A quiet miracle

In the summer of 1989, in the predominantly LDS town of Grantsville, Utah, the Baptist Church purchased a vacant lot across the street from the home of my parents, Douglas and Rachel Smith. Their purpose was to build a church to serve the community. A large crew was sent in to construct it, and they had it completed in just a few weeks.

My parents, members of the Grantsville 1st Ward, watched the process with interest, especially when it was brought to my mother's attention that an old, stained-glass window had been found and donated to the minister and his wife to add to the beauty of the building. Unfortunately, the wooden frame had become cracked and brittle, and it was in need of refinishing. Since mother was skilled in this sort of work, she offered to restore it. The minister and his wife were very grateful, and the two couples became friends.

Later that summer, the two women were conversing, and the minister's wife told Mother that she had been given an old chest-of-drawers by an acquaintance, and it was also in need of refinishing. She asked Mother if she would like to do the work. (Mother discovered later in the conversation that the chest-of-drawers had belonged to one of her direct ancestors.) Then the minister's wife showed my mother a small, old-fashioned, cardboard-bound notebook with yellowing pages. She told Mother that she had found it stuck in the back of one of the drawers.

Curious as to what the book might contain, Mother leafed through each page of neatly written script. She quickly recognized the names of her great-grandparents, James and Penina Evans Whitesides. Listed in succeeding pages were names and dates of the births, marriages and deaths of two generations of mother's relatives - statistics that had not been available to her before. Closer inspection revealed the name of a daughter, Hannah, who had died in infancy. No one in the family had remembered her. Mother was thrilled when she could complete the family group sheet to submit to the temple for ordinance work to be done.

How ironic that this record should come to light after so many years in the same town because of Mother's helpfulness to a member of another church. It was a quiet miracle that reaffirms my faith that there is greater power guiding His work on earth beyond our limited vision.

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