Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Peacemaking President: Pearl Drake Haynes

I'm reading a book right now called Before the Dawn by Dean Hughes, about this tough, ornery farm widow who gets called to be the Relief Society President of her LDS ward during the Great Depression. In the middle of laughing my head off and seeing glimpses of several tough women I've known, I realized that I never shared the story that Aunt Mary Loomis contributed about her mom, my Great Grandma Pearl.

Me-->Dad-->Grandpa Happy Jack-->Pearl Drake Haynes

I knew my Grandma Pearl, who passed away at age 99 when I was in high school, but I never realized that she had served two missions with my great-grandpa Harry for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, one to Florida and one to the Gulf States Mission, where they served in Louisiana (this second mission was cut short due to Grandpa Harry's health). I don't know much about what type of missionary work Harry was doing, but I'm sure it was an opportunity he cherished since he had joined the church after marrying Pearl and never served a regular mission as a young man. Pearl seems to have had a very specific calling, at least in one of her areas, as you will see. Aunt Mary gave me a copy of a talk by Mary's daughter Joey, that was given at HER mission farewell, and she discusses Grandma Pearl.

“My grandmother was the same kind of woman. She had a rock solid testimony. There were no gray areas. Her code of living the gospel was black and white. She and grandpa served two missions. I interviewed grandma about her missions in her 97th year. Her mind was clear and she readily talked about her missions. Her first mission was to Florida. She was 71 years old, and Grandpa was 75. Jim and I had the privilege to listen to her being set apart by Elder Spencer W. Kimball. In his gentle blessing, he assured Grandmother that all would go well.
On grandma’s 2nd mission, at age 76, she was asked to be a Relief Society President. There were difficulties among the ladies and several of them were not speaking to each other. Grandma was asked to restore goodwill and harmony. Grandma called a meeting for Tuesday to meet them, and some of them said, “We’re not coming.” Grandma said, “I’d like to put a quilt on.” They said, “Nobody will quilt for you.” Then when Grandma put the quilt on with tacks, one of the sisters again said, “Well, I’m not coming.” Grandma calmly said, “that’s alright, the quilt will be here.” Grandma said, “I had them all loving each other before I was done.” She had the problem solved in two months time. The mission president said it was a miracle.
Grandpa was 80 years old when they completed the 2nd mission. At the end of this interview, I asked Grandma if she thought it was worth it to serve these missions and she said, “You betcha.”

I love that as a missionary she used her hands and no-nonsense attitude to bring about solve some spiritual problems. I think I remember her working on a quilt or two at my Grandma Haynes' house. (And I like that story because I also like to quilt and actually use a pair of scissors she gave my Grandma Haynes for a wedding gift.)
Here is a copy of the picture of Harry and Pearl that was printed in the Church News for their 65th anniversary, in the eighties sometime. I may edit it later (when I'm using a smarter computer...) But for now, here is what it says.
"Harry R. and Pearl Drake Haynes. "We have always shared our blessings and our trials. The Lord has been good to us." --Harry R. Haynes
Married 65 years ago on June 12, 1917. Later sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. He fulfilled two stake mission calls and together they served two years in the Florida Mission and six months in the Gulf States Mission. Parents of five children (four living) and have 20 grandchildren and 50 great-grandchildren. They now live in Mesa, Ariz., where they attend temple regularly. Retired from farming in Fairfield, Mont. "
Of course, now they probably have more great-grandchildren and certainly many more great-great grandchildren.

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