Early Years of John Albert PHillips
Contributor: finnsh Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Some Early years of John Albert Phillips
Born Jun 13, 1887 in Goose Creek, Cassia, Idaho
[John Albert at times was called Bert, at other times Phil.] One childhood
memory told by John Albert was about his lost kitty. Bert remembered living in Goose Greek in a house that had holes in the floor.
Although he was not more than two years old, his first memory was of trying to catch a cat as it disappeared down one of the holes. Another childhood memory told by his mother was that when he was a baby, she entered him in a baby contest in Oakley and he won first prize.
The three Phillips boys, John Albert, Orrin and Chester herded livestock on the oak brush hills that surround Beaver. Bert said they usually went barefoot, and sometimes the alkali fields hurt his feet so much that he had a hard time sleeping at night.
Another vivid memory Bert had was of his grandparents (John and Merab
Phillips), recitation of the Mountain Meadow Massacre. It was an extremely
upsetting and painful calamity which h was heightened even more because Ann Gordge, Merab's daughter from her first marriage, was the 19th wife of John D. Lee who was involved in the Massacre.
One wonders why, with the pioneer heritage they had, that the Phillips boys
were never baptized into the Church as youngsters. John Albert was baptized in Rock Creek in Twin Falls, Idaho on January 1, 1913. Some say they had to break the ice, but others say Rock Creek was so swift it never froze over in the wintertime. Whatever the circumstance, the water was very cold, but Bert didn't even notice, he was so warmed by the experience.
After being confirmed, Bert was ordained an Elder in the Melchizedek
Priesthood. He married Lorinda Christina Swenson that same year in the Salt Lake Temple, October 3, 1913.
Orrin joined the church in 1915. Chester never did join the Church. It was
believed that he overheard a conversation between his mother, Elizabeth Jane
Williams Phillips and her Bishop when she asked the Bishop about leaving her husband, John Richard Phillips. He heard the Bishop tell his mother that she should not leave him. This made Chester angry feeling that his mother had suffered too long under the neglect of his father and the loss of her three daughters.
Perhaps Chester’s feelings can be understood in light of a conversation Ora
Lee had with Elizabeth Jane Williams Noyes regarding the day John Albert was born. We have this quote from Ora Lee. “Grandma said she had washed and ironed all day as well as working in the garden alone. She was also alone when my Father was born.”
The three boys all went to school in a two-story red brick schoolhouse in Beaver, Utah. Bert then attended the Beaver branch of Brigham Young University which later became the Murdock Academy. John
Albert was on the track team and ran races. Reinhard Maeser, son of Dr. Karl G. Maeser, was principal of the elementary school and the BYU branch. Bert graduated in 1907. Tuition was $12.00 a year.
Next is a Letter to John Albert from Brigham Young University in Beaver UT.
John Albert was raised pretty much alone by his faithful mother Elizabeth. Albert had been attending a branch of BYU in Beaver and was now graduating in his home town. He received this letter of encouragement from the school Administrator, R. Maeser.
Twin Falls, Idaho
November 16, 1912
My dear brother Phillips,
The other day I was talking with your dear mother, and she gave me such a splendid report of you that I promised myself the pleasure of writing you a few lines, just to let you know that if we are ever so busy there can still be found time to encourage on e of our dear young friends who is pulling in the right direction. Brother Albert, your mother seemed overjoyed at the splendid course you are taking. From her remarks I should judge that you had lately been giving the principles of the Gospel some attention. Now my dear brother, nothing you can ever do will give you so much joy and satisfaction as a careful sincere and prayerful investigation of Mormonism.
Mormonism is the biggest thing on this earth. So many men of learning and broad experience are looking into it. Mormonism is being inquired after everywhere. Our elders in the mission fields are just as busy as they can be answering the many questions put to them and visiting the people who are inquiring about Mormonism. Why, Brother Albert, we have over 2000 missionaries out in the various parts of the world preaching the Gospel
of Jesus Christ and the cry comes from every part, “Send us more missionaries.” I tell you when one begins to inquire into Mormonism he is only doing what thousands of others were doing. Of course it is somewhat different with you than it would be with an entire stranger you are already more than half converted; your mother being a staunch Latter-day Saint
gives you a big start.
Now, Albert, I am deeply interested in the welfare of our Beaver boys and when I learn of one who has found the true path and has set his face toward the light of the Gospel, I am so happy that I want to do something to help along the good work. My dear boy, you have my faith and my prayers for your continued success, and my hope is that God will bless you with that greatest of all blessings a positive testimony that he lives, that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith was the man chosen in our day to establish the Church of Christ
on the earth for the last time. Live a true, honest virtuous life my dear boy. Seek the Lord in prayer, and your prayer combined with that sincere, devout prayer of your mother will lead you into the light of the gospel, which when you have once fully comprehended, will make your heart leap for joy.
Counsel with the brethren whom you may meet around in that neighborhood. Attend the meetings wherever opportunity affords. Be interested in all good things. Live close to the Lord and if you really and sincerely desire to know of the doctrine you shall find out and that right soon.
It is my interest in you and in yours that has impelled me to write these few lines. I hope and trust you will think kindly of them, for I have written them out of the purest motives, and the sincerest desire for your welfare. May God bless you, give you courage to do what is right always, is the hope and wish of your friend and teacher.