THE MANTI TEMPLE
Contributor: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
By Sherrie A. Hundley (taken from Olsen-Blain Stories and Histories)
Early in the spring of 1877, President Brigham Young and Elder Warren S. Snow went to the hill where the Temple now stands. Later, Elder Snow said, “We two were alone. President Young took me to the spot where the Temple was to stand; we went to the southeast corner, and he said, 'Here is the spot where the Prophet Moroni stood and dedicated this piece of land for the Temple site and that is the reason why the location is made here, and we can't move it from this spot.' "
On April 20, 1877, ground was broken for the Temple now adorning the hill, where Sanpete pioneers spent their first night, waking in the morning to find that they had camped in a nest of rattle snakes. Miraculously, no one was bitten.
Two years of blasting and scraping were required to prepare footings and the foundation. The structure was made of native white oolite stone from nearby. The cost exceeded one and a half million dollars, a great amount for so few people, who were also very poor. Eggs collected on Sunday and many other such means were used to secure funds. It was an enormous task, yet the devoted Saints raised a monument to their God where ordinances of salvation could be administered. They were called upon to endure various trials and hardships as they struggled to settle the area, often facing almost unbearable circumstances. Many had given up all that they had, to come here in obedience to the gospel. This was but one more step in building up the Kingdom of God.
Many of our ancestors helped in this great work and our family members have continued to perform various ordinances in this Temple for themselves and their family members, as well as many others, for well over a hundred years. For this reason, we might rightfully enjoy the blessing of calling it "our Temple."
On May 21, 1888, the Manti Temple was dedicated. Many of those present saw spiritual beings, and speakers were reported to be surrounded by halos of light. Brother Canute W. Peterson of Ephraim, a very reliable man and Stake President at the time of the dedication, observed these halos. The prophets Joseph, Hyrum, Brigham, and various other apostles who have gone on, were seen, and the ears of the faithful in attendance were touched so that they heard the music of a heavenly choir. While the dedicatory prayer was being offered by Lorenzo Snow, many heard the soft, melodious words of a voice saying, "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, the Lord be praised." Brother A. C. Smith, the organist, rendered a piece of sacred music at the organ, at the conclusion of which persons sitting in certain areas of the hall heard heavenly voices singing in a most beautiful way.
“I, (Garn J. Olsen) personally visited one of the witnesses and she said that it sounded like hundreds of voices singing, and that ‘beautiful’ did not describe the manner in which it was rendered. It was said that the sounds were most angelic and appeared to be behind and above. The names of at least 14 persons witnessed this spiritual phenomenon."
Sources of information: Ensign Magazine, January 1972, p. 33. Parts of a talk given by Garn J.Olsen.
NOTES AND BIOGRAPHY OF MY FATHER¸CHARLES ALFRED OLSEN
Contributor: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
By Garn Jay Olsen
The earliest recollection I have of my father is out at "the farm" in the old adobe house. This old house had a large front room or kitchen and one bedroom. There was a trap door in the bedroom and steps leading down. It was not used much because there was only a small amount of space and it led to the one big room which was covered with water about all the time. There was an outside door to the cellar under the house, where they walked on boards and kept milk, etc., cool on a board table. There was a large reservoir out front where water was stored for irrigation in summer. There was an unfinished attic with an entrance made by ladder at the back. There was a small one-room building called the "shanty" aside from the house on the southeast side. An orchard stood east of the house on more than an acre. There were two pie cherry trees, Winesap, Roman Beauty, Pearmaine, Wolf River, Arkansas Red, Gano, Delicious and summer apples, as well as Red Asterkan. There were gooseberry bushes, red and black current bushes and raspberry bushes. Mother also planted a garden between the rows, where I helped plant peas and other vegetables. Huge Bamagilliard trees grew along the board fences by the house, providing shade and protection.
There were two big yellow transparent apple trees and two other apple trees north of the house in the yard. There was a large, long barn, a granary and several sheds covered with willows and straw where machinery was stored for protection for the livestock in the cold winter weather.
The large reservoir was filled with clear, pure water from springs and flowing wells. This watered the patches of oats, wheat and barley. In the far northeast corner of the farm was a spot of about nine acres, where sugar beets were grown for a time. There was a large horse pasture in a deep hollow, where all the work horses were kept in the summer. Many, many times I went to the pasture and brought two or three of the horses up to the yards and harnessed them up for work. I used to stand on a big stump to put the harness on over the collars of the horses to cut hay, rake hay, harrow ground, preparing it for seed, or to haul hay or grain, or other work. The meadow consisted of 60 or 70 acres which was pastured in the spring with sheep and cattle.
In the spring we lambed the sheep there, then moved them to the "flat," which was 320 acres of grazing ground southeast, near Canal Canyon. I herded the sheep at the farm and at the "flat." My brother, Doyle, was doing other farm work. After July first, the sheep were taken on the mountain for the summer. Dad had a permit for so many sheep and so many cattle. The meadow was allowed to grow and was cut late in the summer for feed for the cattle and horses, and was called "wild hay."
The farm extended over the west hill called the "stone quarry" because they used to quarry stone on the west side for building. This stone was the kind used in the beautiful Spring City church. This hill was covered by cedar trees, pinion pine, sage and some other shrubs. We planted grain on the east slope of the hill in the fall and harvested it the next summer. It was called "dry grain" because it was not irrigated.
Besides the 100 acre farm Dad owned 47 acres just southeast of the farm, called "the south field." On this was grown alfalfa, corn, wheat, oats and potatoes. Some of these potatoes, at least one year that Dad grew them, were a type that grew very large - as much as a foot long, three inches thick and five to six inches wide. Dad also had another piece of ground, some 42 acres called the Nielson Field. It was straight east of the farm by the highway. The only water we had was high water, called that because it came in the spring when the snow melted. After the high water was gone there was very little when we had a water turn, about every week or ten days. When the water turn came, it was often in the night, and Dad would take a quilt out and try to get a little rest between changes of the water. Late in the summer the crops would burn or dry up for lack of moisture. Rain was not plentiful, but always welcome. We raised some alfalfa east of the creek on the flat.
I didn't know my Dad too well. He told me that when he was about 10 years old he would walk over the stone quarry down to the meadows west of the farm and help herd the cows all day. Then at night he and other boys took the horses out south of town and let them feed, then come back in the morning.
I faintly remember him telling about the Indians leaving an old woman out on the stone quarry to die. Indian graves were found out there. I remember Elgent Covert found one and brought home an old wooden saddle and other artifacts.
Father was born in Cottonwood (now Murray) somewhere between 60th and 70th South. When very young the family moved to Levan, then to Spring City, where he met my mother and married her. (Rosey Minerva Blain.)
Dad showed me and told me about clearing the sagebrush off about tw( ) acres of ground north of Spring City, planting a crop, then selling it for profit. All the grubbing of the sagebrush was done by hand. What a job that must have been.
Dad had a scar on his upper lip. He told me that he fell on a lye can and cut it when he was young. Another time he and some boys were playing with an ax. One said, “Whoever puts his hand on the chopping block, I'll chop it off." Dad put his left hand on and didn't draw it off quick enough. The finger next to the little one was nearly chopped off and was always stiff.
Dad was about 5'7" tall and weighed about 160 lbs. He had sandy colored hair, but went bald rather young. He wore a mustache most of the time to cover the scar on his lip. He loved to dance and knew all the dances - quadrilles, polkas, waltzes, etc. As they grew older, mother didn't care about dancing as much, probably because of her neuritis, so Dad would go alone. He didn’t like to be called Dad, but rather liked "Pa" or "Papa." He always referred to his father as "Pa."
He filled a mission in the Central States, in Ohio and Indiana. He told about going to New York and Niagara Falls. He also told about how impressive it was to go to the Kirtland Temple. He had to leave mother with two little girls (a third one had just died about two weeks before) and all the livestock to look after. What a trial this must have been for both Mother and Dad. He tells how sad they were. He still completed his mission.
He told about after proselyting they would go back to their room, sing hymns and study. I never really heard him sing, but he loved to have the family get together by the piano and sing. When I rode behind him on a horse going to the field, sometimes he would hum songs that I didn't recognize.
Dad was always asked to do the roping of strays or steers in the 4th and 24th of July Rodeo. He could drop a lasso rope on a critter very easily. He had a sorrel horse called "Nick" that knew what was expected of him and did it. "Old Nick' was kicked by a workhorse with new horseshoes one night while the horses were loose in the yard, waiting to be harnessed up to go up to the coal mine, and died of blood poisoning.
I went with Dad to the coal mines for coal and eventually went myself and brought back coal. On one occasion the Donaldson boys (cousins) and I went into the mine and got the coal because the miners wouldn't. We loaded up little cars and a horse with a light on it and pulled the coal out. We also had carbide lights on caps.
Dad was a hard worker. He stayed out in the field as long as he could see. When we harvested grain it was cut and tied in bundles and leaned together in what we called shocks. Each year it was shocked and allowed to dry to be threshed. I worked with Dad shocking grain. It was hauled to the yard where it was stacked to await threshers. The thresher would come with a big gas or steam engine, attach a long belt to the thresher and bundles were fed into one end. Straw was blown out of a pipe and the grain would come out of a pipe on the side, to be sacked or put in a wagon box to be hauled to the granary. Dad would stack the grain by laying bundles side by side in a large circle, after starting in the middle. The center was always higher than the rest, so the rain would run off. Some people would stack the grain and it would slide out, but never did Dad's slide. The grain was stacked tight together and stayed where he put it. I passed bundles to Dad as it was pitched from the wagon, because he made such large stacks - some over 30 feet high.
When Dad was younger, he used to wrestle. He must have been very strong, for it is said that he always won the matches. His left collar bone was once broken when he was wrestling in winter and hit hard ground.
Dad used to drive beef cattle to Schofield through the mountains in the fall to be slaughtered for beef. He had two dogs, "Old Seal” and “Bruce.” Going through the snow, it was hard to drive. The dogs did their share and made the cattle move. When they got the cattle over there, the Greeks that bought the cattle took the dogs in the shop and fed them steaks. I remember "Old Seal."
Dad was honest and never swore. When he was aggravated he would say “My land” or “0 My.” He was never known to tell a dirty story. At his funeral our neighbor, Henry Acord, spoke and said he would have been glad to have his boys with Dad because he never used bad language. I never did hear him tell anything of a dirty nature. He was always plan¬ning how he could beat the depression and make ends meet. He lost what little money he had when the North Sanpete Bank closed. This was about I929. He also lost the big farm after struggling to try to keep it. He offered to sell the whole farm for $5,000, but no one could get the money to buy it. He was always proud of his purebred Shorthorn cattle and kept papers on each one, giving it a name and a number. He oft times traded a young bull for a larger one and got $5 or $10 to boot.
He could estimate the weight of animals almost to the pound. It is said that on one occasion a fellow buying cattle asked Dad to give the weights on the whole herd of about 50 or 60 head. They let them walk by Dad one at a time and when they were weighed, Dad had only missed by a few pounds.