Gift of History

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“Gift of History,” Ensign, Aug. 1995, 57–58

Gift of History

Almost ten years ago, Jaris Taylor Elkins finished a history book for her family. A member of the Mesa Sixty-fifth Ward, Mesa Arizona Mountain View Stake, Sister Taylor wrote the 320-page hardcover book Charity Upton Powell Elkins—Six Generations for her four sons who wanted to know more about their father’s family heritage.

When Sister Elkins decided to share her own father’s pioneer heritage, she tackled another book. A Royal Family is 697 pages and covers seven generations and includes the story of her great-grandfather, one of the first pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley.

While the completion of both books is admirable, the feat is even more outstanding when one meets the author and finds that at age fifty-six, Jaris Elkins has lived with the debilitating effects of muscular dystrophy since she was thirteen years old. While she can’t get about without the help of others and can raise her arms only slightly, Sister Elkins patiently wrote her first book in longhand and typed her second book at the computer given her by her son Ronald.—Clinton M. Taylor, Mesa, Arizona