Be of Good Cheer, Be of Good Courage
Denver Snuffer 9-10-13Lecture 1 Boise, Idaho
© Denver C. Snuffer, Jr. 2013, All Rights Reserved
It was 40 years ago today, about at this moment, when I was baptized in the North Atlantic at Sea PointBeach in Kittery, Maine. The fellow who presided at the service was named Jim Mortensen. He had justmoved into the ward, immediately replaced one of the counselors in the Bishopric, but still no one knewwho Jim Mortensen was as yet. There he was presiding over my baptism on the beach. And he has become infamous among some of us who were there for his statement:
“Let’s move it up the beach,Elders.”
We had another baptism 18 days later and he didn't like that there were people in the area, somehowenjoying that awfully cold water. A
gain he relocated the service: “L
et's move it up the beach, Elders.
Hewas an old Marine; he used to fly combat missions off of a flat top carrier in Vietnam. He had all thedemeanor of a flat top carrier pilot.His wife was Monty. Her maiden name was Bunker. She was from the Nevada Bunkers. Bishop Bunker got into a whole lot of trouble because he did not buy the
” doctrine (now “
” because of
him). And Bishop Bunker had a trial for excommunication because of heresy. Well Bishop Bunker'scourt couldn't quite reach a conclusion on what to do because he defended his beliefs so well from thescriptures. And as a consequence of that, it was tabled without a decision.Wilford Woodruff came down and they had another convening of the church court and in the secondcourt presided over by President Woodruff ultimately they decided to punt rather than to do anything.And the doctrinal exposition that Bishop Bunker made has since become the doctrine of the church,although at the time it was dangerous heresy for the man to preach it.Monty was, at the time and is still today, one of the loveliest women I have ever met. She texted me alittle earlier today on my way here and said
You beware of pride.
Their son, Jimmy, texted me todaytoo.You know, shortly after that ceremony, I was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood by George Hoger.George was the Elders Quorum President. Since I was not in a position to know what one ought to do to be ordained, and George being the primary guy leading the priesthood group I attended, I asked him toordain me. So I have a priesthood line of authority that reckons through George.George's wife was Judy. Judy was a nun who converted to Mormonism while she was living in a Catholicconvent. She asked Mother Superior for permission to be baptized. And of course consent was given, butshe was told you got have new premises, because you can't reside here.Judy grew up Catholic, she was devout, became a nun, and she was for goodness sake "Christ's bride."And therefore, when George proposed to her, and they were going to actually have marital relations shetells the most hilarious stories about her pre-marital schooling from a doctor, when she asked about whatwas to be expected. I'll leave that aside.Eighteen days after my baptism, I baptized a fellow. We remain good friends still. Eighteen days fromnow we will give the second of these talks, commemorating the gratitude that I hold for the doctrines thatI have been taught. I mention these event
s and people’s names because converting to the church is a
lifelong experience. Friendships are established which endure. They are founded in eternal expectations.