This has been a busy, but rewarding, weekend for the Taylors. Last evening my son Blaine's son Mitchell received his Eagle Scout award--delayed awhile because of waiting for a friend to finish his requirements. They wanted to get their awards together. I usually buy one of those special Mormon Battalion neckerchief guides for each Eagle grandson to have them appreciate their heritage just a little more. My great-grandfather Joseph Taylor was a member of "A" Company; his willingness to leave his pregnant wife in the care of relatives and respond as a volunteer in the Battalion carries a hidden message. The Prophet Brigham Young had recommended it, so Joseph responded. I take that as an example for me to follow. If we all could be so committed to follow the prophet, this church would really make its mark in the world. Incidentally, my great-grandfather was chosen to be part of the guard force to accompany a disobedient military officer who was being returned to Leavenworth for a court-martial proceedings. They were the military group who came upon the camp of the ill-fated Donner Party which had been stalled in severe blizzards in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and whose last survivors were so hungry that they resorted to cannibalism. I never read about that in any family biographies; I guess the image is too unpleasant for many to accept readily.
Today my grandson Jeremy spoke in sacrament meeting before he leaves Wednesday for the LTM prior to his service in the Philippines Naga Mission. I was pleased that he was assigned to speak with Brother Jason Dickamore of the high council. Jeremy had served as secretary to Brother Dickamore on the Camp Helaman planning group this past summer. Some of you who get this letter will remember that Jeremy has not been what you would call a sociable person while he was growing up. Smart, but not intelligent. This past year has made quite a difference in his life. I label this as one of the fringe benefits of getting fired up about planning for a mission experience. This causes me to remember what a variety of individuals go into the mission field. While serving as mission secretary, I became aware of the thrills and the concerns that the mission president felt as he received reports from the field. I feel sure that some of Jeremy's assigned companions may have some challenges in working with him full time. I hope and pray that somewhere in that mission there will be an understanding, patient companion to get him started off in the right direction. I know that every soul in this world is precious in the sight of the Savior. He wants each of us to succeed. He understands us, our strengths, our weaknesses. Since none of us is perfect (our prophet keeps reminding us that he is not, either), we all should be understanding with each other.
I remember a cartoon I saw many years ago that was funny, but true. A young boy had caught the vision clearly enough to remark, "God don't make no junk!" When you reflect upon the fact that each of us has the potential to become a god (oh, I'm going to need a L-O-N-G time on that one!), we need to be tolerant of weaknesses we see in others. Especially if we are assigned to work with that person.
I'll close with the statement, "If you really love someone, you will not even think about their weaknesses." I'm glad that my family and friends tolerate mine.