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The Lord has compared His people, Israel, to an Olive-tree. Here are the Lord's words through His prophet, Nephi, Son of Lehi.
Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 15: 12 Behold, I say unto you, that the house of Israel was compared unto an olive-tree, by the Spirit of the Lord which was in our father; and behold are we not broken off from the house of Israel, and are we not a branch of the house of Israel?
13 And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fullness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fullness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed—
14 And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of the Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.
15 And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God? (emphasis added)
The Chapter you are about to read which is copied, (with permission) by those who collected the real-life stories of Lamanites of our Day and Age and published them in the Book, The Blossoming II, clearly demonstrates an example of the fulfilling of the words of the Lord given through His prophet Nephi (between 600 and 592 B.C.) which you have just read.
According to Nephi's younger brother, Jacob, who also was a prophet of the Lord, we are told something about the Gentiles of our day who with great love and even much sacrifice and patience were to nurture and assist in the Lord's great work of grafting in the Lamanites of our day into "the true vine."
According to Nephi's younger brother, Jacob, who also was a prophet of the Lord, we are told something about the Gentiles of our day who with great love and even much sacrifice and patience were to nurture and assist in the Lord's great work of grafting in the Lamanites of our day into "the true vine."
2 Nephi 10: 18 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, thus saith our God: I will afflict thy seed by the hand of the Gentiles; nevertheless, I will soften the hearts of the Gentiles, that they shall be like unto a father to them; wherefore, the Gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the house of Israel. (emphasis added)
Now we will have the privilege of reading the touching and dramatic Chapter 23 from the Book, The Blossoming II
|The Gap, Arizona (U.S.A.) Where Pauline Was Born. - Photograph: Google Search|
Ezekiel and Pauline Sanchez Stand on Either Side of one of their Daughters Who was Just Married. Their Entire Family is Shown.
The Sanchez home or dwelling place on East Adobe Street in Mesa, Arizona, is a fitting, homey place. There is a serene spirit inside! In entering, ones eyes are drawn to the colorful artifacts, crafts, and posters placed high and low throughout. Striking paintings and photographs are tastefully displayed featuring largely family, but also prominent individuals such as Steve Young, Barbara Bush, and Wynonna Judd.
Despite having an extremely tightly organized schedule of family and business events and activities, Ezekiel and Pauline are open, relaxed, and friendly. In their presence, it is evident they are “people-persons.” Additionally, they take no short cuts! One of Pauline’s favorite words is "ponder.” It is also one of the key processes for her success. Elder Neal Maxwell notes that some of us like to be “In the thick of thin things.” However, Ezekiel and Pauline’s life curriculum is “Being in the thick of things which matter most.
“Pauline Sanchez relates the story of this family, “I have hesitated in being included in this publication because I am still struggling in life to live more purely those principles that govern happiness. Ezekiel, our children, and I have gone through what seemed, in moments, great testing, and then as we moved forward through it to the other side, found that we have become more united, more grateful for each other, loving more purely, and learning more of the way of true happiness.
“I can only give the honor to the Creator of us all for the good of which we are but a small part. He has enriched us as we have done our part to qualify for His help, guidance, mercy, justice, and love. He has responded in His way to grant us what was and is best for us.”
Pauline Martin, the oldest of nine children, was raised near The Gap, west of Tuba City on the Western edge of the Navajo Reservation.
“I was blessed with a great heritage that was given to me by and through my Navajo parents, Frank and Mary Johnson Martin and those who went before them and whose blood runs through my veins. They had the strengths and weaknesses that have affected my life in ways that helped me to make choices that gave me solid beginnings.
“I was born in my grandmother’s hogan in the middle of the cold month of January. I am told that I was small enough to be held in my father’s one hand. As a small child, I acquired the nickname of “tl’ezhii” (Navajo word for horse fly) because of the way I would cling to my grandfather or parents, determined to have my way.
“One story is told of when I was around two years old and living in my grandfather’s hogan. Right after the sun had risen, my grandfather tried to wake me up so I could learn to rise early. I would not get up so he carried me outside and sat me down on the ground. I ran back to my goatskin and tried to go back to sleep. He then took the goatskin with me on top of it and placed the goatskin with me on it outside. I grabbed my goatskin and went back into the hogan and put my goatskin right back where it had been and laid back down on it. Then my grandfather brought in a big shovel, scooped up some of the dirt along with the goatskin, along with me and took us all outside and dumped me with the goatskin and dirt outside. The story usually ends here because everyone is laughing.
Then other stories would be told of how I would cling to my grandfather, like a horsefly does to a horse, when he would leave to do ceremonies because he was a medicine man. That name was replaced by other names until I finally was called by my given name of Pauline.
“I retained my Navajo language because my father was not permitted to go to school. He became responsible for the Martin family livestock of horses, cattle, and sheep. I learned to ride a horse early and was taught the skills that I needed to help my father and family care for the livestock during the summers. I was taught how to live in nature as a child.
“I was put into boarding school when I was about six. Those boarding school days were laced with loneliness and sadness. I then attended Tuba City Public School, which was a little better because I lived with my Grandmother. When I missed the bus, I would run four to five miles to school. Nevertheless, it was still difficult to get good grades because I did not speak English and all my education was in English. I do have small memories of those days.
“Then I began to hear about the LDS Indian Placement Program. I don’t remember clearly how it all happened but for my third grade year, my parents signed me up to go to Utah. I was excited about it because of the good reports I heard from those who had gone on the program.
“In order to participate in the Placement Program, I had to be a baptized member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was baptized in April of 1961 at the age of eight, along with other children who were also going on the Placement Program. That fall, I waited with my family at the Gap Trading Post for the bus that was going to take me to Utah. I was excited for this adventure. After hugs and tears of family, my father spoke words that have remained with me through out my life.
“He said, ‘My little one, I want you to get a good education so that when others that speak differently (meaning English) speak to me, you can tell me what they are saying.’
I went with high expectations. I could not turn back because my father had set the forward direction for me by his words and actions. I got on the bus and traveled all night. In the morning, we arrived at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
“After going through a medical checkup, we waited. I was called into a room and find my caseworker sitting along with a man and a woman. 'Pauline, these are your new parents,’ said my caseworker. It was at that very moment, I realized how far away from home I really was and I began to cry. ‘Don’t cry, Pauline, we love you,’ said the woman as she gathered me into her arms. She held me in her arms on the way back to their home in Hoytsville, Utah, a farming community.
“I joined the Frank Vernon and Velma Stephens Judd family of three brothers and one sister. I became the youngest in this family which was opposite of my position as the second oldest in my natural family.
“The principles that governed this program and that were lived by the Judd family; along with the freedom given me by my own family to live these principles literally saved my life. I would not be who I am today and have what I have today if it had not been for those who were inspired to develop this program and all those who took part in making it a living and enriching experience for me.
“Though I had hard moments and challenging choices in the eleven years of traveling to Hoytsville, Utah and back again to The Gap in Arizona, I know that I was in the right place, at the right time, doing the right things, in the right way.
“Their determination to allow me to gain a good education was the power which ignited within me a determination to do well and to ‘walk gentle and reverently’ as I was admonished by my native aunts and as was lived by those who taught, love, and supported me in Hoytsville and Coalville, Utah.”
Looking back, Pauline reflects, “My biggest challenge was in spending time away from my family at home. However, the Placement Program was a gift and a blessing for me--a gift I had to work for to gain the good things that came through it. Sometimes it was hard for me to enjoy the goodness of life that came to me when I knew my own family did not have the same things. But I felt my reservation family’s love and support and felt that for their sakes, I could not fail at what had been given me.”
Pauline relates that from the beginning the restored gospel felt good to her. “I think I was born with a testimony. Everything spiritual felt good and was good for me. I just flowed into it. I enjoyed what I was being taught. The men and women who taught me these truths exemplified them. I loved the scriptures and enjoyed reading them. My foster parents encouraged me spiritually, educationally, and in developing my talents. For example, I sang I am a Child of God at stake conference.
“My testimony grew every time I attended primary class. It was like line upon line, precept upon precept. Oh yes! I readily admit, at times, I felt like I was living in two different worlds. But when I pondered my situation and realized how happy having a testimony of the living gospel made me feel, I would move ahead and my confusion would end. I knew at age ten that I had a testimony. I used to surprise my friends when we had sleeping parties together by bearing my testimony to them.”
Pauline learned to rely on the power of prayer as indicated from a summer reservation experience. “I was alone herding sheep and one of the big goats got a bucket stuck on its head over its horns. It tried hard but was unable to remove the pail. I was afraid I would get hurt if I tried to help. Remembering, the prayers offered by my foster family, I decided to pray about my dilemma. I whispered a humble prayer and when I opened my eyes the pail was gone from the goat.
“Another reservation incident involved my beloved mother when I was about twelve years old. Every year just before going back to Utah my mother would have the medicine man perform the Blessing-Way ceremony for me for my protection and well-being while I was away from home. My mother had left that morning to find a medicine man. As beautiful as those ceremonies were, I loved the God I had found and His greater power of the Priesthood. I climbed upon a hill near my home and solemnly prayed, Father, I love my mother and she wants this ceremony for me. If you feel this is okay, then allow her to bring the medicine man, but if this is not right, then don’t let her find a medicine man.
Time passed, and my mother returned alone, unable to find a medicine man. She went again the next day but he had not returned home yet. After that I don’t remember having the Blessing Way Ceremony done for me. I have come to understand the sacredness of the power of God by experiencing through His power the purer knowledge of my value to the Creator, physical and spiritual healing, the solid sense of well being and protection, and the personal guidance that has led me to make good choices.”
Pauline speaks of finding the true way while living in differing worlds, “I struggled trying to live the good traditions in these different worlds. It was difficult until I finally realized that as long as I live the gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter what culture I was in, I would be alright because the principles taught by Jesus Christ enhances and makes whole the true teachings of good traditions in different cultures.”
In obtaining her patriarchal blessing Pauline had a preliminary experience which offered perspective and understanding. In relating this happening she remembers receiving this life enhancing and guiding information a day after her sixteenth birthday and she became enthusiastic in discussing it. “I don’t know how my foster parents arranged it, but I received my blessing in Salt Lake City from Eldred G. Smith, the Church Patriarch. In an attitude of fasting, my foster mother and I visited with him. During that time I was still seeking answers to questions concerning LDS beliefs and the Navajo beliefs, so I asked him about some of the good that tribal medicine men did. Elder Smith said as he extended his left arm out and moved his right hand down from his left shoulder to his elbow, ‘
'A medicine man can only do so much; they can only go so far!’ Then he pointed to my whole arm and said, ‘But the priesthood goes all the way!’I was impressed because he respected the goodness that I felt about some of the medicine men’s healing ceremonies. Yet it confirmed the feelings I had that the priesthood is whole and complete.
“My patriarchal blessing was wonderful! The comfort that I received concerning my parents was very important. It helped me to always strive to honor them. Living on the reservation, my family didn't have many of the conveniences. Although my foster parents weren't rich they had a kitchen with a refrigerator, stove and oven, and they owned nice cars and an ample farm. I had a room of my own.
“My foster parents were great ‘nursing fathers, nursing mothers,’ to me, but Heavenly Father made it clear to me that my parents on the reservation were of supreme importance because of who they are and because of the heritage I have been given through my parents that all the riches in the world could not give me.
“Additionally, my patriarchal blessing revealed to me that I would have an opportunity to become educated and I needed to take advantage of my learning. Secondly, I needed to be grateful for the valuable Placement experience which I was currently undertaking. Third, I would find the man to whom I would be married and I would have the opportunity of becoming a mother. Although these promises were somewhat ordinary, they were also wonderful! It was wonderful to be open to them.
“Thus the Lord had spoken to me and I was so grateful! I more fully tried to live the way my primary teachers and my young women leaders had taught, and to prepare myself for marriage and the man who would come into my life. And also, they told me, when he arrives you will know he is the one. If I was righteous the Lord would bless me with the man I was supposed to marry.
“First and foremost, I wanted to marry a faithful priesthood holder. Secondly, I wanted to marry someone who would respect my family, whom I could take to the reservation and he would not be disappointed that we didn’t have running water, lacked electricity, had dirt floors, or lived under a tree. Third, I wanted him to be able to communicate with my mother and dad.
“As a high school senior with encouragement from my laurel leader, I had written a five-year plan for my future life. Included in my goals was to marry a Navajo in the Salt Lake Temple and to graduate from BYU when I was 24 years of age. My written goals became part of me as I carried them around in my mind and in my heart.”
From the beginning of her Placement experience in Utah Pauline was fully involved. She was ambitious and her foster mother was a pusher, so it was a combination made in Heaven. Thus, she was very busy with school and church activities. Pauline had the lead in the seventh grade play. Mrs. Judd encouraged her involvement in the Thespian club. Pauline played a part in The Dairy of Anne Frank. She entered speech and talent contests at the Lamanite Youth Conferences and was a winner in the speech contest.
Attending North Summitt High School in Coalville, Utah, was a hectic but growing time for Pauline. Academically, she achieved well, graduating fifth in a class of over 50 in 1972 and earning a Navajo Tribal Scholarship to attend BYU. She also entered a couple of beauty contests finishing as first attendant in the county and as one of six finalists for Homecoming Queen at BYU. She attended BYU to receive her BS Degree in Elementary Education. Additionally she continued to develop her talents by being part of BYU’s Lamanite Generation under the direction of Janie Thompson.
Touring with the Lamanite Generation, Pauline experienced one of the life changing experiences of her earthly sojourn. This happened when Ezekiel Sanchez dramatically entered her world. Ezekiel came from a rich, colorful background, being born in Mexico and a member of the Totonac Indian Tribe. His father brought him, his mother, and two sisters into the USA when he was four years old. As they worked on Texas ranches and in migrant fields their family grew to twelve surviving children. Ezekiel began high school in the US at age nineteen. He earned an art scholarship to BYU where he joined the Church. Ezekiel and Larry D. Olsen, of the youth leadership department, started a primitive survival program for youth at risk. Later the two men formed the Anasazi Foundation. They received a national award for this program. Later Ezekiel served a church mission. Upon his return he served as a branch president and a bishop at BYU.
Regarding Ezekiel, Pauline states, “I knew him a little bit in that we had toured together and had been reading scriptures together. I did not realize at that time that he had received a dream that I was supposed to be his wife! He didn’t tell me; he wanted me to find it out through my own experience. I respected him as a returned missionary who knew a lot about the Book of Mormon and was able to teach the gospel in an appealing way that made it seem simple. We would sit down together every morning on the Greyhound bus and read scriptures together.
“Then, one morning, he surprised me by saying, ‘Pauline, I have these tender feelings for you and I want you to fast and pray with me to see if we are meant to be married and be eternal companions’ . . . Taken back, surprised, and feeling not ready for such a momentous commitment, I told him, ‘No.’ . . . I was surprised at how I felt in my heart that I had said the wrong thing! My logic kept telling me that I had said the right thing because my intention had been to marry a Navajo and obtain my degree before marriage. I felt I was too young and had too much schooling left. However, after two weeks of experiencing unusual events and then attending a special fireside, I knew that I needed to fast and pray with him. I entered the fast logically feeling that the Lord was going to say, ‘No.’ We began our fast, and how it happened I don’t quite understand, but within 24 hours, I knew that he was the man I was to marry.
“Later, on the tour, we walked together at the Hill Cumorah and in the Sacred Grove which expanded our tender feelings for each other, combining them with a greater appreciation and devotion for Joseph Smith, the prophet of the restoration. In the Sacred Grove we announced our engagement to the rest of the Lamanite Generation and our joy in the feeling that ‘The Lord had brought us together.’ "
Arriving back at BYU, Pauline and Ezekiel journeyed to the Navajo reservation to meet with her family. “My father gave Ezekiel a very important test. All that Ezekiel had done in his life helped him pass this most significant test. He was given a bracelet and a Navajo men’s blanket to welcome him into the family.
“Some family members wanted to have a traditional Navajo wedding, but my family accepted my desires to be married in the Temple.” Good rapport and friendly acceptance were also quickly implemented between Pauline and Ezekiel’s family as they visited together in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ezekiel and Pauline were married in the Salt Lake Temple in 1974. “We pondered asking President Kimball to marry us, but decided he was so busy that we didn’t ask. However, we sent him an invitation and he sent us a gift, a copy of his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness. Inside he had pasted our invitation picture in the shape of a native pottery and signed the book with his best wishes.”
Following their marriage, they were part of the Indian Seminary Program in Lukachukai, Az., for three years. President Kimball had called them and twelve other Lamanite couples to assist with teaching Indian youth. Along with teaching seminary, Ezekiel served as a branch president, high councilor, and teacher; and Pauline served as Relief Society President, teacher, interpreter, and music director simultaneously.
Returning to BYU, Ezekiel was director of training at the mission training center when Larry Olsen called and asked him to come to Arizona and again become involved in forming Anasazi, The Making of a Walking, for at risk children. After careful prayer they moved to Arizona and became helpers in building the Anasazi, The Making of a Walking program there in Arizona.
Pauline has become more involved with Anasazi Foundation as time has passed. She has been able to define and refine the language of the treatment program. For example, from her Navajo Culture she defines the experience, “The Making of a Walking.” She states, “Both the Navajo way and the scriptures point out that life is a walk or a journey. Many youth come to us discouraged, depressed, and having lost their way through rebellion, drugs, and alcohol. They have become estranged from their family and with God. Following the principles of Jesus Christ, and with the help of Mother Earth, we are blessed to help them through a walk of discovery.”
In one of the orientation exercises, two blankets are displayed to the entering youth--a frayed, tattered, and torn Indian blanket and a fresh, new, whole one. The youth are encouraged to identify with the two blankets comparing where they are currently to what they have the opportunity of becoming. About one third of the participating youth are LDS members, but the program, even though it has a spiritual basis, is for everyone. Ezekiel states, “If you enter the program as a Catholic, we want to help you leave as a better Catholic. Or if you come as a Baptist, we hope you leave as a better Baptist.”
Youth between 12-18 years of age participate in the Anasazi program for a two month period. Violent youth are screened out along with those who lack the physical ability for a wilderness trek. Up to fifty youth are part of the experience at one time. Almost as many girls enter the program as boys. Most of the two months is spent in the wilderness in a group, usually with four others and their leader or “trail walker.” The youths progress as they make individual choices about what to wear, eat, and do, and then they face the consequences or rewards for their poor and good choices. The goal for the culmination of the wilderness experience is for the individual “to feel open to a relationship with their Creator.”
The parents of the participants attend a seminar where they receive expert counsel in parent-child relationships and in dealing with their child in a post wilderness family structure. Also, parents spend two and one half days with their child in the wilderness at the end of the experience in what is called a “Talking of the Hearts,” a reuniting communication process.
In Pauline’s total dedication to this project of aiding, recovering, and realigning as many of Father in Heaven’s children as possible, she is unaware of the number of hours it takes. She states her duties as follows, "We hold two seminars a month, we meet with the parents, we train, we do public relations, we meet with the trail walkers every Monday night and have Navajo Tacos, we do fund raising, and we explain the program to others. I don’t know--I never think of hours! Instead, I think of what we need to do next. I never put a time line on it; I just do it! When I go to the wilderness or to a parent seminar, it takes a whole day. Sometimes, I do research. Occasionally, for a few days I don’t do any Anasazi stuff! Everything is so exciting and rewarding I don’t worry about the time invested in it.”
When asked about her favorite church calling, she laughs, and states, "Being a mother and a wife! Actually, I have loved every calling I have received. They have all been a joy. To realize that He has enough confidence in me to call me to these positions is amazing. I remember I was called on the reservation to be Relief Society President, and the only thing I had done in that organization was visiting teaching. I was overwhelmed, but the sisters were so kind and helpful that I felt comfortable in that calling.”
Ezekiel and Pauline have recently been released as temple workers where they served for six years. They are currently serving in the nursery in their ward.
Children of Ezekiel and Pauline Sanchez:
Jacob Blue Mountain Eagle, age 32: Served a mission in Mexico.
Nephi Gentle Wind Eagle, age 30: Served a mission in Puerto Rico.
Lehi Thunder Voice Eagle, age 28: Served a mission in Paraguay.
April Sun Shine, age 26: Served a mission in Albania.
Sariah Morning Star, age 23: married, living in Idaho.
Rachel Summer Rain, age 21: pursuing a degree in music.
Moroni Freedom Eagle, age 19: preparing for a mission call.
Pauline states, “After much pondering and with personal knowledge of the difficulty in learning the English language, I desired our children to learn English well so they would have an equal opportunity to excel academically in an English based schooling. I then prayed in faith, asking our Father in Heaven to bless them one day to learn to speak one of the other languages when they served their missions. I would nevertheless teach them of the good traditions of their native culture.”
As parents, the Sanchez’s take a very active role in seeing that their family life enhances and promotes spiritual values. “Our house is blessed with a large library featuring many books written by the prophets and apostles. We encourage our children to read books written by the prophets. We receive copies of the conference talks and I give the seven of them a highlighter and we go through the inspired counsel. We have gathered other good books for our children to have a life-long learning in the gospel.”
Pauline relates, “We have scripture reading and family prayer. Each Sunday we attend Sacrament meeting and partake of the sacrament, which President James E. Faust has said is a protection for us. Every fast day we observe a complete fast, and before we end our fast, Ezekiel gives family members a priesthood blessing. We started this blessing as I pondered what else the children needed to empower them during the month. The answer I received was for them to hear of the love Heavenly Father has for them. I strongly felt the feeling of love was the inspired answer. Therefore, a crucial part of the blessing was for my husband to impart to our children the great love that Father in Heaven has for each of them and to do it in an intimate conservation so that the love is felt by each child. This has become a family tradition for us to feel keenly the love Heavenly Father has for each of us.”
Pauline states that the monthly blessings were amazingly helpful to her and to other family members. In evaluating this spiritual experience she talks slowly and chooses her words carefully, “During my monthly blessing I received direction regarding where I needed to be and what I needed to do for my children. It is like the heavens open to our family, and the spirit blesses each of us with understanding. We have received great comfort, and the children have a greater depth of love for each other, for us, for their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. As parents we want them to feel and discover that same love in their walk or journey on earth.”
On Sunday evenings, a family meeting is held. Pauline states, “Our Sunday night meetings started out of a need to be fully prepared for the coming week and to have a family devotional. With nine family members it was important to be prepared for the events, activities, projects, clean clothing, supplies, car pool, and needed finances for the coming week. Also we had to coordinate the Anasazi activities. We would then either read scriptures or go through a conference talk and hold family prayer followed by our family chant, ‘One, two, three--I sure love you!’
“The mission statement of our family is: We just want to live every day by the spirit, so we can be an answer to someone’s prayer as others have been to us.”
“Where much is given, much is expected. Ezekiel and I and our children have been given much. It is our goal to do what the Creator expects from us. That is why I hesitate to receive honors that elevate myself above others when I only desire to be equal before my Creator with others. We all have the capacity for happiness. We all have been given more than we realize. We all have more power to create goodness than we realize. Some things can be bought with money, some things require degrees, but the principles that govern true happiness are given by the Creator to all who do the asking and then follow His path of happiness and peace.”
As for the Blossoming II books. They are available on Amazon.com titled The Blossoming II: Dramatic stories in the Lives of Native Americans. Also both Blossoming books are available by contacting Dale and Margene Shumway by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, by mail 486 W 40 N. Orem, UT 84057, or by telephone 801 235 0986. The retail cost is for book I $12.95 and for book II $14.95 plus postage.
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