Monday, March 2, 2009


We had the unique opportunity this past weekend to travel to Klamath Falls, Oregon, for a very special event. An event that I have heard several describe as "a miracle". Eric's maternal grandfather, Claude Olson, was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is 96 years old. Eric's grandmother passed away several years ago, but she is the one who brought the gospel to the family and raised their 6 children in the church. Those children (including Eric's mom) all went on to have several of their own children, all raised in the church, and so on. Grandpa was extremely supportive, drove the family to church, donated time and money to the church, etc., but was not interested in becoming a member. We found out recently that the reason he did not want to be baptized was that he was not ready to obey the Word of Wisdom (for those of you who are not Mormon, this entails avoiding things like smoking, drinking alcohol, coffee, tea, etc.) and he did not want to be a hypocrite. He had given up drinking and smoking a few years ago, and really was just drinking coffee each morning. He recently decided that he could do without that as well and asked to have the missionaries come and teach him about the gospel. At this time, Eric's mom, Jane, had the opportunity to stay with Grandpa and care for him while his wife was in the hospital. She was able to have many spiritual discussions with him, to pray with him, and learn that he has always had a testimony of the gospel. The family had all but given up hope that he would accept the gospel in this life, but as she stated at the baptism, miracles do happen. I feel honored and blessed to have been a part of this event.

I had only had the opportunity to meet Grandpa Olson once before this - a few years ago at the lake. But from what I hear, Eric gets a lot of his mechanical talents, or as I like to call it, his "MacGuyver-ness" from his Grandpa.

He has a hard time getting around these days, but as you can see from the pictures, he was positively glowing that day

This is at Grandpa's house, which by the way, is a beautiful old house. Eric's 2 brothers and 1 of his sisters were also able to attend.

Here's our little family with Grandpa. Haylie was too shy to talk to her Great Grandpa, but I hope she will be able to remember this special day.

Linda, Maryann, Laura, John, Jane, and Barbara with their father

These are all the family members that were able to make it to the event.

By my count, he has 6 children, 37 grandchildren, and at least 69 great-grandchildren. Wow!

This experience taught me a few things: 1) there is always hope 2) prayers do get answered, even if it is not within the timeline you hoped or anticipated 3) it is NEVER too late to change your mind!


Stefanie said...

Absolutely awesome!!! I am so glad you guys got to go participate. That's how i feel about so many things, never too old etc.

Jenn said...

96!! Glad you were able to be there for him!

Brock said...

That is truly amazing! I think you should submit this entry to the ensign!