Wednesday, August 26, 2009

38f - Moroni's Plea to The Lord, Jesus Christ Has Been Granted!

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Painting: Tom Lovell

Moroni, son of Mormon was given the task of preserving the plates of gold upon which his father had abridged the records kept by the prophets of their nation for over nine centuries. In the painting above Moroni is shown praying before burying the plates securely in the ground.

Painting: Tom Lovell

It was Moroni as a resurrected person, an angel of light, who appeared to Joseph Smith on September 21, 1823 in the second story bedroom where Joseph and a younger brother slept. Joseph would become eighteen years 0f age in December of that year. That night Moroni began the preparation Joseph needed in order to be fully prepared to translate the record contained on the plates of gold.
Once a year for a period of four years, he, Moroni, met with Joseph to help him prepare in every way possible to be ready to translate these sacred records into the English language by the Power of God. Then on September 22, 1827 Moroni delivered them into Joseph's hands.
Painting: Kenneth Riley

Painting: Del Parson
Later, the right time had come and Joseph was fully prepared and began translating the record contained on the plates of Gold. He was assisted by a scribe, Oliver Cowdery, shown in this painting: Others had assisted as his scribe, but Oliver was Joseph's scribe most of the time.

The prophet, Moroni, during his earthly ministry between A.D. 400 and 421 wrote the following urgent message to readers not yet born (people of our day). You and I are among them. Please take note of Moroni's special plea in verse 37 to the Lord regarding the descendants of his people who live in our day: The Lamanites (Native Americans in this case)!
Mormon 9: 30 Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead; for I know that ye shall have my words.
31 Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.
32 And now, behold, we have written this record according to our knowledge, in the characters which are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.
33 And if our plates had been sufficiently large we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our record.
34 But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.
35 And these things are written that we may rid our garments Of the blood of our brethren, who have dwindled in unbelief.
36 And behold, these things which we have desired concerning Our brethren, yea, even their restoration to the knowledge of Christ, are according to the prayers of all the saints who have dwelt in the land.
37 And may the Lord Jesus Christ grant that their prayers may be answered according to their faith; and may God the Father remember the covenant which he hath made with the house of Israel; and may he bless them forever, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. (Emphasis Added)
I am publishing this blog post after having given my blog readers, whoever they may have been (hopefully you were among them), the opportunity of reading about, in the last five blog posts of mine, the great examples of faith shown by those five Lamanite couples. Each couple's story is told in one of five specific chapters from the Book, Blossoming II, written by Dale and Margene Shumway of Orem Utah. (At the end of this post you will be told how obtain your own copy of this very interesting and inspiring book if you desire to do so.)

Each chapter of Blossoming II covers relatively briefly the life story of one of these twenty three Native American couples who were born in our day and who have come to know because of their faith that they are representatives of Moroni's people to whom he was referring in the scripture I have used as TODAY'S THEME.

In this, today's post, 38f, I have selected specific evidence given by three of the five couples whose chapters I copied in full from Blossoming II, in my past five blog posts. This specific evidence demonstrates how each of them has become fully convinced that they have in this life been blessed by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, just as the ancient American prophet Moroni prayed (above) they would be blessed in our day.
Many of you readers will have read these segments previously if you read my previous posts in which their life stories were featured. However, I give these much shorter and specific accounts to you now to allow you to focus on the spiritual witness each of these modern day Lamanites experienced.

Ernie and Dorinda Crocker
Taken From My Post 38a on Ernie & Dorinda Crocker
Ernie: "It was hard at first for me to really become active (in the LDS Church), but I had a lot of friends who encouraged and helped me. Our mailman who had the route between Maverick and Cibecue was our (LDS Church)branch president, and he became a good friend of mine. Whenever we had free time, he would take me hunting and fishing. After he moved away, one of the local Apache men became branch president until he ran for politics. I became branch president around 1962, after having been a member for four years. Since that time, I have served as branch president three different times for a total of eighteen years.

"I have loved being able to serve in my church and also with my tribal council. But serving in the church has been more fulfilling because I have felt the influence and the power of God and have had the influence of his hand and inspiration in my callings. Another wonderful happening for me was when I took Dorinda to the temple when I was 32. (Neil's Note: This was for the purpose of making their marriage last for eternity, and not just for this life.)

"Another high point in my life was my opportunity to serve as a counselor in the Show Low Stake (of the LDS Church) Presidency for three years.
In speaking of spiritual experiences, let me tell you about a dream which had a strong impact on me. In my dream I saw my father in the other world lying on a bed alone by himself. In my dream, I said to my dad, ‘Where’s Mother?’ With a sad forlorn look on his face, he answered, ‘I don’t know.’
In figuring out this short dream my inspiration is that it is a message about the importance of doing our family history or genealogical and temple sealing for our kindred dead.

I believe the meaning of my dream is that if we are faithful and are up to date in this important work then we won’t have any worries about where our parents or grandparents are in the afterlife. If we do our part they will be safe and with their spouses as they continue to progress in the next world. (Clarification and Emphasis Added)

Dorinda Crocker

Elder Brown (a recently released LDS missionary who had served among the Whiteriver Apaches) made the arrangements with friends of his family, and in July, I went to live with Dr. Elmo and Rhea Eddington and their daughter, Jane, in Lehi, Utah. The Eddingtons also had two married sons. Jane was the same age as me. I stayed with the Eddingtons until the end of my eighth-grade school year, living with them each year from September until the first part of June.

It was quite a strange experience for me: the food tasted different, I had my own bed, and I had a shower just for me. It was all new to me. Yes, I enjoyed it, and I learned a lot from the Eddingtons. They really took good care of me and made a home for me, even though I wasn’t a member of the Church. Doctor Eddington had his own hospital and it seemed he wasn’t home very much.

Mrs. Eddington—I called her Grandma Eddington— took care of the family and was involved in many things in the church and community. Jane and I attended Sunday School on Sunday mornings and Sacrament Meeting on Sunday evenings, and we went to Mutual during the week. The church was in walking distance. We walked through a park to get there. During this time, I learned a lot spiritually and became acquainted with the doctrine and teachings of the Church.

In a surprise to me, the Book of Mormon was introduced to me not by my foster family, but by an Apache lady married to an Anglo who happened to be living in Lehi. I loved reading that book and I worked hard to learn its meaning. After I finished reading it I knew I wanted to become a member of the Church. I wrote home to my father asking him to give me permission to be baptized, which he granted, and I was baptized. (Emphasis Added)

President David O. McKay
 A special spiritual experience happened at Christmas time in Salt Lake City before I joined the Church. I was watching the Christmas parade with my foster family. They were excited about seeing the float with President (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) David O. McKay on it coming toward us: ‘Here it comes! Here he comes!’ I was watching with much interest. When the float passed by and I saw him, I was overcome with spirit and emotion. I felt weak! And then I almost jumped out of my skin for he was looking right at me. I was so amazed at the sight of this grand prophet and the fact that he noticed me - an Apache Indian girl from the reservation.

I couldn’t get over the strong feelings I had as he passed. We went to a restaurant to eat after the parade, and I couldn’t even eat. My family said, 'Aren’t you hungry?’ All I could say was, ‘President McKay—President McKay!’ (Emphasis Added)

During the time I was there, the mother of one of the missionaries asked me if I wanted to have a patriarchal blessing. She explained the purpose of a patriarchal blessing and she made arrangements for me to get my blessing from Patriarch Eldred G. Smith: (The main Church Patriarch!) I was thrilled at the opportunity.

My patriarchal blessing has given me direction and spiritual understandings that have been a big blessing in my life. It was overwhelming to me to have a spiritual picture of my future because I was feeling all by myself, with hardly anyone to support me except the Church. (Emphasis Added)

Bitsoie, Gary and Bernice
Second-generation Latter-Day Saint, Gary Bitsoie, had the blessing of being born into a member family and of being able to watch the conversion of his medicine-man grandfather and his grandmother. “When I was a little boy, I remember my grandpa Cecil Begay saying that he was searching for truth. I attended the missionary discussions with my grandparents while they were investigating the Church. When Grandpa joined, he surprised his friends and family by retiring from being a medicine man and announcing, ‘My search for the truth had ended.’ Even some of his immediate family were upset with him for giving up his reputation and influence in the community for the Church. When confronted, Grandpa would smile readily and take out his Book of Mormon.
(Neil Birch's Note: You may realize, as I have in reading that, that Gary's Grandfather, by the Holy Spirit, was able to recognize the truthfulness of those things that his and Gary's Great Ancestor, Lehi, knew to be true. His grandfather's heart had been turned to his fathers (ancient Nephite ancestors of his) and was greatly blessed by that knowledge. And as you will learn now, so was Gary and his family!
One day (Gary was at the LDS Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center preparing for his mission in Southern California)we were learning the third discussion about Jesus Christ and something wonderful hit me in my mind and heart: “I went to the temple and received my endowments that month. I was called to serve in the San Bernardino California Mission. I had a special experience just before entering the Missionary Training Center. One night my grandpa came to me in my dream and said,

‘You need to be prepared. Be careful in this world that you live in.’

All of a sudden, I had an overwhelming feeling that the Church was true. I couldn’t stay seated in class because the feeling was so powerful and pure. I got up and walked quietly in the hall. It was quite a strong revelation--so much so that I couldn’t sit still! I kept walking up and down the hall for about ten minutes. It was the first time I’d ever had this deep kind of religious experience. From that day to now, I’ve known the Church is true.
It was a stern warning, and it helped me finish my preparations and leave worthily for the MTC in June.
And later in the Blossoming II Chapter about Gary, this is told:
During those two years at school Gary met his future wife, Bernice Begay, while he was working as a tutor of math and basic programming at the multi-cultural center. As fate would have it, he had actually become aware of her two years prior to their first official meeting. “I first saw Bernie in December 1984 after returning home from my mission. As was customary in the Cedar North Stake, I was sent out with a high councilman on speaking assignments for the first four months I was home.
On that particular Sunday I was in the Cedar City Indian branch working my way to the podium, when Bernice, accompanied by her sister, walked in through the front door. Then, it was as if time stopped. I saw in vision that she was going to be my future wife. I was really scared and perplexed, wondering why this was happening!—I didn’t even know who she was! I composed myself quickly in order to give my talk.
“Time passed. I mostly forgot about the experience and went my merry way to college. When I got a job as a Native American tutor, Bernice (Bernie) became my boss. As we got to know each other, she found out that I had become mostly inactive in the church and she made it her mission to get me stalwart again. Also, she became my social coordinator by trying to get me dates with other Native American girls because I seemed a little slow and inexperienced and had never known any LDS Native American girls to date. I felt comfortable in talking to her about anything and we started doing things together.
“That year Thurl Bailey and Hot Rod Huntley of the Utah Jazz came to SUSC to host a basketball conference. I was really interested in seeing it, so I asked Bernie to come along. We had a great time, and after that, we started spending more time together.

“I unofficially proposed in November of’1986, but it didn’t happen in the traditional sense—with me down on my knees with a ring—actually, I was totally unprepared for what I said. We were sitting in her apartment, talking about our future goals and dreams and having a good time. Completely spontaneously, I blurted, ‘Yeah, when we get married, I want to go to Disneyland!’ Shyly, she looked at me and said, ‘Did you just propose to me?’ I replied, ‘I guess I did. Do you want to marry me?’
Bernice Bitsoie

“Two of the best parts of my (Indian) Placement (Program) experiences were learning how to ice skate on the pond and beginning to obtain a vision of the wonders of the Church. It felt really good to go to church in Cedar Fort. I loved singing the Primary songs. At my young, eager age I related positively to the church and was able to really feel the Spirit. I feel that the Lord must have taken an interest in me because I learned a lot, and by the time I arrived back home, I knew the Church was true. That summer, I tried to share the Book of Mormon story with my parents. I wanted them to learn what I learned because I knew it was from God. When they told me they didn’t want to be Mormons, I felt really bad. I tried a few more times to convert them, but then, I knew I had to back off. As they started to attack some of my new beliefs, I knew it was time to stop religious talk for a time. (Emphasis Added)

“My parents, as members of the Native American Church, every summer would hold a peyote ceremony for us kids to help us do well during the next school year. That summer, because of my LDS beliefs, I decided I would go to the meeting, but I wouldn’t take the peyote. When I informed my father of my decision, I was unprepared for his volatile reaction. My dad was really upset, and criticized me, saying, ‘You need to take peyote; it’s part of who you are; you grew up in this church. Besides I’m your father and you have to listen to me.’

As I responded, I was feeling as angry and hurt as he was, so my response was a strong one. I said I would never do peyote, that he couldn’t force me because I knew it wasn’t right, that I now believed in the LDS Church, I was going to be a Mormon for the rest of my life, and he couldn’t change it. Then, I worried because his face seemed even angrier than before, but then something good happened. He didn’t say anything more!

“That was the first time I defended my testimony; it was a turning point. My dad never asked me to do peyote again. But overall, despite our spiritual alienation, my parents were happy for me because I was learning and going to school regularly. My dad’s philosophy was ‘Go to school, learn English, and get an education so you can get a better job and have a better life than we have.’ He wanted me to become an educated person; it didn’t matter where I attended, just as long as I had a good experience.”

Milt, Catawba Tribe and Nora, Navajo Tribe
Milt Watts:

While we were there, Brother and Sister Davis, friends of my parents, invited our family to dinner. Before we ended the night, we had a testimony meeting in which we sat in a huge circle because the Davis’ had a large family.

As each person around the circle bore testimony in turn, I began to worry about what I would say when it was my turn. I wanted to say that I knew Joseph Smith was a prophet, that  started to build: I knew Joseph was a prophet.

When it came to my turn, it was almost impossible to speak, but as I bore my brief and tearful testimony, I felt a power within testifying that what I was saying was true and that if I believed it, which I did, I ought to do my best to always follow the Savior.

My father was sitting next to me, and I was grateful when he reached over and put his arm around me. My parents were not openly affectionate people, and that occasion was one of the few times I remember my dad hugging me.” (Emphasis Added)

I had some wonderful teachers and great experiences. When I was a junior, my seminary teacher, Kent Garner, stopped the class one day, came over to me, and stood me up. He said, ‘Class, this is an American Indian.’ I wondered, ‘What is he doing this for?’ Then he said, ‘This is a Lamanite! This is who we read about in the scriptures.’ Everyone was impressed. It was one of many experiences that touched me personally and made me think that somebody cared. I think I was goal-oriented as a high school student, but my goals were general, not specific: get the best grades I can, don’t get in trouble, always be a good Latter-day Saint, go to college, go on a mission, and get married in the temple. I graduated from high school in 1965.”


These life story excerpts you just read were used by permission of Dale and Margene Shumway, Authors of the book, Blossoming II. They are available on entitled, The Blossoming II: Dramatic stories in the Lives of Native Americans. Also both Blossoming books are available by contacting the Shumways by email: by mail 486 W 40 N. Orem, UT 84057, or by telephone 801-235-0986. The retail cost is for book I #12.95 and for book II $14.95 plus postage. As for the Blossoming II books. They are available on entitled The Blossoming II: Dramatic stories in the Lives of Native Americans. Also both Blossoming books are available by contacting us by email:, by mail 486W 40 N. Orem, UT 84057, or by telephone 801-235-0986. The retail cost is for book I $12.95 and for book II $14.95 plus postage.


TO ACCESS NEIL BIRCH'S BLOG INDEX To Either Read the Full Index Item Which Refers To This Blog Post, (Or An Item Which Refers To Any Other Blog Post You May Desire To Access): After Reading All of This Paragraph Please Click on the Following: (Present day) Lamanites, About Whom You Have Been Learning in that Section of this Index Have Been Featured. . . Post 38f. When You See the Picture of Our Savior Jesus Christ Sitting Next To a Little Boy, Please, Scroll Down To Your Target Item Or Use The Alphabetic Scrolling Device. (When It Has Been Installed.)

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I deeply appreciate your readership and hope you found very beneficial, that which was presented to you in this blog post.

If you have any questions about what you have read or viewed in this post or in any previous posts of mine, or if you even have a curiosity about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and or its teachings, please e-mail me. I'm Neil and my e-mail address is: If you contact me I'll get back to you just as soon as possible.
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Neil Birch

1 comment:

Gary said...

Hello Bro. Neil Birch. Just read your little blog, you have an interesting website. Like the stories, funny story about the Bitsoie's on your webpage. I know that the Book of Mormon is very under appreciated by the world and sometime even by church members. Keep up the hard work. gb