Friday, September 28, 2012

Trains and Training

Just this morning I started a post with this picture in mind. I wanted something interesting to say about this Union Pacific train at sunset. I thought of my grandfather, Papa Haycock, and his time working on the railroad, but couldn't really think of much to say, so I closed the post and left it for later. This afternoon I was reading my brother Brett's amazing and insightful blog when I found a wonderful quote he had posted from our grandfather. I couldn't help but copy and paste it here as it went so perfectly with the photo above. (Thanks Brett!!)

"Some of the jobs we have may not always be to our liking.  I had one that I hated with a passion.  I wept over it.  The war came along.  I had been [at the Church offices] for six years.  I was happy and ready to stay the rest of my life.  And the [Second] World War came.  Pearl Harbor came.  And they came to President Hinckley and to me and a couple of others and said 'You can't stay here any longer.  You're pre-Pearl Harbor fathers.  We don't want you in the Army.  But you can't work in an office.  You've got to go to the railroad or the smelters or to the mines and make a contribution in one of the war efforts.'  President Hinckley and I ended up in the railroad.  I hated every minute of it.  It wasn't my way of life.  I wasn't happy.  I'd trained to work in an office.  I hadn't trained to swing a sixteen pound sledge hammer or roll around in tobacco juice or oil and grease and dirt.  I didn't like it.  And then President Hinckley went to Denver to the headquarters and I came over to the depot and put on a cap and brass buttons and was a station master in his place.  And so I learned all about trains and railroads and the time tables.  Finally the war was over.  [The Church] asked me to come back.  The President of the Church, George Albert Smith, invited me in and said he wanted me to travel with him.  He was a railroad nut; a railroad buff.  I was the first person he had ever found that could read a time table.  We became instant friends and associates because of the experience I had with the worst experience of my life.  I got a training that helped me for the rest of my life and started me on a road of being secretary to several Presidents of the Church.  It came out of that terrible experience that was forced upon me, but I learned something from it that benefitted me and blessed me later on and has blessed me ever since" (D. Arthur Haycock, Secretaries Week Address, 27 April 1983, LDS Church Archives).

Like Brett mentioned over on his blog, this quote came as such a beautiful reminder to work hard and press forward, even when things are difficult and challenging. It speaks of opportunities, blessings, and training that come through adversity. It assures me that the Lord can take the things we struggle with and make them into something beautiful and valuable. What a blessing it is to find little gems of advise and counsel from our Papa... tucked away, just waiting for our benefit.


1 comment:

Sherri said...

Interesting to note, he gave that address the day Lauren was born. :)