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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Harris Heritage: Dennison and Emer Harris

As you can see from my genealogy chart shown below, Emer Harris is my third great-grandfather.  My father is Kiefer Weston Harris on the left of the chart.   Emer Harris is the brother to Martin Harris as you can see on the far right of the chart.  (you have to turn you head to read the names)
I ran across a story of courage about my third great grandfather, Emer Harris and his teenage son, Denninson, (shown in yellow highlights on the chart) that was told by Elder Dallin H. Oaks in the April 1987 Priesthood Session of General Conference.   Elder Oaks starts off explaining that the story  involves his second great-grandfather, Emer Harris.  That means Elder Oaks and I are related through Emer Harris!
video
You can also view the video by clicking here.  Start at 11:59  and go to 16:01

As a boy, I was inspired by a story of courage in Nauvoo, which involved my grandfather’s uncle. In the spring of 1844, some men were plotting against the Prophet Joseph Smith. One of the leaders, William Law, held a secret meeting at his home in Nauvoo. Among those invited were nineteen-year-old Dennison Lott Harris and his friend, Robert Scott. Dennison’s father, Emer Harris, who is my second great-grandfather, was also invited. He sought counsel from the Prophet Joseph Smith, who told him not to attend the meeting but to have the young men attend. The Prophet instructed them to pay close attention and report what was said.

The spokesmen at this first meeting denounced Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet and stated their determination to destroy him. When the Prophet heard this, he asked the young men to attend the second meeting. They did so, and reported the plotting.


A third meeting was to be held a week later. Again the Prophet asked them to attend, but he told them this would be their last meeting. “Be careful to remain silent and not to make any covenants or promises with them,” he counseled. He also cautioned them on the great danger of their mission. Although he thought it unlikely, it was possible they would be killed. Then, the Prophet Joseph Smith blessed Dennison and Robert by the power of the priesthood, promising them that if their lives were taken, their reward would be great.


In the strength of this priesthood blessing, they attended the third meeting and listened to the murderous plans. Then, when each person was required to take an oath to join the plot and keep it secret, they bravely refused. After everyone else had sworn secrecy, the whole group turned on Dennison and Robert, threatening to kill them unless they took the oath also. Because any refusal threatened the secrecy of their plans, about half of the plotters proposed to kill these two immediately. Knives were drawn, and angry men began to force them down into a basement to kill them.


Other plotters shouted to wait. Parents probably knew where they were. If they didn’t return, an alarm would be sounded and a search could reveal the boys’ deaths and the secret plans. During a long argument, two lives hung in the balance. Finally, the group decided to threaten to kill the young men if they ever revealed anything that had occurred and then to release them. This was done. Despite this threat, and because they had followed the Prophet’s counsel not to make any promises to the conspirators, Dennison and Robert promptly reported everything to the Prophet Joseph Smith.


For their own protection, the Prophet had these courageous young men promise him that they would never reveal this experience, not even to their fathers, for at least twenty years. A few months later, the Prophet Joseph Smith was murdered.


Many years passed. The members of the Church settled in the West. While Dennison L. Harris was serving as bishop of the Monroe Ward in southern Utah, he met a member of the First Presidency at a Church meeting in Ephraim. There, on Sunday, 15 May 1881, thirty-seven years after the Prophet Joseph Smith had sealed his lips to protect him against mob vengeance, Dennison Harris recited this experience to President Joseph F. Smith (see Verbal Statement of Bishop Dennison L. Harris, 15 May 1881, MS 2725, Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City; the account was later published in the Contributor, Apr. 1884, pp. 251–60). Dennison Harris’s posterity includes many notable Latter-day Saints, including Franklin S. Harris, long-time president of Brigham Young University.


Franklin S. Harris is my Grandfather's brother.  I enjoyed reading this story of courage and am proud of my Harris heritage.  

Monday, June 22, 2015

A great way to pack MANY clothes in a LITTLE bag

This video keeps showing up on my Facebook feed page.  This morning I saw that it had 23,703,084  views.  You might want to view this video before you head out on your next trip.
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You can also see the video by clicking here

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Blessed, Honored, Pioneer

This year in seminary we spent some time studying the pioneers.  

Here are a few songs that honor our pioneer heritage.

Faith in Every Footstep can also be found  here.

They the Builders of the Nations is the first song in the program of Music and the Spoken Word that can be found here.

Come, Come Ye Saints was sung at the 2015 Pioneer Day Concert

You can also find the video by clicking here.

The Handcart Song 2015

You can find the song by clicking here

In Sickness and Health

This video gave me a lot of comfort as my dad went through his various stages of Alzheimer's in the  later years of his life.  

The video description on it's webpage source is:  See how faith and love can remain strong through the challenges and the changing seasons of our lives.

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You can also see the video by clicking here 

This is a picture of me, my dad, and Sam