“A Tough Arizona Cowboy,” Ensign, Sept. 2001, 66–67
Everyone knew that Dallas Stock, a rodeo cowboy, was tough. What they didn’t know was how that toughness would be tested.
For some years Dallas had not been active in the Church, but through the loving influence of his patient wife, Ginny, and their five children, along with the inspired efforts of ward leaders and friends, Dallas eventually had a change of heart. As his bishop, I rejoiced to see him progress to the point that he wanted to take Ginny and their children to the temple. He took the steps necessary to prepare himself, and they set a date to go to the house of the Lord and be sealed as a family.
One week before that date, Dallas was working on the stake welfare ranch, loading bulls into trucks for transportation to market. A temperamental bull was not cooperating, and to protect himself Dallas jumped behind a gate he thought was locked properly. Instead, as the bull hit the gate, it swung around, and the bull smashed Dallas between the gate and a fence three times in a matter of seconds. His arm and several ribs were broken, and he was badly bruised.
The accident was reported to me that evening, so I went to visit Dallas. He was sitting in his chair in severe pain, with his arm in a cast and his ribs taped. As we talked I suggested that perhaps his trip to the temple should be postponed. His response was, “Bishop, I am going to the temple next Wednesday.”
A few days later it was Sunday, and no one expected to see Dallas at church. But he was there, conducting Sunday School as a member of the Sunday School presidency. It was a painful ordeal for him, but his devotion was an inspiration to ward members.
Wednesday came, and Dallas, Ginny, their family, and many ward members attended the temple as planned. With a son on one side and a son-in-law on the other, Dallas went through the endowment session. Each time he moved, the ward members in the room could almost sense the pain Dallas must have been feeling.
After Ginny and Dallas were sealed to each other and to their children in the sealing room, the ward members, with tears in their eyes, lined up to congratulate them. I started to hug Dallas but then said, “Oh, I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Bishop,” Dallas replied, “I don’t hurt at all. I can tell you I haven’t hurt all day.”
“Surely that can’t be,” I said. “It looked so painful.”
“It was hard to get up and down,” he explained, “but it didn’t hurt. It hasn’t hurt at all.”
As I left the temple that day I was overcome by everything that had taken place. How grateful I was that Dallas had been blessed as he made every effort to get to the temple with his family. That day we witnessed not only the strength of an Arizona cowboy but also the emergence of a spiritual giant.