Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Gila Valley Temple

Photo from Gila Valley Temple: Fulfillment of a Prophecy by Marleen Taylor Mott, Meridian Magazine

The Gila Valley Temple is in the Gila Valley.
But more specifically, it is in Central.
Central, Arizona.

Central, Arizona is in southeastern Arizona.
Here, this will help:

Now, Central doesn't seem to me an obvious spot for a temple. Safford or Thatcher, just a few minutes down the road, have many more people. There isn't much in Central: Farms. Livestock. An old post office. Lots and lots of my relatives. Many of them are in the cemetery.

No stop light. No Circle K. If you grow parched while cruising Highway 70 between the Taylor Freeze in Pima and the Sonic in Thatcher, you might need to stop at my Grandma Layton's house. Or maybe at Aunt Lona or Jody's. They are a mite closer to the highway.

When the temple was announced, I asked Grandma:
Wow. Can you believe it? Did you ever think you'd have a temple in your backyard?

Well, sure, she answered. But I always expected they'd put it up on the hill, near the cemetery. A temple, down there, practically on the highway? Very disappointing.

Come again, Grandma?
Honestly, it didn't seem very disappointing to me, but I didn't say so.

So I decided to look it up. And do as much historical sleuthing as I could do from my desk chair, in the five minutes of spare time I have each day. I didn't actually go to a library. Archivists don't like newborns in their reading rooms. (I know cuz I used to be one. An archivist, not a reading room. I know my rear has spread, but golly, that's rude).

So it turns out, as early as 1882, Jesse N. Smith predicted a temple would be built in The Valley, and depending on which vastly reliable source you believe (and one of them is Wikipedia, but both were supposedly quoting Mormon Settlement in Arizona), he predicted it would be built in Thatcher or Pima. That was just a couple of years after the first Mormons arrived, and most of them were still in Pima. And then on Sunday, January 30, 1898, when Apostles John W. Taylor and John Henry Smith came to reorganize the St. Joseph Stake (where, btw, they released my Great-Great-Great Grandfather, Christopher Layton (didya know my maiden name is Layton?), who had been sent by Brigham Young from Utah (Layton, Utah) to be the first Stake President in 1883.)

The new President, Andrew Kimball (President Spencer Kimball's Father) wrote in his journal: “During his visit, Apostle John W. Taylor prophesied that one of the most beautiful temples ever built among the Saints in the Rocky Mountains would be built here in the Gila Valley”.

None of this fully explains why Grandma envisioned a temple on the hill behind her house. So she elucidated: her Grandpa had told her. Her Grandfather, Edsil Myron Allred (my great great grandpa) was the Bishop in Central for 18 years and also served as Patriarch. During his tenure as Patriarch, he gave a talk in Church (this I gathered from my Dad), in which he predicted that a temple would be built in Central.

And it was.
We went to see it.
It really is beautiful. The architecture is similar to other small-but-not-too-tiny temples being built lately, but the interior art is sort of unbelievable. In volume, but also in quality. The mural of the Gila River in the ordinance room is amazing.

I whispered to Sam: look, this whole room is painted by hand!
Oh, he replied. I know what that is called. Graffiti.

No, I told him. Not if it is commissioned.

My Dad couldn't get enough of the original oils. The painting of Ash Creek Falls on Mt. Graham was his favorite (in the assembly room). Does anyone know the artist? Let me know.

After our tour, we headed over to Grandma's (Grandma was walking along the road, she'd been watering Uncle Jake's horses) to change, then to Uncle Chuck's to ride his horses. Chuck and my cousin Brandon rope. I think they are good at it. Maybe a little famous, even. But I don't know. I'm from Los Angeles. When you are a little famous in LA, you have your own sitcom.

Tom, who saw some kids with cookies outside the temple, and asked them: Did Jesus give you those?

Grandpa Ross (my Dad) and little Ross, riding Lloyd and Hidalgo, respectively. That's Mt. Graham behind them. We've got a cabin up there. Here are Dad and the kids on the mountain at the Ladybug Saddle trailhead last summer:

Cousin Jack and Chuck.

Ryan and Uncle Rick

Grandma. And me.

Looking east and north from Chuck and Lona's place.

The Temple was dedicated this Sunday, and was broadcast all over the state. Did you attend? Do you have any Gila Valley relations? Are they the same as mine? In addition to the Laytons and the Allreds, I've got Norton, Porter, Reay, and Webster peeps.

Friday, May 21, 2010

So, like, 60% chance I broke Bono's back

See, I just bought plane tickets to Salt Lake.

21 May 2010
Following Bono's unexpected back surgery earlier today, Live Nation confirmed that the U2 U2360° tour launch previously scheduled for June 3rd in Salt Lake City has been postponed.

U2 fans with tickets to the June 3rd event are encouraged to retain tickets until updated show information can be provided.

Additional tour information will be forthcoming.

We were gonna go to the show with my college roommate, Kari, who likes me even though she saw my filthy 1994 bedroom. (Dear BYU co-eds, a good trick for keeping that rule about no boys in your bedroom: store all dirty unders on the floor. You will find it easy to make sure guests stay in the living room.) Her husband Craig, my Dad's new BFF, invited us. Dad and Craig have hiked the Grand Canyon TWICE this year. (Dear Craig: please lay off trying to get my Dad up Mount Everest. We like him quite a lot, and we don't want to see his popsicled corpse in an IMAX movie.)

Last time we tried to go to a concert with Kari and Craig, Coldplay cancelled on us. (But then they rescheduled and it was fab. Read all about it here. ) Anyhow, Kari thinks we are cursed, and that the moment I clicked purchase tickets at, somewhere in Germany, Bono's back snapped in two.

Were any of you planning to attend?
Are you very angry with me for ruining your plans?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

That's right. He licked it.

So, school is on it's way out. Projects are due, presentations are being...presented. And what's the old philosophical problem? If an oral report is given at the school and there is no parent there to listen, did it really happen?

And so I go. But getting out of the house is muy dificil. Getting someone to watch Tom (very distracting in classrooms), feeding the baby, dressing everyone and keeping us all relatively barf and feces-free until we are in the car. Urine is fine, since it is clear and not germy. Did I tell you about the time my sister Jen's baby peed on the pediatrician, and when she tried to apologize, the doctor stuck his finger in it and licked it?

That's right. He licked pee.
Because he was making a point? About it being sterile? So I figure, I can wear it, if he can eat it.

Anyhow, just this week:

"Sam" made a popsicle stick model of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, complete with diorama panorama of the Sydney skyline. Those quotation marks were not an accident. In the morning I told Sam to stand next to it while I took his picture. After I snapped it, he asked "Mom, now you get your picture with it." And then Ross pronounced it "wicked awesome." Uh, oh.

Ross made a Powerpoint presentation on deep sea creatures and exploration. He also forgot to tell me about a research paper on Houdini that is due today. So we were up all night printing photos of a 90% naked man in chains and handcuffs.

Jane has her Endangered Species research to present today. Koala Bears a la 10:45.

I joined the gym again. And went to Body Flow (yogalates). My body didn't flow super well. Is a good thing the lights were low. Now I'm sore. Mostly in my feet. Which really isn't my area of concentration.

Then I ate blueberry pie for breakfast. I won't even discuss the chocolate covered cinnamon bears which I find mildly disgusting but are covered in chocolate so they got scarfed.

Oh, and all this with a newborn in tow. And his rash has all but disappeared. I changed detergents and stopped bathing him much. So now he smells less like lavender and vanilla and more like barf, but he doesn't itch so much.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

hilarious photos from inside Jake's iphone: part 1

Er, sorry. When I hit publish, I noticed the photos were way too small, which made them significantly less hilarious. So I'm gonna get Jake to send em straight to iphoto, because the emailed ones just weren't good enough. Stay tuned...