FUNERAL SERVICES FOR ERASTUS GRENIG FARMER
Beautiful and impressive funeral services over the remains of Erastus Grenig Farmer, who died at the home of his daughter, Mrs Grace Henderson, in Logan Utah, 31 July 1937, were held in the Preston Third Ward Chapel, August 4th 1937. The services were under the direction of Bishop Phenoi Edgley.
SINGING: (Choir) Come, Come, Ye Saints. (a favorite hymn).
PRAYER: James Johnson. "Our Father Who Art in Heaven, we approach Thee in humility and faith at the commencement of these funeral services for Brother Erastus Farmer. Our hearts are filled with sympathy for the family, and appreciation of the life of this good man, for the sons and daughters and for the example he has left to us. Bless the speakers, give them words of sympathy, of consolation and love. We are thankful that everything was done for the comfort of him during his sickness. Bless the singers and those who shall accompany the remains to the cemetary that they shall go in peace and return in safety. Bless his wife and children that they will not mourn to excess but will improve by the life and example of their husband and father, we pray in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.
BISHOP EDGLEY: One of the impressive monents of my life was two weeks ago, when a group surrounded the bed of Brother Farmer and sang two of his favorite hymns. One, you have just heard, the other "Our God We Raise To Thee". This will now be sung by a ladies chorus consisting of; Iris Hawkes, Mary Johnson, Hattie Greaves, Emily Burgi, Selma Johnson, and Allie Packer at the organ.
SPEAKER Elder Thomas Sant: Brother Farmer was one of my nearest and dearest friends and it is an honor and a privilege to speak at these services. I have known him for fifty years and during that time our spirits have been congenial with no misunderstandings. The first meal he and his wife ate at Clifton was at my home, and many are the times when we have surrounded the table and while eating, talked of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Brother Farmer was always the same, never did he falter, and many are the times we have talked on how to gain salvation.
In 1861 in Florence, Nebraska, a baby boy was born and blessed by Erastus Snow and that is where he gets his name, Erastus, from. This is where his record starts. In due time he was baptised and then his parents moved from Salt Lake to Herriman, Utah, where the boy played as other boys, attending the Sunday School, Mutual and Primary. When he was a young man he was called to the Southern States Mission. This is on record. There he preached and taught the Gospel and prepared himself for the usefulness of the future. After his return he sought out one of the choice daughters of Israel for his wife and they have brought into the world sons and daughters to be proud of.
They moved to Clifton where Brother Farmer was called and set apart as Bishop, one of the greatest responsibilities of the church‑ "A COMMON JUDGE IN ISRAEL" and faithfully he served. He never retaliated, but lived to this motto" Love those who spitefully use you. " In all the years I have known him I have never heard him say, "That serves them right, or I will get even with them." Why? Because he was a follower of Christ. He has continued on in his faithfulness and has a record, and what does that record say? "Enter in at the gate, take your dear wife by the hand, take your family and go on to the Celestial Kingdom."
Brother Farmer didn't have to repent for he had already done so. He loved his enemies and never retailiated. He believed the Gospel was for the perfection of the Saints so he preached and lived it. He could proclaim Faith, Repentance, and Baptism because he understood these principles.
I urge you as a family to follow the example of your father and be thankful for such parents. I understand one or two of the boys have been on missions. These things we should consider. Think of the kindly words he has spoken to you, the many uplifting things taught by him during his life. this will be consoling..
BISHOP E. VERNON HOWELL: I cannot speak of Brother Farmer alone for he was not alone, for his good wife worked with him and he often remarked, "If there is any honor, give it to my wife, for she has made me what I am." He was a diamond taken from the rough, you might say, but oh how that diamond was polished. On January 12th 1896, he was called to be Bishop of Clifton, which position he held for 15 years. During some of this time I worked for him and learned the responsibilities of a Bishop and his wife, and for this reason I never wanted to be a Bishop. He didn't covet wealth. At a time when he was in very stringent circumstances, he and his good wife took in a man who was ill and who had several thousand dollars that he wished to give to Brother Farmer for taking care of him, but Brother Farmer didn't wish to accept it, so the Stake Presidency was called in to make a decision on it and not one penny went to Brother and Sister Farmer. Instead it went to help build the Manual Arts Building here in Preston and to buy drapes which are used to decorate the Clifton Chapel for funerals. This shows his disposition, that is, he was looking for eternal life.
I worked side by side with him as a ward clerk and found him to be charitable and a man who loved to work with the young, If he could guide them into the Temples for marriage or get them to go on a mission he was satisified. He had mercy, would stand for you when he thought you right and he never to my knowledge betrayed a single person. He stood for the law. I remember one time on the streets of Preston in conversation with several other men, the subject of prohibition was being discussed and Brother Farmer said "I stand for prohibition if I stand alone, for this thing will only bring sorrow and misery into the world.'
Sister Farmer, I pay the greatest respect for her as she carried on the home while he was away and made it possible for him to better serve. There will always be memories of him when you think of "what a Missionary should know." Brother and Sister Farmer worked hand in hand and have filled a good mission and are worthy of salvation.
DR EUGENE WORLEY: SOLO, "OH MY FATHER."
BISHOP WM. HAWKES JR.: There is cause to mourn today, because one who has been faithful has been taken, and cause to rejoice because this one has filled a long and useful life and is worthy of a place in the Kingdom of God. I have known the family quite intimately. There was none among us more desirous to learn truth than Brother Farmer. He was a student and as Bishop Howell said, a lover of good books. He always carried a book or paper with him so he could study in the fields while resting. He understood the Gospel and had a testimony burning within him and lived to the words of the Master, found in Matt 6:12 "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do even so to them." Brother Farmer believed that this was the time to prepare to meet God as the Prophet Alma has said," For Behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. Ye cannot say when you are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent,that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this, for the same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time ye go out of this life, will have power to possess your bodies in the eternal world. For behold, if you have procrastinated the day of your repentance, even unto death, behold ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil and he doth seal you his. Therefore the spirit of the Lord be withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked."
Brother Farmer realized the importance of this message, then he lived so that he could receive these words, "Well done My good and faithful servant, enter into my glory." These are the things he liked to discuss. These are the things he lived for, his ideals were high and his teachings and example the very best.
He was called to fill a mission to the Southern States and called the people to repentance and taught them the principles of the Gospel, for he knew, there was not a doubt in his mind as to the authenticity of the work, you boys and girls, sons and daughters of Brother Farmer, think of the advice he has given and would give you today if he could speak. Follow his example, live that you can meet him.
I appreciate very much the labors of Sister Farmer. I know she has had a lot of responsibility. Being a Bishops wife doubled her work but she has been faithful in every respect. May God's Blessings be upon her and upon the family.
PRESIDENT GEORGE E. BURGI: I could ask no greater honor than to be a son of this good man, but this is impossible. I will have to be content with my lot. It is a great honor to speak at these services, and I appreciate the good will of the family. I have worked with Brother Farmer and he has made me see that hardships are only stepping stones to something greater. Bishop Edgley and I visited him a few days ago and he said "I have no fear of meeting my maker. I want to have mercy and forgiveness for my brothers." I think the words of the poet will best express his thoughts: SUNSET AND EVENING STARS, AND ONE CLEAR CALL FOR ME AND MAY THERE BE NO MOANING AT THE BAR, WHEN I PUT OUT TO SEA‑ TOO FULL FOR SOUND AND FOAM‑‑WHEN THAT WHICH DREW FROM OUT THE BOUNDLESS DEEP‑ TURNS AGAIN HOME."
This was his faith and hope, for he had a knowledge of meeting his Creator, therefore he never faltered, knowing he would meet his maker ‑‑he prepared himself. A family such as his is an honor in any community. Splendid boys and girls, and I hope they will follow the example set them by their father. So that when they lie as he does now, it can be said of them the same beautiful things which have this day been said of your father.
The Lord bless the family and have them think that their father is their guardian angel, when temtation comes and you are contemplating doing wrong, stop and ask yourselves the question, WOULD FATHER APPROVE?
ELDER A.D.HENDERSON: I testify that the things spoken here today are true. I feel that I am in a position to make that statement for I worked with Brother Farmer from 1896 to 1912, and about a month ago in conversation with him, he said," I enjoyed it, appreciated it, and am thankful I had the privilege." I never saw him called to any position when he murmured. When Lorenzo Snow asked that the people pay tithing, Brother Farmer went from house to house, singing,"Come pay your honest tithing." I remember when he was in the Mission field, when Brother Standing and his companion were killed. "I realized the hardships that a missionary had, teaching a new religion, converting some of their family and friends and take them to a new land out in the West. Can you blame them for being worked up?" This is the way Brother Farmer expressed himself. All the things that have been said today should have been said for he was a good man. He was honest in his decisions. I never saw him when he did not render a just decision, then he would abide by it. I am not afraid for his chances, for he kept the faith. He lived the life of a true Latter‑day Saint every day of his life and could preach the Gospel as well as any man I ever heard, and avowed all he stood for. He was honest in his heart, in his dealings, honest with his family, and has given to me a great many examples. Now you boys and girls, if you live as he has lived you will have no regrets, but will be able to meet him, take his hand and he will bid you welcome. His motto was "To live at all times the Gospel and live in harmony with others." I tell you my brothers and sisters, if there could be such a thing that I could love any man more than I do my wife, it would be men like Erastus G. Farmer, and Bishop Howell. With Brother Farmer, business came last. He tried to deal justly with his neighbors. There are other men whom I love. James L. Williams, Orson Kofoed, and Brother Sant. I am not ashamed of it and why not tell them while they are alive, and not wait until they are dead. Brother Farmer has made many a man better due to his teachings and example. Let us live so that we can meet him.
BISHOP PHENOI EDGLEY: A man never lived that has had more virtues said about them than has Brother Farmer. He set a splendid example, one that the family should be proud of and be willing to follow. He was devoted to his wife and set an example which I think we all could follow,that is whenever he spoke of her he was lovingly attentive. She will miss him more. He spoke well of his children, he had their interests at heart.
This is the first death in the family in forty‑nine years. At that time Brother and Sister Farmer buried a child, 18 months old. To the family‑‑he has gone to prepare a place for you. Do not fail him. His life has been a blessing to me and to this ward. He has been a strong supporter of the activities and duties which revolved upon Latter‑day Saints. The last few weeks of his life, it was his pleasure to bear his testimony to his family. I pray that Sister Farmer will be blessed and built up and that her retiring years will be a pleasure to her. That she shall have joy with her family until the call comes for her to meet her maker. The family wishes to thank all who have in any way assisted during the sickness and death of Brother Farmer. For the speakers, singers and the flowers and for your presence here today.
SANT SISTERS SINGING: "Farewell to Thee" Amy, Helen, Jean, Virginia at the organ.
BENEDICTION: REINHOLD KERN. "O God, who dwells in the Heavens, we approach Thee in humility and thank Thee for these beautiful services. For words of consolation spoken. May we depart from here with a determination to serve Thee, so that when the time comes for us to depart from this life we will be as well prepared as was Brother Farmer. Bless the family. Give them the hope, encouragement and faith to live near to Thee, and by so doing they will know beyond a doubt there is hope after death. Bless those who shall accompany the remains to the grave, that no harm or accident shall overtake them, but that they shall return to their homes in safety. Dismiss us we pray in the name of JESUS CHRIST. Amen.