Completing The Change

While in Utah we never attended Church but we did have one home teacher visit that provided us with an organized list of phone numbers that would be important including emergency and church.  I remember commenting, boy our church is well organized.  Carla joined us for the Summer working in Dr. Lark’s lab. Boy was she a good worker but she decided that Chemistry was not for her. 

At the end of my leave Boyd, Benji, Carla, Kathryn and I headed east, stopping off in Corpus Christi, Texas, to be with Scott Dean when he received his wings. We then wound up in Ohio for the start of a new academic year. I was all excited about my new-found scientific techniques.

We also returned to a ward that had been working on getting us active for several years. Kathryn and Carla had been involved in teaching primary in Oxford with Bonnie Cannon.  Professor Hugh Cannon was one of the best home teachers we had. One summer when he left for leave he let me take care of his apple computer.  Kathryn had audited several of his advanced marketing courses. This was the only contact with the Church in Oxford around this time.  When we got back Hugh had taken a job at Northwestern University.  The Hamilton ward really picked up the slack and started working to get us active.   They started a dinner group especially for us.  On one occasion they scheduled  a group dinner where every one had to bring part of the food.  I remember telling Kate that I would go and later trying to back out and she said that we promised to provide the rice for a chutney and there would be nothing to eat if we don’t show up. We went! This helped me build friends in the ward and was very important.

  When Boyd met with the new Bishop to consider the priesthood, he wanted to be ordained a deacon by his father. The key to my activity was to meet my obligation to Boyd.   We discussed this as a family and Kathryn said I could not ordain him because I wasn’t worthy. Bishop Minor invited me to meet with him one morning before Church.  We met with and we talked about the seed in the Book of Alma. (I am sure glade he didn’t start with the olive tree in Jacob.). He then extended a call to teach the 14 year olds in Sunday School.  He was very persuasive and  I agreed to teach the class on Church History which was of  great interest to me after our time in the Genealogical Library.  We were a little bit late for Sacrament meeting when we finished up.  I went and sat by Kate and she whispered, “What did the Bishop want?” I answered, “He wanted me to come to church every Sunday.”  After a long silence she asked, “what did you say?”  “I told him that I would.” That is the take home from a calling you have to be there.  I have not missed many meetings since then. I later found out that Bishop Miner had been assigned to call an inactive back and I was the one the Lord sent to help him meet this invitation or challenge. He had been in his office praying when I called to see what he wanted.  

The blessing that came from this reactivation came late in July.  I was awakened at 3 or 4 in the morning of the 25.  I remember setting straight up in bed.  I was very much frightened by this event.  I then had an interesting phenomena of feeling I would soon be up Payson Canyon I could smell the canyon air.  I had this sensation that I would be in a certain place where I would feel peace. Later in the day I received a phone call that my brother Scott and my cousin Kelly had been killed in a motor cycle-car crash. How could such a tragedy be a blessing? The blessing was that now I understood the plan of salvation and was able to cope with this double loss. In age Scott was between Cindy and Carla, thus he was like a child and a brother. I know that the activation was a blessing for me at this time. The Comforter was with me. Within the week after the funerals I went up the canyon and looked over this area of my dream and realized that Scott and Kelly were in a better place.  

Background: Over the years the Hamilton Ward had made many a full court press to get us active.  These charges were lead by Sister Haruch (the young women’s leader), and bishops Laney, Reading, and Deroiser. In the early days John Haruch was not a member and Connie used the excuse that John and I could smoke and commiserate together.  We both gave up smoking and John was baptized and our paths crossed while serving on the stake high council together. Eventually Elder and Sister Haruch served as senior missionaries in San Diego, California.