After reading the life story of Ervin Lester and Margaret Reid Hendrix, 1 have some very serious reflections regarding this man who was my Bishop during a very important period of my life, so with the permission of his wife and family, 1 would like to include this short commentary in the Bishops' section of our White River Valley History.
During his 13 years as Bishop of the Lund Ward, I was Young Women's President over the Ward YWMIA for about 5 years. I am so grateful for the privilege I had in serving under such a fine Bishop. His love and concern for the youth of our ward and his interest in me as a leader of youth; also his concern for me as an individual and as the mother of a family in his ward, helped me to realize and set a few goals that, 1 hope, I have partly achieved.
Any one of many who served in leadership positions under Bishop Hendrix, would, if they had the opportunity to do so, express their love for him and their appreciation for his influence in their lives. Not only the leaders then but many of the youth under his jurisdiction who are leaders today. I am sure they would each express their thanks to this great man.
I recall the many opportunities our young people had to participate in the All-Church Basketball Tournament, Dance Festivals, Music and Drama Festivals, all held in Salt Lake City. I wonder if Bishop Hendrix knew that in a few short years such opportunities would not be afforded the youth of the Church. Was that why he was so supportive of every youth program?
The night before any of these events took place we would meet at the Church where, as a group, we would receive counsel from Bishop Hendrix, then in prayer ask for guidance and protection. The next morning all would meet at the Church ready to depart early. Bishop Hendrix's car was always there ready to load some of the young people into, whether it was a Baptism Excursion to the St. George Temple or to June Conference in Salt Lake City to a Dance or Music Festival.
Two years before Bishop Hendrix was made Bishop, our old church building burned to the ground and under his leadership a new church was built. The people rallied around their Bishop and when the building was completed, some who had never been to church before, started going to church. This was really a turning point in our ward, as far as Priesthood activity was concerned.
Margaret Oxborrow, at his funeral, made this statement: "Ervin Hendrix is a man of character and principle; of honesty and integrity. I don't know anyone else who has had the complete trust and confidence of the people, that he had when he was Bishop."
Written and submitted by:
Helen C. Gardner