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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, March 06, 2016

J. Golden is my cousin.

That would explain a lot. Jonathon Golden Kimball was a son of Heber C. Kimball, one of the early prophet-presidents of the Church. He is one of the more colorful characters in Mormon history, having spent many of his early years working as a muleskinner, and has always been a favorite of mine since learning about him. Last night I was noodling around on Relative Finder and discovered to my delight that he is my tenth cousin four times removed. I am probably still more like him than his more famous relative, Spencer W. Kimball (eleventh cousin, three times removed).

Orrin Porter Rockwell is another fascinating character. Among other things, he served as a bodyguard to the prophet Joseph. He is my ninth cousin five times removed. I'm wondering if that is nearer, farther, or about the same as J. Golden. I have a biography of Porter Rockwell sitting a shelf in my church bookcase, waiting for me to get around to reading it.

I was on Relative Finder to see if there is a connection with one of the General Authorities who is here to reorganize the stake this weekend. There is not. But I worked with the father of one of them, forty years ago in Boise, and I wrote a note for him to forward to his father.

The most important thing that will happen today is the reorganizing of the stake at the general session of stake conference, where we learn who the new stake presidency will be. (Our leadership is chosen by revelation and sustained by the members. They will serve without pay until they are released. And work their regular jobs. And honor their family responsibilities.)

My first Sunday at church was a week before my baptism. A modern apostle of the Lord presided, to reorganize that stake. For the curious, that was Bruce R. McConkie (thirteenth cousin). As an investigator of the Church, I got to sit in one of the front rows at that stake center with my missionaries, and I got to shake his hand. It was like shaking hands with an electric fence. (The Force was strong with that one!)

I have since met several more General Authorities, back when the Church was smaller, and they were able to visit the stakes more often. I have shaken the hand of Boyd K. Packer (tenth cousin) and Neal A. Maxwell (tenth cousin once removed). These men are truly called of God. And it is no accident that Heaven found my cousin, my grandmother, and me, and gathered us into the fold.

(I am also related to a host of other people that I'd rather not claim: Butch Cassidy, Jesse James and Hanoi Jane, to name a few. More proof that you can't choose your relatives.)

I found out that I might be related to my friend Tan. That would be even cooler than being related to all sorts of famous LDS dead people, not to mention the infamous gentiles. I'll research her lead in the near future, but for now I need to get ready for church.

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