Ancestors, a Meeting with Friends, and other random tidbits.

I read an article about John Dehlin the other day. Dehlin is the the founder of Mormon Stories Podcast, and is currently facing excommunication from the Mormon church. I've personally been trying to avoid this topic. Even writing this little blurb is proving to be a little difficult. Anyway, of all the things that I could have taken away from the article, the point that stood out most was that Dehlin is a 5th generation member of the Mormon church. Reading that made me really curious to see what generation I am in the long line of Mormons I come from.

So I got to work.

I spent a few hours looking through my family history at baptismal records. It got a little tricky because I found some death records in Salt Lake City and St. George, but the baptismal dates for some of those ancestors were posthumous. I can't imagine these people trekking across the wilderness to Utah without being committed to the church, but alas, there was no record of what I assume would have been their original baptismal date. Here's what I did find:

The earliest recorded baptism into the Mormon church in my family was Jacob Vernon Hamblin, my fourth-great grandfather. He was baptized in Ohio on 2 March 1832, just shy of the two year anniversary of the organization of the church. If I counted from him, I would be the 7th generation, but I dug a little deeper.

Jacob Vernon Hamblin

I found a set of sixth-great grandparents who were baptized in Illinois in 1838, one year before their deaths in 1839. They were Henry Mumford Jr. and Sarah Thompson. That makes me a 9th generation member of Mormonism. Through my family line (my cousins' children now have children), that makes 11 generations of Mormons.

It runs deep.

I was also interested in seeing how long my family has been in the White Mountain region in Arizona. The first ones I found who moved to the area were a set of fourth great-grandparents, Lorenzo Brown and Frances Crosby. There has been an unbroken line of relatives in that area since them, so that makes 9 generations of my family in the same area.

Lorenzo Brown

Frances Crosby Brown

Brown Home in Nutrioso, AZ

A Meeting with Friends

On Sunday, Jake and I went to our first Quaker service [Society of Friends]. The worship meeting started at 10 AM. It's a silent meeting. All members sit silently, and if anyone feels moved, they stand and share a a spiritual experience. Children were part of the whole meeting until 10:15, and then were released to their classes. There's something profoundly moving about silence. Especially silence among a group of people. I feel like I was too caught up in a new experience to really move inward. I was concentrating on the breath of those around me, on the comforting hum of the air conditioning when it was on, and the abrupt stillness when it switched off, the beauty in the simplicity of the space, the shaking hands of a member who stood to read a poem to honor a member of their congregation who had just had a stroke after battling cancer for five years. The poem is one of my favorites. All but one of the five who stood spoke of this member and how they were holding her up to the light.

Other Random Tidbits

We went to the grand opening celebration of the birth center I worked with for a few months after moving to Los Angeles. My girls had so much fun. It really was a lovely afternoon. I'm excited for all that's in-store for Birthwell.

Cora and Magnolia in the drum circle at Birthwell's Grand Opening

When leaving school today, I head someone say, "Magnolia and Cora's Mom!" I turned, and it was the girls' P.E. teacher. He came running over and said, "I just wanted to tell you how awesome your girls are. I mean, they're great. Magnolia is smart, like out-of-this-world smart." He went on to tell a story of the classes playing a game and Magnolia understanding a rule that the second graders were having trouble with.

Thanks, Coach Mike, for sharing a compliment about my girls, and for doing it in front of them.


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