Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » A Good Man

A Good Man

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 31, 2010

When my father’s work took our family to Las Vegas in 1975, it was still a relatively small town, and it was still relatively easy to live a normal Mormon life without involvement in the seedier and seamier parts of life there. You stayed away from the Strip. You tried to ignore the “Spice on Ice” ads on the tops of taxis. And you went to church and to school and had a strong family life.

A windstorm blew off part of our roof soon after we moved there, and the priesthood quorums came over with their hammers and nails to help Dad reshingle. We didn’t know many people then. Dad introduced himself to the man working in the hot summer sun next to him, and mentioned that he worked for the government. Brother George shook his hand and said he worked for the government, too. I don’t know how long it was before we realized that his job with the government was as a federal judge. All we knew was that Brother George was helping Brother Parshall put on a new roof under some pretty tough physical conditions.

It was a good ward, overall. A little rich for our blood, since we lived in the neighborhood that had a difficult time raising money for the youth activities which always seemed to be trips to ski resorts planned by the youth who lived at the other end of the ward. But the Las Vegas 28th Ward — which had a nickname that grew throughout our time there, until it reached the length of “Bishop Albright’s Great 28th Missionary and Cultural Ward” — was, by and large, pretty great.

One of the greatest of the families in that ward, in my opinion, was named Reid. As in Harry and Landra Reid. My mother taught Josh and Key Reid in Primary classes at different times. Leif Reid was in the class I taught. We had similar experiences with those little boys — they almost never offered to answer questions, although they would answer if called on. Instead, whenever a question was asked, they smiled to themselves. They knew all the answers; they knew the scripture stories and even memorized scripture far beyond grade level. I knew from that that the Reid family taught and talked about the scriptures at home. They also taught their kids that there was no need to be a show-off. They reminded me of what my mother had so often told me as I went off to the early grades in school: “Be the smartest one in the class. But don’t tell anybody that. Let them discover it on their own.” I discovered a lot about the Reid family from having Leif in my class, and from hearing the talks and testimonies and lessons offered by the parents.

I remember one Sunday morning when Harry was still a member of the Gaming Control Board, trying to keep the gambling industry as honest as was possible for such a fundamentally dishonest industry to be. My mother heard the local news that morning. Most ward members had not yet heard it, so they didn’t really understand the prayer my mother offered at the beginning of Sacrament Meeting. She prayed for the Reid family, and for their safety. My mother was such an earnest pray-er that many ward members were in tears at the end of that prayer, without knowing why.

Sister Reid and some of her children had gone out to go somewhere the evening before, planning on taking the car that was parked in their driveway. She noticed a wire on the car that had no business being there. The bomb squad was called, and the bomb that would have killed the family was successfully disarmed.

I’ve seen interviews through the years where Harry mentioned that bomb, although he didn’t mention my mother’s prayer. I have a feeling he remembers it, though. He did mention it once, years later, in a church setting. It meant something to him, because he takes prayer and faith and Christ seriously.

The Reids are honorable people, and as good a Latter-day Saint family as any you have read about here on Keepa. They have given their lives in one sense, and have almost given their lives in another sense, more than once, to serve their fellow man. You don’t have to agree with the specifics of Harry’s politics to accept that he does what he thinks is best for this country — credit his good will, at least, for heaven’s sake.

Rather than threatening to hit the man should he be encountered in a temple, we should be praying for the recovery of Lana and Landra Reid — Sister Reid suffered a broken neck and a broken back — after their recent automobile accident.

Comments are disabled. Too many people can’t control their despicable political venom, and I don’t want to think ill of any Keepa’ninnies who may harbor the same sad opinions.


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