|Robert Henry Swain|
19 Mar 1835--18 Nov 1995
What’s unique in Grandpa Henry’s story is that when he departed from Liverpool on April 29, 1865, on the ship Belle Wood, he left alone. He and Elizabeth had separated five years earlier. We don’t know the circumstances of the divorce, but we do know that Elizabeth was not happy with Henry and had tossed her wedding band into the sea. Grandpa subsequently lost his membership in the Church.
Ponder for a moment and visualize Grandpa walking alone into the Great Salt Lake Valley with the William S. S. Willes wagon company on November 11, 1865. I wonder what he was thinking and feeling as he entered the valley. What was this divorced and excommunicated brother to do there? He had no useful skills for the Saints at that time, and he wasn’t in a position to provide much priesthood service.
|Harper's Weekly of Robert Henry|
Master Stone Mason on the
Walls of the Salt Lake Temple
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Alma the Elder personally experienced this wonderful paradox:
|Stone Masons of the Salt Lake Temple|
Robert Henry is the tallest, at center.
In my heart I see Grandpa Henry trudging into the Great Salt Lake Valley, laden with his own burdens. The Lord’s tender response was not to grant a reprieve and a vacation; rather, Grandpa Henry was invited to “Come, follow me” and give himself to the Lord’s will and to His work. The blessed work was restful and refreshing, and Grandpa was renewed. The key to finding rest and renewal is to give ourselves wholly and wholeheartedly to God’s work and to His will. Grandpa Henry worked in God’s stone quarry and found renewal of his life.
|Vernal Temple of the Church of|
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Vernal temple, seen here was originally the Vernal Stake Tabernacle in Vernal, Utah. It was built in 1912 with brick from the Swain Brick Yard of Abner Swain, son of Robert Henry Swain.
Taken from a talk by Dr. Monte Swain at Brigham Young University, May 27, 2008.
Dr. Swain and LaRee are both direct descendants (great grandfather of Robert Henry Swain.