The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell. I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire;Also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son. I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold. I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept; And marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins. Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God. D&C 137:1-7
Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Earl
Both of my uncle’s here are from my mom’s side and died within a year of each other. My uncle Earl died of a massive heart attack most likely brought on by living the trucker lifestyle as he was on the road most of the time. What I remember from him was how kind he is, he was pretty Christ like in his ability to be calm, patient, tolerant and loving of others. He was super laid back and has great energy. Having him walk in the room always brought a smile to my face. I expect him to still be wearing a set of sunglasses and a hat in Heaven. I look forward to hearing more stories of him on the road when I see him again.
Uncle Jimmy, this man is someone who really needed a nice long hug from the Savior. This man hurt so badly, so deeply that he lived in a haze of being constantly drunk from cheap beer. He would wake up drunk, and sleep, and wake back up drunk. I don’t know how he lived as long as he did. Regardless of his demons and what he did to appease them it matters not. He was a wonderful man and tried as best as he could. I remember one time while my parents and I lived in a hotel after Hurricane Andrew he and I where talking about my comic book hobby. During the conversation he broke down into tears and told me how much he loves me and decided that instead of buying beer with the little money he had, he would buy me a couple of comic books. As weird as it sounds, it was one of the most kind and loving gestures I’ve ever had from anyone and will never forget him for it. That and the last time I saw him he had no teeth; well he did but they where in a medicine jar that he shook around asking me if I “wanted to smell them”. BLAH!!!!! He died from his stomach rupturing. A few months before that he decided to quit drinking and ended up doing nothing but drinking coffee and eating aspirin; the combo of the two with little food is what brought him Home. The last thing he gave me, was a roach clip he made in High School shop class he was so proud of. I still have it to this day.
|My family on my mom’s side. Uncle Earl is the tallest with the blue cap and sunglasses and jimmy is to his right. This was after my grandmother funeral in 2001.|
This man right here I cannot wait to hear more stories of from the horses mouth. All I’ve ever heard about him and all I ever seen from him was good and fun. My parents have told me all these great and fun stories about him as well about how he treated my dad like family when he and my Aunt Debbie dated. His smile always seemed to calm you down and his gentle nature would put you at ease. The second thing I look forward to doing with him is getting together to track down and meet the Three Stooges, he was such a huge fan of them which made a big impact on me. I have a stooges tie because of him and I cannot watch them without thinking of him. He always took care of me like I was one of his boys. Honestly it seemed half the time he would favor me over them. Men like him don’t really come around anymore and his kindness and example of how you treat family, friends, and guests are what make me want to be the best I can. My uncle Rhett is someone else I didn’t get enough time to know deep down and I wish I had more to share.
|My cousin Chad submitted this and Hallmark made him into a card!|
|My dad, Aunt Debbie, and my Uncle Rhett, I am assume from the 70’s|
|My Uncle Rhett and Aunt Debbie, I don’t know from when.|
Mack Smith Taft
I’m not related to Mr. Taft but he will always be another grandfather to me. I met him the day we moved next to him in our house in Roy, UT. I used to go over to his house all the time and get candy and we’d talk; he’d ask me about how I was doing and how school was. From time to time he would ask if I wanted to go to church with him which I always politely declined. He was the model of what a Christ like man and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints should be. I watched him always serving others no matter the weather, how he felt, or anything else other use as excuses. He planted so many seeds of faith in me that helped me later on become a member of the LDS Church. I remember when I was a teenager and got home early from a dentist appointment; I had went outside to smoke a cigarette and was in the middle of a drag when he popped out of the other side of the fence and said “hello Brad” like he always did. He scared me so bad that I dropped my cigarette and ran back inside without saying anything to him. He never did say anything to me about that but the shame, guilt and the feeling I had of disappointing him still makes me feel guilty on a level I’ve never really felt before then or since. I never met a man with such love and sincerity. When his wife‘s Alzheimer’s was at its worse, she couldn’t even remember who he was. I saw the pain and love in his heart through his eyes and it broke mine. He taught me so much about how to be a man and a husband without ever saying a word. He really epitomized the saying: “Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words.”
He loved his wife so much that when she died, he died the very same day. I know it was from a broken heart. I am so happy to know that they are united for time and all eternity and that his wife will never forget who he is ever again. I just wish he would have stuck around a little longer so he could have been around when I joined the church, though I assume he watches over me. I try to visit his grave when I can, I am sad to say that it seems that I am the only one who ever does. He deserves better then that.
|Mr. Taft in 1999|
|His and Mrs. Taft’s headstone at the Hooper Cemetery|
Uncles Rhett, Jimmy, and Earl, I love you three, until we meet again.
Mr. Taft, I love you, I can’t wait to talk about the Gospel with you when we meet again.