In 1943 the conditions of the world were very different. Especially conditions in Mexico were very different from what they are now. My purpose in writing this up is to record my mission and also explain why we did things differently back then.

When Don Plutarco Elías Calles took office as President of Mexico he started the reform of religion in Mexico. I see now that the Lord used him to prepare the way for more religious freedom by breaking the strangle hold the Catholic Church had on the People and even the Government of Mexico.

He closed all churches and confiscated all church properties that means all. It was a terrible blow to the Catholic Church especially to the Monasteries and Convents. The Monks and Nuns were turned into the street and had to find shelter in homes of friends and relatives.

An old Lawyer in Toluca described the terrible scenes to us many years ago. He said that he watched the soldiers drive the Nuns into the street with nothing but a little bundle in one hand and their crucifix in the other. He also said that to the disgrace of the Priests that many of the young Nuns were pregnant and left their convent weeping in shame and despair. This resulted in many hidden convents like the famous hidden convent in Puebla.

Here in Dublan and the rest of the colonies our church was closed and confiscated and had to be deeded over to the Government. I remember that we couldn't go to church and even our school was closed. As I remember the Stake Presidency got a film strip presentation made up about the Colonies in Chihuahua and it was sent with a delegation to Mexico City to present to the Government officials. I was so young that I don't remember who did this or what they accomplished but after a while we were permitted to use our Church house. We could hold church again and attend school.

This greatly troubled the church in Mexico many members became lost. The Third Convention also took it's toll of many of the prominent leaders and members. I will not try to write about the Tercera Convención because I am not well versed in that history and do not have the documentation necessary to do it justice.

When the missionaries began to return to Mexico they had to use many different methods to make friends and be able to gain entrance to teach the people. Churches were outlawed in Mexico so the Church was registered as an educational and cultural institution.

My brother Claudius and Bill Jarvis used an old car and a filmstrip projector to go around to the different Pueblos to show Church filmstrips. Dr. E. LeRoy Hatch went around to the different little branches and organized the MIA and taught dances and activities to help revive the church in his mission. My brother Bob used his violin for his ploy. He would stand on a street corner and play some lively tunes like Jesusita en Chihuahua. When he was asked what tune that was he would tell them that he was from Chihuahua and a Mormon Missionary and he made friends that way.

When my brother Donn and Dan Taylor and I went into the mission home in Salt Lake City it was during the war and there were very few missionaries in the mission home in Salt Lake City. More than half of the missionaries in the mission home at that time were going to the Mexican Mission. They were Donn, Dan and I, Teresa Martinaeu, Hannah Call, Sister Golightly and another sister that I don't remember her name. That made seven out of the twelve that were in the mission home going to the Mexican mission. At that time all of Mexico was one mission and had only a few branches and members.

When we arrived in Mexico City I was sent to Monterrey to work with my Cousin Leland Robinson. We immediately began to prepare for the branch conference that was coming up in 5 weeks. We began to visit the members and invited them to come to make up a choir and prepare for the conference. We got quite a large choir with Leland as the director and little 13 year old Beverly Johnson as Pianist. We practiced and prepared several beautiful Anthems for the Conference.

We traveled to town of 18 de Marzo to invite the members to the conference and to show me where they lived. It took all day traveling by bus and on foot to reach the place. Brother Reyes and his family did come to the conference because of our efforts.

When President Pierce arrived for the conference there were six people in the big mission touring car. President and Sister Pierce, Elder David O. McKay and Sister MacKay, Marybeth Pierce and My Cousin Adelbert Taylor. Adelbert was to be my new companion.

The conference was a big success and a spiritual feast for all of us. All of us enjoyed Elder and Sister McKay and felt their love. He was truly a prophet of the Lord. The members were built up and renewed in their faith and Testimony. The little branch grew in strength if not in numbers.

In our talk with President Pierce he counseled us to play Basketball and organize a branch team to see if we could open some doors and win some friends and influence in the city. Leland had taken me down to the city athletic club the Circulo Mercantil Mutualista, and I had become a member of that club. We had been gong down very early in the morning to work out and shower before breakfast and our days work. We gathered together about seven of the young men of the branch and began to go down to practice at our assigned time in the Club. We were having a practice game with another team in our segunda fuerza league and doing very well when some men came to talk to me. They told me that I would not be permitted to play with our team in 2a fuerza. They said that Ismael Fernandez was organizing a team to advertise a Colony, with homes for sale in the city, called Colonia Paraíso and that he would like me to come and play for that team in Primera Fuerza.

I accepted to play for Colonia Paraíso and the big tournament began. We were winning some games and one of the branch boys came bringing me the paper to show me the write up of the game. I will copy some of the clippings that I have of some of those games.


Keith Bowman se multiplicó anoche en la cancha del Circulo Mercantil Mutualista a un grado tal que hubo momentos que parecía que los Orioneros, que dirige Califa, estaban jugando contra los Quintuples Bowman, es decir que los jugadores de Colonia Paraíso se inspiraron por el espíritu de pelea del Mormón Chihuahuense.


Keith Bowman el Mormón que juega con colonia Paraíso, canta con el Orfeón Mormón en la XEX todos los viernes a las 19:00 horas........Bowman es Barítono.

Keith Bowman el enorme Mormón Chihuahuense pronto se irá a México, rayó anoche a gran altura, peleando la bola, repartiendo juego y encestando puntos que fueron precisos y que al fin dieron la victoria al Team que patrocina Ismael Fernández.


Keith Bowman el enorme Mormón que jugara centro y delantero en el equipo que compitió en el campeonato Cruz de Malta fue despedido anoche por un grupo de deportistas en una cena que fue servida en la Quinta Calderón del popular "Tio Velarde".

Con solo seis meses de radicar en esta ciudad de Monterrey, Bowman ejemplo de deportivismo, logro conquistarse las simpatías de los jugadores y el publico, habiendo declarado anoche que se va a México pero que lleva consigo muy gratos recuerdos de esta bella y hospitalaria capital industrial de Monterrey.

President Pierce, LaSelle Taylor Carl Haynie and Benito García went with me to the going away party that was given me by the Basketball players when I left Monterrey. I think President Pierce was inspired to counsel us to play Basketball in Monterrey. Some of the other write ups about me leaving Monterrey are as follows:


Keith Bowman el Mormón que constituyó el mayor hallazgo en el Basquetbol local de la actual temporada no podrá acompañar al equipo Nuevo Leon que en Marzo contendrá en el XIII Campeonato Nacional de Básquetbol, fue lo que el mismo declaró anoche a nuestro Cronista Deportivo.

Bowman ha recibido ordenes de salir a la capital de la Republica el 29 del mes en curso así es que la Asociación de Básquetbol que encabeza Arturo Lozano Rocha se verá en la necesidad de otro elemento que tome el lugar del joven Mormón que había sido seleccionado para formar parte del Team Neoleonense.

Tambien declaró Bowman que en México formara parte de una quinta Mormona que competirá en el campeonato de primera fuerza allá y que siente mucho irse de Monterrey ya que aquí cuenta con muchos buenos amigos.

After finishing the tournament Cruz de Malta in Monterrey I was asked to play on the selection to represent the state in the regional Segund Fuerza Championship in Tampico. We won that Tournament and I had a lot of good friends on that team. After returning from Tampico I was selected to play on the Premera Fuerza team to represent the State of Nuevo Leon in the Nationals in Chihuahua. I was not able to do that because of my transfer to Mexico city. Some of the friends I made in Monterrey corresponded with me by mail many years after my mission. Chema Lozano who was the owner and manager of Cristaleria Monterrey had planned to come to Dublan for a visit but his plans were changed when they set up a new office in Mexico City.

I thank the Lord for his inspiration and help all of the time that I was in my mission.

When my companion and I, Benito García, were preparing for our last conference in Monterrey we decided to go to 18 de Marzo to invite brother Reyes to the conference. We went by bus to Reynosa, Tamaulipas and from there on to 18 de Marzo. When we arrived there we found that it had been raining for 3 days and was still raining a slow drizzling rain. We still had 15 kilometers to go on foot. We started walking about 4:00 P.M. in the rain with a dark overcast sky. The road was graveled for the first few kilometers but soon turned to a muddy track that was soggy and filled with puddles of water. The deep darkness of night came on and after a few twists and turns in the road I completely lost my sense of direction. Finally to Benito's frequent questions I had to tell him that I was completely lost. But that we had no other recourse than to continue to slog through the sticky mud. Finally, after I really don't know how many hours, we came to a steep bank. We managed to go up the bank and bumped into the railings of a narrow foot bridge. Holding to the wooden railings we crossed the big canal and went slipping and sliding down the other bank of the canal. As we continued on a light appeared in the window of a house. With great relief we knocked on the door. A young woman came to the door and saw our strange muddy appearance. She suddenly turned an ran into the other room shouting, "Son los hermanos! Son los hermanos". The Lord had led us directly to the house of brother Reyes. After a good hot supper, two tired and very grateful missionaries thanked the Lord for his guidance and mercy and went to bed.

When I arrived in Mexico city I was sent to live in the Ermita Chapel and was given a big stack of membership forms and told to see how many of those members we could find. For months my companion, my cousin Adelbert Taylor, and I went by bus and by foot into the narrow dirty streets of the Colonias and Vecindades of Mexico City, searching and asking questions, to find the lost members. Many families we found and talked to them and urged them to come back to the church but far too many others had moved and no one seemed to know where they had gone.

This was our work during the day but several times a week at night I would go to play Basketball. Before I was sent to Ermita after arriving in Mexico City Pres. Pierce sent LaSelle Taylor, the mission secretary, to take me down to one of the big Gyms in Mexico and introduced me to "El Caballo Curiel" the coach of the Team representing the Secretaría de Agricultura to see if I could take his place on the team. I think LaSelle was being transferred I don't remember where to. We began to practice once a week and play sometimes 3 games a week. That team was composed of older veteran players, some were from the old Dorados de Chihuahua team, others were from Mexico City. I was very young in comparison to the other players so they had me play every game all of the game. When we went on tour they were all very protective of me and protected me from the evils and dangers of the cities. They even watched to see that no one smoked around me and didn't try to serve me any alcoholic beverages. It became a half serious game with my team mates.

We played all of the visiting teams that came from all over Mexico and the U.S. to play in the tournaments. One night when we were playing Phillips 66 from the U.S. I stepped out of bounds to throw the ball into play and there right in front of me was my Dad sitting between Pres. Pierce and Pres. Harold W. Pratt. You can imagine the spurt of energy that gave me in that game. They waited for me after the game and we went and had a good visit and a good supper.

When we played the Harlem Globe Trotters of course they made us look pretty silly with their clowning and play for the crowd but that is why we played them so they could show off to the large crowd.

One night we played the Air Cadets of Waco Texas. We had a player on our team called La Loncha. He was a very good ball handler and dribbler and he could really make you look silly if you tried to take the ball away from him. He told me to follow him if he was dribbling into the basket so as to draw the guards onto to him and he would pass the ball back to me for a free basket. After a few times of this the Cadets put two men on him to try to take the ball away from him. Three men cornered him on one side of the court but a quick pass between one of those big Cadets legs really made him mad. He doubled up his fist and started for La Loncha. All of the south side bleachers of the "Arena Mexico" was filled with "Conscriptos"(Mexican Army Cadets) with a yell they all spilled out of the bleachers and down onto the court. The cadets from Texas grabbed their team mate and hustled him to the dressing room for protection.

While we were waiting for things to calm down and for the game to resume one of the young Conscriptos came over to talk to me. He asked me where I was from and I told him I was from Chihuahua and that I was a missionary. He asked me where I was living and I told him in Ermita. He said that he lived near Ermita and had seen me there and wanted us to go home together on the bus after the game. On our way home that night we talked and made a date to talk to him and his mother the next day. He and his mother both were very receptive to the Gospel and were soon Baptized. He later married Elena Parra and was called to be the branch president of the Tula Hidalgo Branch. Years later I met Elena in the Mesa Temple and she told me that he had been a very good husband to her but that he had recently died.

About this time we organized a missionary team and played a few games in different places. This team was made up of: My bother Donn, Dan Taylor, Vaugn Green, Harold Brown, LaSelle Taylor and I. It seems that their were a couple of other Elders with us but I fail to remember who they were. I do remember that we went out to the cement plant, Cruz Azul, to play the Cruz Azul team. We played outside on a cement court about 2:00 in the afternoon and it was rather hot playing in the sun. We also went over to Toluca to play the Toluca team in the big Gym. It was great fun to play ball with the other missionaries and get acquainted with Vaugn Green, who with his wife Polley had come to be the mission financial secretary. Harold brown and his wife Leonor were living in Mexico City at that time and we enjoyed our associations with them.

I also need to mention Dr. E. LeRoy Hatch who was living in Mexico studying to be a doctor. I remember a few occasions when he took us to have a "Caldo de Indianilla". This was a hot soup filled with Garbanzos with fresh Cilantro and onions sprinkled in it. Then with a little lemon juice it made the soup very delicious and warming for us hungry missionaries. Very warming because sometimes we would even break into a sweat from the hot chile in the soup.

I received a phone call and was told to report into the office. When I arrived I was sent up to the Presidents bedroom where he was sick in his bed. He told me that he was not feeling well and that he wanted me to go hold branch conferences in the branches of the mission. He also said that he didn't have a companion for me that I would have to go alone.

I remember the long bus ride from Mexico City to Piedras Negras Coahuila. I remember the bus driver asked me to talk to him to keep him awake during the long night drive. I started by telling him of my home in Chihuahua and of course that turned into where I was going and the church and the Gospel message.

I had never been to Pierdras Negras before so I had to walk a long ways and ask directions but I finally found the home of the branch president. I was given a young man as a guide to show me where the members lived and we visited them all and invited them to the conference on Sunday. I still remember the warm welcome the members gave me and the feeling of brother hood that existed in that little branch up on the border.

Back in Mexico City I was given Elder Benito García to be my companion for the rest of the tour. We traveled first to Tierra Blanca, Vera Cruz to hold a conference in the little branch there. We were invited on a little picnic out in the jungle near a beautiful clear stream of water. We really enjoyed the cool shade of the jungle and the beautiful water but when we returned we had to shower and really work to remove the Pinolillo, ticks and other jungle parasites that were easy to see because they were red and filled with blood.

We traveled by bus to Cuautla Morelos. As we got off the bus the Lady Missiories were waiting to take the bus to Mexico City. They hurriedly gave us the key to their apartment and boarded the bus. We ate some supper at a little restaurant near their apartment and went in and went to bed. Suddenly Benito jumped out of bed and turned on the light in time to see the Bed Bugs fleeing to the corners of the bed. There was a line of little spots of blood all along where he had lain. He spent the rest of the night sitting in a chair away from that bed. I don't know why but the Bed Bugs didn't bother me, I guess they didn't like the taste.

Early one morning I received a phone call from the office asking me to report to the office. I took the Trolley to the Zocalo and transferred to a bus up to the Lomas de Chapultepec to the mission home. When I arrived I was assigned to take Elder and sister McKay around Mexico City to all of the points of interest. We went first to San Juan Teotihuacan to the pyramids. There we climbed to the top of the high pyramid of the sun and surveyed the grand panorama of all of those ancient pyramids. Pres. McKay was impressed by the group of pyramids that are grouped with three at the head and twelve for the rest of the square in front of them with four on each side and four in front completing the twelve. He commented that they represented the First Presidency and the Quorum of the twelve Apostles. At lunch time we went under the hill into the Cave Restaurant and had a very good lunch.

We rode on a flower decked boat in the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco and enjoyed the Mariachis that came along side of our Launch to play and sing for us.

When we were walking in the Zocalo and along the Cinco de Mayo the people would stop and stare at Elder McKay. I think they could sense that they were seeing a prophet of the Lord. They were very impressed with his striking tall white haired presence. For me it was a great privilege to be with Elder and Sister McKay for two days of sight seeing. It was delightful to see their keen interest in all of the things we went to see.

I also had the privilege of taking Elder and Sister Harold B. Lee and their daughters to see the places of interest in Mexico City. Also the Primary board, Sister Parmely, her daughter and two other sisters. I would drive them in the mission car to all of the places of interest that we had time for.

Elder LaSelle and I were sent to Toluca to reopen the work in the little Toluca branch. The mission had acquired and old home there and had fixed it into a nice meeting house complete with a Baptismal Font in the patio.

Early in the morning we took the "Tourismo" car to Toluca and found our "Casa de Oración" and left our suite cases. We washed up in our new bathrooms that had been installed and were ready to explore the town.

We walked across the street into a large athletic park. We went to the big Gymnasium and looked in the front door and could see an important looking man in a side office reading a paper. We walked in and introduced ourselves. He was Señor Everardo Nava the head of the Athletic Department of the State of Mexico. We told him we were missionaries and were living across the street and we would like to use the Gym to work out in occasionally. He looked us over and smiled and shook our hands with a very firm grip with an exceptionally strong hand. His hair was graying but he had a wonderfully strong body with well developed chest and arms. Although he was over sixty years old he prided himself on being in very good physical condition. He smiled mischievously and asked us to follow him. He walked out on the athletic field to the Shot Put Circle and picked up the Shot. In very good form he put the shot out there a long ways. He retrieved the shot and indicated for us to try. Elder LaSelle nudged me forward and I took the shot hefted it a little wondering how I would do since I had not put the shot since High School. I was in good condition from playing basketball so I gave it a good try. To his surprise my mark was about a foot past his. Mr. Nave immediately entered the ring again and put the Shot past my mark by a couple of feet. On my next try I did manage to put it past his mark just a little. He laughed and said that we had better quit. He was very pleased with us and said that he had a son that was athletic like us and that he wanted to introduce him to us so that he could associate with us. "I want him to live a good clean life and be like you", he said. When Aureliano Nava "Nano" came to meet us he was truly a good big young man physically fit and very friendly. We became friends immediately and LaSelle and I took him home with us to talk and get better acquainted. He spent his free time with us and soon was Baptized into the church. Later when sister Erma Farnsworth and Sister Bertha Brown came to work with us in Toluca Bertha and Nano really hit it off and fell in love. After Bertha finished her mission Nano and Bertha were married, but that is of course another long story. Nano today is a member of the high council in the Toluca Stake.

Later Oscar Bluth came to work with us in Toluca and he was a very talented and good missionary companion. Sister Brown had a beautiful Soprano voice and sister Farnsworth could sing a wonderful Alto. Elder Bluth sang Tenor and I sang Bass. We went to visit Atlatlauca and found that little Nefi had died. He was Brother Tinoco's son and brother Tinoco was the branch president of that little Indian branch. Many of the branch members and those attending the funeral did not know Spanish so we the missionaries did our preaching in song. We sang, acapella in four part harmony, about six of the beautiful funeral hyms. After that we always preached the Gospel by singing the Hymns in church and on any occasion that we could. Each Hymn has a spirit of it's own and when it is sung with sincerity and love it touches the hearts of many of the listeners.

Benito and I went down to Villa Guerrero, in the Southern part of the State of Mexico. We went to see the Estrada family. Brother Estrada was Benito's Uncle, his mother's brother. We were very happy to get to know the family. Brother and sister Estrada had five children. Jonás the eldest son made very good barbeque and sold tacos in the plaza. Sara the oldest daughter had recently returned from her mission and was just marking time at home feeling that she didn't have very good prospects of finding an LDS husband. Sabina the second daughter was preparing to go on a mission. David was next. Fasur the youngest son was attending school in Mexico city.

Benito and I immediately remembered Alfredo De Hoyos in Monterrey who was in the same situation that Sara was, there in Villa Guerrero. He drove truck to make a living for the family after his father died and hadn't been able to find a good LDS wife. Benito and I told Sara about Alfredo and explained his situation and told her that he was just right for her and that she would make him a good wife. We gave her his address and persuaded her to write to him. They began to write to each other and soon Alfredo came down to Villa Guerrero and married Sara and you guessed it, they live happily ever after. Their daughter married Marco Antonio Flores who was the Chihuahua Mission president when we were called to work in the Chihuahua Mission as District Presidents of the Distrito de la Sierra.

Looking back on the days of my mission I can see that even though our work seemed slow and futile at the time, we were planting the seeds that later helped the church grow to what it is now in Mexico.

Benito and I were sent to Pachuca, Hidalgo to work. We went to visit the members of the little branch of Santiago Tezontlale in the land of the Maguey and the Tuna. There we met the Stalwarts of the branch Don Trinidad Hernandez and family. While we were there the delicious white Tunas (prickly pears) were ripe and they were harvesting many of the big Maguey plants. Don Trinidad asked me if I liked Tunas and Agua Miel and I said that I did. He gave me a Bamboo and a knife and early in the morning I went out and had a delicious breakfast of cool Tunas and Agua Miel. I used the knife to peel the Tunas and the Bamboo to suck up the Agua Meil out of the hollow scraped in the big Maguey plants to collect the sweet liquid of the plant.

After I got home from my mission Brother Trinidad Hernandez sent me a box of the big Prickly Pear leaves which I planted on the south side of a sunny wall. After 55 years we are still eating delicious white Prickly Pears. Those plants grew well and even though they froze back some of the cold years they have gradually become acclimatized and are still bearing fruit.

We were told that the Indians and people in the town of Santiago were very Catholic but that Elder Fay Johnson had made many friends in a strange way. As he was coming to visit the branch one Sunday morning he passed by the big round corral where they were having a Charreada and a big crowd had gathered to watch the proceedings. Fay climbed up onto the fence to see what was going on and saw that they were running the wild horses around the corral to show off their skill with the rope. I guess Elder Johnson, the cowboy and best rider in the mountains, couldn't resist the temptation. He chose a big beautiful wild mare and when she came around close to the fence he dropped onto her back and with one hand holding tightly to the mare's mane and his scriptures in the other he rode the wildly bucking mare to a standstill. Amid the cheers of the crowd he stepped off the mare and walked to the gate and proceeded to his meeting in the branch.

On one occasion on our visit to Santiago Tesontlale and Guerrero to hold a branch conference Sister Erma Farnsworth and her companion were with us. Her companion was sister Enid Williams and very new in the mission. When we arrived at the place where we were to stay. Sister Erma very seriously confided to her companion to prepare her, "Tonight we have to sleep with the Elders". Sister Williams lived in horror and disbelief until she saw that the Elders were to sleep in the only bed in the one room house of our host and the sisters were to sleep on the floor in the other corner of the room. The chickens roosted on the foot of the bed and the big Rooster crowed lustily every hour during the long night. My companion passed the night scratching and twisting and turning because of the little mites from the chickens. The next day we had a very spiritual conference and traveled back to Pachuca.

I had two experiences on my mission that each had their effect on the church in Mexico but each in opposite directions. I was called into the Mission office and told that I was needed to be part of an Elders court to have the Lebaron brothers, Joel, Ervil and Alma Dare tried for their membership in the church. When I arrived Donn and Dan were working with brother Joel Lebaron to try to help him see the error of his ways.

I was told that Ben Lebaron had left the East High (The asylum for the Insane) in Provo, Utah and had come down to visit Alma Dare in Tula, Hidalgo where he was running a dairy farm for his father in law Don Bernabe Parra. When Don Bermabe heard of the crazy doctrines they were professing, through his daughter Elena, he told them to leave that he nor his daughter did not want to have anything to do with what they were trying to do.

Ben and Alma Dare went down to Matamoros, Puebla and found their brothers Joel and Ervil, where they were working as missionaries in our mission. They converted Joel and Ervil to their cause and they all began to preach polygamy and rebellion against the Prophet of the Lord and the church in general. They were causing a lot of stir and confusion among the members of the little branch in Matamoros. The branch president went to Mexico City to advise President Pierce of what they were doing. President Pierce prepared letters of citation for them to appear in an Elders court in the mission home and sent the letters to be delivered by the hand of the branch president. Joel was the only one of the brothers that answered the citation and came to the mission home where he was receive as a missionary and housed in the mission home to wait for the hearing.

I watched and tried to help as Donn and Dan talked with Joel, Scriptures in hand to try to show him the big holes in his doctrine. I could see that Joel no longer had the spirit of a missionary but was possessed by another terrible spirit. When Donn and Dan would show him how wrong he was and he could think of no defense he would become very upset and his body would jerk with involuntary motions and he would growl to himself and shut us out completely. After three days the President set up the Elders court and we proceeded with the trial.

After reading the charges the president asked Joel if he had anything to say in defense of himself and his brothers. He arose and put out the worst evil tirade of words against the Prophet of the Lord and the church leaders, that I have ever heard. Next he started on President Pierce and swore at him and his priesthood telling him that he as the President had no authority over him for he, Joel, had a Super Priesthood. When he had finished President Pierce said calmly that the Elders would consider what he had said and we all retired to consider the situation. I had been assigned as one of the Elders in defense of the accused but when Pres. Pierce asked for my opinion I could say nothing in their defense and voted for excommunication. I remember the feeling of sadness, despair and blackness that permeated that room in the presence of Joel. Joel, Ervil and Alma Dare Lebaron were excommunicated from the church and Joel returned to his brothers.

They went to Ozumba and set up a colony and began their evil work of confusing the members and bringing sadness and despair to some families in the U.S. I remember a brother Ogden came to the mission home in great despair and grief to ask for help to get his daughter back and get her out of the colony in Ozumba.

There is a whole history of the Lebarons and their Church of the First Born which I am not prepared to write and I don't even like to remember the feelings that we had at that time.

The opposite feelings and experience was when Elder David O. McKay came to the Conference in Mexico City to authorize the return of some of the leaders of the Tercera Convención to membership in the Church and to welcome them back. I will not try to tell of the great work of President Harold W. Pratt and all of the rest of the Elders and people who worked for many years to get this accomplished. I was impressed with the great kindness and the spirit of forgiveness and mercy that Elder McKay had for all people. I remember I sang in the choir in that conference and after the conference I was assigned to Baptize some of the children that were members of the Convención but had not received baptism in the church.

The Baptisms took place in the Baptismal Font in the outside Patio of the chapel in Ermita. I was worried because we had tried to fill the Font but the water had gone off and there was only enough water to come up to my knees as I entered the font. The baptisms went well for the smaller children but I was worried about the son of brother Othon Espinoza. He was a very big boy who weighed over 300 lbs. and had a very big stomach. I wondered how I was going to totally cover that big boy with water. When his turn came the crowd moved closer I guess many of them were wondering the same thing that I was. He came confidently down into the shallow water. I proceeded in faith with the ordinance. When I went to put him down into the water his great bulk displaced enough water so that the water in the font rose up in the small font and he was completely submerged with water to spare. The miracle had happened and every one gave a sigh of relief especially Elder Bowman.

This conference was a milestone in the history of the church some of the members of the Convention were brought back into the fold. I well remember the spirit of love, compassion and brotherhood that was in that conference and it seemed to permeate the whole mission.

S. Keith Bowman