John Zera Alger-Funeral
Enterprise Chapel November 13, 1959 – 1 p.m.
Bishop Grant Clove conducting
This large crowd depicts the love and friendship you have for the family of Brother Alger. The family wishes me to express their gratitude to all for your friendship and help during the sickness and death of their father. They appreciate all the expressions of love, all the visits to the home and to hospital and these beautiful floral offerings.
“Jesus, Lover of my Soul,” by combined Enterprise Wards Choirs, Deward Hall conducting, Reva Truman Emett accompanist.
Invocation by Clair Hunt
“I am ready for the Lord to call me Home,” by Ivin Holt, accompanied by Alta Truman.
“I don’t think I ever had a harder position to fill. I hope to be able to control my feelings.
John was the nearest to a brother I ever had since our mothers were twin sisters and after the death of my mother I lived in his home.
You had to know John to appreciate him. He was quiet. You had to know him well to know what he thought. He was born in St. George, Utah, August 30, 1880. He married Mary Malinda Hall in 1900, Dec. 26th. Of their large family there are now 11 children living. They are all here today with their companions and many grandchildren.
John spent most of his life farming. At 12 he worked on a Fresno at Cleveland to help build their canal.
What he felt about the purpose of life was very important to him. Johns religion was like the Apostle James said, “Pure religion and undefined is to visit the widow and the fatherless and to keep one’s self unspotted from the sins of the world.” John visited the crippled, the handicapped and the sick. He spent much time trying to bring pleasantness into the lives of the shut-ins.
He has good qualities. He was honest, virtuous, and lived the Golden Rule. His time was at the service of his neighbors. I was 10 when I first heard John and Mary sing. They have been singing for the pleasure of their friends and family ever since. Up until about 10 years ago he sang in the choir. He has filled many positions in the church. He was stake missionary for several years, he was secretary of the High Priest Quorum. He has spent most of his time visiting and prospecting since his health broke.
The formation of rocks and minerals were like a book to him. He could have been a great geologist if he had had more schooling.
His greatest contribution to the world was his family. He and his family are doing their part to help their fellowmen. Wherever you go, if you see any of his family, you will realize that they are active in the church and community groups. Some of his posterity may be called on missions to foreign places to bless the world.
Mary has given her full support and cooperation to John in all he has tried to do. I’ve never known a couple who were closer. They have been my ideal. Mary will miss him but will be so busy helping her family and others that she won’t have time to grieve.
May the Lord bless this family that they may continue to bless the world with the good works they are doing and carry on in the footsteps of their good parents, I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Song: “In the Garden,” Heber Holt and Alta Truman, accompanied by Gertrude Lund.
Brothers and Sisters I can assure you that the weight of this responsibility weighs heavenly (heavily?) on me. When Orlas and Paul came to see if I could say a few words today, it would have been easy to refuse, but I couldn’t turn them down. I want them to know that I appreciate their confidence in me.
I feel that I am substituting for Uncle Amos Holt. If he had been well enough I’m sure he would be occupying this position. He was so close to the family and thought so much of them. They would have been glad to have him speak today.
The first memories I recall of Brother Alger was out on the pitcher’s mound. The older people know what talent he had. He was a good ball player. The fact that he pitched left-handed was baffling to the other players.
He had wonderful talent as an entertainer. I’d like to pay tribute to Brother Alger and all his sisters. They are a talented family, in acting, singing and writing, scripts which were more sensible than many you read. I want Madge and the others of the family to know that we do appreciate their talents and the help they are in our community. We still have five of them and wish the rest could have stayed here. That is the tragedy of our little community – that we can’t keep all our young people here. There is not enough work for all of them. They would be a big help to us in our activities.
I’ve wondered what I could say and perhaps leave a thought that would help us to live more closely to the gospel. When you talk to people you realize that they have three great questions, “Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where will we go after we leave this existence?” I have been amused and sometimes alarmed at ideas which some people have. One prevalent idea is that all life came from the same source starting with a one celled animal from the water. They don’t recognize the story of the creation. The tragedy of the whole thing is that some are always being misled by them. Many great scientists are teaching their own ideas. They don’t have an answer from where they come from.
We know that we did live as spirit children of our Heavenly Father in a pre-existence. We came here to gain a body, live the commandments of God, and go back into his presence.
There are just as many false doctrines about where we go. A few years ago a story or fad came out about how through hypnotism people went back to another life they had lived. Many believed that these stories were true. A few follow-ups have revealed that these stories have not proved to be true. Many admitted that they had just made up these stories to gain attention or notoriety. I’d like to tell you today that if you think you are going to have another chance you are mistaken. This life only is the time to live that we will be prepared for the next existence.
It is the wish of the family that the services be not too long, so I will not prolong my remarks. The scriptures are plain about these three questions. When the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon read in the Bible where those who have done evil should be punished and those who had done good would be rewarded, they went to the Lord in humble prayer and asked for further light and knowledge. (DC 76 Sec.) They received the most beautiful vision ever given to men, which tells plainly where we will go after this life is finished. I hope you will all read it when you get home. Also read D&C 131st section. In order to enter into the highest degree in the Celestial Kingdom we must enter into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage in the Temple.
Some people say that we can’t do that with the law of the land being what it is. The new and everlasting covenant does include plurality of marriage when it is legal in the land. In a solemn assembly in the Temple President McKay explained that it does not mean just plurality of marriage but sealing in the Temple for time and eternity. Our Great Prophet David O. McKay says that many people are entering into the new and everlasting covenant every day in our many temples. It does not mean plural marriage. It is honorable, worthy sealing in the temples of our Lord.
I’m deeply grateful to the family for giving me the privilege of saying a few words today. I’d like to present a challenge to them if they will accept it. Throughout the life of your father and mother they would do anything for you. If you would like to do one thing for them I am sure they would ask you to live the principles of the gospel to the best of your ability. That would make them happier and anything else in the world.
I pray that the Lord’s choicest blessings will be with Aunt Mary Alger and her family and that he will bless each one of us.
I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Two Tributes read by Madge Hunt, one by herself and the other by Dixie Hall Bryant, a niece.
(No tributes were in this transcript)
Bishop Grant Clove:
Listening to these remarks reminds me of my early days and how much I enjoyed our associations with the family.
The activity Uncle John has done since I have been bishop has been as Ward Teacher, with the exception of the time he was a State Missionary. He has been a faithful ward teacher almost from the time he first held the priesthood. He was our oldest acting ward teacher.
Again, I’d like to extend the appreciation of the family for all your acts of love and friendship. They wish to thank all who have taken part in these services today and helped in any way.
Song: “Oh, My Father,” by combined ward choirs.
Benediction by James Hall.
Dedication of the grave by LaVell Robinson (son in law)