My Connection to the Hendricks

Created on 2013-09-13 13:32:46 GMT Last updated 2013-09-13 16:42:03 GMT by Laurie Beardall My name is Laurie Kaye Nielsen Beardall. I was born and raised in Provo, Utah and am the daughter of H. Stanley and Lois Gifford Nielsen. I live in Sandy, Utah with my husband Larry K. Beardall. We are the parents of four children and 12 adorable grandchildren. Enough about me! Last Saturday I attended a Board Meeting for the Henry Hendricks Family Organization. Although not a member of the board they welcomed me warmly and I accepted an assignment to contribute to their blog. I have two confessions. I have never written on a blog before and have never considered myself to be a writer. I told the board that I would be willing but then asked the question, “What do you want me to write on this blog?” The answer was simply this, “Anything you want to.” That may seem simple to most of you who are reading this, but, I found myself praying, pondering and asking what could I possibly contribute? Like most of us, our lives are busy with work, family, service, etc. What I thought was going to be a relatively easy week and task turned out to be quite challenging. Every time I sat down at the computer I had an interruption or couldn’t manage to get on the website. Being the determined person that I am, I kept persevering and here is my first post to a blog ever! I have had several ideas this week about what to write but it wasn’t until this morning that it became very clear as to what I should share. My connection to the Hendricks family is through Elizabeth Mahala Hendricks who was the daughter of James and Drucilla Hendricks. I learned at the board meeting that there are a lot of us who connect through James and Drucilla. It occurred to me that the reason Drucilla is so well known is because she wrote her life story. That’s a great lesson to all of us, especially if we want to be famous! All kidding aside, I am so grateful to her for sharing her life with us. The lessons we learn from those that went before us are so valuable if we learn from them. It was actually through this story that I grew to love her so much and made that connection that Malachi speaks of...”Turning the hearts of the children.” It was about thirty years ago that I was living in Houston, Texas. I still remember the day that my mom handed me a blue folder with a story in it and told me it was about one of our ancestors and that I would probably enjoy reading it. I read some of it and found it to be very interesting but with four small children and battling breast cancer I just didn’t ever finish it. It was a few years later after moving back to Utah that I found myself in our basement going through boxes and found this blue folder. The copy was hard to read, probably the reason that I didn’t finish it the first time, so I decided to take on the task of retyping it. Of course, by now, you have probably already guessed that it was the story (journal) of Drucilla Hendricks. This time reading it was a totally different experience than I had had those few years previously. I didn’t get very far into the history when I recognized that Drucilla wasn’t just an ordinary person, but one of great faith and one who definitely would leave a lasting impression on her posterity. As I was typing along I came to the section where Drucilla mentioned that the Mormon Elders had come to the locality where her sister was living. Drucilla was approached by her husband’s brother, Samuel Hendricks and was asked to go and hear them preach and “catch their errors in the scriptures.” To “catch them in their words.” Now the next part of this paragraph caught my attention. Drucilla said this, “as we went out at the gate I said What went ye out to see a reed shaken by the wind? As I typed this I had this incredible feeling come over me. I had heard this phrase before. I grabbed my scriptures and started looking for this verse. I found it in Matthew 11:7. It wasn’t surprising that Drucilla had quoted this because she was so well versed in the scriptures. But that wasn’t where I had read it and why this phrase was so familiar to me. As I sat in my chair staring at my computer screen, Drucilla’s story and my scriptures, the thought came to my mind that I needed to pull my Patriarchal Blessing out of the desk drawer. My heart was racing as I began reading it from the beginning. I wasn’t quite sure at that point why was I prompted to read it, but, I continued on. It wasn’t until I got near the end of the first page that I recognized that I was reading that very same verse that Drucilla had mentioned in her history when she said, “What went ye out to see a reed shaken by the wind.” I was admonished in my blessing to, “Be no reed shaken in the wind. To keep my feet planted firmly in the soil of faith.” Isn’t that what Drucilla did all of her life? As tears rolled down my face I realized at that moment that I had a connection with this dear grandmother, Drucilla Dorris Hendricks and how thin the veil really is. That my grandmother had spoken these words almost 100 years earlier as part of her conversion story and as an 18 year-old young woman, a Patriarch had placed his hands on my head and repeated almost those exact words. My heart was turned that day and I will ever be grateful for these dear ancestors who were persecuted beyond belief but remained faithful and endured to the end.
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