The Divine Institution of Marriage: A Summary

Introduction

The original document The Divine Institution of Marriage runs to 3,884 words. This summary attempts to reduce the word count to 1,000 while still giving you the essential reasons why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in favor of Proposition 8.

The Church has accepted an invitation to participate in ProtectMarriage and has asked that Church members “do all [they] can to support the proposed constitutional amendment.” At the same time the Church does not condone any kind of hostility towards homosexual men and women.
The First Presidency.

Marriage is Between Husband and Wife

Jesus said:

Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. (Matthew 19: 4-6)

Only a man and a woman together have the natural biological capacity to conceive children. Marriage and family are vital instruments for rearing children and teaching them to become responsible adults. Married couples in almost every culture have been granted special benefits aimed primarily at sustaining their relationship and promoting the environment in which children are reared. Co-habitation under any guise or title is not a sufficient reason for defining new forms of marriage.

Extensive studies have shown that in general a husband and wife united in a loving, committed marriage provide the optimal environment for children to be protected, nurtured, and raised. This is not only because of the substantial personal resources that two parents can bring to bear on raising a child, but because of the differing strengths that a father and a mother, by virtue of their gender, bring to the task.

Constitutional Amendments

In recent years in the United States and other countries, a movement has emerged to promote same-sex marriage as an inherent or constitutional right. This is not a small step, but a radical change: instead of society tolerating or accepting private, consensual sexual behavior between adults, advocates of same-sex marriage seek its official endorsement and recognition.

Forty-four states have passed legislation making clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. More than half of those states, twenty-seven in all, have done so by constitutional amendments like the ones pending in California, Arizona, and Florida.

Six out of eight state supreme courts have upheld traditional marriage laws. Only two, Massachusetts and now California, have gone in the other direction, and then, only by the slimmest of margins — 4 to 3 in both cases.

Because this question strikes at the very heart of the family, because it is one of the great moral issues of our time, and because it has the potential for great impact upon the family, the Church is speaking out on this issue, and asking members to get involved.

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Oquirrh Mountain Temple Revisited

In May I visited the Oquirrh Mountain Temple construction site. Last week I visited again and took photographs. As you can see the angel Moroni is now atop the temple. The 60,000 square foot temple sits on 11 acres and its exterior will be finished in a light beige granite from China. It was announced 1st October 2005 and the groundbreaking and site dedication was 16th December 2006 by Gordon B. Hinckley. Originally named the South Jordan Utah Temple the name was changed 16th December 2006 to avoid confusion with the Jordan River Utah Temple also in South Jordan.
Oquirrh Mountain Temple in May
Oquirrh Mountain Temple in September
Moroni atop the Oquirrh Mountain Temple
The temple has 63-foot high walls and a single spire reaching 193 feet, topped by the angel Moroni. South Jordan is the only city in the world with two LDS temples (the other being the Jordan River Utah Temple, located approximately 3½ miles to the northeast). The temple will serve 83,000 Latter-day Saints living in the western Salt Lake Valley. The temple is the thirteenth temple built in Utah and the fourth built in the Salt Lake Valley. The temple site property was donated to the church by Kennecott Land.
Rickety signature.

Mountain Meadows Massacre

Directions to Mountain Meadows Monument

Read about our visit to the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

Read about our visit to the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre

While visiting the Utah Shakespearean Festival, Jill and I left the drama and tragedies behind for a morning to visit a site of much greater drama and tragedy. We have never visited the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre though we have passed by on I-15 numerous times. From the Cedar City I-15 exit it is approximately 50 miles to the monument. There is very little traffic on highway 56 as we ride to Newcastle. There are no signs here to guide the way and we don’t see one until we are one mile away from the monument. We head down Newcastle’s main street and connect with highway 18 to Enterprise. We follow 18 to reach the monument. This place is in the middle of nowhere but well worth a visit.

Mountain Meadows Association Monument

There are two monuments. We visit the Mountain Meadows Association Monument first. There were not many visitors, in fact just Jill and I. A short 220 yard walk gets us to the top of Dan Sill Hill where the monument overlooks locations of interest. On the walk up the hill are two information markers. Rather than have you read plain text I will show the photographs for you to read from. They have been vandalized a little such that “The local indians joined in the slaughter” has been partly scratched out on one marker and an offensive word has been etched on another. “Some mothers do ‘ave ’em,” as my grandmother used to say.

Mountain Meadows Massacre Information

Mountain Meadows Massacre Information

Information about the burial sites.

Information about the burial sites.

Carleton Grave Uncovered

Carleton grave plaque marking the burial vault

Carleton grave plaque marking the burial vault

In the plaque above, at the end of the second paragraph, do you see where it says “…the remains recovered from that grave were re-interred in a burial vault inside the new wall.” I found a small plaque over at the second monument erected by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is easy to miss because you have to look over the left side of the wall as you come through the gate. However, there is more to see before we go to the second monument. On the top of the hill there is a fine memorial that has been constructed which lists the names of those killed and some explanatory markers.

Names Etched in Stone

Jill ponders events at the Mountain Meadows Massacre Memorial Site

Jill ponders events at the Mountain Meadows Massacre Memorial Site

In the photograph below, click on the five sections to see enlarged photographs of the names.

Far left of monument. Near left of monument. Center of monument. Near right of monument. Far right of monument.

Mountain Meadows Views

There are two viewing aids. The one of the left is aimed at the grave site where the LDS Church built a monument. You cannot see much because a hedge is obscuring the view. The one on the right shows the massacre site. We did not go there, it appeared that one of the routes to it was a private road. There is an informational plaque in the center. Click on the plaque and the viewing aids to enlarge.

View No. 1: Camp Site. Plaque describing the two views. View No. 2: Massacre Site.

There is a map showing all the sites relative to your position at the monument. Also another informational marker. This completes the visit to the first monument.

The Old Spanish Trail and the California Road

The Old Spanish Trail and the California Road

Area site map

Area site map

Grave Site Memorial

We drove to the Mountain Meadows Massacre Grave Site Memorial. I will simply show you the photographs without any commentary from me. At the end I will add a few thoughts.

Jill with the Grave Site Memorial in the background

Jill with the Grave Site Memorial in the background

Rick and Jill at the Memorial

Rick and Jill at the Memorial

Grave Site Memorial Dedication Plaque

Grave Site Memorial Dedication Plaque

Grave Site Memorials List

Grave Site Memorials List

The original rock memorial

The original rock memorial

Final Thoughts

It was worth the drive to be able to see the actual memorials, take some photographs, and ponder the events that happened here a long time ago. As an adult convert to the Church I have read a little about the massacre and have made some observations over the years. A few who are disaffected with the Church would dearly love to pin the blame on Brigham Young. Clearly the Mormon settlers were looking for direction from him but word came too late. So why the eagerness to implicate Brigham Young? Because that would imply that the current prophet could give a similar order and it would be obeyed. But Brigham Young did not give the order. It was local leadership that made that decision. Even if the current prophet did give such an order it would not be obeyed. Today there are far too many members who are independent of thought and earn their livelihood from employers with no connection to the Church. In closing, remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ heals all wounds. May peace be with us all, both the living and the dead.
Rickety signature.

Dan at the Bountiful Temple

The Bountiful Temple showing the entrance at the north

The Bountiful Temple showing the entrance at the north

Yesterday Daniel, my youngest son, went to the Bountiful temple to receive his endowments. For my readers that are not familiar with temple endowments I will give a short overview.

The Gift of the Endowment

Daniel at the Bountiful Temple

Daniel at the Bountiful Temple

An endowment is a sacred ordinance. Endowments take place in a dedicated House of the Lord, or temple. Temples were centers of religious worship anciently and Mormons build temples today to administer the ancient ordinances of salvation that have been restored to the earth.

The dictionary defines an endowment as a gift given by a higher power. The temple endowment is a gift of knowledge that helps Mormons understand who they are, where they came from, and where they are going. It helps members understand what they should do to prepare to meet God, and how Jesus Christ offers salvation to each of us.

The temple endowment conveys information in a highly symbolic manner. Symbols used in the temple endowment and the meanings of those symbols are sacred to Mormons. Mormons don’t talk about the details of what goes on in the temple—it is too sacred to be discussed, except in the most holy of places.

Temple Covenants

When presenting the endowment, Church members are required to make very specific covenants with God. A covenant is a two-way promise. In religious terms, a covenant is a sacred promise made between an individual and the Lord:

The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King, the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions. (James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord, p. 84)

A Family Gathering

All endowed extended family members met at the Bountiful temple to be with Daniel when he received his endowments. Not present were Jake who is serving a mission in Mexico and Derek who is building a school in Guatemala.

All available endowed extended family were at the temple

All available endowed extended family were at the temple

We gathered after the ceremony in the Bountiful temple grounds and took some photographs. In parenthesis is the relationship to Daniel. Left to right: Rick (father), Jill (mother), Daniel (himself), Miguel (Melissa’s fiancé), Susan (aunt), Melissa (cousin), Kent (uncle), Connie (cousin), Mark (Connie’s husband), Sarah (sister), Paul (brother), Steven (brother), and Adelaide (Steven’s wife). By now it was 8 pm and we were very hungry so we headed out to Chuck-a-Rama to eat all their food and ruin their profits for the day. For Jill and I it was a great feeling to have all five of our children endowed and active in the faith.

About the Bountiful Temple

In 1897 John Haven Barlow Sr. purchased forty acres of land from the United States government. There was little that could be done with the land until in 1947 some of the land was cleared and four hundred apricot trees were planted. Bountiful City requested the use of the soil from the site to build a dam and over two hundred thousand cubic yards of soil was removed, leaving the area an ideal spot on which the temple would later be built. The temple is the 47th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I remember well helping to direct traffic at the open house and being one of 200,000 members attending the temple dedication. Sarah and Derek were married in the Bountiful temple. Some temple details:

Announced: 28 May 1988.
Site: 11 acres.
Exterior finish: Bethel white granite.
Architect: Allen Ereckson.
Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, four endowment rooms, eight sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 104,000 square feet.
Dimensions: 145 feet by 198 feet. 176 feet spire.
District: 30 stakes in central and south Davis county.
Groundbreaking: 2 May 1992 by President Ezra Taft Benson.
Dedication: 8-14 January 1995 by President Howard W. Hunter; 28 sessions.

Source: 2008 Church Almanac, p 518

The Bountiful Temple showing the entrance at the north

The Bountiful Temple showing the entrance at the north

How to Keep Attentive in Sacrament Meeting

Kaysville 14th Ward Chapel
As a convert to the Church I was always attentive in sacrament meetings and listened carefully to what was said. Until two years ago. It was about then that I noticed I was not always focused on what the speakers were saying and my mind would become rickety and wandering. It was time to introduce some simple methods to help focus on what was important. Here is my list:

  • Look up scriptures that are quoted.
    This is one of my favorites. It works even better when a scripture is read but no reference is given. I see how quickly I can locate it while keeping one ear on the speaker to listen for the next scripture.
  • Report on a talk on your blog.
    It would be nigh impossible to write about a talk that I didn’t listen to.
  • Identify any challenges that are issued by the speakers.
    Once I have them all, I choose one challenge to work on this week.
  • Sleep sufficiently, eat well, and wear comfortable clothes.
    If I am rested it is easier to pay attention. For most of us getting enough to eat should be no problem. And lose the tight fitting clothes (maybe you are eating a little too well).
  • Repeat a talk at supper.
    By planning to discuss one of the talks at supper I am more likely to pay attention and the talk will have more meaning.
  • Don’t watch the clock.
    The clocks on the walls are for the speaker so he or she won’t go over time. They are not there for me to look at and see if I can spot the minute hand moving (I never can).
  • Absorb the talk.
    I try to get really involved in what is being said. Even the announcements. I concentrate on the choice of words in the talks, where the emphasis is placed, and on any personal stories. Sometimes I even count the ums.
  • During the passing of the sacrament read a hymn or scripture.
    I randomly open the hymn book or my scriptures and read what is on the pages. Today my scriptures fell to Jeremiah 48:2-47, all about the destruction of Moab.
  • First be reconciled to thy brother.
    Matthew 5:21-24 speaks of being reconciled to those who you have grievances with before offering your gift to the Lord. I used to practice this in England and I would apologize to a member I had wronged before the sacrament meeting began. This worked to put me in a better frame of mind and pleasantly surprised the members who usually did not remember the offense.
  • Be willing to pray and to speak.
    If I am asked to pray or give one of the talks I accept willingly. First, it obviously gets me involved but secondly I learn it is not so easy to be before 400 people and it reminds me to be more forgiving of others’ talks that are not always the most inspiring.
  • Volunteer to take the sacrament to shut-ins.
    In our high priests meeting I often have the opportunity to accompany the priests to take the sacrament to shut-ins. As a high priest I preside and give a summary of what was said during the sacrament talks. Obviously I paid attention during the talk.
  • Sing the Hymns.
    I really try to get into the hymns that are sung and enjoy the songs of praise. I focus on the words and their meaning (I read better than I sing). This puts me in a better frame of mind.
  • Help with noisy children.
    I could help with noisy children but I never do. If I did it would help others to enjoy the meeting. My wife brings some stickers to church and will hand them to a problem child who then is happy to play with them quietly for quite some time.
  • Sit closer.
    If I am able, I sit closer to the podium. The closer I am to the speaker the more likely I am to pay attention. In our ward there is great competition for the pew seats. Not because they are closer but because they are softer.
  • Listen to the invocation.
    By listening to the opening prayer I pick up on pleas for the Spirit to be present and to help the speakers. Just before the speakers begin I recall the words of the invocation.
  • Join the choir.
    I have never done this but if I did it would instantly involve me in the meeting which increases attentiveness to the contributions of others.
  • Make the ward clerk smile.
    When the ward clerk does his count and walks by me I make a show of counting on my fingers to see if I can get him to smile. He uses a PDA for the count so my son imitates texting a message to him. These things would probably fall in the category of Distractions to Avoid but a little humor puts everyone in a good mood.
  • Enjoy the organ music.
    I don’t often get to enjoy the sound of an organ during the week so I especially like to listen to the organ being played at Church. Again this helps put one in a good mood for the meeting.

Perhaps you have something that you do to help you pay attention during sacrament meeting. Let me know in the comments.

Seven Habits Class

My employer offered a course called “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” with materials from Franklin Covey. From several choices I signed up for the Signature Program, compressed into 2 1/2 days. The intent of this post is not to explain and illustrate every concept but to give an overview. In the comments let me know if you would like more detail on a specific topic or just tell me what you think.

Day One

In the Foundation of the course, the character versus the personality ethic, the maturity continuum, and paradigms were introduced. We spent some time learning about Dependence, Independence, and Interdependence, which is the highest maturity level. We discussed Habit 1 which is Be Proactive. This section includes our circle of influence and our circle of concern. We were told to spend most of our time in our circle of influence. We also started into Habit 2, Begin With the End in Mind. It was pointed out that mental creation precedes physical creation.

Day Two

We started by working on our roles and relationships. For example, my roles are husband, father, child of God, engineer, and citizen. We then wrote tribute statements about how we lived each role, which is what we want people to say about us on our 80th birthdays. Next was to identify long-term goals, a discovery of our human endowments of self-awareness, imagination, and conscience. I wrote about those who have inflenced me and then drafted my personal mission statement. It was a lot of writing but it was somewhat easier for me because I had already identified my roles and had written a mission statement when I first read Seven Habits fifteen years ago.

Put First Things First is Habit 3, which speaks of effectiveness requiring the integrity to act on your priorities. The Time Matrix was introduced outlining the four quadrants that map the important, not important, urgent, and not urgent. The point is to gain more time for the important by reducing the unimportant. We were shown how to first plan weekly, before the daily, to select roles and take on the big rocks first.

After lunch we were told the Private Victory (the first three habits) must precede the Public Victory (habits 4, 5, and 6). We learned about the Emotional Bank Account where it may take up to five deposits to make up for one withdrawal. Habit 4 is Think Win-Win and is the habit of mutual benefit. Courage with Consideration and the Abundance Mentality (the opposite of the Scarcity Mentality) play into this habit. It was pointed out that we are conditioned to Win-Lose.

Day Three

Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood is Habit 5 which is listening with the intent to understand rather than to reply. We should not advise, probe, interpret (explaining another’s motives and behavior based on our own experiences), or evaluate. One should listen empathetically because it is the fastest form of human communication. It is simple to do, just reflect what they feel and say in your own words.

Habit 6 is Synergize meaning the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Synergy is creative cooperation. Highly effective people value and celebrate differences. When you face a problem, start by asking the other party, “Would you be willing to search for a solution that is better than what either of us has in mind?” With this agreed, move to reflecting viewpoints by restating  views to the other party’s satisfaction. Now create new ideas by proposing and refining alternatives. Eventually you arrive at the Third Alternative, with an idea that is better than what either of you started with.

Sharpen the Saw is Habit 7. In order to maintain and increase effectiveness, we must renew ourselves in body, heart, mind, and soul. This can be thought of as overlapping dimensions called physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Conclusion

It worked very well to have four different instructors over the 2 1/2 days of class. The student materials were excellent and the supporting videos were fun and instructive to watch. The time went by quickly, there was much to learn, and the target of improvement (oneself) made it all very relevant. I was fortunate to be able to attend this training at my worksite with instructors that have taught the course for several years.

Further Reading

Past Pictures: A Double Blessing

Ray with son David (left) and Rick with son Jacob

The picture quality is not that great. It is a scan of a photograph from twenty-one years ago. My brother is on the left with his son David and I am holding my son Jacob. My wife Jill and sister-in-law Susan were both pregnant and due in the same month. We all liked the name of David so we agreed that whichever child was born first would take the name David. Susan’s baby came prematurely and so we chose Jacob to be our son’s name.

The photograph was taken shortly after we arrived home from the baby blessing at Church. That is why David and Jacob are dressed in white. Though Ray is not a member of the Church I asked him if he would like me to bless David along with Jacob.

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My Faith continued

Yesterday I posted the first part of My Faith. Here is the conclusion:

“Which Church Is Right?“ quoted Bible verses and was methodical and logical in its presentation. It was the first time that I’d thought of a church that way, though I didn’t have any real feeling about it. The prophet’s testimony was different. A paragraph that stood out was:

It caused me serious reflection then, and often has since, how very strange it was that an obscure boy, of a little over fourteen years of age, and one, too, who was doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labor, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, and in a manner to create in them a spirit of the most bitter persecution and reviling. But strange or not, so it was, and it was often the cause of great sorrow to myself. (Joseph Smith—History 23)

I thought it strange too, and identified with Joseph.

Another paragraph:

During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three—having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me—I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature. But I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial company, etc., not consistent with that character which ought to be maintained by one who was called of God as I had been. But this will not seem very strange to any one who recollects my youth, and is acquainted with my native cheery temperament. (Joseph Smith—History 28)

I was impressed that Joseph would admit to “foolish errors”. To me, someone telling a lie would not say this so openly.

I now know that being impressed by these two paragraphs was the Spirit acting upon me. After over thirty years the deep convincing that I felt is still with me.
Elder Vance Burton (left) and Elder David R. Wilson (right) at my baptism

I wrote to the Bishop of the Macclesfield Ward and asked him about the Church and that I wanted to know more. He replied to my letter, inviting me to travel to Macclesfield and meet with the missionaries. I did so, and recall one memory from our first meeting. I was being taught the first discussion and my mind wandered. When I was a child my mother used to say in a kindly way that “I was off wool gathering” when I didn’t pay attention. The missionaries asked me a question about what was being taught and from then on I was attentive. After the first discussion the missionaries told me that there were missionaries in Crewe and that I would be taught by them.

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My Faith

If you have been reading through Paul’s missionary posts last month you may have noticed a reference to my conversion story. Paul asked me several times to write it and I eventually did. Here it is:

The story, to be told correctly, needs some family background. My father was born in Independence, Missouri and was baptized a member of the church at eight years old but was not active as an adult. My father joined the USAF and was stationed at Burtonwood, England during the Korea War. My mother was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, and had three sons by my father before they were divorced. At age four I was raised in England with my mother and new stepfather. I knew nothing about my LDS heritage as I grew up and never came into contact with any members of the church.

My mother was Catholic and my stepfather never mentioned religion but was a hard worker and was a good influence. If I asked him to do something that he thought I could do for myself he would say, “Use your own initiative”. We never went to church as a family but when I was very young I recall my mother telling me that there was “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost”. She said I can pray to God the Father and ask for what I needed. I could understand asking for what I wanted, a young child knows how to do that. She then said that you have to have faith. I didn’t understand that, what’s faith? Fast forward to age twelve and I am having a difficult time at school such that I felt I could not talk to anybody. I lay quietly in bed, tears in my eyes, no-one to turn to. I remembered my mother’s words from years ago and so I prayed as best I could to “God the Father”. In my mind’s eye I pictured Him as a grandfather, a real person. I started the prayer something like this: “God, I don’t know if you exist but please help me…”. It was a somewhat rickety faith but I did have my prayer answered.

I was attending a Catholic school at the time though I wasn’t a member of any church. When I was taught about the Trinity I had difficulty with the concept, it did not seem to align with my experience of praying to Father.

Macclesfield Chapel undergoing renovation in 1984

At age twenty I wanted to meet my father as I had not seen him since I was four. I didn’t know where in America he was living. I was visiting my home town of Macclesfield, where I noticed a church with a strange name—“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. It wasn’t an English church that I knew of so I thought perhaps it was American. I went in and talked to a woman who was cleaning the floor. I told her I was looking for my American father and she took my name and address and told me that someone would contact me. Soon after, I received a letter from the Bishop of the Macclesfield Ward telling me that perhaps I should write to the Genealogical Society in Salt Lake City. My mother remembered that my grandmother lived in Utah and that she went by the name of Martha Harrison, after her second husband. I wrote the letter, mentioning my father’s mother’s name.

My grandmother was active LDS, my grandfather RLDS. Grandmother worked for the church at Zion’s Printing in Independence, Missouri. When Zion’s moved to Utah in 1946, she came with her work. When my letter reached the office girl at the Genealogical Society, the girl knew my grandmother and called her. My grandmother wrote to me saying that my father was in England on a 14 week TDY with the Air Force. Richard Sr. wrote to me, and I immediately traveled south to meet him, unannounced. He had married twice more and his third wife, my stepmother, greeted me at the door. I talked with my father and he explained how he had kept out of my “new” family so as to not disrupt it but now things were different. We saw each other a lot until he returned to the United States.

Newcastle-under-Lyme Stake Center where I was baptized

I corresponded with my father and my grandmother. After some months, I asked my grandmother about the church I went into in Macclesfield. She responded by mailing to me two pamphlets: “Which Church is Right?” by Mark E. Peterson and “Joseph Smith’s Testimony”. I did not attend any church but thought there was something to the Bible or else why do so many people have an interest in it? However, I did remember in my childhood when all was despair I had prayed to God the Father and my prayers were answered. I also owned a Bible I had purchased and read portions of it. I especially liked the book of Proverbs and enjoyed many of the wise sayings. I was curious about the Ten Commandments and found them in Exodus and read them several times.

These two pamphlets were my first exposure to the Church. I was not interested in them but I felt obligated to at least glance through the pages because my grandmother had taken the time to send them to me. While lying in bed in January 1974, I read through them very quickly to fulfill my obligation. I put them down and decided to sleep. However, I could not sleep and picked up “Which Church is Right?” and read it cover to cover. I also read “Joseph Smith’s Testimony” in its entirety.

I will post the conclusion of My Faith tomorrow.