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Interview with Kelley Harris, December 29, 1974

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Title:
Interview with Kelley Harris, December 29, 1974
Creator:
Harris, Kelley ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Catawba Indians -- Florida
Kataba Indians -- Florida
Catawba Oral History Collection ( local )

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Funding:
This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Catawba' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


ORAL HISTORY PROJECT




Interviewee: Kelley Harris

Interviewer: Frances Wade

December 29, 1974











UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

ORAL HISTORY PROJECT

Interviewee: Kelley Harris
Interviewer: Frances Wade
December 29, 1974







In this monologue, Kelley Harris uses a Japanese parable to
stress the importance of unity among the Catawba Indians and the
Mormon church. In his travels, he has often heard mention of the
Catawba tribe, and is always proud to be reminded of his
heritage.







CAT109A
Interviewer: Frances Wade
Interviewee: Kelly Harris
Date: December 29, 1974

W: The following talk was given by Kelly Harris at the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, December twenty-ninth, 1974.
Kelly has served on a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints. He is now at Brigham Young University
studying to be a physical therapist. He will be gone for quite a
while. He is a very remarkable young Catawba Indian and we are
very proud of him. This is Frances Wade and I live on route 3
Box 304, Rockhill, South Carolina and I am gathering oral history
of the Catawba Indians for the University of Florida.

H: I am sitting here trying to look at that clock to see if I can
see the hands so I can time myself. I cannot see
the hands there. Thank you.
I would like to apologize for not having a tie on tonight.
The only tie I brought home was wrinkled up in the suitcase and I
did not think it looked very nice. So, I decided not to wear a
tie at all. When I walked through the door Gilbert grabbed me and
asked me to come up here. I told him I could not because I do
not have a tie on. I feel bad about that.
Well, I am thankful to be home, especially with my family
and with the ones I love at this Christmas time. I know I did
not get to stay as long as I would have liked, but the time that
I have been able to be here has been choice for me and there have
been happy moments.
I enjoy being home. There is no greater place, or, no
greater word that I could ever hear than the word Catawba. I
have heard the word Catawba in many strange places in my life;
on my mission in places where I thought people had never heard of
it. I heard stories of this place from the pulpits of many
different places. It always gives me great joy and great pride
in my heart to know that I am a part of a great people and a
great place such as this.
I was thinking tonight of what I would speak on. I thought
about a lesson that I had learned and studied a few months ago.
This lesson was on unity and it started out with a story that I
thought was quite unique. You have probably heard it before.
Knowing me, I will tell it a little different from any way that
anyone else has told it before.
The story is about the days when Japan was great. Many
philosophers and religion teachers of their time came down from
the mountains and taught the poor people. The people that worked
in the fields.
Each morning all the workers from the field would go to this
hillside where a philosopher would come down from this beautiful
garden. One morning the philosopher taught the people about
beauty. He taught them about the beauty of a rose and how
beautiful the petals were. How beautiful the color of the rose
was and all the beauty of this rose. After he finished talking
about the rose he talked about a Hawthorn twig. The beauty of
the grain of the wood, its color, how it was shaped. How this


1







was a great thing of beauty to study. Then he talked about the
lily and he talked about the way that it was shaped and was
colored and how much the people could learn from the beauty of
these three plants.
Well, three of his pupils were really impressed and they
wanted to know more about the beauty of the rose, the hawthorn
twig and of the lily. So, they approached the philosopher after
he finished his his teachings that morning. They said, this
afternoon when we come home from our fields of work, could you
come down from the gardens and present us each with a rose, a
hawthorn twig, and a lily. The philosopher said that he would be
glad to do this for them. So, they went off to work.
Soon the evening came and they went to the hill and the
philosopher came down from the garden. To the one that asked for
the rose, he presented a rose. To the one who had asked for
the twig, he presented a twig and to the one who had asked for
the lily, he presented a lily.
Immediately, the one who got the rose looked at his rose and
said: "Well, my rose has a thorn on it!" The other who had the
hawthorn twig, picked up the twig and said, "Well, my hawthorn
has a dead leaf on it!" Spurred on from the other two, the man
with the lily looked it over and said, "Well, look at my lily, it
has dirt on the roots!"
So, the philosopher took the rose and broke the thorn off
and he gave the thorn back to the man who asked for the rose. He
said, "Of all the beauty that I have ever seen in the rose, and
that is here for you to see, the only thing that you saw first
was that which was displeasing to you, the thorn. Therefore, I
will give you the thorn that you might study it and that you
might learn from the thorn."
He took the hawthorn twig and he broke off the leaf and he
gave the dead leaf back to the second man. Again he said, "Of
all the beauty of this twig, you chose to look at the ugly part
first, the dead leaf, therefore, that is the part which I will
give you to take home to study."
He took the lily and he brushed the dirt off the roots and
he handed the man the dirt and said approximately the same to
him. That is what he had noticed first, therefore that is what
he should be given to study and to look at.
You know, brothers and sisters, a lot of the time you and I
are like those three men. We meet a new brother and a brethren
in the church. We meet people that we have never known before,
and the first thing we see is that little thorn sticking out. Or
maybe they have a dead leaf hanging on, or maybe they have dirt
on their roots and we say, "I do not want to be associated with
them," or "I do not like them because of this thorn" or, "because
of this dead leaf." But, brothers and sisters, those
individuals have much more beauty, much more to offer, much more
to give, than that little thorn could ever matter, or that little
dead leaf could ever make noise, or that little bit of dirt on
the root could ever cause harm.
If we could magnify the good parts of our brothers and
sisters and the good things that they can do for us, then they
themselves would get rid of that little bit of dirt, that thorn
that sticks out, or that dead leaf. Eventually, we will see


2







nothing but good in them. Hopefully, they will begin to practice
what they see. Hopefully, they will look for the good in others
and they will bring out the beautiful part that each and every
one of us has in our lives.
This, to me, is a great part of unity. Being able to find
the good that exists in each and every one of us. No matter how
bad we think we are, or others might think we are, there is a lot
of good and a lot of talent in each and every one of us, because
we are God's children. We are his very personal children. He
loves us and he wants us to succeed. He has a very special plan
for us, and we, as other individuals, have a very special part of
that too, by helping them bring out their good points.
I think of the prayer that Jesus Christ prayed and I believe
it was before he went out to the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed
for unity and he was praying for his twelve, or his eleven at
that time. He said, "Make them one even as you and I are one."
He often referred to Him and His father as being one and this
confuses the Christian world. But, because we have modern day
revelation, and we have modern prophets and modern interpretation
of the scriptures, we know that, that oneness he talked about was
oneness in purpose. It was oneness in love and understanding
toward all the children of God, in the desire that they might be
able to obtain eternal life.
When Moses saw God and talked to him, face to face, the Lord
showed him all the earth, and all the universe. As it tells us,
Moses fell upon the ground and he says, "I know from what I have
seen that man is nothing but a speck of dust in the great
universe." The Lord came back to him and he said, "Man is not
nothing. It is my purpose and my glory to bring to pass the
immortality and eternal life of mankind with man."
The Lord wants it for us. He wants us to be unified. He
wants us to be strong and we can only be as strong as we are
unified. I do not know where the statement exactly came from.
For some reason, in my mind, I think it came from one of the
world war periods, in which the nations of the world were
struggling world to keep freedom in the world. The statement is
"United we stand, divided we fall." We are the same way brothers
and sisters. As individuals it is hard to stand up for the
things that we need to stand up for. Strength comes when we all
stand together, not just as individuals, but individuals with
strong testimonies of Jesus Christ.
Strong testimonies that the Lord lives and this is his
kingdom and His church, and that it shall not fail. That the
hour and the time is being prepared when Jesus Christ will
receive his own. In this day and in this dispensation, unity is
important in our times. Not only in our church, but in our
families. We need to be unified in our families. We need to be
able to get together and to be able to express to each member of
that family that we love them, that we care, that we understand
and that we are willing to help. To spend a little bit of time
with each other. I think that is important, to show our love by
spending time, unifying ourselves, becoming strong families.
I once heard it said, and I cannot quote the source, but,
"The church is no stronger than the families that make up that
church." That is true, brothers and sisters. If we are strong


3







in our individual families, indeed, then the large family of the
Church of Jesus Christ will be stronger because of the love and
the unity we have for each other.
I know that unity is an important part of us being here.
It is an important part of us coming to church each Sunday, so
that we get to see each other. We get to know each other,
what we are like and we will be able to find the good points in
each other. We will be able to strengthen each other in our
testimonies.
It is my testimony that I know that the gospel of Jesus
Christ is true. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He is my
savior and redeemer. I know that in the Garden of Gethesmane, he
suffered for my sins and that upon the cross, He died, that I
might be able to resurrect some day. I know that we are living
in the last dispensation. I have read the scriptures and I have
studied under men that, I feel, are inspired men of the Lord. I
have seen that hand of the Lord in our time, the preparations
that He is making for his second coming. I know that we can all
be a glorious part of that second coming. That we can give to
the Lord, and His kingdom, of our time and our efforts and our
love and our abilities. That if we would strive together, not
apart from each other, but together, to do those things which the
Lord has set down here for us to do, then we shall obtain eternal
peace which Jesus Christ offered everyone who joined His kingdom.
The peace that comes from knowing Him and knowing that this is
His kingdom. That there is no harm that can be done to us by
others.
I bear witness that Spencer W. Kimble is a prophet of the
Lord. I have been in assemblies when the prophet walked through
the door and I have stood with thousands to sing "We Thank Thee,
Oh God, For a Prophet" as he stood before us. I know the spirit
bore witness to me, that he is the divine leader which the Lord
has set forth for each and every one of us to follow at this
time. If we follow the prophet of the Lord and His divine
leaders which He has sent for us and prepared for us, so
specially, in these time. I know that we can never go astray.
I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the
Lord. I know that he truly did see our father and Jesus Christ.
I am thankful that he stood up for what he knew was right.
I am thankful that he was able to translate the Book of Mormon.
That we, especially, might have this record. That we might know
the greatness of the past and the glories of the future.
I am thankful that I am a member of this branch or this
ward. I am thankful that I know that Jesus Christ lives and He
is my savior. It is only a small knowledge I have, but yet, it
is one of the greatest things in my life to know that Jesus lives
and that my Father loves me and cares for me and guides and
directs me as I listen to His voice within my own heart and
within my own soul.
I am thankful that Dean and Vickie have decided to come out to
school with me. Sometimes it is a lonely place without people
from home. My first there, when Kenneth and I were together and
Vivian was with us, was nice. I am really looking forward
to the opportunity of being there with them and sharing some of
the experiences that we have there.


4







Brigham Young University is one of the greatest places on
earth. I know that the Lord set that place up for divine
purpose, so that his young children might come and educate
themselves and mingle with people with strong testimonies, to
meet professors with strong testimonies. Not to stay for
eternity in that situation, but, after they finish their work, to
return to their homes, to strengthen others and to guide and help
others in the gospel. I am thankful that they have decided to
come there and study and be a part of the many wonderful
opportunities there.
It is indeed a blessing for me to have Dean as a friend and
to see his humility and love he has in his heart. I am thankful
for all the blessings my father in heaven has given me; for my
parents and my family. I am thankful that I am able to live here
now and be a part of this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.









































5





Full Text

PAGE 1

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Interviewee: Kelley Harris Interviewer: Frances Wade December 29, 1974

PAGE 2

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT Interviewee: Kelley Harris Interviewer: Frances Wade December 29, 1974 In this monologue, Kelley Harris uses a Japanese parable to stress the importance of unity among the Catawba Indians and the Mormon church. In his travels, he has often heard mention of the Catawba tribe, and is always proud to be reminded of his heritage.

PAGE 3

CAT109A Interviewer: Frances Wade Interviewee: Kelly Harris Date: December 29, 1974 W: The following talk was given by Kelly Harris at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, December twenty-ninth, 1974. Kelly has served on a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is now at Brigham Young University studying to be a physical therapist. He will be gone for quite a while. He is a very remarkable young Catawba Indian and we are very proud of him. This is Frances Wade and I live on route 3 Box 304, Rockhill, South Carolina and I am gathering oral history of the Catawba Indians for the University of Florida. H: I am sitting here trying to look at that clock to see if I can see the hands so I can time myself. I cannot see the hands there. Thank you. I would like to apologize for not having a tie on tonight. The only tie I brought home was wrinkled up in the suitcase and I did not think it looked very nice. So, I decided not to wear a tie at all. When I walked through the door Gilbert grabbed me and asked me to come up here. I told him I could not because I do not have a tie on. I feel bad about that. Well, I am thankful to be home, especially with my family and with the ones I love at this Christmas time. I know I did not get to stay as long as I would have liked, but the time that I have been able to be here has been choice for me and there have been happy moments. I enjoy being home. There is no greater place, or, no greater word that I could ever hear than the word Catawba. I have heard the word Catawba in many strange places in my life; on my mission in places where I thought people had never heard of it. I heard stories of this place from the pulpits of many different places. It always gives me great joy and great pride in my heart to know that I am a part of a great people and a great place such as this. I was thinking tonight of what I would speak on. I thought about a lesson that I had learned and studied a few months ago. This lesson was on unity and it started out with a story that I thought was quite unique. You have probably heard it before. Knowing me, I will tell it a little different from any way that anyone else has told it before. The story is about the days when Japan was great. Many philosophers and religion teachers of their time came down from the mountains and taught the poor people. The people that worked in the fields. Each morning all the workers from the field would go to this hillside where a philosopher would come down from this beautiful garden. One morning the philosopher taught the people about beauty. He taught them about the beauty of a rose and how beautiful the petals were. How beautiful the color of the rose was and all the beauty of this rose. After he finished talking about the rose he talked about a Hawthorn twig. The beauty of the grain of the wood, its color, how it was shaped. How this 1

PAGE 4

was a great thing of beauty to study. lily and he talked about the way that colored and how much the people could these three plants. Then he talked about the it was shaped and was learn from the beauty of Well, three of his pupils were really impressed and they wanted to know more about the beauty of the rose, the hawthorn twig and of the lily. So, they approached the philosopher after he finished his his teachings that morning. They said, this afternoon when we come home from our fields of work, could you come down from the gardens and present us each with a rose, a hawthorn twig, and a lily. The philosopher said that he would be glad to do this for them. So, they went off to work. Soon the evening came and they went to the hill and the philosopher came down from the garden. To the one that asked for the rose, he presented a rose. To the one who had asked for the twig, he presented a twig and to the one who had asked for the lily, he presented a lily. Immediately, the one who got the rose looked at his rose and said: "Well, my rose has a thorn on it!" The other who had the hawthorn twig, picked up the twig and said, "Well, my hawthorn has a dead leaf on it!" Spurred on from the other two, the man with the lily looked it over and said, "Well, look at my lily, it has dirt on the roots!" So, the philosopher took the rose and broke the thorn off and he gave the thorn back to the man who asked for the rose. He said, "Of all the beauty that I have ever seen in the rose, and that is here for you to see, the only thing that you saw first was that which was displeasing to you, the thorn. Therefore, I will give you the thorn that you might study it and that you might learn from the thorn." He took the hawthorn twig and he broke off the leaf and he gave the dead leaf back to the second man. Again he said, "Of all the beauty of this twig, you chose to look at the ugly part first, the dead leaf, therefore, that is the part which I will give you to take home to study." He took the lily and he brushed the dirt off the roots and he handed the man the dirt and said approximately the same to him. That is what he had noticed first, therefore that is what he should be given to study and to look at. You know, brothers and sisters, a lot of the time you and I are like those three men. We meet a new brother and a brethren in the church. We meet people that we have never known before, and the first thing we see is that little thorn sticking out. Or maybe they have a dead leaf hanging on, or maybe they have dirt on their roots and we say, "I do not want to be associated with them," or "I do not like them because of this thorn" or, "because of this dead leaf." But, brothers and sisters, those individuals have much more beauty, much more to offer, much more to give, than that little thorn could ever matter, or that little dead leaf could ever make noise, or that little bit of dirt on the root could ever cause harm. If we could magnify the good parts of our brothers and sisters and the good things that they can do for us, then they themselves would get rid of that little bit of dirt, that thorn that sticks out, or that dead leaf. Eventually, we will see 2

PAGE 5

nothing but good in them. Hopefully, they will begin to practice what they see. Hopefully, they will look for the good in others and they will bring out the beautiful part that each and every one of us has in our lives. This, to me, is a great part of unity. Being able to find the good that exists in each and every one of us. No matter how bad we think we are, or others might think we are, there is a lot of good and a lot of talent in each and every one of us, because we are God's children. We are his very personal children. He loves us and he wants us to succeed. He has a very special plan for us, and we, as other individuals, have a very special part of that too, by helping them bring out their good points. I think of the prayer that Jesus Christ prayed and I believe it was before he went out to the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed for unity and he was praying for his twelve, or his eleven at that time. He said, "Make them one even as you and I are one." He often referred to Him and His father as being one and this confuses the Christian world. But, because we have modern day revelation, and we have modern prophets and modern interpretation of the scriptures, we know that, that oneness he talked about was oneness in purpose. It was oneness in love and understanding toward all the children of God, in the desire that they might be able to obtain eternal life. When Moses saw God and talked to him, face to face, the Lord showed him all the earth, and all the universe. As it tells us, Moses fell upon the ground and he says, "I know from what I have seen that man is nothing but a speck of dust in the great universe." The Lord came back to him and he said, "Man is not nothing. It is my purpose and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of mankind with man." The Lord wants it for us. He wants us to be unified. He wants us to be strong and we can only be as strong as we are unified. I do not know where the statement exactly came from. For some reason, in my mind, I think it came from one of the world war periods, in which the nations of the world were struggling world to keep freedom in the world. The statement is "United we stand, divided we fall." We are the same way brothers and sisters. As individuals it is hard to stand up for the things that we need to stand up for. Strength comes when we all stand together, not just as individuals, but individuals with strong testimonies of Jesus Christ. Strong testimonies that the Lord lives and this is his kingdom and His church, and that it shall not fail. That the hour and the time is being prepared when Jesus Christ will receive his own. In this day and in this dispensation, unity is important in our times. Not only in our church, but in our families. We need to be unified in our families. We need to be able to get together and to be able to express to each member of that family that we love them, that we care, that we understand and that we are willing to help. To spend a little bit of time with each other. I think that is important, to show our love by spending time, unifying ourselves, becoming strong families. I once heard it said, and I cannot quote the source, but, "The church is no stronger than the families that make up that church." That is true, brothers and sisters. If we are strong 3

PAGE 6

in our individual families, indeed, then the large family of the Church of Jesus Christ will be stronger because of the love and the unity we have for each other. I know that unity is an important part of us being here. It is an important part of us coming to church each Sunday, so that we get to see each other. We get to know each other, what we are like and we will be able to find the good points in each other. We will be able to strengthen each other in our testimonies. It is my testimony that I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He is my savior and redeemer. I know that in the Garden of Gethesmane, he suffered for my sins and that upon the cross, He died, that I might be able to resurrect some day. I know that we are living in the last dispensation. I have read the scriptures and I have studied under men that, I feel, are inspired men of the Lord. I have seen that hand of the Lord in our time, the preparations that He is making for his second coming. I know that we can all be a glorious part of that second coming. That we can give to the Lord, and His kingdom, of our time and our efforts and our love and our abilities. That if we would strive together, not apart from each other, but together, to do those things which the Lord has set down here for us to do, then we shall obtain eternal peace which Jesus Christ offered everyone who joined His kingdom. The peace that comes from knowing Him and knowing that this is His kingdom. That there is no harm that can be done to us by others. I bear witness that Spencer w. Kimble is a prophet of the Lord. I have been in assemblies when the prophet walked through the door and I have stood with thousands to sing "We Thank Thee, Oh God, For a Prophet" as he stood before us. I know the spirit bore witness to me, that he is the divine leader which the Lord has set forth for each and every one of us to follow at this time. If we follow the prophet of the Lord and His divine leaders which He has sent for us and prepared for us, so specially, in these time. I know that we can never go astray. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of the Lord. I know that he truly did see our father and Jesus Christ. I am thankful that he stood up for what he knew was right. I am thankful that he was able to translate the Book of Mormon. That we, especially, might have this record. That we might know the greatness of the past and the glories of the future. I am thankful that I am a member of this branch or this ward. I am thankful that I know that Jesus Christ lives and He is my savior. It is only a small knowledge I have, but yet, it is one of the greatest things in my life to know that Jesus lives and that my Father loves me and cares for me and guides and directs me as I listen to His voice within my own heart and within my own soul. I am thankful that Dean and Vickie have decided to come out to school with me. Sometimes it is a lonely place without people from home. My first there, when Kenneth and I were together and Vivian was with us, was nice. I am really looking forward to the opportunity of being there with them and sharing some of the experiences that we have there. 4

PAGE 7

Brigham Young University is one of the greatest places on earth. I know that the Lord set that place up for divine purpose, so that his young children might come and educate themselves and mingle with people with strong testimonies, to meet professors with strong testimonies. Not to stay for eternity in that situation, but, after they finish their work, to return to their homes, to strengthen others and to guide and help others in the gospel. I am thankful that they have decided to come there and study and be a part of the many wonderful opportunities there. It is indeed a blessing for me to have Dean as a friend and to see his humility and love he has in his heart. I am thankful for all the blessings my father in heaven has given me; for my parents and my family. I am thankful that I am able to live here now and be a part of this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 5