In Part 4 of this series I shared two emails from JL. I neglected to mention that the first one had been sent by him on 6/22/14 and the second one was sent on 10/24/14.
I had not heard from him since then.
Frankly, I was just going on faith that he was still hanging on to the iron rod when I shared his emails, and I felt that even if he wasn’t, those emails were instructive and worthy of sharing because of the content in them.
He read that post and I heard from him again.
He is still hanging onto the iron rod… HOWEVER, he made the mistake of aggressively sharing his awakening with his wife and parents.
Reading his email brought back some painful memories of how I felt like I needed to tell the world what I had discovered shortly after I began having my scriptural epiphanies. OUCH! It was so painful to get the rejection that I encountered.
One of the nice things about sharing information on an anonymous blog is that only those that are ready for their epiphany and interested in the content seem to search it out and gravitate towards it. Yes there are a few people who find themselves at my blog by mistake, but they can quickly label me as a heretic and apostate and leave the site.. “no harm, no foul”, as Hot Rod Hundley would say. .
[very important update: I have just been informed that Hot Rod did not coin that phrase although he used it a lot. Here is what a reader, had to say: “Actually No Harm No Foul derived from Chick Hearn in Los Angeles, whom Hot Rod was color commentator for.” Thank you for that bit of sports trivia!
Anyway, I have seen many marriages fall apart when one person experiences an awakening and their spouse does not. The truth (or perception of what is truth) can become a wedge in a marriage.
Many people justify discarding a spouse by using some of the comments by the Savior about how a person needs to love the Savior more than family and friends, however, the dividing up of families takes place when the fulness of the Gospel is on the earth and the great “come out of Babylon” polarization takes place. That time has not begun yet! We live during the dispensation of the Gospel of Abraham. There is no need for anyone to get on their high horse and begin discarding people over religion. We all see through a glass darkly as this time. There is no place for self righteousness, nor justification for discarding the sacred marriage covenant.
As painful as my journey has been, I have not had to experience that challenge of having a spouse that believes differently. Thankfully, Mrs Watcher had her epiphany at the same time I had mine… or so I thought… Many people assume that my epiphany prompted hers, and in a way it she did, however, she later confided in me that during her temple experience, when she had to take out her endowments to get sealed to me, the spirit told her that the ritual of swearing by her neck and taking secret oaths was EVIL. She was not sure if she was being deceived or not and felt guilty about having those thoughts. She was concerned about how I would respond if she told me about those prompting prior to our marriage… She simply kept that experience to her self and did not share it with me until I had my awakening. Her concerns were valid. If she would have told me about her temple experience prior to our marriage, I don’t think she would be Mrs Watcher today LOL
She has reminded me ever since my awakening that she is not a “yes [wo]man” and that she has had her own personal epiphany. She is also quick to remind me that if I ever lose my testimony of the Savior and his marvelous work, I would be on my own, in my beliefs, because she has no intentions of following me to hell. 😉
She’s a spunky little fireball she is..
Praise God for that!
Anyway, getting back to JL and his wife. I found it really touching to hear his tender feelings for her and how much he loves her and the compassion he has shown after realizing that this is not her time for awakening.
Some people rigidly judge their spouse and are quick to leave them if they are not ready and willing to have the same spiritual epiphany… I believe that is a very serious mistake.
I have JL’s permission to once again share this most recent correspondence which I am going to do because I think the content is instructive and inspiring.
I want to apologize ahead of time for how long this email got. I read your latest post and I wanted to tell you how honored I was that you shared the emails between you and me with those who visit your site. I am very grateful for the way that you framed my thoughts and I feel they caught the true spirit of what I was trying to say.
I am humbled to think that perhaps there is someone else out there searching for the truth and someday may be lead the way that I was to your site and will be able to read my testimony and know that truth does exist and more is soon to come.
I have been amazed over the months how I can be caught up with a certain subject or topic and out of the blue you will post something that has to do with exactly what I am learning about. I doubt this happens by accident and I wonder how many other brothers and sisters who have caught the spirit of watching have had the same thing happen to them. I often wonder if we are all caught up thinking and pondering on similar things at similar times because the hand of God is directing us. I would even go so far as to say he is preparing us because time is short. Needless to say I am still watching and waiting and doing all that I can to prepare my heart and mind for the return of the Savior and the mighty servants he will send to prepare the world for that great event.
I have not shared this with you yet but I have a feeling there are many others who must be in a similar situation as myself. When I first started realizing that all was not right with the church I loved and had committed my life to I was very careful who I talked to and that continues to be the case to this day.
Initially the only person that I spoke to was my wife. I have known my wife since I was eight years old. We grew up down the street from one another and from a young age we both knew we were meant to be together. She is my better half and in every way she is my soul mate. As I have mentioned in previous emails we have been blessed with six children and our lives have been blessed because of each other and our children.
As I started talking to my wife about all of the concerns I had about the church (all of my concerns at this point were coming from church sponsored materials and the standard works) she was very concerned that I was losing my testimony. As time went on and my feelings and understanding solidified her concerns turned into real fear I think. I felt horrible at this point because as any husband can attest to the last thing they want to do is crush the tender feelings of their wife.
Eventually I realized that I was probably doing my wife a great disservice by continuing to bring up my concerns about the church that I knew I had to try and find some answers or at a minimum some moral support somewhere else so I began discussing what I had learned with my parents. To my parents credit they initially tried to be supportive but I quickly realized that they too were concerned for my eternal wellbeing. Instead of trying to understand why I was having the concerns that I was having they would ask questions like “have you been offended by your Bishop lately, or have you read something controversial that you probably should not have”.
At one point my Mother asked a question like this and it struck me just how funny this whole situation was that they thought this was about me being offended or upset even though there was no reason for them to assume that anything like that had happened. I could see the endless general conference talks spinning in there head about how to overcome those who have objections or concerns about the church and how those concerns can be overcome with love and support. As I am typing this I am chuckling a little because it was really funny now that I think about it. I was not offended and I did not need love. I needed answers. I needed the truth.
I know that my wife and my parents were all worried that I was on the verge of being a lost soul. I know that they were all spending time on their knees asking the Lord to send me the answers that I needed and to help me find the truth I was determined to find no matter what the cost. I know that all three of them believed the Lord would send an answer but I don’t think any of them were prepared for the answer the Lord sent.
As you know I eventually found your three watches bloghttp://threewatches.blogspot.com/ and then your https://onewhoiswatching.wordpress.com/ website and I found the answer to my prayers and began to re-piece my testimony in the foundation that the Prophet Joseph Smith started. My heart went from the lowest low to the highest high and my family could all tell that I had found the peace I was so desperately looking for.
My wife was so relieved and my parents were so grateful that the Lord had heard their prayers and that I was back to my old self. The problem was I was not my old self. I was someone very different. I took nothing for granted because I vowed I would never find myself in a similar situation again. I would read one of your posts and then I would go study the scriptures and try and find as many of the historic references as I could.
This was not an easy task and I sometimes would spend days on just one topic. One example of this was your post on section 132. I spent weeks studying section 132 alone. I would start breaking down each verse and I would not move on until I understood what each verse was saying and compare it to other revealed words of God. I think I spent so much time on that section because I kept finding so many contradictions and falsehoods that it kept me busy for a while.
As my testimony grew and my knowledge expanded (though I felt like I was still an infant and I still feel this way) I began to share my new testimony with my wife and my parents. As I started showing them from the scriptures how the marvelous work and wonder was going to be a future event, and that what began with Joseph Smith as a foundation that started off strong but ultimately became corrupted over time and required him and others to offer themselves as an offering like Moses amongst the Children of Israel to hold off the wrath of the Lord. I discussed how many of the core teachings revealed by revelation within just a few short years were changed as the eyes of the saints were darkened and they began to accept doctrines that were not from the Lord.
I went on to expound on how the Lord knew this was all going to happen and that he prepared different ways for His great work to move forward. I was so excited to share my new found knowledge that looking back at it I think I went a little overboard. In fact I am certain I did because I quickly realized that as concerned as my wife and parents were for me when they thought I was just losing my testimony now they were absolutely horrified. It was obvious to me that they would much rather deal with someone who had just lost his testimony then have to consider that the things they had been taught all of their lives by Prophets, Apostles, Seventies, Stake Presidents, and Bishops were not in accordance with what the scriptures actually teach.
As time went on the range of emotions they felt was wide especially for my amazing wife. These past 19 months have without question been the hardest on her. There are no words to express how grateful I am to her for her love and endless support. She has had to put up with a husband who for about 7 months was in the depths of despair thinking his whole world had been destroyed from a religious perspective to the last 12 months were he could barely contain his joy and excitement.
The real challenge for her is she still believes what she has always believed. She believes with all of her heart that President Monson speaks with God on regular bases and that he could never lead the members of the church astray. She believes with all of her heart that the Twelve Apostles each day are doing the work that Jesus would have them do and that when they speak they are speaking the words the Lord would say if he were here.
She believes with all of her heart that she could never be allowed to enter the Celestial Kingdom without participating in the temple ceremony. She believes with all of her heart that the highest priesthood God gives man is still on the earth and that all of the rights and privileges associated with the priesthood is governing the affairs of the Lords kingdom on this earth.
She believes with all of her heart that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the same as the Lords kingdom and when she speaks of the church she is speaking of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love my wife more than ever. In many ways our relationship is stronger because of the things we have experienced. There have been many tears some from joy and some from sadness as we have tried to work through the tough questions that come from a couple that now believe very differently from each other especially when it comes to raising our children.
My number one desire right now is to protect my wife and honor her tender feelings about the gospel as she understands it. I have never felt impressed or compelled to think it was my place to try and change the way she thinks. I support with all of my heart her faith and her testimony because not too long ago I believed the same things.
My testimony and my prayer
I know this was an incredibly long email and there is more I wish I could say but I wanted to end with my testimony and perhaps a prayer from my heart. I have come to realize that no one can teach the things that you discuss on your website and expect the person reading the information to understand no matter what their knowledge or background is.
I have come to realize that I could stand in front of my parents and my wife and anyone else I come in contact with and teach them in the most perfect way the truths that both you and I hold so dear and no one would ever understand what I was trying to say. The reason why I say this is the things that you discuss on your website or the things that I was trying to teach my wife and parents are things that cannot be taught they can only be revealed.
I am convinced that for someone to truly understand the things that you and I believe in God has to show them. Only God can truly prepare a person to understand these truths. This thought fills my soul with so much joy. This thought brings my heart so much peace because I know right now as I speak the Lord has a plan for my wife.
He understands better than I ever could what it will take for her to be prepared so that when he begins his amazing work in its fullness my wife will be prepared in the best possible way. I know we all have a choice to either accept the message of the Lord or deny it but I have faith that he can do a better job preparing those that I love better than I ever could. I believe that as each day passes I am getting that much closer to my wife having these truths revealed to her because the Lord is getting closer to revealing himself to all who know his voice and will follow. I have faith that my wife is one of those!
I know that what the scriptures teach about the servants returning is true. I know this not just because of a feeling but because I have studied it out in my mind and my heart and the portion of the Spirit the Lord has blessed me with has revealed to me that it is so. I know that all of God’s promises will be fulfilled and it’s my job to have faith, and watch, and wait. It is my prayer that the servants return quickly. It is my prayer that they come with their words but even more importantly that they come with the power of God to prepare the world for the Savior. I desire more than anything to witness this and if God will allow it to be a part of it in some small way.
Thank you for letting me takes so much of your time and thank you for your service to the Lord. I know it has made an impact in my own life beyond words.
There is a huge pile of profundity in the above email. I was really touched by the following declaration:
“My number one desire right now is to protect my wife and honor her tender feelings about the gospel as she understands it.:
What a humble, compassionate, charitable soul this man is.
Here is my reply to him:
Yes please feel free to share this email.
You are so right about being a little two aggressive. It is so easy to let excitement and devotion sometimes cloud our better judgement.
I am sure we will talk soon and thank you again!”