The Whitlocks made the determination to find and give the Bible to a descendent of the Hammond family. Through the decades they searched unsuccessfully among friends, acquaintances, and members of their congregations. Finally Gwen decided to donate it to the San Diego FamilySearch Center.
She called the center and talked to family history missionary, Elder Ed Jones. She asked if the center would accept an old family Bible. He said no, the library didn’t accept donations and had no space for it. Fortunately, his wife, Dawna, overheard the conversation. She grabbed the phone from out of his hands and told Whitlock, “Yes, absolutely, please bring it in.”
The following day Whitlock brought in the Bible. Dawna examined the Bible and found it to be one of her husband’s direct ancestral lines. Then they cried.\
“It’s been such a wonderful, spiritual story of how God put it for him to find, to bring to me, for me to hold it for them,” Whitlock said. “Then for God to impress me to take it the day the Joneses were there is a miracle of huge proportions.”
That is what we call, serendipity in genealogy.
For a better telling of the story, see Trent Toone’s article, “Rare Bible Rescued from Trash Provides Missing Family History,” Deseret News, online edition (http://deseretnews.com : published 22 July 2013, accessed 10 August 2013).