Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Earliest Known Eborns in America??

William Ebourne

M, b. 1633, d. before 16 April 1675
He was shown in Accomack County records as Aborne, Abourn, Abourne, Abram, Abraham, Eborne & Ebourne. William was born in 1633. William Aborne gave a deposition in Acc Co on 22 May 1663 at which time he gave his age as 26 years, puttng his birth at circa 1637. William Ebourne gave a deposition in Acc Co on 17 Apr 1665 at which time he gave his age as 32 years, putting his birth at circa 1633..1,2 William was named as a headright on 27 November 1652 at Matchapungo, Acc Co, VA. He was shown as Wm. Ebourne, one of 20 persons on the list of headrights for Mr. John Browne, who was granted 1,000 acres in Northampton Co, near Matchepongo. (NOTE: This part of N'hamp Co became Accomack Co in 1663.).3 He married Rebecca Frame, daughter of Capt. John Frame and Ann (-----), circa 1663 at Accomack Co, VA. On 14 Mar 1664/5 in Accomack Court, John Die and his wife failed to appear in court to answer the complaint of William Ebourne. It was ordered that a special warrent be issued for their appearance at the next court. On 17 Apr 1665 John Die appeared and was suspected to be guilty of hog stealing, but as there was no positive proof, it was ordered that he post security for his good behavior and pay court costs. Deposition of William Ebourne aged about 32 years, 17 Apr 1665: Said that the hog's ear brought by his wife to Col. Edm. Scarburgh's house was the same ear that Ebourne found in Jno. Die's house. Signed William (X) Ebourne. Depostion of Mary Bell aged about 42 years, 17 Apr 1665: Duringa search for goods lost by William Ebourne and Bell, the hog's ear was found at John Die's house. Die's child said, "That is my father's mark." Signed Mary (M) Bell. The jury considered the ear of a hog found in John Die's house and could find "no matter of fact." Elizabeth, the wife of John Die, upon the complaint of William Ebourne and Mary Bell, was found guilty of several small thefts. It was ordered that she be brought in by the sheriff and receive 30 lashes upon her bare back. Deposition of Margaret Ebourne, age 25 years, 17 Apr 1665: Said that the edging(?) and the lace on the cap presented to the court was stolen from her by Elizabeth Die. Signed Marget (M) Ebourne. Deposition of Mary Bell aged 42 years, 17 Apr 1665: Said the green stockings, the lawn apron, the Holland handkerchief with buttons, the small piece of licin(?) and the three or four yards of ribbon presented to the court are the goods taken from her. Signed, Mary (M) Bell. The jury considered the goods belonging to Mary Bell and William Abram (sic) that were found in the possession of Elizabeth Die by Constable Thomas Leatherberry, who had been asked to search for items with these particular marks by Mary Bell and Margaret Abourne (sic). The jury found Elizabeth Die to be guilty. Since Elizabeth Die had taken several articles from William Ebourne, it was ordered that the sheriff deliver the goods to Ebourne with Die paying court costs. As Elizabeth Die had taken articles from Mary Bell, it was ordered that the sheriff deliver the goods to Bell with Die paying court costs.4 William was on the list of tithables at Accomack Co, VA, for in 1664. He was shown as Wm. Abram with 1 tithable..5 William was on the list of tithables at Accomack Co, VA, for in 1665. It was on this date Wm. Ebourne was on the Accomack County list of titables with 2 tithables..6 He married Margaret (-----) circa 1665. On 17 Apr 1665 both William Ebourne, age 32, and Margaret Ebourne, age 25, evidently his wife, testified in court about John Die & his wife Elizabeth Die stealing from them..1,7 He served on a jury on 16 February 1666 at Accomack Co, VA. He was shown as William Abourn and sworn in January for a jury of inquest. On 16 Mar 1665/6 he was on a another jury, shown as Wm. Abourn..8 He married Mary (-----) circa 1666 at Accomack Co, VA. The case of the Eborne children illustrates the trauma that some children must have endured. After young Sarah Eborne's mother died, her father William Eborne married Mary, who cared for Sarah and bore Eborne 3 more children. When William died, Sarah was placed in the custody of Joseph Nuton, who wanted the girl to serve him till she was 18 years old. However, Sarah's step-mother, after marrying Thomas Chapwell, successfully petitioned to get Sarah back. Three months later death dealt another blow: Mary Eborne Chapwell died, and while Sarah did not have to return to Nuton, all 4 children were sent to different homes..9 On 2 Oct 1666 when Richard Hill, George Truet, Fran. Benstone & Robt. Hutchinson appraised the estate of John Die, dec'd, William Abram was among those who owed debts to the estate.10 He served on a jury on 16 March 1669 at Accomack Co, VA. He was shown as William Abourne..11 On 17 May 1669 in Accomack Court it was ordered that Henry Selman at Wm. Abrams be summoned to the next court for not clearing the highways according to order. On 16 July 1669 according to the testimony of William Abourne, it appeared that Henry Selman agreed to pay Abourne 600 lbs tobacco for food and lodging; Sellman was to have a full share of the crop. Notwithstanding the agreement, Abourne took three or four thousand of the best plants for his wife and helped her tend them while neglecting the shared crop. Selman also suffered loss when Abourne neglected the crop while he and his man made cider. Ordered that Abourne be liable for the damanges; after then crop was finished, it was to be divided into three parts with Selman receiving one part. Abourne was to pay the cost of the suit.12 He served on a jury on 19 December 1671 at Accomack Co, VA.13 William sold land on 7 March 1672 at Accomack Co, VA. It was on this date that at the direction of John Lorey, 200 acres of land on Hunting Creek was surveyed on 17 January for William Abraham. Signed John Wallop. On this same date William Abraham sold to Joseph Smith the land he had received from John Carey. Signed 7 Mar 1671/2 by William (X) Abraham and Mary (M) Abraham. (NOTE: Evidently Wm. Abraham was Wm. Eborne as Wm. Eborne & Mary sold half the tract where John Cary livied on Hunting Creek on 17 Jul 1672.).14 On 17 May 1672 at Accomck Court it was ordered that Robert Hewett be constable for the ensuing year instead of Wm. Eborne.15 William sold land on 17 July 1672 at Hunting Creek, Acc Co, VA. It was on this date William Abraham (sic), planter, sold to Joshua Smith, planter, half the tract where John Cary lived on Hunting Creek. Signed on 17 Jul 1672 by William (X) Eborne and Mary (M) Eborne. Witnesses were Wm. Anderson & Rodger Micell..16 He served on a jury on 17 July 1672 at Accomack Co, VA.17 On 8 Feb 1672/3 Wm. Eburne and Mary his wife gave a deposition that they heard Edmund Joine say that he would never have known about one of his barrows running at Matchepungo if "Coslin's wife had not simply popt it out afore she was aware." Signed 6 Feb 1672/3 Wm. (X) Eburne and Mary (M) Eburne.18 On 21 Feb 1673/4 in Accomack Court the court found no cause for action in the suit of Sheriff Jno. Culpeper (attorneys: Mr. Jno. Tankard and Charles Holden) against Wm. Aburne.19 William was on the list of tithables at Accomack Co, VA, for in 1674. He was shown as Will. Abraham with 1 tithable..20 William died before 16 April 1675 at Accomack Co, VA. It was on this date that Mr. John Michaell Jr. (attorney Mr. Tankard) was granted an attachment of 589 lbs tobacco and court costs against the estate of John Pope. (Side note: "Served on the estate of Jno. Pope in the hands of the widow Eborne.").21 William witnessed a will on 18 October 1675 at Accomack Co, VA. It was on this date William Fletcher and William Aborne witnessed the will of Henry Haill. On 18 Nov 1675 at the request of Mr. Amb. White, the will of Henry Hail was probated by the oaths of Wm. Fletcher and Wm. Aborne..22,23 Administration of William's estate was filed on 14 September 1677 at Accomack Co, VA. It was on this date that Tho. Chapwell, who gave security, was granted administration on the estate of Wm. Eborne dec'd. Ordered that Arthur Robins, Jno. Parkes, Jno. Cob and Giles Cope appraise the estate of Eborne that would be presented by Chapwell and give an account to the next court.24 On 20 Nov 1677 it was recorded that as ordered on 14 Sep 1677, the estate of Wm. Eborne dec'd was appraised. It included 6 horses, 2 cattle, blankets, rugs, an Indian matchcoat, feather beds and pillows, furniture, a Bible and 3 other books, kitchen utensils, and tools to the value of 7584 lbs tobacco. Singed by Jno. Parkes, Giles Cope, Arthur Robins & Jno. Cob. The appraisal was presented to the court on 20 Nov 1677 by Arthur Robins.25 On 18 Dec 1677 Arthur Robins petitioned the court saying that the administration of the estate of Wm. Eborne dec'd had been granted to Tho. Chappell in the right of his wife. The estate had been appraised, but Chappell could not put in security as required by law. Since Chappell's wife had since died, it was ordered that administration be granted to Robins, who was to post security.26 On 17 Apr 1678 Arthur Robins had been granted the administration of the estate of William Eborne dec'd on behalf of the orphans. Several people had since been granted the care of the orphans, and upon their petition had been granted orders to take the orphans' share of the estate. Ordered that they give a yearly account to the orphan's court and give bond with security to be responsible to deliver the estate to the orphans when they came of age. Ordered that Robins deliver no part of the estate till receiving a certificate from the court clerk stating that the guardian had posted bond.27

Family 1

Rebecca Frame b. c 1634, d. c 1664
Marriage*He married Rebecca Frame, daughter of Capt. John Frame and Ann (-----), circa 1663 at Accomack Co, VA.

Family 2

Mary (-----) b. c 1630, d. b 18 Dec 1677
Marriage*He married Mary (-----) circa 1666 at Accomack Co, VA. The case of the Eborne children illustrates the trauma that some children must have endured. After young Sarah Eborne's mother died, her father William Eborne married Mary, who cared for Sarah and bore Eborne 3 more children. When William died, Sarah was placed in the custody of Joseph Nuton, who wanted the girl to serve him till she was 18 years old. However, Sarah's step-mother, after marrying Thomas Chapwell, successfully petitioned to get Sarah back. Three months later death dealt another blow: Mary Eborne Chapwell died, and while Sarah did not have to return to Nuton, all 4 children were sent to different homes..9

Monday, June 18, 2012

Scout Camps and Hikes

Over the past few days in communication with various members of the family and others, I have been impressed with the number of times the subject of scouting has come up. I substituted at the Temple on Friday and one of my former ward members and friend in the old Lanark Ward where I grew up asked me in a spare moment between assignments if I remembered a specific scout trip we had been on many years ago. In fact this particular trip was just one of numerous scout activities that are still fresh in my memory from fifty-five plus years ago. The specific scout trip my friend referred to was when the Lanark boy scouts made a trip to Yellowstone Park, the first of many for me. We made plans most of the winter in our troop meetings and then Arnell Early and Fred Parker loaded us up in their cars and trucks with the truck pulling a small tailor full of camping equipment and supplies and we were off on a wonderful adventure for the better part of a week. We camped in tents and it was quite early in June. The nights were rather cold and their was still some snow around in Yellowstone Park. We saw all the traditional sights and some which are not nearly as common any more, There were literally dozens of bears, mostly along the roadways, where they had learned to congregate and beg for a handout from passing tourists. Apparently there were some who were injured in these bear encounters and still others who were killed. For this reason the park officials put a ban on feeding bears and did all that they could to separate the native bears from the tourists who frequented the Park. Now it is a rarity if anyone sees a bear or two in the wilds of Yellowstone. They are still there but have learned again how to live in the wild rather than congregate around the dumps and highways looking for an easy, but unhealthy treat. I remember well one night when bears came into our camp. We were trying to sleep in our tents but during the night we could hear bears wandering ans snorting around the camp as they looked for any morsel of food that might have been left out. One go so close to our tent we could actually feel it as it went past and could hear it breathing. Needless to say this was a bit unsettling to a group of young scouts, but it made for some rather tall tales later on and some never to be forgotten memories of this early scout trip.
Judging from the cars in this picture this was about the same time as our scout trip to Yellowstone. We didn't really think much about the dangers of feeding the bears or taking pictures of them, especially while they were accompanied by cubs.
We also were not well taught about the dangers of leaving food on our campsite table or in our tents. Bears have a very keen sense of smell and are easily attracted to these items left by careless campers.

The trip to Yellowstone was just a starting point in our conversation, but over the next several days I have been reminded of many other adventures, some of which I shall endeavor to describe in this post.

My very first scout camping adventure took place when I was just eleven years old. I was invited to go with the Lanark Ward troop on a two night camp at Neibuhr Spring in Mill Canyon just about five miles west of home in the mountains. I was the youngest boy in the group, but I was made to feel included and we had a great time. As a part of this early scouting adventure one activity stands out. Some of the boys including me climbed to the top of the rather steep mountain directly east of our camping spot near Neibuhr Spring. There we found several large boulders lying on the hillside. We decided to see if we could move any of them and roll them down the hill. to the stream and the beaver ponds below. We were successful and I can still envision these large boulders thundering down the hill wiping out everything in their path before they finally came to rest at the bottom of the canyon below. We tried to maneuver some of these rocks so that they would end their downward path of destruction in one of the beaver ponds along the stream below. This we were also successful in doing with a resultant huge splash. This we found to be great fun. We didn't really do any damage except for crashing through the brush and perhaps jarring a few small saplings from the moorings on he hillside.

Another memory from this trip was that every mother of every boy in the troop it seems had sent an abundant supply of of canned pork and beans which we all ate with the gusto of hungry boys. The result- Chamber Music all through the night. It would not be the last of such music to be heard as the pork and beans seemed to be a pretty standard fare for boy scout camping trips. And never forget, boys were boys then, just as they are now.

Since that eventful camping trip to Neibuhr Spring I have returned to this spot many, many times. I have even rolled a few more boulders down the hill as an adult, but it didn't bring quite the same rush as it had so many years before when I was an eleven year old lad on his first scout camp. One time I even took my chain saw, hammer, an axe and some spikes and spent a day building a protective fence around the spring there where the clear water bubbles so mysteriously from the base of the mountain. This was some of the best water I had ever tasted, but by then it had become a trampled muddy watering hole for thirsty range cattle. I thought I was doing a service and hope either my small fence or a better one is still there protecting that lovely spring and the small stream which it feeds. To this very day one can see some of the boulders we rolled down that mountain in 1951, each one of them bringing back fond memories of good times. There are many places that I have grown to love in the mountains, but Neibuhr Spring is near the top of the list.


Another vivid memory of our scouting activities while growing up in Lanark, Idaho is a five day / four night trip we took while I was an explorer scout. Preparations began long in advance of the actual hike which was to begin in the town of Cove, Utah  in Cache Valley and end at Camp Nebeker on the eastern side of Bear Lake. This was a trip of some sixty or seventy miles. I don't know exactly the length of the trip but it was a feet of endurance of most of us, especially me. During the winter leading up to this adventure, under the direction of our dedicated scout leader, Vyron Orr, we made preparations. We studied the trail. We studied the weather at various times of the year. We built our own backpacks, fashioning them from hardwood slats and light with rope which was strung tightly over the frame and leather shoulder straps which we attached carefully by hand in such a way that they could be adjusted to the size of the body and also the size of the load. We discussed how much we would be able to carry and what kind of supplies would be need for such a trip. We decided that our packs would be about forty pounds/little less for some of the younger boys. Talking about it and even trying on our weighted packs was one thing. Carrying them up nine thousand foot mountains was another thing all together, which we learned in the course of our trip a little later.

In the weeks just prior to our departure around the tenth of June I became ill. I was very concerned that I wouldn't be able to go with the rest of the guys. Mom and Dad were also concerned about me making such a trip when I was still weak from the illness that had been plaguing me. The night before we were to leave the decision was made to let me go. Our leader and the other boys knew I was not really well and agreed to help me if it became necessary, and so when the morning for our hike began we were off early driving over to Franklin and then starting up the trail with our heavy packs on our back. We had a map which showed the trail clearly, however the trail was not a heavily traveled trail and it was sometimes a little difficult to follow. Our first night encampment was to be at a place called Horse Lake, high in the mountains above Franklin, Idaho. As we labored up the trail we made occasional stops to rest and review our progress. During on of these rest stops we all gathered around the map held by our scout leader. One of the boys noticed that Horse Lake was not very far away from where we were. In a direct line on the map it was in fact but a short distance, maybe a couple of miles. If we continued up the canyon and followed the trail it was much further, perhaps another eight or nine miles. I remember well the deliberations. The scoutmaster kind of encouraged us to stay on the trail even though it was not a very good trail. Some of the older boy suggested making a B-line for Horse Lake going up and over the mountains between us and the lake. I remember it was put to a vote and most determined to take the shortcut. As we labored up the mountains we at length came to realize that the daylight was getting away from us and we might be very late arriving at our first nights planned destination. After stumbling down the mountainside after the steep climb we arrived at Horse Lake exhausted but glad that we had made it that far, even if we were a few hours later than we had planned. The shortcut had turned out to be anything but a shortcut. It added hours onto our hike and caused all of us to burn up a lot more energy that first day than we had planned. It was especially telling on my as I had started of in a somewhat weakened condition anyway. We built a fire, pitched our tents in the dark and cooked a quick supper over the campfire. We gave thanks for our safe arrival at that point, but I think all of us learned an enduring lesson from the day's experience

Our first day our had been very demanding, but for the most part we got along quite well and learned some important lessons along the way. After a not so restful nights sleep we arose, prepared our breakfast and after eating stared on to the second leg of our trip. This day was to bring us to Bloomington Lake. This was a place familiar to some of the boys , but most of us had never been there, and none had ever coming from the direction we were hiking. We were in unfamiliar territory, but with our trusty map in hand we were confident that would would arrive at our camp site before dark. Shortly after noon, however, we began to notice ominous signs in the skies. The clouds were gathering and it was turning colder. Soon a lite drizzle began to fall. This continued off and on for the remainder of our second day out. During times when it was raining harder we occasionally tried to find cover under a large tree. This worked, but it had consequences. It slowed us down. I was getting very weak and some of the older boys helped me with my pack. This slowed us down even more. It eventually became apparent that we would arrive at Bloomingotn Lake much like we had a Horse Lake the night before, in the dark. That was bad enough, but as the evening progressed and the darkness fell so did the temperatures. The rain turned to sleet and the sleet to snow. We trudged on grumbling about our plight until we finally reach Bloomington Lake. We found a somewhat sheltered spot near some large boulders along the shore of the first Bloomington Lake. There we decided to set up camp and make a fire. Making a fire in these conditions was no easy task as everything was sop and wet and the wet snow continued to fall. We were all exhausted and hungry which only added to our plight. We were fortunate though and our training about keeping our matches dry and some dry fodder paid of and we were soon able to get a fire going. After finding some branches covered with pine gum we were soon able to coax the small fire into a roaring fire for which we were all grateful. By this time most of us were wet through and were happy to try to warm ourselves by the roaring fire. Then a small problem developed. As we stood with our backsides to the fire our wet clothing began to steam, being heated by the fire. We soon had to move away from the flames and make the process a lower one, but we were glad and fortunate to have a nice warm fire. From this process we learned still other valuable lessons. We pitched our tents and tried to dig small ditches around them to keep the water and snow melt from filling our tents and making what appeared was going to be a sleepless night even worse than it needed to be.

We finally got around to cooking some hot dogs on a stick and were glad to fill our stomachs with some good warm food. It was certainly not a banquet, but it might as well have been. I've never tasted hot dogs that good in my entire life. As we were standing around the fire eating our hot dogs one of the boys noticed something very strange. across on the far side of the lake. It was dark except for the light of the fire, but off across the lake at a distance of about a quarter of a mile we noticed some small lights bouncing along in the darkness. We stopped and listened, but we could hear nothing. The lights came closer and closer, finally we recognized some people coming toward us in the dark and stormy night. Soon we recognized most of our parents. They had planned this rendezvous for weeks and were not about to let this surprise visit to their scouts be missed, regardless of the weather conditions. They had fixed a tarp over the top of Dave Parker's cattle truck, piled in a few bales of hay, and then climped in on top of the hay. They had blankets and flashlights and I can just imagine the tone of their conversation as they drove out into the darkness toward Bloomington Lake to meet their boys. We were all astonished to see them, that is all but the scoutmaster, who had kept this secret from us and had pushed us to make it to the site of our second night campsite. Our parents brought with them more hot dogs, some marshmallows and some hot chocolate. We thought we had died and gone to heaven right there in that snowy wet landscape on the shores of Bloomington Lake. I remember discussing with our leader and our parents that night whether we should just call off the rest of our trip and go home with them or if some of us perhaps should do that. In the end we all decided to stay the night and continue our trip in the morning. Late in the evening our wonderful and brave parents left us again in the wilderness, by a smoldering fire and we prepared to get what sleep we could. Needless to say, none of us slept very well again our second night out in the woods.

I remember saying my prayers silently in the tent that night. I thanked the Lord for helping us and especially for good friends who had helped me to bear up the heavy pack on occasion during that day with out complaint. I thanked Him for good parents and neighbors who cared about their kids, and I prayed that they would be alright on their return journey to Lanark.

Day three of our trip started of cold but with clearing conditions. Soon the sun was shining down on our tired troop as we trudged up the trail toward St. Charles Canyon and Minnitonka Cave. This was the easy day on the trail. We made good time and arrived at our camp site in mid afternoon. We were grateful for the short hike and the pleasant weather. We camped near the trail which leads up to Minitonka Cave and after another, this time less hastily prepared campfire meal, sat around the campfire and told stories and recalled the events of the previous days and nights. Eventually we crawled into out tents and sleeping bags and went to sleep. After giving thanks to the Lord for a better day, I remember how well we all slept that night. The next day we hiked up over the mountain and down Fish Haven Canyon, eventually arriving at the western shore of Bear Lake, There we loaded all of our gear into a truck and ourselves into a waiting motor boat. This was my first time in a motor boat and I think the same was true for most of the other boys. The boat had been previously arranged and we enjoyed a wonderful crossing of beautiful Bear Lake arriving early in the afternoon in time to set up our tents and participate in the special Friday night campfire ceremony where the troop of tired explorer scouts from the Lanark Ward were honored for the completion of this great trek in the wilderness as the evening sun set across beautiful Bear Lake. This experience will not be soon forgotten, as it becomes a topic of discussion when any of the boys (now old men) who participated get together even fifty plus years later. It was a tough and hard experience, but we all survived, learning important life lessons, and making memories that I hope will be carried on beyond our own generation.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Whose Woods These Are.......

Over the years I have had many opportunities to spend many hours gazing, deep in thought, up into the night sky.  The earliest of these experiences took place on special nights in the summer time when I was growing up on the farm in Lanark.  Well do I remember the nights we slept out under the stars.
Sometimes a bed was even set up out next to the garage and we would go out there and sleep on the cool clear summer nights of the Bear Lake Valley.  We would lie on our backs looking up at the stars, barely able to take in the beauty and wonder of it all. I feel saddened by the many youth of today whose signal to go to bed is to turn off the TV or their IPad or their dell phone. We would watch for falling stars or an occasional airplane crossing the night sky above us. On one occasion even a distant comet could be seen with its small tail streaming behind it.  I remember wondering if people like us lived on any of that multitude of stars in the heavens.  I remember wondering to myself just which of the stars was the home of our Father in Heaven.  The beauty and wonder of it all was brought forcibly to my attention one time when I wrote a brief description of the night sky in the high mountain vallies of the Rockies.  I described in some detail the wonders and beauties so familiar to me.  I sent this description to an acquittance I'd made while serving a mission in Germany many years ago.     She wrote me back and said that the night after she got my letter, she to had gone out in the great city where she lived and looked up at the night sky.  Her report was, " I could see both of the stars."  Those words caught me rather off guard, as I had forgotten to give adequate thanks for the privilege of living at a high altitude among the towering mountains, where the sky is often clear and unimpeded by the lights of the city.  I thought of the feelings I'd had on those starry nights looking up at the stars at home and others when I went camping with my kids and how those feeling had shaped my thought throughout the years and had led me on a pursuit of divine knowledge which continues to this day.  Contrary to the thinking of many, the older I get the clearer becomes my vision.  Though the words of the famous poem by Robert Frost were in a different context, I too have come to know "whose woods these are..." as I look up in awe into the night sky.
I remember special occasions on camping trips into the mountains of Southeast Idaho and Western Wyoming when the nights were especially clear.  It was and continues to be a great blessing in our lives.  When Stephen and Ryan were teenagers we went on several camping trips to wilderness areas in Wyoming, especially to a place called Middle Piney Lake.  One night Ryan and I sat on a large rock  outside our  tent looking up into the beautiful night sky.  I remember a jet passenger plane flying above us and on that still night, high in the mountains, it seemed so close we could almost touch it.  We talked about creation and the things of eternity.  In the course of our discussion Ryan said something that has never left my memory.  He said:  "If every young man could have a discussion with his father like we had that night the world would be a totally different and a better place."  I hope he and all of my children can still remember how we felt on those special nights alone sitting, gazing heavenward, and once in a while even speaking, uttering words far beyond our natural understanding.

The picture above offers much food for thought.  When you get a minute (or a month or more) spend some time watching and thinking about the big movie in the heavens.  You will not go away without
being rewarded. I promise!!!

By Bart

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Things of Eternity

JT and Amber surrounded by family and friends at the Bountiful Utah Temple June 1, 2012.

This week we had a wonderful opportunity to attend the wedding of JT, our eldest grandson, and Amber Houghton in the Bountiful Utah Temple.  As the sealer spoke I could sense a great sense of what eternity might mean.  We were very happy to feel that we are a part of an eternal family, and that the growth and joy we have experienced over the years will continue forever.  I have sometimes said, referring to my love for my good wife, Iris, that I can hardly wait to see how much I will love her a hundred million years from now.  I'm sure that JT and Amber will find that their love for one another will grow from day to day and from year to year.  That love will grow even more because of the covenants and promises they have made with one another, and especially because the Lord has also promised them blessings beyond our wildest imagination.

I think attending the Temple weddings of young couples in the family or among our friends gives us an opportunity to reflect upon the wonderful promises made to all of us who are willing to make and live by the eternal covenants that belong to every Temple marriage performed by authority given by God himself to men.  It sometimes staggers even my imagination when I contemplate these great blessings.

The times we spend together help us to weave a fabric of faith, trust, and learning which bind us together.  I am so grateful for each of you in my life and for the way you have enriched my personal experience with mortality.  I hope that in some small way I have had a similar effect on your lives.

In a discussion with Justin he shared with me a few lines from an assignment he is working on at USU.  These kinds of experiences give us a chance to learn from one another and to gain perspective into the nature of eternity and our role in it.  We are children of God and as such have an infinite potential, but in the event we might get a little impatient or wish to take too much glory unto ourselves, Justin's thoughts tend to put things into perspective and give us ample reason to be humble.
The following is a small excerpt from his thoughts on this topic.  I well remember those days, and shall ever cherish the hours we spent together in nature.
From Justin.

Here is the copy of the evolutionary biology discussion I showed you at the wedding.

My dad was a school teacher but he was also a lecturer for The National Geographic Society.  We spent a lot of time together when I was young, and even now that I am not so young, in the mountains.  He loved to hike and "summit bag" (climb to the top of prominent peaks in different geographic areas).  He said he could get a better perspective of the Earths geological forces by standing on top of a mountain looking across ranges and down valleys.  I remember one hike to the top of Midnight Mountain in the Bear River Range in Southern Idaho when I was maybe 8 years old that we found a fossil of a trilobite about a hundred yards from the summit.  First he explained to me what a trilobite was and then he asked me how I thought a creature that lived in seas died, became fossilized, and ended up at almost 10,000 feet above sea level.  I didn't know then but do know now that the Earth is very old.  I can't fathom 4.5 billion years but I learned that the rocks that make up Midnight Mountain (and the rest of the Bear River Range) formed during the Ordovician period about 445 million years ago and the last trilobites died of about 250 million years ago but first appeared in the fossil records about 526 million years ago.  When the trilobite died and sank to the bottom of the sea it was then covered by layer upon layer of sediment.  It eventually fossilized and the rocks that were formed from the sediments were then lifted up by the forces of plate tectonics and fault activity.  Eventually the rocks that formed Midnight Mountain were lifted up (I only wish I knew how high) and then eventually eroded down to its present height and also exposing the rock that had the fossilized remains of the trilobite.  This experience kind of helped me get a grasp on how old the Earth is and how strong the geological forces that have shaped it are.  But I still cannot completely wrap my mind around the fact that I won't even live as many seconds as the Earth is old in years.  To me it is a little sad to think I can only see these changes in very small, slow increments. 
Those last couple of sentences kind of put things in perspective.  There are lessons of eternal significance to be learned from trilobites.  Our lives are short and maybe we would like to see the entire picture right now, but if we could, we would not be able to comprehend it, and might become discouraged at the enormity of the tasks remaining before us.  "One step enough for me." Carpe diem, sieze the day, and then the next one and the next one.

by Bart