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My wife and I have somehow raised eight children. We've been married for 29 years, and operate a small leasing business in Louisiana.
I really began to get a testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ while attending high school seminary. The New Testament is so wonderful, and it rang true to me that we can receive answers to our prayers today. I began reading the Book of Mormon, too. Early in my two-year mission on Indian Reservations of North and South Dakota, the Lord's spirit confirmed to me that it was all true, that young Joseph really did see God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ in a grove of trees near Palmyra, New York in 1820. Priesthood authority really was restored to the earth, by no other than John the Baptist and Peter, James and John. Jesus is a perfect example of how to live and give of ourselves. Revelation can guide our lives today, if we will just have a prayer in our heart. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has given me such joy and peace, even when things are not going particularly well.
The Holy Ghost helps me as often as I will get off my hands and do what the Lord would have me do. I felt the influence of the Holy Ghost this week, as I thought about who would like to hear more about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. A friend of mine, the former mayor of our city, has lost close family members in recent years. I was prompted to call him and see if I could come by to visit him. He called back, and suggested that I could come right over. I did, and had a great discussion with him, from Alma 40, about the state of the soul between death and the resurrection. He now has the gospel art book and a Book of Mormon.
Taking the sacrament each week has been a real blessing in my life. It is taking time to remember my baptism commitment to follow the Savior, remember Him, and to treat others like I would like to be treated. By taking the sacrament and always remembering Him, and keeping His commandments, we can always have His spirit to be with us. We can be forgiven of the junk we accumulate on our souls each week, if we will come unto Him in this way.
We open each day with a kneeling, family prayer, and listen to the heart-felt words of whoever is asked to offer the prayer. Our children attend early morning seminary. Its early, but in this united prayer, we are reminded how much we love each other. We try to serve one another each day with this shared experience in mind. Gratitude for our blessings is a precursor to keeping the Savior's spirit with us the rest of the day.
In my calling as a stake president, I get to work with bishops and branch presidents, visiting people who can use an invitation to join us at Church, or just need to know we miss them. Temple blessings are for everyone willing to be diligent in their testimony of Christ. We all have talents that shouldn't be buried. Like any other calling in the Church, the measure of my success is if I am more patient and kind with my own family at home. If I can bring some happiness to my wife and children, then the Lord blesses us to carry His spirit to other homes, without hypocrisy.