Monday, May 25, 2015

Add on... Memorial Day, 2015

So now, here we go....

My "new" life - in church, was progressing well.  I was out of my funk and my only concern was finding a job to help me with the fact that my Social Security is hardly enough to maintain what I describe as minimal living.  I wrecked my car a few weeks ago - first accident in some 80 plus years, so that doesn't help finding employment.  Nor does my age.  Applications are ignored, except for one fellow with the courage to tell me, all of their employees are on their insurance plan (that does provide for people of my age) and did not want to listen to my suggestion, that all they had to do is use me through a temporary staffing agency.  That did not work.  Strange!  All the years I spent in the employment business, making it easy for employers to locate and hire employees, seems to have evaporated in the latest maze of techniques. 

Life moves on... I was content living in my apartment away from others, except for one fellow who lives below me.  And then, one evening I heard a knock on my door.  A visitor?  Who could be knocking on my door?  I opened the door to find two beautiful young women standing there and I had to think, religious "crazies" - I'll get rid of them quickly.  No such luck.  I was abut discover they were Morman missionaries with a story to relate and since I was a Christian, I had no interest,  They assured me that they were Christians as well  and continued with their testimony.  I found that to be interesting and invited them in, but they quickly informed me that they could not as they were not allowed without an escort.  Well, that impressed me.  They scheduled a meeting for the next week and, on time, showed up with their escorts.

They had a plan and I was ready to shoot holes through that plan.  As pretty as they were, I was still not interested, but they seemed to be, very interested.  Another visit, new escorts, and the debates continued.  They had anticipated almost all of my questions or more accurately, my rebukes.  After that meeting, I decided to bring my "counsel" into the discussions to follow.  I began praying and studying.  I was about to discover, they were as interested in my Bible as they were to be in their Book of Morman and so, I decided to examine that as well as my own sources.  They were beginning to make sense to me.  They were talking about a "restored" religion, the events in my Bible up-dated, so to speak  Then I began to ask myself, questions I has asked of others in years past - with no legitimate answers.  

I vividly recall a study years ago when I asked a leader to explain for the years after Malachi ends and the new Testament begins.  "God rested" was the most informative answer.  Belief that God rested - for 400 years, was beyond my comprehension.  The beginning in the Book of Morman was making more and more sense to me.  I had no other real questions.  I found that my adoration of my Savior, Jesus Christ, was as great as I had ever heard expressed elsewhere.

I was invited to attend their church and discovered there was no - preaching.  But there was teaching, three hours, divided into segments applicable to various degrees of membership.  That made sense. And I must admit, I had no sooner taken my seat in the pews, when a young lady in the pew ahead of me turned and - in my mind, almost shouted, "Oh!  you're Sherwood!"  I was about to learn that I was almost a phenomenon to some of young Missionaries.

But I still had questions and when I heard them inform me that the first step in joining them was to be baptized, I was quick to inform them I had already been baptized; they as were quick to ask, baptized for what reason?   I couldn't answer them as the church I had used to be long to baptized children, long before the age of accountability.  My so-called baptism was nothing more than a few sprinkles of water after my parents had agreed to raise me as a Christian.  I had never considered that before, nor did the Missionaries suggest it.

I had to set a date for my baptism by immersion and had no idea, so I mentioned that in my prayers. On the evening of their next appointment, I was in the kitchen doing something and I heard the words, "December 5" come to mind.  December 5.  I almost started shaking.  No one else, but a couple of officers examining an episode in my life - in Korea, decades ago, could possibly understand what that date meant to me.  It had to be God!

And so, on December 5, 2014 I was baptized into the Morman faith and my life took on new meaning.  I had not discussed it with anyone, but the basis for my believing was the inspiration I felt that I could see in the lives of those Missionaries.  The two who had first introduced me had moved on, replaced to two more. as attractive, and just as well informed.  Since then, I have come know many others and young men as well and I remai impressed, not only with their knowledge of the faith they have integrated into their lives, their care for others is inspirational and their diligence in doing what they are called to do has to blessed by the Lord they serve.

Then, as icing on the cake, this Ward of the church - the name for their local gathering places, asked me to become the ward Missionary, in essence working with the Missionaries to support their work

I had become a Morman, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

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