Stiffnecked

Today I sent my wife back across the country.  Seems a bit out of odds that I am sending off my wife for another month or so.  It seems more like she should be sending me away.  A mission?  Military?  Work travel?  I could not help but think of Engelbert Humperdink’s, “There Goes My Everything” as we said adios again.  As President Stucki would say, “There is no such thing as a good bye in the gospel.”  I believe it is true.  No matter what happens, we will meet up again.

I find myself even further from her now.  I am now in The Dalles, Oregon.  She is in Richmond, Virginia.  That puts us about 2,800 miles of separation in one day.  Don’t we live in a day of miracles?  I can visit with her without any more cost than my cell phone plan.  I spoke to her in Detroit, Minneapolis, Richmond, and a host of other places in the past month.  I am always impressed when I send out a dozen letters in one day all to different regions on the United States, or even the world, and know they will arrive there.  Most of them within 2 or 3 days.  That is a miracle to me.  As I type this up, on a free internet signal, in a hotel room, my computer connects to the internet and will make it available worldwide within seconds of my pressing the send button.  Every person in the world could read it if they wanted.  That is a miracle.

If you cannot tell, I have thought about miracles today.  I listened to some of Harold B Lee’s stories about miracles.  I thought about the miracles in my own life.  I even wrote of the miracle of the Book of Mormon in a recent blog.  They are all about us.  Somehow though, I get so busy in my life not to recognize them.

This leads me to the scripture I have thought about from the recent reading of the Book of Mormon.  This is another one of those scriptures I memorized that summer but have not been able to retain.

“And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked.  And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.”  (Jarom 1:4)

Far too often, I think I fall on the side of the stiffnecked.  In fact, I know I do.  I am just proud enough to miss so many of the blessings which could be easily obtained.  In some instances, more recognized.

There are plenty of ways in which I still need to repent and rise above the natural man.  Without beating up on myself too much, I do completely recognize that I am just humble and faithful enough to have some personal revelations of my own.  I end up with one or two in each journal, but they are there.  Meaning, I know that the Lord speaks to even me in my weakness.  Even in my weakness, I am abundantly blessed and am just humble enough to see some of those blessings and miracles all about me.

Berkeley and Shirley

In introducing the new photos just uploaded, Amanda and I decided to take a trip a bit off the beaten path and stop at Berkeley and Shirley Plantations.  Both of them hold significance in the history of America.  Just because back then many of the noble families intermarried among each other there are numerous links to various known families.
Berkeley Plantation was also known as Harrison Landing.  It is here at Harrison Landing the ship landed in 1619 having come from England.  According to the dictates of those who sent them, when they reached the shore, they were to drop and give Thanksgiving for having made it safely.  It is also here at Berkeley that Bourbon Whiskey was first made by a Priest.  The other notable first for Berkeley is “Taps” was written there in about 1862.  It is named after Richard Berkeley.  After the Berkeley Hundred was abandoned after an Indian massacre the home was taken over by the Harrison Family in the 1630′s.  It was through this Harrison line that Benjamin Harrison was born, the signer of the Declaration of Independence.  He is buried in the graveyard.  Interesting to note, the first 10 Presidents of the United States were entertained and stayed at Berkeley Plantation.  It just happens the 9th President, William Henry Harrison, was born at Berkeley.  It was in the same room he was born that he wrote his inauguration speech.  The one in which he gave despite the weather to prove he was not too old to be President.  He caught cold and died about 30 days into his Presidency.  The shortest Presidency still, the first President to die in office, and he was for almost 150 years the oldest President to be elected to office.  It was his grandson, Benjamin Harrison, who would become our 23rd President (during whose term Idaho became a state).  During the Civil War McClellan camped 140,000 troops here.  During this time President Lincoln visited and entered the home.  It was in these camps ‘Taps” was written.  Anyhow, Berkeley was very interesting to visit.  It was a cold day so there were few visitors.  The lady selling tickets saw my Zion’s card in paying and asked where were were from.  She taught English for many years at Mountain View and has moved to Virginia, where she was born.  Small world isn’t it?
Shirley Plantation is not far up the road.  It is part of what was the Shirley Hundred.  It claims to be the oldest plantation in America (1622) and the oldest family owned business.  The Shirley’s who were given the Shirley Hundred were on their way to Virginia when Mr. Shirley died in the Azores on the way over.  The rest of the family went home not wanting to venture to the wilderness without him.  The property was sold and the Hill’s acquired.  After a generation or two the Hill’s had no male heirs so it went through the daughter who married a Carter.  It is through this Carter line Anne Carter was born, mother of Robert Edward Lee.  Robert was raised here, but he certainly spent a good deal of time there growing up and receiving some of his schooling in this house.  During the Civil War the Plantation became a place where the Union Troops placed their injured after the Malvern Hill battles.  Those at Shirley Plantation went out to tend and take care of the injured soldiers and earned the respect of General McClellan.  In return for their efforts he assigned soldiers to protect the home from being burned and pillaged as many other homes were during the Civil War.  Today, descendants of the Carter’s (and Hill’s) still live in the home making it the 11th or 12th generation.  That possibly of itself makes it the longest family owned home in America.
There was some definitely instructive and pleasing things learned at Berkeley and Shirley.  They were fascinating really.

Mom’s Fall 07 Letter

The last time I talked to the appt atty I asked if anything would be happening this year and he said no.  I got to write him and see if he will tell me anything.  He says my case is rare and he has only found 1 case law in Colorado.  I do not know if I ever sent you the statement Ron sent me that came off the Times News website or not but I will send it to you again.  “Randy Stoker decided the evidence would be so prejudical that he negotiated a plea from murder in the first, possible death penalty to murder 2/25 to life with the possibility of parole after 25.”  I received this in Jan 2005.  I never knew nothing about this.  Stoker sold me out and the whole world knew about it but me.  No one and I mean no one pleas to the max sentence.  The PA knew about it and it only takes 2 for conspiracy Carlson knew about it cause he sentenced me to exactly what Stoker sold me out for.
Burr-Jones flat out told me there is no evidence against me.  Statistics of survey shows 1 out of every 33 people are innocence.  Franz sent me some info on judges and juries and the errors on convictions is in the 80%’s.  I hope you stay as far away from criminal law as possible.  That means politics too.  Larry Craig found out he caint just withdraw your plea anytime you want when he got caught with his dick in his hand.  Politics is all corrupt.  Do not tell me I do not know what I am talking about.  I am twice your age but I am not as stupid as you think.  I have never had anything to do with politics and I never will.  I am anarchist and do not like the corrupt govt and I have seen a lot of it.  That is why I have never voted and never will.  That is why I am Atheist too cause I am strong enough to take my life in my own hands and not need to rely on an imaginary things like deities or the human species like JS and BY who were cold-blood bastards!  I read a book last week called “The Ferry Woman A novel of the John D Lee and The Mountain Meadow Massacre” by Gerald Grimmett.  Put it on your books to read list and check it out.
What about William’s other son Chad?  You know anything about him?  He had 5 boys right?  There was 2 older and 2 younger than Kent my age.  They were all pretty good looking boys so I imagine they all ended up handsome men.  I have never seen any of them since ’68 when we moved to this shit hole.  I believe Marc wrote me when I was first arrested and was at Cassia.  What did he retire from?  He is younger than me and I aint of age to retire yet.  He have health problem or just spent 20-30 yrs with the same co.  He was incarcerated at the time he wrote me.  How many of them more than 1 wife?  Did not you say Edith was in Stockton and that was how you found Kent?  Just trying to remember back.  I guess you know you favor the Andra side of the family.  So does Doug.  The last picture I seen of Doug it looked like he was losing the top of his hair.  I hope you do not lose yours but then I wondered cause you changed your hair style and started to comb it in the lazy man way of combing it forward.  Your hair was so pretty, then you started putting goop on it, now you comb it forward with no style.  How come?
I heard Crabtree fill in butt fucks place after karma got him.  I understand from people here who know of him that he is a pretty fair and decent guy.  No I do not think he belongs to the LDS cult from what I have been told.
I thought you wanted to go to U of V?  How come all of a sudden you are going to come back to this shit hole?  You caint go to USU any more?  They have the Innocence Project at Moscow?
Now before I get into the rest of your letter I want to ask you a question.  A few months ago I asked if you could send me a little money.  You said no but yet you flew cross country, bought a pickup and now plan on going to Europe.  So I will ask you if $50 is going to set you back that much that you caint spare it?  I have been living off my last check of $19 for the month of June.  My last envelope is going to you now.
Since I was not alive in ’46 I caint know what went on.  I only know Dad worked at Sego Milk.  They did wait to have kids.  They build their house and got settled before kids came along.  Dad was sent back east when he came home there was a lot of money put into the factory when they put in the diet line.  A product like Slimfast type stuff.  Then they shut the Richmond factory down and left the Buhl one open.  Then they decided they made a mistake a few years later.  They should of closed the Buhl one and left the Richmond one running.  We moved to Burley and Dad worked for Del Monte.  The water tower is a memorial of Dad cause he made it.  Then he got ran over.  The End of him.  Colleen worked at Del Monte in Smithfield but I do not know how many campaigns and do not care.
Being Grandma Jonas lived in Richmond we could ride our bikes up to her place.  Grandma had chickens and pigs and a good size garden so she pretty much was self sufficient.  Bottled her vegs and had a root cellar.  Grandma was pretty much poor.  Dad came from the wrong side of the tracks.
As far as the Andra’s went my family was the black sheep cause my Dad turned against the fucking religious cult they believed in.  Every time we went up there I always got blamed for everything.  Grandma must not of liked me very much.  Finally Colleen told Grandma to get off my ass that all my life she had rode my ass and to get off it and leave me alone.  As far as I know I was the only one who ever got baby blankets from her.  But spending all my life being got done on by her had its affect.  Grandpa was a farmer.  That was about all I say for them except when Colleen asked about a guy I was running around with from Preston, she told Colleen he was an outlaw so I fit in real well.
You were in Wyoming on the Leefe job the summer of ’79.  You was still in the oven baking.  I had been back in Idaho to start the been campaign 1 week and you were born.  You were up there in ’80 too.  Rode in the loc with me till I got wrote up for having you in there.  I took care of you when I got in the wreck at Max.  Just cause I lost my legs and was bunged up did not mean I did not take care of you.  I still had arms and could drag myself around.  Same way when I cut my arm in half.  Like I said I cut my arm on New Years Eve and had it back in use when I wrecked Feb 10th.  I left in Mar or April to take apps for the Soda job.  You do not seem to understand Paul that I am a surviver and I could not afford to be laid up.  I had a son and needed to support him and myself.  You were mine and I had an obligation in raising you.  I had no help from anyone.  But I did stay at Colleens til I got the little house (’80).  I also squandered $25,000 on some son of a bitch paying his bills while his checks went to a pig he was married to.  And NO Milo never ever had anything to do with you.  He could not even communicate with you.  When you weren’t talking he never even tried.  You and I had our form of communication.  We moved to the 3rd house from Kasota in ’83 and to the 1st house in ’93.
That kinds of answers your questions in your letters.  Hope that is what you were looking for.  Maybe some day I can go in depth face to face with you.  Other people I caint tell you much about.  As a child growing up I was very shy and self-conscious, never said very much.  In the last 9 years I have learned to tell you where the bird at a snap of the fingers.  I do not really give a shit if it hurts your feelings or not.  DO NOT FUCK WITH ME is my attitude.  Good defense mechanism and it works.
The person above me is from Burley and she had a picture of Randy Nelson, Carl Lee’s brother.  He is a year older than me.  Randy has been in trouble all his life with drugs and alcohol.  He just got out of the pen in Sept.  He spent 11 years down.  She had a picture of him before he went in and a picture of him after he got out.  He looks like he is 90 years old.  It really blew me away.  That is what incarceration does to people.  Not only does it age you but it ruins your inner self.  For some reason they just do not see what they are doing to a human being.  I guess Carol Lee has cancer again and is as much as dead.
I wrote to Sherry Swiney who has that patrickcrusade website and asked her to please take everything off the website.  I am not sure but I think Franz has the manipulated trial website.  I have asked Franz several times to take everything off so I do not know why he has not.  I mailed Sherry’s letter last Sunday so she is just getting it probably.  Will you check in a couple of weeks and see if it is still there if so will you email her about getting it off?  Also check the other one and see if anything is there if so will you please email Franz and ask him to take it off.  Let me know if and when it is gone, OK.  I want it gone.
I got a letter in the mail box to Sal too.  She sent me a pamphlet about Richmond.  It blew me away.  It has pictures and tells about businesses.  I am not upon the address so some of them I can only guess where they might be.  I want to so bad go down there and see Sal and check the town out.  I am going back one way or another to get residency and get rid of my 1st name.  You do not know how bad I hate that name.  Then I want to go to Norwood, Wyoming and see what that town is like.  If I caint set myself up then I want to head north.  Paul I have made my mind up that I am not coming back to this shit hole.  That means my post conviction is going through.  I caint think any other way.
It is time for me to close this letter so I will sign off.  I just remembered Phillis was Donald’s 2nd wife and Lolane is his 3rd.  Do not know if you knew that or not.  Anyway, you two take care.  Mom

Ross in Washington State

Ross in Washington State 

A few updates and ponderings.

As I finished going through the entire stack of papers that were the culmination of work for Howard Ross, I sensed a bit of frustration that I may have missed something.  Some note, hidden on the back of some page I forgot to turn over and examine.  Moreover, there are always the little nuances that a symbol or a phrase can bring back a memory for Howard, but does nothing for me.  It is part of deciphering the past and someone else’s research.  Looking at that, I realized what a great thing it is that I am putting these notes up on a blog.  Someday, there will probably be some form of this blog available and it is much easier to search a blog than going through a stack of papers.  Another good part is that I may die, my house may burn, and all I have may be lost, but this will give an extension to another dimension.  I am sure somebody is printing or copying the things I am putting up that is relevant to them.  So this is a mass sharing that is effective for saving.

Anyhow, having given my deep thoughts for the day, here is the latest news.

One of those papers in Howard Ross’ massive stack was an address for a Beulah Duncan in Zillah, Washington (The sheet it was on was dated 1972).  I knew I had a Beulah Ross who was the daughter of Robert Leonard Ross.  The rascal that disappeared and I have yet to catch up with him.  I knew she had married a Duncan but that was it.  Could she have really made it to Washington State?  I thought I might as well venture to find out.

I looked up Zillah, Washington on Google and found it is between Yakima and Sunnyside.  I searched Duncan in the phone book for Zillah and found a couple in Sunnyside and a couple in Toppenish both of which were nearby.  After about a half dozen phone calls, I found nobody home.  So I left it for a day or two.  I knew that she was probably not still alive, but a good chance a family member who knew of her would be able to lead me in the right direction.

I rang the numbers again last night to find some woman with what I believe was a Irish accent in Toppenish.  First strike.  The second call was a lady I had a devil of a time understanding.  But she assured me she was the daughter-in-law of Mrs. Beulah Duncan.  I thought she told me her name was Debra Lee.  We visited and she gave me the phone number of her daughter Terel Stan Stone.  I know, that is what I thought, a girl with a guys name!  I hung up and called Mrs. Stone and she thought I was crazy when I told her I had visited with her mother Debra Lee.  Come to find out, her mother’s name is Beverly and the lady I was talking to was Carol Ann Stone.  Wow, it is amazing how hearing can alter things.

We visited for a few minutes; she told me what she knew of her grandmother, Beulah.  Their story goes something like this.  Robert was an alcoholic and his wife Minnie had some sort of Drug addiction.  All the children were farmed out to others.  Beulah was taken in by her grandparents, my great great grandparents James Thomas Meredith Ross and Damey Catherine Graham.  She was taken and raised near Rupert, Idaho.  But her strict Mormon grandparents was a bit much for her so she was anxious to get out.  That came when she met a Jack or Mack Duncan.  She was 14 and married him.  They moved to Zillah, Washington and lived out the remainder of their days.  He died in the late 70’s and she died in 2002 at about 96 years of age.  They had four children, two of which are deceased.

Anyhow, I am excited to finally flesh out one of Robert Leonard Ross’ lines.  However, it will not be easy to get the rest of the siblings.  Carol did not know what happened for sure to her siblings and we will have to see what we can scrounge up.  It sounds like even Beulah herself did not know where some of her siblings ended up.

At least for now, we are one step closer to filling in some holes on the Robert Leonard Ross line.  I look forward to any information Carol has which may give clues to more.

See, one little note on a piece of paper has opened a door to an entire family line.  Carol was not aware of us and we were not aware of them.  Now we are.  Let’s see where family can take us.

Calvin Sheppard

This is more self explanatory. This is from Calvin Sheppard who is the
brother to my Nancy Adeline Shepherd. She would be my great, great great
grandmother. He spelled his name differently.

Between 1914 and 1915 a questionnaire form was sent to all known living
Tennessee Civil War Veterans. All were returned by 1922. I will type up
the questions and insert Calvin Sheppard’s response after the question from
the following pages.

The Tennessee Civil War Veterans Questionnaires
Volume 5, Confederate Soldiers, pg 1946-1947

1. State your full name and present Post Office address:

Calvin Sheppard, Dandridge, Jefferson Co., Tenn.

2. State your age now:

Seventy Nine 14th of May

3. In what State and county were you born?

Pulaski County, Va.

4. In what State and county were you living when you enlisted in the service
of the Confederacy, or of the Federal Government?

Newbern (Pulaski county, Va.?) Confederacy.

5. What was your occupation before the war?

Farmer

6. What was the occupation of your father?

Farmer

7. If you owned land or other property at the opening of the war, state what
kind of property you owned, and state the value of your property as near as
you can.

—-

8. Did you or your parents own slaves? If so, how many?

No

9. If your parents owned land, state about how many acres.

My father owned 75 acres.

10. State as near as you can the value of all the property owned by your
parents, including land, when the war opened.

$1500.00

11. What kind of house did your parents occupy? State whether it was a log
house or frame house or built of other materials, and state the number of
rooms it had.

Log house, six rooms, good barn, well wattered and layed.

12. As a boy and young man, state what kind of work you did. If you worked
on a farm, state to what extent you plowed, worked with a hoe, and did other
kinds of similar work.

I did all kinds of work on the farm, plowed, hoed, cradled, —ed and did
any and everything that was to do on a farm.

13. State clearly what kind of work your father did, and what the duties of
your mother were. State all the kinds of work done in the house as well as
you can remember – that is, cooking, spinning, weaving, ect.

We had sheep and raised flax, had two good looms and two wheels my Mother
raised her own flax and spun wove and made clothes for the familydid her own
cooking.

14. Did your parents keep any servants? If so, how many?

They did not keep servants.

15. How was honest toil – as plowing, hauling and other sorts of honest work
of this class – regarded in your community? Was such work considered
respectable and honorable?

All honest work and toil was considered honorable in those days.

16. Did the white men in your community generally engage in such work?

Yes

17. To what extent were there white men in your community leading lives of
idleness and having others do their work for them?

Every body except a few rich men that owned slaves did their own work,
nearly everybody worked in those days.

18. Did the men who owned slaves mingle freely with those who did not own
slaves, or did slaveholders in any way show by their actions that they felt
themselves better than respectable, honorable men who did not own slaves?

—-

19. At the churches, at the schools, at public gatherings in general, did
slaveholders and non-slaveholders mingle on a footing of equality?

No

20. Was there a friendly feeling between slaveholders and non-slaveholders in
your community, or were they antagonistic towards each other?

Most always friendly

21. In a political contest in which one candidate owned slaves and the other
did not, did the fact that one candidate owned slaves help him in winning
the contest?

Not very much

22. Were the opportunities good in your community for a poor young man -
honest and industrious – to save up enough to buy a small farm or go in
business for himself?

Not much, wages was low and the rich men owned the land in those days.

23. Were poor, honest, industrious young men, who were ambitious to make
something of themselves, encouraged or discouraged by slaveholders?

No

24. What kind of school or schools did you attend?

We did not have any free schools in those days we had to pay for what we
got.

25. About how long did you go to school altogether?

—-

26. How far was it to the nearest school?

about four miles

27. What school or schools were in operation in your neighborhood?

—-

28. Was the school in your community private or public?

Privet I suppose we had to pay for it.

29. About how many months in the year did it run?

Three months

30. Did the boys and girls in your community attend school pretty regularly?

Yes

31. Was the teacher of the school you attended a man or a woman?

Mostly men

32. In what year and month and at what place did you enlist in the
Confederate or of the Federal Government?

Oct. 1_, 1862 Pulaski County, Va

33. State the name of your regiment, and state the names of as many members
of your company as you remember.

Company C. Jim Marton, Jack Duncan and myself I enlisted in a home guard
company and was on duty for 15 months at Dublin Va. then went in to regular
servis in company C. Horton command Brecanridge brigade.

34. After enlistment, where was your company sent first?

We went to the Saultville we was in a fight there then we went from one
place to another we was in the Clands? Valley.

35. How long after your enlistment before your company engaged in battle?

about 12 months

36. What was the first battle you engaged in?

Cla_ds? Valley

37. State in your own way your experience in the war from this time on until
the close. State where you went after the first battle – what you did, what
other battles you engaged in, how long they lasted, what the results were;
state how you lived in camp, how you were clothed, how you slept, what you
had to eat, how you were exposed to cold, hunger, and disease. If you were
in the hospital or in prison, state your experience here.

We went to Withville and was there one winter on duty we were very poorly
clothed had one blanket no matter how cold it was and very little to eat.

38. When and where were you discharged?

Christianburg, April 15?, 1865 we did not have telephones then and did not
know that Jen. Lee had surrendered.

39. Tell something of your trip home.

I walked home.

40. What kind of work did you take up when you came back home?

I worked by the day just when I could get work.

41. Give a sketch of your life since the close of the Civil War, stating
what kind of business you have engaged in, where you have lived, your church
relations, etc. If you have held an office or offices, state what it was.
You may state here any other facts connected with your life and experience
which has not been brought out by the questions.

I have worked hard all my life, farmed mostly.

42. Give the full name of your father. Born, at, in the county of, state
of? He lived at? Give also any particulars concerning him, as official
position, war services, etc. Books written by, etc.

William Shepard; —-, Pulaski co., va, —

43. Maiden name in full of your mother. She was the daughter of (full name)
and his wife (full name) who lived at?

Nancie Marton, William Marton, —-

44. Remarks on ancestry. Give here any and all facts possible in reference
to your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, ect., not including in
the foregoing, as where they lived, office held, Revolutionary or other war
services; what country the family came from to America; where first settled,
county and state; always giving full names (if possible) and never referring
to an ancestor simply as such without giving the name. It is desirable to
include every fact possible and to that end the full and exact record from
old Bibles should be appended on separate sheets of this size, thus
preserving the facts from loss.

My grandfather Marton ____ came from Irland and him and one son were in the
War of 1812. My grandfather Shepard was dead before I was born so I know
very little about them but they were Virginian.

 

27 Aug Talk

Since there are those who wish to know about the talk on Sunday, here you go. This is the outline of quotes I had on Saturday night. I completely reordered and changed emphasis of the talk after Sunday morning prayers. I used the scripture, Jacob 4:6-8, for the scripture and about continuing revelation. The power that comes to us through the word. That power is to be used in the mission of the church, including the three part break down of that mission, and then moved into the role that priesthood has in it. So hand in hand, I only gave 1/3 of what is here in the outline, and it was by no means all at the beginning. Due to time constraints, at about the 20 minute mark I was only getting into the priesthood part, and had to end. So, I really only spoke about faith, power, and the mission of the church, with a few hints at the role of the priesthood, but by no means whatsoever doing it justice. In fact, I don’t feel I even tied in the priesthood because of my trying to insert it and end. Throughout the talk I emphasized parts of Jacob 4:6-8 (which was quite powerful because I had it memorized) and finished with it as well.Perfecting the Saints/Priesthood

D&C 19:31-32 “And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but hou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost. Behold, this is a great and the last commandment which I shall give unto you concerning this matter, for this shall suffice for thy daily walk, even unto the end of thy life.”

D&C 6:9 “Say nothing but repentance unto this generation; keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.”

D&C 15:6 “And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.”

D&C 19:4 “And surely every man (or woman) must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.”

D&C 29:49 “And, again, I say unto you, that whoso having knowledge, have I not commanded to repent?”

President Ezra Taft Benson, “The grand mission of the church is accomplished by proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the Saints, and redeeming the dead”

Often wondered, can one be done with the exclusion of another? These are all parts of the mission to bring souls to Christ. We cannot achieve the whole, without doing all the parts.

James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

D&C 50:28 “But no man is possessor of all things except he be purified and cleansed from all sin. And if ye are purified and cleansed from all sin, ye shall ask whatsoever you will in the name of Jesus and it shall be done.”

President Brigham Young: Some of you may ask, is there a single ordinance to be dispensed with? Is there one of the commandments that God has enjoined upon the people, that he will excuse them from obeying? Not one, no matter how trifling or small in our own estimation. No matter if we esteem them non-essential, or least or last of all the commandments of the house of God, we under obligation to observe them.

All parts of the mission of the church are constantly before us.

President Brigham Young: I never passed John Wesley’s church in London without stopping to look at it. Was he a good man? Yes, I suppose him to have been, by all accounts, as good as ever walked on this earth, according to this knowledge. Has he obtained a rest? Yes, and greater than ever entered his mind to expect, and so have thousands of others of the various religious denominations. Why could he not build up the kingdom of God on the earth? He had not the Priesthood; that was all the difficulty he labored under. Had the Priesthood been conferred upon him, he would have built up the kingdom of God in his day as it is now being built up. He would have introduced the ordinances, powers, grades, and quorums of the Priesthood. But, not holding the Priesthood, he could not do it (JD 7:5)

What is the Priesthood? Power of God given to man? What does that mean?

D&C 84:33, 35-39 “For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.”

When we receive this priesthood, we also receive the father’s kingdom, which means we receive his work. If we do not his work, we receive not his kingdom. The work of God is to bring the power of the atonement into the lives of his children.

President Joseph Smith: God imself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself.

President Gordon B. Hinckley: The cause in which we are engaged is not an ordinary cause. It is the cause of Christ. It is the kingdom of God our Eternal Father. It is the building of Zion on the earth. If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.

We need to be humble!

President Ezra Taft Benson: God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble.

We need to put first things first!

President Brigham Young: Stop! Wait! When you get up in the morning, before you suffer yourselves to eat one mouthful of food…bow down before the Lord, ask him to forgive your sins, and protect you through the day, to preserve you from temptation and all evil, to guide your steps aright, that you may do something that day that shall be beneficial to the kingdom of God on the earth. Have you time to do this?…this is the counsel I have for the Latter-day Saints today. Stop! Do not be in a hurry…you are in too much of a hurry, you do not go to meeting enough, you do not read the scriptures enough, you do not meditate enough, you are all the time on the wing, and in such a hurry that you do not know what to do first…Let me reduce this to a simple saying, one of the most simple and homely that can be used ‘keep your dish right side up’ so that when the shower of porridge does come you can catch your dish full.”

We need to learn our duty!

President Joseph F. Smith: We expect to see the day, if we live long enough,…when every council of the Priesthood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will understand its duty, will assume its own responsibility,…to the uttermost, according to the intelligence and ability possessed by it. When that day shall come there will not be so much necessity for work that is now being done by the auxiliary organizations, because it will be done by the regular quorums of the Priesthood. The Lord designed and comprehended it from the beginning, and He has made every provision in the Church whereby every need may be met and satisfied through the regular organizations of the Priesthood (CR, Apr 1906, 3).

We need to have the Spirit!

(Feb 1847) President Joseph Smith to President Brigham Young: Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord, and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you how to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other Spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife, and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness, and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world. Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it, and it will lead them just right.

We need to accept our callings!

President Brigham Young: Do you suppose that after a man has refused to fulfill his calling, he can maintain the Spirit of truth and stand? He cannot? They say they believe Joseph Smith was a prophet raised up to establish the work of the last days, and bring forth the Book of Mormon, and thus they deceived.

We need to recognize our Priesthood leaders and have a testimony of them!

President Brigham Young: I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken that influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way? Let every man and woman, know by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates or not (JD 9:150).

The Priesthood holds the power of eternity!

President Joseph Fielding Smith: There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith…no man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God (DoS, v1, pg 180).

President Brigham Young: No man or woman in the dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith Junior as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are (JD 7:289).

President Brigham Young: Madam, I have this day examined the records of baptisms for the remission of sins in the church of Jesus Chrsit of Latter-day Saints, and not being able to find the name of Elizabeth Green recorded therein, I was saved the necessity of erasing your name therefrom. You may therefore consider your sins have not been remitted you and you may consequently enjoy the benefits therefrom.

President Harold B. Lee: Now…remember, that the most important of the Lord’s work that you will ever do will be the work you will do within the walls of your own home. Home teaching, bishopric’s work, and other Church duties are all important, but the most important work is within the walls of your home (Strengthening the Home movie text, pg 7)

President Hugh B. Brown: The very foundation of the kingdom of God, of righteousness, of progress, of development, of eternal life, and eternal increase in the kingdom of God is laid in the divinely ordained home (CR, 2 Oct 1966, pg 103-4).

Our family is formally extended through the duty of the Priesthood, not a calling, of home teaching!

President Harold B. Lee: Maybe the home teacher should be charged more clearly to describe his mission to watch over and to strengthen to see that members do their duty…They think themselves as teachers of the Gospel message only. Maybe we ought to be calling them home guardians or sentinels and to report their stewardship to the fathers of the ward. We must do something to change the emphasis from teaching to guardians, ‘watching over the church kind of concept.’ Until we get that into our minds, we are not going to do the kind of home teaching that is going to get results.

Spencer W. Kimball: Is it any wonder that the organization and work of the Church and its priesthood in this day are patterned after the keys it possesses? We are a missionary Church, participating to the fullest possible extent in the gathering of Israel. We are a Church founded upon families; a Church that takes care of its own, stressing the economic, intellectual, and spiritual development of its families and individual members in preparation for salvation in the kingdom of heaven. And we are a Church that is actively engaged in temple and genealogy work for ourselves and for the infinite numbers of our Father’s children who have the promise, but not as yet the opportunity, for the ordinances of salvation. This is a work that makes even more meaningful the great corresponding missionary work being carried out in the spirit world. (Ensign, Jan 1977, 3)