Look to the Stars


Intro 1Intro 1 The little barefoot boy pattered down the street in Rockville. There on the sidewalk was a nickel. Excitedly he picked it up. Further on he found a dime, and then another. Holding the coins in his hand he marveled. Such a lot of money! Walking ahead of him was a stranger.

"Hey mister," the boy called, racing to catch him. The man turned as the boy thrust the coins at him. "Do you have a hole in you pocket? I found these on the sidewalk behind you."

The man put his hand in his pocket. Sure enough there was a hole. Scrutinizing the lad, the man asked, "Are you 's little boy?"

"No. I am Raymond DeMille," came the reply.

"I thought you must be William's son. I didn't know there was anyone left on the earth as honest as he is."

Bishop Raymond DeMille related this incident to me. "Your grandfather, William Crawford had the reputation of being the most honest man alive. When he was bishop of Springdale, and people turned their skinny cattle in for tithing, your grandfather gave his own fat cattle to the church, and kept the skinny ones to fatten up. That's the kind of man he was."

And that's the kind of people my forebears were. They recognized the truth when they heard it, and accepted the gospel. My great-great grandfather Alpheus Gifford baptized Heber C. Kimball, grandfather of Spencer W. Kimball. In a letter, dated September 3, 1975, President Kimball has written:


Dear Friends:

As one who is very grateful, may I express the gratitude of the Kimball family that your ancestor, Alpheus Gifford, was so responsible for bringing our ancestor into the Church.

I believe in family reunions and believe that much good can be accomplished by the association of family members to recount the stories of the family and keep them fresh in the memory of the people of the family.

I hope also that the members of your family will keep records of their own lives and the lives of their family members. Such biographies and autobiographies become very precious as time goes on and generations succeed each other.

Please accept my best wishes, and may I express appreciation for the other members of the Kimball family and also for the Church for your faithfulness and devotion and loyalty.

With kindest wishes,

Faithfully yours,

Spencer W. Kimball


Heber C. Kimball returned the favor many times over. He baptized our grandparents John Parker Sr. and John Parker Jr. and Ellen Briggs when he took the gospel to England.

Intro 2Intro 2 Great-grandfather Freeborn DeMill was baptized by Hyrum Smith and confirmed by Joseph Smith Jr. at Colesville, Broome County, New York.

Our people came from England, Canada, New York and Illinois, joining the pioneer trek to the Great Salt Lake Valley. From there, Brigham Young sent them on to colonize towns further south. They lived in dugouts and wagon boxes, and ate pigweeds, cane seed and wild berries at first. They became bishops, patriarchs and auxiliary heads in their wards, part of them living in the United Order.

Our father, George Isom, grew up in Virgin, Utah, going on horseback up the river to Oak Creek selling encyclopedia sets. That's where he met our mother, Annie Crawford, the sixth child of William and Carnelia Crawford's family of thirteen children.

According to Aunt Fanny, Papa had to court Mama in the living room where the family was. Fanny was mischievous. She hid behind the kitchen door, where Papa attempted to kiss Mama goodnight. She poked a comb through the crack just before their lips met, and they kissed the comb.