Miriam Alice McDevitt (maiden name Reckas) was born in 1936 in Braamfontein, South Africa. Her parents were Anglican, and divorced shortly after WWII. A few years later, her father remarried an LDS woman, who introduced the entire family to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 1949, Miriam decided to be baptized. Miriam led an active life in the Church, and eventually married Malcom McDevitt. Despite her husband belonging to the Methodist Church, he approved their children being raised in the LDS faith. She and Malcom had three children who are all active in the Church.
This is a small colorful book bound by ribbon containing seven pages of typed writing. On the back of every page a small photograph of Miriam’s family is included. The autobiographical book describes Miriam’s experiences during WWII, her parent’s divorce, and her time in an orphanage. Miriam was not bitter about her parents divorced attributing it to WWII, “war and people do funny or strange things.” After the divorce, her parents could no longer care for their children and they were sent to an orphanage. While living in the orphanage she was forced to do the laundry and cleaning, eat food filled with weavels, and was called “Myra.” Her negative experiences there caused her to hate certain foods and the name Myra. She bears her testimony and is strictly honest about her relationship with her step mother. After being baptized at the age of 13, she met her husband at a mutual improvement society. They had three children, and though her husband never joined, their children did. Miriam McDevitt served in the Relief Society, as a Sunday School teacher, and in the primary. This short manuscript gives insight into what the LDS experience was like for a woman outside of the US.