Sunday, September 28, 2014

St. Dimitri of Rostov parish leaves OCA and is no more

Event: Sunday, 28 September 2014
Updated: Saturday, 8 Nov 14

The parishioners of St. Dimitri of Rostov parish of the Orthodox Church in America hope to join the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. To do that requires that it start anew, beginning with a new name. 

St. Dimitri of Rostov Orthodox Church

St. Dimitri's dome

On Sunday, September 28, 2014, the last Liturgy was celebrated under the auspices of The Orthodox Church in America (OCA), an autocephalous daughter of the parent Russian Orthodox Church based in Moscow.  St. Dmitri's parish council and all other parishioners signed an official letter seeking entry into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America (UOCofUSAunder the sponsorship and protection of its Bishop Daniel.

8 Nov 14. Last night Bishop Daniel visited our small parish to discuss the legalities and ecclesiastical procedures for how to proceed becoming part of the family of the UOCofUSA. 

Because the current leadership of the OCA has ignored and eventually denied our long-standing petition to be released from the OCA, the parish had no other choice than that of legally dissolving itself and divesting all its assets and connections to the OCA.  The parish must now re-invent itself, beginning with conceiving a new name. This process has now begun as of last night's discussion with Bishop Daniel. 

To be continued...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Conversations with David O. McKay and John R. Howard, Part 8

Posted: Thursday, 25 Sep 2014
Updated:  Sunday, 5 Oct 14

[Continuing the conversation.  See part 7]

David O. McKay
John (Jack) R. Howard

ENK: To continue where we left off, David, but before saying much more about my current dream work, I want to add some comments by Howard Salisbury about dreams that made a profound impact on me. That is because I did not yet know much about understanding or interpreting dreams. Here is the last paragraph of Salisbury's much longer letter of June 14, 1965, on the more general subject of existentialism. I had traveled to visit him in the Bay Area of San Francisco a few days earlier:

:"...You generously asked me to relate experiences with dreams under therapy.  Yesterday and today, thinking back on our too brief visit—I have spent all the time thinking about it—several have come to mind which I want to tell you about during our next one, hopefully very soon.         Dreams, under conditions of “freedom”, serve up the crises of the past and recreate them as the self experiences them in the present.  In this presentation, they are uncolored and undistorted by the rationalizations which the institution helps the mind to render acceptable, socially, religiously, intellectually.  There is no face-saving, no exhibitionism, no hypocrisy, no affectation.  The self is shown its own reality.   It sees its truth."
DOM: That is a very cogent comment, Eugene, and I wish I had been better informed about the subject when I was in office. Unfortunately none of the Brethren were well informed on the subject, either.

ENK: Yes, well, I'm now sure I had unrealistic projections on you and the other general authorities when I came to Salt Lake City in crisis only three months later. I expected you to be wiser and better equipped to deal with such crises and subjects.

DOM: I'm sorry you were so ill-served and misunderstood then, dear brother, but perhaps now we can address such a subject more effectively and practically.

ENK: Thank you. I hope so. Shall we proceed?

DOM: Please do.

ENK: I think brother John Howard will be a big help in this. Yes, Jack?

JRH: I'm willing to try. You might begin by telling David how you approached the subject professionally after you and I had met some years earlier.

ENK: OK, Jack. You know from our conversations in  spring 1972, when I was a guest in your home for six weeks, that I'd been remembering and recording my dreams since having had that nightmare of July 1962 and then later after reading Hugh Lynn Cayce's 1964 book Venture Inward, which gives a clear protocol for remembering dreams.

JRH: I remember this well. Those were exciting, stimulating days and weeks of great conversations!

ENK: Yeah. Well, my attempt to present this subject professionally began several years later.In early January 1976, to be exact. It began with a dream where a clear, powerful masculine voice issued me a command: "It is time to wake up and begin a grace-filled ministry!"

JRH: How did you understand that dream?

ENK: Actually, I didn't at first. but I couldn't dismiss it. One of the first people I shared it with was Brother Taylor, a black Pentecostal minister in the Watts District of Los Angeles, who had hired me to sing Negro Spirituals every Sunday on his regularly scheduled radio program. He thought the dream was meant for him, since his church was called "The Greater Grace Memorial Church of God in Christ." And he understood my spiritual work assignment.

JRH: And how did you meet "Brother Taylor"?

ENK: Gosh, that's really an important story! But I'm reluctant to tell it here because I fear it will be a distraction.

JRH: Don't worry, Gene. I know this story and think it belongs here.

ENK: Well, OK. It begins with two dreams on the morning of my previous birthday, when I would be introduced to Brother Taylor later that afternoon:
17 Nov 75 0500
 a. I am in a car (open?) driven by Diane proceeding down a street. Passing by, going the other way in another vehicle, a teen-age Negro boy grabs my hand and holds on. I tell Diane to keep going and not get pulled off center. I disconnect from the teenager's grip and am pleased to continue without complication or difficulty.  
b. Later, I am in a men's locker room with my briefcase and another small case of overnight effects.  A small Negro boy comes up to me and silently grabs hold of my right leg, which surprises and alarms me.  I try peeling the boy off my leg, but he won't let go. I push on his head with the heel of my right hand against his face with all my strength, but he is tenacious and surprisingly stronger than my best effort to dislodge him.  And, he still will not let go.  
Suddenly I realize that I am not being attacked as I had feared! My fear immediately turns to compassion as I realize that all this small boy wants is a connection!  And so, as I reach down to scoop him up to hold him, he never says a word, but now is happily beaming and broadly smiling in my arms. 
[As an old Southern ballad comments: 'He never said a mumblin' word!] ....
On brief reflection after waking that morning, I realized that my inbred, Mormon-based prejudice against blacks had wonderfully transformed into understanding and acceptance. And I began to feel that that small black boy in my dream was a wondrous version of the Christ child!

Later that same day, my then fiance Diane (who appeared in my dream that morning) introduced me to her black minister friend "Brother Taylor" so that I could sing for him. This was the first time since my experience in the US Army (where I was beat up in a fight by a black man who had called me a very bad name) that I had ever met another black man. Brother Taylor hired me on the spot to sing Negro Spirituals for his Sunday radio program after hearing me sing a Negro Spiritual and a Russian folk song A Capella. We soon became the best of friends. Months later he would smile and chuckle while telling me and others that no one in the radio audience beyond his church congregation ever knew it was a white guy singing!

JRH: Keep going, Gene. What's next after telling Brother Taylor your "grace-filled ministry" dream.

ENK: I met my good friend Bob Rees, then a Mormon bishop, second managing editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and an administrator with UCLA's adult education division. He asked me to teach a course for the university and asked what I was interested in. When I told him I had just taken a new interest in dreams, he asked me to write a prospectus. But I didn't have the confidence to do that at the time.

JRH: But you then got help from the Bel Air Presbyterian community, didn't you?

ENK: Yes. Diane and I had become members of Bel Air Pres, which formed a small group of spiritually gifted and psychologically sophisticated church members to help me figure out a way to develop such a prospectus. After two or three months I had developed the confidence to respond to Bob's invitation.

(click on images to enlarge)
Los Angeles Times article about dream course

Reference letter from UCLA's Bob Rees

JRH: OK, Gene, this is helpful, but it doesn't get to the point where you were able to present it to the Mormon Church. I'm sure David is more interested in that point. Isn't that so, David?

DOM: Yes. I find this interesting in several ways, but especially because of your interaction with the minister from the black Pentecostal church.

ENK: Yes?

DOM: It is my understanding that you returned to the LDS Church after years of absence. 

ENK: That is correct. That date was July 25, 1975, the tenth anniversary of having had the revelation. Our mutual friend, President Ferren Christensen, presided over that re-baptism and allowed me to choose the date, location and circumstances for it. He even allowed me to choose my 17-year old son Nick, officially a Mormon priest, to do the baptism, which was in the Pacific Ocean under the cliff of the beach house in Laguna Beach. This was where I'd been handed the official excommunication letter a decade earlier by two high councilmen, whom I'd never met informing me of a high council decision in absentia. I didn't think that was necessary to mention here in order not to get too distracted.

DOM: The priesthood ban was still at issue, wasn't it?

ENK: Of course, you know that. What did you do with the revelation that Pres. Christensen sent to you in fall 1968?

DOM: That's a fair question. I couldn't do much with it, let alone talk to many of the Brethren. You know President Joseph Fielding's views on the subject. I was confident he would not give it any attention at all.

ENK: Easy to understand, especially after I met him in his office in fall 1965 and he seemed a bit senile. I don't think President Harold B. Lee would have given it any attention, either.

DOM: Yes. But President Kimball did. I discussed this with him at length before my passing over. He was most interested.

ENK: Didn't you brethren discuss or debate it at all?

DOM: Unfortunately no. There was no discussion or debate.

ENK: Boy! That I don't understand! I once sent a copy of that document to a rabbi friend in California who had retired after being the chief rabbi in Idaho. He knew many of the LDS general authorities personally. He told me that whenever someone came to his Jewish leadership with something saying "Thus saith the Lord....", which was not uncommon among his people, they would take it seriously and debate the issue. That is the way they dealt with all such difficult issues.

DOM: Unfortunately that is not the way it is in our church.

ENK: I understand. Did you know that my black minister friend thought it was right on?

DOM: No.

ENK: Also, Bob Rees told me, after I showed him a copy, that the Black Muslims had a similar belief. This was a surprise to me, but I want you to know that I never attempted to defend or promote the substance of that revelation. I still don't. Nevertheless, I'll never forget having had the experience and can never deny that I had it. What it means for the Church, if anything, is another matter altogether. I find it interesting that the word "priesthood" never appears in it. Did you notice that?

DOM: Actually no. I didn't give it serious attention, because I knew I could do nothing about it. But brother Spencer did.

JRH: Gene, wasn't this the subject of the play you wrote when we were talking about you publishing something serious? We were trying to find an agreeable subject to write about together.

ENK: Yes, the play was titled The Defense of Cain, and I finished the first draft of it on the morning of June 8, 1978, which I learned only the next day was the date that the Church changed its policy on the Negro and the priesthood ban. That was during the administration of President Spencer W. Kimball. Wasn't that ironic?

JRH: Yes it was, Gene. I didn't realize how significant that date was at the time.

26 Sep 14

JRH: But back to your dream work. You came to see me in the late 1980s and came up with an approach that finally made sense to me.

ENK: Yes. This was a decade after presenting a course at UCLA, which was moderately successful, but that felt too academic to me to be practical. I was looking for something more simple. That opportunity came after being promoted to engineering manager for a small struggling company within the Brunswick Defense Corporation. I had learned about "The Center for Feeling Therapy", which had been founded by three young psychologists in Los Angeles. They had developed a technique for looking at dreams objectively and were having success in helping people deal with anxieties.

JRH: So, your process was not original with you?

ENK: Yes, it was, even though I'd been inspired by the guys at that center to look at dreams objectively, rather than subjectively, as I had learned in Jungian analysis. However, I was soon to learn that that center had been shut down after several of the psychologists lost their licenses after misusing their influence. Not unlike Scientology. I did not want to fall into a power-tripping trap.

JRH: How did you present it to your company?

ENK: Well, the company was suffering from bad morale and I saw an opportunity to address the problem. As engineering manager I now had a small staff, which was sort of a captive audience. Since I'd been with the company for 7 years, my staff and I knew each other well. Nevertheless, almost everyone hated to come to work. They came because they needed a paycheck. 

I began by asking each staff member to see me in my office for a one-on-one conversation and evaluation of their respective assignments and expectations. During those personal meetings I presented the basic concepts of CREEI and asked each member to remember a dream without disclosing its content. Then we would talk about the dream without interpreting it. This turned out to be a generally pleasant experience for most, if not all, my staff members and within a few days they couldn't wait to come to work to see how what they'd learned from that beginning 'inner" work could be applied to their "outer" work on the job. 

Soon my department was the only one keeping its commitments. But most important was my department's high morale. When the general manager noticed this change, he called me in to explain what was happening, I hesitated to tell him about the dream work part. But, after disclosing this, he invited me to make it available to the rest of the company on a volunteer basis. "How much time do you need?", he asked. "Give me three months", I replied and we agreed to meet weekly for two hours for breakfast off site, at company expense. Most of the volunteers were other department managers.

We didn't need three months. Within six weeks the company's morale changed, the downward spiral reversed and the general manager was full of praise.

General Manager's endorsement

Psychotherapist's endorsement

DOM: Very interesting, Eugene, but you said you originally developed this process for an LDS Elders Quorum. What happened there?

ENK: It didn't seem to make sense to the brethren in the quorum presidency, which I was part of. They didn't have any pressing problems, as was the case with my job, and they didn't feel the need for any help. Those young leaders were simply disinterested and felt that they had all the direction to solve whatever problems they might encounter by applying regular church priesthood handbook directions.

DOM: Did they not see that your process was a form of revelation, the "rock" on which the church is founded?

ENK: Great question, David. I tried to speak to them in such terms, but it seemed too far out. That simply amazed me, given what I'd been taught all my life and had recently experienced.

That, by the way, is the very attitude I've experienced with brother George these past several weeks. How would you suggest I approach him now? Or how would you, Jack?

On Saturday, 27 Sep 14, 9:41 a.m., I wrote to Joseph Dillard, creator of the Integral Deep Listening protocol [IDL], which is the technique for interviewing dream characters that I am using to extend these conversations with "David O. McKay" and "John R. Howard". This is because these two figures appeared to me in recent dreams, which were triggered by my inner and outer interaction with George. 

To Dillard I wrote:
[See] the latest [IDLinterview iteration (I'm surprised by how it has evolved so far). The external conversations with [George] continue and I am getting closer to discussing CREEI and IDL with him. Check out the last few inner exchanges with DOM in this post. Let's hope I can get closure on this before I die! Thanks for your continuing responses….
Love and appreciation,
 An hour later, on 27 Sep 14, 10:57 a.m., Joseph replied:
Dear Eugene,
 I like your format. It strikes me as a way for you to get closure with the Church without having to deal with all the resistance of personalities.
We shall see! :-) ...

To be continued in Part 9....

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Opera on the Rocks: Don Giovani

Event: Saturday, 20 Sept 2014
Updated: 25 Sep 14

Los Alamos Monitor front page article on 24 Sep 14

Great fun!  Am singing the role of Commendatore in one of Mozart 's most famous operas. Although I thought I'd lost my operatic voice years ago, I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that I can do this role! Thanks to director Alicia Solomon for inviting me to try it out.  It feels perfect at the ripe old age of 80! All I have to do (as a statue) is stand there and in a loud voice call Don Giovani to repentance!
(click to enlarge)
Cast of Characters


Carlos Archuleta, baritone (Don Giovanni)
            A native northern New Mexican, Carlos has had a full operatic career, beginning with studying with Andre at NM Highlands, and continuing at the New England Conservatory of Music.  Some of his signature roles were both Figaros, the Count in Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, Papageno, the Count in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, Escamillo, Sharpless, Marcello, Silvio, and Germont, performing with many notable companies including the Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, and Dallas Opera.  Since retiring from singing to help raise his daughter, he has become a Mechanical Designer/Technician for Area 52 (Chevron Technology).

Jeffrey Click, bass (Leporello)
            Jeff studied vocal performance while at UC Santa Barbara; he also attended the American Institute of Musical Studies in GrazAustria, where he met his wife, Alicia Solomon.  After spending the past twenty years raising their family, he began singing again, performing King Balthazzar in last year’s Opera on the Rocks, Amahl & the Night Visitors.  Jeff leads a team at LANL that provides on-demand cloud computing services.

Christina Martos, soprano (Donna Anna)
            A graduate of Carnegie Mellon and the Yale School of Music, Christina was also a Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist with the Washington National Opera, and performed several seasons with the Central City Opera in Colorado.  Her repertoire includes The Saint of Bleeker Street, The Magic Flute, Hansel & Gretel, L’Elisir d’Amore, Gianni Schicchi, Suor Angelica, The Marriage of Figaro, Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Carlysle Floyd’s Susannah. She lives with her daughter in Los Alamos, where she was seen last year in LALO’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
Andre Garcia-Nuthmann, tenor (Don Ottavio)
            Andre is Director of Vocal & Choral Studies at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, where he manages a wide variety of choral and instrumental ensembles. He earned a doctorate in vocal performance from Arizona State University, and has been a prominent tenor soloist in northern New Mexico for many years, appearing frequently with the Santa Fe Opera, Symphony, Pro Musica, Desert Chorale, and Opera Alta. In last year’s Opera on the Rocks he was King Kaspar; he and Alicia have been making beautiful music together since 1988.

Jess Cullinan, soprano (Donna Elvira)
            Jess holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Marquette University, and has sung with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, Chicago Chorale, and the Rockefeller Chapel Choir.  With Los Alamos Light Opera and Little Theatre, she appeared in The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess), The Spitfire Grill (Percy), and Into the Woods (The Witch), and directed LALO's The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 2013. With Opera Alta, she sang Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, and Fiordiligi and Susanna in the inaugural Opera on the Rocks in 2012. She is also an artist & graphic designer.

Eugene Kovalenko, bass (Statue of Commendatore)
            In a career spanning more than half a century, Eugene has been a military intelligence agent, a nuclear materials scientist, a Soviet-American trade specialist, an engineering manager in aerospace, and a seminar coordinator for Russian & American scientists at LANL.  He still teaches and consults.

Brian Huysman, keyboardist
            Brian recently joined LANL after 30 years with NASA.  With decades as a church pianist, in a Big Band, and over 45 musical theater productions behind him, Brian marvels that only in New Mexico, would he be able to combine his passion for opera with his passion for hiking and backpacking.  He has played for Opera Alta’s “Petra and the Jay”, and all three Opera on the Rocks productions.

Since 2006, Opera Alta (Alicia Solomon, director) has presented performances across northern New Mexico of arias and ensembles from opera and musical theater, a condensed H.M.S. PINAFORE, an original Sci-Fi musical, and for the third year running, Opera on the Rocks at Bandelier.  Personally, Alicia has appeared repeatedly with the Santa Fe Opera, Symphony, Concert Association, Chamber Music Festival, and the Desert Chorale.  She holds a Master of Sacred Music degree, and is Music Director at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos. (Visit

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Conversations with David O. McKay and John R. Howard, Part 7

Posted: 18 Sep 2014
Updated: 1 Oct 14

[23 Sep 14. Apologies to readers: these conversations are becoming laborious and may seem a bit crazy. They may make more sense eventually. See Part 6]

David O. McKay
John (Jack) R. Howard

To review: These conversations were inspired by two dreams, which I had on 13 July 14. The first was a telephone conversation with George J. The second was a visit by David O. McKay looking like he did when I first met him in Laguna Beach, California in summer 1957.

ENK: David, John has asked me to flesh out the high points of the five issues that were implied in my poem Nathan's Cry, written for you in fall 1965, which was later found in your personal papers in the LDS Church archives. I want you to know the origin of the poem's title.

DOM: I would be more than interested!

ENK: Below is the first page of a letter written to me on May 5, 1965, by my erstwhile friend and mentor, Howard E. Salisbury, during a time when we were having an intense correspondence. He refers to this letter as a "non-letter" because our correspondence was then taking so much of our time and energy...  Note, please his second paragraph, where he sketches out an idea for a novel and wonders about the name of the novel's hero.... This was the inspiration for my poem's title to you almost six months later.
(click on image to enlarge)

DOM: Why would you think Howard would think of such a name?

ENK: I think he was trying to alert me to his condition of having been incorrectly excommunicated from the Church and was indirectly implicating you in that decision.

DOM: Can you say why?

ENK: I think so. The Church was Howard's life. It would be hard to find anyone more devoted to it than he. Because of this and the fact that he was intimately acquainted with many general authorities of the Church, including Apostle Harold B. Lee and especially Hugh B. Brown in your First Presidency (who had been his missionary companion as young men before World War II), he figured he would get properly heard when he was "outed" by one of his students at Rick's College who was a returned missionary. Howard was trying to teach me about the existential problems of being gay in the LDS Church.

DOM: Keep explaining.

ENK: I learned years later that Howard had come to see Hugh B. Brown in the company of his doctor friend, C. Jess Groesbeck, [a well-known LDS Jungian psychiatrist] to confess his homosexuality. Because of that confession (which Groesbeck told me about after Howard died), President Brown felt required to excommunicate Howard. This was in 1963 and it was traumatic for both men.

DOM: I'm not clear yet why  he chose the name "Nathan".

ENK: I can only surmise that he could not believe you were not aware of the gay issue and did nothing to rectify a misjudgment by Brown.

JRH: Hold on there, Gene!! I'm not sure this makes sense. It seems a bit of a stretch to hold David accountable for Hugh Brown's decision.

DOM: Thank you, John, but I think I could have handled this issue at the time, if I were to have been able to meet with Eugene and his poem. It was not a prudent time for such a discussion.

ENK: That was only one of five issues. Actually, the more important one was the priesthood ban policy by the Church.  I know you were much exercised about it and could not justify it in your own mind and study. But I had come with a revelation in hand, which I was not willing to discuss with anyone but you. From today's perspective that was terribly naive of me!

DOM: Naive, yes, but not well timed. I became aware of your revelation in 1968 when President Christensen brought it to my attention.

ENK: Ah, so Ferren did get it to you, after all?

DOM: Yes, but I was too weak physically, let alone emotionally, to deal with it especially then. That, as you surely know, was simply too big an issue for me to deal with, given the makeup of the Council of the Twelve. You know that I passed on two years later.

JRH: Gene, I don't know what you are talking about on this one.

ENK: Jack, this is the most important of the five issues and had been troubling me for years. Only a few weeks earlier (in August '65) the Watts Riots had taken place and there were rumors circulating in Salt Lake City that blacks were going to disrupt the October General Conference. The revelation came [on 25 July '65] shortly before that uprising.

JRH: All right, but why was your concern so urgent at that time?

ENK: It was a huge burden and I was facing excommunication for even having had such an experience.

22 September 2014

JRH: That still doesn't make sense to me. Why should you be facing excommunication for having had such a powerful experience?

ENK: Well, to be really honest and candid about it, Jack, I'm sure my embarrassingly naive behavior was much to blame, if we have to find fault, rather than simply trace the circumstances.

JRH: Let's trace the circumstances, Gene. I'm sure finding fault anywhere is not the same as telling the truth about your life and that of the Church leaders you were interacting with.

23 September 2014

ENK: Agreed, Jack! From today's perspective I can see that David was is no shape or position to deal with any of the five issues I've mentioned above. Wouldn't you agree with this, David?

DOM: Yes. Thank you for seeing a bigger picture now.

ENK: But this doesn't mean that those issues were not worth being addressed at that time, especially the one about the priesthood ban.

DOM: How would you have had it handled?

ENK: Actually, I think I handled it as best I could at the time by first telling President Morris A. Kjar about it, who then made an appointment with Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith, since he was the heir apparent to your position as Church president and was also the official Church historian. He was also outspoken on the reason for the ban. He could have functioned as Nixon did in going to China.

DOM: But he didn't and you did not give him enough information when you met him.

ENK: This is true. That's why I had to wait until fall 1968 to get that original document back into the ecclesiastical system.

DOM: Yes, I did get it back then from President Christensen, as I've already said. But you know, don't you, that I tried to help you shortly after you were in Salt Lake City, not long after I got your poem?

ENK: Yes. I didn't find out about this until ten years later, when I "happened to encounter" Brother J. Birch Holt during a visit to UC Berkeley. (I had worked for Birch as a graduate research assistant in summer 1962 at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory which was shortly after I'd just been called to be President Morris Kjar's counselor in the U of Utah Stake Mission.). Birch had been tasked by you to find me when I sent a letter to you from Mt. Herman Christian Camp in Felton, California. He "just happened" to reside in the jurisdiction of the Church that included Felton at that time.  But he couldn't find me after driving to Felton back then to look for me. I had moved on into the wilderness, having become homeless and leaving no trail of addresses.

However, David and John, it occurs to me just now to tell you both about the first dream I ever remember having, which was during summer 1962 and which I recorded. You will see that I had Birch Holt sign as a witness to it. It was such a surprise to have had such an experience back then that I felt the need for someone to witness my account of it. Now, after all these years, I see that this was a good decision..

(click on document to enlarge)
First recorded dream
(click on hyperlink for later analysis)
JRH: This is interesting, Gene. I understand a little better why you were so concerned in discussing your and my dreams when you were a guest in my home in Portland in early 1972. I also remember that I didn't much appreciate your passion about this until you visited me on my farm in 1987.

ENK: Yes, I had come to see you in 1987 after having been promoted to engineering manager at the company I worked for. I hoped you could give me counsel on how to be a good manager. That night in your home I had the flash of insight that allowed me to talk about dreams in an objective, rational manner. It finally seemed to make sense to you. I remember you exclaiming, "I see it! I finally see it!"

JRH: Yes, I remember. It was a remarkable experience. And I know you have been refining the process ever since.

ENK: Yeah. It's called the CREEI Process, as you know. How I wished I could have made it more understandable for the LDS priesthood guys. That was my deepest purpose for coming up with it in the first place, since those Elders Quorum leaders in my ward were generally stuck in their heads and out of touch with their feelings.

JRH: But you did manage to present it to the company you were working for at the time.

ENK: Yes, you know that it allowed me and them to turn the company around in only a few weeks. But that is not what I want to discuss here. I'd rather ask David about how to present such a process to the Church these days. That's why I have continued my conversations with George Jennings. He still doesn't take his dreams seriously, because he doesn't like them.

DOM: How do you propose to remedy this?

ENK: I was hoping you could help me figure this out.

DOM: Let me consider this for a while and I'll get back to you.

ENK: Thank you David. I look forward to our next conversation. You will stay with us, won't you Jack?

JRH: Yes, Gene. I'll stick around.

To be continued in Part 8.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Conversations with David O. McKay and John R. Howard, Part 6

Posted: Sunday, 14 Sep 14
Updated: 16 Sep 14

David O. McKay
John (Jack) R. Howard
(President of Lewis & Clark College)

ENK: David, I was interrupted on September 1, when you were about to say something about young Nathan's comment on [John Dehlin's podcast] Mormon Stories on August 31. The interruption was from friend Tom R., who took exception to Nathan's comments by saying:.
As for Nathan and his father, let those who so vociferously and presumptuously assert that certain others need to repent first look to themselves.  (It’s quite ironic that more than at any other time in its history, the Brethren have recently become so self-disclosing and transparent about much in the past: Uchtdorf: “Mistakes were made.”  Former Church Historian Marvin Jensen’s acknowledgments and spearheading of the book on Mountain Meadows and the Joseph Smith Papers.  Pronouncements about the various versions of the First Vision, etc. on the First Presidency’s weekly website. Etc.)   
DOM: Yes, Eugene, Brother Tom speaks truly. I understand he is a church patriarch.

ENK: Yes, he is assigned to Eastern Europe these days. We met originally in 1979 at BYU when he was a professor of Russian. In 1993-96 he was a mission president to Russia, based in St. Petersburg. 

DOM: An impressive background.

ENK: But I'd like to get back to the time I tried to contact you in fall 1965 while in a state of crisis. You were unavailable, so I wrote Nathan's Cry and hand delivered it to your secretary Clare Middlemiss. 

DOM: So you have said and I have acknowledged.

ENK: Yes, but what I haven't yet said is what that poem was referring to.

DOM: Go on..

ENK: Actually, there were five separate issues that I'd been struggling with, starting with the death of my Ukrainian-born, Russian speaking father in May 1964. I almost hesitate to list them here.

DOM: Don't worry, I'm listening....  

ENK: I'll list them in the order that they first came into my life and the approximate dates.
1. Psi-warfare defense initiative (mid-June '64)
2. Homosexuality and excommunication (January 1965)
3. Flying Saucers and extraterrestrials (23 April '65) 
4. Polygamy (1 May 65)
5. Revelation re the priesthood ban of Negroes.(25 July '65)

DOM: Those were huge issues back then and still are, aren't they?

ENK: Indeed they were and are! And you were the only person I thought I could talk to about my experiences related to them. That's why I came to Salt Lake in September '65 and stayed overnight with my old mission president, Morris A. Kjar, to whom I confided hints of issues 4 and 5. He realized I was under a great burden and arranged for me to meet with two general authorities on  a particular subject. The first regarding item 5 was with Joseph Fielding Smith, then president of the Quorum of the Twelve and next in line to succeed you. The second meeting was with Harold B. Lee regarding item 4, who was next in line to become church president after Smith.

DOM: Sounds like a good strategy on President Kjar's part.

ENK: I think he was well meaning and compassionately motivated. But I was in for a rude awakening in meeting with both those men, which is why I then wrote my poem to you.

DOM: Say something about what you mean by "rude awakening".

ENK: Gladly.When I met with Pres. Smith regarding item 5, my intent was to give him the original document received on 25 July 65 for his inspection. But, when I mentioned I was being considered for excommunication because of it, he became agitated and asked who my stake president was. When I disclosed it was the San Diego stake president, he immediately began to call the Sandy, Utah stake president! I was aghast at this mishearing and realized he was not all there. So, I immediately stopped talking and withdrew from his office without further interaction.

DOM: And Elder Lee?

ENK: He was entirely different. As soon as I opened the door to his office he began shouting at me. No greeting, No handshake. No warmth. He was reacting to a letter I'd sent to him a month earlier asking for counsel regarding a woman I'd just fallen in love with a day or two before, which was something I'd never experienced before (including my wife). I did not know how to handle it and was struggling to understand "the principle" behind it. The amazing part of this to me was that this was exactly how he behaved in my May 1st dream, almost five months earlier. In that dream he was speaking to an audience with great anger as the Church president.

DOM: I'm familiar with that behavior.

ENK: In barking orders to me never to see that woman again I responded that I would obey him because I was committed to the order of the priesthood, but not because I believed him.

DOM: And he said?

ENK: With great ferocity, he shouted, "Well, you'd BETTER believe it. It's all of the Devil. That principle has been REPUDIATED!"

I didn't have anything more to say, but vowed silently never sustain this man as Church president.

DOM: Understandable.

ENK: But then he totally changed the subject and his demeanor by gently asking "And how is Howard?" He was referring to another subject in my letter having to do with my gay mentor friend who had once been a confidant of Lee when my friend was with Rick's collage and Lee was grooming him to become a General Authority.

I answered, "He's having a rough time", to which Lee responded with sincere compassion, "You know, we're trying to save souls, not destroy them."  The irony of this crazy-making statement and previous behavior convinced me that I had to get to you and no one else. 

Furthermore, I'd had a dream the night I stayed with President Kjar containing the statement, "This is to celebrate the beginning of the recrystallization of the church", which I dared not share with Kjar but would with you.

DOM: Do you not see how difficult the issues were that you presented to these men?

ENK: From today's perspective, I most certainly do. I'd given them far more credit for wisdom and good judgment than they deserved. My expectations were way out of line and reality.

Jack, you must have a lot to say about this.

JRH: Yes I do, Gene. I was most intrigued to discuss all those issues with you at depth when you were our house guest for six weeks many years later. We called them "the important questions." 

ENK: Yeah, that was late March or early April 1972, when I showed up on your doorstep with just the clothes on my back.:You had told me weeks earlier at Lewis and Clark's Second Spiritual Quest Symposium in early March, '72 to drop by anytime I was in town. "Were you serious?" I asked when you opened your front door that night. "Yes", you said, "come on in". And that began one of the most important friendships I have ever had.

JRH: The feeling was mutual. And now let's talk a little about your expectations back then and in the present with respect to the five issues you say are implied by your poem to David.

ENK: That's gonna be difficult.

JRH: You don't need to make it a major treatise, Gene. Just give an outline of the basics and how they might relate to each other. Can you do that?

ENK: I'll try, but I want David to stay with us. I have some important stuff to say to and ask him.

DOM: I'm not going anywhere for now and remain interested.

To be continued in Part 7...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Birgitta sings at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church

Event: September 7, 2014
Updated: 12 Sep 14

Birgitta introduced her song by quoting a favorite bible verse:
He that believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water... (John 7:38 NKJV)
(click on images to enlarge) 
Birgitta sings from choir loft
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing      Birgitta Kovalenko
arr. Hayes

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above
Praise His name, I'm fixed upon it
Name of God's redeeming love.

Hitherto Thy love hast blest me
Thou hast brought me to this place;
And I know Thy hand will bring me
safely home by Thy good grace.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wand’ring from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
bought me with His precious blood.

Oh to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wand'ring heart to Thee

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O, take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.

Pastor Nicole thanks Birgitta afterwards
Pastor Bruce thanks Birgitta afterwards
Also afterwards, Birgitta received two letters from parishioners:
Dear Birgitte (sic) -
Your offering last Sunday of the rich music and words of the song stayed with me all this time. The hymn has been a strength for a niece, whose mission in China requires nourishment often from God's people. I went home to study the words again, play the  hymn, and use it in prayers. Now I hear it in my mind with your lovely voice and love of Jesus present in my inner worship. What a precious gift! Thank you, Bergitte - Love, M...
The second note from the choir director:
Dear Birgitta,
Thank you so much for singing last Sunday. It was beautiful and many people told me it brought them to tears. I thought the reading before the anthem was very effective, too. I really appreciate you singing for BELC-- it means a lot to me, too.  Blessings, A...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Birgitta in her High Tea Hat

Posted: 2 Sep 14

Birgitta in her modified Greek Shepherd's Hat
On Saturday, August 30, 2014, my sweet wife Birgitta attended a "High Tea and Fashion Show", sponsored by the local Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church as a fund raiser for financing the building of homes for the homeless in Mexico.

For the occasion she bought a special flower to add to her prized straw hat, a Greek Shepard's hat that she purchased almost 40 years ago while on a trip to Greece with her 20-year-old daughter, Larissa.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Conversations with David O. McKay and John R. Howard, Part 5

Posted: Monday, 1 September 14
Updated: Sunday, 1 Oct 14

David O. McKay
(click on name for his brief statement)
John (Jack) R. Howard
(President of Lewis & Clark College)

On Saturday, Aug 30, I sent friend Joseph Dillard a link to Part 4 of these conversations with David O. McKay and John R. Howard, 

Joseph Dillard
Joseph replied::
Interesting. Two comments. You were seeking validation from respected authorities regarding issues that were ahead of the times. they not only were not priorities, they were issues to be ignored and repressed as long as possible, either for normative reasons or because they were deemed irrelevant to the mission of the church. Therefore you were, to use an old Arkansas expression, "pissing into the wind."

Secondly, the comment by McKay that you will succeed as long as you seek the guidance of Jesus, is death wrapped in shiny gift-wrap. Why? Because if you don't succeed, and you didn't, the implication is that you either weren't doing Jesus' will - that is, you were actually working against him, which means for the devil, or you just weren't trying hard enough, which means you let the Lord down. He sent you to Earth with a mission and you failed.

This is why this statement is a demonic pile of crap.
I was delighted by Dillard's straight talk and replied accordingly:

Nope, not validation, but honest talk. Doesn't mean I'm not still pissing in the wind, which may be so. I'll have to wait to see how it smells. Second, that's what McKay believed and probably still believes as an inner figure. Did you click on his name and view his "testimony" in the flesh? Did you register my poem "Nathan's Cry"? I'm going to have some very severe stuff to say to him before long….

PS. Hey, old friend, thanks for your straight talk. This conversation with McKay and Howard is an outgrowth of a surprising conversation with a local Mormon guy named George J, a Saul of Tarsus type. We're scheduled to talk again on Wednesday, which will be the fifth time (if I've counted right). I've dreamed of him twice, the first time as a guy that looked like him on July 4, 2010, before meeting him in the flesh later that morning…The more recent dream being on this past July 13. I'm trying to check out the accuracy of my projection on him, because if it is accurate, it will stay. If it isn't, then I'll get it back (via wind-blown piss?) and continue to wonder what he represents to me! So, bottom line is that these inner/outer conversations are going somewhere, but I'm not sure how they will play out. Both McKay and Howard were worldly wise guys in the flesh with different views of spirituality. (John Howard was a liberal Presbyterian, as well as a staunch Republican.) McKay was thoroughly Mormon and much more certain about the nature of spirituality than was Howard in the flesh, but he was not as courageous as Howard in seeking answers to "the important questions". It will be interesting to see how both these inner figures will continue to talk to me….  as well as you as an outer figure!
 Love and gratitude,
ENK: John and David, this conversation is getting a bit freaky, if not downright crazy. Can you  handle it? 

On September 1, 2014,t 9:30 AM, Joseph Dillard again replied:
I think it’s great you’re doing these interviews as well as getting ready to talk to [Georg]. Why? Because the more encounters you have the more data you have. The more information you have, hopefully the more objective you become. That means you will be able to separate stuff that you can use from delusional, self-validating contexts. It would be nice if you managed to get some closure on all this before you die! However, just be aware that while information can come from external sources, closure is something that pretty much has to come from within, as dissimilar, conflicting life strands are woven into a larger, integrated whole…
 love and blessings,
ENK: David, later today [1 Sep 14] I read a Face Book comment to John Delin's Mormon Stories podcast interview of Terryl and Fiona Givens regarding their new book "The Crucible of Doubt". The comment was posted at 11:17 PM last night (Aug 31) by a young man named Nathan, which caught my eye. He writes:
It’s late, but after listening to most of Part II of this [Mormon Stories podcast] program, I just have to get this thought off of my chest. I think the only thing that would bring me back into the church is if, as an institution, it did what I grew up hearing from the church I should always be doing, and that is REPENT. I would like to see an influential apostle, like, say, Elder Oaks, stand before the members in general conference and official lyrics apologize for all the strictly faith-promoting history which the church has been teaching for years and years. And I’d like the apology to be given without qualification or rationalization. And I’d like him to acknowledge how the church has benefited by choosing to only share their sanitized version of events. And I don’t want him to just throw the church’s historical department under the bus. I want him to admit that the policy of dishonesty went all the way up to the president. Then, once this “confession” has been given, the church just has to let the chips fall where they may, and hope for the best. I’m sure such a confession will cause possibly great harm to the church’s tithing revenues, but, speaking for myself, they would quite possibly regain my loyalty. But I know they will never issue a public apology.
So, David, do you have anything to say about this? You know, of course, that I thought of my poem Nathan's Cry immediately....

DOM: Yes, I believe I do have something to say about Nathan's current comment, as well as your Nathan's Cry....  

To be continued in Part 6...