Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Week Forty

WEEK FORTY April 7, 2014

The Lord had asked me to volunteer to pray at ward council and sacrament meeting this week in response to a very poignant plea by the bishop about the impressions of the Spirit that had been resting forcibly upon him these past few weeks regarding missionary work. In the Ward Council prayer the Lord’s focus was on supporting the bishop and building the necessary faith to bring out the miracles that the Spirit had whispered to him. The words were very different from my own as Sister H remarked and the prayer highlighted some very specific things needed to be done and a commitment from us to do as the Lord is directing. I noticed the sacrament prayer changed the typical focus from the missionaries being led to the honest in heart to the ward members being led to the honest in heart and for the blessings of miracles to flow as we respond accordingly.

Our daughter and her family from Pennsylvania came to visit with us on Saturday. They had flown from Pennsylvania to Utah, hopped in a car and drove straight to Irvine to spend a week with us. Their oldest just graduated from HS and we were able to listen to general conference with them as they chose to sleep on the floor here with us rather than take a more comfortable motel. Their loving sacrifice is a great blessing for the two of us and greatly appreciated.

We have been meeting with our minister friend, Brother Forty-Two, for nearly three months now, twice a week. On each occasion he comes with a notebook filled with questions for that meeting. Fortunately we have always been able to answer those questions prompting him to refer to me as Doctor. Well this week on Wednesday was a first, as he started the meeting, “What do you want to teach me?” Since arrangements had been made for he and his wife to attend the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions of general conference in Salt Lake City, I suggested we discuss the need for, role of, and authority of the Lord’s living prophets and we enjoyed a good discussion on that topic. He told us he had yet to arrange a motel and we warned him he should get that done as quite a crowd descends on SLC for conference. He said that they felt the Lord would provide. We told him we were anxious to learn what he experiences there and discussed general conference, the setting and proceedings that he would be witnessing. President Orgill, our mission president had secured the tickets, which I presented to him.

Had another meeting with Brother Twenty in preparation for receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood. I believe we have done what we can here and he has met with the bishop to establish a plan. It was a great experience to see this brother change right before our eyes and see the growth that he has made. It continues to amaze us with what the Lord can do with those willing to “let” him change them. This man’s confidence and understanding are powerful evidence of such changes.

Met with the Two family to start them on the journey of family history by reviewing the research we had done for them to whet their appetite. He is calling his mother to fill in some of the gaps that remain and the Spirit of Elijah if pressing mightily upon him.

Our Bible Study class this week was led by a brother from Canada, a convert to the church, who wanted to share Bible references that support the plan of salvation. He had quite a bit prepared and in reviewing it with him I suggested he spread it over three weeks.

Received a request from Brother Two asking what Ether 12 verse 6 means, “there is no witness until after the trial of your faith?” He found it on the back side of the scripture mastery card we gave him to use in the Temple Preparation class. I told him it means that the greater witness comes after we have exhibited the necessary faith and gotten into action believing that a greater witness follows. These things go in order. The Lord expects us to act on belief before we receive the greater witness.

Sister H had a root canal this week which because of infection took about four days for the pain to subside. So I found myself alone at the transfer meeting and very uncomfortable.

Bishop called to see if we could include another two individuals (one about to submit his missionary papers and another who has a temple marriage date) in the temple preparation class and bring them up to speed even though we are already into the third week. We told him we could do that bringing the twelve those in the Aliso Creek Ward preparing to attend the temple for the first time. The gospel essential teacher in the Lake Forest Ward asked if we had a change of assignment as he has not seen us because the class times conflict.

Our neighbors at home shared a letter of their missionary son and I replied—Your son does have a good spirit which many missionaries have. What I think sets him apart is the balance he has. He understands. This understanding allows him to "fit in" with whatever the Lord wants with a continuing expectation not only that the Lord's will shall be manifest but a certainty such manifestation will fill him with joy. It shows in his willingness to go and do no matter what. I personally have concluded that one of the three elements of faith, and the one most fail to grasp, is absolute trust independent of outcome. It appears to me that your son is there.

Week Thirty-Nine

WEEK THIRTY-NINE March 31, 2014

In one of our wards this week the bishop commented about the lack of results even with a concerted ward missionary effort. We had been noticing the same thing and have been praying fervently that the Lord might bless both of our wards with a fulfillment of their faith, prayers and efforts in missionary work, but have yet to see that miracle transpire. As the bishop was speaking to the ward council I felt to open my scriptures and my eyes settle on Alma 16:16-17: “And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God.”

The blessing of the Lord pouring out his Spirit on the land, preparing the minds of the people and their hearts to receive the word came because there was “no inequality among them.” This caused me to think, “What are our inequalities?” in these two wards? What are we missing or what have we left undone that has hindered us in qualifying for a similar outpouring of missionary spirit in the ward? I shared my thoughts with the bishop suggesting such questions might be a good theme for the ward council on some occasion and I suspect the question if pertinent to all of us. I asked and was granted the privilege of offering the opening pray at next Sunday’s ward council and at Sacrament meeting the following week when the mission choir is presenting the meeting.

The Aaronic priesthood young son of the Two family is really moving through the Book of Mormon and sharing each day the thoughts and feelings his reading has generated. One of his missive’s this week was how much he enjoyed Alma 14 saying, “The crazy people put Alma and Amulek into prison because the people did not like what they were saying about their wickedness. And the people who believed what Alma and Amulek were saying got thrown into the fire while Alma and Amulet were forced to watch. Alma didn't do anything saying this would stand as a final testimony at the last day. The people would spit on them and make fun of them and finally Alma cried unto the Lord to help him and they broke out of prison. The people were scared for the strength of the Lord was upon them.” I asked the young man if he could imagine himself standing there with Alma and Amulek and seeing those terrible deaths by fire and then the miraculous salvation as the prison walls come tumbling down. He confided that he didn’t think he could take seeing the people getting burned, “but it would be a pretty cool experience seeing the walls of the prison coming down and the people that hate you and treated you mean running away. I responded that some of the things we have to pass through in life can be pretty tough. Hence the need to always rely upon the Lord and trust in him that he knows what is right. He then shared with me a couple of experiences in which the Lord helped him to know what was right or wrong. “Once I found some money it was $100 maybe. My dad was next to me he told me to find the person who dropped it. We found him and gave him back his money. I felt really good after doing a good thing. Maybe a little latter I found $20 bill at a donut shop. I and my dad didn't find a person who had the money. I wanted a paint ball gun and I got it with the money that I found at the donut shop. I think that hundred dollar bill would have been cursed if I didn't try to find a person. The Lord provided me with a 20 and the money was blessed. To me this was a great testimony that the Lord helps us with hard decisions.

Brother Twenty-One who had just received his patriarchal blessing learned from the patriarch that he had transcribed the blessing, erased the tape, and then by accident deleted the blessing and needed to reschedule to give him another blessing. Rather than being upset he told me that the first time was such a great experience he felt it was blessing from the Lord to allow him to do it again. It was then that I learned that because of their two small children his wife was unable to attend the blessing with him and wondered aloud to him if the reason the blessing was deleted was so she could participate in the experience with him. Later he told me when he called to set up the appointment he shared that thought with the patriarch who said, “I hadn’t considered that. I think your friend is very wise.”

Brother Barrett heard from the teacher responding to his inquiry with the Vice Principle about the untruths disseminated in her history class. “Dear Mr. Barrett, Thank you for pointing out the incorrect information in our text book about the early days for Mormons. Sadly, this is not the only error in the book and that is why I try to rely on primary sources when I teach. Unfortunately, we do not have a great deal of time to devote to this topic, but I am sorry if I mislead the class. I did mention that the Mormons were driven out of their early settlements, despite what the text states. Everything I have read has told me that the early Mormon Church (in the 1800s) did not allow blacks to be members, but I will look into the web sites you provided and learn more. Thanks. I truly did not say that Mormons were not Christian, as I know you believe in Jesus Christ and use the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon. The only thing I said was that the students had learned last year about Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which were established very long ago, and that the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints started in the 1800s. Again, I am sorry if this was upsetting for Connie. I welcome any comments she is willing to make, and did not see her hand if she had wanted to add to the brief discussion. Please feel free to contact me, or the administration, with any concerns, and I will do my utmost to correct any mistakes.”

His daughter told him the teacher had said some nice things to say about LDS since he brought up his concerns.

We were able to arrange lunch with our nephew David this week. Hadn’t seen him in years being so far away but he and his family live here in our mission so it was great to catch up with him. I sent him an electronic copy of his great grandpa Haddock’s missionary journal and shared an experience I had on my mission nearly 53 years ago. I was knocking on doors at a home on Pearl Street in Baltimore and when introducing myself as Elder Haddock, the lady, quite elderly, invited me in and showed me a picture of my grandfather over her mantle above the fireplace. I begged for it but it was too precious to her as she recounted listening to him when she lived in West Virginia. With her permission I taped one of my cards with my address on the back so her kids would send it to me when she died but I never got it.

This week we felt a rumble at 9:10 p.m. just after we had finished our prayers and hopped into bed. I asked Jan “are you shaking the bed” and she said no. So I said then we are having an earthquake and indeed we were. Received a text from the Aliso Creek Elders, “Who else just felt that earthquake!... Whaaaa!.....”

The Nineteen family called early Thursday to say she had a scratchy throat and needed to cancel our appointment which we moved to Friday. Friday she called to say her husband as strep-throat and wanted to cancel again. I said “Let me talk to Jan and call you back.” We prayed and both felt the Lord would protect us as we needed to visit with this family. We met with the Nineteen family, the first time in over four months. Sister Nineteen said they just got too busy and were now paying the price for it as they have all sorts of problems since they met with us last—their relationship, challenges, planning, finances. Said she, “When you were meeting with us there was constant feeling of peace in our home that is no longer here. Does it feel the same to you as before?” I confided that it did not. We had a nice visit, shared a message and scheduled a return appointment. She shared a couple of their problems even asking for advice about investing with someone who is setting up their trust. I said my counsel when practicing law was to separate the two to remove any bias. By the time we got home that evening she had called. Two of the biggest problems they had been wrestling with were already resolved and following my counsel she said, “A great deal on anxiety has been lifted from my shoulders. Thank you so much for the visit today.”

Later in the week Sister Nineteen called raving about the women’s conference and how much she liked it. She said her husband was watching it now. “I said to him, it’s for women. But he said he was enjoyed it very much.”

We attended the Two families baseball game for the son and a picnic with the afterwards where I shared about five hours of family history work I had done for Brother Two tracing his maternal side back to the 1790s. He was overjoyed and ready to get into family history himself.

In counseling his eldest, our son shared some experiences he is having at work currently and telling our grandson, “Win or lose, I'm doing it the Lord's way. My confidence isn't in what might happen, but in him. If we lose everything, I'll thank The Lord for what I have. I'd rather be on good terms with him than with anyone or anything else.”

Sent a message to Brother Six, who during our visit shared that he had prayed about the truthfulness of the gospel and the church previously and didn’t receive a clear answer. I wrote: “You caused me a sleepless night thinking about your comment that "the answer was not clear." So I found myself wrestling with the Lord. If you want a clear answer I can help you with that. Just let me know. Elder H”

Friday, April 4, 2014

Week Thirty-Eight

WEEK THIRTY-EIGHT March 17, 2014

Sister H was scheduled for eye surgery on her remaining eye to relieve the pressure. The day before we attended the Temple concerned both about her surgery and that of our daughter the same morning. It was nice to hear the Lord’s assurances in both cases and in a most remarkable manner which is sacred to us. The tender mercies of the Lord are so evident if we but be looking.

The young son of the Two family is reading Alma 7 wrote to me: “Alma Chapter 7 was great. It was talking about repentance. I like vs 14 it said we are to be baptized to wash away our sins and be forgiven in Christ Jesus. Christ endured the sins of the world, God love is so great toward us for sending his only son to die on the cross for us.” Later while reading Alma 13 he responded that the chapter “was good it was talking about people receiving the high priesthood. Melchizedek told the people to repent and they did come unto God. Melchizedek was called the Prince of Peace.” I reminded him that was the chapter I reviewed with his dad before he received the Melchizedek priesthood to which he responded, “Oh, that's cool to know. Thanks. That’s something to keep in mind for receiving the Melchizedek priesthood like my dad.”
Received a letter from a young missionary serving in Rome Italy who shared experiences with us very similar to those I enjoyed as a young missionary. During the week, because of certain pressures, there was not time to plan and organize as they went out to do the Lord’s work, and yet the Spirit led him and his companion as surely as He did Nephi of old, “not knowing beforehand” and great miracles ensued that week. I am convinced that preparation, ability to listen to the voice of the Lord and willingness to implicitly obey that voice, while up and doing, are the true keys to successful missionary spiritual experiences. Often when we teach we for good reason must teach to the lowest common denominator present yet one wonders in missionary work if too much effort is being placed upon stopgap methods to “arrange” for the missionary rather than preparing the missionary to have such experiences naturally as a result of their efforts.

Sister H and I have elected to participate in a stake program in which the Church, Helping Hands, has joined with Stop Hunger Now to provide 100,000 meals for those in need worldwide. The Rancho Santa Margarita Stake has received approval from the Church to raise $25,000 to purchase the supplies and then there will be three shifts working on 26 April to prepare and package the meals.

Brother Forty-Two raised an inquiry regarding the effect of Adam’s sin upon us. As we discussed it was apparent that all mankind has inherited a fallen state the direct result of Adam’s transgression. But just as clearly he could see that through the blood of Christ the transgression of Adam had been paid. We reviewed Mosiah 3:11 and he was satisfied.

I was reminded anew this week of a statement made by Elder Harold B. Lee, that has always resonated with me: “All the principles and ordinances of the gospel are in a sense but invitations to learning the gospel by the practice of its teachings…. We learn the gospel by living it…. We never really know anything of the teachings of the gospel until we have experienced the blessings that come from living each principle.” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 609-610.) I believe this applies to our latter-day prophets as well.

Received word this week that a stalwart member of the Encinitas and Cardiff Wards in years past, Carolyn Grow passed away. In corresponding with her son Gavin I was reminded of a priceless principle she taught me when I was her bishop. Over the years in regional, stake and ward responsibilities when I have issued calls and received some hesitation from the prospective recipient I would share her story with them. Upon doing so they all humbly accepted their call and were diligent in their service thereafter. When the Cardiff Ward was formed we learned to our dismay there was no one in the ward who played the piano, let alone the organ. As I visited with the Lord about this predicament the Lord whispered to me to call Carolyn Grow who, at time, as far as I knew, played the cello for the San Diego Symphony. When I visited her to issue the call as the ward organist, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "Then I will need two things." I asked her what that might be. Said she, "First, a key to the chapel so I can practice. Second a blessing from you that I will quickly learn the organ and be able to play it with reverence and respect for the Savior." I told her I could do that giving her a key and placing my hands on her head and giving her a blessing to do just as she had suggested. If my memory serves we well, the next Sunday she played with just a couple of mistakes, a miracle for sure. From then, with her faith persistence and the Lord's blessing she was flawless. What a great testimony for accepting and doing the Lord's will and the Lord strengthening the back of the willing and blessing them perhaps beyond their natural abilities.

We picked up a couple of dozen cookies for the baptism this week only to learn the stake president has decided against refreshments at baptisms. So our elders and sisters were sent home with the treats.

Received a heart breaking note from Brother Forty which read: “Hello. I'm really sorry but I'm going to stop taking lessons for now. The two of you have been so nice and I appreciate the time you've spent with me but I have reached a point where I feel I'm not ready to move forward in the church. I am still doing very well personally but I'm just not sure about some things which I need to figure out. Again, thank you both very much.” Although I have experienced such message a time or three as a young missionary this was our first as a senior couple and Sister H’s first ever. Frequently she would say, “I don’t understand.” Nor does anyone else. I replied, “We’re sorry to hear that but respect your decision. If there are ever any questions we can help with please let us know. We will continue to pray for your happiness and welfare.”

The Twenty-One Family had to cancel again this week because of sickness again. They have had a real rough time moving to this new area as their small children have had to pay a steep price. We did have a good meeting with Brother Twenty and Fourth-Two which were very productive. Unfortunately with such a spiritual blessing last week and all, the Nineteen family cancelled as well this week because of sickness.

Sunday evening the high priest group of the Lake Forest ward sponsored a fireside on the Old Testament which was entertaining showing some interesting interpretation of this ancient writ.

One of our granddaughters was asked to give talk in primary while her parents were away and she delivered this sweet message: This week I have been asked to give a talk on showing respect to the Savior by being reverent. When going to church and folding our arms we are showing love and respect to our Savior. He loves us, and we love him and to show this principle we can be reverent, this may include, folding our arms, walking quietly in the halls, using hushed voices, and using kind words in the chapel and everywhere we go. I know that if we truly love and respect our Savior that we need to be reverent and show that we can do the things the lord commandeth.

When I was younger my parents taught me to fold my arms and walk not run. When I was a little older I asked them, “Why do I fold my arms in Primary and in Sacrament, why do I walk in the Hallways not run?” And they responded, “Do you love Jesus Christ?” “Yes, “I told them with a big smile on my face. “Then show him by following his commandments.”

After that week I tried my best to be an example to all the other kids. I folded my arms, and looked at the pictures on the walls. I even asked my mom to read the words from the Hymn Book before we sang the words as a congregation, so I could sing with them too. Even at such a young age I knew it was important to follow the gospel and show how much we love our Heavenly Father and Savior.

Living in Pennsylvania is a lot different from living out here. For one thing in Pennsylvania we don't have many Latter Day Saints, thus many kids swore or said bad words. So when I was doing my everyday things I often remembered the baptismal covenant I had, I said I would be reverent everywhere. Not only in church, but at school, friend’s houses, sports practice, and so many other places. Even here we need to remember that being reverent does not only mean being good at church, but it means being good and righteous everywhere else too.

We, happy grandparents, felt we all should give such respect to reverence.

Week Thirty-Seven

WEEK THIRTY-SEVEN March 17, 2014

We have gotten into a bit of a hole with being too busy and are now trying to recreate nearly four weeks of work so this may be a bit sketchy. We had our third Senior Couple family home evening this week, with some delicious dishes, delightful conversations, and hilarious stories! 

We stopped by the Nineteen family again today. It has been four months since we have been able to meet with them. Our visits were so cordial and faith promoting we have been at a lost to figure out what has happened. We have met Brother Nineteen three times in the yard or street and have dropped off myriad of things but never gotten into the home or have been able to set up an appointment. Brother Nineteen has always been cordial and in response to our questions “is it us” or “did we do something wrong” keeps assuring us that it has nothing to do with us. “I keep telling my wife to call the missionaries and set up an appointment.” Well this time something clicked with Brother Nineteen and he invited us in. For an hour plus he shared a number of personal concerns, none of which was related to the church in any way, but issues at home, decisions being made, all of which have caused him concern and worry. As he finished Sister H asked him if he would like a blessing and he said that he would very much like one. 

So I proceeded to give him a blessing and was pleased at the promises a loving Father in Heaven extended to this son of His, one who already has a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I could feel his head and entire body twitching throughout the blessing and as I finished noticed deep rivulets of tears cascading down his face. He embraced me warmly and with deep emotion and thanked us profusely for our visit. We set up an appointment (finally) for the following Friday.

One can imagine the feelings of euphoria we felt as we left. The reason for our missing four months was basically they got too busy and just haven’t had time for anything, including friends of theirs with all the medical, family, legal and estate planning issues that have arisen. The tenderness with which the Lord spoke to Brother Nineteen was a very sweet thing to behold. Clearly the Lord has not lost track of him and knows him by name.

Spent some time with the bishop of the Aliso Creek Ward planning the Temple Preparation class and the presentation I want him to give in week four. The bishop has been very supportive and appreciative. Also visited a nonmember seeking assistance at the bishop’s request acquainting the brother with how fast offerings and welfare assistance work in the Church as well as obtaining his commitment to do a number of things that it be not a dole. Which he willingly accepted including allowing the young missionaries to come by and teach him. I had explained to him that 1) Only the bishop can make decisions regarding the Lord’s sacred funds; 2) Church assistance is for temporary situations only and not long term needs so he would have to have a long term game plan if assistance should be provided; and 3) The Church does not believe in the welfare dole and that some work would be required on his behalf for his one self-worth which he said he would be willing to do.

Brother Forty cancelled his appointment feeling sick. I reminded Sister H of the experience we had when I served as a young man. The living room light was on as we knocked on the door for our appointment and with the knock immediately flicked off. The front door had a couple of glass panels at the top and fortunately I had a tall companion who regaled me with what he saw—the parents and children on their hands and knees crawling out of the room. Sometimes they don’t want to hear more but we have no reason to believe that is the case here.

Brother Two, who we have committed to read the Book of Mormon, is coming along. He has been a lifelong student of the Bible and it has been difficult for him to disengage with the limited time he has. This week we received a text that he had just finished Mosiah 25. Said he, “The people of Limhi were badly brought to their knees three times and the Lord slow to hear their cries. Then in ch.24 the contrast with Alma and his faith and obedience and the Lord being quick to intervene! It was just like you said.”

Later in the week he wrote: “Remember that Book of Mormon you gave me to read? I baptized it today! I learned a lesson from this. Don’t take a bath with a book you want to stay dry. Especially when you needed a nap. Today I didn’t take one!”

As part of a forty day fast for the Lake Forest ward (each family fasting for a day with a pre-fast meeting with the missionaries and a break the fast dinner with them for missionary work) also had a Car Wash to draw members from the community coupled with chapel tours. Eight non-members participated in the tour.

Had a wonderful meeting with the 21st family and their two “shy” children, who surprised both us and the parent by rushing to the door to hug us as we entered and left. As Sister H was visiting the oldest of their daughters and I rolled a ball back and forth before we began our discussion on preparing the father to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. We were happy to learn that he has also scheduled an appointment with the Patriarch to receive his blessing. He has been having some issues at work that were overwhelming to him and asked for a blessing which I gave to him. He called the next day to say although the issues are still there, the negative feelings that were so debilitating were gone completely.

Sister Nineteen called all cheery but to inform us there were some other appointments that her husband had been unaware of and they couldn’t make the appointment the following day. So we had to reschedule for Wednesday next week. At least no one was crawling on hands and knees. But these things still hurt nonetheless. I suspect as missionaries we get so invested in both the message and the families that we can’t tell one from the other.

Had another two meetings with Brother Forty-Two finishing the Plan of Salvation and Joseph Smiths writings on Adam and the priesthood. He kept saying, “Oh, I see, yes, yes.” Later in the week he reverted to his trinity concerns and I sent him about thirty scriptures to consider. When his response was received I had to ask,” tell what point you are trying to make. It isn't apparent to me.” He replied that to him Jehovah and Elohim were the same. I replied, “To come to that conclusion one must discard the myriad statements of Christ himself and choose to believe that God has stopped speaking to his children since the Bible. I am unwilling to do that. My personal experiences with God and Christ precludes me from making that choice. Elohim is our Father in Heaven and is God overall. His firstborn son was Jehovah in the OT and Jesus Christ in the NT. He is my Savior and Redeemer and a God. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit and the witness of both the Father and the Son and a trusted companion of mine who is also a God. Let me ask this question in Genesis 1:26 to whom is God speaking when he says let “us” or “our” image? Then take a look at Moses 2:1 and then Moses 2:26-27 and consider whether that is a reasonable explanation. All I can say is go to God and ask in all humility and follow what he reveals to you about his son, the Holy Ghost and himself.” Brother Forty-two replied, “Yes I will pray.”

One of the counselors in the Lake Forest ward bishopric shared a missionary moment which I asked him to write up for me: “On Sunday my family was able to attend the Black Latter Day Saints presentation at the Stake. We gained a lot of information and learned many new stories about early black LDS people. On Monday my daughter said they were learning about the Mormons this week at school. On Tuesday my daughter had a complaint about the book. I took a look at the book and it said that the Mormons failed at setting up three communities and mentioned Missouri by name. There was no context as to persecution, mobs, or Gov. Boggs executive order 44 contributing to this failure. In my opinion this is just not the truth without including the context. It gave us a chance as a family to teach our kids once again as to what happened and we went on with our week. Thursday came and I got home from work at 3:30 that day. The teacher was summarizing the chapter in class and went off the text, (United States History - Independence to 1914, William Deverell and Deborah Gray White, Holt, Reinhart and Winston a Harcourt Education Company) and told the class that blacks were not allowed to join the Mormon church until 1978. Something in me said you have to say something this is not okay. It's not my character to go complain but what was driving me out the door was Sunday’s presentation and with the program in my hand I left. The school office closed at 4:00 so I got there with fifteen minutes left. I was able to meet with the vice principal and explain the situation. I told him my daughter was upset at what the teacher had said and told him we had just attended the event on Sunday as part of our church celebrating black history month (FEB). I told him what had happened in class and since I was there told him that the textbook was incorrect. He wrote all my concerns and facts down that I had given him. He copied parts of the program including the back page that had all the links for someone that would want to know more or had questions about blacks and Mormons. He said he'd give them to the teacher. He also stated he had never heard of executive order 44 (put in place to drive the Mormons out of Missouri). The teacher e-mailed me on Friday and acknowledged that she felt the textbook was incorrect. She did stand her ground that it was her understanding that blacks could not join the church prior to 1978. I did explain to the VP that she is confused with blacks not being able to hold the priesthood until 1978. She received copies of the program and links from the VP. Monday came and she did take some time in class to say a few nice things about Mormons. The thing that drove me to take this action is that this may be told to hundreds of students year after year, and that is just not okay. If you have any questions give me a call or reply here. We are truly grateful for you and Sister Haddock, I wish more senior missionaries were called at the ward levels. You both have been an example to me.”

During the week the young Deacon age son of the Two Family, who is also reading the Book of Mormon, wrote me, “Alma Ch 1 one was wonderful? Nehor did a bad thing to kill a righteous man and to teach false doctrine. It says that he suffered and died on a hill. I can't wait to get more into the Book of Alma.” Then the next day wrote: “Wow alma Ch 2 was the best yet. With very little people the Nephites destroyed almost all the Lamanites and the Amlicites. It said that the Lamanites army was so big I was like that the sand of the sea. It was something else that Amlici joined forces with the Lamanites. It’s good to keep the commandments like the Nephites did what would happened if the Nephites weren't keeping the commandments of god? Had a nice meeting with the Two family this week, as the father had been out of town on business for four weeks.

Started our first Temple Preparation class for the Los Alisos Ward with 6 of the 10 in attendance. Those there said they were really excited to be there. We started with the question, “So What do we thing we Know about the Temple?” Which led to some wonderful discussions. This has changed our routing a bit. For the next two Sunday I am also teaching the Gospel Essentials class for Brother London in the Lake Forest Ward. So we have LF Ward Council at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sacrament there at 10 a.m., then the Sunday School class, then up to Aliso Creek for Missionary Correlation at 12:24, then Sacrament at 1:30 followed by Temple Preparation, then our discussion with the Six Family at 3:45. When the Gospel Essentials class is done, then it will be Sacrament 1st and 3rd Sundays at LF and 2nd and 4th at AC, with ward council LF on 1st and 3rd and LF 2nd and 4th, and because of Temple Preparation, no Priesthood/Relief Society for the next couple of months until we finish the course.

Showed a video from with the Six Family which they really appreciated and had another good gospel discussion.