First Experience – 1982
It was Seattle in the early 1980’s. I had just been excommunicated from the Church for a serious sexual sin. The trial had just concluded, and I was still in the high council room when I received a vision of a whole bunch of people on the other side watching me with concern, wondering what I was going to do next. I don’t know whether they were my ancestors, my future descendants, and just a bunch of people. I knew they were watching me and counting on me to do something for them. I resolved there and then that I was going to “make it back”, even though I didn’t exactly know what “back” meant.
A few weeks later, I was riding on a city bus in downtown Seattle, and the Spirit told me to pray and ask our Heavenly Father for something very specific. I asked the Lord if he would grant me the ability to see people the way He sees them. I didn’t even know why I was supposed to do this or what it even meant. He granted my request immediately. People changed around me. A homeless black man became in my eyes a king, and a little old lady in a wheelchair, a queen. Everywhere I looked, all I could see was the goodness and potential in people, and a bright light inside each person. I wanted to fall down and worship them. Whatever this gift was, I thought it would eventually go away, but in over 30 years, it has never gone away. I didn’t know what it was, but I was grateful to have it. I just found out about a week (This was written in Winter 2019.) ago that what the Lord blessed me with was charity. And, that’s why I am reading Lectures on Charity in order to find out more about it. I wondered how I could go so long without knowing it was charity, but I remembered the scripture that says “Charity does not vaunt itself.” I believe it is possible for a person to receive the gift of charity, and never know what they received. They just see people in a different light, and they act accordingly. And that may be OK.
Then, a few weeks after this, after I had finished my evening prayers and was sitting on the bed when this intense burning came over my entire body and lasted a good 5-10 minutes. I knew my sins were being burned out of me, and that this was the Baptism of Fire. When, it was done, I heard a voice tell me: “You are Abraham.” I don’t know if that meant I was literally Abraham, like unto Abraham, or adopted into Abraham’s family. I do know this. Ever since I was little and read a children’s Bible story book about Abraham being the friend of God, I wanted to be like Abraham and be a friend of God.
A few weeks ago, I read a Witness of Christ urge his readers to seek the Baptism of Fire, and if you think you have already received it, think about what happened, and ask the Lord to confirm it to you. I asked the Lord, and he confirmed that it was the Baptism of Fire, that happened over 30 years go. I feel to say, along with Abraham in one of my favorite lines in passages in all of scripture: “Thy servant has sought thee, now I have found thee.”
Sometime, about this same time, I was sitting in church, in our local ward, in Sacrament Meeting, when I saw a vision of the Father and Son, sitting in heaven, sitting our thrones. I had forgotten this event happened in the same time frame as these other events. So, there was the gift of charity, baptism of fire and the holy ghost, and the vision of the Father and the Son.
After I had been excommunicated, I attended a Sacrament Meeting where a young Aaronic Priesthood holder was giving a talk about the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. He was taking is far too lightly, and making a mockery of the whole thing. I was so angry, I wanted to jump up to the front, rip him off the stand and give a proper talk that the subject deserved. I didn’t do anything except leave before I did started tipping over tables.
Second Experience – 2020
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