The Taggart Family -- Life, Family and Friends

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tidings of Great Joy 12/26/06

Christmas is such a great celebration. It is so significant to remember the birth of the Savior each year and think also of those we love. The music of the season and the opportunity for best wishes fill everything with joy. Please read our Christmas card at and know that we are thinking of you all this Christmas season.

It's great to have so many sending cards, emails, and stopping by with greetings. It's been great to see many of Joseph's friends, our missionaries, family anddear friends. Good thing we have a week to eat all the goodies before New Year's resolutions. . .

Today is Boxing Day in the U. K. and other parts of the Commonwealth, happy Boxing Day to you all.

Each Christmas we love to study the story of the original Chirstmas. Here are some insights we love:

Who Were the Shepherds?
"There was near Bethlehem, on the road to Jerusalem, a tower known as Migdal Eder or the watch tower of the Flock. Here was the station where shepherds watched the flocks destined for sacrifice in the temple.... It was a settled conviction among the Jews that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and equally that he was to be revealed from Migdal Eder." (M. R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament 1:142)

"In the fields of Bethlehem, not far from Jerusalem and the Temple of Jehovah, there were shepherds watching their flocks by night. These were not ordinary shepherds nor ordinary flocks. The sheep there being herded--nay, not herded, but watched over, cared for with love and devotion--were destined for sacrifice on the great altar in the Lord's House, in similitude of the eternal sacrifice of Him who that wondrous night lay in a stable, perhaps among sheep of lesser destiny. And the shepherds--for whom the veil was then rent: surely they were in spiritual stature like Simeon and Anna and Zacharias and Elisabeth and Joseph and the growing group of believing souls who were coming to know, by revelation, that the Lord's Christ was now on earth. As there were many widows in Israel, and only to the one in Zarephath was Elijah sent, so there were many shepherds in Palestine, but only to those who watched over the temple flocks did the herald angel come; only they heard the heavenly choir." (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol. 1, Pg. 346)

Who Were the Wise Men?

"Who were they? We do not know, nor does anyone... As to the men themselves, one thing is clear. They had prophetic insight. It was with them as it had been with saintly Simeon: the Lord had revealed to them, as it were, that they should not taste death until they had seen and worshiped the Christ. They knew the King of the Jews had been born, and they knew that a new star was destined to arise and had arisen in connection with that birth. The probability is they were themselves Jews who lived, as millions of Jews then did, in one of the nations to the East. It was the Jews, not the Gentiles, who were acquainted with the scriptures and who were waiting with anxious expectation for the coming of a King. And that King was to come to them first; he was to deliver his message to them before it went to the Gentile world, and his first witnesses were to come from his own kinsmen, from the house of Israel, not from the Gentile nations, not from the nations composed of those who knew not God and who cared nothing for the spirit of prophecy and revelation found among the Lord's people." (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol. 1, Pg. 346ff)

Jesus, the King of the Jews
Why in Matthew 1:1-17 does it give the genealogy of Joseph? It is the Royal Genealogical Line:
"At the time of the Savior's birth, Israel was ruled by alien monarchs. The rights of the royal Davidic family were unrecognized; and the ruler of the Jews was an appointee of Rome. Had Judah been a free and independent nation, ruled by her rightful sovereign, Joseph the carpenter would have been her crowned king; and his lawful successor to the throne would have been Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, Ch.7, Pg.87)

John the Baptist --Presiding Priest
"Had the Church of God been in existence with the Jews in that day, instead of the Jews being in a dreadful state of apostasy, then John the Baptist would have taken his proper place as the presiding priest of the Aaronic order. But they recognized him not and failed to understand his authority, even as they failed to comprehend the authority of our Lord. The authority of John was that which was conferred upon Aaron and which came down by right of lineage to Eleazar and his posterity after him; but the Jews failed to recognize John and rejected him. By right of his authority John laid the foundation for the overthrow of their kingdom, or power, which was based on a false foundation. Had they accepted John then also would they have accepted Christ, the Lord, their rightful King and the great High Priest of their salvation." (Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.3, Pg.89).

How blessed we are to live in a day of miracles, with Priesthood on the Earth, and with living prophets. And how grateful we are for those who came before us, Mary so trusted to be the mother of the Son of God, Joseph the adoptive father, Zacharias, Elisabeth, and the others filled with faith and looking forward to salvation. . . available because to the baby sent to live among mortals. "Knowest thou he condescention of God?" (1 Ne. 11:16)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Real Birthday on Christmas Eve EVE 12-17-06

What a great season of the year! Preparations for Christmas continue and so does the day to day realities of life. Joseph continues with Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. The photo is of Joseph and Nikki his occupational therapist at LDS Hospital. They are working on his reawakening right arm. Nikki is dedicated and Joseph is motivated, they make a progressive team. The hard work and miracles continue.
The day before the day before Christmas (Christmas Eve EVE) is Joseph Smith's birthday (December 23rd). Tim's feeling is that in a future millenial day THAT will be the global celebration in December, with the Savior's birthday being celebrated in the Spring (April 6th) where it belongs. It IS a season of remembering the power of a child being born.
President Spencer W. Kimball (quoting F. M. Bareham) said "When a wrong wants righting, or a truth wants preaching, or a continent wants discovering, God sends a baby into the world to do it." Speaking of the birth of Joseph Smith he then said "When theologians are reeling and stumbling, when lips are pretending and hearts are wandering, and people are "running to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord and cannot find it"-when clouds of error need dissipating and spiritual darkness needs penetrating and heavens need opening, a little infant is born. Just a few scattered neighbors in a hilly region in the backwoods even know that Lucy is expecting. There is no prenatal care or nurses; no hospital, no ambulance, no delivery room. Babies live and die in this rough environment and few know about it.
Another child for Lucy! No trumpets are sounded; no hourly bulletins posted; no pictures taken; no notice is given; just a few friendly community folk pass a word along. It's a boy! Little do the brothers and sisters dream that a prophet is born to their family; even his proud parents can little suspect his spectacular destiny. No countryside farmers or loungers at the country store, no village gossips even surmise how much they could discuss, did they but have the power of prophetic vision.
"They are naming him Joseph," it is reported. But no one knows, not even his parents, at this time, that this infant and his father have been named in the scriptures for 3,500 years, named for and known to their ancestor, Joseph, the savior of Egypt and Israel. Not even his adoring mother realizes, even in her most ambitious dreaming and her silent musings, that this one of her children, like his ancestor, will be the chief sheaf of grain to which all others will lean and the one star to which the sun and moon and other stars will make obeisance.
He will inspire hatred and admiration; he will build an empire and restore a church-the Church of Jesus Christ. Millions will follow him; monuments will be built to him; poets will sing of him; authors will write libraries of books about him.
No living soul can guess that this little pinkish infant will become the peer of Moses in spiritual power and greater than many prophets before him. He will talk with God, the Eternal Father, and Jesus Christ, his Son; and angels will be his guest instructors.
His Vermont contemporaries know not that this little one just born will live as few men have lived, accomplish what few men have accomplished, and die as few have ever died, in his own sacred blood in a prison at the hands of assassins as a martyr to everlasting truth.
All expectations are understated. Destiny outdistances all imagination and dreams! . . .
During the unfolding of this Smith-flower; during the brief ripening years of this fruit of the loins of that other Joseph of Israel, the world is preparing for the greatest event since the meridian of time. The triplet infants, Liberty, Freedom, and Justice, are contending for life; a small colonial nation is struggling to its feet; the people from many lands, squirming in the "melting-pot," are firming up, suffering labor pains toward the birth of a divine new program, "a marvelous work and a wonder," the restoration of the gospel in all its far-reaching detail. "We fancy," said Bareham, "God can manage His world only with great battalions, when all the time He is doing it with beautiful babies." (Faith Precedes the Miracle, p.323)
How grateful we are-- as we remember the infant Jesus, born so long ago in a obsure village in the Middle East. and the infant Joseph, in an obscure village in Vermont-- the infant Joseph Shaffer Taggart whose birthday is the end of the month, born in an obsure city in Idaho. God is managing the world.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Two Peds and a Quad -- 12/03/06

December is here. The year has sped by and life continues apace. Winter is upon us this week in Utah with our first real snow in the valley and clear cold temperatures. It is really a blessing to have the different seasons to remind us of the cycle of life. As Tim was scanning photos last week he came across this one of him on Mt. Wellington above Hobart, Tasmania in Australia in December 1969. It was the first Christmas in the missionfield. It was about 30 degrees centigrade (86 Farenheit ) and the decorations in Hobart were pennants hung over the street just like the Fourth of July Celebration back home in Lewiston. When Elder Taggart discovered everyone went to the beach Christmas afternoon he really knew he wasn't in Utah.

Joseph has been working on a couple of papers for his class "Physical Environment and Human Behavior" analyzing the UTA (Utah Transit Authority) system and access for those in wheelchairs. Since he had already mastered the system for his own satisfaction and freedom of action, he thought it would be a good subject.

Most of us may not have known that the regular busses in Salt Lake have the capacity to accomodate wheelchairs. What a great day to be alive, when technology can be used to benefit society. When mobility limitations are removed, so many other things become manageable. We are constantly impressed with the barriers that fall as internal vision expands. Each of us are limited by our vision of what we can do and become. . . and as that vision expands so does the likihood of our achieving that vision.
Benjamin Franklin said: "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do." But the world is open to the person who can dream, plan and begin. December may be ending the year, but every day here is a day of new beginnings.

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