Thursday, September 3, 2009

Arkansas centenarian receives endowment at Memphis temple

Dorothy Wagner turned 105 on Sept. 2. In July, when she was still 104, she had a first.
She went to the temple for her own endowment on July 22 in the Memphis Tennessee Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"It was a marvelous experience just going," she said. "It's something you would remember."
Her visiting teacher, Teresa Bailey, taught her the temple preparation lessons. Bailey and her husband, Robert, who is Wagner's home teacher, took Wagner the 170 miles from her home in Horseshoe Bend, Ark., to the temple in Memphis.
"She said she wanted to go back," Teresa Bailey, 62, said. They are hoping to work on Wagner's family history and go back to do work for Wagner's ancestors.
"Everything about (the temple) is so pretty, clean and lovely," Wagner said of the temple. "Everyone is so sweet."
Wagner joined the LDS Church when she was 103 and is quite possibly one of the oldest converts to the church.
She grew up Presbyterian and had faithfully attended for about a century when she decided she wanted a different church.
It was an Easter Sunday when she got ready for church and just drove in the parking lot of the Ash Flat Branch's chapel in Arkansas.
"Everyone was so warm and sweet," she said of her first impression of the branch.
She has spoken at a stake women's conference and attends church as often as possible.
Wagner, a widow with two sons, two grandchildren and two great grandchildren scattered across the country, still lives in her own home.
A nurse comes in occasionally, and Wagner stopped driving earlier this year due to some health issues.
"She is a really sharp lady," said Teresa Bailey, who also checks on Wagner. "It's been a pleasure to know Dorothy and I've learned a lot from her."
Wagner says she has no plans to change churches.
"I'm perfectly satisfied with the Mormon church," Wagner said. "I can't say enough about the people."

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