Sunday, March 13, 2011

Life, Works of Stake Patriarch by Gordon B. Hinckley

Dear friends and family: Good morning! Here is an article I found among my mother's things with a picture of Grandpa Woodbury, by Gordon B. Hinckley, some years ago before he became President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I share it with you because of my love and respect for him as Grandpa, and as Patriarch and as father to my mother, Jennie May Woodbury Lee as well.
I have attached a picture of Grandpa and Grandma Lee so you may see he and his wonderful wife, and our grandmother, who acted as his scribe for many years, and wrote with her own hand many blessings given by her husband, Patriarch Charles R. Woodbury, including my very own blessing. Have a wonderful day, and know that you are loved. Your friend and brother. Jim
Life, Works of Stake Patriarch
By Gordon B. Hinckley
(Note: Sebrina C. Ekins, Church News correspondent and president of the YWMIA of Deseret Stake, supplied the material used in the following story, and to her full credit and appreciation are extended.)
"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the workings of miracles; to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits..."
In the life and works of Charles R. Woodbury have been made manifest all of these wondrous gifts described by the Apostle Paul. A long-time resident of Millard County and patriarch of Deseret Stake since 1940, he stands among those who have served the Lord well, and who in return have been blessed with gifts vouchsafed only to a chosen few.
During the eight years he has served as patriarch nearly 600 people have sought blessings under his hands. Recognizing in him an inspired servant of God, they have come to him in faith, and have left reassured. And in the fulfillment of those blessings they have witnessed the gifts of prophecy and the discerning of spirits.
For more than half a century the sick and the lame have sought him out. In the powers of the priesthood he has administered to them, and there are those not a few who have testified that through that power the blind have been made to see, the deaf have been made to hear, the lame have been made to walk, and those who were ill have been healed.
Observing people coming to his humble door, seeking a blessing, there comes to mind the picture of Peter and John and the lame man at the temple gate: "Then Peter said, 'Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I unto thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazereth rise up and walk."
Patriarch Woodbury knows, of course that there are times when those in this life must respond to a call from the other. He has felt his prayers unanswered, only later to receive assurance through the ministrations of the Spirit that a higher call was awaiting those who were lingering between life and death.
His faith and his assurance of the hand of the Lord have been confirmed by experiences in his own life. The chronicle of his narrow escapes with death remind one of President Wilford Woodruff's account of his "Chapter of accidents:" "I have broken both legs...both arms, both ankles, my breast bone, and three ribs; I have been scalded, frozen, and drowned...The repeated deliverance from all these remarkable dangers I ascribe to the mercies of my Heavenly Father."
When he was three years old, Charles Woodbury pulled a pan of hot milk from the table. The scalding liquid burned him from head to foot. People shook their heads. How could he live? But his mother pleaded with the Lord, and the clear assurance came to her three different times that his life would be spared.
Four years later, he fell from a farm wagon, and one of the heavy wheels passed over his head. Those who saw him testify that his head swelled twice its natural size. But his father administered to him in the power of the priesthood, and he has lived 63 years since that time.
At the age of twelve, he almost froze to death while traveling fifteen miles on horseback in bitter weather. With a strong north wind sweeping snow across the flats, the only thing that kept him going was remembrance of his mother's admonition never to stop nor lie down when he became sleepy in the cold. He was sobbing and nearly frozen when he reached home. His brother lifted him from the horse, and the family packed him in snow to slowly revive his dying limbs.
In 1913 his heart twice stopped beating during an operation, and the attending surgeon thought he was dead. Three years later he underwent another operation and he was 52 hours coming out of the anaesthetic. His condition was considered critical, but on the twelfth day he was out of bed and walked twelve blocks to the Salt Lake Tabernacle. He attributes his recovery to the power of the Lord manifest in his behalf. Since then he has had two other serious illnesses, during one of which nine doctors in consultation expressed the opinion that he could not live more than three days. He recently suffered a narrow escape in an automobile accident. He believes that the hand of the Lord has thwarted the forces of evil in all of these deliverances.
It is small wonder that he appreciates the narrow margin that separates this life from the next. With such understanding, and endowed with the powers of the priesthood and the gift of faith, he has stood as a tower of strength and a fount of hope to those who have come seeking the healing gifts of the Lord, and the blessings that come only through a chosen patriarch."
Patriarch Charles Robert Goddard Woodbury
28 July 2006
I remember Grandpa, a man of humble birth,
Whose life was spared many times,
While here upon the earth.
His faith was tried and tested many times while here,
And yet the Lord sustained him,
Through every trial and tear.
He bore the Holy Priesthood restored in latter days,
Through Joseph Smith, the Prophet,
And often sang his praise.
He bore his testimony through everything he did,
And served the Lord and Savior,
And tried his best to rid
The world of pain and sorrow, and also suffering,
By giving Priesthood blessings,
To every human being
Who sought a blessing at his hand, and they received the same,
Rejoicing in his lovelight,
Who never sought for fame,
But always gave the credit and honor unto He
Who is our Heavenly Father,
And God eternally.
A humble giant of the Lord gave life and meaning here,
Both to friend and stranger,
While sharing love and cheer,
And following the Savior, and doing what he could,
To cheer and bless and gladden,
Because he understood
Just how fragile life is, through all he went through here,
And all the things he suffered,
With every passing year.
With faith in every footstep, and trust in God above,
He here performed his labors,
And shared his Father's love,
And truly made a difference throughout his life on earth,
And magnified the Priesthood,
Though humble was his birth.
And thousands came to know him, and through him, Christ, the Lord,
His friend and also advocate,
Which all may here afford
By following Christ's examples just as he did here,
Who's joined the choirs of angels
Who dwell in heaven's sphere.
And who continues sharing his love and blessings there,
Just the way that he did here,
Which he was glad to share.
Oh may his memory linger, and truly light our way,
And help us face life's trials,
And help us to obey,
So we may join him up above, as his posterity,
Singing Father's praises
For all eternity.
I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Your friend and brother.
Jim Lee

No comments:

Post a Comment