Archive for September, 2011

Where is your faith, Brother?

George Reid was a man of great faith.  His confidence and trust in God was exemplified in every aspect of his life, and he desired to share that virtue with everyone he associated with.  It’s safe to say that there were few, if any, patrons who stopped at his service station, or Davis County residents who came under his jurisdiction as the Justice of the Peace, or the myriad of friends, family, church members and other associates who did not know and were not affected in some significant way by the manifestation of George’s great faith.

Elder George Reid in a moment of contemplation at the Joseph Smith home, Palmyra, New York.

The following is an account of one such occasion while serving as a missionary at the Joseph Smith home in Palmyra, New York when George’s faith was manifest in rich abundance.

To the Reid Family:

I have been involved for the last 37 years in directing youth tours to all the Church History sites across America.  One of the most important and cherished sites to all members of the Church is the Sacred Grove where Joseph Smith had the First Vision of the Father and Son.  In all the experiences I have had at these sites over the years, and especially at the Sacred Grove, one special experience that stands out and one that I tell a lot—involved Elder Reid, Stan’s Father and your Grandfather.

It was early June of 1975 when we were at Palmyra to visit the Grove.

The night before it was raining very hard as it does in the East—and I was concerned that the rain may continue into the next day and spoil our visit to the Grove.  Sure enough, the next morning it was still raining hard with no sign of it letting up.  I had talked to Elder Reid on the phone previously to tell him of our coming—and so I thought I should call him and tell him that maybe we would wait for a while and see if the rain would stop.  As I told him that on the phone—there was a pause on the phone, then in a firm and convincing voice Elder Reid said, “Brother Eliason, you get over here right now and don’t delay—where is your faith Brother?”

The tone of his voice was enough to know that he meant what he said and the assurance that I felt from this “mild rebuke” prompted me to get the students on the bus immediately and get to the Sacred Grove.

We drove for about 30 minutes through a down pour of rain, hoping that it would stop before we reached the Grove.  It did not!  As we reached the Smith farm house and began to park the busses—Elder Reid came out of the home with an umbrella protecting him from the down pour.

He greeted us warmly as he stepped on the bus, the rain water dripping off the umbrella onto the steps of the bus.

After a short greeting he stood at the front of the bus and addressed the group.  Standing before this group of wonderful young people, with signs of rain drops on his suit he said, “Young people, I ask you if you have enough faith to step off this bus and walk into the Grove to feel what Joseph experienced in this sacred spot?  You have come too far not to have this experience.”  Then turning to me he said in a firm and humble voice, “Brother Eliason, if you have enough faith to ask the Lord to stop the rain for your visit here, I promise you that you will step off this bus and will have the time you need to visit the Grove and do what you came for.”  We then had a prayer on the bus and ask everyone to have their own prayer.  The other bus was wondering what we were going to do, so we told them and they had a prayer on their  bus.  When I opened the door it was still raining—hard!  But because of Elder Reid’s faith and the faith he had generated with us, we stepped off the bus, got about ten or twenty feet from the bus and the rain began to stop.  By the time we had reached the Grove the rain had completely stopped.  The sky was still dark with clouds but within 30 minutes the sun came out, dried the ground and  the trees.  That day we had a testimony meeting that lasted almost three hours.  As we ended the meeting and started for the bus we felt a few drops of rain—as we had noticed some clouds rolling in toward us.  Then we literally had to run for the bus as the rain again came in torrents as it did earlier that morning!

We were truly blessed that day with a miracle from our Heavenly Father because of a faithful Elder who  instilled in us his faith and the knowledge that our Father in Heaven loves us and knows our hearts and desires.  I will always be grateful for Elder Reid, for what he taught all of us that day in June of 1975.  Many have heard that story of faith and many more will be told of that special experience at the Sacred Grove.

Bob Eliason

Director, Heritage Tours

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