The weekend of October 3 & 4 brought the broadcast of the LDS General Conference into our home. I love those April and October weekends of marathon church! It’s taken me a long time to feel that way, but at this time in my life I really anticipate and appreciate the chance to listen to Church leaders and be uplifted and inspired by talks like this counsel regarding the need to show and express love to my family members, or this powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon, and this gentle reminder to look for opportunities to be of service.
Yesterday while looking for something else (sometimes my lack of organization does pay off), I came across the history of my great grandfather, Thomas B. Brown (27 December 1824 – 18 June 1899). In light of the previous conference weekend, this excerpt really touched my heart:
“Thomas dearly loved to go to the semi-annual conferences in Salt Lake City. There was not transportation other than horse and buggy. Since he had neither of these, he would walk to Salt Lake City. Two days before conference, Eliza [his wife] would prepare some bread, cheese and fruit, and tie it up in a red handkerchief. Very early in the morning, he would set out. He walked as far as Farmington the first day, getting there about dusk. A fine spring by the side of the road supplied him with a good cold drink of water. After reaching Farmington, he would go to an old friend’s place, Brother Parret, who came from England also. He would spend the night with Brother Parret and his family, and arise early the next morning in order to be in Salt Lake City in time for conference. It would take him two days to complete his journey. He would attend all three days of meetings and then walk back to North Ogden. He traveled over 100 miles round trip, and did so for many years, twice a year.
Thomas said that when all the apostles and other speakers would talk, it was most grand to hear them, but when Brigham Young stood up he started in where all the others left off. His sermons were so powerful and inspirational that the other talks were pale in comparison. Thomas said that if the distance had been twice as far for him to walk, he would have done so, just to have the privilege of hearing Brigham Young speak. On his return, he always brought his children a treat of store candy. It was usually peppermints, and oh, how good they tasted coming all the way from Salt Lake City.”
And I was really happy for the faith and conviction of my ancestors . . . as well as the modern convenience of BYU television.