Monday, October 25, 2010

Touch The Temple

P1010909 Last Friday, 15 October, we went to Manti to begin a truly lifetime adventure.

On Saturday morning the Utah Watts’ family (23 strong) gathered to “Touch The Temples” from Manti to Logan in a one-day 400+ mile trip.

This was a trip to be remembered – complete with decorated cars, T-shirts alike, games and snacks – on a perfect fall day – bright sunshine and fall colors.

At each temple we gathered to touch the sacred walls and listen to a brief talk by one of the group who was assigned to tell us about ‘their’ temple.  We learned lots of interesting facts including Moroni (as shown above) at the Jordan River Temple is one of only five temples where he is holding the gold plates.

Here’s the whole gang.  Click on the picture if you’d care to look at more pictures of our trip. P1010882

We concluded our day at the Logan Temple where seated near the temple front door we shared thoughts about our day and testimonies about temples and families.

It was a Great Time!!!

Best wishes to all,

Grandma & Grandpa

Friday, March 26, 2010

Recognizing the Obvious


West of central London on Cromwell Road the pavement (or ‘sidewalk’ to many of us) widens just before you get to the corner of the Tesco store. The pavement is sloped from both sides to the middle where there is a row of curved blocks to allow for rain water to flow. Down the middle of these blocks someone has painted the word “Drainage.” It is good to see this, because, for sure, without this word…. in utter confusion the rain would go somewhere else.

It is much like this in life. Sometimes, in spite of careful written directions, we go somewhere else.

Clearly, our written directions say:

  • Pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good[1] - then we forget to pray, disbelieve and have problems in our lives.
  • Love one another …. that there should be no contention[2] - then we treat others badly and contention begins.
  • Forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you[3] - then we hold a grudge and still expect forgiveness for ourselves.
  • Bring ye all the tithes… you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing[4]then we withhold our tithes and struggle, and not just financially.
  • Strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life[5]then we wander to another path that leads to destruction and misery.

In our Family History Centre there are films of documents that are centuries old that have damaged pages that are evident when viewed, and yet the film itself has a written note to say “damaged page”. One might think that implies that without the note the document would be just fine.

I know that without the written directions of the words of God I would not be just fine.

I have a testimony of the truth in the written directions of the words of God. The list above is but a small sample of these wonderful truths. My life is better, happier and more fulfilling when I follow the directions of a loving Heavenly Father.

I shall ever be grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ that gives hope in spite of me, all too often, missing the obvious.

[1] D&C 90:24

[2] Mosiah 18:21

[3] Matthew 6:14

[4] Malachi 3:10

[5] 2 Nephi 31:18

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Closing Bell


Our mission is soon drawing to a close. Since time immemorial, bells have signaled the opening and/or closing, so it seems appropriate that we visited the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Whitechapel has been making bells since 1570 (some say 1420) and the foundry makes bells just as they were made over 500 years ago. Small ones, big ones, low tones, high tones…they made the Liberty bell and the 13 1/2 ton bell that chimes in London’s Big Ben.

The bells are cast from molten bronze (copper-tin) in a mold that is made of a loam material that consists of sand, clay, horse manure and goat hair. About the only change in the process from medieval times and church friars is the use of electronic equipment to test the pitch and resonance and a huge jig bore machine to remove material to tune the bell.


Buckets of (L to R) manure, clay, sand, sand, goat hair.


Small hand bells are made in the same way as the large cathedral bells, one at a time only polished and prettied…. as our tour guide said, “If they look good, they must sound good.” The bells we played at Christmas last year came from Whitechapel. A set of 12 bells on offer (that means on sale) go for £2,875 or about $4,700.

So unless I squeeze in another blog or two, here’s our ‘closing bell’. Turn your sound way up and listen.

Wishing you the best of everything.......

Elder & Sister Watts

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Devon Delving

P1000652 My 2nd Great Grandfather, James Watts and his family lived here (Dean) in 1841 through 1851 and worked as an “Ag Lab” (agriculture laborer). The family moved to Cardiff Wales sometime before 1861, where they lived until they boldly left the Old World for the New and crossed to America coming to Utah. James and Elizabeth (71 & 75) were living in Providence in 1870. Elizabeth died in 1878 and James in 1889; both are buried in the Ogden Cemetery.

P1000655 The current owner of ‘Dean Farm’ is Morley Hooksway whose family has owned the farm for over 30 years. He told me one of the houses was 400 years old and some of the others were newer…. only about 280 years old. Needless to say we took pictures of these old houses. See them here West Down - Dean


Dean is in West Down Parish, which is just Nor'East of Georgeham, where James was born in 1801. Click on the map for a larger view, and if you’re interested you can see some pictures Georgeham

We spent one day plus at the North Devon Record office in Barnstaple (that’s Barn-stuhpull to you Yanks) and another day in the Devon Record office in Exeter. We found some more family names to add – pretty fun. Some of the old records from the 1600’s and 1700’s are really hard to read.

Family History aside… we were away from the busyness of London in rural England with more sheep than people. Beautiful country. We drove along the Atlantic coastline and ate at a 13th century freehouse, The Bush Inn in Cornwall. Here are a few more pictures of our trip. Devon & Cornwall

We drove back to Exeter on the 5th of January in a blinding snowstorm, slipping and sliding all the way. No such thing as all season tires, snow plows or sanded roads in England.

Love to all,

Elder & Sister Watts