Friday, September 19, 2008

What a Swell Party This Is

The title of this post comes from a song in the movie, High Society, which starred Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly.  It was a remake of The Philedelphia Story which starred Katherine Hepburn, James Stewart and Clark Gable.  So much for movie history. -- The party we went to last night was to celebrate history - Utah First Bank is 30 years old.  Dad brought home an invitation from the bank (who just recently re-financed his office  building complex, likely because the head of the bank was an Austrian missionary with Dad).  When opened there is a picture of a young retro-couple and the card played, "You're the One that I Want" from Grease.  The couple was holding a big red #1.  It was inviting us to a light buffet dinner at the Salt Lake Country Club.  
It was the most gorgeous evening of perfect weather.  As we entered, we were walking on a giant red carpet shaped like a big red #1.  We signed the guest book and were given a favor - a leather case holding a 1978 US Dollar coin and a 2008 US Dollar coin.  30 years ago - Clark was a baby. The buffet had small portions of Beef Wellington, chicken on a stick, and a huge bowl of giant shrimp.  A cocktail waitress walked around serving cranberry juice or lemonade cocktails - this is Utah right?!
We ate outside adjacent to the golf course with a fabulous view of Mount Olympus.  And no folding chairs here, but lovely dining room-type chairs on the lawn.  Surprisingly, you cannot hear the freeway from this venue.
My favorite thing, however, was the entertainment - the Saliva Sisters.  They are a female trio that does great parody songs - ala Weird Al.  They turned Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin" to "I've Got Skin Under My Chin"(I can relate).  They sang about fiber and Depends and shopping.  I loved it.  Their CD's are called "Delusions of Granger - a Utah Parody"  and "Spit Happens" (they're the Saliva Sisters, get it?)
As we were leaving, the valet attendant took our picture amongst the colorful, fragrant pink, red, and purple petunias.


So, it was supposed to be a good thing - taking Barkley in to the vet for teeth cleaning and to have a cyst on his neck removed while he was under anesthesia.  But things seemed to go wrong from the first.  They put him out and a few minutes later he had a grand mal seizure.  They think that he must be allergic to one of the drugs used in the anesthetic, but also mentioned a remote possibility that he could develop epilepsy.  This was scary news but it continues.  The cyst we could feel on top of his skin, turned out to be just one of several that were growing behind it.  Two were fairly large and the other were small.  Hence the unexpectedly huge incision all down his neck.  When the vet looked at the cyst under the microscope, some of the cells looked suspicious.  So we are waiting to hear back from the lab to see if they are malignant.  It could be he is just prone to develop benign cysts. 
I found all this to be debilitating. I felt like someone had just popped my balloon the rest of the day.  The only lightness came when Jeff looked at Barkley and called him "Old Zipperneck" ( a reference from Young Frankenstein)  and then Nicole came over and called him "Frankenbear".  At any rate, he is 
greatly loved and he will have tender care whatever the case.  I hope Aaron is nearby to comfort Carole when she reads this.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Priesthood is Restored!

Last night our study group met at Boyers to hear from Michael & Darcy Kennedy.  What an amazing story they told.  Both are from Tonapah, Nevada located between "a clump of sagebrush and a Joshua tree."  The missionaries would sometimes hold zone conference there because it was mid-way between Las Vegas and Reno.  At one such time they determined to tract out the town.  They knocked on every door and were only let into two homes: Darcy's family and Michael's family.  Both were in high school at the time. 
 Michael had received an assignment to report on how his progenitor's lives were involved with American history.  He went home and asked his dad about this.  His Dad pulled out an old box of memorabilia that had been handed down and told him about his ancestor, Joseph Smith, who discovered Utah.  That was the first time Michael had ever heard of Joseph Smith. As they were looking through this box, the doorbell rang. It was the missionaries. They let them in . . . .  Things evolved and both Michael and Darcy joined the Church and left Tonapah for college; Darcy to Ricks and Michael to Cedar City.  In Cedar City Michael, who had been a member only 60 days, was visited by General Authority Bruce R. Mc Conkie.  Why?  Because Michael is the first male direct descendant of Joseph Smith to ever join the LDS Church.  
    Michael wanted to marry Darcy but she insisted that he serve a mission.  A blessing and conversation with the first presidency in Salt Lake revealed to Michael that his mission would be in another area.    He did however, receive the priesthood and he is the first in Joseph's direct line to hold the restored priesthood.  There is no evidence that Joseph's son, Joseph III, the founder of the RLDS faith, was ever set apart to hold either the Aaronic or Melchizedek priesthood.  And Michael now knew that Joseph Smith was not exactly the man who discovered Utah.
Michael took a bus from SLC to Ricks and Darcy met him.  As she saw him disembark, to her eyes he was surround by light and it came strongly to her that this man would take her to the temple.  She said yes, and they were sealed in the Provo temple.  I asked her what she thought about marrying the only LDS direct descendant of Joseph Smith.  She replied that she was a new convert and it didn't hold any significance for her at the time.  They are the proud parents of 6 children.
Now, what about that mission?  Michael and Darcy have been fulfilling a lifetime mission spoken of by Joseph Smith in D& C 109: 68-70.  At the dedication of the Kirtland Temple Joseph asks God to remember him, his wife and children, their connections -- that their prejudices may be broken up and swept away as with a flood, that they may be converted and redeemed with Israel, and know that thou art God.  Fulfilling this scripture is Michael's mission. 
Michael told us that he is creating a little leak in preparation for the coming flood - the return of Joseph's family to the church.  He said that since the RLDS gave up the use of the Book of Mormon, many descendants have felt bewildered.  They still have trouble believing that the Church is where their salvation is but there is a shift in positive feelings towards the Church and they are the contacts and good will ambassadors making this happen.  He shared some information that I'd never heard before: DNA studies have been done and none show that Joseph Smith had other heritage from his plural wives; Brigham Young is known to have sent Emma support money after he arrived in Utah, but it was stolen en route and she never received any.
Until Michael received the priesthood authority, there was no one in the Church to bring these blessings directly though Joseph's line.  Michael comes through Joseph & Emma's son, Alexander Hale Smith.  Michael and Darcy have spent their lives finding, documenting & reaching out in good will to all of Joseph's family.  As a result there are now 17 priesthood holders and 79 church members from Joseph's family.  
They executive produced the movie, "Emma Smith, My Story", in an effort to win over the RLDS & others and assure them that the LDS do love and revere Emma - they think we hate her.  They were leaving today to take the film with them to Australia where 1/3 of the direct descendants of Joseph now live.  God speed.