The Delta Principle

Talk on Change – The Delta Δ Principle 2-13-2015

Delta is the upper-case 4th letter, in the Greek alphabet

The symbol “Δ” can be used to denote:

  • Change of any changeable quantity or entity
  • In mathematics it represents the change or difference between the starting and ending of measurable things
  • It can represent the average change per unit
  • It can represent a quantum change in any measurable difference

Here is how the Delta change applies to us:

The 3 prongs are: At the top God, Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost – on the lower right or left is US on the other lower right or left are People we come in contact with. These connecting lines are relationship lines. They flow both ways.

There are three things we must change during our life time because we Keep and take those changes with us into the next life:

  • We must Change in Character – we take what we have become, our nature and character into the next life. This character will be the result of bridled passions, virtuous thoughts and repentance of transgressions. Your Charter will change, by becoming in favor with God and Man, endowed with humility and compassion. Jesus himself increased in favour with God and Man. Have we put off the natural man and engraved our Savior’s image in our Constance?
    • Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in
      favour with God and man”.
  • We must Change in intelligence – as we learn line upon line, precept upon precept and implement that knowledge (the definition of Wisdom) we gain more enlightenment and truth. We learn that we can know that the path we are on is according to God’s will. Are we learning (God Hood) daily through scriptures, good books, good examples, and the Holy Ghost?
    • (D&C 130:18-19).
    • 18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
    • 19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.
  • We must Change in relationships – As we recognize the Love the Savior has for us and then act on it by our service and Charity (true Love of Christ) – we strengthen and change our own relationships with family, friends and mostly our Heavily Father. Starting with God and Jesus Christ then Spouse, Family, neighbors, community, and any one that we form a relationship with; it must be improved. We take those relationships with us when we leave this life. Because we have been given much we too must give. Have we helped, raised, lifted, encouraged, strengthened, and treated people as if we were an extension of the Savior’s hands?
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Talk on Charity

Talk on Charity – God like Service

May I talk on Service and more specifically (Charity) for just a moment? Charity as we know – is the pure love of Christ. (Moroni 7:45-47). And, if we love Him we will keep His Commandments. So Charity is an action word, it defines how we should grow a relationship. Relationships are one of the things we take with us into the next life, especially our relation with God and Jesus Christ. Much like the statement ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’ our visible relationship fruits will prove if we exhibit charity or not.

I would like to mention three ways that service only (without charity) does not bear eternal relationship fruit. True God like service is different from just going through the actions of:

1. Giving something to someone,

2. Helping someone, OR

3. Fixing a problem for someone.

For example:

Let’s start with the act (or relationship) of just giving something to someone.

#1. When we only GIVE:

·       The act of giving has an element of short satisfaction for the giver, however, if we only give not even expecting gratitude for the gift from the recipient – a serious unjust relationship takes place, for the giver and the recipient. Gratitude for any gift is necessary by the receiver. D&C 78:19 He who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious.

·       Just giving has an indebtedness associated with it.

·       Giving with resentment can lead to bitterness, misjudgment on the part of the giver and cankering of the soul.

#2. When we only HELP:

  • Helping has the relationship stigma of seeing the one helped as weaker than ourselves.
  • The helper is of superior strength.
  • We see life in terms of strong vs weak, young vs old, smart vs dumb, literate vs uneducated, successful vs failure, winning vs loosing.
  • When we only help we become aware of our superiority and become puffed up.
  • When we perform only helping functions our experience is one sided and there is no real growth especially spiritual growth.
  • Helping only does not accommodate the healing process.
  • We learn nothing from the one being helped – We may get a sense of satisfaction but no lasting experience of gratitude is felt or shared on either side.
  • And, a helping relationship may incur a sense of debt.

#3. When we only FIX a person or a problem:

  • In a fixer relationship, we see people and their problems as broken.
  • We see brokenness everywhere. We see the world as broken.
  • As we fix, we sit in judgment of others and their actions.
  • As we fix others and their problems, we trust in our own abilities and our own expertise.
  • If the only tool we have in our relationship bag is a fixit hammer – then every opportunity to serve looks like a nail to be hit.

When we SERVE using God’s law of Charity – Our relationships become eternal:

  • Service becomes a relationship between equals.       We grow to love those we serve.
  • God’s Charitable Service is free from debt.
  • As we serve we recognize our weaknesses, then, with help, they can become our strengths.
  • As we extend Christ’s Love through us, our limitations give us compassion and humility.
  • As we serve our faith grows and our relationship with God improves. We love our Savior more and we can keep His commandments better than before.
  • In true service we gain a trust in a power greater than ourselves.

Definition of SERVICE: True service is not a relationship between an expert and a problem: it is far more genuine. It’s a relationship between people who bring the full resources of their humanity and love of God to the table and share them generously. Service goes beyond expertise. Service is another way of life.

C. S. Lewis talks about Charity. I’ll take a few statements from “Mere Christianity”:

We are not excused from the duty of learning charity. The rule for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of life’s great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him or at the very least, dislike him less. This must be done, however, by obeying God’s law of Charity. A Christian man using the spiritual law of charity, tries to treat everyone kindly and therefore finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on – including people he could not even have imagined himself liking at the beginning. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of.

So is it the Natural man or the Charitable man that we seek in this life and take with us into the next?

No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. (3Ne. 13:24)

Song to ponder: Because I have been give much, Hymn #219:

The 3rd Verse states: Because I have been blessed by thy great love, dear Lord, I’ll share thy love again, according to thy word. I shall give love to those in need; I’ll show that love by word and deed: Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.

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Mother’s Day Talk

60th Ward Talk Mother’s Day 5-11-2014

Set stage – Grateful for opportunity to speak on Mother’s Day.

  • Great Ward, Good Bishop, Good Teachers and Leaders – Thank You
  • I thought this ward was perfect until, we got a call for brother Hale – who asked us to talk today. Now we will have to re-evaluate that position.

I would like to cover three areas while talking on the subject of Mothers and paint a picture as I do.

To start our picture we’ll need to set the canvas or back drop (it is the canvas of the times we live in). I will read 2 Timothy 3

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Question? So how do we live in the black, but not be a part of the black?

Answer: We paint with colors!

The first light or color on this black canvas for me was President Hinckley…

  • His up-beat manor, his enthusiasm for life, his love of the youth of the church, his energy, and his optimism – he would say everything will work out, have faith and it will all work out. We have one of his saying over our door in Logan “Try a little harder to do a little better”

# l. So let’s add the purity Color WHITE to our painting, representing all good leaders (Bishops, Stake Presidents, good Teachers, and especially all good MOTHERS) for they add the white of purity, virtue and love.

Read àI remember when President Hinckley became president of the Church and shortly after, a news conference was held. Standing in front of the heroic-sized casting of the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the lobby of the beautifully refurbished Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Gordon Bitner Hinckley was formally introduced to the public and the press on March 13th 1995 as the fifteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The press asked the new President “Your church teaches that a woman’s place is in the home. How do you justify that view in light of the increasing demand for a two income family just to make ends meet?

A very loaded question, and I am sure they thought they had him and all the leaders of the Church who advocated that a family, community, and nation would be better off if more mothers stayed at home.

I don’t remember his exact words but it went something like this – We recognize that times are tough, but to those faithful mothers we say “do the best you can”.

  • Raising a child and being a Mom doesn’t come with an instruction manual. You have to do the best you can.
  • At the end of the press conference, President Hinckley was ask to share his focus, the theme of his admiration – his legacy for the church. Without missing a beat he said: “Carry On” – how typical for him to choose a youthful upbeat theme. It’s hymn # 255 and starts with “Firm as the mountains around us”.

Good Mothers know: Immorality is a sin, infidelity is a sin, Lying is a sin, Cheating is a sin, and all forms of abuse in and out of the home is a sin, and no amount of political rhetoric will make it otherwise. These are the white virtues and principles that good mothers teach – when they are in the home.

Read àThis is the purest white that can be found – and they paint with the artist hands of a mother.

Testimony àI pray that we all do the best we can to keep good mothers in our homes.

  • In the words of President Marion G. Romney: Virtue is crucial. There is little or no spiritual progress when individuals, “try to serve the Lord without offending the devil”
  • President David O. McKay said: “Motherhood is the greatest potential influence either for good or ill in human life.” (Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953, p. 452.)
  • Sheri Dew said: Every woman of God is a mother in Israel and our calling is to help love and help lead the rising generation through the dangerous streets of mortality. (or the dangerous black of the world)

Testimony àI thank my Mother for the teachings I received at her knee. And, I thank all my teachers in primary, in Sunday school in Scouting, in Mutual, for reinforcing what was taught in the home.

# 2. Now let me add the loyalty color BLUE àThe Family Proclamation states that Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. (See if this sounds like loyalty to you!)

  • Read à Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; … yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me (Helaman) the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it. (Alma56:45-48)
  • The 2,000 stripling warriors knew that God would deliver them, because their Mothers knew it.
  • And, because their mother’s knew it, they stayed loyal to the testimony of their youth gained from their mothers.
  • Q. Why are Mothers responsible for the nurturing of their children? Because they are better at it – because it comes built in.
  • Give any 5 year old girl up to almost no limit of age – A doll for Christmas, then Sit back and watch the magic… What are they doing? (Practicing for Motherhood).
  • Read àPresident Ezra Taft Benson spoke at an annual fireside that was telecast over the Church satellite network to more than one thousand meetinghouses throughout the United States and Canada in February of 1887. He said:
  • Home and family are “at the very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
  • “Do not curtail the number of your children for personal, professional or selfish reasons,” he said. “Material possessions, social convenience, and so-called professional advantages are nothing compared to a righteous posterity.”
  • Speaking of women who are unable to bear children, President Benson said: “To these lovely sisters, every prophet of God in every dispensation has promised that they will be blessed with children in the eternities and that posterity will not be denied them.”
  • President Benson went on to give 10 suggestions to help mothers be effective and help their children be loyal to gospel principles – I will state only one, the 1st one he gave.

o   He said – “Mothers, take time to always be at the crossroads when your children are coming or going—when they leave and return from school—when they leave and return from dates—when they bring friends home. Be there at the crossroads of your children’s lives whether your child is six or sixteen.”


My mother was always at my crossroads, I know, vividly, two of her favorite sayings.

  • Whenever we left the home she would always say, without fail “Honor Bight”
  • This was a tradition handed down from her mother – I didn’t think much of it at the time and even wished she wouldn’t say it in front of my friends. However, now at this time in my life I lament my foolishness, I should have given it more weight for it carried great meaning, (akin to return with honor). And, how I would love to hear her say it again, just one more time.
  • à Another favorite saying was “This too will Pass”
  • This saying, was mostly meant for hard times but she would remind me that good times also pass (like time on wings of lightning)
  • This information has proven invaluable as hard times have surly come but I have always known there would be an end – because MY MOTHER told me so.

# 3. Now for the color courage or RED àI would like to talk to the primary children and thank them for singing today – it was beautiful. It took courage to come up and sing. It will take courage to do what your parents ask you to do if you are to be protected from the storm. I would like to read a poem to you. It is entitled “Which Loved Best?” by Joy Allison:

I love you, Mother,’ said little John;

Then, forgetting his work, his cap went on,

And he was off to the garden swing,

Leaving his mother the wood to bring.

“‘I love you, Mother,’ said rosy Nell;

‘I love you better than tongue can tell’;

Then she teased and pouted full half the day,

Till her mother rejoiced when she went to play.

“‘I love you, Mother,’ said little Fan;

‘Today I’ll help you all I can;

How glad I am that school doesn’t keep!’

So she rocked the baby till he fell asleep.

“Then, stepping softly, she took the broom,

And swept the floor, and dusted the room;

Busy and happy all day was she,

Helpful and cheerful as child could be.

“‘I love you, Mother,’” again they all said—

Three little children going to bed,’

How do you think that Mother guessed

Which of them really loved her best?


Every mother paints with more colors than RED, WHITE, and BLUE, however, in her artistic hands she mixes, with her God given talents, the unique colors that produce beauty, security and value to a righteous family and thus builds a safe haven for HER family unit, in the home, the neighborhood, the community and the world.


We need no more be exposed to just the ugly black background of the world, for righteous MOTHERS will paint with the full spectrum of gospel principles. They will cultivate, encourage, foster, cherish, develop, support, and nurture By Devine Design.


My Testimony: It’s a spur of the moment thing…

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We have passed the half-way mark!

May 19th was our half-way mark.  We didn’t burn anything.  We celebrated by going to a musical of Les Miserables at the Phoenix theater.  It was quite excellent.  The singers were wonderful.

Serving at the ROC (records operation center) is going well.  We have some really nice, fun couples in our room and are getting to be quite good friends.  Elder and Sister Austin have brought us extra pans.  One nice soup pan and some loaf pans and a crock pot.  They gave Elder Larsen a computer desk.  He re-stained it and it looks quite nice and takes up a lot less room than the white plastic table.  They gave us a chair that he is now using for his computer chair. People are so nice and giving.

We will take some pictures this week with some of these couples we serve with.

We have had a single sister move in behind us.  She came here with hardly nothing from Iowa.  She is a member but her family is not.  She wanted to be around more Latter-Day Saints so she chose to come to Arizona. Her two boys will join her for the school year.  She has a lot of enthusiasm and she has been over a few times for dinner and games.

We are starting to see some of the things we have worked on come into Family Search Wiki.  It is exciting to know that we had a part in going over the records before the church released them on Family Search.

Sometimes we wonder why we had to come to Arizona to serve at this center when we could have gone to Sandy or Orem.  However, I don’t wonder anymore when I see that not everyone knows the computer like Elder Larsen.  He is very valuable in keeping peoples projects up and running on their computers and answering their questions and teaching them little shortcuts.  He adds humor to the center and is very kind and understanding.  I have learned a lot by sitting by him 7 hours a day. He just keeps learning himself.  When we get home he is right back at the computer trying to learn and come up with ways to make things more efficient for others and writing up simple instructions that they can understand.  He is always thinking.  He wears me out.

We have a Family Home evening on the 3rd Monday of the month with other full time senior missionaries.  We all bring something to add to the meal.  We hear about their experiences serving on the Indian reservations.  They are very interesting.  That is the only time we get to mingle with the Mission President and his wife.  President and Sister Jenkins.  They are wonderful people.

We are quite liking our little apartment.  We are quite cozy.  A bigger house might wear me out.  I won’t know what to do without turning around and bumping into Elder Larsen.  He cleans up the dishes.  Makes the bed.  Vacuums the floor.  I hope he keeps it up when our mission is over.

I think we are having missionary experiences by trying to be examples to those around us.  Our neighbors are very interesting but nice.  We are tending a fish for one neighbor who had to drive to New York with her husband because he has cancer and had to be treated there.

We did have to speak on Mother’s Day.  Elder Larsen’s talk was so good.  I hope he posts it on our blog along with his devotional talk.  I will make him post both.

We did get to drive to St. George for some doctor’s appointments at the end of May.  Janel and Justin’s family came down and it was a nice weekend.

We are learning a lot and becoming very interested in looking up our ancestors and reading their stories.  We don’t have a lot of time to work on our own genealogy but we do a little here and there.

We will try to post a few pictures.  Mostly of those people we serve with.  We will do better at keeping up with this blog.

Love our family and friends.  Appreciate the support from everyone.

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Ghost Town Photos (2)

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Ghost Town Photos (1)

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London Bridge Images

This is a trip to London Bridge in Lake Havasu City AZ – What Fun!


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The Pico Story at Christmas


Pico, a Christmas Story

I was a twin and to this day I will answer to John just as fast as I answer to Jim or James when I am called.  I didn’t care then and I don’t care now if someone confuses me with my brother.  My brother died in 1994 at age 50.  In our first 18 years of life we were inseparable and learned many of life’s lessons together.  I feel those lessons made more of an impression on me because of our relationship.  If I couldn’t think of a way to get into trouble, John could.  We both paid the price for misdeeds even if I had nothing to do with it.  I relearned many lessons twice, even though I had learned the outcome of a particular stunt the first time – I learned it again.

We grew up in the farming community of Driggs, Idaho, on the west side of the Teton Peaks.  My father was the town’s only physician.  The hospital Dad worked in was made by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) during the depression.  In the 1950’s one doctor in a small town did everything from fixing ingrown toenails to delivering babies.  I remember Dad taking me to a farm to help a bloated cow that needed to be stuck.  This sticking process meant you stabbed a knife into the proper stomach area of the cow to let out the excess gas.  If this wasn’t done soon the cow would die.  The cow was lying on the wrong side for us to stick in the right place – so Dad stuck it where we could.  Cow guts came flying out all over the place.  They looked like giant wet slinkies.  We tucked the one or two yards of tubing back in the cow and sewed her up.  The cow lasted only a few more hours.  My Dad told me that we had done our best, not everything will turn out the way you want, but you will have no regrets if you have done the best you can.

My Dad was often paid for medical services with sacks of potatoes, wrapped and frozen chickens, butchered beef, and eggs from the farmers he help.  To this day, I don’t know if Pico was a payment for services rendered or Dad bought her outright.  Pico was a coal black three year old registered Morgan mare.  She came to our family on Christmas morning when I was about 11 or 12 years old. My brothers (now four in all) woke up Christmas morning to the smell of leather and we loved it.  A saddle was under the tree, so we rode it for the longest time.  We took turns holding the rains of the bridle, also found under the tree, and pretended we were riding a gallant steed in the mountains.  My parents finally got tired of watching us play with only part of the Christmas surprise.  So my Mother said “Kids, what do you think goes with a bridle, a leather saddle and a horse blanket?  I hate to admit this but it still took some time for us to realize there was probably a horse involved.

In Christmases past our parents hid our presents in the basement.  I am sure they thought we had no idea where they were.  Years later we confessed to the fact that we became expert gift re-wrappers by opening and closing the secret gifts hidden in the basement.  However, on this occasion we gave ourselves away because we instinctively headed down the stairs to the basement to look for the hidden horse.  I know I was in the lead for this stupid move because I had to wait for everyone to turn around and go back up the stairs when we realized a big horse would not fit down the narrow stairway.  We paused only a moment to gather our thoughts and then someone suggested the garage.  I think it was Mom.  Sure enough we startled the black horse when we burst through the door.  We found the light switch and saw the most beautiful horse we had ever seen.  Dad told us her name was Pico and that she had a true blood line.  She had been trained by the best trainer in the area.  We weren’t sure what Dad was talking about but we didn’t leave Pico’s side for the next week. We did sleep in our own beds at night, but we didn’t like it.  School started way too soon and it lasted all day which was much longer that it did before the Christmas vacation.

We were all given instruction for the care and feeding of Pico, it was especially John and my responsibility to oversee the process.  We were to make sure fresh water was available three or four times a day.  We were to give her a half bale of hay morning and night.  We were to see that she had access to the barn in our back yard.  This barn acted as a wind breaker and would allow a horse to withstand very cold weather.  We learned much about horses and grew to love horses.  We went everywhere, the mountains, overnight trail riding, camping, Skyline trail rides to Alaska basin, devil’s staircase, and tabletop.  What a childhood with a pretty black show horse like a Morgan.  We were in posies and 4th of July parades for years while we grew up learning to care for something other than ourselves.

What we didn’t know that Christmas was my parents had decided it was time for John and me to grow up and take more responsibility for things.  Our care-free lucky- go- lightly attitude was worrisome to Mom and Dad.  Much later in my life Dad told me that Pico had made a difference in our attitude and respect for others.  I remember him telling me that Pico had not been fed for two days and she was twisting the cap off the water faucet by the fence to get water.  I felt very bad and vowed never to let that happen again.

Pets can be a secret force for good by teaching young foolish children responsibility and love for something outside of themselves.  I admit I cared for that horse more than anything else.  That black mare taught me basic lessons of life, accountability and respect for all things.  I guess Dad and Mom knew what they were doing when they introduced Pico into my life.  It will forever be one of the best Christmases I have ever known.

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Rebecca Nurse – The Winning Story

Rebecca Nurse – Family or Not?

Our family has often talked about the possibilities of being related to the famous Salem witch Rebecca Nurse.  She is mentioned in The Crucible which is a 1953 play by the American playwright Arthur Miller.  It was initially called “The Chronicles of Sarah Good”.  It is a dramatized and partially fictionalized story of the Salem Witch trials that took place in the Province of Massachusetts Bay during 1692 and 1693. Miller wrote the play as an allegory of McCarthyism, when the U.S. government blacklisted accused communists.  It was first performed at the Martin Beck Theater on Broadway on January 22, 1953. Miller felt that this production was too stylized and cold and the reviews for it were largely hostile (although The New York Times noted “a powerful play [in a] driving performance”).  Nonetheless, the production won the 1953 “Best Play” Tony Award.  A year later a new production succeeded and the play became a classic.  It is a central work in the canon of American drama.witches-of-salem

When our grandchildren studied this work in school they became very excited about the possibilities of being related to Rebecca Nurse.  I tried several lines and I stumbled on to her by accident or maybe not so much of an accident when you consider the pace of technology and the spirit of Elijah.  I was actually looking in my Grandfather Howard’s line to see if I was related to my best friend (seems like we are all related somehow).  The name Luther Warner came up.   From this point on you can follow it on the chart I reference at the bottom.* With fan charts and Tree charts, I found Elizabeth Nurse and her mother was Rebecca (Town) Nurse.  December 1, 2013, I finally connected Rebecca Nurse to me and my sisters.  We celebrated all day to know that she truly was in our line.   She is our 9th great Grandmother on the Howard side.  This leaves no doubt why all the Howard daughters hold such spells over their husbands and are extra scary on Halloween.  What follows is the biography of Rebecca Towne Nurse 1618-1692 as researched by her 9th Great Granddaughter and information found on the internet.

Rebecca Towne Nurse was born February 16, 1621 in Great Yarmouth Norfolk England to William Towne and Joanna Blessing. The exact date they left England and the name of the ship used is not known for sure. He was a puritan and apparently left England because of religious persecution like most of the people who left England for Massachusetts at that time. Around 1645, she married Francis Nurse, who had also been born in England, sometime between 1618 and 1620.  In 1672, Francis served as Salem’s Constable. Together the couple had eight children, four daughters and four sons. The Nurse family frequently attended church and she was well respected in Salem Village. It was later written that she had “acquired a reputation for exemplary piety (well respected) that was virtually unchallenged in the community,” making her one of the first “unlikely” witches to be accused in the famous “Salem Witch Trials”.

Rebecca and her family lived on a vast homestead which was part of a 300-acre grant given to Townsend Bishop in 1636. The family had been involved in a number of acrimonious land disputes with the Putnam family. On March 23 a warrant was issued for her arrest based upon accusations made by Edward and John Putnam. Upon hearing of the accusations the frail 70-year-old, who is often described as an invalid, said, “I am as the child unborn, but surely, what sin hath God found out in me un-repented of, that He should lay such an affliction on me in my old age.”

In March 1692, Rebecca and two of her sisters were arrested and jailed based on accusations by the Putnam girls that claimed Rebecca’s specter had attacked them. At age 71, she was one of the oldest accused. Her ordeal is often credited as the impetus for a shift in public opinion about the validity of the witch trials. On March 19th, Abigail Williams started the first claim against Rebecca and shortly afterwards, the other afflicted girls joined in. On March 24th she was arrested and brought to the village meetinghouse for questioning.

There was a public outcry over the accusations made against her, as she was considered to be of very pious character. Thirty-nine of the most prominent members of the community signed a petition on Nurse’s behalf. Her trial began on June 29, 1692. A widow accused her of killing her husband three years earlier by casting a spell on him. Another woman testified that Nurse’s specter was sticking her with pins right in court. She had a bloody knee to prove it. However, the woman had been seen jabbing herself with pins.

At one point in the proceedings, Rebecca’s sister, Sarah Cloyse, stormed out of church one day in protest. She too was accused and arrested for witchcraft.

By dint of her respectability, some testified on her behalf including her family members. However, the young Ann Putnam and her siblings would break into fits and claim Nurse was tormenting them. In response to their outbursts Nurse stated, “I have got nobody to look to but God.” Many of the other afflicted were hesitant to accuse Nurse.

Trial verdict

In the end, the jury ruled Nurse not guilty, probably because of the petition and her strong Christian reputation. There was a great public outcry and renewed fits and spasms by the afflicted girls when the not guilty verdict was announced. This uproar surprised and startled the magistrates who asked that the verdict be reconsidered. At issue was the statement of another prisoner “she was one of us” to which Nurse did not reply, probably because of her loss of hearing.  The jury took this as a sign of guilt and changed their verdict.

Governor Phipps granted her a reprieve, but public outcry scared him into recalling it. Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Good, Sarah Wilds, Elizabeth Howe and Susannah Martin were sent to the gallows in Salem town on July 19, 1692. There a minister urged Nurse to admit her guilt. “You are a liar!” Nurse shot back. “I am no more a witch than you are a wizard!” Minutes later she and the others were dead from hanging. Many people labeled Nurse as “of Christian behavior”, due to her dignified behavior on the gallows.

As was the custom after hanging, Nurse’s body was buried in a shallow grave near the gallows, along with other convicted witches, who were considered unfit for a Christian burial. Nurse’s family secretly returned after dark and dug up her body which they interred properly on their family homestead. In July 1885, her descendants erected a tall granite memorial over her grave in what is now called the Rebecca Nurse Homestead cemetery in Danvers (formerly Salem Village), Massachusetts. In 1892 a second additional monument was erected nearby recognizing the 40 neighbors who took the risk of publicly supporting Nurse by signing a petition to the court in 1692.

One of Rebecca’s sisters, Mary (Towne) Estey, was also hung on charges of being a witch. The last of the hangings in Salem took place in September 1692. In all, 20 people were put to death (including five men and eight others died in jail). The trials ended perhaps because too many people of good reputation had been accused. By 1703 the General Court made payments to the heirs of the victims and 25 pounds was paid to the heirs of Rebecca Nurse. In 1706, Ann Putnam, one of the original four hysterical young women, made a written statement of remorse. She said that the devil had deceived her into accusing people and mentioned “Goodwife Nurse” in particular. In 1712 the pastor who had cast Rebecca out of the church formally cancelled the excommunication.

At this point Rebecca Nurse has not been sealed to her parents as far as I know.  We hope to reserve these names for our family to do.  We will do it in the Logan temple when we get home from our mission in Mesa, Arizona.  This is only one more year and after waiting 322 years, we hope this will not make them mad.  I am sure they have more power now than they did in Salem.  The wicked witches of Salem have brought a family closer together.  I am sure many people can trace their line through the Nurse family but none have been so excited to discover the story and the relationship they share with the Witches of Salem than the Larsen and Howard families. The great injustices of the trial and now the possibilities of an eternal family from relatives who have grown close to them through their hardships will tie us together forever.  Elder Larsen and I will spend the next Halloween in 2014 making a special spell for the ROC in Mesa Arizona.  However, this will be a good spell to make the work at the center flow easier and faster for all the witches in the world.

*My Dad in Lucine Howard and his dad is Stanton Howard


1st Prize for Best Story

Stanton Howard’s Dad was Ira Stanton Howard (1864-1932)
Ira Stanton Howard’s Mom was Tirza Paermelia Warner (1835-1900)
Tirza Paermelia Warner’s dad was Luther Warner (1798-1850)
Luther Warner’s mother was Mary Russell (1743-1846)
Mary Russell’s dad was Archelaus Russell(1730-1902)
Archelous Russell’s Dad was Ebenezr Russell (1688-1761)
Ebenezr Russell’s Mom was Elizabeth Nurse (1665-1733)

Elizabeth Nurse’s Mom was Rebecca Nurse

Categories: Blog Posts, Family History Posts, Rebecca Nurse | Tags: | Leave a comment

Christmas Message From Jim/Judy

Merry Christmas


Elder and Sister Larsen

Four months already, fast when you’re having fun.  Christmas in Mesa, Arizona is different.  We are loving the weather, the flowers, palm trees and cactus.  Our little apartment is comfortable and we are enjoying it.  We love what we have learned so far.  We know our work is important and will help others find links to their loved ones so temple work can be done.

We are learning about our ancestors on our own time. We have learned that Photographs and Stories create strong bonds that tie generations together.  We have learned to love them as we have come to know them.  James E. Faust said “Genealogical ancestry or blood lines are of importance because our lineage is a chain or linkage through which many of our blessings flow.” We have great ancestors who worked hard and sacrificed much to make it possible for us to be born with a great heritage and be raised in the gospel.

We love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for the sacrifice He made for us.  We know He suffer for our sins.  He put into effect the great plan of happiness.  We are striving to help Him to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  He is our Redeemer.  We will see Him again and live with Him along with our loved ones if our hearts and minds will follow his example.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  We are thankful for your support, your friendship and especially your prayers.  We pray that you and all your families are well, especially this time of year.  We Love You ~ Jim & Judy

Categories: Blog Posts, Christmas 2013, Mission Up Dates | Tags: | Leave a comment

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