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The Hand of the Lord t

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A HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS IN SASKATCHEWAN

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The history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Saskatchewan begins with the migration of two families into the province in the early 1900s. This account ends shortly after the construction of a temple in Regina in 1999 and the division (2001) of the Saskatoon Saskatchewan Stake into two separate stakes—the Saskatoon Saskatchewan Stake in the north and the Regina Saskatchewan Stake in the south. The recounting includes dates, events and chronicles a few miracles (like the announcement of a temple). But the real miracles are found in the lives of individual people. When the Infinite touches the mortal, lives are changed. The real miracles are the changes that come to each of us as we allow the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to touch our lives and we become more than we are. Take time to read both the overall history and the individual stories included in this volume and allow your heart to be touched.

The Hand of the Lord A History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Saskatchewan t

Kenneth Svenson ~ Editor Brook Harker ~ Associate Editor


Table of Contents 4 INTRODUCTION 8 HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

Canadian Context  ........................................................................................................8 Early Saskatchewan Church History (1905-1920)  ...................................................9 Increasing Church Development (1925-1933)  .......................................................18 Regina and Saskatchewan at large (1934-1938)  .................................................... 25 Largest Saskatchewan Baptism (May 28, 1939)  .....................................................29 The War Years (1940 - 1945)   ....................................................................................32 Branching Out (1946-1955)   .................................................................................... 36 First New Chapel; Saskatchewan District Formed (1955 -1961)  ........................ 46 South And North Saskatchewan Districts Formed (1961 - 1977)  ......................51 Saskatoon Saskatchewan Stake (1978 - 1997)  ........................................................63 Regina Saskatchewan Temple (1998 - 2000)  ..........................................................81 Regina Saskatchewan & Saskatoon Saskatchewan Stakes (2001 and beyond…)  .....93

100 APPENDICES 100 WORK AMONG THE LAMANITES

122 THE CHURCH EDUCATION SYSTEM 132 REGINA FAMILY HISTORY CENTRE 138 YOUNG WOMEN 143 PROJECTS AND FUND RAISING 146 WARD & BRANCH HISTORIES

Battlefords   ................................................................................................................146 Flin Flon  .....................................................................................................................151 Kindersley   .................................................................................................................160 Melfort   ......................................................................................................................163 Moose Jaw  ..................................................................................................................164 Prince Albert   ............................................................................................................167 Punnichy  ....................................................................................................................174 Regina  .........................................................................................................................176 Saskatoon  ...................................................................................................................194 Swift Current  .............................................................................................................196 Young Single Adult Branches  .................................................................................201

204 INDIVIDUAL STORIES |To find a story not listed below, please refer to the family name in the index.

Bernice Bascom  ....................................................................................................... 204 Sterling Burch  .......................................................................................................... 206 Kent Cahoon  ............................................................................................................ 207 Rhoda Charmbury  .................................................................................................. 207 Victor and Verna Clark  .......................................................................................... 208 Scott and Danna Cruickshank and Family  ..........................................................210 Els Dudragne  .............................................................................................................210


Englesby Family  ........................................................................................................212 Fairwell Family  .........................................................................................................214 Elder Calvin Fife  .......................................................................................................215 Peter Gorda  ...............................................................................................................216 Alan C. Halsted   .......................................................................................................217 Missionary Elders and Sisters in Saskatchewan (1927-1942)  ............................218 Kim Henrie and Family  ..........................................................................................218 Violet M. (Jackie) Hoag  .......................................................................................... 220 The Isfeld Family of Foam Lake  .............................................................................221 Glenda Johnson  ....................................................................................................... 223 Berneice Judd  ........................................................................................................... 225 Sherry Knight  ........................................................................................................... 225 The Family of Christian Harold Larson  .............................................................. 226 Yvonne Larson  ......................................................................................................... 228 Mike and Kari Lawlor  ............................................................................................. 230 Dorie Lemke  ............................................................................................................. 230 Bernie (Koltun) Lilburn  ..........................................................................................232 Greg Lilburn  ............................................................................................................. 234 Leoba Majetich  ........................................................................................................ 234 Thomas. B. MacLachlan  ..........................................................................................235 Lee Marriot  ............................................................................................................... 236 Lorin J. and Mildred A. Mendenhall  ....................................................................239 Michael and Gail Moore  ........................................................................................ 240 Morrissette Family  .................................................................................................. 240 Dan and Elena Morse History  ................................................................................241 Dorothy (Paine) Muirhead  .................................................................................... 249 June Mullen  ...............................................................................................................252 Yves and Brigitte Noblet  ..........................................................................................253 D. Lawrence Penner  ................................................................................................ 254 Albert Phillip  ........................................................................................................... 258 Edna Alice Phillips  ...................................................................................................259 Violet Prete  ................................................................................................................259 Dale and Tanya Regnier  ......................................................................................... 260 Doug Robertson and Donna (Fairwell) Family  ..................................................261 Victor T. Richardson  ...............................................................................................261 Danny and Florence (Moore) Salahub  ..................................................................262 Charles (Chuck) and Ronna Shugart  ....................................................................262 Ron Schroeder  .......................................................................................................... 265 John A. G. Spencer  .................................................................................................. 266 Ian George Stewart  .................................................................................................. 266 Alan Svenson  ............................................................................................................ 267 Debra Svenson Shaw  ............................................................................................... 269 Ken Svenson  ..............................................................................................................270 Devon and Jackee Taylor  .........................................................................................271 Jennifer (Peterson) Tondevold  ...............................................................................272 Davin Lemmerick Tondevold  .................................................................................273 Raymond and Eileen Tondevold  ............................................................................274 Beatrice Maud Unger  ...............................................................................................275 Lorraine Towne  ........................................................................................................275 Tanya Willett  .............................................................................................................276 Cory Wanner  .............................................................................................................276 E. Gregory Wood  ..................................................................................................... 277 Paul and Mary Yawney  ........................................................................................... 285 Dianne Zborowski  .................................................................................................. 289

290 BRANCH AND WARD LEADERSHIP SUMMARY

297 INDEX


The following are a few of the 304 pages of the book, selected to give you samples of church history and personal accounts: George Gordon Whyte – First convert baptism Outstanding story of faith and dedicated service 15 Join the Church in Regina Great example that multiple conversions happen Missionary Work on Carry-the-Kettle Reserve (1947) Early promise of interest among First Nations James Henry McKay - Church pioneer in Prince Albert Andrea Penner - "Tell the Prophet My Name" A child's faith and a prophet's attention to the one Wayne P. Tiefenbach - Because of George Hasegawa Blessing brought to a less-active family Leon and Sarah Willet - He listened to The Spoken Word Conversion story in North Battleford Judy Niznik - Part of a Grand Design Conversion story in Saskatoon Bernice Judd - Answers to my questions Sherry Knight - Brand new member Personal histories and photos John A.G. Spencer - Reactivated by a 12-year-old scout Ian George Stewart - So blessed it humbles me Testimonies


George Gordon Whyte

First Convert Baptism in Saskatchewan In the fall of 1912 Mr. Knecktel handed me a Book of Mormon to read. [He] said it was a record of the Nephites, the ancestors of the Indians we see on the Reserves. I read it through twice, and the more I read the more I was convinced it was a divine record of the dealings of the Lord with those ‘other sheep’ he spoke of when in Jerusalem. “On making enquiries who these Mormons were and where they lived, I found that nearly every person I talked to, slandered and cursed them, and told all manner of rotten stories about them, yet hardly anybody had even met a Mormon. I said to myself, ‘This is a strange condition of things, why slander a people who have a book that is divinely written, and that explains the Gospel of Jesus Christ so clearly that a wayfaring man can understand?. Then the thought struck me, ‘How like the days when Jesus Christ was on the earth, they said all manner of bad things about him falsely.’ “In spite of the opposition on the part of my friends and relatives I kept on reading, and on 17 August 1913, I was baptized in the Moose Jaw Creek, three miles south of town by Bro V. Knecktel, who had previously joined the Church in Alberta and (had) been ordained an Elder. Jack MacKenzie was baptized at the same time. Before leaving town, I laid my old pipe up on the plate of the garage. When coming out of the water, my skin and whole body was full from tobacco stains and juice and from that day till the present I have never touched tobacco or had a desire to. “Previous to this decision I went broke financially and had no job at the time of my baptism. On Monday 18 August 1913, I came down to Regina to secure a job with Saskatchewan Cooperative Elevator Co. of which Charlie Dunning was General Manager.” Each of these early members of the Church had to maintain their developing testimonies of the gospel and their personal worthiness without the support of Church organizations for many years. They appear to have been considered members of the Raymond 2nd Ward or what was known as the “Manitoba Conference” until missionaries were assigned permanently to Saskatchewan in 1925. The members were not totally isolated, however. Brother Gordon Whyte made regular excursions to Alberta, where he became acquainted with many members in the southern part of the province, making friends with a number of them. He had previously been ordained an Elder by John G. Allred on August 10, 1918.

Gordon Whyte about 1948

First church meeting The first recorded meeting of the Church in Saskatchewan was held in Regina. As Brother Whyte recorded: July 3, 1920 “The Lord opened up the dispensation of the Fullness of Times here in Regina… The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held its first meeting at which there were eight worthy souls … myself, Bro & Sis Miller Sr. and Bro & Sis Miller Jr. and three children. Those folks moved here from Winnipeg Manitoba.” There is no further mention of any Regina meetings for a number of years. George Gordon Whyte – Early work amongst the Indians (1922-1924) During those early years, Brother Whyte was involved in missionary work amongst the native people of Southern 11


Baptism in Wascana Lake, Regina, May 28, 1939

15 Join the Church in Regina, Saskatchewan by Elder Victor Waddoups

‘The King and Queen of Britain were in Regina on May 25, 1939. Just three days later, a memorable [event occurred] in the lives of the members of the Regina Branch and the missionaries of this district. On Sunday, May 28, a baptismal service was held at which fifteen souls were brought into the Church. Permission had been obtained to use a bathing beach, with the dressing rooms, on Wascana Lake, [across from] the Saskatchewan Legislative Building. …the service was held at 8:00 A.M. The Spirit of the Sabbath and great joy was felt… by all the 73 Saints and friends who attended. ‘The following were baptized by President Victor Waddoups: Bertha Agnes [Stone] Wallis, Emily Jane Musson, Dorothy James, Burnard Dawe, Dorothy Paine, Constance Paine, Mary [Dorothy] Lamb, Doris Bailey, Velma Hibbard, Morley Bliesner, Roberta Bliesner, Shirley [Phyllis] Bliesner, David [Franklin] Bliesner, George Bliesner, and Thomas Kemp … After the service, the group all went to the Branch meeting place on 11th Avenue where the confirming was done. Here again there was a rich presence of the Spirit, and many friends had their eyes opened as to the true meaning and purpose of baptism. ‘As a fitting culmination of the day, a Conference service was held in the evening at which many of the new converts bore their testimonies to the divinity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ … We will long remember this glorious day and thank the Lord for this fruitage of our labour. “The activity of the M.I.A. and the daily lives of the Saints of the Regina Branch have been instrumental in the conversion of these souls. Thus is shown the power of example in the lives of those who see us and study our message. We missionaries feel thankful to be in the field when such testimonies as these come into our lives” (Liahona).

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I Knew I Was Hearing the Truth by Constance Paine

People Baptised in Wascana Lake, May 28, 1939. Names listed on previous page.

Sister Gamman’s experience is typical. It was not just the work of the missionaries but also the members, and ultimately the “hand of the Lord” that brought people into the Church. Dorothy Paine: Another account of that baptism is given in the writings of Dorothy Paine (Muirhead). She was eighteen at the time of her baptism and wrote in detail of the event (see ‘Everyone Seemed Closer’ text box). Elder Sylvester Q. Cannon’s visit

Other events of significance during 1939 included an evening Church conference in Regina on August 28, 1939, at which Apostle Sylvester Q. Cannon2 was the presiding General Authority, along with Mission President D. A. Broadbent and his son, Elder Broadbent, all having arrived via Winnipeg. A total of 60 persons were in attendance—42 members and 18 investigators. One of the members was unfamiliar to the locals: August 28, 1939 “A Regina Saint who has lived here for 21 years – J. W. James of 1354 Empress Street, came out to our services. He claimed he did not know we held services. He was unknown by anyone here until met by Brother C. C. Spencer [a visiting member from Magrath, Alberta] on the street. He said he didn’t know there were any LDS in town. Sister Mitchell has also moved into town with her family, so our members are growing and the stray sheep are being found. Everyone enjoyed the meeting” (Journal of G. Gordon Whyte).

‘[My sister] Dorothy had been trying to persuade me for sometime to come out to Church but I was three years older and had my own life… One evening in 1938, in early winter, Sister Lily Dixon knocked on my door and said she had come to take me to MIA. The Church was meeting then in ‘The Odd Fellows Hall’ on 11th Ave. I was asked if I would direct a play that winter as they knew I was interested in theatricals. I said I would and that was the beginning of my Mutual attendance and participation. Later, I also led the music in Sunday School and Sacrament for a time and taught a Sunday School class. We all had to perform in more than one position. ‘However, I did not attend a Sacrament meeting until spring. I believe that I fully participated in the MIA activities that winter including a Costume party. That Easter time, we had a Mission conference and David A. Broadbent who was the head of the Mission… spoke to us. ‘It is etched in mind as though it were yesterday that as Elder Broadbent spoke, I knew I was hearing the truth. I felt as though I was filled with light and that a curtain had been raised on a new world. While I was sitting there, a young girl… in front of me (she couldn’t have been more than 10 years old), stood up and bore her testimony. It was a witness to my own newly enlightened spirit and I was moved to tears. “I do not believe that I shared these feelings I had that morning until I spoke with Elder Broadbent. I shall never forget that man’s sweet and tender spirit and his complete recognition of my spirit having been touched. I asked to be baptized.” A Christmas party in Regina that year at the Cornwall Street Hall had 104 in attendance, including Chief John Gambler, his wife, and 5 others from the Muscowpetung Reserve.

2.  The term “apostle” is used by Brother Whyte in his journal although Sylvester Q. Cannon was not officially sustained as an apostle until October 6, 1939. It may be that Elder Cannon was ordained an apostle prior to the conference wherein he was sustained.

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McGill began to hold Sunday School in Sister McGill’s apartment. Indian Missionary Activity First organized work: 1946 was a significant year for missionary work among the Indian people of the Province of Saskatchewan. Elder Bud Hinckley and Elder Lloyd

Ashcroft were assigned to conduct the first organized work among the Indians, starting on the Piapot Reserve (see ‘Piapot Reserve’ text box). Missionary work was also started that year on the Carry-the-Kettle Reserve (Tagg page 280).

Missionary Work on Piapot Reserve (1946) by Gordon Whyte

The following four journal entries over a three-week period note the beginning of formal missionary work on the Piapot Reserve August 13, 1946 Good news from our reserves … from Elder [Bud] Hinckleys report. Our movements will be by ponies which Chief Counsellor Abel Watetch supplies us.. This is probably the only saddle pony tracting done in any of the missions, but the homes are scattered. Purchased two wool blankets for use on the reserve and the Relief Society will loan two of their quilts. August 18, 1946 This has been a day in history—the first official meeting of the Church with the Indians which was held in the community hall on the Piapot Reserve … with 20 Indians in attendance and four Elders—Arthur Joseph, [Bud] Hinckley, [Lloyd] Ashcroft, and myself … We were proud to have Abel [Watetch] and Isaac Reed, two of the influential men [on the reserve] out to our meeting. Mr. Reed asked me for the privilege of speaking… . What he said and the advice he gave to the young… will have a very definite bearing on any future meetings … … While at the reserve, we held a meeting [there] dedicating this land to the preaching of the gospel to our Indian friends. Elder Lloyd Ashcroft was the one who offered the prayer of dedication. September 1, 1946 The large [teepee] tent was pitched near a grove of poplar trees, the setting was beautiful. I tooted my horn slightly and out came the Elders from their residence. Sacrament Meeting, Piapot Reserve … President Gordon White presiding. Opening song, ‘Now Let Us Rejoice’. Prayer by Elder Lloyd Ashcroft. The Sacrament song, ‘Redeemer of Israel’. Elders Hinckley and Ashcroft administered the Sacrament. Testimony meeting. Speakers – myself – I told the story of Chief Yellow Face. Alex [Watatch] came in after Sacrament was served. “Elder Ashcroft – ‘It will take time to reach the Indians. They are not antagonistic toward the restored truth. The truth will eventually push other churches off these reserves.’ “Elder Hinckley – says the Indians do not like the children taken away from them for ten months of the year. May take one or two years before any results are apparent but then the gathering will be most of the tribe coming into the church. Being camped on the reserve is a great step forward. Sister Shelton, Sister Joseph, Elder Joseph all bore strong testimonies of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Closed by singing “The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning’. Prayer – Elder Joseph.” September 4, 1946 Elders Bud Hinckley and Lloyd Ashcroft . . . encountered some opposition from a Catholic priest who told them he would give them a few days to get off the reserve … the Elders told him they were not moving… . The Elders tell me they have placed a Book of Mormon in practically every home on the reserve. We will see what happens but this we know, that the Indians are all on our side and want the Elders to stay. (Journal of G. Gordon Whyte) 44


Government approval received: As in the latter half of the previous year, missionary work on the Indian Reserves continued but there was opposition from other churches. This reached a point where the Church felt it would be wise to secure official government sanction. Hence, on January 9, 1947, Brother Whyte wrote a letter to James S. Gardiner, Minister of Agriculture in Ottawa. Gardiner, from Saskatchewan, was likely known by Brother Whyte. The letter asked that the missionaries be allowed to continue working on the Piapot, Muscowpetung, and the Pasqua Reserves, as they had been for the past five months. At the same time, Able Watech of the Piapot Reserve wrote to Mr. Blanton, Minister of Lands, Resources and Indian Affairs in Ottawa, requesting that the Mormon Elders be allowed to work on all the Reserves in Saskatchewan. Five weeks later

(February 15), a letter was received from the Department of Mines, Resources and Indian Affairs saying; “There is no objection to your missionaries visiting the Indian reserves. Difficulties would arise, however, if it was desired to establish missions involving use of lands and buildings on reserves. This would require a majority vote of the members of the Indian Band on each of the reserves in each case and also confirmation by Order in Council.. The Church’s missionary work on the Indian reserves of Saskatchewan now had the official sanction of the Government of Canada. Antoine R. Ivins visit: Missionary work on the reserves continued to progress. In August, Elder Ivins (likely Antoine R. of the First Council of the Seventy) and Mission President Glen Fisher visited Regina. Several significant events occurred on the reserves surrounding

Missionary Work on Carry-The-Kettle Reserve (1947) by Gordon Whyte August 11, 1947 Drove to the Outpost for a meeting with the Indians … When the Indians started to come in their wagons, we wondered how many [there would be] and they did not disappoint us, for before long there were about 220 in the hall listening to us preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. President Fisher and Elder Ivins were enthralled with the interest shown by the Indians after working with them for only ten months. We talked to Elder Ivins about establishing this Indian Project on a permanent basis and thought the present site of the Outpost would be ideal. Encouragement to plan and work on this project and submit plans and specifications to headquarters. We certainly feel encouraged. August 12, 1947 “This has been another great day in the history of this Indian project or mission. Drove to Carry-the-Kettle Reserve to hold a meeting. Arrived about 6:30. By 7:30 PM, the Assiniboine Indians started to arrive in cars and rigs until by 8 PM we had 156 Indians and 20 Whites gathered. Total of 176 crowded into the school house. Speakers were myself, Elder Elmer Smith, trio – Sisters Christopherson, Thomas, and Engebreton. Speakers Elder Joseph Heis, President G. Fisher, Dan Kennedy (Indian), Elder A. Ivins … Elders Hinckley and Raymond are doing yeoman service here. August 26, 1947 “This evening I received good news that the Church had granted our request for $1750 to establish living quarters on three acres of land one half a mile north of the Carry-the-Kettle Reserve. President Fisher phoned me from Edmonton to go ahead with the project.” December 1, 1947 “Good reports from the missionaries from the Carry-the-Kettle Reserve. The Elders blessed a new infant. The first Indian. Susan Mina O’Watch, daughter of George O’Watch and Bertha Ryder, born November 14, 1947. Blessed by Elder William Raymond assisted by Elder Rex Reynolds, 26 November, 1947. The father says he is ready for baptism.” (Journal of G. Gordon Whyte) 45


Lehi, Utah. [My husband] Tom was Presiding Elder in Weyburn from [approximately] 1954 to 1959. We saw the membership grow by people moving in and a few converts. “Tommy was the first member. I was the first convert baptism. Tommy was the first Branch President and I was the first Relief Society President.” Church membership in the Weyburn area had begun when Thomas Kemp, baptized ten years earlier in Regina, had moved there, as recited by his wife, Wilma: “In 1949 my husband, [Thomas Kemp], quit teaching and took a position as School Administrator in Weyburn. He was the only member of the Church in Weyburn. On March 6, 1950, I was baptized and became the first Weyburn convert. We began having a meeting each Sunday in our home. We would have the Sacrament and a lesson. Just the two of us and our oldest son [Francis Alvin] who was 7 years old. He was eight in May and was baptized in Wascana Lake in Regina.” Weyburn became a branch in 1959, with Tom Kemp called as the Branch President, serving for six years (19591965). As Sister Kemp reported: “When the Branch was formed, the mission president came to our home. Three phone calls gathered in all the members and the branch was [organized], with Tommy as branch president and Kent Stoddard as his counsellor.” Northern Saskatchewan Prince Albert Dependent Branch: To the north in Prince Albert, two people joined the Church who would become stalwarts in that branch for many years. Their children would also provide significant leadership in their turn. Brother James Henry McKay and Sister Viola McKay were baptized on April 7, 1957 in the YWCA pool in Saskatoon (Journal of James McKay). A little over two years later, September 27, 1959, James Henry McKay was called as the first president of the Prince Albert Branch. Membership at that time was approximately 60 persons (Prince Albert Branch History). The Church had been active in the area for some time. Sister Carol Karza, an early branch resident, was originally from Moose Jaw. In 1954, after graduating from the Galt School of Nursing in Lethbridge, Alberta, Carol moved to Wakaw, Saskatchewan near Prince Albert, as a Public Health Nurse. She wrote: I attended Church in Prince Albert, where we met next to the Jail in the Court House. …two families were 50

James Henry McKay

Church Pioneer in Prince Albert James (Jim) Henry McKay (b. 1921) grew up near Prince Albert in the Briarlea district. The farm they lived on had a good well and the neighboring Dalton children would haul water from there in a bucket. One Sunday morning Jim helped the Dalton children take their water the half mile home. The family attended the Mormon church at a nearby hall and invited him to go with them. When Jim’s father found out where he had been, he advised Jim that he would learn more from studying the bible than from the Mormons. He charged Jim to read the largely unused family bible and to not stop reading until he understood it. Reported Jim, “I loved the stories I read ... all the things the people did when they were faithful.” Many years later (1953) after he was married and working in Prince Albert, Jim was told by a fellow worker that he had recently met with two Mormon missionaries. Said Jim, “I told the fellow to tell them to come to my place. I wanted to talk to them.” A few evenings later, the missionaries came to the McKay home. Jim said, I understand you have a book like the Bible and I want a copy. They advised him that they would have to teach him a few lessons before they could give him the book and he replied, “get on with it then.” Once Jim got a copy of the Book of Mormon, he reported, I sat and read and did little else … I knew it was true almost from the beginning. The McKays were baptized in 1957 and Jim went on to become the first president of the Prince Albert Branch of the Church. members… at that time: Sister Ida Della DeJeundier and the Koester family. Brother Koester could cook the best venison that I ever ate. When I had [a bad] car accident in November 1954, Sister Ida’s husband, a non-member, drove all over Prince Albert to find the missionaries to administer to me.” Saskatoon Branch: For the second time, Francis Earl Dancey became the branch president in Saskatoon, in 1957. The following year, F. Geoff Lovett succeeded him.


Saskatoon Branch Presidents 1957-1961 1957 1958 1961

Francis Earl Dancey F. Geoff Lovett Vernon Wallace Larsen

The Saskatoon meetinghouse (1429 10th Street East), was completed in four phases over a period of 20 years. The first phase was finished in 1960. The property had been purchased from the City of Saskatoon six years earlier, in 1954. Geoff Lovett was the branch president and Church membership in Saskatoon stood at 40. A new branch presidency was sustained on January 9, 1961, with Vernon Wallace Larson as president, and Francis Earl Dancey and Oscar Johnson as counsellors. Released were [Geoff] Lovett (president), Norm Hutton and Raymond Wasden as counsellors (Dan Morse History). North Battleford: A Sunday School was again started in North Battleford in 1959 with an enrollment of about 35 people (Tagg, p. 281). Melfort Branch organized: About this time (1961), the Silver Park Branch became the Melfort Branch. In the mid to late 1940’s the Silver Park Branch had a membership of approximately 100, but by 1961, the membership had dropped to around 50.

South And North Saskatchewan Districts Formed (1961 - 1977) Both Districts The Saskatchewan District of the Church was divided into the South Saskatchewan and the North Saskatchewan Districts on September 3, 1961. The change occurred under the Direction of President Carrol Smith of the Western Canadian Mission. The total membership in Saskatchewan at this time (1961) was 600. However, during the next few years, there was an oil boom in Saskatchewan and the membership grew rapidly from the influx of skilled people like Kenneth Nielson and Gary Ursenbach.

Within the South Saskatchewan District, Dan Morse was retained as District President, with Kenneth Nielson of Swift Current and Gary R. Ursenbach of Regina (sustained later) as counsellors. Branches within the South Saskatchewan District included Regina, Swift Current, Moose Jaw, and Weyburn. Brother Morse would remain as president of the South Saskatchewan District (including his term in the former Saskatchewan District) for a total of four years, until 1963, when he and his counsellors, G. R. Ursenbach and Stewart Shields, were released. A new District Presidency was sustained, consisting of Grant L. Spackman, president; Kenneth Nielsen, first counsellor; and Mamfred Yeo as clerk. Back in those early days of the South Saskatchewan District, the area continued to receive significant attention from the General Authorities of the Church. Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve Apostles presided at a conference of the South Saskatchewan District in Regina, August 12, 1962. Another distinguished visitor came to Saskatchewan in 1964 when Elder Thomas S. Monson presided at the District Conference in Regina on October 25, 1964. He was accompanied by President Talmage Jones, mission president (Dan Morse History). First seminary: A major step forward in the maturing of the Church in Saskatchewan occurred on September 27, 1965, when the first Seminary class in the districts and branches of the Western Canadian Mission was held at Saskatoon. Twenty-three students (including nine university students) were enrolled. The first teachers were F. Earl Dancey, George M. Hasegawa and Donald A. Bachus. In 1966-67 the seminary class in Saskatoon was taught by Carla Anderson and Leslie Clapson taught a class in Regina (Tagg page 277). One of the early seminary students in Regina who later served as the Bishop of the Regina Mount Pleasant Ward was Wayne Tiefenbach: I remember the first seminary class in Regina. I had already completed high school and was in my first year of university, but because of the small numbers, I was asked to participate in seminary . The Book of Mormon was the course of study. I attended only one year of seminary. In the early years of seminary, I particularly remember the role of Brother Spencer Smith. He was single at that time, but he willingly volunteered to pick up seminary students no matter where they lived in the city and deliver them to the church (Wayne Tiefenbach History). 51


A Temple Announced for Regina! by E. Gregory Wood

“The meeting began. Elder Kenneth Johnson [of the Seventy] conducted. The Young Single Adult choir sang beautifully. The Johnsons, the Packers and Sister Hinckley all spoke as well. Sister Hinckley won over the crowd. As she started her talk, she said that, ‘When I am reminded that I am the wife of the Prophet, it scares me. I am just an ordinary person like all of you.’ “President Hinckley then took the remainder of the time. For the most part, he spoke to the youth. He spoke about what he called his five B’s: “be smart, be true, be clean, be humble and be prayerful.. Then with about ten to 15 minutes left, he… switched from speaking to the youth to the adults. His message was on temple work and temple attendance. I felt like he was maybe leading up to an announcement. Then when he seemed to pause and ask, “You are a long way from Cardston, aren’ t you?” I knew in my heart that he would make the announcement. “He turned to President Packer and said something like, ‘What do you think, President Packer? Then he turned back to the congregation and said something like, ‘We are happy to announce a Temple in Regina.. Everyone sort of gasped and most eyes were no longer dry. What a thrill it was. I looked around and saw one inactive Sister literally weeping. The meeting closed with the Hymn We Ever Pray for Thee, Our Prophet Dear - one of my favourites. Then, as the authorities were leaving the podium, the crowd began President Gordon B. Hinckley in the Regina Stake Centre, where he announced that a temple would singing We Thank be built in Regina. 1st Row behind President Hinckley – President Lawrence Penner, Elder Thomas A. Thee O God for a Holt (Area Authority), President Dean Layton (Canada Winnipeg Mission), and a Young Single Adult choir from Regina. Prophet.” for an orientation by the Temple Department. After the architect and the general contractor met, they had additional discussions with the temple department and persuaded them to change the approach from a wood frame construction method to masonry (concrete block) construction because of the climate and soil conditions. They felt that the cost of the masonry building would not be significantly higher than the wood frame construction used for most small temples with similar floor plans. Small temples using wood frame construction generally have granite tiles glued to the exterior, to give the appearance of granite construction. By contrast, the 82

Regina Saskatchewan Temple is faced with blocks of granite, which are hung on steel brackets and bolted to its masonry walls. The Temple Department approved the proposal and construction began. The Regina Saskatchewan Temple is the only small temple that uses this construction method. The method of construction allowed for some additional changes to the interior. One of these was in the waiting room where generally, on the exterior of the smaller temples, a large stained glass window is three panels wide and stands three panels high. Yet in most small temples, only the bottom three panels of this window are visible


inside the waiting room, because the upper wooden beams prevent the exposure of the other six panels. In the Regina Saskatchewan Temple, the ceiling of the waiting room has been raised to expose all nine panels. This makes the waiting room appear to be more spacious although it is the same size as in the other small temples. Groundbreaking The ground was broken for the Regina Saskatchewan Temple on November 14, 1998. Elder Hugh W. Pinnock of the Seventy (President, North America Central Area) presided. The event began with a meeting at the Stake Centre (550 Sangster Boulevard), then the group moved to the temple site for the groundbreaking ceremony itself. Speakers at the initial meeting (in addition to Elder Pinnock), were D. Lawrence Penner (President, Saskatoon

Architect’s drawing of the proposed temple

Saskatchewan Stake), Kenneth A. Svenson (Counsellor, Canada Winnipeg Mission Presidency), and Elder Blair S. Bennett (Area Authority Seventy).

Tell The Prophet My Name Andrea Penner

When President Hinckley came to Regina in 1998 to announce the building of a temple, Andrea Penner, 12 years old, had hoped to meet the prophet. Her father, Larry Penner as stake president records: “Because I was [stake president], she thought that I could arrange things so that she could meet him… .” Larry reminded Andrea, “that everyone wanted to meet the prophet and she would need to be satisfied to simply see him… . She seemed to accept that,” he said, “[but] as I walked out to my car to leave, she called after me saying, “Well, if I can’t meet him, can you tell him my name. I want him to hear my name. Tell him my name is Andrea.” President Penner agreed to do that much. As he drove President Hinckley from the temple site to the chapel, Larry remembered the promise that he had made to his daughter. He told President Hinckley that he had a 12-year-old daughter, that she understood she would not be able to meet him but that she wished that he could hear her name. Larry told him that her name was Andrea. President Hinckley repeated her name to himself and then some time later said that he wanted to meet her. Reported President Penner, “I wondered how that was going to work out and decided that I was not going to do anything about it. If he really wanted to meet her, it would be as a result of his own initiative in arranging it.” As President Hinckley was leaving the chapel after the temple had been announced, he stopped on the sidewalk and asked, “Where is Andrea, I want to meet her, is she here?” President Penner only knew that she was in the chapel somewhere. He confirmed that it would be okay if he brought her by when he picked President Hinckley up at the hotel the following morning, on the way to the airport. The next morning, the first thing President Hinckley inquired of Larry was, “Did you bring Andrea – is she here?” President Penner then introduced his daughter to the prophet along with the two 12-year-old daughters of his counsellors. As Larry Penner can firmly attest, “President Hinckley travels the world and meets thousands of people but he is still interested in the one.” 83


A P P E N DI X 2

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The Church Education System Saskatchewan CES Timeline 1965 – 2002

Year Event / Position st 1965 1 Seminary class in Saskatchewan (Saskatoon)

Individual / Couple George Hasegawa

1967 1st Early-Morning Seminary class (Regina)

David K. Hamilton

1967 1st full-time LDS seminary worker in Saskatchewan

Allen J. Fletcher

(begins Indian Seminary)

1972

Full-time LDS seminary worker

1973 1st full-time seminary coordinator (Saskatoon), North Saskatchewan District

John P. Livingstone John F. Van Orman

1976 1st LDS Welfare Services missionary couples (assigned to reserves near Kamsack, Fort Qu’Appelle, Broadview, Carlyle and Punnichy)

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1978

Full-time CES employee (Saskatoon)

Colin Lane Gordon

1980

Full-time (all of Saskatchewan) CES in Saskatoon

Kenneth Baker

1986

Full-time CES coordinator, all of Saskatchewan

Merlin Olsen

. ?

Supervision of CES work for Saskatchewan from Winnipeg

David L. Innes

1991 CES and LDS Family Services offices (Regina, 4 yrs)

John P. Livingstone, Marinus Begieneman

. ?

1st CES missionary couples

Mealey, Gilbert, Stutz

1998

CES full-time employee

Clifford K. Blackwell

1999

CES missionary couples (Saskatoon)

Salter, Riddle, Manley

2002

Full-time CES (Saskatoon)

Rick Watson


by John P. Livingstone

F

rom the time that religion classes were taught in early pioneer schools until today, Church members have wanted their children to understand the gospel thoroughly and wished to have their parental efforts augmented by gifted teachers who could help them infuse the doctrines of the kingdom into their offspring. Members in Saskatchewan were no different. Even if it meant rousing their high schoolers at an early hour and driving them to a seminary teacher’s home, or to the chapel in the dead of a prairie winter, bleary-eyed but faithful Latter-day Saint moms and dads wanted their children in seminary. Like others throughout the world, Saskatchewan Saints, believe that the “glory of God is intelligence, or in other words, light and truth” (D&C 93:36). While most educational textbooks seem to have shorter and shorter life spans before new knowledge makes them obsolete, the scriptures remain staid and solid, providing necessary armour against the tempting “fiery darts of the adversary” (see 1 Nephi 15:24, D&C 3:8) for each new generation of youth. Perhaps seminary can be said to be the most important of all academic course work given—that an education in spiritual things provides mortar-like context and direction for the brickwork of all education, to which one may be exposed.

George Hasegawa conducted the first seminary classes in Saskatchewan in Saskatoon for early-morning students in 1965. David K. Hamilton began teaching an earlymorning class in Regina in 1967. Eileen Tondevold became the second seminary teacher in Regina in the 1968-69 school year.1 Missionaries from the Western Canadian Mission taught the course after Brother Hasagawa in early 1969 in Saskatoon, and were replaced by a Brother Robert L. Stevenson in April of that same year. Classes met at 7:00 AM in both Regina and Saskatoon. Allen J. Fletcher The first full-time LDS Seminary worker in the province was actually assigned to supervise the start of seminary classes on First Nations Reserves. This was a Magrath, Alberta native, Allen J. Fletcher. Allen had been attending Brigham Young University when, following a talk he gave in sacrament meeting, he was asked by fellow 1.  Allen J. Fletcher, Regina Area LDS Indian Seminary, (Regina, Saskatchewan: n.p. 1969). This is one of the annual historical Reports submitted to the Area Director each year and filed in the area office (hereafter cited as annual historical report).

ward member and seminary curriculum writer, George Durrant, if he had ever considered teaching seminary. George introduced him to Indian Seminary supervisor Ed

Wayne Tiefenbach

Because of George Hasegawa In 1965, George Hasegawa became the first Seminary teacher in Saskatchewan and would go on to influence many. But he had already greatly influenced the life of Wayne Tiefenbach. Wayne’. mother was a member of the Church but his father did not join until Wayne was 14 years old. Up to then, the family often had to rely on the generosity of others to get them to church. When Wayne was about 12 years old, Bother George Hasegawa started to pick him and several other children up for Sunday School. “Because of George Hasegawa,” said Brother Tiefenbach, “I became a regular Sunday School attender. I believe that this is when I developed my desire to attend my church meetings.” George was his Sunday School teacher and had a point system for rewarding class participation and good behaviour. And as Wayne observed, “This kept everyone interested and eager to attend.” Another turning point in Wayne s life came when the branch president, Wayne Pilling, encouraged him to prepare to serve a mission. Said Brother Tiefenbach, “I am so grateful that he took the time to help me decide to be a missionary, as this was one of the greatest experiences of my life.” Wayne was called to the Japan Okinawa Mission and there gained a testimony of the importance of temples. “When I realized that the members in Japan often had to save money for years in order to go to the temple in Hawaii,” he said, “I decided that … being married in Cardston was something which I should give high priority to … .” The first week back from his mission, Wayne met Teresa Walde, an investigator, at a fireside. They were later married in the Alberta Temple. In 1999 Wayne was called as bishop of the Regina 2nd Ward and was serving there when he became bishop of the new Mount Pleasant ward, created in 2001. “I feel blessed,” he said, “to be part of … the growth of the Church in Saskatchewan.” 123


A P P E N DI X 6

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Ward & Branch Histories Written by Ward/Branch Historians

Battlefords Branch History

T

he first Sunday School held in the Battlefords was in 1952. Sister Margaret E. Conant and Sister Margaret McGill held their meetings in Sister McGill’s apartment. There had been another member prior to this time by the name of Dora or Doris Dyck but there is no record she held any meetings. When travelling Elders would come through town from time to time, the sisters were able to partake of the sacrament. Sister Conant kept a record of the meetings and sent them with the missionaries. The sisters had been given an outline for their meetings. First Relief Society A Relief Society was organized in 1954. Sister Conant was then both superintendent of the Sunday School and president of Relief Society. Relief Society was not held for a year (November 1958 to October 1959) but began again thereafter, with Sister Conant still as president. Her dual service as Sunday School Superintendent continued until 1961, when her husband, Ralph, was baptised. He was then placed in charge of Sunday School. When a senior missionary couple, Walter and Earlene Elliot were sent to North Battleford [1972], he became the branch president. Sister Conant was released as Relief Society President and Sister Elaine Rensby served as president for three or four months. Then Sister Conant again served until released in 1976 due to her health. Sister Jessie Konopelski was called to replace Sister Conant. John Ferguson was Branch president at that time and Sister Konopelski served as Relief Society president for several years. The Relief Society once placed two Church magazine subscriptions at the former Indian Hospital for a period of five years.

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Early meeting Locations In the early years of the Church in the Battlefords, meetings were held in member’s homes. These early members were. Dan and Myrna Chipman; Ralph and Margaret Conant; Sister Annie Dyck (mother of Doris or Dora Dyck); Lynn and Dorothy Trask; and Don and Clara Willet. Some meetings were held at the office of a public health nurse, Sister Doreen Ball. The Library Hall was rented for a few years, then the Odd Fellows Hall. Later the River View School was used rent free as Brother Conant was a supervisor for the Schools and he obtained permission to do so. This went on for seven years. Fund Raising Over the years the Relief Society had many bake and craft sales as fund raising activities. City regulations limited such sales to three a year, but these helped us to buy Sunday School supplies, treats for the children at Christmas and also provided welfare food hampers as needed. Craft items sold included toys made from things

we had in our homes, crocheting, knitting, sewing and embroidery. Husbands used to joke that they had to come and buy food items at the sales because the sisters had emptied their cupboards for the events. These husbands really were the greatest helpers – bringing in the sale items and helping to set up. Ralph Conant, Fred Rensby and Don Willet exercised great patience as they helped. The sales were discontinued when the church changed its funding policies to allow more time for spiritual activities. The Battlefords branch started a building fund in 1972. Fund raising projects included two talent shows – one in the new Saskatoon chapel and another in North Battleford at the Elks Hall – both well attended. Performances featured nonmembers, some very talented member children and a missionary couple who sang a duet. A rummage sale didn’t turn out as well. Another fund raising project was delivering catalogues for Sears and Eatons. We also grew potatoes for about three years in a garden space provided by the Konopelski family at their farm. Everyone worked at planting time, through the summer and at harvest when the men did the heavy

Leon and Sarah Willett

He Listened to The Spoken Word Leon Willett taught school and farmed near Maidstone, Saskatchewan. He was always interested in religion and politics. According to the family history, “One day he listened to The Spoken Word [on the radio] from Salt Lake City. He liked what they said and wrote for more information.” Shortly after, missionaries arrived and Leon and Sarah were baptized in 1954. The Willetts were quick to tell their oldest son, Don, and his wife Clara, living in Alberta, about their membership in the Church. They joined the Church the following year. A year after that, they returned to the family farm where Home Sunday School was held in Leon and Sarah’s home. In 1963, Don and Clara moved to North Battleford. There, church services alternated amongst member’s homes, later being held at Riverview School. Clara faithfully took her three children to church every Sunday. She was a quiet, stalwart example who did whatever was asked of her. The Willetts fed the missionaries and participated in every building fund project—from bake sales and raising potatoes to delivering catalogues and selling Spudnuts. As the family history records, “We grew up in a branch with few members, but each one of us children felt loved and important to the branch. We were all needed it seemed. We learned to chorister because we were needed; we learned to play the piano one hymn at a time because there was a need.. Don and Clara’s daughter, Tanya Willett associated her testimony of the gospel with her years growing up in the Church in the Battleford’s. She was so appreciative of the branch member’s efforts in her behalf, noting how “their burning testimonies and love of the Gospel have left lasting impressions on my mind and heart.” Tanya served in the England Leeds Mission (1987-1988), then moved to Saskatoon soon after returning home. There in the Young Single Adult branch she met and married (in the Alberta Temple at Cardston), Dale Regnier, a recent convert to the Church. 147


1948

President Joseph Y. Card

Grandson of Well-Known Alberta Settler The new mission president, Joseph Y. Card, was the grandson of Charles Ora Card, a prominent western settler. In advance of the local conference of the church, President Card was interviewed by the local Regina newspaper, which printed the following article on May 25, 1946: “A man whose father was the first white man to introduce irrigation in farming in Alberta is in Regina at Hotel Saskatchewan. He is Joseph Y. Card, Edmonton, president of the Western Canadian Mission and he will hold a conference of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, at 1409 Victoria Avenue, Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. “Mr. Card ‘s grandfather was Brigham Young, one of the early leaders of the Mormon Church and founder of Salt Lake City. Salt Lake was the spot where Brigham Young first introduced irrigation as an aid to farming. In 1897, Mr. Card’s father, Charles Ora Card, led a movement of Mormons from Salt Lake to McLeod, Alberta. The 800 mile trip was made in covered wagons. Charles Ora Card was the first man to extensively use irrigation [in Canada] at Cardston, Alberta. “Over 1 million persons are expected to attend the l00th anniversary of the founding of Salt Lake, in Salt Lake City on July 24, 1947. At this centennial, a $250,000 monument in honour of Brigham Young will be erected.” the severe weather this month and also on account of coal shortage. • Commissioner of Indian Affairs allots permission (Feb 16) to Saskatoon District President Geo. G. Whyte for missionaries to preach on all Saskatchewan reserves. “This permission has been sought for years and has only been granted today.” • Mission President and Sister Fisher visited the Regina Branch (June 8). Meetings held with the district missionaries on Sun­day morning and evening.

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• Bruce R. McConkie of the First Council of Seventy presided (Aug 15) at a conference of the South Saskatchewan District at Regina, with President Rex Milligan conducting. Speakers were President Whyte, Sister Fisher, President Milligan, President McConkie and President Fisher. There were 60 in attendance. • Isobel Lamb set apart (Oct 3) as Relief Society president by Elder Kenneth R. Parks, with Mary Bailey as 2nd counsellor and Marion Parks set apart as secretary. Joan Dawe was released as president, with Mary Bailey as 1st counsellor and Isobel Lamb as 2nd counsellor. 1954 • Dan and Elena Morse were baptized (Dec 14) in the Victoria Ave meeting house font. Less than 3 years later Dan became Branch President.

Ross and Sandy Williams

Imagine the Expression on Their Faces! In December 1974, two sister missionaries sold a copy of the Book of Mormon to Sandy Williams. Two months later, the elders dropped by and began to teach Sandy and her husband Ross, the first of several discussions. Then, said Ross, “We asked the missionaries to stop coming for a while, in order to have time to ponder the principles and doctrines which we had been taught.” Several months later, in early June 1975, Ross felt a strong desire to attend a church meeting. “The missionaries,” he said, “… had been hoping and praying that [we] might be prompted to know the restored gospel was true.” Following sacrament meeting, Ross asked the elders if he could be baptized. “You can imagine,” said Ross, “the expression on their faces!” Ross testifies: “I know that our Father in Heaven is real and that Jesus Christ stands at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know that we have a living prophet, … who presides over the church today.”


New chapel • A new LDS chapel was built on Broadway Avenue in 1958. It was a two-phase building and there was a great deal of member participation in the building of both phases. The former Victoria Avenue building was sold to a Mennonite congregation. Nathan Eldon Tanner who at that time was 2nd Counsellor in the First Presidency of the Church dedicated the second phase of the building on Friday, May 19, 1967.

History of the Wascana Ward. By Keith Greff The Wascana Ward was created September 16, 2001, when the city unit boundaries were realigned to create four wards from two wards and two branches. The first bishop, Christopher Eagan, was then serving as bishop of the Regina 1st ward. His counsellors were Ross Williams and Rob Dilts. Other ward leadership included: John Knight, Elders Quorum President, James Mason and Bruce Orr as counsellors; Margaret Clarke, Relief Society President, Judith Niznik and Jean Wood as counsellors; Brian Tondevold, Young Men President, Rory Woolf, Marc Secretan, counsellors; Young Women, Sandy Williams, Cindy Mackenzie and Brenda Tondevold as counsellors; Primary, Mary Blackwell, with Linda Greff and Shelly Secretan as counsellors. Total membership hovered around 360, with an average sacrament attendance of between 100 -125 people. On March 3, 2002 Chris Eagan was released and Bishop Kenneth Burgess was installed, with Bill Cormack and Rob Dilts as counsellors. [see Burgess, Niznik and Tondevold text boxes hereafter]

Judy Niznik

Part of a Grand Design Judy (Grasdal) Niznik (b. 1953) was an elevenyear-old in Saskatoon when the missionaries knocked on their door. Her mother contacted years before, “remembered the feeling left by the missionaries.” And admitted Judy, “I was being presented with influences in my life…, that may have taken me on another path if the Gospel had not been presented at that time.” Judy is grateful for her religious training, for the Lutheran congregation which instilled in her “a knowledge that God lives and is aware of us.” Her father opposed alliance with the Mormons but Judy recognized “something truly beautiful in [the] message.” She received no “earthshattering revelation,” but when baptized (1965), made an inward commitment to keep the commandments. She has sweet memories of branch fund raising projects. As a teenager, she sang in the branch choir, participated in road shows, dance festivals, temple trips to Cardston for baptisms, and youth conferences in Calgary. At age 15 she attended presidency meetings as secretary to the Primary, now seen as “an invaluable experience.” At age 17 Judy received her patriarchal blessing, an “unforgettable moment. She and a friend fasted together beforehand and, said Judy, “I have treasured that blessing all my life … it still guides… and uplifts me as I come to understand who I can be and how the Lord sees me.” She married Ed Niznik in the Cardston temple, returning to Saskatchewan in 1982. Observed Judy, “In the seven years that I had been away, a stake had formed with two wards in both Regina and Saskatoon. The growth was amazing!” “One of the most profound moments of my life,” she recalled, “was when President Hinckley… announced the temple… . The Spirit, like a wave flowed over the congregation and touched my heart deeply.” In hindsight she senses that it was “part of a grand design” that she and Ed should return to Saskatchewan, declaring, “It has been a wonderful journey for all of us.” 181


Berneice Judd

Answers To My Questions Berneice Judd says that the Lord started making his presence known to her in the mid 1970’s when she began having wellness issues. “My health was changing in such ways,” she recalls, “that allergies towards most foods and drink items made it possible for me to give up… drinking alcohol, tea, coffee and [I had] the desire to give up smoking.” At the same time, she found that she was “in a rut … wondering if this was all life had to offer.” Then one day, the Elders came to her with a special message. When they returned a few days later, Berneice found herself asking probing questions just before the elders were about to present the related doctrine. “The Lord was prompting me,” she says,“ ... [providing answers to questions I had had since I was quite young.”

Berneice Judd

Berneice’s mother (not a member) was a big support to her in making sure she did not miss her Sunday meetings. After Berneice joined the Church in 1977, it was her mother who announced to the extended family that she had done so. Said Sister Judd, “I am so grateful for the guiding hand and... blessings that have been bestowed upon me since I became a member of the Church … [of how God] has watched over me as my journey through life progressed. I have found answers to questions I would not have found anywhere else… .”

Sherry Knight

Brand New Member “Since I was a young child,” said Sherry Knight, “I have talked regularly with God—every night saying my prayers, knowing they would be answered.” Then, one day after having been on her own for a number of years after a first marriage, she met John Knight, a member of the Church and they were married. It was agreed that Sherry would not join John’s church, although she felt Sherry and husband John, 2012 comfortable with him following his heart. Whenever Sherry attended church with John, the members were always friendly and kind—but never attempted to get him to entice her to join the church–an important consideration for Sherry. In the fall of 2001 the Knights travelled to Chicago on business, choosing to drive via Salt Lake City and follow a route east that, unknown to them, often parallelled the Mormon Trail. Along the way they stopped at various sites and at Nauvoo, Sherry learned more of Church history. Says Sherry, “It was my interest in history that brought me to the church. The more I read and the more questions I asked, the more I realized the truth… .” She was baptized in 2002, with many friends, her stepchildren, mother and sister there to share the day. A month later her mother joined the Church. Since joining the Church, says Sherry, “There have been no bright lights or thunderous roars, only a peace that helps me recognize the wonder of being one of God’s people. I am anxious to continue my learning process and to share this information with those who need to hear the same things I have learned. After 30 years without a church I am happy to have a place to worship.”

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