July 24th marks the anniversary of the pioneer saints entering the Salt Lake valley and Brigham Young announcing, “This is the place!” We celebrate with a big parade downtown and a world class rodeo (which I have only attended once in my life when a neighbor offered us free tickets). Many companies give employees the day off, but not the one my sweetie works for. This year the 24th falls on a Sunday, so the parade and other festivities are being held on the 25th. My sweetie and I were both born and raised in Utah and we have pioneers in every line of our family. In an effort to honor our ancestry, I’d like to tell you a little about one of them.
It was 1862 in Mt. Pleasant, Utah. Little Eliza Jane was 18 months old and she liked to follow her daddy, Nathan Staker into the orchard when he went to work. This worried her mom because there was a large ditch that ran close by (I’m sorry, I told you before that I had shared all my drowning stories, but I found one more). One day after lunch Eliza Jane was missing. They looked everywhere for her. Finally someone thought of the ditch. She was there, floating in the water wedged against the dam. She had been missing for over an hour and nothing could revive her.
Her grieving parents decided to send for Elder Orson Hyde who lived 5 miles away in Spring City. When Elder Hyde got there, he looked at Eliza Jane’s little body. She had no pulse and no heartbeat. Her body was getting cold. He told the Stakers, “She is dead and it isn’t pleasing in the sight of the Lord that we should try to bring back our dead after He has called them home.” Her dad said that he always tried to do what the Lord wanted, but that she was promised in her blessing that she would grow to womanhood and become a mother in Israel. “In that case,” said Elder Hyde, “I will ask God to restore your little girl to life again.” It wasn’t long before Eliza’s little body was once again warm and pink. Eliza Jane lived to bear 13 children (I told you it runs in the family!).
|Dog Walker and Teach pretending to be pioneers|