Saturday, October 14, 2017

“The Thirteenth Apostle”

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Who was referred to as the Thirteenth Apostle?
a.                  Porter Rockwell
b.                  Lucy Mack Smith
c.                   Susa Young Gates
d.                  Lot Smith
Yesterday’s answer:
C.   Six feet
Utah was to become a state. There was a great deal of excitement in anticipating this coming event. Everyone seemed busy making ready for the big celebration that was to take place in the famous Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square. People traveled from all parts of Utah to attend. It took some people two or more days to reach Salt Lake. Some came in surreys; some came in wagons; some came in wagon boxes, and some came on hayracks with hay to feed their horses. They parked their teams back of what was then the tithing office.
   Committees were appointed to prepare for this long-awaited event. One committee was headed by Hyrum B. Clawson, bishop of one of the wards. He said, “We will make an American flag so the people of Utah will see, for the first time, the 45th star—the Utah Star—placed on the blue field of our beloved American flag.” This flag was marked and cut by my brother, David Glade, and was made on the high-powered sewing machines in the ZCMI clothing factory. This flag was 160 feet long and 78 feet wide. The stripes were six feet in width. The stars were six feet from tip to tip. These dimensions were handed to me by my brother on a little card that is now yellow with age. 
   Six women were asked to make this flag. I was the youngest of the group, the other five being considerably older than I. The flag was made of good bunting, and every seam was felled to give it strength. Placing the stars on the blue field was the hardest task and the most tedious. The blue was put in blocks with each block large enough to place a star on it. The blocks were then joined together. By this method we were able to do a better job of placing the stars on the blue field. It took one week, working eight to ten hours a day, to make the flag. When it was finished, it took eight strong men to lift it.
   We who worked on the flag were not told where it was to be placed. We knew it could not be placed on a flagpole. We were soon to find out that it was to be placed in the Tabernacle and would form a ceiling. The blue field was placed near the large organ in the northwest part of the Tabernacle. There was nine feet of space between the dome of the Tabernacle ceiling and the flag. When the air circulated through this space, it caused the flag to ripple across the ceiling. What a beautiful sight! As I watched the flag as it rippled across the ceiling, tears filled my eyes and a lump came up in my throat. I felt this flag was saying, “Proudly I wave over you, home of the brave and land of the free!” Utah was certainly a home of the brave. Our brave pioneers suffered and came here to have freedom of worship.
   It was now time for the ceremonies to begin. A large electric light had been placed just back of the Utah star. The audience was seated and attention given to the speaker. At the designated time, the light was turned on, and the Utah star shone out bright and beautiful. People wept with joy and were filled with humility as they saw the Utah star take its place with the other forty-four stars representing the states in the Union. The dream of the people of Utah had come true! For the first time the Utah star took its place on the blue field of our beloved flag. Patience and hard work had been rewarded. For many years this flag had the distinct honor of being the largest flag ever made.
   The flag stayed on the ceiling of the Tabernacle for one and one-half years. It was then taken down and placed on the south wall of the outside of the Temple. It covered the entire wall. This was July 24, 1897, celebrating fifty years since the coming of the first pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley. We last saw the flag adorning the Temple. Many prominent people have tried to trace the flag’s whereabouts, but have not succeeded.

Chronicles of Courage, Lesson Committee (Salt Lake City: Talon Printing, 1996) Vol. 7, 217-218.

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