Great-Grandfather Johnson

By Robyn Squires

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    Dear Friend Editor:

    When my mom and I found out that the children in Primary would be talking about genealogy, we began to think about how we could share genealogy with the children in our family. Our family organization, which includes my cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, sends a monthly letter full of news, thoughts, recipes, and other things to all family members. We decided that Mom would help me research stories of our ancestors as children and that I would make and send a story and an activity to my cousins in our traveling newsletter. It has been fun to think of my ancestors as children. I am enclosing the story of my great-grandpa Johnson and an activity to go with the story.

    Carl Oscar Johnson
    (2 March 1865—9 April 1946)

    The big yellow cat began to purr softly as Carl set it gently on his lap and began to stroke its fur. Carl snuggled down into the warm hay and pulled the contented cat closer to him. The warm breath and the soft lowing of the cows soon sent Carl off to dreamland.

    Carl could smell fresh bread baking, and soap, and flowers. … Sometimes his mother had smelled like flowers. He could still feel her soft hand brush across his face, and he turned his head just in time to see her look down at him and smile. Then he heard the soft rustling of her skirts as she turned to go back to her work in the kitchen …

    The boy woke with a start as he realized that the soft rustling sound that he heard was really the large yellow cat slinking off through the hay in pursuit of a large gray mouse.

    As his dream faded, the picture of his mother’s face began to fade too. That worried Carl. Since her death he had received so much comfort from that picture of her in his mind—and now it was beginning to fade!

    Carl wiped a tear from his eye as he began to wonder if he would ever see his mother again. He wondered about that for many years. Finally, when Carl was a grown man, he met some wonderful missionaries who had the answer to his question: Jesus had restored His gospel to the earth. With it came the knowledge that families can be eternal. He had also given to men the authority to perform the necessary ordinance work that would make that possible.

    Carl was so thrilled with the wonderful news that he wanted to tell the whole world about it. Carl became a missionary, and he filled three missions to his motherland of Sweden.

    Illustrated by Shauna Mooney