“Top of the 9th” is the name of the newsletter of my was in the LDS Church, the Grandview Ninth Ward in Provo, Utah. Sister Reta Trimble is the editor. Today she told us of something she experienced preparing the September 2009 edition of the newsletter. She had been trying to arrange the text of the various entries in the newsletter to fit within a certain number of pages. In focusing on that task, she said she came to realize that she had been acting as did Martha in the New Testament account of the incident when Jesus visited the home of Mary and Martha, Martha dedicated herself to preparing a meal and complained to the Lord that Mary was not assisting her,but Jesus taught that Mary chosen the good part. Sister Trimble said that while she had been focused on arranging the text to fit the pages, she had not even taken time to meaningfully read the text. She then stopped and read the specific entry for the newsletter that she had received from a member of the ward, and it had a great impact on her. Here is that entry.
EXCERPT FROM “TOP OF THE 9TH,” SEPTEMBER 2009
My testimony (and the development of), Part one of a never ending story.
Written by Sheryl C. Allman – Typed, (and edited with permission) by Carolyn Flinders
WORDS OF WISDOM
I was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, May 6,1927. One of the first crop of babies born in the new hospital. From the time I was very small I went to church and to testimony meetings. I was brought up on stories from my mother of my Swedish Grandfather coming to Utah with his mother, two brothers and one sister. His father never followed. Grandfather married a petite, sharp tongued, Crazier girl from Louisiana. My paternal grandmother was a Rigby from the large family of Wm. Rigby and six wives-who settled Rigby Idaho. She married George Spencer Young son of Brigham Young Jr. and Catherine Spencer, daughter of Orson Spencer. I was steeped in all things church-wise.
So in all I knew and all I’d been taught – I was the quiet child sitting in the corner with a book listening to the Adults talk – it came as a great enlightenment and dismay at the age of 18 to realize that with all I’d heard, I still I did not have a knowledge, a testimony for myself in the truth of the church.
At this time I was fortunate – no blessed- to be invited by my Young Grandparents to live with them and go to B.Y.U. I was to help my dear grandmother with housekeeping, washing, and whatever was needed because she was blind. With this opportunity presenting itself, I quit my job at Standard Optical in S.L.C. and went to college. My father gave me a little money and I also made my way by cleaning other houses too. I was so grateful for this chance. Just imagine, at this time in 1945 if you were a high school graduate and had $35.00 a quarter, you could go to B.Y.U. I was blessed to get four good roommates too; three from California and one from Idaho. I learned more from them that I did not have a testimony of my own about the church. They all did!
I was a week late getting registered but it didn’t seem to matter. I took what was left. One of my classes was a required religion class of the New Testament. The teacher was a young English Professor sent in from another school because of the extra large enrollment with the return of the service men after the war ended in the fall of 1945. This young Professor proceeded to teach this class as if this scripture had been written for us, for our everyday lives, and for us to understand that it lived and breathed for us. I had never heard the Gospel taught like this.
Towards the end of the quarter he asked us all to try an experiment for ourselves and write our findings in a final paper. The requirements were to choose one of the four Gospels, read it straight through without stopping, and write about the experience. I thought this was an interesting assignment, so I chose the book of Mark since it was shortest and I could read it without interruption. I stayed up all one night and read it straight through. My mind and heart both seemed closely connected to what I was reading. I understood as I read of Jesus, the beautiful, perfect man, teaching, healing, and doing only good and wonderful things. I saw him being arrested, tried before men who knew him -and he knew them. He knew they lied about him. They-sent him away to be beaten, spat upon. Then they killed him. I wept. I wept for the terrible injustice, pain and suffering he went through. I wept in a way I never had before. I understood as I never had before. (I think my heart grew 2-4 inches that night!) I still cannot sing “There is a Green Hill Far Away” or “I Stand All Amazed”, without crying.
The testimony of that experience has been with me all the rest of my life … a certain feeling of his care and love that have been with me always. He has guided me through housework, my children, dieting, debt, in every way. If I will ask, I am guided. I wish to share one teaching He gave me. “No other failure can detract from success in the home.” You’ve all heard that in a slightly different way. It was restructured for my need, knowing I had a lot to work on.
Well, I handed in my paper. I got an A on it. I never did get to tell that young teacher what he had done for me. What he had given me. I had learned for myself in such a way that in all the testimonies I had heard, I now knew I had something a little more about my Savior I had wanted to know. I cannot remember this Professor’s name. I can only guess at the lives he must have blessed. I will always bless his memory for this gift and wish still that I had thanked him. (The Flinders even tried every department at B.Y.U. records to find him for me.) As I write this I remember he was older than I was, and I am now 82 years old. So I believe he knows now, and knows my gratitude.
NOTE: If this entry has concepts or terminology you do not understand, you may find explanations at www.mormon.org [intended primarily for those who are learning basic principles about the LDS Church], at www.lds.org [the official website of the LDS Church that includes basic information as well as more advanced materials for members of the LDS Church], or from me directly by posting a comment.