All of the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
were given to us for our development and happiness. If we keep the
commandments and live the principles of the Gospel in an attitude of
love and selfless service we will increase our capacity to love and
find peace and joy in our hearts. Each principle is designed to get us
out of ourselves in serving and thinking of others. By following the
Lord's teachings and example we develop self discipline and
unselfishness and we find peace and joy in our lives. When we begin to
think of ourselves and what we can get out of it and follow Satan's
way we will end up miserable, offended. self centered and unhappy.
Tithing, Fasting, keeping the Sabbath Day holy,
magnifying our Priesthood serving as a missionary, doing work for the
dead, living in love and harmony with our families and reading the
scriptures and learning the ways of the Lord are just a few examples
of the things the Lord has given us to help us become a little more
like him and follow his example. Each one of these principle will help
us develop love for our fellow men and the Lord. Love and unselfish
service is what brings us joy in our lives.
All during my growing up years I was given the
opportunity to work with my brothers in the family work. This work was
meaningful work for the family. The thought of being paid for our work
never entered our minds for it was family work and everyone did the
best he could to do his part as a family member.
We worked to beautify our home inside and out. We
planted two big garden plots complete with all kinds of Vegetables,
Grapes and Raspberries. We planted flowers, lawn, and trees. As we
mowed the lawns and tended the gardens we developed the feeling that
we were helping the family and this was our home. I remember the
feeling I had as a boy of being a part of this wonderful family and I
was doing my part as a member of that family.
We were also sent to the farm to work in the things
that we could do as boys on the farm. I remember one summer we were
given charge of herding the pigs in the alfalfa field. We had about
fifty pigs and it was our job to let them eat in the Alfalfa field and
keep them out of our wheat fields and especially out of the neighbor's
wheat fields. We earned the respect of the pigs with long Mulberry
willows. After a few whacks with that strong limber willow the pigs
learned to mind and go where they were supposed to go.
We let them out of the big barn into the lane. As we
drove them down the lane to the Alfalfa field, I was stationed on one
side and my Bother Wesley on the other while the hired man came along
driving from behind. To keep the pigs from going under the fence and
into the wheat fields on each side of the lane we used our strong
willow switches. The pigs soon learned that to get near the fence was
to receive a good Whack!!!! with the willow. They were soon driven
into the big green Alfalfa field eating their fill of the short green
alfalfa. We constantly circled the pigs to keep them together and
Along about eleven or eleven thirty in the morning the
pigs would seek out the shade of the big cotton wood trees to escape
the heat of the summer sun. There they would root around in the soft
dirt to make a cool bed in the deep shade. Many times one or two of
them would find a tuber buried in the dirt from a last years plant.
The chase would be on to keep and eat the succulent tuber. Soon all of
the pigs would settle down to sleep for two or three hours during the
heat of the day. The big trees were on the bank of the river that
usually was running bank full with muddy flood water. Right at that
point it was about six or eight feet deep and about fifty feet wide.
We would go down to the river to swim and try to swim across the swift
current without being taken very far downstream.
There was an old Sow that we had named "Cola Parada"
(Tail standing up) She had about ten little pigs that were about ten
days old. I guess she thought she needed some wheat to have milk for
all of those little hungry pigs. She would fain sleep until she
thought we were not watching then she would slip away toward the river
with her ten little pigs in tow. I remember looking up and seeing Old
Cola Parada swimming the river with all of those little pigs swimming
as fast as they could against the strong current. We watched as some
of those little red pigs were carried down stream about thirty yards
to climb out and scamper back up to where the mother was eating the
heads of ripe wheat as fast as she could. We slipped off our clothes
as fast as we could and dove into the muddy flood and swam as
powerfully as we could against the current to cross the river. I am
sure we made quite a sight. Two little naked boys running out into the
wheat field and chasing that old Sow Cola Parada back into the river.
My brother Wesley and I were worried about those little pigs being
swept downstream so we dove into the swift current and swam with them
coming out down stream making sure they all made it out.
Wesley was really a dare devil in many things. While we
were herding the pigs along, the Big Boar would lag behind being lazy.
Wesley would run and jump on his back and ride him for ways much to
his anger and loud protests. That old Boar would grunt and nash his
teeth but he could do nothing but run along until Wesley would jump
off backwards out of harms way with his big long switch ready to
defend himself if the Boar decided to turn on him.
The man that was assigned to help us with the pigs was
a pleasant cheerful man. His name was Che Triste but he was far from
triste because he was always happy. I am sure that he received a
Salary for his steady work on the farm but we never thought of
receiving money for our work because the farm was ours and the pigs
were ours because we belonged to the family and we were doing our part
as best we could and enjoying every minute of it.
Taylor and Bowman planted an orchard out east of Dublán
in the sandy soil. After two or three years they decided to improve
the soil immediately around the trees so they would grow better and
keep them from dying. My Brother Bob and I were sent out to work with
the men who were hired to do this. We spread straw around each tree
then we came along with a shovel and spaded up the dirt around the
trees turning the straw under. To do this for each of ten thousand
trees was a lot of work.
I was too little to handle the shovel effectively so I
followed Bob with a rake smoothing the soil after it was spaded up. We
all started at the head of the rows to work down the row spading up
the straw and the soil around each tree. As we were working along Bob
said, "I am going to do two rows to their one". He really put on the
steam and worked that shovel as fast as he could. We finished the one
row and came back up the next and finished that one even before the
other men had finished their first one. This went on all day long. Bob
seemed untiring and his hands were hardened to the shovel and he did
what he said that he was going to do day after day.
The men would laugh and they all liked him and called
him "El Mollote" (the Mosquito) because he was thin but very strong
and active. The point here is that the men who were being paid for
their work worked along at their own pace without putting out any
extra effort. Bob who was working for the family was working as fast
and as good as he could. He was receiving joy and satisfaction in his
work and developing love for the family. He was going the second mile
without really thinking about it. This was Bob's way in all his work.
The Savior counseled:
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
3 Nephi 12:41
The next summer Bob and I were sent out to water the
orchard with the water from the lake. We would ride out early each
morning on Old Trigger a bay horse that belonged to Dan Taylor but was
assigned to us to ride out to the orchard to do the watering. We would
ride out bareback and I would carry our Lunch Kit and Bob would carry
his precious Violin.
We started at the top of the orchard and built dams
along the ditch about every three tree rows. When we would get the
water set on three tree rows Bob would choose a shady tree and build a
good seat of sand and a music stand of sand against the tree. He would
get out his Violin and practice ten hours a day. Stopping only
momentarily to help me change the water about noon. When the ditch
bank would wash out he would come running to help me build it
I would patrol the tree rows to watch and see that the
water did not break out of the row or go out through a Kangaroo Rat
hole. I learned how to handle the wet sand from inside the tree row to
dam off the frequent breaks. To do this I would remove my shoes and
roll up my pants and get into the water to move the sand with big
shovel fulls into the break until it was damned off and the water was
running again down the tree row. I then would put on my shoes again on
my wet feet because there were lots of Sandburs that are very painful
when they stick in bare feet and legs.
While patrolling the rows I would see many Kangaroo
Rats come out of their holes, fleeing the water that had invaded their
home. They would come out and go jumping Kangaroo style in big long
jumps to another hole that was dry. The Rattle Snakes and the Red
Racer snakes were plentiful because of the Rat population giving them
a plentiful food supply.
I remember on one occasion I was vaulting across the
tree row full of water and while in midair I saw a coiled Rattle Snake
right where I was intending to land. Somehow I flexed my muscles on
that shovel handle and vaulted clear beyond the coiled snake. The
Snake began to rattle and crawl away. I took practiced aim and threw
my shovel. My aim was true and the sharp cutting edge of the shovel
cut off the Snake's head as the shovel buried itself in the sand.
I cut off the Rattles and put them in my hat band. I
then skinned the big Rattler turning the skin wrong side out. I took
off my wide belt and slipped the skin over it turning it right side
out again. I had to cut off part of the tail end of the skin because
it was too long for my belt. As the skin dried it would shrink tight
on the leather belt making it into a decorated Snake skin belt. In
those days I wore a Snake skin Belt even though I had to change the
skin when the one I was wearing would wear out. . .
Sometimes the ditch bank would wash away letting the
water flood out of the ditch to waste. We would immediately both work
as fast as we could inside the ditch moving the sand inside the ditch
channel to form a bank until we had closed the gap and the water was
again contained in the ditch. This was very hard work and had to be
done just so or else the water would take away the sand that we moved
as fast as it was placed on the bank. We learned how move the sand in
big strokes to form a solid bank and cut a channel for the water to
Sometimes this would happen to the men that watered in
the night and often they would give up and stop to rest and let the
water run out of the ditch and waste. We usually watered twice as much
in the day as the men watered at night. Probably because of lack of
vigilance and taking care of the water at night.
The Savior explained this situation in the following
- I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for
- But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own
the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep,
and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the
- The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not
for the sheep.
- I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of
John 10:11 - 14
Because Bob and I were not hired to do the watering but
the orchard belonged to the family and we were part of the family, we
worked with our might to take care of the water and the orchard as
best we knew how.
We were not hired to work but were working for
ourselves and for the family so we learned to love to work and enjoy
the things we were doing. We learned to handle a shovel and other
tools expertly and could hold our own with any of the men who were
adults and we were just boys.
All during our growing up years we did not receive pay
for our work but we knew that we were helping our family in those
difficult and hard times of the depression in the Thirties. We knew
that we were much better off than most of the people around us and
took joy and satisfaction in working for the family and belonging to
Later when I graduated from High School at the Academia
Juarez my father asked me what I wanted to do now that I had graduated
from High School. I answered that I wanted to go to College at BYU. I
could tell that he was pleased as he commented with a big smile on his
face, "I am not holding you". He added more seriously that he would
take me up as far as Jacob Lake where I could work for the summer with
Uncle Harold Bowman. He and mother were going on to Utah.
I left home with just the clothes that I was wearing
but I was confident that I could work my way through College. I was
accepted into the family at Jacob lake and went to work doing anything
and everything that I was asked to do or what ever I could find to do
to help the place run more smoothly. I stayed up at night to help
Uncle Harold lock up and got up very early to light the kitchen oil
burning Stove so it would be hot and ready when the cook came in to
cook for the Breakfast run.
I had not asked how much I was earning but I knew that
I was helping Uncle Harold run Jacob Lake and that he would help me
when I left to go up to School.
My Cousin Mel Bowman was running the service station
and we both slept in a little room in the station that was just big
enough for two narrow bunk beds one on top of the other. There was
only about a foot of room around the beds just enough for us to get
in. When I would get through inside helping Uncle Harold close up the
lodge I would come to go to bed. Mel would close up the station and
come to bed. I slept on the top bunk and he slept on the bottom. Every
night as he crawled into bed and settled down he would say, "Wake me
early mother for I'm to be Queen of the May".
I enjoyed my summer at Jacob lake and became a favorite
of Aunt Nina's because I was willing to help her with anything. She
taught me how to hang out the washing which was many sheets and pillow
cases from the cabins that were used the night before. She taught me
how to make up the cabins. From then on would send me to show the new
cabin girls how to make up the cabins according to Aunt Nina.
I mention all of this to make the point that I was not
working for hire but was working for the family and to help as much as
I could. When fall came I was asked to stay for the fall hunt to help
Uncle Harold Run Jacob Lake with just he and I and the cook. All of
the others had gone back to school and their homes.
When I arrived at the Y I went in to see President
Harris. Dad had told me to go see him and tell him hello for he was a
boyhood friend of Dad's. I told President Harris who I was and told
him that my father sent his greetings. He greeted me happily and told
me that he had fond memories of his Colony days and of my father as a
good friend. I then told him that I had come to go to school but
needed work to support myself. He sent me to talk to Carl Miller who
was the head of the department of the grounds and buildings.
I went to talk to Carl Miller and he said that he had a
full crew and didn't have any work for me until summer. Then he
thought a minute and said, "Unless you want to clean the restrooms". I
told him that I would be glad to clean the rest room and anything else
he wanted me to do and that I had experience in cleaning rest rooms
since I had done it at Jacob Lake. He laughed and took me to where the
cleaning materials were kept and said that all of the rest room of the
upper campus were mine to keep clean. I started right then and worked
through the day since I would not be in school until January and this
was the first part of Dec.
The next morning Carl came and found me where I was
cleaning a restroom and asked me to come and help him clean a sewer
line that he was having problems with. We worked together the rest of
that day and the next few days he kept me busy helping him on
different things that he was doing.
Then he sent me on a little tractor to pull the trees
out of an orchard that they wanted pulled out to make room for a new
building. I went and had fun pulling trees with a chain around the
trunk. When the little tractor could not pull them up I would dig
around them and cut some of the main roots to make them easier to
On pay day Carl handed me my check and told me that he
was paying me top wages on campus. That was twenty five cents an hour.
I deposited it in a bank account with the money I had brought from
I had gone to live in Helaman Halls and had moved into
the room with my dear Friend Taylor Abegg and his Cousin Lothaire
Abegg. They were in school and I was working so we didn't see much of
each other only at night and on week ends. I remember the Sunday
morning Dec. 7, 1941 President Roosevelt came on the Radio and
announced that the U.S. had declared war on Japan because of the
dastardly attack on Pearl Harbor. This caused a great excitement among
the young men and many of them could hardly wait until Monday so that
they could go down and enlist.
I started school and Carl Miller asked me to be head
Janitor of the upper campus because the head Janitor and most of the
janitors that worked on the upper campus had quit school and gone into
When I called Dad and asked him what I should do about
enlisting in one of the services he just said, "Well you went up there
to go to School so you need to stick to your knitting". I knew what
that meant so I stuck in spite of the draft board telling me that
because I was a resident Alien they could not draft me but that I
could enlist and be accepted in any branch of the service. .
When they started to build the Geneva Steel Plant I
went to work in the afternoon and evenings at the Steel Plant. I was
usually assigned to wheel a Cement Buggy. I couldn't stand to go along
slow like the other men did that were working so I would make two
trips to their one. Some of the men would ask me, "What are you trying
to do kid, show us up". I would tell them no that I just liked to work
fast for exercise. They would shake their heads and could not
I would get home from the Steel Plant at eleven thirty
and get to bed only to get up at four in the morning to go up to see
that the janitor work got done in the buildings of the upper campus.
My brother Donn and I had rented a little one room upstairs apartment
and we lived there together. I think we lived mostly on canned
Campbell's Chicken Gumbo soup.
Donn had been assigned as head janitor of the lower
campus and I of the upper Campus. So we would both get up at four in
the morning to do our work.
Sometimes I would finish a little early at the upper
Campus and I would drop by to see Donn. We then would go up into the
Gym of the lower Campus building and have a little game of twenty one
with the Basket Ball.
Sometimes at lunch time we would have a little game of
Chess to see who would do the dishes. Many times the game would not be
finished before we had to go back to our class and had to be left
until the next day.
I would come home at seven in the morning after fishing
up and get something to eat and go to my eight O'clock class. That
class was College Algebra taught by Uncle Carl Eyring. He was a very
good teacher and I enjoyed him and the class but when I would settle
down in the class I just couldn't keep my eyes open. One day after
class Uncle Carl asked me to stay a minute after class to talk to him.
He asked me why I went to sleep in his class. I explained to him that
I worked at the Steel Plant until eleven then I got up at four to work
at the upper campus until seven and that I just couldn't keep my eyes
open when I got to class. Then I explained that I was listening to
what he was explaining in the class. He then said, "Well what was the
class about today"? I told him that he had explained the theory of
"Infinity" and I cited the examples that he had used. He then said, If
you can get that while you are asleep then go ahead and sleep but I
hope you can do the work. As I remember I got an A in that Algebra
class and learned it well.
At the end of the spring quarter of 1943 the pressure
got so great about enlisting in the service that we called Dad and
asked if we could enlist. He told us no, that we were being called to
go on a mission to the Mexican Mission. We worked that summer and Dad
came up and ordained us Elders Donn, Dan Taylor and I.We received our
calls and went into the mission home. We accepted our mission calls
with eagerness to go and serve the Lord where we were greatly needed
at that time in Mexico.
We developed love for the work and for the people we
were serving. We learned to love the Lord and depend on him. We had no
thought of recompense so it became a wonderful labor of love. Our
capacity to love was increased and we had a joyful mission.
Surely the Lord gave us an eternal Truth when he gave
us the principle of serving and giving without thought of recompense
to learn to love and receive joy and happiness in our service.