H. Clay Gorton - Personal Journal, 1989

SUNDAY MAY 7, 1989 Stake Presidency meeting from 6:00AM to 7:15. Members of the Stake Presidency of the Torrance CA North Stake are Darrel Danielson, President; H. Clay Gorton, 1st Counselor; Martin Slater, 2nd Counselor, Kevin Wilkes, Clerk and Ken Matsuno, Executive Secretary.

7:15 to 8:30-- Melchizedek Priesthood Committee meeting. HCG Vice Chairman; members, Homer Owens, Allen Adams, Michael Makhorn and William Olesen. Bro. Owens is preparing a draft of an instruction program on information in the Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook for presentation to the High Council and Melchizedek Priesthood Quorum Presidencies and Group Leaders. He is scheduled to have a draft ready within a month. Bro. Makhorn was assigned to prepare a reporting form for home teaching personal Priesthood interviews.

Drove home to pick up my wife, Hilda Edna Frances Foot, to attend the block meetings of the Redondo 2nd Ward.

9:00 to 12:00-- Attended Fast and Testimony meeting, Sunday School, and visited the Relief Society meetings, where I had been called to present material on the Church Correlation Program, after which I participated in the High Priests Group Priesthood meeting.

12:00 to 1:30PM-- Returned home and prepared a draft of an agendum for the Stake Priesthood Leadership meeting, scheduled for Thursday, May 25. After which I drove to the Inglewood Stake center for a Regional Meeting of Stake Presidencies.

2:00 to 4:15PM-- Regional Meeting under the direction of Vern Curtiss, Regional Representative. It was determined to change the direction of the Regional Single Adult Program for ages 31 to 45 from the Torrance North Stake, where there is very little activity, to the Santa Monica Stake, that has an operating singles ward for the SA between 31 and 45. At the same time, the Regional Young Single Adult committee was transferred to the Torrance North Stake. I will act as chairman, with a High Counselor, yet to be named, as the vice chairman, and appointed high counselors from each of the stakes in the region and stake YSA representatives as members.

5:00 to 6:00-- Participated in the organization of the Knob Hill Singles Ward. James McKechnie was called as bishop, with Charles Pia as First Counselor and Kenneth Homer as Second Counselor. The ward clerk, Steven Gruenwald, and Elders Quorum President were also sustained. Afterward all were set apart. President Danielson ordained and set apart Bishop Mckechnie, I set apart Ken Homer, President Slater set the ward clerk apart and President Danielson set the Elders Quorum President apart. Seventy Eight people were in attendance, 21 of them married. The stake high council administered to and passed the sacrament.

7:00 to 8:30PM-- Satellite broadcast at the stake center to commemorate the restoration of the Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods. Talks were given by Elder Boyd K. Packer, of the Quorum of the Twelve, and President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, among others. A spiritual meeting-- the talk by Elder Packer on the sacredness of womanhood and the marriage relation was a classic, and hopefully will be reprinted for general distribution.

SATURDAY MAY 13, 1989 On Wednesday, May 10, traveled to Boston Mass. on American Airlines, in company of Gerry Smith, Director of Programs, and Don Cain, Purchasing Manager. Stayed in the Sheraton hotel, in Lexington, a suburb of Boston. Thursday, we visited Teledyne Crystallonics, Teledyne Philbrick, and MA/CON, to follow up on purchase orders of electronic parts. The main purpose of the trip was to visit National Semiconductor in South Portland, Maine, with respect to two delinquent orders. After concluding our visits in the Boston area, we drove to South Portland, arriving in the early evening. Rain and fog were continual, but the traffic was not impeded. We had dinner in a floating restaurant called DeMillo's. South Portland boasts the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the United States. It was dedicated by George Washington. On Thursday morning we met with officials at National Semiconductor, and received their commitment to give our orders top priority. We reviewed the specifications and agreed on requested exceptions, so that nothing should stand in the way of immediate action. We left for the local airport at 2PM, and found that the field was closed because of fog. Thus we missed a connecting flight through Chicago. However, the fog cleared about 3:30 and we were able to catch a United Airlines flight to Dulles Field in Washington, D.C. in the hopes of catching a 5:15 flight to Los Angeles. However, we arrived too late for the direct flight, but were able to take another United Airlines flight to Los Angeles with an hour stop-over in Denver. We arrived in LA at 10:00 PM; home by 11:00. The trip to Boston took 5 1/2 hours, during which time I worked up an outline of presentations for the bishop's training seminar, planned for the 24th of June. On the way home, I studied the Book of Mormon, concluding the current reading. I found numbers of chiastic structures in the Book of Ether that I had not before recognized. I now have identified 454 chiasma in the Book of Mormon, and 145 in the Doctrine and Covenants. The chiasmas is being touted in the published literature as a uniquely Hebrew religious literary form. Finding it extensively in the Doctrine and Covenants demonstrates that the form is not uniquely Hebraic, but may be one of the manners or forms with which the Lord communicates with man.

SUNDAY, MAY 14, 1989 Stake Presidency and High Council meetings at 6:00 AM and 7:15 AM. I was assigned to have Gerald Pilj sustained as the 1st counselor to Elders Quorum President Rand Putnam of the new Knob Hill Singles Ward. This I did at their Priesthood meeting today, and set him apart after he was sustained; assisted by the bishopric and President Putnam. In the afternoon I visited David Alger, who was completely paralyzed following a viral infection in November, 1987. He is now in the St. Mary's Hospital in Long Beach, and I try to visit him at least two times a week. His progress toward recovery is painfully slow. He is able now to breath without mechanical assistance, but still has a tracheotomy and is therefore unable to talk. He communicates by holding a wand in his mouth and pointing to letters of the alphabet held before him.

Podge was just called as a Relief Society teacher and gave her first lesson today. Several sisters commented to me on how good the lesson was.

In the afternoon I prepared the agendum for the Stake Priesthood leadership meeting scheduled for May 24, and wrote a letter to all the bishops for the Stake President's signature inviting the ward priesthood leaders to the meeting.

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 1989 Today, our daughter, Elizabeth, attended the Temple to take out her own endowments prior to leaving for Okinawa to visit her brother, David. Her sister, Debbie, flew in from Salt Lake City yesterday to go through the Temple with her. Her brother, Stephen, who now lives in Pomona, and her other sister, Becky, also attended with us. Stephen and Beth participated in the prayer circle, and at Podge's suggestion, I attended the prayer circle with Debbie. Beth is the last of our children to be endowed, and it gives us a special feeling of completeness as a family. We were only sorry that David could not have been with us also.

This morning I drove to Banning in the company of Orton Hoorn, one of our engineers who is a specialist in connectors, to visit the Deutsch Connector Company because two orders that we have with them have had recent problems that will delay their delivery for from one to two months. Since such a delay will have a serious impact on our Japanese customer, it was our objective to obtain Deutsch's cooperation in minimizing the delay. They have promised full cooperation to continue processing on an urgent basis, but it will require continued follow-up on our part to assure compliance. I asked Orton to call them at least twice a week to check status until the order is received.

SATURDAY, MAY 20, 1989 Friday evening attended a regional meeting of the Relief Society to which Sister Barbara Winder, the General Relief Society President, had been invited as the featured speaker. Bishops and stake presidents and their wives were invited to attend. Since President Danielson was to be out of town on this date, he asked me at attend in his stead. A second session was held tonight which I will also attended. President Engelman of the Lawndale Stake presided and invited me to sit on the stand with him. The chapel and recreation hall were filled, and a choir of Tongan sisters provided the music. Sister Winder's presentation was inspirational, and there was a strong manifestation of the presence of the Spirit.

At midday I visited Dave Alger again at St. Mary's hospital. He had been moved to an intensive care unit temporarily, and should be returned to his regular room within the next two days. Because of the continuing higher risk for pneumonia from the feeding tube inserted through the nose, an incision was made to insert a tube directly in the stomach, and nutrition was supplemented by intravenous feeding. The IV caused swelling in the hands, so he was put in intensive care until that situation is rectified. Sister Mozel Alger, his wife, was there when I arrived, and we spent some time chatting with her about his condition.

SUNDAY, MAY 21, 1989 President Danielson was out of town today, so President Slater, the 2nd Counselor in the stake presidency and Ken Matsuno, the Executive Secretary and I met at 6:00 AM to conduct necessary business and finalize plans for the bishops training seminar scheduled for June 23 and 24. At 10:00 AM I met with a young man from Torrance 4th ward who was hearing impaired, together with an interpreter to explain the details of missionary work for him. He is finalizing his papers to a missionary call and his parents are non-members. At 11:00 I called Joe Robinson as the Executive Secretary of the Knob Hill Singles Ward; attended the ward sacrament meeting in 2:00 PM to have him sustained; and set him apart after the meetings. I then interviewed and signed the recommend for the nine-year-old daughter of Bro. and Sister Sorensen, Redondo 3rd ward, so she could witness her older brother and sister being sealed to their parents. I then went to the home of Cecil McDougle to conduct a temple recommend interview of Sister McDougle's mother, who is soon leaving for Utah. Following that, in the company of Leo Fonoimoana, I visited the families of Jim Reynolds and Homer Owens to conduct a home teaching visit. I then went to the stake center to participate as President Danielson's representative in the Institute Graduation exercises. Arrived home at 9:30 PM, and packed a suitcase for a trip to Whippany, New Jersey, tomorrow.

THURSDAY, MAY 25, 1989 On Monday last traveled by United Airline to Newark, New Jersey, rented a car and drove to Whippany, NJ, staying in the Marriott Hotel. Tuesday and Wednesday attended the Subcontractor Avionics Reliability Integrity Task Force (SARIT) meeting associated with Northrop Aircraft Division (NAD) effort to win the production contract for the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF). TRW Components International has an engineering services contract with Northrop to provide the electronic parts management activity for them on the ATF program. We had prepared an outline for the Parts Control Program, and had distributed it to the subcontractors prior to the meeting. At this meeting we committed to have a draft of the plan completed and in the subcontractors hands in time for review prior to the next meeting, scheduled for the week of July 10. TRWCI will be the host for this meeting. We left the meeting Wednesday afternoon in time to drive to the Newark airport and catch a 6:00 PM flight to Los Angeles, arriving at 9:00 PM, LA time.

On Tuesday night I had dinner with Art Tannenbaum, the NAD ATF Program Reliability Manager. Art is Jewish, and we spent two hours discussing religious topics. When he mentioned that he didn't see why there couldn't be any more scripture, I insisted he come to my room so I could give him a Book of Mormon. He may not read it, but at least he has it. On the way home I sat next to a young man who had immigrated from Lebanon when he was a child 20 years ago. He was catholic and his wife presbyterian, and they were visiting different churches to find one with which they could both be compatible. We spent the entire trip discussing religious topics. He had a Book of Mormon, and had heard a number of negative things about the Church. Hopefully, we corrected some false notions and left a positive impression.

Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting was held Thursday evening. I had prepared the agendum and outlined the topics for the meeting a couple of weeks ago, and President Danielson asked me to conduct the meeting. He spoke in the opening exercises, after which we separated into departmental sessions, as follows: bishoprics with President Slater; Elders Quorum Presidencies, Quorum secretaries and Ward Mission Leaders with Michael Makhorn, who is the high council member on the Melchizedek Priesthood committee responsible for Elders, and then with the Stake Mission Presidency; High Priest Group Leaders and Secretaries first with the Stake Mission Presidency and then with Homer Owens, the high council member on the Melchizedek Priesthood committee responsible for High Priests; Quorum Instructors with High Councilor Woods Woolwine; Ward clerks and assistant clerks with Kevin Wilkes, the Stake clerk; and Ward executive secretaries with the Stake executive secretary, Ken Matsuno. Attendance was 51 out of a possible 125.

FRIDAY, MAY 26, 1989 Today, I spent an hour doing aerobatic maneuvers in a Pitts S2. I had decided a year ago to try to do aerobatics, and learned of a Pitts instructor at the nearby Hawthorne airport, named Bill Hare, so I bought some dual time. I have had no previous flight training or experience, but rather than spend the time and money to get a pilot's license in order to learn to take off, land, navigate and use the radio in order to do aerobatics, I hire someone else to do that part so that I can go directly to the fun part. Today was my fifth flight, and I spent the time practicing the four basic maneuvers-- loop, hammerhead stall, rolls and inverted flight. On the way back we flew zero gravity arcs from both the upright and inverted positions. Max G-forces this trip were 4.2 positive and 2.5 negative. I have another appointment in two weeks.

Following the flight I had an appointment for a Cat Scan to search for possible tumors. The results will be forthcoming at the Doctor's appointment in two weeks.

SUNDAY, MAY 28, 1989 Yesterday, with our daughter, Debbie, I visited Dave Alger in the St. Mary's hospital, and did the usual Saturday chores.

Attended Stake Presidency meeting at 6:00 AM and high council meeting at 7:15. Returned in time to take the family-- Podge, Beth and Debbie to church. Visited Alex Madrid as a home teacher in the afternoon in the company of Brother Jim Reynolds. In the evening, John Leydsman, newly called counselor the Redondo 2nd Ward bishopric, came for council on seeking improved employment, and asked for a priesthood blessing, which we were glad to give him.

MONDAY, MAY 29, 1989 Today is Memorial Day. Spent the morning and early afternoon doing chores around the house; then Podge and I with our daughters Debbie and Beth drove to our son Stephen's place in Pomona for a hamburger cook-out. Stephen's house is 60 miles away. The trip takes about an hour. Stephen had prepared raspberry soup, raspberry muffins and raspberry sorbet with berries from his own back yard. After eating we spent a couple of hours playing badminton. It was a most pleasant evening. We left Stephen's place at 8:30 PM, arriving home at 9:30. Shortly after arriving home, Stephen called to inform us that Debbie had left her medicine there. Without telling any one, Beth slipped out of the house to drive to Pomona to retrieve it.

SATURDAY, JULY 22, 1989-- July has been a busy month. On the 7th we attended an endowment session at the Temple with the other members of the stake presidency and with Peter and Teresa Wolf. (I had the privilege of baptizing Peter in Chicago in 1974.) Peter told us of relatives from East Germany who had just visited them. He later sent me their address which I sent to Garold and Norma Davis, serving as part of the first missionaries in East Germany for 50 years. I had the privilege of working at the veil during the endowment session.

On the 11th and 12th we hosted at TRWCI a meeting of the Northrop F-23 Subcontractor Task Force meeting, at which I presented our draft of the F-23 Parts Control Plan.

On the 18th we held personal priesthood interviews with the leadership of the Torrance 2nd Ward. I met with the elders quorum president and his counselor. On the 19th I visited an investigator family with the priesthood leader and the ward mission leader of the Torrance 4th (deaf) Ward. The parents were living together, not married. The husband had left Mexico for the U.S. and his wife and some of his children refused to accompany him. The two have been living together for about 1 1/2 years, and have one child. Both are deaf and the husband is illiterate. They speak Spanish and a little English. The mother could lip-read my Spanish and sign to her husband, but my companions could not understand the Spanish sign language. They could sign to the family in English, but their understanding of English was limited. However, we seemed to be able to make ourselves understood, and invited them to come to church and bring their children until circumstances permitted their marriage, at which time they could be considered for baptism.

On Sunday, July 9, we held a meeting of the Los Angeles Region Single Adult Advisory Committee and the Single Adult Council and handed out assignments for the three day retreat planned at Cumorah Crest in the Angeles mountain scheduled for September 8 to 10. Last Sunday we reorganized the High Priest Group of the Redondo 2nd Ward, installing David Kirts as group leader, with Tom Brummett as first assistant, Leo Fonoimoana as second assistant, Harold Jones as clerk and Darold Hamilton as Instruction Director. After the meeting I set brother Kirts apart, high councilman Joe Carter set Brother Brummett apart, I ordained brother Fonoimoana a high priest and set him apart, and brother Kirts set brother Hamilton apart. Thursday evening we interviewed Marjorie McDougle for a temple recommend. Her husband has not had a recommend for three years, so I am asking for an interview with him to help him renew his commitments.

SUNDAY, 23 JULY 1989 Both President Danielson and President Slater are out of town, so I conducted the high council meeting in their absence. Following high council meeting, I attended the Redondo 2nd Ward Sacrament meeting, advised the congregation of the calling of David Kirts as the high priest group leader, and had Brother Kirts bear a brief testimony, in order to impress upon the minds of the members the importance of the callings of the priesthood leaders in the ward ministry. I attended the Redondo 2nd ward Sunday School, and by so doing arrived late for the Redondo 3rd Ward Sacrament meeting. (The meeting time had recently been change from 11:30 to 11:00.) There, I had Dale Moffett sustained as the Ward Mission Leader and Gary Lundgren sustained to be ordained a high priest. In the subsequent high priests group meeting, I set apart Henry Sabarino as the group leader and Jones Simpson and Gary Lundgren as 1st and 2nd assistants, first ordaining brother Lundgren a high priest. Following that meeting, I attended the Sacrament meeting of the Knob Hill Singles Ward, where I was the concluding speaker. We then interviewed Bonnie Hales, Redondo 2nd Ward, for a temple recommend. Afterwards we visited high councilor Rex Godwin, who is ill, and David Alger. Dave was feeling well and demonstrated some movement in his feet. We had a prayer together before I left.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 26, 1989 Angel Miguel Fernandez, who is the father of our son David's wife, Carmen, was called at last General Conference as the president of the Buenos Aires Temple. He was called to Salt Lake City the week of Aug. 14 to be set apart, and asked that Carmen be in attendance. She and David are living in Okinawa with their three children, where he is stationed in the Air Wing of the Marine Corps. David decided to come with Carmen, and they arrived by military transport about 1:00 AM Monday, Aug. 7. They left our daughter, Beth, who is visiting them in Okinawa, with the children. Pres. Fernandez and his wife, Marta, arrived Tuesday, Aug 8, and went on to Salt Lake over the weekend. Our daughter, Becky, with her four children, drove David and Carmen to Salt Lake City on Monday the 14th. Her husband, Shane, drove his mother's car to Salt Lake and met them on Thursday morning. He and Becky and family returned to Cedar City that day, and David and Carmen followed on Friday morning. Meanwhile Podge and myself, with our son, Stephen, and his two children, Joey and Randee, drove to Cedar City on Thursday afternoon. The occasion was the biannual reunion of what has been called in the past the Rees D. Gorton Family Organization-- the name being changed this year to the Gorton Family History Foundation, and registered as such with the Internal Revenue Service as a not-for-profit genealogy research organization. The members include the descendants of my two sisters, Gayla Clark and Pat Black and myself, that number now about 75 people. All but eight were in attendance at the reunion. Friday was spent visiting Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce Canyon. In the evening a family business meeting was held. David was elected president for the next two years, with the responsibility of planning the next reunion. Family members were encouraged to make monthly contributions to a genealogical fund to be used to hire a researcher to develop family group sheets from the considerable volume of pedigree charts of the family genealogy that had been acquired by Michael Black, one of Pat's sons. One of the lines goes as far back as 130 AD. Saturday was devoted to swimming and games for the children in the morning and adult games in the afternoon. That evening we attended a play "The Winter's Tale" presented as part of the annual Shakespearian Festival at Cedar City. Sunday we returned home. David and Carmen left for Okinawa on Wednesday morning from Norton Air Force Base on a military transport.

I had an 8:00 AM appointment for aerobatic flying in the Pitts S2, but was cancelled on account of low clouds.

SATURDAY, 9/2/89 Yesterday I had 1.1 hrs dual instruction in the Pitts S2S. Flew in the aerobatic area south of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Practiced loops, slow rolls, cuban eights and reverse cuban eights, aileron rolls and inverted flight.

Today I'm working on preparations for the stake conference scheduled for Sept. 16, 17, at which the stake presidency will be changed because President Danielson has been transferred to Memphis, Tennessee. As part of that preparation we are soliciting biographies from the stake presidency, high council and bishops. For the record, my biographical sketch is appended below:


NAME: H. Clay Gorton

AGE: 66


SINGLE _ MARRIED X CHILDREN No: 5 Age Range: 27 - 36

PRESENT CALLING: 1st Couns. to Stake President

WHEN CALLED: January 1989


Stake Presidency:

Torrance North Stake-- 2nd Couns. 1988-89

Columbus Ohio Stake-- President, 1968-69

1st Couns. 1963-68

2nd Couns. 1962-63


Redondo 2nd Ward--1985-88

Stake High Council:

Torrance North Stake--1983-85, 1976-78

Naperville Ill. Stake--1972-75

Welfare Services Region Agent:

Los Angeles Region--1978-83


President, Argentina North Mission-- 1969-72

District Missionary, Columbus, Ohio--1959-61

2nd Couns. Stake Mission President, Provo East Stake--1952-53

Full time Mission, Argentina--1946-49

Leader, Great Lakes Mission Seventies Unit--1956-62

Branch President:

Newark Ohio Branch, 1956

Columbus Ohio Branch, 1956-58

Columbus 2nd Branch, 1961-62

Institute Instructor:

Naperville, Ill. 1972-75

SUNDAY, 9/24/89 The stake conference visitor was Elder Joseph L. Worthlin, of the Quorum of the Twelve. During our interview I indicated that our tentative plans were to retire at the end of the year and move to the Salt Lake City area to be near our daughter, Debbie, and her family. Consequently, I was not considered for continuation in the stake presidency. Those called were Martin Slater, President; Joe Carter, 1st counselor and Robert Parke, 2nd counselor. On Monday, we listed our house for sale, and I announced our intentions to Doug McCormac, the TRW Components International General Manager. I was invited to the stake presidency meeting this morning for transition purposes, and was asked to prepare the stake calendar for 1990.

Last Friday Podge and I attended a Relief Society dinner in the Riveria Ward, Torrance Stake, where I had been asked to speak on home teaching and visiting teaching.

Yesterday I had the privilege of confirming Kurt Alfred Lisy a member of the church following his baptism by Elders Quorum President Jeff Allen. Kurt had been excommunicated four years ago while I was bishop, and it was rewarding to have him ask me to confirm him.