Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Changing History - She Once Was Lost But Now She's Found!

It's a powerful sensation better than even the timey-whimey, wibbly-wobbly fiction of going back to change the past. And it's not so much changing as correcting or filling-in the past. It is an Amazing Grace!

Having finished the life history of my 4th Great Grandmother, Eleanor Jenkins Vaughan, with all the evidence we have found so far and having a nearly complete outline of her biography, it was time to propose corrections to the wonderful Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel database for her entry. That database has already helped provide some amazing information as we fleshed out Grandma Elinor's story.

The process was quick and simple. I wish I had saved a screen shot of what I submitted, but the page on the LDS Church History website leads one through the process. It asks for documentation so I gave citations to the ordinances performed for her in 1856 and 1857 from Special Collections in the Family History Library. I also referenced the 1860 Census for Jacks Valley, Carson, Utah (soon to be Nevada) and I attached the page from John Needham's journal obtained from the CHL to evidence her baptism. What the keepers of the Overland Travel want are basic life and death data points. And I am quite pleased with the way it came out.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Close Encounters of the Human Kind

The old Ogden Temple where Anonymous D used to work. Note the still-orange spire of my futuristic youth!
As Anonymous D and I were PONDERING the messages from conference, D agreed to share some of his stories of meeting the LDS General Authorities. He was in a unique position having been employed while in college with Church Security guarding the Ogden Temple. That was a very boring job sitting in the booth, except for the occasional instances of the most interesting excitement. Otherwise, he just read a lot of Nibley.

This was back in the days of Ogden's urban decline after the first attempt at urban renewal when the downtown mall failed pretty miserably. Now, Ogden is on quite a solid rebound! (read about that here). Anyway, not all of these are stories from the Ogden Temple.

Take it away, D:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

LDS General Conference, October 2015

No live-blogging this conference. Please watch live here on YouTube, or live or recorded on lds.org. here.

I will provide some updates here with commentary.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said that three new Apostles would be called and sustained this conference, but apparently not right away.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

No Shutdown Update 2015

Told ya.

Storms still flash over the Capitol
[public domain from the Architect of the Capitol showing dome repair scaffolding]

Monday, September 28, 2015

A Brief History of the Welsh Language

Just having finished my homework for my Welsh 101 Audit, I thought I might post it here. I had a little fun with it. It's nice to be free in an audit and 58-years-old in a class of mostly freshmen.

A rather more complex map of Celtic Migrations than is necessary for our purposes, but it's kinda cool.
Welsh 101
Brief History of the Welsh Language
Grant L. Vaughn
Sept. 28, 2015

Welsh, the language of the foreigners. But only if you’re Saxon and what do they know? Johnny-come-latelies to the British Isles as they are. And that current Queen is a Saxon from the family of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha having to change their name during WWI to “Windsor” for the War PR so their subjects would forget they were pretty much real Saxons. But I digress. Forget the Saxons, they didn’t add much to the language. (Well, a lot of the fake Welsh words that end in “io,” sort of like the British version of Tex-Mex).

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Reconciling the Impossible - The At One Ment

As part of an ongoing dialogue between Anonymous D and me, I leave here a challenge with a simple answer but which requires some serious thought and self-awareness if you are prepared. Some may just call it trite or silly religious babble. I lovingly call it hope because of my faith in Christ.

Many things constantly before us seem to be in irreconcilable conflict:

Political, social or philosophical Right versus Left or Conservative versus Liberal.

The religious concepts of Justice and Mercy, Grace and Works, and Good versus Evil.

All gaps in knowledge regarding Science and Religion.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Personal History Confirmation from Down in the South of Brazil

I have a really good friend who happens to be my Home Teacher. He is assigned in our Priesthood Quorum, with our Bishop's approval and encouragement, to visit our family monthly with a teenage companion from the Teachers' Quorum They provide a brief, spiritual message and report back to our lay priesthood group as to how we're doing. He's available for spiritual needs, furniture moving, and other friendly services. My wife likes to give him cookies. We have him over for dinner and holidays now and then.

I've known him for quite a few years as we met him in our youth most likely in the Language Training Mission in Provo, Utah. But I got to know his good soul on our mission out on the Gaúcho Frontier in Rio Grande do Sul.

I was a zone leader in the São Borja District of members. We lived in Alegrete which was most central and my companion and I traveled by bus, to the cities of São Borja, Uruguiana, and Rosário do Sul to help the two missionaries in each of those cities and interview their candidates for baptism. It was in Rosário where my friend worked. For some reason, probably to save daylight hours for missionary work, we often traveled at night. Those rides were miserable sometimes having to stand in the blue haze of cigarette smoke for the two or three-hours they took.

Rio Grande do Sul State in Brazil
São Borja Zone, Porto Alegre Mission, 1977. The center, however is Alegrete, the heart of Gaúcho Brazil.
Alegrete and Uruguaiana are now Stakes. São Borja remains a Mission District. And there's a Temple in Porto Alegre!
Alegrete-Rosário do Sul, 107 Km. Alegrete-São Borja, 189 Km. Alegrete-Uruguaiana, 145 Km. Uruguaiana-Porto Alegre, 631 Km.