"Madeline's Dream," Friend, Nov. 1971, 2
Madeline, her clothes under her arms, ran down the stairs and into the kitchen where her mother was preparing breakfast. Mother looked up to say good morning to her little girl, but when she saw how pale and breathless Madeline was, she asked, "What's the matter? Are you sick?"
"No," answered Madeline, but at the moment she could say no more. She sank down onto a stool near the fireplace and stared into the flame. She wondered how she could ever put into words the strange dream she had just had, and what her mother would think if she could.
It had seemed in her dream that she was a young lady sitting on a small strip of meadow close to the vineyard and that as she watched to make sure the goats didn't tramp on the vines and eat them, she glanced down at a Sunday School book in her lap. As she looked up again, she was startled to see three strange men.
At the remembrance, Madeline shivered in fright, just as she had shivered in her dream. But almost at once there came the feeling of peace that had flooded over her when one of the men said, "Don't be frightened. We have come from a place far from here to tell you about the true and everlasting gospel."
Then the men told her that an angel had directed a boy to find an important book of gold hidden in the earth. They said that someday she, Madeline, would be able to read this book, and then, because of it, she would gladly leave her home, cross the great ocean, and go to America to live.
In the warm sweet-smelling kitchen Madeline relived her dream. It seemed so real to her that she turned pale again and began to tremble. Father came in from milking the goats, and asked, just as her mother had done, "What's the matter? Are you sick?"
Madeline could only shake her head. Father gently stooped down beside her, picked up a stocking, and without another word began to help her dress. Afterward he lifted her onto his lap and quietly asked, "Do you want to tell me about it?"
Madeline nodded. It was hard to get the words started, but then they seemed to tumble over each other in their eagerness to be spoken. Mother left her preparations for their simple breakfast of figs, potatoes, and goats milk so she could hear every amazing detail of the dream. Father listened intently, occasionally nodding his head as if he understood more than was being said.
That night when the family gathered around the fireplace for the evening prayer, Father told again the story of why they lived in a small village high in the north Italian Alps. Their grandparents many generations back had had homes in the lovely valleys at the foot of these lofty mountains. There the people lived simple happy lives, basing all they did on the teachings of the apostles who had lived at the time of Christ. The Vaudois (meaning people who live in the valleys of the Alps) even sent forth missionaries two by two to teach. Many people from other lands were converted to their faith.
News of their success reached Rome, and word went to the Vaudois valleys that they must give up their own church and abide by the dictates of the larger ruling church in Rome. This they refused to do. In fact, the Vaudois clung with even greater faith to the authority and teachings of the New Testament as handed down to them.
Angered, Pope Innocent VIII proclaimed a general crusade for the extermination of every member of the Vaudois church. Soon the peaceful valleys where they lived were filled with tragedy and destruction. There was hardly a rock that did not mark a scene of death. Those who survived were driven from their homes. They retreated higher and ever higher up the steep mountains.
The many years of unbelievable suffering resulted in the death of all but three hundred members of the Vaudois church. These people settled high in the Piedmont valleys of the Alps, their villages seeming to cling to the mountainsides. They were surrounded by inaccessible crags and cliffs.
It was hard to eke out a living. Each spring the women and children went down the steep mountains and in baskets carried the soil that had been washed down in the winter storms back up to their terraced fields and gardens. But in these craggy mountains they were quite isolated, and here they raised their hands to the sky and solemnly swore to defend their homes and their religion to the death, as their fathers had done before them.
Madeline's family had heard this story many times, but they never tired of it. Even the youngest children thrilled to hear of the courage of their tall strong grandparents. The older children often expressed gratitude for their home and for their church with its motto "The Light Shining in Darkness."
Long after everyone else was asleep that night, Madeline could hear the murmur of her parents' voices. The last thing she remembered before she went to sleep was hearing her mother insist, "But we already have the true gospel, so there couldn't be any real meaning to that story Madeline told us."
Madeline did not hear Father's answer, but occasionally as the years went by, he would question her concerning her dream. Even though some of the details became vague to her, they never did to him.
About eight years after Madeline's dream, the king of Sardinia, pressured by England and other countries to stop persecuting the Piedmont protestants, granted his Vaudois subjects freedom of religion. The tragic 800-year war ended in February 1848.
The very next year Lorenzo Snow, who later became the fifth president of the Church, was called to open a mission in Italy. But he and his two companions could not find anyone interested in their message. Discouraged, he wrote, "I see no possible means of accomplishing our object. All is darkness."
On September 18, 1850, Lorenzo Snow and his two companions climbed a high mountain in northern Italy and on a large projecting rock offered a fervent prayer for guidance. They were then inspired to dedicate the land for the preaching of the gospel, and they named the rock upon which they stood "The Rock of Prophecy."
Before leaving the mountain, the missionaries sang "The Hymn of the Vaudois Mountaineers in Times of Persecution." The strains of this song had floated down into the valleys many times from high caves and fissures in the rocks where the persecuted had been hiding. It had been a rallying cry as the Vaudois took up arms to fortify their mountain passes. It had been sung in thanksgiving in their church services. Now the three missionaries, standing on The Rock of Prophecy, sang the stirring words:
For the strength of the hills we bless thee,
Shortly afterward, on a Saturday afternoon, Madeline's father went home early from his work of building a chimney for a neighbor. He told his family that three strangers were coming to bring an important message. "I must dress in my best clothes and go welcome them," he said.
He found the men he was looking for on Sunday morning and invited them to go home with him. As they walked up over the winding paths and through the dangerously narrow mountain passes, Madeline's father told them of the dream his daughter had had many years before.
When they reached his small rock home, they found Madeline sitting on a little strip of meadow close to the vineyard. She looked up from the Sunday School book she was reading into the faces of three men. They told her they had come to give her people the message contained in a wonderful book of gold that had been taken out of the earth, and said that she could now read this book.
That evening Madeline's neighbors came to meet the strangers and hear their message. Some of the men found it so unusual and exciting that they stayed up all night to learn more about the newly revealed truths that had been brought to them by these missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Some baptisms were held in October 1850. Twenty families eventually accepted the gospel, and as Madeline's dream became a reality, the Vaudois area truly became "A Light Shining in Darkness."
Gospel topics: Lorenzo Snow, missionary work
[illustrations] Illustrated by Ron Crosby
© 2004 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Hero of Two Worlds
By Vicki H. Budge
Vicki H. Budge, "Hero of Two Worlds," Friend, Nov. 1971, 36
Giuseppe Garibaldi ran along the waterfront toward some fishermen.
"Take me with you," he pleaded. "I can help man the sails or haul the nets."
The fishermen laughed. "Hey, Peppino," one of them called. "Are you playing truant from school again?"
Everyone called the boy Peppino, a nickname for Giuseppe. He was born in Nice, Italy (now part of France), in 1807.
Giuseppe frowned. He wanted to go to sea like his father and his grandfathers had done for years. But his parents insisted he go to school.
Giuseppe spent all the time he could along the waterfront. He was an excellent swimmer. His muscles were hardened by climbing the ropes of ships at port.
When Giuseppe was fifteen years old, he and some friends set sail for Genoa to find adventure and fortune as sailors. A few miles out to sea they were caught. After punishing his son, Giuseppe's father decided he should send him to sea.
Within ten years Giuseppe Garibaldi was captain of his own ship. It was during these years that he decided to dedicate his life to a free and united Italy.
For many years, ever since the fall of the great Roman empire, Italy had been divided into small territories. Each territory was ruled by a different power. The Italians did not have freedom of assembly, religion, or speech. Most of them were not allowed to learn to read or write, and high taxes kept the people poor and hungry.
In 1834 Garibaldi took part in an unsuccessful revolution. To avoid going to prison, he disguised himself as a peasant and escaped to France.
Now he was a political exile. Since he could not go home, he decided to go to South America, where he became the leader of Italian exiles there. They were known as the Italian Legion, and they fought for the independence of Brazil and Uruguay. These men refused to accept any money for their service because they had not earned it peacefully. The government of Uruguay gave them red woolen shirts, which they wore for uniforms. The Red Shirts, as they were soon called, became a symbol of hope and freedom even in their native Italy.
One day after Garibaldi had been fighting for a town in Brazil, he saw a beautiful young woman named Anita. A bond of love was formed between them the first time they met, and the young couple eloped a few nights after their first meeting. Anita's love for freedom of nations equaled that of her husband. She fought beside him in South America and later in Italy.
In 1847 several cities in Italy began trying to overthrow their foreign rulers. Garibaldi had been waiting for this. He sent Anita with their three small children to Nice to stay with his mother while he remained in South America, where he gathered his Italian Legion and made preparations for them to sail to Italy. These exiled men were eager to go back home to fight for their own country. They sailed to Nice and from there began the long struggle from northern Italy down into the south.
His men loved Garibaldi. He never asked any of them to do anything he wouldn't do. He always led them in their battles and fought as hard as they did. This leader ate meals with his men and wore the same kind of clothes they did. They found him always humble, gentle, and fair.
One time some enemy officers were captured and brought before Garibaldi. He had been so feared by the opposing armies that the officers expected to face a cruel, harsh person. To their surprise, this great man shook their hands, told them they had fought bravely, and offered sympathy that they had been captured.
During the battle to defend Rome, Garibaldi was wounded in his side. He hid the injury with his poncho and quietly told the surgeon to secretly visit him that night, for he didn't want his men to know he had been wounded.
The siege of Rome lasted a long time, because the revolutionary army was so small. Garibaldi refused to surrender, but he knew that if fighting in the city continued, every structure in Rome would be destroyed. His love for this city was so great that he decided to move the fighting up to the mountains to save the city.
Anita had come from Nice to help her husband. She refused to leave him even though they were both in great danger. A few weeks later she became sick and died. Although it was difficult, Garibaldi fought on to achieve their common hope for a free and united Italy.
He had no desire to rule, but only wanted to free the people. Victor Emmanuel, who was a just man, had become king over most of northern Italy. Garibaldi had won many battles in the south. The king was afraid Garibaldi, who was very popular, might be tempted to take over the kingdom. But when the two men met, Garibaldi greeted Victor Emmanuel as his king, and he asked the people to do so too.
Garibaldi was offered titles and money for himself and for his children, but he would not accept them. He chose instead to settle with his children on a small farm.
Italy became a united kingdom; today it is a republic. The people of Italy have a special feeling of gratitude for their country and for the sacrifices of Giuseppe Garibaldi. Every city and village has a street or square named for Garibaldi, or a monument built in honor of this man who loved his country and fought for its freedom.
Gospel topic: heroes
[illustrations] Illustrated by Charles Quilter
© 2004 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sonia Griffa of Torino, Italy
By Jeri Jeppson
Jeri Jeppson, "Sonia Griffa of Torino, Italy," Friend, Oct. 1988, 28
"I Am a Child of God" is sung throughout the Church. However, Sonia Griffa (8) of Torino, Italy, knows it as "Sono un Figlio di Dio." The Chiesa (Church) is relatively new in Sonia's paese (country). President Lorenzo Snow dedicated the land for missionary work in 1850, but wars and other problems stopped the missionary effort until it was rededicated in 1966 by Elder Ezra Taft Benson, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Since then the membership has increased greatly.
Sonia is the only member of the Church in her scuola (school). She loves ballet and skating, and her favorite foods are her mother's lasagna and cake. (Before Italians begin eating their meals, they say, "Buon appetito" [Good appetite].)
Like most Italians, Sonia and her family don't have a casa (house) with a yard but live in a large apartment building. Her madre (mother), Giusi, takes classes and runs the household, which includes caring for Valeria, Sonia's three-year-old sorella (sister). Giusi does most of the grocery shopping daily at nearby shops and open markets so that the food is fresh. And when it's bedtime, she says, "Buona notte, sogni d'oro" (Good night, sweet dreams) when she tucks Sonia and Valeria in.
Sergio, Sonia's padre (father), is an engineer. He joined the Church five years ago and now serves as branch president of one of four branches in Torino. A few years ago the branch had to rent part of a building to meet in, but now they have a beautiful chapel. Sonia likes to go there for Primary. She especially likes to sing Christmas songs and study the New Testament.
Sonia enjoys reading from the illustrated scriptures at church as well as at home during serata famigliare (family home evening). The family sings, with Sergio accompanying them on the guitar, and they often spend time at their cabin in the nearby mountains, where they ski in the wintertime.
The beautiful Alps surround Sonia's city of Torino, which was once the capital of Italy and the home of many kings, as can be seen by the many castles, cathedrals, statues, and Roman ruins there. Torino is now an industrial city that manufactures many things, including cars.
Sonia says ciao (hi) to her friends all over the world, and advises, "Sorride sempre" (Keep smiling).
[photos] Photography by Jeri Jeppson
[photo] In front of the meetinghouse
[photo] Valeria with Sonia
[photo] Off for school
[photo] An old church
[photo] Playing her organ
[photo] Valeria and Sonia in the mountains
[photo] Medieval village<
[photo] Speaking in church (Sonia's father and mother are in the front row behind her.)
[photo] Roman ruins
© 2004 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Heroes and Heroines:
Christopher Columbus, Inspired Seaman
By Wendy Seal Manzanares
Wendy Seal Manzanares, "Christopher Columbus, Inspired Seaman," Friend, Oct. 1992, 35
From the time he was a young boy growing up in Genoa, Italy, Christopher Columbus knew that he wanted to be a seaman. Coming from a family of weavers, however, it was expected that Christopher would follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and father. But the curious boy was more interested in the sea and the stars, and instead of weaving cloth as his brothers and father did, Christopher spent much of his time weaving dreams of adventure and discovery.
He listened to the tales of the sailors who came to the marketplace. They talked about exotic people of the Orient and of the great amounts of gold and spices in China, Japan, and India. Christopher dreamed of someday going to those strange, faraway places.
As soon as he could, he began working on ships. Studying hard, he learned as much as he could about sailing, maps, and navigating by the stars. At the age of thirteen, he left home to seek his fortune as a seaman.
He traveled throughout Europe and the Mediterranean and became an expert navigator. By the time he was 25, Christopher was made captain of a ship. It was then that he started to formulate a plan.
In the 1400s, many seamen were reluctant to go after the wealth of the Indies because it was thought that the only way to get there was by sailing a difficult, circuitous route around Africa. Christopher believed that there was another way. He thought that he could get to Japan by going west across the Atlantic Ocean.
Most people laughed at Christopher's idea, and he had a hard time getting anyone to support his proposed trip. It took him six years to finally convince the king and queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, to provide him with ships and money.
On August 3, 1492, Christopher set sail from Palos, Spain, with three ships: the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. It was only after a long and difficult journey that land was sighted. October 12, 1492, was the happy day when he set foot on dry groundnot in Japan or China or India, but on an island in what is now called the Bahamas, in the western hemisphere.
It has now been five hundred years since Christopher Columbus made that trip, and modern history books all give an account of the famous journey. But long before Columbus was born, another historian wrote of this navigator's future travels. The prophet Nephi, son of Lehi, had a vision of Columbus. He recorded the vision in 1 Nephi: "And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land" (1 Ne. 13:12).
The scriptures indicate that Columbus' voyages to the lands of North and South America were not made by chance but were directed by the Spirit. Columbus himself acknowledged several times that he was motivated by divine influence. In a letter to the king and queen of Spain, he wrote, "Our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my emprise [enterprise] called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but the Holy Ghost inspired me?"
Weeks into their voyage, the crews that were with Columbus grew restless and fearful, and the captains of the Nina and the Pinta both wanted to turn back. Columbus would not give up, however, and he finally promised that if land was not sighted in forty-eight hours, they would turn back. That night in his cabin, Columbus "prayed mightily to the Lord," and on the very next day, October 12, land was sighted.
Because of his strong determination, courage, and faith, Christopher Columbus was able to make his dream of adventure and travel to distant lands come true. He didn't discover a new route to the Indies, as he had hoped to, but his discovery of America was inspired by God.
Gospel topic: heroes
[illustrations] Illustrated by Dick Brown
© 2004 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.