H. Clay Gorton - Personal Journal, 2000

September 23, 2000 The last entry in my journal was made 3 Jan. 1999. I had become so busy writing the "Ask Gramps" and the Melchizedec priesthood lessons column for mormontown.com that I simply did not have time to make journal entries. I usually spent each day until about 9:00 PM working at the computer. At 9 o’clock I would watch TV for a couple of hours and then relax at the piano for another couple of hours before getting to bed around 1 AM.

Why the piano. With the money I received from the sale of the Starduster I bought a Kawai Concert Performer. The sound quality and versatility of the piano system is so tremendous that I never tire playing it.

The reason for this return to the journal is to report an activity of today. Don Mortensen is the assistant to the president of the Salt Lake Temple, and I had him arrange a tour of the temple for a few members from our Ward. Don had the assistant chief engineer take us through the temple. We visited up on the sixth and seventh floors, under the spires at the east end, and saw and heard many wonderful things about the temple. As part of the tour, we visited the solemn assembly room on the fifth floor. In that room, near the tiers of pulpits on the east end, is a Steinway Grand Piano donated to the Church by a wealthy member. We were told that its value was between $150,000 and $200,000! So, one of the group suggested that I play a hymn on it. The engineer did not object, and furnished me with a hymn book. So I played “Nearer My God To Thee” on that marvelous piano in the solemn assembly room of the Salt Lake Temple!

I have recently terminated my Ask Gramps column and declined to write the Priesthood lessons for next year for the web site. Both tasks have been rewarding experiences, so I will record below some of the comments that correspondents made with respect to the columns.

The Priesthood Lessons

Science is atheistic in nature because there is no provision in the scientific method to include principles of religion or the recognition of God as a force in the universe. It is not that scientists are necessarily atheistic, nor is it so that we who perceive cannot see and recognize the hand of God in all things. The material universe around is a marvelous confirmation of the existence of God, but scientific method can only deal with observations that are measurable, communicable and repeatable. With such limitations the scientific method always leads to erroneous conclusions when it deals with those matters that result from God’s creative or directive activities. Clay

Is there another area that can be accessed to allow me to continue using your beautiful lessons as a resource for my lessons in my home branch of Mount Juliet, Tennessee? You have added much insight into my own study and have often directed me to a line of thinking that I may have overlooked. It has been a very rich and rewarding opportunity both for me and for the priesthood of my Branch to be able to uses some of your material.

I also share your quality background, I am the manager of safety and quality for Aladdin Temp‑Rite, a food system manufacturing firm in Nashville, Tennessee. My responsibilities include all quality assurance for our manufactured materials, all source inspection for our purchase for resale items, incoming inspection for material from our suppliers, all compliance issues such as NSF, UL, and other regulatory areas. In addition I also am responsible for safety and product safety. I deal with local, state, and federal safety issues and OSHA requirements.

Once again thank you for your hard work and wonderful insight into priesthood issues. Michael C. Artley. High Priest Group Leader and Branch Clerk,Mount Juliet Branch, Nashville, Tennessee Stake.

The Ask Gramps Column

Clay Gorton has written the Ask Gramps column for over two years. With still roughly 70 questions still to be answered, Brother Gorton has informed us he will no longer be taking new questions.

Citing involvement in some new activities, Brother Gorton told us, "All good things must come to an end, there’s just not enough time to do everything."

Ask Gramps began as a regular Question and Answer column for kids, but the overwhelming response by readers of the column wanting more information regarding gospel, moral, and family questions quickly became almost a full‑time job for the former mission president.

“There are many of the questions I have received lately that are really already answered in other places in the archives of Mormontown," Brother Gorton said, adding, ­“For anyone who has a question the first and most important place a person should go is to the Lord and then to their Bishop."

Ask Gramps will continue through the end of the year by adding the backlog of over 100 questions and answers. All of the Ask Gramps Questions are available in the columns section and from this link...

Dear Johan, Thank you for your communication. We respect everyone’s opinion. We boast of no personal credentials, we only try to reflect the scriptures and the publications of the General Authorities. Gramps

May 26, 2002. I have been so busy doing the Ask Gramps columns and books that I haven’t had time to add to my journal. I have just added the rest of the above accolades to date.

Three years ago Duane and Jean Crowther, our back-door neighbors, were called on a mission to Mexico. Duane was the founder and president of Horizon Publishers. Prior to his mission he sold the company to one of his employees, Richard Hopkins. Hopkins, a read con artist, absolutely trashed the company. He paid no royalties, defaulted on the employees’ salaries, charged to Horizons debts incurred by his company, Cornerstone Publishers, defaulted on his payments to Duane, did not replace stock, and let the equipment go to pot! After a year in Mexico Duane had to return, get a summary judgment against Hopkins and take the company back. He asked me to run the company for the next year so that he could finish his mission. It was something that I did not want to do, but felt it important for him to finish his mission, so I accepted the challenge. The main challenge was related to the restrictions he placed on my time. He averred that I could do the job in just a half day a week! After some bargaining we settled on eight hours a week.

So I spent two half days a week at Horizons for the next year. Duane and Jean returned in the first week of May, 2002, and I retired. However, during the year, we got all the equipment in working order, upgraded the computer system (which was very antiquated), fired some low-productive personnel and hired a few much more highly qualified people, and turned the business into a successful operation. In the month of April Horizons grossed $56,000.