Last week's Men and Women of Faith lecture "My Dear Sister: Joseph F. Smith's Letters to His Sister, Martha Ann Smith Harris" by Dr. Richard Neitzel Holzaphel was excellent. I was grateful to be in the Assembly Hall. The loving and caring relationship President Smith and his sister shared was reflected in the letters they wrote one another. They reminded me of my own mother's relationship with her brother Harold.
Harold saved all of the letters Helen wrote him during his 1936-1938 mission to Brazil and his family gave them to me. I've yet to read and study through all of them.
The following counsel from Harold in this Fall 1937 letter is an early favorite.
Harold and Helen had written each other about the biggest problem they each faced at the time. Harold's was, shall I borrow some money before returning home so I can travel in Europe? Helen's was, how much longer shall I wait to marry Glenn Frazier, who had moved to California for work and education?
Jaragua do Sul, Sept. 27, 1937
You asked wether I had things planned for my return. I certainly have. I have no other idea in my head than that, that I am going to school immediately upon returning. I know I can, if I try hard enough, and I shall surely try. I guess you read the letter wherein I asked about the trip to Europe. What do you think I should try to do, even if it is possible to borrow the money? I don’t know whether I should or not. I am almost afraid that $150.00 is too much to load upon a persons shoulders where he is trying to get an education. I am going to ask Pres. Howells when he comes two weeks from now.
The only thing is that the chance will probably never come again at least for quite a few years. Right now I need that experience. Traveling is really a wonderful experience. That would be something that very few people get to see. I am very much in doubt though, as to whether or not I should try to borrow the money. Maybe you could give me an idea or your opinion as to what I should do.
Helen I think your idea about getting married is a very good idea. That is the only thing for you and Glenn to do. You have gone together long enough. You would both be much more happy. I hope the climate down there helps you. Write and tell me if it does.
My advice not long ago to Winnie is that we should all be married in the Temple. Helen if it is at all possible get married in the Temple. If you just can’t make it, then go down to California and get married. Then as soon as possible get through the Temple, but by all means do it just as soon as possible, and use no procrastination about it.
Not long ago I read an article written by President Grant. He said that it was his first intentions with his first wife not to get married in the Temple just at the time they were to be married because they lived down in Southern Utah, and would have to have made the trip with team and wagon, and that would have taken to much time. At which time he was very busy. But they finally did decide to be married in the Temple instead of putting it off until the next year. They were married and shortly after they were married his wife died. Had he not married in the Temple when he first got married, he wouldn’t have been able to go through the Temple with that wife. He would have had the work done for his wife. He is a Prophet of God and he advises all people to be married in the Temple. So Helen if it possible get married in the Temple. But if it is not at all possible then go to California and get married.
I hope that you and Glenn will be happy and I am sure you will, if you keep active in the church.