Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Visit to the First LDS Chapel in Cleveland

You might remember that earlier this year, inspired by Elder Walker's talk, we did a series of family home evening lessons highlighting the conversion stories of our righteous ancestors.

We learned about how my grandpa Roger Osborne became converted to the church and eventually helped build the first chapel in the Cleveland area!

While I was home in Cleveland for a visit this summer, we were visiting some relatives in Cleveland when my Mom asked me, "Would you like to see the chapel where I was baptized?"

I said, "Sure!"  And did she mean, the chapel that Grandpa built, with his small branch of about 35 members?  Yes.  The one where these same members learned to cut stone, and do plumbing and electrical to make their dream of having a chapel a reality?  Yes.

When we drove up to it, I instantly recalled seeing it as a child, and I was in awe.  We had the kids hop out and take pictures in front of the church that grandpa (and his friends) built...and the place where my Mom and Grandmother (who would eventually marry Roger!) were baptized.  Most of my children were pretty excited.

The building is no longer owned by the church, but looks pretty well-cared-for.

When we returned home to my mom's house that night, I looked through a "History of the Cleveland Stake" that had been gathered and written by Sandra Stubben in 2000.

The book contained some wonderful stories about the stake that I grew up in, and my grandparents' names were on many pages...Some of the details really made me smile, because they were soooo something my Grandpa would have done, but also because it made me realize what a pioneer and great servant of the Lord my Grandpa really was, and yet he never bragged about these stories.  So much so, that I hardly knew these stories.  What I always do remember is Grandpa talking so fondly about the people he loved, his friends, who he did these things with...his friends from "the old ward."

I loved seeing this picture of members attending the dedication: 

And I loved reading this quote given by David O. McKay, President of the church, who came to Cleveland to dedicate this new chapel.  

He said, "These lines from Ruskin written in his Seven Lamps of Architecture were recalled to my mind as I listened to the report of your labors in erecting this house of worship."  

Quoting Ruskin, he said, "Therefore, when we build let us think that we build forever.  Let it not be for present delight nor for present years alone.  Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for and let us think as we lay stone on stone that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them.  And men will say as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, see this our fathers did for us."

I can say with confidence that the words of this prophet came true that day (and probably other days previously) when the great-grand children of the men and women who carved a chapel out of stone returned to admire and honor that work of their hands.

I am so grateful for the work of many faithful saints in the Cleveland area (and work missionaries from the West) whose efforts allowed me to grow and be nourished by the Good Word of God as a child and youth.

Love you all!


  1. Isn't it amazing?? I am not aware of buildings my ancestors built, but as I have read the history of the stake in which I reside, and I live and work with some of those members who dedicated their time and their money and their effort to building the chapel where we attend, I am just in awe of the sacrifices they made to bring forth the work of our Father in building that building. I see their photos, those young faces (50 and 60 years younger than the ones I know) and read of the sacrifices, I am just overflowing with gratitude for their lives and testimony and faith. I can only imagine how much more meaning it would have for me to know that some of those people were my fathers.

    But loving and serving with those who have made those sacrifices, makes me want to really reach deep into my heart and soul and work just a little more diligently in my calling. Because the Lord isn't asking me to come up with 30% of the actually funding to pay for my building and the land. He isn't asking me to show up in the rain and the fog over weeks and years of time to clear the land, lay the foundation, put up the framing, place the roof on it, persuade the neighbors in our city council meetings, lay the tile, place the insulation in and paint the walls, or put grout between the stones. He only asks me to fulfill my calling, do my visiting teaching, invite my neighbors, reach out to the one, pay my tithing, attend the meetings, teach my children, and once in a while, clean the building--all things He asked of them, in addition to the other things mentioned.

    Ya....I think, maybe I can handle that, and then actually show up when it is my turn to clean the building!

  2. what a nice tribute to your ohio pioneers. the church where I was baptized in Eureka, Utah is now a bed and!