  My Dad was born on 4 July 1943.  My father did not see my Grandpa until he was 3 years old when he returned from war.  Anyhow, Great Grandpa was a plumber by trade.  He worked up until the 1950’s when his health failed him.  He picked up smoking because it soothed his lungs.  It sounds like the mustard burned his lungs the rest of his life.  He would smoke to deaden the nerves.  Dave told me this increased until he died.  Even the last few years of his life, he had oxygen when he went places and when he slept.  But he kept smoking.  Dad told me of one of the few memories he had of his Grandpa.  He went to visit him in Ogden, Grant Ave if I remember right, and he was laying in bed.  There were newspapers all over the floor.  He got into a coughing fit and coughed a big thing of phlegm up and it went on the floor.  It was the combination of the irritation to the lungs from mustard, and the smoking.  It was what eventually killed him.  I was told the story that when he had had enough, he had my Great Grandma cook this big dinner, and he ate it, and then passed away afterward.  Apparently his body could not handle certain foods, especially meats.  He just could not take it any more and wanted a full meal.

Dave told me that David Delos Donaldson’s father, William Scott Donaldson was a plumber also.  Supposedly he had a confectionary in downtown Ogden at one time as well.  We have a picture of them standing in the store.  His mother, Mary Elizabeth Williams, was according to Dave a witch with a b.  She was high minded, snooty, and a brat.  Dave said never once that he was in her presence did she ever notice him or give him the time of day.  He said she was very negative and a condescending person.  Nothing went right, everything was wrong, and it was everybody’s fault.  He never liked his grandma, and would rather move out than be in the house when she went to move in.  At one point, Great Grandpa did not allow her to move in because Dave would move out.  She was the daughter of David D Williams, whose brother, John Haines Williams, is the father of those Williams who settled Samaria, Idaho.  All those William’s in the Malad Valley are my relatives, and they are the Welsh I spoke of earlier.

Berendena Van Leeuwen, my Great Grandmother was an amazing lady.  Everybody loved her.  Betty, Dave’s wife, told me that whenever she thinks of the Donaldson home in Ogden, she sees herself pulling in the drive, and the curtains parting and this little curly headed woman with a big smile with a little wave beaming at her.  She was an amazing cook, never using recipes.  She had an infectious laugh and loved everybody and everything.  In 1955 she was in an auto accident that handicapped her the rest of her life.  It was an Oldsmobile 88 that she went to pass a semi and he put her into a telephone pole.  She did some major damage to her hip.  She had a full body cast for a long time.  She had over 14 major operations.  The final one, one for kidney stones, weakened her enough that she died shortly after.  Despite 4 years or so of being handicapped, Dave and Betty told me that she was as chipper and happy as ever.  It did not even seem to phase her.  They took her camping several times, but the one they remember is the one before she passed away.  They would be out fishing and they would put her in a chair on the bank to watch.  She would giggle at the birds and them.  Betty insists that when she smiled the whole world brightened.  Dad remembers Great Grandma coming to visit with her monster bed.  Dave remembers that very well too!  After she went out to live with Grandpa and Grandma two different times for about a month each, he said she could go, but he was moving the bed no more.  Dad remembers her in a full body cast but she was funny.

Dad would tell me about Grandma always having home made bread.  They got in trouble more than once for coming home and taking some when they should not have.  Dad also told in Grandma’s funeral how Grandpa would come home, sneak in, ask if anyone was looking, and lay one on Grandma.  Other times he would come in and they would start dancing in the living room.  During the war, Grandma and Grandpa would kneel at 9 o’clock no matter where they were and pray.  In the spirit of oneness.

Anyhow, that is all I am going to share now.  There was more about David Delos’ siblings.  But I am not so sure on all that, need to do another interview, then I will comment.