I have named this website
        Be of Good Cheer     
Because they are the most important four words ever spoken. The reasons they are important are found in the life, teachings, and mission of the Jesus Christ.  The phrase was first spoken by Jesus when he said, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." - John16:33 Everyone who has ever lived should rejoice because of those words and everything they mean.   .                                                                                         
                            My Favorite Things
                              By Darrell J. Stoddard

'These are a few of my treasures and favorite things":                 (“Great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures”)
that have made me what I am and pointed the way for
what I ought to be. If they were not written, they would be lost forever, to me, my children, and my posterity.

      "The strongest memory is paler than the weakest ink."

        "Short pencil better than long memory" – Confucius

"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us."  - Helen Keller (but even the things  we love deeply will be forgotten if they are not written - djs.)

These Are My Favorite Things
: My God, my Savior, my family, my faith. The blessing of life and death (just to be able to experience this glorious existence). To be a father and share in His creation. To love another enough to die for them. To serve His little ones. “Not to be served, but to Serve” To heal pain and relieve suffering. A newborn baby (Nowhere hath God shown Himself more sublimely than in his children who are created in His very image and likeness). The smile and laugh of a little child. The planets moving in the heavens, this beautiful complex world – Mountains, Deserts Rivers, and Streams; Grass, Plants, Shrubs, Flowers, and Trees; Sea Shells, Birds, Fishes, and Butterflies; Grain, Vegetables, and Fruit, All things which testify of Him..... "Oh God, Let This Be Heaven!"


Earth is crammed with heaven                                        And every common bush afire with God
but only he who sees, takes off his shoes                 
-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
 
My Birth:  My grandfather John Francis Stoddard was born in a covered wagon in 1852 in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.  My father was born the youngest of 12 children in Hooper, Utah Feb.22, 1901. I was born in the midst of "The Great Depression" on August 29, 1934 the youngest son, of the youngest son, of the youngest son. When I was born my parents had to sell our chicken coop to pay the hospital bill. I have been trying ever since to prove I am worth more than the chickens.
      Also born in 1934 were: Orin Hatch, Ralph Nadar, Van Cliburn, Pat Boone, Norman Schwarkopf, Hank Aaron, Bill Russell, Bart Star, Alan Arkin, Sam Donaldson, Charles Kuralt, Jim Lehrer, Bill Moyers, Wilford Brimley, Willard Scott, Carl Sagun, Elgin Baylor, Dwaine Hickman, Shirley Jones, Shirley McClain, Bridgett Bardot, and Sophia Loren. It was a very good year!

My Mother: Helen Froerer Stoddard, Taught me to love eternal things that really matter - the Savior, the Scriptures, Primary, Church teachers and leaders, books and poetry – her wonderful poetry. How can I forget?
     “I wanted the gold and I sought it. I groveled and mucked like a slave. Whether famine or scurvy I caught it. I hurled my youth to the grave.  I wanted the gold and I got it, came back with a fortune last Fall, but somehow life's not what I thought it, and somehow the gold isn't all." or    "Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not the goal; Dust thou art to dust returnest was not spoken of the soul." or "She's some bodies mother old and grey…" or "Din, Din you limpin lump of brick dust Gunga Din....He'll be sittin on the coals givin drinks to poor damned souls and I'll get a swig in ell from Gunga Din" or "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you…”

or "

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!) Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, And saw, within the moonlight in his room, Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, An Angel writing in a book of gold:

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, And to the Presence in the room he said, "What writest thou?" The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."

"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so," Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low, But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then, Write me as one who loves his fellow men."

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night It came again with a great wakening light, And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
 And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

Or
"Under the spreading chestnut tree the village smithy stands..." or "Breathes there a man with soul so dead who never to himself hath said: This is my own, my native land..." or "Four score and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth upon this land a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal..." or "Trailing Clouds of Glory do we come from God who is our Home." or "Poor Little Humpity Jim, I no can get mad at him, He's gotta da hump on his back." (We should treat all children as though they have a hump on the back) or "Blessings on thee, little man, barefoot boy, with cheek of tan…" or "God pity them both! And pity us all, Who vainly the dreams of youth recall For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been!"          or                                                                      
"In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
Though poppies grow In Flanders fields”  

.... And on and on and on, the memories linger of the best mother a boy ever had.    Mother memorized the poem "Oh God Let This Be Heaven" after she was 90 years old!    She quoted for me when she was 94 years old without a moment of hesitation the following classic poem:

Little Boy Blue by Eugene Field

The little toy dog is covered with dust,
But sturdy and stanch he stands;
And the little toy soldier is red with rust,                                        And his musket molds in his hands.

Time was when the little toy dog was new
And the soldier was passing fair,
And that was the time that our little boy blue
Kissed them and put them there.
"Now, don't you go till I come ," he said,”                                      And don't you make any noise!

So toddling off to his trundle-bed
He dreamed of the pretty toys.
And as he was dreaming, an angel song                           Awakened our Little Boy Blue-
Oh, the years are many, the years are long,                                But the little toy friends are true.

Aye, faithful to little boy blue they stand,                                Each in the same old place.
Awaiting the touch of a little hand,
And the smile of a little face.
And they wonder, as waiting the long days through,                        In the dust of that little chair,                                                   What has become of our Little Boy Blue
Since he kissed them and put them there?

    More important than quoting the poem for me, my mother taught me the answer to that most probing question, "What happens to a little child when they die?"
     When I was about 10 years old, Mother bought for me from a door to door salesman the book "A Story to Tell" that helped to make me what I am. "Richer than I you can never be, I had a mother who read (and bought books and quoted poetry) to me!" She also believed that I could do no wrong. That kept me from doing too many wrong things.
A Memory for Mother's Day:
     When I graduated from high school I faced the Korean War and being drafted into the military the same as my brothers Lynn (World War 2) and Ray (Korean War) had been. Going on a mission was not even a possibility. Then the draft-board started letting one missionary from each ward go. At about the same time Mother received a small inheritance from her parent’s estate and said this would pay for a mission but I didn't even consider it. My Mother had never had anything but a coal stove for cooking and heating, never had a carpet, only throw rugs, often handmade from rags. This was her chance to have some of the things almost all other women had. There is no way I was going to take that from her so I completely put a mission out of my mind.
      I had a job scrapping the rust off and painting the frames of the hothouses at the Miller Floral in Farmington, Utah. My grandmother (mother's mother) who had died earlier came to me and let me know very firmly that I must serve the mission. She didn't say this, but it was her money and I couldn't say no. I couldn't see Grandmother with my mortal eyes or audibly hear her voice but the message was as sure and her presence more real than anything I could have perceived with my five senses.
    After that experience, I didn't even have a choice about whether of not to serve a mission even though I felt so strongly about not using my mother's inheritance.
Mother's Favorite Films:
     On Borrowed Time with Lionel Barrymore, Stella Dallas, Bill staring Mickey Rooney, and Gone With The Wind.
A Great Primary Teacher:
     When mother was a teenager she tells about having a "sleep over." with other girls who came to their home. A friend named Olive Barrett was one of the girls who came. She watched mother taking the pins out of her hair to get ready for bed and said to mother, Oh, Helen I wish I was beautiful like you. Mother said Olive came from a poor family and was thin and didn't have good health. Later Olive became a Primary teacher. Going to Primary one day she fell down. Because of her poor health she couldn't get up. She then crawled all the way to Primary to teach the children. (Olive never married and died quite young.)
Best "Dad" a Boy Ever Had:
     Earl S. Stoddard, Playing marbles was a big thing for me when I was a boy. When I lost my marbles playing with older brothers and neighborhood boys, father would come home and play with us and win them back for me. Later I became the Dee School marble champion. A model car I made for the G.M. Fisher Body model car building contest won the $150 first place award for Utah. Father told me I should put fins on my model car. I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard but soon after, many Detroit cars sprouted fins. (My car did have a split grill which all Pontiacs after and to this day still have.) My life was filled with target shooting, hunting, fishing, sports, exploring, searching for Indian relics - all of the things boys like to do. When I cried in frustration over trying to make a fishing tackle box out of cardboard, father emptied and gave to me for a tackle box the green tin box that stored the family's valuable papers, titles, deeds, rare coins, etc.
Lessons my father taught me:
     To give little children play spankings when they are good and to love them when they are bad. To love instead of punish children. To never, never make fun of the handicapped or the unfortunate. The following poem came to me when I was driving across Sweet Water County Wyoming where my grandfather was born in a covered wagon:
Daddy, You knew when the ducks had their babies
You showed me the meadowlarks nest
How could you ever remember
How could you ever know?
What filled a boys heart with such wonder
Those years, many years long ago


Daddy Who Taught you to love me?
Daddy who taught you to care?
Was it your father before you?
Was it his Dad before him?
Back to original fountains,
Back to His ultimate love.
There in our pre-mortal glory.
There in His mansions above.
I know who taught you to love me.
I know who taught you to care - djs.
     Children today don't have any idea how fortunate they are. This morning (5-22-00) when I went out to water the lawn, there were two new leather baseball gloves that were left out all night on the wet lawn from the night before when we had our family get together.
    It took me back to when I was about 12 years old and I cried because I didn't have a baseball mitt. I had been elected captain of the 6th grade team and didn't even own a mitt. Father was touched by my broken heart and took me down to the Emporium Department Store. There it was in the sporting goods, a beautiful black leather glove that would have been the greatest treasure in the world. My heart sank when we learned the price. It was $32 (the equivalent of at least $150 today). I knew that my father couldn't afford it. Still he would have bought it for me and somehow paid for it, but I couldn't let him do it. We left without the glove and somehow I acquired a hand-me-down baseball mitt that I made the best of.  Could I forget it and leave it out all night on the wet grass? I even slept with my used hand-me-down baseball mitt.
    Another example of my father's love was when he sold the gun of his dreams to pay the Ward Budget. He never paid tithing but realized how much Ray and I were getting out of Church and Scouting which we were deeply involved in. For this reason he would always pay whatever was asked for ward budget. One year he just didn't have the money so he sold his 12 gauge Remington made Browning Auto-loader with a checkered receiver and a ventilated rib barrel. It was the finest gun money could buy. The Browning Arm's Factory in Belgium was destroyed in the war and they still hadn’t started making civilian Browning guns again. Guns were my father's life, but there was no hesitation to give up the most treasured gun he had ever owned, for his sons.
Best "Meal" a Man Ever Ate:
     A bowl of beans on Christmas night 1933 in a tent on the desert West of The Great Salt Lake. Father had only eaten a frozen sandwich the day before and had not eaten in more than 24 hours. The night before, he walked all night to keep from freezing to death. (This story is told completely later in my history.)
Most Honest Man  When we lived on Ogden Avenue above where the Ogden Temple is now, my friends and I made it our business to know what was in every store in town.
    A new store opened on the East side of Washington Blvd. between 23rd and 24th street. We went in to see what was in there and the owner asked what our name was. I told him my name and he asked if I was related to Earl Stoddard. I said, “Yes, he is my father.” He then said the following that I have never forgotten: “Earl Stoddard could walk through a room full of paper money with glue on his feet and come out clean.” It is a mystery to me of how my father got that reputation. There are many people that I’m sure are just as honest as my father, but no one says that about them.
    Even though my father was inactive in the Church he knew the questions that were asked in the temple recommend interview. (It is a fact that in my life tine, father attended church only 4 times.)  He said, “Why don’t they ask in the temple recommend interview if people are honest? And at that time the question was not asked. Father said I’m going to do something about that. He knew a stake president quite well that lived near the fire station. He told the Stake President about asking an honesty question in the temple recommend interview. Lo and behold, soon after that question was added to the temple recommend interview.
      Being inactive, father never paid tithing but this can be said for him: Recognizing what the church did for his children He faithfully paid the “Ward Budget” (that we had to pay back then.) This I remember – He never had the money to pay the budget one year and to get the money to pay the budget, he sold the gun of his dreams, a 12 gage Remington made Browning auto loading shotgun with a ventilated rib and a checkered receiver.

If I had my life to live over: I would say "Thank you Daddy for going to work each day and for often putting your life at peril as a fireman so we would have a place to live and food to eat." ~ I would not call Leon Wilson, "Leaky" Wilson, and somehow, someway I would see that Leon got to sleep in the tent. Leon is dead now but I found out from Ray at Mother’s funeral that my father made Ray and Albert Bosketer pump their bicycles clear up to Eden to apologize to Leon when he came to camp out with us at North Fork and we would not let him sleep in the tent. ~ I would somehow buy basketball shoes for my brother-in-law Bob Phipps who wanted to play Mmen basketball but didn’t because he never had basketball shoes. ~ I would sing in the 4th Ward Melodian Choir. ~ I would try harder to find a home for our dog "Lady." I would not berate and belittle my sons. ~ I would buy some of Aunt Lillian's paintings while she was still alive (It would have pleased her so much that she wouldn't have let me pay for them. Not great art in the eyes of the world but painted with love by an incredible lady who gave us a priceless treasure – the Froerer History entitled Heritage Endowed.) ~ I would give my alms to the deformed, twisted little lady that was smoking a cigarette and begging in front of the Hotel Utah. ~ I would love more and criticize less.~ I would not miss an opportunity to tell my daughters how beautiful they are. ~ When our little dog Lobo was begging for food, I would not get mad and through some food at him that hurt his eye. ~ I would not shoot a hen pheasant by mistake. ~ I would buy stock when the Dow Jones dropped below 500, instead of waiting for it to get that low again.
Most Blessed Boy on Earth – My Baptism - By Darrell Stoddard I was not baptized until I was 9 years old. They were going to baptize me when I was 8 years old but I ran away and hid because I was afraid. The baptism was going to be in the Pine View Reservoir. About a month earlier, my 15 year old brother Lynn saved 5 girls who were drowning, The five girls had gone out together on the road that ran into the lake where I was supposed to be baptized. My sister Ann who was 13 years old was one of the girls. Most of them did not know how to swim. One of the five girls slipped off the road into water that was over their heads. She pulled the other girls with her into the deeper water and they were pulling each other under and screaming for help. Ann had a narrow tired bicycle inner tube wrapped twice around her waist for floatation. Two girls grabbed on to her, one on each side and pushed down on her shoulders to keep their heads above water. The inner tube would not hold all three of them up. The girls pushing down on Ann kept her head underwater and she couldn't breath. She said she couldn't get away and started swallowing mouths and mouths full of water. Lynn was swimming about sixty yards away floating on his back with his ears underwater (so he wasn't able to hear). He happened to lift his head up and heard the screams. He then swam to them as fast as he could. They all grabbed onto him and stated pulling him under. He couldn't free himself from the girls who were clinging on to save their lives; so he dove underwater and swam out from under them. One at a time, he then helped the girls out to safety. Ann doesn't remember how she got free from the girls that were pushing her under but thinks Lynn must have pulled them off. When Lynn went back to get the last girl, she had gone down from lungs that were full of water. Lynn had to swim underwater along the bottom of the lake to find her. He brought the girl up to the surface and then carried her to shore where they were able to resuscitate her. Lynn no doubt saved her life and probably the lives of some of the other girls as well. I heard the screaming on that day from where I was. After that, I was terrified of the water, especially in that place; so I ran away and hid under the bed when I was supposed to be baptized. They tried to pull me out but I held on to the bed springs. Mother even offered me 50 cents (a lot of money in that day) if I would come out and be baptized but I was too afraid even for that much money.      My cousin Ruth Froerer was baptized on the day but I was not. How humiliating it was to let a girl show me up.  
     Then we moved to Ogden and I was baptized when I was nine years old in a baptismal font where no one had ever drowned. In the baptismal service, we sang the hymn Count Your Many Blessings. After my baptism, I was confirmed and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Lynn gave me a really fast ride on his bicycle to celebrate my baptism. That night before I went to sleep, I tied to count all of my blessings. When I had done this, I concluded that surely I must be the richest, most blessed boy on earth (even though my father smoked and drank and argued almost daily with my mother). What did I have to be so thankful for? We were a family of seven people living in a one room house with no bathroom. Still I was happy beyond words, not because I had material things, not because I was finally baptized, but (I think my joy must have been) because I was filled with the Holy Ghost. When we are filled with the Holy Ghost, we can have NOTHING in the way of material things, and still believe we are the richest, most blessed that any person could ever be (and it is true). We are rich in the things that really matter. No one on earth could have a greater blessing than the Holy Ghost.
Favorite Scriptures:
     Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. ~ But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. ~ And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. ~ And they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. ~ “And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.” Anyone can be thankful for food, for good health, for a job, for a home, for loved ones. The Blessings come from being thankful for hunger, poverty, pain, bad health, and depression; for heart attacks, strokes, or cancer, even for the life and death of a loved one. Being thankful for "all things" must include the bitter as well as the sweet. It takes more than humans are capable of to be thankful for adversity. Asking a merciful God to help us receive all things with thankfulness is the key. Those who ask in faith, nothing wavering, will be made glorious, and have the things of this earth added unto them, more than an hundred fold!
      (A special example of "receiving all things with thankfulness" is Corrie Ten Boom, who in a concentration camp prayed, "And thank you Heavenly Father for the fleas." - because the Jewish women who had fleas were not raped or bothered by the German guards.
Favorite Hymns:
     How Great Thou Art, I Am A Child Of God, I Stand all Amazed, Oh My Father, How Firm a Foundation I Need Thee Every Hour, The Lord's Prayer, Each Cooing Dove (Memories of Galilee), Come unto Jesus, Come O Thou King of Kings, Called to Serve (sung by the missionaries at the M.T.C.), As I Have Loved You, Teach Me to Walk In The Light, A Poor Wayfaring Man Of Grief , Jesus Lover of My Soul, More holiness Give Me, Ye Elders of Israel,(word's in the song include, “Babylon oh Babylon we bid the farewell, We're going to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell.” Imagine with me hearing our LDS solders in Iraq singing those words upon leaving the land where Babylon was. Can you even imagine how they must feel as they sing those words?) Going Home (Vocal from The New World Symphony)
Books That Tell Me Who I Am and Where I Come From:
     The Holy Scriptures (Past and Present), A Marvelous Work and A Wonder by LeGrand Richards, Jesus The Christ by James E. Talmage, Paradise Lost by John Milton.
Most important Event of the Last Millenium:
     The First Vision of Joseph Smith. The inspired BYU Motion Picture of The First Vision narated by Francis Ury with Stewart Peterson as Joseph is one of best and the most important films ever made.
Favorite Motion Pictures:
     The Sound of Music, It's a Wonderful Life, Life is Beautiful, Ballad of a Soldier, The Champ (Staring Ricky Shroeder and John Voight), Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, Out of the Ashes, On Borrowed Time
Favorite Musicals:
     Sound of Music, Fiddler on The Roof, Les Miserables, and The Music Man.
Favorite Poems:
     Oh God Let This Be Heaven by Harrison R. Merrill; Answer to Invictus by Orson F. Whitney; The Web of Time, At Sunrise Every Soul is Born Again, Little Boy Blue by Eugene Field, Who Am I To Cause a God to Bleed by Tim Mcavoy; On His Blindness by John Milton; Brightly the Star by Nan Pinkston; The Race to Death by John Baker; Breaking Through by Harry Cordellos; Bereaved by James Whitcom Riley; To a Mastectomy Patient by djs; Pain Stayed So Long; The Bushman's Tale; Reincarnation; Elmer Jones; Spell of the Yukon and Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service.
Favorite Symphonies:
     The New World by Anton Dvorak and The Ninth “Choral” Symphony by Beethoven
Favorite Oratorio:
Handel's Messiah
Three Magnificent Films:
     Les Miserables !935, 1978, 1998
Other Film Favorites:
     Death of a Salesman, two film versions one staring Frederic March, the other Dustin Hoffman (also the play by the same title) that forever changed my life. To Kill a Mockingbird (In my estimation one of the ten best films of all time.), Out of the Ashes, Boy in the Stripped Pajamas (I will never be the same after seeing these last two films)
Favorite Artist:
     Vincent Van Gogh that tortured man who sold possibly only two paintings in his lifetime. The last four of his paintings that were sold brought a total of over 200 million dollars. "Every common bush (must have been) afire with God." For Van Gogh. When I stand before an original Van Gogh, I feel I ought to "remove my shoes." (See also film: Lust for Life, about the artist.)
Favorite Painting:
     Starry Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh If this painting were ever to go on sale, it would definitely sell for more than 100 million dollars.
Other Favorite Artists:
     Taracita Naranho - Santa Clara Pueblo Potter, "Frog Women" - Hopi potter, Gilbert Atencio - Rio Grande Pueblo Artist, Bernal Diaz - Mexican Paper-Mache Animal Artist, James Christensen, Hopi "Silver Overlay" Artists, Chinese Ivory Carvers, Sculptor of Animals in Hefei, China Park, Hokusai Katsushika.
Favorite Murals
     Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (who said "Nowhere hath God shown Himself more sublimely than in the human form, who being in the image of God, Him alone I adore.") Ivan Cornia’s mural that was in the now torn down South Weber Chapel.
Favorite Sculptures:
     Burgers Of Calais by August Rodin. Not only does this portray the true story of seven men who tied themselves together and voluntered to give their life for their village, but Rodin sublimely portrays that event. Seeing Rodin's art makes me feel like I know each of the men. I can't help but love them and even feel like kneeling down to them for their supreme sacrifice. ~ The stylized animal sculptures in the Hofei, China park    The "Never Again" sculpture in the Dachau Prison Camp  ~ Christ the Redeemer  statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Favorite Opera and Operatic Numbers:
     Madam Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, Un bel Di Vedremo from Madam Butterfly, Libiamo from La Traviata, Largo al factotum from Figero, Bring Him Home from Les Miserables.
The Three Most Singularly Beautiful Places On Earth:
     Keukenhof Gardens - Lisse, Holland, Lauterbrunnen Valley - Switzerland, ~ Walipi Mesa - Arizona.
Favorite Novels:
     Moby Dick by Herman Melville, (Outside of the scriptures, I believe this is the most profound quest into the nature of good and evil in all of literature.) Paradise Lost by John Milton, The Man Who Was Magic by Paul Gallico, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky, and  Journey To The East by Hermann Hesse.
Favorite Biographies:
     The Cry and The Covenant (Life of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis) by Morton Thompson. If you only read one biography in your lifetime, this should be the one. ~ Arigo - Surgeon of the Rusty Knife by John G. Fuller. This is the biography of perhaps the greatest mortal healer in history. Arigo treated 100 to 300 patients a day and would never take a cent for doing it. A team of doubting skeptical medical doctors from the Harvard Medical School (funded by the Belk Department Stores magnate) went to Brazil to see him work (documented in the book). They found no deception. The Man Nobody Knew by Bruce Barton. Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour.
Favorite Autobiographies:
     Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, Diary of Anne Frank and Make Today Count (Also film by same title. Contains a secret for living that is worth more than life itself.*) by Orville Kelly.
Favorite Historical Books:
     Oh Jerusalem, ~ Heritage Endowed by Lillian Froerer (history of my mother's family). ~ Schindler's List, Wetzel O. "Judge" Whitaker's unpublished History of the B.Y.U. Motion Picture Studio. If there has ever been a book written that reveals the hand of providence in the affairs of men, this is it. ~ Book by Keith Wilcox about how he became the architect for the Washington D.C. Temple
Most Powerful 10 Minutes Ever Put on Film:
     The Bridge, Produced by Tom Christensen while a student at B.Y.U. A Presbyterian minister writing a review for the publication "Today's Catholic Teacher" said, "Folks get pretty matter of fact about Jesus dying for us and glibly say, For god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. After you see this film, you will never again be matter of fact about Jesus loving act or its costliness. All of the sermons and homilies that I have ever seen or heard on the Atonement could not match the power of The Bridge." I have shown The Bridge (which is obviously symbolic of the Atonement of Jesus Christ) to possibly a thousand Jews and also to Moslems (who relate the film to Abraham and Isaac (or for Muslims Abraham and Ishmael). Seeing their response makes me believe (with good reason) that as a "school-master to lead the children of Abraham (and other non-Christian nations) to Christ," this film will, in these last days, will somehow be even more important than the story about Abraham's sacrifice.*
    When I showed the films Greater Love and The Bridge to a night school class of Jewish women at Montclair State College in New Jersey, many of them came up to me after and one of them said, "Mister, you had a halo around your head while you were speaking!" Another lady added, "Yes, you just glowed."
      When Rob Gilbert a Jewish professor introduced me before showing the films Greater Love and The Bridge to an auditorium full of 500 - 700 mostly Jewish students, he said "I have just come from a national convention where there were 600 exhibits and about 800 scholarly papers read. This man had more that was worth while than all of the rest put together.
Best Lines from Motion Pictures
     "Tie The Cords Tightly Father." Spoken by Isaac, the son of Abraham in the Turner Broadcasting Production of Abraham and Isaac. "If he had been your Fuhrer, you would have followed him too." from Judgment at Nuremberg.
Favorite Short Films:
     The First Vision and The Mailbox by Brigham Young University, Greater Love and The Bridge by Tom Christensen, The Shopping Bag Lady, Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (Makes you grateful just to be alive under any circumstances.)
Best Film about Self-Esteem: Johnny Lingo by B.Y.U. (Seeing this film in Mesa AZ led to my going to work at B.Y.U.)
Film to Learn How to Love Your Enemies:
     Truce in The Forest by The Baptist Sunday School Board.
Favorite Films to Appreciate Freedom:
     Night Crossing by Disney; Italian Film: Life is Beautiful, Russian Film: Ballad of a Solder, and Boy in the Stripped Pajamas
 My Amazon.com review of Motion Picture The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Review by Darrell Stoddard
DVD ~ Sheila Hancock
    This emotionally gripping film deserves 10 Stars. Changed my life forever and a major part of my life was in motion pictures. The movie will change your life everlastingly too if you open your heart to a simple story of a little German boy who befriends a Jewish boy through the barbed wire fence of a concentration camp.
    My heart was ripped out, but I will be a more loving, gracious, forgiving person for having seen this sensitive and also horrifying motion picture. YES, as the reviewers have said: It is "historically inaccurate to the extreme." "It is total fiction." It is "ridiculously contrived." It is "all too absurd." It is "hard to swallow." It is "forced and artificial," and "The actors have British accents instead of German."
     One critic posed the question, "Did Bruno's father in the end get what he deserved?" Such moralizing and such criticisms of the film make me wonder if viewers of the film missed the unanswered questions of the Holocaust. “How could it happen?” How could so many good people allow it to happen?
     The most insightful reviewer said, "What is appalling to me is reading all of the one-star reviews. I now see how the holocaust (shoah) could have taken place. All that is necessary is for a nation to be composed of and ruled by people with no feelings, bereft of human compassion and sensitivity, just like several of the reviewers here."
    Great Art (even fiction) reveals to us "things as they really are". Through Bruno and his mother, we see through the eyes of Germans who were totally innocent until they came face to face with the horrors of the "final solution." Most Europeans accepted the deportation of Jews, some not knowing what would be their fate and others even accepting the fate of Jews because it was so easy to blame Jewish Merchants and Jewish Bankers for World War 1 and for the collapse of the German economy. Savings were totally wiped out. It took 22 million German Marks to buy a loaf of bread. Though not the same, we can understand today how easy it would be to blame all Muslims for 9/11.
    Through Bruno's sister we see how easy it was to indoctrinate an entire nation of German youth. A notable exception was the 17 year old Mormon boy, Helmuth Hubener, that resisted the 3rd Reich and was sentenced by a German Court for treason and beheaded by guillotine on October 27, 1942 at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. (See his true story on Wikipedia!)
     In this motion picture we see and learn how good men, good fathers, and good soldiers, putting military obedience ahead of even their mothers, wives and children, directed and became the executioners of millions of Jews. The still photos of all the corpses, and eye witness accounts of the Holocaust do not give us that understanding.
     Last, by identifying and seeing through the eyes of an innocent child, we learn from the film what it was like to be ordered into the gas chambers. No other motion picture, book, or document has ever, or ever will, capture that experience or the depth of those feelings like the film Boy in the Stripped Pajamas.
      Would that each viewer could become as a little child (Matthew 18:3), like Bruno, not judgmental, and not critical. The Holocaust (like the film) is hard to believe but the gas chambers to kill and the ovens to burn bodies were real. I've seen them with my own eyes. I've been in the house made sacred by Anne Frank. My next door neighbor was one of the first U.S. soldiers into the Dachau Prison Camp, and my neighbor across the street served in the Danish Underground.
     Let us resolve, NEVER AGAIN, not just in five languages, but in all the languages of the world. There were those in Germany that truly did not know what was happening to the Jews, but no other film answers for me how an entire nation could be led by one man to kill, or accept the killing, of so many. I will be forever haunted by the words, "If he had been your Fuehrer, you would have followed him too." Although it is fiction, "Boy In the Striped Pajamas" reveals not the historical truth, but the TRUTH of Nazi Germany as it was.
FOOTNOTE: What follows regarding man's inhumanity to man is presented because HISTORY WILL REPEAT ITSELF IF WE DO NOT KNOW AND UNDERSTAND IT!
     People today need to know that Hitler did not invent anti-Semitism. It began with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and has never ceased. It is mind boggling to learn that throughout history there have been innumerable and hundreds of attempts in many countries to kill all of the Jews. (See "Pogroms" on Google, then read the Wikipedia account.)
     I was shocked beyond belief to read Martin Luther's anti Jewish sentiments published in 1543 (See "On the Jews and Their Lies - Wikipedia" Luther's feelings about the Jews and what should be done to them were as vile and extreme, as any words spoken in Nazi Germany. Indeed, Luther's document may have been the blueprint for the Nazi Holocaust.
      Seeing history repeat itself so many times makes us wonder if there is hope to save the Jews and the world from so much hate and killing. Pope John VI in 1965 issued his historic "Nostra Aetate" that expresses understanding, forgiveness and love for the Jews and for all religions. Pope John VI states in this history changing document that the death of Christ, "cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today." The age old doctrine behind all of the Pogroms which stated that "all Jews, past, present, and future were collectively guilty of the Crucifixion of Jesus," was officially revoked by a Catholic Pope! EVERYONE should read entirely the "Nostra Aetate" which is one of the most important documents in the history of mankind (It is short and can be read on Google)! The current Pope Benedict XVI who was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a child in Nazi Germany (in two books) has made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ. There is hope for the world! These are history changing actions by two Catholic Popes. It would be well for everyone who wants the world to be a better place to thank Catholics for Pope John VI and Pope Benedict XVI.
     We must be ever vigilant against condemning another. "Therefore thou art inexcusable, Oh man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself: for thou that judgest doest the same things." (Romans 2:1). Jews who returned to Israel, on a much smaller scale, themselves committed a Holocaust of the Palestinian people. Tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million were forced into refugee camps. "This is my Land. God gave this Land to me," was not justification for killing!
     There is one notable voice in the Middle East that documents the atrocities by all three sides and seeks to reconcile Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Elias Chacour, a Palestinian Melkite Christian Priest has established a school in Ibillon near Galilee where Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Druze study side by side. More important than their secular studies, students learn to love their enemies. To bring peace to the Holy Land, Elias Chacour's book "BLOOD BROTHERS" SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING FOR EVERYONE
     Two unsung and less known heroes of the Holocaust are Irena Sendler and Raoul Wallenberg. Their stories should be told along with the stories of Oskar Schindler, Corrie Ten Boom, and Anne Frank. Irena Sendler was a Polish Catholic Social worker who saved more than 2500 Jewish Children from the Warsaw Ghetto. If you have any interest in the Holocaust, YOU MUST READ the inspiring story "Life in A Jar - The Irena Sendler Story" on Google.
     In 2007 when Sendler was still alive, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Al Gore received the prize that year instead.
    Raoul Wallenberg is credited with saving near 100,000 Hungarian Jews. At the peril of his life he defied the Nazis innumerable times. Read a summary of Wallenber's unbelievable courage to save Hungarian Jews on Google: "Profile of a Leader: The Wallenberg Effect." See Wallenberg's complete story in the book "Righteous Gentile" available used from amazon.com from a number of book dealers for one cent plus $3.99 for shipping and handling. EVERY reviewer gave the book 5 stars! Unlike Schindler, Wallenberg had only his humanity and no ulterior motive in saving Jews; and he probably saved more Jews than Schindler.
Favorite Action "Adventure" Films:
     The Red Tent, Italian/Russian Film, Rebel Without a Cause This is exactly what it was like when I was a teenager in high school.
Favorite Films About Parenting (and how not to parent): The Champ with Ricky Schroeder, Rose Marie White (made for TV), Mommy Dearest, and The Great Santini.
Favorite Family Films: The Princess Bride, Gigot, Seasons of the Heart by Tom Christensen, The Gods must be Crazy 1&2)
Favorite Children's Films:
     Bambi, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Heidi. and The Wizard of OZ
Best Film to Understand and Love the Mentally Retarded: Of Mice and Men staring Lon Chaney Jr.
Best Film to Learn and Know the Value of Every Individual: Touch of the Master's Hand by Tom Christensen                           Most Successful Educational Film Ever Made: Cipher In The Snow by Brigham Young University, More than 6000 copies were sold. No other educational film even comes close. It may not be so now but I used to offer a challenge to try and find a teacher (public, parochial, or private) anywhere in the United States that had not seen and been deeply touched by the film Cipher In The Snow.
     Cipher in the Snow received the Golden Eagle Award which is given to films that are chosen to represent the United States in international film festivals. I received the award for the film in Washington D.C. and later got to go to the Soviet Union where "Cipher" represented the United States in the International Moscow Film Festival.*
Favorite Japanese Film:
Rashomon, A brilliant film that shows how honest people can all see the same thing differently and why we should never rush to judgment.
Favorite Western Novel: The Ox Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilberg Clark (Theme is similar to Rashomon.)
Favorite Films with a Medical Theme: Lorenzo's Oil, Awakenings
Favorite Television Series: Anne of Green Gables, The Holocaust,  First two or three episodes of Roots, Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies.
Favorite Acting Performances: Francs Ury in Windows of Heaven, Lethe Tatge in The Mailbox, Ricky Schroeder in The Champ, James Dean in East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause, Jackie Gleason in Gigot, The derelict “bum” in Touch of The Master's Hand.
Favorite Humorous Films: It's a Mad, Mad, World, The Gods Must be Crazy, The Gods Mut be Crazy 2, Cold Turkey, Vicious Cycles, The Christmas Story
Most Diabolically Evil Films: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Winner of five Academy Awards) If Satan had written the script, directed, and played all the parts, he couldn’t have done a better job. Another film that falls in this category is Love Story. These films and others are so subtly wrapped in a beautiful package that we (and our wives and daughters) see them and weep. Good people may thus be "lead carefully down to hell."
    When the motion picture Love Story was released, Moreno Robins was our bishop. Some of Moreno’s daughters went to the movie and told their father how much they liked it and how they wept at the end. “If you could overlook the four letter words,” they thought it was wonderful. They talked their father into seeing the film. Moreno saw the movie and was so concerned about the films message that he called a special meeting in the Ward to talk to the parents and teenagers. His message was that the film glorified breaking six of the Ten Commandments, and it did it so subtly and so effectively that not just the depraved but good people would be deceived and “taken in” by the message.
     One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is another film that most certainly “Leeds people carefully down to hell.” I had James Mark and Paul with me in Miami where I went to promote BYU’s films in the National Education Association’s national convention. James came with me to the convention center to help me set up the BYU exhibit. When we came out of the convention center, there was a theater showing One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest for $1.00 before five PM. It was then 4:45 PM so I said, “I’m in the business and the film won five Academy Awards. Let’s go in and see it. 
My review of: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (DVD):
    I saw this film years ago so my memory of the details are no doubt fuzzy but the impression the film made on me is indelible.
     When we came out of the convention center, there was a theater showing One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest for $1.00 before five PM. It was then 4:45 PM so I said, "I'm in the motion picture business and this film won five Academy Awards. Let's go in and see it." What I remember:
      Jack Nicholson is committed to a modern mental institution. He declares that he has been committed only for the "F" word and for fighting. Soon after his admittance the men on the ward are punished for smoking cigarettes and not allowed to watch the World Series on TV. Nicholson of course opposes such severe punishment - because the World Series means so much to the men.
Nicholson then decides what the men really need for their mental illness (in addition to cigarettes) is liquor, so he acquires cases of booze for the patients to have a wonderful time.
    Nicholson has so many clever witty lines that he becomes lovable to those who admire defiant antisocial behavior. One reviewer described it well when he said it was a "gut and soul-wrenching movie, with many moments of high maniacal comedy interspersed."
     There is very shy young man on the ward with a severe stuttering problem. Who else has the answer but Nicholson? He knows, without it being said, that the boy's stuttering must be coming from sexual repression; so Nicholson arranges (I don't remember how) for a prostitute to be brought onto the ward and they lock the women in the room all night with the boy who stutters. In the morning after spending the night with the prostitute, the boy's stuttering completely stops! He is now self assured, confident and speaks clearly.
     When the head nurse learns about what had happened, she asks the boy, "What would your mother think if she knew about what you have done?" Immediately the boys stuttering returns and he becomes again the shy, pathetic, trembling person he was before. At that point in the film, many young men in the audience of the theater where I watched the film stood and screamed, "KILL THE BITCH, KILL HER, KILL HER, KILL HER!" Those words and the screaming, I will never forget! Makes me wonder what those boys will think of their own mothers who want them to be moral, and decent.
      The film ends when a great big Indian smothers Nicholson (Crucifies the savior of the patients in the hospital and the savior of mental illness) with a pillow. The giant Indian then rips out a water cooler and with super human strength heaves the cooler through the bars and window of the hospital which he runs through to get away. I guess this was supposed to symbolize that patients in mental institutions need to break free from Cuckoo hospitals and from a repressive society that has made them mentally ill.
    Jack Nicholson who was committed to the hospital for the "F" word and for fighting was the hero who "flew over" in the film because he was the only one who really understood the causes of mental illness. That's brilliant, isn't it? One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest that won 5 Academy Awards is about as Cuckoo as a film could get.
    What did the film really teach? That mental illness is caused by a society that represses indulgence; and that mental health is achieved by satisfying all of our appetites, no matter how base or how carnal; and if anyone tries to dissuade us, be it a nurse, a teacher, or a mother, they deserve to be killed!
    Academy awards and 284 people giving this film a 5 star rating tells us how sick our society is.
 
My Amazon.com review of: Five LDS Film Classics on DVD Featuring: Cipher in the Snow; The Gift; The Phone Call; The Emmett Smith Story; John Baker's Last Race
     This DVD includes two of the most successful short films ever made, and a classic Pearl Buck Christmas story. Before videocassettes and DVD's, these five films sold on 16mm for a total of $1,350, and clients were pleased to buy them at that price. Now you can have all five for less than $20. What a deal! The cover says, "LDS Film Classics" but don't worry about them being Mormon or religious propaganda. They were produced by Brigham Young University for the world. Not one of the five films even has the word 'Christ,' 'Mormon,' or 'LDS' in it.
     The story of 'Cipher in the Snow' was told and reviewed eloquently by the other 5 Star reviewer. With over 6,000 copies sold, 'Cipher in the Snow' may be the most successful short film ever made. A few years ago you couldn't find a teacher in the U.S. (public, parochial, or private) that had not seen and been touched by Jean Mizer's moving story that is reputed to have taken place in Haley, Idaho. Not only was 'Cipher' bought by virtually ever school district but by ever major religious denomi-nation. The American Lutheran Church Headquarters film Library in Minneapolis MN owned 56 copies of 'Cipher in the Snow' and they were booked months in advance.
   'Cipher in the Snow' received the CINE Golden Eagle Award in Washington DC (films chosen to officially represent the U.S. in International Film Festivals). 'Cipher' represented the U.S. in the Ninth International Moscow Film Festival that I attended. The director of the Gorky Studios (largest motion picture studio in the world) who didn't speak English, put his hands on my shoulders and said twice, "YOU HAVE A GOT GOT FILM, YOU HAVE A GOT GOT FILM!" Illa Frez, the Steven Spielberg of Russian Cinema, gave me a personal award for 'Cipher in the Snow.'
    'The Gift' is a film based on one of the most beloved and memorable, classic stories of Pearl Buck.
    John Baker's Last Race is the inspiring true story of a great athlete and teacher that figuratively gave his life for his students (little ones). Sound familiar? Viewers love the film (without thinking of this) because it harkens back to another teacher in another age. John Baker's last Race is based on the most popular story ever printed in the Reader's Digest (by the number of reprints that were ordered). Like 'Cipher in the Snow,' JBLR was shown to most of the students in the U.S. and it was also bought by every major religious denomination. It was voted the most popular film in a poll that was taken at the Baptist Sunday School Board Film Library in Nashville TN. I appeared there with John Baker's mother, at the Southern Baptist World Headquarters, where we were graciously hosted to a luncheon. Mormons, Baptists, and John Baker's mother who was a Methodist, came together in a spirit of love.
    Christians coming together, brings me to a Baptist motion picture "Truce In the Forest" (also available from amazon.com) produced by the Baptist Sunday School Board, which I believe is unquestionably one of the best short films ever made. It is a true story from the Battle of the Bulge in World War 11. Men who were killing each other in the war were accidentally brought together on a Christmas Eve and spent the night together in a Germain farm house. Through that holy night, and through the miracle of service, men who were killing each other the night before, came to feel an unbelievable Christ like love for their enemies. We learn from 'Truce in the Forest' that we can even love our enemies, if we serve them and do good to them.
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 MY Amazon.com review of film : Martin the Cobbler

"Better than War and Peace"

DVD ~ Alexandra Tolstoy

    Tolstoy's own daughter, Alexandra, introduces this wonderful, enchanting, animated Christmas Motion Picture. Other 5 star reviewers masterfully tell the story better than I; so I'll just add what Tolstoy himself thought of the story: Many people do not understand the introduction and words of Alexandra, Tolstoy's daughter, because of her accent. Her words and the introduction are so important that I will quote the words here, "When father was asked if 'War and Peace' was his greatest work, he said NO, my greatest work was 'What and if I' and 'Martin the Cobbler!'
    One of the most loved novelists in the history of the world believed this simple short story was his best work! Nothing could better dramatize the words of Jesus, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren; ye have done it unto me.
     If Tolstoy were alive and could see Will Vinton's magical, claymation version of the story of 'Martin the Cobbler'(with music you will never forget), I am certain he would raise his hands to heaven and give it 5 big Stars!
 
My Amazon.com review of book Educating for Human Greatness  by Lynn Stoddard
Edition: Paperback
    In this insightful book, Mr. Stoddard presents A COMPELLING ALTERNATIVE to an educational system imposed by a government that requires every child to pass the same tests. There is so much pressure to comply with the minimum standards set by government that schools are not free to educate children beyond those minimums.
    Who knows better what is best for children? People at the national level far removed from the class room or teachers and local leaders who are in education for the love of seeing children excel?
     An advocate of Stoddard's book, said the following: "As I have continued down this road of educational accountability, I am always brought home to my training as an educator of young children. I continue to struggle with how we continue to try and pound "a square peg in a round hole". Our student are so individualistic in how they learn, why they learn, and why they want to achieve at high standards. I also continue to believe that all students can achieve at high levels, but not at the same rate, nor in regard to those subjects they find a waste of time. With the work of Lynn Stoddard ....I believe we could create schools of the future that would invite students to be successful and be excited about learning."
    Everyone had a favorite teacher that inspired them to be the very best they could possibly be. 'EDUCATING FOR HUMAN GREATNESS' is a plan allowing for and focusing on that possibility for every child.
    Government testing will not make better teachers or better schools. School principals know who their great teachers are, and if the principal isn't doing his job, parents and the local school board should make that correction, not the federal government or even the state government.
     Armed with the correct principles in this book, teachers will be able to govern themselves. If you want your students to soar, if you want your school to achieve greatness, you should buy the book, an apple to give to your favorite teacher or principal for Christmas. The book embraces agency instead of compulsion and reveals an educational model to discover and release the UNLIMITED POTENTIAL within every child.

Compulsory Education
By [email protected]

Compulsion leads to rebellion, not learning. No one likes to be compelled to do anything. This has been true since the beginning of man, and will always be true. The foundation of No Child Left Behind and the Common Core Curriculum is compulsion – The government compelling teachers who compel students to learn, is destined to fail or be ineffective because it is based on compulsion not agency.

If parents and students are given the freedom to choose education or not choose education, they will choose education; if not in a formal school setting then in an apprenticeship program to learn a trade. We need people to grow our food, fix our cars, repair our lights and plumbing, and build our homes and factories as much as we need the college educated, engineers, and scientists
 
Education based on freedom instead of compulsion will eliminate school
discipline problems and most school vandalism. Students will go to school because they want to learn, not because the government compels them to do so.

Should state and federal governments pass a law for every citizen to love their neighbor? This would be as effective as compulsory education.

Students will excel and miracles will happen if we eliminate compulsory education. Then schools can help each student discover why they exist and learn how they can excel and make a special contribution to the world, instead of compelling them to all be the same and meet minimum standards determined by compulsory testing. 

Freedom in education will bring about a renaissance in learning. “Then for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire” - Pierre Chardin.


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 My Amazon.com review of Cartoon: Willie the Operatic Whale [VHS]
    Best Cartoon ever in the history of motion pictures! (Not an overstatement) I spent a good part of my life in motion pictures, and I review only films that you will never forget and that will change your life forever, for better or for worse.
    I saw this unforgettable cartoon as a child (before TV) when on those wonderful Saturdays we could go the historic Egyptian Theater or the Paramount Theater in Ogden, Utah and see two feature films and three cartoons for a dime. "Those were the days my friend. I thought they'd never end," but they have and now I am an old man.
     My six children saw this cartoon on TV and they have never forgotten it either, even though they are now all grown with children of their own. My girls and I now all love opera, I believe because we were introduced to opera by a magical whale.
     Willie the Whale is destroyed in the film, like so many of the hero's and saviors of mankind that were killed by people who didn't know who they were. The end where Willie goes on singing in heaven suggests a life after death - not a bad idea to put into the heads of children. Nelson Eddie is superb in singing all of the parts in the film. Cinema doesn't get any better than this.

My Amazon.com Review of Motion Picture 17 Miracles                  - Darrell Stoddard
Not acting. It was more real than life., September 19, 2011
    The Mormon Handcart story of 17 Miracles deserves an Academy Award, for cinematography, for best screenplay, for editing, and for best acting by many of the cast who didn't have to act because the role they played was more real than life.
    My daughter Laura and I had minor parts in filming 17 Miracles. We played the part of a father and daughter that buried my daughter's dead baby in a shallow grave in the snow. For whatever reason, God only knows, it was not acting, but was an out of the body, beyond the veil experience where we literally became the handcart father and daughter. Only one other time in my life have I experienced anything so "real".
     When I placed the dead baby in the grave and cried out to God, words came out of me that I had never heard before, never even thought of before, because I was another man in another time burying a dead grandchild in a grave that we would have to leave forever.
     Most of our life, in fact all of our life, "We see through a glass darkly," if we see at all. (Brigham Young once said that his greatest wish for the Saints was that they would be able to see things as they really are.) While we were filming, the veil was parted for us, and for a short period of time, we saw and experienced things as they really were for the handcart pioneers. It seemed that we could see, experience, and live in, the past present and future all at the same time.
      It was so hard for my daughter and I to leave her dead baby in the snow, even after the filming was done. Neither of us has ever wept like that, even over the death of a loved one in this life. I hope this will communicate on film and will be as "real" for those who see 17 Miracles. Others actors in the film, I am certain, had the same "out of the body through the veil experience." We didn't have to act because we literally lived the part. When the handcarts crossed the icy river, I believe some of the cast would have died, had they not been able to get out of their wet clothes and get warm.
      The miracles shown in the film were true. I met a lady who was a direct descendant of the girl (who must have married after she got to Salt Lake) that left her fiance's body wrapped in her shawl in a tree; so the wolves wouldn't get it. It is as innocent and touching a love story as you will find in any film.
      The husband, of the woman who was a descendant of the above girl, was a direct descendant of Francis Webster a member of the Martin Handcart Company who said, "Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes! But I was in that company and my wife was in it....We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities!"
An 18th Miracle from the journal of Henry Tempest:
     Henry and his two sons, James and John, crossed the ocean on the Empire ship and on June 6, 1860, he left Florence, Neb., with a company of over 200 people to go to Utah. Only six of these people were fortunate enough to have wagons with oxen to pull them. Henry and the boys were thankful to have one of the 43 handcarts in company.
     Everything they owned was packed in the cart. All the food, dishes, clothing and bedding for all three of them was in their two-wheeled handcart. They knew they would have to walk and pull the cart over trails, up hills and down, hundreds of miles to Utah.
     They had not gone very far when Henry became ill. He was so sick that Captain Robinson thought it would be best if Henry and his sons went back to Nebraska. How disappointed Henry was! He begged the captain to let him stay with the company one more day to see if he would not get better. More than anything else in the world, he wanted to be able to pull his cart and go on with the others.
      That night Henry prayed and explained just how much he wanted to be able to go on. He asked the Lord to help him get to Utah. The next morning he was much better. He traveled along trying to help James and John with the handcart. When it was time to camp that evening, Henry was very tired, but he was grateful that he had been well enough to keep going with the company. The pioneers took their things out of their carts. Each person had work to do. They started fires and cooked something to eat. They made their beds on the ground so they could rest and be ready to go on again. The boys worked; Henry rested.
      That night a large greyhound dog came into camp. It ran from one group to another until it came to the little camp Henry and his boys had made. After it sniffed around, it lay down and seemed to be at home. The boys were delighted. They talked to it and petted it. No pets were allowed in the company. Food was too scarce to give to animals that did not earn it by working.
      Henry had an idea, and it proved to be a wonderful one! He began to look around to find ropes and straps. Before long he had made a harness. The dog did not mind when Henry put the harness on him and hitched him to the handcart. He acted as if he had pulled carts before.
     The next day the dog helped pull the cart. Now the large greyhound was considered a helper, not a pet, so he was allowed to stay. Henry Tempest and the boys divided their food from the cart with the dog. How they loved the big greyhound!
     Day after day, whether the sun was hot or whether the wind blew, the dog helped. In fact, he pulled the handcart most of the way, hundreds of miles across the Plains. Henry was blessed with strength to walk along with his boys.
     After nearly three months of walking and pulling the cart, they arrived in Salt Lake City. How happy they were to get to the place where they could start to build a home!
      A few days after they arrived, the big greyhound disappeared and was never seen again.

FOOTNOTES:
It is through dramatic productions (live drama, theater, and motion pictures) that we learn to "see things as they really are." We can vicariously experience life in another time or another place. Brigham Young said, "If I had a group of people in a wilderness that I wanted to civilize, the first thing I would do is build a theater (for live drama not for motion pictures). And that is exactly what the Mormons did. In Salt Lake City, before the Temple, the Tabernacle, and the Assembly Hall were completed by the pioneers, a theater was built to "civilize" the people that had come through the wilderness. Indeed, it is in the Temples of the Church that we can vicariously experience eternity.
     Another powerful example of how we can see or experience things as "they really are" (or were), see my review of "Boy In the Stripped Pajamas."
      Satan also knows the power of drama, TV, and motion pictures to lead mankind by a silken thread or a flaxen cord, "carefully down to Hell." See my One Star Review of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'. The adversary 'takes in' and enslaves GOOD YOUNG PEOPLE in motion pictures like 'One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest', 'Love Story', and 'Grease'. What those films teach and MOST FIlMS TODAY, is that you must break free from the Ten Commandments, and the Judeo Christian values of parents and grandparents, to be liberated, happy, sophisticated, and popular.

DEATH:
    After burying a dead grandchild in '17 Miracles,' I died pulling a handcart. Death can be a glorious experience. "If in the pre-existence we looked forward to our life on earth, how much more so must we have looked forward to our mortal death."
     See all of my Reviews. I write only about books, events, or motion pictures that have changed the course of history or unforgettable books or motion pictures that will totally change people’s lives. - Darrell Stoddard,

Favorite Psalm: Nephi's Psalm from The Book Of Mormon. To "shake at the very appearance of evil" is one of the most important things we should pray for. I shook so violently when I saw part of a film on T.V. in a motel in Kingman AZ that I believe I would have died or shook the motel down had I not turned it off.*
Favorite Book about Psychology: Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
Favorite Ann Landers and  Dear Abby Columns: I know He Loves Me (Re: spouse abuse) and Exercise in Self Esteem

         I know He Loves Me, He Sent Me Flowers

I got flowers today. It wasn't my birthday or any other special day.
We had our first argument last night,
And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me.
I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said,       because he sent me flowers today.
I got flowers today. It wasn't our anniversary or any other special day.
Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me.
It seemed like a nightmare.
I couldn't believe it was real.
I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.
I know he must be sorry, because he sent me flowers today.
I got flowers today, and it wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day.
Last night, he beat me up again.
And it was much worse than all the other times.
If I leave him, what will I do?
How will I take care of my kids? What about money? I'm afraid of him and scared to leave.
But I know he must be sorry, because he sent me flowers today.
I got flowers today. Today was a very special day.
It was the day of my funeral.
Last night, he finally killed me.
He beat me to death.
If only I had gathered enough courage and strength to leave him,
I would not have gotten flowers today.


                               Exercise in Self Esteem
DEAR ABBY: I have been retired from teaching for many years, and would like to share a lesson I learned that stands out in my memory like no other.
I was young and teaching math at the junior high school level. We had worked hard on a new concept all week, and the students were very stressed. They were frowning, frustrated and carping at each other and me. Wanting to stop the crankiness before it got out of hand, I asked the students in the room to take out two sheets of paper and list the names of the other students in the room, leaving a space between each name. Then I told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish the assignment. When the students handed me the papers and left, they seemed more relaxed.
That weekend, I wrote the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper and listed what the students had said about that individual. On Monday, I gave each student his or her list. Before long, everyone was smiling. "Really?" I heard one whisper. "I never knew that meant anything to anyone." "I didn't know anyone liked me that much!"
The assignment was never mentioned again, but it didn't matter, because the exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students felt better about themselves and each other.
Years later, I was asked to attend the funeral of one of those students, a promising young man even when I taught him in junior high school. I was deeply saddened by his untimely death in Vietnam.
The church was packed with "Mark's" friends, many of whom had been his classmates and students of mine. After the funeral, I and many of Mark's former classmates were invited to his parents' house. They approached me and said, "We want to show you something. Mark was carrying this when he was killed." His father pulled something from a wallet. It was the list of all the good things Mark's classmates had said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it."
A group of Mark's classmates overheard the exchange. One smiled sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in my top desk drawer at home." Another said, "I have mine, too. It's in my diary." "I put mine in our wedding album," said a third. "I bet we all saved them," said a fourth. "I carry mine with me at all times."
That's when I finally sat down and cried. The lesson my former students taught me that day became a standard in every class I taught for the rest of my teaching career. -- SISTER H.P.M., ST.PAUL, MINN.
DEAR SISTER H.P.M.: Your students were fortunate, indeed. They learned at an early age that "Good words are worth much, and cost little." (George Herbert, 1593-1633)

Favorites Book about Economics
: Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal by Ayne Rand, I Pencil by Leonard Read, Free to Choose by Milton Friedman. You will learn more about free enterprise and how it works from these books and this small pamphlet than from getting a degree in economics.

c  Sermon on the Mount and King Benjamin's Discourse.
Favorite Speeches: Acres of Diamonds by Russell Conwell and modern re-telling by Vaughn Featherstone. This is the probably the most oft repeated speech in all of history. Conwell delivered it personally more than 5,700 times. From doing this, he raised 14 million dollars and founded Temple University in Philadelphia.
     Featherstone tells the story verbatim and then adds a wonderful story about Doug Snarrs’ stuttering and his own experience with nurse’s shoes. For me, this is the most inspiring speech ever delivered at Brigham Young University.
Favorite Book about Creation and Science: The Creation Evolution Controversy by Wysong
Most Profound Sermon (about the miracle of life and creation): Man, God's Greatest Miracle by J. Reuben Clark
Favorite Cartoon and Poem about Creation: Shows a venerable old scientist working in a laboratory full of test tubes and apparatus who says - "If I can just synthesize life here, then I will have proven that no intelligence was necessary to create life in the beginning."
I met a scientist Quite up to date
, who said, "My research proves That God did not, As Genesis might seem to say, Create a man. No, Man once shared the lowly lot of beast--- Ate grass or meat, and walked on hands as well as feet." This educated guess I could not accept--The quaint absurd demands. Of "reason." Was it wisdom to profess That we could trust a mind That from a beast evolved? To know I know, I'd surely wish My head contained the cells---Or seeds at least--- Of better stuff than that of jellyfish.I think Because I am a child of God I am Because He made me from the sod." By Mike Vanden Bosh

Favorite Cartoon and Poem about Creation:: Every cradle bids whence and every coffin whether. ~ And should we live always? Is no greater miracle than that we should live at all - Richard L. Evans. ~ If there is no God, then anything is permissible - Dostoevski. ~ If man is not a child of God, with no prior existence and no life before birth, then anything we do to him before birth is permissible - djs ~ We are not just here because some fish developed legs and walked on the beach - Art Klein. ~ Did you hear about the agnostic dyslectic that lied awake at night wondering if there was a Dog?
Favorite Cartoon and Poem about Creation:Is there a God, Where did I come from?, Why am I here?, Where am I going after death?, What is truth?, "What is man in this boundless setting of sublime splendor? - James E. Talmage. "Who am I, to cause a God to Bleed?" - Question from a poem by Elder Timothy Mcavoy at the MTC.
Most popular story ever printed in the Readers Digest (and short film by same title): John Baker's Last Race (I'll give you a reprint if you ask).
Favorite Biography of an Athlete: A Shining Season (The life of John Baker) by William Buchanan
Three Most Striking Buildings on Earth: Washington D.C. Temple, Saint Basil's Cathedral * in Moscow and the Taj Mahal in India.
Greatest "Overcoming" Stories:  Elaine Schwartz (If there ever was another women equal to Helen Keller and Mother Teresa, it was Elaine Schwartz.* (I tell her story later in this history). Another great story of overcoming and "receiving all things with thankfulness" is the film Elaine Dart, Not Like Other People by Tom Christensen.
Failure List: Winston Churchill said "Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." Einstein was four years old before he could speak. Isaac Newton did poorly in grade school and was considered "unpromising." Beethoven's music teacher once said of him, "As a composer he is hopeless." When Thomas Edison was a youngster, his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything. F.W. Woolworth got a job in a dry goods store when he was 21, but his employer would not permit him to wait on customers because he didn't have enough sense to close a sale. Michael Jordan and Boston Celtics Hall of Famer Bob Cousey were cut from their high school basketball teams.~ "I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan. A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas." Winston Churchill failed the sixth grade and had to repeat it. Elvis Presley was told, Son you can't sing. You need to get a job driving a truck. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen kept going when “Chicken Soup for the Soul” was rejected by 144 publishers. Babe Ruth struck out 1,300 times - a major league record. The following man was handicapped by less than three years of formal schooling. He failed in business at age 31; was defeated for the legislature at 32; again failed in business at 33; was elected to the legislature at 34; defeated as speaker at 36; defeated for Congress at 43; elected to congress at 46; defeated for Congress at 48; defeated for the Senate at 55; defeated for vice president at 56; defeated for the Senate at 58. The man’s name was Abraham Lincoln. The following man failed every subject in the eighth grade. In high school he flunked Latin, algebra, English, and physics. He submitted cartoons to the high school yearbook, but they were turned down. He sent samples of his artwork to the Walt Disney studios. Again, he was turned down. His name was Charles Schultz, author of the “Peanuts” comic strip, published in 75 countries. It consisted of 17,897 published strips over a 50-year period and was one of the longest stories ever told by one human being.  
     "There is no disgrace in failure. The only disgrace is to fail the last time you try."

Best Story about The Sacredness of Life: Emily by Marvin Payne. If I live long enough, somehow I'm going to see that this story is put on film. In a beautiful way, it teaches people the eternal consequences of abortion. You can read the complete story by going on the internet to www.healpain.net and reading article number 21.
Best Book about Abortion and The Sacredness of Life: The Silent Holocaust by Father John Powell
Most Memorable Dream: The night after I attended a Right to Life meeting wherein a film was shown depicting the horrors of abortion, I had an unusually vivid dream. In the dream I could hear what seemed to be thousands and thousands of little babies crying. It was the most mournful sound I have ever heard. I awakened because it touched me so deeply and because the sound was so sorrowful. Wide awake now, I could still hear the babies crying. The sound wasn't imagined. It was not a dream. IT WAS REAL! I will always remember and never forget that indescribable sound. Even though they were babies crying, at the same time there seemed to be a numberless multitude of voices (their mothers?) groaning, weeping, and wailing. If God will grant me the blessing, I will do whatever I can as long as I live to end that lament.
     Clown in a Snowstorm: LaRae waited for me when I was on my mission and wrote to me 5 times a week without fail. Her ride to work as a receptionist for Dr. Hirst got her to work early and gave her time to write. Every letter began with the words "Dearest Darling."
      I decided to break things off with LaRae and leave the next Monday with my cousin Fred Ritter and go to Seattle to work for Boeing Aircraft as a machinist. (The Air Force had trained me for this my first year and a half out of high school.)
      On Sunday I had an interview and counseled with my bishop George Wright. I was in the MIA presidency and one of the things we discussed was my feelings about a scout master that I didn't think was worthy. We are in darkness, not only if we hate our brother, but also if we have unkind feelings. We also discussed my decision to leave LaRae.  
       What a transformation that interview was for me. I came out of the meeting with a 180 degree change of heart toward LaRae and to the scout master who was holding a scout meeting. I saw in him a most competent and dedicated leader, worthy in every way.
       Then, with my mind also changed toward LaRae, I headed for South Weber to ask her to marry me.  On Harrison Boulevard there was a grand opening for a gas station with a clown in a snowstorm in front trying to wave people into the station. This made me cry because the clown seemed to be me; blinded by my feelings and about to make a colossal mistake regarding my eternal companion.


      Most Successful Mother: Esther Packard, bore and raised 14 sons and 3 daughters, all of the children were unusually successful - as parents, in their church, and in their community.  The three I know are dentists, one was the mayor of Carlsbad, CA, one was elected to congress on a write in vote, nearly all of the boys as young men were missionaries and nearly all of the grandsons have served missions. The sons have been Bishops, Stake Presidents, Mission Presidents and Temple Presidents. Their father farmed in the summer and did carpenter work in the winter. Just before World War 2, he went on a construction job in the South Pacific and was captured by the Japanese. For nearly four years, the family never knew whether their father was dead or alive. The mother supported and kept the family going. If any of the boys ever got in trouble, she had them get a switch and beat her for not teaching them better. Esther Packard figuratively took upon herself the sins of her children. (I submit this is the best way to discipline teenagers and the best parenting model ever given - by this most successful mother.)                       

     Lady Who Taught Me One Of Life's Greatest Lessons: Jesse Holdaway was a single mother with two sons who were the joy of her life. Both served missions at the same time, one in France and the other in England. She would get a letter from one son saying, "Oh how I love my brother. Someday I would like to be just like him." Then she would get a letter from the other son saying the same thing. We spent a long night with Mrs. Holdaway after an accident that ended with the death of her son John the next morning. Seeing that great lady go through such a tragic experience taught me, "If everything is right on the inside, nothing can go wrong on the outside!"
      Women who taught me to love the sick and dying: Sister Mary Margaret - Holy Cross Hospital, S.L.C. UT., Catholic Sisters who helped my father smoke when he was dying. (Mormons seem to be incapable of doing this. I could not do it even for my own father.)
      "And a Little Child Shall Show Them the Way" When Lisa was a little girl, we were visiting my mother and father on 27th Street. Lisa's grandmother and grandfather got into an almost violent argument and very loud strong words were spoken. I guess I also got involved. Lisa had never experienced anything like this before and it must have been deeply disturbing. Her response to the situation, I hope I never forget. Dealing with everyone all at once was impossible for Lisa because in the heat of the argument no one would pay any attention to a small child. She pulled each us, one at a time, into the bedroom to deal with the situation. It was a little child's only way to cope with the angry feelings. When my turn came I thought, "What in the world is this child up to?  When the door was closed, Lisa fidgeted, and tried to break the ice. She looked up at me and said, "You don't go all the way to the ceiling, do you Daddy?" My little girl pulled me into the bedroom just for that? I thought. Then Lisa reached her arms up and pulled me down to her. Hugging me as tight as she could, she kissed me and said, "I love you Daddy." "I love you" was the message from Lisa to each of us that day. A little girl taught us, one at a time, that love is the answer to angry feelings.
      Important Lesson that I learned from my children: When the boys were young we had company and the boys, as boys do, wanted all of the attention. The three of them were really "going through their manners." I forcefully sent them to their room with instructions that they were not to come out. We then visited with our adult guests and they ended up staying longer than expected.
     When the company finally left, I did other things. Then before going to bed, I went in to check on the boys. It was late and I thought they would be asleep. Paul was asleep but James and Mark were still awake. It appeared they had been crying ever since I sent them to their room. Mark said, "Daddy, I thought you were going to make an enemy out of us." My son was quoting, without knowing it, a verse from Section 121 of the Doctrine in Covenants - Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy."
     If you punish your children severely or often without showing a "renewal of love,” THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THEY WILL PUNISH YOU.
     We taught a Family Home Evening lesson when the boys were young and asked the question, "What do you like best about Family Home Evening?"  Mark's answer was, "because that is the time when we are not afraid."
    No child should ever be afraid in their own home! I didn't know that I was so stern but I must have been. I spared the rod but I am ashamed to say that I didn't spare the pancake turner (on the boys). Lisa is the only one of the girls I ever spanked and then she (instead of me) showed an increase of love by putting her arms around me and telling me she loved me.
    Paul's special love for children is a perfect example of what I should have been as a father to my boys. He must have learned how to be a good father from my bad example, just as I learned not to smoke or drink from my father's negative example.
       My Education: Educated far beyond my intelligence in Ogden City and Weber County public schools, Weber State College, Brigham Young University, American Flyers Flight School, South East Oklahoma State College, National Institute of Electro-medical Information Inc., Received personal tutoring in Auricular Medicine by Zhang Li Pei in Nanjing, China. Studied microscopic dark field live blood analysis under Gaston Naessens in Quebec, Canada. I have no B.A., M.S., Ph.D, or M.D., because my mind would close, I would think I'm better than other people, and I would no more be humble (LOL). “The truly educated never graduate.”
       My Intelligence: Just below that of a very smart chicken. A chicken at the Texas State Fair could tie or beat me every time in a game of "Tic Tack Toe." It cost a quarter to "play the chicken." The last time I was there the price was a dollar, so I didn't even try. I watched rich Texans poor put dozens of dollars into the cage coin box to try and beat the chicken. None of them ever did.
      Construction Jobs I worked on:  (that I tell my grandchildren I built) Worked as a "Bargemate" more than 12 hours a day, seven days a week for nineteen months building the railroad fill to replace the Lucin Cutoff across the Great Salt Lake (second largest earth moving job in history), Flaming Gorge Dam (I was an oiler, a cableway signalman, and a crane operator. I unloaded nearly all of the reinforcing rod that went into the dam), I helped build the Interstate Freeways in Utah, Joe's Valley Dam, BYU Harris Fine Arts Center, Kennecott Copper Refinery, Airstrip on Johnson Island (in the Pacific), Ships in the San Francisco Shipyards, Geneva Steel Mill.
       Other Work: Cut lawns, shoveled snow, Guided a blind man home from work every night. Sold Christmas cards, Sold newspapers, Cleaned wallpaper and paid bills for Mrs. Williams. Sold shoes, Drove Lowes Hardware delivery truck, Trained to be a machinist, Bellhop at Hotel Ben Lomond, Worked for The Mountain States Compensation Rating Bureau, Sold Plymouths and Studebakers, Trained to be a manager for J.C. Penney, Operating Engineer, Cleaned showers in the Girls Dorms at BYU, Sold schoolbooks, Commercial Pilot, Director of Media Marketing (13½ years) for B.Y.U. Sold or directed the sale of more than 20,000 16mm films (more than 6 million dollars worth) to institutions outside of the L.D.S. Church. Vice President Osteon Corporation (for two weeks). Clerk in "Fast Eddies" convenience store. Sold medical instruments to diagnose osteoporosis. Sold medical lasers and formed "Lasers International Inc." Pain Therapist - As such I have stopped pain in my patients more than 14,000 times, without drugs, surgery, manipulation, massage, magnets, X-rays, or acupuncture needles.
     Most Sobering Experience:  Visiting a cemetery in Leningrad, U.S.S.R. where two million men were buried that were killed in one battle. That is more deaths than were lost in all of the wars the United States has fought combined. Each grave contained the bodies of 1,500 men and the graves stretched as far as the eye could see in two directions. Now when I read from the Book of Mormon that America is "a promised land, choice above all others," it really means something! Similar feelings came from visiting The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and the Dachau Prison Camp in Germany.
Lowest Poin in my Life When B.Y.U. made the decision to no more sell films outside of the Church and I was terminated. Death would have been sweet compared to that. My job meant more to me than my life. I believed the films were "school masters to lead people to Christ" and that they were preparing millions of people (which they most certainly were) to receive our missionaries. I found myself three years later still out of work (that could support a household), my wife was working a minimum wage job, I was unable to support my missionary daughter, we had to get welfare from the Bishop's Storehouse, and I was working a minimum wage job in a fast food store selling beer and cigarettes and renting "R" rated movies.
     I sent out over 700 resumes and got two interviews. I composed at least 30 different versions of my resume and was totally frustrated because at 49 years of age no one wanted me and I was too young to retire.
     Now I know why - Had I found employment, I would not have been led to the work I am doing now. I believe (as incredulous as it sounds) that those who saw my resumes became just as blind as the dog that attacked me in New York. (See: "Most Frightening Experiences" below). "Amid my list of blessings infinite, stands this the foremost, That my heart has bled.- Young.
    Being laid off was a great learning experience. It motivated me to write a book entitled "Un-management." No one was interested in publishing it and few even in reading it, but the editor of the Harvard Business Review said the first chapter "has more substance than the best selling book The One Minute Manager."
     "Un-management" and the most important success formula ever given:
     But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. Service is the most important principle ever given for lifting mankind. All of the love, all of our food and all of the wealth the world has known were created by service. Service is the foundation of representative forms of government - the idea that rulers or leaders should be accountable to or serve those below them. This principle of government that began with the Magna Charta, made possible the industrial revolution which has given us the abundance we now know.
     Service is the reason free enterprise works. All businesses start out by serving the consumer, then they evolve into "serve the boss to get promoted, to get raises in pay, to become a manager - to get power over men." (Had I done the latter, and had I stayed home and played racket ball with the boss instead of leaving Utah to sell films, I would have been the boss, our house would be paid for and I would be retired, with a very good retirement. from B.Y.U.*)
      If you are a businessman, tell me whether you serve your customers and clients and I'll tell you if your business will succeed. Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart said, "There is only one boss, the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else."
    If you tell me whether you serve or manage your wife or husband, I'll tell you how much you love your mate and if your marriage is successful. If you tell me whether you serve or manage your teenagers, I'll tell you if they will rebel against you (Japanese children never rebel against their parents* See full story later.). If you tell me whether you serve or manage your employees, I'll tell you how much work they will do and if they will strike or fire you, their boss, by not producing. If you tell me whether you serve or manage the citizens of your country, I'll tell you if your country is prosperous and if the people are free. (This principle eludes even good L.D.S. people, i.e. "School of Management" at B.Y.U.)
     In employment or in the market- place when goods, labor, or services are freely exchanged, it benefits both sides or it doesn't happen. Whenever service is not freely given, when it is expected, required, or forced by any compulsory means, it will create neither love nor wealth but resentment and rebellion.
     Expecting or requiring someone to serve you has the opposite effect of the Savior's admonition to serve others. If you destroy someone's self esteem (or if they have none to begin with) and make them think they are totally dependent upon you for their life or welfare,* and then if you require or compel them to serve you, they will become SLAVES who are totally subservient. The more they are abused, the more devoted they will be. This is the "hold" abusive husbands have on their wives. It is also the way prisoners are "brain washed" and led to cooperate with and even esteem their captors.
     This is why it is so important to teach our children that they are a child of God, because if they know that fact, no one can destroy their self esteem, brain wash, or make them a slave. (I've written a book on the subject if you want to know more.)
     The word service comes from the Latin word "Servus" which means slave. Another way of expressing this principle is, When people are free their leaders and kings are servants. Do you try to manage your children or serve them? When you require (compel) children to clean their room or require them to do anything else, are you not requiring them to serve you? When society requires students to go to school (compulsory education) are we serving the students or managing them? Would there be vandalism, violence and shootings in schools if students (with their parents) could choose whether or not they go to school?
   The Christian principle of serving those below you, is the principle Japan (a non-Christian nation) used to go from bombed out rubble to the second richest economy in the history of the World.* Service creates love and freedom, wealth and prosperity. Management creates rebellion, resentment, slavery, and poverty.
     All parenting begins by serving. One cannot require a little baby to serve you, but that usually changes when children get a little older and parents expect the children to serve them.
    All business ventures begin by serving the needs of the consumer or they don't succeed. How long would your business last if you tried to manage your customers?
    Management of children, wives, or husbands doesn't work either. If you try to manage your spouse or your children they will often rebel or go elsewhere. "Ignore them and they will go away" is the title of one of the most powerful posters I have ever seen. It shows a girl about 16 hitchhiking with the 18 wheelers going by. Under the picture is the caption, “If you ignore them they will go away.”  The first impression is if you don't give them a ride they will stop hitch hiking. Then the real meaning hits you, If you ignore your children, they will leave home!
      With growth and success in business, the service gets turned around. Only those who create the goods and those at the bottom continue the service that made the company successful.
In Government the idea that elected officials should be servants usually gets turned around before the ink is dry on the ballots. 1st Kings 12:6-14 gives the perfect formula for leading people instead of governing, managing, or ruling them! It was given more than a thousand years before the Magna Carta but it was not heeded.
     He who washed the feet of his disciples showed us the way - the way to make our marriages successful, the way to raise children, the way to succeed in business, the way to make men free, and the way to create wealth and love.
      "Un-management" Quotes: To lead the people walk behind them - Lao Tzu. ~ Do you believe in the power of love, or the love of power? ~ "Many men would rather manage in hell than serve in heaven" - paraphrase from Paradise Lost by djs ~ In battle, officers (should) eat last ~ Did you ever hear of managing men into battle? ~ As I would not be a slave, neither would I be a master - Martin Luther King. ~ As I (Darrell Stoddard) would not be a slave, neither would I be a manager – djs 
     Hugh Nibly said the following  regarding Servants and Managers: “In war we think of great generals from David and Alexander on down, sharing their beans or matzah with their men, calling them by their first names, marching along with them in the heat, sleeping on the ground, and being first over the wall. The men who delighted their superiors, i.e. the managers, got the high commands, while the men who delighted the lower ranks, i.e. the leaders, got reprimands. ‘If you love me,’ said the greatest of all leaders, ‘you will keep my commandments.’ ‘If you know what is good for you,’ says the manager, ‘you will keep my commandments and not make waves.’ That is why the rise of management always marks the decline of culture.”

How to Create Wealth: Charles Spar, President of Standard Oil of Ohio, said: "We have created students that know how to go to the moon but who are ignorant of how the wealth was created that made it possible for them to go to school." How is wealth created? I would like you to learn the answer by asking questions. (The answer is not just "service." Answer each question before going on.) How many people can a man feed with only a stick to till the ground? How many if he has a hoe, a water buffalo and a plow? How many can a man feed if he has a tractor, with enough fertile ground and water? How far and how many people can a man carry on his back? How many people and how far can a man transport them if he has a rickshaw or a bicycle. How many people can a man carry and how far can he carry them if he has a car, a bus, a steamship or a jet airliner?
     Wealth is created by men and women using tools to create more food, goods, or services than they consume. Managing people does not create wealth. It is the people who serve and use tools to do the work that create the wealth.
     What it was like before we had all the wonderful "tools": In Denmark when My Grandmother Froerer was only six years old, she was sent out with a tin pail to nearby farms to ask for the skim milk that would be fed to the pigs. Sometimes she would get none but would keep going from farm to farm until the pail was full. It would then be eaten with bread for the evening meal and again in the morning on their mush. When grandmother was 8 years old she had to live away from home in the summer and work on a dairy farm.
    Still my grandparents never thought of themselves as being poor. Aunt "Lizzie" told me that when she came through England on the way to America she was shocked to see the poor people with holes in their socks. (Grand-mother's family "darned" their socks as my mother darned our socks). When I talked to mother about this she told about what a peaceful experience it was in Eden to sit outside in the evening on an old boat and listen to the crickets and frogs while she darned socks. Children must know who they are and where they come from!
     La Rae's great grandfather Charles Dean at only seven years of age had to go to work in the coal mines of England to replace his father who had died and to help support his family..
     My mother, Helen Froerer, only got two oranges a year, one for Christmas and on for Easter. Heaven for me when I was a boy, would have been to have all the bananas I wanted to eat or to have a hot bath in a tub with running water (the only time I ever got to do this was when we went to my grandparents house in Riverdale, UT. I was born cold. Sitting on the open oven door of a coal kitchen range or going swimming in one of the hot mineral pools (that used to be all along the Wasatch Front) was the only time I ever got warm.
     We condemn industry for polluting, but when we appreciate what industry has done for us, we would do well to go and find the dirtiest blackest smoke-stack we can find and kneel down and offer up a prayer of thanks.
     Yes it was wrong for children to have to work in the mines and mills in the early days of the industrial revolution. It was wrong when my grandmother had to beg for skim milk and had to go away from home to work when she was only 8 years old. It is wrong today anywhere in the world when children have to work, but what was or is the alternative? (I am indebted to Ayne Rand for the above thoughts on industry and child labor.) The alternative was or is something worse - starvation.
      Power Disease There exists a group of people in the world that have a disease. I call it the "power disease." They want to rule, manage, and control other people. They are a more dangerous plague than cancer, pneumonia, bubonic plague, tuberculosis, and heart disease put together. They can only think of how to compel, coerce, manage, control, and make servants of other people. (Paraphrase by Darrell Stoddard of statement by John Gofman, MD.)
     Agency, Freedom, and Service, are from God. These blessings have created all of the wealth the world has known.
     Compulsion, coercion, servitude, and management are from he who would exalt himself on high as though he were God. These actions have made slaves of mankind and are the cause of poverty.
      We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. – D. and C. 121:39
       The Lord’s way is to serve others.
Having someone serve you (with any degree of compulsion, is the way of the adversary) One brings power and slavery,
The other brings love, freedom, and prosperity. – djs

 
Quotes about Love: Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, and tides, and gravity, we will harness for God the energies of love; then for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire. - Rene' de Chardin ~ We do not serve because we love, we love because we serve (paraphrase of C. S. Lewis by djs) ~ You do not love someone because of what they do for you, but because of what you do for them. - djs ~ There is no love without service and no happiness without love. Service is the key that unlocks the door to both happiness and love. - djs ~ You'll never know what love is until you love someone enough to die for them, and you'll never love someone enough to die for them without putting yourself below them and serving them. - djs ~ To love one who loves you, to admire one who admires you, in a word, to be the idol of one's idol, is exceeding the limits of human joy: it is stealing fire from heaven. - Madam de Girardin ~ A father spoke to his young son and said, "I want you to know how much I love you" The boy replied, Daddy I don't want you to love me, I just want you to play football with me. Acts of love are more important than expressions of love!
      The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children: When I gave my notice to Educational Marketing and Research that I was quitting to work for BYU, they asked me to train the son-in-law of John F. Cunio, who had "bankrolled" E.M.& R. The son-in-law was Arch Browning. Before retirement from the Air Force he had been President Eisenhower's pilot on "Air Force One." They told me he was from Idaho and that he was a Mormon like me. This gave us something in common so I agreed. The Cunio’s were Catholic and Mr. Cunio was Arch Browning's father-in-law, At that time, Fortune Magazine listed Mr. Cunio as the 7th richest man in the United States. When Pope John Paul came to the United States, he said Mass in the private chapel the Cunio’s had in their home in Chicago.
    Mr. Browning and I became friends and kept in touch for several years. Once when I was in Scottsdale, I called Mr. Browning. Instead of a maid or butler, his son about 10 years old answered the phone. He said with much enthusiasm, "Do you know what Daddy and I are going to do when he gets home from Australia? I expected him to say, "We're gong to go to Africa on a Safari" or we’re going to go to Australia and go fishing off the Great Barrier Reef" or "We're going to Switzerland to go skiing." Instead he said, "We're going to buy a tent and go camping!." The boy who went to a private school in a bullet proof, chaffier driven, limousine and who will inherit more than two hundred million dollars, wanted most of all to go camping in a tent with his dad.

What shall you give to one small boy?
A glamorous game, a tinseled toy?
A boy scout knife, a puzzle pack?
A train that runs on some curving track?
 A picture book, a real live pet?
No, there's plenty of time for such things yet .
Give him a day for his very own. 
Just one small boy and his dad alone,
A walk in the wood, a romp in the park 
.A fishing trip from dawn to dark.
Give him the gift that only you can.
The companionship of his "old Man."
Games are outgrown and toys decay,
But he'll never forget if you give him a day
      I wonder if the fathers of the boys who did the school shootings in Littleton Colorado ever gave their sons a day with their dad, or bought a tent and took their sons camping, or played ball with them, or took them fishing.
       Jerry Wilcox at his mother's funeral gave the following quote that parents should always have before them or never forget - "We have fathered their bodies, now let us father their faith."
       The Most Meaningful and Timely Documentary Ever Shown on TV: In a part of Africa where the magnificent rare white Rhinoceros lives, biologists started finding unusual numbers of dead "Rhinos." Something or someone was killing them that had never killed them before. At first they suspected poachers but nothing from the carcasses of the dead rhinos was missing. Because the White Rhinoceros is an endangered species, it was imperative to find out what was killing them.
     After careful watching, they ob- served a young bull elephant sparring with a rhino. The young elephants turned out to be the killers. They were killing the rhinos in critical numbers. This is something that had never been observed in Africa before. Elephants don't kill rhinoceros, but these young elephants were doing it.
    Previous to the incident, elephants had disappeared from that part of Africa and they had reintroduced them. Because of the difficulty of transporting mature animals they brought in only young elephants. The young bulls had no fathers to show them how to be an elephant. When the hormones in the young bull elephants increased, it made them look for something to do battle with and killing the rhinos became their game - because the rhinos were the largest and strongest opponent they could find
    Building trailers large enough to haul mature elephants and bringing in large bull elephants solved the problem. The young bull elephants then had a larger and stronger opponent and they learned how to be elephants.  The same thing happens to boys who don't have fathers or who don't have men in their lives to teach them how to be men.
    I like to tie this story to a prison where the telephone company decided to do something nice for the prisoners. On Mothers Day they allowed the prisoners a free call any where in the world to talk to their mothers. There was a line of prisoners from daylight to dark waiting to use the phones to call their mothers.
    On Fathers Day the telephone company decided to do the same thing; let the prisoners make a free call to their fathers. There was no line of prisoners and almost no prisoners that wanted to call their fathers. The point of the story is: men can have mothers who are saints and still end up in prison, but they don’t have good fathers or fathers at all to teach them how to be men.  
     When a boy goes through puberty and the hormones increase, if boys do not have fathers, teachers, coaches, or neighbors (who are bull elephants) to teach them how to be men, the boys,  like the young elephants, will be looking for something to conquer or something to kill.
Why Japanese children never rebel against their parents: I heard all my life about the respect that Orientals have for the elderly.  Before going to Japan I read about this and the article suggested watching what happens when an elderly person or a little child gets on a crowded bus or subway. I did this and observed the following: No one offers a seat to an elderly person, who may even be carrying an armload of packages, but when a little child gets on everyone competes to see if they can give the child their seat! Japanese children are never punished or disciplined but are put on a pedestal and almost worshiped until they are about 8 years old (our age of accountability). Describing Japanese children as "spoiled rotten" is an understatement, but they never rebel against their parents.
      The Japanese have one of the highest suicide rates in the world and are capable of extreme acts of violence but such rebellion is never against their parents but always toward others that would control or manage them.
     In the United States we would rather manage our children than serve and spoil them. Do they rebel? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear sleep in the woods? Consider the mass killing by students in Littleton, Colorado. Children rebel, the same as every human being rebels - against whoever is trying to manage them (even when it is for "good" reasons).
     Which culture comes closest to the teachings of the Savior? Should we manage our children or serve and spoil them?
     But the "natural man is an enemy of god and will be ...unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit." I believe the "natural man" is one who would manage and have others serve him. When we yield to the enticing of the Holy Spirit, we become servants (instead of managers) - even to our teenagers, wives, or employees.
     It is a "no brainer" to ask anyone in business whether they should serve their customers or manage them. Everyone will give the correct answer. But if you ask parents whether they should serve or manage their teenagers, you will get notably different opinions.

Creating Love - The Kim Day story: 
 

     Kim had a neurological condition as a child that caused her to go into uncontrollable spasms if she was frightened. When she was in about the third grade, the children at school discovered that if they raced toward her on their bicycles like they were going to run into her and then veer off at the last second, Kim would exhibit this very visible uncontrollable shaking and I guess even loose bladder control. The children thought this was the funniest thing they had ever seen and it became a regular game for them. Every morning the children would wait for Kim to come to school so they could have their fun.
       Kim had four sisters and their mother sewed most of their clothes. She made pretty lace aprons for each of her girls to play “dress up” (what my grand daughters love to do).
      In a "Family Home Evening Lesson," Kim learned that if you want to like or learn to love your enemies or those who are unkind to you, you should do something nice for them. She pondered the lesson for a few days and then asked her mother to help her make pretty lace aprons for all of the little girls who were so mean to her – NOT SO THEY WOULD LIKE HER BUT SO SHE COULD LOVE THEM. It is possible even to love our enemies if we "do good to them."
     I was so impressed with the lesson about creating love that I learned from eight year old Kim, that it made me wonder if the world understood the lesson she taught; so I went to the section in the BYU library that had the books of quotations. The books filled three shelves about 5-6 feet long. I read every quotation about love in all of the books from the greatest thinkers and philosophers of all time. I found countless inspiring thoughts about love, but not one of them told me how to create love.. Not one of the greatest thinkers in history knew or understood what this little 8 year old girl with a handicap knew about creating love!
    When I was at the MTC, I asked the missionaries the question, “How do you create love?” One Hundred percent of them answered, “You create love with service.  It was incredible that every missionary knew the answer immediately, something unknown to the world.
     If you think this is a stretch, I challenge you to find one quotation outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that tells you love is created by service.
     I told the Kim Day story in a sacrament meeting and gave the above challenge. A brother after said to me, “I believe you will find in the writings of CS Lewis statements about creating love by serving.”
    There are countless and numberless quotes about giving loving service and that those who love serve their fellow men; but nowhere out side of the Church do you find a quotation about creating love through service.
     It is possible to even create love for our enemies by serving, praying for, and doing good to them. It’s right there in the Sermon on the Mount, but the world has missed the significance of creating love by serving, praying for, and doing good to our enemies. (When have you ever heard a prayer for the suicide bombers, Alqueda. Hamas, Hezbolla, Talabon, or the Islamic Jihadists? The Savior told us that’s what we should do.)  
    Indeed the scripture tells us that we become the children of our Father in Heaven by loving our enemies after He tells us how we can do that; how we can create love …even for our enemies. 
     You don’t sing because you’re happy, you are happy because you sing. You don’t serve because love, you love because you serve.
      Pope John Paul - A man I love that I would have liked to serve . Soon after he became Pope he returned to Poland, his beloved homeland and there spoke to a sea of people (estimated to number about two million). He called on them to be teetotalers and then led them in a prayer, "To save our nation from the slavery of alcoholism."
     In Pope John Paul's latter life he had Parkinson's disease and the severe trembling that goes with it. My friend Robert Iacono, who pioneered steriotactic palidotomy brain surgery for Parkinson's, and I decided he should operate on the Pope. Iacono who believed in and endorsed my treatments for pain (See article number 4 at www.healpain.net) was probably at that time the most famous neurosurgeon in the world, He had done more than 600 brain surgeries for Parkinson's and he had a waiting list of more than a 1000 more; seven of them I was invited into the operating room to watch him do. I acquired a videotape of one of such surgeries that Iacono did on National TV. The man with severe tremors was wheeled into the operating room in a wheelchair. After the surgery he had no tremors, got up out of his wheelchair and ran down the hall. The second videotape I secured was about brain surgery that Iacono did on a 16 year old boy from Russia with Tardive Disconesia. He had never walked and was a basket case from birth with both his arms and legs wildly flaying constantly. The end of the second video showed the boy after surgery back in Russia. He had learned to walk and was shown brushing his teeth and combing his hair. I got to watch the video with Iacono the first time he got to see it, after it was sent from Russia. At the end we both wept.
     I sent the two videos to Raymondo Castellani who was then an LDS Church European Area President (whom I later stayed with when I went to Italy) and whom I had become close to through treating his wife Anita, when they came to Utah for two General Conferences. The plan was for him to take the videos and show them to the Cardinal in Milan who would then show them to the Pope.
    I believe it would have succeeded. A Mormon leader would have arranged for a Seventh Day Adventist surgeon to operate on the Catholic Pope. Why it never came to pass, I believe was because the Catholic Church is the biggest obstacle to the growth of the LDS Church in Italy. Brother Castellani, understandably, never saw the value in doing it and didn't go to the Cardinal in Milan because of the feelings that exist in Italy between the two churches.
      Most Frightening Experiences: Jogging one morning in an area of large country estates on the outskirts of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. I saw a lady coming through the woods with a large German Sheppard guard dog on a leash. The dog saw me, broke away from the lady's grasp, and came full speed straight for me. It was a ferocious guard dog and he meant business, doing what I am sure he must have been trained to do. He was in full attack mode and there was no way I could escape. The dog came at me full speed and then passed my legs within three feet. It then stopped and looked around not seeing anything to attack. From the moment he passed my legs, for whatever reason, the dog could not see me!  The lady seemed as puzzled as the dog by the strange circumstances of that event.
     On another occasion I was jogging on the outskirts of Waverly, Ohio, when another big German Sheppard dog, like the one above, came at me. There was a hill on each side of the road and I knew there was no way I could escape. The dog came down the hill full bore and the second it hit the road, a pickup truck came around the corner, hit the dog and killed it instantly.
       My Publications: Book, The Hero - (A book with no words) ARO Publishing, "High Tech Medical Breakthroughs from China," "Pain Healed Immediately" and "Breast Cancer Breakthrough" in the Townsend Letter for Doctors. (Started and Co-founded: ARO Publishing Co. - A company printing books, for children on Tyvek paper that could not be torn.) Book, Pain Free for Life, How to Heal Yourself Naturally without Drugs or Surgery. (84,000 copies sold.)  My Patents: Biotape Patent #6014585, issued 01/11/00.
      Successful Advertising I Created: Prescription for Beginning Readers - the advertising that launched ARO publishing. I believe it had the highest response rate ever for direct mail advertising. * $20,000 bill (and other) Stop Smoking Bills, * Ticket to get into The San Diego Mormon Battalion Visitors Center (I believe every jogger they were given to came to the center.) * The following advertising posters that were hung on almost every door they were sent to: "ADULT EDUCASION," "DEPARTMENT of REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT" poster and poster "If You Think Fishermen Are The Biggest Liars in The World, Ask a Jogger How Far He Runs Every Morning,"
Motion Pictures that would not have been, had I never lived: The Bridge, Greater Love, Joseph The Man, Uncle Ben, The Human Race, The Emmett Smith Story, Touch of the Masters Hand, Seasons of the Heart
      Films (Videos) Written produced and directed by me: Osteoporosis film for the Osteon Corporation.
Founded: Pain Research Institute See www.healpain.net
      Notable people who believe in what I do and who agreed to be advisors: Robert Iacono, Neurosurgeon who pioneered Stereotactic Palidotomy brain surgery for Parkinson's disease. Iacono has done more than 1000 such surgeries and has a waiting list of over 1000 patients. Dennis Remington, M.D. who is given credit for being the most important doctor in the discovery of using secretin for Autism; George Meinig, founding member of the Endodonic Society and author of the book, Root Canal Coverup; Johanna Budwig, Bio-chemist and Seven Time Nobel Prize Nominee, Sir Thomas Davis,. Harvard Medical School Faculty, NASA Space Surgeon, "Father of Double Blind Studies." Catherine Willner, M.D. Neurology, Pain Medicine Specialist at Mayo Clinic for 13 years. John Gofman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Molecular and Cell Biology, World's leading authority on the effects of Gama and X-radiation. Kilmer McCully, M.D., Discovered Homocysteine, Author of Heart Revolution Duane Graveline, M.D., MPH Astronaut, Author of Lipitor Thief of Memory, and Statin Drugs - Side Effects; and the Misguided War on Cholesterol. Thomas J. Purtzer, M.D., Neurosurgeon and Pain Management, National Medical Director of 14 Pain Clinics. Rob Gilbert, PhD. Sports Medicine. Nolon Cardon, M.D., Auricular Medicine
      Professional Compliments: Robert Iacono who is perhaps the most famous neurosurgeon in the world (featured twice on national T.V.) invited me several times to accompany him in the operating room to do brain surgery in the Loma Linda Medical Center. He had read my papers about pain and said he had come to the same conclusions. Regarding my theory that pain is caused by broken electrical connections between cells, Dr. Iacono said, "There's not one doctor in a hundred who understands that," then he added, "No, there's not one in a thousand." He then paused and concluded, "No, you and I are the only ones in the World who know what pain is!"
     I was Chosen as a keynote speaker for the American Holistic Dental Association National Conference May 14-16, 1999* My talk is on video tape which no one has ever seen.
      Delusions of Grandeur: I sincerely believe that I understand and can do more to heal pain (not just mask or cover it up) than anyone in the world. Sculptor Henry Moore at age 80 said, ”The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for the rest of your life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do."
       Impossible Dreams: To change the way Western medicine defines and treats pain. (see http://www.healpain.net. ~ To run from Ogden to Hooper when I'm 80 years old. To run and not be weary and keep working till I am over 100 years of age (like Larry Lewis who I knew personally and who at 103 years of age, ran six miles every morning before going to work). For the first time in modern history, I believe it is possible to run and be healthy and active to over 100 years of age. (I'll be happy to explain how and why.) I have now been running regularly for 28 years (and like Jim Wilson who is another hero and another story) look for coins while I'm running. As of 1999, I have filled more than twenty bottles, that each weighs more than 11 pounds, full of money - a total of more than $1,200. When I run (and like a tramp) looking for coins in the gutter, I think of the scripture, "We are all beggars before God, indebted to him for the very air we breathe"
     A favorite cartoon shows a lady beside the casket of her deceased husband. One of the mourners viewing the deceased, is lost for words and says, "Well he sure looks good," wherein the wife replies, "He ought to, he's been jogging every day for 28 years!"
Best Films to Motivate People to Exercise (may be the best medicine of all): Run Dick, Run Jane, Coronary Counter-Attack, What Makes Millie Run?
Marathons I've Completed: Palos Verdes, Deseret News, Golden Spike, St. George, and Boston.
Most Inspiring Athletes: Glen Cunningham* (see film Dream Big by BYU), Creed Haymond (see story True To his Ideals from book A Story to Tell), Peter Strudwick* (see TC Christianson film The Human Race), Harry Cordellos* (see book Breaking Through), Curt Brinkman (see book The Curt Brinkman Story), George Murray* (I'll have to tell you his story), Emmett Smith* (see BYU film The Emmett Smith Story), The Tarahumara Indians (in BYU film Coronary Counter Attack) of Northern Mexico who run races as long as 180 miles (sometimes all day, all night, and all day). When asked how they can run so far, their answer was, "We run because we run." My translation of this is: "We are only able to run because we do run."
     Are we not also happy because we are happy? (Abraham Lincoln said, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be.") Do we not sing because we sing, cry because we cry, serve because we serve, and love because we love? "The mind is its own place and in it we create a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven."
       What I wouldn't trade for solid gold: The cowboy boot of Glen Cunningham (whose legs were burned so badly that they said he would never be able to walk, yet he went on to break the world record at least seven times in the mile run), Peter Strudwick's shoe (an atheletic sock dipped in bath tub calking to cushion his stub). Peter is the man who runs marathons without feet and Harry Cordellos' shoe (who probably holds more world records than any man that has ever lived but who is totally blind), and the shoe of Elaine Schwartz. One of George Murray's worn out gloves that he used to wheel a wheel chair completely across the United States.*
      Primary Purposes in Life: To teach people they are a child of God ~ To save the unborn. ("If God doesn't judge America for the hideous sin of abortion, He'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah" - Jay Stack, Preacher from Ft. Myers Florida") ~ To prevent child abuse. ~ To teach people to serve instead of manage. ~ To teach people to love instead of hate. ~ To relieve pain and suffering. ~ To discover in the history of religion, science, and medicine, those "great treasures of knowledge even hidden treasures" - "hidden from the wise and the prudent and revealed unto babes."
    "The world has always crucified its saviors (people who discover or reveal new truth) and it always will."- djs. Examples are: Jesus of Nazareth and Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (His discoveries, never accepted in his lifetime, together with those of Joseph Lister, have no doubt saved more lives than any mortal men who ever lived; but Semmelweis was persecuted and driven to an insane asylum where he took his own life.) ~ William Harvey (Discovered the circulation of blood - unanimously rejected at first.) ~ James Lind (Discovered that eating a lime each day would prevent scurvy - rejected for nearly 50 years.) ~ Joseph Smith (Rejected, persecuted and murdered.) ~ Thomas McPearson Brown (Discovered the cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis more than 40 years ago - Rejected and persecuted. Now after his death, just starting to be accepted. See book Arthritis Breakthrough) ~ Oliver Sachs (Discovered L-dopa for Parkinsonism - See Film Awakenings.) ~ Arthur Snow (Developed a theory of the cause of all degenerative disease - unknown and still not accepted.) ~ Augusto and Michaela Odone (See film Lorenzo's Oil) ~ It took the FDA more than 30 years to even acknowledge that a folic acid deficiency could cause birth defects. Thousands of deformed babies have been born because the FDA prohibited claims that pregnant women should take folic acid." Now it is accepted and widely publicized. ~ Gary and Victoria Beck (Discovered the use of Secretin for Autism - Rejected by most doctors. Featured on Dateline Oct. 7, 1998. I am closely involved with this incredible story.) ~ Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer. (Discovered the cause of much if not most breast cancer* - Ridiculed and universally rejected by cancer experts.) ~ Discovery that banana peels across the forhead and back of the neck would stop head-aches - (Rejected and ridiculed by a headache specialist in an Ann Landers' column.) John Gofman's study that 83% to 90% of all breast cancer is caused by past and present medical radiation (not accepted at this time) ~ The 2000 year old Chinese definition of pain - Rejected, not understood, and never adequately investigated by Western medicine. (I have measured the “Chi” [electrical resistance] at the site of pain in more than 17,000 patients and I am convinced the Chinese are correct.) See http://www.healpain.net  "It has been the fate of all bold adventurers and reformers to be esteemed insane." - G.B. Cheever.
      The Uses of Adversity: Several times in my life I have been very close to financial success and I have also been "down and out" and on church welfare. I learned much more from the trials than I could ever learn from success. A man named Matsushita, The Thomas Edison of Japan, said "Good times are good but bad times are better" - because we learn more from the bad times. C.A. Bartol said, Paradoxical as it may seem, God means not only to make us good, but to make us also happy, by sickness, disaster, and disappointment. Napoleon Hill added that, Every adversity carries with it the seed of equal or greater benefit. ~ The other lesson I learned from the lowest point of my life, thanks to James Christianson (who explained to me the 38th section of the Doctrine and Covenants), is that there are people out of work and on welfare who are just as intelligent, just as motivated, and just as worthy as the richest entrepreneur! In Section 38 of the D.&C. it repeats twice the admonition, "And let each man esteem his brother as himself." It then adds that even when people are equally obedient, some are clothed in riches and some are clothed in rags. If we question that this is just, the Lord says, "it is even as I am." And I add emphatically that the Lord does cloth some men in riches and some who are equally righteous in rags (for their own good or as a test?) to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. The Lord Says "The rich I have made"
    The rich think they have done it themselves, or an equal mistake they believe that their riches are a sign of the Lord's favor. We've got it all wrong when we pray for the sick and the afflicted. We should pray instead for those who are well and for those who have never known pain or suffering.
    Instead of praying for the poor and the needy, we should pray for the rich and the affluent - those who have never known need - whose hearts are not broken and whose spirits are not contrite ~ "No man is more unhappy than the one who has never known adversity; the greatest affliction of life is never to be afflicted"-Anon
   John the Revelator on the Isle of Patmos was shown a vision of the resurrection. A question is asked, "What are these which are arrayed in white robes?" The answer was, "These are they which came out of great tribulation."

There is a curious paradox,
Which no one can explain.
Who understands the secret,
Of the ripening of the grain?
Who understands why Spring is born
Out of Winter's laboring pain,
Or why we all must die a bit,
Before we grow again?
I do not know the answer,
I only know it's true.
I hurt them for that reason,
And myself a little bit, too.

-- Spoken by El Gallo from The Fantastics

True Repentance: is being "Not clamorous for pardon but grateful for punishment." - spoken by Father Maple in Moby Dick. ~ From a Negro spiritual are the words, “They treated you mean Jesus, treat me mean too." When we understand the blessing of adversity, it is not inappropriate that we be "grateful for punishment," and express with the black man, "treat me mean too."
The Problem with Charity: The problem with Charity is not that we might be giving to someone who is not worthy or that would be better off without it. It is when, the act of giving, makes us feel superior.
    I was at Temple Square with a Japanese corporation president and on the corner of what used to be Hotel Utah, we passed two beggars. One was the most twisted deformed, little hag of a lady I had ever seen, not much more than 3 feet tall. She was smoking a cigarette which made it even more difficult for me. The other beggar was her shabbily dressed husband or son who was standing over the pitiful, little wretch protecting her from the cold with his coat. I was embarrassed to have my guest, who I wanted to impress, see beggars next to the temple. I passed them up not knowing what to do or say, remembering that I had not seen one beggar in Japan when I was there.
      Figuratively this little wretch was the Savior "in one of his many disguises." If not the Savior, she was one of the least of all His children. What I did not unto her I did unto Him! It was my test and I failed!
      My Hero's: Jesus of Nazareth, ~ The Burgers of Calais, ~ Arland Williams (Man who passed a life ring to others when airplane crashed into bridge in Washington, DC). ~ Peggy Gibson who gave her life to save her unborn child, ~ Everyone who has given their life to save another, ~ A tough construction worker, that I despised because he smoked and used offensive language, that I watched go into a hole and move a mountain of dirt, risking his life (in a very real way) to try and save a man who was already dead. ~ The immaculately dressed woman in Denver, Colorado who sat on the sidewalk and held on her lap the bleeding head of a dirty old black tramp (who had been run over), wiping away the blood and cleaning the dirt from his wounds with her beautiful white lace handkerchief.
~ Mother Teresa and The Catholic Sisters who call themselves, "Dogs for Christ" because they serve beggars  that are so low, only the beggar's dogs will lick their wounds.
Other Hero's: Walter B. Stoddard and Don Larsen - Two of the happiest men who ever lived but seemingly had the least to be thankful for. (I tell both of their stories later) ~ All unwed mothers of today who have their babies (instead of having an abortion). ~ All of the fathers and mothers who go to work each day to support their families. ~ All mothers who care for and love their little ones. ~ Mothers who get anything done when they have small children. ~ Wives who usually know where everything is ~ Everyone who composed and wrote anything intelligible before word processors.
      Formula for Catching Big Fish: Drink Lots of Buttermilk,
      Favorite Wildlife Poem: Hippity Hoppity, There goes the Wapity by Ogden Nash
Other low points in my life:
When my custom 36 Ford 3 window coupe got away from me and rolled over the hill and crashed into Gunnel's house. ~ When my link trainer flight instructor told me he didn't think I could make it as an instrument pilot. He suggested I stop my training and find other work. I then received live instrument training in a plane. When I took my instrument flight check, I tied the highest score ever recorded at American Flyers (The number one non-military flight school in the U.S.). My score was 1 point from being perfect.  Before I graduated, the airlines raised the age limit to begin employment and I was too old. I made one commercial paid flight, to fly a man doing research that required photos of the mountains around Utah Lake. All of my flight training and all of the money it cost was for naught.
      Most Memorable Experiences: The first memorable experience came in response to a fathers blessing given to my son James before we went to a wrestling tournament in Evanston Wyoming. I gained from that blessing and from a dream, a perfect assurance of the reality of life after death. Now each time I go to a funeral viewing, I have the feeling Brigham Young expressed when he said he never passed a casket without "wanting to get in the casket and trade places." The above experience was more "real" than anything I could comprehend through my five senses. Everything else has only "been seen through a glass darkly."* We do indeed see through dark glass if we see at all. (The rest of this story is the concluding chapter of My Favorite Things.)
      The second experience occurred on July 30th 1983 in Toronto, Canada when I showed the films The Bridge and Greater Love to a man named. Jebusing from India. (A detailed account of this is given later)  There I learned how profoundly history can be changed by a small event. ~ Hearing my Grandfather Froerer say what I heard him say many times, "Before the Savior can return to Earth, The Jews must return to the Holy Land." Just before grandfather died, that epic prophecy was fulfilled! When I learned that my family from both sides is of the lineage of Judah and David, I knew why this touched me so deeply.
       Another reason I know there is life after death: My sister Ann was just four years old when Grandfather Stoddard died. Her cousin Jean Stoddard, who was older, told Ann at the viewing that they were gong to bury grandfather in the ground. Ann cried and said they would not put "Ba Pa" in the ground, they would not put "Ba Pa" in the ground! The next morning Ann told mother that "Ba Pa" had come to see her in the night. Mother thought she had just been dreaming because of what had happened at the funeral. Then Ann told her that Grandfather had a lady with him and that "Ba Pa" was wearing a white dress like the ladies. She just couldn’t understand why grandpa would be wearing a dress. (How else would a little four old girl who had never seen temple clothes describe them? Had it only been a dream, she would have seen Grandfather as she knew him in life. Grandmother Stoddard died when Ann was a baby but Mother is confident that the lady who came with Grandfather that Ann described was Grandmother Stoddard.) Mother asked Ann if Grandfather said anything to her and Ann said, "He just showed me to the lady and said, "Ba Pa's little lady."
      Favorite Places To Spend A Day: Polynesian Cultural Center and Hawaiian Temple - Liae Hawaii; Keukenhof Gardens - (between April 25th and May 5th) Lisse, Holland; ~ Lauterbrunnen Valley - Switzerland; ~ Two Van Gogh Museums in Holland; ~ Rodin Museum, Eiffel Tower, De Arse Museum, Arc-de-Triumph, Notre Dame Cathedral - Paris, France; ~ Louve Museum - Paris, France; ~ Forbidden City and Tianenmin Square - Beijeng, China; ~ Emperor’s Walking Palace and Summer Palace -Beijing, China; ~ Riding the "Star Ferry" for a dime back and forth across Hong Kong harbor to see all the splendor and treasures of the Orient in that great city. ~ Great Wall and Valley of The Emperors in China; ~ Hermitage Museum - St. Petersburg, Russia; ~ U.S. Capital Parkway and Museums - Washington D.C.; ~ Exploring Canyon de Chelley in Arizona or the "Red Rock" country of Utah and Arizona with loved ones. ~ Annual Indian Market in Sante Fe, N.M. ~ Epcot Center, Orlando, FL ~ Knotts Berry Farm ~ Fishing with my sons on the Florida Keys or fishing with my family at Flaming Gorge. ~ The Holy Land where Jesus walked (in the future)
      Favorite Villages: Murin, Switzerland; Baccarat and Rothenberg, Germany; Walapi, Arizona; Sante Fe, N.M.; Old Town in Albuquerque, N.M.; China Town (in San Francisco); Moab, Utah, Palmyra N.Y., Nauvoo, IL
      Favorite Cities: Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Nanjing and Hefei, China; Shanghai, China; Cuzco, Peru; Tijuana, Mexico. In the olden days, New York and San Francisco.
      Most Thrilling Things To See: The Birth of a Child. The Moons of Jupiter or the Rings of Saturn (live through a telescope). The art of a child, Seeing an Eastern Brook Trout take a "Trout Fly" and then seeing that unbelievably beautiful fish up close." Seeing a freshly opened Double Delight Rose.
     With all deference to those who have never taken an art class, I believe you will never see a tree or the divinity of the human body until you have tried to draw them. Two of the most thrilling experiences of my life were when I tried to sketch a birch tree in a snow storm and when I tried to draw the lips of one of my sleeping children who was just a baby.
      Most Breathtaking Vistas: From Jungfrau peak by electric railroad, and from Schilthorn Peak at the top of the Tram in the Lauterbrunnen Valley of Switzerland,  Dead Horse Point and Goosenecks of the San Juan, Utah, Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from the top of Mount Tamalpious or at dawn from the cockpit of a landing airliner.
      Most Beautiful Drive: Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland; Trail Ridge Road, Colorado, Zions National Park, Utah; Pali Drive and the drive around Oahu, Hawaii; Through the Redwoods or Highway "1" in California, From Moab, Utah up along the Colorado River or through Arches National Monument (must include a hike to Delicate Arch Arch.)
      Favorite Roses: Touch of Class, Gold Medal, Double Delight, Peace, Olympiad, Fragrant Cloud ~ Most fragrant rose: Fragrant Cloud ~ Most fragrant and most beautiful rose: Double Delight (Take time to smell them.) ~ We can remove the thorns from the roses, but even God will not cast out all pain, for there is no joy without sorrow. There can be no flowers without rain. - djs (Lines that came to me when a pure, beautiful little 23 year old girl took her life)
      Most Important Symbols In the Old World: The Tree of Life and Fountain of Living Waters (Greek Columns - Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian are all stylized representations of the Assyrian Tree of Life. The volutes at the top of an Ionic Column are not rams horns but a representation of the Living Water that comes forth from the Tree of Life.), Star of David, The Cross, The fish. In the New World the most important symbol is The Stepped Fret which represents The Mountain of the Lord, The Tree of Life, and The Fountain of Living Water (combined). A form of the Stepped Fret called the Wind Jewel became the symbol of Quetzelcoatl. Ultimately both are symbols of The Resurrected Christ. (All of the above is from my original research.*)
       Favorite Books and Hero's of World War 2: King Christian of Denmark, who out of respect for the Jews, defied the Nazis by riding his horse through the streets of Copenhagen each day to show the people he was still the King ~ Diary of: Anne Frank  (Book and Motion Picture) ~ Tony Kemeny (Book - A Puppet No More) ~ Roal Wallenberg (Book: The Righteous Gentile) ~ Otto Schindler (Book: Schindler's List) ~ Eleni (Book and Motion Picture) ~ Peter Czerny's father. Mr. Czerny lived in East Germany and supported his family by slipping across the boarder into West Germany where he could work and save money. Violins and music were so important to him that he would carry a violin with him to play in sacrament meetings when he was asked to do so in West Germany. He was crossing the boarder in a snowstorm so he would not be detected and heard the command, "Stoy!" and found himself looking down the barrel of a sub machine gun and face to face with a Russian solder. The next thing would be a bullet and his body would not be found until spring. Not knowing what else to do, Czerny took out his violin and started to play Russian folk songs. It made the solder homesick and he started to cry. He then lowered his gun and motioned for Mr. Czerny to go on,
      Favorite Self Help Books: Self Help by Samuel Smiles (Book that gave Japan the Industrial Revolution and upon which Japan's industrial economy is based. Deming did not give it to them!*) Elbert Hubbard's Notebook, Books by Orson Sweet Marden, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
      How to "comprehend all things" and have no "darkness" in your life? Ask the Lord to bless you that you may have an "eye single to his glory." See D&C 88:67, or how would you like to run and not be weary, or have the Holy Ghost be your constant companion, or posses all things, or be blessed with wisdom and wealth, or be made glorious and have the things of this earth added unto you, even an hundred fold, yea more? How would you like to be forgiven of all your sins? The Scriptures have the answers!
      "And if a man take away thy coat": The only man I know of who had something of great value stolen from them and then gave the thief more (in addition to that which was stolen) was the priest in Les Miserables, who gave the silver candlestick holders to Jon Val Jon who had stolen his valuable silver. The effect this Christ like act had on the impoverished fugitive makes Les Miserables one of the most profound stories, films, and musicals in all of literature.
      Best Eternal Insurance: Esteem each man as you do yourself and then forgive everyone - always, no matter what they have done, no matter how many times they have sinned against you, whether they ask for forgiveness or not. You will then be forgiven as you have forgiven others. For with that judgment we judge, we will ourselves be judged.
      A Great Success Formula: (Or how you can be much better than it is humanly possible to be): Begin by answering the following questions (write your answers on a piece of paper or have the audience answer before you continue). How fast do you think it is possible for a man to ride a bicycle? What do you think the world record is? How far do you think it is possible to ride a bike in 24 hours? How many of you have driven more than a 1000 miles in a 24 hour day? How many of you have driven 1200 miles in a day? Discuss or think about the answers. The greatest obstacle for a bicyclist is something that cannot be seen. On level ground at speeds over 15 miles per hour, 80% of the energy is used to push the air out of the way.
     Now the answers to the opening questions: John Howard's world speed record for a bicycle is 152 miles per hour! Mike Sechrist rode a bicycle more than 1200 miles in 24 hours! How did they accomplish such unbelievable feats? By a principle bicycle racers call "Drafting." They have someone else or something such as a motorcycle go in front of them to push the wind out of the way. And so it is in life, we can be much better at any endeavor in life by "drafting" behind great people, people who lived before (through the miracle of stories, books, or movies), and people who are alive today that are much better than ourselves. The more heroes we have to follow the better we can become. The ultimate example is the Savior who said, "Come follow me." For the above bicycle questions, I am indebted to my son James, who held the record for cycling across Utah, 334 miles from Nevada to Colorado, riding just as hard as it was possible to ride for more than 24 hours, stopping only for "pit stops." He ate while on the bike and the entire ride was done without "drafting." His support crew then drove home and he went to church that morning. Near the top of my list of people to "draft after" are my sons and daughters. "Even a Pigmy on the Shoulders of a Giant Can See Farther than the Giant" Bernard of Chartres, reportedly said of medieval professors like himself “that we see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature.”

Most Memorable Christmas: We had three precious little boys and life had never been better. I was working at night on one of the highest paying jobs of my life, a construction job at Geneva Steel, and I was fulfilling the dream of a lifetime going to school at BYU in the daytime. We had a lovely new home and Christmas was coming. Surely no one in this world had been so richly blessed. We had far more than we deserved. Couldn't we find someone to share our joy with who didn't have so much? In answer to our prayer, we found, that Christmas, a mother, babe. and little toddler who were alone and on welfare. There was no star to guide us but we were guided just the same. Here was someone we could share our blessings with. We did not bring gold, frankincense and myrrh, but we did bring - the things money could buy - a baby sitter, new clothes for the mother, dinner in a restaurant and toys for the children. In the restaurant, Nan recited for us her poem "Brightly the Star." It was the only Christmas present she had for her two small children.
      Looking back over the years, I realize that Nan's gift of love for the Christ Child, was the most valuable gift a parent could ever give a child. We brought gifts to a mother and her children at Christmas but like those who brought gifts for the babe in Bethlehem, we received far more than we gave. This is our priceless Christmas treasure.

Brightly The Star by Nan Pinkston
 
Now Brightly was not a big star,
But then he was not very old,
And anyway, size isn't everything,
At least that was what he'd been told.
It never had bothered Brightly
As he sailed across the sky
As he watched for himself in the rivers,
Then hid behind clouds floating by.

For he liked it way up in the heavens
In the soft velvet black of the night
For there he could glow with such splendor And bask in his own silvery light.

And he liked to hear the angels
And the songs that they would sing
And to listen to the messages,
And stories they would bring.
And the songs the angels sang
That Brightly admired so much
Were all about heavenly beings,
And people and flowers and such.
Why you never have heard such stories,
Marvelous they were
All about things that had happened,
And things that were yet to occur.

A baby called the Christ Child
was the story he liked best
And of a large and brilliant star,
To mark the babies rest.
For the baby was the Savior,
The King of all mankind
And thoughts of such a being
Did gladden Brightly's mind.
The angels sang so sweetly
Of the kindness of this King
Of the goodness, of the peace and love
This blessed babe would bring.

When Brightly learned how large the star Would be who shined that night
And how it's splendor down would flow
To guide kings on their flight,
He fancied that the biggest star
Was what he'd like to be
But then he knew the skies were filled
With larger stars than he.

The more that Brightly thought on it,
The more it hurt his pride
Why did he have to be so small,
And little Brightly cried.
"Im just as bright as any star,
But why am I so small?
And if not born quite big enough,
Then why be born at all?"

The night was dark, the angels called,
"The time has come to sing,
Oh Holy Night, the Babe is born,
Hosanna to our King."
Then Brightly felt excitement's joy
Despite his troubled mind
And looking East the largest star
Burst forth it's piercing shine.

And Brightly looked again to see,
The Master of Eternity
"A little babe as even me,
And filled with love as I can be."
Then brightly shined with all his might,
And let out such a glorious light
That all on Earth might know it's true,
That Brightly loved the new King too.
    Another Memorable Christmas was when Jeff and Lisa gave us a beautiful scrapbook with pictures in it from Europe and at the end said they were going to give us an all expense paid trip to Europe for a Christmas present!
Most Important Events: My Birth, Baptism, Ordinations, Marriage, Birth of each of my children and grandchildren, Missionary farewells and home-comings, Funerals for loved ones, End of World War II, When I went on a mission, When I started work at B.Y.U., When I was laid off at BYU, When I was "led" to China, When I began work for Dr. Remington, "When I had the inspiration for "Biotape." When any of my children or grandchildren, speaks, performs, or participates.
A Fathers Proud Moments: (Don't read this part if you don't care for Christmas newsletters.) The story begins when I married "above myself" to my eternal sweetheart - the pivotal point in my earthly existence. Everything I was before I owe to my good parents. Everything thereafter I owe to my darling wife: When each of our children were born. Seeing all of the boys wrestle. Having all of the boys become Eagle Scouts. Watching James (and Mark) in the Logan to Jackson Hole “LOTOJA” bike race. Netting a 23 pound Lake Trout at Flaming Gorge for Mark. Running the Palos Verdes Marathon, and then the "Roots Run" each year with Paul (where he lets me beat him). Seeing Laura participate on the Drill Team and get straight "A"s. Hearing Lisa play the Viola and win "runner-up" in the Miss Provo contest. Watching Amy clog and win competitions and then marry someone whose father does our genealogy. Of the performances, only the fishing, biking, running, and playing the viola continues. Now if Mark doesn't completely stop playing the trumpet and if Laura will continue to play the saw... Having James, Mark, Paul, and Lisa serve missions, and seeing all six children married in the temple. Seeing Paul and Shelly go under the crossed fishing poles (instead of swords) when they were married with their six beautiful children as attendants. My daughter-in-laws are all angels and I love my son-in-laws as much as I do my own sons.
     When Amy was about fourteen years old we took her to Dr. Stone for about a year. Each time we saw him he would pick a few pimples with an instrument and bill it as acne surgery. We finally took her to Dr. Parkinson who said he could clear Amy's acne with the drug Acutane but she would have to take birth control pills while she was on the drug, because if she became pregnant the baby would be horribly deformed. We thought this was meaningless because she didn't have a boyfriend and had never even been on a date. Dr. Parkinson then stated that there was a possibility that she could be raped and felt she should still take the birth control pills. Amy privately told me after that even if she were raped and knew that the baby would be horribly deformed, she would still have the baby. Nothing could have made me more proud!
      A fathers Teaching That Took: When my boys were small I tried to teach them reverence for all forms of life by telling them a story about how Indians would thank the Great Spirit for the life of an animal and then ask the animal's spirit for forgiveness when they took it's life. Two weeks after Mark was married he said, "I think I can get an Elk with a bow and arrow from James' tree stand." Mark then went up on the mountain and waited in the tree stand while his bride watched from a hill across a ravine. A hugh Bull Elk came to drink from the pond under the tree and Mark shot it with an arrow. He then went over to Pattie and the two newlyweds knelt together and thanked Heavenly Father for that majestic, magnificent animal and prayed for the animal’s forgiveness.
Paul expressed similar feelings after shooting a bull elk. He was deeply troubled by the experience and said the beautiful animal he had killed must have wanted to live just as much as he did. I recall mother telling me about George McDonald who worked in a slaughter house. One night he had a very real dream wherein he heard the spirits of all the cows he had killed crying for their life.
      Most Noble Aspiration: To be the kind of man I would like my sons to be. ~ To love children like Ken Stoddard or Paul Stoddard. ~ To teach like Reed Bradford, Sterling Sill, Vaughn Featherstone, Carl Beaner, Floyd Johnson, or Peter Czerny. (Floyd and Peter are two of the most inspiring teachers to ever teach at B.Y.U. but neither have a degree and neither are on the faculty.)
     Best Compliments I Ever Received: When Paul was a lttle boy, he said he wanted to be a "book seller" like his dad. After I gave a Sunday School lesson about the Jews returning to the Holy Land, Walter Harmon, who sent seven sons and a daughter on missions and who as a young missionary had James E. Talmage for a mission president, said, "That was the best lesson I have heard since hearing Elder Talmage speak on that subject in the mission field." ~ LaRae and I had the special privilege of attending the morning session of the first April 2000 General Conference in the new Conference Center. I was so impressed with that glorious transcendent experience that I wrote a poem called We Build these Buildings Wonderful but Do We Build the Man? I gave a copy along with the following Quote by James E. Talmage to Neil Holbrook who I served with as a counselor and who was the High Priest group leader in our ward.

What is man
In this boundless setting
Of sublime splendor?
I answer you: Literally now,
actually to be ,
He is greater and grander
More precious
According to the arithmetic of God
Than all the planets and stars of space
For him they were created
They are the handiwork of God
Man is His Son!

(I have made a poster with the above quote showing the Earth from space and 24 small pictures of beautiful galaxies in space – from the Hubble telescope.)
I included the Talmage quote in what I gave to Brother Holbrook because it was on the same subject and much shorter, than what I had written. Brother Holbrook then told me not to put them together because what I had written was much better, and that the Talmage quote would detract from my message. ~ A Stake President from Nyssa, Oregon took his 13 year old son to General Conference after I had given one of my "Shoe Talks." He asked his son what he thought of Conference and a talk by Vaughn Featherstone? The boy said, "It was ok Dad, but I would rather hear Brother Stoddard." ~ When Lisa was in the mission field and I told her on the phone that Laura had given birth to a Downs Syndrome baby, Lisa said, "Oh I'm so glad Heavenly Father sent him to us (meaning our extended family) because no one can love him like we can!" ~ 2013 Entry: Dr. Reza Chowdhury who is the Dean of two medical schools compared me to Joseph Smith for my dedication to helping people in pain and to Thomas Jefferson for my political thoughts recorded in my internet page: saveusa.biz  ~ My daughter Laura paid me a wonderful compliment last night 9-1-13 when she gave me a beautiful book “WORK - The World of Work in Pictures’ She said she gave it to me because I taught her how to work and how to love people of all races. She then told me about how we had the black Williams family come and stay with us and how aghast our neighbors were for us to have black people in our home. Laura said if that hadn’t happened, she would not have adopted her beautiful children from Korea, China, and Ghana. ~
5-4-14 This morning after fast and testimony meeting, Helen Orton said to me with tears in her eyes, “You’re my Hero.” I don’t know why she said that but it was certainly one of the best compliments I have ever received. It may have been because of my testimony in which I told about the funeral yesterday for Lisa Stoddard, wife of Troy Stoddard, who was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Lisa’s Story and my vivid memory of the funeral follows.

Does Mommy Smell Pretty Daddy?”
We heard these unforgettable words from Troy Stoddard’s little 7 year old daughter as we stood before her mother’s casket. I made an attempt to answer that question when I bore my testimony the day after the funeral. I testify that when we go through the veil we will see, hear, understand, and smell a hundred times better than we experience these senses in mortality. People who go through the veil not only smell better but they themselves as immortal spiritual beings radiate a heavenly unearthly fragrance. So my answer to Troy and Lisa’s precious little daughter is: Yes, Your Mommy does smell pretty, a hundred times more beautiful and fragrant than even a gardenia, lilacs, roses, or musk from the animals your grandfather Stoddard trapped and that your great great pioneer grandmother trapped for fur to make muffs and fur collars for her daughter’s coats. She now smells more beautiful than the most beautiful flower or perfume.
      My Friend James R. Christianson and his Unbelievable Charity:
     When I was laid off at BYU, three men who had empathy for what I was going through were, Keith Hoopes (my Stake President), Keith Melville, and a very special friend James Christianson. On a morning after Jim had been very ill with the possibility of not making it through the night, he told Helen that had he died, he wanted her to use the insurance settlement to pay off Darrell Stoddard’s real estate mortgage. This was almost incomprehensible because he had nine children that were left fatherless. Jim’s Christ like, guileless charity carried through to his children.
     When Howard and Kimball Christianson were about 14 years old, they had worked for two summers cutting lawns and whatever they could do to earn and save money for an Explorer Scout Super Adventure. If I remember correctly, it was $1400.
     Chung Shan was living with us at the time and his wife and baby were in China. Howard and Kimball came to us and offered to give the money they had saved for the scout trip to help get Chung Shan’s wife and baby out of China. We didn’t accept the money but they would have gladly given it.
     I confess that that I cheered for Utah when Howard and Kimball played for Utah against BYU. They tried out but did not make the team to play for BYU. Utah was happy to get them. When I said in the High Priests Quorum that I would be cheering for those two great young men from our ward, it nearly got me excommunicated.
       Favorite Things to Do When I Was a Boy: Searching for Indian relics on Fremont Island with my Dad. ~ Going to the Paramount Theater and seeing a double feature and sometimes 10 cartoons for a dime - especially if one of the films happened to be "The Count of Monte Cristo" or "The Three Musketeers." Willis Crouch's idea to sit on the front row in the balcony and dump itching powder from the trick shop on the people below, didn't seem to do much, but it was a great idea. ~ Finding a box behind a store that was big enough for a boy to stand up and walk in but not see where he was going, then putting one of my friends in the box and turning him around and around so he would not know his directions, then leading him up to and inside of  the Catholic Church on 24th and Adams just at sundown but when it was dark inside with the light coming through the stained glass windows, then having him count to 500 before taking off the box, when I would be long gone. (The stained glass windows were beautiful but the darkness and all of the statues made it a pretty scary place for somebody who had never been in a Catholic church.) ~ Taking Bobby Hollingshead into uncle Owen's  potato cellar and telling him the potato sacks contained the cut up bodies of dead people and that the long potato sprouts (about 20 inches long) that came out of the sacks was their hair that kept growing. ~ Daring a city kid to pee on an electric fence (once you've done that you never pee on any more fences whether their electric or not). ~ Putting duck eggs under a sitting hen and chicken eggs under a sitting duck.* (We learned from that experiment what behavioral psychologists still aren't sure about - which is the most important, heredity or environment). ~ Sitting on the oven door of a coal kitchen stove to get warm or going swimming in a hot mineral swimming pool. I was born cold and that was the only time I ever got warm. ~ Going to my Grandparents home in Riverdale and eating a bowl of fresh raspberries my Grandmother Froerer had picked with fresh cream from cows my Grandfather Froerer milked; then having my Grandmother show me the picture and tell me the story of the boy Jesus teaching the elders in the temple. (I inherited the picture that hangs on my office wall) Going past the old barn where Grandfather milked the cows and down the lane to the spring to get a drink of the sweetest coldest water this side of heaven, out of the tin cup that was always there. ~ Hurrying home from school to hear "Jack Armstrong All American Boy" and Tom Mix" on the radio. I earned 60 cents finding and taking beer and pop beer bottles back to the store for a bottle deposit. With the $.60 cents, I sent for a "Genuine Tom Mix Imitation Leather Billfold." It took more than a month to come which had to be the longest month in history. To this day I still can't wait for the mail to come. For me, it's like the "Wells Fargo Wagon" in The Music Man. The mail coming is something to sing about! My sister Ann sent for a "Little Orphan Annie Decoder Ring," just like the one in The Christmas Story. Saturday morning radio favorites were" Lets Pretend and the Buster Brown Show." Family radio favorites in the evening were Lux Radio Theater and Death Valley Days. (My mother seldom missed the daily radio soap opera: Our Gal Sunday - "The story that asks the question can a girl born in a little mining town in the West find happiness as the wife of a wealthy and titled Englishman?" Mother also listened each day to a program of dramatized stories from the Old Testament. If we stayed up until 9:00 P.M. and listened to Inersanctum, we would become so scared we couldn't sleep. ~ Rolling tires down the hill in front of our house on Ogden Ave. (There was a tire shop at the bottom of the hill with a huge pile of discarded tires in back. What else would you expect boys to do?) I'm surprised that we never got into trouble doing it. I can still hear the sound of an especially big tire hitting the tin shed behind the tire store. That would scare the daylights out of us and we would run and hide until we got up enough courage to do it again. In the winter we would slide down the hill on a piece of cardboard.  Some kids were rich enough to have a sled (the only one we ever had was stolen from us), but the cardboard was more fun anyway. ~ Making Model Airplanes - One of my models won a $10 first prize. ~ Flying Paper Airplanes out of a 12th story window of the First Security Bank Bldg. ~ Sneaking into the rodeo ~ Hitch-hiking up to North Fork to go fishing.  ~ Going fishing with Perry Raleigh at Sugar Pine ~ Going fishing with Bob Phipps at Sheep Creek. ~ Boy Scout activities with Grant Harris or Harold Strand who were my Scoutmasters. ~ Cutting class every day last period at Central Jr. High school (It was a "study hall" class. I arranged it that way.) and going over the back fence of the school with Alex Coy to go down to the Ogden 4th Ward to play basketball. (Remembering how I cut classes makes me realize how my daughter Lisa came by her high school activities.) I brought home from the garbage of a department store a naked lady manikin and put it in my Brother Ray’s bed. ~ Going to Hartley's Model Shop or to the Carnegie Free Public Library. It was there I could learn anything I wanted to learn, travel anywhere I wanted to go, and be anything I wanted to be. ~ "Across the fields of yesterday he sometimes comes to me a little lad just back from play, the boy I used to be. And yet he smiles so wistfully, once he has crept within, I wonder if he hopes to see the man I might have been."
       My Nicknames: My oldest brother called me toothpick, my next brother called me Dee Dummer Dog face Junior. He even made up a song, Poor little Dee Dummer, smallest in the family.... It went on and on, but I don't remember all of the words. I had seven aunts and it seemed that every time I saw one of them they would say, Oh Darrell! You look just like one of the starving children in the concentration camps. (If I had my life to live over, I would say, "Yes, and you look like the fat lady in the circus.") When I got older they said I looked like Mahatma Gandhi. In Jr. High and High School, no one knew my real name. I was just "Bones" or "Bones Stoddard." My Uncle West said if I ate peas I would look like a string of beads and if I drank tomato juice I would look like a thermometer. Whenever my wife's uncle saw us, he would look at me, then turn to my wife and exclaim, "My hell you must be a terrible cook!" My children in later years have added, if I stand sideways with my tongue out, I look like a zipper; and I tell people that when I was young they wouldn't let me play basketball because my elbows and knees scratched the floor. For my wife, going to bed with me is like getting into a bag of coat hangers - and nobody likes to hug a coat hanger. Today I am proud to say that I haven't changed two pounds since I graduated from high school.
       Favorite Scripture When I Was a Boy: Oh how I loved Section 89 of The Doctrine and Covenants because it promised me I could run and not be weary. This I thought could make me a good athlete. My heroes were Creed Haymond and Glen Cunningham. If Creed Haymond could win races by following the Word of Wisdom and if Glen Cunningham could break world records with his terribly burned legs, I thought maybe I could do OK with my skinny legs.
    When I was just out of high school and working at Hill Field I had back pain and ended up going to a famous doctor who examined me and deter-mined my problem was an enlarged prostate. He told me, "You have the prostate of a 70 year old man. They never get better. It will bother you the rest of your life."
     Later I was fishing with Uncle Walt and the squirrels got into our grub box. They ate every crumb of his whole wheat bread and never touched my white bread. Uncle Walt said, "See, the squirrels know what is good for them." He convinced me I should stop eating candy bars and eat whole wheat bread. When I went back to the doctor for a checkup he was amazed because my prostate was no longer enlarged. He asked me what I had done and I told him about the squirrels and about Apostle John A. Widtsoe's interpretation of Section 89 of the D.& C. The doctor then told me that the Word of Wisdom was OK but there was one thing wrong with it. He said, "A cat has a very short intestine and a cat eats meat, and a cow has a very long intestine and a cow eats grass. Our intestines are more like the cats. WE NEED LOTS OF MEAT IN THE DIET!" That idea has been proven wrong. Section 89 was right 120 years before!
      Most Glorious Health Document in History: Again it is, Section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants (known as The Word of Wisdom) given in 1833. The first scientific study that showed smoking was bad for your health was published in 1937. I have Chesterfield ads from the 30's that say cigarettes are good for you because smoking a cigarette after a meal relaxes you and helps your food to digest. Every magazine in the 50's had full page ads about how more doctors smoked Camels than any other brand because they were gentle on the "T Zone" (nose mouth and throat). Nearly all famous athletes were featured in Camel ads such as: "Joe DiMaggio prefers Camels over any other brand because they are gentle on the T Zone."
     I have a dictionary published in 1947 that does not even have the word Osteoporosis in it. If you read any definitive study on Osteoporosis, the calcium robbers are: nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, phosphorous in red meat and soft drinks, and corticosteroid (steroid) drugs. With the exception of soft drinks and steroids, which didn't exist then, that is Section 89 of The Doctrine and Covenants revealed more than 100 tears before.
      Contests I Won: In addition to the other contests I have told about was a bean counting contest. In the C.C. Anderson Department Store window, there was a big bottled filled with beans. The one who could come closest to guessing the number of beans won a portable radio that cost $65.00. In those days before transistors, a portable radio was a treasure that would make you the envy of every boy in town. Every boy in America would hurry home from school each day to listen on the radio to "Jack Armstrong, The All Americn Boy." During World War 2 there were no radios made for civilian use and you couldn't even buy a radio of any kind. I found a large bottle that was as close to the size of the one in the window as I could find, filled it with beans and counted them. I entered the contest for me and for all of my cousins. One of my entries won the radio for my cousin but after he went up to receive the radio, I never got to see it, much less hear it.
     Another contest I won was the Emporium (Store) Letter to Santa Contest. It was during the war and because I had a brother in the military, the essence of my letter was for Santa to end the war so all of our solders could come home. The prize, if you can believe it, was a toy machine gun!
    When I was in high school, I beat Harry Weenig, (who weighed nearly 300 lbs.) and about twenty others in a water-melon eating contest. It was my greatest athletic achievement - that and making it past the first cut in tryouts for the Weber College Basketball Team.
      When I was in Jr. High School I entered the Fisher Body Model Car Building Contest and won $150 which was 1st place from the State of Utah, I still have in storage the model that I built.
     Favorite Short Story: Buried Treasure by Fred Gibson. It is included later in My Favorite Things.
     Favorite Dr. Seuss Book: McGiligot's Pool
     The best children's book ever about the power and magic of imagination. It is my favorite Dr. Seuss book and the favorite of every fisherman that reads it (from the youngest child to the oldest man). The illustrations are priceless and the story of a boy who fishes in a little pool and imagines what he may catch is told with unforgettable Dr. Seuss humor and rhymes.
     We should never give up on our dreams whether it's catching a fish or making a better world. "Oh the sea is so full of a number of fish, If a fellow is patient, he might get his wish! And that's why I think That I'm not such a fool When I sit here and fish In McElligot's Pool!
     Maxwell Maltz adds this insight about Imagination in his book Psycho-Cybernetics: "Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a 'real' experience....Imagination sets the goal picture which our automatic mechanism works on. We act, or fail to act, not because of will, as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination." (I believe Psycho-Cybernetics is the best psychology book ever written; better perhaps than all other psychology books combined. At one time in my life I was a psychology major so I've read more than a few psychology books.)

IMAGINATION IS THE FATHER OF ALL CREATION. Nothing has ever been invented or created without existing in someones imagination first. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." See the entire book "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen on the internet.
     Next to the attribute of love, Imagination could be the most defining attribute of Deity. Ponder with me, if you will, the imagination required for God to create a giraffe, a gazelle, a monkey, a leopard, an elephant, a horse and a kangaroo; a peacock, a ring neck pheasant, a swan, an eagle, a woodpecker, a humming bird, and a canary; a rose, a gladiola, a dahlia, a bird of paradise flower, an orchid, a cactus, a water lily, and a redwood tree; an eastern brook trout, guppies, angel fish, a marlin, sword fish, sharks, crocodiles, dolphins, and orca whales; Chihuahuas, Maltese, poodles, pointers, St, Bernard and great Dane dogs; butterflies in all their beauty and variety; bananas, mangoes, oranges, kiwi fruits, apricots, apples, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries and cherries; wheat, rice, potatoes, carrots, squash, yams, mushrooms, and broccoli; peanuts, pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, and cashews.

Change what you imagine and you will change your future. Your dreams can come true. What we imagine, embrace, hope for, and love, becomes a part of us that will change who we are. In this way, we create our mind, our soul, our nature, and our very being. Expecting and imagining our loved ones to be better than they actually are, will lift them up also.

Favorite Children's Books: The Man Who Was Magic by Paul Gallico, The Giving Tree (and short film) by Shil Silverstein, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Great Brain Books by John D. Fitzgerald - Someday these books by Fitzgerald will be or should be as highly regarded as Mark Twain's books. If they don't they should be, because they are just as good.
Favorite Books When I Was a Boy: In Camp on White Bear Island (Book about the Lewis and Clark Expedition that my father received when he was a boy as a birthday present from his father), A Story To Tell, Richard Halliburton's Book of Marvels, Silver Chief Books, Old Scar Face, Grey Dawn, Big Red, Troopers Three, A children's book about Switzerland (I don't remember the title), Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin, All books by Jim Kjelgaard and Rutherford Montgomery, and all books about the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Men out of Asia by Frank C. Hibben, Trout by Ray Bergman
Boyhood Dream: To travel and see the world like Richard Halliburton (See Halibuton’s Book of Marvels): I had never even seen the ocean but as my mission call approached, I thought "this is my chance." I was called to Denver, Colorado. Since then, I have traveled in all 50 States, to most of the provinces in Canada, down through Mexico, to England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, across the Soviet Union, to Japan, Korea, all over Red China, to Australia, New Zealand, and Peru. My dreams have been fulfilled.
     In Peru I got to see the reed boats of my dreams. When we lived in Eden, Utah, I coveted the kayaks that only the scouts could use at the Explorers Yacht Club, but I was too young and knew they were too expensive for me to ever own one. Then we moved to Ogden and in the Dee School Library in the Book of Knowledge, I found pictures of the boats in Peru that were made of reeds (Thor Hyerdal made a hugh boat of such reeds that he used in his ocean going voyage called Kon Tiki – I loved the book by that title about Hyerdahl's voyage.) I thought that someday I might be able to make my own boat out of reeds. Then when I was in Peru, we went to the ocean at the end of the day and saw all of the fishermen coming in from the ocean in their reed boats with their day's catch that the people of the village had come to buy. What a thrill it was to see the boats of my dreams, and to see such boats still being used.
Favorite Comics When I Was a Boy: Classics Illustrated (All 169 of them), Looney Toones & Merry Melodies, Kid Eternity.
Unexpressed Gratitude: There was a family named Wansgard that lived on the corner of Grant Ave. and 18th Street in Ogden. Mr. Wansgard owned a grocery store and brought home comic books by the hundreds that any boy or girl on the street could borrow anytime of the night or day. Comics cost a dime and that was a lot of money for us. We would borrow about ten comics at a time and then return them and get more. We became avid readers, grew to love literature, and experienced the richest adventures. After we moved away I learned that Mr. Wansgard, and two of his brothers, became despondent and took their life. If I had the power to turn back the time, I would thank that dear sweet man and his wife for giving all of us such a rich experience. I was never turned down when I went to borrow comic books often late at night or very early in the morning, Mrs. Wansgard was always cheerful, and nothing was ever expected or given in return. We just took the comic book lending library for granted. I don't think any child who grew up on 18th street will ever forget the Wansgards.
Richest Boy in the World: When I could buy newspapers for 2.5 cents and sell them for a nickel. At the end of the day if I had any newspapers that did not sell I could return them and get my money back.
   When I saved enough money ($1.25) to buy a war surplus used sailor hat that could be used as a flotation device in a swimming pool. No one could covet anything more than I coveted a hat like that.
   I earned my spending money by finding beer and pop bottles and taking them back to the store for the deposit, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, running errands, selling Christmas cards, guiding a blind man, cleaning wallpaper, buying a gallon of apple cider and some paper cups and selling it to construction workers for 5 cents a cup, tying fishing flies and selling them to fishermen, to Jack's Bar and Grill, and to Revell's Sporting Goods. I was rich, not because I had material things, but because I had the opportunity to earn the money to buy whatever I wanted. I am still rich for the same reason.
Happiest Day of My Young Life When I was a young boy I couldn’t pronounce my “r”s. My sister Ann tells about when I was six years old. We I came home from town, I told Ann, “This is the happiest day of my life. I got a new shit and new oxtuds” (shirt and oxfords). This makes me think of our precious little three year old, Laura, who showed President Kimball her knew shoes. When she did this, he leaned over and gave her a kiss.    
I Was Born Before: Penicillin, Small pox inoculations, and the Salk vaccine for polio; newspaper racks (machines that sell newspapers), before TV, VCR's, remote controls for TV's, ball point pens, disposable diapers, transistors and Teflon,; before microwave ovens and TV diners, computers, freeways, and automatic transmissions seat belts or turn signals in cars, before baby seats in cars or baby carriers, before backpacks to carry school books, before jet airplanes, tape recorders, CD's, DVD's 33 1/3 RPM records, Ipods, air conditioning (in cars or houses); before covered shopping  malls, before WalMart, before luggage with wheels, Styrofoam, Panty hose (People today don't realize what a cultural shift this made in our society. Before panty hose, it was an ultimate act of immodisty for a women to show her knees. A Texas cowboy riding in a train with a womwn who was pulling on her skirt to cover her knees, said, "Don't stretch your calico mam, hoses is my weakness.")  Pizza, McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Burger King or Yogurt (we had "clabber milk." instead) And we never had: electric lights, running water, bath tubs, inside toilet, toilet paper, electric hair clippers, a telephone, or fingernail clippers, or a closet to hang our clothes. The first four houses I lived in did not have clothes closets to hang clothes. All of our clothes were kept in a dresser drawer because they would all fit in a drawer. I never lived in a house that had a clothes closet in it until after I was married.  There were no 4 wheel drive trucks, No 4 door trucks or trucks with back seats, no campers or covers for pickup trucks, and no cars or trucks were painted white before 1952. There were no Volkswagen's, no Toyota's, Honda's, Nissan's, or Hyundai's. All cars had running boards and chrome bumpers front and back. No cars had padded dash boards. The expression “goin like 60” meant going really fast, Our house in Eden had no bathroom and only two rooms for six people and no heat in the bedroom. The walls had no insulation and were only a board thick. There was a terrible wind the night father was in the hospital to have his appendix out and Lynn put our fingers through a hole in the wall to feel how hard the wind was blowing outside. There were rats that lived under the house and my father or brothers would lay down with a 22 rifle pointed under the house and shot the rats when they could see them cross a hole on the other side of the house. Three nights in a row it got 40 or more degrees below Zero. In the morning, there was a sheet of ice on the covers where our breath had frozen. On those nights, we didn't go out to the out house but used a "chamber pot" instead. As a small boy, when I did have to go to the outhouse I was afraid of falling through the hole so my father bought a keyhole saw and cut a smaller hole for me to use. We then had a "two holer." Our closest neighbors, the Wilson's were really prosperous. They had twelve children and a "four holer" outhouse with one side that had two boles for the boys and one side that had two holes for the girls.
    Our house that father built on 18th street had only one room, with just a curtain separating the part that was used as a bedroom. When my sister Ann's friend, Stella Branz got kicked out of her house, we took her in. That made 7 people living in a one room house with no bathroom and no toilet. We used the toilet in the gas station that my father operated in front of our house. We got pretty creative about taking a bath or finding a place to sleep. My brothers would sleep in the gas station and I would sleep in the same bed as my mother on the nights my father worked. Other nights I would sleep at the foot of the bed. My sisters would tend children and often arrange to sleep or bath in the house where they tended the children. When we took a bath it was in a round galvanized tub and often in water with a gray scum on it that two or three others had bathed in before. It would be heated and warmed up with water that was heated in a "tea kettle" on the coal kitchen range. In the winter I can remember my mother giving me a bath in front of the stove in the gas station (at night after the station was closed and it was dark). When I got out, mother wrapped a warm towel around me that had been heated on the stove. I have never felt more secure or loved. 
      My father paid $1,700 cash in 1944 for our house on Ogden Avenue. The house was 65 years old and was the only house father ever bought. It was heated by two coal stoves, one in the kitchen and one in the living room. The two bedrooms, and a porch that was used as the boys bedroom, were unheated but it was the first house we ever lived in that had running water, a bathtub, and an inside toilet; so to say that we loved it was an under-statement. No one could ever be happier with a new home. We even had a telephone.
Favorite Guns: Toy machine gun which shot sparks that was my Christmas present when I was 5 years old. Red Ryder BB gun I got for Christmas when I was 7 years old.  Father seemed as thrilled with it as I was. He couldn't wait to show us how to throw up tin cans and shoot them with the BB gun. Anyone could afford to do that. And anyone could become a real marksman with such practice. That is the way he learned to shoot. The BB gun was a real weapon and must be treated with respect. Every gun was to be treated as a loaded gun and never never pointed at anyone.
     My most memorable memory of father shooting, was seeing him shoot with a 22 rifle marbles that were thrown up in the air. I remember him hitting 14 in a row without missing. Lynn remembers him shooting a hole through a penny that was thrown up in the air
    When I was 16 years old I selfishly cried because I didn't get very much for Christmas. Father noticed and gave me what must have been his most treasured possession, a Winchester Model 24, 12 gauge Double Barrel Shotgun.
What I Wish I Had: The "Sweet Sixteen" double barrel shotgun with Damascus twist steel barrels that Grandfather Stoddard gave Uncle Walt when he was a boy. He often said that he wouldn't trade his farm for the gun.  The other thing I wish I still had is my Primary Bandelo with all of my Blazer, Trecker and Guide Awards.  Talk about treasures. If I can ever find a duplicate, I want to buy it.
Favorite Teachers: Walter Biddle was my 8th Grade Shop Teacher at Central Jr. High School. He was a little old man who had polio when he was young and it left his legs withered. Because he used his arms with canes to walk, his arms were unusually large and muscular. We made copper pictures and copper bowls and other art objects in Mr. Biddle's class. This gave us the joy of creating something worthwhile and a sense of pride we never had. No boy who ever went through Central Jr. High could ever forget this little crippled man who did so much for us. I know of two boys in his classes that became multi-millionaires, and I would bet that they still have the copper pictures and craft pieces made in Mr. Biddle's class. Years later, I heard that Mr. Biddle ended his life with a bullet in the head. If any of us, that he did so much for, had returned to express our gratitude, maybe this would have never happened. I am sure I speak for hundreds of men, when I say, "Thank you Mr. Biddle for being such a wonderful example of manhood and for putting meaning into so many undirected lives. ~ Mr. Richards, a High School Geometry teacher was another favorite. He would spend half of the period teaching Geometry and the other half of the period telling us inspiring stories about how to live and be happy. I don't remember the geometry but I will never forget the stories. ~ All of the teachers that taught me to love Science, Literature, Music, Art and Poetry, especially Ralph Britsch a college literature teacher that helped me to realize that people who say, "I seen" may be just as intelligent and just as worthy as people who say, " I saw." What a difference that made in my life!
Impossible Debt: When I started dating, I had never owned a suit or sport coat so I went down to the B&B clothes store and made a down payment on a $65 dollar sport coat. Even though I had a job, being in debt bothered me so much that I left school and sluffed the rest of the next day to take the coat back.
One Cool Dude: Later when I got more flush, I went to Salt Lake and bought a pair of black and white angora argyle socks for $6.00 at a store called Mr. Hibbs. To go with the socks, I had brown suede and lizard leather wing tip shoes which cost $31.95 (A lady asked me if they crawled away at night when I took them off.). I bleached the stitching around the soles with Clorox and then carefully covered the stitching with clear fingernail polish (so the shoe polish could be wiped off). I wore Levis (that had to be Levi Strauss, no other brand would do) worn low on the hips and rolled up high enough to see the socks. With a flat top hair cut, and long hair combed back on the sides, I was, as they would say today, one cool dude. Bones Stoddard was no nurd!
      I was "with it" in my gray gabardine top coat that every boy had to have -until my senior year in high school when tweed top coats came in style and were the only thing to have. They cost $125 and I never did have one, so I was a nobody. I guess I've been a nobody ever since.
Favorite Dogs (Members of our family):
     My earliest memory of a dog was when we lived in Hooper and my Father had to kill our dog. He took it out in the pasture and shot it. I don’t know why and I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him to do. Maybe it was because we couldn’t afford to feed it.
    Nest was a little cocker spaniel dog that we named Tiny (because he would fit in the palm of your hand) that Santa Claus brought to us when we lived in Eden. When we moved to Ogden, he became very “street smart”. Never tied up, he would travel all over town and was smart enough to use the stop lights to cross the street.
    Next dog was Freckles that followed me home one day and stayed. We used both Tiny and Freckles for hunting although Tiny wasn’t much of a hunter. Father always said a dog that followed at your heels was better for hunting pheasants than no dog at all.
     My next dog was "Lady" A little German short hair pointer that had part of her nose shot off. Ray brought her home from a surveying job he had been on. She was self conscious about the deformity and would turn so people couldn't see that side of her nose, but somehow this made her happier to be alive and I thought she must be the happiest dog on earth when I would take he for a walk and she would run around in circles to show me her joy. When I started dating LaRae and had the dog with me, Lady would put her nose between us in the car to push LaRae away. She was very jealous.
     Then after I was married and living in Grandview, we got Lobo for the boys because Mark was afraid of dogs. Lobo was a member of our family, when we lived in Oklahoma, on Canyon Road, and here on 266 East 3200 North. He lived for fifteen years and died one evening after we had spent the day in Ogden. He was in his box and lived long enough to sit up and wag his tail to welcome us home and then put his head down and died. We said a prayer to thank Heavenly Father for the little dog that had given us so much joy and the boys and I then buried him under our apricot tree with as many tears as would be shed at a human funeral.
    Cricket, who was a gift from Santa Claus for Amy, was our next dog. I loved how she would run around with her hind end tucked up under her to show her joy. And I was so impressed with how lovingly LaRae would put her in the bathtub and feed her so she could clip the hair around her rear end that was encrusted with her feces. Dog groomers thought they could clip her hair but they couldn’t, no matter how many of them tried.
    Cricket died and when we found her in the morning her body was stiff. I dug a grave for her behind the shed. When I carried her body out to bury it, the body softened and conformed as I placed it in the grave. I don’t know how to explain it but it was as though Cricket’s spirit was accepting the burial of her body. 
     Sampson, who is the best sit up dog ever, was bought as a puppy for Bethany when Mark, Pattie, and Bethany lived with us. Sampson is a multi-poo (Maltese Poodle mix) that I call multi poop. He can politely and endlessly sit up when he wants something. With Sampson I have the blessing of being able to repent of one of the greatest regrets of my life – throwing food at Lobo when he was sitting up politely begging for it. The food hit him in the eye and made him cry. The image of hurting that precious little dog will, I guess, stay with me forever. Is there a way to repent so that I will remember my cruelty no more?  
 
Favorite Cars: My first car was a 1930 Model A Ford four door that cost $125 in 1951. I had saved $75 and my Father paid the other $50. He seemed to be as thrilled with the car as I was. He checked it out and put a new wheel bearing in it for me while I was at school. I had a terrifying moment when David Gunnel held on to the door handles and crouched down on the running board. Then after I was gong down the road at about 30 miles an hour, David popped up at the driver's side window. It scared me senseless and all but ran the car up a tree.
    After I got the 1930 Ford, my older brother Ray paid $2,650 cash, with money he had saved, for a new fire engine red 1951 Ford Convertible, but I could pick up more girls in my 21 year old antique than he could in his new car. My next car was Favaro's customized 36 Ford three window coupe that I bought for $465 with money earned working at Hill Field for $1.27 an hour. It was one of the four best known custom cars in Ogden. The other three were Lynn Garrison's "T" Bucket Roadster and his Chopped 34 Ford, and Dick Phipp's custom 54(?) "Merc."
     When I got a ticket from a policeman for my "dual pipes," I pointed out to the officer that the police car he left running had a leaky muffler and that it might make more noise than my "pipes." He just didn't appreciate that useful information.
cMy high school report card. I just don't remember getting so many bad grades. The amazing thing is, it didn't seem to bother my mother or father. If it did, they sure didn't make an issue of it. Some would interpret this as not caring, but with the parents I had, nothing could be farther from the truth. They loved me more than they loved a good report card.
Favorite Country Western, Folk, and Barbershop Songs: The Green Grass of Home, Four Grey Walls, Hillbilly Heaven, Rusty Old Halo, Put Another Log On The Fire, Shes got freckles on her but shes beautiful, Big bottomed girls make the world go around, You Gotta Know When to Hold Em, By This You Can See Woman's Worse Than Man, She Flushed Me From The Toilet of Her Heart, Poor Jim, Take your Wife Along To Drink Ale, Little Pal.
Lies and Deceptions that Enslave:
I am not free while my brother lives if he is favored of the Lord. - "And Cain gloried in that which had done saying: I am free." I am not free if I have to go to school or to church. I am not free unless I can smoke, drink or do drugs. I am not free unless I can go to "R" and "X" rated movies. I am not free if I have to be chaste. I am not free unless I have wheels or the kind of wheels I want. I am not free if I have to obey the law. I am not free when I am on a mission*. I am not free if I am married or if I have to support a wife or children. I am not free if I have to work for someone else*. You are not free and not an adult if someone else tells you what kind of a movie you should or should not see (I saw this lie turn the B.Y.U. Varsity Theater full of many returned missionaries and good L.D.S. students into a mob ready to burn down the BYU Administration Building.) If I become rich with multilevel or with investments, then I will be free to support missionaries, go on a mission, help the poor, and build the kingdom. (I have seen good people lose their agency and be just as enslaved by such lies as any alcoholic or drug addict.)
If You Think Your Incorruptible: Read The Man Who Corrupted Haddlyberg by Mark Twain
Lifes Greatest Burdens: Sin, Anger,* Debt
Opportunity: They do me wrong who say I come no more. For every morn I stand outside your door, and bid you rise to fight and win. Weep not for precious chances lost. Wail not for golden ages on the wain. Each night I burn the records of the day. At sunrise every soul is born again.
Favorite Expressions: We are going to have love in our home or I'll knock your blocks off. You stay here and have a good time and I'll go away and work. I have some really good memory medicine but I keep forgetting to take it. That's what I liked to do when I was a little girl. I used to be behind before but now I'm first at last. I feel more like I do now than when I first got here. If your wife doesn't treat you as you deserve, be thankful. Can you imagine a world without men? No crime and lots of fat happy women. The reason Heavenly Father doesn't send babies to older women is, they would put them down and forget where they laid them (men would forget they even had a baby). I never make mistakes; once I thought I did but I was mistaken. If I were humble, I would be perfect. As a pig fills, the swill sours. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone ~ If there's anything I hate, its hate groups. I'm so busy that my sins are dying of neglect. If you can't stand kissing, sit down. Help me Heavenly Father to drive slow enough to be safe but fast enough that people won’t be mad at me. (all of the above from djs ~ They told him the job just couldn't be done, but still he went right to it, And he tackled the job that couldn't be done, And found that he couldn't do it.
Removing God From Our Schools A dog had followed his owner to school.  His owner was a fourth grader at a public elementary school.  However, when the bell rang, the dog slipped inside the building and made it all the way to the child's classroom before a teacher noticed and shooed him outside, closing the door behind him.  The dog sat down, whimpered and stared at the closed doors.  Then god appeared beside the dog, patted his head, and said, 'Don't feel bad fella'...they won't let ME in either'.
Favorite Quotes: Who am I, to cause a God to bleed? - Elder McAvoy at MTC (This question belongs with the questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? and Where do I go after I die?) ~ “To get rid of an enemy one must love him.”- Leo Tolstoy ~ “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” - Leo Tolstoy ~ Not to be served, but to serve - Inscription on Kowloon, Hong Kong YMCA. ~ We do not sing because we are happy, we are happy because we sing. - William James ~ We do not serve because we love, we love because we serve - djs ~ Whatever happens to you is for your good or you deserve it - H. Verlan Anderson. ~  We get old too soon and smart too late ~ When I'm not happy, I lick a rock and that makes me happy. - 5 year old Shaylynn Bingham ~ Happiness is found in the fulfillment of duties, not in the pursuit of joys - K. Leenhouts ~ Happiness is the object and design of our existence...- Joseph Smith. ~ A thousand expressions of praise will not make up for one criticism - djs. ~ The good are better made by ill, as flowers crushed smell sweeter still - paraphrase by djs. ~ A smooth sea never made a successful mariner ~ An angry man digs two graves ~ Never be angry, for if you do, you will be overcome by evil - Elder Brandon Jackson at MTC, (This was also Brigham Young's Mother's advice to her son*) ~ Rejoice, Oh my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul (refers to anger) ~ May there be no room in my heart for anger – djs
Heaven left our home last night
It was thrown out
Into the cold dark night
By a father who lost his temper
I now humbly invite it back
For love, like hate, goes on and on
Past those to whom it's spoken - djs
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light –Plato ~ Babies are God’s way of saying, “The World Should Go On” ~ Don't suffer alone, even the Savior of the World needed help in carrying His cross – djs ~ Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud – Mara Angelou ~ My mother said I should always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of Illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors. - Mara Angelou ~ Honor thy father and mother as thou honorest God, for all three have been partners in thy creation – Zohar ~ Sell your cleverness and be in a state of Bewilderment  - Victor Frankel ~ Instead of asking God for stuff, start thanking God for stuff, and you will find that God has already given you everything you could want or need – Alan Cohen  ~ Thank you God for everything, I have no complaint whatsoever” – Zen Master Sono ~ Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.- Mark Twain ~ I no (sic) I must be worth something cuz God don’t make no junk ~  I’m writing a book. It’s called “What College Learned Me.” ~  The highest form of prayer is gratitude. ~ "There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." Robert W. Woodruff  ~ “No one has ever become poor by giving.” - Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank ~ Life is what happens to you when you are planning other things ~ The more you say the less people remember ~ Unless the vessel is clean whatever you poor into it will sour. ~ In this world there will always be just enough knowledge to stimulate and confirm faith, never enough to supersede it. ~ All human knowledge is at best a guess – Chauncey Riddle ~ If we hum and haw about dress and grooming standards, how can we be trusted with the precious truths of Christ – Chauncey Riddle  ~ Best day so far – Roger Brinkerhoff ~ No one can ever cause me to have a bad day, for as long as I have oxygen to breath, I will make it a good day (quoted at Roger Brinkerhoff’s funeral. ~ If you reach fifty and you haven’t grown up, you don’t need to. ~ "Kindness is the language the blind can see and the deaf can hear." - Mark Twain ~ I don’t like planing ahead, because then the words “premeditated” gets thrown around in the courtroom. ~ I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes five years in a row. ~ I’ve got to stop saying, “How stupid can you be.” Too many people are taking the challenged. ~ I’m sorry I called you stupid. I thought you already knew. ~ Why didn’t Noah just swat those two mosquitoes? ~  A.A.A.A.A – That’s an organization of drunks who drive ~ No effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost – Helen Keller ~ “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” - Helen Keller ~ “Help thy brother’s boat across, and Lo! thine own has reached the shore – Hindu Proverb ~ If you don’t find things to love this day, your not paying attention.- djs ~ I'm so bright my mother called me son ~ Everything worthwhile is at first difficult, Happiness is a talent we develop,
not an object we seek, We only fail if we fail to try, There is nothing so good for the soul as work that one loves, The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmonting it, The strongest souls are covered with scars, Adversity is the greatest teacher - Patricia Neal ~ There is no power on earth that can hold a first class man down or that can hold a fourth class man up.  - Paul Harvey ~ Indolent and unworthy the beggar may be—but that is not your concern: It is better, said Joseph Smith, to feed ten impostors than to run the risk of turning away one honest petition.” - Hugh Nibley ~ You can always think of somebody who is worse than you are to make you feel virtuous. It's a cheap shot: those awful terrorists, perverts, communists--they are the ones who need to repent! Yes, indeed they do, and for them repentance will be a full-time job, exactly as it is for all the rest of us. - Hugh Nibley ~ “The world treat you mean Lord. Treat me mean too.” – From Negro Spiritual:
Sweet little Jesus boy
They made you be born in a manger
Sweet little holy child
Didn't know who you was
Didn't know you'd come to save us Lord
To take our sins away
Our eyes was blind we couldn't see
We didn't know who you was
Long time ago you was born
Born in a manger low
Sweet little Jesus boy
The world treat you mean Lord
Treat me mean too
But that's how things is down here
We didn't know twas you
You done told us how
We is a 'tryin'
Master you done showed us how
Even when you's dyin
Just seem like we can't do right
Look how we treated you
But please sir, forgive us Lord
We didn't know twas you
Sweet little Jesus boy born long time ago
Sweet little holy child and we didn't know who you was


A related petition to the negro spitual - “The world treat you mean Lord. Treat me mean too,” is expressed in the words of Father Maple in the classic novel of Moby Dick – “Herein … lies true repentance, Not clamorous for pardon but grateful for punishment.”

Good Lord, It’s morning. Some people wake up in the morning and say, “Good Lord, It’s morning. Others wake up and say, “Good morning Lord!” In Hawaii I stayed in a bed and breakfast operated by a Pentecostal couple. The man began his prayer before we had breakfast with the words, “Good morning God.” I thought what an interesting way to begin a prayer. Until about forty years ago, no one ever said the words, “we love you” (to our Father in Heaven) in a prayer. Now we hear it often – an appropriate expression that I think is wonderful.

Wonderful Thoughts About Death If, in the preexistence, we looked forward to life on earth, how much more so must we have looked forward to our mortal death.- Quoted by Merrill Hales at Lou Reinwand's funeral ~ “Let us not mourn that such a man died but rejoice that such a man ever lived.” ~  I have been a great sinner. I do not deserve heaven. Let me stay here" - Andre Sergovia at 88 years. ~  It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our last day - Matthew Henry ~ Whatever should be my fate, I should wish to return to God a grateful and enraptured soul – Andre Gide ~  Perhaps they are not stars but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones shines down to let us know they are happy - Eskimo Legend ~ When he shall die, Take him and cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night, And pay no worship to the garish sun.- William Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet ~ As a well spent day brings happy sleep,  so life well used brings happy death - Leonardo DaVinci ~ Say not in grief that she is no more but say in thank-fulness that she was. A death is not the extinguishing of a light, but the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come - Rabindranath Tagore ~ People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in; their true beauty is revealed only if there light is from within -  Elizabeth Kubler Ross ~   Weep not at my death. I can't think of a more wonderful thanksgiving for the life I have had than that everyone should be happy that I lived - djs ~ Say not in grief he is no more, but live in thankfulness that he was - Hebrew Proverb ~ Grief is the price we pay for love - Queen Elizabeth II ~ Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, which is why it is called the present. ~What the caterpillar perceives is the end; to the butterfly is just the beginning - Buddhist Saying ~ A loved ones death is  really sad,  but it does make the afterlife seem much more attractive - Michael Palin ~ Who knows when the end is reached? Death may be the beginning of life. How do I know that love of life is not a delusion after all? How do I know that he who dreads to die is as a child who has lost the way and cannot find his way home? How do I know that the dead repent of having previously clung to life?  - Chuang Tse ~ We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a troubled dream; it may be so the moment after death - Nathaniel Hawthorne ~ I do not want the peace which passeth under-standing, I want the understanding which bringeth peace - Helen Keller ~ The people who pretend that dying is rather like strolling into the next room always leave me unconvinced. Death, like birth, must be a tremendous event - J. B. Priestley ~ There is a deafening alleluia rising from the souls of those who weep, And of those who weep with those who weep, if you watch, you will see the hand of God putting the stars back in their skies one by one - Ann Weems ~ We should not fear death the same as we do not fear a sunset, for Christ called it not death, but sleep only to be awakened at sunrise to a new day in heaven. ~ Hugh B. Brown’s granddaughter said to him, "Grandpa, were you in the ark?" Brother Brown replied, "No, of course I wasn't in the ark." And she said, "Well, then, why aren’t you drowned?" ~  “I don’t buy green bananas” (Because I’m so close to the end) – Lynn Stoddard ~ The closer I get to the end, the better it gets – djs  ~  This is the best day so far ~ The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. ~ The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone. - Harriet Beecher Stowe ~ And should we live always(?) is no greater miracle than that we should live at all – Richard L. Evans ~ “If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”- Winnie the Pooh ~  “No righteous man is ever taken before his time. In the case of the faithful Saints, they are simply transferred to other fields of labor – Joseph Fielding Smith ~ Those that live unto the lord will die unto the Lord and they will not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them (my paraphrase of scripture) ~ Words of Faustus in Christopher Malows play: Think'st thou that I, who saw the face of God And tasted the eternal joys of heaven, Am not tormented with ten thousand hells, In being deprived of everlasting bliss? As Faustus is dragged into the flame-red torture pit, he recognizes a more searing anguish than fire—eternal exile from God.

   "Should You Go First"
by Albert Kennedy "Rosey" Rowswell

Should you go first and I remain,
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
With happy days we've known.
In Spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early Fall when brown leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain,
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you've touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I'll hear your voice, I'll see your smile,
Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain,
To finish with the scroll,
No length 'ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
We've had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death cannot destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I'd have you do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take
That I may walk the same,
For some day down that lonely road
You'll hear me call your name.

                 *********

Beyond the sunset, O Blissful Morning
When with our Savior heaven is begun
Earth's toiling ended, O glorious dawning
Beyond the sunset when day is done.

Beyond the sunset, no clouds will gather
No storms will threaten, no fears annoy
O day of gladness, O day unending
Beyond the sunset eternal joy.

Beyond the sunset, a hand will guide me
To God the Father whom I adore
His glorious presence, His words of welcome
Will be my portion on that fair shore.

Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion
With our dear loved ones who've gone before
In that fair homeland we'll know no parting
Beyond the sunset forever more...

Poem Sailing Home
(The following poem was read 1-25-03 at Don Hansen's funeral by a Navy officer at the grave side.)
What do the billowing waves impart and repeat and repeat with each splash
What is that pounding in my heart
I'm sailing home at last
The salt spray stings on my naked cheek
And the wind sings in the mast
But it only sings because it knows
I'm sailing home at last


Miss Me But Let Me Go  - Author Unknown     
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little--but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me--but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss Me--But Let me Go!

To Hallow My Life
“To hallow my life, [God] taught me to endure sorrow rather than cause it, to restrain anger rather than heed it, to bear injustice rather than inflict it. ‘Resist not evil,’ [Jesus] said in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5:39.) Evil multiplies by the response it seeks to provoke, and when I return evil for evil, I engender corruption myself. The chain of evil is broken for good when a pure and loving heart absorbs a hurt and forbears to hurt in return. The forgiveness of Christ bears no grudge. The love of Christ allows no offense to endure. The compassion of Christ embraces all things and draws them toward Himself. Deep within every child of God the light of Christ resides, guiding, comforting, purifying the heart that turns to him.” - Dennis Rasmussen

    "The Roses of Life"

Author unknown
I've dreamed many dreams
that never came true, I've seen them vanish at dawn.
But I've realized enough of my dreams, thank God,
To make me want to dream on.

I've prayed many prayers,
when no answers came,
Though I waited so patient and long, But answers came
to enough of my prayers
To make me keep praying on.

I've trusted many a friend
who failed
And left me to weep alone,
But I've found enough of my friends to be true
To make me keep trusting on.

I've sown many seeds
that fell by the way
For the birds to feed upon,
But I've held enough golden sheaves in my hands
To make me keep sowing on.

I've drained the cup of disappointment and pain
And gone many days without song,
But I've sipped enough nectar from the roses of life
To make me want to live on.

HOLD ON

The Spoken Word
by Lloyd D. Newell
September 22, 2013

    Over a hundred years ago, Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote The Secret Garden, an enchanting novel about a young girl, Mary, who is orphaned during a cholera outbreak and sent away to live with relatives she has never met. Her childhood has been filled with loneliness and neglect, but Mary’s personality begins to blossom as she and a young gardener bring new life to an old, neglected garden.
     Though the garden seems to be nearly dead, the gardener helps Mary see the dormant life in it, which together they nurture to full bloom. The garden becomes a place of healing not only for Mary but also for others who are suffering—including her sickly cousin and her sorrowing uncle.
     It is a reaffirming, hopeful message of the resilience of life—that people can change, miracles can happen, and everyone’s story can have a happy ending.
     In a sense, we each have a secret garden that needs tending. It might be a relationship that needs a little extra care, a decision that needs to be made, a hope or a wish or a dream that needs some nurturing. Our garden may seem to be filled with weeds and thorns, but it is also filled with the potential to become lush and fragrant and beautiful. Even when life seems dark and hopeless, with some patient care and attention, things can always change for the better.

In the Broadway adaptation of The Secret Garden, a friendly chambermaid uplifts Mary during a moment of discouragement with this inspiring message:
When you see the storm is coming,
see the lightning part the skies,
It’s too late to run—
There’s terror in your eyes!
What you do then is remember
This old thing you heard me say:
“It’s the storm, not you,
That’s bound to blow away.” . . .
Hold on, Hold on.
The night will soon be by.
Hold on
Until there’s nothing left to try.
Child, hold on.
There’s angels on their way!
Hold on and hear them say,“Child, oh, child!” . . .Hold on!

This morning I heard a meadowlark
and saw the green grass and blue sky.
I know God's love. How rich can one man be?                              He gave this all to me. - djs.


Attitude:
     Little Chad was a shy, quiet young fella. One day he came home and told his mother he'd like to make a valentine for everyone in his class. Her heart sank. She thought, I wish he wouldn't do that because she had watched the children when they walked home from school. Her Chad was always behind them. They laughed and hung on to each other and talked to each other. But Chad was never included. Nevertheless, she decided she would go along with her son. So she purchased the paper and glue and crayons. For three whole weeks, night after night, Chad painstakingly made thirty-five valentines.
    Valentine's Day dawned, and Chad was beside himself with excitement! He carefully stacked them up, put them in a bag, and bolted out the door. His mom decided to bake his favorite cookies and serve them up warm and nice with a cool glass of milk when he came home from school. She just knew he would be disappointed…maybe that would ease the pain a little. It hurt her to think that he wouldn't get many valentines--maybe none at all.
     That afternoon she had the cookies and milk on the table. When she heard the children outside, she looked out the window. Sure enough here they came, laughing and having the best time. And, as always, there was Chad in the rear. He walked a little faster than usual. She fully expected him to burst into tears as soon as he got inside. She noticed his arms were empty, (he did not receive one valentine) and when the door opened she choked back the tears.
     "Mommy has some warm cookies and milk for you." But he hardly heard her words. He just marched right on by, his face aglow, and all he could say was: "Not a one…not a one." And then he added, "I didn't forget a one, not a single one!"
     He wasn't worried about receiving valentines; instead, he was proud that he didn't forget to give one child a valentine. What an attitude! - Stories For The Heart Alice Gray, Multnomah, p. 65.

Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the Most Caring Child.

The winners were:

1. A four-year-old child, whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman, who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old Gentlemans' yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his mother asked him what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy just said, 'Nothing, I just helped him cry.'

2. Teacher Debbie Moon's first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted. A little girl said, 'I know all about Adoption, I was adopted..' 'What does it mean to be adopted?', asked another child. 'It means', said the girl, 'that you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy!'

3. On my way home one day, I stopped to watch a Little League baseball game that was being played in a park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first-base line, I asked one of the boys what the score was 'We're behind 14 to nothing,' he answered with a smile.
    'Really,' I said. 'I have to say you
don't look very discouraged.'
    'Discouraged?', the boy asked with a puzzled look on his face... 'Why should we be discouraged? We haven't been up to bat yet.'

4. Whenever I'm disappointed with my spot in life, I stop and think about little Jamie Scott.
    Jamie was trying out for a part in the school play. His mother told me that he'd set his heart on being in it, though she feared he would not be chosen.
    On the day the parts were awarded, I went with her to collect him after school. Jamie rushed up to her, eyes shining with pride and excitement..  'Guess what, Mom,' he shouted, and then said those words that will remain a lesson to me....'I've been chosen to
clap and cheer.'


5. An eye witness account from New York City, on a cold day in December, some years ago: A little boy, about 10-years-old, was standing before a shoe store on the sidewalk, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.
   A lady approached the young boy and said, 'My, but you're in such deep thought staring in that window!'
   'I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes,' was the boy's reply.
    The lady took him by the hand, went into the store, and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her.
    She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with the towel.
     By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks.. Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes.
     She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him.. She patted him on the head and said, 'No
doubt, you will be more comfortable now.'
      As she turned to go, the astonished kid caught her by the hand, and looking up into her face, with tears in his eyes, asked her:
'Are you God's wife?'

Heather by Merrill J. Bateman.
     This story concerns a young girl, the fourth child in a family of six children. Her name is Heather. Three of the children, including Heather, suffered from a rare disease called glutaric acidemia. In each case, the onset of the disease occurred during the first year of life when an enzyme attacked the brain, causing paralysis. The disease results in acid forming in the muscles similar to that which occurs following a period of intense physical activity. The problem faced by the children was that the acid never leaves and causes great pain. Cindy, the first child with the disease, died at age 23. She was one of the oldest living persons known with the disease. At death she weighed about 40 pounds.
    Soon after Heather's birth, the parents realized that she would also be physically handicapped and that her spirit would be housed in a body with great restrictions. As she grew, she was confined to a wheelchair, was unable to speak, and could send messages only with her eyes. A direct gaze and a smile meant yes. A blink meant no. Despite the handicaps, one could feel her vibrant spirit.
     As Heather progressed, it became obvious to her parents that she was extraordinarily bright. She would play guessing games with the family using her limited means to communicate.  When she was old enough, the parents enrolled Heather in a special school to see if she could learn to speak. The teacher was a gifted therapist. One morning as Heather and the teacher visited about the prior weekend, the teacher learned that Heather had attended Primary. The teacher then sang for Heather "When He Comes Again."
The expression on Heather's face revealed the delight within her. When the teacher asked Heather if she had a favorite song, the girl's wide eyes and engaging smile left little doubt. But what was the song? Through a series of questions, the teacher learned that Heather's song was one she had heard in primary. She wasn't sure which song book it was in, but it was about Jesus. The teacher sang all the songs she could think of, but to no avail. However, Heather was not about to quit; she wanted to share her favorite song. At the end of the day the two were still searching. The teacher agreed to bring her song books to school the next day.
On the following morning, Heather and her teacher continued the quest. From the first hymn to the last, the little girl blinked her eyes, indicating no. They were still unsuccessful. Finally, the teacher told Heather that her mother would have to help her find the song and then they would sing it.
     The next day Heather arrived with the green Church hymnal tucked in her chair; but there was no marker. So they began with the first hymn. The teacher would sing the first part of each song, and Heather would give her answer. After the first 100 hymns, there were 100 no's. After 200 hymns there had been 200 no's. Finally the teacher began to sing, "There is sunshine in my soul today." Heather's body jumped and a big smile crossed her face. Her eyes gazed directly into the teacher's indicating success after three days of searching. Both teacher and student rejoiced.
      As the teacher sang the first verse and began the chorus, Heather mustered all her strength and joined in with a few sounds. After finishing the first verse and chorus, the teacher asked if she wanted to hear the rest of the verses. Heather's eyes opened wide with a firm Yes.
    The teacher began to sing: There is music in my soul today
A carol to my King, And Jesus listening can hear The songs I cannot sing. Heather's reaction to these lines was so strong that the teacher stopped. As the reality and the significance of the words pressed on the teachers mind, she asked: "Heather is that what you like about the song? Is that what you want me to know? Does Jesus listen? Does He hear the songs you cannot sing?" The direct penetrating gaze indicated yes. Feeling guided by the spirit, the teacher asked, "Heather, does Jesus talk to you in your mind and in your heart? Again the child's look was penetrating. The teacher then asked, "Heather, what does he say.” The teacher's heart pounded as she saw the clear look in Heather's eyes as the little girl awaited the questions that would allow her to share her insights. "Does Jesus say, 'Heather I love you'?" Heather's radiant eyes widened, and she smiled. After a pause the teacher asked next, "Does He say, 'Heather, your special'?" The answer again was yes. Finally the teacher asked, Does He say, 'Heather, be patient; I have great things in store for you'?" Heather summoned all her strength, her head became erect and her eyes penetrated the teacher's soul. Heather knew she was loved, she was special, and she needed only to be patient.
     Two years later, Heather died because of the ravages of the disease. Her younger brother, Mark, also suffers from the disease but not to the extent of his older sisters. He can talk, although it is not easy. As the parents discussed Heather’s passing and the funeral that would take place, Mark exclaimed, “No go Heather’s funeral!” Heather was his best friend. As the parents tried to explain death to him, he would not be consoled. He was crushed and did not want to attend the service. For two days he could not be persuaded.
    On the morning of the funeral, the father went to Mark’s room to get him up. As he entered the room, Mark was sitting up in bed with a big smile on his face. His first words were: “Dad, go Heather’s funeral!”
The father responded: “Mark, what has changed your mind?”
“Dad, had dream.”
“What did you dream about, Mark?”
“Dad, dreamed about Heather.”
“Mark, what was Heather doing?”
“Oh, Dad, Heather running and jumping and singing ‘There is sunshine in my soul today.’ Dad, go Heather’s funeral.” (Mark’s part of the story was obtained through conversations with the parents and also from the book written by the family: Bruce and Joyce Erickson, When Life Doesn’t Seem Fair [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1995]; see pp. 65–66.)
 
A Fathers Inspiration  Many years ago, Gordon Thomas was a senior at a small college in Pennsylvainia. He had been on the school’s football team for 4 years, but had never played one down. His coach liked having him around because Gordon was the ultimate team player. Gordon was always the first player to practice and the last to leave. Gordon was always “up” always encouraging everyone. As the coach said “Gordon is the glue that holds this team together.”
    It was the Monday before the last game of the season, Gordon’s last game as a senior, when Coach got the tragic news that Gordon’s father had died from a sudden heart attack over the weekend. Coach called Gordon at home. Gordon rose above the tears to thank the coach for calling. “Gordon is there anything that I can do for you?”
    After a long pause, Gordon said “coach I won’t be able to be at the game on Saturday. I need to stay home with Mom and my sisters. Do you think the team could say a prayer for my dad before the game?” Coach promised that they would.
     Now it was the day of the big game. Two hours before kickoff, the coach was in his office and there was a knock on the door. In walked Gordon in his uniform. “Why aren’t you home with your family?” the coach asked. “Coach I just had to be here today. Is the team still going to say a prayer for my dad?” Of coarse we will,” the coach said.
     The Gordon looked up and said , “Coach, could you please do me one favor?” “Sure son, anything.” “Coach I want to start today.”
   “Start? You’ve never played a down in 4 years,” the coach blurted out. Then he realized the promise he had just made. Who knows why, but the coach had a soft spot in his heart for the kid who had just lost his dad. He figured that he’d put Gordon in for a couple of plays for the first set of downs and then take him out.
    The coach kept his two promises. The team said the prayer and Gordon started.
     The second play of the game, the quarterback made a mistake and gave Gordon the ball. He ran 12 yards. The next play, Gordon got the ball again. He raced for 8 more yards.
   Gordon played so well that the coach never took him out. He had the type of game that football players dream about. He rushed for almost 200 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. He single-handedly won the game for his team.
    Gordon was carried off the field on his teammate’s shoulders. What an amazing story! Gordon’s last game was his first game- and it was his best game.
    One of the assistant coaches asked Gordon to see the head coach.
    “Coach thanks for putting me in today!” Gordon said. “Gordon I never dreamed that you would play so well. What happened to you out there?”
      After a long pause Gordon asked, “Coach did you ever meet my Dad?” “No son I never had the pleasure.”
      “Coach the reason that you never met my Dad was because he never came to any of our games. My Dad was blind. And I believe that today was the first time that he ever saw me play!”

Christmas 1933 on Hogup Mountain   Christmas morning, 1933, Earl Stoddard walked all night to deep from freezing to death. The stars had been so close that night on the Great Salt Lake Desert that he thought he could reach out and touch them. Now they were starting to fade in the east, and the temperature was dropping even lower. It always does just before sunrise. Many times in the night he wanted to just lie down and go to sleep, but he knew if he did, he would never wake up. What was he doing here? How could this ever happen to anyone?
    Millions of men were out of work in 1933 in the middle of the Great Depression. In the summer there were farm work and vegetables from the garden to keep people alive. When winter came there was no work, and there was only wheat, dry beans and potatoes and carrots from the root cellar, to live on until spring. If you were lucky enough to own chickens or a cow, you might have eggs and milk too.
      How thankful Earl was as the youngest of twelve children that his pioneer mother had taught him how to trap muskrats. When it was cold, she told him, "the furs will be rich and thick." She not only taught him how to trap, but she taught him trapping skills than even most professional trappers don't know. From her, he learned to put the trap stake out in the water instead of up on the bank so the muskrat, mink, or beaver would drown before it could chew its leg off and get away. As a pioneer mother of twelve children, she had learned to trap in the icy waters of the Ogden River for the furs to make muffs and fur collars for her children's homemade coats.
    When 1932 came, trapping for animal furs was a way to earn money in the winter when there was no other work to be had. Earl had spent two winters on the desert living in a tent. One night the temperature registered 36 degrees below zero at the Kelton Railroad Station. He had survived more cold than he now faced, but never on an empty stomach and never without a tent or bedding.
      Each time the numbness and the overpowering desire to sleep came over him, he started to hallucinate. Even while pacing back and forth, Earl would dream he was in the little frame home back in Hooper, Utah with his wife and three small children. The house had no electricity, no plumbing, and only a coal kitchen stove for heat, but to him it was like a castle.
     Six-year-old Lynn was just waking up. He would wake his four-year-old sister, Ann. Together they would run through the house looking to see if Santa had left any gifts. Finding nothing, they would burst back into the bedroom to wake their mother and seventeen-month-old baby brother with cries of, "He never came. He never came. Santa never came!"
     The dream of seeing his children so disappointed jolted Earl back to consciousness and he again found himself alone and freezing at a remote railroad stop, in the middle of the desert. He had come to save a herd of sheep, but it was for his family that he was there. For them he had to stay alive. He sang the most popular song he knew--"I'm Alone Because I Love You"--to help him keep going. He had to keep going. He had to keep going.
Was he hallucinating again, or was it truly getting light? The excitement of making it through the longest night of his life brought new hope, hope that had come and gone many times during the night, each time to be brought back by a dream of two little children and a baby on Christmas morning.
      Now there was no doubt about it. It was Christmas morning, and he was still alive. The morning train would soon stop and save his life. It would leave the supplies, or he would just get on and leave the cold, hunger, and misery of the desert behind. He would save his life, but the sheep would die. A man's life is worth more than a sheep's; worth more than Ed Spier's whole herd!
     Just to be with his family on Christmas. Oh what a day it would be! To be warm and have something to eat would be the best Christmas a man could ever ask for. Just to say alive. Just to stay alive.
     Earl once again slipped into a state of distorted perceptions. This time he was carried away by memories of saying goodbye to his wife, Helen, and their three children a month before. He had been on the desert since September, trapping for coyotes, badgers, and bobcats with his brother Walt. Once each month one of them would make the three-day trip to Ogden to sell their furs and get supplies. It had been Earl's turn the end of November, and he had spent one glorious day and night with his wife and children.
      Six-year-old Lynn was left as the "man of the house" to take care of Mom, Ann, and the baby. "I'll be home for Christmas. I'll be home for Christmas."
       Once again Earl was jolted back to reality as his horse, still hooked to the wagon by the station house, whinnied, shivered and laid back his ears. It was now nearly full daylight, and the morning train would be coming. Had the horse heard the train even before his own ears could pick up the sound? Earl was so excited he now ran and stumbled on his numbed feet to look down the track...
     But there was no train. There would be no supplies, and there would be no Christmas with his family.
     Other than the wild animals he had come to trap, his horse was the only living thing within thirty miles. Maybe it could save him. Earl removed his gloves and placed his hands between the animal’s legs and body to get them warm, as he had done many times during the night.
     Since yesterday morning, when he left his brother and the camp at Horse Coral, Earl had only a frozen sandwich to eat. Now if he didn't freeze to death, he could starve while waiting for the train. Even if one did come, it might not stop, like the train that went racing by the night before on its way to San Francisco. Earl could see the waiters serving Christmas Eve dinner in the dining cars. He was so hungry he felt like throwing a rock through the window. To have food, warmth, and comfort so close and not be able to enjoy it was almost more than he could bear.
    The sun was now up, but it still didn't seem any warmer. What was he doing here? Why wasn't he home with his family for Christmas, as he had promised? Earl's thoughts raced back to the week before in the camp with his brother.
     They took turns each day running a trap line that covered as many miles as a horse could make in one day. The one who stayed in camp cooked all the meals, baked the bread and skinned the animals for the one who had been out all day. He could always count on bread or biscuits and a hot meals when he got back to camp. As the days got shorter and progressively colder, even a tent and a warm meal were something to really be thankful for. In only one more week they would be home with their families for Christmas.
     Then one morning just as Walt was saddling the horse to run his line, Ed Spier's sheep man rode into camp. They knew there was trouble by the way he approached them. Spiers was wintering his herd to the west, but winter had come early, and there would not be enough feed for the sheep. Somehow the herd and camp would have to be moved closer to the Railroad Station so feed could be brought to the sheep by rail. The sheep would be lost if they were not moved soon. Would Walt and Earl come help move the sheep and the camp? If they would, Spiers would pay them each forty dollars - more money than they could make in a month of trapping. But they would not be able to go home for Christmas.
       Forty dollars for four or five days' work was unbelievable. It would buy Christmas presents they'd never dreamed of getting for their families. Even if Christmas was late, somehow everyone would understand. Spier's man would go back and send a message to their families that Earl and Walt would not be home for Christmas.
    So it was that Earl found himself at the Hogup Railroad Station on December 25, 1933. He had been sent the day before to get supplies, with the assurance that there would be all he wanted to eat with the supplies when he got there. He had also been told there would be lights, a stove to keep him warm, and feed for his horse. He could spend the night in the station house, then return the next day with the supplies. So yesterday morning he had started out for a place he had never been before some twenty or more miles away. He begun early in the morning, believing there would be plenty to eat when he got there. He arrived after dark and found all the window broken out of the station, no stove, no lights, no feed for the horse, no supplies, and no food.
    It was now over twenty-four hours since he left his brother and their trappers' tent. If Earl waited any longer for a train and none stopped, there was no way he could survive another night without food.
    There was no time left. Now he knew he must return to camp without the supplies the train was supposed to leave. It would take all day to get back; but it would be warmer, at least until nightfall.
Earl started back, and as the sun rose higher in the sky, it did get warmer.  The desire to sleep became over-powering. Now he could lie down without the worry of never waking up. In spite of the incessant gnawing hunger, Earl curled up in the wagon box and went to sleep. If he just let the horse go it would take him back to camp.
    This second day without food seemed to go on forever, like the night before, as the horse and wagon bumped on and on and on. Would he ever get there? As the day passed and it grew dark, it was another of those clear winter nights when the temperature plummeted. This night he was hardly aware of the stars. His only thought now was to get warm and the have something to eat.
Earl Stoddard arrived very late that night and ate in a tent just before midnight what he called the most glorious Christmas dinner a man had ever eaten -  a bowl of beans kept warm by his brother. At that moment, Earl Stoddard in a tent with a bowl of beans was the richest man in the world.

THE  SENILITY PRAYER
Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked,
The good fortune to run into the ones
I do,
and the eyesight to tell the difference.

My memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

Bumper sticker: "I'm speeding because I have to get there before I forget where I'm going."

Another Senior Moment     
    A man went to dinner in the home of an elderly couple. When the guest left he thanked the couple for the evening and said to the man as he was going out the door, “You have such a wonderful relationship with your wife. Every time you spoke to her you used words of endearment like: Honey, Sweetheart, or Darling. The husband responded, “To be perfectly honest, I must confess that I forgot her name 20 years ago.  

Car Must Have Been Stolen
   An honest man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him.
   He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
   The tailgating woman hit the roof—and the horn—screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed and placed in a holding cell.
   After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.
   He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘Choose Life’ license holder, the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.
   “Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.” - Author Unknown
It's About Time
 It's  was jogging through some orchards in Orem one day when I saw something I couldn’t believe. A man was holding a pig up in a tree so the pig could ear the apples. I watched in disbelief and then had to ask, “Why are you doing that? Why don’t you just shake the tree and let the pig eat the apples off the ground?” He answered, “Why should I do that?”  I replied, “It would save a lot of time, wouldn’t it?” He then said - ”What’s time to a pig?”

Bad Ethnic Joke   A German field marshal and an Italian general were mapping last-minute strategy before leading their combined armies into a battle against the Allied forces in World War   II.             
    When the meeting ended, the German field marshal said to his orderly: "Otto, get my coat." And he put on a coat of blazing red leather.
     The Italian general incredulously said: "Hey, you crazy. You standa out lika sore thumb, and the Allies will all shoot at you."
The German field marshal stiffly responded: "Ja, but because the coat is red, if I am shot, the blood will not show. My men will not see it and get discouraged. And they will fight on and win a glorious victory for the Fatherland."
     The Italian general pondered that for a moment and then said: "Hey Luigi, getta me my brown pants."

Things to Be Thankful For:
    Be thankful for clothes that fit too snug. It means you have enough to eat.
    Be thankful for the mess you have to clean up after a party.    It mans you have a family and friemds.                                                                                                                                                                                      Be thankful that the house needs to be painted and the lawn needs mowing. It means you have a home.
    Be thankful for your heating bill. It means you have been warm.
    Be thankful for the laundry. It means you have clothes to wear.
    Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot. It means you can walk.
    Be thankful for the lady that sings off key in the church. It means you can hear.
    Be thankful when people complain about the government. It means you have freedom of speech.
    Be thankful when the alarm goes off early in the morning. It means you are alive.
Added Thanksgiving Day 2010:
     Be thankful for a refrigerator the smell from which nearly knocks you over when you open the door, because it is so bulging with food that you can't get to the food in the back that has spoiled. It means you have a fridge, which only a minority of the people in the world own.

I Wish You Enough

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.

I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough failure to understand success.

I wish you enough clouds in life to make a beautiful sunset

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough heartache to cherish love.

                                  Blind Girl

There was a blind girl who hated herself because she was blind. She hated everyone, except her loving boyfriend. He was always there for her. She told her boyfriend, 'If I could only see the world, I will marry you.' One day, someone donated a pair of eyes to her. When the bandages came off, she was able to see everything, including her boyfriend. He asked her, 'Now that you can see the world, will you marry me?' The girl looked at her boyfriend and saw that he was blind. The sight of his closed eyelids shocked her. She hadn't expected that. It reminded her too much of the past. The thought of looking at them the rest of her life led her to refuse to marry him. Her boyfriend left and days later she found a note he had written: 'Take good care of your eyes, my dear, for before they were yours, they were mine.’

Favorite Short Story:
     When we were children living on 18th street in Ogden during World War 11. our parents subscribed to a magazine called “Liberty.” In it was a story called “Buried Treasure.” Ray thought it was the funniest story he had ever read. I read it and cried my eyes out. We let someone take the story and we never got it back.
     On a Saturday with Mark when I was working in St Louis, MO, we went to the big public library and miracle of miracles I found the story. Here it is now “my buried lost treasure”:
Buried Treasure  By Fred Gibson
(Gibson also wrote the classic dog story Old Yeller)
     I’d dreamed a lot about going off somewhere and digging me up a buried treasure and being big rich the rest of my life. But I wasn’t after treasure the morning I found out one was buried in the china-ball grove back of Bald Knob.
All I was after was to get away from the house before Papa came in from the pasture. When Mama got a chance to tell him what I’d done to her Old Dominecker rooster, I didn’t want to be anywhere around.
    I went over the ridge back of the barn at a hard run. I had to slow down for the field just beyond. It was overgrown with tall grass burrs, and the only way a barefooted boy could cross was to jump form one gopher mound to the next. But from there on it was clean sailing right through the post-oak woods to Bald Knob.
   The grove was just the other side of the Knob. I crossed the opening and entered the china-ball trees. I trotted the length of the long black boulder that walled one side, rounded the end of it, and stopped dead in my tracks. There was a man in the grove!
   I’d been here a hundred times and there’d never been anybody. But there was a man here now. He sat in an awkward body-twisting position underneath the lip of the boulder and he held a cocked six-shooter pointed straight at me!
     It wasn’t the gun so much that scared me. It was the wild trapped animal look on his face, the bitter curl of his sun-cracked lips, the fierce hard shine in his puckered gray eyes.
    Almost instantly the man’s eyes widened and the hardness went out of his face, leaving it slack and gray under the dark stubble of his beard. He lowered the gun to his lap. He leaned back.
“Howdy, boy,” he said.
I stood rooted to the ground.
    The man was dressed in black cow-hand clothes, with bench-made boots and a wide-brimmed black Stetson. A cartridge-studded belt held a cut-away scabbard for the bone-handled six-shooter he held in his lap. His eyes looked tired – tired and sick.
    “You come here often?” he asked.
“Pretty often,” I said, then blurted out nervously, “mostly just when I get into bad trouble back at the house.” He smiled faintly. “You in bad trouble now?” “Pretty bad,” I said. “If Mama’s old Dominecker rooster dies, Papa’ll sure lay it on me.” A real smile came then, warm and friendly. I felt the fear drain out of me.The man didn’t ask what I’d done to the old Dominecker, but suddenly I was all eagerness to tell him.
     “I guess maybe I’ve kilt him with a grain of corn,” I said, “I kept feeding it to him and then jerking it back out.” “Jerking it back out?” The man frowned.
“Sure,” I said. “I had the grain of corn tied onto a string. I’d let him pick it up and swallow it down, then jerk it back up his long neck. It sure made that old rooster squawk and flop around, but he’d always pick it up and swallow it again…Mama caught me at it.”
     The man tipped back his head as if he were about to let loose with a big laugh. But all that came out was just a grunting sort of chuckle that seemed to pain him somewhere inside. His face sobered; his tired eyes searched me closer. “How come you pulling a dirty trick like that on you mama’s Dominecker rooster?”
“Because the rascal’s mean” I told him. “This morning he ran right up and flogged me and then bit me.” I unbuckled a suspender strap, pulled down the bib of my overalls. I showed him right where the Dominecker rooster had pecked my navel and made the blood come.
     He studied my wound and nodded his sympathy. “Served the old devil right to have the corn dragged out of him,” he said gravely.
He kept sitting there in that peculiar twisted position and staring up at the white blooms of the china-ball trees.
     “This is a good place to come when you’re in bad trouble,” he said after a while. “I used to come here regular.” I stared at him. I wondered who he was and how he’d got here. I couldn’t see any horse around.
     “You used to live hereabouts some place?” I asked him. “Just around the point of the Knob. I’d about’ve filled them overalls of yours then.” I recollected then the old house place there. Once there’d been a fire-blackened chimney standing out from a couple of live oaks, a lonesome-looking thing without a house to go with it.
    I’d wondered some about the folks who had once lived in that house and if they had a boy who liked slipping off to secret places like the grove. And now, here was the boy. But somehow, I couldn’t see the big lean hard man in front of me getting into a jam with his mama and running off form the house. I just couldn’t see it at all.
     I said, “You in bad trouble now?”
He said, “Pretty bad.” I waited for him to tell me about it, but he didn’t. All he did was sit there and stare up at the china-ball blooms with the wild bees humming around them. His eyes were nearly shut.
     After a while I said, “Is that how come you came back to the grove?” “Yes,” he said. “It started me to recollecting something here I’d left behind. I looked all around the grove. Then I notice, just the other side of the sapling he leaned against, an uplifted slab of rock, there was a hole there, with the open lid of a metal box sticking out.
    My heart leaped. “A treasure!” I gasped. The man’s eyes met mine. “That’s it boy,” he said with conviction. “A real treasure that I buried too many years ago. The finest a man can ever store up.”
    The thought struck me then how many times I’d lain right in these leaves and dreamed about digging up a buried treasure somewhere. And all that time I’d been this close to one.
     Back up the slant of Bald Knob a loose rock clinked against another; there was the rattle of brush dragging against leather. The man gave a convulsive heave and flopped over on his stomach. He clawed for the lid of the metal box, slamming it shut. He jerked the flat slab down on top of it. One broad swipe of his hand raked dry leaves over the place, hiding it. “Now let ‘em come,” he said “I’m ready!”
    I barely heard what he’d said. I was staring at his right leg. It lay at a horrible angle to his other one, with dry leaves sticking to the hip of his blood-soaked pants. “Your leg!” I cried out. “Something’s wrong with your leg!” “Get the hell out of here, kid,” he snarled, “Get out of here quick!”
     I looked up at his face, startled at the harshness of his voice. And again I was gripped by that paralyzing feat that had stopped me when I first entered the grove. He wasn’t a man any more now; he was a wild animal, trapped and vicious. He lay with his nostrils flared wide and quivering. His eyes flamed with hate. He lay there, facing the Knob with the six-shooter clutched in his hand.
    I ran then straight through the grove. That’s where I saw the saddled horse lying on the ground with a bullet hole through its middle. Behind me I heard the chopped-off bark of the six-shooter. Once… Twice… I hit the cow trail, running the fastest I ever ran in my life.
    Mama cried that evening when she learned how the law had cornered Brady Coleman in the china-ball grove and riddled him with bullets. “What a way for a man to die!” She wept. “He had it coming,” Papa said. “He was a bank robber. There was no good in him.” Maybe Papa was right; I didn’t know.
    “What about the treasure?” I asked him. “Did they find it?” “Treasure?” said Papa. “What treasure?”
I wished then that I hadn’t mentioned it. I hadn’t told about being in the grove just before the shooting started. It might have reminded Mama about the old Dominecker rooster. But for once I was lucky. “If you mean the bank loot,” he said, “they found it all right.”
     My heart sank, then it kicked up again as Papa added, “They found it in the saddle pockets of his dead horse.” So they hadn’t found it after all. Not the real treasure. It was still there.
     But it was more than a week before I could rake up the courage to go back to the china-ball grove. It might be haunted now. Lots of places were haunted where a man had been killed. Especially when there was a buried treasure around, too. But I found no sign of a ghost when at last I went. All I found wash the black stain of the outlaw’s blood on the top of the rock slab covering his cache. I lifted the slab and pulled at the lid of the metal box beneath. The lid came up. And there lay Brady Coleman’s treasure – a few chipped marbles, a rusty old spur, a Robin Hood book, a ball of fishing cord, and a little white china horse with a rear foot broken off.

A Proud Grandfather: I’ve sent four children on missions; James, Mark, Paul, and Lisa: and six grandchildren: Jessica, Jacob, Daniel, Bodrie Nathan, and Thayne. The experience that probably made me the proudest was after one of my missionaries came home. After his mission Jacob Belk came home and then went from BYU on a three month (?) internship to Montana. The last Sunday he was there he was the speaker in sacrament meeting and had eleven investigators come to the meeting. All eleven of them he had taught the first lesson, some of them more than the first lesson. The scriptures talk about doing things of our own free will when we are not commanded. I can’t think of a better example of this admonition. How proud I am of my grandson Jacob!

A Priceless Treasure 3-25-09
     When going through some papers last week I found a treasure that if not recorded here would have been lost forever. It is one of the most thoughtful and treasured gifts I have ever received: Dear Dad, I have been gone and so didn't get a chance to get you a Fathers Day present so I thought I would write you a letter of things I am thankful for that you taught me. These are in no particular order. I am making this list just as they come to mind: How to tie a fishing fly, How to do a whip finish, How to tie a clinch knot, blood knot, loop knot, etc. for fishing, How to troll for Mackinaw, How to cast a fly, How to dap, How beautiful a trout is, How to use a spinning reel, How to launch a boat, How to back a trailer, How to start a camp fire, How to pitch a tent, How to roll a sleeping bag, How to pack a back pack, How to sharpen a knife, How to climb a mountain, How to love the climb, How to change a tire, How to change the oil in a car, How to fix a flat bicycle tire, How to ride a bike, How to drive a car, How to drive a car with a clutch, How to love riding a bike, How to shine my shoes, How to hang dress pants, How to tie a necktie, How to edge a lawn, How to run a marathon. How to love the mornings, How to shoot a bow, How to clean a gun, How to shoot a gun, How to sell a product, How to serve a customer, How to serve your fellow man, How to Home Teach, How to give a blessing, How to be a missionary, How to give a talk, How to pray, How to love a rose, How to pick cherries apples peaches, How to choose a wife, How to show love for a son, How to show love for a daughter, How to love a dog, How to provide for a family, How to love wrestling, running, cycling, How to win, How to lose, How to win at life even when you can't win a wrestling match, How to respect a father, How to respect a mother, How to love the library, How to love reading, How to overcome trials, How to be grateful for our trials, How keeping the commandments brings happiness, How serving others brings happiness. Thank you for teaching me all these things and more. Anything I have the potential to become in this life or in the eternities I owe to you and Mom. Thanks !!!!!!!
I love you,    James

The Follwing is a Prelude to Mark's Life and Death Those who study grief and mourning tell us that loosing a child is more difficult than loosing a spose, but there may be something even sadder - expressed in James Whitcomb Riley’s poem:
Bereaved
By James Whitcomb Riley

Let me come in where you sit weeping; aye,
Let me, who have no child to die,                                             Weep with you for the little one
whose love I have known nothing of.

The little arms that slowly, slowly loosed their pressure round your neck; the hands you used To kiss. Such arms, such hands I never knew. May I now weep with you?

Fain would I be of service,
say something Between the tears,

that would be comforting;
But ah! so sadder than yourselves
am I, Who have no child to die.

Alternate last verse adapted by DJS:

Could I be of service,
say something Between the tears,

that would be comforting;
But ah! so very sad with you am I
Who have no child to die..

Marks Death: “Let us not mourn that such a man died but rejoice that such a man lived.” The death of our son Mark was  the saddest experience of our lives, but it also brought some beautiful thoughts. We were closer to God and to the other side of the veil than at any other time. You can read about the medical reasons Mark died by going to www.healpain.net and reading article number 17.  He did not, however, die before his journey was through.
Recalling Mark's Life Going back in time, I recalled at Mark's funeral how he thought he could build anything. When we lived in grandview, I took the boys to the airport to see the airplanes. When we got back home, Mark, who was only about 8 years old, built an airlane out of scaps of wood. It had wingspan of about a six feet and he truely thought it could fly.
      When Lisa was born, I remember a table Mark built when he was only about ten years old. It was for LaRae to change the   baby on. It was a sight to behold. One leg was a piece of a broom handle nailed on to a piece of board but it did the job and LaRae did use it to change Lisa's diaper. What a precious gift from a lttle boy. 
       From that point on Mark's Life as a master craftsman was manifest by building beautiful things with great skill. He and Roger Brinkerhoff had become partners in the home building business. They called it the BS (Brinkerhoff Stoddard) Construction company. Mark was the only one that could cut and perectly fit "cove moldings."  Our house is full of his handiwork from a totally remodeled basement to the little bed and reading nook he made for his little sisters from a clothes closet. 

Laura's Broken Heart and Mark's Love and Wisdom
       Laura came home from a dance a Timview High School and came into our bedroom crying her eyes out with the words "Momma and Daddy, I don't want you to ever let me go to another dance as long as I live." Not one boy had asked her to dance. I told her that she was beautiful and that Rhonda Flemming who was one of the most beautiful women to ever come out of Hollywood never had one date in high school, but me telling her those things wasn't what she needed.
     Her returned missionary brother, Mark, overheard this as he paced back and forth in the hall. A night or two later he took Laura to a dance at BYU with these intructions. "Don't stand in a group with other girls. Stand by yourself with a smile on your face and look like you are having a good time." IT WORKED! (and it would work for every girl) She danced every dance! We can add here that this is how Laura met her husband Mark.
Mark's Heart Attack Mark had left his post office job in Roosevelt and was going to begin a business with his woodworking and crafts. He, Pattie, Thane and Bethany were living with us to get his start…. Then one morning Mark went out jogging  on Canyon Road and had a fatal heart attack at only 44 years of age. He had told me that he was tryng to get back in shape but it just didn't feel right inside his chest. I said "It's because you go too damn fast." He replyed, "Oh no Dad, I don't go very fast." (Just a month  before he had taken me out overnight to the Hogup Mountains to try with James metal detector to find the traps that my father had buried in a cave. We didn't find them but he was so helpful and solicitous of my needs that I wouldn't get cold; setting up the tent and rolling out my sleeping bag before I got out of the warm car. Then he was willing to help me hike to every cave on that mountain after a long long day.)
     When Mark colapsed while jogging about a half mile north on Canyon Road,  people immmediately came to his aid and tried to adninister mouth to mouth resesitation but they said he clinched his teeth. The ambulance was there within minutes and rushed him to the hospital where he lay in a coma for five days.
      Someone from our extended family was with Mark 24 hours a day. On the second day, Laura said, "Mark is responding he hears and understands." Then she showed me. She squeezed his hand three times saying the words "I - Love - You" He would squeeze back three times
"I - Love - You."
      The next day he didn't respond and I feared that he mught not mke it
. I thought, "Oh, Dear God, How can I tell his mother, his young wife and children, and his brothers and sisters?"
     Pattie went home that night with Behany and Thayne. When she returned in the morning , she caalled us together and announced that a miracle was going to happen but that miracles happen on both sides of thr veil. Pattie knew and I thanked God that the others now also knew that Mark wouldn't survive and that I wouln't have to tell them.

     We were with him around the clock and when I held his hand, I tried to remember one time when he dissappointed me or when he was anything but a perfect young man. There were none.
     When we knew it was just a matter of time, we obtained the power of attorney for him to be an organ door. A short time before his heart attack, Mark had voluntered to donate one of his kidneys but because his blood pressure was borderline, they never took it. Now he could provide his perfect, pure organs to save other lives.
      On the fifth day with all of that done, we took him off life support, and watched the color go out of his face to rest in peace
and recieve all the things reserved  for those who love the Lord.
What an amzing youg man: my boy who could build anything,
my straight arrow Eagle Scout, my wrestling champion, my totally obedient misssionary, my fishing partner, and a perfect father to his children.

Tribute to our Armed Forces

     JFK'S Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, was in France in the early 60's when DeGaule decided to pull out of NATO. DeGaule said he wanted all US military out of France as soon as possible. Rusk responded "does that include those who are buried here? DeGaule did not respond. You could have heard a pin drop.
    When in England, at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building by George Bush. He answered by saying, 'Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.' You could have heard a pin drop.
    There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying 'Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?' A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: 'Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day,
     They can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?' You could have heard a pin drop.
    A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself
standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries. Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English. He then asked, 'Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?' Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, 'Maybe it's because the Brit's, Canadians, Aussie's and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German! You could have heard a pin drop.
     And this story fits in with the above...Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on. "You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. "Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."
    The American said, 'The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it." "Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!" The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ''Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to." You could have heard a pin drop.

Tawnya Johnson's Dream (Vision) (Note: Tawnya is now deceased. We heard her tell this story in a Testimony meeting. I asked to put it in writing for me and believe it was the only copy ever made):
    “One summer just before graduation I was doing a speech internship at the American Fork Training school. I was given variety of students to work with. It was difficult at times. I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing anything that would really be of much worth to these students. You would do a lot of drills and repetition with them. Many times you would not receive any response from these children and sometimes just getting eye contact would be an accomplishment.
    One day I was given a new unit to work with. In this unit was a little girl and her name was Rachel. She was a beautiful little girl and was about 7 years old. They told me that she had partial paralysis and that now she looked very pretty but as she grew older the paralysis would become more prominent in her physical appearance. Rachel had other problems besides the paralysis. The one goal that we were to work on was just getting eye contact. I had a little cup and some beans anytime that I would call her name or show her a picture and she would look at me she would get a bean in her cup. After the cup was full then you could reward her with a cookie or whatever would be motivating to her. I think someone mentioned that she enjoyed going outside. Most of the time, I got very little response from Rachel. There were times that I kept filling up her cup for any response at all just so we would have an excuse to let her go outside where the grass was green the sky was blue and beautiful sounds and smells were fresh and new.
    One day when we were outside there was a little hill outside her unit and she stated to run down that hill. She had a limp because of the paralysis but as she was running I heard laughter come from this little girl. That sound was so wonderful and refreshing that on the days that I worked with Rachel we would get that cup of beans filled real fast. I wanted to hear Rachel laugh and enjoy the movement and the outside air. For an instance it felt like she was free from all the disabilities that she had.
      As time went on and my internship had ended I reflected on my work that I had done there in the summer. I wasn’t pleased with the progress and realized that I was depressed while I was working with the limited abilities of these children. I needed to have more feedback from these kids and truly felt like I had wasted my time and theirs. I praised those people who could work with the limited abilities of these children and not get depressed. I definitely wasn’t one of those. I went home for the rest of the summer and left the training school scene behind me.
    Then one night it happened….. I would like to say I had a dream but the fact is it was too real to be a dream. It was a beautiful, beautiful day I was in an area where it was rich with oak trees that were surrounded with fresh green grass. It felt like the perfect spring day. As I was admiring the trees and the sky and all the wonderful sounds of the outside I saw a young lady sitting under one of the oak trees. This young lady was beautiful. She had on a full white dress that was spread out gracefully around her and she had beautiful long auburn hair that gently curled down her back. As I looked at her and smiled and said hello. She asked “Do you remember me?” As I studied her face and tried to recall this beautiful young lady, I had to say “I’m sorry but I don’t remember you, have we met before?” As she looked at me she said “Yes, I’m Rachel.” My mind went racing back to this beautiful little girl that I had worked with at the training school. I said “Rachel” with a questioned look. She said yes I’m Rachel. As I stood in amazement and puzzlement she went on… “I wanted to thank you for the time that you spent with me especially the times that you would take me outside and let me run down that little hill. You see I wanted to come to this earth and I wanted to be a dancer and a ballerina but that was not to be. Because of the body that I was given I wasn’t able to fulfill that dream. But, when you let me run down that hill I was able to be free for just a little while. I was so happy just to have that time.”
     As Rachel was talking I remembered her in her limited body and now seeing her in her perfect form one of the most beautiful daughters of our Heavenly Father. I felt so humbled in her presence. The tears and the joy that was felt between the two of us will last for eternity. I know it was not a dream but a vision. My Father in Heaven acknowledging the value of each of his children here on this earth, and teaching me the worth of every soul.”
 
Bless the Geeks and Children  By Joseph Walker (If this story doesn't tug at you heartstrings, nothing will.)
     She sits there – alone – every lunch hour. Not that she’s anti-social or anything like that. It’s more like junior high school society is anti-her. She doesn’t wear the “right” clothes. And she doesn’t have the “right” look. And she doesn’t have the “right” friends. And she isn’t up on all of the “right” things. Which makes her wrong. All wrong. To be seen talking to her is to risk teasing from everyone else – or at least everyone who is anyone. Suggesting that people be nice to her could result in a major hassle with the popular crowd. And if anyone finds out that she considers you her friend… Well, do the words “social suicide” mean anything to you? So she sits there – alone – every lunch hour. Usually she has the entire table to herself. And to tell the truth, she prefers it that way – especially since the alter-native to being completely ignored seems to be a barbaric form of adolescent humor where somebody says something terribly cruel to her while everyone else laughs. Everyone, that is, except her. “Hey, Geek, what kind of mousse are you using these days – Pennzoil?” Big laugh. “What’s the matter, Geek don’t they sell Clearasil by the gross?” Another big laugh. “Are the cooks serving from the sewer again or did the Geek forget to shower?” Well, OK. She almost smiles at this one. But only because she works so hard to make sure that she is clean and free of offensive odors. Things are tough enough when you’re a geek. You don’t need to bring more trouble on yourself by being careless, you know what I mean?  Things haven’t always been this way for her. Kindergarten was great. She enjoyed school and she had lots of friends. Ditto grades one, two and three. But something must have happened that summer between third and fourth grades, because somehow she suddenly seemed … well, different from the other girls. And in the pre-adolescent world of the fourth-grader, where social awareness dawns with the bright light of peer pressure, few things are more unacceptable than :different.” Especially if it also means bigger. And slower. And clumsier. And less fashionable. You know – geeky. In fact, it was at about that time that the g-word first entered her life. The first time someone called her a geek she laughed. It was such a funny-sounding word it had to be a joke, right? But there wasn’t anything comical about the tone of voice that was used each time the epithet was hurled in her direction, or the look in her mother’s eye when she finally got up the courage to ask her what the word means. “It doesn’t really mean anything,” her mother told her, “except that the person who calls you that isn’t your friend.” From that point on she had fewer and fewer friends. The kids she had always played with became distant and aloof. Popularity became more valuable than friendship. And everyone knows you don’t get to be popular by hanging out with a geek. Through the years she’s learned to deal with rejection and ridicule. In fact, she pretty much expects it now. And she handles it, Somehow. But once in a while something comes along and catches her off-guard. Like the time her science teacher showed the class a movie about wolves. She was fascinated by the sophisticated social structure of the wolf pack, with its genetic checks and balances. But then there was an explanation of how the pack purged itself by turning on the weak and the vulnerable. And suddenly, unexpectedly, she cried. The teacher was concerned, probably because he had never seen a student cry during what had to be considered a fairly academic, dispassionate film. “Are you OK?” He asked her as she tried to hurry out of class. Her gaze was focused down-ward – as usual. But she hesitated and nodded. “I was just wondering.” He continued, “because..… well, I couldn’t help but notice your reaction to the movie. If something bothered you, I’d like to help you understand it.” She paused a moment. “You can’t,” she said. “Nobody can.” She started to leave the room then turned and added: “I guess I just fell bad for the wolves that get picked on.” She left quickly, melting into the crowded hallway. It was time for lunch. Time to be alone.

Throwing Rocks and Disciplining Children
     Bobby had been playing by the duck pond for several minutes when father called for him to come to the house. Bobby approached his father slowly, looking down at muddy feet and wet pant legs. When Bobby’s father saw the mud and the wet, he said in a stern voice, “Well, Bobby, how many times must you be told to stay out of the mud and water?
Go get me a willow, maybe a willowing will help you remember.“ Bobby was gone for several minutes before he slowly approached his father again – this time with his hands behind his back. His fathers voice was again stern as he said, “Well, I’m waiting, give me the willow.” Bobby drew both hands around and produced not a willow but several rocks in each hand. Then he said in a meek little voice, “I couldn’t find a willow, but here are some rocks you can throw at me.” – Jean Larsen  WOW!!!
      The above story reveals how wrong it is to punish children. We should instead give them loves (hugs) when they are bad and play spankings when they are good (This is what I learned from my father, Earl Stoddard.)
       This much you can be sure of: if you punish children without showing afterword a renewal of love, THE DAY WILL COME WHEN THEY WILL PUNISH YOU. Another approach would be to get a switch and make them beat you – for not teaching them better.
But I Like You
The game of cowboys and Indians had been going on vigorously and to stretch the meaning of the word a little, peacefully, out on the beach for some time. Then suddenly, there was trouble. One of the youngsters, a brown-haired cowboy, about seven and the youngest of the lot, had been captured by the Indians and was to be tied up to a stake-- the stake being a huge, ugly hunk of driftwood that looked very much like the gnarled roots of an ancient tree. The brown haired cowboy objected to being tied to the driftwood. Whether, in his concept of the game, the driftwood was not legitimately a stake or whether he, out of some special sensitivity, found the ugly driftwood objectionable I could not make out. But he was very definite about it. He would not be tied to it. The boss of the game, the oldest of the boys, about ten or eleven and something of a bully, grew angry. Go on home, yellow? He shouted at the little fellow. Go on home. We don't like you! The other boys, in the natural spirit of the gang, took up the words in a sort of sing song, Go on home yellow! We don't like you! The boy, hurt and bewildered by this sudden show of cruelty, looked from one face to another. Then, after a long moment, in a voice quivering but deeply earnest, he said, BUT I LIKE YOU. The Sing-song stopped before his earnestness. For a brief moment it seemed as if his simple but gravely moving words would have some effect. Three of the boys looked at one another in uncertainty. They had been somehow touched. But the bully had not been touched. Go on home yellow, he shouted out again. And then to the gang. Come on Fellows, let's go! The game was begun again without the brown-haired cowboy; He looked desolately on for a minute or two, then turned and moved slowly away, following the frothing white line of the sea's edge, sadness in his drooping figure, bewilderment still on his face. I watched him go. I felt profoundly sorry for him. It was as if I had just watched the stoning of a prophet. He grew smaller in the distance. Still his words stayed with me. But I like you. It is a long way from a mountain in Galilee to the beach at Malibu and today's world, yet that brown-haired boy, standing there on the sand answering his tormentors with an earnest declaration of his affection for them vividly brought back to me those dramatic, revolutionary words, but I SAY UNTO YOU, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES.. He disappeared from my view around a wide sweep of the shore. What would the years do to the little cowboy? Could he go on saying to his enemies, BUT I LIKE YOU. Could it ever be he would remain unspoiled in the world and one day be a saint?

FATHER FORGETS
By W. Livingston Larned
(A story from Andrew Carnigie that I have loved for more than 50 years.)
     “Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.
    There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.
     At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”
    Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive-and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!
    Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.
     Well, son, it was shortly after wards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding - this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.
    And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!
      It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy-a little boy!”
    I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.”

My Epiphany There are three changes that I would like to see in the world hopefully before I die, but it doesn't have to happen in that period of time and it doesn't even matter who gets the credit.
      It is certainly not my place to receive revelation for the Church but for such a thing to happen is not without president. My father who smoked and drank changed the questions that are asked to get a temple recommend.
    To understand how that happened. I need to tell the following story about my father: We lived close to downtown Ogden and knew what was in every store. A new store opened and I went in to see what they had. A man in the store asked my name and then asked if I was Earl Stoddard's son. When I said yes, The man then said the following: “Earl Stoddard could walk through a room full of paper money with glue on his feet and come out clean.” I know my father was honest but it is still a mystery to me how my father got that reputation.
     Even though my father was not active in the church, he knew the questions that are asked to get a temple recommend. He asked emphatically, “Why don't they ask if you are honest?” This he told to a friend who was a stake president and soon after that the question was added to the temple recommend interview questions. Earl Stoddard's descendents need to know how that change very probably came about.
    Also my father was jealous of the time mother spent with Aunt Lillian so he arranged for her to receive a mission call. And she did fill a mission, I believe in Missouri.
    Now for the first thing I would change in the church: The membership of the Church could double without the need to spend more money on chapels by having Sabbaths for half of the members on Sunday and Sabbaths for the other half on Saturday.      We are already doing this on a limited basis with members in Israel celebrating the Sabbath on Saturday (and I understand in Egypt on Monday). What we call Saturday and what we call Sunday is totally arbitrary. The Lord did not draw the International Dateline. We could as well draw the dateline next to where we stand. In one step forward, it would be Sunday and with one step backward it would be Saturday.
    Another benefit would be that gifted LDS football players like Eli Herring, who gave up a multimillion dollar contract to play professional football because he would have to play on the Sabbath, could then play pro football on Sunday and still keep a Sabbath Day holy on Saturday. Also people who are required to work on Sunday would still be able to keep the Sabbath day holy on Saturday.
And Should We Die The next thing I would change in the church is a word in the hymn, “Come Come Ye Saints.” Making such a change is also not without precedent. The hymn “How Firm a Foundation.” that was in the first hymn book compiled by Emma Smith, predates the restoration; but still a few years ago a phrase was changed from “You who unto Jesus” to the words, “Who unto the Savior.”
    When William Clayton penned the lines for Come Come Ye Saints, it was written for pioneers who were on a journey from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt lake City. This was the journey spoken of in the lines, “And should we die before our journey's through.” It was not speaking of or referring to their journey through life. Such pioneers did not die before there life journey was through, and they could sing. “Happy Day! All is well!  When we sing the song today, we are not on a geographical journey but we mistakenly think of our journey through life instead of a geographical pioneer journey.
    I do not believe that most Latter-day Saints who “die unto the lord,” die before their life journey is through. Forty four year old Mark Stoddard who had a fatal heart attack, four year old Cooper Koford, who was accidentally killed, and thousands of Latter-day Saints who die every year do not all die before their life journey is through. If we changed the words, “And should we die before our journeys through” to the words, “And should we die when ere our journeys through,” the words would apply to all Latter -Day Saints who die. For us today, the words in the song should read (and we should sing) “And should we die when ere (not before) our journey's through, HAPPY DAY! ALL IS WELL, ALL IS RIGHT. (“No righteous man is ever taken before his time. In the case of the faithful Saints, they are simply transferred to other fields of labor” – Joseph Fielding Smith.)

My Joy is Full
    On Monday, Nov. 1st 2010, I had one of the most heart rending, but glorious, transcendent, experiences of my life: going out to search for one of “His” lost lambs who wanted to “go away and never come back.” I found her! (Someone that means more to me than life itself.) I FOUND HER where no one else had looked. And she was OK. How can I contain the joy? My heart is going to burst. For there is more joy in finding the lamb that was lost than in the ninety and nine that are still in the fold.
   My heart is heaped up and running over because the outcome could have been different. It could have ended like it did for another child that I knew: She had everything in this world that a girl could ask for. To say she was beautiful would be an understatement. She was queen of the prom. She was a Sterling Scholar. She was a championship tennis player. She was president of the Relief Society in her Young Adult Ward, and I believe she was as pure as a ray of sunshine. Her father was a medical doctor so she had every material thing that a girl could ask for, but she was severely depressed. Not even her mother knew. She was little Mis perfect in every way, and drove up the canyon and ended her life. Did running away stop her pain or only make it worse? I can not judge what she did, but I believe that in the eternities, knowing what might have been, she will regret ending her life. This I do know for sure, that for her loved ones left behind, the pain increased a thousand fold, because they will relive the experience over and over again! Truly, When we run away from depression and pain, it only makes the suffering worse; for ourselves and for our loved ones.
    Now that I have found my child, the relief and joy will continue because she is safe. If she had gone away and not come back, we would have spent the rest of our lives looking for her or asking why. Our feelings would have been like those expressed in a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier, “...For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these: It might have been!" Because I found a child, my lamb that was lost, My Joy is Full

Three Red Marbles
By W. E. Petersen
This story first appeared in the October 1975 Ensign Magazine
 
One day Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller and the ragged boy next to me.
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas ... sure look good."
"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?"
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it."
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"
"Not zackley…but almost." "Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble." "Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, perhaps."
I left the stand smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering.
Several years went by, each more rapid that the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them.
Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could. Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts ... all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and mentioned the story she had told me about the marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket. "Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size ... they came to pay their debt."
"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho."
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband.
Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

I Failed to Remember
I have loved the above story since I first read it in 1975. It is included here in My Favorite Things because I failed to remember what I should have done a few weeks ago when a boy and his little sister, that I did not know, knocked on our door and said, “We are selling buttons. Would you like to buy some?” I said, “We really don't need any right now but I can help you,” giving them a dollar. I should have said: “Oh, I'm so glad you've come! That's just what I need! I would give a dollar for a red (or blue) button if you have one.” Looking back, I confess that I failed.

What New Doctrine Did Jesus Teach?
By Darrell Stoddard
     A Jewish rabbi said the following words to me more than 50 years ago and I've been thinking about them ever since. “Jesus was a great teacher and a great prophet but he never taught anything new. Jews had the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) Love thy neighbor as thyself, Love the Lord thy God, and even baptism for the remission of sins centuries before John the Baptist and Jesus were born.”
    All Christians would respond to the Rabbi as I tried to do by saying something like this: “Jesus taught and did that which was new when he redeemed the human race through his atonement. He broke the bands of death; making the resurrection, and life after death a reality for all mankind.” The atonement of Jesus Christ was new doctrine and the preeminent event in the history of the world, but Jesus taught what was then another transcendent new truth to the people of his day. This has been overlooked by everyone (to the best of my knowledge) and never explained by anyone before now including general authorities from Joseph Smith on down. It is from my ( Darrell Stoddard's) original research: JESUS TAUGHT THE JEWS AND ALL THE HUMAN RACE THAT GOD IS THEIR FATHER. Before Jesus taught that God is our Father, Deity was almost never called “Father.” (You can verify this in any Biblical concordance. I told this to Truman Madsen and he aknowledged that I was correct)
      In fact the “Jews sought the more to kill him (Jesus), because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (See John 5: 15-18) Before Jesus taught this new doctrine, it was blasphemy to call God “Father.” To call God “Father” was making oneself equal with God and was a sin punishable by death.

     When he gave the Lord's Prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus proclaimed, “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven...” After His crucifixion, Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene saying “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and you’re God.” Because of this new doctrine taught by Jesus, all religions; Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu, now speak of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man (but they know not why).
     Because Jesus taught this new doctrine, people have called God “Father” for 2000 years without fear of being stoned to death, but the full meaning of God as our Father is still not fully understood. Is He our Father because he created Adam and Eve and because He created the earth, much the same as we would say that George Washington was the father of our country or Thomas Edison was the father of the electric light? No, I solemnly proclaim that God is our Father, not because He is the creator of all things, but because He is the Father of our spirits: "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" (Hebrews 12:9)
    The lord asked Job, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth.... when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Jesus was the only begotten son of God in the flesh but before coming to earth we all existed in the presence of God as His spirit children. This is why we call God Father. It was all the sons of God (you and I, male and female, and everyone that has ever lived) that shouted for joy when Jehovah laid the foundations of the earth.
      Members of the Church of Jesus Christ sing Eliza R. Snow's inspired hymn Oh My Father that includes the words, “I had learned to call the Father through thy spirit from on high, but until the key of knowledge was restored I knew not why.” Doctrinally it would be more correct to say, “I had learned to call thee Father from the Lord's Prayer but until the key of knowledge was restored I knew not why.”
     The smallest child in any primary, because of the inspired hymn I Am a Child of God, knows more than even the Pope himself about why we call God "Father." Jesus taught people that God is their Father and that they are a child of God, but until the key of knowledge is restored, (by missionaries) they know not why!
      Brigham Young said, "I never saw any one, until I met Joseph Smith, who could tell me anything about the character, personality and dwelling place of God, or anything satisfactory about angels, or the relationship of man to his Maker." It is no different today. No minister of any faith on earth knows enough to teach people who God is and the relationship of man to his maker. Only missionaries and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can tell people why we call God Father.

Bible Still Not Translated Correctly
      Jesus refers to himsrlf as the "son of man" more than 100 times in The New Testiment but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on earth that knows what it means. Traditional Christianity believes Jesus called himself the son of man because he was the son of mortal Mary and  when He calls himself the "son of man," He is declaring his mortality.
     According to Moses 5:57  in the Pearl of Great Price, Man of Holiness is one name of God: "In the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ."
       Because one of the names of God the father is "Man of Holyness"and because the names of diety should always be capitalzed, the phrase "son of man" as used by Jesus when refering to himself should read: "son of Man" (with a capital M, meaning that Jesus is the son of the Man of all Men, God our Eternal Father.)
      (I was on a high council with Robert Marhews as Stake Presidident. Brother Mathews oversaw the publication of the new LDS scriptures. If he were alive today, I know he would agree with me that the word "Man"  in the phrase "son of Man" should be capitaized.)

Saving the United States when our Constitution and our Economy are hanging by a thread because of Elitism and Priestcraft - Politicians who "set themselves for a light unto the world, that they might get gain and praise of the world..." The First step is ever so simple: Don't vote for anyone who will not agree to retire on Social Security and Medicare (plus any private retirement and healthcare programs they bought and paid for themselves instead of receiving a lucrative government retirement and government funded healthcare for the rest of their lives).
     Members of the legislature should never be able to raise their own pay. Increases in their wages should be the same percentage as the cost of living increases for those on Social Security. The President, members of Congress, and all Judges, should retire with only Social Security and Medicare (plus any private retirement and healthcare programs they bought and paid for themselves), If they will not agree to do this, should be voted out of office.

      Making Taxation Voluntary
      To Save the Country We Love
              By Darrell Stoddard,                               Email:[email protected]

The following plan will create millions of jobs for the unemployed. Everyone will pay their fair share of federal taxes (including the 47% that now pay no federal income tax) with a break for the poor and the unemployed. The rich will pay more taxes without being forced to pay more and anyone can pay no taxes if they choose to do so.

The plan: Abolish the IRS and replace the entire federal tax system with a national sales tax of 10% - 18% on all consumer goods (except for food, soap, toilet paper, diapers, medications, and used/donated goods sold in thrift stores). Anyone could choose to pay no Federal tax by not buying any of the following consumer goods.

Soda pop, candy, cosmetics, jewelry, electronics, clothes, cigarettes, beer, liquor, and legalized marijuana would be taxed. The sales tax would also be imposed on all new and used, cars, boats, SUV’s, pickup trucks, motorcycles, boats, airplanes and houses sold for the end use of the consumer.

Income from investments, rental property, apartments, farms, stores, a factory, or a business would not be taxed.  Income from an inheritance or from capital gains would also not be taxed. Those who receive income from any of the above sources, however, will pay taxes if they buy consumer goods that will be taxed at the 10% - 18% rate.

General Electric and all corporations that do not pay taxes will pay taxes indirectly because their employees will buy goods and pay the 10% - 18% consumer sales tax.

If rich men reinvest all of their profits and hire more and more workers to make more and more money, then both rich and poor benefit. Rich people who want to get richer by not paying taxes could save our economy by making jobs for the unemployed who would increase the tax base by paying taxes instead of receiving food stamps or welfare.

Voluntary taxation and no federal income tax will bring back jobs from overseas. It will bless both rich and poor and lead to full employment. Such an unprecedented stimulus to the economy will be a godsend to save the country we love.

Re: ISSIS, Muslum Jihad amd Radical Islam:
     There was something terribly wrong with the thinking that "We should kill all of them before they kill us." I was struggling with this when I read the following hsistory lesson:
History Lesson To Save Mankind from Destuction (History is repeating itself.) Is this what Jefferson would do and what we should do about ISIS and Jihad in 2014?

“From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli”
 What Thomas Jefferson learned from the Muslim book of jihad
Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in.
Capitol Hill staff said Ellison's swearing-in photo opportunity drew more media than they had ever seen in the history of the U.S. House. Ellison represents the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota.
The Quran Ellison used was no ordinary book. It once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and one of America's founding fathers.
Ellison borrowed it from the Rare Book Section of the Library of Congress. It was one of the 6,500 Jefferson books archived in the library.
Ellison, who was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson's Quran because it showed that "a visionary like Jefferson" believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.
There is no doubt Ellison was right about Jefferson believing wisdom could be "gleaned" from the Muslim Quran. At the time Jefferson owned the book, he needed to know everything possible about Muslims because he was about to advocate war against the  Islamic "Barbary" states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli.
Ellison's use of Jefferson's Quran as a prop illuminates a subject once well-known in the  history of the United States, but, which today, is mostly forgotten - the Muslim pirate slavers who over many centuries enslaved millions of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the Islamic "Barbary" states.
Over the course of 10 centuries, Muslim pirates cruised the African and Mediterranean coastline, pillaging villages and seizing slaves.
The taking of slaves in pre-dawn raids on unsuspecting coastal villages had a high casualty rate. It was typical of Muslim raiders to kill off as many of the "non-Muslim" older men and women as possible so the preferred "booty" of only young women and children could be collected.
Young non-Muslim women were targeted because of their value as concubines in Islamic markets. Islamic law provides for the sexual interests of Muslim men by allowing them to take as many as four wives at one time and to have as many concubines as their fortunes allow.
Boys, as young as 9 or 10 years old, were often mutilated to create eunuchs who would bring higher prices in the slave markets of the Middle East. Muslim slave traders created "eunuch stations" along major African slave routes so the necessary surgery could be performed. Only a small number of the boys subjected to the mutilation survived after the surgery.
When American colonists rebelled against British rule in 1776, American merchant ships lost Royal Navy protection. With no American Navy for protection, American ships were attacked and their Christian crews enslaved by Muslim pirates operating under the control of the "Dey of Algiers"---an Islamist warlord ruling Algeria.
Because American commerce in the Mediterranean was being destroyed by the pirates, the Continental Congress agreed in 1784 to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary States.
Congress appointed a special commission consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to oversee the negotiations.
Lacking the ability to protect its merchant ships in the Mediterranean, the new America government tried to appease the Muslim slavers by agreeing to pay tribute and ransoms in order to retrieve seized American ships and buy the freedom of enslaved sailors.
Adams argued in favor of paying tribute as the cheapest way to get American commerce in the Mediterranean moving again.
Jefferson was opposed. He believed there would be no end to the demands for tribute and wanted matters settled "through the medium of war." He proposed a league of trading nations to force an end to Muslim piracy.
In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the "Dey of Algiers" ambassador to Britain.
The Americans wanted to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress' vote to appease.
During the meeting Jefferson and Adams asked the Dey's ambassador why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.
In a later meeting with the American Congress, the two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."
For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or (and?) the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of United States government annual revenues in 1800.
Not long after Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress.
Declaring that America was going to spend "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," Jefferson pressed the issue by deploying American Marines and many of America's best warships to the Muslim Barbary Coast.
The USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Philadelphia, USS Chesapeake, USS Argus, USS Syren and USS Intrepid all saw action.
In 1805, American Marines marched across the desert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves.
During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.
Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn, with the line, "From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, We fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea."
We also call marines "leather necks" because that would protect them from beheading. It wasn't until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates.
Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put an end to the Muslim problem.
Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a "visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad.
                                       *******
Confirming the above in 2014 :  My brother, Lynn Stoddard, sent the above history lesson to a friend, David Bly, in Minnesota. This was his response: “Yes. I know Keith Ellison very well. I also know very well the curator of the rare books section of the library of congress who provided Rep. Ellison with the use of Jefferson's copy of the Quran.

Keith is a very peaceful and likeable progressive who is co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus.  I would consider him a friend.  A good Minnesotan and American who happens to be a member of the Muslim faith. By no means an advocate of Jihadists.

Mark Dimunation is the curator of rare books at the US Library of congress.  He is of Ukrainian descent, a great scholar who I attended St. Olaf College with and Oxford University.” – David Bly

For a full treatment of this history, see: Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates by Christopher Hitchens and America and the Barbary Pirates: An International Battle Against an Unconventional Foe – By Gerald W. Gawalt

                               
Harnessing The Energies of Love
     Now that the world has harnessed the energies of steam, fossil fuels, gravity (hydroelectric power), the wind, the sun, and the energy of the atom, we will harness for God the energies of love; then for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
     How to create and harness the energies of love, was revealed 2000 years ago but is still not known or applied - even by Christians. (How to create love was taught to me 50 years ago by a little girl with a neurological handicap. I tell the Kim Day story later in this website)
      To be the children of our Father in Heaven (after we die), Jesus taught that in this lfe we should love even our enemies.
For what reward have we if we love only those who love us? He revealed that the way we could love our enimies was to bless them, do good to them, and pray for them.
       The enemy of the free world and Israel today is Radical Islam and Muslum Jihad. We should ask God to help us heal the enmity betweem the descendents of Isaac and the descendents of Ishmael.
     

Letter written after Daddy daughter date with Lilly 11-17-10
Dear Sister Meyer and Sister Anderton,
I am writing to thank you both and all of those who helped make the Daddy Daughter Date last night such a memorable experience. How can I thank you enough for making my precious little granddaughter, Lilly, with her sorry looking little car feel so special? I'll cry every time I think of her getting an award for “THE CUTEST COMPACT,” but you made every one of the girls feel special too. God bless you all for being “so good” (and for the Restored Gospel that makes such wonderful people.)
Internet Treasure: Below is one of the choicest pieces to ever appear on the Internet. It is a story of true Christian Charity (the pure love of Christ) exhibited by a team of boys.
Have a Shay Day - You have Two Choices: What would you do?....you make the choice. Don't look for a punch line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would you have made the same choice?
At a fund raising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:
    'When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot under-stand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?' The audience was stilled by the query.
    The father continued. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child.'
    Then he told the following story: Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, 'Do you think they'll let me play?' I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.
    I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, 'We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning.'
    Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt.. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
    In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three. In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
    In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat.
    At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact.
    The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit a slow ground ball right back to the pitcher. The game would now be over. The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.
    Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, 'Shay, run to first! Run to first!'
   Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, 'Run to second, run to second!'
Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base.
    By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball. The smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.
    Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, 'Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay.' Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, 'Run to third! Shay, run to third!'
    As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, 'Shay, run home! Run home!'
    Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team
     'That day', said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, 'the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world'.
    Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!
AND NOW A LITTLE FOOT NOTE TO THIS STORY:
   We all send thousands of jokes through the e-mail without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about life choices, people hesitate.
  The crude, vulgar, and often obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion about decency is too often suppressed in our schools and workplaces.
   If you're thinking about forwarding this message, chances are that you're probably sorting out the people in your address book who aren't the 'appropriate' ones to receive this type of message Well, the person who sent you this believes that we all can make a difference.
   We have many opportunities each day to help realize the 'natural order of things.'
So many seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us with a choice: Do we pass along a little spark of love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and leave the world a little bit colder in the process?
   A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst them.
My thoughts on Thanksgiving day 11-25-10: With the wars and all of the killing and all of the hate, and ugliness and the starving in the world, there is still much to be thankful for. In each man and woman there exists a spark of Divinity. Men, and even boys, (as in the story of Shay) at their best are so noble and so Christ like that we should run and throw a cover over mankind to hide people when they fall short. Ann Frank, living in the corner of an attic and facing imminent death, said it best: “I DON'T THINK OF ALL THE MISERY BUT OF THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS.”
    More thoughts on Thanksgiving Day 11-25-10: This morning I went to the grocery store just bulging with wonderful food. It reminded me of when Peter Czerny took some refugees from West Germany into a U.S. grocery store. They were so overwhelmed with the abundance that they openly wept between the isles (because they couldn't believe what they saw). It made me also think of when I went to a large grocery store years ago in Moscow. This is all, and I mean all, it had in it – potatoes and cabbage in large quantities and a few scraps of meat that we wouldn't feed to our dog. The people were lined up (it appeared) for three blocks to get some meat to go with their potatoes and cabbage.
Employment at BYU
    For 13 and 1/2years I was Director of Marketing for the BYU Motion Picture Studio. In that time I sold more than 20,000 films outside of the Church to all major denominations, to virtually every School District in the U.S., to most of the Universities, all branches of the military, many public libraries, and many government agencies.
    Cipher in the Snow was one of the films I sold that was seen by and touched more than 99% of the teachers in the country. You couldn't find a teacher, (Public, Parochial, or Private) who had not seen Cipher in the Snow. I can safely say without exaggerating that a majority of the students in the country saw Cipher in the Snow. Today it can be seen complete and uncut on Utube.
    The film Run Dick, Run Jane that we made with Kenneth Cooper, I can safely say was the most successful film on physical fitness ever made. It was seen by virtually ever Physical Education Professor and most physical education teachers. It was also seen by most of the coaches in the country (both on a college level and high school level) plus innumerable students.
    John Bakers Last Race, an inspirational film based on the most popular story ever printed in the Reader's Digest was bought in large numbers by every religious denomination (plus most school districts). I think it is safe to say that along with genealogy nothing has ever reached out to other denominations like the films from BYU that were sold.  I went to the headquarters of the American Lutheran Church in Minneapolis to sell and show them a film entitled The Mailbox (the I believe is the most perfect film of any length (along with It's a Wonderful Life) that has ever been made. The American Lutheran Church at that time owned 56 copies of the film Cipher in the Snow. They were pleased to show me their booking cards for Cipher in the Snow, that were all  booked for months in advance. To understand this, you need to know that in that day such films (as with videocassettes and DVD's today) were never shown to individuals but to congregations of people.
    I went to church while I was there and the members were overjoyed because for the first time in the history of Minneapolis, The BYU football team was mentioned in the newspaper in more than just the scoring column. There had been that morning or the day before a small paragraph about BYU football saying, "Quarterback Gifford Nielsen was leading the nation in passing."  I ask you which made the greater difference in Minneapolis as far as people knowing about the church; our football team or the films?   And I ask a related question: How many people have been led to join the Catholic Church because Notre Dame had great football teams? It is also interesting to note that none of the members of the Church that I talked to were even aware that the Lutheran Church at their World Headquarters were buying our films and buying them in quantity. It seems that we as Latter-day Saints don't even talk to our neighbors. If we did people would have said, "You are a Mormon aren't you. Last night I saw in my church a wonderful film made by BYU. That's a Mormon University, isn't it?"
     It sounds like sour grapes but I believe that most of the administration at BYU and the leaders of the Church, then and now, were not even aware that the things I have told you about. I believe because I was out in the world meeting and talking to non-members that during the 13+ years of my work, the films had a mush greater and more positive influence on the world than the BYU football and basketball teams. (I have to say here that I believe in and enjoy BYU athletics as much as anyone.) Would anyone care if a decision were made to stop BYU Intercollegiate athletics? We seem to think that whole world will come to us and want to join the church if we have good teams. Did anyone care at BYU or at Church Headquarters when my department was closed and I was terminated before I could retire? Only two friends on the faculty, plus my Bishop, and my Stake President cared a whit.
        We had some wonderful missionary experiences with the film John Baker's last race. Members were each given a Reader's Digest reprint with the assignment to share it with a non-member. It was the easiest sell in the world: They members would say, giving them the reprint, "Would you like to read the most popular story ever printed in the Reader's Digest?" After they had a chance to read the story, the member would ask the non-member, "Would you like to meet John's mother and see an award winning film about John Baker?"  About 20 times we filled chapels to overflowing often with every seat taken, not only in the chapel, but in the recreation hall and even on the stage.
      One of the programs we gave was to an overflow audience at the Baptist Sunday School Board (World Head-quarters for the Southern Baptist Church) in Nashville TN. There was a poll taken wherein John Baker’s Last Race was declared the favorite film in their film library. 
     Did this information interest the Church Missionary Committee at the time I was being terminated? They didn't seem to care.
    Another film called "The Bridge" that was made by BYU students won the highest award in it's category in the Chicago International Film Festival. That film has already changed the history of the world (which is a story too long to tell here). I believe in the eternal scheme of things, The Bridge will have a greater influence on history of the world than the story of Abraham offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Another film, "Greater Love" made by the same producer "TC" Christensen, won the Cine Golden Eagle Award in Washington D.C. These are films chosen to officially represent the United States in "International Motion Picture Events." Other BYU films won the same award. So much for my motion picture experience at BYU.
     Being terminated was the most traumatic experience of my life. Compared to that, death would have been sweet. That happened 26 years ago. Now I know it was meant to be and I'm thankful for it all. An important chapter in my life closed. With the advent of videocassettes and DVD's it would have happened anyway.
       11-15-12 Last Friday I attended the motion picture premiere of a film entitled A Real Legacy: The History of Judge Whitaker and the LDS Motion Picture Studio produced by Thomas E Laughlin. A panel of the following BYU film history Elites (Former Disney Producer Peter Johnson, “Pirates of the Caribbean” lead makeup artist Carl Wesson, Editor of classic films such as “The Mailbox – Peter Czerny, 1960’s ”First Vision” film Director David Jacobs, “The Great Dinosaur Discovery” film director John Linton, and Award Winning Score Producer Dennis Lisonbee) told of their experiences after the film was shown. It brought back so many wonderful memories. At the end of the program photos were taken of the panel and the asked for me to get in the photo with then. I got in the end of the line for the photo but they all insisted I get right in the middle. I felt this was one of the best compliments I have ever received, I was impressed to write the following the next couple of days:
What is not known, but should be known, about Brigham Young University Motion Pictures
    Between 1970 and 1984 more than 5 million dollars worth of 16mm films (20,000+) were sold out side of the LDS Church.                                                                                                     
    The best selling film Cipher in the Snow with more than 6,000 copies sold was undoubtedly the most successful short film ever made. It was seen by and changed the life of virtually every teacher (public, parochial, and private) in the United States. The films Cipher in the Snow, and John Bakers Last Race (with Johnny Lingo close behind) were bought by every school district and seen by most of the students in the United States.
    BYU films were bought in the hundreds (totaling thousands) by every major denomination in the United States at their world headquarters – the Southern Baptists and the Methodists in Nashville TN., The American Baptists in Valley Forge PA., The 7th Day Adventists in Washington DC., the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in St Louis MO., the American Lutheran Church in Minneapolis MN., the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington DC., the Air Force Chief of Chaplains Board at Maxwell Air Force Base in Birmingham AL., the Army Chief of Chaplains Board in NY., and the Navy Chief of Chaplains Board in Norfolk VA., and last of all a Jewish Film Library in New York that served 11 National Jewish organizations. I think we reached out to other churches through motion pictures like nothing else the Church has ever done.
     Two of BYU’s most popular films (especially with other churches) were The Bridge, a ten minute film made by TC Christensen when he was a student, and Greater Love a 12 minute film by TC made soon after he graduated. The Bridge is the story of a father who operates a railroad bridge. When his little boy comes out on the tracks, the father must make a decision of whether to save his son or save the people on the train. A Presbyterian minister who wrote film reviews for the Magazine Today’s Catholic Teacher said it was the most powerful ten minutes ever put on film. The Bridge won the highest award in the short film category at the Chicago International Film Festival. A Jewish Rabbi saw the film at the festival and had it purchased by a Jewish film library in New York. The library kept buying more and more copies of The Bridge and then wrote to us asking if we had any other motion pictures that were appropriate for Jewish audiences. I could not understand this because all Christians immediately relate the film to John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I went to New York to learn why the film was so popular with Jewish audiences and learned that Jewish people relate the story to Abraham offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Later I found that Muslims are also deeply touched by the film. The Muslims relate the film to Abraham offering his son Ishmael (as they believe) for a sacrifice instead of Isaac. In either case the story (according to the B. of M.) is a school master to lead people to Christ; and I add: The Bridge may be an even better analogy than the Abraham and Isaac story because no ones life was being saved by Abraham offering his son as a sacrifice. Because The Bridge is about the foundational event of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and because it can bring those three great religions together, I believe it may be the most important film ever made. I can say this after showing the film to thousands of Non-Mormon Christians, thousands of Jews, and many Muslims.
    BYU motion pictures were successful with other churches because they are modern parables that became schoolmasters to lead people to Christ. For example: Without realizing it, people love John Baker’s Last Race because it is the story of a great teacher who figuratively gives his life for his children (students). Cipher is Snow, and Lilies Grow Wild are stories about how we should look for His lost sheep. The Mailbox is about “religion pure and undefiled to remember the fatherless and the widow.” Greater love is about the greatest love that mortals can have - to give ones life for another. And The Bridge is an unmistakable analogy of the Atonement and about an even higher kind of love – the love God has for us.
    In addition to all school districts, nearly all colleges and universities in the United States bought BYU films, in particular the motion pictures Run Dick Run Jane and John Bakers Last Race which I am confident were seen by almost every physical education professor and teacher in the country.
     Cipher in the Snow and The Bridge were chosen to officially represent the United States in International Film Festivals.
    Another BYU film The Mailbox won the highest award in it’s category in 6 National and International film Festivals.
     Every Public Library with a film collection bought BYU Films.
     Search for Truth (still relevant today) and The Great Dinosaur Discovery are two of the most compelling Science films ever made. TGDD was (and probably still is) shown to everyone who visits the famous LaBrea Tar Pits at Hancock Park in LosAngeles.   
     In those years before multimillion dollar television contracts, the income from BYU films (sold outside of the Church) was more than the total income from the BYU football team.
    It all ended in 1984 when BYU gave the marketing rights of its educational films to Encyclopedia Britannica. The films were then listed along with thousands of motion pictures in Britannica’s film catalog that was about as thick as the Chicago phone book. Recently (within a year or two), a school superintendent who wanted to produce a more up to date motion picture of the Cipher in the Snow story (because his students laughed at the hair styles and dress in the film) contacted Britannica to inquire about the rights to the story. They reported that they didn’t know who held the rights but that Britannica had royalties from the sale of the film and they didn’t know who to send them to. (BYU acquired those rights from Jean Mizer [now dead] who lived in Haley Idaho where the story took place.) It seems Britannica, forgot where they got the rights to market Cipher in the Snow and never bothered to look at the titles. This marked the end of communicating with other churches because Britannica’s whole film operation was directed toward schools, not churches. It also marked the end of any income to BYU or the Church from the sale of such motion pictures. Although Britannica continued marketing to schools, I don’t think (for the above reasons) that BYU ever received any royalties.
     BYU had a collection of hundreds if not thousands of 16mm films (including all the films produced by BYU) housed in the old Harold R, Clark Building. With the introduction of VCR videotapes, someone decided, “These 16 mm films are not being used anymore so we will throw them away.” I believe all of the films including many priceless irreplaceable 16mm treasures went to the dumps. (It was the equivalent of going into the special collections section of the Harold B. Library and deciding that all of those old books should go to the garbage. Why would anyone ever want those old books or in this case all those old films?)  Other film libraries also sent their 16mm films to the land fills and the institutions and companies producing such films went out of business. An era ended and priceless treasures were lost forever.
     Now just a few thoughts for those who are now producing films for the Church who don’t seem to know anything about the history of the Motion Picture Studio. To them I must say the following: “I know it is your mandate to give the motion pictures you produce away, but if what you produce is good enough, people will buy your motion pictures and when they are purchased, more people will see them than if they are given away.” Next, we sadly learned a long time ago, that it is a big, big mistake to hire non-Mormon actors.

Wetzel O. Whitaker Letter for Darrell Stoddard

September 8, 1984

Dear Elder Pinnock:

In my early experience as head of the Motion Picture Department of Brigham Young University we conceived the idea of making in addition to the Church sponsored films—another series which could not only be used by the Church but could be sold to the educational and non-LDS church markets as well. From this series we made such award-winning films as Johnny Lingo, Cipher in the Snow, John Baker’s Last Race, etc.

We soon learned that we would need a man on our staff full-time to promote and sell our films. As if in answer to our prayers, I met such a man by the name of Darrell Stoddard who proved to be a boon to us. In the years prior to my retirement, Darrell sold several million dollars worth of films to schools, colleges, and major church denominations other than LDS. As our Church made fewer and fewer films I’m sure the sale of these films to outside groups helped to keep our department in the black financially.

Darrell was not only a fine salesman but he was also a great missionary—from North to South and from coast to coast. As he sold films he would sell the Gospel as well. It would be hard to measure the public relations benefits to the Church and University from this man’s efforts.

I was shocked the other day to learn of Darrell’s dismissal in view of the fact that he has made such a great contribution to the University and Church. I am sure there is not a full understanding of his work because those who knew of his work have since retired. Through distributing films outside the Church, untold thousands have been influenced toward a more positive opinion of BYU and the Church.

Darrell could get other sales jobs with other organizations but his great desire is to continue to preach the Gospel. He feels he could best do this by continuing to distribute and sell the films for which there is still a considerable market. Since Brigham Young University is no longer going to do it perhaps there is a way for it to continue under Church auspices. With the Church’s blessings I hope that you will some how find means to continue his work with non-Mormon groups.

If you could find time within your busy schedule to interview Brother Stoddard I believe he could give you some very interesting and valuable information about serving those not of our faith. Few people have the ability to establish such fine rapport with people in every walk of life. Darrell truly shows a genuine interest and love for those he serves.

Kindest person regards,
Wetzel O. Whitaker



My Review  of the Motion Picture 17 Miracles My motion picture experience did not end when I was terminated from BYU. Saturday Nov. 27, 2010 my daughter Laura and I took part in the filming of this Mormon Hand Cart story. We played the part of a father and daughter that had to bury a dead baby in a shallow grave in the snow. It was not just acting. It was an out of body, beyond the veil experience where we literally became the handcart father and the daughter. Only one other time in my life have I experienced anything so "real."
    Most of our life, in fact all of our life, we see through a glass darkly, if we see at all. (Brigham Young once said that his greatest wish for the Saints was that they would be able to see things as they really are.) The veil was parted for Laura and me for a short period of time while we were filming and we saw things as they really are. It seemed that we could see, experience, and live in, past present and future all at the same time. 
       When I placed the baby in the grave and cried out to God, words came out of me that I had never heard before, never even thought of before because I was another man in another age. It was so hard to leave our dead baby in a shallow grave in the snow. Neither of us has ever cried like that, even over the death of a loved one in this life. I hope the experience will communicate on film and will be "real" for those who see it. (Most of the scene was cut, but Laura and I still had that transcendent through the veil experience.)


My Amazon.com review of Ephraim’s Rescue
Emotionally Gripping, True Motion Picture about Miracles, Survival, and Love, September 9, 2013

NOTE: This is my review of three life and history changing motion pictures By TC Christensen - "Ephraim's Rescue," "Greater Love," and "The Bridge." By Darrell Stoddard,
    Ephraim's Rescue is one of the most emotionally gripping motion pictures ever made - A Heart Rending, True, film about Miracles, Survival, and Love experienced in one of the epic migrations of mankind.
     The healing miracles performed by Ephraim Hanks were equal to the miracles recorded in the scriptures. He fulfilled his gift of healing to save handcart pioneers as they experienced terrible suffering and death when they were caught in an early snowstorm.
      I write this review as an observer even though I played a part in Ephraim's Rescue and with my daughter had a small part in the motion picture 17 Miracles. It was a transcendent experience just to be in the film, and it was so "real" that I nearly froze to death. If you liked the film 17 Miracles, You will love Ephraim's Rescue.
      In the best motion pictures, the actors do not act but become the persons they portray. Great actors such as Jimmie Stewart (It's a Wonderful Life), Lethe Tatge (The Maibox), and Francis Urry (Windows of Heaven) were able to do this; actually becoming someone on the screen that they were portraying. Francis Urry did not just play the part of Lorenzo Snow, he became Lorenzo Snow.
    Jackie Gleason did this in the motion picture Gigot (which was the performance of his lifetime). Gleason did not just play the part of the man in the film but literally became a deaf mute in Paris. (See my reviews of the film on Amazon.com).
     I attended the Premier performance of Ephraim's Rescue in the Megaplex Theater in Centerville and the next night in the Varsity Theater at BYU where two of the performers answered questions after the film. It was after seeing the film twice and hearing the actors in person that I was struck by the fact that the actors were totally different people than who they became in the film.
     There were no veteran seasoned actors in the film Ephraim's Rescue. About half of more than 160 extras were direct descendants of Ephraim Hanks himself. For reasons known fully only to God, the phenomenon of becoming another person seemed to occur with every performer in this film. Even amateurs actors became someone else in the film than the person they were.
     It was more than acting. For me, all of the actors became the real people. The only explanation I can give of why this happened is, "that the works of God might be manifest." The total influence this film will have on mankind is beyond our understanding.
     It seems incredulous, but I know that it is possible to become another person in another period of time (See my review of 17 Miracles on Amazon.com). This is why I say the film was inspired. It was more than a great production, more than great directing and more than great acting.
     The miraculous healings performed by Ephraim Hanks are a manifestation of the scripture: Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of the faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up...James 5:14-15.
     The rescue by Ephraim Hanks is also great fishing and hunting story. The day before Hanks received the visitation (vision) in the middle of the night to go and save the handcart pioneers, he spent the day fishing on Utah Lake. Then on the way to rescue the handcart people, he shot a buffalo that miraculously appeared before him after he prayed.
    After taking the meat from that animal to the handcart people, Ephraim reported killing more buffalo to feed the starving handcart people who were not hunters but immigrants from England and Scandinavia. This makes Ephraim's Rescue the greatest fishing and hunting story ever told. You can tell this to your fishing and hunting friends to get them to see the film. Because it is such a great rescue story about a true mountain man, I don't think they will be disappointed.
     Readers who want to see a marvelous painting of Ephraim Hanks entitled "Obeying the Spirit" by Clark Kelley Price and read a short account of the rescue by Ephraim himself can do so by going on Google to: "Handcart Companies of 1856 - Hanksplace" The painting tells the story of Ephraim's rescue better than words can tell.
    Ephraim's Rescue is a gripping, unforgettable, true story. You will most certainly cry, but you will also laugh at many of the humorous incidents amidst the suffering. You will be inspired by the healing miracles and uplifted by the struggles to survive. Through the re-creation of this epic migration and the life of a man who saved so many, your soul, spirit, and faith will be renewed (and perhaps even rescued).
Footnote:
I heard TC. the producer Ephraim's Rescue, in a fireside tell why he thought God allowed the handcart pioneers to suffer so much. Whenever the film is shown, anywhere in the world, TC asks the audience for those to stand who are direct descendants of the Willie or Martin handcart companies or direct descendents of the rescuers. A large number always stands. It seems the stalwarts in the LDS Church worldwide are descendants of the handcart pioneers who suffered so much.
     Suffering of the handcart pioneers created a righteous posterity many generations removed. If you the reader have experienced adversity, pain, and the refiners fire in your life, there may be a reason that extends beyond yourself, your children, and your grand children.
      "TC" Christensen, writer, cinematographer, producer, and director of Ephraim's Rescue has produced or been involved in the production of more memorable, life and history changing motion pictures than we can list here. It may interest viewers to know that the most far reaching and important of all his films may be a motion picture he produced while still a student and another film he produced soon after graduating from Brigham Young University.
      They are a ten minute film called "The Bridge" and a 12 minute film called "Greater Love". These two films sold in the hundreds, totaling thousands to every major denomination in the United States.
     "Greater Love" is a film about a young boy and his sister. The boy is injured in an automobile accident and needs an immediate blood transfusion to save his life. It turns out that his little sister is the only one readily available with the right type of blood. She volunteers to give her blood until more blood of the right type can be obtained. After the transfusion, she asks the question, "When am I going to die?" believing that giving her blood would cause her death. Greater love hath no one than this, to give his/her life for another.
      The Bridge is the story of a father who operates a railroad bridge. When his little boy comes out on the tracks, the father must make a decision of whether to save his son or save the people on the train. The father saves the people on the train (that includes you and me and everyone that has ever lived).
     Christians immediately relate the film to John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." A Presbyterian minister who wrote film reviews for the Magazine Today's Catholic Teacher said, "After you see this film you will never again be matter of fact about the costliness of Jesus dying for us." adding that, "The Bridge is the most powerful ten minutes ever put on film" (and it is!).
     "The Bridge" won the highest award in the short film category at the Chicago International Film Festival. A Jewish Rabbi saw the film at the festival and had it purchased by a Jewish film library in New York. The library kept buying more and more copies of The Bridge and then wrote to us asking if we had any other motion pictures that were appropriate for Jewish audiences.
     I went to New York to learn why the film was so popular with Jewish audiences and learned that Jewish people relate the story to Abraham offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Later I found that Muslims are also deeply touched by the film. Muslims relate the film to Abraham offering his son Ishmael (as they believe) for a sacrifice instead of Isaac. In either case, the story is a "school master" to prepare people for the atonement. It may be an even better analogy than the Abraham and Isaac story because no ones life was being saved by Abraham offering his son as a sacrifice.
     In a university night school class of older Jewish women that I taught at Mt. Clair State College in New Jersey, I began by asking the question, "What is the greatest love that we can have as human beings?" After discussing this they greed that the greatest love we could have would be to give our life to save the life of another. I then said, "This is what the first film I am going to show you is about." I then showed the motion picture "Greater Love."
    After showing the film "Greater love", I then said, "There is in the universe an even higher kind of love. The next film I am going to show you represents the love that God has for us." I then showed them the film "The Bridge." At the end of the class, several women came up to me. One of them said, "Mister you had a halo around your head while you were speaking." Other women added, "Yes, you just glowed." It was not me but the message of the films that made them feel that way.
     Because "The Bridge" is a metaphor for the atonement and also a metaphor for the foundational event of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, I believe The Bridge may be the most important motion picture ever made. I can say this after showing the film to thousands of Non-Mormon Christians, thousands of Jews, and many Muslims.
    See all of my Reviews. I write only about books, events, or motion pictures of enduring significance that have changed the course of history or unforgettable books or motion pictures that will totally change peoples lives.
Lame Walk and Blind See
      The last 26 years of my live has been making the “lame walk and the blind see.” I believe it happened because I have loved section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants ever since I was a boy. Because of that, I was led to China where I received “great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures.” See my website www.healpain (articles in the first column) to see how I have made the lame walk. See the following to see how I have made the blind see:
Macular Degeneration Treatment
      "Macular degeneration is an eye disease affecting the central vision. It is the leading cause of blindness and the most common eye disease for those aged 55 and older, affecting more than 10 million Americans - more people than cataracts and glaucoma combined." – American Macular Degeneration Foundation.
Most Ophthalmologists believe macular degeneration is a steadily deteriorating, irreversible condition for which there is no known cure. The only hope Ophthalmologists in the U.S. offer is to delay the disease process. Any claims of curing or reversing macular degeneration are almost unknown and definitely outside mainstream medical eye care.
    A few maverick Ophthalmologists (I believe no more than a dozen) are performing an expensive, involved, lengthy procedure with electrical micro stimulation around the edges of the eye socket. With a series of such treatments (costing more than $2500) they claim to reverse vision loss, or improve the vision of some patients.
   In contrast to mainstream medical beliefs and the above treatment for macular degeneration, I submit the following letter about a very simple, inexpensive acupuncture treat-ment from China that I learned 25 years ago, but haven't used until recently because of false information I was given by a trusted Ophthalmologist.
Letter from a patient, regarding Dry Macular Degeneration
To whom it may concern:
     I used to have very good eyes and was very involved with a lot of hobbies such as doll making, painting, sewing, etc. Gradually my eyesight began to fail me. When I could see nothing but hazy fog, I went to Salt Lake City to an eye clinic. They told me I had dry macular degen-eration and that it was not treatable. This really frightened me. As I progressively got worse I couldn't sew to do my hobbies anymore. That makes the days really long when you are used to being so busy. I am 86 years old. I Love to fill my time working on projects and in the yard. The thing that made it the worst, though, was that I could no longer see my little great grand children's faces or the flowers or the trees. I was praying daily that I would still be able to tell daylight from dark because the fog was getting thicker and darker and a lot worse. When I would go for a ride I couldn't even tell when we turned onto my street or see my house. When you just feel your way around it is very discouraging and frightening. My back was hurting, and a friend told me about Darrell Stoddard, and how he could take pain away in just one visit. So, my daughter took me and sure enough, I left pain free. I made the comment to him about how good it felt. Then I said, "Now if you could just help me see again." I hadn't intended to say that, but I was just feeling relieved about my back pain gone and feeling extremely desperate to be able to see again. He asked me what was wrong with my eyes. I explained the problem, and that I had been declared legally blind. You can't imagine my joy when he said, "Oh, I think I can help you." I began making visits to him about 2-3 times a week. I noticed improvement in just a few weeks. I noticed after about a month that I could see objects and the fog had cleared considerably. I could have probably stopped going at that point but I was so excited about my progress that I decided that as long as I could see improvement I would keep going. It was so fun to ride down the street and say, "I can see the Y on the mountain." Or "I can tell those are trees and they have trunks and branches and leaves." I could notice flowers again and I could see colors again. I could even tell the brick fences from the picket fences. This Christmas I was able to make 20 children's quilts for my great-grandchildren and grand-children, and ceramic horses for my grandsons and grandsons in laws. I can see the print in my curtains and the pattern in the carpet and even the lines in the tile. I can see things like my ring and ear rings. This is such a blessing. You really realize it much more after not being able to see anything. I can even see now when Darrell, his wife, and their daughter-in-law Patty, smile at me. (they do the treatments.) We just drive up in front of his house and they come right out to the car to do the treatments. I don't even have to get out of the car. They place a small needle in my pointer fingers on the side of the half moon on my fingernail. Then I go home and about 1 1/2 hours later I remove the needles and drink a lot of water. You're done for the day. With my back not hurting and my eyesight returned to me you can just imagine how my quality of life has changed. I just love life and am so grateful. I just can't say thank you enough.
Love,  Alta
      Note: The above treatment is based on the following research that I read in an acupuncture journal 25 years ago. I was so impressed by the 97.66% cure or improved rate that I went to a trusted ophthalmologist to ask him about "Exudative Central Chorioretinopathy." He said, "We never see that in the United States, almost never." He then quickly added , "If there was anything to it, it would be in the medical journals!" I wondered in my mind how they could get 600 patients with the disease in China if the disease is so rare? I thought it must be because they have a billion people. This ended my search. What a tragedy that the answer I received was so dishonest and false!
     Years later I learned about wet and dry macular degeneration and how both types caused the loss of central vision. It occurred to me that Exudative Central Chorioretinopathy was precisely wet type macular degeneration, the most common eye disease known. I tried the treatment on just a few patients for both wet and dry macular degeneration and saw near miraculous results. One man couldn't see my house when we started and after just five treatments he could see the numbers on my house (could not read them but he could see them). After nine treatments he could see a bug crawling across the floor clear across his living room. For all I know this may be just the placebo effect. If placebos will restore eyesight, then we need a lot more placebos. I have more to learn. My success rate is not as good as the 97.66% cited in the study below. The results for two of the first patients, however, were so promising that I'm posting the letter and study here for those who would like to do more about this life altering eye disease.
Acupuncture Treatment of Exudative Central Chorioretinopathy A Preliminary Report of 600 Cases, Department of Ophthalmology, The First Hospital, Zhejiang Medical College, Compiled by Ye Linmei
     Exudative central chorioretinopathy is one of the common ocular diseases. The early impairment of the central vision and protracted clinical course may seriously interfere with the life of those suffered. Various remedies have been advocated by authors of different countries with certain beneficial results, though far from being satisfactory. On account of the lengthy therapeutic course and great expense needed, their practical use has not met with general approval.
     Since the mid 1970 we began to treat this disease with acupuncture of "Xiangyang" point and the clinical results attained were encouraging with an overall cure or improved rate up to 97.66%. From the accumulated clinical experiences for more than 7 years, it has shown that acupuncture of "Xiangyang" point in the treatment of exudative central chorioretinopathy is the method of choice. It is efficacious, with shorter therapeutic course, simple, safe and almost painless with a low cost and less equipment needed.
     Analysis of 600 cases with exudative central chorioretinopathy undergoing acupuncture therapy showed an overall results of cured or improved in 586 cases (97.66%) and unsatisfactory in 14 cases (2.34%).
    The role of acupuncture might be postulated as that the favorable effects of needling "Xiangyang" point perhaps transverse through the distribution of cervical plexus and sympathetic chains. More recently the fluorescing angiography of the fundus has demonstrated definite changes in the permeability of chorio-capillaries. One would anticipate that the mild stimulation by needling may regulate the mal-functioned cervical sympathetic plexus, reduce the permeability of choriocapilaries and promote the resolution of edema and exudation.
    As regards the nature of channel, whether it does designate nervous system still remains unsolved. For the time being we would assume that channel may intimately correlate with nervous system.
October 2010 Update My wife's hair dresser has macular degeneration. With each of three treatments her vision cleared almost immediately.
     I (Darrell Stoddard) had cataract surgery about a year ago and was left with a scratchy eye. With one treatment my eye is not scratchy at all. The effect has continued for more than a month after only one treatment.
     Another patient has received one or two treatments a week for more than a year. His vision is far from being completely better, but he has retained his vision and experienced noticeable improvement. He states emphatically, "I KNOW THAT I WOULD BE COMPLETELY BLIND WITH-OUT THIS!"
    Looking back, my thoughts about the Ophthalmologist who gave such misleading and false information are that, His mind was totally closed and either he was ignorant and uninformed about a subject he should have known the most about, or to protect his ego, his reputation, and his profession, he told an outright lie. (To understand why men do this, see quote from the Doctrine and Covenants: "We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men...")
     On 10-20-10 we began a new application of the above research from China and the results are so promising that I believe we will be able to achieve the 97.66% cure or improved rate cited in the above study, and do it with just one or two treatments. To be able to "cure or improve" the most common eye disease known; a condition considered incurable that leads to blindness, is beyond belief. Now all we need are more patients.
     If this sounds too good to be true - We do not charge for macular degeneration treatments (freely I have received, freely give). The materials needed to do the treatments cost only pennies, and anyone can do them.
      I firmly believe the treatment works and that it may help other vision problems or deficiencies as well, by increasing the "life force" (or energy the Chinese call "Chi") to the eye. Chi is not a mystery. Chi is the endogenous electrical signals that connect all of the cells in the body; signals that can be measured and quantified. I have measured the Chi in more than 18,000 (documented) patients. When the Chi is "broken" or suppressed, there is degeneration of cells or bad health, often manifest as pain, but it causes every other disease as well.
    Because I was blessed to learn in China this "hidden treasure of knowledge" - promise made in a code of health known as The Word of Wisdom (section 89 of the Doctrine and Covenants), "The lame walk and the blind see."
    I have been called a quack (which I most certainly am) but the ophthalmologist in China that did the above research was not a quack. I am only a messenger (sent to open the eyes of the blind).
     If you believe this is true, and forward to the people on your mailing list, it could save the vision of thousands of people.
12-9-2010 This morning when I was out on my walk/run with our dog Sampson, a lady in a brand new Audi saw me looking for coins in the newspaper racks. She pulled up, opened her window and called to me, saying, “Excuse me sir, Do you need some money?” It caught me off guard and I was so embarrassed that I said, “NO, NO, it's just my hobby. I've found more than $1,400 dollars doing this.” Then she went on her way. (There is charity in the world and so many good people!) What I should have said was, “Oh YES! I need all the money I can get to feed my starving grand children,” and then added, that's really not true, but it does remind us that “We are all beggars before God, indebted to him for the very air we breath.”
7-30-14 Update: I must be a pathetic looking sight with my beard and gangly Icabod Crane body. This morning when walking Sampson a lady gave me a $5.00 bill saying “For your dog or something.” She then hurried away. or I might have said, ”Lady, In reality, I’m one of the richest men on earth because of my noble sons and my sanctified  wife and daughters.  . .
Missionary Training Center Experience – Brian Telford
       I was in a branch presidency at the MTC for 3+ years. I estimate there were about 1,400 missionaries come through the branch that I served in. One night I received a call that one of the missionaries from our branch was going to leave the MTC and go home. They asked if I would come up and talk to him (in the absence of the branch president).                                                      
     I sat down with the missionary whose mind was made up to “bag his mission.” I listened to him and all of the reasons why he wanted to end his mission and go home. I told him that I knew he was a good member of the church (or he wouldn't be there) and said that I was certain he would remain a good member even if he did go home. “Some day soon,” I said, “you will get married, no doubt in the temple, and have a family of your own. You will likely have sons of your own and I'm certain that you will someday want your sons to serve missions. This is sure to happen and that time will be here so soon you won't believe it. I will support you in your decision to go home now if you will first do the following:” I then gave him some stationary and a pen and clipboard and told him to write a letter to his unborn son (who he will someday want to serve a mission). “In the letter I want you to tell your son (to be) why you did not serve your mission. We will put your letter in this envelope and I will save it for you. I will keep track of you and when the day comes that you have that son who you will want to serve a mission, I will give it to him or see that he gets it (when he reaches missionary age). Now go ahead and write the letter. Then I will give you my blessing to go home.”
      The elder was determined so he started to write. After several minutes of writing he stopped and started to cry. I wept with him because we were both feeling the same thing. “You don't really want to go home now do you?” I said.  Between the tears, the elder responded: “No, I really don't. I'll stay and go on my mission.” We embraced and wept more together. Four months later I received the following letter:
June 29,1991
Dear Brother Stoddard,
    I've been meaning to write to you for sometime now. I couldn't go on without sending you a letter to tell you how I am and to thank you for what you did for me. You really helped me and I would feel terrible without letting you know. My name is Brian L. Telford. I was in the MTC during the first half of March of this year (about 4 months ago). I was in the Providence District and I believe you were the First Councilor in the Branch. I was on my third night in the M.T.C. When I went through some real emotional and spiritual trials, If you will recall, I had to call you over from your home. You spent several hours with me, helping me deal with what I was going through. I, at that time was not sure I was ready to be where I was. I had to deal with some real emotional problems and clear up some past problems.
     I want you to know how much it meant to me that you took the time to come to my aid. You helped me gain the faith that I needed to be where I am today. No one has ever done such a selfless and loving thing for me and for that I am eternally thankful. I am happy to tell you I am currently serving in Monroe, Michigan Detroit Michigan Mission. I have never been as happy or as close to the Lord as I am now. And I owe a great deal of this to you. Without your kindness and love I might have turned back, never to begin again.
     My testimony has grown incredibly. There is no doubt in my mind as to the truthfulness of this gospel. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord for these two short years. I am terrified to think what might have happened had I turned my back on this wonderful experience. Thank you once again for just being there when I needed a helping hand. Yours Truly, Elder Brian Telford                             ********
     I thought of the following poem revised by me to go with the Brian Telford story:
Across the fields of tomorrow
He will sometime come to you
A little lad just back from play
Your son who is yet to be
And oh, he will smile so wistfully
Once he has crept within
I wonder if He’ll ever see
The man you might have been
             Then
God pity them both
And Pity us all
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall
For of all sad words of tongue or pen
The saddest are these:
It might have been

Final Consecration of the Nauvoo Temple
       Because of my Father's interest in history and religion, someone gave my father, at the fire station, a very large old book of 1024 pages entitled, Religious Denominations compiled by Joseph Belcher, D.D. And “entered according to the Act of Congress in the year 1854” In the book on page 850-1 is given a description of the final consecration of the Nauvoo Temple. It embodies such eloquent writing and is of such historical significance that I include it here in “My Favorite Things”:
     “But prior to finally abandoning Nauvoo, a scene had occurred, the recollection of which still kindles the cheek of the Mormon with enthusiasm, and which a stranger even cannot hear recounted without gleams of sympathetic emotion. In spite of impending exile, the work on the great temple had never ceased. When at last, the edifice was completed, the elders resolved to consecrate it, although emigration had already begun, and many principal persons had to be summoned from the prairies. A day was fixed for the august ceremony, and secretly announced to the believers. At the appointed time crowds flocked to Nauvoo. At high noon the consecrating mysteries commenced. Elders, priests and bishops shone in all the imposing pomp of hieratic robes. The great altar as festooned with flowers and hung with wreaths. The walls blazed with lights. The baptistic laver, resting on its twelve gigantic oxen, was decorated all over with mystic symbols. The chant rose majestically through the court, the prayer ascended, the dedication was completed. Then, in silence, but not, it is said, without tears, the ornaments were removed and the great temple dismantled. When the sun rose, on the morrow, scarcely a sign of the late event remained. The gorgeous pageant had come and gone like a dream. The priestly crowd had vanished; the chant was heard no longer in the sanctuary, the great laver stood empty, the festive flowers and festoons had departed forever.
     Years have passed since that day, and another sacred edifice has risen in the wilds of Utah, but the great temple at Nauvoo has never again echoed to the tread of worshipers, never again witnessed the solemn ceremonies of its faith.”
Note: The article mentions “walls that blazed with light.” Edison did not discover the electric light bulb until 1879, 25 years after this was written; so it must have been oil lamps that lighted the temple that night. The article mentions “another sacred edifice risen in the wilds of Utah” It is unclear what edifice this might be. Perhaps it meant an anticipated temple or the Assembly Hall or a temple under construction. The tabernacle was not completed until 1875 and the first temple (St. George) was not dedicated until 1877, many years after the article was written. The Salt Lake Temple was not finished until 1893.

“Welcome to Holland”
by Emily Perl Kingsley about children with disabilities (Adapted by Darrell Stoddard)
      I am often asked to describe the experience of having and raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…
     When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous
vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. Michelangelo's David and the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Davinci's Last Supper, The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
     After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome To Holland.” “Holland?!?” you say, “What do you mean “Holland”??? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy”
     But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed you in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
      So you must go and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of friendly people you would have never met.
     It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…and you begin to notice that Holland has wind-mills, Holland has Van Gogh’s, and Rembrandts....and Holland has tulips. Oh, such Tulips!
       But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy…and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned”.
    And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away…because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.
     But…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland!

Letter from Amy to Lisa when Abigail was in Primary Children's Hospital
Lisa,
      I just got back from the temple, I put Abby's name on the prayer roll. We are really praying for a fast and full recovery for her. As I was sitting waiting to go through the veil I thought about Abby and then I had a very strong impression that Mark has been there with her. The thought came that he was there with her through her surgery and during the night when you go home to sleep. I had a really hard time holding it together to get through the veil and once I got through I broke into tears. I have felt bad that I haven't been able to be there to be with you, I feel better now knowing that Mark can be there with her.I love you, and I look forward to the updates on Abby.
Amy
Lisa's Response:
   Amy, It is interesting that you said that. One of my regrets is that Mark was not in room when Emma was born. I didn't make it clear that I wanted him to be there if he felt comfortable with it. Out of respect for my privacy he went out of the room when I was checked and I didn't realize that he didn't come back in. Before he passed away I whispered in his ear that I wanted him to be there the next time. However, after awhile it looked like there would not be a next time that is until our little "surprise." I began to wonder if he would actually be able to be there or if it was just my human side hoping. I have thought about it a lot and I have prayed each day that Abigail would be blessed with attending angels-- especially during surgery, the first night when she was at Primary Children's without us and we wondered if we would receive a call saying she didn't make it and at night when we cannot be with her. I have of course hoped that if she indeed was blessed with attending angels that Mark might be one of them.
      There are a couple other reasons that "angels" have often occupied my thoughts. After arriving here, they made Abigail a little sign to hang over her bed with her name. When they brought it to me I started crying because it had an angel on it - a little tender mercy.
Amy, I love you so much! Thanks for all your support.
Love, Lisa

If God Had an Answering Service: We have all learned to live with "voice mail" as a necessary part of modern life. But have you wondered what would happen if God decided to install voice mail? Imagine praying and hearing this:
Thank you for calling My Father's House. Please select one of the following options:
Press 1 for Requests
Press 2 for Thanksgiving
Press 3 for Complaints
Press 4 for All Other Inquiries.

I'm sorry, all of our angels are busy helping other sinners right now. However, your prayer is important to us and will be answered in the order it was received, so please stay on the line.
If you would like to speak to:
God, Press 1, Jesus, Press 2,
The Holy Spirit, Press 3.
If you would like to hear King David sing a psalm while you are holding, please press 4.
To find out if a loved one has been assigned to Heaven,
Press 5, enter his or her social security number, and then
press the pound key. (If you get a negative response, try
area code 666.)
For reservations at "My Father's House," please enter J-O-H-N followed by 3:1-6. For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, where Noah's ark is, and humanoids before Adam, please wait until you arrive here.
   Our computers show that you have already prayed once today. Please hang up and try again tomorrow. This office is closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday. Please pray again Monday after 9:30 AM. If you need emergency assistance when this office is closed, contact your home teachers or your Bishop. Thank God He doesn't have voice mail and that He listens when we pray!

4-14-11 Book of Remembrance
    Last Sunday LaRae and I finished a family history course in Sunday School. In the class, I learned that an “Acceptable Book of Remembrance” should include not just genealogy but a personal history such as “Heritage Endowed” by Aunt Lillian (what a priceless treasure). With that in mind, I thought of things that I must put in writing or they will be lost forever.
     Recording the history of Walter B. Stoddard who was one of the most influential people in my life must be included in “My Favorite Things.” No one else could remember enough to do it and if I don't do it, no one will. Walt had as many personal tragedies in his life as anyone I have ever known but was still a very happy man. Whenever we said goodbye his last words were, always “Be good and you will be happy.”

Walter B. Stoddard's History          
By Darrell Stoddard (as I can best remember it).
    Uncle Walt was born in Hooper, Utah in 1885. It was my understanding that he and Uncle Charles were on missions when my father Earl Stoddard was born in 1901. This must not be correct because Uncle Walt would have only been 16 years old. Never-the-less he did go on a mission to Texas soon after my father was born. I did confirm that Uncle Charles was on a mission in Australia in 1901. They showed me a book when I was in Australia that had the names of missionaries that had come to Australia and for the year 1900, sure enough, there was the name Charles Stoddard.
   At one point in his life, Walt served an apprenticeship to be a blacksmith. Working in that trade, he was blinded in one eye by a piece of hot iron that flew into his eye.
   When Uncle Walt was a young man he fell in love with a girl named Nell (?) and they both had agreed to someday wed. One summer when Walter was away working, the girl went swimming with some other girls and drowned.
    Later he served a mission in Texas and told the story of how more cattle freeze to death in Texas than Montana. Why? Because Montana cattle are fed hay to get them through the winter but Texas cattle have to fend for themselves on the range. If they don't get enough to eat, they freeze to death.
    After returning home from his mission, Uncle Walt finally met, fell in love with, and married Stella Jorgenson. The Church sent them and Uncle Charles and his family to homestead Widtsoe, Utah. They stuck it out for ten years but because of the short growing season, he said “they were only able to raise two crops in ten years.” What he meant by this I am sure must have been “successful crops,” because they would have surely starved to death if they had raised nothing in the eight unsuccessful years. He said they survived by eating among other things sego lilies, and elderberries like the pioneers.
    What faith in the leaders of the Church it must have taken to stay that many years when so many of their crops were frozen. To this day in Widtsoe, I don't think there is any successful farming being done there other than ranching.
    In their child bearing years, Walt and Stella only had one little boy that lived. Mother told me they lost about six babies due to the RH factor (the same as Irvin and Sylva Hughes who were only able to have Lorraine, Lynn's wife). Today when couples have the RH factor they are able to change the babies blood soon after the babies birth and save them.
    From Widtsoe, Uncle Walt and Stella homesteaded (as he called it) a “rocky little piece of ground” on the Leota hill above the Green River beyond Duchesne, Utah. It was there that Stella died leaving Walt alone with their one little boy John.
    When John was about 9-11 years old he was going out on his “pony” to bring in the cows. The horse ran through a gulley throwing John off and in the fall he hit his head on a rock that injured his brain leaving half of his body paralyzed.
    Uncle Walt raised this little crippled boy until he was about 27 or 28 years old and then he died. Uncle Walt called the last night in the hospital with John “the saddest but sweetest moment of his life.” The night before John died, Uncle Walt spent all night in a chair next to John's bed. When John woke up, in the morning, he told his father that he had visitors during the night. Uncle Walt told John that he couldn't have had visitors because he had never left the side of his bed the entire night. John then told him, “Mother came to get me Daddy and there was another lady with her that I didn't know.” John then added, “I'm not afraid to die Daddy, but it is so very hard for me to leave you alone! I don't want to do that.”
    Uncle Walt then asked John to describe the other lady. What John didn't know, and something they had never told him, was that his mother had years earlier gone to the temple with his father and there acted as a proxy for Uncle Walt to be sealed to his sweetheart that had drowned before he married Stella. When Uncle Walt recounted the story of John's death, he added that there was absolutely no doubt in his mind who the other lady was.
   An important part of Uncle Walt's life was a poem Uncle Charles brought home from Australia. Uncle Walt had memorized it and I asked him to send it to me when I was on my mission. He took the time to write it out for me by hand which was an amazing thing for an old man to do. He had no typewriter and it was years before copy machines and word processors.
The Bushman's Tale
    The campfire was burning brightly as the glowing radiance shed, The crackling sparks flew upward to the darkness over head. Put on another log my boy a big one that is right, Make up a bully fire I fear we will have a frost tonight.
   The stockmen's evening meal was o'er the damper stored away. While to rest their wearied saddle limbs around the campfire they lay. Before you fill that cup of yours just look in my valise, You'll find a flask of good “Three Star” there's a nip apiece.
    Come Ned hand up your cup there's plenty here I see, No thank you boss I'd rather not, no brandy sir for me. How is it Ned you never drink although I've seen you tempted oft, and if you ever take a drop it always something soft.
I once was wild, the Bushman said as any man could be, And many a hard earned check knocked down, while on a drunken spree.         
     But things have changed. I look on drink with dread and fear, And if I were my story to relate it would mar you all to hear.
    To tell us something of his life we did on him prevail. We pushed in close around the fire to hear the Bushman's tale. The Stockman heaved a heavy sigh his face was pale and wan, He knocked the ashes from his pipe and thus his tale began.
    Six years ago or nearly so how fast the time rolls by. We were out upon the Westery slope my brother Ben and I. Of a herd of cattle we had charge with other stockmen three. And traveling around with plenty of grass what merry times had we.
    My brother Ben, it's of him that I'll speak the most, was as brave and manly a chap as the country around could boast. But of his many virtues he just one failing had, and that was drink, for I have seen, my brother raving mad. But of late years he had sober grown a sober chap was he, He'd earn a check and send it home not knock it down like me.
    One evening as the cattle camped, up on some rising ground. And we had settled for the night and built the campfires around. To have a merry time of it I for the grog did call, and soon I was myself the noisiest of them all. My brother to join us in the fun his merry songs did sing, till the silent gum trees around with echoing chorus did ring.
    He would not drink with us although we pressed him hard, and to all our entreaties he paid not the least regard. Come Ben, said I, don't be so mean as to stand the last man out, For I have seen you take your share when the liquor was about. Well Ned you know I've tasted none for three long years he said, for well you know how crazed I go when it gets into my head.
    Nonsense man the night is cold you need only take one glass, “Only one glass” the chorus rang and around the grog was passed. He yielded to that fatal hour and it gives me sad to think. There was none in this whole world but I, could make my brother drink. His appetite was soon aroused when draught after draught he drank, Till heavy with the night carouse in drunken sleep we sank
    How long I slept I cannot tell I waked, could sleep no more. The rolling thunder broke my rest. A storm was gathering o'er. I arose and stirred the dying fire and turned to rouse the men, And looking around with beating brow I missed my brother Ben.
    Just then the angry thunder rolled It seemed the earth to shake, The cattle running madly around in wild confusion did break. I snatched my stock whip from the ground my horse was standing near, And as I to the saddle sprang my heart was filled with fear. For on the rushing wind was born a wild unearthly, scream. Forever on and on it went with thunder claps between.
    Full well I knew it was by brother’s voice and to his aid did fly. And as we neared the open plain again I heard his cry. Fast on thru storm and howling wind thru darkness black and dread, I followed on with bounding stride my gallant stock horse sped.
    I called Him but, his mocking laugh was hoarse and hollow, “Ah! Ha!” He cried, “To hell I ride, come on you dare not follow.” And as we neared the timber land I called him but in vain. And spurring on my noble steed I tried to grasp his rein. But fruitless all my efforts were his horse swerved from the track, On on it plunged thru howling storm with a mad man on its back. Until terrified beyond control its head it tried to free, and rising up its rider dashed against a fallen tree. Dismounting quickly I was by his side and raised his dying head. And as I looked into his poor bruised face I could not think him dead. I held him thru that terrible night 'till storm had over past, And thru the dying swamp oaks peeped the cold grey dawn at last.
    Oh what a sight before me then the breaking light revealed. My brother's dark eyes forever closed, his lips with blood were sealed. The waving grass around that grew his blood had crimson dyed, as I knelt in bitter agony down by my brother's side. Who will break this terrible news to my poor aged mother, He is dead, the best loved youngest son, He is dead my only brother.
    It was I who raised that dormant fiend that within his bosom slept. It was I who made him break the vow; the pledge he would have kept. Am I then his murderer? Oh from the thoughts I shrink. Struck down bereft of intellect by that accursed drink.
    On yonder's dark and dreary slope 'neath that lofty old gum tree, O'er grown by moss and waving fern, a lonely grave you'll see. No marble cross or sculptured stone his resting place doth mark, But rudely carved his name deep deep into the growing bark.

Judging Another 
   “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” Romans 2:1
    When Uncle Walt was on his mission, he told of holding a street meeting wherein a protestant minister began to berate them for Mormonism and in particular for polygamy, saying that the missionaries were just there to capture girls for sinful and immoral purposes. In response to the charges, his companion quoted to the minister the above scripture (Romans 2:1). When he did this the minister stated to choke and uncle Walt said the choking appeared to be so serious that it seemed the minister might even die. Later a man who witnessed this told the missionaries that it was not a complete secret that the minister who had taunted them had a number of mistresses. The minister it seems was guilty of that which he condemned.
     It is human nature to do this. When the Jews returned to Jerusalem after World War 2, they committed a Holocaust upon the Palestinian people (although not on such a large scale but just the same as the Nazi Holocaust.) See the compelling book Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour. Outside of our Church, Chacour is the only one I know of that has an answer for the hatred and the killing in that part of the world.

8-7-12 Entry I sent the following Letter to the Daily Herald in the wake of the Aurora, Colorado mass killing. It was published 8-5-12:
Editor,
    It is not a mystery when people randomly start killing others. Ann Blake Tracy, author of the book, Prozac: Panacea or Pandora, and her colleagues have documented more than 1200 exaggerated acts of violence, murder, and suicide that were linked to SSRI anti depressant medications. See “Index to SSRI stories” on the internet!
    Depression is not a new phenomenon. My boyhood hero and two of his brothers quietly ended their life in middle age. The thing that is new and different (since 1956) is the random acts of killing and 1200 more such cases  as that which just occurred in the theater in Aurora, Colorado, or at Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, or Trolley Square.
     The income from SSRI drugs is 30 to 40 million a day! Although there are warnings that such drugs may lead to suicidal thoughts, there is no warning that the drugs may also be linked to senseless acts of murder and violence. Should the pharmaceutical companies not be held liable for the total omission of such a warning?
     Anti depressant drugs may prevent as many suicides as the numbers of people who are killed, but should we not at least understand why such random acts of murder occur? The mystery is why the news media does not even suspect that legal prescription drugs may be connected to such mass killing as we witnessed this last week.

8-7-12 Darrell Stoddard Employment Bio
•    Sold newspapers and Christmas cards.
•    Tied fishing flies professionally.
•    Sold shoes and worked in hardware store. 
•    Trained to be and was a machinist for Air Force.
•    Sold Plymouth, Simca, and Studebaker automobiles.
•    Trained to be a JC Penney manager.
•    Construction Operating Engineer for 10 years – Major construction jobs: Bargemate and Tugboat Operator - building Railroad fill across Great Salt Lake, Cableway Signalman and Crane Operator on Flaming Gorge Dam.
•    School Book Salesman for Educational Marketing and Research.
•    Media Marketing Director for Brigham Young University 13+ years. Sold motion pictures produced by BYU to institutions outside of the Church.
•    Sold transcutaneous electric nerve stimulators. Sold osteoanalyzers for measuring bone loss (osteoporosis) to doctors and hospitals. Imported and sold medical lasers to doctors and hospitals.
•    Integrative Medicine Pain Specialist (Freedom Center for Advanced Medicine) and Chinese Auricular Therapist - 24 years. Founder – Pain Research Institute (See www.healpain.net). Performed more than 18,000 documented treatments, primarily for pain but also for diseases such as headaches, fibromyalgia, shingles, macular degeneration, Meniere’s disease, depression, and hypertension. Author of book Pain Free for Life - 84,000 copies sold. Inventor and patent holder for Biotape to correct the underlying cause of pain instead of masking it. I am now retired but still see patients by appointment.
•    In Retirement, I am “anxiously engaged” in the following: Motion pictures that I appear in (See: Motion picture “17 Miracles” and Ephraim’s Rescue and my reviews on amazon.com),  Teaching people who they are and how to comprehend all things, Putting God back in America, Saving the Unborn, Saving the Constitution, and Saving the Economy
(See: www.saveusa.biz)!

Udderly Shocking  “DON’T DRINK THAT ! THE COWS PEE IT!” This was the warning given by Bert and Jean Stoddard’s nephew to his little sister at the diner table after he had watched Bert milk the cows. The family was visiting from Los Angeles and the boy had never seen anything so disgusting.

Jewish State of Israel
    The subject of the Jews returning to the Holy Land is near and dear to me because the most memorable thing I remember about my grandfather George Froerer is what I heard him say over and over again: “Before the Savior can return to Earth, the Jews must return to the Holy Land.” Grandfather who died on September 29, 1948 barely lived to see his dream fulfilled, The Jewish State of Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948 (only four months before grandfather died).
NOSTRA AETATE It is important to include in “My Favorite Things” one of the most important documents in the history of the world (declared by Pope John in 1965). Important because it absolves all Jews past and present of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ – the doctrine (in addition to other reasons I will give) that brought about the Nazi Holocaust.. A major justification for the extermination of six million Jews was that all Jews in all ages were the “Christ killers.”
     LDS Missionaries should be familiar with this document and love the modern Catholic Church both for its stand on abortion and for this modern pronouncement that frees all Jewish people form the guilt of the death of Christ.) Much of the document sounds like LDS Church Doctrine. I have highlighted parts that especially do this:

DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS NOSTRA AETATE PROCLAIMED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI
ON OCTOBER 28, 1965
1. In our time, when day by day mankind is being drawn closer together, and the ties between different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church examines more closely her relationship to non-Christian religions. In her task of promoting unity and love among men, indeed among nations, she considers above all in this declaration what men have in common and what draws them to fellowship.
    One is the community of all peoples, one their origin, for God made the whole human race to live over the face of the earth.(1) One also is their final goal, God. His providence, His manifestations of goodness, His saving design extend to all men,(2) until that time when the elect will be united in the Holy City, the city ablaze with the glory of God, where the nations will walk in His light.(3)
     Men expect from the various religions answers to the unsolved riddles of the human condition, which today, even as in former times, deeply stir the hearts of men: What is man? What is the meaning, the aim of our life? What is moral good, what sin? Whence suffering and what purpose does it serve? Which is the road to true happiness? What are death, judgment and retribution after death? What, finally, is that ultimate inexpressible mystery which encompasses our existence: whence do we come, and where are we going?
    2. From ancient times down to the present, there is found among various peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which hovers over the course of things and over the events of human history; at times some indeed have come to the recognition of a Supreme Being, or even of a Father. This perception and recognition penetrates their lives with a profound religious sense.
Religions, however, that are bound up with an advanced culture have struggled to answer the same questions by means of more refined concepts and a more developed language. Thus in Hinduism, men contemplate the divine mystery and express it through an inexhaustible abundance of myths and through searching philosophical inquiry. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition either through ascetical practices or profound meditation or a flight to God with love and trust. Again, Buddhism, in its various forms, realizes the radical insufficiency of this changeable world; it teaches a way by which men, in a devout and confident spirit, may be able either to acquire the state of perfect liberation, or attain, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination. Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing "ways," comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ "the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.(4)
The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.
    3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
    Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.
    4. As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham's stock.
    Thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God's saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ-Abraham's sons according to faith (6)-are included in the same Patriarch's call, and likewise that the salvation of the Church is mysteriously foreshadowed by the chosen people's exodus from the land of bondage. The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots, the Gentiles.(7) Indeed, the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles. making both one in Himself.(8)
    The Church keeps ever in mind the words of the Apostle about his kinsmen: "theirs is the sonship and the glory and the covenants and the law and the worship and the promises; theirs are the fathers and from them is the Christ according to the flesh" (Rom. 9:4-5), the Son of the Virgin Mary. She also recalls that the Apostles, the Church's main-stay and pillars, as well as most of the early disciples who proclaimed Christ's Gospel to the world, sprang from the Jewish people.
    As Holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation,(9) nor did the Jews in large number, accept the Gospel; indeed not a few opposed its spreading.(10) Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle.(11) In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and "serve him shoulder to shoulder" (Soph. 3:9).(12)
    Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus so great, this sacred synod wants to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit, above all, of biblical and theological studies as well as of fraternal dialogues.
    True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ;(13) still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.
    Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.
    Besides, as the Church has always held and holds now, Christ underwent His passion and death freely, because of the sins of men and out of infinite love, in order that all may reach salvation. It is, therefore, the burden of the Church's preaching to proclaim the cross of Christ as the sign of God's all-embracing love and as the fountain from which every grace flows.
    5. We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God. Man's relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: "He who does not love does not know God" (1 John 4:8).
    No foundation therefore remains for any theory or practice that leads to discrimination between man and man or people and people, so far as their human dignity and the rights flowing from it are concerned.
    The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion. On the contrary, following in the footsteps of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, this sacred synod ardently implores the Christian faithful to "maintain good fellowship among the nations" (1 Peter 2:12), and, if possible, to live for their part in peace with all men,(14) so that they may truly be sons of the Father who is in heaven.(15)
NOTES
1. Cf. Acts 17:26
2. Cf. Wis. 8:1; Acts 14:17; Rom. 2:6-7; 1 Tim. 2:4
3. Cf. Apoc. 21:23f.
4. Cf 2 Cor. 5:18-19
5. Cf St. Gregory VII, letter XXI to Anzir (Nacir), King of Mauritania (Pl. 148, col. 450f.)
6. Cf. Gal. 3:7
7. Cf. Rom. 11:17-24
8. Cf. Eph. 2:14-16
9. Cf. Lk. 19:44
10. Cf. Rom. 11:28
11. Cf. Rom. 11:28-29; cf. dogmatic Constitution, Lumen Gentium (Light of nations) AAS, 57 (1965) pag. 20
12. Cf. Is. 66:23; Ps. 65:4; Rom. 11:11-32
13. Cf. John. 19:6
14. Cf. Rom. 12:18
15. Cf. Matt. 5:45
     I (Darrell Stoddard) have always pondered how an entire nation of people were led (by the adversary) to kill six million Jews. Hitler didn't do it by himself. It took thousands and thousands to do his bidding. Now I understand why because there is a horribly chilling parallel developing in the world today, Chilling because we have been led in the media and on the internet to what could bring about the death of millions of people. What is coming will or could be just as deadly in terms of the numbers killed.
    First let me explain other reasons why so many German people were led to kill the Jews. You will then appreciate the magnitude of Nostra Aetate (cited above) and see the parallel of the world today compared to Nazi Germany.
    In 1918, at the end of World War 1, the German government was heavily in debt to pay the cost of the war. They responded by printing more and more paper money. Extreme hyperinflation occurred. By late 1923 it took 200 billion marks to buy a loaf of bread. Millions of hard-working, thrifty German people found that their life's savings would not buy a postage stamp.
    After this time, It was an easy thing for Hitler to blame the Jews, not only for the financial problems of the nation but for the loss of the World War 1. Because of their desperate economic circumstances, millions of German people were persuaded. The hatred for Jews erupted on “Crystal Night” November 9-10, 1938 when over 7,500 Jewish shops were destroyed 400 synagogues were burned, and an estimated 20,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps. The persecution and the hatred continued to grow because all Jews were believed to be collectively guilty of the war, the economy, and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The final solution was the annihilation of an estimated six million Jews.
     We recoil at the horrors of the Nazi death camps thinking it could never happen, but it did. There are thousands of pictures from the Holocaust. Our former Bishop, Sven Svendson, served in the Danish underground. We heard of the Holocaust firsthand from Ted Brinkerhoff, our neighbor on Canyon Road, who was with the fist U. S. troops into the Dachau prison camp after the war.
    In the Dachau Concentration Camp (which LaRae and I went to with Jeff, Lisa, Samantha, Jeffrey, Reed, and Amy) there is a large sign with the words, “NEVER” AGAIN printed in 5 languages, but it did happen again on a much smaller scale by the Jews themselves against the Palestinians. They became guilty of the very thing they condemned ie. Killing many innocent people, See Romans 2:1.
      I am afraid it is going to happen again for a third time. Most of the pieces are in place. Since 9:11 there has been a steady stream of Emails about the evils of Jihad, Sharia Law, Muslims. and Muslim Terrorists. We are being led carefully down to hell and conditioned to hate or distrust all Muslims; the same as Germans were conditioned to hate all Jews.
BUTCHER THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM This last week I received an Email showing Muslim demonstrators in London. Their placards read: FREEDOM GO TO HELL, EUROPE TAKE SOME LESSONS FROM 9-11, BEHEAD THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM, EUROPE YOU WILL PAY – 9-11 IS ON IT'S WAY, BE PREPARED FOR THE REAL HOLOCAUST, SLAY THOSE WHO INSULT ISLAM, EUROPE IS THE CANCER – ISLAM IS THE ANSWER, and ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD!
    It seems that President Obama is leaning toward his Muslim background. Many Americans think Obama is a closet Muslim. In Obama’s book Audacity of Hope. He stated the following: "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." 
     We have unprecedented deficit spending that will surely lead to inflation. If the economy collapses, we will be there; believing that all Muslims are guilty of 9-11.
     Most Germans did not kill Jews in the Holocaust but far too many accepted it. Few, like the Mormon boy Helmit Hubner, resisted the persecution and killing of Jews.
    Regarding Islam, I have been led to the point where the natural man in me asks the question, how many Muslims believed in and accept 9-11 even if they would not commit such an act themselves?
   Because of the current Muslim situation, I can now understand how an entire nation was led by Hitler to kill six million Jews. We are one step away.
    For me to judge Muslims in this way could make me also guilty. (Romans 2:1). Better to Love. bless, do good to and pray for the suicide bombers, for the Taliban, for Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas; that I may be a child of my Father in Heaven. What rewards have I if I only love those who love me?
More on being guilty of that which we condemn When my cousin George Zinnie Jr. returned form his mission he came through Ogden on his way back to Oregon in a big long 1929-32(?) Graham Paige Automobile. He had it full of big bags of oranges and grape fruit. The car had been given to him along with the famous talking movie star parrot Betty that Aunt Lizzie had for many years.
    He returned a few months later and asked me to go with him to his mission reunion in Salt Lake City. On the way home the smell in the car was so bad I thought I would gag and throw up. It was terrible! I thought George must have had the shoes on that he wore to milk cows that still had cow manure on them. For this reason I tried to be nice and not say anything or retch but I didn't know if I could make it home. George never said anything but I think he must have noticed the bad odor also. It would have been impossible not to notice. When we finally got back home to Ogden and I got out of the car, I discovered that I had a great big gob of dog poop on my shoes. At the reunion, we had walked across the lawn of the church where I stepped in what caused the horrible stench.
    I learned from that experience that we should never judge or condemn another because we could be guilty of the same thing. The poop may be on our own shoe.

Beyond the Veil Experience from Heaven for George Zinnie Jr.
    Now I will relate another story about George Zinnie Jr, that was a treasure in so many lives, for so many people, but a treasure that will be lost forever if I don't write it.
    I took James Mark and Paul with me on a marketing trip to sell BYU films. We went up into Canada, and slept out most nights. In Glacier National Park we woke up with about 2” of snow on our sleeping bags. We then went over to Vancouver and down to Seattle and Portland. In Oregon we picked to bring home boxes of wild blackberries. We stopped in Vale, Oregon to see our relatives. There we stayed with George Zinnie. George let us sleep in our sleeping bags on the floor in his family room.
    He said Georgie (George 111) wasn't home so one of us could sleep in Georgie's room. I sent Mark in the room to sleep and he came back out saying he wasn't going to sleep in that room. I said, “What's in the world is the matter with you? Mark's response was, “come in and see.” I went in and the room was painted black with psychedelic symbols all over the walls. There was indeed a dark, evil feeling in the room; so I said, “I understand, you can sleep out here in the family room with the rest of us.”
    Georgie at the time in his life was in and out of jail and in every kind of trouble. His father bought a new pickup truck and Georgie was driving so fast in it that he rolled the new truck an estimated 11 times. He ended up again in jail with what could be called delirium tremors from all the alcohol he had been drinking. It scared him so much that he decided he must change his life. To help him, a loving mother Marylou and his sister Diana went into Georgie's black bedroom and painted it white for him to come home to.
    Georgie's life then changed from black to white. The prodigal son returned. Georgie repented and started going back to church for long enough that he even became worthy to serve a mission. His mission call came and he was a good missionary serving an honorable mission in the Ft. Worth, Texas Mission. This made his parents so proud and happy. The boy who had given them so much trouble became everything parents could want a son to be.
    Georgie came home from his mission and was helping his father on the farm. They needed to start a truck with a dead battery that hadn't been started for awhile. They chained a tractor to the truck to “pull start” it. Georgie was driving the tractor and George was in the truck.
    When the truck started, it lurched and hit the tractor, tipping the tractor over on Georgie killing him. George had accidentally killed his beloved son and felt responsible for doing it. He was inconsolable.
    Thirteen days after Georgie's untimely tragic death, Uncle Bud (George) and Aunt Rhoda Farrell received the following letter, it seems almost from heaven, about our cousin Marvin Farrell (who thirty years before like Georgie had been wayward but repented and tried to put his life in order, and then died in an Iron Lung with Polio.):
Chandler Arizona, June 15, 1980
Dear Brother and Sister Farrell,
Recently I received your address from my father while visiting he and mother in Ogden, and thought it best that I share something with you that I have carried with me for more than 30 years.
    As you remember, your son Marvin and I were chums through much of our early life, especially in grade and junior high school in Riverdale. When high school came we generally traveled to Weber High on different buses, our interests were diverging and we became less often together.
    After high school our interests were quite different and we saw little of each other. In fact, by December 1948 when I left for my mission in the East, I had lost contact totally with Marvin – I had not the slightest idea where he was or what he was doing.
Approximately a year had passed of my mission in North Carolina. I was with my companion in Burlington. N.C., living in a small apartment, tracting and holding cottage meetings in and around Burlington.
    One night in early January. 1950, I had an unusual dream. Not only was it an unusual dream, but it was very unusual for me to dream for I seldom did. But it was triply unusual for I had the same dream several times (I think three times) that night.
   The dream was this: I was in a strange place – I knew no one. There were groups of people standing around as if waiting to leave for some other place. They were all young, as I, well dressed as I would be, but total strangers.
    I walked along past several of these groups, probably 10-14 people in each group. I was struck with the idea that the people, men and women, were so familiar in character but so strange in that I recognized none of them.
    Then as I approached another group, heading more or less toward them and close enough that I could sense I knew none of them either, but not really taking close notice, one of the group on the extreme far side came through the center of the circle, out my side and approached me. It was then I recognized him as Marvin.
    He was dressed in a white shirt, tie and a new dark suit. He was handsome as any 21 year old would be, clean, neat, and smartly dressed.
    We shook hands and felt the childhood bond renew itself in us again. I said, “What are you doing here?” “Who are these people?” He said, “We are missionaries too and we're just getting ready to go.” This was all, and I faded back into a wakened consciousness of my own little apartment bedroom.
    The next day, Elder Turner and I did our regular tracting and investigator visiting, coming back to the apartment about noon. I had pondered the dream deeply as we walked from door to door. I don't think I was too effective that morning – I could not get the events of the previous night out of my mind.
    One of the highlights of a missionary’s life is the delivery of mail. This day, in our mailbox was my regular weekly letter from Mother. To my utter surprise was also included the clipping herein contained, telling me of Marvins death from polio.
    As you can well imagine, I was totally shaken. I knew several new things: One, Mother explained in her letter that Marvin had made peace with his maker during his illness; two. He also had now been pressed quickly into the service of a traveling Elder, but in a different place.
    I remember so well how he looked - radiant and supremely happy, also that he was excited about his call and made it a point to let me know that now he also was on his mission.
    I hope you will forgive me for keeping this so long without letting those who should know most, know. Also I hope it does not open up old wounds that have long sense healed. My hope is that it does for you what it does for me every time I read in the new 138th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the vision of President Joseph F. Smith, especially verses 29-37 and verse 57. If it does this, and I'm positive now that it will, then I'll feel content.
Sincerely,
Neil D, Bingham
     This letter that came when it did, made it possible for George Zinnie Jr. to go on after he felt that he was responsible for accidentally killing his son.
   I went to Chandler, Arizona where Neil Bingham lived to tell him how timely his letter was and how much it meant to George Zinnie. It saved George.'s life to understand from Neil's letter that Georgie must have been called on another mission beyond the veil after death.
    I found out that Neil had moved to Bountiful, Utah where I finally found him to tell him why he had waited thirty years to send his letter. The letter was not only a miracle because it came at just the right time to help George, but also because the Farrells had moved away from Riverdale before Neil's mission. Neil knew nothing about Marvin being sick or having polio.

Never made Senior Companion
    In the High Priests Quorum, once each month, a High Priest gives a life sketch. It is one of the meetings I enjoy the most. Moreno Robbins, our former Bishop, did this last month. Because I couldn't hear everything he said, I asked that he put it in writing and give me a copy which he did. One line really jumped out. Moreno said that on his mission he “never made senior companion”
    Never made senior companion but he became our Bishop and along with Burke Peterson helped 134 boys, including our three sons, to become Eagle Scouts. Later Moreno Robins returned to Mexico with Lavinia as Mission Presidents. They were then called and filled yet another mission to be the Directors of the Guatemala, Missionary Training Center.
    Made me think of how I made senior companion in three months but Didn't Baptize Even One person on my entire mission. Joseph Fielding Smith, on his mission as a young man also never baptized anyone, and even LeGrand Richards who was one of the Church's best missionaries felt that one of his missions to New England was unsuccessful.
    Was my mission successful? The morning LaRae and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple we were leaving the temple when the new missionaries were just coming in. With the new missionaries, to my surprise, was Don Karr who I had taught the Gospel to in Denver. Don was baptized just after my transfer to North Platte Nebraska. My last contact with the Karr family was months before we met in the temple. I had no idea that Don had been called on a mission. What a wonderful coincidence and joyful reunion it was.
     Don served a mission to Northern California where he baptized, if I remember correctly, 44 people. Don married Betty Kirwin and they had one daughter and eight sons. One of their sons they lost when he was just a child. All seven of their surviving sons served missions, and so far four of their grandsons have filled missions. Don and Betty's son Mark had a son (grandson to Don and Betty) who received a mission call. Mark invited LaRae and I to the farewell. When Mark spoke, he had me stand and he told the audience that I was the one who had taught his father in the mission field. He then asked for everyone in the audience who was there because I had taught his father Don the Gospel, to stand. It seemed like a third but at least a forth of the congregation stood. At my 80th Birthday party, Don Karr gave me a list of 17 Missions filled by he and his family.
    When I was in Boulder Colorado, I and my companion taught every lesson to a lady named Stoddard that I was scheduled to baptize. They moved the time of her baptism up and couldn't inform us because we were out tracting; so another missionary that hadn't taught her one lesson performed the baptism. Years later I attended church in Boulder and a man who held a position in the ward told me that I had given him his first missionary lesson and he was absolutely certain that I was the one who had taught him.
Lee and Bernice Keime and Family in Colorado Springs had received just one visit from the missionaries. For unknown reasons the missionaries never returned. I and my companion then tracted them out and gave them all of the lessons. They never questioned a thing we told them and accepted everything in the lessons as fast as we could teach them. I was transferred just days before they were baptized. Later when I was working at Little Valley building the railroad fill across the Great Salt Lake, the Keimes came to Utah. LaRae and were blessed to go with them to take take out their endowments in the Salt Lake Temple. The Keimes subsequently sent three sons and a daughter on missions. I was blessed to be in Colorado Springs when Gordon B. Hinckley ordained Lee Keime a Seventy.                                                                  
    Just before they came to Salt Lake to go to the temple, Sister Keime sent me a letter relating the following information that I didn't remember. She said on my very first visit to their home, I asked Heavenly Father to bless them to know what to do for their baby that was very sick and almost starving to death because her trachea (tube in her throat) was too small. They just couldn't get the nourishment through her throat that she needed to survive. She was facing surgery to replace her trachea with a nylon trachea that would have to be replaced every few years as she grew. Bernice said that the very week I said that prayer, she was going through the dietic section of the grocery store where she saw some canned goats milk. On a hunch, she bought some for the baby (I believe the babies name was Vivian). For some unknown reason, the goat’s milk would go down and from that time forth Vivian began to thrive. Just before they came to Salt Lake, Bernice said they had just taken her back to the same three doctors who had said her trachea would have to be replaced every few years and Vivian was pronounced normal in every way. No surgery to replace the trachea would be necessary.

5-7-11 Lisa sent me the following Email concerning the promotional scenes from the Motion Picture 17 Miracles:
Loved it!!! So excited to see the whole thing - although it was really hard to watch you fall down like that!
My reply:
Dear Lisa,
It wasn't acting. I truly did die. It was the real thing. Now (after the filming) I have been reborn with another chance to make my life right.
    "If, in the pre-existence, we looked forward to our mortal birth, how much more so must we have looked forward to our mortal death."
    It was glorious experience to die. "And should we die when ere our journeys through, then happy day, all is well all is right." Few people have ever had the blessing of dying twice. I will be one of those select few.
Love, Dad

Mothers Day 5-8-11
Rock Me To Sleep Mother
    A few years ago on Mother’s Day, when mother was still alive, I called her. She said, “Last night on the TV I heard the most beautiful song that I have never heard before. It was called Rock me to Sleep Mother.” I said, “I know the song mother. LaRae's father (William Cornia) sang it all the time. I'll get it and sing it for you,” which I did. And here it is now to honor all mothers, a fitting addition to “My Favorite Things.”

Rock Me To Sleep Mother, Rock Me To Sleep

Backward, turn backward, O time, in your flight, Make me a child again just for to-night!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;--
Rock me to sleep, Mother--rock me to sleep!

Backward, flow backward, oh, tide of the years
I am so weary of toil and of tears--
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain--
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay--
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away,
Weary of sowing for others to reap;--
Rock me to sleep, Mother--rock me to sleep!

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O Mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded our faces between:
Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I tonight for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep;--
Rock me to sleep, Mother--rock me to sleep!

Over my heart, in the days that are flown,
No love like mother--love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures--
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Slumber's soft calms o'er my heavy lids creep;--
Rock me to sleep, Mother--rock me to sleep!

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Fall on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead to-night,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep:--
Rock me to sleep, Mother--rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear Mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened your lullaby song:
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep;
Rock me to sleep, Mother--rock me to sleep!

Peter Czerny’s Prophetic Dream
    One of the most prophetic dreams in the history of our church was told by Peter Czerny, an editor at the BYU motion Picture Studio who as a boy came out of East Germany as a refugee with his family at the end of World War 11.  Peter told us the dream the night before I baptized Chung Shan who was one of the freedom fighters in Tiananmen Square that lived with us for a year and a half.  The circumstances that led up to Peter Czerny's telling of his dream are as follows;
      Chung Shan was in the Chinese army and had a vision of his mother, who had previously died. She told him he should get out of the army (something that just doesn't happen). He took a language test and was one of 14 out of two million soldiers that were chosen for language school. In the language school he became a student of my friend from BYU, Robert Blair.  Dr Blair gave him an audio cassette with a transcript of the motion picture Mans' Search for Happiness on it that he listened to over and over. It appealed to him because it told of life after death. Chung Shan said he knew it must be true because his mother had come to him after she died. At that point in his life Chung Shan had never even heard the name of Jesus Christ and the only thing he knew about God was a Chinese myth about a grandfather in the sky who was called “God.”
     The night before his baptism, I asked Chung Shan if he would like to see the motion picture Mans' Search for Happiness. He said he would love that; so I called Peter and we went to the studio for him to show us the film. After we saw the film, Peter told us of his dream. He said he had a friend who was a fighter pilot in the Air Force. Two jets collided on a training mission and his friend was killed. After his death Peter's friend came to him in a dream and asked Peter to tell him what was happening on earth. Peter told him about motion pictures they were making for the church and of the plans to build a temple in Freiberg East Germany.  Peter then asked his friend to tell him what was happening in Heaven. The Friend replied, “Oh there's great rejoicing in Heaven because the Lord has decreed that the time has come for Communism to fall.”
      At the time Peter told of his dream, there wasn't even a crack in the Iron Curtain and the premature uprising in Tiananmen Square had been soundly defeated (just a month before). The dream gives us an understanding that in Heaven, people are very much aware of and concerned about what is happening on earth. Nothing else that I know of, gives us that understanding of Heaven. The fulfillment of the dream, that no one at the time could have anticipated, was soon after precisely fulfilled.

After My Mission I was released from my mission a month early in September 1956 so I could register to go to Weber College. Had I not done this, I thought I would be drafted into the military immediately (because I had a deferment to go on a mission). I guess that made me a draft dodger but the Korean War had ended and because my brother Lynn served in World War 11 and my brother Ray served in the Korean War, I didn’t feel very patriotic.
    When I took the college entrance exam, I scored in the 92 percentile. Before my mission I scored in the 46th percentile. I believe going on a mission made the difference.
     LaRae waited for me while I was on my mission and wrote to me faithfully five times a week. We wanted to get married but I had no job so I went to the Draft Board to see what would happen if I dropped out of school and got a job so we could get married. They told me I was permanently 4F and would not be drafted under any circumstances. They made a mistake for me to be classified 4F but I didn’t argue with their determination. The war was over and the military didn’t need me for sure.
      I got a job training to be a manager for JC Penney in Sugar House and we were married on Dec.10, 1956. I wasn’t excited enough about stacking overalls in Penney’s so I got a job selling Studebaker automobiles and then Simca automobiles made in France. Then because my brother-in-law, Bob Phipps, was making so much money working on the construction job building the railroad fill across the Great Salt Lake, I went to the Operating Engineers Union and through the union talked myself into a job as a “Bargemate” (because I had worked on the Great Salt Lake helping Charles Stoddard haul the wool from the sheep that he ran on Fremont Island. What a stretch it was for me to claim that experience but it got me the job as an operating engineer working for the Morrison Knudsen Construction Company.
      We were told that it was the second largest earth moving job in history. The barges that hauled the fill out into the lake were 240 ft. long and the tugboats that pushed them were 60 ft. long; together as long as a foot ball field. Each tugboat and barge had a crew of two; a tug boat operator and a bargemate.  We were able to fill the barges by conveyor with 3,000 - 4,000 tons of fill in about 15 minutes. That much fill, caused the barge to sink down in the water 11-12 feet. Then it took about 7 seconds to dump it out of the bottom of the barge. It was quite a spectacle to behold; a barge nearly as long as a football field come roaring up out of the water 11-12 feet.
      We worked 12 hours a day and seven days a week. If we happened to be out in the lake at crew change time we would get paid for 12 to 15 or more hours that shift. With time and a half pay for overtime, I earned a lot of money. My gross pay one year before taxes was enough to buy a brand new 3 bedroom full basement house. (I didn’t use it for that, however, but used it to come to BYU to go to school. Then we used part of it for a down payment on our house at 1556 North 1350 West in Grandview.)
      After being on a mission, it was a cultural shock for me to work construction. I went form not hearing a swear word in two years to being immersed nearly around the clock with smoking, immoral men that couldn’t speak without profanity in every expression. I despised such vulgar men but I was thrilled to be making so much money.
Greater Love Hath No Man
      One evening just after my shift ended, we learned that a man had been buried beneath one of the huge piles of fill that were brought down the mountain by 6 foot wide conveyor belts. The large piles of fill fed onto conveyor belts that reached out over the barges to fill them. There were tunnels that went under the fill to hoppers that could be opened and closed onto the conveyors. Sometimes the hoppers would get clogged with rocks so they couldn’t be opened and closed and a man would have go from the tunnels up into the holes to clan out the rocks. A man went up into the bottom of the funnel shaped hole to clean out the hopper and the caterpillar operator above, not knowing there was a man in the hole, mistakenly pushed what must have been several tons of dirt on top of him.
      Then something happened that was hard for me to believe. One of those foul mouthed, smoking, immoral men that I despised had the men tie a rope around his waste and lower him into the hole where the man was buried. They then lowered five gallon buckets by rope down for him to fill with a shovel. For what was probably an hour or so, he worked like a madman filling the buckets as fast as they could be lowered down to him and pulled out. All of the time he was doing this there was a very real danger of his being buried also by the hole caving in on him. With a few tons of dirt on top of him it would have been almost impossible to pull him out by the rope without breaking the rope or pulling him apart. He worked with an intensity that seemed beyond what any mortal could do. It was a superhuman effort to try and save a man that was probably already dead. From the tunnel below they were able to dig up through the dirt to free his hand and could not feel a pulse.
    Knowing this, the digging man still worked on. Never have I seen a man do more work in such a shot period of time. He finally reached the man that was buried; tied the rope that had been around himself, around the body of the man that was buried and they pulled the limp body of the dead man up out of the hole. “Greater love hath no man than this.” 
     I would not have risked my life for one of those men that I despised and I was not man enough physically to do what that man did. If it were a member of my family, I wouldn’t hesitate a second to try and save them, but not for a stranger. The man I looked down upon was a far better man than me. We (Mormons) are not better than other people. We have just been given more.

     9-11-11 On this the tenth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Centers, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the hundreds if not thousands of firefighters and policeman who didn’t hesitate to try and save strangers and people who were already dead. I also must pay tribute to my unappreciated father who as a firefighter put his life on the line many times to try and save people he didn’t know. The job of a firefighter required it.

Free Agency and Addictions
      My Father, Earl Stoddard, who could shoot marbles out of the air with a 22 rifle and who shot cigarettes out of his brothers mouth at county fairs, lost his agency when he became addicted to cigarrettes.
      We are told what to avoid in The Word of Wisdom and usually think we should not use tea, coffee, alcohol, and nicotine beause they are harmful to our health. An even more important reason might be becuse they take away our free agency. To appreciate how drastically addictions can take over our life and to appreciate the blessing of free agency, I submit the following from a wonderful neighbor who wrote it for me before going on a mission with his wife: It gave me hope that my father would be able to repent, on the other side of the veil, for the addiction that kept him out of church.

                                     Spirit Prison


by Denton Cameron, MD

September 19, 2012

We called them “clients”.   I personally spent four to six hours weekly with these “clients” for nine years.

One hundred to 200 “clients” would show up each morning at 6 o’clock, anticipating that they would be attended to by professionals and get their daily dose of methadone.  Three physicians rotated their clinic assignments so that there was always one “doc” present during the early-morning two-hour sessions, during which time the clinic was open each day.

Our job was to adjust doses, define the progress and physically examine new clients for admission into the program.

Our goal was to help the addict manage his or her addiction in a very controlled setting. 

All of our addicts were referred to us by the “Courts”, so they were understandably a little reluctant to fall into line at first.

Over the course of my 9 years as a doctor in this program, I met over 1,200 addicts and got to know them personally, each one by name and circumstance.

Our goal was to stabilize the client’s drug use, bring order into their lives, stabilize some aspects of their health and return them to the work force.  The final goal was to restore a sense of worth to the “client”.  We succeeded in arriving at this final goal with a large ‘minority’ of our clients.

Our goal was not to “detoxify” each one of them (i.e. slowly taper the daily dose down to zero), although we sincerely tried in many cases, often at their request.  

Why not detoxify everyone?  Wouldn’t this be a worthy goal?   The answer to this question became starkly apparent as the months and years went by…

After undergoing ‘detox’ the addicts would remain “clean” for a few days or weeks, remain highly motivated…and then relapse.  Out of the 1,200+ addicts that I knew personally, only 3 of them remained “clean”.  This amounted to one out of 400 addicts.

Many of the new clients were in their teens.  Their addictions began at a time in their lives when ‘everything’ was an “experiment”, i.e. sports, school, preparation for missions, part-time jobs, etc…even drugs, which were so incredibly available to them.  Many of them were legitimately prescribed opiates by their family doctors or their orthopedists.

A teen who might take his first dose of opiate (or alcohol or tobacco) may just as well have drawn behind him a heavy, self-latching prison door…impossible to open again…at least in mortality.

Each time I saw this happen I became more and more convinced that this youthful soul had just enclosed himself in a ‘spiritual prison’…often very innocently.  I say “innocently” because there are many mistakes in life that can be undone…that don’t imprison us.  But, drugs, alcohol and tobacco too often enclose us in walls that may as well be 6 feet thick, and impenetrable in this mortal life.

Individuals innocent in every other aspect of their lives are now captive.  This is still a poorly understood phenomenon.

In about 2005 it occurred to me that I should look into the scriptures to see if they might summarize in some way our Savior’s measures on behalf of the imprisoned.

I found that Isaiah had been “anointed” to preach good tidings and bring hope to those in “prison…to them that are bound.”  In Isaiah 61:1 it says – “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”

I felt that the term “anointed” bore special meaning.  But, was Isaiah the only one “anointed” to open the prison doors?  Or was it not him at all, and really another who was anointed.

I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover a very interesting clarification recorded in a vision given to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 3 October 1918.

In this revelation found in D&C 138:42, Joseph F Smith wrote:  “And Isaiah, who declared by prophecy that the Redeemer was anointed to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that were bound, were also there.”

The Redeemer himself was “anointed” to proclaim liberty to the captives.  How fitting!

Our Savior had a special place in His heart for those who endured spirit prison.  I’m reminded of this important fact as I read Enoch’s vision in Moses 7:57.  “And as many of the spirits as were in prison came forth, and stood on the right hand of God…”

I’ve come to understand the merits of these imprisoned souls during my association with them.  I’ve come to see their positive impact on my life.  And I was glad I could help them in my limited way.  But most of all I was happy to see more clearly just how far-reaching and encompassing the atonement is, and how infinite the Savior’s knowledge was from the beginning, and how it moved Him to return these sheep to His flock in the end.
Bicycles
  When I was a child there were no small bicycles; nothing between a tricycle and a 24 inch bike, and there were very few of those. Nearly all bikes had a 26 inch frame; so you couldn’t ride a bicycle until you were big enough to reach the pedals. My goal after the summer of the 4th grade was to learn to ride a bike and learn to swim, which I did, but I never owned a bike until I was about 12 years old. My father bought me a used 26 inch single speed balloon tired bike for $12 which I was thrilled to have until a few years after World War 2, when a family from Holland moved into the Ogden 4th Ward. There was a boy in the family about 18 years old that brought with him from Holland a bicycle that had (miracle of miracles) three speeds in the rear hub. Nothing was known at that time of derailleur bicycles that had 9 or more speeds.
     I was covetous of the 3 speed bike and I asked the boy if I could ride his bike. He said, “No man you crazy. This my car, this my car.” No matter how much I begged he would not let me ride his bicycle. Then in 1954 or 1955 when I was on my mission in Boulder Colorado, the very first bicycles with 3 speeds became available and I bought the bicycle of my dreams (even though I had owned two cars before my mission): a three speed bicycle made in Austria from the Montgomery Ward Catalog. I think it cost $119. No one could own anything that meant more to them than that bright new metallic maroon bicycle with chrome rims.. So I wouldn’t get mud spots on it, I would get off and carry it through the water puddles. James must have inherited his love of bicycles from me, just as Paul must have inherited his love of guns from his grandfather Stoddard.  
Shoes   Floyd Johnson, who was the athletic equipment room manager at BYU, gave inspiring talks wherein he would hold up a shoe from the person he was talking about. When I met and befriended Peter Strudwick, marathon runner without feet, I was impressed to do the same; acquiring from Strudwick one of the homemade “supper socks” that he wore over the stumps of his legs when he ran. This was the beginning of my “shoe stories” and my collection of shoes from great and famous people whose stories I would tell. My six favorites are Peter Strudwick, Kim Day, Don Larson, George Murray, Harry Cordellos, Glen Cunningham, and Elayne Christensen Schwartz.
Elayne Christensen Schwartz
     I believe Elayne Schwartz name belongs next to that of Helen Keller and Mother Teresa as one of the most amazing women that has ever lived. The story of Elayne’s life must be told because the World doesn’t know about her and her story will be lost forever if it is not written.
      At the BYU Motion Picture Studio it was suggested that we produce a motion picture about Elayne Schwartz. Velora Stewart, a receptionist at the studio, went to her home and transcribed the story of Elayne’s life in shorthand as Elayne told it in person. Velora then typed the story for everyone at the studio to read. It is from that transcript that I recall the following:
      Elayne was born with triple curvature of the spine but she could still walk. A famous neurosurgeon, who had seen her x rays, thought he might be able to help her so the Christensen’s took her to Houston to see the doctor. The receptionist announced she was there and the surgeon said “wheel the young lady in.” Elayne walked in and the doctor was so surprised he nearly fell off his chair. He had never seen anyone with such a severely twisted spine that could walk.
      When Elayne was in elementary school, the children on the playground pointed at her and started calling the words, “humpback, humpback.” Elaine hurried to the swings where she thought she might be able to swing above the taunting but the children pointed to her as she swung back and forth calling out the words, “humpback, humpback.” The bell rang ending the recess rescuing Elayne from the cruelty and the children went back into school.   
     That night Elayne collapsed in her father’s arms telling him how cruel the children had been to her. If she had been my daughter, I would have taken her to all of the parents and told them how cruel their daughter had been to my little girl.
     Mr. Christensen was much wiser than I. He said to Elayne, “It’s true, you are a humpback but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is what you do about it; so that night when Elayne said her little girl prayers, she prayed, “Heavenly Father, if I can’t be beautiful on the outside PLEASE MAKE ME BEAUTIFUL ON THE INSIDE.”
    Do you think Heavenly Father answered that little girl’s prayer? Elaine grew up and served a wonderful mission for the LDS Church in Missouri. She also graduated from BYU with a teaching certificate.
    She applied for her first teaching job in the Nebo School District. The superintendent for the district told her, “You don’t belong in the classroom. You belong in the American Fork Training School (assuming that because her body was twisted that her mind must be twisted also). Thank God I don’t think that would happen in this day. We don’t equate mental wholeness with physical well being.
     Elayne then applied for a teaching position in the Alpine School District. When interviewed by the Superin-tendent, for that position, he shook his head and said, “No, it would be too traumatic for the children to have someone so deformed teaching them.”   
     After preparing her self so well for teaching, those interviews must have hurt Elayne about as much as the taunting by the children on the playground.
     Elaine then applied for a teaching position in a small town in south central, Utah where they couldn’t get teachers and was hired without an interview. She there became a wonderful teacher. On one occasion she brought her students on a field trip to Salt Lake City. This was before World War 2 (when people were not so mobile) and many of her students had never been outside their small town. The Deseret News covered the event and the Elayne Christensen story was listed as one of the top 100 stories of the Century in the 100 year anniversary edition of the Deseret News.
     What does every good Mormon girl want after she has gone on a mission, graduated from college and taught school? To get married of course, but who would ever want to marry a tiny little woman with a twisted body and a hump on her back?
     Thank God for a man who could see how beautiful Elayne was on the inside. Elayne met and married Ray Schwartz, who became a revered sports reporter for the Daily Herald Newspaper.
     What next would a Mormon girl want after she has gone on a mission, graduated from college, taught school and got married? To have children of course, but how could a woman with such a twisted little body ever carry and bear a child?
     Elayne and Ray went to a doctor to ask if they could ever have a child. The doctor said it would be almost impossible for Elayne to ever carry a baby to term, but then added, “Sarah and Elizabeth in the Bible had babies after they were 90 years sold. Miracles do happen; so go ahead and try. I will do my best to help you.”
     Though it seemed impossible, Elayne and Ray had three sons and Elayne finished her teaching career in Orem in the Alpine School District that had rejected her years before. She was, according to her students, one of the best teachers they could possibly have. I think one of the best teachers that has ever lived.
     Did Heavenly Father answer the little girl’s prayer to be beautiful on the inside? What Elayne did to overcome her disabilities should be told along with the story of Helen Keller. Elaine’s devotion to the children she taught comes close to that of Mother Teresa. Both manifest the pure love of Christ for their little ones and would have died for any of them.
Don Larsen, Champion of Happiness
     Kim Day taught me the secret of creating love that is unknown to the world. It took Don Larsen (not the famous baseball pitcher) to teach me how to be happy.
     Don who spent his entire life in a wheelchair lived just around the corner in the Edgemont 7th Ward. He was born with cerebral palsy but loved sports. Don’s father would faithfully take him in a wheel chair to all of the BYU games.
     When our boys started wrestling, Dons father would take him to their matches. Don would cheer for our boys and try to applaud with his twisted hands that would hardly come together. And how thrilled he was when they won.
     One night in MIA (Mutual Improvement Association that is called something else now), Phil Ahlson was having the young people play Happiness Is wherein each person would tell what happiness was to them. They responded with: Happiness was winning a state championship, Happiness is making the team, Happiness is having friends, Happiness is going to the Prom, Happiness is getting a ski pass, Happiness is getting a drivers license, Happiness is summer vacation, Happiness is getting a car for graduation, and on and on.
     When it came Don Larsen’s turn, He said, “Happiness is going to work at the Deseret Industries to cut off buttons!” Clothes, that are donated to DI that are not good enough to sell, have value in industry for cleaning (wiping grease off machinery etc.) but the buttons must be cut off before they can be sold.
     Don’s job was cutting off the buttons.. Because of his cerebral palsy and crippled hands, Don could only fill two baby food jars full of buttons in an 8 hour shift, but that brought joy, happiness, fulfillment and a small income for Don.
    As impressive as this was, what Don did with the money he earned was as remarkable. Our son Mark reported that when he was a missionary, nearly every month he received a check from Don Larson; my all American, all world champion of happiness.

Sven Svendsen My Hero with the Danish Underground
    I was called to McLean Virginia to treat for cancer pain the wife of the Russian medical doctor that came to the United States to provide medical care for all of the people in the Russian Embassy. While there I went to the public library to check my Email on a computer.
     On a table, right there for me to find, was a wonderful book “Darkness over Denmark” about the Danish Under-ground that Bishop Svendsen had been a member of during the Nazi occupation of Denmark in World War 11. Sabotaging the German machines of war (trucks, tanks, ships and armaments) was much of what the underground did, but a large part of the book was about what the Danish Underground did to save Danish Jews from German extermination. The actions of the Danish people as a whole to protect the Jews probably exceeded even that of the Dutch. It included endless acts of heroism unequaled in all of history.
     I bought a copy of the book and had Jytta Svendsen come to Jamestown Square (where LaRae and I served for 5 years) to present a fireside. During the war, before they were married, Sven and Jytta were sweethearts. Jytta told about how Sven many times would he be gone for periods of time in his work with the Danish Underground doing things that he couldn’t even tell her about.
     Jytta later learned about one particularly heart rending, hard to imagine, things Sven and the Danish Underground had to do to save their lives and protect the underground resistance movement.
    There was a beautiful Danish girl who was befriended by Nazi officers. The Underground found out and had unmistakable evidence that she was passing information to the Nazis about the activities of the Underground. Jytta said, as difficult as it was and something they had to do, they went to her apartment and when she answered the door, they killed her.
     Jytta showed the residents of Jamestown square the red, grey, and yellow armband worn by Sven that was worn by the Danish Underground. A photo of just such an armband was on the back cover of the book Darkness over Denmark. I have actually held in my hand the armband that would be a sacred object for anyone that has read the book or learned the story of the Danish Underground. Sven Svendsen, as a young unmarried man who later became our Bishop, was a hero for his unbelievable selfless actions; risking his life on a daily basis throughout the entire war to sabotage the Nazis and save the Jews from extermination. “Greater love hath no man…..” Calling Sven, the young man who did those things, a “Saint” even by the Catholic definition of saint would not be an overstatement.
LeRoy Wilcox Man who ate out of a dumpster so he could give his money away.  Leroy Wilcox, our neighbor lived on the east end of our street (3200 North in Provo) I believe may have given away a higher percentage of his income than anyone and he ate out of a dumpster so he could do it.
     I was in charge of the Book of Mormon Testimony Project in a young married students ward. This was where members would write their personal testimonies and paste it with their picture and name and address in the front of a book of Mormon that would then be delivered to missionaries. Young married students would gladly write their testimonies but it was often difficult for them to come up with a dollar to buy each Book of Mormon.
     High Priests in our ward had the dollars but it was almost impossible to get them to write their testimonies; so I suggested the idea in the High Priest’s meeting that they donate their dollars for students to buy Book of Mormons, At the end of the class, I had a $100 check from Leroy Wilcox.
     When Moreno Robbins was mission president in Mexico, he wrote a letter to the High Priests telling about a small branch of the Church in Mexico that was having a hard time coming up with their 5% to build a chapel. At the end of the meeting there was a check from LeRoy Wilcox, this time I believe for $250. Moreno Robins told me later that the $250 was just the beginning and that brother Wilcox ended up paying almost the entire 5% of the cost of the chapel.
     Later LeRoy and Letha Wilcox served a mission in the San Antonio, Texas Mission. Vaughn Featherstone was their mission President. I stopped in to see President Featherstone in San Antonio and he told me that LeRoy and Letha were sending him a check every month for $125 (A LOT OF MONEY back then) to use in the mission wherever it was needed. This in addition to paying all of the costs of their mission and I am certain paying a full tithing.
    I had the blessings of being the home teacher to LeRoy and Letha Wilcox and I happened to see on LeRoy’s desk a stack of the charities that he contributed to every month.
     If all this was not enough, I rode to the Bishops Storehouse on an assign-ment with LeRoy and other men. We were talking about how the cost of real estate had more than quadrupled. LeRoy said the value of his previous home had inflated like that but that he didn’t feel it was right to make a profit on the sale of his home so he sold it to the buyer for the same price he had bought it for.
     LeRoy was a retired Air Force Officer and must have had an adequate retirement but he was not wealthy. The crowning glory of this great man, he would not want people to know. Now that he is dead, I believe I can tell it; so you will know the “rest of the story.”
     I often jogged in the morning before daylight. One morning I observed, in the dark without him seeing me, LeRoy Wilcox going to the dumpster behind Day’s Food Town Market, to get day old bread, bakery products, and produce to take home and eat. LeRoy and Letha Wilcox literally ate out of a dumpster so they could give their money away!

George Zinnies’ Job at the City Dumps In thinking about Leroy Wilcox getting food out of the market dumpster, I recalled a memory from the 1930’s during the Depression, when my uncle George Zinnie got a job going through the garbage at the City Dumps. Each day when he come home from work, he would bring silverware home that he had found in the garbage. (It was silverware that the restaurants had accidently thrown out when they cleaned up the plates and the leftover food). Our family and the Zinnie family thought what a wonderful job that was to get such wonderful stuff for free and get paid for doing it.

Greatest Football Couch Tom Osborne who couched the Nebraska Cornhuskers may have been the most successful football Couch ever. He was asked privately to reveal how much his football players were helped with their lessons to be eligible. The questioner said it would be strictly confidential and that no one would ever hear the answer. Tom said, “I’ll answer your question this way: See the big N on the building up there (and there really is  big N at the University of Nebraska). It stands for knowledge.”

Peter Strudwick and Harry Cordellos  I have in My Favorite Things a photo of Peter Strudwick, marathon runner who has no feet, running with Harry Cordellos, the blind marathon runner who in 2001 ran his 150th 26 mile marathon. Peter sent the photo to me with the caption, “I’m running with Harry Cordellos who is blind and he’s telling me where were at. What a guy!” I believe the photo is one of the greatest photographs in the history of sports journalism.
     Peter Strudwick was born without hands and feet in Nazi Germany when Hitler was building his Arian Super Race. The doctors told Peter’s mother that they could take care of her baby painlessly and that she could have another baby. (What has been forgotten about the Holocaust is that the Nazis not only put to death six million Jews but about two million mental and physical defectives like Peter Strudwick.)
      When the doctors said they would eliminate her baby they added that it was the humane thing to do because it would spare him the pain of going through life with such a visible handicap. Peter’s mother thought, no he will go through life if he has to crawl on his knees.
     She asked to see her baby one more time, got dressed and slipped out the back door of the hospital in the night with her baby on the day she had given birth. She walked, hitch hiked, and boarded freight trains, making it clear across Germany to escape into France, then eventually to England, and finally to the United States.
     When I ran the Deseret News Marathon with Peter, it was his 66th 26 mile marathon on the stubs of his legs. Each was his way of saying to the world, “Mother you didn’t make a mistake.” (Paul and I later ran the Palos Verdi Marathon with Peter. TC Christensen shot footage in that marathon and made a motion picture about the life of Peter Strudwick called The Human Race.)
Harry Cordellos is a totally blind athlete that possibly holds more world records and has won more gold medals than any man who has ever lived. Harry was born in San Francisco and raised by a single mother. Harry ran in the same Boston Marathon that I ran in. He completed his 150th 26 mile marathon in 2001 (no telling how many more he has completed since then).
     When Harry was about 14 years old eye surgeons determined that a new surgery could give him partial vision. He had the surgery and received 12-15% of normal vision. When he went outside he saw something so thrilling that he sat down on the sidewalk and wept for joy. What do you suppose it was that he saw that was so wonderful? No one has ever guessed correctly.
     Harry saw for the first time the cracks in the side walk. You and I don’t get very emotional about cracks in the sidewalk, but if you have tripped on them thousands of times and then you can finally see them, they are a something to weep about.
      He decided that even with his limited vision, he wanted to go to a normal school instead of a school for the blind. He didn’t want anyone to know how really limited his vision was; so he would sit on the front row in each class and sometimes could almost make out what was on the blackboard, but he was smart enough that he faked his way through.
     Harry didn’t have any friends in the new school so he would take his paper bag lunch out to the football stadium where he would eat by himself. While he was eating, he liked to pretend that even he could play football; not throw or catch the ball but maybe play on the line where sight wasn’t so important; but he knew deep down that his dream could never happen, not with such limited vision.
      Still it was fun to make believe. One day when Harry was sitting clear on the top row of the bleachers, he said for some unknown reason, his vision for about 15 minutes became almost perfectly clear. He said for that short time he thought he must have been seeing as well as anyone.
     Harry looked out from the stadium and saw something so glorious, so magnificent, that he couldn’t believe it was real. To test out his vision he hurried down to the football field and got about a foot from the yard line markers. Then he backed up clear to the top of the bleachers where he could still see the numbers. He looked out from the stadium and what he had seen before, that was so wonderful, was still there. He saw clearly a spectacle that he would never forget: the indescribably beautiful Golden Gate Bridge.
     Soon after that, the pressure in Harry’s eyes increased until they literally exploded, plunging him back into total darkness forever. And with his eyes went his dreams of ever being an athlete. Still he managed to graduate from the high school of students with normal vision.
     After graduation Harry went to a school for the blind where he learned many things such as reading Braille, using a Seeing Eye dog, and even using shop tool to build furniture. After graduation the school had a party on a warm summer day at an inland lake where the students could splash and play in the shallow water. Some of the blind instructors and students had even learned to water ski and they had a boat for that. Harry went out in the boat that pulled the water skiers and told about how exhilarating it was to feel the vibration of the boat and be sense how fast they were going by putting his hand out to feel the water hit his hand as they sped through it.
     They put a life Jacket on Harry and tried to get him to try water skiing but he was terrified of the water. Still they had a wonderful time and no one wanted the day to end because with graduation they would be saying goodbye to all of their friends. There was some lunch left over so they stayed on to eat it and had a wonderful time until after dark.
       Then someone got the bright idea, “Lets go water skiing again in the dark.” If you’re blind the dark doesn’t make any difference.  They went out again in the boat to pull the water skiers. Harry felt the wind of the cool night air and again reached out to feel the water hit his hand as they sped through the night. He said he was having a wonderful time and then someone said, Harry you’ve got to try water skiing again! “No, no he said, you scarred me nearly to death earlier,” but they just wouldn’t take no for an answer. So they put a life jacket on Harry and got him back in the water with the water skis on and had him hold the tow rope. They gave the shout to the driver of the boat and the boat took off. Harry said he managed to get up on the skis for about two seconds before he fell in to the water but those two seconds changed his life forever. He realized that he could do really difficult things that people with vision could do.
    Harry then took swimming lessons, and not only learned to swim but learned to swim very well. He started winning swimming events for the blind in San Francisco, then California, then went on to win national swimming events for the blind. His record swimming times even rivaled the swimming times for sighted swimmers. Harry, in spite of being totally blind, became a world class swimmer.
     Next someone said to him, “Harry, you’re such a great athlete, such a great swimmer. Why don’t you enter the Honolulu Iran Man Triathlon?”  That’s were you swim 3 miles, then bicycle 24 miles, then run a 26 mile marathon. How did he do itwhen he was blind? By swimming along side of a world class swimmer to keep him on course, then riding on a tandem bicycle with world class cyclist, then running the marathon with a world class marathoner (Harry is such an incredible athlete that his guides have to be world class to make it possible for him to go as fast as he is capable of going.) I have one of the shoes that Harry wore to set a record in the Honolulu Iron Man Triathlon.
     Then people told Harry about cross country skiing for the blind and the World Winter Olympics for the Blind held in Oslo Norway. There are plenty of hills in San Francisco but no snow; so Harry went up to Squaw Valley and learned to cross country ski. From there he went to Oslo Norway where he has won several gold medals in the Winter Olympics for the Blind in cross country skiing.
     I believe Harry holds world records for the blind in the half marathon, the marathon, 50 mile run, and the 100k (62) mile run. How does he do it? When he goes for a record, there are almost no sighted runners that can keep up with him for that distance; so he uses teams of guide runners with each runner running a 10 mile leg or so.
     The little boy that so much wanted to be an athlete but thought that was impossible because he couldn’t see, now probably holds more world records than any man that has ever lived. I will end the Harry Cordellos’ story now with his poem, the title of which comes from the two seconds he got up on the water skis.
It is called:

Breaking Through

With faith that’s strong,
Your highest goals
You’ll conquer bye and bye
Though disappointments threaten now
Don’t be afraid to try

It doesn’t really matter
If you fail or drop the ball
The only real losers quit
Or never try at all

So give it everything you’ve got
And keep your courage high
And if you do, you’ll win the prize
That money cannot buy
 
You’ll always walk with honor
For there is no greater prize
Than knowing whether win or loose
With all your heart you tried

My Hero Tomorrow, 8-17-11, I will attend the funeral of one of my hero’s; 91 year old Paul Penrod. Had I been asked to speak at his funeral, I would tell the following about his life and membership in the Church:
     Raised by a single mother with six brothers, Paul went to church as a child. When he was a teenager Paul got in a fight with the Bishop or Stake Presidents’ son, and soundly beat him up, giving him what Paul thought he deserved.  Paul didn’t have a father to help tell his side of the story or defend him, and the condemnation for what he had done drove him out of the Church.
     We moved to Provo and I was assigned to be Paul’s Home Teacher. On the first visits, Paul would immediately leave the room without saying a word.
     Soon after those first home teaching visits, Paul had an experience that totally changed his life. He was a scuba diver and owned one of the only compressors in the valley to fill scuba diving tanks. For this reason the Sheriff would always come to Paul for underwater rescue and recovery.
    An airplane went down through the ice on Utah Lake and Paul was called to recover the two bodies from the bottom of the lake. He said it was so dark down on the bottom that he couldn’t see anything but had to just feel the parts of the wreckage. When Paul located the first body, he said it felt just like mush and they realized when he brought the body to the surface that nearly every bone in the body was almost pulverized and broken.
    Paul went down again to recover the second body and felt something solid that he thought must be the back of one of the airplane seats. Then he realized that it was the other body. When he brought that body to the surface, it was complete and there wasn’t a bone broken.
    This was incomprehensible to Paul because the plane went through the ice head first and both men sitting side by side should have received the same injuries. The only difference – the only difference - the body that was not broken was wearing temple garments. Paul never felt the same about the Church after that sobering experience.
    Paul would no longer leave the room when we came home teaching. He started coming to meetings and was asked to be the Scout Master which he accepted. For the Darrell Stoddard family, he taught our boys James, and Mark, who were barely old enough to go to school how to scuba dive. Our son Paul wasn’t in school yet and he made a special small air tank just for him because the standard air tanks were too big (probably where our Paul got his love for scuba diving).
   After being Scout Master, Paul became the Bishop. (It was interesting to me that an auto mechanic [Paul’s profession] became Bishop to a number of college professors and they loved him.)
     I might add that Bert Ostler, in the Ward who I was also a Senior Aaronic Priesthood Advisor for, also came out of total inactivity in the Church and became the Bishop of the Ward after we moved to Oklahoma for me to go to Flight School. Other men in that Senior Aaronic Priesthood Quorum that came out of inactivity were: Dell Bunnell, Floyd Clark, Willis Woodard, Bob Davis, and Wallace Eckland. (Brother Woodard became an ordained set apart temple worker.)
    Wally Eckland said last night at the viewing and again in his talk in the funeral that it was Keith Melville, Hoover Clark, and I who took he and his wife and Paul and Delight Penrod, through the Project Temple Class and to the temple.

Shelley Melville, (Dale Hansen, Jan Hansen) - Sanctified Human Beings
     “In Mormonism, the word “sanctify” means, “the process of becoming free from sin, pure, clean, and holy through the atonement of Jesus Christ.” I (Darrell Stoddard) add that being sanctified is being, beyond the power of Satan to tempt, sacred and holy (as those who “die unto the Lord” will be after they have gone through the veil).     
     Shelley Melville was a sanctified human being. The daughter of Keith and Ruth Melville,. Shelley at 39 years of age developed breast cancer. Her husband was a seminary teacher and they had nine small children. Medical doctors wanted to give Shelley chemotherapy and radiation. Keith and Ruth said, “No, we’re not going to do any of that. We are just going to use the Priesthood.”
     Before I finish the story of Shelley Melville, I need to tell the cancer stories of my neighbors Sven Svendsen and Betty Finlayson. In contrast to Shelley, Sven and Betty had cancer and received chemo-therapy and radiation; doing exactly what medical doctors told them to do. Both Sven and Betty died horrible deaths. Sven weighed only 88 pounds when he died and wouldn’t let anyone outside of his immediate family even see him the last three months.   
     I am not writing this to criticize modern medicine. Shelly, Sven, and Betty were good Latter-day Saints.   They all did the right thing; exactly what the spirit told them to do.    
     I visited Shelley many times before her death in the home of Keith and Ruth Melville and felt each time that I had been in the Celestial Kingdom. An Apostle gave Shelley a blessing and went home and told his family that he had been in the presence of a sanctified human being.
     One morning, Shelly woke up and said, “I’m going to die today.” She called her husband and children to her bedside and they planned the funeral. That afternoon Shelley died.
     “Those who die unto the Lord shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them.”  Shelley’s death was not horrible, but “sweet,” and the funeral in which her sisters sang was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
     Today is 8-25-11. I went back in time to tell the Sven Svendsen, Betty Finlayson, and Shelley Melville cancer stories as a prelude to telling about Dale and Jan Hansen.
Jan and Dale Hansen 8-25-11   
     Last week Jan Hansen, Dale Hansen’s wife, left a message on our answering machine that Dale had a serious form of cancer. Dale called the next day and told me how thankful he was. Then he talked to LaRae for about an hour; telling her that about a month before he twice received a strong impression that he was “going home.” Soon after that premonition, Dale found out that he had an aggressive form of cancer in his blood and had just a short time to live. Over and over again he repeated how thankful he was that this was happening to him. (Being thankful that he was going to die???). It was almost beyond belief; that a person could be thankful for imminent death.
     At first Dale thought he wouldn’t do anything medical but just let his death come. Then he decided to do chemotherapy for what doctors could learn to help others.
     When visiting Dale and Jan in the Huntsman Cancer Center, we learned this prognosis: The Chemotherapy Dale is now receiving will put the cancer in remission for about a month. The doctors are confident of that. Then it will come back more aggressive than ever for which they having nothing they can do. This will then in a short time cause his death.
    Before going to the hospital we thought Jan would just be bearing up under the grief to support Dale, but she is thankful and rejoicing right along with him.
    In the preexistence, if we looked forward to our mortal birth, how much more so must we have looked forward to our mortal death. As Latter-day Saints, we believe there will be rejoicing on the other side when people die. Jan and Dale are already there; through the veil and rejoicing, though they still live. Both Dale and Jan, like Shelly Melville, I believe have become sanctified.
    The Apostle Paul, in his wonderful chapter about charity 1Cor.13, tells us that, “we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect (Jesus Christ) is come, then that which is in part shall be done away…. (We will see things as they really are), but “now (in mortality) we see through a glass, darkly.” When we go through the veil, we will see and understand everything. 
      Brigham Young said that his greatest wish for the Saints was “that they be able to see things as they really are.” He said that he never passed a casket without wanting to get in and trade places with the person who had died.
     Going through the veil is a glorious experience because we no longer will “see through a glass darkly” but will see things as they really are.
3-18-13 Update on Dale and Jan Hansen Miracle of miracles!!! – Yesterday we received a visit from Dale and Joan Hansen. After many more weeks in the hospital and after more and more chemotherapy, Dale is now back to work and will retire in June
Earliest memory My earliest vivid memory happened 73 years ago today (8-29-11) I was at my grandparents home in Riverdale and several relatives dropped by to visit my grandparents. I would meet them at the door and tell them that today was my birth day. It made me feel so important to be 4 years old. The relatives make a fuss about me and I can remember that I smiled so long or so hard that it hurt my face.
Glorious Thrilling Life 3-11-12 Entry: About 10 days ago when on my morning walk with our dog Sampson, I heard the first woodpecker of the year. My little friend had returned. How could anything be more wondrous and awe inspiring than a woodpecker, a giraffe or a dolphin? How could anything be more beautiful than a freshly opened Double Delight rose, a peacock, a ring neck rooster pheasant, or a freshly caught Eastern Brook Trout? And how could any thing smell more beautiful than the same Double Delight rose or the unbelievable fragrance of Musk from the Musk rats my father and Ray would trap? Isn’t life almost too wonderful for words? Oh thank you God for this glorious, wonderful, thrilling life, and the world with so many beautiful things, newborn babies, the laugh of a little child, fishes birds, butterflies and flowers. Oh God let this be heaven!  I do not ask for more.

Hero’s at the Sacrament Table  
    Since I was about 13 years old my hero’s will always be the 16-17 year old Priests at the Sacrament table.
     Growing up I lived in two different worlds. There was the world of my mother with Sunday school, Primary, poetry, and the Church that I loved. My other world was the world of my father, looking for arrowheads, Indian relics, target shooting, exploring, hunting, fishing, and going to sporting events; all of the things boys love to do. I had to hurry home from Sunday school on Sunday to go to the trap shoots.
     I loved both worlds but they were totally separate. When I was about 13 years old, the Western States Golden Gloves Regional Boxing Championship Tournament was held at Ogden High School. There were so many fighters that the tournament lasted three nights; Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Contestants were the boxing champions from 5 states. My father took us all three nights and we saw every match.
     Back then, boxing was one of the most popular sporting events in America. War with Germany seemed imminent and Joe Lewis’s return match with German Max Smelling was listened to by virtually every family in America. Grandmas and Grandpas listened as eagerly as young people. I am certain that a higher percentage of U.S. citizens heard that event than any super bowl or World Series. Max Smelling had won their first match and it was the U.S, verses our enemy Germany. When Lewis knocked out Smelling the celebration almost equaled that of the Unite States later winning the war.
     The Golden Gloves Tournament was a big event. Boxers had to win matches all three nights to be crowned Champion. The next morning when I went to church I happened to look in the chapel where the Priests from the other Ward were preparing the Sacrament. Lo and behold there was a Western States Golden Glove Boxing Champion at the Sacrament table!
    That great young man brought the world of my father; hunting fishing, looking for arrowheads, sports, athletics, and all the things men and boys like to do, together with the wonderful world of my mother and the church! I could have both.

Scot Pierce Edgemont 7th Ward Sacrament Table Hero 
    Scot was a 17 year old Priest in the quorum that I taught. He was the quarterback on the Timpview High School football team and quite possibly the most popular boy in the school. Any girl in the school would have thought they were the luckiest girl anywhere to have a date with Scot.  
    The Ward Young Adults had a computer dating activity wherein all of the young people in the Ward were matched for a date. The football team had a practice scheduled at the same time so they couldn’t participate.
     A young man in the ward was matched with a big girl that had a serious complexion problem, a girl that no boy when I was that age would have ever gone out with. In fact there wasn’t one boy in my entire high school that would have dated her.
     The boy in our ward that was matched to go out with the girl, refused saying there was NO WAY he would go out with her. As it turned out the football team practice was cancelled. This made it possible for boys on the football team to be involved in the  computer dating activity. Scot Pierce found out about the girl that wouldn’t have a date; so he volunteered. He took the girl, who was bigger than he was, on the date making her the happiest girl in the world without her ever knowing about being turned down.
    The next morning in church when I told Scot what a noble thing it was that he had done, He replied, “It was no big deal. I had a good time” and HE REALLY MEANT IT.
   When I consider my grandsons, I don’t think any of them would have refused to go out with the girl if they had been matched. Some of them, might even volunteer to go out with such a girl. Bowdry Clauson, and Caleb Belk for sure, and other grandsons, I believe, would volunteer, the same as Scott Pierce did, thinking it was “no big deal.”

Forever BYU Sports Fan
    I was chosen as the fan of the game in the BYU-Idaho State football game on 11-22-11 (See photo from Daily Herald).
    Following is a Kresimir Cosic story that I don’t think has ever been written that BYU sports fans will cherish (when they hear the complete story.):
    When Kresimir first came to BYU to play basketball, he had his team physical in the doctor’s office that my neighbor, Illa Mae Rigby, worked in. He asked Illa Mae why the Mormon girls wouldn’t go to bed with him. I thought, If BYU has to stoop to recruiting players like that to have a basketball team; it will no longer have my support.
    Later a dramatic change came in the life of the 6’11” basketball star from Croatia. He found himself in a required religion class for Non-Mormons taught by Truman Madsen. In that class he gained a testimony and made a decision to join the LDS Church.
    When he said to Rod Kimball, then one of the athletic trainers, “Mr. Kimball, what you do if I become Mormon?” Rod Kimball knowing what a reprobate Cosic was, replied, “Kresimir, if you become a Mormon, I will leave the church!”
    Kresimir joined the church and became a faithful member. He returned to Croatia between his years at BYU to play for the Yugoslavian Olympic Team that beat the Russians who beat the U.S.A. team.
     Back in those days, before our professionals could play on the Olympic team, the U.S. would put together a team of college all stars, that would play a few scrimmage games and then go to the Olympics. The Soviet bloc teams took their basketball much more seriously playing a 40-50 game schedule to prepare for the Olympics. The schedule took them everywhere from Vladivostok near Japan to the boarder of West Germany, an area spanning 12 time zones, half way around the world.
    When Kresimir retuned to play those games, he took with him Marv Robison, a BYU trainer who was hired that year to be the trainer for the Yugoslavian Team.
    We made a motion picture at the BYU Motion Picture Studio showing Kresimir playing basketball at BYU and visiting Temple Square. Standing before the statue of Peter, James and John with their hands on the heads of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, Kresimir declares in the Yugoslavian language that, “I KNOW this is true These men were prophets of God.”
     The film included the motion picture Mans Search for Happiness narrated by Cosic in the Yugoslavian language. In some of the basketball games they would show the film to the spectators during half times. The Communist Government was afraid to stop this because they thought it might cause a revolution. The people in Croatia and Yugoslavia knew who Kresimir was and thought he was the greatest athlete in the world. The official government line was that “Cosic had come to the United States to play basketball and while there he was brain-washed by a religious cult.”
     On their pre Olympic game schedule the Yugoslavian team was traveling by train and passed through Belgrade, Yugoslavia where they had a layover which Marv and Kresimir understood was to be two hours before the train continued on to the Olympic training camp in Zadar, Croatia.
    The rest of the team all hurried to find a bar to get a beer; so to pass the time Marv and Kresimir just went for a walk. When they returned to the station the train with the team was gone. What they thought was to be a two hour layover turned out to be only a one hour layover.
     There was not another train leaving for Zadar for three hours. It was a beautiful summer evening so the two of them decided to go into Belgrade to find a restaurant for dinner and then return to the station to catch the next train back to the training camp.
    They were walking down the street when a taxi cab slammed on its brakes did a U-turn and pulled up to the curb in front of them. The driver jumped out and said, “Your Kresimir Cosic aren’t you? You’ve got to come with me!”
     This was his story: He had a sister that was in the hospital with a sick baby. The doctors had told the family, who were all there to give support, that the doctors had done everything they could possible do to save the baby. Now it was just a matter of time until the baby died.
    The sister cried out to her taxi driving brother brother, “GO FIND KRESIMIR COSIC! I‘VE HEARD THAT HE HAS THE POWER TO HEAL PEOPLE. Not knowing where to go, but doing as his sister said, he just drove down the street looking for a tall basketball player, and there he was.
    What makes this story so incredible is that the Olympic team wasn’t even playing a game in Belgrade. The team just happened to be passing through on the train. The sister didn’t have the team schedule and had no idea where the team was. They could have been anywhere in time zones that stretched half way around the world.
    Marv Robison said, “We went to the hospital and gave the baby a blessing. Then we knew why we had missed the train. Kresimir added, “Being a professional or Olympic athlete means nothing compared to holding the priesthood.
    Illa Mae Rigby, Rod Kimball, Truman Madsen, Marv Robison, and Kresimir Cosic are now all deceased but the story is true as I heard it from their lips and as I can best remember it. – Darrell Stoddard

9-15-12 Entry - A missed Opportunity
    This morning LaRae and I went to a cross country track meet at BYU that Jeffrey Reeves was running in. There must have been at least 300 runners in his race and our grandson Jeffrey finished well into the top third of the runners; very good for a sophomore.
   There is an image from that race that I can’t get out of my mind; a little boy finishing dead last, at least a half mile (two laps of the track) behind everyone else, but he put in a kick and ran his heart out the last 60 yards to the finish line, but not one of the hundreds and hundreds of people even noticed or paid any attention. Why oh why didn’t I think to go to the finish line, shake his hand with the words, “You ran a great race young man! You came in first ahead of all those who didn’t run. I’m so proud of you for making that great kick. God love and bless you for never giving up.”
    Now I pray that I’ll never again fail to do the right thing at the right time; for such opportunities are gone forever. We cannot call them back.
    “Cannot call them back”? Maybe just maybe, through the glorious principle (and mystery) of repentance and forgiveness, a merciful God will somehow allow me to go back and do what I should have done. I pray that He will make my repentance complete, as though I had actually done the deed (for me and also for that special young man).
     The next day in a regional conference one of the speakers told about the rededication of the Hawaiian temple. Before the dedication the students put on a program wherein they danced a Polynesian dance. One of the girls was in a wheelchair but danced with only her arms. After the program, President Monson went down and told her she danced beautifully. Then he bent down and kissed her on the forehead. A prophet of God did the right thing at the right time which I didn’t do.

Running a Race That We Know We Cannot Win
      It takes courage to run a race we cannot win.The one with the greatest courage of all is the runner who comes in last place but never gives up until he/she crosses the finish line. This is the one who deserves the most applause.

John Bakers Last Race
is the story of of a young man running a race he knew he could not win. We learn this from a poem he wrote:

                The Race to Death
                     by John Baker

Many thoughts race through my mind
As I step up to the starting line.
Butterflies through my stomach fly,
And as I free that last deep sigh,
I feel that death is drawing near.
But the end of the race, I do not fear
For when the string comes across  my breast,
I know its time for eternal rest.
The gun goes off, the race is run
And only God knows if I've won.
My family and friends and many more
Can't understand what it was for. 
But this "Race to Death: is a final test,
Ands I'm ny afraid, For I've done my best.

An Important Missionary Lesson
      Every LDS peson should know the  following about John Baker's father:

Words “Only True Church” are Highly Misleading
                         By Darrell Stoddard

     Mormon must understand that if they say, “our church is the only true church” it will not communicate to non Mormons what Mormons Believe.  “Our church is the only true church…” is an incomplete scripture (often spoken by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) that is almost always misunderstood by nonmembers. Though profoundly true, the expression has one meaning for LDS people and a totally different meaning for everyone else.  There may be no other religious expression that mis-communicates so much.
    A famous man (who, before television, was known and loved by almost every family in the United States) wanted, and fully intended, to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his first Sacrament meeting, someone said, “Our church is the only true church.” Because of that statement, he chose not to join the church and, until he died, he did not want to hear any more about the Mormon Church. 
    The famous man that turned away from the Mormon Church because someone said, “our church is the only true church?” was Jack Baker. Before television, almost every home in America would listen to the radio while they were preparing or eating breakfast. The program they listened to was the Don McNeil Breakfast Club.  The tenor who sang each morning on that program was Jack Baker. At the time, he was as well known as Bing Crosby.
     Jack and his wife Polly, who were active members of the Methodist Church, had a son named John who was the subject of one of the most popular stories ever printed in the Reader’s Digest entitled John Baker’s Last Race. The motion Picture Studio at BYU made a motion picture with the same title.
      Jack Baker told me that he and Polly were going to change their church membership and he wanted me to take them to a Mormon service. In the meeting someone said, “Our church is the only true church.” That phrase totally ended Jack’s desire to learn more about or ever join the LDS church. Polly Baker later explained why…
      Their son, John Baker, who was a world class runner, collapsed one day while training for the Olympics. They found out that John had cancer and was given only six months to live. A Methodist minister named Hawk became close and especially helpful to John. What no one knew until Reverend Hawk quietly died, was that he also had cancer and was dying.                                        
     When Jack Baker heard someone say the Mormon Church was “the only true church,” he told Polly, “You can’t tell me that Reverend Hawk never had the truth!” What a tragic misunderstanding. Reverend Hawk had the Bible which is true, and he lived by that truth, as well, or better, than many Mormons.
     The following is communicated by Mormons when they quote an incomplete scripture stating that the LDS Church is “the only true church”:
     Mormons communicate (though they don’t mean to do so) that all other churches are false and have no truth, even those that believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ. 
      Mormons communicate (though they don’t mean to do so) that all other Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus. Agnostics and Atheists are lost and will not be saved from death. (Mormons do not believe this, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” - all of the above will be resurrected and all will be saved from death.)
      Mormons communicate (though they don’t mean to do so) that everyone will be lost if they do not join the Mormon Church before they die. (Mormons definitely do not believe this! Ask a Mormon what their temples are for?)
      The misunderstood words, “only true church” are one of the reasons why a poll found that as many as 60% of the people in the U.S. have negative feelings about the L.D.S. church and why another poll found that 40% of Americans would be uncomfortable with a Mormon President.
      The word “only” in the expression “only true church” is what causes the misunderstanding. It would be better to leave out the word “only” and say, “The Mormon church is the true church of Jesus Christ restored to the Earth.”
       The words “only true church….” ARE UNIQUIVICALLY TRUE for Mormons who understand their meaning! THE SAME WORDS ARE NEVER TRUE for non-Mormons who misunderstand them! It is one of the reasons why people believe Mormonism is a “cult.” This failure to communicate will not win converts.


A Healing Miracle When mother was about 90 years old, she got a lump under her chin about as big as a large hens egg cut in half lengthwise. We took her too the doctor who after examining her said, I don’t know what it is but has to come out.” He scheduled her for surgery the next morning. Lynn and I gave her a priesthood blessing and administered to her that night. The next morning we took her to the hospital who admitted her for the surgery. While we were waiting for a room, mother reached up feeling where the lump had been and declaired, “IT’S GONE, IT’S TOTALLY  GONE !!!  and it was; so we went to the admitting desk and said, ”she doesn’t need the surgery, the lump is gone.”  We then checked her out, took her home; and she lived another ten years. The lump never returned.  
An Australian Experience;  When I was in Australia they brought a ledger to me that showed the names of missionaries that had come to Australia. In the year 1900 was the name Charles Stoddard; my fathers oldest brother who was there when mu father Earl Stoddard was born.
      Jeff Boot took me to see a mountain man in Australia who had cut his finger off the day before. It was cut clear through and was just holding on by a piece of skin. He was holding a rag around it and the coagulated blood. kept it from falling off.
      I said, “Lets put some Biotape around it to see if it will help.” That night I thought, “What have I done? When he takes off the tape, his finger will fall off.”  I came back three weeks later. The scar went nearly all the way around and his finger was completely healed; feeling was even coming back in the tip.

10-10-12 Entry - Today the Daily Herald published the following letter by me: Editor,
Getting Serious About Illegal Drugs
     With the murder of Boarder Patrol agent Nicholas Ivie (from Spanish Fork), it’s time we got serious about eliminating the demand for illegal drugs.
   Virtually all of the Chinese laborers that built the railroad form San Francisco to Promontory Point were Opium addicts – smoking opium pipes every night after work. Drug addiction in China today is almost non-existent. When I was there, a lady in China tried to sell me her grandfather’s opium pipe.
     How was drug addiction eliminated in China? They executed the dealers and in a very short time no one wanted to be a dealer. The demand for opium ceased, and drug addiction was almost totally eliminated.  
     If we executed, not the users, but a few drug dealers, it would soon eliminate the demand and bring an end to the endless killings across the boarder which has exceeded even the number of killings in our wars.
      It would be better for a few people to die than for the killing of thousands to continue. Drug dealing is so profitable that seizing the cash, cars, boats and airplanes of dealers has not been much of a deterrent. We need to do more.
                                ---------------------
I received on the internet 11-11-12 the following incredible story:
'Proof of Heaven' documents existence of afterlife, multiverse, intelligent life beyond Earth, multidimensional realities
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
(NaturalNews) There's a secret that's much bigger than politics, health freedom, science or even the entire history of the human race. That secret remains entirely unacknowl-edged -- even condemned -- by the scientific community, and yet it is the single most important secret about everything that is. Yes, everything.
That secret is simply this: We all survive the physical death of our bodies. Our consciousness lives on, and upon our death in this Earthly dream, our consciousness transcends this physical reality and experiences an existence so amazing and powerful that the human language cannot even begin to describe it.

This is the message from Dr. Eben Alexander, author of the newly-published book, "Proof of Heaven." I recently read the book and found it both fascinating and also confirming of several important theories I've been developing about the nature of life and the Creator. (See below.)
A lifelong science skeptic who never believed in God, Heaven or consciousness
Long before this book was ever written, Dr. Alexander was a practicing neurosurgeon and a lifelong "science skeptic." He did not believe in consciousness, free will or the existence of a non-physical spirit. Trained in western medical school and surrounded by medical colleagues who are deeply invested in the materialism view of the universe, Dr. Alexander believed that so-called "consciousness" was only an illusion created by the biochemical functioning of the brain.
This is a view held by virtually all of today's mainstream scientists, including physicists like Stephen Hawking who say that human beings are nothing more than "biological robots" with no consciousness and no free will.
Dr. Alexander would have held this view to his own death bed had it not been for his experiencing an event so bizarre and miraculous that it defies all conventional scientific explanation: Dr. Alexander "died" for seven days and experienced a vivid journey into the afterlife. He then returned to his physical body, experienced a miraculous healing, and went on to write the book "Proof of Heaven."
E.coli  infection eats his brain
It all started when e.coli bacteria infected Dr. Alexander's spinal fluid and outer cerebrum. The e.coli began to literally eat his brain away, and he went into an extremely violent fit of seizures, verbal outbursts and muscular spasms before lapsing into a brain-dead coma.
In this coma, he showed zero higher brain activity and was only kept alive via a respirator and IV fluids. The attending physicians soon concluded that Dr. Alexander would die within a matter of days, and that even if he lived, he would be a non-functioning "vegetable" with limited brain function. Statistically, the death rate for patients with e.coli infections of the brain is 97%.
But here's the real shocker in all this: Rather than experiencing nothingness during these seven earth-days of unconsciousness, Dr. Alexander found himself "awakening" from the dream of his earthly life, suddenly experiencing an incomprehensibly vast expansion of his consciousness in the afterlife.

This experience is described in more detail in his book "Proof of Heaven," but here are the highlights:
• The experience of the afterlife was so "real" and expansive that the experience of living as a human on Earth seemed like an artificial dream by comparison.
• There was no time dimension in the afterlife. Time did not "flow" as it does in our universe. An instant could seem like eternity, and consciousness could move through what we perceive to be time without effort. (This idea that all time exists simultaneously has enormous implications in understanding the nature of free will and the multiverse, along with the apparent flow of time experienced by our consciousness in this realm.)
• The fabric of the afterlife was pure LOVE. Love dominated the afterlife to such a huge degree that the overall presence of evil was infinitesimally small.
• In the afterlife, all communication was telepathic. There was no need for spoken words, nor even any separation between the self and everything else happening around you.
• The moment you asked a question in your mind, the answers were immediately apparent in breathtaking depth and detail. There was no "unknown" and the mere asking of a question was instantly accompanied by the appearance of its answers.
• There also exists a literal Hell, which was described by Dr. Alexander as a place buried underground, with gnarled tree roots and demonic faces and never-ending torment. Dr. Alexander was rescued from this place by angelic beings and transported to Heaven.
God acknowledges the existence of the multiverse
The passage of "Proof of Heaven" I found most interesting is found on page 48, where Dr. Alexander says:
Through the Orb, [God] told me that there is not one universe but many -- in fact, more than I could conceive -- but that love lay at the center of them all. Evil was present in all the other universes as well, but only in the tiniest trace amounts. Evil was necessary because without it free will was impossible, and without free will there could be no growth -- no forward movement, no chance for us to become what God longed for us to be. Horrible and all-powerful as evil sometimes seemed to be in a world like ours, in the larger picture love was overwhelmingly dominant, and it would ultimately be triumphant
This passage struck an important cord with me, as I have long believed our universe was created by the Creator as just one of an infinite number of other universes, each with variations on life and the laws of physics. (Click here to read my writings on the Higgs Boson particle, consciousness and the multiverse.) What Dr. Alexander's quote confirms is that our life on planet Earth is a "test" of personal growth, and that the way to make progress in this test is to overcome evil while spreading love and compassion.
Even more, this passage also confirms the existence of free will and even helps answer the question I'm often asking myself: "Why are we placed here in a world of such evil and surrounded by ignorance, darkness and deception?" The answer appears to be that Earth is a testing ground for souls that have been selected by the Creator for the ultimate test of good versus evil.
Earth as a testing ground
Although "Proof of Heaven" doesn't go as far as I'm explaining here, my working theory is that our planet Earth is among the highest evil-infested realms in the grand multiverse. Only the most courageous souls agree to come to Earth by being born into human bodies and stripped of their memories.
From there, the challenge of life is multi-faceted:
1) Figure out WHO you are and WHY you are here.
2) Learn to recognize and overcome EVIL (tyranny, slavery, oppression, Big Government, etc.).
3) Learn to spread love, compassion, healing and knowledge.
Upon our death, we are judged by a higher power, and that judgment takes into account our performance in these areas. Did we achieve a measure of self-awareness? Did we work to overcome evil? Did we express love and compassion and help uplift others with knowledge and awareness?
As you've probably already figured out, the vast majority of humans fail these tests. They die as bitter, selfish, substance-addicted, greed-driven minions of evil who mistakenly thought they were winning the game of life while, in reality, they were losing the far more important test of the Creator.

The most important part about living a human life is not acquiring money, or fame, or power over others but rather achieving a high "score" in this simulation known as "life" by resisting evil, spreading love and expanding awareness of that which is true.

For those who respect life, who practice humility and self awareness, who seek to spread knowledge and wisdom while resisting tyranny, oppression, ignorance and evil, their souls will, I believe, be selected for special tasks in the greater multiverse. That's the "real" existence. This Earthly life is only a dream-like simulation where your soul interfaces with the crude biology of our planet for a very short time span that's actually the blink of an eye in the larger picture.
In reality, you are much more than your body. In fact, your soul is infinitely more aware, intelligent and creative than what can be experienced or expressed through the brain of a human. Trying to experience the full reality of what you are through the limited physical brain matter of a human being is a lot like trying to teach an insect to compose music like Mozart.
The multiverse is teeming with intelligent life, including multi-dimensional beings
Dr. Alexander's journey also confirms the existence of intelligent life far beyond Earth. As he explains in Proof of Heaven:
I saw the abundance of life throughout the countless universes, including some whose intelligence was advanced far beyond that of humanity. I saw that there are countless higher dimensions, but that the only way to know these dimensions is to enter and experience them directly. They cannot be known, or understood, from lower dimensional space. From those higher worlds one could access any time or place in our world.

This not only confirms the existence of other intelligent civilizations throughout our known universe, but more importantly the existence of multidimensional beings who can come and go from our realm as they please.
Throughout the cultures of the world, there are countless accounts of advanced beings visiting Earth, transferring technology to ancient Earth civilizations, and possibly even interbreeding with early humans. Even the very basis of Christianity begins with the idea that an omnipresent multidimensional being (God) can intervene at will, and can therefore transcend time and space.
Alternative researchers like David Icke also talk about multi-dimensional beings visiting Earth and infecting the planet with great evil. According to Icke, the globalist controllers of our planet are literally reptilian shape-shifters who have invaded our world for the purpose of controlling and enslaving humanity. Although nothing like this is covered in Dr. Alexander's book, it is not inconsistent with what Dr. Alexander was told by God during his coma... Namely, that there are multi-dimensional realities, that certain high-vibration beings can traverse those realities at will, and that Earth is infested with a great evil with the specific purpose of testing our character.
If all this sounds a little too spooky for you, consider the words of the Bible itself: An upright talking reptilian snake spoke in audible words to Adam and Even in the Garden of Eden, did it not?
The science skeptics are wrong (again)
Regardless of what you might think about multidimensional beings, intelligent life beyond Earth, and the existence of great evil on our planet, there's one aspect of all this that's crystal clear: The science skeptics are dead wrong.
Science "skeptics" are actually misnamed. They aren't skeptical at all. They simply follow their own religion with its own sacred beliefs that cannot be questioned... ever! Those beliefs include the utter worship of the materialistic view of the universe. Simultaneously, so-called "skeptics" do not believe they are conscious beings themselves because they believe consciousness is merely an "artifact" of biochemical brain function.
There is no afterlife, they insist. There is no mind-body medicine, the placebo effect is useless, and there's no such thing as premonition, remote viewing or psychic phenomena. Oh yes, and they also insist that injecting yourself with mercury, MSG and formaldehyde via vaccines is actually good for you, that fluoride chemicals are good for the public health and that we should all eat more GMOs, pesticides and synthetic chemicals.
It's no surprise these religious cult members of the "scientism" cult don't believe in an afterlife. That's what allows them to commit genocidal crimes against the human race today via GMOs, experimental medicine, toxic vaccines and other deadly pursuits. In their view, humans have no souls so killing them is of no consequence.
As Dr. Alexander says, Certain members of the scientific community, who are pledged to the materialistic worldview, have insisted again and again that science and spirituality cannot coexist. They are mistaken.
Well of course they are. The "science skeptics" are dead wrong about almost everything they claim to advocate. But their biggest mistake of all is in denying the existence of their own souls. Needless to say, they are all going to fail the human experience simulation once they pass on and face judgment. My, what a surprise that will be for those sad souls when they day arrives...

I would hate to face God one day after having lived a life of a science skeptic, and then have God ask the question: "You doubted ME?" How could anyone take a look at the world around them and not see the signs of an intelligent Creator? Even the very laws of physics have been tweaked and fine-tuned in precisely the right balance so that our universe itself can support the formation of stars, and planets, and carbon-based life forms. This is called the "Goldilocks Enigma," and there's a wonderful book by that same name written by Paul Davies.
No biochemical explanation for Dr. Alexander's experience
For those skeptics who may be reading this, Dr. Alexander goes through nine possible biochemical hypotheses for his experiences and then meticulously and scientifically dismisses them all one by one. The result? His experience was REAL. In fact, it was "more real" than life as a human being.
Remember, Dr. Alexander is a neurosurgeon. This guy knows the physical brain like no one else. The nine medical explanations he considers and dismisses as possible causes for his experience are:
1) Primitive brainstem program.
2) Distorted recall of memories from the limbic system.
3) Endogenous glutamate blockade with excitotoxicity.
4) DMT dump.
5) Isolated preservation of cortical regions of the brain.
6) Loss of inhibitory neurons leading to highly levels of activity among excitatory neuronal networks to generate an apparent "ultra-reality."
7) Activation of thalamus, basal ganglia and brainstorm to create a hyper-reality experience.
8) Reboot phenomenon.
9) Unusual memory generation through archaic visual pathways.
Dr. Alexander may be the most credible afterlife witness in the history of humanity
Dr. Alexander's experience (and subsequent book) is arguably the best-documented case of the afterlife that exists in western science today. The fact that a vivid, hyper-real afterlife was experienced by a science skeptic materialistic brain surgeon who didn't believe in the afterlife -- and who subsequently found the courage to document his experiences and publish them in a book -- adds irrefutable credibility to the experience.
This was not some kook seeking fame on a TV show. In fact, his writing this book earned him endless ridicule from his former "scientific" colleagues. There was every reason to NOT write this book. Only by the grace of God was Dr. Alexander healed of his e.coli infection, restored to normal brain function, and granted the VISION of the afterlife so that he could return to this realm and attempt to put it into words.
Personally, I believe Dr. Alexander, and his experience mirrors that of countless others, across every culture, who have reported similar NDEs (Near Death Experiences). There is life after life, and the shift in consciousness of Earthlings that is required to take our species to a higher level of understanding begins, I believe, with embracing the truth of the immortality of our own souls (and the existence of a grand Creator).
What does it all mean?
Dr. Alexander's spiritual journey gives us a wealth of information that can help provide meaning and purpose in our daily lives.

For starters, it means that all our actions are recorded in the cosmos and that there are no secrets in the larger scope of things. You cannot secretly screw somebody over here on Earth and think it won't be recorded on your soul forever. It also means that all our actions will be accounted for in the afterlife. If this message sounds familiar, that's because an identical idea is the pillar of every major world religion, including Christianity.

It also means there are people living today on this planet whose souls will literally burn in eternal Hell. There are others whose souls, like Dr. Alexander, will be lifted into Heaven and shown a greater reality. What we choose to do with our lives each and every day determines which path our souls will take after the passing of our physical bodies.
   
What matters, then, is not whether you actually succeed in defeating evil here on Earth, but rather the nature of your character that emerges from all the challenges and tribulations you face. This is all a test, get it? That's why life seems to suck sometimes. It's not a panacea; it's a testing ground for the most courageous souls of all -- those who wish to enter the realm of great evil and hope they can rise above it before the end of their human lifespan.
     Read more of my writings on such topics at www.DivinityNow.com
                         
3-18-13 Greatest Invention of the Last Century Yesterday our home teacher Dan Doxey told about his wife’s aunt who lived to be 106 years old. When she was asked what the greatest miracle in her life had been, she replied, “Seeing the flowers bloom each spring.” They then told of another lady who had a birthday party when she was 105 years old which a large number or most of her descendents attended. Whatever you do she said don’t ever give me another birthday party! I couldn’t remember half of the people who were here this time.
     Our neighbor Joy Criddle who is now over 90 years old, had a mother that lived to be 103 years old. When she was asked if the automobile, the airplane, a rocket going to the moon, electric lights, radio, or television was the greatest miracle in her life, she replied, “Oh no, none of those. The greatest miracle in my life was running water.”
2-17-13 The Greatest Generation is a book by Tom Brokaw about World War 11 veterans. I received a call a couple of days ago from my brother Lynn who was in Louisiana. He told about going to a World War 11 museum and how much he enjoyed it. They gave him a name tag that said he was a veteran. Many people  read the name tag and thanked him for what he had done in the War. One lady even gave him a hug.
    We started to reminisce about World War 11 and Lynn said I should write it all down. It’s a part of my history that needs to be recorded:
     I’ll begin when I was 10 years old. My brother Lynn was 8 years older. I went with Mother and Father to take Lynn to Ft. Douglas to be “mustered in” to the Air Force. In the line of young men going into the military was a Navaho Indian with long hair. Someone behind him made a snide remark about his long hair which no boys or men had in that day. The Indian turned and knocked him out cold.
     Lynn then went to Keesler Field Mississippi for his basic training. While he was there, the Base basketball team played the Harlem Globe Trotters and beat them.
3-13-13 (I have much more to write about The Greatest Generation that will include what My Mother and what I did for the war effort. Until then I must add the following about my  brother Lynn:
Lynn Stoddard. The Best Educator Ever As an addition to his book, Lynn Stoddard gives us these compelling insights: I call it Reinventing Education by discovering and developing genius (that exists in every human being).
    What would happen if teachers were invited to find the genius in each student and help develop it? Albert Einstein said, "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." Could it possibly be true that every person is a genius? The old Stanford Binet IQ test has led several generations to believe that only a few are gifted with superior intelligence. Because of this, a great many people have lived their whole lives believing that, if not stupid, they are, in many ways, inferior.
    Now we know that it is impossible to measure human intelligence numerically. The Binet test measured no more than eight of over one hundred and forty mental functions that humans possess in trillions of different combinations. Humans are so different from one another that it is impossible to identify exceptionalism unless you are able to compare people in one of the many trillions of different mental functions. How can you decide which snowflake is the most beautiful? In the same way you decide which student is the smartest. You don't! It's impossible.
      What would happen if teachers and parents started treating every child as though s/he is a genius? How hard would it be, after years of indoctrination that only a few people deserve this distinction? When I attended an International Gathering of Savants in Texas a few years ago, I learned that there are many people, born with severe metal deficiencies in some areas who are amazingly gifted in others. Tony Deblois, blind and autistic, could play any piece of music, classical or otherwise, flawlessly on the piano after hearing it just one time. The late Kim Peek of Salt Lake City, memorized phone books and read books with the left eye reading the left page while, simultaneously, the right eye read the right hand page. Others at the conference could add long columns of five or six digits faster in their heads than anyone could do it on a computer. Others, while nearly blind, produced amazing pieces of sculpture or paintings.

John Glenn and his Wife Annie's Stuttering

For half a century, the world has applauded John Glenn as a heart-stirring American hero. He lifted the nation's spirits when, as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, he was blasted alone into orbit around the Earth; the enduring affection for him is so powerful that even now people find themselves misting up at the sight of his face or the sound of his voice                                                                                                                 
But for all these years, Glenn has had a hero of his own, someone he has seen display endless courage of a different kind:
Annie Glenn.
They have been married for 68 years.
He is 90; she turned 92 on Friday.
This weekend there has been news coverage of the 50th anniversary of Glenn's flight into orbit. We are being reminded that, half a century down the line, he remains America's unforgettable hero.
NASA celebrates 50 years in orbit
He has never really bought that.
Because the heroism he most cherishes is of a sort that is seldom cheered. It belongs to the person he has known longer than he has known anyone else in the world. John Glenn: First American to orbit the Earth
John Glenn and Annie Castor first knew each other when -- literally -- they shared a playpen.
In New Concord, Ohio, his parents and hers were friends. When the families got together, their children played.
John -- the future Marine fighter pilot, the future test-pilot ace, the future astronaut -- was pure gold from the start. He would end up having what it took to rise to the absolute pinnacle of American regard during the space race; imagine what it meant to be the young John Glenn in the small confines of New Concord.
Three-sport varsity athlete, most admired boy in town, Mr. Everything.
Annie Castor was bright, was caring, was talented, was generous of spirit. But she could talk only with the most excruciating of difficulty. It haunted her.
Her stuttering was so severe that it was categorized as an "85%" disability -- 85% of the time, she could not manage to make words come out.
When she tried to recite a poem in elementary school, she was laughed at. She was not able to speak on the telephone. She could not have a regular conversation with a friend.
And John Glenn loved her.
Even as a boy he was wise enough to understand that people who could not see past her stutter were missing out on knowing a rare and wonderful girl.
They married on April 6, 1943. As a military wife, she found that life as she and John moved around the country could be quite hurtful. She has written: "I can remember some very painful experiences -- especially the ridicule."
In department stores, she would wander unfamiliar aisles trying to find the right section, embarrassed to attempt to ask the salesclerks for help. In taxis, she would have to write requests to the driver, because she couldn't speak the destination out loud. In restaurants, she would point to the items on the menu.
A fine musician, Annie, in every community where she and John moved, would play the organ in church as a way to make new friends. She and John had two children; she has written: "Can you imagine living in the modern world and being afraid to use the telephone? 'Hello' used to be so hard for me to say. I worried that my children would be injured and need a doctor. Could I somehow find the words to get the information across on the phone?"
John, as a Marine aviator, flew 59 combat missions in World War II and 90 during the Korean War. Every time he was deployed, he and Annie said goodbye the same way. His last words to her before leaving were:
"I'm just going down to the corner store to get a pack of gum."
And, with just the two of them there, she was able to always reply:
"Don't be long."
On that February day in 1962 when the world held its breath and the Atlas rocket was about to propel him toward space, those were their words, once again. And in 1998, when, at 77, he went back to space aboard the shuttle Discovery, it was an understandably tense time for them. What if something happened to end their life together?
She knew what he would say to her before boarding the shuttle. He did -- and this time he gave her a present to hold onto:
A pack of gum.
She carried it in a pocket next to her heart until he was safely home.
Many times in her life she attempted various treatments to cure her stutter. None worked.
But in 1973, she found a doctor in Virginia who ran an intensive program she and John hoped would help her. She traveled there to enroll and to give it her best effort. The miracle she and John had always waited for at last, as miracles will do, arrived. At age 53, she was able to talk fluidly, and not in brief, anxiety-ridden, agonizing bursts.
John has said that on the first day he heard her speak to him with confidence and clarity, he dropped to his knees to offer a prayer of gratitude.
He has written: "I saw Annie's perseverance and strength through the years and it just made me admire her and love her even more." He has heard roaring ovations in countries around the globe for his own valor, but his awe is reserved for Annie, and what she accomplished: "I don't know if I would have had the courage."
Her voice is so clear and steady now that she regularly gives public talks. If you are lucky enough to know the Glenns, the sight and sound of them bantering and joking with each other and playfully finishing each others' sentences is something that warms you and makes you thankful just to be in the same room.
Monday will be the anniversary of the Mercury space shot, and once again people will remember, and will speak of the heroism of Glenn the astronaut.
But if you ever find yourself at an event where the Glenns are appearing, and you want to see someone so brimming with pride and love that you may feel your own tears start to well up, wait until the moment that Annie stands to say a few words to the audience.
And as she begins, take a look at her husband's eyes.


Bible Salesman Who Stuttered
      A Bible Company was hiring salesman to sell Bibles. A man who came for the job had a severe stuttering impediment. The sales manager turned him down but the man persisted to just give hIm a chance. The stutterer was given 10 bibles and he came back after just a half a day with all the Bibles sold; asking for more. It was the same the next day and the next. No one had ever sold so many Bibles before so they sent someone with him to find out how he was doing it. This was his door approach:  I'm SSSSSelling  BBBBBBibles. IIII IF YYYY You CaCaCaCant  AAAA Afford  OOO ONE,  IIIIII' L BBBBBe HAHaHaHappy  ToToToTo   ReReReRead IIIII IT  To You..

Catching Colds to Prevent Cancer
    A doctor in New England asked a cancer patient how long had it been since the patient had a cold. The patient answered, “It’s been years since I had a cold. I never catch colds.” The doctor shared the information with other doctors who would ask cancer patients the same question. The answer was nearly always the same, “I seldom ever get a cold.”

The news was shared with many doctors and scientists throughout the United States. This was the impetus for many studies which are now underway using cold viruses to not just prevent, but to try and cure cancer, even the most deadly forms. (Search: ‘Catching colds to prevent cancer” on Google.) If there is a possibility that the cold virus could cure cancer, how much greater is the possibility that the cold virus could prevent cancer?

The take home message is this: There is something about the body’s  immune response to the common cold and catching regular colds that may prevent cancer. Compared to cancer, colds are miserable but seldom fatal. When this message sinks in, we should be thankful for catching colds and consider kissing everyone that has the sniffles. 
  
By Darrell Stoddard, 266 East 3200 North, Provo, UT 84604, 801-377-3891, [email protected] For more “…treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures” see: healpain.net  saveusa.biz  and  BeofGoodCheer.net 

2-22-13 Following the Spirit – Fishermen find crash site and two sisters by Steven Dubois, Associated Press writer: Portland , Ore. - As their mother lay dead in the middle of the night, a 4-year old Oregon girl dragged her seriously injured younger sister from a crashed car and the two huddled under a blanket – and waited
   With the mangled car stuck deep in the woods, and no skid marks on the highway. The crash site was near impossible to detect.
     In fact, authorities estimate the girls were alone in the frigid woods for several hours early Wednesday as many motorists drove past it.
     The girls finally got help after two commercial fishermen spotted what appeared from a distance to be a basketball sized gash in an alder tree along state highway 401 between Astoria, Ore., and Naselle, Wash.  Kraii McClure and Scott Beutler travel the two-lane road frequently, and had a gut feeling something was wrong.
     The men slowed down, discussed the situation and decided to go back and take a look. McClure said he called 911 to see if there had been any reports of a wreck during the night. There weren’t.
     Beutler went into the brush and signaled McClure to alert authorities.
     “I don’t know exactly what told us to turn around, but I’m just really thankful we did,” McClure said Thursday.
     The men spotted the wrecked car a few hundred feet from the road. Nearby where the two young girls, scared and confused. “They could say their names but were totally in shock,”.McClure said.
      The Washington State Patrol said the girls’ mother, 26 year-year old Jessica Rath of Astoria probably was asleep when she veered off the road and struck the tree shortly after midnight. She died at the scene.
     McClure and Beutler discovered the crash around 8:30 A.M.,   
      The 2 year-old, who had serious leg injuries, was flown to a Portland hospital.
      Trooper Russ Winger said investigators believe the four year old pulled her sister from the vehicle and helped her to a spot about 20 feet away, where the fishermen found them. Winger said keeping warm with the blanket was vital with temperatures in the low 40’s.
    “Hypothermia set in very quickly with something like that,” Winger said, “they could have very well not been found and died of exposure.”
     Winger described the fishermen as heroes for acting on their hunch. McClure, however, gave the credit to the older girl for saving her little sister’s life by helping her out of the car and keeping her warm. “I don’t know how she did it but, you know, something was watching over those little girls,” It just makes me want to cry,” McClure said.

7-17-13 Today I received the following Email from Lisa regarding their visit to Omaha Beach in Normandy France:
    It has been a wonderful experience and history will have much more meaning for them (meaning her children). I think all of us cried as we watched a movie in the round on 9 different screens all at same time. You stood as different movie clips from the war were on every screen and the music brought it all to life. It was a bit overwhelming. I thought of Uncle Ray's comment when I thanked him for his service on Memorial Day, he replied, "It was a pleasure for people like you." If we aren't deeply grateful then their service was in vain. I want to teach my children to be grateful. Many people risk their lives and give their lives in war and what matters most to them is that we are grateful. (Shame on those who spit on soldiers coming back from Vietnam!)

Adversity
“The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil to live,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.
“Good timber does not grow at ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length,
The more the storm, the more the strength.

By sun and cold, in rain and snow,
in trees and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest lies the forest growth
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold council with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife;
This is the common law of life.”-Author unknown

"There's no charge for love."
3-15-14 Following is a story that has been widely circulated but still would be lost if not written. And it will be new to each generation:
A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls.
He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.
"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies."
"Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."
The boy dropped his head for moment.Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.
"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"
"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. "Here, Dolly!" he called.
Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.
The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse.
Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up...
"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."
With that, the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so, he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.
Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands."
With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup.
Holding it carefully, he handed it to the little boy.
"How much?" asked the little boy... "No charge," answered the farmer, "There's no charge for love."
The world is full of people who need someone who understands.
     ------------------------------
God Heard Thee                                                                            He hath not forgot                                                                        Yea know it!                                                                                  Not one smallest jot                                                                        of all his words shall fail                                                               For if you truly have believed                                                      Not vain hath been thy prayer                                                       As God is true                                                                              Thy hope shall come                                                            Sometime somehow somewhere

A Cracked Pot...
(This is priceless! ) 
 An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.
 One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
 At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
 For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
 Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.
 But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
 After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.
 'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.'
  The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?'
 'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.'
For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.
Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.
You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.
...SO, to all of my cracked pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!\
                                   ***********                     
Provo’s Manna From Heaven
(Along with the Miracle of the Seagulls that saved the Mormon pioneers, the following forgotten story needs to be told.)
      Did you know that Provo had manna from heaven? In 1855 food was very scarce in Utah and sugar was almost non-existent. What little sugar was available was selling for one dollar a pound and a day’s work seldom produced that much cash.
     In the little pioneer town of Provo, people were searching the fields for sego bulbs, roots, and thistles to keep from starving. In August such things had been depleted and it was still several weeks until harvest-time.
     It was then that a special blessing came to these hungry people. A hard white substance formed on the leaves of the young cottonwood trees. It was very sweet. They called it honey dew.
      Families went to the river bottoms and established camps. Large groups of pioneers formed sugaring parties and scoured the country gathering this substance. They broke limbs from trees and carried them to camp. They washed the substance from the leaves into tubs of water. They strained this water into big iron kettles supported by stakes over open fires. They boiled it down. It congealed into a sweet brown sugar much like our own brown sugar. They gathered enough to make between three and four thousand pounds of this manna sugar.
      They felt it was a direct gift from God like the manna to the Israelites. They sent a tithe of it to the General Tithing Offices of  the Church at Salt Lake City. Bishop Elias Hicks Blackburn took it there and received a receipt for three hundred thirty three pounds of sugar. The duplicate of this receipt is on file in the General Tithing Records for 1855 in Salt Lake City.
      In Bishop Blackburn’s diary he states, “I told the Saints it was a direct gift from the Lord and they freely paid their tithing on it. Among other products I took 333 pounds of this sugar to Salt Lake City to the General Tithing Office. On explaining the matter to President Brigham Young, whom I met at the door, he declared it was ‘sugar from the Lord.’”
       Of this amount of sugar, 210 pounds were distributed among the hands at work on the Salt Lake Temple and the public works in the city. These men were so grateful that they acknowledged its receipt from Provo by publishing a card of thanks in the Deseret News.
     This divine blessing was a one time happening and has never been known to occur before or since.    --Bibliography: Heart Throbs of the West. Vol 3 p 360 Our Pioneer Heritage Vol 7 p 565. Both by Kate B. Carter.


I djs want to leave this world with laughter and music – Laughter First:
    A man should marry a girl that is big enough to keep him warm in the Winter and make shade for him in the Summer; and if she is tattooed, he can have motion pictures all year around.
     “The arrival of a good clown does more good for a village than twenty asses laden with drugs”

Poem memorized by Mark Stoddard
                   Elmer Jones
Now Elmer Jones arose at dawn,
and he put his huntin' britches on,
and looked up at his shotgun on the wall.
He made his mind up then and there
To bag himself a hunk of bear
at huntin' he had plenty on the ball.

So he milked the cows, and fed the hogs,
Then kissed his wife, and called the dog,
Picked up his gun and started on his quest.
He crossed the creek and hit the trees,
Threw back his head and sniffed the breeze,
Let out a yell and pounded on his chest.

He hunted all the morning through,
But not a bear come into view,
While Elmer's thoughts were on the kitchen range,
Well he was sick as he could be
Of lamb and chicken fricassee
And he craved a mess of bear meat for a change.

Poor Elmer's mind was in a fog,
He paused and sat down on a log
To get his faculties back into groove.
He heard a noise and standing there
Before him was a grizzly bear.
And figured it was time he made his move.

He grabbed up his gun and turned around
But Mister Bear just stood his ground
And Elmer said "It is either me or thou."
The gun refused to go, and so he knew somebody had to go      And said, "Farewell, I'm leavin' as of now!"

And Elmer's shoulders sprouted wings,
His feet developed inner springs.
To linger longer, he was disinclined.
He ran so fast through muck and mire,
His ankles set his socks on fire,
And still that bear kept comin' on behind.

A deer with antlers eight feet wide,
Got in the way of Elmer's stride,
As both of them were heading for the brush.
And Elmer said, "Now listen, son,
If that's the fastest you can run,
Move over, cause I'm really in a rush!"

The bear was gainin' inch by inch,
And finally reached out for the clinch.
As Elmer saw the fence around his place.
He leaped the fence and landed hard,
Jumped sixty feet across the yard
And slammed the kitchen door in bruin's face.

That bear was tryin' to get inside
While Elmer sought a place to hide,
Then Mrs. Jones began to pull her hair.
She said, "This fuss has gotta stop,
Why don't you just let the matter drop?"
And Elmer said, "Honey, you go tell that to the bear!"

Then Elmer's wife said, "Listen, goon,
How come you think you're Daniel Boone? Whose appetite on bear meat used to thrive?" He said, "I'm sure that you're aware That Daniel always killed his bear. But honey, I done brought this baby home alive!"

Poems memorized by Mark Belk:
       Reincarnation
What is reincarnation the cowpoke asked his friend.
His pal replied it starts when your life comes to it’s end.
They wash your neck and comb your hair and clean your fingernails.
They put you in a padded box away from life’s travails.
Now that box and you goes in a hole that’s dug into the ground.
Reincarnation starts in when you’re planted neath the mound.
Them clogs melts down just like the box and you who is inside
And that’s when your beginning your transformation ride.
In a while the grass does grow upon the rendered mound
And then some day on that lowly grave a single flower is found.
If a horse should wonder by and graze upon the flower
This thing that once was you but has now become your vegetative bower. 
The flower that the horse dun ate with all his other feed Builds bone and fat and muscle essential to the steed.
But there’s a part that he can’t use and so it passes through
And there it lays upon the ground this thing that once was you.
Then if by chance I wonder by and gaze upon the ground I’ll wonder and I’ll ponder at this object that I’ve found.
 I’ll think of reincarnation, of life and death and such
And I’ll come away concluding –
 Why, you ain't changed all that much!
 --Wallace McRae

Redneck Love Poem
Susie Lee done fell in love;
She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy ’bout it all
She told her Pappy so.

Pappy told her, “Susie gal,
You’ll have to find another.
I’d just as soon yo’ Ma don’t know,
But Joe is yo’ half brother.”

So Susie put aside her Joe
And planned to marry Will.
But after telling Pappy this,
He said, “There’s trouble still...

You cain’t marry Will, my gal,
And please don’t tell your Mother,
But Will and Joe and several mo’
I know is yo’ half brother.”
But Mama knew and said, “My child,
Just do what makes you happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe,
You ain’t no kin to Pappy!”

Poem Memorized by Paul Stoddard:
The Cremation of Sam McGee By Robert W. Service

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge when
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way that "he'd sooner live in hell."

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.
And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
"It's the cursèd cold, and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet 'tain't being dead—it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."

A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: "You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it's up to you to cremate those last remains."

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May."
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.
I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"; ... then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door.
It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge when I cremated Sam McGee.

    (I relate deeply to the lines, “Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm." I was born cold and have been cold all of my life. The only time I ever got warm was when I got to go swimming in one of the wonderful hot mineral swimming pools that used to be all along the Wasatch Front. Now I think there is only one left in Honeyville, Utah)
  
     One of mine and my Mother’s favorite poems, was also by Robert Service. She often quoted the 1st two verses:

          Spell of the Yukon
          by Robert Service
I wanted the gold, and I sought it,
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy -- I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.

I wanted the gold, and I got it --
Came out with a fortune last fall,
Yet somehow life's not what I thought it,
And somehow the gold isn't all.
 
No! There's the land. (Have you seen it?)
It's the cussedest land that I know,
From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it
To the deep, deathlike valleys below.
Some say God was tired when He made it;
Some say it's a fine land to shun;
Maybe; but there's some as would trade it
For no land on earth -- and I'm one.

You come to get rich (damned good reason);
You feel like an exile at first;
You hate it like hell for a season,
And then you are worse than the worst.

It grips you like some kinds of sinning;
It twists you from foe to a friend;
It seems it's been since the beginning;
It seems it will be to the end.

I've stood in some mighty-mouthed hollow
That's plumb-full of hush to the brim;
I've watched the big, husky sun wallow
In crimson and gold, and grow dim,
Till the moon set the pearly peaks gleaming,
And the stars tumbled out, neck and crop;

And I've thought that I surely was dreaming,
With the peace o' the world piled on top.
The summer -- no sweeter was ever;
The sunshiny woods all athrill;
The grayling aleap in the river,
The bighorn asleep on the hill.

The strong life that never knows harness;
The wilds where the caribou call;
The freshness, the freedom, the farness --
O God! how I'm stuck on it all.

The winter! the brightness that blinds you,
The white land locked tight as a drum,
The cold fear that follows and finds you,
The silence that bludgeons you dumb.

The snows that are older than history,
The woods where the weird shadows slant;
The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery,
I've bade 'em good-by -- but I can't.

There's a land where the mountains are nameless,
And the rivers all run God knows where;

There are lives that are erring and aimless,
And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
There are valleys unpeopled and still;

There's a land -- oh, it beckons and beckons,
And I want to go back -- and I will.
They're making my money diminish;
I'm sick of the taste of champagne.
Thank God! when I'm skinned to a finish
I'll pike to the Yukon again.

I'll fight -- and you bet it's no sham-fight;
It's hell! -- but I've been there before;
And it's better than this by a damsite --
So me for the Yukon once more.

There's gold, and it's haunting and haunting;
It's luring me on as of old;
Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting
So much as just finding the gold.

It's the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder,
It's the forests where silence has lease;
It's the beauty that thrills me with wonder,
It's the stillness that fills me with peace.

Music from Heaven
Composition by Darrell Stoddard

Praise the Lord in joyful song,
Praise Him, Praise Him all day long.
But what of me, I cannot sing;
I have no melody to bring?
Then read again, oh joy of joys, The Lord said,
“Make a joyful noise.”
(see Psalm 98 at end)

The Lord, Himself, was prepared for His greatest test through music’s influence, for scripture records: “when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Mark 14:26)  –  Boyd K. Packer

Music is the voice of creation; an echo of our life before birth. -  D. Stoddard

We cannot preach the gospel without music.  –  Brigham Young
For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.  –  Doctrine and  Covenants 25:12

We can get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through   any other thing except prayer.  –  J. Reuben Clark

Music is higher revelation than wisdom and philosophy.  -  Beethoven

We are able to feel and learn very quickly through music, through art, through poetry some spiritual things that we would otherwise learn very slowly.  –  Boyd K. Packer

Music can convey unearthly, beyond the veil, inexpressible joy.  -  Darrell Stoddard.  

Music whispers to us dim secrets that open our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto.  –  Emerson

…when we rejoice in beautiful scenery, great art, and great music, it is but the flexing of instincts acquired in another place and another time.   –  Neal A. Maxwell

Mozart gave us God’s Fire,  Bach gave us God's Glory,  Beethoven gave us God's Majesty,  Handel gave us God's words, set to music, foretelling of the Messiah, and God gives us music that we might pray without words.
                    
Psalms 98
O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand and his holy arm,  hath gotten him the victory. The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. Let the floods clap their hands, let the hills be joyful together Before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

     Poetry, the same as music, can communicate eternal truths beyond just the words

To a Mastectomy Patient   by djs

How like a bird with a broken wing,
Had you not fallen,
You could learn this secret hid till man could fly                        That on the other side of darkest gloom,
Still shines the sun and whiteness as the softest down
The twirling winds that tear and twist all matter down below Above are things of beauty,
Soaring up white billowing splendor, Even to 60,000 feet
I’d show you if we could fly

As a pilot I observed many times that with the blackest, most threatening storms, the clouds above soar up white, billowing, and beautiful. So it is with life, “On the other side of darkest gloom still shines the sun."

Joy Will Follow Pain  by djs

Joy
will follow pain
And the amount of joy
depends on how much and long you have been afflicted

Exquisite joy
will follow suffering
And the height and breadth and depth of that joy                             is determined by how much and how long you have suffered

Justice demands that this be so
As life is born from pain of birth
As night begets the dawn
Joy will follow pain                                                                                       ****
Anonomous Poem quoted by President Kinball:
Pain stayed so long I said to him today,
"I will not have you with me anymore!"
And paused there, startled at the look he wore.
"I who have been your friend," he said to me,
"I who have been your teacher - all that you know
Of understanding love, of sympathy
And patience, I have taught you. Shall I go?"
He spoke the truth, this strange unwelcome guest:
I watched him leave and knew that he was wise.
He left a heart grown tender in my breast.
He left a far, clear vision in my eyes.
I dried my tears, and lifted up a song
Even for one who'd tortured me so long."


This is a true story told by Lynn Stoddard of a man we knew:
                 In Search of Lost Souls

     "Brian Evans is in prison. As far as I know thats where he's at." For two months or more the worsds have been haiunting me. Brian Evans is in prison.
      Brian, who had the talent to see  an idea in pictures and then illustrate it. It helped to understand something complex when he reducedit to a simple illustration or cartoon. No one had the ability to do this like Brian and he would work cheaply of free of charge.
      Brian moved a  lot. Whenever we went to him for art work, he was living in a different house. It was nearly always in the basement of a divorcee or widow. The last time there was no basement and we wondered about his "live-in" relationship.
      As long aas Brian held his teaching job, we knew we could find him when he was needed. His position became threatened by frequent trips to the stats capital to dmonstrate. I seemed he was part of evry demonstration -- associating with those who were on the fringeof our conservative "Mormon" sococity. Still he could be relied upon when we needed domerhing illustrated. 
      It was the day we drove from Farmington to Provo that the unusual part of Brian's character manifest itself. "Your going to Provo" he declared. "Would you let me go wth you? I've got to go down there and maybe you could drop me off." At the mouth of Provo Canyon where he asked to get out we learned why it was so important for Brian to go with us,
      A boy had not returned from a winter hike up the back face of treacherous Mt Timpanokos. We remembered climbing "Timp" with its near-thousand-foot vertical cliffs, on a summer day. In the winter, with bitter wind an sub-zero temperatures, it would be impossible. No one could survive all night alone on the mountain. A massive search effort was forming.
       Brian got out of my car with only a thin jacket and two packages of chocolate chips. "I've got to look for that boy." he said. We, too, felt concern for someone alone on the mountain who at that moment might be freezing to death; but we left the search to the sheriff's possee, the mountain climbing club and those better equipped for that work -- to them and to Brian Evans, with his light coat and two packages of chocolate chips.
      Reports came down from the mountain that night, relayed by walkie talkie and police radios, reporting the progress of the search. The name, Brian Evans, was heard with the name of a rescue tean that had located some of the lost hikers' belongings.
We were surprised that Brian, slight of build and not at all the physical type, was in the forefront of the earch. They might be close to finding the boy; but it was not until the next day the body was found. Brian had not given up until there was no hope left.
     After this, Brian became more difficlt to find when we needed. him. His demonstrations and searching for anyone who was lost took him to other states.  The needs of someone alone and trying to find their way became a compelling force in Brian's life.  Anyone lost, wherever they were or whoeaver they were, became more important than the needs of students secure in a classroom.
    The next we knew, Brian had been fired from is teaching job.  We didn't hear about him again until we learned he was in prison.  
    As I write, I don't know why he is there.  Maybe he had to go there to help lost souls; for the same reason he had to get to Provo.
    Brian, who gave so much to help anyone who was lost, makes me think of the programs organised in prisons to help juveniles.  Hardened criminals to everything they can to help turn young people from f life that would lead them to jail or prison.  In a world filled with crime, I hope I never forget the good that is in such men and socially-lost Brian, who went on the mountain that night when I stayed home, secure and warm, with my family.
    No matter what he was sent to prison for, I hope if ever--if ever--I, my family, or anyone I know or care about is lost, I hope they let Brian out long enough to make another search.    
     
The Shoes
by Paul E. Mawhinney
     During the thirties things were really rough in all the mining and manufacturing places everywhere. In western Pennsylvania in my old hometown, men by the thousands walked the streets looking for work. My older brothers were among these. Not that the family went hungry, mind you, but we didn’t eat much.
     Since I was one of the younger boys in a large family, all my clothes were hand-me-downs. Long pants would be bobbed knee length, and the cut-off legs used to patch or reinforce the cut-down trousers. Shirts would be made over. But shoes—shoes were a different story. Shoes would be worn right down to the ground. They would be literally worn out, being cast aside only when the bare feet came through the leather.
     I can remember that before getting the oxfords I wore a pair of shoes with split sides and loose soles completely free at the front which made slapping sounds as I walked. I cut two bands off an old inner tube and slipped them over my toes to hold those shoe soles down.
     I had a sister then. She and her husband had moved west and settled in Colorado. When she could, she helped out by sending us their old clothes.
     One day before Thanksgiving we received a box of such things from her. All of us gathered round it. Nestled in the corner were the shoes. I didn’t know what kind they were at the time. My mother didn’t either, come to think of it, nor did my dad, nor any of the boys. They all thought like I did that those shoes were some my sister had gotten tired of.
     My mother looked down at my feet coming out through my old shoes and then leaned over the box and brought out those gift shoes and held them out to me. I put my hands behind me, looked around the family circle, and began to cry softly to myself. For a wonder none of my brothers laughed at me or called me a cry baby.
     It’s still painful after thirty years to think about it. My mother took me aside and told me she was sorry but there were on other shoes for me to wear and with winter coming on, I’d simply have to make use of them. My dad patted me but didn’t say anything. My favorite brother, Mike, roughed up my hair and told me everything would be all right.
     Finally, when I was all alone, I put on my sister’s shoes. They were tan colored and had pointy toes and kind of high heels but the felt pretty good. I sat there staring through my tears at them, sobbing softly to myself….
     Next day I got up and dressed for school, taking as much time as I could, and leaving to the very last those shoes. I felt my eyes filling up again but fought the tears back. I finally had to get to school so I took the back way and didn’t run into anybody till I was in the schoolyard. There stood Timmy O’Toole, my only enemy, older and taller than me, and, like me, in Miss Miller’s class.
     He took one look at my sister’s shoes, grabbed my arm, and began to yell, “Evan’s wearing girls’ shoes! Evan’s wearing girls’ shoes!” Oh, I could have pounded him soft but he was so much bigger and tougher than me! He wouldn’t let me go at first. He kept it up till he had a big ring of kids around us. I don’t know what I’d have done, but suddenly there was Ol’ Man Weber, the principal.
     “Come in,” he said, “it’s time for the tardy bell.” I made a dash for the door and got into our room before Timmy could torment me any more.
     I sat quietly with my eyes down and my feet pulled under me, but even this didn’t stop him. He kept it up and kept it up. Every time he’d come by my desk, he’d do a little dance and call me Edna and make some silly crack about my sister’s shoes.
     By midmorning we were talking about the winning of the West, and Miss Miller told us a lot about the pioneers out in Kansas and Colorado and Texas and other places. About this time Ol’ Man Weber came into our room and stood just inside the door, listening quietly.
     I was like all the other boys before that morning. That is, I didn’t like Ol’ Man Weber much. He was supposed to be real mean. He had a bad temper. He favored the girls.
     He stood inside the door of our room. Now none of us knew, excepting maybe Miss Miller, that Ol’ Man Weber had once lived on an Oklahoma ranch. Miss Miller turned to him and asked if he would care to join the discussion, and much to our surprise he did. Only instead of telling the usual kind of thing, Ol’ Man Weber began talking about a cowboy’s life and about Indians, things like that. He even sang a couple of cowboy songs! He went on like that for forty minutes.
     It was nearing noon and about time for us to go home for lunch, when Ol’ Man Weber started up my aisle still speaking. Suddenly he paused near my desk and sent silent. I looked up into his face and realized that he was staring down under my desk, gazing at my sister’s shoes. I could feel my face getting red as I began to move my feet up under me. But before I could ease them up he whispered, “Cowboy oxfords!”
     I said, “Sir?” And again he said, “Cowboy oxfords!” And then in a pleased voice, as the other children strained to see what he was staring at and hear what he was saying, he exclaimed, “Why, Evan, where on earth did you get those cowboy oxfords?”
     Well, soon everybody in the room was gathered near to me and him as they could get, even Miss Miller. And everybody was saying, “Evan’s got a genuine pair of cowboy oxfords!” It was easily the happiest day of my life.
     Since there wasn’t much time left anyway, Mr. Weber told Miss Miller it would be all right, provided Evan was agreeable, to let the boys and girls get a real good look at those cowboy oxfords. Well, everybody including Timmy O’Toole filed past my desk and peered at my beautiful shoes. I felt like a giant but knew from my mother that I should avoid pride, so I sat there trying not to be too big-headed. Finally, it was lunch time.
     I could hardly get outside, for everybody wanted to walk next to me. Then everybody wanted to try ‘em on, my cowboy oxfords, I mean. I said I’d have to think it over after all!
     That afternoon I asked Mr. Weber what he thought about letting everybody try on my cowboy oxfords, and he thought and thought about it. Finally he said it would be all right to let the boys try them on but certainly not the girls. After all, girls aren’t ever to wear cowboy oxfords. It was funny that Mr. Weber thought about it the same way I did.
     So I let all the boys in my room try them on, even Timmy O’Toole, though I made him go last. And he was the only one besides me that they fit. He wanted me to write my sister and see if she could find a pair for him. I didn’t ask her though. I had the only pair of cowboy oxfords in town, and I really liked it that way.

                                       *********
(Vaughn Featherstone’s telling of when he had to wear nurses shoes in his talk “Acres of Diamonds” has to go along with this story.  It is not only one of the most popular devotionals ever delivered at BYU but is a verbatim telling of the most oft repeated story in the history of the world. Russell Conwell, a protestant minister delivered the same talk over 5,700 times. With the income from delivering the speech, he raised 14 million dollars and founded Temple University. You can hear Featherstone  telling the story by searching "Acres of Diamonds" on Google.)

The Day We flew the Kites
-- Frances Fowler
     “String!” shouted Brother, bursting into the kitchen. “We need lots more string.”
     It was Saturday. As always, it was a busy one, for “Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work” was taken seriously then. Outside, Father and Mr. Patrick next door were doing chores.
     Inside the two houses, Mother and Mrs. Patrick were engaged in spring cleaning. Such a windy March day was ideal for “turning out” clothes closets. Already woolens flapped on back yard clotheslines.
     Somehow the boys had slipped away to the back lot with their kites. Now, even at the risk of having Brother impounded to beat carpets, they had sent him for more string. Apparently, there was no limit to the heights to which kites would soar today.
     My mother looked at the sitting room, its furniture disordered for a Spartan sweeping. Again her eyes wavered toward the window. “Come on girls! Let’s take string to the boys and watch them fly the kites a minute.” On the way we met Mrs. Patrick, laughing guiltily, escorted by her girls.
     There never was such a day for flying kites! God doesn’t make two such days in a century. We played all our fresh twine into the boys’ kites and still they soared. We could hardly distinguish the tine, orange-colored specks. Now and then we slowly reeled one in, finally bringing it dipping and tugging to the earth, for the sheer joy of sending it up again. What a thrill to run with them, to the right, to the left, and see our poor, earth-bound movements reflected minutes later in the majestic sky-dance of the kites! We wrote wishes on slips of paper and slipped them over the string. Slowly, irresistibly, they climbed up until they reached the kites. Surely, all wishes would be granted.
     Even our fathers dropped hoe and hammer and joined us. Our mothers took their turn, laughing like schoolgirls. Their hair blew out their pompadours and curled loose about their cheeks; their gingham aprons whipped around their legs. Mingled with our fun was something akin to awe. The grownups were really playing with us! Once I looked at Mother and thought she looked actually pretty. And her over forty!
     We never knew where the hours went on that hilltop day. There were no hours, just a golder breeze now. I think we were all beside ourselves. Parents forgot their duty and their dignity; children forgot their combativeness and small spites. “Perhaps it’s like this in the Kingdom of Heaven,” I thought confusedly.
     It was growing dark before, drunk with sun and air, we all stumbled sleepily back to the houses. I suppose we had some sort of supper. I suppose there must have been a surface tidying up, for the house on Sunday looked decorous enough.
     The strange thing was, we didn’t mention that day afterward. I felt a little embarrassed. Surely none of the others had thrilled to it as deeply as I. I locked the memory up in that deepest part of me where we keep “the things that cannot be and yet they are.”
     The years went on, then one day I was scurrying about my own kitchen in a city apartment, trying to get some work out of the way while my three-year old insistently cried her desire to “go park and see ducks.”
     “I can’t go!” I said. “I have this and this to do, and when I’m through I’ll be too tired to walk that far.”
     My mother, who was visiting us, looked up from the peas she was shelling. “It’s a wonderful day,” she offered; “really warm, yet there’s a fine, fresh breeze. It reminds me of that day we flew kites.”
     I stopped in my dash between stove and sink. The locked door flew open and with it a gush of memories. I pulled off my apron. “Come on,” I told my little girl. “You’re right, it’s too good a day to miss.”
     Another decade passed. We were in the aftermath of the Great War. All evening we had been asking our returned soldier, the youngest Patrick boy, about his experiences as a prisoner of war. He had talked freely, but now for a long time he had been silent. What was he thinking of – what dark and dreadful things?
     “Say!” A smile twitched his lips. “Do you remember – no, of course you wouldn’t. It probably didn’t make the impression on you it did me.”
     I hardly dared speak. “Remember what?”
     I used to think of that day a lot in PW camp, when things weren’t too good. Do you remember the day we flew the kites?”
     Winter came, and the sad duty of call of condolence on Mrs. Patrick, recently widowed. I dreaded the call. I couldn’t imagine how Mrs. Patrick could face life alone.
     We talked a little of my family and her grandchildren and the changes in the town. Then she was silent, looking down at her lap. I cleared my throat. Now I must say something about her loss, and she would begin to cry.
     When she looked up, Mrs. Patrick was smiling. “I was just sitting here thinking,” she said. “Henry had such fun that day. Frances, do you remember the day we flew the kites?”

                                       *******
      I could ask, “Do you remember when Father, Earl Stoddard, using a BB gun shot tin cans with us that were thrown into the air, or when we went looking for arrowheads, or when we went fishing with uncle Walt at Fish Lake, or when Father took us to Dirks Field in Salt Lake to watch Bobo Olson box Pete Radimaker? (Olson had more than 60 straight knock outs. We saw him knock out three men the same night in a match at Weber High School.) We thought Bobo would kill Radimaker who was an Olympic Gold medalist, but Radimaker displaced Olson’s rush to knock him out with a few well placed jabs and then just played with Olson showing what an amateur boxer Bobo really was. (None of the sixty men Olson knocked out were boxers.) I could go on and on with such questions, because father (though he smoked and drank), was the best father a boy could have. We did exciting things boys like to do every week.   
      Our son James does an amazing thing with 4 kites flown in tandem. It’s almost as exciting as watching the Navy Blue Angels or the Air Force Thunderbirds. Oh, how I love to watch those pilots do the “missing man maneuver;” sometimes performed after the funeral of an Air Force veteran.  One plane flies straight up into heaven and disappears while the others continue straight ahead. That demonstration and seeing James fly his kites are too wonderful for words – something everyone should see.

Too Wonderful for Words By Darrell Stoddard, Several days ago my brother Lynn asked me to think of some scriptures to confirm the need for IMAGINATION in education. This led me to thinking about things too wonderful for words; things that everyone (especially my children and descendents) should experience while in this life:
       First, would be the Creation as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis. In thinking about the creation of all things, I came to the realization that Imagination, next to the attribute of love, could be the most defining distinction of Deity.
      Beholding the night sky and the wonders of the universe would be a beginning. Looking through a telescope and beholding the moons of Jupiter, some galaxies, and the rings of Saturn (not just seeing pictures of them) is a glimpse of creation that everyone should experience; something too wonderful for words. In doing this, we can be as thrilled as Galileo when he invented the telescope and was the first man to see such awesome sights.
      It is too wonderful for words to contemplate the creation of our solar system and a world that could sustain life – a world with sunshine, air, water and topsoil; a world that revolves around the sun, exactly the right distance from the sun, a world that rotates and wobbles on its axis. Just a few miles closer to the sun and we would burn up; just few miles farther away and we would freeze to death. If the world did not revolve at the speed it does, life as we know it could not exist. A 25 or a 23 hour day would create too much heat in the day or too much cold in the night. If the world did not wobble on its axis, we would have no seasons and there would only be a very narrow band between the equator and the poles that could sustain life. As it is, life can exist from the equator to almost the end of the earth on the top and bottom.  
      Ponder with me, if you will, the love of God and the imagination required for God to create a giraffe, a gazelle, a monkey, a leopard, an elephant, a horse and a kangaroo; a peacock, a ring neck pheasant, a swan, an eagle, a woodpecker, a humming bird, and a canary; a rose, a gladiola, a dahlia, an Amaryllis, a bird of paradise, a cactus, and a redwood tree; an eastern brook trout, an angel fish, a marlin, and an Orca whale; Maltese, Poodles, Pointers, and St, Bernard dogs; butterflies in all their beauty and variety; bananas, mangos, oranges, Kiwi fruits, apricots, apples, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries and cherries; wheat, rice, potatoes, carrots, squash, yams, mushrooms, and broccoli; peanuts, pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, and cashews. (The creation of the honey bee belongs in here somewhere because it makes so much of the above possible.)
    Last of all His crowning achievement: THE CREATION OF MAN IN HIS VERY IMAGE AND LIKENESS. For whom all of the above was CREATED that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Nowhere has God shown himself more sublimely than in the human form.
      It is in the creative acts of mankind that we become most like our Creator. Now ponder with me the imagination of mankind, and the divinity within each child of God, that made it possible to create a pennywhistle, a violin, a trumpet, a piano, and a pipe Organ; to compose The Messiah with its Halleluiah Chorus, Dvorak’s New World Symphony with the “Going Home” movement, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Ode to Joy; to sculpt The Burgers of Calais or produce the motion picture Greater Love, to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, or paint Starry Starry Night, to create the Taj Mahal,  the Tabernacle on Temple Square, or design the Washington DC Temple (in contrast to St. Basil’s Cathedral) to write the story of Martin the Cobbler (Tolstoy himself thought this was his greatest work), to write the novel Moby Dick, Le Miserable’s, Paradise Lost, East of Eden, Journey to the East, Anne of Green Gables, Huckleberry Fin,  (The Creation of the motion pictures Greater Love, what happened on the Titanic, and the sculpture The Burgers of Calais are listed because they are about the greatest love that man can have; giving ones life to save the life of another.) 
     We could list the following books, articles and stories of recent origin that should be listed among the most creative works of mankind. (They are not well known, because since television, we live in a world of non-readers): The Acres of Diamonds Story because it is the most oft repeated speech in history. I pencil because it reveals the “invisible” hand of God in the affairs of man and the miracle of free enterprise. The children’s book (but also for adults) McEllogots Pool by Dr Seuss, because it is the quintessential work of imagination.  The Great Brain Books by John Fitzgerald and books by Patrick McManus, are on the list because in every way they are equal to the writings of Mark Twain. Man God’s Greatest Miracle is an essay by J. Reuben Clark that I believe is the most profound and penetrating quest into the miracle of the creation of human life that has ever been written. The Gold Bug by Edgar Allen Poe because it is so filled with wonder. The book The Man Who Was Magic because it is a wonderful metaphor for the life and atonement of Jesus Christ; an almost unknown novel and a literary treasure about imagination and creation that escaped all of the critics.
      At the top of a list of things too wonderful for words should be the birth of a baby. I saw a wonderful painting showing Mary kissing the baby Jesus. It was entitled “Kissing the face of God.”  I thought how very very close to that miracle we come when we witness the birth of a baby or kiss the cheek of a newborn. When a new born baby looks up and studies the face of the one who is holding them, it is as though they are asking the question, “Are you the God that created my mortal body?" I believe the veil for them isn’t yet completely closed and they still remember the glory from whence they came. (Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. – Matt. 18:10)
      Next on the list of things too wonderful for words, is seeing the smile or hearing the laugh of a baby, or seeing the sheer delight and joy of a three or four year old over something simple. (We would be that happy too, even over small things, if we were that pure. “If you are pure, You Will Be Happy”- djs)
Most Important Missionary Work of my life?
Before my life is over I must tell the story of what may have been the most important (missionary) work I did in my life (also one of the most spiritual experiences I have ever had): It is an event that happened in Toronto Canada. on our granddaughter Jessica’s birthday.  (It is appropriate that I relate the story now (8-2-14) with our granddaughter, Samantha Reeves, being called on a mission to Toronto.)
    The story begins long before when a Stake President from Australia came to BYU to get professors to come to Australia to initiate Education Week. It didn’t work out for faculty members to go but he was told that Darrell Stoddard could do that for them with the BYU films.
     I was therefore chosen to begin Education Week programs in Australia, where my Uncle Charles was on a mission in 1901, the year my father was born. I packed my bags and a box made by Mark full of BYU films and headed to the “land down under.” The programs were successful and enthusiastically attended.
     One weekend while there, six missionary’s and myself were invited to dinner after church by a man from India that had owned several restaurants. There were three long tables filled with the most delicious Indian food that I had never eaten or even tasted before.
      From there I went to the Church College in Hamilton, New Zealand to do some programs. I was introduced in an assembly where the students who had been sitting all stood up when I and the President of the College entered and they didn’t sit down until we sat down (as though I was the President of The Church). I certainly didn’t deserve the distinction but it was a “heady” experience.
      The Stake president and his wife took me to dinner one evening with the comment that Hamilton was a small town where they roll up the sidewalks every night. He said there was only one decent restaurant open and added. “I hope you like Indian food. This was the beginning of my love for East Indian people and Indian food.
      When I traveled to sell films for BYU, I was told to spend the BYU money as though it were my own money; so I always tried to find less expensive lodging. From this, I discovered that nearly all the independent motels in the U.S. have been purchased by East Indian business men. It made me mad. I thought this is a plot to take over America and I just didn’t like the people or India with its “cast system.”
     My attitude changed. After that, instead of get mad when I went into a motel, I would say, “Oh, I can smell you wife’s cooking. I just love Indian food.” This would give me the best room at the best price.
      I sold films to all of the Christian film libraries in the United States A scurrilous anti-Mormon film called “The God Makers” came out and was being pushed by many of the libraries. The Church had just produced “Mr. Krueger’s Christmas:; so I determined to go to all of the libraries in the country and use that film to displace “The God Makers.”  
      This I did and ended up in Toronto, Canada at the International Christian Film Library Convention which lasted for about 10 days where I exhibited Mr. Krueger’s Christmas.
      The conference ended and they presented the Christian Academy Awards. I took down my exhibit and headed for my car to drive to the motel where I was staying. A voice told me to go back in but I thought, “No, it’s nearly midnight and I need to go to church in the morning and a good nights rest to drive back to Provo. The voice said a second and third time to go back in.
      I went back in to an empty auditorium where just a few men were taking some things down from the stage and a little man from India was walking out. I met him about half way out; shook his hand and said, “I just love Indian food.” I learned that his name was Jebusing and that he was a Vice President of AIR India..
       He saw my BYU name tag and said, “I wanted to talk to you in your booth but you were always busy with someone else. I would like to know more about your films.” I said, “I would like you to see them. When can I show them to you?”  He said, “I leave at 7 in the morning.” I said, “If you like, I’ll get my projector and come up to your room now and show them to you.” He said, “I would like that.”
      It was now near midnight so I went up to his room and showed him the shortest films I had; Greater Love and The Bridge.
     He jumped up and said, “They are fantastic. Tell me about your other films. I came here to find films that I could use to convert my people (850,000,000) to Christianity. I can’t use any of the other films shown here because they use the name of Jesus Christ and would never be allowed into Hindu India.”
      I explained that the films were modern day stories (parables) that everyone could relate to and that would lead people to Christ and prepare the Earth for his return. We sold them, I said, to public schools, which also would not allow them if they used the name of Jesus Christ.
      I told him that our film Cipher in the Snow was a parable of Matthew 25:40 “In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have doe it unto me.”
      The Mailbox was a parable of Exodus 20”12 “Honor they father and thy mother…”
       Greater Love was a parable of John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
     John Baker’s Last Race I explained was the story of a great teacher who figuratively gave his life for his little ones (students).
      I said The Bridge was an unmistakable analogy for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and a parable of John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 
      Mr. Jebusing was so thrilled to find the films he had come to Toronto, Canada to find; films to lead his people to Jesus Christ. We made arrangements to send each of those five films to six different film libraries in India which I did upon retuning to BYU.
      I got up early that morning to go to church after bidding goodbye to my special Christian friend from India.
       The week before in Church I told them that I was there to exhibit BYU films in an International Christian Film Distributors Conference. This week when I introduced myself to the Sunday school class, I told them that a major door had been opened to take the Gospel to India.
     The teacher finished his lesson and then asked me to tell them about taking the Gospel to India. I was so overcome by the spirit and what had happened earlier that morning, I couldn’t speak a word. All I could do was cry. In priesthood meeting and after church, I was asked again, but the words wouldn’t come. There was nothing but tears.
      The films were sent and I have no way of knowing the effect thy had because I was laid off at BYU and never got to follow up. I reported the experience to the man in charge of the Church Missionary Committee. He didn’t seem that interested and did nothing.
      I wish I could have followed up and believe I could have converted Mr. Jebusing by asking the question, “When there is no other name under heaven whereby man can be saved, what about the mullions of people who have lived and died in India that have never so much as heard the name of Jesus Christ?
      There is no way to know now the total effect the films had as “school masters” to lead the people of India to Christ, (we will have to wait till we go through the veil) but the work was done and I believe the films did in fact play a major roll in taking the Gospel to what may have been millions of people in India. I believe it was the most important missionary work of my life, and also one of the most spiritual experiences. -  darrell stoddard

Poem from and by Laura
The tallest Peak beacons me
Higher and higher I must go
My footsteps become a burden
My aching limbs begin to drag
But mu spirit calls out
It wants to soar
So I follow the spirits command
I am determined to reach
the mountain top
Placing one foot and then another
Thinking of the top and of the beauty
I’ll see when journeys end and life come
 together
No matter how difficult the trek of life
No matter how treacherous the way
I will always feel safe day by day
As my father’s footsteps led the way

Poem from Lisa
God took the strength of a mountain,
    The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
    The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
     The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
     The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
     The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
      The depth of a family need.
Then God combined these qualities,
      And then there was nothing more to
      add,
He knew his masterpiece was complete,
      And so he called it dad!    

2-20-13 My Funeral Sermon
From: James_Stoddard
Dear Dad:
A few weeks ago you said that if you could live life over again the one thing you would change is that you would thank your Father for going to work each day.
I do not want to live with the same regret.  I want to thank you for going to work each day.  Your father worked hard but at least he was home every night.  For much of your work you had to sleep in your car or at best in a bad motel.  You spent many nights away from were you would have most liked to be.  Thank you!  You were gone a lot but somehow you were always home on the important days.  Thank You!
You never missed a wrestling match or a birthday as best as I can remember.  You also found a way to spend time with us even when you were working 80 hours or more a week.  I don't know how you did it.  I want to thank you for the work you did to provide for us but I want to thank you for so much more:

Thank you for teaching me how to tie a fly.

Thank you for teaching me what a treasure a teal breast feather is or a really good hackle.
Thank you for showing me the treasure of time available early in the morning when most people are asleep.

Thank you for teaching me about special places.

Thank you for teaching me about the wonder of the night sky.

Thank you for introducing me to other real men like your dad, Popie, Paul Penrod, Ted Brinkerhoff, Burk Peterson. Uncle Walt and others.

Thank you for teaching me the joy that can be had from a bike.

Thank you for showing me the beauty of a double barrel shot gun

Thank you for showing me the joy of running

Thank you for showing me the satisfaction that comes from sleeping under the stars
Thank you for showing me the wonderful sound of rain on a tent

Thank you for showing me the joy of shoveling snow for a neighbor as huge snowflakes continue to fall.

Thank you for teaching me the peace and joy that can be felt as we say goodbye to a loved one at a funeral.

Thank you for teaching me the plan of salvation.

Thank you for teaching me that if you are good you will be happy

Thank you for loving my mother

Thank you for giving me brothers and sisters

Thank you for being my Dad.  I love you!

James

My reply:
Dear James,
You can now live without that regret. I couldn't be more proud. You have composed my funeral sermon. Don't ever tell me that you don't know how to write. I don’t know anyone that could have done any better.

The Greatest Victories Come From Losing     
       This will be the most important and final chapter of my history. Then Mr. Brink (Death) can come down out of the tree (See Motion Picture On Borrowed Time that my mother loved). If there is more of my history that I am blessed to record, I will insert whatever I write before this.
      I will begin by telling how important it is that we lose (as well as win) in life and that all of our prayers not be answered the way we want them to be answered.
     If things had been how we all wanted them to be, my father would have been able to buy a house that had plumbing and a bathroom, instead of the one room house he built behind the gas station on 18th Street, the house that had no bathroom and that seven of us lived in. No one could have been as blessed as we were!
    I would not have had the blessing of having all the comics I could read, provided by Mr. and Mrs. Wansgaard; especially Classics Illustrated Comics from which I gained a love of literature.
    If we had not been poor, I would have never had the wonderful experience, as a nine year old, of buying newspapers for 2 1/2 cents and selling them for a nickel.
    I would have been the Ogden City 6th Grade Marble Champion instead of just the Dee School Champion. (If the rules would have allowed “knucks up,” Joe Terry would not have beaten me and I would have been the Ogden City Champion anyway.) I would have made the Central Jr. High School Basketball team and then the Ogden High School team.
    I definitely would not have gone on a mission to the Western States (Denver, Colorado) but to some exotic place instead. Don Karr, who I taught, would have probably still joined the church and sent eight sons on missions. but the Keime’s in Colorado Springs would not have joined the church and sent so many children and grandchildren on missions.
    After going to fight school, I would have been employed by the Airlines and never worked for BYU.
    BYU would not have laid me off so I could be led to China to learn great treasures of knowledge even hidden treasures (that will probably remain hidden).
   The Federal Trade Commission would not have stopped my work or fined me $123,000 dollars and I would now be retired and very rich.
    I rejoice when BYU wins athletic events as much as anyone. If we got what we all wanted, BYU would never lose. That would make other teams want even more to beat us. We would exalt ourselves above others and BYU athletes and fans would become so haughty there would be no hope for any of us. Only those that humble themselves will be exulted, and, it is the meek that will inherit the earth. How can we have a broken heart and a contrite spirit if we never lose and if BYU wins all of its games?
     Had it not been a painful loss in my life, I would have never had the following experienced and the "Rushing Wind and Cloven Tongues of Fire":
     My most painful loss was not by me but by my son James. The story begins when James was in the 4th grade. I entered the boys in a city wrestling program and I believe James won a Provo city championship that year. If I remember right, he won a city championship in the 5th and 6th grade also. I put it into his head that he should have a goal of wrestling in the Olympics.
     All through Orem Junior High School, James was very much involved in wrestling and was quite successful. He was filled full of the idea that you can have everything you want in athletics if you pay the price and if you are willing to do the training to be a champion. (It sounds good, but too often it just isn’t true. Many runners in high school trained just as hard as Ed Eyestone but without the right genes, no one could or ever did even finish close to him in cross country.)
     The chin-up record at Orem Junior High was 45. I told James, “If you can’t double that I wouldn’t even try.” In training for this, to get stronger he would tie barbells from his waist to between his legs and do chin-ups with the barbells. Before he went on to high school, he could do 60 chin-ups.
     As a sophomore in Orem High School, James started competing against seniors and for the first time he started to lose some of his matches. When he was a senior, James made the first team on varsity. Mark who was a junior also made the varsity team. (That Orem team the boys wrestled on eventually ended the year winning the state champion-ship.)
      Before the state wrestling tournament, James was losing some of his matches; so he started training even harder. We would run 2-4 miles each morning on the indoor track at BYU. Then he would work out for 2-4 hours on the wrestling mat at Orem High. Then he would run home and do the same thing the next day and the next…..
      Before leaving for a tournament in Evanston, Wyoming featuring the best teams from four states, James asked me to give him a priesthood blessing. We talked about winning and losing in life and about our neighbor, Don Larson with cerebral palsy who would have gladly traded places with the biggest loser anywhere and been the happiest boy on earth. We felt good after the blessing and decided that no matter what happened we would be thankful just for being able to compete.
     James had certainly paid the price to win; getting himself in the best physical condition; training as hard, I think, as any athlete ever trained.
     The first match James had was with a superb athlete, a Robinson boy from Star Valley, Wyoming whose father and uncles played football for BYU. In spite of all James preparation and training, and my blessing that he perform to the best of his ability, James still lost the match.
     He went over to the wall of the gymnasium, put his hands above his head, and with his face to the wall sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I went over to him and he said to me, “but Dad, Dad he was only a sophomore!”
     How could I console my son whose heart was breaking? My son who had trained so hard and paid such a dear price to be a champion, and then lost? There were no words to do that. I prayed that night before going to bed that somehow I could.
     That night I experienced something that was beyond any dream I have ever had. It was more real than life. Whether in the body or out of the body I know not, but the veil was parted and, though unworthy, I comprehended things as they really are, things as I believe they will be after we die.
     James and I were sitting in a room that was like a railroad waiting room with other people and I heard a strong sound of rushing wind that made me exceedingly happy more so than I have ever been in my life. I went to the door and looked out. The sound of the rushing wind was coming from cloven tongues of fire that I saw coming down from beams over two rows of columns that led up to the building we were in.  I said to James, who had come to the door with me, “James, James, It’s the Holy Ghost!”
     (Before having this dream, [vision?] or whatever it was, I had read about the rushing wind and cloven tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost, but I never connected those words with the Holy Ghost or ever thought very much about it.) 
    Still I knew in my dream without being told that the cloven tongues of fire were the Holy Ghost or a sign of the Holy Ghost.  It seemed as though I could see everything in space clearly and understand everything, past present and future, without being told.
      I looked out from the building and saw about 6 or 7 men running like deer, gracefully leaping about 30 feet in each bound. Gravity seemed to have no effect on them. I somehow knew that the running men were resurrected beings that had come from clear around the world, even running across the ocean, just for the pure joy of running. I knew, without being told, that in mortality one of the men couldn’t run because he had a withered leg.
      Then I woke up thinking about my unusual dream. It then came to me that the greatest victory in the history of the world (the victory over death) was made by a loser that was hung between two thieves on a cross.
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My favorite Things  Thank you for letting me share my favorite things. Through writing this, I have been able to live my life over and in memory correct some of the mistakes.
      James E. Talmage said, "True happiness is lived over and over again in memory, and each time with a renewal of the same good." And my life has been good. What an adventure!
      It is inconceivable to me how my life could have been any richer or sweeter. I feel sorry for those who have not had all of the experiences that I have had to bless my life.


    What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us. -- Helen Keller.

These “My Favorite Things” are Who I Am. (Tell me about your favorite things and who your hero’s are and I'll not only tell you who you are but What You May Become –djs)

Earth is crammed with heaven
and every common bush afire with God,
but only he who sees, takes off his shoes.                                       –  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

     For me "Every common bush (plant shrub, tree, and living thing) is afire with God." The unbelievable diversity and beauty, of thousands of different kinds of plants, flowers, seashells, birds, fish, butterflies, animals and food, will always be a source of wonder and amazement. Thank God for milk, bread, salt, mustard, nuts, and honey; for strawberries, apples, peaches, grapes, bananas, watermelons, mango's, and Kiwi fruit; for rhubarb, carrots, peas, corn, and even broccoli. When considering the miracle of creation and the thousands of forms of life, can anyone question the love of God or His existence?

Because of all the things I have seen,
I believe in things I cannot see—djs

Be good and you will be happy – W.B. Stoddard

Oh God Let This Be Heaven
by Harrison R. Merrill

Oh God let this be heaven.
I do not ask for golden streets
or long for jasper walls
Nor do I sigh for pearly shores
where twilight never falls.

Just leave my spirit here somewhere
in this rough Western land.
I love this old world of thine.
Dear God you understand.
Oh God let this be heaven.
I do not ask white stainless robes.
I'll keep these marked by toil.
Instead of straight and narrow walks,
I love paths soft with soil.

I have been healed by crystal streams
Like these from snow capped peaks
Where dawn burns incense to the sky
And paints the sky with streaks.

Dear God let this be heaven.
I do not ask for angel wings.
Just leave that old peak there
and let me climb till comes the night.
I Want no golden stair.

Then when I bid my last adieu
And all farewells are given
Just leave my spirit here somewhere.
Oh God, let this be heaven.

The song is ended, but the melody lingers on”                      - Irving Berlin

How glorious life has been!

Mr. Brink can now come down out of the tree.                           (Line from motion picture “On Borrowed Time.”

Be of Good Cheer  -  You are a child of God, created in His very image and likeness. You lived with Him before you were born.  You shouted for joy with all the sons and daughters of God when the foundation of the Earth was laid.

Be of Good Cheer - He loves you and knows you even by name. You are more precious to Him than all the planets and stars of space. They are the handiwork of God. You are his child. 


Be of  Good Cheer  The  Savior and Redeemer of the world has promised peace if we come unto Him: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace...Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Be of Good Cheer  Though your sins be as scarlet, with repentence, forgiveness, and the atonement of Jesus Christ, they can become as white as snow, and He will remember them no more.

Be of Good Cheer  - Our birth is not the beginning and our death is not the end.

Be of Good Cheer – For Jesus Christ has overcome the world.  (In this world we shall have tribulation but "Be of Good Cheer" for He has conquered death for all mankind.