Funeral Services for Christopher “R” Bodily

May 26, 1945 Bishop T. R. Holt, Conducting

CHOIR: "I have Heard of a Beautiful City"
Conducted by Lamont Wheeler
Accompanied by Rex Spackman and Ranee Wheeler

Invocation: Bishop V. D. Smart

Our Heavenly and Eternal Father. We have met here this afternoon to pay our respect and love to one of Thy sons — Our brother, husband, and father — whom Thou hast called home. We thank Thee for the life of Brother Bodily and for the acquaintance and association we have had with him. We thank Thee for this fine, splendid family he has left.

We pray that while we are assembled here together that we will be blessed with a rich portion of Thy Holy Spirit; that Thy Spirit will be poured out upon us and touch the hearts of all who are gathered here. We pray for those who are called upon to mourn at this time; and we pray that Thou wilt let Thy blessings rest down upon them, especially upon Sister Bodily and her family. Father in Heaven, wilt thou bring comfort unto them and a greater knowledge of life beyond the grave. And wilt Thou grant to this family the knowledge that Thou dost live and continue to bless always.

We pray that Thou wilt bless those who have parts to render in this service here today; we pray that they will be directed by Thy Holy Spirit, that whatever they may do or say will be in accordance with Thy mind and will bring comfort and consolation unto all. We are thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what it means to us and the knowledge that we have of the Hereafter. And we dedicate these services unto Thee praying that Thou will forgive us our shortcomings and imperfections, and we do it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

SONG: “When I Take My Vacation in Heaven”
Douglas Oliverson and company accompanied by Ranee Wheeler.

SPEAKER: President Merle G. Hyer of the Benson Stake.

My dear brothers and sisters. It certainly is an inspiring sight to view this congregation and these beautiful flowers and the house filled to more than capacity. Just a week ago yesterday we held services for President Heber J. Grant and it was my privilege to attend. The Tabernacle was larger than this building; but it was no fuller, and a very beautiful service was held for President Grant as, I am sure, this will be for Brother Bodily. And I think we can do as much for Brother Bodily today as we did for President Grant a week ago; and that is to lay him away in the robes of the Holy Priesthood, that his body may return to Mother Earth and his spirit go back to the Father of our spirits where it will have work to do. Brother Bodily, I am sure, knew this to be the case. As one of the speakers said at President Grant’s services, President Grant knew absolutely that his spirit would not end but would go on another step in progression. Brother Bodily felt this way because I have talked with him on a number of occasions.

Only recently, just a few days before he went to the hospital, I was at his home and we visited for a short time; and he told me of his illness. I have had many good visits with Brother Bodily. I owned some property which was by his lower field and we would sit on the ditch bank and visit. And he had a good outlook on life. He knew the Gospel to be true. He had the privilege of going on a mission when just a boy, eighteen years of age, to tell his testimony to the people of the South. He was there on his nineteenth birthday. And I spoke to a man who was in the mission field at the same time Brother Bodily was. He said usually when a new missionary came into the field, the other missionaries would initiate him to missionary work by taking him out on a country trip and giving him severe training. The senior companion of Brother Bodily, as others had done, thought he would do the same thing. But at the conclusion of that trip, Brother Bodily had to carry his senior companion’s suitcase and was in better physical condition than his senior companion. He had been with the sheep and was accustomed to walking a great deal; his senior companion did not know this, but he found it out.

I remember Brother Bodily’s attitude concerning this war. He had two boys in the service and told me he hated to see them go; but under the circumstances of war, he thought they would be in the service. And he said that he was certainly glad that two of his boys had their furloughs at this time. After two of his sons were in the service he came to me and said, “Merle, I surely hate to see Suel go into the Army, but there is a war on; and I know they need him, we are willing to give him up for the time being, under these circumstances.” He had a fine attitude toward that. He held malice toward no one. I hope the Lord will bless Brother Suel when he receives this word about his father, that he will not grieve too much and be able to bear this news.

I have talked to livestock men who have traded with Brother Chris, and I have yet to find a man who has ever traded with him who was not satisfied. He was fair and congenial and willing to give and not hold out for the last point. It was pleasure to trade with him. Two parties in particular have told me that they were glad to trade with him.

Sometimes we do not understand the answer to the problems that come to us. Brother Rey L. Pratt was President of the Mexican Mission when I was in the mission field. But he was called upon to lose a son, a young boy. He grieved over this much, and being away from his family in Mexico, he often wrote them letters in verse concerning their family problems and trials. This little book I have here called “Just Thinking” contains the writings of President Pratt concerning members of his family. And after losing this son and returning to Old Mexico, he grieved much. So he sat down and wrote a prayer to our Heavenly Father, asking why it was necessary for this boy in his early teens to be robbed of his life here on earth. I will not take time to read the prayer as it was written, but I am going to read the answer as he wrote it himself as if it were God answering his prayer.

    “The Answer”

    Grieve not, my son, for time shall be,
    When death shall be no more.
    Thy loved one I’ll return to thee,
    To cherish evermore.

    'T was in the plan that man should die,
    And slumber in the grave,
    But rise again, as even I,
    For this my life I gave.

    For mortal life is but a part
    Of God’s Eternity,
    In which the souls of men embark
    To find felicity.

    What men call death is but a step
    From low to higher plane,
    And all who in the dust have slept,
    Through me shall live again,

    Then grieve not for the one that’s gone,
    Nor let your heart despair;
    For God in wisdom called your son,
    To work with him up there;

    The prison gates to open wide
    For those who died in sin,
    And through repentance them to guide,
    Again to worship Him.

    Let this be your answer, why,
    And let your heart rejoice,
    For unto God they do not die,
    Who answer to his voice;

    But walk with Him in realms of love,
    Where all the righteous be.
    Be comforted, for there above,
    Thy boy will welcome thee.

I am sure it was Brother Bodily’s testimony in life that he knew that when the time came, that death would only be a step higher in his progression. It seems he had to go moderately young in life; but he has fulfilled a good mission, reared a fine family, and worked hard to support them. And when his health got bad, he would buy lambs and herd them himself. He told me one day, “I am not much account around home, but I can take care of these lambs.” And so he would take lambs each fall; he was interested in them, and he did take good care of them.

I don’t desire to speak further but pray that the Lord will bless his family and the boy that is away that he will not grieve to excess at the passing of his father, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

VIOLIN SOLO: “When You Come to the End of a Perfect Day”
Roland Johnson, accompanied by Myrtha Westover

SPEAKER: President Henry M. Rawlings, of the Franklin Stake

I feel very humble, my brothers and sisters, speaking this afternoon; and I desire an interest in your faith and prayers. I feel honored in being asked to occupy this position. This family lived next to us at one time. We felt sorry when they left, and I have appreciated along with my family the consideration they have shown us since they left. One of the boys, when he returned from his mission, came and paid us a short visit and we were very proud of it. And many times I have been in Brother Bodily’s home. I have borrowed equipment from him. He always seemed just a little better equipped to operate his farm than I was, and he was willing to accommodate you and help you; and he got as much joy out of it as any man I know. What business I had with Brother Bodily, I found him to be a man who was strictly honest and upright. I don’t believe he would take advantage of a man in a deal; he would not even think of it. When I saw this congregation in this house, filled to overflowing, these thoughts passed through my mind — surely the Lord and His children love a hard-working, honest man. They established themselves in the community where they live and in the hearts of their friends and neighbors.

I have been in Brother Bodily’s home in times of sickness. Just a few minutes ago I was thinking of the little boy that passed away a number of years ago and the experiences we had in their home. This child was sick about two years before he died. When the doctor left their home one evening he said he did not think the child would live until morning. The Elders had been called into the home to administer to this child. We held a prayer circle for him and administered to him. The next morning when the doctor came he could hardly believe his own eyes. He was a non-member of the Church, but he said that a miracle had surely happened in that home that night. So I know that the Lord had love and respect for Brother Bodily and his family. Two years later this little child passed away; and I am sure it was a comfort to them to know this one thing — the God had spared his life to be with them a short time. But his mission did not seem to be on earth.

The Bodily people have lived close neighbors to us for years. Bishop Bodily was a real neighbor to my father. The first I remember Chris was when he was only a boy. It was after a spell of sickness in our home. We had had sickness for quite some time and the crops should have been in on our place. And it was a worry to my father as to how he would take care of his work. Bishop Bodily was in our home many times during that sickness, and my mother wasn’t expected to live. And I remember, laying in bed, my mother when Bishop Bodily prayed for her and administered to her for her recovery; and the Lord blessed those administrations. This family was not only active in that capacity, but when our crop was to be planted, down came Chris with three head of horses and a sulky plow and worked in my father’s field. I have never forgotten that. What a blessing it was to us. So the Bodily family’s religion was practical; it was not only a Sunday religion, but they believe in helping their neighbors.

I remember when Chris came home from a mission, he gave a splendid talk. I well remember it. People were proud of him. He left, as Brother Hyer has mentioned , when he was only a boy to fill this mission. I regret that Chris did not stay active in some respects of Church work. When I was Bishop I went to Brother Bodily and asked him if he would help us in our organizations; but he said he was not inclined to that kind of work, that he could do other things but to please excuse him from that. It is high to be a judge. I have heard statements passed about a man I know — “he is a great man,” “he is a good man,” “you see him in the Temple a lot.” And it has been my experience to observe this man; and you can see that he is lacking in some respects. So I think that when we size things up in Brother Chris Bodily’s life, he has many virtues that we could well emulate. It is a fine thing to be a well-rounded individual and not become narrow in this life. We love to see a man that is practical in his work and believes in his religion.

And we all know from experiences we have that this Church, of which we are members and of which Brother Chris is a member, provides us the privilege to be laid away in the robes of the Holy Priesthood; and that it holds the only plan of peace that the would has to offer. And when we see the destruction today of young men and women taken from us; and when we get reports back that they have been killed or wounded in action, doesn’t it fill your minds to labor more for the cause which we represent? We should be diligent. We should be anxious to spread the Gospel message to all the world, for it is through this that it will bring peace to the world. It was mentioned in my hearing recently about the Prophet Helaman talking to his sons. He told them that they should build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ if the wished happiness and joy. It is absolutely necessary and fundamental for our happiness and salvation to build on a foundation that is absolutely secure and solid — to build upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Brother Hyer has spoken of the attitude of Brother Bodily in regard to his sons going into the service — willing to fight for our liberty and maintain our freedom. It has been my privilege the last three or four years to meet many people who have been called to send their boys into the service. And when the test came on one man to send his last boy after three had already gone, he said, “You take that boy and I’ll give up and quit. I can’t operate any longer without him.” I have found that you have a lot of patience and be considerate of people especially in a test of this kind. And it is a test. It tests us right to the very core. I was told by another man that he met this same individual later and after he had had time to think it over, he said “I’m just a little bit ashamed of what I said. You can take my boy and I will do the best I can.” I am glad that this was the feeling of Brother Chris about his boys being in the service of their country. My prayers have always been with you boys. I believe Arlo was called from our country, for at the time he went into the service he was working up there.

I don’t wish to speak any longer. I pray God to bless Sister Bodily and her family. Bless that boy Suel. And may we do our part as members of this Church and be a light unto the world. May god bless us to this end, I humbly pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

VOCAL SOLO: “Face to Face” Delbert Knudsen
Accompanied by Vera Cole

SPEAKER: Bishop Dow Lewis

I feel honored in being asked to occupy a few minutes of the time here at these services today. I feel extremely humble, and I desire that the Spirit of the Lord will help me here today. I could better sit down there with Sister Bodily and family and tell them the things that are in my heart. It would be much easier for me.

I was just thinking — when you take your vacation in heaven — as the song states. I was thinking about our little corner. Just a very short time ago, there was Mrs. Hendricks, Leona to us that knew her, and Jess Porter, and my wife, and now Chris — just on our corner. Quite a change and it takes place rapidly — so rapidly that sometimes we can hardly adjust ourselves to the changes that confront us.

The name Bodily has always indicated fine people. It seems that every word has a meaning and the word Bodily meant fine people to me — very ordinary fine people — the kind of people you liked to associate with and have friendship with. Chris was an unusual man. He was honest as a man could be. I am speaking of this man as I know him. He taught that to his children and family. One could go talk to Chris and trade lambs and cattle, and when he told you, “This is a deal,” or told you anything, you knew it was the truth. You did not even question it. He was frank and sometimes quick. And if you let your livestock trespass too frequently or too long he would tell you if you did not take care of them he would have to. But he could meet you the next day and carry no animosity against you, but always knew where he was at. His wife was extremely honest and reserved, but a wonderful neighbor. And our children were about the same age and they grew up together. Since then they have married and gone their ways, but my boys always said, “The Bodily boys pay their way.” They were always honest and had been taught the right principles.

“As you think, you travel; and as you love, you attract. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where you thoughts take you. You cannot escape the result of your thoughts, but you can endure and learn, can accept and be glad. You will realize the vision (not the idle wish) of your heart, be it base or beautiful, or a mixture of both, for you will always gravitate towards that which you, secretly, most love. In your hands will be placed the exact results of your thoughts; you will receive that which you earn; no more, no less. Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts; your wisdom, your ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.”

— James Allen

“As you think you travel; and as you love, you attract.” This man was guided by his thoughts. He was the grand total of where his thoughts took him. And so it is applicable to all of us.

“The people of the world may be divided into two classes, those who find their happiness in the usual, and those who find their happiness in the unusual. The first are as a rule healthy, contented, helpful and optimistic. The second are as a rule morbid, restless, pessimistic and nuisances to all around them. I call that man truly converted, or enlightened or born again, or emancipated, who has purged his soul of the lust for the exceptional; who has learned that the greatest fun in the world is to enjoy those pleasures of life that are common to all the race.”

— Frank Crane

Chris was a man who liked the ordinary things and enjoyed the ordinary things. He never sought the exceptional or unusual. He loved the fields and the mountains; he loved his sheep and he loved to chin over the fence with his neighbors, to talk with you on the ordinary things of life. I am sure that makes fine people and fine neighbors.

I like these thoughts and I use them considerably:

“To live is to go on a journey. To die is to go back home.”

I am sure the best part of the journey is returning home. I have made a number of trips away and I have found that returning home was the best part of the trip. My return has been somewhat lacking — that joy of returning home has been somewhat hampered at present — but I am sure that I when I make the final trip home, it will be a wonderful experience. And I am sure that there is nothing sad in death, only the sadness that we have created in life.

“Life is our jailer, And death the angel sent to set us free.”

Chris has been set free from a body that was handicapped and broken down. His spirit is liberated to go on to a finer and larger mission. Not more important, perhaps, but a step in advance.

I should like to say to these boys and these girls — I know them well and I have appreciated them; although we have never associated a lot, we had a friendship we did not need to talk about — I should like to say to them as their father might say

    “Come, Try it Again”

    I played with my blocks, I was but a child,
    Houses I builded, castles I piled,

    They tumbled and fell and all was in vain,
    But my Father said kindly, “Come try it again.”

    I played with my days, what’s time to a lad,
    Why pour over books, play, play, play and be glad,

    Till my youth was all spent as a sweet summer rain,
    But my Father said kindly, “Come try it again.”

    I played with my chance, the gifts that were mine,
    To work with, to win with, to serve the Divine,

    I hugged to myself, in myself they have lain,
    But my Father said kindly, “Come try it again.”

    I played with my soul, the soul that was I,
    The best that was in me, I smothered its cry,

    I lulled it, I dulled it and then, O! the pain,
    But my Father said kindly, “Come try it again.”

And so never give up. We all make mistakes, but we should all “just try it again.” There is virtue in repentance. The past we can do nothing about, the future we know very little about; but the time is now. Today is ours.

And may the Lord bless this woman and this family, as I feel sure He will. May the Lord grant His Spirit to accompany this boy who is not present that he may appreciate the work of his father and the things he did here, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

VOCAL TRIO: “One Fleeting Hour” — Mon Pitcher, Faye Bergerson, Amy Gibbons

SPEAKER: Bishop Hazen Spackman

It is my purpose and object today to say a few words of consolation and to call your attention to some of the outstanding characteristics of Brother Chris Bodily. I supplicate God for his guidance upon this sacred occasion.

It was nineteen years ago that the Bodily family moved to the Lewiston Second Ward; and since that time, they have won the love, confidence, and respect of the membership of this ward. We often hear of the Bodily family and what they have done and are willing to do when we asked them to do things. We don’t want to set them up as perfect. Chris had his faults. I have mine. You have yours. Chris’s faults were on the outside and you could see them. And to really know Chris Bodily, you had to become closely acquainted with him. And the more you knew him the more respect you had for him. That is the way I found him.

Chris was a very good donater. When this house was in the process of construction, the committee visited him, told him about what they thought he should donate; and he said, “All right, we will see that it is done.” And it was done. I express my appreciation to the Bodily family, for the same. I want to say today how grateful I am that these services were held in this house here at home — the home of the Bodily family; for they did their part to construct the same.

A ditch director told me the other day that Chris Bodily was one of the fairest, most reasonable men to deal with, as far as the ditch company was concerned, of any man they had along their route. And I said, “May I use that statement?” and he said, “Yes, because it is the truth.” That bears out what the other speakers have said — no matter what business dealing you had with Chris, he was on the level and a man of his word — loved and admired by many.

At one time he had a little grievance with a business company and his neighbor said, “Why don’t you go and tell them of your feelings. Get them to see it is not right. I feel that it is not right.” And Chris said, “No, I see it my way, and the see it theirs. I don’t want to go and agitate them. Neither is it my purpose to go to their back and find fault.” I wish we were all the same way. His neighbors bear testimony that he was a good neighbor — one of the finest neighbors — accommodating, kind, and sympathetic. Many times has he helped in sickness and trials and in financial affairs, but he did not go around boasting about it. He never told what he did, but you heard it from an indirect source. Therefore I say in order to know him you had to become personally acquainted with him.

And as far as his honesty is concerned, here is an example. The neighbors were changing work and there was a little boy — Chris’s boy — and the neighbor’s small girl; and they helped out some in riding the horse and driving the wagons. When it came time to settle up, Chris said, “I think this boy and girl should be given some consideration. They have helped us out a lot. Let us be honest and considerate of them. Let us pay them for their labors.” That little girl is now in the bloom of life, and she told me, “I have never forgotten the example that Chris Bodily set in paying me for my labors.”

The Bishopric was looking for a missionary. Chris Bodily and Blanche had some boys and some girls. So we went to the Bodily home and made an appointment with them and asked them to come to the Bishops meeting. They came and we approached the subject to them. And it was an inspiration to me, the attitude that they took. They said, “Yes, surely. We are glad you consider our boy worthy to go on a mission. We will do our best to support him.” But, Brother and Sister Bodily, what about your financial affairs,” they were asked, “can you handle an expense like this?” And they answered, “Yes, we will get along somehow.” And they did and the boy fulfilled an honorable mission of which he is to be proud, the ward is proud, and his parents are proud.

Now Sister Bodily has an extra heavy load to carry, and she will need the help and guidance from her children. Give your faithful mother full measure of kindness and consideration; and after you are satisfied with yourself, give more sympathy, more love, and more kindness. Keep the family together for your mother will have a heavy load to carry. And what I have said of Chris, I can also say of Sister Bodily. And surely the Spirit of the Lord is in that home. It is my privilege to visit their home quite frequently of late, and they told me of their concern about Arlo. They felt that the other two, Bardo and Suel, would be all right; but they felt uneasy about Arlo. And Arlo was the one that was wounded. Surely the Spirit of the Lord abided in that home.

I have chosen to read a poem today.

    “Abou Ben Adhem”

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase.)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,

And saw, within the moonlight of his room,
Making it rich, like a lily in bloom,

An angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,

And to the presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?” The Vision raised its head,

And with a look of made of all sweet accord
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”

“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,

But cheerily still; and said, “I pray thee, then
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.”

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,

And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!

May God bless Sister Bodily and this family is my prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

REMARKS: Bishop Holt

I believe in the past week I have heard many people say, “Chris Bodily was a square shooter.” I believe that one statement is a tribute to any mortal. As Bishop Spackman has said, Brother Bodily was very liberal in his contributions to the ward. I have not seen the time when we needed help in the ward, whether it was financial or physical help, but what the Bodily family was willing to respond. As one of the speakers said today, “The Bodily family pays their way.” Even if it is only a small favor that someone does for them, they do not rest until they have returned the favor. They are an outstanding family. Every member of our ward gives unto them their sympathy in their hour of trial and bereavement.

In behalf of the family, may I thank all those who have assisted in any way during the illness and death of Brother Bodily or contributed to these services in any way. It has all been appreciated by the family.

The choir will render the closing song.

CHOIR: “Resting Now From Care and Sorrow.”


Our Father, who art in Heaven. At the close of these services we feel to render our thanks and gratitude in our hearts for the blessings that we have enjoyed here today and for the words of consolation that have been given us. We are thankful for these beautiful services and ask Thee to help us appreciate the same. We are thankful, Heavenly Father, that our friend and brother and his family have cast their lots among friends; and this expression of loving friends here today speaks louder than words.

We ask Thee to bless this family in the way that they will be shining lights among their friends. Bless Sister Blanche. Grant Thy Spirit to be with her that she will not mourn to excess and will look unto Thee for comfort and guidance. We ask Thee to bless this family who have served Thee faithfully. We are indeed thankful for the life of Brother Chris. We pray that Thou will help us to emulate the good example that he set for us.

Help us to do Thy work and Thy will at all times are the blessings we pray for in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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