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My Witness - Part One

My Experiences
I.

INTRODUCTION

That which I have written below is not intended to be a history of my life. I have therefore left out many events
and persons who would ordinarily be included in such a history. Of necessity I must make some references to
those things which have had a significant bearing upon the formation and development of my testimony.
In the Book of John, the Savior gave us four witnesses of Himself: 1) John the Baptist (which I interpret to be the
testimony of a living prophet), 2) the works which Jesus performed, 3) the Scriptures, or the testimony of past
prophets, and 4) the Fathers witness through the Holy Ghost.
John 5:
31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. [living prophets]
34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works
that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time,
nor seen his shape. [through the Holy Ghost]
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

These same witnesses are referred to in other scriptures; for example the
testimony of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, and if you look for them they are
referred to on many other occasions as well.
Jacob 4:
6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these
witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of
Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great
condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.
8 Behold,greatandmarvelousaretheworksoftheLord.Howunsearchablearethedepthsofthemysteriesofhim;
anditisimpossiblethatmanshouldfindoutallhisways.Andnomanknowethofhiswayssaveitberevealedunto
him;wherefore,brethren,despisenottherevelationsofGod.

These are the four standard witnesses in all ages of time and to all of the faithful. Indeed, we have the same four
witnesses today and in the following discussion of my testimony, you should find each of them on multiple
occasions.
II. ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF MY WITNESS
In thinking about my testimony, where it came from, the basis for it, how strong it is, and how important it is to
me, I feel something like Nephi: having been born of goodly parents, having been taught in all the learning of the
gospel, and also having been highly favored (blessed) by the Lord; therefore I will attempt to make a record of my
testimony for the benefit of my family. I suspect that I must confess a certain lack of objectivity in so doing, as I
have a strong bias which is fully committed to the Lord and to the Church. Thus all of my learning and
experiences have been interpreted in the light of my bias. Now, you should not think that doubts and questions
have never existed for me, they certainly have. However, I have found that such questions and doubts have been
part of the learning process. They have provoked study, prayer and searching on my part, and when I have
faithfully applied these tools of spiritual investigation , answers have been forthcoming.
I suspect that I have never been without a testimony to one degree or other. At least, I cannot ever remember not
having had one. And so my first focus relates to when my testimony became my own, as opposed to something
borrowed from my parents. One day, while I was in the Mission Field, I went with a number of other missionaries

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to a meeting at which our Mission President was the featured speaker. It was a meeting primarily for nonmembers. At the end of the Presidents remarks he called me out of the audience to come up and bear my
testimony. He specifically ask me to tell the people about when and how I obtained my testimony. I remember
saying, in effect, that I was not sure that I would be able to respond as he probably wished, since I had always
believed in the Church. However, I also said that shortly before coming on my mission, I awoke one morning with
the realization that my earlier doubts were gone; that my testimony was now mine and would be mine from then
on, that I would be responsible for how I acted in relation to it. I knew that there was still much for me to learn
and to do, but I also knew that I had a testimony. I told the people on that occasion that that was why I accepted
my mission call; that that was why I was there that day.
I completed two years of college at BYU prior to leaving for my mission. I had entered the scientific areas of
study with the intention of becoming a doctor. During those two years questions were raised in my mind
concerning science and religion. I also had doubts concerning my abilities to be successful at school. My first
quarter at school had been rather stressful (BYU was on a quarter system at that time). Near the end of the
Freshman winter quarter in 1950, I became uneasy about the next sequence of courses I was scheduled to take in
the pre-medical curriculum. Comparative Anatomy had the reputation of separating the men from the boys and I
wondered which I was. My fears bothered me quite a bit and so one day, when my room mate asked me to go with
him to a football game, I declined, saying that I had some homework that had to be done. Actually I wanted to
stay home and pray for an answer to my question whether or not to take the next scheduled sequence of classes or
possibly delay them. After my room-mate left for the game I started thinking about my problem. I seemed to
remember all of the stupid mistakes I had made in my life up to that time and felt ashamed about them. I
remember that I asked Heavenly Father to forgive me. There seemed to be a light or a warmth come into the room;
not that I could see but rather feel. Words seem to find a place in my mind which told me that I had been forgiven.
I asked about the Comparative Anatomy course and was told that If I would keep the Lords commandments from
then on and always do those things which were asked of me in the Church, that I would receive the education I
sought. I have never doubted the reality of that experience. Furthermore, the promise given has been realized. I
have received all that I sought, indeed, more.
I was interviewed for my mission by Elder Harold B. Lee and was set apart as a missionary by Elder Albert E.
Bowen,. both of the Council of the Twelve. Elder Bowen promised me the gift of speaking and teaching, and
indicated that I would be very effective in that gift. It has since become the basis for my vocation in life. He
indicated that I must apply the gift diligently and in humility , that I must guard my thoughts against all evil
thinking , for the gifts of God can only be exercised in righteousness. If I would do this I would receive the
promptings of the Spirit. On numerous occasions since receiving that blessing I have been given such prompting. I
knew at the time they were given and I know now without any doubt, that they came from the Lord. I have taught
things which I did not know before hand and I have given counsel beyond my experiences and learning.
One day, toward the latter months of my mission, I learned that the Patriarch from my home Stake in Idaho was in
Portland visiting some of his family members, and so I took my companion and went to visit him. I requested that
he give me another blessing which he did. He told me that my mission was not yet over and that I would yet do
many important things in Portland. On our way home I stopped at the Medical School, it being in the same
neighborhood as the family which Patriarch Duffin was visiting. I told my companion that I wanted to attend the
university there someday. Later that week , while on a bus in Portland, I had words come into my mind which
indicated that I would be called into the Mission Presidency. I was embarrassed and ashamed for having such
thoughts, which I found hard to dismiss from my mind. Shortly thereafter it actually came to pass and I became
President McMurrins second counselor. .The blessings of Elder Bowen and Patriarch Duffin greatly strengthened
my testimony. Not only has Elder Bowens blessing formed the foundation for my lifes work, its realization has
been the source of much joy throughout my life. Furthermore Patriarch Duffins blessings, both the original
Patriarchal blessing given in 1947 and the additional blessing while on my mission, have since been fully realized
not only while on my mission but upon my return to Portland. Furthermore my wish to attend school at the Health
Sciences University was also fulfilled, and I even became a member of the faculty there.
While in the Mission Presidency I went with President McMurrin to a Stake Conference in Seattle. I was asked to
attend a meeting in which the Stake President, for the new stake, would be considered. I sat in the back while
Elder Spencer W. Kimball and Elder Delbert L. Stapley discussed the qualifications of the various men who were

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being considered for the job. They also considered the wives of these men. Then Elder Kimball turned to me and
said: You see Elder Woolley, when a man is considered for an important position in the Church we also consider
his wife. Therefore when you return home you must find a good wife. Upon my release from my mission, I was
interviewed by Elder Matthew Cowley who also gave me the same good counsel regarding finding an eternal
companion. I did exactly as they suggested. I have no question that most of what I have experienced and what I
have become since marrying Gwen is largely the result of my eternal companions love, support and
encouragement.
I will tell you of my experience concerning meeting and courting Gwen in keeping with the counsel I received
from the two apostles; and which gave me the assurance that she was indeed the right person for me. Upon
returning home from my mission I again started to see the girl I had been dating before I left. She was a Canadian
and came to BYU expressly so that we could continue our relationship. Upon my return I immediately went to
BYU, starting the Fall Quarter several weeks late. Doubts began to arise in my mind concerning Verna (the girl
from Canada) and so after a while, I broke off our relationship. During the winter quarter I attempted to transfer
to the University of Utah, as my parents had moved to Salt Lake City while I was in the mission field, and it
would be less expensive for me to live at home. However, upon attempting to enroll at the U of U, they told me
that I had to pay out-of-State fees, or wait until Spring Quarter. Consequently I remained in Salt Lake City and
waited to enroll as a resident of Utah. My father was a chaplain at the Veterans Hospital up on the avenues in Salt
Lake City and he obtained a job for me as a pathologists deaner there. After a short time I transferred to the Fort
Douglas Veterans Hospital, a Mental/TB facility, where I became an aide on a mental patients ward. My father
could see that I was not particularly happy, having broken up with Verna , and so he suggested that I look up some
nurses in my hospital who he heard were good LDS girls. So, one day I went with the charge nurse of our ward,
during our coffee break, to an adjacent ward on which these two nurses worked. One of the nurses was named
Spencer and one Shakespeare. That was about all I knew regarding them. I watched carefully each of them during
the coffee break. Miss Spencer took coffee with all of the others and participated in some off color jokes. Miss
Shakespeare, on the other hand, drank orange juice and did not laugh at the jokes. She was also prettier than Miss
Spencer. So I invited her to go with me to my Missionary Reunion which was coming up. Interestingly enough,
after I had made the date, one of my former missionary companions came to town and wanted to go with me to the
reunion. So the three of us had the date together. It didnt take me very long to know that Gwen was the one Elders
Kimball and Cowley were talking about and so I proposed; well sort of. I asked her if she would like to go to
Portland with me. I met Gwen in March and we got married in June. My father was teaching a courtship and
marriage class at the LDS Business College, and he laughingly told us that he didnt want us coming to his class
because our courtship was too short. I should add, that Gwen very quickly became part of the family. My father
told me that she was the right girl, but of course I already knew that. However, I dont think that I was as quickly
adopted by the Shakespeares. Will, Gwens father, was a strong Democrat, and said to Gwen, so you are going to
marry another one of those damn republicans. (Two of his other daughters had already married such men.)
Gwen and I were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on June 19, 1953. We had been scheduled to be married by
Elder Kimball. However he had another assignment from the Church and had to be out of town. We sat for quite
sometime in the Temple waiting for Elder Kimball before they called over and discovered that he was in Arizona.
So we were married by a member of the Temple Presidency. We were quite disappointed. However, Elder J.
Reuben Clark of the First Presidency came to our wedding reception (he was a cousin of my father). We stayed in
Salt Lake City for a few months and then moved to Provo where I attended the Fall Quarter. I applied for Dental
School and was accepted at the University of Kansas City. I had wanted to return to Portland, Oregon. However, I
had already been accepted at UKC and would have had to go to Oregon for a dental aptitude test before
admission. So we decided to go to Missouri instead. I left in time for the beginning of school in 1954, but left
Gwen with my parents, as she was expecting the birth of Debra shortly.
The Westport Branch of the Church in Kansas City, Missouri, was part of the Central States Mission with Alvin
R. Dyer the President of the Mission. Elder Dyer later became a member of the First Presidency. The Branch was
composed of two groups of people; the older residents and the dental students with their families. The two groups
generally got along well although there were some jealousies. We met in a large plantation style home which was
purchased from the Catholic Church. The dental students wives held a number of the positions in the Branch,
although it was common for some of the students themselves to use the excuse of going to school for not accepting
proposed callings. I was called as a district missionary and served in this office for a number of months. In my

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second year I was asked to be the Branch President of the Westport Branch. Because of the promise I made to the
Lord at BYU I accepted, although it was quite a shock to me. In all probability, it was President Dyers intent to
make it more difficult for the students to turn down callings in the Branch. It would be hard to say no to the
Branch President if he was himself a student.
About a year later Elders Harold B. Lee and Mark E. Peterson came to Kansas City to organize the Kansas City
Stake, the first Stake in Jackson County since the Saints were expelled in 1834. I was confused as to whether or
not I would become the new bishop or be released, since the Westport Branch was to become the Kansas City 3 rd
Ward and I was only 25 at the time . As it turned out I was called by Elder Lee, and ordained Bishop by Elder
Mark E. Peterson. During my year as Branch President and the subsequent years as Bishop, I received many
blessings and help with both my ministry and also with my studies. I recall one occasion when I was somewhat
startled to receive a direct answer to a prayer. One of my fellow students asked me a question concerning what
deductions he could take from his income before he paid his tithing. His arguments for making such deductions
seemed reasonable. Nevertheless I told him that I would seek an answer. I prayed about it and was given the
following almost immediately : The Lord does not allow or disallow various deductions from income prior to the
payment of tithing, but leaves this up to the dictates of the individuals conscience. Nevertheless seek not to
counsel the Lord in this matter, but to receive counsel from his hand. I told my friend the answer, and he paid a
full tithing. Concerning school, I can recall a time when my fellow students invited me to a study session prior to a
major examination. I had a meeting that I had to attend and so I declined. During the test the next day facts and
concepts came to my mind which I had long forgotten, and I actually did better on the exam than my associates.
This happened on more than one occasion and was even commented on by some of my fellow students. I was able
to graduate 4th in my class. I had no doubt then and have none now, that I received the help promised to me in my
experience at BYU.
There were financial difficulties which we experienced at school but we always paid our tithing and things worked
out. Perhaps the guidance I received for my friend, mentioned above, was more for my benefit. Gwen worked as a
Nurse at the Menorah Hospital and I worked part time at Safeway, at least until I went into the Branch
Presidency. My father also assisted us as much as he could but we still owed several thousand dollars at the time
of graduation. The Military Services offered commissions to the top students in our class at Dental School, if the
students would agree to enter the armed services after graduation and apply for regular commissions. I was
offered one of these commissions by the Air Force, which I gladly accepted. I became a lieutenant in the Air Force
for my final year at Dental School which paid for all of our expenses and I eventually did receive a regular
commission as a Captain. I was very surprised by this invitation and believed that it was of the Lord. We were
even able to purchase an automobile with some of the Air Force money.
Gwen and I spent five years in the Air Force, being stationed at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, Anderson AFB on
Guam and Mt Home AFB in Idaho. I had an interesting experience in Oklahoma. The commanding general at
Tinker AFB was in the habit of holding dining in nights which were formal affairs, at which time we were
individually greeted by him. After dinner numerous toasts were made to just about everything you could think of.
Being the youngest officer at out table (all of the officers of the base hospital sat together) I was given the
responsibility of being mister vice, or the one who poured the wine for everyone at the table. I became quite
expert at pouring the wine and was able to do so without spilling a drop. However, .when the toasting began, I
used water rather than the wine. This was an embarrassment to the hospital commander. He asked me to use the
wine by just putting it to my lips and not drinking, however I declined. The next dining in-night he brought some
Welchs grape juice and asked me to use that. Again I refused, saying that I like d grape juice and would drink it at
home but not there lest some would believe that I was drinking wine. The colonel was very disturbed at me. Later
he went to the general and apologized for my behavior. The next dining-in night, the general gave his usual
introductory remarks and then added: There are some here tonight who wish to toast with water rather than wine.
According to military protocol this is acceptable and I do not want any of you to attempt to force another to use
wine against his beliefs or wishes.
While on Guam we had opportunities to visit China and Japan and I was able to visit the Hawaiian Islands as
well. Debra had very fair in complexion , and I remember the Japanese children coming up to her on the street in
Tokyo to feel her long blond hair. There were many opportunities to serve in Church callings during those years in
the military, and in each calling there were spiritual experiences which confirmed my continually growing

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testimony. I served two stake missions and was able to baptize a number of people; including , so far as I have
been able to discover, the first Guamanian convert . While on Guam one day, Elder Gordon B. Hinckley and his
wife stopped there on their way home from Hong Kong. Sister Hinckley had a problem with one of her teeth and
needed some emergency treatment. I opened the clinic for a friend of mine, who actually did the work. Elder
Hinckley agreed to give a fireside for the military people there. It was wonderful. Elder Hinckley foretold the time
when the gospel would be taken to China probably through Hong Kong. It is interesting to me that Elder Hinckley,
now President Hinckley, is bringing that prophecy to pass.
Upon our return to the States, while we were stationed at Mt. Home AFB near Boise, Idaho, I was debating in my
mind whether or not to go back to school I had become somewhat dissatisfied with the practice of general
dentistry. I had discovered that there was a specialty in dentistry called Oral Pathology. Because of my
experiences as a deaner at the Veterans Hospital in the Pathology Department I thought that this would be a good
profession. I had a dream while there in which I was walking across a stage to receive a diploma. My impression
was, that I should apply for graduate school which I did, both through the Air Force and apart from the service. I
was accepted at the University of Oregon but was turned down by the Air Force. And, so I resigned my
commission. I finally fulfilled my promise to Gwen when I proposed to her and took her to Portland.
Just as Oregon was a blessing to me while I was on my mission, Oregon has been a wonderful blessing to Gwen
and me after we returned. Up until this time we only had Debra but wanted other children. We had been unable to
have them ourselves and had attempted to adopt through the Church, but ran into problems because we were in
the service and were not residents in Utah. Our prayers seemed to go unanswered. However, within just a few
months after arriving in Portland we were able to adopt Mark, and then Lynette, and finally Karen. It was
interesting that the adoption agency was waiting for an LDS couple to adopt Mark, as his birth mother had
specified this. Only a few days after our application was completed, we were informed that we could come and get
him. We, of course, considered this an answer to prayer.
Graduate School was quite difficult for me, considering that I had been out of school for over 5 years. We moved
into an old house, much less comfortable than our living accommodations in the Air Force. I developed a problem
with depression and became very discouraged. I was not at all sure that I had made the right choice in leaving the
service. Then, in December 1963, just a few months after arriving in Portland, I was called to serve in the
Bishopric of the Portland 4th Ward. This calling was associated with a division of our Stake. I wondered how I
could possibly fulfill this call, seeing that I was having a difficult time with school and with my emotions.
Nevertheless I accepted the call, once again remembering my promise to the Lord. Harold B. Lee was the General
Authority who came to divide the Stake and I was in his group of individuals to be set apart. Following is a
writing which I made after the meeting wherein I was set apart.
In a special session at the Stake Center of the Columbia River Stake I was set apart as the First Counselor to
Bishop Milton Sharp of the Portland 4th Ward. When I was called up I was introduced to Elder Lee only as Bishop
Sharps First Counselor and so I gave him my name. He said that he should know me from someplace. Since he
knew my father and had worked with him on several occasions in the Church Military Relations Committee, I
suggested that possibly that was the answer. He said that he did indeed know my father , however, that was not the
reason. I then recalled the time when he and Elder Mark E. Peterson had organized the Kansas City Stake. Elder
Lee interrupted me before I could finish and said thats it, you are Bishop Woolley. He then set me apart as
Bishop Sharps counselor and admonished me to bring into the bishopric the knowledge and experience which I
had previously acquired. The remainder of the blessing was remarkably similar to my patriarchal blessing You
have come to the earth through noble parentage. He said that he was happy to see that I had lived up to my
heritage and former callings and you will yet hold high and holy callings within the Church. Seek to grow in
favor before God and man and become like unto Samuel of old, was his further admonition. I recalled my
patriarchal blessing which said that I would hold such callings and be able to give counsel and advice to men in
high callings in the Church and in worldly matters. He further promised me that I should be blessed with wisdom
in my education and in the rearing of my children as well as in my callings.
Although the situation at school remained difficult and I still had symptoms of depression, they slowly subsided
and I was able to complete my education as well as serve in the Bishopric. After about two years the depression
was completely gone and has not returned. Actually these experiences with depression have helped me

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immeasurably in subsequent callings where I had to counsel those who were having like problems. Ultimately I
did indeed receive the education which I sought, graduating in June 1966. The promise that the Lord gave to me in
my basement apartment in Provo during the winter of 1949, were fully realized.
I had been teaching early morning seminary my first year in graduate school. Because I was in the Bishopric , I
was released as an early morning seminary . However, late in 1964 I was asked to become an Assistant Seminary
Coordinator for the Portland District. I continued in this calling even after we moved from Portland to Beaverton
following my graduation. Because of this call I had the privilege of working with some very wonderful and
dedicated men. I do not believe that I have ever had a job which I have enjoyed more than working in the
Seminary and Institute programs.
I had an interesting experience regarding the CES, after moving to Beaverton; I believe it was in the Spring of
1968, while I was serving on the High Council in the Stake. I awoke one morning and was shaving when some
words came into my mind: you will be asked to join the CES but you must decline. Later that day, while I was
at work I received a telephone call from Salt Lake, from someone I had worked with in Portland earlier, and was
then in the personnel division of the CES. He did indeed ask me to become a professional Seminary/Institute
teacher. I said, in effect, what shall I do with the education I have just received? In our conversation we decided
that the call should not take place. He said that he thought that this would be the outcome, and that he had no
strong feeling that I should accept the call. However, he said that he felt like he had to make the offer since I had
been highly recommended. I continued as an assistant Seminary Coordinator until becoming the Bishop of the
Tualatin Valley Ward.
I was called as bishop of the Tualatin Valley Ward in October, 1969, being set apart as bishop by Elder A.
Theodore Tuttle. I continued to serve in that office until my call into the Stake Presidency in October 1975. My
two callings as Bishop were quite different. In Kansas City our Ward was more like a student ward. In Beaverton,
it was more like the conventional family ward. My spiritual experiences as Bishop are far too numerous to discuss
or even outline here. Suffice it to say, they have left me with no lingering doubts as to the inspiration of the
Almighty. On many occasions I heard His voice in my mind, usually for the blessing of others , for making
callings and for other operations of the Wards.
On October 11, 1975 I was set apart as a counselor in the Beaverton Oregon Stake Presidency by Elder Marvin J.
Ashton. I served as the Second Counselor to President Harold Heaton, the First Counselor being Reed Oldroyd.
About 4 years later, Reed was released and I became the First Counselor. During April Conference 1984, I
received a telephone call from Church Headquarters authorizing me to act as President of the Stake until such
time as the Stake could be reorganized. Then, on April 29, 1984 I was sustained as President and was set apart by
Elder David B. Haight. Elder Haight said that it was not Church policy to select as a president, a counselor who
had served as long as I had served (9years) and that I would probably be released sooner than usual. However this
was not prophetic, as I served 9 more years in the presidency. If my experiences as Bishop had been spiritually
rewarding, the calling of Stake President was even more so. As noted above, I cannot, in this short sketch, discuss
or outline the many faith promoting experiences I enjoyed during my 18 years in the Stake Presidency and
particularly during the last half as President. The greatest of these blessings involved serving the members of the
Stake. On many occasions I was asked to solve problems which were sometimes ecclesiastical and sometimes
personal involving the lives of individual members. Time after time I thought to myself, when a problem was
presented, I have no answer for this problem or for this person. The solution to this problem will have to come
from the Lord. Then, as we discussed the problem, the answer came. Many times I left my office with such a
marvelous feeling of joy, knowing that I had been an instrument in the hands of the Lord in blessing the lives of
others. One illustration may suffice. One evening I tarried in my office after a Presidency Meeting, to do some
paper work. As I was getting things together to leave a lady came into the waiting room and ask if she could speak
to me. Her husband had walked out on her an hour or so earlier and she had been driving around wondering what
she should do. She was in a very emotional and disturbed condition when the thought came to her that she should
go to the Stake House and talk to President Woolley. Her problem was too complicated to discuss here and I felt at
that time that It was far beyond my ability to resolve. Nevertheless, the answer came during our discussion and
she left feeling much better and knowing what she should do next. Needless to say, I was extremely pleased, but
also very humbled, because I knew without doubt that the solutions were of the Lord.

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During my 9 years as President, I had the responsibility of organizing many Stake Conferences. These were
always preceded by spiritual instruction and followed by feelings of spiritual appreciation. I organized a welfare
employment bureau and I also participated in some aspects of the erection of the Portland Temple. I was
disappointed that I was not appointed to the Temple Committee and asked the Lord if there was not something I
could do. As it happened, the Institute coordinator and I developed several inserts which we published in the
Oregonian Newspaper preparing the city for the dedication of the Temple. I was also asked to give one of the
opening prayers at one of the dedication meetings. These gave me considerable satisfaction, knowing that the Lord
had heard my prayer. I was released from the Stake Presidency in June 1993 by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.
During my years in the Bishopric and in the Stake Presidency, I had the opportunity to meet and sometimes to be
blessed by a number of General Authorities. I have already mentioned Elders Albert E. Bowen, Spencer W.
Kimball, Delbert L. Stapley, Matthew Cowley, Alvin R. Dyer, Harold B. Lee, Mark E. Peterson, Gordon B.
Hinckley, A Theodore Tuttle, Marvin J. Ashton , David B. Haight. and Dallin H. Oaks. I also had the opportunity
to meet other General Authorities when they stayed at our home during Stake Conferences. I particularly was
impressed by Elder Neal A Maxwell and Elder Russell M. Nelson. In addition I was given a blessing by President
James E. Faust when I received the Sealing Power on May 21st 1996. I have a strong testimony of living prophets.
I can say without equivocation, that those listed above are indeed prophets. Repeated blessings, given by some of
them, have been fully realized; promises made by others have been completely fulfilled. Their teachings, their
lives, their love of the Gospel and of the Lord are equal to those of other prophets in former dispensations.
Although in my missionary experiences and my administrative callings I had participated in most of the functions
of the Church, there remained one element of the threefold mission of the Church which I had not experienced to
any significant degree, and this involved the work for the dead. During the final two years of my Stake Presidency
they permitted Presidents to officiate in Endowment sessions involving their own Stakes. As such I had the
opportunity to do so on several occasions. However, it was not until after my release that I more fully enjoyed the
opportunity to labor in the Temple. I was first called as a Temple worker, then as a Sealer and then as a Shift
Supervisor. At the present time I participate in all of these callings. Of course, the greatest of these is my calling
as a Sealer. During the four and one half years since my call, I have had the privilege of sealing many young
people and many more of those who have passed on. I have shared some of the joys of many who have knelt at the
altar to receive their temple blessings through me. Not long ago, while I was in a sealing session, the image of one
of the great celestial nebula of outer space came into my mind. I had discussed such star forming clouds with my
son on previous occasions and had expressed my awe and marvel at such immense clusters of matter
unorganized. During that sealing session, as the image of the Eagle Nebula came into my mind with all of its
newly forming stars, the words also came into my mind: All of this is not as valuable as one of these. Almost
before I could ask the question one of these?, the answer came, one of these noble and great sons and
daughters, who keep my commandments. I understood that the Spirit spoke of those who knelt at the altars of the
Temple; those intelligences who once stood in the presence of God before the world was and who would one day
organize these massive clouds of matter into other worlds, solar systems and galaxies. As I have sealed couples
together I have gained understanding of the purpose of life beyond anything I previously imagined. My love and
appreciation for my wife has deepened beyond anything worldly. It cannot be put into words. Truly this unique
work in the Temples of God is the crowning jewel of the gospel plan.
Upon my release as Stake President, we moved from Beaverton to Tigard, Oregon. I was given a volunteer
teaching position in the Institute and also was called as the Gospel Doctrine Teacher in our Ward. I presently teach
three classes weekly on Old Testament, Church History and the Book of Mormon. In addition I have been called
upon to give many talks in Church meetings and occasionally to groups outside of the Church, concerning gospel
principles. Because of this I have spent many hours in study of the scriptures during the past fifty-two years or so.
The scriptures are to me an anchor, fixed, firm and fast, which have kept me from drifting in a thousand
directions. I am familiar with many of the more persuasive philosophies of men, some of which I have taught at
the University, and some of which I have attempted to reconcile with my spiritual beliefs. I can testify without
hesitation, that the scriptures are of the most basic and fundamental importance in creating and maintaining
testimony. I have known many persons, both in the church and out, who have and are drifting because they have
no such anchor, no foundation for their beliefs other than the opinions of men. Many of them, through pride have
adopted atheistic and agnostic beliefs basing them upon negative data and opinion, but without a sure and
steadfast standard of reference and or judgment. They will say such things as: I can explain all things without

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God.; I do not need God for my understanding. I see no evidence for God in anything which I observe. The
fossil evidence indicates that life originated by chance and has no purpose beyond that which man invents for it.
Etc. etc. And, these beliefs then spill over and color all of the other decisions which they make about the
important matters in life.
Now, returning to where I started in this writing. I know that Jesus is the Christ, that He lives, and that He loves
each of His children. I know this because of the witness of living prophets who have told me so. I know this
because of the great works of the Lord in my days and also because of the works which I have personally
performed in His Name, which have been beyond anything I could have done myself. I know this because of my
love and understanding of scripture which testify of Him. I know this because of the witness of the Spirit to me
which imparts joy and pure knowledge. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God as are all of the prophets
who have succeeded him. I have met many of them and know them to be prophets as surely as any of the prophets
of old. I know that the Church is indeed the very Church and Kingdom of God on Earth because I have observed
and participated in many of the works of that Kingdom. I know that the Spiritual gifts are real because I have
exercised a number of them and experienced virtually all of the others. I have observed over a period of fifty plus
years the constancy and unchangeableness of the gospel and Church, at the same time observing the disintegration
of many if not most of the works of men; churches, governments, social structures, codes of belief etc.
1 Corinthians 3:
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the
fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.