Joseph Harris Ridges and Luke Syphus
Elder and Sister David A. Bednar were the main speakers at a RootsTech family history conference held in Salt Lake City in February of 2019. During his talk, Elder Bednar told the following story. (Note: Joseph Harris Ridges, mentioned in this story, is my second great-grandfather).
Elder Bednar told that story of Luke Syphus, his third-great-grandfather from England. Luke was converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and was baptized while living in England. He married not long thereafter, and immigrated to Australia with his new wife. While traveling to Australia, Luke became acquainted with Joseph Ridges (my 2nd-great-grandfather), who was not a member of the Church. Luke and his wife faithfully ministered to Joseph Ridges and his wife, and they were both subsequently converted to the gospel. Syphus and Joseph established a lumber business together, with the business being located north of Sydney, Australia. Joseph Ridges was an accomplished organ builder, and he subsequently built an organ which he donated to the Church. The organ was delivered to Salt Lake City, and it was placed in the old adobe tabernacle on Temple Square. Brigham Young later asked Brother Ridges to design and construct a much larger, newer organ for the new Salt Lake Tabernacle building. When asked to summarize his feelings about that story, Elder Bednar responded, “I feel gratitude, simplicity, and love.”
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