My parents wanted to name their first son Michael. Unfortunately, my mother's sister beat them
to it by naming her son Michael a couple years before I was born. So they settled for making my
middle name Michael.
As we grew up in Minnesota, cousin Michael and I played together often since he was the closest
in age to me of all my cousins. When we became adults I moved to Utah and we saw very little of
each other. Still throughout the years I never lost the feeling that Mike was a special cousin for
Then one day I found out Mike had malignant skin cancer. I thank God that my job brought me to
Minnesota for a couple weeks and I was able to spend some time with him and his family, which
consisted of a wonderful wife, two sweet children, and a third on the way, because a month later
So I think it appropriate that for my professional name I begin to use the name we shared in
common as a memorial to him. And I think it very appropriate to dedicate this opera about Joseph
Smith, a man who died at a similar age and left behind a wonderful wife, four sweet children, and
a fifth on the way:
To cousin Michael.
--D. Michael Martindale