Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Eldred G. Smith

Eldred G. Smith talks about different times in his life on his 105th birthday at the Smith's home Monday, Jan. 9, 2012. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
 Recently I read an article about Eldred G. Smith who celebrated his 105th birthday.  He is an emeritus General Authority of the church at this point but served as the last Patriarch for the whole church.  After he was emeritus the Church decided not to have Patriarchs for the whole church but to have the ones assigned to Stakes throughout the world only.  If you would like to read the article I enjoyed click here.

This is more how I remember him looking.
The article reminded me of when I was 17 years old.  I had not yet had my patriarchal blessing and I was graduated from High School and was accepted to BYU.  My parents wanted me to have my Patriarchal Blessing before I left home so we made an appointment with the Stake Patriarch just a couple days before I left for school.  That appointment ended up getting cancelled because the Patriarch's wife got seriously ill and consequently I was unable to get my blessing.  Somehow we learned that if we presented ourselves to the Church office building in Salt Lake with my Patriarchal blessing recommend signed by my Bishop that the Church Patriarch may be able to give us the blessing.  So we did that.

Up to that point in my life I had been known as a very dependable and pretty serious young man.  I had avoided the troubles that many of my peers had gotten into and had kept my focus on doing what was right, working at jobs where I showed my dependability and being friends with lots of adults as well as youth including many of my teachers along the way, and had been preparing myself to serve a mission immediately when I was 19.  My plan was to put in my paperwork in advance of my birthday so I could be on my way when I turned 19.

Then the day arrived that we presented ourselves at the Church Office Building and Eldred G. Smith was able to provide the Patriarchal Blessing.  We talked for a few minutes and then he gave the blessing.  Aside from some important things that were said in the blessing, there was something he said after the blessing that changed my life and drastically affected my long term future.

After the blessing was completed and we were talking together he said that I might want to wait a little while to go on my mission "so you can mature" a little more.  That struck me as so strange because everyone thought I was so mature already.  But as time went by I began to feel that was the right thing to do.  So rather than going on my mission as soon as I turned 19 as planned, I went several months later when I was close to 20 years old.  The reason for that didn't make itself known until about three years later.

While being engaged to Lisa to get married we must have realized that if I had gone on my mission when I originally intended, then she and I would not have met.  Because I went a few months later things worked out just right so we met and had plenty of time to work together in the mission field, so that when it was time for me to come home, and she still had several months left of her mission, the thought occurred to me to wait and marry her when she came home.

It is funny how things work out.  But I learned that when a man of God tells you something--as a minimum you should give it great consideration and see if God doesn't lead you to do what has been recommended.  It might change your life in ways you couldn't even guess. I'm grateful to Eldred G. Smith for giving that advice from the Lord that I may not have listened to coming from anyone else.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! 105 years old!! That is mind-blowing :) that's really cool that he is the one who gave you your patriarchal blessing!! I had forgotten that. In addition, I'm glad you took his advice to wait a bit to serve your mission ;)


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