Family history moments: Still, small voice

My father, Collin L. Morse, is in his 90th year and is a pillar of strength and example to me and those around him. He is a member of the Santa Clara 1st Ward, Santa Clara Utah Stake.

In 1933, he was courting his wife-to-be, Olivia Hatch, in Salt Lake City. The grip of the depression was solid, and jobs were few. To earn a little money to meet the necessities of life and work toward their future, Collin traveled to Clinton, Mont., to top sugar beets.He located a small flat where he could stay in the town, shared by several other workers. Every few days, he would walk to a small store several blocks away to purchase enough supplies to meet his needs. The path took him past a very small family cemetery in an open alfalfa field. Each time he walked by the cemetery he felt impressed to stop. On his last trip to the store he stopped and recorded the names and dates from each headstone. There were only five or six. They appeared to be from one family with the surname of Mitchell. He folded the paper and put it in his wallet.

He returned to Utah and on Dec. 14, 1934, married his sweetheart in the Salt Lake Temple. He and Olivia were blessed with four children. Over the next 22 years Collin worked hard to support his family.

On many occasions he cleaned out his wallet or replaced it. He always felt compelled to return the paper to his wallet.

In 1954 Collin and Olivia moved their family to Independence, Ore. There, Collin was called to serve as the president of the Dallas Branch in Dallas, Ore. One Sunday, Collin was talking with a branch member who said he was eager to continue genealogical research but had encountered a roadblock. Collin listened intently to the member. He recognized the surname sought to be the one he copied from the gravestones years earlier.

Collin pulled his wallet from his pocket and removed the folded list of names. He handed it to the branch member and asked if the information would help him. The man stared at the names in amazement and then responded that the names were precisely those he had been looking for.

Collin's heart was filled with joy. He had listened to the still, small voice. It could have been clouded out easily over the 22-year period, had he not listened carefully. - Keith Morse, Renton 1st Ward, Renton Washington Stake

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