Saturday, January 21, 2006

Open Letters on My Life

Just read your book, most inspiring. I got the link by reading a review
of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling on theTimes and Seasons site. We
are of the same generation, much I could relate to.

Certainly there is much more than you are now saying, and it is shorter
than the topic deserves, but the length was very inviting. So though I
am sure I missed out on much of the details you left out, I am elevated
by what I did read. A New Friend.

My Response:
Thank you for your kind words. Yes many things are not written because our language can not do justice to the things the Lord has shared with me. They fall under the category of "forbidden or unspeakable". I tried the best I could to write about things I couldn't speak. Many think Isaiah is difficult to read or understand, however from what I've experienced Isaiah writes it the clearest. With that in mind my writing style falls somewhere in between Nephi's plainness and Isaish's symbols.

It is difficult to be a normal member having experienced the things I wrote about as a nonmember and the many things that have happened since. As you have read you can see how I can really relate to Joseph Smith. I many times feel like David of old who was anointed in his youth to be king, but spend years in the wilderness until his time arrived. I write openly to you as I continue to reflect upon all the Lord has told and shown me.

In life there is something called the test of Abraham. When the Lord walks with you he also talks with you and continues to test you. The test aren't always fair by our standards nor do they always follow gospel standards as we see them. Such was the case when the Lord asked Abraham to sacrifice his son and Joseph was sold into Egypt. Where more is given the tests are greater.

The movie, "The Game" starring Michael Douglas is a good example of this strange paradox.

I'm in the game of the gospel and the Lord is calling the shots, but like you I'm never quite know for sure what's behind the next door in my mortal life. The tests never end until the end and yet I've been blessed to see that end. The fact still remains I must endure to the end. I love the Lord, his Church and his people, but all is not well in Zion. People like me must hide our greater light and live in the shadows to a certain degree lease our greater light blind the unbelievers. That is not my desire. I desire to bring people to Christ into the greater light. The web gives me a great outlet to speak the greater things of my heart more openly than I can at Church. You can see I fly around from site to site dropping a bread crumb here and there in hopes that others will grow in faith so they too can see into the greater light.

On another note I'm pretty good at playing normal and quietly doing the basic things in life to keep food on the table and the local branch growing in the programs of the Church. I'm the Branch President of a very small unite of a very diverse group of NY saints. We are a mix of humble people that have gathered from Jamaica, Peru, the Philippines and Manhattan. We are small in numbers, but rich in heart and the Lord has blest us with his Spirit of Love.

It does me good to write and reflect and count my many blessings as I prepare for that future which shall surely come. Thanks so much for reading and believing the things I wrote. They are true as sure as the sun shines in the heavens and the waves of the oceans break upon the sea shores. God shall bless you with greater things than eyes can see or ears can hear because you have a believing heart.

Moroni 7:
[27] Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
[29] And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
[35] And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?
[37] Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

I plan to retire in July after my youngest son graduates HS the Lord willing. I say that because two years ago when my company offered early out and I was ready to go the Good Lord in Heaven stopped me. I'll take any extra few moments to tell you this story because it is just as unbelievable as most stories in my life. We love Florida and vacation there when we can. As soon as I realized I could retire we started to focus our goals on moving to Florida. We are beach people and love the salty sea. So I told the Lord I've had enough of NY, the endless traffic, the high taxes, the $WK mortgage and the hard hearted stiff neck people and that I was going to retire and move to Florida unless he stopped me. I wrote my friends (Mar. 04) telling them my new goal: "We are moving to Florida if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise."

In April of 2004 we went on vacation to the Keys. During our first day down there I got a phone call from my District President in NY to come to his office for an interview the following week. I than began to pray to the Lord that this wasn't one of those calling that I couldn't refuse. I began to bargain and I told the Lord if you let me go I'll live in Orlando near the Temple and do missionary work by the Theme Parks. However, when we got back to NY and I had the interview nothing was mentioned about a calling. I felt relieved and continued to make plans to sell the house and retire. A week later I was called in for another interview in which the President probed me more about my plans. Again nothing was asked and I hoped I was free. No such luck. A few days later I got called in his office again and this time he talked about the calling and how the Lord keeps telling him I'm the one he wants to be Branch President in the Long Beach Branch. He asked what I thought of this. I said, President I want to retire and move to Florida, but I'll do what the Lord wants. I shared the e mail I had sent my friends a month earlier, "We are moving to Florida if the Lord is willing and the creek don't rise." He than told me he would go back and pray about with his counselors to be sure. A week later he came back to me and said they all got the same answer the Lord wants you. Than he asked if I want to pray about. I said no. I know the answer. I challenged the Lord and he stopped me. I'll obey the Lord and serve where he wants me to. I was set apart as the Branch President of the Long Beach, June 27, 2004 and am grateful the Lord stopped me.

If you remember that was the summer the Lord hit Florida with 4 hurricanes one was named Charlie and another Francis. They crisscrossed Florida in an X. The creek did rise! I might be slow, but I'm not stupid. The Good Lord has crossed off Florida from my happy retirement list. So where am I heading after June? SLC and Happy Valley like it or not. We went to GC last April and the Lord whispered in my ear this valley will be your new home. I'm ready, but I don't know if SLC is.

Writing all this helps me to deal with the unreality of my life and I thank you again for showing interest in the things that are near and dear to my heart.


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