Feb. 13, 1982 -- Father's Birthday
Dear Morrell: Could I pick a better time than today to send what I have gathered together in my memories of our Beloved Father.
Here-in you will find the wonderful talk Father gave to us children at the time Hyrum T. came to conference and our home in Farmington and we had our family group picture taken.
It was the first time we had been together under the same roof. And Father mentioned that just before he started his talk.
"Do you children realize that this is the first time I have been privileged to look upon all of your splendid faces at the same time?"
Then he began, and the following is almost word for word of that fine talk. I took it from my manuscript of "A Flame in the Rockies." I also enclosed a couple of incidences from the same -- which sort of depicts our life style.
Excerpt from my "Flame in the Rockies"
Father's Message to Us.
For some time now I have felt an inclination toward admonishing my children that you might know my desires concerning you; but first of all I must say as I look at all of your splendid faces that I am gratified that you are all sound in body and in mind. I am proud to have been blessed with such a wonderful large family, and as you have often heard me say, "I see in perspective a whole regiment of fine little threshers and crashers growing up about me."
But seriously now, I want all of my children to understand that each and everyone of you were welcomed into this world with open arms. You can go forth from this household with that assurance. You have ample reason to be proud of your exemplary progenitors, if you do your part they, in turn, will be proud of you. Let me prevail upon you to use guarded restraint in all your desires, being moderate at all times. Always have reverence for sacred things.
If at times I have seemed a little severe in disciplining some of you, it is my hope that you will realize I was motivated by an eager anxiety for your ultimate good, as well as an intolerance toward lack of obedience or unworthy behavior.
Having been aware that some of you children have criticized and censured some of the steps I have taken in the past, particularly that of polygamy I wish you to know that in so doing I felt that it was the will of the Lord.
It has been my purpose to emphasize the importance of the knowledge and testimony you possess of the will of the Lord concerning his children here upon the Earth: A knowledge that is the greatest gift of mankind, and when you think of the comparative few who have been given this opportunity, let me say to you on this occasion that you should value highly this inheritance.
If we have left you little else but to create in each of our children a desire to live up to the ideals and principles of this great plan, we can feel highly gratified, especially in these perilous time when the very backbone of civilization is threatened.
I beseech each one of you to use the knowledge you possess. Let your associates feel the strong influence it has in your lives. Better acquaint yourselves with Gospel teachings, and so live that your conduct radiates its strength and beauty -- that you will be a power for good among men. Hold your heads high, unafraid to look any man squarely in the eye, knowing you have wronged no one.
And when you are faced with difficulties, which you all will be at one time or another, take your problems to the Lord in prayer. In this way you will gain strength and wisdom with which to handle them.
Be tolerant and kind to each other. Meet together often and partake of the spirit of integrity which we have tried to leave in trust with you. Go to the House of the Lord together.
And now I leave you with my blessing: That you will all come out of this chaos victoriously and that none of you will be given a trial or a cross that you cannot bear nobly and with dignity, is my prayer concerning each of you, my children.
(Signed) Your Father
"Use guarded restraint" was a much used admonition by him, to all of us. He often said that he valued his credit more than all his property.
Having established themselves in a little valley in the Wyoming Rockies some years back, my father and mother not only raised cattle on a large scale but children as well.
We had outgrown our five-room log cabin so Father was building a thirteen-room, two-story house "to sort of balance the scale." At quitting time one evening the carpenter, a neighbor, asked for his month's wages. Automatically Father reached for the old indelible pencil in his upper vest pocket, but failed to locate the familiar check book in any of his pockets. Nor could they scrape up a slip of paper between them. So from the debris at his feet, Father selected a piece of cedar shingle about the size of his hand, on which he wrote the date and the name of the Valley Bank. Then, wetting the tip of the pencil on his tongue, he added, "Pay to the Order Jeff Jenkins--$105.00. One Hundred and Five Dollars." After signing his name he drew a facsimile of our cattle brand in one corner, HDC, then handed it to Jeff.
Ann Eliza and Hyrum Don Carlos Clark are shown in the center of this photo taken in 1907 in Los Angeles.
Early on Monday morning Jeff showed up on the job wearing a new pair of Levi's and a broad grin. "Yes sir--I'll be gol-darned," he exclaimed, "if they didn't cash that scrap of wood without even blinkin'."
Way back when the Indians were still on the loose, during an annual trek to the Snake River country, Old Chief Washki developed a severe toothache. There being no dentist within fifty miles, he soon discovered that Father pulled teeth in an emergency.
It was early one morning, just after breakfast, that the rampaging Indians thundered down the road whooping and yelling, their Pintos rearing to a halt just outside our front door. Father leaped to his feet and out the door, closing it behind him, but through the window curtains we could see them, stripped to the waist, all decked out in war paint except one who was in full regalia. From his swollen jaw and gesticulations we gathered that he wanted his tooth pulled.
Father reappeared through the doorway warning Mother, "This is sure to hurt him," he whispered, "and who knows what might happen. Take the children into the back room and lock the door." But we could hear the old Indian groaning and grunting Kay-Wino, Kay-Wino as Father worked on him. Then, like a blast from a cannon, he let out a bellow that shook the rafters. This was too much for Mother. She unlocked the door just as the old chief bolted from the house with Father at his heels. Breathless we waited as the Indian braves lined up on each side of the doorway, poised, erect, with tomahawks raised, while Old Washki writhed in pain face down on the grass, Father bending above him.
Suddenly he grasped Father's legs and kissed his feet again and again, saying Mooch-a-Wino, Mooch-a-Wino. Then springing to a stance and with grave dignity, he proclaimed, "Heap-a-Wino big white chief." After that he proved to be a great friend.
(Thelma added in conclusion:) "Father was the possessor of a natural dignity, the kind that stems from an exemplary conduct, fairness, honesty, forthrightness; he never indulged in derogatory remarks about men, or unclean words or stories. He would fire a hired man who would. He was regarded by many as the judge and jury of the valley, always able to settle any water disputes among his neighbors, everyone would accept his decisions, being so impartial in his judgments, always anxious to make peace. I never heard him say an unkind word to Mother in my lifetime. He loved good clean sports.
Hyrum's daughters from Ann Eliza are shown in this lineup photo including: Avery, Mary, Edna, Thelma, Rhoda, Zula and Blanche.