Friday, October 30, 2009

Church History in the Family: Bishop Wells

President David O. McKay and President Harold B. Lee used to relate an incident from the life of Bishop John Wells that is instructive to all of us. Bishop Wells was a great detail man and was responsible for many Church reports.

A son of Bishop and Sister [Almena Thorpe] Wells was killed in a railroad accident on October 15, 1915. He was run over by a freight car. Sister Wells could not be consoled. She received no comfort during the funeral and continued her mourning after her son was laid to rest. Bishop Wells feared for her health, as she was in a state of deep anguish.

One day, soon after the funeral, Sister Wells was lying on her bed in a state of mourning. The son appeared to her and said, “Mother, do not mourn, do not cry. I am all right.”

He then related to her how the accident took place. Apparently there had been some question—even suspicion—about the accident because the young man was an experienced railroad man. But he told his mother that it was clearly an accident.

Now note this: He also told her that as soon as he realized that he was in another sphere, he had tried to reach his father but could not. His father was so busy with the details of his office and work that he could not respond to the promptings. Therefore, the son had come to his mother.

He then said, “Tell Father that all is well with me, and I want you not to mourn any more.” (See David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953, pp. 525–26.)
Second wife of Bishop Wells was Margaret Ann NEWMAN. Margaret is the first cousin of Sarah Jane GIBSON WOOD. She is the 1st cousins 4 times removed to Lark’s children. Their common ancestors are Joseph NEWMAN and Elizabeth HUGHES.
Margaret Ann Newman Wells is the author of "Bishop John Wells: His life and labors, 1864-1941".
Wells, Margaret Ann Newman, a member of the General Board of the Y. W. M. I. A., was born Dec. 30, 1892, in Holladay, Utah, the daughter of Thomas Samuel Newman and Caroline Wayman. She attended the L. D. S. University and Business College in Salt Lake City, labored as a teacher in the Holladay Ward Sunday School and as stake secretary of the Y. L. M. I. A. of Cottonwood Stake. In 1914-1916 she filled a mission to the Central States, and was mission stenographer for eighteen months of this time. In 1929-1930 she filled an eighteen months' mission in the Eastern States, and was mission stenographer and president of the Y. L. M. I. A. She was called to the General Board in June, 1921. For five years she was stenographer in the Presiding Bishop's office, and for a number of years a law stenographer. Her hobby is record keeping and gathering genealogy. She was sent as a delegate to the Convention of the National Council of Women in 1930, which was held in New York City. She is the wife of Bishop John Wells.
(Ensign 1984 May, Statistical Report 1983, Prominent Members Who Have Passed Away Since Last April)
Elder Mark E. Petersen, member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles; Clara May Jeffs Hunter, wife of Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve Apostles; Lucille Thurman Buehner, widow of Carl W. Buehner, counselor in the Presiding Bishopric; Margaret Ann Newman Wells, widow of John Wells, Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric; Blanche Black Stoddard, former general Relief Society secretary; and Paul Benjamin Tanner, former general Sunday School treasurer.

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