Sunday, November 25, 2007

Missionary Dreams

The prophet in Joel 2: 28 says: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions."

Before I joined the church when I was sixteen I had a most unusual dream where I saw the prophet Isaiah writing upon a scroll. It was very vivid and in color. In our conversation together he told me that I would have all the knowledge of the world.Later when I joined the church and saw an artist's rendition of him he looked somewhat similar.

My dream was cut short by a large crashing sound. I lived off of Nellis Boulevard which was a busy road in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Our neighbor across the street parked his large flatbed rig there and for some reason three different vehicles hit it. This particular night a couple in a blue car plowed right underneath it. I went out to see if I could help but they needed the jaws of life to extract the guy whose legs were mangled.

That dream of Isaiah was the first I ever had of a religious nature. As a Roman Catholic kid growing up not too many people discussed that kind of thing and I sure didn't have religious experiences. A short time after my dream I went with my neighbor and his wife and kids to the First Southern Baptist Church in Boulder City, Nevada. It was a revival meeting. The pastor got up and preached a forceful sermon. I had a vision of Christ on the cross. I saw the dark clouds and his hanging there. I was so moved that I got up and made my pledge on July 4, 1972. They gave me a tiny Gideon New Testament with the date marked in it.

I joined the church in July 1974. I had an actual spiritual experience about the Book of Mormon. After having all seven missionary discussions in two days the only thing I remembered was the missionaries asked me to pray about it which I did about a week after completing the discussions. I turned down my television we had five in our house. I closed my eyes and asked Heavenly Father "Is it True?" As I began to open my eyes a tangible voice spoke to me out loud "The church of Jesus Christ is the Only True Church on the face of the earth. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and the Book of Mormon is the word of God." I called one of my non Mormon buddies and we discussed it. He told me I should do what I think is right. I told him I was going to get baptized in the LDS Church. He said then what are we waiting for. He came over and we drove over to the missionaries' house. They were home and freaked out that I wanted to be baptized then and there. One elder fought with me that he couldn't do it now. The other said Elder come here. They went inside and called their mission president. He spoke to me on the phone and convinced me to wait a week. Since I had time to think about it they asked who I wanted to do it. I said I wanted one of the Twelve Apostles. They told me I could have the stake president do it instead. I knew the stake president's son from school so I said I would have him do it.

The stake president James K. Seastrand liked me and encouraged me to go on a mission. He said I reminded him of his dear old dad who had joined the Church in Sweden. My ward bishopric didn't share his sentiments about me going on a mission. One of them told me he could help me save for a mission by hiring me like he did the other boys in the ward but he wasn't going to do that. I went to LDS employment and got a job as a janitor in a couple of places. In the six months before I went I saved about three thousand after I sold my 1968 Chevy Impala and my stereo. I got most of my stuff from Deseret Industries and two $39 suits from my non Mormon father. I was called on September 20, 1975 to the Rome, Italy Mission with the guarantee my ward would help me out when my money was gone for $160 a month.

My first week in Allen Hall in the Language Training Mission I had an unusual vision. My companion Dean Bono and I struggled to learn Italian. Dean was struggling with other things as well and ended up going home early. One day I got down by the side of my chair and pray to the Lord for help in learning my discussions. It was like a continuation of the earlier vision when I saw Christ on the cross but this time I saw him coming in glory at the time of the Second Coming. It actually lasted a few minutes and was quite detailed and graphic. It scared the crap out of me and I bailed out of the vision. I later had the experience I related about the two beings struggling over my very soul and my impressions when I transferred to Canada Toronto under M. Russell Ballard.

I have never considered myself overly spiritual or a kook. In fact now with the equivalent of three master degrees and a doctorate I would say I am a pretty rational person. I just seem to have religious dreams and visions. Since that time I have had a few more that I will relate in other posts concerning Christ, Joseph Smith, and other Prophets and Apostles. I have come to realize that I commune with the Church of the First Born which is a promise of the oath and covenant of the Priesthood.

I am no one of any consequence in the LDS Church so you can share without fear. I am not a dissident or an iron rodder either in fact if you wanted to put me in a camp you would call me a moderate Mormon. I am both liberal and conservative at the same time, it just depends on your mindset. If you have similar experiences that you want to share this site is the place to do it. It is a return to why I joined the Church thirty-three years ago. There is a place for all of us to lift one another. I always remember the charge Ezra Taft Benson gave me when he asked me to do his biography and teachings book which is to lead men and women to Christ. Please share your comments you might touch someone who doubts. BTW it is interesting that I ended up a librarian who is expert in technology with all the knowledge in the world at my fingertips.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

" James K. Seastrand "

He is a great guy, or was. I went to Jim Bridger and Rancho when I lived in NLV in the 18th ward.