Reverence is not just a moment of feeling reverent but
it is a state of mind and a way of life. We are not especially
reverent if we just walk softly or act reverent without feeling awe
and respect, or reverence. When I was a little boy, which was really
not so long ago it seems. I don't remember what began my love respect,
and reverence for my mother and father. It may have been when we knelt
in prayer and I herd their prayers of gratitude to our Heavenly Father
for their children, for the Gospel, for their home, and for lives of
peace and love.
It may have been when I felt their reverence and saw
the reverence and love of my brothers and sisters for our parents and
our Heavenly Father. In my prayers, guided by mother or by my older
sister, I would feel oh, so grateful and thankful for home and family
and the church and the gospel and the leaders of the church. It seems
that my prayers have been mostly expressions of gratitude and finally
asking for protection and guidance.
I was taught reverence and respect for womanhood and to
show it by opening the door for any girl or woman and always "Ladies
first in every thing". In primary we were taught how to treat a girl
and how to ask for a dance. Yes we had junior dances for the primary
kids and we were taught to ask a girl politely for the dance and then
take her arm in arm to her seat and see that she had a seat and thank
her before leaving. We were taught the correct dance position and were
taught how to dance and to not step on the girls toes. We were taught
how to treat a girl on a date and to respect her in every way by being
polite and treating her like she was very special. We Should dance
with all of the girls and never two sets with the same girl one after
the other. We were taught responsibility for helping all of the girls
to have a good time and a good experience. How were they to have a
good time or dance if we the boys didn't ask them. In School or play
we were never to hit or hurt a girl now matter what because she was a
girl and must be respected.
Before I was ordained a deacon I was taught a great
respect And reverence for the Priesthood, and as a Deacon I felt great
reverence and responsibility for passing the Sacrament and helping in
the temporal things of the church. Gathering Fast Offerings I saw
people give of their flour and beans and food sometimes, taking almost
all they had to help the poor. Then, going with our Deacons advisor to
take those Fast Offerings to the poor and aged members who received
the food with tears of gratitude. I learned respect and love for those
people and to obey the Lords commandments to care for the poor. Our
Bishop was A. B. Call and his counselors were Joseph Memmott and Jesse
Cardon. I loved them and learned the Gospel by living it and having
When I was a deacon we had an excursion to the Mesa
Temple to do baptisms for the dead. All of the Dublan Aaronic
Priesthood went in brother Oscar Bluth's truck and His son Mac was the
driver. We were nearing Mesa and going along a narrow black top
highway through the cotton fields when a 90 degree turn suddenly
appeared. I guess the brakes weren't too good because when we turned
the corner, the truck laid over on its side and we were spilled into
the cotton field unhurt. I remember laughing about it and feeling that
the lord thwarted Satan's try to keep us from the Temple.
When we got to the Temple we entered into the Chapel to
have a chapel service. I was sitting by my dear friend LaSelle Taylor.
I remember how great my feeling of reverence was "This was the Lord's
house the Temple of God." I looked at La Selle and the tears were
coming and he was Crying softly. I whispered and asked him what was
the matter. He answered that he could hear his mother singing with the
Angels that were singing in the Temple. I learned reverence for the
Temple and for spiritual things. I remember the joy I felt when I was
baptized for 25 men.
When I was ordained a teacher I was assigned to teach
Brother Leon Pratt. I didn't know it at the time but the Bishop
assigned me on purpose but I knew that it was a calling from the Lord.
My companion Dan Taylor and I went and knocked on the door and were
admitted into the Pratt front room. I remember brother Pratt was
sitting in front of the fire place reading. He said, "who is it",
without looking up. We came into the light and he looked us over and
said "You are a Bowman. You can come ward teaching but tell the bishop
not to send anyone else." "I pitched baseball for your Grandfather and
he was a good coach and a good man." Then he had us sit down and told
us to give him the lesson. By that time the surprised family came in
and we gave the lesson and had prayer and we left our blessing in
their home. After that we couldn't miss a month and we became good
friends with all of the family. I learned to love and respect brother
Pratt he gave us good advice and he taught us many things. He had the
only Jersey cow herd in the whole country.
I was taught reverence for the earth and the creations
of our Heavenly Father. Every spring and summer we planted a big
garden and I was given a little spot to plant and take care of and
marveled at how things could grow and produce out of the earth. I had
to thin the lettuce and the radishes and give them to the neighbors
because we couldn't possibly use them all. We had to constantly hoe
weeds and cultivate the garden not only my little patch but the whole
lot. I liked to see things grow and learned why the Lord said that man
should eat his bread by the sweat of his brow.
When My father would take me to the
mountains with him I loved the beauty of the mountains and the trees
and wonders of nature I still feel great reverence for the creations
of Heavenly Father and the concern He had for his children to make
such a beautiful world for us to live in. I feel a great reverence for
the variety of the Lord's creations.
I THANK THEE LORD FOR THIS WORLD OF THINE;
THY GIFT TO ME HAS MADE IT MINE.
I THANK THEE FOR THIS WONDERFUL LAND,
IT'S BEAUTIFUL STREAMS AND MOUNTAINS SO GRAND.
THE COLORS OF FALL SO VIVID TO SEE,
FOR LOVE OF LIFE, LORD, I THANK THEE.
FOR EACH TINY CREATURE AND THE REVERANCE I FEEL.
FOR THE PERFECT BALANCE OF LIFE AND LAND,
FROM THE HIGH MOUNTAIN PEAKS TO THE DESERT SAND.
FROM THE MIGHTY OCEAN TO THE PURE MOUNTAIN STREAM,
THOU HAST MADE THIS WORLD FOR US TO ESTEEM.
I THANK THEE LORD THAT I CAN SEE,
THY CREATIVE HAND IN ROCK AND TREE.
IN MYRIAD INSECT SO VARIED AND SMALL;
IN FISH AND FOWL THOU HAST MADE THEM ALL.
SO MANY GREAT THINGS I CAN'T UNDERSTAND
AS COUNTLESS THE WORLDS AS THE OCEAN SAND.
I THANK THEE LORD FOR MY WONDERFUL WIFE;
FOR THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH, FOR EACH TINY LIFE.
FOR THE LOVE AND WARMTH OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS,
FOR THE GOSPEL OF LOVE THAT THE SAVIOR SENDS.
MAY I SERVE THEE LORD AND SHOW MY LOVE
BY HELPING EACH FRIEND LEARN OF THEE GOD ABOVE.
I THANK THEE LORD THAT I AM THY SON.
I FEEL THY GREAT LOVE FOR EVERYONE.
THY LOVE ABIDES IN ALL I SEE;
THIS ABUNDANT WORLD THOU GAVEST ME.
IN LOVE AND GRATITUDE I'LL SERVE THEE NOW.
IN THIS THY CREATION I HUMBLY BOW.
S. KEITH BOWMAN