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About randy

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    Newbie: Without form, and void
  • Birthday 07/12/1957

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    Independence, Missouri

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  1. Well, I hope you have a wonderful Easter this coming Sunday! Take care!
  2. put another way....If I were given two gifts...one a picture of Christ on the Cross, or a picture of the Garden Tomb...and I could only choose one to display....I personally would choose the picture of the Garden Tomb.
  3. Hey there! Hope today finds you having a GREAT day! I have thought about this topic many times. I do not have anything "against" the cross per se'. But..I think if you ask most Christans what they think of when they say the word "cross" most would respond to "Jesus Christ died for us". Is that a bad thing? Of course not...he certainly did! But....as we approach this coming Easter Sunday...my personal focus is on the living the Christ. His resurrection....his overcoming death. So, in that respect...I feel the symbolism of the Cross diverts our focus away from the fact that Christ lives. I want to focus on, and celebrate the living Christ....not his death. But, if someone were to give me a gift of a Cross...I would certainly keep it and cherish it. Just my thoughts.....
  4. AMEN!! This reminds me of a poem I learned a while back...it goes like this "Plod on Plod on....Plod on, Plod on Plod on....plod on"
  5. My hope and prayer is that as members of the CofJCofLDS….we all can simply become converted to what our Leaders have been preaching to us....and that is for us to simplify our lives, just wake up each morning and turn toward the light, extend forgiveness and ask for forgiveness....and love one another as the Savior loves us. I hope we can stop with heaping guilt upon ourselves for not being the perfect member, stop comparing our efforts or successes with anyone else. Pres. Hinckley taught us to just "be a little better each day". In 1977 when my Wife and I (19yrs old) ...at 1045pm on a Tuesday night...in front of the Mission home in Indep. Mo...had our own personal moment with Pres. Kimball.....just the three of us....standing on the sidewalk...in the lamplight, he went straight to my wife...cupped her face with his hands....and gently kissed her on the cheek, then he turned to me and lovingly pointed his finger at me and said "you always cherish her!".....and I said..."I will President". He didn't ask about my marriage, my family, my church activity...etc. The most important thing the Prophet of the Lord wanted me to do, the one thing that he wanted to have the spirit witness deep into my heart and soul at that moment in time....was to always love and cherish my wife. It will be 47yrs this coming August 4th. The Holy Ghost bore witness to me in that sacred moment....that there was a Prophet on the earth. I knew it, and I knew that God knew it...and I could not deny it. I needed, and had asked God for my witness and for the strength to face what was headed my way. I remember that moment like it was a second ago. It wasn't about celebrity....it wasn't about be caught up in the moment...or just being normally overwhelmed with the sacred moment the Lord had given my wife and I. It was none of that. It was a solid and unmistakable witness from the Holy Ghost that even a 19yr old Father of three could not mistake or deny. All of these many decades later...that gift I was given then.....is still with me to this very moment. My father committed suicide a few months later, my mother died 5yrs later, my brother was killed in an accident at home..more kids came....and through it all....I remember that moment when the Prophet of the Lord lovingly looked at me...just me...and gave me my lifes commission "you always cherish her!" 120 seconds...my life was forever changed. So....yes, we're not perfect people...but we have a loving HF and Savior that knows each of us personally...and knows our heart and our desires and our needs. I'm convinced now more than ever that all we need to do is our best or even our not so best (on any given day) and that is sufficient. The Lord...through his infinite Atonement and grace will make up the difference. Lets stop trying to mark every box....and rather.... start to just love one another more fully each day and give thanks for all our blessings!
  6. Seems like every time we see the two words of "work" and "through" in the same sentence, we can rest assured that somehow..and for some wise purpose, pain is involved....
  7. Rain, I hear what you're saying! My Wife and I discuss this topic quite a bit. All I know is this...my Wife and I are doing our best. Like you...it was very difficult for me not to compare my "faithfulness" to that of others. But, looking back on my life...my Wife and I met in 5th grade, got married the summer of our Sophmore year..she didn't finish HS, I barely did. We had 3 kids before we were 19 (I know I know! haha)….I had no education....and seemingly no future, at least not financially. We were the "Ward project", and I say that lovingly and with gratitude. But, we kept fighting the good fight...and as kids raising kids....I was a mess. I made SO MANY HUGE mistakes....but my wife was patient with me for the next 24 yrs until the Lord blessed me with a job that I could finally pay the bills. So, although I wasn't the best at many things...I tried to do be good at the two most important things....loving my wife, and loving my children. I suppose that is what I want that Sister above to always remember. She IS a wonderful Mom in all the most important ways. She may not be a scriptorian, or have 100 percent attendance at all activities etc....but, I've come to learn and understand (finally)...that is not what the Lord was expecting of me. He expects me to love my family, provide for my family, be the best Priesthood man I can be (not comparing myself to anyone else) strive to be a good Husband and Father. The rest is "as I am able". Watching our kids make choices that we know will bring serious repurcussions….brings such heartache. Then Satan of course is right there ready to convince us that it's OUR FAULT! Yes..TRUST IN GOD!! That's it...it's all right there in those two words! Thank you!
  8. NO NO NO!!!! DO NOT allow these feelings of being "less than" take root in your heart! DO NOT ALLOW IT! I don't post much on this board, but I do come everyday and read what others are doing and saying. I want to share something with you. Our family was baptized way back in "64". My father was baptized, but never darkened a church door again the rest of his life. My Mother...very much a saintly woman in every sense of the word...tried her best. She had three sons....all three of which were non-willing participants every Sunday morning. But, overtime...the strain of constantly trying to make up for an absent father (in spiritual leadership) took it's toll on her. BUT, she was an excellent "seed planter"! She WAS a woman of faith, she WAS strong in all the important ways. SO ARE YOU!!! God knows the righteous desires of your heart!! BELIEVE IT!! He does! Now...fast forward to my family. My bride and I got married very, very young. We have six grown children. 24 grandchildren. Of our six, 3 are active, 1 was excommunicated, the other two just are choosing not to fellowship with the Saints. But like you said.....ALL are good kids...they are wonderful in every respect. My wife and I did our best too! I tried as best I could given what few tools I was given in my tool box during my childhood. But, I know the Lord knows! I know in my heart....that as I reflect on what I could have done better and/or differently....perhaps it may have made a difference....no doubt it could have. Having said that, the Lord knows I STILL TRIED MY BEST!! SO DID YOU!!! Please....do not allow the Advesary to cause you to feel guilt because of the choices being made by your family. It is heartwrenching to watch it....I know. I have cried many, many tears over them. But, of all the feelings in my heart that cause me pain and anguish....guilt is not one of them. Yes, I could've done better....but I did my best with what I was given...and with the best understanding of the gospel that I had. Please, please... understand and always remember that our other family members have their agency to choose to! It's heartbreaking to see them make choices that we know will cause them heartache and pain....and cause them to separate themselves even further from their Savior...but it's their choice. Do not allow Satan the victory of you giving up to his lies! DON'T ALLOW IT!! You did your best.....you are STILL trying to do your best!! At the end of the day....that is all that the Lord expects of us!! Now...I want to share something else with you. I work nites…..and I just got up two hours ago. My wife is gone for the next several weeks....so Iam alone in this VERY quiet house...all by myself with my thoughts. When I woke up...I layed in bed....staring at the ceiling...and I started thinking of my family. Then I remembered some of the things that we were taught in Conference last week. I rolled out of bed, and poured my heart out to HF....asking for his help and blessing for my family, especially those three kids. As I was praying, the distinct impression came to me to pray for a "preparation to receive miracles". As I continued to pray....that thought crystalized a bit more, and I told HF and the Savior...that from that moment on....I was going to do the hard work and preparation needed to have some miracles happen in our family. I told HF that I was done with standing on the sidelines thinking miracles were for "everyone else"! The time has come for miracles to happen in MY FAMILY!! As I continued to talk with HF about this...I began to see more clearly exactly what I needed to do. After I got up from praying....I came in here and read your post! It hit me like a ton of bricks! You and I are in the exact same place!! We both are exhausted....physically, emotionally and spiritually. We need help. We NEED miracles! We can receive both! So....I just want you to know from here in Fort Worth Texas....I am going to log off here and go pray for you! We both must believe and have faith that if we ask HF, having faith in Christ...it will be given to us! You and I need to make this OUR TIME for OUR miracles!! with love, your Brother in the Gospel, Randy
  9. The RLDS Church has never had more than 250,000 members. The #250k members has been the standard answer since 1860, not backed up by any reputable data. They have no where near that number now. Having said that...I have never taken the position that it is a "numbers game" anyway.
  10. REV, I know in my discussions with them they strongly adhere to the notion that Joseph "designated" and blessed his son Jos.Smith III to become the next Prophet of the Church. Who knows...if Emma had remained faithful and put her personal animosity towards BY aside and went West with the Saints....JOS. Smith III very well may have been. Obviously we will never know. But, from the Emerg Conference convened on Aug 8th, 1844....and the mantle that was shown to be on BY, plus the fact that the young Joseph was still a child....there was zero doubt that the Q of 12 were the leading Quorum of the Church with BY being Senior and he was the Lords mouthpiece at that time.. At that point in time, there was ZERO reason (other than personal) that Emma and the family should not have gone west. Having said that, I will not for a moment try to disparage her in any way, because she was true to her husband, and she was...and I believe, still is an "Elect Lady". I cannot fathom for a moment all the hardship and anguish she went through for the sake of the Restored Gospel...so I choose to give her a pass and have confidence that the Lord will make that situation right.
  11. I was approached by a lovely young lady at work several weeks ago when she told me she had something that she felt she needed to share with me. She and I have a "Father/Daughter" type of relationship and she has come to me for advice in the past. This particular time she shared with me that she was Bi-Sexual and that she was struggling with reconciling that with her Christian upbringing. She is active in her non-denomination church. I have found her to be a young woman of faith, striving hard to live the gospel to the best of her ability and understanding. When she started the conversation, she paused...obviously very nervous....I held her hand, whispered to her that whatever it is...it's okay. She took a deep breath and starting talking. I listened. When she was done, I told her I loved her...and that would never change, gave her a big hug....and told her "we'll talk". She smiled...told me she loved me....and said she will look forward to our talks in the future. Then I began the process of getting my head around what I just heard..and what my own personal feelings on this were....and pondered over how to proceed.
  12. Having been born and raised in Indep. Mo (61 yrs old) I have witnessed first hand all of these changes within the RLDS/CoC/Restoration Branch movement/The Remnant Church of Jesus CoLDS/The Restored Church of Jesus Christ of LDS....and with many friends having been members of the various flavors....I feel I can say with a high degree of confidence, that within the liberal CoC the Prophet Joseph is not looked upon with the same degree of reverence or I dare say "importance" as do we in the CoJCoLDS….or within the more fundamental Restoration Branches and the Remnant Church. Having said that, most if not all of my friends within the Restoration Branch movement and in the Remnant Church tell me they feel the Prophet Joseph during the Nauvoo period simply lost his "spiritual edge". They try very hard not to characterize him as a "fallen prophet", yet when pressed to more fully articulate their position....that is in fact what they believe. Most of the fundamental members of the Restoration Branch will simply tell you that they're waiting for the Lord to "set the church in order". Members of the Remnant Church will tell you that the Lord "has" set his church in order again with the establishment of that church. Interestingly enough...the current SP of the Indep. Mo stake is in fact a former member of the RLDS church, as well as a former member of a Restoration Branch congregration during the very first days when those fundamental members found themselves leaving the Institutional RLDS church. Suffice it to say, ALL of the various Restoraton Branches as well as the Remnant Church are not growing at all, and are mostly comprised of the Elderly. They are wonderful, sincere people who love the Lord...the do love Joseph Smith jr. they do revere the BoM in every respect. That in addition to the Prophet Joseph losing his spiritual compass, they also simply have not been able to get past the "Brigham bad" mentality ….that BY was mostly responsible for all that "went off the rails in Nauvoo" etc etc. So, the Restoration Branches continue to wait and wait and wait for the Lord to set his Church in order once again...…… and so it goes
  13. I have several very active Evangelicals where I work....and everyone says the same thing...they want to be entertained when they're at church. They say they have more "fun" when they feel they're at a concert rather than a worship service.
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