Stuck in Rexburg


I get back with my friends in Rexburg and before the day is complete they have me meeting with these two young lads wearing white shirts and a name tag saying that they are missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I felt comfortable with them and sat down with them with an attitude that I was going to be entertained. They were just boys much younger than I.  Whatever they were going to talk about would not be a threat to me.  The information they were going to share with me would inform me about what they believe in and discuss what I learned in the Book of Moron.  It did not take long to realize that they were going to challenge me to act, to do something that would quickly transform my life, what values I had, how I interacted with others and that by accepting to do what they wanted; I would have a life time commitment to do the bidding of Jesus Christ and aspire to live with him eternally.  I had a few questions; some that they could answer and some they could not.  Those they could not they said they would answer when they met with me again.  I thought this was a unique way to blow off not answering my questions and I did not expect them to answer them.   They closed their presentation with a testimony that what they shared was true and challenged me to get baptized and suggested that I get on my knees right then and pray about it.   I was not about to do that and after several minutes of bantering on this subject, I agreed that I would pray about it the next time we met which was to be two days from then. 

I spent a lot of my time the next day praying to God to provide me an answer while I leaned towards finding a way out of this decision.  They answer came, or so I thought, that afternoon when a circus came to town.  I knew from information my sister Ellen who had friends who were carneys,  carnival/circus workers who traveled with the circus, that I could easily find work with the circus and travel with them.  So I helped setup the tent, got paid cash and told the manager I would be available to help them take the tent down the next day when they moved.  He promised that he had positions available to sell popcorn and treats to the crowd and had two months worth of traveling with the season finishing in Seattle, Washington.  Well this sounded like my ticket to get out of town but before I did, I needed to cash my check from Kevin Campbell in Wyoming State.  So early next morning I set out to travel to Jackson Hole then get back to Rexburg to help take down the circus tent.  This was a long 5-6 hour drive one way so I was looking at a full days drive to accomplish this task. I had lots of time to think about my meeting with the missionary boys and decided to stop at a location on the roadway that was on top of the continental divide, the spot where rain water falling west of the divide flowed towards the Pacific Ocean and water falling east flowed towards the Gulf of Mexico.  And pray I did, for a long time.  I did not get an answer and having run out of things to say closed my prayer and looking up in the sky I saw a cloud separate into two pieces with one section going to the east and the other towards the west.  I figured that I was to get my answer later and with a good feeling in my heart I proceeded towards Rexburg.  Approaching the town limits and having traveled 70-80 miles per hour all day I did not slow down fast enough. As I approached a car going the legal speed limit of 40 miles per hour I hit the back end of the car in front of me.

That was my answer, Darn!  Both cars were run able but the damage to the other car took all my Wyoming pay to fix.  I could have used my insurance but with my insurance broker in Texas , accident in Idaho, and me having no idea where I would be on a week to week basis I felt it best to pay up and accept the loss.

That evening I met the missionaries with Mike and Angelle  and after prayer the missionaries answered the questions I asked the last meeting and then challenged me to have that anticipated public prayer to ask if the Book of Mormon is true.  I prayed a long time for an answer and after what was 20-30-minutes  with no answer coming to me I closed the prayer and while getting up exclaimed that I wanted to get baptized!  Yes I had said it but I had not thought it before.  The answer came from some place outside of me.  I may have said that but had a hard time owning it.  As a man who always lived up to what I had said, I figured I would live up to becoming a Latter Day Saint and if there was anything that did not ring true I would reconsider my covenants with them.  I had 3 to 4 months of “the big question” every week that I thought would debunk this religion and consequently my commitment to it.  Only to find the answer from something said in Sunday school class, church meetings, some thing I heard from someone during the week or over hearing a conversation in the hallway at church. 

I am still getting answers to questions I continually have.  Not as earth shattering or as often as these first but enough to keep me from being completely comfortable with my present life situation. I have wants and needs resolved to grow spiritually for over 40 years now and more purpose to be alive.  This is the true church of Jesus Christ. I do hope my story is enlightening and encouraging as you find your purpose in life.  

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