Archives for April 2011

Grand Canyon Addendum

Family members who have seen this video have requested that I post it. A kind of Grand Canyon addendum to our recent trip. I about fall over laughing every time I watch Jill’s little stumble.

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The Best Easter

Target practice rifle Mark

Mark with a Robinson Armament Company XCR

Last Easter weekend the family gathered west of the Golden Spike. Instead of a silly Easter egg hunt we fired a variety of weapons for several hours. We also had three ATVs, a bicycle, and even a few kites. The weather was not too hot and the rain stayed away. We had a great lunch. It was The Best Easter yet.



Target practice rifle Jake




Target practice pistol Susan


Target practice pistol Randy


Target practice pistol Megan


Target practice pistol Jake



Target practice atv Megan and Paul

Paul and Megan

Target practice atv Dan


Target practice atv Rachel and Jake

Rachel and Jake

The Children

Target practice hill Jake and Dan

The children, Jake and Dan, scrambled around on the hills when the range was closed

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The Watchtower

Grand Canyon Watchtower view

The Watchtower has an internal steel framework designed by the bridge builders of the Santa Fe Railway

When I first saw the Grand Canyon Watchtower I thought it to be an ancient structure that had been restored. But no, the Watchtower was constructed in 1932 and opened in May 1933. Architect Mary Colter designed the tower and took care of every detail, even down to the placement of most of the stones, leaving weathered faces untouched to add to the ancient appearance of the tower. She said:

“First and most important, was to design a building that would become part of its surroundings; one that would create no discordant note against the time eroded walls of this promontory.”

The 70-foot Watchtower, a National Historic Landmark, is located at Desert View, the eastern-most developed area on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The design takes its influences from the architecture of the ancestral Puebloan people. There is a gift store, with the upper floors utilized as observation decks for views of the canyon and the Painted Desert.

Grand Canyon Watchtower trees

The top floor of the tower is without decoration which might detract from the beautiful panoramic views of the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Watchtower and Colorado River

From the Watchtower is a magnificent view of the Colorado River

Desert View, named after the views to the east of the Painted Desert, has a grand view of the Colorado River, the North Rim can been seen more than 10 miles away, and a on a clear day a panoramic view is visible for over 100 miles.
Grand Canyon Watchtower mural

The first gallery, on the first landing, was done by Fred Kabotie, a Hopi from second Mesa

Grand Canyon Watchtower paintingGrand Canyon Watchtower artGrand Canyon Watchtower

Watchtower Family Photographs

Click on the links to view the family pictures shot at the Watchtower.

  • Jake on the top floor
  • Paul outside the Watchtower
  • Jill on the deck of the Watchtower


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The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon with Phantom Ranch

The Grand Canyon with Phantom Ranch center right

On our return to Utah from the Mesa Easter Pageant, we stopped at the Grand Canyon. The Canyon is 277 river miles long, is up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. It tells of geological processes in a unique combination of size, color, and dazzling erosional forms. There is a fascinating variety of plants and animals, from the desert next to the Colorado River deep in the canyon to the forests atop its North Rim.

The Making Of The Grand Canyon

The Colorado River flowed across the Colorado Plateau on its way from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California. Each rain washed sparsely vegetated desert soils into the river.

A steep gradient and heavy sediment loads created a powerful tool for erosion. The river’s volume varied seasonally and over time. As the last ice age ended, the flow may have been 10 times today’s volume.

As the river cuts down, the canyon deepens. Tributaries erode into the canyon’s sides, increasing its width. Erosion carves faster into the softer rock layers, undermining harder layers above. With no foundation these layers collapse, forming the cliffs and slopes profile of the canyon. Erosion wears away the ridges separating adjacent side canyons, leaving buttes and pinnacles.

Grand Canyon

Revealed strata preserve a lengthy, although incomplete, record of Earth's history

Grand Canyon Vista with Phantom Ranch and Kaibab_Bridge

Grand Canyon Vista with Phantom Ranch and Kaibab_Bridge

Grand Canyon Kaibab Bridge

Grand Canyon Kaibab Bridge

Grand Canyon visitors

Grand Canyon visitors enjoying the magnificence of their surroundings

Jill at the Grand Canyon

Jill at the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Colorado River from the South Rim

Grand Canyon Colorado River from the South Rim

Bright Angel Trail

The most popular trail into the canyon begins west of the Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim. The trailhead elevation is 6,785 feet and descends 4,380 feet to the Colorado River. The Bright Angel Trail offers wonderful views all along the trail. It has an average grade of 10% along its entire length. At trail’s end, the River Trail continues another 2 miles to the Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch.

Hazards hikers can encounter along the Bright Angel Trail include dehydration, sudden rainstorms, flash flooding, loose footing, bootpacked ice, rockfall, encounters with wildlife, and extreme heat. At the Colorado River, additional hazards include hypothermia (due to the river’s consistently cold temperatures), trauma (due to collisions with boulders in rapids), and drowning.

We decided to walk for just a half-hour down the trail.

Grand Canyon group shot

Along the Bright Angel Trail: Jill, Bryson, Paul, Sarah, Derek, Jake, and Rick

Bright Angel Trail

Along the Bright Angel Trail: Derek carrying Bryson, Sarah, Jill, and Paul

Jill on the Bright Angel Trail

The end, or the beginning, of the Bright Angel Trail

Jill pausing for a photograph on the Bright Angel Trail

Jill pausing for a photograph on the Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon Family Photographs

Click on the links to view the family pictures shot at the Grand Canyon.

Colorado River from the South Rim of the The Grand Canyon

Colorado River from the South Rim of the the Grand Canyon


  • National Park Service Grand Canyon brochure
  • National Park Service Grand Canyon Guide & Maps
  • Wikipedia Bright Angel Trail

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Brigham City Temple Spire

Brigham City Temple Spire under construction

Brigham City Temple Spire under construction, viewed from the Tabernacle doors

Take a look at the Brigham City Temple construction two weeks ago and compare it with today. There is quite a difference as the east spire girders clearly show. It is exciting to see the progress towards the anticipated completion of the temple in 2012. Click on the images to enlarge.

The Temple Spires

I like the closeup photograph of the spire girders. Jill, that is a fantastic shot. The temple will have two spires and will face east toward the tabernacle. I have never followed the construction of a temple so closely before. It is great to see it gradually take shape.
Brigham City Temple Spire being constructedBrigham City Temple East SpireBrigham City Temple Spire girders

The Tabernacle Spires

For a 150 years the lighted spire of the tabernacle has been visible to travelers along I-15 or coming down Sardine Canyon. But the tabernacle really has 17 spires for the large main spire is accented by sixteen much smaller spires topping brick buttresses. The temple’s angel Moroni will reach several feet higher than the highest point of the tabernacle spire.
Brigham City Tabernacle spires

The man you can see at the bottom right of the Tabernacle photograph below told Jill that he is obsessed with the new temple. He says he walks down every day to see the construction. He lives two blocks away.
Brigham City Tabernacle

The Spires

I really like this shot of the old and the new spires.
Brigham City Temple spire and Tabernacle spire

Brigham City History

Colonization (continued)

Small businesses established during the 1850s included a cabinet shop, a water-powered saw mill, a tanyard and a grist mill built in 1855-57 to produce flour and meal. The Box Elder County Courthouse, begun in 1855 and completed in 1857, was used for city and county business, theatrical productions, religious meetings and school.

Children attended school only when there was no farm work to be done, so most of them had little schooling. Many were taught to read and write by their parents or older siblings.

Very young children were given important responsiblities. As soon as Minnie Lund and her sister were large enough to hold an axe, they chopped all the wood, milked sixteen cows morning and night, and cleaned stables. When she was nine, she was sent out on the hillside to herd the family’s sheep. She taught herself to crochet lace, to braid straw, and to make straw hats for her family and friends. Before her twelfth birthday, she went to Honeyville to work for an aunt. By the time she returned home, her father had four polygamous wives, and she went from one to the other to assist with house and farm work. At age 14 she cared for a lady who had just given birth. She said, “I never had any childhood. It was work, work, work.” (From:

Photo Credit: Jill Willoughby
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Mesa Easter Pageant – Jesus The Christ

Mesa Easter Pageant palms for Jesus

Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (John 12:13)

Last Thursday evening found my family enjoying the Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant, one of the world’s largest annual outdoor Easter pageants. In Jesus the Christ the story is told of the Savior’s birth, ministry, death, and resurrection through speech, music, dance, and drama. The pageant is not a passion play focusing on the crucifixion but rather a celebration of the resurrection of the Savior.

Mesa Easter Pageant our family in our seats

At the pageant: Jill, Rick, Paul, Jake, Sarah, Bryson, Derek

Pageant History

The Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant, from its beginnings as a sunrise performance on the back of a cotton wagon in 1928, has grown into a full-scale theatrical production involving nearly 1,000 cast and crew and a 9,600-square-foot stage. The presentation was not held during some of the war years but has been held every year since.

Mesa Easter Pageant and the temple

The pageant is performed on the Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors Center grounds

Mesa Easter Pageant Paul by the temple

Paul by the Mesa Arizona Temple

According to the official website, the pageant is appropriate for children:

It is very colorful and fast-moving. There are beautiful scenes showing Jesus teaching and healing children, as well as scenes which use animals such as sheep, miniature horses, doves, and a donkey. The betrayal, scourging, and crucifixion of Christ are portrayed, but these scenes are presented as tastefully as possible. Although children of all ages are permitted to attend, children under the age of 3 years may not be able to see as well and may be uncomfortable in the chilly weather.

Our grandson Bryson is 2 1/2 and did not watch the pageant for long. He had to be taken from the seating area so he wouldn’t disturb the people sitting near us. We noticed that some of the parents of other very young children had to do the same thing.

Mesa Easter Pageant before the performance

View from the side of the stage towards the audience

Cast members were available for photographs before and after the pageant, in the audience or in the Visitors’ Center. We were allowed to use our own cameras. However, during the performance no flash photography or video photography is permitted. One could presumably take photographs of the performance without using a flash but I didn’t try this — I just relaxed and enjoyed the presentation.

Pageant Costumes

Mesa Easter Pageant father and son shepherds

Father and son shepherds

The costumes are beautiful. I was impressed at the variety, color, and quality. I learned that a 20-person costume staff works year round to research Biblical costumes, create, design, and sew them. No costumes are rented; they are all constructed by pageant volunteers. Most of the fabric is donated (some even coming from Saudi Arabia and Israel). Great care is taken to make sure the costumes are historically correct.
Mesa Easter Pageant cast members
During Biblical times, cultures from throughout the Mid-Eastern World, and as far away as Africa, gathered in Jerusalem — making it a very eclectic gathering place of native costumes of all colors and designs. Of course, the pastoral people dressed more humbly in color, fabric and style. The only scene in the pageant with which is taken creative license for outdoor theatrical costuming is the Dance of the Ten Virgins’ Parable.

Mesa Easter Pageant ten virgins

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. (Matthew 25:1)

The Romans

The Emperor of Rome, with the title Augustus Caesar, confirmed Herod as king of the Jews. Herod owed allegiance to Rome, but was free to do what he wanted within Israel.

Rome ruled all of the known world. Rome was not at war but were prepared for it. Roman soldiers were professionals who had enlisted for 25 years. They were armed with heavy javelins, called pila, and short swords of 24 inches long. They wore helmets and chainmail shirts and they carried large curved wooden shields.

Mesa Easter Pageant Bryson with a Roman soldier

Bryson listens to instructions from a passing Roman soldier

At the time of Jesus Roman soldiers would have been found only around Caesarea Maratima where the Roman procurator lived. They would have been called into use when the great festivals were being celebrated in Jerusalem to prevent uprisings, or they would be needed in the execution of criminals by crucifixion.

Living under Roman rule had some advantages. Generally they allowed freedom of religion and did not interfere with the religious practices of the people they governed. The governors of provinces built temples to their own gods, where sacrifices were conducted daily. But it was the Roman method of taxation that most stung. Provinces had to pay taxes. An amount was estimated and the country split up into tax districts. As Rome had no civil service, taxes were collected by private syndicates who made a large profit by over collecting. Taxes on goods were very high. Not surprisingly, tax collectors were despised. (The Romans in Israel)

Mesa Easter Pageant Jill with a Roman soldier

A Roman soldier, on his way to a scourging (note the flagrum), obligingly let me take this photograph

Attending The Pageant

The pageant is free and runs 65 minutes. No tickets or reservations are necessary, but space fills up quickly, with more than 100,000 people attending over the nine days. Nightly audiences range from about 4,000 to 12,000 people. On the evening we attended it was easy to find good seats but during the second week of performances the seats fill very quickly and I would recommend arriving at least two hours early. See Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant for more details.

Pageant Scenes

Mesa Easter Pageant Jesus and parents

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)

Mesa Easter Pageant Jesus before the teachers

And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. (Luke 2:46)

Mesa Easter Pageant Christ resurrected

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. (Matthew 28:6)

Photo Credit The five scenes from the performance: Mesa Easter Pageant Now on Stage
Watch a Video Mesa Easter Pageant Teaches of Christ

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100 Years Ago: Tax, Tax, Tax

Tax returnThe following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazines of April 1911 and May 1911.

Inheritance Tax

The largest inheritance tax on record in the United States was lately received by the state of Utah. The check, dated March 1, 1911, was received by State Treasurer David Mattson, on the 9th of March, from Mrs. Mary W. Harriman, executrix, and was made out for the amount of $798,546.85, being the inheritance tax on the late Edward H. Harriman’s property in Utah.

The legislature on the 10th passed a bill appropriating $750,000 of the amount towards the building of the state capitol, in Salt Lake City, which had been arranged for earlier in the session, and for which a bond issue of one million dollars had been authorized.

[The story also appeared in The New York Times. The inheritance tax was 5% on $15,980,937 of Union Pacific stock. The Union Pacific Railroad was incorporated under the laws of Utah, hence payment to the state. In 2011 the Federal estate tax was 35% with Utah no longer having an inheritance tax nor an estate tax.]

Corporation Tax

The corporation tax provision in the Payne-Aldrich tariff act was held by unanimous opinion of the United States Supreme Court, rendered March 13, to be valid. The decision was announced by Justice William R. Day, appointed to the Supreme Court from Ohio, in 1903.

The opinon was an elaborate treatment of the subject, and the tax was declared to be an excise tax on the doing of corporate business, and not a direct tax on the ownership of property. It was held that the tax was not applicable to the real estate “trust” of Boston, and the Minneapolis syndicate, since they were not “doing business” within the meaning of the law.

An income of approximately twenty-five million dollars annually will be assured to the government by this decision.

[In 2011, Federal tax rates on corporate taxable income varied from 15% to 35%. In 2010, 6.6% ($138.2 billion) of Federal revenue came from corporations.]

Income Tax

The national income tax amendment to the national constitution, submitted by resolution of Congress in July, 1909, has been acted on favorably this year by nineteen legislatures, eleven states have thus far rejected it. Since the amendment must be approved by three-fourths of the states, nine more states are necessary for favorable action.

Since the constitution fixes no time limit to legislative action, the legislatures which rejected it this year may approve it next. Utah so far has not joined in favor of the proposed measure.

[On February 25, 1913, the amendment was ratified by the necessary three-fourths of the states, and became a part of the Constitution. On October 3, the Revenue Act of 1913 was enacted which re-imposed the Federal income tax. The Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah legislatures rejected the amendment. Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia never considered the amendment.]

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. April, 1911. No. 6 and “Passing Events”, May, 1911. No. 7
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100 Years Ago: 1st Flag, 9th Legislature, 61st Congress

The following was adapted from the Improvement Era magazine of April 1911.

First State Flag

Flag of UtahAn official state flag for Utah, to be given to the Battleship Utah together with the silver service, has been officially adopted by the legislature. The flag was made by the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and presented by them to the state.

[When the flag arrived at the USS Utah, it was discovered that the shield on the flag was in full color instead of white, and a gold ring around the shield had been added. Rather than have the flag remade, the Utah legislature changed the law to allow the USS Utah version to become part of the official flag. In 2011, the legislature fixed a mistake promulgated since 1922, when the year 1847 was stitched just above the year 1896, instead of on the shield.]

9th State Legislature

The Utah Legislature closed its long session of sixty-nine days on Saturday morning at 11:50, March 18. Many important laws were passed, including:

  • Regulating the liquor traffic.
  • Prohibiting the sale or exchange of cigarettes or cigarette paper.
  • A nine hour law for women.
  • Giving first and second class cities a commission form of government.
  • Providing for the erection of a state capitol building.
  • A provision for the increase of the state revenue without increasing the set levy.
  • For the erection of an Armory building for the Utah National Guard.
  • For the erection of a main building for the University of Utah.
  • A gymnasium for the Agricultural College at Logan.
  • The establishment of a state highway.
  • The creation of an emigration and labor bureau under state supervision.

61st Congress

Many important enactments passed directly and indirectly affecting Utah in the 61st Congress. The most important measures were:

  • $25,000, to be expended in the extermination of the alfalfa weevils on Utah farm lands.
  • Relief to prospective homesteaders on the Uintah Indian reservation, providing that a homesteader is only required to reside on the land for a period of eight months.
  • The state was given, for educational purposes, the group of federal buildings at Randalet, in Uintah county, formerly used by the government for Indian schools.
  • $15,000 for the construction of a steel bridge across the Duchesne river in Wasatch county.

[In 2008, Utah received $17.1 billion from the Federal Government made up of $5.6 billion in retirement and disability, $3.4 billion in grants, $3 billion in procurement, $2.4 billion in salaries, and $2.7 billion in other payments. Measured by per capita, at $6,255, Utah receives the least of any state.]

Adapted from: “Passing Events”, Improvement Era, Vol. XIV. April, 1911. No. 6.
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Carl Bloch: The Master’s Hand

Carl Bloch: The Master's Hand

Carl Bloch: The Master's Hand. When we visited, the exhibition was much more crowded

Today Jill and I attended the exhibition Carl Bloch: The Master’s Hand. Featured are five larger-than-life altarpieces. Four of these have come from Lutheran churches in Denmark and Sweden, removed for the first time since they were originally installed in the late 1800s. The fifth is Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda, which was acquired by the Museum from Bethesda Dansk Indre Mission in Copenhagen in September 2001 and remains a part of the museum’s permanent collection.

The paintings, seen in their original size, are detailed and impressive and are a must see. Bear in mind as you view them on this post that the digital images obviously do not do the originals justice. Click on the images to enlarge.

The Doubting ThomasThe Doubting Thomas

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast aseen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

John 20:24-29

Christus ConsolatorChristus Consolator

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

2 Corinthians 1:5-7

Christ in the Garden of GethsemaneChrist In The Garden Of Gethsemane

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Luke: 22:41-44

Christ Blessing the Little ChildChrist Blessing The Little Child

And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,

Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Mark 9:35-37

Christ Healing the Sick at BethesdaChrist Healing The Sick At Bethesda

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

John 5:8

About The Exhibition

The exhibit runs until May 7, 2011. You need tickets (free) from the BYU Arts website. I recommend that when you visit the exhibition that you rent for $3 an iPad loaded with the museum produced application to enhance your gallery experience.

The exhibition also includes other religious works, as well as portraits, landscapes, genre, and history paintings from many of Denmark’s museums.


Carl Bloch: Reaching toward Heaven,” Ensign, Apr 2011, 42–47.
Carl Bloch: The Master’s Hand,” Brigham Young University Museum of Art.