In the Old Testament in Malachi 4: 6 it reads:
“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
This past week we celebrated Father’s Day and so naturally my thoughts turn to my father, Don Zollinger. My dad passed on several years ago, but his influence will always be there in my life. He, along with my mother, taught me to work, and they taught me the value of education. My father returned to the university at age 38 and earned his undergraduate degree at the age of 40. In so doing, it changed our family completely when we moved from rural Utah to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970. Our family’s future and fortune changed on that decision. My mother who graduated from high school never had an opportunity to attend college, but she is the smartest person I know. A self-taught computer programmer, she blazed the path for several of us to get into the “family business.” Information technology has served the Zollinger family well.
What has this to do with our mission? I know you are asking this question. Let me explain my thinking. This past week we were able to visit Topsfield, Massachusetts, the ancestral home for several generations of the Joseph Smith, Jr family. Robert Smith was the first of Joseph Smith, Jr’s ancestors to come to America. After serving as an indentured servant in Boston, he purchased a farming homestead in Topsfield. His children and grandchildren were born there, including Joseph Smith, Sr the father of Joseph Smith, Jr, the American Prophet. His father, grandfather, great-grandfathers were farmers. Recently a monument was dedicated by President Russell M Ballard to the Smith Family Ancestors in the small cemetery in Topsfield. This is now standing next to an original monument from 1873 in the same location. Sister Zollinger and I traveled to see this monument. Here are a few pictures:
We also took a short trip to Portland, Maine, about two hours from where we are and visited the cost. There is no other adjective to describe Maine other than spectacular! It is simply beautiful to see. We enjoyed seeing a few lighthouses, which remind me of my favorite hymn, "Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy." Here are those lyrics and then some pictures to put them into perspective:
We all have a need for a "lighthouse" in our life to show us the way past danger, and to light the right way to go. Many have provided that for me in my life, parents, teachers, church leaders, co-workers, managers, etc. And even now I have great examples for me in the way of the young missionaries of our Lowell District. I will close with a picture of them.