My grandmother Maggie Burgon Alldredge has been on my mind a lot lately. Yesterday she would have been 100 years old if she were still with us. My brother Nick and I decided to have a family reunion to get the family together and celebrate her birthday. It was a lot of work but really worth it. My brother and I spent a lot of time going through boxes and bins at my mom’s house to find pictures, and then take and scan them all. I then put together a slideshow video which we had playing during the reunion. I’ve posted it to YouTube so other family members can see it and find it easily. My grandmother was really special to me and we were very close. My mother was single and worked to raise me and my brother, so we both got to spend a lot of time with “Gram” while mom worked.
In the LDS faith, families are very important. They are central to the gospel message. We believe in loving heavenly parents, a Father in Heaven who wants His children to return and live with him. We believe in eternal families. I fully believe I will see my grandmother again. This mortality is a separation, but it is not final. When we die, our spirit continues on. Through Jesus Christ we will each be resurrected. This brings great comfort to me.
Grandma taught me much about what I know about the gospel. She served as Relief Society President three times. She was always at the church for funerals and other service projects. Her front room was often filled with relief society sisters quilting. I would play with my Hot Wheels cars underneath the quilts. We would run loaves of bread all around to other sisters in the ward. I would try to find something to do while they would visit. I knew my grandmother very well and we were very close.
She helped raise me while my single mother worked to support us. However, my children never had the privilege in this life to meet my grandmother, so I will share a few lessons she taught me. I was her boy and I learned these things at her knee.
I often heard her tell me of how the Lord blessed her because she paid tithing. She told me of how one night she prepared a meager meal for the family, cleaned up, and went to bed knowing there was no other food in the cupboard for the next day. She prayed that the Lord might bless them with something. The next morning she woke up and there was a bucket of potatoes on the porch and a squash. She said that something like that always happened. From her I learned that tithing brought real blessings. The Lord never let them go without because she always paid her tithing.
I remember kneeling at night by the bed with my grandmother and listening to her pray. She would be pray out loud for all her children and grandchildren. I learned that prayer was important to to my grandmother.
Lastly, I can remember a set of cassette tapes my grandmother had of the Book of Mormon. They were in story form with actors playing the voices. We would listen to the sounds of Nephi building a ship or Abinadi crying repentance to King Noah. I didn’t like reading the scriptures when I was very young, but I really enjoyed these tapes and I got to know the stories in the Book of Mormon very well. I would also see my grandmother reading and marking her scriptures with a little red pencil. She made many notes in the margins. My grandmother believed in The Book of Mormon. I now have a love for the Book of Mormon because of the seeds of faith my grandma nurtured in me at a young age.
My grandmother suffered many hardships of life. She had great sorrow and tremendous joy. she had a testimony of the scriptures. As I get older I love learning more about her life. I plan on posting more stories about her.
Grandma Maggie (Burgon) and Grandpa Phil Alldredge
From her obituary: “She (Maggie) was born January 1, 1918 in Union, Utah to Willard Charles and Mary Ann Walker Burgon. Married Phillip R. Alldredge in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on January 4, 1937. He preceded her in death on May 31, 1967. Maggie was a lifelong resident of Union. An active member of the LDS Church, she served in various auxiliary positions including Relief Society president three times. She served as a temple worker at the Jordan River LDS Temple and was a member of the Daughters of The Utah Pioneers, Union Fort Camp. Maggie loved gardening and quilting.Her happiest times were with her family and serving others.”