Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Pray, Pay, Obey"

Posted: 31 July 2014
Updated: 6 Aug 14

Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City
In conversation about the Mormon Church with one of my sons yesterday, I mentioned my last phone conversation with family friend and former Mormon bishop, stake president and regional representative Ferren L. Christensen shortly before he died in 2007. In that last conversation Ferren's last question to me was: "What do you think of the ecclesiastical system these days?"

Surprisingly, I had not thought much about that question over the decades I'd been in and out of the Church and so had nothing much to say to him at the time. But I have thought a lot about it since. In response my son said simply: "Pray, Pay, Obey".

"THAT'S IT!" I exclaimed and resolved to post it on this blog.

It can't be any simpler and to the point than that!

On Tuesday, August 5, in conversation with my favorite Orthodox priest, I mentioned this conversation with my son above and the three word descriptor. Imagine my surprise when he exclaimed that he, himself, uses those very words to describe his experience with other Christian ecclesiastical structures. Obviously, that slogan does not have a Mormon origin!



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

U.S. ambassador to Ukraine?

Posted: 29 July 2014
Updated: 1Aug 14


Boy!, do I want to know more about this guy!
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Last May, as the conflict in Ukraine was escalating and the day before the recent presidential election in Ukraine, I emailed one of my relatives in eastern Ukraine expressing concern for him and other relatives. He replied simply with an illustrated YouTube clip of a conversation between two US officials in Ukraine, male and female, about how to deal with certain Ukrainian politicians. The clip was apparently originally published in February, intercepted by who knows and then circulated throughout the Ukraine young people's network. The female was identified. The male wasn't. There was no accompanying message.

I have recently received this message from SCG News:
Geoffrey Pyatt was the man on the other end of the now infamous leaked Victoria Nuland call. That was the call in which the U.S. State Department got caught red handed discussing who they were going to install in the Ukrainian government after the fall of Yanukovich. If you haven't listened to that call, you should. It was very revealing.

We American citizens should have something to say to our government about our relationship with Ukraine and the political attitudes that seem to be driving that relationship as well as fueling the conflict...




Monday, July 28, 2014

Dream of and Conversations with John R. Howard, Part 1.

Posted: 26 July 2014
Updated: 1 Oct 14

Lewis and Clark College President John R. Howard 
(March 1972)

Part 1 of these conversations with mentor Jack Howard began with a "Creative Deep Listening" interview of a recent dream of the late John R. Howard, former president of Lewis and Clark College, which came the night after at conversation with George J. of Los Alamos, whom I had dreamed of the night 13 July 2014 and which was followed that same night by a dream of David O. McKay.

Note: Creative Deep Listening (CDL) is a combination of my CREEI process questionnaire and Joseph Dillard's "Integral Deep Listening" protocol.

Date of Interview: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­26-7 July 2014

What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?
1. Communing with family and friends
2. Tying up end of life loose ends with family, U of Utah and LDS Church
3. Reducing chaos
.
Tell me a dream you remember.  It can be an old one, a repetitive dream, a nightmare, or one that you’re sure you understand. 
24 July 14: with John R. Howard outdoors. He is showing me a scrub oak tree needing attention. Also, he points out a small bear lying down nearby for me to be aware of.
CREEI Score: ???-+-//+++/+++;  Pattern: Anticipatory

Why do you think that you had this dream?
.This dream followed a scheduled 2-1/2 hour conversation with George J on the afternoon of July 23 at the Film Festival Cafe. .

If this dream were playing at a theater, what name would be on the marquee? 
Jack’s Counsel

These are the characters in the dream, besides yourself…
John R. Howard, scrub oak, dry landscape, small bear

If one character had something especially important to tell you, what would it be?
Jack Howard

Now remember how as a child you liked to pretend you were a teacher or a doctor?  It’s easy and fun for you to imagine that you are this or that character in your dream and answer some questions I ask, saying the first thing that comes to your mind.  If you wait too long to answer, that’s not the character answering - that’s YOU trying to figure out the right thing to say!

Jack, are you a character in Eugene’s dream?
Yes

Jack, look out at the world from your perspective and tell us what you see... 
I see a lone and dreary world, full of conflict and trouble. I also see Eugene’s role in it.

Jack, would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?
I have come to be with Eugene for a period and am glad to have this opportunity. I remember the moment he and I first met and how our conversation evolved when I was in the flesh.

Jack, what do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?
I like that I am always interested in education and seeing beyond the limits of ecclesiastical and academic boundaries in our American society. My strength is in making clear decisions and trusting my intuition.

Jack, what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?
I don’t see much to dislike. Perhaps one weakness is in not appreciating the dark side of politics. I was once a great supporter of Dick Nixon. 

Jack, what aspect of Eugene do you represent or most closely personify?
I think I represent Eugene’s leadership capability and especially his capacity to ask the important questions.

Jack, if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?
No

Jack, how would you score yourself 0-10, in each of the following six qualities: confidence, compassion, wisdom, acceptance, inner peace, and witnessing?  Why?

Confidence, 0-10. Why? 10. I know who I am and am not.
                            
Compassion, 0-10. Why? 10. I am always interested in seeing the best in others
                    
Wisdom, 0-10. Why? 10. I feel blessed in having been granted this quality
                                       
Acceptance, 0-10. Why? 10. Accepting Eugene when he first came with his friend to visit me is a good example.
                            
Inner Peace, 0-10. Why? 9. There is some slight disquiet within me when I perceive territory that is bare and not thriving.
                   
Witnessing, 0-10. Why? 9. I sense that there is a grander view of reality that is beyond my ability to envision.                   

Jack, if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different?  If so, how?
Only slightly. I would be more willing to let reality be as it is, without thought of judgment or limitations

Jack, how would Eugene’s life be different if he naturally scored like you do in all six of these qualities all the time?
It would be greatly different if he were more disciplined and consistent. He would be much more effective in administrative matters.

Jack, if you could live Eugene’s life for him, how would you live it differently?
Actually, it would be presumptuous for me to tell him how to live it any differently than he is doing.

Jack, if you could live Eugene’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle Eugene’s three life issues differently?  If so, how?
Again, it would be presumptuous of me to suggest anything different than he has stated.

Jack, what life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of Eugene’s life?
What he has focused on seems appropriate. Actually, I think I've come into his life at this point to give him a contrast and encouragement to see beyond his original cultural conditioning.

Jack, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for Eugene to imagine that he is you and act as you would? 
When he is dealing with political, social and ecclesiastical leaders and their issues. 

Jack, do you do drama?  Do you get into playing the Victim, Persecutor, or Rescuer? If not, why not?
No 

Jack, what is your secret for staying out of drama?
I see beyond it.

Jack, you are imaginary. Why should Eugene pay attention to anything you say?
He knows that I am real and now a part of him.

Jack, why do you think that you are in Eugene’s life? 
To give him a solid leadership reference different from the one he has seen for himself.

Jack, how is Eugene most likely to ignore what you are saying to him?
I doubt he will ignore anything I am saying.

Jack, what would you recommend that he/she do about that?
N/A

Jack, why do you think Eugene had this dream?
To give him encouragement and to shift his preoccupation with the Mormon administrative leadership.  

Jack, why do you think the bear was in the dream?
This is humorous. It is a reminder of Eugene’s story about a fugitive half-breed Russian bear, where I played the part of a circus master. 

Jack, why should Eugene pay any attention to what you have said? Aren't these just a projection of Eugene’s own wishes and projections?
God knows my purpose in his life!

Thank you, character! And now a couple questions for the person that dreamed you: 

What have you heard yourself say?
I think Jack has appeared at this time to take my focus off the Mormon ecclesiastical enterprise. To have had my previous dream containing the character of David O. McKay followed by this one of John R. Howard reminds me of a far older dream (1967) when I met Arnold Toynbee and shook hands with a line of old, dignified wise men.  

If this experience were a wake-up call from your inner compass, what do you think it would be saying to you?  
Don't ignore the small details around you. Keep going in the direction you are going, but be more alert to outer, natural conditions that warrant caution and attention.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Remembering Ivan

Event: July 26, 2014
Updated: 30 Jul 14

Ivan would have been  53 today
Infant Ivan


Playful Boy
~ Five
Baseball Player
Teenager
Ivan (on R) with brothers Nick, Steve and Grandma Ruth

Ivan on Moped

Ivan with Grandmother Ruth
Ivan Circa 1991
Devon--Ivan's oldest daughter 2012

Update on Relatives in East Ukraine

Event: 29 July 2014
Updated:

Having not spoken to my Russian-speaking relatives in East Ukraine since the fighting between the new government in Kiev and the Russia-backed separatists in March, I have been much concerned about their welfare and morale.

I was relieved to see and speak to them via a Skype call today and learn that in Kharkov and Melitopol , where they live, it is relatively quiet and they feel safe. Nevertheless, Melitopol is receiving many refugees from the war zones.

When I asked where they would prefer living, Russia or Ukraine, they immediately said Ukraine! "Putin does not care what we think", my youngest relative declared. He put a fine point on the conflict.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Conversations with David O. McKay - Part I

Posted: 23 July 20914
Updated: 1 Oct 14
David O. McKay

22 July 2014
ENK: Hi brother David, I think we need to talk.

DOM: Yes brother Eugene, it would seem so. What’s on your mind?

ENK: Repair work, David. I hope you don’t mind that I call you David, rather the Pres. McKay.

DOM: Not at all. I wish I were on such terms with others these times. It was burdensome having to play the role of president and prophet.

ENK: I can only imagine! So, yes, repair work. Do you remember when we first met and what you said to me?

DOM: Please refresh my memory. Weren't we in Laguna Beach, where I had a summer home?

ENK: Yes, we met in the Laguna Beach ward, when you came for a visit. Bishop Ferren L. Christensen, who was the caretaker of your house, introduced us after the sacrament meeting by saying “President McKay, this is the young man I've been telling you about who speaks Russian."

DOM: Yes, I dimly remember saying something to you about the Russian mission.

ENK: I’ll never forget that meeting, David. You took my right hand in both of yours and stood there in all your ecclesiastical presence and closed your eyes. I was moved by this, especially as you stood there silently nodding your head. After what seemed like an uncomfortable amount of time you eventually opened your eyes, looked straight into mine and said, “This is good. Keep it up. I have a strong feeling that that mission is about to open. Maybe we can use you?”  Do you remember saying that?

DOM: It sounds like something I could have said.

ENK: Well, what I think you didn't know at the time was that I’d only a week or two earlier decided to quit the Church and had come to tell Ferren to let me alone. But what I couldn't tell Ferren was that I had a military secret that I couldn't share for 20 years, having returned from a clandestine assignment in Berlin the previous year. This assignment had put me into direct, secret contact with the highest Soviet military levels, such as Andrei Grechko, commander of Soviet Forces in East Germany. Years later Grechko would become Khrushchev’s defense minister.

DOM: No, I certainly knew no such thing! Why had you decided to leave the Church?

ENK: I didn't think the Church had the truth and had decided to look elsewhere for it. I was also very angry with what I felt was a betrayal by the CIA, who had recruited me from the US Army in Berlin, only to dismiss me shortly after I reported for duty at its Washington, D.C.  HQS after separating from the army. I could share none of this with Bishop Christensen.

DOM: That must have been a great burden!

ENK: Yes, sir, it was. What made matters worse was that I could not share such an experience with my then wife. In fact, I couldn't even tell her that I couldn't tell her. As far as she knew I was simply an Army clerk typist.

DOM: I think I understand a little, dear brother. So, what happened that changed your mind about the church that Bishop Christensen wanted us to meet?

ENK: When I told him I didn't think the truth was in the Church, he forcefully challenged that statement.

DOM: How did he do this?

ENK: He said, “Well, brother, the truth may not be here, but you don’t know it. Tell me, have you ever read the Bible?”  I had to confess I hadn't.

 “The Book of Mormon?” Again I confessed no.

“The Doctrine and Covenants?”  No.

“The Pearl of Great Price”?  Finally I could answer yes [small book].

Then he declared, “Well, I don’t need to go further, brother. You haven’t done first thing necessary to find out if we have the truth. You are the biggest hypocrite I have ever met!” 

DOM: That’s quite a challenge!

ENK: Yes, David, he cold cocked me! And he was correct. But I then made a silent vow: no one would ever say such a thing to me again and tell the truth. I decided on the spot to become completely active, believing that such committed activity would not work. This then would allow me to walk away from the Church in good conscience.

DOM: And so it was under those circumstances that we were introduced?

ENK: Yes.

DOM: So, what finally happened?

ENK: That’s what I want to discuss with you now. That’s what I am calling “repair work”.

DOM: I am interested to know your story.

ENK: Thank you. There have been very few Mormon ecclesiastics who have ever been interested in my story. The most important (besides you now) was Ferren Christensen, who introduced us in 1957 and who eventually became stake president in 1968 through 1975 and then even later as a regional representative in the early 1990s. Our last conversation was in 2007, shortly before he died. In that last telephone conversation he asked me a surprising question. "What do you think of the ecclesiastical system these days?" That was surprising because I'd never given it much thought. It was also surprising that he would ask the question. However, my understanding of why he asked that question soon began to dawn on me, but by then he was gone.   There was an old bishop in summer 1965, which I will also tell you about later.  His name was Reed C. Durham, Sr. He was my bishop when I lived and worked in San Diego in 1963-65.

DOM: Do continue.

23 July 2014 11:00 AM
ENK: It seems to me (because of my recent dream of July 13) that my “inner compass” (aka ‘personal liahona’) is pointing me to a local man, whom I have dreamed about before, but with whom I have had a ‘crumbling’ connection. I’m thinking of George J. of the Los Alamos Ward. I’m trying to distinguish between the "outer" George and the "inner" George. We have scheduled a meeting this afternoon at the Film Festival to address this issue. I hope it is the beginning of an effective and functional repair of my inner ‘crumbling sidewalk’.  

DOM: That is most interesting! I am eager to learn how this first step develops and where it will lead.

ENK: Thank you, David. I will most certainly keep you informed!

To be continued with Part 2...




Monday, July 14, 2014

Dream of Mormon President David O. McKay

Posted: Monday, 14 July 2014
Updated: 11 Aug 14

For my Mormon family and interested friends.


President David O. McKay
On Sunday, 13 July 14, I dreamed of the late LDS President David O. McKay. Although I cannot recall the dream fully, there is enough of it to give me a hint of its importance. In the dream Pres. McKay appears as I knew him when we first met in the Laguna Beach Ward in summer 1957. He is tall, handsome, white hair, gentle, dignified and inspiring. [At age 74.] We are in a residential area with much overgrown greenery. I show him a crumbling sidewalk within the greenery that needs repairing and tell him how I propose to repair it.  

The last time I dreamed of Pres. McKay was in August 1965, while he was still in mortality as president of the LDS Church. In that dream I was present at his funeral. Here are the two dreams recorded in my dream journal on that date:
San Diego 8 Aug 65
12:10 (noon) Getting ready for a funeral. The caretaker goes into room where body lies: looks like Sister McKay lying beside her husband. She is moving her head. 
 3:45 PM: dream about “order” of things. Bishop, Francis, Jim Watson involved. A law bent. Perplexing. Understanding near: due.
[For those who have forgotten him, you can see and hear David O. McKay's simple, direct, no nonsense statement of belief here.. Notice how carefully McKay chooses his words: "No one can preside over this church without first being in tune with the head of the church, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is our head. This is his church. Without his divine guidance and constant inspiration, we cannot succeed. With his guidance; with his inspiration, we cannot fail."]

Earlier that Sunday morning (13 July 14) I had had an earlier dream in which I am having a pleasant telephone conversation with George J., a member of the Los Alamos Ward of the LDS Church. This was the second time I dreamed of George. In the first dream, which was on 4 July 2010, a man (who looks like George, though I don't yet know him) shakes my hand through the driver's side window of a van in which I am sitting with other ex-spooks while parked and waiting in the parking lot of the Los Alamos ward building. After I tell him I am there to do the Lord's will, and without giving what I've said a second thought, he tells me with a hand gesture that the Lord wants me in that building. Here is a blog post for that July 4, 2010 event, which contains the dream.

Because I take dreams seriously, this morning I called George on his cell phone to tell him I'd had a dream about him and also about Pres. McKay, which I thought were related.. [We hadn't talked much in almost 4 years.] George answered my call in Roswell, New Mexico, where he is participating in a Senior Olympics event. He was glad to hear from me and we scheduled to meet next week on 23 July. 

To be continued....




Saturday, July 12, 2014

Best of Mormonism: Liahona Children's Foundation

Posted: 12 July 2014
Updated: 13 July

Liahona Foundation children

Here is an example of the best of Mormonism, sent by Bob Rees, friend and brother, a former Mormon bishop, whom I have known since the late '60s. Please note the distinction between "Mormonism" and the corporate "Mormon Church" [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Inc.] They are not necessarily the same!

On 7 July, I wrote to Bob after noting that the Liahona Foundation was not an official project of the Mormon Church. He answered: 
Yes, Gene, it is not an official church foundation, just a bunch of us trying to do what the Church should be doing ! It is a most interesting adventure.
On 10 July, Bob wrote again:
Thought you would be interested in my article from yesterday's Meridian Magazine: [click here
 Please feel free to forward it to others. I am leaving next week for Columbia where my colleagues from the Liahona Foundation and I will be screening more children.
 Thank all of you who have contributed to our work. We are always happy to receive contributions to further our work!
 Bob
 --
Robert A. Rees, Ph.D.
428 Marin Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
415-888-8125
Note: It was Bob who made it possible for me to develop my dream work methodology decades ago when he was with UCLA in 1976.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Lincoln Myth-- an astounding novel!

Posted: 9 July 2014
Updated: 13 July


This post is for my five surviving sons. 

Only this morning (9 July) did I begin reading this remarkable new novel, having been alerted to it by an excited Father John, my favorite Russian Orthodox priest, during one of our many private conversations at a local cafe.  Ironically, it was because Fr. John was interested in my Mormon background more than seven years ago that I began to learn about  and then embrace Orthodoxy.

The Lincoln Myth contains the text of the controversial and illusive White Horse Prophesy, allegedly first proclaimed to a select group of Mormon men in Nauvoo, Illinois, by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1844. I recall chasing evidence for its origin decades ago and got as far back as 1857 in discovering it mentioned in the journal of one of the Mormon pioneers, whose name I unfortunately cannot remember. The Mormon History Association would likely be the best source to explore this further.

13 July 14.
Having now finished this provocative novel, it gives a broad perspective on the Mormon political experience. I was glad to see that at the end of the novel non-Mormon author Steve Berry delineates fact from fiction. However, there is one story that he does not include in his delineation. That is the visit of US President Richard Nixon to Salt Lake City on Pioneer Day (July 24) 1970 and his interaction with then Mormon President Joseph Fielding Smith, his two counselors and the quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I do not know how many Mormon general authorities Nixon actually met with [a Google search identifies Harold B. Lee and N. Eldon Tanner in addition to Joseph Fielding Smith], but one thing is not so regarding the author's description of Joseph Fielding Smith being a "brilliant man". While this description of Joseph Fielding Smith is important to novel's story, this was simply not so. When I personally met with Joseph Fielding Smith privately in his Church office in September 1965, in his then position as president of the Quorum of the Twelve, he was bordering on senility. This surprising experience was profoundly shocking and deeply distressing because Smith was in no condition that would allow me to discuss the experience I had shared with Morris Kjar.

Another deeply shocking and disappointing private meeting during that same September 1965 visit to Salt Lake City was with Harold B. Lee, next in line for the Mormon presidency after Joseph Fielding Smith. Both of these meetings were set up by my old University of Utah stake mission president, Morris A. Kjar [I had been his student counselor], in whose home I was an overnight guest on September 21, 1965. It was because of certain experiences I had had earlier that summer that I shared with Morrie that Morrie felt I should see these two church next-in-line authorities. My main objective during that 1965 SLC visit [which I did not achieve] was to reach Mormon Church President David O. McKay, whom I'd been first introduced to in summer 1957 in Laguna Beach, California by then Laguna Ward bishop Ferren L. Christensen.

To be continued....

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Life Between Lives. Surprisingly important subject!

Posted: 6 July 14
Updated: 9 Jul 14

Front Cover
(click on image to enlarge)
Back Cover

The challenge, in reading this extraordinarily fascinating book and its extended sequel Destiny of Souls, is how to include and transcend the knowledge contained therein with my Mormon upbringing, Christian involvement, esoteric readings and experiences, as well as my professional scientific research training.

The best way I know of to check this out is by going into the experience myself. My two oldest sons are looking into this, too. In fact, the oldest, who alerted me to Michael Newton's work in the first place, is scheduled to experience his first session later this week! My own first session is scheduled for the last week of this month.

To be continued...



"To Be a Russian" Says it All

Posted: 6 July 2014
Updated: 7 July 14

Just in from Tom Rogers. Click here for full illustrated story.

Tom's comment: "Says it all!"

Open Letter to Linda K. Burton

Posted: 6 July 14
Updated:


Dear Linda,


We do not know each other, but I knew your late father Morris A. Kjar. In a recent telephone conversation with your mother, she thought you might be the best family member to contact regarding your father’s unfinished personal or church business. It is with this assumption in mind that I write to you now.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Haunting Past!

Posted: 5 July 14
Updated: 7 July
Thank you for visiting our home on July 2, 2014!  I then had the opportunity to take a photo of you as you can see here.   Our lokal newspaper Södelmanlands Nyheter also had a portrait of you. 
Thought you’d like to know you are very present even in your absence.
We enjoy family gettogether immensely. Warm greetings from Elisabeth and Pehr 
This is getting humorous! Imagine my surprise to get these two photos of yours truly in an email a couple of days ago from my sister-in-law in Sweden. They appeared in her local newspaper, which makes me wonder how often this documentary gets screened or printed in the European  press in  these days. These photos were probably taken from outtakes by the producer or director of the 2011 British documentary "Spies Beneath Berlin", since I don't recall these particular shots appearing in the film.





Formidable looking,  eh?


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ordain Women Founder Excommunicated

Event: 15 June 2014
Updated: 3 July 14




And so, it has happened! Kate Kelley, founder of the Ordain Women movement, which was founded only a year ago, was excommunicated in absentia by a Mormon bishop's court in Virginia. Aside from the pain and suffering Kate now feels in having been officially rejected by the Mormon hierarchy, she has been freed to find her own way and will soon get over it.

I think she's in for some pleasant surprises:

1.It's not the end of the world. 

2. She's made a lot of friends both in and out of the Mormon Church community. 

3. She may discover that she really doesn't need the Mormon priesthood after all, since her movement from the beginning was a fool's errand! 

She's now free from ecclesiastical rulers who "speak for doctrine the precepts of men having a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof". (Or something like that!).

Why, oh why would she need the approval and acceptance of male ecclesiastical authorities to demand they change their most cherished tradition? Her natural, God-given feminine power exceeds theirs from the get-go. It just does not make sense to me that she felt the need to challenge them. Yes, it was good theater as long as it lasted. And maybe we have not yet seen the last act. But that's what all that brouhaha was and is.

Self-righteous Mormon men have once again shot themselves in the foot! Thanks, Kate, for creating a dance that again brought "unrighteous dominion" into the Light for all to see.

To be continued.....maybe

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Remembering Morrie Kjar

Posted: 1 July 2014
Updated: 26 July

On June 26 my brother Virgil sent an e-mail asking if this obit of Morris Kjar was the same man I'd asked him for a postal address earlier in the month. It was! And I was chagrined because I had had Morrie's name and phone number on my office whiteboard for over 3 years to contact him about bringing closure to a decades old, but still open family issue that he was involved with. I had been his student counselor in 1962-3 when he was LDS stake mission president of the University of Utah student stake when I was in graduate school.

Fortunately, I followed up on that action item on June 4, 2014, before it was too late, having last talked to Morrie in his home in summer 1975--almost 40 years earlier! His wife Marge answered the phone and asked me to call back later, since Morrie was napping. But when I identified myself, she changed her mind and said she'd wake him. I was pleased to be remembered.

Though groggy from having been awakened, Morrie wondered how I was after all these years.  I said I had some loose personal ends to tie up with him before either of us departed this life. He gave me his email address. I didn't think to ask for his postal address, having intended to send him some relevant personal records.

One of the items I wanted to discuss with him was a letter he'd sent to my ex-wife in summer 1975 after he and I had last talked, which I didn't find out about until almost 30 years later. This was because it was discovered by my son from my second marriage during his review of Betty's substantial correspondence for a family reconciliation project. Because of its content, this son could not understand why the family hadn't realized its importance.

On July 4, Eugene wrote...
It is important to me to bring closure the above matter not only for me, but for my family and all of my children. Early this morning I felt prompted to contact one of Morrie's children, who might help this process. When I asked Marge who might have access to Morrie's records, she mentioned the name of one of her daughter, who happens to be the current general president of the LDS Church Relief Society. Marge mentioned that they had received the package I'd sent to Morrie on June 9, which included the DVD of my Berlin experience and a CD of my 1992 performance for the Ventura stake Relief Society. I hope this daughter was with the family members who Marge said had seen the DVD and heard the CD.

Relief Society! How appropriate...

On July 5, Eugene continues... Shortly after talking to Morrie on the phone on June 4, I sent him the following email: 
Dear Morrie, It was great to hear your voice again after all these years! I think the last time we spoke to each other was early summer 1975… More about this below. I am writing because there are some loose ends for my personal records that need to be tied up for my family and for the U of Utah special collections library, which is collecting my papers. I hope you will find this letter of interest and are willing to fill in a few blanks.

As I said on the phone, your name and number have been on my office whiteboard for over 3 years, after having visited Oscar McConkie, Jr. in SLC to check his memory. Although Oscar is still in marvelous physical shape and was gracious during my surprise visit, he did not remember the issue I came to see him about, which is mentioned in item 4 below. That was disappointing and thus I did not have the heart to visit you at that time, fearing that you, too, would not remember. Vic Cline died before he delivered on his promise to give his side of the story and copy his professional records made in 1961 to my family. Those records were then shredded by his family.

However, our chat yesterday encouraged me to try again to communicate with you about one or two unresolved issues.

1. Some of the happiest, most meaningful times of my life in the Church were when I was your counselor in the U of U stake mission from 1961-63. I don't know if you remember, but when I had finished the first year of that stake mission (which was the normal length of service back then) you asked me to say on another year as your counselor saying "I'm tired of 'yes men'". That was a wonderful challenge and I felt free and encouraged to be myself with you. Here are some blog posts about those days, which hopefully you can open:

a. (First 'transpersonal' experience while at UC Berkeley.)

b. Speech of U of U (This is where I first met Oscar who virtually demanded to know what I was talking about at end of this 5-minute speech. It was shortly after this that I was called to serve a stake mission and thus met you.)

c. [Oscar's blessing] (Oscar's setting-apart blessing had two surprising promises: 1. "The Lord is aware of you and the hopes of your heart. He will step out of His regular pattern to bless you in an especial way."; 2. "You will know of a certainty what your work is before this mission is through...") d. [Spiritual work with dad] (This is the only thing I knew "of a certainty" before I was released in June '63)

2. Weeks after my dad died a year later (May '64), I had this experience, which to this day I believe came from him on the other side.

3. The next year (Sep '65) I became your house guest and spent the night of the autumnal equinox there, where I had a dream, which I did not mention to you. But, I had confided something else that I had feared to disclose to you. Your response was, "Time will tell, Brother, time will tell." It was after--if not because of--this that you arranged appointments for me with several of the senior brethren, including Joseph Fielding Smith and Harold B. Lee. Do you remember this? My primary objective was to reach Pres. McKay, which became frustrated. In a subsequent letter, if you are interested, I want to share that above-mentioned September 1965 dream because of a significant figure that reappeared in a more recent dream in August 2010.

Unfortunately, Morrie died on June 20, before he could respond to the above email. (I hope this stuff didn't contribute to his passing!)

To continue my reminiscences of this memorable man, When Morrie asked me to be his counselor in June 1962, after I had already served the regular one year as a missionary to his University of Utah stake mission presidency, I felt encouraged to be as honest and straightforward. I was the only non-returned missionary among the student group of seasoned missionaries that had been called to serve U of Utah stake missions. I was to learn that that mission was probably the toughest mission in the Church, because that area beyond Church control, was not naive. I soon became Morrie's go-to guy when one of those 'seasoned' missionaries got into trouble with a hostile or challenging contact. I think that's why Morrie wanted me to stay as a counselor and in that role for another year.

In July 1962, a month after I had accepted a second missionary year with Morrie, I had a nightmare. This was a wake-up call, which was to set me on new spiritual direction. This was the first dream I can remember and recorded. See this blog post.],


To be continued...