Friday, July 5, 2013

Duty ~ A Poem by Ellis Reynolds Shipp

To those of you who may not know the story of Ellis Reynolds Shipp, she came across the plains as a child with her father and mother. Their first home was in Pleasant Grove, where her mother passed away, her father remarried. They later moved to Mt. Pleasant. Everyone who knew her knew she had a great gift. She learned fast, remembered everything. She was obviously very intelligent. When Brigham Young came to Mt. Pleasant for a conference, he asked to meet with this young girl. After visiting with her a short while, he invited her to live in the Lion House with his family where she could get the best education possible here in the Utah Territory. She prayed about it and worried some about leaving her father. Her father encouraged her to go to Salt Lake and take advantage of Brigham Young's offer. She was tutored with the children of Brigham Young. One of her tutors was Karl Maeser. She later married Milford Shipp and ultimately gave birth to ten children. Four of those children died in infancy. Milford had entered into polygamy and married four more wives. Brigham Young announced that women would be sent east for training as doctors so that they could return to Utah and serve as physicians. Ellis left her children with her sister wives and went to Philadelphia to study medicine. After three years, she returned home and set up her medical practice in Salt Lake. During her career she delivered more than 5,000 babies. She also served on the Relief Society General Board. Amongst everything else she accomplished in her life, she wrote a book of poetry entitled "Life Lines".  


Oft we ask ourselves the question

What list for us to do?

What in life the best vocation----

Best for woman to pursue?

Shall we be the dolls of Fashion?

Loved and flattered for a while,

Simply live for passing passion,

Sycophantic smile;

Shall we live for vain ambition?

Live to gain life's wealth and power?

Feast on words of adulation,

on the friendship of an hour?

Shall we live for public duty?

To reform low and vile?

Shall we stake our all on beauty,

Or to add to Mammon's pile?

Shall we live for home's fair altar?

Ne'er to pass beyond it's shrine?

Shall we put our hearts in halter

of mere Fashion all the time?

To these queries, what's the answer?

Duty at the time is all!

Let our thoughts and feelings center

On our Duty !  That's the Call !

Know it, love it, act it bravely,

Wheresoever o'er the path it may lead,

For 'twill bring so perfect pleasure,

And at last the richest meed.

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Genealogy Quote

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."

~Alex Haley

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