Upper Snake River Valley Chapter Newsletter for December 2017

The prelude music was a series of Christmas songs played by Sylvia Walker at the piano. On Thursday, 21 Dec 2017 at 6:30 P.M. in the Senior Citizen Center, we held our monthly membership meeting with President F. Martell Grover directing who gave a welcome to Sixty-six members and guests.  His thought for the day was “Knowing what must be done does away with fear” Rosa Parks. Opening prayer was offered by Allen Morton.

President Grover recognized the guests: Branden Dixon, Todd and Rosezella Grant, and Noland Gnighting.


We then enjoyed a delicious meal provided by Alton and Paula Wilde and their food committee. It consisted of chilli, corn bread, honey butter, crackers & ice cream with apple topping.

During the meal Ron Gibb explained that annual dues are $15.00 for the chapter (which is given to him) and $50.00 for the National (which is sent to the National office or can be given to him to send to them).


It was announced that because the Area Vice President, Lynn Bradshaw was unable to attend our meeting this evening the Induction of the new Chapter Officers for 2018 would take place at our Membership meeting to be held on 18 January 2018. They will be Ken Hart, President, Doug Ladle, President Elect, F. Martell Grover, Past President, Max W. Brown, Secretary, and Ron Gibb, Treasurer. It was also announced that the official newsletter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers is the “Trail Marker”. This can be found on line at “sup1847@org”. Members who have shared their e-mail address will get notice when the on line “Trail Marker” is available.

It was noted that there were no birthdays or anniversaries since our November meeting until this time.

Bill Eckersell described the different monuments for which our Chapter has responsibility. There are seven: 1. Marker honoring the early settlers in Rexburg, located on the west corner of the north steps of the Rexburg Tabernacle.
2. Marker for the Rexburg Public Square, located on the south side of Porter Park. It was where all public civic activities were held from 1883 until 1912 when the Rexburg Tabernacle was constructed.
3. The Rexburg Tabernacle Civil Centennial monument which was dedicated 24 July 2013, located on the northeast corner of the Rexburg Tabernacle lot. On each of its four sides it recognizes a different event. a. original centennial, b. honoring the 150 year centennial of the forming of the Idaho Territory (1863-2013) c. Honoring the 100th anniversary of the forming of Madison County d. Honoring the 100 years since the settlement of Rexburg 1883-1983.
4. Ft Lemhi monument located about four miles south of  Salmon City, Idaho and two miles from the monument honoring Sacajawea.
5. Ft Henry in St Anthony, Idaho dedicated 5 Sep 2011.
6. Recognition of Rexburg Pioneers of 1883-1884, located on the south side east steps of the Rexburg Tabernacle, dedicated 28 Sept 1935 by Rexburg Stake and Utah Pioneers Trail group.
7. Recognition of the Pioneers who built the North Fork Ferry, located at Beaver Dick Park, Rexburg, Idaho, Dedicated 21 Aug 1937.

The historical moment, given by Lewis Clements, was a short history of the Union Pacific Rail Road Depot located in Rexburg, Idaho on the corner of Main Street and 2nd West by the railroad tracks. In 1899 a Freight depot was built by the Steiner’s Elevator, which burned down in 1909 and rebuilt in 1910. At that time 1910 the Passenger Depot was built. The Estimate to build it was $1,500, but because of its design and materials used, it actually cost about $20,000. It provided passenger service until 1971 and in 1985 it was torn down. It was noted that the Yellowstone Special that took passengers to West Yellowstone didn’t stop in Rexburg.

Following his presentation of the Historical Moment, President Grover presented to Brother Clements, who was accompanied by his wife, Diane, the “National Modern Pioneer Award” plaque provided by the National SUP Organization. This was honoring him for his years of involvement in identifying and recognizing the Pioneers in and around Madison County.

It all started during his first year of teaching in Rexburg. He had been asked to serve on the Historical Society Board and, as such, was involved in gathering material for a Rexburg Museum, which exists still today. He published the “Snake River Echoes” for 37 years, a pamphlet that honored the pioneers of the area. Louis did many other things connected to his responsibility as Board Member and President of the Historical Society.

President Grover than introduced the speaker for the evening, John Thomas, who spoke to us on the subject of Religious Freedom. John C. Thomas was born in Virginia and raised there, as well as lived in Hawaii, England, and Utah. He served a mission in Alaska and graduated from BYU and Indiana University. He has taught at Ricks College/BYU Idaho since 1998. He and his wife Maria are the parents of three grown children. His wife and Brook, one of the children, are with him here tonight.

He began his presentation by quoting from a book “John Nicholson’s Gathering: The Means of Escape”. “Born in Scotland (in 1839) and converted in England (in 1861), Nicholson longed to see his family “in the Gathering Place of God’s people.” He emigrated in 1866 on the American Congress and arrived in New York on the 4th of July. The fireworks he watched from the ship that night foreshadowed the drama that awaited him in the gathering place. In 1880 he portrayed Mormon country as a place of “safety … from the abominations and calamites of the last days,” but his life in Zion included its full share of commotion. Yet, despite the religious and political conflict that encroached upon his refuge, Nicholson steadfastly lived by the precepts of his well-known hymn, “Come, Follow Me.”

Followed by a quote from Brian Grim and Roger Finke (2011-52) “Since the passage of the first Amendment the religious outsiders of each era have tested its boundaries … “ Brother Thomas asked the question, “Who are the Religious Outsiders?”

He pointed out that in Idaho in the 1800’s the territory passed a law that if a person living within its boundaries had a polygamous marriage he could not vote. (Note: Women were not allowed to vote at that time either.) At the time Rexburg was the largest community in the territory. This law was not repealed for 106 years

In the State of Utah the matter of polygamy was taken to the United States Supreme Court and in 1884 they ruled that the Utah Constitution was valid. In 1894 the manifesto was issued by the State.

Currently the restrictions of religion around the world are monitored and it has been found that ¾ of the world population lived in areas where there is substantial restrictions on religion. He displayed a chart showing the Social hostilities involving religion from around the world and the United States was rated as high. He explained what that meant and emphasized that there are many variables.

Brother Thomas quoted a Baptist minister who said “If we don’t agree in religious liberty then we are not for Liberty of Religion.” He emphasized that Government can observe behavior of religious organizations, but should not decide who is good or bad.

He asked that the audience name the First Amendment freedoms of the United States and they named all five, which are: 1. Religion 2. Press 3. Assembly 4. Petition 5. Speech. He emphasized that in the United States the people take the above for granted and that the First Amendment is only as valuable as the commitment and understanding those freedoms have as they exist in the life of each person. He also emphasized that Religious freedom for all is the only way to have true religious freedom. He closed with that comment.

President Grover told us five stories about Faith, Trust, Hope, Confidence, Love and Attitude.

Once all villages decided to pray for rain. On the day of prayer all the people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella. THAT’S FAITH.

When you throw babies in the air, they laugh because they know you will catch them. THAT’S TRUST.

Every night we go to bed without any assurance of being alive the next morning, but still we set the alarms to wake up. THAT’S HOPE.

We plan big things for tomorrow in spite of zero knowledge of the future. THAT’S CONFIDENCE.

We see the world suffering, but still we get married and have children. THAT’S LOVE.

On an old man’s shirt was written a sentence “I am not 80 years old; I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.” THAT’S ATTITUDE.

Have a happy day and live your life like the six stories. When I was a child, I thought nap time was punishment. Now it’s like a mini-vacation.
The finale was the drawing for the door prize, a copy of the book, Rexburg, “Where Do We Go From Here”, compiled by Louis Clements. The winner of the door prize was Terry Potter.
The Closing Song was “Silent Night” led by Carol Ladle with Sylvia Walker at the piano.
And the Closing Prayer was by Jerry Glenn
The postlude music was by Sylvia Walker
We were reminded that next month’s meeting would be on 18 January 2018 with speaker,
J. D. Hancock, who will speak on the History of the LDS Church in Russia.

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Max W. Brown Date

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