Kent Pickering – Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy; Blessed Are the Merciful
Kent (Harris) Linford Pickering, Direct Descendant of Martin and Lucy Harris and Martin and Caroline Young Harris. (Harris is actually not in my legal name, but I added it to show my family connection) I am standing next to a display of Martin Harris’s cane in this photo.
Kent Pickering is a direct descendant of Martin and Lucy Harris and also a descendant of Martin and Caroline Young Harris through a family intermarriage. He descends from Martin through his birth mother. The first descendants of Lucy Harris to join the Church come through his great grandfather, Alma Martin Harris, the grandson of Martin and Lucy Harris, who married Ida May Harris, the youngest daughter of Martin Harris and Caroline Young Harris.
Though not a recognized scholar with the usual accompanying university degrees, he has studied the life of Martin Harris extensively. He uses an innovative approach, similar to that of his good friend historian Don Bradley, who authored the exciting new volume titled “The Lost 116 Pages, Reconstructing the Book of Mormon’s Missing Stories.” This research style is one of not merely being a chronologist, but one of trying to understand what interactions likely took place between and to members of Martin Harris’s family which led to known historical events. Like in his first presentation, as a member of Martin’s progeny, he gives his analysis and perceptions of some of the stories and accounts of Martin Harris’s family relationships with Lucy Harris Harris, Caroline Young Harris, and the Prophet Joseph Smith that have never been told in a public setting before.
He has attended several Firm Foundation Conferences in the past, and noticed that little information was given on Martin Harris’s life. He volunteered to try and fill that void after talking with Rod Meldrum and Rian Nelson. He gave his first presentation last April.
Kent is an avid Family Search indexer who learned the value of digitized records, and new information has recently been digitized and made available which gives new insight into the life of Martin Harris.
I decided to do a presentation differing from my presentations on the life of Martin Harris. I will be giving my third presentation on Martin Harris at the Expo next April.
From separate conversations with a member of my stake presidency and a good friend, I decided to do a presentation on a powerful theme in the Book of Mormon.
The title is “Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy; Blessed are the Merciful”
I will be expanding the main theme of the Prophet Alma’s teachings on mercy to his son Corianton in Alma Chapter 42. I have never even given a talk or lesson on mercy before, so I was humbled to approach a subject that I soon realized I knew very little about.
My preparation was another incredible journey of finding connections and information in unexpected locations with help from friends, with some living in different states. I followed a similar format as my earlier presentations, wherein I include my notes on slides with a lot of visual representation. I also included a list of questions that I will answer during my presentation, which are listed below.
(1) What is the meaning of the Lighthouse in verse one of this hymn?
(2) What is a figurative representation of the lower lamps along the shore referred to in the last half of verse one and verse three of the song?
(3) How does the real life experience of movie actor Ashton Kutcher fit with this presentation?
(4) How did the author and composer of the song fulfill the deeper understanding of question 1?
(5) What clue about our Heavenly Father’s family did Alma the Younger give us in Alma Chapter 42?
6) What can we learn about mercy from the most the most infamous event from the life of Martin Harris?
(7) What short statement did the Savior make that possibly has never been quoted in a lesson before?
(8) What is the greatest statement in the history of the world?
I made this presentation mostly for my family members and close friends, but I invite anyone to watch and hopefully it will benefit you in understanding more completely the overwhelming height and depth of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and how we can better serve Him.
Virtual Expo September 2020