Goodbye Manti Pageant

Ross Clan at the last Manti Pageant

After the church announced that 2019 would be the last year of the Manti Pageant, at least sponsored by the church generally, we decided we wanted to make sure we made it down with the kids.

I have written about my previous experience with the Manti Pageant and the unfortunate crossing paths with roadkill on the trek home to Logan that night.  While I enjoyed the pageant in 2004, some of the parts were not well done and became distracting.  But the overall spirit of the Pageant was one that I wanted my children to experience.

We went down and attended on Thursday 13 June 2019.  I am glad we went down on a Thursday, we hoped the crowds would be a little less, and they were.  We arrived plenty in advance, got seats, as you can see above, about half way back in the seating.  It was a great location, we got to know our neighbors for the show and I made three trips back to the van to change dirty diapers before the show started.  A good bus driver from Salt Lake City took this photo of us while we waited for the festivities.

The show went on and I was impressed with Aliza and Hiram, they paid particular attention through the entire show.  Most of it is a great review of church history, the restoration, and particular moments the writer thought important to include.  Even afterward Hiram said to me he felt drawn to the pageant and learned some things.  I hope they will never forget we attended the Mormon Miracle Pageant.

One part of the show that struck me was the interaction between Brigham Young and James Allen and the recruiting process.  The Saints were fleeing the country that refused to protect them.  There had even been some suggestions that the Saints would side with a nation willing to defend them.  But President Polk became convinced to try and use some of the Saints to build relationships between the Saints and the United States.  Young quickly jumped on board and sought a battalion to defend the United States and help preserve the moving church.  It proved to be very inspired, not only in the basic enlistment, but in all Young’s promises to the battalion.

As I sat there watching that scene, I was again reminded of our duty to not only build the church and the kingdom, but also of supporting and sustaining the United States.  As I drove home, I once again evaluated whether I could enlist and serve my nation yet.  I am not sure I am in a position to do so, but I am certainly happy to encourage my own children to serve their nation as well as their church.  I am also reminded of James’ baby blessing where he was given certain promises that would seem to include military service.

I am sad the Mormon Miracle Pageant will not occur at least every couple of years.  Even more sad that The Man Who Knew is already gone and that my children will not get to experience the powerful Clarkston Pageant telling the story of Martin Harris.  Even now I get chills when the Spirit confirms to me my witness of the Restoration.

The other powerful part of the Manti Pageant is the testimony of the temple watching over the pageant and the audience in attendance.  The two seem to go well together.  Just like Clarkston is powerful for Martin’s grave nearby, or Hill Cumorah Pageant for the location.

I snapped this photo as we were leaving.  Future visits to Manti will likely be confined to temple attendance for special events.  I wonder how Manti will do losing a major event each year.  Like most towns, they will revamp, revisit, and move forward.  I wonder how I can find other ways as powerful as this to help my children gain testimonies of the Restoration, Revelation, and the beautiful world and plan in which we live.

Manti Temple, Jun 2019, after the Manti Pageant

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Spring City, Utah

Manti Temple, Paul & Amanda Ross

Last weekend was Amanda’s sister’s wedding in Manti, Sanpete, Utah.  We went down to attend the wedding for Zachary & Alyssa Smart.  It was a wonderful trip, time to get away, celebrate the wedding and reception, and enjoy ourselves.

Paul, Amanda, Aliza, Hiram, Lillian, and James Ross at Manti Temple

I have done enough family history that I knew my 4th Great Grandmother is buried in Spring City.  Like other locations, if I am in Sanpete County, I make an effort to stop and visit her grave.  I think the last time I was able to stop was about 2003, so it had been about 15 years.

Paul, Aliza, Hiram, and Lillian Ross at the grave of Johanna Johannsson Benson (Bengtsson)

Here is how we are related.

My mother’s name is Sandra Jonas.

Her father was Wilburn Norwood Jonas (1924 – 1975).

His father was Joseph Nelson Jonas (1893 – 1932).

His mother was Annetta Josephine Nelson (she went by Annie) (1864 – 1907).

Her mother was Agnetta Benson (she went by Annie) (anglicized from Bengtsson) (1832 – 1873).

Her mother was Johanna Johansdotter (which shows up on the tombstone as Johansson) (1813 – 1897), who was married to Nils Benson (anglicized from Bengtsson).

I really don’t know tons about Johanna.  Nels August Nelson makes only passing reference to his grandmother.  I have been unable to find when she immigrated to the United States.

Hiram and Aliza Ross waiting for a hummingbird to land on them

Johanna Johansdotter was born 15 February 1813 in Öringe, Veinge, Halland, Sweden.  She met and married Nils Bengtsson on 4 July 1830 in Veinge, Halland, Sweden.  Nils was born 1 August 1802 in Brunskog, Tönnersjö, Halland, Sweden.  Together they had 8 children together.

Agnetta Nilsdotter born 9 Dec 1832.

Lars Nilsson born 11 May 1835.

Ingjard Nilsdotter born 17 February 1839.

Christina Nilsdotter born 21 June 1841.

Bengta Nilsdotter born 19 March 1843.

Nils (Nels) Nilsson born 23 August 1846.

Borta Nilsdotter born 6 April 1849.

Johan Petter Nilsson born 31 August 1855.

Nils passed away 12 March 1859.

Johanna was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 11 May 1861.  Agnetta was baptized 10 November 1863, Lars 5 May 1860, Ingjard 5 May 1861, Christina 4 February 1866, and Nils Jr 5 May 1860.  Johann joined 7 September 1893 after immigration to Utah.  The other two were after their deaths.  Bengta and Borta did not join or immigrate to Utah.

Johanna’s daughter Agnetta (Annie) traveled with her husband Johan Nilsson from Halmstadt, Sweden through Liverpool, England docking in New York City, New York on 3 June 1864.  I cannot tell that Johanna traveled with Johan and Agnetta.

Most of the children upon traveling to the United States were given the last name of Benson instead of Nilsson.

The children spread.  Agnetta went with her husband to Logan, Utah.  Lars went with his family to what is now Sandy, Utah.  Ingjard to what is now Sandy.  Christina to Vernon, Utah.  Nils to Spring City, Utah.  John also to Sandy.  For whatever reason Johanna went with Nils to Spring City and remained there the rest of her days.  She passed away May 1897, we do not have an exact date.  Nils served a mission from 1892 to 1894 back to the Scandinavia mission.

Manti Temple 2018

An interesting tidbit about our trip to Manti.  We stayed in a restored home of James Marks Works.  He was the brother-in-law to Brigham Young.  It was an early home with various additions, modifications, and ultimate restoration.  James Marks Works and Phebe Jones had a daughter named Mary Ann Angel Works.  Mary Ann is the second wife to Nils Benson and they had 9 children together.  The home in Manti we stayed may very well have been visited by my 3rd Great Grand Uncle and his 9 children, all of which were grandchildren of James Marks Works.  James Marks Works died in 1889 and the first of the 9 children were born in 1892, but James’ son James Marks Works (Jr) kept the home and continued working the sawmill behind the home.

Here is a picture of the Manti Temple from James Marks Works’ home.

Manti Temple from James Marks Works’ home

Another interesting side note that I remembered from the last time I walked around the Spring City Cemetery.  Orson Hyde is also buried there.  I walked the kids over to Elder Hyde’s grave and we snapped a picture there as well.  I explained his role as an Apostle, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Dedication of Palestine for the return of the Jews, clerk to Joseph Smith, lawyer, Justice on Utah Supreme Court.  The kids didn’t seem to care much…

Hiram, Lillian, and Aliza Ross at the grave of Orson Hyde

Here is Orson’s short biography from the Joseph Smith papers.

8 Jan. 1805 – 28 Nov. 1878.  Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge.  Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut.  Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe.  Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812.  Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1819.  Joined Methodist church, ca. 1827.  Later affiliated with reformed Baptists (later Disciples of Christ or Campbellites).  Baptized into LDS church by Sidney Rigdon and ordained an elder by JS and Sidney Rigdon, Oct. 1831, at Kirtland.  Ordained a high priest by Oliver Cowdery, 26 Oct. 1831.  Appointed to serve mission to Ohio, Nov. 1831, in Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio.  Baptized many during proselytizing mission with Samuel H. Smith to eastern U.S., 1832.  Attended organizational meeting of School of the Prophets, 22–23 Jan. 1833, in Kirtland.  Appointed clerk to church presidency, 1833.  Appointed to serve mission to Jackson Co., Missouri, summer 1833.  Served mission to Pennsylvania and New York, winter and spring 1834.  Member of Kirtland high council, 1834.  Participated in Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri, 1834.  Married to Marinda Nancy Johnson by Sidney Rigdon, 4 Sept. 1834, at Kirtland.  Ordained member of Quorum of the Twelve by Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, 15 Feb. 1835, in Kirtland.  Served mission to western New York and Upper Canada, 1836.  Served mission to England with Heber C. Kimball, 1837–1838.  Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, summer 1838.  Sided with dissenters against JS, 1838.  Lived in Missouri, winter 1838–1839.  Removed from Quorum of the Twelve, 4 May 1839.  Restored to Quorum of the Twelve, 27 June 1839, at Commerce (later Nauvoo), Hancock Co., Illinois.  Served mission to Palestine to dedicate land for gathering of the Jews, 1840–1842.  Member of Nauvoo Masonic Lodge, 1842.  Member of Nauvoo City Council, 1843–1845.  Admitted to Council of Fifty, 13 Mar. 1844.  Presented petition from JS to U.S. Congress, 1844.  Participated in plural marriage during JS’s lifetime.  Departed Nauvoo during exodus to the West, mid-May 1846.  Served mission to Great Britain, 1846–1847.  Presided over Latter-day Saints in Iowa before migrating to Utah Territory.  Appointed president of Quorum of the Twelve, 1847.  Published Frontier Guardian at Kanesville (later Council Bluffs), Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, 1849–1852.  Appointed to preside over church east of Rocky Mountains, 20 Apr. 1851, at Kanesville.  Migrated to Utah Territory, 1852.  Appointed associate judge of U.S. Supreme Court for Utah Territory, 1852.  Elected to Utah territorial legislature, 27 Nov. 1852, 1858.  Presided over church in Carson Co., Utah Territory (later the Nevada Territory), 1855–1856.  Served colonizing mission to Sanpete Co., Utah Territory, by 1860; presided as ecclesiastical authority there, beginning 1860.  Died at Spring City, Sanpete Co.

 

1st Grade, Paul Elementary, Paul, Idaho

Back row (l-r): Mrs. Brenda Winward, Michael Hollis, Jamey Price, Amber King, Tracy Hitt, Danny Wright, Bobie Jones, Nicole Catmull; Middle Row: Nathan Jones, Adrianne Neibaur, Jerilynn Parks, Karlene Hansen, Lindsay Osterhout, Bonnie Torix, Conrad May; Front Row: Andrew Morgan, Matt Robbins, Amy Woodward, Alex Madrigal, Eric Zarybnisky, David Rios, Shana Thompson, Ivan Young, Paul Ross.

As I mentioned before, Bobie Story let me scan some of our common grade school pictures.  All mine were lost due to a flood of our basement while I was away in the England Manchester Mission.  I am happy to have copies again.  (I am still missing Ms. Suhr for 3rd grade and Mr. Mendenhall for 6th grade.  If you have a copy, please let me scan!)

This is our 1st grade class picture from Paul Elementary, Paul, Idaho.  This was the 1985 – 1986 school year.

Normally I organized photos with married names and dates.  Since all are still alive, I will forgo any of the dates.  I have added the married last name for the ones I know.  If you have corrections, please let me know.

I have a couple of memories about this photo I want to share.

Miss Winward graduated high school with my Mom.  She would tell me that all the time.  Later I knew she married to Ms. Goodsell and apparently moved away to Mountain Home or somewhere that direction.

I remember cheating off Jamey Price, who sat next to me.  I struggled with math and I seem to remember she let me.  Well, I got busted at some point.  My Mom sat me down for hours and hours and taught me how to count with cigarettes.  She got some flashcards and we slaved to make sure I knew how to do basic math.  By the time 3rd grade rolled around, I was a whiz at math and Ben Frank was my competition for speed on the multiplication tables.  I remember having a bit of a crush on Jamey too.

Another kid, whose last name was Bailey is not in this picture.  I remember he would eat crayons and play with the Elmers glue on the knees of his pants.  Jake?

This is the only year I remember having naps.  Finding a little place to lay down, relax, and catch a few z’s.

Miss Brenda Winward married Goodsell

Nicole Catmull married Manning

Karlene Hansen married Ashcraft

Tracy Hitt

Michael Hollis

Bobie Jones married Story

Nathan Jones

Amber King

Alex Madrigal

Conrad May

Andrew Morgan

Adrianne Neibaur

Lindsay Osterhout

Jerilynn Parks married Mower

Jamey Price married Crystal

David Rios

Matt Robbins

Paul Ross

Shana Thompson

Bonnie Torix

Amy Woodward married Noble

Danny Wright

Ivan Young

Eric Zarybnisky

 

2nd Grade, Paul Elementary, Paul, Idaho

Back (l-r): Mrs. Elaine Mayes, Bobie Jones, Justin Orr, Archie Winnett, Benjamin Wilcher, Kyle McCoy, Erin Zemke, Cody Strunk, Amanda Moore; Middle: Danny Wright, Jesse Jensen, Nathan Jones, Traci Gibbons, Paul Ross, Erica Jones, Shana Thompson, Brett Whiting; Front: Charlyn Robertson, Alissa Anderson, Kaleb Winn, Kimberly Isham, Kevin Orton, Cherrylin Tolle, Ivan Young, Leslie Durfee, Gina Chapa, Tasha Martsch.

Bobie Story let me scan some pictures she had of our grade school years. All mine were lost due to the flooding of our basement while in the mission field. I am happy to have copies again. (If anyone has Ms. Suhr for 3rd or Mr. Mendenhall for 6th, I would love to scan copies of your photos!)

This is my 2nd grade class from Paul Elementary, Paul, Idaho. This was the 1986 – 1987 school year.

Normally I go through and organize these photos with married names and dates. I will forgo the dates since we are all alive as far as I know. For the women, I added married names. If you have corrections or updates, I am happy to add.

Mrs. Elaine Mayes

Alissa Anderson married Green

Gina Chapa married ?

Leslie Durfee married Orthman

Traci Gibbons married Hollihan

Kimberly Isham married ?

Jesse Jensen

Bobie Jones married Story

Erica Jones married Thorson

Nathan Jones

Kyle McCoy

Tasha Martsch married ?

Amanda Moore married Kriwox

Justin Orr

Kevin Orton

Charlyn Robertson married Darrington

Paul Ross

Cody Strunk

Shana Thompson

Cherrylin Tolle married ?

Brett Whiting

Benjamin Wilcher

Kaleb Winn (I swear I thought his last name was Morrison)

Archie Winnett

Danny Wright

Ivan Young

Erin Zemke married McKindree

Between Overland and Oakley Avenues in Burley, Idaho

On Main Street between Overland and Oakley Avenues in Burley, Idaho late 1950’s

Here are another one of the postcards I stumbled upon and purchased several months ago.  This is about a block west from the earlier postcard I posted several weeks ago.

Another fascinating picture likely from the late 1950’s. None of the cars are from the 1960’s. All the more interesting are the buildings in the photo.

Nelson’s on the left appears to have a new sign and a shiny front of their building reflecting the morning sky.  There even appears a small marquee on the front of Nelson’s.  Who is Nelson?

You can see the sign for the Hitchin’ Post just beyond Nelson’s.  This whole strip had its infamous tenor that I still hear about even now.

I am surprised how many street signs there on the left side of Main street as far as the eye can see.  In addition, the little stop sign in the middle of the street.

On the right, you can see the Hardware store sign with the Hotel for the floors above it.  Then Bob’s Electric and the Yacht Club.

The classic, yet present, Burley Theatre.

Then you can see the Ford sign for the Haight Motor Company.  What little I could find the business was owned by Ludwig and Charles Haight, and after Charles Haight died Trafford Bray became a partner until it was bought out in 1975 by Jack Young of Young Ford.

In my earlier post I did not recognize the tall building in the distance on the right.  In this photo, it says J.R. Simplot on it, which tells me it is part of the Simplot buildings along that side of the street.  I believe that tall part was gone by the time I have memories of west Main in Burley.

Other than the Virginia Hotel on the far left and Simplot in the distance, all these buildings still remain.

Another glimpse into the past of Burley, Idaho.

Brigham Young College 1915 Crimson Yearbook

I am a member of a Cache Valley Group on Facebook.  After some people posted a number of old photos, I asked if anyone knew if Brigham Young College had yearbooks and if someone had one for roughly 1915.  Within a day, Jennifer Johnson, a cousin of mine had found a copy of the Brigham Young College Crimson yearbook and made it available to me.  Here is a copy of the full 1915 Brigham Young College Crimson Annual if you are interested.

Sure enough, there on page 31 is my great-grandfather, Joseph Nelson Jonas (1893 – 1932).

Joseph Nelson Jonas’ Brigham Young College yearbook picture

Here is the full-page.  This is page 31 of the pdf.  The front of the yearbook says Crimson Annual 1915.  Page 4 shows that it includes the classes of 1915, 1916, 1917, and 1918.

Brigham Young College Crimson yearbook, page 31

Here are two copies of his diploma.

Joseph Jonas graduation diploma from Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah

 

I also found Joseph’s 1st cousin, once removed, Paul Ernest Nelson (1888-1970), was one of the teachers at BYC.  An interesting side note is that the page below states he, “Likes his Ensign.”  He and Martha Eunice Ensign were married 19 August 1914 in the Salt Lake Temple.  It also states he “[e]xpects to be a professor in psychology.”  Their first son, Paul Ensign Nelson, was born 26 June 1916 in Berkeley, California while he was attending school.

Brigham Young College yearbook, page 26

Here is a dedication to the Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Charles Winder Nibley (1849-1931).

Dedication in 1915 Brigham Young College Crimson Annual to Charles Winder Nibley

Charles W Nibley was the Presiding Bishop from 1907 to 1925.  He was a kind benefactor to Brigham Young College and as Presiding Bishop was involved with the school.  Bishop Nibley was released in 1925 and became a counselor to Heber Jeddy Grant until his death in 1931.  He is one of the few people to serve in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was not an Apostle.

Charles Winder Nibley (1849-1931)

Brigham Young College was located in Logan, Utah.  It was founded by Brigham Young shortly before his death.  The college was meant for individuals from Northern Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.  When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints closed all its academy’s in 1926, except Brigham Young University, it suffered the same fate.  The buildings were sold and became Logan High School.

As records become more and more available, who knows what else we may find of our ancestors.

 

 

Blessing of Elder John Nuffer

Austin, Willard, Luther, Louis, Herman, Myron, John, Florance, Edwin, Louisa, Agnes, Karl, Athene Nuffer

This is an entry from “We of Johann Christoph Nuffer, also known as: Neuffer, Nufer, Neufer,” The book was published in April 1990 by Dabco Printing and Binding Co in Roy, Utah.

I have shared John’s biography previously.

“By Apostle George Teasdale (mouth) and Presidents Seymour B. Young and George Reynolds, in ordaining him a Seventy and setting him apart to the Swiss & German Mission, Salt Lake City, Apr 12, 1895.

Letter accepting mission call

“Reported by F. E. Parker:

“Brother John Nuffer, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and virtue of the authority and power of the Holy Priesthood, we lay our hands upon your head, and ordain you a Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we seal upon you every gift and grace and qualification pertaining unto this high and holy calling in the Melchizedek Priesthood, that thou mayst be a preacher of righteousness, and have authority to win people to repentance, to baptize by immersion for the remission of sins, to lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and to officiate in the ordinances of the House of God.

“We say unto thee, that inasmuch as thou shalt go forth humbly before the Lord, seeking for the spirit of this mission and called unto which you are ordained, that you shall be a preacher of righteousness in very deed, remembering that it is not by the wisdom of men that souls are converted unto Him, but by the revelations and gift of God.  Remember that thou art a servant of God, sent forth to call the people to repentance and to warn them of judgments to come, and will be necessary for you to seek the guidance and direction of the Almighty in all things, so that you may be led to the honest in heart, so that you may be enabled to act in wisdom every day of your life, that you may accomplish the purposes unto which you are ordained.

“We re-seal and confirm upon thee all they former blessing, and set thee apart to a mission to the Swiss & German Mission, to labor under the president thereof, wherever thou shalt be directed.  And in as much as thou shalt seek for it, the Lord will guide and direct thee to the honest in heart, and will give thee the convincing power to His spirit; out of thy weakness thou shalt be made strong.  Thy tongue shall be loosed, and thou shalt preach the gospel in the power and demonstration of the spirit of God, and your testimony shall be powerful to the convincing of the honest in heart.

“We seal these blessing upon thee, and dedicate thee to the service of God, praying unto Him that thou mayst go in peace and return in safety, that thy life may be precious on the seas or on the land, that no accident of any name or nature may befall thee, but when thou hast finished thy mission, thou mayst return in peace and safety to thy home, bearing many sheaves with thee which blessing we seal upon thee in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

John ended his mission 3 July 1897.