Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Marion Borges Martin, A Great Man

Written by His Son, Jerald Lynn Martin in response to a request from Christopher Martin (His Grandson)

1)  Great Men of the Ward.  When I was 15 or 16, I attended a Sacrament Meeting that will forever be in my memory.  Grandpa was a convert of the Church after he got married to Grandma.  He knew little of the doctrine or the culture.  But he always had great faith, believed in people and was always willing to serve wherever needed.  Grandpa Martin did not complete high school until he was middle age, around 40 years old.  He was intimidated to be in front of crowds, had little in the way of leadership skills as we think of them and was fearful of public speaking including giving prayers.  I can't remember Grandpa ever giving a talk in any meeting and on only one occasion giving a prayer in Sacrament Meeting when I was 17.  He was so terrified he completely wrote out the words of his prayer and then read it.  On this particular Sunday, Brother Clausen, 1st Counselor in the Bishopric was the final speaker of the day.  This was before the block scheduling so Sacrament Meeting was 1and 1/2 hours and was held in the afternoon.  Brother Clausen's talk was themed "Great Men of the Ward."  After describing characteristics of great men, the first person he highlighted as the role model of great men of the ward was Grandpa Martin.  I was shocked as was the whole family as there was nothing society would think was great about Grandpa.  He never held a Church leadership position.  He barely had a high school education amongst a ward full of Engineers and Nuclear Scientists.  We had little money and lived in the Veterans Affairs development of homes for World War 2 vets.  What would qualify Grandpa Martin to be considered "great".  The answer came quickly.  He was the man who honored his priesthood and magnified it.  In 13 and 1/2 years, Grandpa had never missed a home teaching visit and always had a message of inspiration.  His home teaching went way beyond that.  He took care of fixing yards, making repairs in their homes, feeding them and others with the bounty of his garden/orchard harvests.  He always volunteered to transport the scouts.  He never missed Church.  He merely went about doing good without any notice or any desire for attention.  Yet he was most beloved by all.  Because he served with love.  Because he didn't need to talk much, he was a great listener and heard the challenges of those in his circle.  He then acted to help with those challenges.  He was a simple man with few needs but with great faith and excellent everyman skills.  He could change oil, run electricity, build fences, do brick and cement work, sprinkler systems, and grass, put up sheds, paint houses, fix roofs, and had an amazing green thumb.  He took joy in using those skills for his family and others.  And in all of that he was truly one of the great men of the Ward. 
2)Tithing.  When I was young, maybe 6 or 7, Grandma and Grandpa had a special family home evening (which we didn't do that often).  The purpose of this FHE was to discover if we children would support our parents in them paying tithing.  We were a poor family.  Just a few years before, my parents didn't have enough income to provide housing (they lived in a shed like building behind Great Grandpa Martin's house) and many times went hungry for food.  Both Grandpa and Grandma worked at this time with Grandpa oftentimes working two jobs.  The question was put to the kids if we were willing to do with a little less so that they could pay tithing.  We children all said yes.  So Grandma started paying tithing from her wages for the whole family (covering Grandpa's  pay also).  In the scriptures it says the Lord will open the windows of heaven for those who keep this law.  While that may come in many forms, it came directly to our family in way of much greater employment opportunities.  Within a short time, maybe a year, Grandma Martin was given the opportunity by her employer to learn engineering schematics.  It was the space race with the Russians and the US needed many more skilled people than were available.  Grandma jumped at the opportunity and in a couple years passed up Grandpa Martin in wages where before starting paying her tithing she earned about half of his wages.  A few more years went by and Grandma Martin continued to accelerate in her career now nearly doubling Grandpa's wages.  Around this time Grandpa Martin proclaimed he would take responsibility for his own tithing.  From there our family become very comfortable with money.  We enjoyed vacations out of the area and Grandma and Grandpa Martin became very comfortable financially.  To me their son, I consider this a miracle.  Two high school trained kids living comfortably in the midst of Silicon Valley.  This testimony of tithing, of putting the Lord first, is deeply entrenched in my heart.  "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  I learned that Tithing is the most visible symbol of my faith in Heavenly Father and His Son.

No comments:

Post a Comment