He Sculpts, She Paints

One day insurance salesman Jeffrey Lochridge told his wife, Julie, an accomplished painter, that he might like to try sculpting. She got him a block of clay, and he went to work. As he practiced and experimented, his confidence grew. His first sculpture was a self-portrait titled Becoming, which shows his struggle to better understand himself. Now he is fulfilling sculpture commissions for other people.

“Since we were married, we have always had the dream of being in the art business. I grew up being an artist,” says Sister Lochridge, who is a successful painter. Her father is a sculptor of bronze monuments, and other members of her family also follow artistic pursuits.

“I use pastels in a way that it looks like I’m using oils,” she says. A painting she did of herself holding her son above her head in a meadow was selected for exhibit in the Church’s Museum of Church History and Art. The painting is titled The Wondrous Power of a Mother. Her husband has completed a large statue based on his wife’s painting. “We want our art to reflect the way we feel about life, families, and gospel values,” says Sister Lochridge.

Members of the Hibbard First Ward, Rexburg Idaho North Stake, Sister Lochridge serves as a counselor in the ward Relief Society presidency and Brother Lochridge serves as a counselor in the elders quorum presidency. They are the parents of five children.

Police Officer of the Year

“When I have really bad days, I just want to stay home,” says Mindy Barcus of her job as a police officer. “But when I go to church, I feel better.”

A 10-year police veteran, Sister Barcus spends her time investigating fraud, embezzling, counterfeiting, bad checks, and other paper crimes. She occasionally speaks to senior citizen groups to advise them about scams to watch out for, and she is a member of the Springfield, Ohio, police department’s hostage negotiating team. Recently she was honored as police officer of the year.

Real police work is not like it is portrayed in the movies, Sister Barcus says. Sometimes there are exciting chases, but mostly it is “tons of paperwork.” She points out that police work means going to work every day with the knowledge that she might have to put her life in jeopardy.

Sister Barcus is Primary president in the Springfield Ward, Dayton Ohio East Stake. Her husband, Tim, has been a police officer for seven years and now works with new recruits as a field training officer. In the ward he serves as secretary in the elders quorum presidency. The Barcuses have two children.

“The Church has given me a lot of strength to deal with the difficult challenges that come up,” Sister Barcus says.Nancy Brown, Medway, Ohio

A Way to Serve

Maurine Ernstrom was the mother of four children and active in many Church and community activities when she developed crippling rheumatoid arthritis. Over the subsequent 35 years, her ability to perform normal daily tasks has progressively declined.

About a year ago her husband, Anthon, attended a stake leader’s introductory discussion about the Church’s family record extraction program.

“My husband volunteered me without asking,” Maurine recalls. “I didn’t want to touch the computer—I didn’t even want to dust it! My husband said, ‘Come and just sit down and try it.’ But with my fingers as disfigured as they are, it was a disaster. I thought, Well, that lets me out of it.”

When Maurine told her neighbor about her inability to use the computer, the neighbor suggested she try using a pencil to punch the keys. “That was sheer inspiration,” Maurine says. “I tried it, and it worked. I’m happy with the job. It’s wonderful to have something useful to do.”

Maurine admits that she’s not quick on the keyboard, but she averages about two hours a day entering vital records information. She has been able to complete batches of death and marriage records. Each batch usually contains from 1,000 to 1,500 records.

“I feel this is a fulfillment of a promise in my patriarchal blessing that in my declining years I would be called to do some responsible things,” Maurine says. She is a member of the River Heights Third Ward, Providence Utah Stake.Gayle L. Brackner, River Heights, Utah

A Life Saved

“These boys are going to be something special to me for the rest of my life,” says John Fields Jr. of 15-year-old Jason Mummert (above, left) and 12-year-old Charles Douglass. “I owe them my life.”

One Saturday, Brother Fields, an experienced canoeist, took the two neighbor boys on a canoe trip down the rain-swollen upper west branch of the Conococheague Creek in Pennsylvania. When the canoe hit a sycamore tree, it capsized and became stuck against the tree. The two boys were able to hold onto the canoe and stay above water, but Brother Fields’s ankle had been caught inside the canoe.

“I was under water,” Brother Fields remembers. “It seemed like forever. At first I thought, This can’t be happening to me. I couldn’t get my face up. When I had used up every last bit of energy, I thought, I’m going to find out today what the afterlife is like.”

With difficulty, the boys finally helped Brother Fields lift his head. “What do we do?” Charlie asked.

“Pray. That’s all you can do,” Brother Fields answered.

While Jason ran for help, 85-pound Charlie held up 220-pound Brother Fields for almost an hour, praying they wouldn’t be swept away by the swift current. It took 20 rescuers several minutes to perform the complicated water rescue. Brother Fields suffered a scraped, swollen leg and a severely sprained ankle.

“I now realize that time’s too short here in mortality to worry about little things,” Brother Fields said after the accident. He is the father of six children and the owner of an auto parts store in Hamilton Township, Pennsylvania. He and Charles Douglass are members of the Chambersburg Second Ward, York Pennsylvania Stake, where Brother Fields serves as ward mission leader.

In the Spotlight

  • Julie A. Barrus of the Alma 13th Ward, Mesa Arizona West Stake, was elected to serve on the board of directors of the National Science Teachers Association. She was also recently honored as 1996 Charro Teacher of the Year at Kiva Elementary School. She serves as a stake missionary.

  • Robert A. Mills of the Odenton Ward, Annapolis Maryland Stake, has been awarded the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement to honor his efforts as lead evaluator of several government cryptographic products. The medal is one of the highest civilian awards in the intelligence field. He works as a mathematician at the National Security Agency.

  • Glendon Johnson has been given the Silver Medallion Award by the National Conference of Christians and Jews for his outstanding community service. He has been involved in Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and the National Negro College Fund Drive. As chief executive officer and president of a financial corporation, he encourages his employees to volunteer. He serves as a high councilor in the Homestead Florida Stake.