Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pioneers: Day Four

I am an 8th generation Mormon on every single genealogical line. I feel so much gratitude for the ancestors that preceded me and for the legacy that they left behind. I have some pretty amazing footsteps to follow, and for that I feel deeply humbled and blessed. But, I have often wondered what it would be like to be the first one in your family to join the church, to be a modern day pioneer. Cory's dad is just that. He joined the church when he was 21 years old. He made that life-changing decision to step into the unknown and act upon his faith in order to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. He has been an active strong member of the church ever since. He and his wife have raised 5 incredible children. All three of the boys have served 2 year missions for the church and as of next month, all 5 children will be sealed to their spouses in the temple.

He is a modern day pioneer. A man who walks in faith and who taught his children to do the same. I absolutely love this picture of him holding Clairisa because I see a grandpa who loves and cherishes his granddaughter, a man who has given his life and heart to God and who knows what it means to anchor himself in faith and cleave unto hope. I will never forget his loving embrace in the hospital or his tender words spoken at the graveside service. I feel so blessed to have two of the most incredible fathers in my life, my own father and my father-in-law, a pioneer in every sense of the word.

7 comments:

Penni said...

I'm enjoying reading your pioneer stories! I always forget to think of my modern-day pioneer family heritage...my mom, dad, and husband are all converts. I know it took so much faith and courage for them!

Penni said...

P.S. Ok, so I was looking back to see when you announced your pregnancy...and thought I wrote a comment, but apparently I didn't. Anyway...CONGRATS (again, b/c the first time was in my mind) on your pregnancy!!! :)

The Rowans said...

I think that is so sweet what you wrote on John. And every word is true! I myself am the first in my family to become a member of the church and I can only hope to accomplish what he has accomplished.

janae said...

Very sweet post. I am sure that he feels lucky to have you as a daughter-in-law too. I hope you are starting to feel a little better my dear.

MommyJ said...

Lovely sentiment. Thanks for sharing! :)

deana said...

I agree very much so. He is loved by many in the Fayetteville Stake. John is a wonderful man who shows his love and gratitude for his Savior. Thanks for sharing!

Mandy said...

How beautiful, Melissa. You just made me cry, you know. You are indeed blessed to have John Mann as a father in your life. That picture is so touching. I just was reminded of how much love he shows to each child he holds. He is one of a kind! Even though I'm not really related, I've watched him feel true joy and love in the arrival of both of our girls into this world -- their "NC Grandpa". John shows us how far 1st generation converts can go in the gospel, and that you can grab hold of the entire gospel in just a short time and dedicate your life to choosing the right and service.

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