1 March 1986 Saturday:
Such a pretty, almost spring like day. People are outside washing their cars and doing yard work. The air smells so clean and fresh. I cleaned the house while my wife went off to Taylor Maid. My little dog Toby is sound a sleep, laying in the sunshine in the front room. He sure likes being nice and warm. So this is March! I wonder what you will bring to me besides the warmth of spring. I had a longing to hear John F. C.'s voice. When I called him his mother said he was on his way to Vegas.
Additional Material March 1986- First Issue of The TRIANGLE Magazine published by Triangle Publications. Editor-Scott Dunn, Art Director-Michael Aaron, Contributing Artist-Mark Skeem, Distribution Manager-Richard McCall , Business Manager- John Sasserman. Featured Article was on the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ
• Rick Shenkman reporter for KUTV charged that the LDS Church censored an AIDS story by Glen Warchol of the Deseret News. Warchol stated that his article claimed that AIDS has placed bishops and stake presidents in a dilemma. These lay leaders of the Mormon congregations feel the compassion and understanding they can offer AIDS patients is limited by Mormon policy toward homosexuality.”
• "Kyrie" by Mr. Mister number one song on national charts
Additional Material 2 March 1986 The first meeting of Wasatch Affirmation held at the home of Randy H. in Sugarhouse, to gather interest in forming a new group under the leader ship of Russell Lane. The Wasatch Affirmation, a Support Group for Gay and Lesbian Mormons was established by Russell Lane. Russ Lane the Wasatch Chapter director had recently returned to Salt Lake City from San Jose, California where he was also a chapter director. Wasatch Affirmation founded to establish a chapter based on the National Charter. “Its meetings are for people, friends, who can share experiences, information, support, and encouragement. Its activities are designed for meeting others in a social environment that differs from bars, bath houses, or other places that have been negatively stereotyped. Its policy to adhere to the Word of Wisdom at Affirmation functions contributes to a unique way of life--the life of a gay latter-day Saint”.
4 March 1986 Tuesday:
My wife got $9 in tips yesterday so we decided to treat our selves to a movie. We went and saw Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters and loved it.
5 March 1986 Wednesday:
I went to Affirmation for the second time tonight. It was easier to go into the meeting this time. Paul led the meeting again, starting it off by reading a poem. Gordon J. was not at the meeting so I wonder if he got mad from his treatment last time. During the meeting we talked about the church's attitude towards Gays and the people there detailed their experiences with the church. I even talked about my being disfellowshipped back in 1976, for the first time in public and in real depth. It felt so good to get a lot of the hurt I have been carrying all these years out and especially to people with similar experiences and who could commiserate.
I found out tonight that this guy named John Cooper, who about 40 years old is the real leader of Affirmation. It is his phone number that is given out on the program Concerning Gays and Lesbians. I am feeling much more relax at the meeting now. It feels less likely that some church goon squad is going to arrest us for talking about the church.
Additional Material March 6 1986 Georgia O'Keeffe, American artist best known for her paintings of flowers suggestive of women’s sexual organs died. (1887-1986)
8 March 1986 Saturday:
Yesterday I went down to Mountain Fuel to make a payment schedule so our gas won't be turned off. I don't think we are going to have anymore really cold weather like December and January but my wife is freaked out about having the heat switched off. We owe over $300 on the fuel bill. It’s no longer spring like weather but it only rained today instead of snow so for that I am grateful.
Additional Material Japanese spacecraft Suisei flies by Halley's Comet, studying its UV hydrogen corona and solar wind.
• "Kyrie" by Mr. Mister number one song on national charts
Additional Material 9 March 1986 United States Navy divers find the largely intact but heavily-damaged crew compartment of the Space Shuttle Challenger; the bodies of all 7 astronauts are still inside.
• The 2nd meeting of Wasatch Affirmation held at Randy H.’s home in Sugar House with a pot luck dinner
10 March 1986 Monday
My wife is at a YWCA meeting for unemployed women so I am home watching a TV show called Dressed Gray which is pretty good. It's about the murder of a homosexual at an undergrad cadet academy.
There are changes on the horizon at Utah Title. My boss is leaving soon to start his own title company in St. George and Bob is going to be taking his place.
We are low on funds as usual and living on credit which is the fastest way I know to go in the hole. I haven't heard a word back from the school districts, where I have been applying, either. I guess Utah's schools are in turmoil anyway with talks of a teacher's strike this fall.
President Ray-Gun wants $100 million sent to Central America for the Contras. He actually said that if Congress doesn't give him the money he wants, then American soldiers may be deployed there. I have always said Reagan is a president in search of a war. Bonzo Goes to War.
Listening to Radio Free Utah this morning, I heard Bishop Tutu of South Africa relate the effects of Apartheid on his country. For the first time, I finally got it. I finally understood the evil of a political system that allows an uneducated 18 year old white man to vote while denying the same right to an educated 60 year old black man. Bishop Tutu, as articulate as he is, can not vote simply because of the color of his skin. Ridiculous.
Concerning Gays and Lesbians came on following the program with Bishop Tutu. Their guest was Elder Antonio Feliz of the Church of Jesus Christ of All Latter Day Saints.
He told the co-hosts that the church was brought forth to bring the gospel to the despised and rejected of this world. And who are more despised and rejected then Gay men and women? I liked what I heard on the program. It touched my spirit.
I have been struggling with the Mormon Church to understand my place in it. From the very beginning I have been made to feel like I was an outsider. I am also torn by many of its doctrines which support conservative dogmas which I do not believe are supported by the teachings of Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith. In my heart I cannot accept anymore certain precepts that they teach, with blind obedience. I believe many of the teachings of the church are completely alien to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I do believe in the restored gospel of the Prophet Joseph Smith but I am not sure I have a place in the Corporation of the First Presidency Church that professes to be the direct successor to the church founded by Joseph Smith in 1830.
Christ made it clear that His kingdom is not of this world and that the Kingdom of God is within us. So why do Mormons insist on building up a kingdom in this world? I thought we were not to treasure up the things of this world? I don't understand it anymore.
Christ also said that the kingdom of God was like a mustard seed that would grow to accommodate all the birds of the world. Where do Gay birds fit within the Mormon vision of that mustard tree? They are so quick to expel any bird that does not conform to its narrowly defined code of conduct which I find neither very Christian nor inspired. I think I will have to investigate this new Restored Church.
Additional Material Ray Milland, Classic Hollywood actor best remembered for portraying an alcoholic in Lost Weekend (1905-1986)
12 March 1986 Wednesday
While listening to Radio Free Utah at work, I heard this man claim that men are taught to hate other men because of the competitive world we live in. He stated that in sports men are taught to hate losing and therefore in effect to hate losers. In the real world, since most of us are losers in society, in some form or another, men develop a sense of self hatred. This man went on to say that in a non competitive world, there would be nothing to struggle against and thus we would have the beginnings of a non violent society. His arguments were very interesting to me and in some ways capsulated why I have a hard time with organized sports that pit people against people. I always preferred games where people compete against personal bests not each other. I wonder if we will ever teach young people skills where we all can win?
I went to Affirmation again today. There were at least fifteen people there the biggest turn out that I have seen. I feel very comfortable attending the meeting now. I feel more like a regular then a newcomer. Gordon J. was at the meeting again and announced that Church of Jesus Christ of All Latter Day Saints is having Sacrament Meetings at the Crossroads Urban Center on Sundays. The rest of the meeting was facilitated by John Cooper. Paul wasn't here tonight.
13 March 1986 Thursday
Changes are taking place at Utah Title; however I don't know how they will affect me yet. I took off during my lunch hour and drove to the University of Utah where Geraldine Ferraro was to speak at noon. Ferraro is the first woman nominated to run for the office of Vice Presidency of the United States. However her plane was delayed and she didn't give her talk until after 1 p.m. and I had to return to work.
I can't believe how quickly gas prices are falling. Right now you can get unleaded gas at 81 cents a gallon when just last December we were paying a $1.25! The price for a barrel of oil keeps falling and as it does the price of gasoline is going down. It sure is good on the old pocketbook. Still its hard to absorb the change so quickly. It's like what they call future shock.
President Reagan still wants Congress to send money to the Contras in Central America. I say let's stay out of it. If we would not have supported the Samoza's dictatorship for all these years perhaps we wouldn't have the Communists sympathizers in Central America in the first place. When Vice President Bush was CIA director he made deals with the devils down there all over the place. I am sure it won't be long until we have advisors there training the Contras and then WHAM it’s another Viet Nam.
I've been thinking about the Savior lately and my personal relationship to Him and what the gospel means to me. I have decided to go to church services, of the All LDS Sacrament meeting, this Sunday at the Crossroad Urban Center. I don't make this decision lightly because attending this meeting is something I could be excommunicated for by the LDS Church. But I don't seem to care anymore. I joined the Mormon Church in 1972 when I was 21 years. I have been in the church my entire adult life and I still do not feel welcomed. Upon hearing Elder Feliz on the radio, for the first time in a long time, I feel excited about religion again.
As I said I have never truly felt quite at home in the Mormon Church but since I was taught the restored gospel there, I use to feel that they had it all. I am not so sure anymore. I am not sure if the Corporation of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has a place for me, without my being so utterly deformed so that I can conform to their vision of what the gospel is. If the gospel is to be preached to Jew and Gentile; is it not also to embrace Gay and Straight?
I am beginning to really feel as the LDS church is so constricted by the Law of Moses that it is entirely incapable of mobilizing to meet my needs anymore. Isn't the one as important as the many?
Then there is this divisiveness that prevails in Salt Lake City between the haves and the have nots. Why is there a west and east side to Salt Lake City? That question has always bothered me ever since I moved here in 1976. The west part of town is ghetto-ized by the indifference of the eastsiders. And the west keeps creeping further east! I am almost at the 3rd East block in SLC and yet we are considered on the west side. I don't want to get caught up in western-materialism where even Mormons feel that if someone is rich God is blessing them for being good.
All I really understand anymore is that my Father in Heaven only requires two things from me. That is to love Him with all my mind, strength, and being and to love one another as I love myself. It really seems so simple. God does not care what we do as long as we do it out of love for Him and each other. I feel like I am changing inside myself faster then I can momentarily comprehend. It's too much to think about right now. Good night. It rained most of the morning but the weather was fine for most of the day.
Additional Material GAY VIOLENCE Terry William Cunard alias Steven L. Fox B1-6 see also3/19 B2-5, 4/11 B5-1, March 2 B-2/4 July 11 B11-1 Preying upon vulnerable Gay men.
Additional Material 15 March 1986 “Sara” by Jefferson Starship is number one song on national charts.
16 March 1986 Sunday
I attended church for the first time since returning to Utah last August. It was not my local LDS Church Ward either. I went to what was the third meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of All Latter Day Saints here in Salt Lake City.
I had heard from Gordon J. that the meetings were held at the Crossroads Urban Center around 2:00 p.m. so I came about a half hour early. There was just one other person downstairs in the foyer, a pleasant looking young fellow but we did not speak. I dared not or I was afraid I would bolt from the place. I just sat down on one of the old couches in the parlor and waited to see what was happening.
Eventually this sweet looking older man, dressed in a comfortable business suit, came down the stairs, noticed me, introduced himself as Elder Lamar Hamilton and welcomed me. He then talked to the young man whose name is David Ewing telling him that the business meeting was taking longer then expected and that Sacrament wouldn't be ready until two-thirty.
After Elder Hamilton disappeared back upstairs, David and I began to visit some. He is the Church's historian so I asked him about the background of the church. He told me little except that church was started in Los Angeles last August by members of the Los Angeles Chapter of Affirmation. Coincidently the church was started on the very same day I had left California to return to Utah. He also said that Elder Hamilton as well as Elder Feliz were instrumental in organizing the church.
Ewing had come to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles with the men upstairs to bring the church to Salt Lake City. Ewing said they had been busy having been on Radio Free Utah, talked to some of the Gay organizations, I can't remember which, and the church was even featured in a Gay magazine called the Triangle. Ewing showed me a copy of it and the church was on its cover. I guess the magazine is brand new.
At two-thirty, Ewing and I went upstairs to a central meeting room where several other men were already sitting and waiting for Sacrament to begin. Lamar Hamilton, the man who had welcomed me downstairs conducted the meeting while Antonio A. Feliz presided. Elder Feliz was who I had heard on Concerning Gays and Lesbians. The only person in the room whom I knew from before was Gordon B. J.. He was that blond Southern boy from Norfolk, Virginia, who first brought the church to my attention.
It was a very informal Sacrament meeting but felt very familiar. The bread and water was blessed and we sang LDS Hymns. I did not take the Sacrament. I came strictly to observe and to learn what this church is all about. I learned that Elder Feliz and Elder Hamilton were like the presidency or something similar. Elder Feliz was not at all what I expected. He was very polished, very aware of his image. I imagine that he's in his late forties or early fifties. He's Latin and his hair has gone salt and pepper. Kind of a slick Caesar Romero. Something about his aural made me skeptical although his words were soothing and authoritative. He could speak LDS-ese very well.
Elder Feliz's talk was on the priesthood. He basically stated that since priesthood is eternal and originated before there was any Church authority, it can never really be taken away and it can be exercised outside of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He stated that he doesn't need permission to continue exercising his priesthood authority and that all churches that have received priesthood authority from Joseph Smith are valid. There's no doubt that Elder Feliz is eloquent and what he said about the priesthood being eternal made sense to me.
But it was Elder Hamilton who spoke to my spirit not my intellect. When he talked, he said something seemingly out of the blue that just grabbed a hold of me. He said that we are only bound to what he called the Royal Law, that being the two greatest commandments to love God and one's neighbor. He said that they are truly the only requirements for a Christian life. The Holy Spirit seemed to witness to me that the words of Elder Hamilton were true and all my fears about this church being some type of wacky cult dissipated.
I feel like God is bringing about a new beginning to bless the lives of his Gay and Lesbian children and all others who had a belief in the message of the Restored Gospel.
As the meeting was winding down, I took note of the others attending this Sacrament meeting. There were probably nine men including myself. They were Elders Hamilton and Feliz of course, Gordon B. Jones, David Ewing, Bob McIntier, who had to leave early because he is on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Community Church, Jon B., a handsome man with a neatly trimmed beard who sat quiet all through the meeting, and Russ Lane, a tall lanky handsome Scottish looking man. I was mostly impressed by Elder Hamilton and the vibrant enthusiasm of Russ Lane.
After closing prayer, Russ Lane invited everyone to an Affirmation meeting. I was really confused at first but Russ said that this one is different from the Salt Lake Affirmation. I told Russ that I would come back for his meeting.
I left the Crossroads Urban Center riding on a cloud. I felt uplifted and committed to further attending the meetings of the Church of Jesus Christ of All Latter Day Saints. In fact I knew that I had to come clean with my wife and tell her what I have been doing.
At home I sat her down and told her that I had been attending Affirmation, a support group for Gay Mormons and not Overeaters Anonymous. I took a deep breath and then also told her that I had been at a so-called Apostate church meeting and that I am going back tonight to attend another Affirmation meeting.
She took it really well and so I asked her if she would like to come with me to Affirmation. I was not really surprised when she said yes because my wife is a people person and likes to socialize so much so that if I said we were going to a snake eating contest, she would grab her coat and away we would go. She loves to meet new people and that is one of the qualities of hers that I really love.
Affirmation was at seven p.m. at the Crossroads Urban Center and there was a much larger turn out for it then there were for church maybe about fifteen people. Russ Lane conducted the meeting and his enthusiasm for the group is just contagious. I felt the spirit so much stronger at this meeting then at the Wednesday Night group. I almost feel disloyal saying that because I love that group for helping me come out of the closet. That was the first place I had ever admitted in public that I was a Gay married man, Jeez!
It was really fun for my wife and I to get out and meet new people. When my wife introduced herself to the group, she said she had no problems being here because she has always liked fags! Then she said I even married one. That got a laugh. But it's true. Prior to marrying my wife her best friend was a Gay guy named Michael.
At home I talked to my wife about how strongly I feel about joining this Gay church and it freaks her out to no end. But I feel like the Savior wants be to be apart of this new movement and if it be of God, it will stand. When Lamar Hamilton's spirit spoke to me, I had a witness that the spirit of the Lord is with this undertaking. There is something new and exciting in the air and I want to be a part of it. I want the anointing of the spirit. It was amazing that all the things that I heard spoken at Sacrament Meeting, were words that the Lord had already told me in my own way.
This feeling reminds me of how much the Lord loves all and it echoes from my past when the Lord tried to use me back in 1972 when I was too young and fragile to understand the meaning of a Jaredite Priesthood. But now someone is also preaching the same message to be kind, to be gentle, to be loving, to be charitable, and to love God with all thy mind, heart, and soul and all will be well.
Aligning myself with this church does make me nervous and fearful of being hated for being Gay but if God is with us who can be against us. I feel like I have been reborn. A new beginning. And so many neat people! Gay people! My wife now knows the direction that my life is heading. I don't have to sneak around and lie to her about where I go. Big question. How will this affect our marriage? Don't know. I know I can't go back to my former life. If I do I shall be as dead as a pillar of salt.
I heard on the news that Clair Harwood died of AIDS at St. Benedict Hospital in Ogden. He was only 26 years old. I have been given a second chance to live my life.
Additional Material: Robert McIntier is a descendant of Utah Mormon Pioneers Robert McIntier and Catherine Rose.
18 March 1986 Tuesday
I am having a very hard time keeping up with this journal but I feel like I must really try to record the events of this year as accurately as I can. I know it will only be through my eyes and perception, and I wonder if that can ever be considered truly accurate, but it’s a beginning.
At work I am being jerked around by my boss who is on a power trip because he can not stand the fact that he doesn't know what I am doing or how. But he knows I get results, so he agreed to let me stay in my department for a little while longer until he gets another wild hair up his butt. Because of other changes at Utah Title I guess they will be hiring two new title examiners.
My wife is tired tonight and she fell asleep as I was reading to her revelations from the Hidden Treasures and Promises. They are a collection of revelations given to people in the Restoration Church regarding its organization. Most are written by Antonio Feliz but some are by others.
As I understand it, the Restoration Church sees itself somewhat like the Reorganized LDS Church. The founders believe that God has to raise up a new church because the LDS Church refuses to preach the Gospel to all nations, kindreds, and tongues, because they will not preach the Gospel to practicing homosexuals. Therefore they were not keeping God's commandments. If missionaries go to a house with open homosexuals they are told not to teach them the gospel.
Tony Feliz says that Gays are like a separate nation, like Gypsies, and we are only recognizable to each other. I always felt like that when I stated that I felt like a stranger in a strange land. Only when I am with Gay people do I feel a sense of kinship; of familia.
Tony Feliz is also preaching that since priesthood exists independent of churches, they may confer priesthood but they can never take it away. That is why when some one is excommunicated and then reinstated, his priesthood is not given anew but the authority to use it is only restored. Churches might not recognize a person's authority to exercise that priesthood in their church, but that is all they can do. The Restoration Church therefore recognizes all priesthood as continuing with a person even if they have been excommunicated from the Mormon Church.
The Restoration Church also will confer the Melchizedek Priesthood on women as does the Reorganized LDS Church. My priesthood lineage is from Steven Madsen who received his from N. Eldon Tanner, who received his from David O. McKay who received his from Joseph F. Smith who received his from Brigham Young, who received his from Joseph Smith. I am seven degrees away from Joseph Smith.
I tried calling Jon B. today. He's staying in Centerville. I couldn't catch him at home. We talked last Sunday briefly about going to California this coming weekend for the Spring Conference of the Restoration Church. I left a message for him to call me but he hasn't yet. He's really cute and spiritual. I am attracted to him a lot.
Additional Material Salt Lake City School Board enacted policy to bar any student or employee who contracts AIDS from the classroom. Box Elder and Granite School Districts previously passed same ordinance. The Salt Lake City Board of Education adopted a policy that will prohibit students and employees with AIDS from going to school. However students will be provided with home study. Employees with AIDS will immediately be suspended and placed on sick leave or be temporarily suspended with pay until a review of the employee’s medical records can determine job status. No cases of AIDS has been reported to the district. (03/19/1986 SLTribune B6)
• Clair Harward excommunicated from the Mormon Church when he admitted his homosexuality died from complications resulting from AIDS. Harward died Sunday at St. Benedicts Hospital. He was 26 years. Funeral Services scheduled for Tuesday in Salt Lake City. “Right now I have found the peace I need and that I want,” Harward said last January. “I don’t need any organization or any person lay all. I don’t want to go looking out for any more opinions or beliefs.” He was diagnosed or having AIDS in August 1984. Mormon Church officials in Ogden excommunicated him from that religion last year. After they learned of his Gay life style. The Mormon Church views homosexuality as a sin in the same degree as adultery and premarital sex said Jerry Cahill, church spokesman. “The only acceptable sexual relations occur within the family between husband and wife.” After learning he had AIDS Harward said he went to his Mormon bishop to seek spiritual guidance. But he said Bruce Don Bowen, his lay bishop told him to give up his friends and identify his past sexual partners. Harward said it would be unethical to identify his Gay Friends “When I need my friends the most, they’re asking me to be alone.” Church officials offered to help Harward through counseling and medical assistance. He had been hospitalized off and on since mid January. Harward said he had been Gay since he was 17. (03/18/1985 SLTribune 2C)
19 March 1986 Wednesday:
I went to John Cooper's Salt Lake Chapter of Affirmation tonight and had a good experience there. It was a small turn out but it was fun. John Cooper led the meeting. It was good to see Russ Lane again there but he was kind of down. He said that his perspective job that he thought he had fell through. Now he's afraid that he will have to go back to San Jose, California if he can't find work right away.
20 March 1986 Thursday:
Today is the first day of spring! The leaves have for the most part budded out and there are flowers every where already.
Today is my parent's 40th wedding anniversary. I haven't been able to get a hold of either Jon B. or Gordon J. so I doubt if I'll be going this weekend to Spring Conference in California. Russ Lane has been on my mind so much. I can't shake this feeling of despair.
Additional Material Gays Want Spot on Demo’s Family Panel. The Democratic Party’s mission to represent the needs of “all the people” could once again pose a political problem as it considers a request by the National Gay and Lesbian Caucus to be heard in a party sponsored event during Mormon Conference Weekend in Salt Lake City. But since Democrats fear that if Gay issues become part of the panel with the highly visible Mormon Conference occurring the same weekend, Republican opponents would be able to blow the situation out of proportion and attach an unfair image to the party. (SL Tribune B1)
21 March 1986 Friday:
After work, my wife and I decided to take in a movie at the Arcade Theater on 9th West and 2nd South. But during the show I could not concentrate on the movie. I had the most overwhelming feeling of despair come over me and I told my wife that I didn't want to stay for the second show.
After coming home, my wife went to bed and I sat in the front room watching TV but I was still very agitated. Finally turning off the television and in the darken front room I got down on my knees and asked the Lord why I had such a feeling of melancholy about me when earlier this week I had been the happiest I had been in years! The answer came to me so distinctly and in a form so clear and precise. I never had an answer to prayer come to me so strongly in years.
I was told that my feelings of despair was because Russ Lane was leaving Salt lake City, and that he must not for the Lord had work for him here. The Savior told me that he brought Russ Lane here to be an instrument in blessing the lives of thousands of Latter Day Saints. By this time I was weeping and I asked but what can I do? And the Lord replied, "Do all you can for him, for by serving Russ Lane you are serving me."
Although it was late at night after I finished my prayers, I knew exactly what I had to do. I called Russ Lane up on the phone and asked him to meet with me tomorrow. He said he would. Then I hung up. Some way or somehow, I will keep Russ here in Salt Lake City as long as the Lord wants him here.
22 March 1986 Saturday
I am really tired tonight so I won't write much but I do want to record what happened today. I had to go into work at Utah Title this morning to get caught up on some assignments. While there I made copies of various types of title documents and searching forms because I have decided if I am to keep Russ Lane here, I am going to have to teach him how to do title work. Then I am going to have to get my boss to hire him as an entry level examiner.
I was done at noon so I called Russ Lane, the leader of the Sunday night Affirmation. and asked him if he could still meet with me. He said he could so I drove to where he was staying on 12th East. Russ has been sleeping on the couch while staying with Duane Dawson and his roommate. Dawson is the founder of AIDS Project Utah which he started last fall.
Visiting with Russ I found out that he came to Utah around the 27th of February, on a bus from San Jose, California because he felt that the Lord had called him to come to Utah to start a chapter of Affirmation that was following the General Charter of Affirmation. The first meeting of his group was at Randy H.'s, his cousin, home. That was the 2nd of March and then the following Sunday, he had a pot luck meeting which Randy H. again hosted at his home. This was just before I met Russ at the Restoration Church. So Russ hasn't been in Utah much more than three weeks.
At Duane Dawson's apartment I told Russ that I might be able to get him on at Utah Title insurance as an entry level title examiner, if he thought he might like to do that kind of work and if he had the aptitude for it.
It was such a pretty day that we decided to get out and go down to Liberty Park where we found a park bench to study at. However before leaving the apartment, Russ and I got down on our knees, held each other's hands, and asked for a blessing on our endeavors; that Russ might quickly find work, that he might stay in Salt Lake to accomplish all that the Lord wants him to do. At Liberty Park, we sat at a picnic bench and went over all the different types of documents in real estate that a title examiner would have to know. Russ is bright and a quick learner. I know that he is capable of doing this type of work and now its up to me to sell Russ Lane to Bob E.. I pray that it is God's will. Tomorrow, Sacrament Meeting with be conducted by Jon B.
Additional Material “These Dreams" by Heart number one song on the national charts.
23 March 1986 Sunday
Today is the first Spring Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of All Latter Day Saints. The Saints are meeting in Los Angeles and in Salt Lake City. There were only a few of us in attendance in Salt Lake but the spirit was strong among us. We all bore our newly acquired testimonies of the Restoration Church and then we sang as our closing hymn, "God Be With You Until We Meet Again." Jon B. conducted the meeting. I took Sacrament for the first time in almost a year. I feel more worthy then I have in years because I have thrown out that millstone called the Law of Moses. I really feel the Lord's spirit in this little flock.
My wife came with me to Affirmation tonight and there was a pretty big turn out crowded into the parlor of the Crossroads Urban Center. Russ discussed formally organizing the Wasatch Chapter of Affirmation as the official chapter of Affirmation in Salt Lake City by the adoption of the rules of the General Charter. A sticking point was having an opening prayer at the meeting. The General Charter states that all Affirmation meetings should start with an opening prayer. However some in the group really opposed the notion of praying at Affirmation. But Russ was quite adamant about following the rules of the General Charter and could not be swayed.
This really cute young guy, named Scott M., gave Russ Lane the most trouble over whether we should open the meeting with prayer or not. It was finally voted on by all paid members and it passed. Wasatch Affirmation would follow the rules of the General Charter.
I then spoke up and suggested that if there are those who do not care to pray in public they might consider joining the Salt Lake Chapter of Affirmation which doesn't open with prayer but is a very good group.
It was a good meeting but a long one. So Wasatch Affirmation is official as of tonight. It was a good spiritual feast of a day.
24 March 1986 Monday
First thing this morning, I went into Bob's office and told him that I have a friend who is looking for work and who is an excellent candidate for an entry level title examiner position. Bob looked at me really skeptically so I poured it on. I told Bob that if he would hire Russ, I would personally guarantee his production every day and that I would personally train him as well as get all my work done.
What clinched it, I think, is that I said to him, "Bob, as a new manager, you need to hire people who only know you as the supervisor and who will not question everything you want done around here. I will promise you that Russ and I will support you in all your decisions, and further more if you hire Russ, you will always have me in your back pocket because I will owe you one."
Bob then asked when can Russ come in and I said he can come in today for an interview. So Bob said, "Fine, have him come in at three O'clock". So after leaving Bob's office I called Russ to come in for an interview.
When Russ came in later in the afternoon, Bob was so impressed with Russ' appearance that he just had him fill out an application and simply asked him, "When can you start?" That was all the interviewing Russ had to do. Russ told Bob that he needed time to go back to California to pack and ship his things out to Utah. He also needed to unload his apartment out there in San Jose. So Bob said be ready to start on April 1st.
I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. The Lord's hand was so evident in this. Russ has a job now and Affirmation can continue under his dynamic and enthusiastic leadership. I heard a song on KRCL's Radio Free Utah with the lyrics that in part went like this, "You got here by the grace of God. What an elegant way to arrive." I just love that because that is how I am feeling. What an elegant way to arrive.
26 March 1986 Wednesday
Russ Lane left for California after he was hired at Utah Title by the grace of God. He will start as an entry level title examiner. I know the hand of the Lord was in this. Because of my prayers and fasting over the weekend, the Lord granted me the desire of my heart to have a friend at work.
I told Russ Lane that he could come stay with my wife and I when he returns become we have a spare room in the house we are renting. My wife better not squawk after I put up with her friend Tony last February.
Russ went back to San Jose to finalize some things he left hanging there. I told him that I would take him down to the Greyhound Bus Station on South Temple so when he was ready, I went over to Duane Dawson's apartment where Jon B., Gordon J., and a friend of Jon's named Johnny W. were already there. They had come to see Russ off.
Before taking Russ to the bus station, I really felt impressed to give Russ a blessing. So Jon, Gordon and I went to the laundry room where we wouldn't be disturbed and we laid our hands on his head. I was impressed to bless him that his health would endure and that he would be able to accomplish all the things he had to do in San Jose. In closing I heard these words come out of my mouth, which said, "Russ Lane, thou art my daily delight." It was a sweet blessing and we all felt filled with the spirit.
After we finished, I drove Russ down to Greyhound where Jon, Gordon, and Johnny met us. We waited with Russ until his bus came. He looked so cute, tall and ruddy, wearing a black Iowa Letterman jacket and a tweed cap.
As his bus pulled away an empty feeling swept over me but it soon was replaced when Jon B. suggested we all go over to Kent A.'s place just south of McDonald's on 7th East. There we picked up a cot that Kent said Russ could use to sleep on. Johnny W. had to leave after that.
While driving around town with Jon and Gordon, I felt so close to them and we talked about how we felt that God is bringing a wonderful thing to pass and how exciting it was to be part of it.
Jon B. is also unemployed and he said that he would be interested in getting on at Utah Title too. He had just lost a job at the University of Utah. I said I would most certainly try, and there is a good chance that Bob might hire him on my suggestion too.
I felt so much love and brotherhood for Jon and Gordon, almost like I was a kid again. Last Sunday was Gordon's birthday and at Affirmation he got carried around and spanked! He was wearing leather chaps and looking so cute. Today I gave him an old brass belt buckle that had embossed on it the Salt Lake Temple. Gary R gave it to me years ago but I never wore it. I told Gordon that it was a belated birthday present. I am truly grateful for Gordon because if not for him I would not have heard about the Restoration Church and not have met Jon B. and Russ Lane.
27 March 1986 Thursday:
When I came home from lunch I felt such an overwhelming feeling that I had to write down something that was flooding my mind. It is very hard to describe the feeling but it was like words were being placed in my mind and my hand was just writing them down. It was like the Spirit of the Lord was revealing his love for Gay and Lesbian people and their place in the Celestial Kingdom.
It came so quickly and clearly to me during my lunch hour and was several notebook pages long. I felt so utterly drained and wiped out for the rest of the day. When I came home from work, I reread what I had written and I started to cry. It was so beautiful. My first thoughts was to share it with my wife but I am afraid that she would just scoff at me and it, so I sealed it in an envelope and mailed it to Tony Feliz. As head of the church I felt that he should read it first before anyone else.
I think my wife feels threatened by my increasing involvement with the Restoration Church and my desire to serve the Lord as I understand Him. I feel like a great and marvelous work is about to be poured out upon the heads of Gay and Lesbian people of this world.
I have invited Jon B. and Gordon J. over for Easter dinner. I've also heard that Elder Feliz and Elder Hamilton are coming back up to Salt Lake this weekend. So I'll offer our house as a place to stay if they do. I am just so grateful that I can be instrumental in helping the Lord achieve his purpose of blessings the lives of Gay and Lesbian people and especially for being able to help Russ Lane establish himself so that he can bless the lives of hundreds perhaps thousands of Gay Latter Day Saints.
Affirmation is a great work but my heart is with the Restoration church. I will give the Brethren my application for membership this weekend. I am seriously considering being baptized this weekend as a member of the Church. My wife is totally freaking out about the events that have taken place in my life so quickly these past few weeks. I am really tired now so I'll go to bed.
28 March 1986 Friday:
Came home from work today and spent much of the evening cleaning the house and grocery shopping for our weekend guests. My wife and I are both excited about having company this weekend.
I learned from Jon B. that Lamar Hamilton isn't able to come and I'm disappointed because of that. Nevertheless Elder Feliz is coming up with another fellow from the church and Elder Pamela Calkins, who is the first female Melchizedek Priesthood holder in the church, is coming also with her lover. So we should have a house full for sure.
The cot I borrowed from Kent A. for Russ Lane will come in handy. I will put it in the front room as sort of a day bed. I am really looking forward to this weekend
29 March 1986 Saturday
After my wife left for work at Taylor Maid, I got up early also to prepare for tomorrow's Easter dinner. Additionally I made a platter of egg salad and tuna salad sandwiches for the California Saints when they arrive. I know that they will be hungry when they get here, and tired. I was looking for them to come in around noon but it was nearly 2 p.m. before they pulled up to the house.
While waiting, I made use of the time by making some lemon cookies because I was so antsy for them to get here. Well they finally arrived in this little foreign car, and they wobbled out, having been crammed into the small sedan for some 750 mile and for 16 hours. I was so excited when they finally arrived that I just scooped them all up and brought them into the house where I offered them rest and refreshments.
Pamela J. Calkins was a stocky looking woman, wearing blue jeans, a color t-shirt, work shoes and a leather man's belt. I'd say she was about thirty years old sporting short cropped hair which framed her mannish face and square jaw. But she had the rosiest cheeks and the friendliest manner that betrayed her stereotypical Lesbian dress. However next to her lover Lynn L., Pam looked absolutely girlish! Lynn looked much younger then Pam and was a blond while Pam was a brunette. Lynn also wore blue jeans with a turtle neck knit shirt over which she wore a flannel plaid cotton work shirt. Lynn's blond hair was swept back into a Jimmy Dean duck tail.
Looking past the outwardly Dyke appearance, the more I visited with Pam and Lynn, the more I grew to love them. They are so full of hearty goodness, and love, and I think they are sweet women although I am sure they wouldn't want to be called that by me.
Tony Feliz looked haggard from the long journey and he wore dark sun glasses because he couldn't find his regular glasses. He looked every bit his age and was dressed like a middle aged fashionable Mormon Bishop. His traveling companion was a much younger man, named Eddie M.. He is a nice looking slender well built Filipino, slightly shorter then me. I found out later that he's just 19 years old.
The travelers were still so keyed up from their trip that I brought chairs out on the front porch and we sat and visited while they unwound. It was a gorgeous spring day. I served them the sandwiches and cookies, and of course the dogs ran out to greet them and say hi and sniff and be generally obnoxious, but hey its their home too. When my wife came home from work there was a houseful of "faggots" as she says and I was happy.
About three o'clock, Tony Feliz and Pamela Calkins had to leave for an interview they were giving on Concerning Gays and Lesbians. The show wanted to interview Pam because she is the first Lesbian to ever hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. Pamela Calkins is an Elder in the church and her lover Lynn holds the Aaronic Priesthood. I believe Lynn said she was a Priest.
Eddie M. and Lynn L. are both converts to the gospel specifically from the efforts of the Restoration Church. They had never been Mormon before. Pam taught Lynn the gospel and Lynn became the first person to be baptized into the Restoration Church who had no LDS background. I believe she said she was baptized last November. Could be wrong.
While Tony and Pam were gone, Eddie and Lynn caught up on some much needed sleep and crashed in the living room on the cot I made into a bed. My dog Toby found a friend in Lynn and curled up with her to sleep. Both Lynn and Eddie love our animals especially sweet natured Toby and our cat Fat Jack. Yes Sam it’s true you are a rotten dog that only your daddy can love. Everyone could not get over how huge Fat Jack is. They said he should be a Bob Cat not just a house cat. He's like Garfield a red tabby with a humongous tail. Poor misunderstood Jackie. He ain't fat. He's fluffy.
When Tony and Pam returned from taping the program, I fixed a pot of soup and we all finished off the rest of the sandwiches. A busy evening was planned because I learned that Tony and Pam are here to interview people for positions in the branch that is going to be organized in Salt Lake City. It will be the first branch of the church.
The rest of the evening was spent in a flurry of comings and goings as people dropped by the house to visit with the California Saints and to make their appointments for their interviews. Jon B. and Gordon J. were over much of the evening and it looks like Gordon is really in love with Jon. They appear to have become an item since the last time I saw them. I was really attracted to Jon B. at first, but I kept thinking what can I do about it? I am a married man. And besides I like Gordon too much and if he has his eyes set on Jon, I won't get in the way. Although truthfully, I'm a little jealous.
When it was my time to be interviewed I gave Tony my application for membership however I told him that I was not ready to be formally baptized this weekend because I want Russ Lane to be present. Then we talked and I told Tony about my experiences back in 1972 and 1973 with the spirit writings that I had given to Paul Mike H. Dunn and how from those writings I knew even back then that homosexuality was not an issue with the Lord. I don't know if he believed me and he said that he had not received the letter I had sent the other day. It was hard to make out what he thought, but I know that if he is sincere and not on just some type of ego trip he will recognize my sincerity.
After all that, Tony cut to the chase and asked me if I was called to be Branch President who would I call for counselors. I thought back to the love that Jon B., Gordon J., and I shared and had for each other after taking Russ to the bus terminal and I did not hesitate to say I would choose Jon and Gordon. I immediately sensed by the expression on his face that this was not the answer he wanted to hear, so I told him,
I know the Lord wants me to be instrumental in this movement, and I am willing to serve where ever the Lord calls me to serve.
After my interview I visited with Bob McIntier and Jon B. who was waiting with Gordon J.. Tony earlier informed me that he developed a reaction to our cats in the house and is going to sleep at Bob's house, where bob has more room, and a bed.
All in all it was a very special day. I feel like I've known these people for a long time not just having met today. I feel like I finally belong, and what I always felt the Mormon Church should be like. I am with people who understand and care about me rather then sit in judgment of me. I can tell that my wife just loves having women in the house, and I know she likes Pam and Lynn. I wonder although what she really thinks when she sees them kiss? What does a straight man feel when he sees two men kiss? All I see is something perfectly natural and wonderful. An expression of love.
Additional Material Elder Pamela J. Calkins 1956-1994 Pamela J. Calkins was the daughter of James and Glennda Calkins. She was born in California 17 May 1956 and died there 24 October 1994. She was the first Lesbian to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, and when excommunicated from the LDS Church she was brought before a High Priest Stake Council. She was a founding member of the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ established August 13, 1985. She held the positions of Apostle and was a member of the First Presidency. Despondent over some legal troubles and Mormon homophobia, Pamela J. Calkins took her own life in 1994. She was 38 years old. She taught that Gay people, being a tenth of the world's population, were God's special tithing back to our world with the purpose of making it a more beautiful and just place.
• "Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco number one song on national charts
30 March 1986 Easter Sunday
Busy, busy, busy day with baptisms, Easter Dinner, Sacrament Meeting, and Affirmation all today. Lynn L. and Pamela Calkins spent the night at the house while Tony Feliz and Eddie M. stayed over at Bob McIntiers to sleep. Bob lives on the western edge of Salt Lake City, off of 700 North and Redwood Road.
When I got up I fixed Lynn, Pam, my wife and I a light breakfast before everyone started arriving over here. At first there had been only two baptisms scheduled today, but John Crane, the Church's Evangelist, arrived last night with his Filipino lover and he wanted to be baptized also this Easter morning.
After the rest had left to go down to a house on 5th East and 27th South, where they knew someone willing to let his hot tub be used as a baptism font, my wife started dragging her heals and almost made me late. I believe she was really freaking out about attending an "apostate" baptismal service, and I lost my patience with her. I told that "I am going, with or without you." Then I, frustrated, asked, "Why do you always have to spoil everything spiritual that I feel I need to do?"
Needless to say my attitude could have been better but soon the little fight I had with my wife was dissipated as I stepped out into the absolutely gorgeous bright morning light. The sky was dazzlingly deep and clear. Spring flowers, tulips, crocuses, hyacinths were everywhere. All the trees were brightly sporting their new little green leaves, and truly the world seemed like it was wearing its new Easter clothes.
When I reached the house where the baptismal services were taking place, in South Salt Lake, I went to the backyard where people were already dressed in their baptismal robes. We sang a few hymns and Pamela Calkins gave a talk on baptism being a symbol of the Lord's resurrection and how appropriate it seems to perform this sacred ordinance on Easter Sunday.
The only real difference I could see between this baptismal service and an LDS one was the taking of the oath of the Baptismal covenant. In the Restoration Church baptismal candidates recite a passage from the Book of Mormon and then lift their arm to the square to take an oath that they will lived by the covenant that the Prophet Alma administered at the Waters of Mormon.
And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life
Baptismal candidates of the Restoration Church take this oath to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. It was really touching and moving to see Bob McIntier, Gordon J., and John Crane raise their arms to the square and promised to keep the above Baptismal Covenant as recorded in the Book of Mormon.
Baptism by the All Latter Day Saint Church is not essential for membership in the church because since priesthood is eternal, the Restoration church recognizes any baptism that was performed with proper priesthood authority whether it was done in the LDS Church, the RLDS Church or the FLDS Churches. So once baptized into any of the restoration churches, that received its authority from Joseph Smith, it is really not necessary to be rebaptized into the All Latter Day Church. It's more symbolic then necessary.
Gordon B. Jones was baptized by Jon B., Bob McIntier was baptized by Lynn L., and John Crane was baptized by Eddie M.. The service was over by 11 a.m. and it was one of the best baptisms I had ever witnessed and the Holy Spirit was abundant and strong there.
I left before the others did because I had to race home to play "Martha" and get Easter dinner ready. I fixed glazed ham with pineapple slices, creamed corn, fresh green beans, creamy scalloped potatoes, candied yams, Mormon coleslaw, and a marinated broccoli and cherry tomato salad. I also had rolls, and for desert I made strawberry short cake.
When the Saints all came back to the house, they couldn't believe that I had time to whip this all up with how busy we all have been this weekend. The house was packed for Easter dinner and we just spread out onto the porch, the front room, as well as the dining room. I just loved having a house full of Gay people. In all there were my wife, Pamela Calkins, Lynn L., Tony Feliz, Eddie M., John Crane and his lover who spoke so little English that I never learned his name, Bob McIntier, Jon B., Gordon J., and this boy from Provo, Mike H. who just happened to have heard about the church and dropped by.
We ate, and drank fruit punch, laughed at stories about our Gayness, and I really felt the Lord's spirit among us. It was such a sweet day and was truly wonderful to have the Saints gathered in my house and to have the first branch of the church established here in my home.
Near two o'clock we had to leave our dinner and rush down to the Crossroad Urban Center to prepare Sacrament. At the meeting Tony Feliz presided and Pam Calkins conducted. A lot of the meeting was taken up with Tony relating the business of the Spring Conference in Los Angeles and what had transpired there last weekend. I smiled when Tony Feliz stated that at the closing of conference he said he was prompted to changed the scheduled closing hymn to "God Be With You Until We Meet Again", which was the very same hymn that I was prompted to close last week's Sacrament meeting with also. I believe the Lord was indeed sending his spirit to each of his small Gay flocks to bond us together in spirit.
During the meeting we officially voted to organize the Salt Lake members into a Branch of the Church. Actually we will be the only branch of the church since the Los Angeles flock is not nearly so organized. It was at this meeting that Bob McIntier was called to be the first Branch President and to my surprise I was called to be a Bishop Agent. I had no Idea what that even entailed until after Sacrament when Tony explained each of our responsibilities.
Bob McIntier's responsibility is to oversee the spiritual growth of our little flock in Salt Lake City and I am to oversee the temporal growth of the church here. I am suppose to find a more suitable place to meet for Sacrament then the Crossroad Urban Center. I am still not sure what a Bishop Agent is since I never heard of it before in the LDS Church. But I am responsible directly to Lamar Hamilton, who is now the Presiding Bishop of the Church. I am to send all offerings and tithing monies to Los Angeles and things like that. I am not one of Bob's counselors but rather we are supposed to have separate authority and yet do everything in harmony and act like counselors.
I really don't know Bob McIntier all that well. He is kind of hard to get to know but I think he is genuinely kind hearted. Though it sort of bothers me, that he left the gospel to join the Metropolitan Church for a while. But again I do feel that he is a sweet man, and if Bob is the one that the Lord wants to direct this flock, I will sustain him with all my heart.
After church some of us went back to the house where we took a nap. Eddie stayed with us while Tony went back over to Bob's place.
Affirmation was at seven p.m. and my wife and I went although there was a small turn out. Without Russ Lane, the meeting was a dud. I see so clearly now why the Lord wants the charismatic Russ Lane here in Salt Lake. Now if I could just get him to join the Restoration Church! What a dynamic leader we would have.
At Affirmation my wife invited Stan D. home to join us for dinner. "Stinky Stan", as my wife and I refer to this character, because he doesn't bathe much, is eccentric to say the least and is really funny. Short, frumpy, sporting always a two day old beard, my wife took a liking to this portly Stan but then she is always looking to take in strays. That is why we ended up with three cats.
Anyway Pam, Lynn, Eddie, Stinky Stan, Jon B., Gordon, and my wife and I played card games and when it was getting late, Stan asked if he could spend the night so we said yes. He didn't have any night clothes so my wife gave him one of her frilly flannel night gowns to wear. He looked so at home in it. Bizarre.
Eddie also decided to spend the night because I guess he was having more fun here then over at Bob's. As the evening got late, I sat on the couch, holding Eddie in my arms, visiting with Jon, Gordon, Stan, Lynn, and Pam. My wife was having a great time reveling in being the center of attention, and telling funny stories with her outrageous gregarious personality at full tilt. Here it is the end of March and I have met such neat people in such a short time. I feel blessed.
Additional Material James Cagney, American Hollywood actor best known for playing gangsters and George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy died (1899-1986)
31 March 1986 Monday
What a whirlwind month, and how my world has turned topsy-turvy. I have admitted to myself and others, finally, that I am indeed a Gay married man. I have become a member of a Gay Mormon Church, and not just a member, it's Bishop Agent for the Salt Lake Branch of the church. Because of the changes in my life and not despite of them, I am happier now then I have been in years.
After going to bed last night with a house full of Gay people, my wife and I laid in bed and talked. I told her that my life would feel complete if she was on my left and Eddie was on my right. My wife kissed me and told me to go to Eddie and its okay because she loves Eddie too. So Eddie and I clung to each other all night doing nothing but holding each other.
This morning I got up to get ready for work while Eddie went and climbed into bed with my wife, Pam Calkins, and Lynn L., and soon even "Stinky Stan" joined them as they all watched the morning news. They looked so happy there in bed, warm and snuggly so much so that I hated to leave them and go to work, but I had no choice.
I was sad at work today knowing that when I get home they will all be gone. Still its been a fun raucous weekend.
Russ Lane flew back to Utah today and that news gladdened my heart. I went out to the Salt Lake airport to pick him up and I held his hand driving back to the house. I was so excited that he's back in Utah. He's sending his things parcel post. I told him about all the excitement we had over the weekend and what a glorious time we had. I told him that a branch of the church had been established for the first time and it was here in Salt Lake City. I am so glad that Russ is back and is going to be staying with my wife and I. It will make the house not feel so lonesome after the big to do we had this weekend.
Needless to say the house was a wreck when I got home. We didn't do any dishes over the entire weekend. My wife was a little put out that no one had offered to help clean up. But I didn't mind because it gave me something to do now that everyone is gone.
I moved Russ' cot from the front room to the back bedroom where he can have his privacy. He is so clever and funny. I am just going to love having him here, and I know it's what the Lord wants me to do.
Changes in my life. It's thrilling to feel alive again. Each day is bringing a new adventure and new people into my life. I really hate to see March end. It was such a wonderful happy month for me. My wife is happy that I am happy, but deep down I think she is scared of what is going to happen to us. It can never be the same as before pretending to be a heterosexual man. I'm sure it is just a matter of time before the LDS Church catches up with me and excommunicates me but I don't care. I have already replaced them in my heart.
Sunday, when Pam Calkins was here, this fellow, I don't remember his name, attended Sacrament meeting and he asked her to give him a blessing. I went with Pam and she and I laid our hands on his head and gave him a blessing of comfort. He was so very frightened because he had been summoned to a High Stake Court and he was sure he was going to be excommunicated. He was so scared. Both Pam and I gave him a blessing, and the Lord's spirit spoke through me telling him that whenever a door closes, another opens. And I do believe this in my heart. I also do believe in the mission of the Restoration Church to take the cast offs from the Mormon Church. We will take in the despised and the rejected, whom the Lord loves and wants to bless but yet do not fit into the narrow confines of the Pharisaic LDS Church.