Monday, October 23, 2017

Welsh Mormon Hymns

John Sylvanus Davis, or Davies. (1822-1882)

Announcing a new blog, "Welsh Mormon Hymns" or "Hymnau Cymreig Mormon."

This is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I wanted to know what my ancestors sang as they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wales. In 1852 while my Welsh Mormon ancestors still lived there, John Davis of Merthyr Tydfil published Casgliad O Hymnau, Caniadau, Ac Odlau Ysbrydol At Wasanaeth Saint Y Dyddyau Diweddaf, Yn Nghymru or LDS Welsh Hymnal. Yes, the language is as challenging as it looks.

There is no modern Welsh Hymnal in the LDS Church as far as I know.

Amazon will print and sale copies of old books for which the copyright has expired. You can buy this one and maybe help me out with this project. I know about a half dozen people who could maybe help. (Ffrindiau?) Or for no cost at all, there is a PDF version of the hymnal linked on-line at Welsh Mormon History maintained by BYU as established by one of my life-heroes, Dr. Ronald Dennis (ironically my professor of Portuguese nearly 40 years ago).

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Short Bios of Those Associated with the Ellsworth Handcart Company, 1856

Ellsworth Company, 1856. Brief Bios of those in the official Company list or are mentioned in the Journals of the Company

All information is gathered from the Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel Database ( or unless otherwise noted.

William Knox Aitkin (1819-1864) Travelled with the McArthur Co. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, returned and died there.

David Argyle (1818-1905) born in Leicester, UK. Came with wife Rebecca Jane Finch Argyle (1824-1890), and children, Joseph Jr. (1842-1927), Benjamin James (1843-1917), Mary Ann (1847-1922), Frances (1850-1939), Alonzo Lorenzo (1853-1940), and Priscilla (1854-1932). Rebecca was pregnant during the journey and gave birth to son Hyrum born 10 November (1856-1929). The Argyle’s settled in South Davis County. David and Rebecca both died in West Bountiful.

Thomas Columbus Armstrong (1817-1900). Traveled with his mother, Eliza Salt Armstrong (1792-1860), and his son Thomas Columbus, Jr. (1843-1892). Had one of the wagons that accompanied first Ellsworth, and then McArthur, from Florence, NE to Salt Lake City. They were from Stepney, London, England. Settled in the 2nd Ward, Salt Lake City.

John Ash (1820-1915). Born in Cheshire, England. Traveled with wife, Sophia Edwards Ash (1829-1863), from Birmingham, England, and their daughter, Ellen Matilda (1854-1954). They settled in Cache Co., Utah where John took two additional wives.

Henry William Attley (1832-1911) traveled with his wife, Christina Stuart Attley (1826-1913). Henry from England and Christina from Scotland were married in St. Louis, 1856. They drove one of the wagons that accompanied the handcarts starting out with Ellsworth and ending up with the McArthur Co. Childless, they adopted a little girl and lived out their lives in Salt Lake City.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Temple Service

Bountiful, Utah Temple at night. (although we're still missing our spire under repair and the scaffolding is still up.)

Last evening I did my regular service as a Veil Worker in the Bountiful Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is one of the great blessings of my life. 

I have no intention of discussing sacred ordinances. They are sacred to me in a covenant with God sort of way. There are many scholarly and not-so-scholarly writings on the various subjects and that's not what this is about.

What I want to say, with some caution so as not to unnecessarily trivialize Temple service, is how amazing it is to work in the Temple. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Personal History of Depression and Anxiety

Some people have knee problems and have surgery to repair or replace with a prosthetic.

Some people have diabetes that requires constant care and monitoring.

Some people have mental illness that is just that -- an illness in the brain and emotional functions. It can be treated more like diabetes than knee problems, with constant care and monitoring. And one can live a fully successful and even happy (mostly) life.

Rather than recreating the whole exposé again, I will cut and paste some Facebook posts from the last couple of days. I deleted the names and links to comments from many good friends so those show up without an icon in front. My comments appear with my name and current FB pic (for Puerto Rico):

Dear Friends and Family:
I used to have guns. Do you know why I don't anymore? Because I suffer from a mental illness called depression*. My suicidal ideation was to drive up on the Skyline Drive, park, get out of the car so no mess, and blow my brains out.
I gave my guns to a relative that I trust more than any other to see that those guns are never used purposely or accidentally to take a life.
There are many in my family I can't trust with those guns. There are some in my family I can't trust at all because they treat me with vindictiveness and hatred for having beliefs different than theirs.
I am sick of guns and mental illness and the failure of those who should care and support me to see and hear my needs. The NRA is an evil and corrupt organization and has bought up politicians to sell more guns that result in more escalating deaths.
There is no unlimited right to bear arms in the US Constitution outside a well-regulated militia. A well-regulated militia would identify and treat those who are a danger to themselves and others in the bearing of arms.
*and anxiety, duh.