Sarah Sophronia Quayle (1899-1936) Memorial Service

Funeral Services
For Sophronia Quayle Spencer

Funeral services were held in the Montpelier Stake Tabernacle, June 11, 1936 at 2 o’clock p. m. for Mrs. Sophronia Quayle Spencer, wife of Bishop Seymour H. Spencer. Mr. David A. Lewis, first counselor of the Third Ward Bishopric, presiding.

Organ Prelude: Miss Lillas Swenson.

Opening Song: “Sometime We’ll Understand,” by the stake choir.

Invocation: Mr. Edward Grosjean, second counselor of the Third Ward Bishopric.

“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. In the name of Jesus Christ a few of thy children are gathered together this afternoon to pay our last respects to our dear Sister who has departed. We thank thee for the beautiful day, the beautiful flowers and for this great attendance; all of which helps us to express our great esteem for this dear Sister. I thank thee Heavenly Father that I have known her great life, she has been an inspiration to many of us, she has worked hard and been helpful to us. We, also, pray Heavenly Father, that you will bless our Bishop doubly and comfort him. He has worked hard and he has served thee faithfully. Bless his children and help the people to treat them as he has always blessed the girls and boys under his care. And we ask thee, also, to bless her mother who has given her own blood, that her daughter’s life might be saved; for she should be proud to have brought a girl to this world such as Sophronia. I pray thee Heavenly Father to bless those who are taking part today and help us that we may go away from here feeling better. We humbly dedicate these services unto thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Second Song: “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” special request for Mr. Thor C. Nielsen to sing solo.

First Speaker: Bishop Louis Perkins, of the First Ward.

“Hard as the task is this afternoon, I do appreciate this opportunity to express my love and consideration to Bishop Spencer and his family and to Mrs. Quayle and her family. My acquaintance with these people has been from the time that they moved to Montpelier. Mrs. Spencer was born in Dingle, Idaho on March 13, 1899,
and was the daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth Dayton Quayle and the late William Quayle. She graduated from the Fielding High School at Paris, Idaho. In 1920 and 1921 she faithfully performed a mission in the California States. She was married to Seymour H. Spencer in March 1925. She was the mother of five children, four girls and one boy. What we see here this afternoon is evidence of our love and sympathy for this family. I am sure that if we were so constituted and could see the pain that comes to this family this afternoon it would help us to understand more clearly; but, we are not so constituted. I remember Sister Sophronia when she came here, I was Superintendent of the First Ward Sunday School at that time. And, I will never forget her willingness and pleasantness. Later I became Bishop in the same ward in which she lived. I always felt that Sister Sophronia had a great deal of ability, sometimes I think more than her share. She was always willing to help in any work she was assigned to do. She came from a home where she was taught to do this kind of work. Brother Spencer came here about sixteen years ago. In his work he has influenced the life of hundreds of our boys and girls in a way in which their lives will be insured here. His wife has been a great help-mate to him in the problems and duties of his work. Sister Spencer has performed her duties as a good wife and mother. She believed that this event would come to her at sometime, but did not know just when. Some of us live longer in years, than others but some live a great deal longer in less time; it isn’t so much the length of time we live but the extent of how we live that counts. And, I believe that Sister Sophronia was one who lived to this extent. I know that this family has abiding faith in God and the restoration of the gospel and that this knowledge at this time has brought them comfort. And, while we may live to be old according to time we live here only a short time, and this family who has enjoyed so much here, will be together again in the hereafter. I pray this afternoon for the Spirit of the Lord to be with them and help them in this task and their problems. I pray for those who may speak that they may say something that will help this family at this time. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Second Speaker: Mrs. Helen Barker, a missionary companion.

“My dear brothers and sisters, when I came here I felt that I would be able to sit among the mourners but Brother Spencer wished that I too would say a few words this afternoon. I would like to pay a tribute to my dear companion. I have been thinking about Sophronia the last few days but did not know that she was sick. I had it in mind that perhaps I would have another happy reunion with her at Salt Lake City, for several times when Brother Spencer was going to Summer School we met at Salt Lake and had a real good old time visit. Then, I received the message of her death. Since I received this news I have recalled the many happy times we passed together during our missionary experiences, they were happy times and sometimes hard times. We have never forgotten those times in the Mission Field. I might tell you of some of our experiences, and say words of praise but no words I could say about her could be exaggerated, for you all know of her good qualities as well as I do. But I cannot find words to express my love and sympathy for this family. My life has been enriched greatly by her life and through knowing her. But, what could I do for her now? She has completed her mission here. One thing that is so hard for me to understand is why a mother should be taken when she has a mission to bring little spirits into this life and rear her children. But, I wonder what could I do for her now? If conditions were reversed, I wonder what she could do to help me most? If she could speak to me today she would want me to say something to her little children and her folks. I have left the same number of little children at my home and I am sure that if Sophronia could speak that is what she would want. These children are each a star in her crown and if I could say something helpful to them it would add another star to my crown. And, I would like to tell Sophronia’s little children today to remember the teachings of their mother. She has taught them many things, to try and be just what she wanted you to be and remember the things she has taught you. And even though you can’t see her I feel that she can see you. She can’t lose interest in you little children and I sure in time of need she will be near you. It is just like she has gone into another room with the door open and she can still see you. And remember all the sweet lessons and stories she has taught you. When I first received word to come here I couldn’t reconcile myself to the fact, but on my way up here through the beautiful canyons my attitude changed. When I looked out and could see the beautiful sun, beautiful trees, flowers and lake, I thought, ‘How could anyone doubt God?’ I just had to think that the Majesty who creates all of these things must know what is best and I thought of the song ‘David,’ The Glory of God Abounds. I felt comforted and thought that it was all for the best. But we aren’t told everything in this life but we have to live by faith and sometimes we are unable to understand that which is better. But we know about the eternity of the marriage covenant. We all know these larger things, we just have to trust in God. If he sees fit to offer the plan of salvation to us he must know what he is doing. A while ago I was reading a poem and this made me think of Sophronia. This poem said to imagine a beautiful ship out on the sea about ready to set sail, loaded with its cargo. In port it looked close to us with its white sail shining in the sun and already to sail; and as we watched it start on its journey, sailing on out to sea it seemed to be going away and we said, ‘There it goes,’ and as it kept sailing on and on it became smaller and smaller, going out of sight until if faded from view. But we knew that it had not gone and if we could see it out there on the sea it would still be sailing, still have the same shape, size and cargo, going on and on just the same, and if we were on the other side we could see it coming and say ‘Here it Comes;’ I feel that Sophronia has gone to another shore and that her Father and those on the other side are happy and rejoicing. I don’t think that the Lord is pleased with those who can’t see and understand his ways. Sophronia was a righteous person and I feel that she has entered unto the Lord. And I feel that if I could live as righteously as she, I would surely be happy. And, I am looking forward to another meeting with Sophronia where we will never have to part again. I ask the Lord to bless us, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Vocal Solos: “My Task,” and “I Shall Not Pass This Way Again” by Mrs. Lottie Grosjean, by a special request.

Third Speaker: Mr. Morris D. Low.

“My dear brothers and sisters, if it were not for friendship existing all during my life with Brother and Sister Spencer, I am sure I would shrink from this task. I ask for your prayers this afternoon that I might do as a spokesman for my dear Brother Spencer, his children and the relatives of this family. It is useless for me to say anything this afternoon pertaining to the life of this sister. Her life has been a life of service and enrichment. It is my happy privilege a few years ago to have known her in the class room. I remember her for her outstanding record. Many people have said to me the last few days that they too have known of her goodness. And I feel, brothers and sisters, that she is not dead for no person can come to this life and leave the values she has left in it and be dead. I know I am speaking the Heart-felt thoughts this afternoon when I refer to these children and to Brother Spencer who has to go on through life under a new task. And I say that these children will be-speak the life work of their mother and that we will see reflections in their life work of this good woman. Motherhood is the power to bare, the ability to rear and the gift of love and life. Motherhood is the best possible potentiality in life. The mother is the first that realizes the presence of the child, first to caress the new child; from the child’s first awakening it remembers its mother for it is the first that the new child’s eyes meet. There comes a time here and there as it was in this instance when Father must assume a new role. There is a new experience awaiting my dear Brother. A new day has dawned, and I have a prayer in my heart that Bishop Spencer will have success in his new experience. I can readily understand today, when the good woman touched the garment of God, when God turned and said that ‘I perceive that virtue has gone out of me.’ Perhaps Brother Spencer will feel this way when he takes this new responsibility here now. His heart will go out, he will experience a new feeling that has never come to him. And he will say that ‘I am part of this creation of which my good wife helped.’ Brothers and sisters, we must look this thing squarely in the face. Sometimes there is death, sometimes ‘near death.’ Nature’s children will be called upon to give new life and progress. I wouldn’t dare this afternoon to say why Sister Spencer should go and leave the sadness that she has left. I couldn’t say, but I know this, that Brother Spencer is a man with strength and faith. And I know that the home that has been built will continue and that these children should be thankful that they have the father they have. These words from Wadsworth: ‘Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting, the soul that rises with us, our life star has a setting in forgetfulness, but clouds of glory our home.’ We are all thankful for the lives of these young people. I know Brother Spencer has faith in these words, I know that he thinks of the great affliction that has come to others, I know he thinks of the temptations that came to Job, ‘When the morning stars sang and he called out to God for an understanding.’ God did not propound such things in this way or there would not have been another existence. I think of God the morning when he went into the garden and called to his Father, ‘Oh God, glorify me as I was in the world before.’ I would like to leave with you brothers and sisters the thoughts of one who comes to us on such occasions, the words of Frank Crane:
‘The main reason why any man’s life seems trivial, and why existence is bitter in any man’s mouth, is that he has ceased to think of his earthly career in connection with its context in eternity. Nothing is more tragic than to conceive of one’s self as merely a kind of animal, yet endowed with adventurous intellect and the functions of a soul. The very terms of the proposition imply despair. To think that a creature, gifted with the infinite capacity for going on, shall be cut down like a beast of the field and forever cease, is necessarily to imply that the God who made him is a cruel jester. We cannot wonder at the amount of cynicism in the world; we can only wonder that there is not more when we reflect upon the great number of people to whom in their creed death ends all. The more brilliant the mind, the more loyal the heart, and the more sensitive the nature, the more revolting it is to suppose that at last so excellent a creature shall be dumped into the pit of death. All the moral enthusiasms of the race are drawn from our context in Eternity. Every noble impulse is too long for this life. It is the Context of Eternity that makes us gentle under provocation, honest under temptation, faithful and true under all trials. Further than that, and more important than that, the kind of joy that is worth while, all that contentment of the spirit which cannot be destroyed, all those satisfactions which glow like undimming stars in our life and do not flare up and go out like a taper, are those which have their Context in Eternity. The pleasure of the table, the sating of fleshly desires, the achievement of fame, the possessing of great fortune--all those things have a certain quality of joy. But behind then stalks a common horror--They Pass!

‘A man can never be thoroughly self-respecting, he cannot even be interesting if he considers that this earthly chapter is all there is to his story. We can no more separate this life from Eternity than we can separate a year from its century, or an hour from its day. All sorts of reasons have been given for the evil that men do, for their wantonness, their violence, the pettiness, their vileness; but the real reason, the fountain and source from which all baseness flows, the open sewer that pollutes the human race, is the delusion under which rests so great a part of the world that this human play is over when the curtain of death rings down and beyond that there is nothing.’
“I am uttering, brothers and sisters, words that constitute the faith of Brother Spencer and to his children who are following this faith. To have been born with a faith in God and trust this thing that will carry them on. In closing, may I pay this tribute. I have known Brother Spencer all my life and in all that time I have not known one thing about him that has not been commendable. When he came into your own stake he came with that same quality of service. And I could pay no greater tribute to his wife that to say that she has stood by him in his great services and I believe that any wife who has stood by a husband serving as a Bishop is very commendable. And I am very sure that very few of us have seen her when she was not smiling. Even when she felt sure she would have to go, she asked, ‘How can I leave these children, young as they are?’ But, she left uncomplainingly. In a few years from now Brother Spencer is to present to Sophronia his life work and it will be, ‘Dear Sophronia, you have left me this task and I have come to say that I did my best, for here are the fruits of our work.’ And I pray for him that God will strengthen him to carry on this new task. I ask the Lord to bless her good mother and the family. I ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.”

Violin Solo: “Berceuse,” by Russel Welker.

Fourth Speaker: President Ed. C. Rich.

“Even in this hour of sadness there must be some satisfaction to Brother Spencer and the relatives in seeing the attendance here today, and the good-will expressed in these beautiful flowers. This large attendance is an expression of sympathy and good-will. From a human stand-point we would think that if anyone was needed here it would be a mother. In the first song, ‘Sometime We’ll Understand,’ we are told that ‘God doeth all things well.’ He left us this message, that all children under all conditions, ‘Be ye ready.’ I have known Sister Spencer since serving as Bishop here and also while being President of the Stake. She also was a close neighbor and I have always known her as a good girl and do not know of another who would ‘Be ye ready’ more than she. I am sure that she was ready. I am sure that she felt that she was going for she gave this expression to my wife not long ago, ‘In this ordeal I am about to face I do not feel that I am going to get along so well.’ I understood that she said that ‘Sister Humphreys is here and wants me to come.’ And when I read this, I thought that rightly she was as Elijah.
A Rabbi, son of Levi, fasted in order that he might be permitted to gaze upon the angel Elijah and asked that he might follow him.

“Nay,” said Elijah.

“But I would not bother or complain,” said the Rabbi.

“Come,” said Elijah, “But let thy tongue be silent.”

The first place they came to was a very poor home and Elijah asked that they might stay that night, and they were fed the same as the rest of the household and given a bed.

In the morning Elijah arose and prayed and as he was praying this man’s cow fell dead. The Rabbi was very much displeased, but said nothing.

The next night they came to a very wealthy man’s home and asked to stay. They were permitted to stay and given crackers and milk, but did not see the master of the home.

The next morning Elijah noticed that a part of the house needed repairs. He ordered the material and rebuilt the broken parts, paying for the repairs himself.

They moved on and came to a synagogue in which they stayed that night. These people were very selfish and quarrelsome.

When Elijah was ready to leave the next morning he called to the people and told them that he wished they would all be kings.

The next night they stayed at another synagogue. The sexton was a very good man.

The next morning when they were ready to leave Elijah called to the people and said, “May the Lord appoint only one king over you.”

The Rabbi could not hold his tongue longer and asked Elijah to explain to him the meaning of such actions, even though we part.

“Listen,” said Elijah. “The night we stayed at the poor house I dreamed that the poor man’s wife was going to die, so the next morning I prayed that his cow should die and the wife be saved. At the rich man’s house a valuable treasure was buried under the part of the house which needed repairs. By repairing it myself, the rich man will never find the treasure. At the tavern I told the wicked men that I wished they would all be kings. For where there are many kings there is no peace. At the synagogue I told the kind sexton that I wished the Lord to appoint one King over them. For, with only one leader no misunderstandings may arise.”
“I have known them to be honest and faithful. One poet said, ‘An honest man is the noblest work of God.’ And, I hope that the pleas made by the missionary companion to the children, while they are young, they will not forget these services. They are old enough to understand the integrity of their mother and father. I am sure they will grow up to be a good man and good women. The only way in which children may repay their parents is to do what they have been taught. They have been taught to believe in the Lord, that through him only can salvation of God come. There is no other plan whereby we may be saved. We believe in a great many things and in the pre-existence. The Lord once said to Abraham that he knew him before he was born. So we are told that we are in this world to be tried and tested. To be devoted to our God and government, that is the purpose of this life. Sophronia has been tested. No matter what her test has been, she has taken it. The Lord once said to one of his disciples, ‘Verily, verily I say unto you, except a man be born of the water and the spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.’ That is the only way we can be saved. If we love him and keep his commandments. This girl and mother has done these things all her life. One thing that is our business here is to learn what we are to do in order to be saved. Now, I express my sympathy and good-will to Brother Spencer and to the family. May the Lord bless them and may the influence of their mother’s prayers be with them. This is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Concluding Remarks: David A. Lewis.

“On behalf of the family we wish to thank the people and neighbors who have been so helpful and kind during the sickness and death of this dear Sister. And, on behalf of the Bishopric, I feel that we have lost one of our members, for to go into their home we were always greeted by this Sister with a smile and hospitality. She always had a spiritual influence with her and was very helpful to us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Closing Song: “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go, Dear Lord,” by the Choir.

Closing Prayer: Mr. Elmer Burgoyne.

“Our Father who art in Heaven, we come to the close of these services and we thank thee for the beautiful words of comfort that have been said here this afternoon. And we are thankful, Father, that there is another Life after this. May we go to our homes in safety. Bless Brother Spencer and his family and Sister Quayle and family. Help all of us to help him in his new tasks, we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Organ Selection: Miss Lillas Swenson.

Interment was made in the Paris Cemetery, Paris, Idaho.

The grave was dedicated by J. H. Holmes.

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