|Elder Edward's grandparents on their 60th Wedding Anniversary|
|Wally and Sylvia Edwards|
FORTY-NINE YEARS LATER
In addition to the wonderful visitors we have in the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center on a daily basis we get to know fine young missionaries from the Gilbert, Temple, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Mesa missions.
Elder and Sister Cameron were talking to Elder Green a missionary from Australia whose area is adjacent to the Visitors’ Center on Thursday, August 25th. Elder Green was on an exchange with Elder Edwards and so Scott asked where Elder Edwards was from. Elder Edwards said he was from London, and Scott followed with the next question all Mormons ask: “Do you know?”
Not sensing anything important, Elder Cameron asked, “By any chance do you know Wally and Sylvia Edwards from Camberley, Surrey? Elder Edwards got very excited and said that Wally and Sylvia Edwards were his grandparents. It was an emotional moment when Elder Cameron revealed that he and his companion, Elder Robert Layton, while serving in the British South Mission in 1966, had taught and baptized Brother and Sister Edwards.
From a rather ordinary question, the conversation became one filled with sweetness and nostalgia. Elder Cameron talked about Elder Edwards’ grandparents when they were young marrieds and about Elder Edwards’ father who was a young boy at the time. Elder and Sister Cameron discussed their correspondence with the Edwards family over the years and how Elder Edwards’ aunt, Tracy, had stayed for over a week with them when they lived in Provo. They also talked about their return to England in 2012 and visiting with the Edwards family.
Elder Edwards shared family news about his immediate family, as well as about his aunts and their lives over the years. He talked about his parents close association with the Church and his father’s service in the London Stake Presidency. He mentioned that he is the youngest of four children and that his parents have recently retired and moved to Northampton.
Elder Cameron shared his impression about teaching Wally and Sylvia and related how courageous Sylvia was when she was baptized. Sylvia was afraid of deep water and hence was concerned about the baptismal font. The situation became alarming when after traveling about forty miles on wintry roads to get to the chapel where the baptismal font was located, it was discovered that the font had not been filled and there was not time to warm the water. .
While Sylvia was frightened she was reassured by her husband and the elders. She decided that her baptism was too important to her to postpone the date for more favorable circumstances. She was baptized with her husband, Wally, and they have been very committed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since that day.
Even though they have corresponded over the years, Elder and Sister Cameron did not see the Edwards family until the summer of 2012. It was then that he learned that after her baptism, Sylvia relied on her faith and enrolled in swimming lessons to overcome her fear of deep water.
Elder Harry Edwards indicated that his older brother is on a mission in Norway and will be returning soon. He showed the Camerons family pictures including one from his grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. He related that Queen Elizabeth sent Brother and Sister Edwards a congratulatory letter for their sixty years of marriage--a practice, Elder Edwards’ indicated, the Queen follows for every British couple that reaches that milestone.
For Elder and Sister Cameron a casual conversation at the front desk of the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center became a sweet moment of reflection and thanksgiving. Once again they were reminded that there really is no such thing as a coincidence—the tapestry of our lives becomes more beautiful with age. One of Sister Cameron’s favorite quotes is from Madeline L’Engle: “the great thing about getting older is that we never lose any of the ages we’ve been.”