Monday, January 21, 2008

Great Are the Words of Isaiah: An Isaiah Dream

When I was sixteen I had my first spiritual experience. My neighbor in Las Vegas was a first Southern Baptist who invited me to a revival meeting at his church in Boulder City, Nevada. Up until that point I had been raised as a Roman Catholic. We didn't get our first Bible until I was eleven which we acquired by licking S&H green stamps for about a year. It wasn't really encouraged by our monseigneur for us to read the Bible. I thought it would be no big deal to go with him and nothing would happen. When I went there we sang the Old Rugged Cross and How Great Thou Art. The minister preached a touching sermon about Jesus Christ. I closed my eyes as he talked about Christ. A strange thing took place. I had a waking vision I saw Christ crucified on the cross. I could actually see him hanging there with the dark grey skies, the crown of thorns, the Roman soldiers down below, his mother and disciples standing there talking and weeping. It was a dismal scene. The image impressed itself upon my mind and heart. I was so moved that I went forward when the altar call was made. I could not deny the spirit. Within a few months all I had to show from my experience was one of those pocket-sized New Testaments with the date and time of my accepting Jesus as my personal Savior. I never returned to that church again but I had been saved.

I figured that would be the end of my religious experiences. I was now a saved Roman Catholic. I fell back in to my normal life's routines going to Rancho High School. I hadn't lived a very religious life and was just a typical teenager. We only went to Church on holidays so I wasn't overly religious. I had a couple of Mormon missionaries stop one day when I was out taking out the trash but I sent them on their way in less than two minutes. The irony was that they ended up being the same missionaries that taught me the gospel later Elder Garrett and Elder Anderson.

One night I had an usual experience. I was somewhere between sleeping and awake. I was in my bedroom that had a painted blue wall. It was early in the evening but the room was dar. I was looking at the wall when it began to light up transforming itself into a large size screen. I was looking at an old testament biblical scene. An older white haired Jewish prophet was seated in a chair around tent-like apparatus talking to a group of Jews. He noticed me and had me come over. He placed his hands on my head and began to prophesy. I knew in that moment that I was receiving a blessing from Isaiah. He told me that I would receive all the knowledge in the world and that I would have access to all the knowledge in the world. I didn't know at the time how that would be fulfilled.

At that very moment I heard a loud crash outside my bedroom window. This ended my dream. I believed at the time that evil presence stopped me from concluding his instructions to me. I ran outside where a car had hit the back of a semi. The passengers were all mangled they had to use the jaws of death to extract them.

A few months after my dream I joined the LDS Church. I took all seven missionaries discussions in two days. I had been given the Book of Mormon by a friend which I read. When I got to Moroni 10:3-5 I put Moroni's promise to the test in the same bedroom as I received the Isaiah vision. After my prayer as I opened began to open my eyes a tangible voice began to speaking to me. It said that the Book of Mormon was the word of God, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Church of Jesus Christ was the only true church on the face of the earth. I called a non Mormon friend and discussed what had happened to me. He said I should do what I thought was right. I had expected him to talked me out of it. I immediately went to the missionaries and requested baptism. A week later I was baptized.

My first three months in the Church I read all the standards works three times from cover to cover. I quickly learned the gospel and they made me the young adult gospel doctrine teacher. I started going to the local Deseret Industries where I found an old Improvement Era with an old testament prophet on one of the covers in a slightly different but similar scene as I had witnessed in my dream. I went on a mission one year after joining the church.

After my mission I tried to determine what I should do with my life where I could find all the knowledge in this world. I first tried to be a CES teacher then switched to become a historian. All my professors would say to me you are a librarian not a historian. You like to do bibliographic essays. Finally it dawned on me that I had a natural talent for research of any kind as I became a research assistant to six BYU professors and helped five General Authorities in their intellectual pursuits.

Some athletes can hit home run after home run. My talent was to ability to find information about any subject and compile in to a meaningful narrative. I could find the most unusual bit of information about most any subject. It just would gravitate to me. I even ended up teaching reference to library science and education majors at a large university. I could have a question asked of me and I would open a book and there would be the answer. If I couldn't find it in a book I would find it in a database or on the Internet. I got in to the Internet when it started out before graphical user interfaces and have been involved in library technology and databases for twenty years. As I have worked in the information field as a librarian for over twenty years now, it has truly come to pass in my life that all the knowledge in the world secular and religious is virtually at my finger tips or close by.

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