Judge Not


Sacrament Meeting talk by daughter Ileen, July 29, 2012

My passion, as most of you know, is family history. All eight of my great-grandparents joined the Church in its early days and made their way from England, Ireland, Australia, New England and Canada to Utah. Many of these great-grandparents performed temple ordinances for themselves and their ancestors. Consequently, there wasn’t much research left to be done, so I turned my efforts to collecting and publishing details about their lives. When I consider their lives, one thing stands out–they kept going in spite of the hardships, they were committed to the Gospel and answered the call of their leaders to move again and again to help settle the West. I have come to love and appreciate my ancestors. I feel that I know them personally and look forward to meeting them in the next life.

Occasionally, when we come across a “colorful” individual in our family history, we have a tendency to label them as “rascals” or the “black sheep of the family.” One thing I have learned from my family history efforts is to refrain from judging others.

President Monson talked about this in a recent General Conference address. You will remember that he told of a  sister judging a neighbor because her laundry hanging on the line was not clean. Her husband rose early one morning and washed the kitchen window. It wasn’t the laundry that was dirty, it was the kitchen window. President Monson quoted the Savior when he said, “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye.” Or, as he paraphrased, “Why beholdest thou what you think is dirty laundry at your neighbor’s house but considerest not the soiled window in your own house?”

Learning more about my father and the conditions under which he lived has helped me to understand him better. From my limited view as a child, it was tempting to pass judgment.

  • Most of the time he wore striped bib overalls, a faded-blue long-sleeved shirt and high-top shoes.
  • He was in bed by 9 in the evening and up with the chickens at 5 in the morning. He prepared his coffee and cooked our mush.
  • By 9 o’clock, after working on our 1 3/4-acre lot, he would go to his work as a carpenter.
  • After work he sat in his rocking chair and listened to Gabriel Heator give the news.
  • He rolled his own cigarettes which he smoked–always outside, never in the house–one in the morning and one in the evening.
  • Much to Mother’s dismay, he would not pray with the family nor attend church.
  • I knew my father to always be doing something.
  • I remember him regularly keeping our push lawn mower sharpened and in top working order.
  • He repaired the kitchen chairs and other household items almost before they needed it.
  • More than once, I saw him take his dollar pocket watch apart on the kitchen table and soak it in kerosene to clean it.
  • The clippers Mom used to cut his hair he frequently took apart and sharpened the blades. These were hand clippers, not the electric clippers we have today.

Now I would like to share with you some things I learned about my father through my family history efforts.

Dad’s parents were married in 1886, close to the time when there was much opposition to plural marriage. The manifesto was issued in November 1890, so Grandma, who was the second wife, and her first born, then about 9 months old, were sent to live with Grandpa’s uncle and used an assumed name. Later she moved back to Arizona where she lived in a one-room log cabin, about 14 feet x 12 feet. There was one bed for their parents with a trundle bed underneath. Beds for the rest of the seven children were made on the floor each night and the bedding put away again in the morning.

Dad attended school in the winter when he wasn’t needed on the ranch. Because he couldn’t go all the time, he was behind in the class and older than most of the other students.

He couldn’t find work that was steady, so he raised sheep and cattle on the farm. He tried to save his money so he could go to school, but when he found that his younger sisters and brothers needed shoes and the family had to have flour, he would turn over his earnings to his father and go back to herding sheep.

Even though he could not go to school, he always had a desire for learning. When he was 18 years of age he came back from the mountains and went to the Board of Trustees of the school and asked for special permission to attend school. He was granted this privilege and attended school for six months one winter so he could finish the 6th grade.

My oldest sister Hilga writes, “Reading was his favorite pastime. He read whenever he could, and all subjects available. He seldom read novels or cheap literature; he read on all the political issues and current events, history and church works. He was always on a quest for the knowledge he had been unable to attain as a child and a young man. He was eager to learn from anyone, and although he may not have agreed with your views, he always listened.”

He enlisted in the Army during World War I, but was sent home after three months because of a bad heart due to rheumatic fever as a child. Another sister, Helen, told me that she used to go to work with Dad after school and on Saturdays to help him. Growing up I was never aware of his heart condition. After having had some heart problems of my own, I can understand why he went to bed at 9 pm. He was tired!

As a child, his family was much too poor to pay for a doctor, and instead used home remedies. His maternal grandfather was an herb doctor. At that time tobacco and coffee were used for medicinal purposes. Dad’s morning coffee and twice-daily cigarettes were, I believe, the stimulant he needed to get through the day.

At his funeral a coworker said of him:

“Perhaps you think he didn’t come to church much to know whether he had a testimony of the Gospel or not, but I have been with him when the Church has been challenged, and I have just enjoyed being quiet and listening to what he had to say about it. He could hold his own, perhaps not from a scholarly standpoint. I didn’t find him arguing with anybody, but in no uncertain terms, he gave several people that I knew of the occasion to understand that as far as he was concerned the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was worth while and those that didn’t have it were lacking.”

“I have seen him put a floor down in a home I was building, and by the time he’d get through with all the scraps he didn’t waste anything. If you have ever put a hardwood floor down, you know how easy it is to go across the floor til you get to the other side. The last six inches there is no place to pry against the wood, you have a plastered wall. It’s hard to get the nails in, and in some homes next to the wall you’ll see cracks left because it was too hard to put it down right. Just little things like that, Brother Ray Judd took just as much interest in getting the last three boards in the floor just right as he did the first ones. I think that that is the place where you find out what kind of an individual we are. Long as everything is going easy, it’s not too much trouble to do it right, but when it comes to the tight places in life, some people give up.”

Once we become better acquainted with someone we have criticized and can see things from their point of view, our judgment is more forgiving. Through my efforts to learn about my ancestors I have come to appreciate my father more. He worked as hard as he could and was good to us kids, even when I put my foot through the kitchen ceiling while stepping around on the rafters upstairs as he was laying the flooring.

Again, as President Monson said, “There is really no way we can know the heart, intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize.”

Eliza R. Snow wrote the text of Hymn No. 273, “Truth Reflects upon Our Senses.” This hymn addresses the topic of judging others. I particularly like verses 2 and 5:

Jesus said, “Be meek and lowly,
For ’tis high to be a judge;
If I would be pure and holy,
I must love without a grudge.
It requires a constant labor
All his precepts to obey.
If I truly love my neighbor,
I am in the narrow way.

Charity and love are healing,
These will give the clearest sight;
When I saw my brother’s failing,
I was not exactly right.
Now I’ll take no further trouble;
Jesus’ love is all my theme;
Little motes are but a bubble
When I think upon the beam.

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My Father


by daughter Hilga

My first recollection of my father came about the time I was five years of age. One spring morning as I teetered on a box near the pantry door, Dad called me to come to breakfast. I ignored him and continued to teeter. Upon his second request, I smartly answered, “I won’t do it.” To my utter amazement, Dad selected an appropriate shingle from behind the stove, and thus instructed me to never use that phrase to him again.

Dad was very busy and had very little time for us children except to discipline us as was needed. He arose early every morning to milk the cows and went to bed before nine at night. Often we children would come in at dusk on a long summer evening to find Dad already asleep in bed.

Long winter evenings were a bit of comfort to us. Dad listened to the radio and would occasionally play games with us. Very often I was sent for a pan of apples which he would peel for all of us with his sharp pocket knife. Even today whenever I peel an apple, I think of a cozy winter evening on the farm, and Dad in his rocking chair by the pot-bellied heater.

Dad was a man of genuine character. He said what he thought, but seldom passed a compliment even if it had been earned. When questioned about a new dress, he would say, “If it suits you, it suits me.”

He was very honest and therefore easily skunked on a horse trade. He made many horse trades in an effort to match a pulling team, but finally had to admit defeat and buy a tractor. I don’t believe any one was ever able to beat him in a cow trade, for he could always pick the best cow of any herd. Mom often said, “If I had been a cow, I’d have been you Dad’s pride and joy, with my long neck, narrow shoulders and broad hips.”

Visiting was one of the things that Dad greatly enjoyed. He would load us all in the car on Sunday afternoon, and he would go trading. He loved to talk to people, and often in the summer we visited relatives after church. Uncle Tom was our favorite; he raised watermelons, and we loved to eat them. Jeniel could eat more watermelon than any of us, and Uncle Tom loved to see her eat to her limit. Other visits included those to Uncle Parley’s in town, and to some of Mother’s cousins.

Dad was a very exacting man, no job was too insignificant for his best. It often seemed to others that he was real slow in his work but each job showed his fine workmanship. “If it isn’t worth doing right, don’t do it at all.” “If you don’t intend to do it right, get out and let someone else do it who will do it right.” If it didn’t fit right, he did it over. He never left a job until he felt satisfied about it within himself.

Dad taught us many of the fundamental principles such as respect for our elders, honesty, and to give a full day’s work for our pay. He had worked hard all of his life, and he taught us to be proud of our ability to do a good job. To show disrespect for our mother or to sass was a great sin in his eyes, and we were punished accordingly.

Reading was his favorite pastime. He read whenever he could, and all subjects available. He seldom read novels or cheap literature; he read on all the political issues and current events, history and church works. He was always on a quest for the knowledge he had been unable to attain as a child and a young man. He was eager to learn from anyone, and although he may not have agreed with your views, he always listened.

He died December 23, 1957 while working on the ward chapel. He was happy in his work, and we were glad that he did not have to go back to bed for an extended stay. He had said a few weeks before that he didn’t know if he could stand another winter cooped up in the house. He was a good father in his own way, and we are ever grateful for all that he was able to teach us, and for the love he gave us.

Judge Not


Sacrament Meeting talk by daughter Ileen, July 29, 2012

My passion, as most of you know, is family history. All eight of my great-grandparents joined the Church in its early days and made their way from England, Ireland, Australia, New England and Canada to Utah. Many of these great-grandparents performed temple ordinances for themselves and their ancestors. Consequently, there wasn’t much research left to be done, so I turned my efforts to collecting and publishing details about their lives. When I consider their lives, one thing stands out–they kept going in spite of the hardships, they were committed to the Gospel and answered the call of their leaders to move again and again to help settle the West. I have come to love and appreciate my ancestors. I feel that I know them personally and look forward to meeting them in the next life.

Occasionally, when we come across a “colorful” individual in our family history, we have a tendency to label them as “rascals” or the “black sheep of the family.” One thing I have learned from my family history efforts is to refrain from judging others.

President Monson talked about this in a recent General Conference address. You will remember that he told of a  sister judging a neighbor because her laundry hanging on the line was not clean. Her husband rose early one morning and washed the kitchen window. It wasn’t the laundry that was dirty, it was the kitchen window. President Monson quoted the Savior when he said, “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye.” Or, as he paraphrased, “Why beholdest thou what you think is dirty laundry at your neighbor’s house but considerest not the soiled window in your own house?”

Learning more about my father and the conditions under which he lived has helped me to understand him better. From my limited view as a child, it was tempting to pass judgment.

  • Most of the time he wore striped bib overalls, a faded-blue long-sleeved shirt and high-top shoes.
  • He was in bed by 9 in the evening and up with the chickens at 5 in the morning. He prepared his coffee and cooked our mush.
  • By 9 o’clock, after working on our 1 3/4-acre lot, he would go to his work as a carpenter.
  • After work he sat in his rocking chair and listened to Gabriel Heator give the news.
  • He rolled his own cigarettes which he smoked–always outside, never in the house–one in the morning and one in the evening.
  • Much to Mother’s dismay, he would not pray with the family nor attend church.
  • I knew my father to always be doing something.
  • I remember him regularly keeping our push lawn mower sharpened and in top working order.
  • He repaired the kitchen chairs and other household items almost before they needed it.
  • More than once, I saw him take his dollar pocket watch apart on the kitchen table and soak it in kerosene to clean it.
  • The clippers Mom used to cut his hair he frequently took apart and sharpened the blades. These were hand clippers, not the electric clippers we have today.

Now I would like to share with you some things I learned about my father through my family history efforts.

Dad’s parents were married in 1886, close to the time when there was much opposition to plural marriage. The manifesto was issued in November 1890, so Grandma, who was the second wife, and her first born, then about 9 months old, were sent to live with Grandpa’s uncle and used an assumed name. Later she moved back to Arizona where she lived in a one-room log cabin, about 14 feet x 12 feet. There was one bed for their parents with a trundle bed underneath. Beds for the rest of the seven children were made on the floor each night and the bedding put away again in the morning.

Dad attended school in the winter when he wasn’t needed on the ranch. Because he couldn’t go all the time, he was behind in the class and older than most of the other students.

He couldn’t find work that was steady, so he raised sheep and cattle on the farm. He tried to save his money so he could go to school, but when he found that his younger sisters and brothers needed shoes and the family had to have flour, he would turn over his earnings to his father and go back to herding sheep.

Even though he could not go to school, he always had a desire for learning. When he was 18 years of age he came back from the mountains and went to the Board of Trustees of the school and asked for special permission to attend school. He was granted this privilege and attended school for six months one winter so he could finish the 6th grade.

My oldest sister Hilga writes, “Reading was his favorite pastime. He read whenever he could, and all subjects available. He seldom read novels or cheap literature; he read on all the political issues and current events, history and church works. He was always on a quest for the knowledge he had been unable to attain as a child and a young man. He was eager to learn from anyone, and although he may not have agreed with your views, he always listened.”

He enlisted in the Army during World War I, but was sent home after three months because of a bad heart due to rheumatic fever as a child. Another sister, Helen, told me that she used to go to work with Dad after school and on Saturdays to help him. Growing up I was never aware of his heart condition. After having had some heart problems of my own, I can understand why he went to bed at 9 pm. He was tired!

As a child, his family was much too poor to pay for a doctor, and instead used home remedies. His maternal grandfather was an herb doctor. At that time tobacco and coffee were used for medicinal purposes. Dad’s morning coffee and twice-daily cigarettes were, I believe, the stimulant he needed to get through the day.

At his funeral a coworker said of him:

“Perhaps you think he didn’t come to church much to know whether he had a testimony of the Gospel or not, but I have been with him when the Church has been challenged, and I have just enjoyed being quiet and listening to what he had to say about it. He could hold his own, perhaps not from a scholarly standpoint. I didn’t find him arguing with anybody, but in no uncertain terms, he gave several people that I knew of the occasion to understand that as far as he was concerned the gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was worth while and those that didn’t have it were lacking.

“I have seen him put a floor down in a home I was building, and by the time he’d get through with all the scraps he didn’t waste anything. If you have ever put a hardwood floor down, you know how easy it is to go across the floor til you get to the other side. The last six inches there is no place to pry against the wood, you have a plastered wall. It’s hard to get the nails in, and in some homes next to the wall you’ll see cracks left because it was too hard to put it down right. Just little things like that, Brother Ray Judd took just as much interest in getting the last three boards in the floor just right as he did the first ones. I think that that is the place where you find out what kind of an individual we are. Long as everything is going easy, it’s not too much trouble to do it right, but when it comes to the tight places in life, some people give up.”

Once we become better acquainted with someone we have criticized and can see things from their point of view, our judgment is more forgiving. Through my efforts to learn about my ancestors I have come to appreciate my father more. He worked as hard as he could and was good to us kids, even when I put my foot through the kitchen ceiling while stepping around on the rafters upstairs as he was laying the flooring.

Again, as President Monson said, “There is really no way we can know the heart, intentions, or the circumstances of someone who might say or do something we find reason to criticize.”

Eliza R. Snow wrote the text of Hymn No. 273, “Truth Reflects upon Our Senses.” This hymn
addresses the topic of judging others. I particularly like verses 2 and 5:

Jesus said, Be meek and lowly,
For ’tis high to be a judge;
If I would be pure and holy,
I must love without a grudge.
It requires a constant labor
All his precepts to obey.
If I truly love my neighbor,
I am in the narrow way.

Charity and love are healing,
These will give the clearest sight;
When I saw my brother’s failing,
I was not exactly right.
Now I’ll take no further trouble;
Jesus’ love is all my theme;
Little motes are but a bubble
When I think upon the beam.

-o-O-o-

Timeline


Here’s the beginning of a timeline to build our story around. Are there other things that should be included? Please add additions to a comment, and I will revise our timeline to include them.

There are bits and pieces of our history that have already been written, and I will post them soon. We will work them into our history as we go.

Watch for new tabs at the top of the blog. Current tabs are Home, About, and Purpose.

——–———————

1926 MARRIAGE: Ray and Lila married in Manti.

1927 BIRTH: Hilga born, in Sutherland.

1928 BIRTH: Ira born, in Sutherland.

1929 August Great Depression, stock market crash

1930 BIRTH: Helen born at home in LV.

1931 BIRTH: Jeniel born at home in LV.

1935 BIRTH: Ileen born at home in LV.

1939 to 1945 Would War II

1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

1941 November to December 1944 Geneva Steel Plant construction

1942 Move to PG

1943 BIRTH: Charlotte born in AF.

1945  Hilga graduates from Cadet Nursing Program

1946 Ira in Army in Japan during post-war occupation.

1949 Hilga marries.

1950 Helen marries.

1951 Jeniel marries.

1951 Ira marries.

1956  Ileen marries.

1956? Church remodel in PG.  Ira’s fall.

1957 December DEATH: Dad died at PG while working on the church building.

1968  Charlotte marries George

1972  Charlotte marries Harold

1988 DEATH: Mom died at PG.