Sunday, August 23, 2015

Avry, is that you? Sewing crew heading home, last home evening with the Shaw family, and Bishop's Hill

This little girl visited us at Pioneer Pastimes last week. She is related to us a few generations back. She looks so much like our granddaughter, Avry, that I had to take a picture. For those of you who know Avry, look into her eyes...what do you think?
Avry Johnson below.

 We had a little breakfast commemorating our sewing days together. The first of the group leave this week. The rest will follow within the next couple of months. From left to right, Sister Hatch, Udall, Jones, Toomer, Wilkes, Dalton, Boyle, and me. What a team we were.

 Our Nauvoo friends, the Shaws, were going to bring dinner over last night and we were going to provide dessert and a little lesson for the kids. The main cook, Stephanie, and mother of the group is expecting a baby and found herself too sick to perform any major tasks. So Daddy pulled out frozen pizza and sheepishly brought the family over without his wife. After pizza, we taught the kids about how every member of the family is important, and has an impact on the others. For an object lesson, we had the kids help us make cookies. Then we secretly took a portion of cookie dough and added  extra salt. We compared the terrible results of the one spoiled cookie to how negative behavior can affect the whole family. On the other hand, cooperative work can bring about yummy cookies. Of course, cherry pie and chocolate ice cream added a nice touch to the cookies.

For preparation day this week we went to Bishop's Hill, Illinois. Bishop's Hill was founded in 1846 the same year the Mormon's left Nauvoo heading for the Salt Lake Valley. Eric Janson is the founder. He along with about 1,500- 4000 Swedes left Sweden in search of religious freedom. They wanted to be able to read the Bible and worship in their own way rather than what was being forced upon them in Sweden at that time.
 Only about 600-700 people actually settled here. Of the original group, some died while others got distracted and settled elsewhere. The town was run as a commune with all property and belongings considered community owned. In 1861, Eric was shot by a disgruntled husband whose wife refused to leave the commune. Two years later without their leader, the commune failed and the property and belongings were equally divided by its occupants.

The similarities between Bishop's Hill and Nauvoo were striking to me. Both Eric and Joseph claimed to be inspired by God which created enemies with other religious organizations. They were born about the same time (1808 and 1805). Both Eric and Joseph left their native land and inspired others to follow.  Both Eric and Joseph were fairly young when they were killed--Eric 42 and Joseph 38. 
 Bishop's Hill like Nauvoo is deemed a historical site and restored as a museum town. Too bad Bishop Hill doesn't have a crew of 250 volunteer missionaries to keep it up and make it beautiful. Despite that fact, it was a darling little town.
 The difference is that there is no such thing as Jansonism anymore while there are almost 16 million members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 185 countries around the world. 
By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. I served in the Sarah Granger Kimball home where the Relief Society women's organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was first inspired. A small group of women wanted to organize their efforts in helping to take care of the poor and assist in building the temple. Today it is the oldest and largest women's suffrage organization in the world providing service to millions world wide.

Which brings me to another point. Today in church, we studied in Acts Peter takes the gospel of Jesus Christ to the gentiles. God loves all his children and all have or will have the opportunity to accept or reject His gospel plan. 

Sometimes, it seems otherwise. There is a great deal of pain and suffering around the world. We don't usually understand the workings of deity. Young Sister Uata quoted a poem today at church:

"And God Said No!"

I asked God to take away my pride, and God said "NO".
He said it was not for Him to take away, but for me to give up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole, and God said "NO".
He said her spirit is whole, her body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience, and God said "NO".
He said that patience is a by-product of tribulation,
it isn't granted, it's earned.

I asked God to give me happiness, and God said "NO".
He said He gives blessings, happiness is up to me.

I asked God to spare me pain, and God said "NO".
He said suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow, and He said "NO".
He said I must grow on my own, but He will prune me to make me fruitful.

I asked God to help me love others as much as He loves me,
And God said "Ah, finally you have the idea"!
 Author: unknown
Will you accept the plan of happiness set up by our Father in Heaven? It is the way to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. 

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