Missions are Fun

Preston Temple photo taken 21 Nov. 2010

A missionary is someone who leaves his or her home for a little while so others can have their families forever.

Curious about Mormons? Go to the source and find real people at mormon.org--read what they believe and have live chats if you wish! (an official Church website)

Or, go to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, official web site: lds.org.

Note: The Blain's England Manchester Mission blog is a personal blog that is not endorsed, approved, or sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Our Mission Scriptures

Our Mission Scriptures:

"Oh, that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart . . . Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth." Alma 29:1-2 (Book of Mormon)

" . . . be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Bible)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blackburn Ward History-Beginning 1838

And they made know unto us in plain terms, that we may understand, that we cannot err; and this because of our being wanderers in a strange land, therefore, we are thus highly favored, for we have these glad tidings declared unto us in all part of our vineyard.  For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.  Alma 13:23-14

Father, where shall I work today?
As my love flowed warm and free.
Then he pointed to a tiny spot
And said, "Tend that for me."

I answered quickly, "Oh no, not that,
Why no one would ever see
No matter how well my work was done,
Not that little place for me!"

And the word he spoke, it was not stern.
He answered tenderly, "Ah, little one,
Search that heart of thine,
Art thou working for them or me?"

"Nazareth was a little place
And so was Galilee."

-Author Unknown (it may have been Ray Stedman)

A thoughtful ward member brought a binder to me last week that is a brief history of the Blackburn Ward, which a member typed up after realizing that most of the early records had been tossed out and there was a need to preserve what she could for posterity.  

This history is but a brief 37 pages.  I longed to know more.  According to this record,  Apostle Heber C. Kimball formed small branches in the area in 1838.  The Blackburn branch survived throughout the years, became a ward, then was bumped back to a branch, and became a ward again, depending on what was going on at the time (wars, members leaving for America, the economy, etc.).

The struggles of the early British saints are often forgotten in the United States where people have a tendency to focus on "the pioneers" as the groups that left Nauvoo for the desert of what would eventually become Utah.  Sometimes the details of the individuals are lost in the pioneer stories.  The Lord built His Church with these saints.  They were the brick and mortar.  They had to travel the Atlantic Ocean before they even stepped on American soil.  Their trek, from the shores where they landed, took them across the expanse of North America to reach the Salt Lake Valley!  If I feed into my sat nav (GPS) from here to Salt Lake City, it is about 5,748 miles!

Reading the history of the Blackburn Ward has helped me gain gained a deeper appreciation of these stalwart people--those who left and those who stayed to keep the branches going until they grew into wards.  In most cases, it was many years in coming. 

 Some Excepts from the preface read (copied as typed by the author--Denise Johannsen):

"You have to know of these people and find out what makes them so special.  Then, perhaps you will realise and understand why the Lord chose them along with the rest of his faithful, from the north of England, to make that first great trek to the Salt Lake Flats.

If you are blessed enough to meet someone from these parts, especially Blackburn, and especially a Latter-Day Saint, take time to savour this wonderful experience.  Perchance you never meet the likes again.  Hang on to every word uttered, even though you may not understand their colourful language and accent.  For it takes a while at first, until you are familiarised with the 'ee by gums' and the 'it's all reets.'

So shake their hand and look deep into the eyes.  You will find a wonderful human being.  Oh, they know what it's like to work hard for a living, and for a small pittance at that.  For the northerner has always been over worked and under pain.  Although through the years of the industrial revolution, their bosses, and in particular the cotton kings, tried in vain to crush their spirit.  You can't put them down--they have inner strength.  They can't and won't be crushed.

Strong, determined, under no circumstance will they give in to oppression, neither will they despair.  But still they knew their place and played the part well to the convincing of their lord and masters.  An ability to laugh at their own misfortunes and downfalls.  Picking themselves up, dusting themselves off and starting all over again.

In general, honest, friendly, and exceedingly generous [were these people].  Most would give you their last slice of bread, their last penny.  Yet, on the other hand, very private people who can keep their feelings well hidden.  Guarding their emotions to such an extent it could be termed as possessive.

They are craftsmen of the highest calibre, shaping a piece of metal, steel, iron into a masterpiece of engineering.  A lifeless block of wood under their skilled hands can come alive, formed into a work of art.  The first cotton ever to be woven on any loom was created in these little towns.  Farmers too play their part in this varied community.  Working from dusk to dawn, eking out a meagre living from the harsh moorland landscape.

Many have their place in history.  Great inventors, lawyers, statesmen, surgeons, scientists and even in latter years that unique species of men and women termed as film stars, have claim to being privileged to be born in this little corner of the Lord's vineyard."

 Contemplate:  Would we not all strive to be people such as these?  In which part of the vineyard are you working?  Never underestimate the small part you may play in the large scheme of things.  Keep the faith!!

Seeing the same thing in a different light:  Roses

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting history. Thanks for sharing!