Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » 2008 » December » 03

Emma Lee Pouncey Bertrand: “Mother Bertrand”

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 03, 2008

I love this photo of Emma Lee Pouncey Bertrand. There is something about the set of her jaw, or the carriage of her head, that reminds me of the strength of my Alabama grandmother and her sisters, and the other independent southern women I have known. Her character seems to be written on her face.

Emma was born in Alabama in 1873, the youngest child of Baptist Pastor William Jones Pouncey (then age 70) and his much younger fourth wife, Phoebe Juffus Lockard. Her father died when Emma was 5 years old. Emma was 14 when she was introduced to a Texas sheepman at the home of friends. He was ill with malaria and had just come in from the ranch, dirty and unshaven. The sheepman was more taken with Emma than she was with him – until the next evening, that is, when the sheepman came to call on her, clean-shaven, dressed in good clothes, and with a buggy to take her for a ride. She married him – Peter Gabriel Bertrand, 35 to Emma’s 15 years – a year later.



O Come, O Come, Emmanuel: December 3

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 03, 2008

From east to west, from shore to shore,
Let every heart awake and sing
The holy Child Whom Mary bore,
The Christ, the everlasting King.

Behold, the world’s Creator wears
The form and fashion of a slave;
Our very flesh our Maker shares,
His fallen creature, man, to save.

For this how wondrously He wrought!
A maiden, in her lowly place,
Became, in ways beyond all thought,
The chosen vessel of His grace.

She bowed her to the angel’s word
Declaring what the Father willed,
And suddenly the promised Lord
That pure and hallowed temple filled.

He shrank not from the oxen’s stall,
He lay within the manger bed,
And He whose bounty feedeth all
At Mary’s breast Himself was fed.

And while the angels in the sky
Sang praise above the silent field,
To shepherds poor the Lord Most High,
The one great Shepherd, was revealed.

All glory for this blessèd morn
To God the Father ever be;
All praise to Thee, O virgin born,
All praise, O Holy Ghost, to Thee.

— Caelius Sedulius (5th cent.); translated by John Ellerton

Relief Society Magazine, December 1965

“Madonna and Child,” by Crivelli