Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Blessing by Castle H. Murphy Hawaii Mission President

After my mission in the early 1980s I worked in the religion department as a research assistant for Richard O. Cowan, a blind religion professor. His specialty was temples and temple work. He was interested in anything I could find on the subject. One day he asked me to do some research on the Hawaiian temple. I soon found the name Castle H. Murphy popping up. I wondered who he was. I read a book called Castle of Hawaii, Missionary to Zion, his autobiography. Castle had been a missionary in Hawaii then a temple president in the 1930-1931 then again from 1938 until 1941 He served as mission president from 1930 until 1941 and again from 1960-1963. He spent over twenty years serving the church in Hawaii. He helped create the first stake in 1935 when Heber J. Grant came and dedicated it as number 114. He actually created the first district High Council and Presidency in 1962 on Oahu. I found out that he was still alive living in Orem, Utah with his daughter Marvel Young. I called him up and his daughter talked to me and told me he was confined to a bed but that I could go and talk with him provided I didn't overtax him. I went over and we talk about his contributions to the Church for about two hours. I recorded them on cassette and gave the interview to Dr. Cowan. As we were winding down our interview Castle asked me if I would like a blessing. It wasn't uncommon in his younger days for people to receive multiple blessings. I sat on a stool on the side of his bed and he placed his hands on my head and blessed me that I would be an instrument in assisting men of God in doing historic and religious research and finding materials. He blessed me that I would be an important historian some day like Richard Cowan and the general authorities would use me to help them and that I would help build the kingdom of God. I was probably one of the last people to ever receive a blessing from this man of God. I promised that I would share spiritual experiences on my blog so this continues that series. If you have any comments or personal reminiscences of your own feel free to share them.

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