Sunday, September 11, 2016

THE KEY. 9-11-16

These things I know: Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ in our day. The way to true happiness is through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I love my Savior Jesus Christ with all my heart.

"And now I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen." (Book of Mormon: Ether 12:41).


To you who I love, this is the story of Nauvoo – connecting families in the gospel from one bookend to the other – helping us all to remember the unbelievable price that was paid for us to enjoy the fruits of the gospel and how very precious it is. May we always remember and never forget how much we owe to those who laid the foundation of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. And how much we owe to our beloved Savior who paid the infinite price for each of us.


In Nauvoo I lived practically next door to my 3rd-great grandfather Hiram Dayton. (His property is pictured above.) He lost 4 of his 8 children by the time he arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. He lost all his property to the mobs 5 times. But in his last testimony he said, "My wife and I have been blessed to have never seen a day of murmuring." He was stalwart in the gospel to his dying day.

When I returned to Utah I settled next to my Dad, Hiram Dayton's 2nd-great grandson, Leland Kay Dayton, and concluded my incredible mission in Nauvoo at this side of the bookend Pres. Hinckley described. My dad lost some of his children in various ways, but like Hiram, he never questioned the Lord or murmured. He was valiant in his faith to his very last breath one month ago.

BOOKENDS 9-11-16

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: "Today, facing west, on the high bluff overlooking the city of Nauvoo, thence across the Mississippi, and over the plains of Iowa, there stands Joseph's Temple, a magnificent house of God. Here in the Salt Lake Valley, facing east to that beautiful Temple in Nauvoo stands Brigham's
temple, the Salt Lake Temple.

"They look toward one another as bookends, between which there are volumes that speak of the suffering, the sorrow, the sacrifice,
even the deaths of thousands who made the long journey from the Mississippi River to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake."


Now I am living at The Seville, an independent living center in Orem, Utah, with my mom in a 2-bedroom apartment. It is an ideal situation for both of us.

As the stake president told me when he interviewed me, "Consider this more like a transfer than a release." Accordingly, I am daily rejoicing in my opportunities to share the gospel and bless the lives of others! I treasure this time with my mother and the opportunities that lie before me.


The next morning major decisions had to be made regarding my dad, to which I held important keys. That night, with family surrounding his bed, I told my dad who had just been placed in a rehab center that he had the choice to try aggressively to get well or to go forward to a new life on the other side of the veil. I assured him that we would be very happy and fully supportive of either choice.

Ten days later my dear father slipped peacefully away while my mother and I sat near his side. I'm so grateful that I was privileged to be there at that time.


I felt such an urgency to get home that I left three days after I talked to the mission president. I had a very sweet welcome home, staged by Aimee's, Marilee's, and Christy's families in the Utah area.


My Rendezvous cast gave me a farewell party and honored me as I played for Rendezvous for the very last time. I said goodbye to missionaries I had grown to love so deeply.

I didn't have enough money to pay the $500 change fee for my daughter Aimee who was flying out to drive back with me. Nevertheless, by the end of the day several thoughtful missionaries who knew nothing of my plight had quietly slipped $600 into my hands - another Nauvoo Miracle.


You're probably wondering what happened to me. I haven't written for 6 weeks. So much has happened that I hardly know where to begin.

Five days after my last post, on Friday, July 29, 2016, I left my beloved Nauvoo Mission for a new assignment. My 92-year-old father's health suddenly deteriorated to the point that he and my mother needed continual help. At the same time both my brother and sister who lived nearby moved from the area.

Through fasting, prayer, attending the temple, and counseling with my mission president, the Lord made it very clear to me that I had completed all He sent me to do in Nauvoo. I was now needed at home - to help my parents prepare to cross the veil.