A Few Words from Orson Pratt

The Mormon History Association conference was remarkable. I am offering here a bit from LaJean Carruth's paper which quoted Orson Pratt, with her permission. LaJean did the laborious task of deciphering the shorthand comprising Pratt's words. I find it refreshing to see Pratt's anti-slavery sentiments at a time when the issue was so volatile, and soon before Governor Brigham Young would offer his "An Act in Relation to Service", which led to Utah being considered a slave-holding territory. … [Read more...]

Developing Spiritual Taste

“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”36 (Teachings of the Prophets)When I was in my late twenties, someone said to me, “You’re too smart to be a Mormon.” Clearly, I’m not. But the picture of Mormonism this person had in mind does not represent the kind of … [Read more...]

The Day my Brother Triked Away

This is yet another guest post by my brother, Dell Blair. His writing is too good for me not to share. I remember the day of his great tricycle adventure. I remember the devastated look on my young mother's face. I remember some men talking about "dragging the canal." But Dell remembers it from his unique perspective, and tells about it magnificently.Dell Blair: Mother's day May 10, 2014 at 6:11pmMom extended her index finger for me to hold and walked me to church on Easter … [Read more...]

Alsina Brimhall Holbrook: “With Gratitude for the Privilege”

These are among the final words written by my great grandmother, Alsina Elizabeth Brimhall Holbrook:Dearest Children, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren and more— Be true to your faith, live the Gospel and remember the Lord never requires anything of you that He does not prepare a means whereby you can accomplish it. The art of glorious living here and throughout all eternity is within your reach. . . Your needs will be of great concern to us. If we have power to help put your p … [Read more...]

Here am I: Day to Day Miracles

I don’t understand how these little miracles happen. I have had some jaw-dropping right time/right place miracles, but more often the little ones—which I might miss if I weren’t committed to noticing them.A couple of months ago, I met a lovely redheaded woman—age 27—in the local gym’s hot tub. Her smile was magnificent. I thanked her for being a redhead, something I say to most redheads because there are too few of us and we need to appreciate one another. Somewhere in the conversation, I … [Read more...]

The Innkeeper’s Wife

Luke 10 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to thehost, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.The Innkeeper’s w … [Read more...]

Life, Death, and Miracles

This is a guest post by my brother, Dell Blair.Beneath the haze of an induced coma a glimmer of awareness illuminates a single ray of reality penetrating the heavily medicated fog and compelling my eyelids to part. Through a filter of lashes and desiccated tears an image emerges more dreamlike than real with impressionistic strokes smeared and rippling across the panorama.There are shadows. There are lights. There is a woman with dark hair standing in the threshold of the doorway … [Read more...]