Funeral Services for Sister Cora Rawlins
Held Sunday, February 14, 1937
in the Lewiston, Utah, First Ward
Selection by Choir: "Resting From Care and Sorrow."
Prayer by Brother James Taggart-
Our Father which art in Heaven: In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Redeemer, we have assembled ourselves together today to pay tribute and respect to one of Thy daughters who has completed to the full life's mission here on Earth.
We thank Thee for the life of this good woman, Sister Rawlins, and for the faithful service she has rendered here upon this Earth. We thank thee for the family that she and her husband have been privileged to bring into mortality and for the live these children have lived. They have been taught those principles of the Gospel that have instilled a reverence for Thee, and they have put into effect the desire to serve Thee and keep Thy commandments.
We ask Thee, our Father, to bless the members of the family who have been prohibited from being here at this time. Let Thy blessings rest down on them and let the influence of this meeting be felt by them as well as those who are here assembled. We ask Thee to comfort and console them and that they might be here in spirit and in mind. We pray especially for the missionary who is out proclaiming Thy gospel. Let Thy choicest blessings be with him. May he continue his mission until it is complete, and may he have joy and satisfaction in the same and return home at the end of his mission feeling satisfied with his labors. We pray for the daughter who is absent that she might have every blessing that will be for her well being at this time.
Bless those who take part in the services this day, in singing or in speaking. Let Thy blessings be upon them. Let Thy spirit guide and direct and lead in the expression of their thoughts, and let these services be a means of turning the hearts of all here to serve Thee and keep thy commandments.
Hear our prayer, Heavenly Father, and grant these blessings inasmuch as they are for the good of Thy people, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Remarks: by Brothers and Sisters:
Brother G. A. Hogan
It seems that I should be down with my kinfolk on the mourner's bench, but since It is the request of the family, and I believe that it would be in keeping with the desires of Aunt Cora, I'm willing to respond with this call. In doing so, I hope that I shall enjoy the spirit of the occasion.
We have met together today to pay homage and respect and to offer sympathy to our neighbors and friends who have been called to part with a friend and mother. This is indeed, my friends, a very keen responsibility. She has suffered much, and she has gone through an ordeal that is almost beyond human endurance, and I am sure that we would not call her back if it were within the power of any of us. To call her home would be possibly be the last act of our lives. We concur with the desires of our Heavenly Father who has taken her home. After these many days, weeks, and months of suffering, to think that a Wise Creator has saw fit to release her and take her home. I can think of nothing so sweet as this Is on this occasion.
O my friends, if we were permitted to live on, and on, this would be a dreary world. But since in the program of our Father, He has willed that is should be as it is, if we rejoice in that plan, and we all acknowledge that it is for a wise purpose that Aunt Cora was taken at this time. I know that when her last hours had come, after these boys had waited upon her, had stood by and witnessed the suffering that she had gone through, I am sure that each one said in his own heart, "Thank God that He has been so kind and tender and willing to take our mother, mush as we love her."
She has been a part of a program that has carried a very definite load. When Aunt Cora came into the family, she came at a time when Grandma and Grandpa Rawlins were old and needed attention. She cared for them and her husband and reared her family in the light of truth, because she lived it herself. It was only in the early part of her married life when her husband was stricken and it became necessary for her to take on additional responsibilities. On this little farm she not only took on the cares of her family and associations, but the responsibility she had in operating a farm. When I think over the care and responsibility she had in operating that farm and how she succeeded I hardly know how she was able to do it.
You all know how Aunt Cora served in the community as well. She was Relief Society President for many years. The mission of the Relief Society is to care for the poor and needy and those in want. She always gave me a willing hand and performed her duties without murmuring.
Sometimes I thought she neglected her duties at home to give assistance to others, but I think It is not true. Her husband and children were well taken care of. She conducted a large responsibility during her time. I might say as best the poet has:
"She lived in sacrifice all her duties to accomplish in the mission which is now ended."
In caring for her husband, who was an invalid for upwards of twenty-five years, she did it willingly, without a murmur, without a thought of sacrifice. She hoped that someday he might become well again. In this recent illness which happened soon after her husband was taken, she carried on as she could and endured much suffering but never complained even to her dying day.
Up until two or three days of her demise she had a hope she would live and see her boys grow up; to see them be what she taught them to be. The kind hand of Providence took her away. Mrs. Rogers was caring for her at the time of her sickness. When Aunt Cora discovered that her operation was not successful, she asked for Sister Rogers to pray that she might die. The Bishopric were called and asked to dedicate her to die, and her wish was granted.
We have parted a noble character - - one who has done the real things of life; one who has lived with her neighbor and lived the Golden Rule. Only the other day one of her neighbors called in. He said: "I go there quite often and talk about different things of the eternity. I always like to go there because there is an inspiration in this home." He said: "You know, Brother Hogan, if everyone was as good as this woman, they would, like her, get one of the best seats in the kingdom of heaven, I am sure." That brother was right. If my lot were cast the same I would not worry.
We speak of the virtues and blessings of peace, and goodness and what they do, but sometimes we forget the purpose. This woman had an objective that was that when she finished her mission she would reach her goal, the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven. We will receive from our Heavenly Father what we earn. If we live the celestial laws here, I am sure we will be entitled to the celestial inheritance in the Kingdom of Heaven. We must live those laws.
The Master has:~ "Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give the rest." That is a beautiful sentence and he goes on with the next expression: "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Let us follow the teachings of the Master and enjoy the blessings He has promised us according to the laws he has given.
My time has expired. I want to eulogize Sister Rawlins. I want to say to the boy and girls before me that they have been left a wonderful heritage. If they will follow their teachings they will live in the straight and narrow path that leads to life eternal. May He bless them and the missionary, Reed, who is far off preaching the Gospel. I think that it is wonderful that this good woman has sent three missionaries abroad to preach the Gospel and that she has been able to keep them there. How proud she must be of them. She has said how thankful she is that she has financed these boys. It was a great privilege and opportunity for them.
I want to say to the boys, the family, the sisters, and brothers who are here, to carry on and emulate the example of this good woman.
If you do this you will be saved in the Kingdom of Heaven. That this may be your lot, I pray In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Vocal duet: Rock or Ages
By Sisters Rachael Harrison and Belle Kemp.
Remarks: Sister Valiera Taggart
My dear Brothers and Sisters: I feel it an honor to say a few words on this occasion. I'll try to take up a different side of Cora's life than that of Brother Hogan.
I have been acquainted with her since she came to Lewiston. I appreciate the privileges I have had to labor with her in different organizations. At the time when Sister Ellen Hyer was President of the Relief Society, Cora and I were counselors. We labored with her for eight years and learned her true character. At this time her children were small. It was hard to accomplish her family duties, but she always found a way and gave service to those who needed help. She was cheerful and always willing to do her share and did it uncomplainingly. Anyone who has worked in the Relief Society knows the amount of work, and after Cora was released as a counselor she labored as Relief Society teacher for many years. Many of the Sisters who have visited her in her home tell of the spirit that radiated there, just as Brother Hogan said.
In later years she came to work in the Primary while 1 was working in that organization. This time she was a class leader in the boy's class. She labored with Sister Charlotte Rogers until the class was separated giving each a class of their own. She was very successful in this calling. To me it seems she knew what to say and what to do. She knew just how to do it to get the attention and support of the boys. In this calling she had charge of the activities. She would go to ball games. She brought out all there was in the boys. One boy said he learned more in her class than in all other classes he attended.
Many others could bear testimony of the same things. She labored in this capacity for twelve years. She would take her boys on excursions to the Temple, baptizing for the dead. The persons these boys were baptized for were those who had never heard the Gospel here on Earth. After the work was completed they went out on the Temple Grounds or some other nice pleasant place and ate a nice lunch and engaged in some activities. She labored faithfully with the boys to bring them to a knowledge that she possessed of the principles of Christ.
I know the Gospel is true and the meaning it has for us if we will but heed its commandments. I know these boys will appreciate the help she gave them over the slippery paths of youth.
May the Lord bless her good family, and when the temptation comes to these boys, and it will, if they will only remember the teachings of their mother they will continue in the path of righteousness.
May the Lord help us to realize our responsibilities and may he bless these boys who have been an honor to their father and mother. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Vocal solo: "Face to Face"
By Hazen Bright
Remarks: Brother Dow Lewis
I have enjoyed the remarks of the previous speakers. I feel honored in being asked to say a few words today. I was thinking while Brother Hogan was talking, I could say Amen to what had been said by him and it would be my sentiments.
I compare life to a day's work and when I look into the faces of these children who Sister Rawlins has mothered and been responsible for bringing into this life, I think what a wonderful day's work The sun hasn't gone down without completing the day's work in a very fine way. She came here and accomplished the thing she intended to do.
She was a great organizer. She has the organization in the family that is quite unusual. Her life has been the means of organizing this congregation and bringing them here today. She has affected this many people in her live. She has affected many, many more, there is no doubt. To the extent that we do influence people we just don't know, but we do know that we affect and influence people and when we can influence people for good I am sure that the blessings we receive will be much greater than influencing for bad.
Death is not so serious. When I looked into the face of Sister Rawlins a few nights ago and then looked into her face yesterday, I thought what a wonderful Leader we have. What a fine piece of work Someone has done in taking this dear Sister. She looked happy, contented and peaceful. Before when I saw her she was suffering and looked terrible to me. I thank my Maker for this condition. How kind and charitable that this death business has been brought into our lives.
I have known Sister Rawlins nearly all my life and if I reiterate some of Brother Hogan's remarks, it is only because I see some of the things as he did. I can see her away back in my early life with Grandma and Grandpa Rawlins. She took care of Grandpa in a noble manner and after his suffering was over she took care of Grandma and had a great responsibility for many years. She had a brother who lived with her for quite a while and he passed away while living there. As was stated, her husband was afflicted. She met the situation wonderfully.
She made him believe that he was a bigger sweetheart than ever. At the same time she did the work Sister Taggart mentioned. She raised a large family.
After her husband passed from this life, very suddenly afterwards, she became afflicted. She has lived a sacrifice, the greater the blessings. It was a great privilege for her to do the service she did and the joy and consolation that came to her made her richer.
We got a letter from her son who is on a mission, and when the Bishop and Brother Hyer and my self received this letter it touched us, of course. A son on a mission preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, bringing people to a more perfect knowledge of the Gospel. When this message came to Reed that his mother had no hope of living, and this information came from a brother, and he doing the Master's service, it is hard for us to appreciate the hand of the Lord in such things as this. From his early live he received from her the background for this fortification to face this situation in the best way.
I think it not amiss at this time to read the letter Reed sent to his mission President:
Rock Hill S. C. Jan30, 1937
Dear President Richards:
I am writing you for a little advise on a very important matter.
About three months ago the doctor told my brother that mother would only last for a short time, or it might be a long time. It could not be said when. She has cancer of the stomach.
Last Thursday I received. a letter stating that they thought the end was very close. Mother is getting weaker very fast.
My brother said I should finish my mission, but the question is whether to go home just before her death, when it comes, then come back after the funeral.
I would give about anything of earth to see mother again in this life.
My father is dead and this makes mother more dear to me, because when sh is gone I won't have either to go to with my problems of life.
The last month I haven't been able to settle down to work for the fact that I had home conditions and mother on my mind.
I love my work in the mission field and If I had to go home and stay it would break my heart.
I told my brother I would write you and see what you thought about it. I am sure you can see how I feel. I am a boy and a long way from home asking for some advise on what to do, and you are placed in authority over me.
Reed L. Rawlins
We don't feel sorry for Sister Rawlins, we're only feeling sorry for ourselves. We're rather lonely. We don't quite understand the purposes of our Father in Heaven. Here's a son, who is a mere boy, who says it would break his heart to come home. His brother tells him to stay. Reed says to his President, "You are in authority over me." "Not my will but Thine be done." He's getting joy out of his work. This is a trial. Again I say the greater the sacrifice, the greater the blessing.
It is good to associate with people of this nature. The example that this mother has set is the greatest contribution for good that has been made by her. Her great contribution sits here on this front bench. The responsibility of the future rests on such men as Brother and Sister Rawlins produced. And she has not lived in vain. Her day's work is done. The best of the journey is returning home, I am sure. It is always that way with me.
These boys with their mother have met with the Bishop every year and paid their tithing with more money than we could believe they could receive. These boys worked hard and harmoniously on this farm. I would say to these boys that you don't have the advise from your father and mother any more, but you do have their teachings that will live with you always. Don't let anything disturb the love you have for one another. In dividing your property ask your Heavenly Father to help you that your life may not be disturbed through and financial affair. Have brotherly love and' the Lord will bless you. Do all things in the right spirit, and may the Lord bless you that you may have the same objectives and purpose in your life as did your mother, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Solo: "Going Home"
By Brother Merle J. Cunningham
Remarks: Bishop David 0. Hendricks
I feel it an honor to be asked to make a few remarks at this time.
I endorse what has been said regarding this family. I have been very much impressed with the words that have been spoken. We were called to the bedside of Sister Rawlins before her passing. I called Brother Hyer and we went to the home. Sister Rawlins was very much in distress and she asked if she could be dedicated to the Lord. We told her that if it was her desire, we would be grant it.
May I pay this tribute to Brother Hyer, who I feel, has the ability to call down the blessings. He did so and I felt sure at the time that the prayer would be answered. I told the boys that I thought the prayer would be answered and it was in a short time that she passed away.
One thought that I would like to leave is that inasmuch as she has been faithful in tithing, I would exhort the remaining family to continue that practice. Don't forget the Lord and you will always have something to pay. Apostle Ballard says the time will come when those who do not pay tithing will have nothing to pay from, They have been very faithful In that practice at that home.
I appreciate very much what has been said. This family is one that has never had many things done for them. They have done for themselves.
If we wanted something done here in the ward and asked them for a team to help us, they were always willing, and if they could not do the work themselves, they arranged to have someone else do it. I am sure that the neighbors have found it the same when they wanted a favor. They feel just this way in the things that have been done for them in the time of the sickness and death of their mother. The passing of their mother is sacred to these young men just as it is to you and I. They are grateful for everyone who contributed in flowers, cards, or everything anyone has done.
May the Lord bless us and these boys in the family that they might have wisdom to go about their work in a profitable and pleasing way, I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Resolutions read by Mary Ann Rawlins
Resolutions of respect.
In memory of our dear sister Cora.
Boys your Mother was tired and weary. Weary with toil and with faith into Heaven's mansions. She's entered never to sigh nor to weep again after long years with life's struggle. She has fallen asleep. she has gone to meet other dear ones over there. She has left her darling children in each others care to mourn her loss - though our hearts are near breaking - we must not even question why - nor for the world would we wake her - she is not dead but just sleeping - to know her is to love her - no one can fill her place with her kind works, her wise counsel, her faith, her loving sacrifice, and her unfaltering trust in God - we hope to keep alive the memory of this good woman. Life is like flowers, bloom today and fade tomorrow it is sad - but she was ready for the call - you will miss her - but trust in the Lord - and in your sorrow remember conditions might of been worse - so be strong and brave - for there is eternal love and live beyond the grave - with love and sympathy - may the Lord bless and comfort you all.
Selection by Choir: "Sister Thou Wast Mild and Lovely."
Closing Prayer: Brother Joseph Rambaugh (Brother-in-Law)
Our Heavenly and Eternal Father: We have come before Thee at the close of these services and render thanks. We are grateful for Thy Spirit which has been present and for the words that have been spoken. May we put them into practice that we might live lives worthy of example.
We thank Thee Heavenly Father for the life of Thy servant who lies before us and that she has been permitted to live with us as long as she has. Bless the boys that they might have the richest of blessings upon them, that they may gain consolation and meet their mother again. May her memory be cherished throughout the ages of eternity. Bless the daughter who is unable to be here at this time, and the missionary who is out preaching the Gospel. Strengthen our testimonies and help us to understand our true position in life. Go with us to the cemetery that no accident may befall us we ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Dedication of grave by Brother Joseph Rawlins.
RESOLUTIONS OF RESPECT IN MEMORY
OF OUR DEAR BROTHER ALF, WITH LOVE AND SYMPATHY
We as brothers and sisters, present these few lines of love and devotion, in behalf of our beloved and honored brother. We desire to make sacred his memory - for to know him was to love him. We deeply regret the passing of dear Alf; for our association with him has been full of all that makes for a higher and better life; our homes have been made happier and brighter; and all about the social air is sweeter, for him having been with us.
After long years of suffering our brother has fallen asleep. We would not even question why it is sad - but he was ready for the call, he was tired and weary with toll and pain. The clock struck, three, the time was up. - He has left us in sorrow, kind and patient he has finished his mission that he was sent here to do.
You will miss him - but trust in the Lord, and in your trials and tribulations remember conditions might have been worse. Be strong and brave, remove all grief and pain, for there is eternal love and life beyond the grave. We as brothers and sisters extend to the family our heart-felt sympathy, in the passing of your dear Husband and father.