Memories of Uncle Joseph Fielding Smith

Published: Monday, March 14 2011 6:00 a.m. MDT

When Great-Grandma died in 1957, I was devastated. I had walked the block and a half to her home very often, even when I was very small, settling down into the child’s rocker with her black cat, Puddy, curled up in my lap. I had heard her tell of leaving Scotland with her mother and sister by stealth in the night, of standing on a box beside the great steering wheel of the ship and singing to the captain as they crossed from Liverpool to the country where Zion awaited them, of burying her first little daughter, and of the vision she experienced when she had been ill to the point of death.

We attended her funeral, then the dedication of her grave in the Salt Lake Cemetery, where Jessie put her arms around me and wept like a child.

Later that day Joseph Fielding drew us girls together and told us about her death. He did not leave this gentle kindness to Jessie; I think he knew it would mean more to us coming from him.

After sharing a few precious details, he held us with his eyes and said, “I want you to always remember what I am going to tell you now. Right before your great-grandma died she grew quiet for a moment, then she turned to your Aunt Jessie and me, and her face seemed to glow. ‘The prophets are real,’ she said. ‘I have seen them. Be true to them.’”

He was right. The power of that testimony was forever sanctified and imprinted in our souls by coming through the voice and spirit of this gentle witness of Jesus Christ. 

Susan Evans McCloud is author of more than 40 books. She has published screenplays, a book of poetry and lyrics, including two songs in the LDS hymnbook. She is the mother of six children.

e-mail: susasays@broadweave.net

 

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