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June's Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop

Mansion Just over the Hilltop

"June's Got a Mansion Just Over the Hilltop"

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Ira Stamphill – 1949 - Revised by Stan Berg - 2012

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June’s got a mansion just over the hilltop...

In that bright land where she will never grow old...

And some day yonder I will also never more wander...

But walk on those streets that are purest gold.

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Don’t think of me poor or deserted or lonely.

I’m not discouraged I’m heaven bound.

I’m but a pilgrim in search of that city...

I also look for a mansion just over the hilltop.

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June’s got a mansion just over the hilltop...

In that bright land where she will never grown old...

And some day yonder I will also never more wander...

But walk on those streets that are purest gold.

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Though often tempted, tormented and tested...

And like the prophet my pillow’s a stone...

And though I find here no permanent dwelling...

I know that God has promised  me a mansion of my own.

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June’s got a mansion just over the hilltop...

In that bright land where we’ll never grown old...

And some day yonder I will never more wander...

And June and I will walk on streets that are purest gold.

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Stan and June 2012 

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Stan’s Notes: This poem/song is based on a gospel song that was originally written by Ira Stamphill in 1949. Ira Stamphill was a minister and gospel song writer. This song later became a hit and was introduced as recordings by many music artists including George Jones and the Gaither’s. Elvis Presley first released a recording in 1960. More recently it has been included in Daniel O'Donnell's recordings. Ira Stamphill passed away on December 30th, 1993 just short of his 80th birthday. Stamphill was inducted into the Southern Gospel Music Association’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

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My wife June passed away on 23 October 2008 as a victim of Alzheimer’s after an almost 12 year struggle with this disease…June lay like an exhausted and wounded soldier on a field of battle when God took her home. June was the love and the light of my life. There will never be another. June was a once in a lifetime gift from God. June’s passing left an emptiness that could and can never be filled. I am reminded of those words by John F. Nim:

 

"For should your hands drop white and empty - All the toys of the world would break."

 

During a period of sadness on Christmas Eve 2012…while contemplating June and this beautiful old song…I decided to make extensive changes in the song’s lyrics in order to make the words commensurate with a poem/song about June and myself. Those lyrics that did not appear appropriate were simply discarded...As the song was orignally written by Stamphill, there were 4 verses. I eliminated the entire first verse as not appropriate. I changed the title and made 10 word or line changes in the lines of the remaining 3 verses. I also added 2 additional verses for a total of 5 verses.

Because Stamphill was both a gospel song writer and a Minister, I am sure that Stamphill's references to "Mansions" and "Streets of Gold" came from his knowledge of the Bible and Bible passages that are found in the book of Revelations and  the book of John in the King James translations. (The King James translation is a literal or a word for word translation unlike the NIV which is a meaning for meaning translation and does not contain the "Mansion" reference.)

 

John 14:2 (KJV)

“in my father’s house are many mansions:...I go to prepare a place for you...”

 

Of great and perhaps more importance to June and to all victims of Alzheimer's and other dementia producing diseases would be the assurances as found in the book of Revelation 21:4 (KJV) but not included in the words of this song.

 

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;

and there shall be no more death,

neither sorrow, nor crying,

neither shall there be any more pain;

for the former things are passed away."

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Bible References

 Holy Bible

  

What does the Bible say about “Streets of gold” and “never growing Old” that are central subjects of this song and poem? I think that all such references such as "Mansions" and "Gold" are not intended in a materialistic way but rather to suggest or to symbolize the splender, the majesty and the beauty of heaven...while the Bible says nothing about "never growing old", it does reference God making "all things new" and that "we shall be changed"...see the Bible references below to God changing and making new.

June appeared to our Granddaughter in a Dream

June appeared to our granddaughter Gretchen in a dream  and in that dream, June no longer had Alzheimer's. In Gretchen's dream, June invited Gretchen to look into a pink rose that June was carrying with her. Gretchen reported that looking into the rose was like looking through a keyhole into heaven. Gretchen saw no city with gold streets but instead saw a beautiful landscape..."Very colorful, with amazing landscape. I could see water of some kind.- I don’t recall any buildings"... this was a very unusual dream and very unlike normal dreams...I am sure it was a gift from God with glimpse into the Heaven where June is now living. For the complete story of Gretchen's dream of June and Heaven, click on this link to the story on this website:

June Visits her Granddaughter Gretchen in a Dream 

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1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (KJV): "Behold, I shew you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

2 Corinthians  5: 17 (KJV): "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 

Revelation 21:4 (KJV): "And God shall wipe away all tears from their  eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away."

Revelation 21: 5 (KJV):I make all things new.”

Revelation 21:21 (KJV): and the street of the city was pure gold…”

John 14: 2-3  (KJV):In my fathers, house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you...I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”

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For the Elvis Presley fans, here is his version of this beautiful old gospel song from 1960. Although Elvis is noted for his "Rock and Roll", Gospel songs were said to be his first love.

In the year 2007 as June lay with her eyes closed and unresponsive for most of the day, I purchased a 2-CD set of Elvis called "Amazing Grace - His Greatest Sacred Performances" (50 + songs) and played selections for June daily. This CD set also contained "Mansion over the Hillptop". As June was waking up from her daily afternoon nap, I would start playing "Take My Hand Precious Lord" (A June favorite) and sing to June with Elvis. I am not much of a singer but Elvis did a good job of making me sound much better than I am...I continued this daily during my days and visits with June through most of 2008 and until an exhausted June passed away on the 23rd of October in that year...:

"I've Got a Mansion Just over the Hilltop"

 

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Reader's Comments

Regina Shepherd Hill  - Burnsville, North Carolina - (27 December 2012): "...I believe, June is still with you because she still lives in your heart so strongly. God bless you and keep you. The poem (song) is beautiful."

Alzheimer Society of Canada  - Toronto, Ontario - (27 December 2012): "That is beautiful, Stanton."

Lisa Porter Power  - Imperial Beach, California - (28 December 2012): "God’s heart is moved when we as His children help bring hope and life to others."  I didn't write the quote but I wanted to share it with you because I read your writings so often and find great comfort."

Vicki Cadogan  - Limerick, Ireland - (28 December 2012): "Another lovely read, thanks for sharing Stan."

Linda Casey-Overholt  - Coshocton, Ohio - (28 December 2012): "Another lovely tribute to June --the love of your life!!! "

Denise Roberts  - Southend, Southend-On-Sea, United Kingdom- (28 December 2012): "Stan thinking of you...I ve shed so many tears this Christmas for my dear Mum....and my husbands father who  died in Feb this year not of Altz though..."

Judy Moody Miller  - West Point, New York - (28 December 2012): "You honor June in such a beautiful way Stan.  May God bless."

Nicola Addison  - Spalding, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom - (28 December 2012): "Lovely."

Melanie Jean Gardiner  - Sidarion, Kerkira, Greece - (28 December 2012): "Lovely Stan..."

Gloria Wressell  - Andover, Minnesota - (28 December 2012): "The song was one of my Dad's favorites. He used to sing it every time we had a bluegrass service at our old church.  Holidays are hard. My Dad has been gone 13 years. I am thankful both Dad and June have a mansion next door to Jesus."

Jenni Ferreira  - Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa - (28 December 2012): "Stanton, I hope you don't mind but I sent my Dad the link to your website. I think it may help him a little."

Dianne Cogar  - Springfield, Ohio - (28 December 2012): "I appreciate that you share Junes Love through the sweet things you do in her honor, they never seem to grow old. This alone tells me her spirit lives through you, and I believe it's Gods way of keeping the two of you connected...Thank you for sharing your life with us all, everyday I learn something new from you and your amazing examples of love. And I want you to know that I enjoyed the new twist you gave to the song "I've Got A Mansion Just Over The Hilltop," your lyric revision is beautiful I must say..." (19 March 2013): "Stan, In all you do and say on behalf of your lifelong love, June, the echo of your voice is the melody that surrounds her heavenly life filling it with bliss and reassurance. Rest assured, for all your tenderhearted efforts  fill Junes heart with a happiness only you can provide. Now, and through all eternity, this is  her expectation that the love the two of you once shared will one day be whole, alive, and vibrant again."

Christine Pickard  - Lincoln, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom - (28 December 2012): "Wonderful, it helps you Stanton in so many ways writing about it and it also helps me to understand and learn ..."

Kat Schrack  - (28 December 2012): "What a wonderful song and it brings back so many good memories and reassurance.  I loved that you personalized it and I just sang it to myself and my dogs!  As God touches your heart, you continue to touch others."

Bryn Sineath  - Hot Springs, Arkansas - (18 March 2013): "Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.” ― Dylan Thomas."

Kathy Mundy-McGeehan  - (11 August 2013): "And God bless her and you for having faith in our Lord and what Jesus has promised to us all!"

Amy Stiel Almas  - Waterford, Michigan - (11 August 2013):"Thank you, Stan!"

Sandy Frere  - Oppenheim, New York - (11 August 2013): "Just beautiful Stan."

Kevin Smiley  - North Augusta, South Carolina - (11 August 2013):" Amen.  What a profession of great faith in Jesus Christ...I have been watching and reading you blog for a long time.  I suffer from Frontal temporal dementia and was diagnosed in 2009.  A lot has changed for my family and me, but my faith in Christ ha grown stronger everyday.   I enjoy reading about Ms. June and your love for her"

Beth Ann Doucette  - Lino Lakes, Minnesota - (11 August 2013): "Beautiful, Stan!!"

Marion Reinartz  - Cologne, Germany - (12 August 2013): "You were an angel to June, Stanton ... and June was your one ..."

Lisa Porter Power  - Imperial Beach, California - (13 June 2014): "How sweet...I did not know that about Elvis and his love for gospel music. How cool is that? Thanks Stan."

Connie Lowers O'Brien  - Birchwood, Tennessee - (13 June 2014):"you are a very loving devoted husband to June what you two had was so dear to the hearts of many of your readers. I can say for myself I have cried tears of sadness and tears of pain and sorrow of what June and you went through it has also brought back my own pain and healed me with my moms death from Alzheimer's so thank again and God Bless you!"

Nicola Addison  - Spalding, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom - (30 November 2014): "My sister aged 45 died on the 30th of October...I hope she is being looked after as is June."

 

 

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June's Passing

June 1994

After an almost 12 year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's, early one morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and heard the words: "Come Home June!" As June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield, it was God's Angels that ushered June into a Heavenly Kingdom to the sound of a chorus of Angels...and into June's new home, a "Mansion on the Hilltop", where there is no pain, nor illness nor tears...June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website in the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label - just Click on:

"June K. (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam"