This news clipping is from my Brownie scrapbook, ostensibly recording events of my years as a Brownie Girl Scout. On the fourth page is a newsclipping with this photo, one of my favorite photos of my mom, LaFawn Holt.
This clipping was sent to me in 1960 - six years after its publication - by Catherine Hatch, one of Mom's "Club" friends. ("Club" was a group of Mom's friends from her U of U college sorority, Alpha Chi Omega.)
That my mother made gingerbread doesn't surprise me: she was a cooking/home economics major, after all - but that she made a NATIVITY SCENE is wonderful to me.
Her focus on the Saviour, rather than secular Christmas imagery, is important to me this week in particular as I begin a new year of Institute classes. Karl Anderson, our CES coordinator, suggested that I teach the New Testament, so I chose to focus on the Life of Christ, especially using James Talmage's wonderful book, "Jesus the Christ".
There must be something in my genes - Joseph Smith called it the believing blood of Israel - urging me to teach of Christ, especially using visuals and imagery.
My grandfather, Harry Holt, personally knew James Talmage (left). On at least one occasion (I need to reconfirm the date for this again in the Journal History of the Church at the Church History library), they spoke together at the same Sunday evening fireside at the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Talmage giving a doctrinal address and Grandpa Holt providing a scriptural one.
This follows the pattern the Lord set out for Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in their ministry together:
"It shall be given unto him to prophesy; and thou shalt preach my gospel and call on the holy prophets to prove his words, as they shall be given him." (D&C 35:23)
Harry Holt (right : photo from about 1950) gave other firesides on the Life of Christ throughout the Salt Lake Valley, usually illustrating them with lantern slides projected on the walls of the old chapels. My dad tells me that Grandpa had purchased slides of famous paintings - by men like Holman Hunt (see below his "Light of the World" from St Paul's in London) - of events in the life of Christ. (I went in search of those old slides, but that must wait for another post.)
Dad told me about the lantern slides after I told him of my making a slide show of paintings of Christ for my seminary classes to watch back in the 1980's or 90's.
My dad, Roland Holt, also told me this week that in 1959, the year before Mom made the gingerbread nativity, he was asked to teach the priesthood quorum lesson in the East Millcreek 3rd Ward. The topic was the Life of Christ and Dad used Talmage as his text.
I hope my little girls (and boys) - and their little girls (and boys)! - will not only enjoy seeing this photo of Grandma Holt, but that it will help to confirm in their memories that she has a deep love for Jesus Christ and a testimony that He is the Son of God.
I also hope that you will all join us this year in reading - or rereading - Talmage's "Jesus the Christ" as part of your own scripture study. I'd appreciate having another generation of disciples share insights and testimony with me.