Church News - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Temple moments: 'How splendid!'

Published: Saturday, Jan. 11, 1997

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Jephtha Lemuel and Dolly Frances Winsett Manire, an isolated Latter-day Saint family, living in rural Christian County, Ky., converted to the Church around the turn of the century. Their greatest desire was to be sealed to their children in the Salt Lake Temple.

To earn train fare, the parents and the children shelled seed corn by hand in the evenings. They were finally ready to make the trip in early March 1920.Their daughter Eve Manire Jordan, 86, now of the Cincinnati (Ohio) 5th Ward, was 8 at the time. She recalled:

"Uncle Hanson took us - Momma and Papa and seven children, Edna, Joseph, Jane Belle, John S., Charlie, Garnet and me - to the train station in White Plains, Ky., in a wagon drawn by two black mules. How big the train station looked!

"On the train, the conductor played like he didn't know what state Salt Lake City was in. I stood taller than a peacock and said, `Why, that is in Utah!'

"The seats of the train were plush. I had been used to sitting in wooden chairs, so the seats were fabulous. We children talked with one another about everything we saw. Three times a day, Mama would open the trunk of food they brought and make sandwiches. We each could have a piece of the candy Grandma Manire had made for us. John always tried to trade his sandwich for a piece of candy.

"When the train was crossing the desert, robbers stopped the train. They took money and any other possession of the passengers on the train. Papa said to do as the robbers said, and to pray. `You are more important than money,' he told us.

"So all of us, even small Garnet stood with hands held high. They passed us as if a curtain sealed our seating section from the others on the train. We said silently, `Thank you, dear Father.'

"The snow-capped Rocky Mountains were a sight to behold. We had seen hills but never a mountain.

"In Salt Lake City, we all started walking toward the temple. Words can never express my feelings as we neared the temple. Its spires stood so tall and gracious, all covered with snow."

Later, the seven children and parents were sealed. "Everything in the room was white. How splendid it was!"