Absolute Knowledge

Absolute Knowledge

Absolute knowledge have I none

But my aunt’s washer woman’s son

Heard a policeman on his beat

Say to a laborer on the street

That he got a letter just last week

Hand written in the finest Greek

From a Chinese coolie in Timbuktu

Who said that a son in Cuba knew

Of a colored gent in a Texas town

Who got it straight from a circus clown

That a man in Klondike heard the news

From a band of Smooth American Jews

About some fellow from Borneo

Who knew a man who claimed to know

Of a hermit living beside a lake

Whose mother-in-law will undertake

To prove that a cousin’s sister’s neice

Has said in a finely written piece

That she has a son who knows a friend

Who knows the date the world will end.


2013 Summer Reunion Details

The A. C. Soderborg Family Reunion

Saturday June 22, 2013 from 9 am to 9 pm

(Yea, yea, 12 hours) — (Come and go as needed)

Hosted by the Lee Soderborg family

The Details

Absolute Knowledge Have I None: The Musical

(An interpretive experience taken from a hypothetical journal entry of Alvin Soderborg)


9 am at the International Peace Gardens (1000 S. 900 W. SLC, UT):

We will videotape the play.

We have 22 different scenes to choose from.  Note Script-Scenes below.

Select which scene or scenes you would like to star in.

Please bring your own costumes & props.

If you have a camcorder please bring it to help in the production of the play.  We will post all scenes to A C Sodyspokes.

If you cannot be there, produce your own scene and post it to A C Sodyspokes.  (Don’t worry about duplication of scenes; we have a contingency plan for those.

We will edit all scenes into a full length feature film, (or video, for you purists out there, (and you know who you are.))  And post it on A C Sodyspokes for your viewing pleasure.  (Or you can wait for the next Family Doo and watch it together, as a group.)

1 pm at the Jordan Park, (right next to the International Peace Gardens):

We will have a P & P Potluck Picnic Party at the Peace Gardens.  (Potluck  – not pot planned)  Please bring foods that start with the letter P.  And wear clothes or colors that start with P.

Perpendicular seating plentiful or we may be able to grab the pavilion.

Featured activities:

Muth’s Potato Salad Contest.   We will compete to see who has potato salad that tastes the most like mother’s.  (Bragging rights available.)

Hand tossed ice cream.  (Make it yourself – pick your own color & flavor.)



3 pm at our Ward House.  2976 W. 4270 S.

We will videotape scenes 1 & 2.  Please bring skirt,  &/or white shirt & tie, for the Sunday School lesson on genealogy and family history;   and the Priesthood lesson on the Second Coming.    (His flux capacitor moment)

6 pm at our house.   4177 S.  2835 W.

We will host The S & S Shindig featuring The Soderborg Smorgasbord.  Please bring foods that start with the letter S.  And wear clothes or colors that start with S.

Featured activities:

Soap carving

Thumbnail sketches and family tree on A C Sodyspokes

(Please bring portable computers or devices able to connect to A C Sodyspokes ( if you’ve got ‘em.))

Examples and testimonials of your 3 Word Journal entries

9 pm:  The End

Go Home.


Absolute Knowledge: The Musical


Absolute Knowledge Have I None: The Musical

(An interpretive experience taken from a hypothetical journal entry of Alvin Soderborg)

In the following scenes, only the flavor of the content is presented; please feel free to adlib a little.

 The “absolute knowledge have I none” phrase can be changed to an equivalent phrase such as “I don’t know this for sure” or whatever you feel comfortable with.

The songs will be sung by a heavenly choir made up of “the aunts” and whoever else wants in on it.

The songs are not set in stone, adlib if you like, come up with additional or different songs.

The participants in each scene could look up/look around/or comment on where the music is coming from.

Scene 1:        Alvin Soderborg attends a Sunday school class on genealogy and family history, and their differences.  He decides that he needs to start doing his genealogy AND family history and he will begin 5 years before the end of the world, and needs to know when that will happen.

%%    Genealogy, now we’re doing it, our genealogy … oh wait!   Family History, now we’re doing it, our Family History…%%


He is told to ask them in High Priest meeting, since they can answer questions that not even the General Authorities will broach, like:  Do the pearly gates swing?  Or do they roll?  And if they swing, do they swing?  Or do they swing out?

Scene 2:        Alvin attends the High Priests group, who are having a lesson on the Second Coming of Christ. They are discussing the different theories about the end of the world.  Such as:  (Nostradamus, Dec 2012)   (moon turns to blood)   (April 6th on a Sunday => 2014/ 2025/ 2031/ 2036/ 2042/ 2053)   (April 6th on Easter Sunday => 2042/ 2053/ 2064)    Then one guy says he knows when the world will end.

%  I wonder when He comes again…%

Scene 3:        Alvin interviews that high priest and asks where in the scriptures it says when the world will end. The high priest says “absolute knowledge, have I none, but I heard it from my aunt.”

            High priest and aunt are having a casual discussion about the news and state of the economy and of the world and the coming of World War Three. (Leviticus 26: 2-7 paraphrased) and it brings up the controversy about the end of the world, and the aunt claims to know.

Scene 4:        Alvin tracks down the aunt and she says “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from my washer woman.”

Washer woman throws up hands in frustration and tells aunt “I don’t know why I do laundry, when the world ends it won’t matter if anyone has clean clothes.”

%%When we’re helping, we’re happy, and we’ll sing as…%%

Scene 5:        Track down the washer woman and she says “Absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from my son.”

Son came home complaining, “I don’t know why I bother doing homework. The world’s going to end any day now, and no one’s going to care if I know the square root of pi”

%%  I won’t grow up, I don’t wanna go to school, just to learn to be a parrot/parent, and recite the golden rule, ‘cuz…%%

Scene 6:        Track down the son who says “absolute knowledge have I none, but I overheard a policeman talking about it to a laborer on the street.”

Boy is skateboarding on the street and overhears a policeman talking, so he stops what he’s doing because he doesn’t want to get caught and listens quietly, waiting for the policeman to finish his conversation and leave. At the end of the conversation, the boy looks around the corner to catch a glimpse of the laborer getting back to work.

%%  Hi Ho, hi ho, it’s back to work I go…%%    %% I’m working on the chaain gaang…%%

Scene 7:        Track down the laborer who says “absolute knowledge have I none, but I talked to a policeman on the street who said he knew.”

Laborer is working on the never-ending construction in Salt Lake. Policeman who is bored asks if the construction will be finished before the world ends.

%%I fought the law, and the law won…%%       %%Gee Officer Krupke…%%

Scene 8:        Track down the policeman who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I got a letter just last week, handwritten in the finest Greek from a Chinese friend of mine in Timbuktu.”

Policeman is reading a very fancy, cryptic letter with a dictionary on hand to help him with the Greek.

Scene 9:        Track down the Chinese Cooley in Timbuktu who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I got the information from my son who lives in Cuba.”

Phone conversation where the son in Cuba tells of how beautiful the beaches are there and tells his father that he needs to come and visit before the world ends.

%%  Pearly shells, from the ocean…%%

Scene 10:     Track down the son in Cuba who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from a colored gent in a Texas town.”

Son has a cowboy hat on and is chatting with a colored gent who also has a cowboy hat on. The colored gent (we could go multicolored here!) (Or blue man group.) tells him that the heat is horrible, but we might as well enjoy it, because it’s only going to get worse when the world ends.

%%I’m an old cowhand, from beyond the Rio Grande…%%

Scene 11:     Track down the colored gent who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it straight from a circus clown”

Circus clown is tying balloons and doing magic tricks when the colored gent walks by. The colored gent tells the clown that he has “no time for silly things.” The circus clown says “live while you can, before the world ends.”

%%Bring in the clowns, where are the clowns…%%

Scene 12:     Track down the circus clown who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from a man in Klondike.” (According to Wikipedia: The Klondike is a region of Yukon in northwest Canada, east of the Alaska border.  It lies around the Klondike River, a small river that enters Yukon from the east at Dawson. The Klondike is famed because of the Klondike Gold Rush, which started in 1897 and lasted until 1899. Gold has been mined continuously in that area except for a hiatus in the late 1960s and early 1970s.”)

The circus clown in traveling through Canada on a circus tour and meets a man in a great hurry. It turns out the man wasn’t from Canada, but was seeking his fortune in gold in Klondike, because he wanted to get rich before the world ended.   Gold fingers, the man with the golden touch…

%%If I were a rich man…%%

Scene 13:     Track down the man in Klondike who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from a band of smooth American Jews.”

The Klondike man is traveling through and stops at a restaurant. He overhears the Jews talking about how they may never have peace with the Palestinians here on earth, but traditionally they are the rightful owners of Jerusalem and Israel.  This will be happen when the world ends and The Messiah comes to liberate them from captivity.

%%Traditions, tradition! …%%      Because of our traditions we know who we are, and what God expects of us…

(Or it could be a musical band of Jews, singing the Blues about their lot in life.)  (Think Adventures in Babysitting)   Or to the tune of I stubbed my toe, whaddya go and do that for. / I fell in love, whaddya go and do that for?

Scene 14:     Track down the band of smooth American Jews who say, “absolute knowledge have we none, but we heard it from a man in Borneo.” (According to Wikipedia:  “Borneo is the third largest island in the world and the largest island of Asia.”)  (Think Philippines/Vietnam area)

Jews are on a political campaign, (or musical tour) in Borneo preaching about the Old Testament, and a man comes up to them and says, “Why don’t you just let Jesus decide who gets Jerusalem when he comes down here and the world ends?”

Scene 15:     Track down the man in Borneo who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I know of a man who says he knows when the world will end.”

%%It’s the end of the world…or life as we know it…%%

Scene 16:     Track down ‘the man’ who says, “absolute knowledge have I none but I heard it from a very religious man who spent all his time in his house studying the bible. Some people called him a hermit, but I think of him as more of a monk.”

‘The Man’ goes to visit his hermit friend living beside a lake to seek wisdom about his path in life. The hermit tells him, when the Son rises, He will bring with Him the end of the world, and that he should do as much good as possible before the world ends so he will be taken up with those that Jesus chooses.

%%I am a rock, I am an Island, ‘cuz a rock feels no pain, and an Island stands alone…%%

Scene 17:     Track down the hermit who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from my mother-in-law.”

Mother-in-law is trying to convince hermit that she knows.   “I can prove to you that I know when the world will end. It was written in a very finely written piece that explained all of the details very carefully. I don’t have the piece in my own possession, but it was a scientific study… etc.”

%%No man is an island…%%

Scene 18:     Track down the mother-in-law who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, though I am quite sure that my knowledge is accurate, because I heard it from my cousin, who has a PHD in End of the World Studies”

PHD says to his/her cousin: “I heard about an interesting article you should look up someday. It is about the end of the world. The author seemed to have some valid facts on her side.”

Scene 19:     Track down the cousin with a PHD who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard about the article from my sister.

Sister to PHD: “You wouldn’t believe what my niece told me about the other day! The world is going to end, and all the details of it are written out in a very finely written piece that my niece authored. I am so proud of her for her extensive knowledge about the end of the world.”

%%I wrote a piece, whaddya go and do that for?  …%%

Scene 20:     Track down the niece who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but the facts I have are from my son.”

Son: “Mom, I know something you can write about in that research journal of yours – write about the end of the world. More people should know it is coming.”

Mom: “Now I bet that would sell…”

Scene 21:     Track down the son who says, “absolute knowledge have I none, but I heard it from my friend.”

The son and his friend are playing a game and the friend says, “If you win, I’ll tell you the day the world will end. If I win, I will only give you a hint.”

Scene 22:     Track down the friend who says, “absolute knowledge have I none. I just told my friend that I did, as a joke. I wanted to freak him out that the end of the world is coming. And anyway, he lost the game, so I just gave him a random clue about when the world will end, and he turned it into this big thing with his mom writing a research paper and all.

Back to the scene of the friends playing a game and the son loses. He begs for knowledge about when the world will end, but his friend only says, “The world will end 5 years after I start doing my genealogy.”

%%  Family History, now we’re doing it…%%



The 3 Word Journal

The 3 Word Journal

Excerpts from the book by

Randal A. Wright


An editorial in a pioneer era newspaper explained the value of keeping written records of life experiences:  “If man keeps no diary, the path crumbles away behind him as his feet leave it; and days gone by are but little more than a blank, broken by a few distorted shadows.  His life is all confined within the limits of to-day….”  (Desert news, July 16, 1862)

An executive of a Fortune 500 company told the story of a meeting called to discuss the possible candidates for promotion to an important position within the company.  Someone suggested that a long-time employee be offered the promotion since he had 26 years of experience with the company.  Another executive spoke up and said, “Actually he has one year of experience repeated 26 times.”  The employee missed his chance to accomplish something significant because he had not learned from past experiences.  When you likewise fail to learn lessons from your experiences in life, opportunities will pass you by.  Those lessons learned prepare you to step up and tackle your life mission.

Yale Law School

What would it take for you to be admitted to the number-one ranked Yale University Law School?  If that had been your goal, you might have begun as early as high school aiming for the kind of grades that would get you into Yale.  In college you would have continued to study hard and take challenging classes, knowing that your transcript could make or break your Yale admission chances.  Before the Law School Admission Test you would have taken multiple prep courses and practice exams to increase your chances of fulfilling your dream.  Finally, after years of preparation, you would apply and then receive a letter of acceptance from Yale.  The tuition of nearly $50,000 a year now weighs on your mind, but you have planned for that, too, working multiple jobs and earning several scholarships.

On the first day of class, you settle in, confident in the knowledge  that you are one of the brightest young people in the nation, among the 6.9 percent of Yale applicants who are admitted.  In this rarified atmosphere, you make yourself a rash promise: “I will never take any notes in class during my three years in law school.  I’ll just sit and soak it all in.”  What would be your chances of success?

Surely no right-thinking person would embark on the experience of a lifetime without taking notes.  Or would they?  Most people who have ever lived have done just that – sailing through the experience we call life without ever recording a single valuable lesson or experience.  If you take notes to remember important things in school, then why would you not do the same in life?

3 Word Journal

You, too, can carry a significant portion of your life story in a small notebook, categorized by topic and retrievable at your fingertips in many settings.

You have had hundreds and perhaps thousands of experiences over the years that have taught you valuable lessons.

The words need not make up a phrase or sentence.

  • If possible, always include a person, place or thing in your three word summary
  • Choose three words that refer uniquely to that particular experience.

The 3 Word Journal has its limitations,; no one but you knows the full story behind those three words.  Eventually you will want to expand these summaries into full-fledged written stories.

Do not be intimidated by the blank page.  Remember that you are sharing your wisdom, leaving for your posterity, in your own words, every significant thing you have learned in life.  Through your words, the reader will know who you were and what you believed.  Most people know their ancestors only from the information written on a tombstone.  By your sharing of things you learned in life, you posterity can learn from your triumphs and tragedies.

After I write my stories, I like to add a few words about lessons I learned from the experiences.

With your 3 Word Journal entry and by adding valuable lessons learned from the experiences, you can create a searchable index of lessons learned.

Using your 3 Word Journal

1 To Teach Family Members

When your children ask you to tell them a story from when you were their age, that’s a precious teaching moment.  If you don’t seize those opportunities, your children may quit asking.  There is something powerful about using personal experiences to teach lessons.  All too often parents draw a blank when asked, “What was it like for you, Dad?”  If you record experiences from your life, you will never miss those valuable teaching moments.

2 To Reminisce With Family and Friends.

Few things bring family and friends closer than getting together and reminiscing about experiences from the past.  I live to hear the phrase, “Remember the time when…”  As soon as someone says a few key words, the memories of that incident come flooding back into the minds of the listeners.  Most families have these oft told classics.

3 To Help Understand Yourself and Others Better

All of us have had memorable events in our lives that shape who we are.  These are sometimes called “defining moments.”  Some of these experiences are positive while others are negative.  By recalling and recording these things from our past, you can better understand why you think and act the way you do.

You also will become more compassionate and less judgmental as you understand why others act the way they do.

 4 To Counsel Others

During your lifetime multiple people will come to you for advice and counsel.  Sharing a personal experience can make your responses richer and more meaningful to them.  It is good for both youth and adults to remember that although specific challenges may have been different in the past, the overall challenges don’t change that much.  Teens have struggled with self esteem, friends, feelings of inadequacy and peer pressure for generations.

I have had many opportunities to counsel adolescents and young adults as a teacher, youth leader and parent over the years.  Using lessons learned from my life, I have broken down barriers and built relationships of trust.

5 To Compile Your Life History

By keeping a 3 Word Journal you can easily arrange every incident – personally experienced, observed or learned from others – into sequential order by year.  Create a folder and download your 3 word summaries and then arrange them chronologically.  You will have a detailed outline to use in writing the history of your life.

6 To Use in Speeches and Writing

Many years ago it occurred to me that the speeches I enjoyed listening to and the books I enjoyed reading usually had something in common.  They included personal experiences to make their points.

7 To Help in Your Occupation

If you were asked to name a few of the most successful businessmen during the last fifty years in America, who would you include?  None were born with the knowledge they possessed about the world of business.  They obviously learned valuable lessons from life and then used those lessons to reach the pinnacle of business success.

At some point these men and women we consider experts in their field must have learned valuable lessons that they share in their books.  I suggest that lessons just like these are available to all of us if we will simply look closely at the world around us.

The 3 Word Journal can give you access to every significant thing you ever learned in life.  That offers you an endless supply of interesting lessons learned over the years to use in your writing, teaching and parenting, and in your personal relationships.

Some experiences are put in your path to help prepare you for your life mission – that contribution to humanity tailored uniquely to someone with your talents and lessons learned.  “No intelligent person in youth or old age should merely drift along.  Look the world squarely in the face, listen and learn and not pass along, in life, indifferently, for there are grand lessons before you every minute.  Don’t let it be said of you that life has been a failure.”


In a sense, we are like scientists.  In theory at least, each generation should be stronger and wiser than the previous one.  Yet many individuals, families and cultures are actually getting weaker over time, not stronger.  One factor driving this regression is the failure to recognize and learn from grand lessons.  Far too many people make priceless personal discoveries in life that would be of great benefit to others only to have those lessons lost forever because they were not recorded.   Each new generation then has to start from ground zero instead of standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before – all because the passing generation “didn’t have time” to record the lessons learned.  It doesn’t do much good to have a life mission to help the world it the things you discover are buried six feet under with you when you die.

Each of us has been given unique gifts and talents to help us achieve what we are here to accomplish.  Formal education has many benefits, but it certainly has no monopoly on the acquisition of knowledge.

Each day ask yourself, “What lesson can I learn from this?”

Since you can’t learn all the information available in your lifetime, focus on learning from the things you are exposed to every day.  They are the things that you need to know to accomplish your life mission.


Alvin Charles Soderborg

Alvin Charles SoderborgMale View treeBorn: 1916-11-27Died: 1996-12-09
Father: George H. SoderborgMother: Unspecified
Children: none
Siblings: none
Birth: Nov. 27, 1916
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA
Death: Dec. 9, 1996
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA

Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah
Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1996

Alvin Charles Soderborg, no longer held by the bonds of infirmity, returned to his heavenly home on Dec. 9, 1996, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He leaves behind a life filled with loving family and friends and a legacy of service to others.

Alvin was born November 27, 1916, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of George Hyrum and Florence May Lloyd Soderborg.

He married Afton Romney on September 22, 1947 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. He graduated from Granite High School in 1934 and from the University of Utah in 1938. He later went on to complete U.S. Navy Midshipman’s School at Columbia University in New York City.

He served his country in active duty for five years during World War II beginning as an Ensign and ending as a Lieutenant. Alvin served a mission in 1938 to Sweden until World War II began and was then re-assigned to the Central States mission.

He was self-employed for more than 35 years, often employing his children and teaching them the value of hard work. After retirement, Alvin and Afton served as missionaries at Temple Square, Puerto Rico, New York City LDS Visitor Center, and Germany, in what they considered the greatest work they could do.

Survived by his wife Afton, Salt Lake; seven children, Kathleen (Martin) Vander Veur, Lynne (Ken) Dawson, Laurel (Robert) Cundick, Mark (Paula) Soderborg, Lee (Karen) Soderborg, Gayle (Dan) Roberts, Eric Soderborg; 28 grandchildren; three brothers, John, Lloyd, and Ray; sister, Bessie Clark. The family expresses special thanks to Joel, Darren and Bill, from Community Nursing Services for their loving care.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, December 12, 1996, 12 noon, at the Rosecrest First Ward, 3101 South 2300 East, with Bishop Ron Casper officiating.

Friends may call Wednesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East, and at the church on Thursday for one hour prior to the services. Interment: Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.

Family links:
Afton Romney Soderborg (1921 – 2004)*

*Calculated relationship

Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Utah, USA

Maintained by: Marsha
Originally Created by: Sharla
Record added: Apr 04, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 67908615

Andrew Brigham Soderborg

Andrew Brigham SoderborgMale View treeBorn: 1869-12-12Died: 1915-08-13
Father: Andreas Pontus SoderborgMother: Unspecified
Children: none
Siblings: Clara Margaret Soderborg, George H. Soderborg, Edward Franklin Soderborg

Andrew Brigham Soderborg
From notes on family group sheet

Andrew Brigham was named after Father and Brigham Young. He loved the Lord and his little family. He received his patriarchal blessing 8 Oct 1871 at age two years. Andreas and Augusta got theirs the same day.

Andrew Brigham or “Brig” as he was affectionately called Continue reading

Anna Sophia Soderborg

Anna Sophia SoderborgFemale View treeBorn:
Father: UnspecifiedMother: Unspecified
Children: none
Siblings: none

Anna Sophia Soderborg
By daughter Viola Hunt

Mother was the eldest of the family and was married just a short while before grandpa [Andreas] passed away.

I remember mother telling me about when Father courted her. Grandpa Andreas was a very strict and a religious man. The first time Father saw Mother she was throwing out dish water. The next time Father saw Mother she was upon Ensign Peak at a 4th of July celebration. He fell in love at first sight. Continue reading

Evelyn Mabel Sparks Rawlings

Evelyn Mabel Sparks RawlingsFemale View treeBorn:
Father: William Harold SparksMother: Unspecified
Children: none
Siblings: none

Evelyn Mabel Sparks Rawlings
Autobiographical notes by daughter of Caroline Mabel Soderborg
Written in December 1960

I was born July 23, 1910 in Salt Lake City, Utah. My father is William Harold Sparkes and my mother is Caroline Mabel Soderborg. Before I was three years old, my parents separated. Continue reading

Clara Margaret Soderborg

Clara Margaret SoderborgFemale View treeBorn: 1901-05-31Died: 1988-11-16
Father: Andreas Pontus SoderborgMother: Unspecified
Children: none
Siblings: Andrew Brigham Soderborg, George H. Soderborg, Edward Franklin Soderborg

Clara Margaret Soderborg
From autobiographical handwritten text

Daughter of Andreas P. Soderborg and Augusta Caroline Johnson Soderborg. Born March 12, 1883 in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was the eighth child in a family of eleven children, four boys and seven girls. Educated in public schools in Salt Lake City. My father died July 12, 1890 when I was seven years old. So I had to go to work as soon as I was old enough to help mother financially. Continue reading