Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Rain, the Golf, the Park, the Pageant and Other Things

We just returned from a three-day excursion to Palisade State Park and environs. After Trish spent two days packing for the trip we hopped in Dad's motor home last Wednesday June 24 and with his ATVs in tow traveled the 150 miles south to Palisade, about 6 miles south of Manti, Utah. Carl Paulsen, Trish's Dad, came with us and so did her sister Melanie's family: husband Ryszard Cholodowski and children Britta and Marek.

It is a nice little state park, complete with campsites and a lake -

and a golf course.

Carl and Hans and I played nine holes on the first day. Hole #4 is fun - it is a shot over a spectacular canyon. (I shot par on that hole.) We rented a canoe the first and last day and a paddle boat in the middle. The water was cold but very good for swimming. We put a lot of miles on the ATVs in nearby Six Mile Canyon.

All was not rosy with the ATVs, however. We got a citation from a park ranger for the expired registration on the smaller of the ATVs. And we got a warning from another park ranger for Ellie not wearing the proper head gear on our last day of riding.

On Thursday night the 25th we went to the Mormon Miracle Pageant on the grounds of the Manti Temple.

It depicted the history of the LDS Church -

and performers enacted scenes from the Book of Mormon.

It was all wonderful, except for the rain. It drizzled on us through most of the performance, forcing us all to improvise with what blankets, umbrellas, and other coverings we could find. Halfway through the performance we asked the kids if they wanted to leave and they resolutely said "No." By that time I think they were pretty cozy in their makeshift shelters.

Manti is a fun little town filled with the pioneers spirit mingled with all the usual tourist accoutrements. The wind whipped up pretty good on our last night there and we had to temporarily take down one of the tents. But the food was good, the water was clear, the stars were numberless, and when the sun was out the sky was blue. It was a great trip. And Annie and Ruby learned a lot about water and mud.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pratt Family

Yes, the Riggs are related to Parley P. Pratt.
Through my Mom Cleo Judd's side of the family, Parley is my great-great-great-great grandfather. Some years ago I joined the Jared Pratt Family Association. Jared is the father of Parley and Orson.
I hadn't been too involved until a couple of years ago when I discovered that a prominent businessman here in Utah, Robert Grow, whom I know fairly well from my business and political associations, was the new President of the Association. I immediately contacted him and told him we were related. We now refer to other as "Cuz." I don't see him that often because he is also a prominent Democrat and has been often mentioned as someone who might run for political office in Utah.
I got an e-mail from Matt Grow, new Historian of the Association and an assistant professor of history at the University of Southern Indiana. He announced that on July 2, BYU will host a conference on Parley and Orson Pratt. Along with Professor Terryl Givens of the University of Richmond, he has been directing a seminar on the thought of the Pratt brothers. He and Terryl are currently writing a biography of Parley. They also have eight graduate students from around the nation and the world who will be presenting their research on the life and thought of the Pratts at this conference.
I can't wait, as this should be a great opportunity to delve more deeply into our Pratt ancestors.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Temple Celebration

Last Friday, May 30, Trish and I and Hans attended the cultural celebration commemorating the dedication of the Draper Utah and Oquirrh Mountain Utah temples. After nearly three months of weekly rehearsals as part of their regular Young Men and Young Women meetings, more than 14,000 youth from 51 stakes participated in "Come Up to the Mountain of the Lord."

Our stake's segment celebrated the role of immigrants in settling and building up the kingdom in the Salt Lake Valley. Parry, Peter, and Ellie all participated in the dancing. Ellie was especially thrilled, as she was allowed to participate before turning 12 on May 7. (Yesterday at Church she was welcomed officially into the Young Women's organization.)

According to Church leaders, these cultural celebrations are more than just celebrations. They are a way to direct the focus of the youth to the temple. For years the First Presidency has authorized a temple cultural celebration with a temple dedication, which gives the youth of the temple district, in particular, a special opportunity to celebrate the dedication of the temple.

Although traditionally temple youth cultural celebrations are held the evening before the dedication, the celebration for these temples was scheduled between the two to accommodate both districts. They are also usually held in open air venues to accommodate the large audiences. Only the huge Conference Center could have accommodated all of the people indoors! The different segments of the celebration were choreographed and directed by the individual stakes. It was quite an achievement to pull it all together. The end result was marvelous!

It was an inspirational program to watch but we were even more delighted to listen to our three children rave about their experience. What an inspired program!

Bestemor's Passing

Carol Jean Stewart Paulsen's funeral was held Saturday, May 30 at 11 a.m. at the home ward of the Paulsen family at 4500 S. 2700 E. in Salt Lake. It was a wonderful service. The spirit there was strong and "Bestemor" (as she was known to her grandchildren and which means "Grandmother" in Norwegian) would have been very pleased. Her grandchildren sang a medley of her favorite Primary songs, highlighted by "Sing Your Way Home." Her children also sang the closing hymn. At the graveside services we let loose yellow and white balloons into the air to commemmorate her life. On Sunday the 31st many of us watched a 2002 interview with Carol Jean conducted through a Young Women's project. In the interview, a vibrant and energetic C. J. described her life as a child, her school days, here love affair with her beloved Carl, the raising of her 12 children, and her wonderfully eclectic views and philosophy of life. It was a delightful interview. I wish I had known her earlier in her life.

Here is the official obituary:

Carol Jean Stewart Paulsen 1928 ~ 2009 Our wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Carol Jean Stewart Paulsen, passed away in her sleep in her home May 27, 2009.She was born Dec. 7, 1928, in Salt Lake City, Utah, daughter of Harold Fitzgerald Stewart and Abbie Loraine Sermon. She married Carl Bergstedt Paulsen on Aug. 22, 1952 in the Salt Lake Temple. After graduating from South High School, she obtained a Bachelor's degree at the University of Utah in home economics. She also did post graduate work in dietetics at Columbia University in New York. She worked as a dietician at the Salt Lake County Hospital and LDS Hospital. It seemed natural that most of her dreams had to do with food, and she was known for organizing wonderful dinners and events. Carol Jean's life was an example of service, giving, and love. Her greatest service was to her family, including her husband, 12 children, and foster children. Her primary objective was to instill in them a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Ten of her children served full-time LDS missions, which brought her great joy. Her 40 grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren knew her as Bestemor (grandmother in Norwegian). She embraced many other dear friends as a part of her family, and they will also miss her loving influence. Carol Jean thought the best of everyone. To her, life was "grand" -even in her last few declining weeks. The license plate of her car appropriately displayed one of her life themes "B-Gentle." She shared her joyful spirit through music. Song was always a part of family gatherings. She encouraged her children and grandchildren to perform, and even assisted with music lessons and instruments. We will always remember the most important life lessons she taught us -that we can choose to have joy and abundance. Her children are Lori Ann Eberhard, Stewart (Annette) Paulsen, Paige Paulsen, Char Warr, Andrea Paulsen, Melanie (Ryszard) Cholodowski, Marie (Charles) Roberts, Patricia (Robin) Riggs, Erik (Lenice) Paulsen, Leif (Lisa) Paulsen, Lars (Lori), and Nels Paulsen. Her siblings include Margaret Ward, DeAnne Zarbock, Harold Stewart and Michael Stewart. She is preceded in death by her parents, her son Leif Paulsen, and her sister Mary Jane Stewart. Viewing will be Friday, May 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 30 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Olympus Stake Center located at 2700 East 4500 South, Holladay. Funeral services will be held at the same location Saturday at 11 a.m. Interment at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.

Here are some photos from the graveside services (thanks to Charles Roberts):