Born of goodly parents and raised in the Rockford, Illinois, area, I was the youngest of six. My parents and family had emigrated from Canada several years before I was born. I was raised Presbyterian but had not been baptized into that faith. Church attendance was occasional, and, when given the chance, I “overslept” until it was too late to make the church service.
Growing up, I was one of the “good” kids. I behaved, received good grades, was involved in school activities, but fell short spiritually. That was until I met the love of my life and future wife, Pat Marshall, when I was a senior in high school. We related well, attended prom together, and continued dating. I discovered she and her family were “Mormon” (of course, eventually realizing she was a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).
I began enjoying attending church and the fellowship activities of the Rockford Branch. In the summer of 1970, I attended the Wisconsin District reunion with Pat and her family and sat under the ministry of Brother Arthur Oakman. What a life changing experience. I discovered a people dedicated to living out the witness of our Lord, Jesus Christ, each day of their lives. No one was “pushy” about the gospel. They did not need to be, because the testimony of their lives said it all.
I ended up attending Graceland College with Pat and continued to grow in understanding. It all made sense: the organization, structure, priesthood ministries, and purposeful living in expectancy of establishing Zion. I decided to be baptized and dedicate my life to Christ.
Looking back, I can see that God and His Spirit protected me and led me to this church. Over the ensuing years, I have been blessed with a loving wife, three children, two grandchildren, and a faithful and supportive church family. In the RLDS church we attended Stone Church. While attending there, our children were blessed and baptized. While there, I learned to grow in understanding and service, was ordained a priest and later, an elder, was co-Zion’s League leader with Pat and another couple, and served as a group pastor and the Bishop’s Agent.
Following the issues that the church encountered in the mid-eighties, it became difficult to become engaged with the Restoration branches due to the lack of organization. I missed those qualities in the church that had witnessed to me when I first joined the church in 1972. But, as we were attending Blue Springs Branch, the Remnant Church came to us, as many in the branch were leaders in the Remnant movement. We could see the effort was led by God. The Remnant Church presented the original Spirit and organization of the Restoration as established in 1830. It renewed my original commitment to that faith demonstrated through His established church with the ensuing prophetic leadership, priesthood, and ordinances. These things together serve to fulfill His purposes.
My ministry has continued in the Remnant Church, I have served as a High Priest, as counselor in the Blue Springs Congregation pastorate, as co-editor of the church’s periodical, The Hastening Times, with Pat, and, since August of 2020, as an apostle and President of the Quorum of Twelve.
That still, small voice continues to call to me. His Holy Spirit witnesses to me of the things I must do and calls me to a higher resolve. I am thankful for His blessings, my loving wife and family, and for the opportunity to serve His people through His restored Remnant Church. May God continue to bless each of us as we strive to respond to His love, is my prayer.