Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Only a stonecutter....


We watched an amazing film last night for Family Home Evening. It was called 'Only a Stonecutter...' and it was the story of John Rowe Moyle. He joined the church in England in 1855 and heeded the call to Zion in April of 1856. He sailed to Boston, rode a train to Iowa and hoped to buy a wagon, but the wagons were all sold out so John and his family were in the first handcart company, the Ellsworth Company, to make the trek across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. The journey was hard and 16 members of their company died. They entered the Salt Lake Valley on September 26, 1856. John and his family settled on a 160 acre piece of land in Alpine, UT.

John was called by President Young to be a stone mason on the Salt Lake Temple. The family had one horse and they needed it for farm work. The temple was 22 miles away. John arose at 2:00 a.m. on Monday and walked the 22 miles to the temple to arrive at 8:00 a.m. with the other workers. He worked all week and left when everyone else did on Friday at 5:00 p.m. and walked home. He would get home about 12:00 a.m. Saturday was his only day for farm work so he would work hard all Saturday to help his family. John did this for almost twenty years. Then the family bought a cow and one day while milking the cow John was kicked hard and suffered a compound fracture with bone breaking skin. The only option in those days was to amputate the leg. The leg was cut off just below the knee with a bucksaw.

When the leg began to heal, John made his own wooden peg leg and despite the pain walked around the house, and then the yard and eventually the whole farm. In 1885 John chose to act and limped the 22 miles to the Salt Lake Temple. As a 77 year old man he climbed 100 feet and once again continued his duty as a stone mason on the temple. There are two kinds of people on this earth, the ones that are acted upon and the ones that act....which kind are we?

5 comments:

MCCONKIE FAMILY said...

Thank you Lori! I needed that! I think I fit in both categories. I do count my blessings and I have an increbibly good life...thanks to good friends like you for reminding me! I will smile all day and remember that I have no room to complain! :)

Puhlman said...

OH BOY!!! Makes me so appreciate all the things I have. I guess I cannot complain when we get stuck in traffic on the way to the D.C. temple. Thanks for such an amazing reminder.

Jess said...

WOW, what an amazing story! Such a great reminder this holiday season of what we take for granted. Thanks for sharing :)

Melissa said...

Thanks for posting this. I googled the name of the movie and your blog came up. I wanted to share the story with others, but couldn't remember all the details. Henry Walker in the movie (the guy who ws hit by lightning) was my great great (something) grandfather. Such an inspiring movie!

Mike Provard said...

Photograph of the Salt Lake Temple (c)2007 by Michael Provard.