I am very fortunate and count it as a great gift to have been introduced at an early age to the fullness of the gospel; the Gospel of the Kingdom. My parents lived in Kansas City, Missouri when I was born. Shortly afterward they moved our family into a new home in Independence. It was during my grade school years that our family became acquainted with the RLDS Church, through the witnessing efforts of a school classmate of my sister.
Our family began attending the Slover Park RLDS congregation. In 1960, my parents, my sister and I, all became members, being baptized and confirmed into the Church of Jesus Christ. I was 9 years old when I made my covenant with God. I remember those years being a time of much excitement and fervor in our congregation. My first memories include studying the people of the Book of Mormon, singing in the children’s choir, Saturday morning activities with the other youth, outings to Lake Doniphan. I found out that many of my school friends attended the same church as me. A special treat would be when we were able to visit the auditorium for services. Interestingly, my wife Linda and I share similar memories, only while she attended a congregation in Blue Valley Stake, my home was in the Center Stake of Zion. We are sure that our paths must have crossed way before we remember.
In the years that have passed since that time, I have received His forgiveness and experienced His Mercy and His Grace many times. I see now that the principles, concepts and truths that I learned in church as a youth would later serve as a foundation of belief that I would need as an adult.
Today, I am blessed to have a wonderful companion of over 43 years and two beautiful daughters (and their husbands) that have supported me in the many different roles of priesthood that God has called me to minister in over the years. Every time I look into the faces of our three sweet granddaughters, I get a glimpse; a hint of what the sanctity of life is and how precious we should be to each other, how precious we all are to our Heavenly Father.
The Patriarch’s calling is one of a revivalist. In order to prepare for the literal Kingdom of God on Earth, we must return to and live by the true principles of our Master, Jesus Christ. Faith, Hope, and Charity with an eye single to the Glory of God. He is also to be a father to the church. By so being, promoting the spirit of unity and peace among the body of Christ. These tasks can only be achieved as one draws close to the divine source of inspiration. That is my personal challenge, and I pray each day that we, you, and I, can learn to live up to that measure of holiness.
It is my prayer that we will all accept our Father’s gift to us and draw upon the true principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ living with unreserved consecration and unreserved determination to bring the Church unto Zion, the Kingdom of God on Earth, to the glory of our Father in Heaven.