Today is the birthday of my cousin Jody and her mother-my aunt Esther now deceased. (Photo l-r Jody, Esther and Les her husband with their other daughter Marion in front.) Esther was my mom's oldest sister who always watched out for her siblings throughout her life. After my dad died in 1945, Esther encouraged my mom to move from Utah to Los Angeles for new opportunities.
We did move from the tiny mining town of Eureka to the metropolis of Los Angeles. Living in a small travel trailer in my aunt's backyard, my mom transferred her job as a telephone operator in a two position office in Eureka to being an information operator in a big city. I discovered ballet, and had many cultural opportunities opened to me as well as a free junior college education. My cousin Jody re-introduced me to the church that I had been baptized in at age 8 in Utah, and it became a guiding influence in my life. My mom found a new companion in California and was married again in 1958.
How does Joseph Smith fit into the equation? His birthday is also today and he was the prophet who restored the gospel, and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called by many-the Mormons. I knew little about him until I had attended church for many years as a teen, and then transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah to continue my education.
Joseph Smith, born Dec 23, 1805 in Vermont and living in Palmyra, NY, at age 14 wanted to join a church. His parents belonged to two different churches, so he pondered which to join. Taking the matter to God in prayer after reading the scripture in James 1:6 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. He received a vision from God and his son Jesus Christ telling him to join none of them, but that he would be the means of re-establishing the ancient church that existed in biblical times and during Christ's ministry on the earth.
So I honor these three people today who share the same birthday-my aunt Esther, my cousin Jody and the prophet of the restoration Joseph Smith-each has influenced my life in some way. Who are some people who have greatly influenced your life along the way? Have you thanked them for their contribution to your life?