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Testimony Meeting in New Guinea

By: Ardis E. Parshall - January 10, 2013

Testimony Meeting in New Guinea

S/Sgt. Jeston Jacobson

I was glad when I saw a sign hanging
High on a cocoanut tree,
It told of a Mormon meeting,
And the time and place it would be.

Next Sunday our group had assembled
In a ragged, war-beaten tent.
Twenty young men who were anxious
To partake of the sacrament.

We listened to strong men bearing
Their testimony of truth.
Peace was there, on that battlefield,
In the hearts of those Mormon youth.

A lad who was wounded in action,
Who had known long moments of dread,
Told how after his comrades had left him
(They’d given him up for dead,)

He had prayed to the Lord, and he told him
Of a blessing that hadn’t been filled.
And that God, who is bound by a promise,
Sent him back to this mission field.

He was but one of the many,
Who rose to their feet that day,
And our faith grew stronger from hearing
Those thoughts that they sent our way.

Now that the war has sent me
To a distant battlefield,
My thoughts go back to the battered tent —
And I have my faith for a shield.

(1945)



1 Comment »

  1. I have known a lot of men whose testimonies became “rock solid” during their time in the war. I sometimes think that our current “all volunteer” military actually does us, as a society, a disservice.

    My husband gets invited to come to a lot of celebrations and events for Veteran’s Day celebrations, because there are not that many men under 50 that have served in the military. That is true for the community in general, but even more, in the LDS community.

    I know some communities that have bases or VA hospitals have more service members than areas, but even there, I had to fight to take the scouts to the national guard base. (A number of the parents thought taking their sons to the base would make it so they wouldn’t go on missions if they were exposed to “military culture.” I won that round, with he bishops support.)

    However, I have seen other blatant examples like that, and more subtle jibes like making snarky comments about Disabled Vet license plates on someone in their 30s, whose disability is not obvious. Comments about it not being fair the soldiers can retire after 20 years and have healthcare for life.

    I get frustrated with people praising the military, who would never let their own children join the “volunteer” military. Those who are not part of the communities of military extended families, and close friends, there seems to not understand the depths of the sacrifice of the service members and their families. They praise them as defenders of freedom, but many of their families are on food stamps, and we have underfunded the VA for years.

    Sorry for the thread jack (although it isn’t really a thread) but the more I read about the military before the “all volunteer” policies were put in place. Sure, there were ways to use money and influence to get out of being a soldier, but with the draft plus volunteer system, everyone who wanted to be part of the military could choose where to serve, but everyone else still had the chance of serving in times of military need. So much of the stress and pain military families with multiple deployments, if the system involved more people.

    Comment by Julia — January 14, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

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