What Kind of a Boy or Girl Are You?
February 1, 2015
On my lunchtime jaunts around the neighborhood, I walked past this small bronze sidewalk marker many times. (below) Upon the advice of my old friend, Elder Carlson, I read it on Friday. This was the site of the Jones H. Flournoy home. This is the man that Edward Partridge bought the Temple Lot from for the Saints. When Joseph Smith, along with his brother and the other men, were arrested and were being paraded through two counties before they ended up in Liberty Jail, General Moses Wilson invited them to dine in this home. He was living there with his wife at the time.
General Wilson later said of Joseph, "He was a very remarkable man. I carried him into my house, a prisoner in chains,and in less than two hours my wife loved him better than she did me."
Yesterday, we finally got to do the full blown tour of Liberty Jail. One of the things that struck me most was when the prisoners were being unloaded from the wagon and each making their way up the steps into that dungeon, many curious townspeople had gathered to get a look at these strange Mormons. Joseph Smith was the last man up the steps. He turned partly around, and with a slow and dignified movement looked upon the crowd. Then, turning to the guards, he lifted his hat and clearly said, "Good afternoon, gentlemen". He turned and made his way into that jail.
Just a block down the street from the jail, another man made history in Liberty, MO. Jesse James pulled off the first daylight bank heist in the history of the United States. Old tourists like my elder and I are willing to pay six bucks a pop to walk in that bank and look around. My elder feels like he got ripped off but I kinda liked it. Some people think of Jesse James as a moral paradox. He was a good family man and even religious in his own way. Did he give away some of his earnings to the poor? Some think he may have. As for me, the jury is still out.
Both of these men began their lives of "Fame" at an young age. Jesse was 16 when they walked out of that bank and Joseph was 14 when he walked out of that grove. Both of these men ended up dying in their 30's from bullet wounds. Jesse in MO.by an angry gang member and Joseph in ILL. by an angry mob. That is about their only similarity in life. I always marvel at the stories I hear or read about the kindness and graciousness of the prophet Joseph. I want to be like him. Not only was he a prophet of God, he loved people. All people. So, my grandkids, what kind of a boy or girl do you want to be?
Love to all of you,
To Tell the Truth and nothing but the Truth....I testified at a trial several years ago. The defendant was accused of 1st degree murder. He had shot and killed a classmate out at Fool Hollow after being beat up by the classmate. There was no question that he did it, it was a question of whether it was pre-meditated or not. I have always believed that my testimony helped him go free. Completely off. I have wondered at times if I was as honest as I could be. I know I was. But was it the right thing to do? It was. I have always felt like a man had to be honest no matter what. Well, I have a confession to make here and it is about being honest.
Sometimes we hear things and take them for the absolute truth. Maybe the source was somebody you thought you should believe. Maybe you heard wrong. Maybe you wanted to believe what you heard. It's like the Internet. Everything you see and read and hear on the Internet is true isn't it? I have learned to be very careful about the Internet. I have not learned, as well as I should, about checking the source to verify what some people say.
When Sister Seaman and I first came out on our mission, we were trained by a couple who were on their way home. They were great. The training was awesome. On one of my trips through the Kansas City area one day, as we passed the the Kansas City Temple (just off the 435), it was mentioned that the Kansas City Temple was located within the confines of Jackson County Missouri. I thought to myself, wow, can that be? I was always under the impression the Jackson County temple would be in Independence. Anyway because of the source, I have been telling people that same untruth. I had not verified it, and did not take the time to check it out. It turns out that the Temple is in Clay County by a couple of miles. The northern border of Jackson County is the Missouri River. so when you cross the river going north, you are in Clay County. The temple is on the north side of the river. I stand corrected. Forgive me.
I have often heard that obedience is better than sacrifice. After reading a couple of books about the story of the LDS church in the Independence, MO area in the earliest of days, I think maybe obedience and sacrifice go more hand-in-hand. What good is your obedience if you're not willing to sacrifice. What good is your sacrifice if you can't be obedient. I think the Lord likes to see both in us. He likes to see us obedient. And maybe being completely obedient is a sacrifice.
For instance the Zion's Camp march. Joseph ask for 500 men to march to Missouri to save the land the members had purchased there and had been driven off of. Joseph got less than a 100. During the trip some men quarreled, whined, caused trouble and rebelled. The Lord warned them, that if they didn't start doing things right he would curse them. They didn't do it. The cholera struck them. All were sick, the good and the bad, some died. The march ended in failure. So why did the Lord ask them to go. Out of the ones that remained faithful and were willing to sacrifice their very lives for the Saints, came the men that were later called to leadership positions in the Church, which scripturally was called "laying the foundation." The Saints had to be tried and tested. The ones that couldn't do it were driven away. It was sacrifice and obedience that laid the foundation of what we enjoy in the Church today. I pray that when trials come, that my children and their children will not come up empty. Their ancestors paid a very dear price for them.
|Inside of Liberty Jail|
|You need 6 bucks to get in the door!|