Thursday, July 28, 2011


A TRIBUTE to the life of SISTER


by Elder John P. Madsen
September 30 1967

                It was the month of April, 1902, I had been in the mission field but two months when a call came from the Saints numbering not more than ten in Rutledge, Georgia,

                This to them was as a Sacrament Meeting to us.  The morning was bright and clear, birds were singing, spring was here.  We had come six miles to walk through a timber land.  A high rail fence on either side of the road covered with many types of wild berries all in bloom, with fragrance filling the air.  A mocking bird flittered ahead, going through all types of antics, chattering away as much to say, "This is the way follow me." 

                Soon we were at Brother Studdards plantation, a grand old Civil War Veteran in his seventies, who was the leader of the group.  The house was built of logs, high off the ground.  The material coming from the land.  Only the windows were of foreign material.  Sister Studdard, a grand old lady, busy cooking dinner for the group, had little time for strangers. 

                As I sat on the porch which gave a view of the rugged area that was being planted, I noticed coming from the east three people.  Their arms were clenched tightly walking three abreast.  they were making their way over a rugged road to the house.  As they neared, I stepped down to help them up a flight of steps.  It was then that the girl in the center extended her hand with, "Elder I'm Mollie McClain, this is my Father and Mother." 

                Mollie was a beautiful girl, neat and trim and wearing a beautiful flower in her hair.  She was one to be admired.  Once inside, brother Studdard was asked to take charge.  With the preliminaries over, then the Sacrament, it was decided to have the Saint's bear their testimonies, as it had been some time since they last saw the Elders.  When it came to Sister Mollie, in a tone that thrilled you, she told of her conversion and knowledge of the Gospel.  I knew in a moment there was nothing phony about this girl.  She was genuine. 

                After the meeting , she told me how the rest of the family had married, building homes of their own, and she felt duty bound to care for her aging Father and Mother.  Yes, Mollie was obeying that Commandment, "Honor thy Father and thy Mother.  During my two years, I had the pleasure of visiting these dedicated humble Saints of not more than ten members.  The last time, I had been released to return home.  The goodbyes were not pleasant.  There were tears in our eyes and Mollie placed her hand in mine, I recall saying, "We may not meat again in this life."  She checked me with these words, Elder Madsen, we will meet again, I promise."  She was so sure , I said no more. 

                I had not been home long when a letter came which read; "Elder Madsen, Mother has passed away.  I have found a good home for Father.  Now I would like to come to Utah."  Too proud to ask me for a ticket, yet I knew that for this girl to go into the cotton mills (fields) ten hours a day, for which she would receive the sum of fifty cents, it would take her a long time before she could come to Utah. 

                I immediately sent her a letter and waited.  Then one day, I heard a voice cry out, "Stop, driver, stop.  This is the place.  That's him right over there."  Before the old horse could stop, a young girl was out and hurrying over the garden. 

                It was Mollie.  She was crying; mother took her in her arms.  When she had regained her composure, I asked her why she didn't let me know when she would leave.  It was then that I learned she had sent word with the returning Elder.  He had failed to deliver the message, so she arrived in Utah with only a taxi cab driver to greet her, who fleeced her out of every penny she had, and together they set out to find Elder Madson. 

                 Mollie soon won the hearts of the family.  So kind and courteous and considerate and gradually began to adjust her life to the ways of the west.  My responsibilities in the Uintah Basin were becoming urgent and I made ready to go.  Before leaving Sister Mollie approached me, placing her hands in mine, thanking me for my kindness and added, "Will you do me one more favor?"  "Surely Mollie , what is it?" "Find me a job of work."  " Why Mollie, you're welcome to stay here as long as you like."  "That isn't the point,  I want to be on my own.  I do not want to be a burden to anybody."

                 We found Mollie a job with a Doctor and his family, who grew so fond of her they wanted to adopt her.  Some years passed by, then on day a letter came which read, "Elder Madson, I'm the happiest girl in all the land.  I'm going to be married in the temple to the finest man I know."

                It had dawned on me why she was so sure she would see me again.  This girl had vowed when she married it would be a Mormon boy and in the temple.  Her faith brought her that blessed privilege.  It was a happy union.  A honeymoon that began at the alter and never ended until he passed away.  Mollie was not left alone.  Three fine sons were hers to raise and what a wonderful job she did.  Sons that any mother would be proud to call her own.  When I would visit her, That was the topic of discussion.  She lived for these boys, their lovely wives and her grandchildren.  She cared not for gold and silver, precious gems or jewels.  All she wanted were the necessities of life which were hers.

                Each of her sons wanted her to make her home with them, but not for Mollie.  "I want to see you often, to be near you, but not to live with you, that is out."  And now we say farewell to one of Gods noble mothers, one who has finished her earthly mission. 

                Surely St. Peter has bid her welcome and if the veil could be lifted, You would see her by the side of the man she loved.  Together they will be planning for that day when the Lord will descend with a shout and the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God.  It is then the dead in Christ shall rise first.  This sister and her husband will be among that number and a thousand years they will dwell in the presence of the Lord.  During which time the earth will be cleansed and purified, celestialized and receive it's paradisiacal glory.  This will become the abode of those who receive the Celestial glory and are exalted to enjoy that companionship which began here in this life for time and eternity. 

                The grandeur of all this is beyond the imagination of human beings.  I ask you friends, is it worth the effort, the sacrifice, one has to make?  Sister Mollie thought so and thus in parting she has left behind footprints in the sands of time that will remain and as the years come and go, other footprints will come and who knows, some day there will be a whole colony of Boels.  All because this girl had the courage to come out in the world and declare her life for the Savior.  Firmly did she plant in the souls of these three sons, the seeds of love and devotion, honesty, and cleanliness.  I'm sure they will step in her steps all the way. 

                If I have in any way contributed to the happiness of this, our sister, please be assured the pleasure is mine.  May I say to her family, any time you feel I can be of help, I am at your service.  And as the Prophet of old decried, " As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  May this be our happy lot, I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

ss/John P. Madsen

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