Friday, January 3, 2020

Childhood Terror

It's no wonder my parents had to turn off the TV when I screamed.

And at 62 years of age, the space guy is still a bit disturbing. At age five, he was horrifying!

Thursday, November 28, 2019


Yes, I make up words now. Grammarians be danged, I'm old enough to set my own rules. "To mission" is now a verb. I go "missioning" on the days I am part-time, home-based, senior-service missionary.

John Needham (1819-1901) Grandma Elinor's Missionary.
And I love the Church History Library! I passed my one-month audition and had the enhanced tour that included the vaults. Pretty cool! And literally so as the sweet-spot temperature for archives is 50° (Fahrenheit) and 30% humidity. Then there's the even colder one at -4° to preserve film and photos.

The highlight was standing next to a stack of boxes that the guide said was full of stones found by the archaeologists while digging for the foundation of the restored Nauvoo Temple. They made up the original oxen supporting the baptismal fount. They have been digitally scanned and so that a replica of the originals can be reconstructed hopefully to be on display in the Nauvoo Visitors' Center. We could see right into the boxes. The urge was strong to reach out and touch as I did with George Washington's portmanteau a long time ago, but I slapped my hand as I don't want to be exiled in more than one way.

The work is challenging but fun as I piece together on my Excel spreadsheet the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called from the field in Britain, especially Wales, back in the early days of the Church. My spreadsheet is not at hand, but here are links to some that I have worked on:

Friday, November 1, 2019

Missionary Update, All Saints Day, The Grail Quest Fulfilled

Yes, I couldn't be happier with my senior service missionary experience. The Church History Library is amazing! I was trained on document delivery which I won't go into as we're all behind security barriers. I can assure you that everything is very well protected to the max. I agree there should be more and easier access to all, but I'm not in charge and I will attempt my long-suffering persuasion to the extent that I can.

It is the greatest joy that two themes in my life have merged and I find myself viewing the Grail after traversing the wasteland of my legal career. I'm finishing up Joseph Campbell's Romance of the Grail and all things become interrelated in his mythic synergy. Outside of his book, I still make connections as I near the Nirvana of the Ten Steps of the Bull. Here, I am at step 7. The Bull Transcended (Bull Forgotten, Self Alone).

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Check out the Early Missionary Database!

This is a great resource I have previously consulted and offered up a couple of corrections or sources. At present, I may or may not be more involved (I'm still not sure what I am allowed to talk about in sharing my wonderful mission experiences on social media as Elder Uchtdorf has encouraged). See link HERE!
This is just a screen-shot of the publicly available site. Check out the link above! (or here)
So, let me say this. The project is now up to 1939, those missionaries having been born from 1914-1919 are up to their hundred-year mark so privacy concerns have diminished and the pictures we use to link up to the other missionaries in photos are already at least in the Church public domain as we get them from FamilySearch Memories pages.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Sort of a Mission Report

Finally made it into the Joseph Smith Papers!

No, that's not my assignment. And training on Monday put the fear of Something into me so I don't know what I can talk about. My assignment is not official and hasn't started yet but I think I will be able to use my Welsh. Yes, the Lord and a few other folk seem to know what they are doing. I've been sort of hyperventilating the past couple of days. I've got to calm down and get to work hopefully to meet my supervisor and work tomorrow. It seems it will not be appropriate to blog about much of it unless I can refer you to public sources of which I'm hopeful we will be producing more.

So, the Joseph Smith Papers. My direct ancestor finally made it! My wife's people and, therefore, my children's have been in since nearly the beginning with piles of stuff. Mine had to wait until Volume 9 of Documents and it's not all good news:

See image at JSPP here.
Yeah, good ol' Daniel!

The good news part is that he did appeal to the Nauvoo High Council and with enough affidavits of his friends to clarify the animosity against him, he cleared his name and was restored in the Church.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Mission Training Days 4 & 5: Go Forth!

Our Group of Senior Service Missionaries with the Mission Presidency front, seated.
Yesterday went well. I was just to tired to blog after a day of training then an evening at the local Family History Library.

It's funny (or not) how they tell you only parts of what is happening when you come to it. They did say there would be a week of training to start. And now we hear that we will need a week of training in our assigned areas. Basic retirement was a lot easier. But this is good. And I'm still done by 4:00 so I can come home and take a nap.

The trainers did really well on "Merging," of all things. No crying or general break-downs. It went a bit slow and steady so I found one of my own to merge thanking the Heavens for good Dutch records. Someone had put in an individual as a female reading "Cornilus" as "Cornilia." I could easily check Dutch sources wonderfully laid out on-line recently by the Dutch government to confirm it was a male. We learned some good search techniques too (surprising me a bit with FamilySearch as I usually search with Ancestry).