GREAT GRANDDAD HOLMAN
(James Alonzo Holman)
Mary Jean Caldwell
My father told family members this story and we all need to remember the lessons he learned from this early member of the church:
(Story below as told by Calvin A Walker)
At the old age of 14 (really 13), I decided to get a job, make lots of money; save most of it and when my girl graduated from High School we could get married. I would by then have a house for us and we would be ready to start our family. My father, after many attempts on my part, found me a job working on the farm in Lindon for his mother and grandfather, my great granddad Holman.
Now that I was a man I needed to stay there to work all winter. It also meant that High School activities were a no-no and because of the hours and the distance from their home in Lindon, I wasn’t able to see much of my girl, Lucille.
From the money I earned I had to pay Grandma and Great Granddad board and room and my tithing must be paid also. There wasn’t much left over to save.
When the days got short and I wasn’t so busy, I was a ready-made audience for the stories of my great granddad. He could weave stories so that I could see the things he told me and feel part of them sometimes. What a great storyteller!
But the stories were far from boring, they were church history! Great Granddad knew the Prophet Joseph Smith. He could remember every detail of his looks, the way he played with the children (Great Granddad was one of them), and the way he moved among the people. It seemed to him that the Prophet knew everyone. As a child in Nauvoo it seemed to him this man was bigger than life; Great Granddad was only 9 years old when the Prophet and his brother were martyred.
When the saints started west he drove a wagon and his father drove President Young’s sheep herd to the valley. He had his thirteenth birthday just before entering the Great Salt Lake Valley. (Blue books on Church History)
He also personally knew Brigham Young and would tell of seeing the mantle of the Prophet Joseph Smith descending on him. He felt that this was a chosen man and a great man chosen by the Lord to continue the work started by Prophet Joseph Smith. He would describe him in a very reverent manner and always end by saying, “Follow the Prophet.”
As a result of this winter, my father would always end by saying, “Follow the Prophet. Never waver from him and you will have eternal life with him. I personally knew that my Great granddad knew the first two prophets personally and he knew they were men of God. He knew beyond a doubt that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ and he never wavered.”