Our Family Legacy
My brothers and sisters, we have met here to honor one of our pioneer sisters and to pay our final respects to one who is beloved by her community and who has been a wonderful mother to her family the services of Sister Lorena Larsen.
Prayer will be offered by Bishop Sowards. This will be followed by a song from Glen Turner, followed by a talk from Arthur Lundgren of Monroe North Ward. That will be followed by a talk from Lucian Winget.
PRAYER Bishop Wilbur Sowards
Our Father who art in heaven. We thy children have assembled here this beautiful afternoon to honor and pay respects to a daughter and handmaiden of Thee, a wife and a mother. We thank Thee, our Heavenly Father, for having known this good woman. Our lives have been enriched by our association with her and with this splendid family. She has given to this world noble sons and daughters who will carry on as she has carried on, and we thank Thee for the inspiration we have received from these noble sons and daughters; and our Father, as we wait before Thee this afternoon, we pray that Thou wilt grant us Thy spirit that those who may sing may furnish beautiful strains of music that we may be inspired, and that those who speak may be led to speak the truth and those sayings which would help us to carry on in life and be sustained.
We thank Thee, Heavenly Father, for the plan of salvation which Thou hast given unto us through Thy servants whom Thou hast inspired and for all the blessings Thou hast conferred upon us. We pray Thee to bless the sons and the daughters, the grandsons and granddaughters and their children. Grant unto them peace; grant unto them joy in the fact that they have known and are following in the footsteps of their noble mother and their noble grandmother.
We ask Thee to grant us these blessings in the worthy name of Jesus, Thy Son, Amen.
SONG Glen Turner, accompanied by Lucile Turner
TALK Arthur Lundgren
Members of the Larsen family, and friends. It is with humility that I stand before you this afternoon, and yet with a great degree of appreciation in my heart that you have selected me to say a few words at the funeral of your dear mother.
I do appreciate my friendship to you all and to your dear mother more than I can express this afternoon. My recollections of Mother Larsen, if I may call her Mother Larsen, go back to my fondest recollections. She had that motherly ability to get her arm around a boy or girl early in life and keep them in line. She often put her arm around me and encouraged me. I wondered why she selected me. Then I thought, if I have received any share of the love that she gave to others, because I saw it reflected time and time again, I would be ungrateful if I did not mention that as I grew into boyhood many a time I found her arm around me and she gave me a love tap and gave me encouragement, saying, "Stay on the right track, dear brother. The Lord has things in store for you."
As I grew older she seemed to keep close to me. I remember well when I was put into the bishopric as a counselor. She seemed so appreciative of that fact. When I was made her youthful bishop, I felt so young and incapable. I felt I couldn't take that responsibility. One of the first to edge up to me was Sister Larsen. She put her arm around me and said she would give me her full support, and she did.
She never let me down. I appreciated her so much. She was so anxious to see our ward have a new chapel. She was with me when I started that out. She certainly gave us her support in her humble way. It was thrilling to her to see that chapel erected across the road from her home, to watch it grow and to meet in that House of the Lord.
I just mention these conditions to show that she was back of me always and I did appreciate the wonderful strength that it gave to me and will continue to give me. I think of all that she did for us. Her love for all boys and girls was very noticeable. Many times she came to me after a meeting or some other occasion and she would tell me that she was interested in this or that boy.
"Could you go and put your arm around him and help him. I would like to have you help me to keep him on the right track." I appreciated her doing that and it has helped me. It has helped me know how to get around boys and girls, and to encourage them because she had the key to that kind of success. She had lots of sympathy and the ability to overlook little misgivings here and there. She was never the one to push them down, just the reverse. She was always with them to lift them up.
To her family, boys and girls, I learned to know you early in life and to appreciate every one of you. I learned to see you take your places in life beautifully and I am sure you have all brought joy and pride unto your dear mother because of your desire to follow the paths of truth and righteousness, and you should have joy in your hearts today for being good sons and daughters of your beloved mother. She surely has given you a lovely heritage. My association with you has been close and dear and I want you to know that I appreciate you all. That friendship that was in your mother went out in every direction.
I want to mention now while it comes to mind that Brother Lewis Anderson, one of your good neighbors, came over before I left this morning and said, "Bring my love and respect to all the Larsens. I love those people. I lived across the road from Sister Larsen."
I just want to relate one little incident. I am going to relate it now. Once when my mother was very very sick and my sister Audrey was a baby and weak we were very concerned about her because she was not able to get her proper nurse to get her well. At the same time another woman in town was very sick. She too had a little babe she couldn't nurse properly. Do you know, Sister Larsen sent word to have those two children brought to her and she nursed the three babes while their mothers were getting their strength back to live. It is wonderful that she would take over two other sick children; that was just her character, wanting to help and share and give. Besides taking care of this lovely family of six daughters and three sons and helping with others and circumstances were not too flushed in those days let me tell you, she had to work day and night to keep things going yet on the side she was always constantly in a church position.
She started at ten being president of a Junior Relief Society in Manti for two years, when her father and mother moved to Monroe. In 1876 she became a counselor to the Young Ladies Mutual Improvement Association which was organized that year, which position she held two years. In 1878 she became president of the Young Ladies Mutual Association and was president ten years, giving wonderful service to the youth in that community. In 1889 she became a temple worker in the Manti Temple, a work that she never neglected and she always appreciated so much working for her departed dead. In 1907 I think she became president of the Relief Society of Monroe North Ward and was president for ten long years. At that time she went into genealogical work and when the stake was divided she became a member of the Stake Genealogical Society and was that until 1940. From that time until this I question if anyone has done more work in research and recording than Sister Larsen. I have seen her light burning as late as it might have been when I came from some meeting and there she had been recording names. She has become a savior on Mount Zion. She has done work for those who could not save themselves, those who had passed from this sphere of action. It is a work that had to be done, and is there anyone who has a fuller reward in the eternal kingdom? She is a wonderful friend to all. I realize there are more parts on the program, so in closing I want to relate a few lines that I think are appropriate.
Life is sweet just because of the friends
we have made
That is the joy Sister Larsen has had and has given to others. May the Lord bless you all as daughters, sons, granddaughters and grandsons and on out and out in that stream. May you never forget that wonderful mother and grandmother you have had, I know you won't; you couldn't, because she has implanted something into you. When I met you, I could see that mark of honesty and friendship in your eyes that has come from your dear mother and grandmother.
May the Lord bless us to follow her example I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
TALK Lucian Winget
Aunt Lorena's family and friends. I feel that I ought to be down there on the mourner's bench along with the rest of you. Aunt Lorena is my Aunt and the only aunt that I have had for some time. She is a great pal too. She has always been a great pal to me and everybody else. She lived to a great old age, yet at the same time she is only about 8 years older than I am. My mother was one of the oldest in the family and she was the youngest, and we only lived across the street from each other during the young days, and she was in our home a great deal of the time, helping my mother with her family and to rear them, so we became great pals.
I well remember the first time I ever tried to dance the square dance Aunt Lorena was my partner. I will never forget the time she got married. Brother Larsen came up in the covered spring-seated wagon. It took six days to reach St. George where they were married. I remember how I hated to see her go because I knew from then on we wouldn't be together so much. She was a genuine pioneer. She has helped her mother wash the wool, spin the yarn, put it in the weaves and weave it, cut it up and then make the cloth from start to finish. So you see, she was a genuine pioneer; and her father, I worked for him too. Her father would take the raw hide from the cows and he would tan the leather and then make shoes. He never had any tacks used pegs never knew what a tack was. They made good material too.
She was always on the frontier practically all her life. She has had some hard struggles in rearing her family but she always depended on the Lord and she came out all right. There was nothing she couldn't do and wouldn't do, and her health wasn't the best either. She told me many times she had to get out of bed she got so nervous lying there.
If anybody was in trouble they called on Aunt Lorena. She was always there. She would always share with the other fellow no matter what she was doing. I have had the privilege of working with Aunt Lorena the last few years in the genealogical work. I worked with her for fifteen years. She is one of the Lord's choice spirits. You can't get away from it. So you see we have been quite closely connected and I am mighty thankful I had the privilege to say a few words in behalf of Aunt Lorena. She is my pal.
I ask the Lord to bless her family. There is no use to tell them to follow in her footsteps. They are all converted to that and they are an example in any community they live in. I thank you.
We will now be favored with a musical selection from Dan Bartholomew, a grandson from Springville. This will be followed by a tribute from the Stake Genealogical Committee, to be read by Sister Ellen Jenson.
PIANO SOLO Dan Bartholomew, "Chapel Chimes".
TRIBUTES Read by Ellen Jenson
A TRIBUTE TO A FORMER MEMBER OF THE SOUTH SEVIER STAKE GENEALOGICAL COMMITTEE SISTER LORENA E. W. LARSEN
Whereas a merciful and all wise God has seen fit to call to her eternal rest our beloved Sister with whom we have, for many years past, had the privilege of working with in many different capacities; while we humbly bow to the supreme wisdom of the Great Creator, yet we have sustained a loss beyond the power of mortals to restore.
Sister Lorena Larsen possessed an unfaltering faith in God and His great plan of salvation and was ever ready to labor for the right and truth. She was called to labor on the South Sevier Stake Genealogical Committee at the time of the organization of that Stake in 1921, where she faithfully worked with love and respect for twenty years. We shall always remember her wise counsel and advice; her untiring faith and willingness to perform her duties in this, the most glorious work for the redemption of our dead. She had a perfect understanding of this great work and spent a great deal of her busy life working on genealogical records and in doing research of her own ancestry as well as helping others in their work. Besides being a true and faithful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and a true friend and neighbor in very deed, she always found time to work in the temples of our Lord for her departed ancestors.
We, as former members of the South Sevier Stake Genealogical Committee, extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family and relatives. She has now gone back to the God who gave her mortal life to enjoy the many rich blessings in store for her, and again meet her loved ones and friends who have passed on before, and who will gladly unite with her in the Kingdom of our Lord and Father.
Lucian Winget, Mary Ellen Winget, Melbourne DeMill, Jennie DeMill, Ellen L. A. Jenson Former Members of the South Sevier Stake Genealogical Committee, By Ellen L. A. Jenson
A TRIBUTE OF RESPECT TO A FORMER MEMBER AND PRESIDENT OF THE MONROE NORTH WARD RELIEF SOCIETY SISTER LORENA E. W. LARSEN
For several years now our organization has experienced the void caused by the absence of a former member and one-time President of our organization. While we have missed her, there was comfort in the fact that she was not wholly lost to us and we were always happy for news which came of her and grateful when she was able to return home for a visit. Although we had ceased to call her name when we called the roll, we had not ceased to think of her as one of us and remember with gratitude the quality of her achievements and the benefits derived from our associations with her.
Sister Larsen was active in the Relief Society in the early days of Monroe, both as a member and as an officer and when the Monroe Ward was divided she became the first President of the North Ward Relief Society. This position she held with honor and credit for ten years, from 1907 to 1917.
She will long be remembered for her fine qualities of ability and leadership. Relief Society work was one of her major interests, and she gave freely of her time and talents to this work. She had a keen mind and a tender and generous heart. She was friendly, pleasant, kind, considerate and all these qualities were imbedded in a deep spirituality which was so characteristic of her life. To those of us who were younger than she in years and experiences, she was ever a source of information and inspiration.
As comes the close of day with merciful sleep to those who are weary and by toil have earned quiet repose, so comes the end of the journey of life to those whom the years have worn with well doing.
To this family of Sister Larsen, we, the members of the Monroe North Ward Relief Society offer our heartfelt sympathy and while we feel a great loss at her passing, let us be consoled in the certain knowledge that every parting will be followed by another meeting in that bright abode toward which our separate journeys are moving as the years, the days and the hours pass.
We offer to her family this humble but deeply sincere tribute to a dearly loved and highly respected member and President of our organization. We shall always think of her tenderly for she has left us an inspiration in her lovely character and in the record of her splendid and useful life.
"The hours fly; the flowers die, but the light of remembrance remains."
Tenderly and affectionately given by officers and members of the Monroe North Ward Relief Society, By Nita C. Hansen
Brother Jesse Washburn will now speak to us.
TALK Jesse Washburn
My dear relatives and friends and brothers and sisters. I want to express publicly my sincere appreciation for the opportunity which has come to me as a result of the restored gospel and of being related to this wonderful family, representatives of which are here today. I am more than proud to belong to the group, and I very much feel that my place is among the mourners today.
I feel very humble in saying a few words and I want to bear testimony to the truthfulness of what has been said of my dear Aunt Lorena. I am sorry that I have not been as attentive to her as I should have been. I have called often, but not often enough. I got the history of the family from Aunt Lorena. She has seventeen grandsons in the service. They will miss her when they return. We will all miss her. We don't grieve because we know it is a life well spent.
I knew Aunt Lorena before I ever met her. I met her when I was thirteen years old and she was twenty-six. I was just half her age, but the last few years I have gained on her, until now I am almost caught up with her, and if we had both kept on living, I think I would have passed her.
She is the last link left on the tree not one of the original stock is left now. A few years ago she came to the seminary to relate some experiences to my classes. It was a wonderful day. We had a couple of hours at lunch then, and we had the lunch brought in and Aunt Lorena and I visited. It was the best visit I ever had with her in my life. I doubt if her own children know some of the stories she told. I am going to relate one or two of them today.
She said to me, "Jesse, do you know why your father died so suddenly?" I didn't know.
"I want to tell you," she said. "I was living in Monroe."
Before I tell that I want to tell you instead about when she was in Eastern Utah. Bent was a little fellow then and she had one more child at that time. She was on the underground; she was the plural wife and during the polygamy trouble she had to keep out of the way of the United States Marshal. She lived in part of our house. That is where I became acquainted with her and her kind, sweet disposition. I won't forget her. While she was there the Manifesto was issued. I will never forget that day. There was a lot of weeping, but no complaining that day. I met her only occasionally from then until that day in the seminary when she told me about father.
She said, "We were in Monroe. I was sick. My daughter had just recently died and she had left some little children. I was caring for them and I took sick. I realized I was facing the possibility of death and I was worried about my children. One day as I was thinking it over and praying that I might be restored to life, my father stood beside my bed. It wasn't a dream. It was a reality. My father was here and I was wide awake. He said, Lorena, I have come after you. Then I began to plead with my father. I told him my children would be without a mother. I pleaded that if it were possible to let me remain. He said he would go back and report, and if a transfer could be made, it would be done, and so he returned."
Two weeks from that day, my father was dead. He said it had to be a member of the family, and in place of Lorena, I am sure my father was taken. He was sick only a short time and passed away. That accounts for it, and I believe every word of it.
At the same time she said, "Father, if you will let me remain, I will never complain at my lot or the hardships I must pass through. I will devote my entire life to genealogical and temple work." Those who are here today who know her, know she kept her part of the contract.
A year or two after that the responsibility of the genealogical and temple work rested heavily on her so much so that she couldn't get it out of her mind. She worked day and night. One morning she went early to the Manti temple. She got there before time for the work to begin. It was a beautiful spring day. She said she was thinking on the way up about the great amount of work and the few she had been able to interest in the work. Instead of going into the temple, she walked from the back to the front of the temple and walked to the edge of the hill right in front of the temple, overlooking the graveyard at the foot of the hill. Still on her mind was the responsibility of the temple work which was moving so slowly. As she looked into the cemetery her mind was enlightened and a vision was opened before her. She saw living people among the dead in the cemetery and people everywhere were standing with their right arms pointed, extended toward her. It lasted but a moment, but she knew then the extent of this temple work. There were millions of them who were depending upon her her work and the people she could get.
One more little incident. Some time after that she had worked so hard collecting some names. She had quite a lot of them, and a lot of those collected were ready for temple work. She went among her friends and family and went all over town and visited each one of them and explained about the work to be done. They all agreed to go on a certain date to the temple. She went home so happy, very happy indeed. The time soon came to go to the temple, in one day the trip was to be made. The night before they were to start, she went the rounds again and every single one but one had excuses why they couldn't go. They made excuses and had something to do so they couldn't leave. She went home and threw herself on the bed and wept and her daughter came in and said, "Mother, we can put it up to the Lord."
They prayed by the bed and nobody has ever uttered a more sincere prayer than she did that night. She went to the temple and took the list of names the next day. Two women and one man, and a long list of names.
When there, there was a big crowd of people around. Something seemed to be wrong. They seemed uncertain what to do. The President of the Temple said, "There's Sister Larsen. She has come."
She found that the company had come from another ward and had lost a list of names they were to work for that day. She was there with names but no one to do the work. A large group of people were there with no names to do. She saw that her prayer had been answered. The work was done for all the names on that list that day. She arranged for that company to come back and said she would assist them in their work. So God brought about that her prayers were answered and her labors were not in vain.
She was indeed one of the greatest temple workers and genealogical workers who has lived on the earth. Who will take her place? Who can and will assume the responsibility that this dear old Aunt Lorena has assumed for all of us?
I pray God will bless us and we will rally to the support of the work that she has so nobly carried through, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
TALK Bishop Ariel Ballif
My brothers and sisters. It is my pleasure through the courtesy of the family to have a few moments this afternoon. I have known a good number of you a long time. I have been very much impressed with their kindness to their mother. For the past four years she has lived across the street from me. Rather, I have lived across the street from her. I have had the pleasure of meeting her often enough to know the spirit of her life and it has been a strong testimony to me to see the interest she had in the work she was doing. We know how effectively she lived her life. She had a way of becoming essential to people and getting into their lives. She wasn't able to be in the ward house often, but she inspired us all in our visits to her.
Sister Larsen was very much tied up with her ward in Monroe. She hesitated a long time before moving her recommend, not because she had any prejudice for this ward, but because she was definitely attached to her ward in Monroe. Eventually, for convenience she had her recommend transferred to our ward. We were very happy to have it that way because it pleased her. That is the reason I have the privilege of participating with you at this time.
I learned to know Sister Larsen as one who suffered a great deal. She was a pioneer. Anyone who was a pioneer had difficulties and hardships to meet. She had raised a large family and that again brings hardship. No woman can bear a large number of children and raise them without hardship that accompanies that type of experience. She had then a great deal of work. She told us many of the things she had to do in the early periods in Utah. Out of her hardship she obtained happiness and received a satisfaction. She enjoyed her family; they were a thrill to her. There was never a time but she had something good to say about members of the family, not only the children but the grandchildren. I suppose there are great grandchildren numbers of them.
She had joy in all her work and her suffering was compensated greatly by the things her family did. She obtained great satisfaction out of the service she rendered to others. I have heard her tell of going to places where people needed assistance. B. F. has told me of how in her associations with people she had become so much a part of their lives that though she was separated from people a great time they had her come with them to help relieve suffering and she would go and participate and help relieve suffering and sorrow. She received joy in her service.
She had satisfaction that most of us could envy her for at a life well spent and work well done. Those are things that appeared to me. I feel that I have never met a person who had a right to say some complaining things and yet who said nothing. She never complained. She was lonesome many times, but her children were wonderful to her. B. F. often went and spent an evening with her and gave her care and comfort that she so desired. It is difficult for members of the family to return to their parents' home sometimes, but these people I have watched as they have rallied around their mother, comforting her in her old age.
If we live as we believe, we will demonstrate, as she has done, the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All one had to do was to know her life to know of her goodness. It is something for us all to pattern after. She had unwavering faith in eternal life. She lived and worked these last few years to get more of her temple work done. She didn't want to leave this earth until she had done all she could for those on the other side. They were real to her, people generations and generations back which she had never known until her research.
Eternal life will be just a changing or an opening and closing of the door for Sister Larsen. She will go on into the happiness she has worked for. The lives of people like this come from living the gospel. I trust that we as members of this ward and her family may be able to follow her example. It is the thing that is intended in the gospel itself. The gospel is something to live for, not to talk about.
I want to express the appreciation of the family to you for the kindness you have shown in her sickness and in the time following her death. May you go on living a life like your mother's. The Lord will say to her, "Enter into thy rest. Thy work has been faithful and well done."
May the Lord bless you continually I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
We will conclude by Glen and his wife singing us a song, after which the closing prayer will be offered by C. H. Muhlstein.
SONG Glen and Lucille Turner, I Know That My Redeemer Lives
PRAYER C. H. Muhlstein
Our kind Heavenly Father. We bow in humble humility before Thee at the close of this serene, splendid service which has just concluded in honor and farewell of Thy daughter and our Sister Larsen. Heavenly Father, from what has been said and what we have heard we have been forced to the conclusion that we know very little about the true and noble character of this great woman. We realize, however, Heavenly Father, the truth of the words of Thy Son while He was living here in mortality, that "By their fruits ye shall know them," and if we are to judge Sister Larsen by the fruits that are evident here today and by reports from places where she has lived and labored, she has been and become great.
Heavenly Father, we have cause to rejoice that we have had the privilege of meeting such a great character and feeling of the love she has shed wherever she has lived. She has scattered sunshine, blessings and relief to all those with whom she has been. Although she has been here but a short time, we appreciate our association with her and are thankful for her life. Help us to follow the example of this good woman. Heavenly Father, we pray that Thou wilt bless us, and on this occasion bless those of the grandchildren who are in the service of their country. May their lives be precious in Thy sight and may they be inspired to do that which is acceptable before Thee to live prayerful, clean, pure lives so that they will be able to meet their dear grandmother in the world to come.
We pray that Thou wilt bless us on the way to the cemetery that no accident or harm may befall anyone and bless those from distant places that they might return there in safety and rejoice over this service. We ask these blessings in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
DEDICATORY PRAYER Alfonso Winget
Our Father in Heaven. In the worthy name of Thy blessed Son, Jesus Christ, we the relatives and friends of our beloved sister, Sister Lorena E. W. Larsen, have assembled around this open spot at this time at the climax and benediction to the services of this day to perform the last act pertaining to the mortal life of our beloved relative, that of depositing her remains in mother earth, inasmuch as she has finished her career on earth and has gone back to receive her reward in Heaven.
We thank thee for this opportunity to express our love and appreciation for this noble woman and we are grateful for the life she has lived and for those things which she has accomplished in life.
In the name of Thy beloved Son, I dedicate this spot of earth and all that pertains thereunto for the remains of our beloved relative as a resting place for her mortal remains until Thou in Thy wisdom shall see fit to call her forth in a newness of life when the blessings she has earned here in her mortal life are fully realized.
Father, protect this spot of earth from the elements and from everything of a destructive nature. Cause that it may be a hallowed place for those who come here from time to time and bring flowers as an evidence of their love and respect for this beloved daughter of Thine, and may we ever show our appreciation of her wonderful life by following her footsteps, devoting our lives and dedicating all of that we have to this Thy service.
To this end we pray and dedicate this particular spot of earth for this sacred purpose, praying Thy blessings to accompany her beloved family and all those who are interested in the common plan of life and salvation that has been restored for the blessing, salvation and exaltation of Thy children. To this end we pray, dedicating ourselves unto Thee and Thy service, in the worthy name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, Amen.
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