I have interests in family history, and in creative writing. I am presently writing a historical fiction inspired by the times and places of some of my ancestors. I’m looking for reviewers who are willing to read each chapter as they are developed (one at a time, perhaps once per month) and provide critique and suggestions for improvement. Each chapter will be around 3000 words and take less than 30 minutes to read and provide comments. Please contact me (comment this post) at the email below if I can put you on my reviewers list. I hope it will be in educational and inspiring experience to read these chapters. It certainly is inspiring for me to research and write them.
“Mother gave an Indian a whack with an iron poker for stealing her biscuits hot from the oven, and a papoose a whipping for shooting her ducks with a bow and arrow. The mother of the papoose went mumbling around their camp saying that Mother had wronged her papoose. So Mother went to Washakie, the Chief, and Washakie gave the squaw and papoose ‘heck’…
The Indians always camped at my grandfathers (Lehi Nephi Hardman) farm by the Jordan River, and out at the ranch on the Oquirrh foothills. He gave many a beef to the Indians, believing what President Young taught in those days, that ‘it is better to feed them than to fight them.’ Mother’s policy was the same as her father’s. She never turned any needy person away from her door. She gave to others and went without herself.
All that could ever be said of a mother can truthfully be said of her. Although Mother spent only a few days in the schoolroom she had a deep appreciation of nature and of God. She instilled without stint, yea, beyond measure, into all of her children, a love for truth, obedience, a respect for authority, and an abiding faith in right, that the truth will prevail over error, and that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation in temporal and spiritual matters. Long may Mother’s teachings live in the hearts of her descendants.”
(As recorded in Hardman Biographies, Ancestors of Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin, 2009. Adapted from histories written by Lehi and Francis’ daughter Amelia Hardman Sadler, as included in Goble’s Coon book.) #AncestorClips
(To learn more about Francis Ann Coon Hardman, see FamilySearch.org – Click here)
(Author Note – This is an update from the author. Please scroll down for more stories)
With sweat down our backs and dirt under our fingernails, we contemplated in Martin’s Cove, pushed and pulled up Rocky Ridge, were pelted by hail at Rock Creek Hollow, and felt the aid of angels. Every year more groups don the time-period clothing and walk ‘for’ an ancestor. Dear friends, Joan and I have participated in numerous ‘handcart treks.’ In 1997, our stake called us to be a ‘ma’ and ‘pa’ on our first trek, and to assemble a trek band. Joan researched music, we wrote a few songs, and we enlisted family members to play and sing. On that first trek, we rolled into camp each night, performed family duties, then assembled with band members and performed music for the camp fireside and square-dance for hundreds of smiling youth.
In the years that followed, we were invited to other ward and stake treks. We’ve performed in mud, wind, rain, and snow. With gratitude, we also performed on calm nights when the painted prairie sunset slowly yielded to the stars exposing God’s eternal creations to his even more glorious children. We met wonderful people who came because of faith in God, who stood before the company in remote meadows bearing testimony of their love of Jesus Christ, their companions, and those who had gone before. We too love our ancestors and feel their closeness as promised by prophets.
Now, in 2023 our trek continues. When Joan and I met years ago, the spirit of missionary work was a powerful part of our family beginnings. We knew that one day, we would serve as missionary companions in the Lords marvelous and wondrous work. The Lord has blessed us with a wonderful family of our own, who we love deeply. He has also provided means for us at this time to give a little more to serve him. We love Him.
While considering options for a ‘live-at-home,’ part-time opportunity, we were reminded of the church-run, ‘Mosida Handcart Trek Site’ near Elberta, Utah. We contacted the directors and within a day or two found ourselves touring a 21-mile trail in a four-wheel-drive pickup through a half-foot of snow (it was December). Elder and Sister Child told us the history of the site and the experiences that thousands of youth and leaders have each summer trekking to places that represent the actual handcart journey from Iowa City to Martins Cove to Rocky Ridge, and on to Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City. Within days we submitted our application and on January 15, 2023 Joan and I were each set apart by President Smith (of our stake presidency) as Service Missionaries.
On January 2, we attended our first Mosida missionaries meeting and met several other senior couples. Like young missionaries do, we stood and recited Doctrine and Covenants, Section 4, “Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men…” Sister Smith, another senior missionary, stood and introduced Levi Savage (her husband) who then stood and in first person recited the Levi Savage story. We were then invited to get to work memorizing a number of stories that we would perform to youth at specific points this summer along the trail. We have since met each Monday at the Mosida lodge (Iowa City) for a devotional to pray, plan, learn, recite, repair, practice (even teaching the Virginia Reel), and receive assignments in preparation for this summer when new groups of stakes and wards will trek. Joan was assigned to sew a couple example banners or flags, representative of what trek families will make for their trek. This past Sunday we attend the kickoff fireside for a Stake in Lehi who will trek Mosida this summer. Videos were shown, stories were told, testimonies were born, instructions were given and scones were consumed. As we looked into the faces of those youth, all strangers to us, we immediately felt our united brotherhood and the christian cause we would experience together this summer. We love them already.
With this, ‘Mosida Missionaries’ blog, Joan and I will keep you ‘posted’ on our trek as Service Missionaries in 2023. As with handcart treks and the hard experiences that our ancestors endured before us, we feel power in the Atonement of Jesus Christ (as did they). We choose to trust and obey him because we believe and feel His way is the only way to ultimate happiness. God lives and loves his children. In his eternal wisdom he invites us to learn of him and become like him. We love you. Stand by for more…
High school graduation day was emotional. I had finally grown out of much of my shyness and had a number of good friends. On the last day after most of the kids left, I walked down those familiar halls; it brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t want to leave. “Wait! Come Back.” Throughout my teens, I engaged in a number of fun and development activities like, bowling, guitar, singing lessons, and skiing, but I lacked courage to reach out to strangers at school and take a little more social lead. I was more comfortable with kids in my own neighborhood. The move from grade school to junior high was intimidating. Once a school bully singled me out and accused me of making some degrading gestures at him. After class he chased me into the restroom and hit me in the mouth. It hurt my pride more than my face. And I felt sorrier for him; and for the type of life he would live if he didn’t change. A couple years later, during a youth campout another boy seeking attention threw my camping gear down the outhouse. I felt the embarrassing laughter of the guys that I wanted to be friends with, but again felt sorrier for the bully. In high school I decided to break out of my shyness and be the person I wanted to be and do it in God’s way, lifting, not putting down. I pushed myself to walk with a smile and to greet others. I tried-out for some extra-curricular activities. I was on the school swimming and diving team for a year. I didn’t win any competitions but I did add a few points to the team score. I even took a hang-gliding class, and taught skiing one year. I led-out in church activities and served in the community. With apprehension I unsuccessfully tried-out for acapella; that was scary. But I did get into a great class called Unified Studies which combined English, art, science, and recreation; resulting in great learning and confidence building activities at school and in the mountains. I even dated and went to every stake dance I could with the goal to ask every girl I could, in part because it was fun, but I was also motivated to help those who may have been forgotten. At our stake post-graduation youth conference it happened again, I didn’t want it to end. At the closing awards ceremony I won the, “Yellow Candle Award,” for letting my light shine. Throughout the event, my close friends and I sought to meet everyone. I went away a lot better person knowing that I had succeeded making people happy. I was changed.
Joan spent part of her 1977 summer working at Flaming Gorge, and the Uintah’s. “One evening I was happy to receive the assignment to take mail and supplies to trail workers a few miles up the mountain. After I made the delivery, the sun began to set. I walked quickly to get down the mountain, but soon the skies began to dim and the shadows darkened. At times I could hear wildlife noises in the mountain forest and it became very difficult to see the trail. My flashlight helped significantly, but as full darkness came on, it became difficult to distinguish what was the path and what were small clearings leading off into thick forest. Fortunately the trail had been blazed. Every few hundred feet there would be a pine tree with hatchet markings, the outer bark had been removed exposing a section of inner tree. These round white signs on the trees let me know that I was on the right trail. At one point I turned off my flashlight, I was surrounded in darkness, impossible to continue on. I looked straight up above the tall pines and gazed at the thick Milky Way galaxy. At that moment a scripture entered my mind, ‘And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you…’ I was filled with happiness as I received this personal message from God! The task of getting down the mountain became joyous as I thought on the similarities of this experience to my life and my own mission on earth. Staying on the trail was like keeping the commandments, my steps took faith and effort, but I was determined to not get lost. I felt the Savior’s love as I considered that he walked this path before me. The flashlight was like the gift of the Holy Ghost. The hatchet markings were like personal revelations. I was confident that whatever way I was caused to turn, it would eventually lead home. There was an added joy when I approached the lights of my home camp. I had returned successfully as I hope to return successfully from my mortal mission. Before I went to bed, I opened the Book of Mormon to find the scripture I had heard up on the mountain. With it came this echoing confirmation, ‘Wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.’ (1 Nephi 17:30)”
In Wyoming, with sweat down our backs and dirt under our fingernails, we contemplated in Martin’s Cove, pushed and pulled up Rocky Ridge, were pelted by hail at Rock Creek Hollow, and felt the aid of angels. Every year more groups don the time-period clothing, learn about an ancestor, and walk in their steps. If you ever have the opportunity, don’t hesitate, embrace the call and join the trek. It won’t be easy, but with determination you can come to know yourself, your ancestors, and God, better. Dear friends, Joan and I have participated in many ‘handcart treks.’ In 1997, our stake called us to be a ‘ma’ and ‘pa’ on our first trek, and to assemble a trek band. Joan researched music, we wrote a few songs, and we enlisted family members to play and sing. On that first trek, we rolled into camp each night, performed family duties, then assembled with band members and performed music for the camp fireside and square-dance. It was delightful to watch hundreds of youth with ‘real’ smiles stir-up the dust and pound down the sage while dancing the Virginia Real. In the years that followed, we were invited to other ward and stake treks. We’ve performed in mud, wind, rain, and snow. With gratitude, we also performed on calm nights when the painted sunset slowly yielded to the stars exposing God’s eternal creations. We met wonderful people who came because of faith in God, who stood before the company in remote meadows bearing testimony of their love of Jesus Christ, their companions, and those who had gone before. God has a reason for inspiring our leaders to conduct such experiences. We love our ancestors and feel their closeness as promised by prophets. We fervently ask you to share our message with your friends and all who might someday go on a trek. To help, here is a story (link) and song about one of our ancestors, written by Joan Hardman called, “Before the Wind.” Come with us to Denmark and Sweden, their homeland. (Illustration by Ken Hardman) https://ancestorclips.com/2018/07/02/andrew-and-anna-peterson-before-the-wind/
Dear friends, I’d like your vote. I wrote a song for the Rootstech 2021 Song Contest (Amateur category) about my ancestor, John Griffin. Since I love family history, and music, this was an opportunity to combine both, and share what I’ve gained from this great man. Please click the rootstech link below, listen to “Ballad of John Griffin,” click, Vote For This Song, then share this link with friends and family. Thanks for the favor. Link Thanks sincerely,Ken Hardman
The fog settled over the immigrant ship American Congress off the shores of Newfoundland. The sun did not shine, nor provide navigational reference for the crew. James Keep and his wife Ann, three daughters, and one grand-baby were sailing for Zion with 350 Saints. While on deck, James looked forward for a time, then aft, reflecting on the hopeful journey yet ahead, and then on his life back in England. He was five years old when his father died, was raised a few more years by family members, but mostly, with little schooling, made his own way keeping sheep, cows, horses, or any work he could find. The heavy fog bore down a second day on the ship. James thought back on his apprenticeship as a brick layer and his nine years with his first wife Elizabeth. Sometime after her death, James married Ann Miller, and he began to seek religion. He attended the Wesleyan’s, and later the Baptist’s, and then the Independent’s, each for a number of years, but still felt alone. “I could never tell what the Kingdom of God was,” he wrote. The thick fog prevailed a third day; their location and direction, unknown. James recalled the two young men who brought the restored gospel to his home. Encouraged by his wife, he listened. “I never knew what God was until I came into this church.” He and his family were baptized and accepted callings. He traveled extensively to preach the gospel for twenty years. Now at age 60, on a ship in the Atlantic, Johns faith in God’s promises held strong. “Captain,” a man yelled, “what is that?” The man on the quarter deck pointed anxiously forward. The fog [had] lifted from the surface of the sea, as if a veil or scroll had been raised. The tall powerful captain looked, then sprang to the wheelhouse like a tiger, knocked the helmsman down, grabbed the wheel, and with full presence of mind and moment, turned it about. Sailors sprang to their posts at his commands, as the ship swayed and turned avoiding rocks, breakers, and a watery grave. Many thanks were given to God for lifting the fog, and protecting the saints.
(by Kenneth R. Hardman, based on accounts in Hardman Biographies – Ancestors of Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin, personal writings of James Joseph Keep, writings of Sarah Keep Buttars, and account Saved by Providence by J. Nicholson) #AncestorClips
Glenn performed his military duties and was absolutely determined to be an example and a Christian. He never served as a formal missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he took every opportunity to act like one. “There is a fellow in the company that is a member of the church, but not very active. He has promised me that he will go to church, but as yet, he hasn’t. He got quite drunk and started to lose his money, so what does old dad do? I stepped in. He was gambling, so I took his money and his wallet away from him, and… finally got him in bed, but he wouldn’t stay there, so we took him down and put him in the ice-cold shower. Believe me, that really straightened him out in a hurry. I hate to get mixed up with anything like that, but we do have to take care of our brothers, don’t we?” While in the service, he held a number of things close to his heart including letters from home, church magazines, a portrait of Dorothy, and a little photo of his parents and sister. To his wife back home he spoke of blessings on Earth and in Heaven, “If we only live our religion as we have been taught, we shall have these things and also reach eternal life…It will really be a wonderful day when we can both stand together and thank our Father in Heaven for all His blessings.” This is who they were and who they are. This is who I want to be.
(by Kenneth R. Hardman with excerpts from, “Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin – Their story and their life,” Volume 1, 1928 – 1952) #AncestorClips
Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Griffin; did they become good independent of outside factors? Certainly, not. Did any of this goodness come from their parents and ancestry? Certainly, yes. Dorothy spoke of her childhood. “I am truly grateful that my parents were always active and that they taught us by their example that church was the place we were to go, that activity in the church would bring joy and satisfaction to our lives. Though I have no memory of a burning testimony in those days, I know the seeds were planted then for my love of the church as I have grown older.” Similarly, Dorothy wrote of Glenn, “He went to Primary and learned about courage and being pure in heart, to be a cheerful helper to his father and mother every day, to say thank you, to obey, to be courteous at home, school and Primary, to pray and to appreciate the beautiful world.” As Glenn and Dorothy continued to grow in their youth, they made choices that brought them in contact with additional sources of help and divine instruction. While a young adult, Dorothy received an assignment she thought miraculous that gave her opportunity to serve in new ways, making her realize the source of her talents, and how she could use them for much good. “I began to see,” she wrote, “what the patriarch had meant when he told me I had talents that would manifest themselves in the positions of responsibility which I would have…” Glenn demonstrated his integrity when on his own in California, surrounded by a world of opportunities for good and bad. In a letter to his parents back home, some trusted friends wrote, “He never misses a day without coming in and reporting in. He is only going with church boys and girls and taking in the church activities. Dorothy Griffin, the girl he takes most, is a swell Mormon girl.” I can see how my life was and is influenced by their lives… I can see their influence in my life, in the lives of all their children, and their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren.
(Excerpts from Forward of, “Sidney Glenn Hardman and Dorothy Mae Griffin – Their story and their life,” Volume 1, 1928 – 1952, by Dorothy Hardman. Forward by Kenneth R. Hardman in 2015 compilation) #AncestorClips