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‘Redemption of Poncho Villa’

Hinkley shared a story about Poncho Villa.

Monday, Feb. 19, the Morgan Chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers gathered for their monthly luncheon at the Rock Chapel where Larry’s famous “Spring Chicken Inn” chicken was served.  Visitors and new members were introduced. Local chapter member, Francis Tilby, presented the pioneer minute, introducing himself and sharing the story of Nicholas Paul, his great, great grandfather, a convert and early Immigrant to Utah. Nicholas was a major contributor in the construction of Cove Fort in central Utah.

The luncheon’s presenter was Clark B Hinckley. He has worked in banking most of his life, including as senior officer of Zions First National Bank where he continues to serve as an advisory director. He is the author of “Christopher Columbus: A Man Among the Gentiles,” and editor of “Rescued, the Courageous Journey of Mary Goble Pay.”  Hinkley is a graduate of BYU in mathematics and Harvard Business School. He and his wife Kathleen, who was at the luncheon, served as mission leaders in the Spain Barcelona Mission. They also served as president and matron of the Tijuana Mexico Temple.  They coauthored “Taking off the Tag: A Transition Guide for Returning Missionaries.” They are the parents of six children.

Hinckley presented the fascinating story of the “Redemption of Poncho Villa,” Known as a robber, murderer and revolutionary, Poncho was pursued by both the Mexican and US governments. He did however maintain a sporadic relationship with the Mormon colonies in Mexico. Later in his life he had a significant conversation with Mexican Mission President James “Bert” Whetten and Bishop Joseph Bentley. In 1965, 46 years after that meeting and 42 years after Poncho’s assassination, President Whetten would have a dream with a visit from Poncho Villa, reminding him to keep his promise to help him. After receiving permission from Church President Joseph Fielding Smith, his temple work was completed in the Mesa Arizona Temple. Ten years later he would finally be recognized by the Mexican government as a national hero instead of an outlaw, making his “redemption” complete. Thank you for a glimpse into a little known and inspiring part of church history. λ

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