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Former  Methodist Church Members

 

"GOD Has A Sense Of Humor"

By Norm Guiling

My conversion story is different from any story I have heard, since I have joined the Church. You could say that it proves that God had a sense of humor.

Some times it is hard to put into words, and explain to other people, the feelings that you have about spiritual things, or things that feel right to you. I guess each individual has to ask God to tell him if the things you are told are true or not.

Some people ridicule or laugh at what you have to say, or think you are crazy or uninformed, but my old saying that I like is true “If you do not read you do not learn”.

My story starts about 1995 and 1996. I was working for a Funeral Home in Colleyville, Texas, and this is a time when most companies were switching to computers.

I decided I should learn to use a computer so I shopped around several stores and finally decided to by a computer at a local department store. It was a HP and had windows 3.11 Microsoft system on it, at the time I did not know what that meant.

I took it to my apartment and assembled it with the view screen that I purchased with the computer. I think the system cost me about 1,300 dollars. A few months later I purchased a printer that had a color ribbon on it.

After setting up the computer I had a lot of trouble figuring how to get it to work. At that time they used the DOSS system, which was hard to figure out. I would go to the stores and look for books on how to use my computer. One of the books was the Dummies series of books on how to do things.

Later on I went to the book store and ask for a book that was for dumber that dummies. After calling the 800 number a lot of times I was told in the C: prompt to type win and press enter and that would get me into Microsoft windows, which worked. Now I played with computer for a couple of months and figured how to get on line and do e-mail and look around on the net.

Now I have a computer and do not have anything to put on it, so I was trying to figure how to use this new peace of equipment that I had. I had taken typing in High School and was a company clerk through my 3 years in the US Army, so I was a pretty good typist, if I do say so.

Now when I was growing up in Arkansas we went to the Methodist Church so I grew up in a Christian environment and loved to read a lot. So I had read the Bible several times and in the 60’s there began to be a lot of different translations of the Bible on the marked and with each one I would purchase it and read it over again, I think I had around 7 or 8 in all.

One day I decided, since I was a good typist I decided to type the Bible on my computer. I had found a processor on the computer called Word Pad, where you could put information that you wonted on the computer.

When I started typing the Bible I would type one chapter book from one translation and another chapter from another, and this is how I typed on my computer for a while.

At first I did not put the numbering system in so one chapter was one paragraph, I did this through several books of the Old Testament. They I discovered another word processor called Microsoft Works which allowed me to make columns and so forth, it also had spell check on it which helped. I also used the different fonts, sizes and colors to do some of the chapters.

Using the printer with a colored ribbon on it turned out to be difficult, when one color would be worn out, like black, I would do a lot in blue and other colors until the entire ribbon was gone.

There was a system of other colors and the ribbon would be used twice to make up the other colors, by combining them. After about 2,000 printings the printer was more of a nescience and worn out so I went to a different type of printer that used a ink cartage, and I stayed with black for a while.

I took me about 6 months to finish the Old Testament and print it out and put in a binder. I would take the paper down to a office supply house and have it three hole punched, later I started buying paper that was three hole punched already and this helped a lot.

After that it took about 4 months to type the New Testament and print and bind it in binders. Some of it looked different with different fonts and colors but this is how I taught myself to use the computer.

After the New Testament I had a book that had been out for a couple of years called The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden. I enjoyed reading this book and got a new insight into some of the things that was left out of the Bible.

In this book after Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden and left alone to live their life and go through their experiences. One thing I noticed about where they were to live, which I had always wondered about, they were directed to a cave and became cave dwellers.

This made a lot of since to me because God did not give them a 3 bedroom house with all the facilities. Typing this book took about 6 months, and binding it in a binder.

One day my brother who lived in Dallas, Texas was doing some of his genealogy and asked me if I would go to the Mormon Church and see if they had anything on the Guiling family in their system. I found a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a couple of miles from where I lived and went to the genealogy center and started checking their system.

One day while I was there one of the missionary adults  was there and I asked her if she had a copy of The Book of Mormon that I could have. She told me where to read a certain scripture and I informed her that I would read the entire book. I told her what I had been doing with my computer and I would type the entire book on my computer.

Some times when I would go in the center she would ask if I would like the Missionaries to come and talk to me, and I informed her that I would read the book and see if there was anything in there I did not agree with first. Each time she would ask if I would like to have a visit from the Missionaries but I informed her to wait and see if there was anything in the book that I disagreed with.

About 5 months I took the Book of Mormon that I had typed and placed in a large binder in to her and showed it to her. She again invited me to visit with the Missionaries.

I told here that I understood that there was another book that I should have and she told me yes and said it was the Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price. I asked here where I could get a copy of this book and she gave the address of the Book Store in Dallas, since I go to Dallas about 3 times a week, I knew about where the store was.

The next day I was in Dallas at the Book Store and purchased the Book and sever other books about the Church. I proceeded to type the Doctrine of Covenants and others, this took about 3 months to finish and put in a binder.

I took the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine of Covenants in the binders and showed them to her and said that I did not find anything in them that I disagree with so I was ready to speak to the Missionaries. I guess you could say they did not come knocking on my door but I knocked on theirs.

When they made their first appointment with me, I was living in a Funeral Home that was closed and for sale, I came down and set on the steps waiting for them. When they arrived they informed me about the Church and the procedures for taking the discussions. Since I was eager I told them I would like to take all the instructions at once or one each day so I could be baptized that Sunday.

They informed me that was not how it worked so I asked about me going to classes at the church each night until I was ready, that did not work with them either. It took a week or more before I could take another lesson since they were busy with other converts and projects. After about 4 weeks I was allowed to be baptized.

I was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on February 23, 1997. I asked them later on what kind of chemicals they put in the water that gave you such a clean feeling and they informed me that they did not put anything into the water.

Later on that did not satisfy me so I asked one of the Stake Presidency if they put anything in the Baptism water the he said they did not put anything in the water, it was plain tap water. It is hard to put into words how I was feeling at that time, but it was a very important event in my life and I still can recall all that happened. I was confirmed a member by Dale Karren.

After a couple of months I was allowed to go to the Temple and do Baptisms for the Dead. Then I was told I could go to the Temple on my own any time I felt like it, so I did quite often. I would drive to the Temple after work every week or two and if the group was small I would ask if I could join them, some times it was a large group and they were to crowded for me to participate.

After joining the Church I found out that the Church used the King James Version so I retyped the New Testament in the King James Version and this took about 4 more months. So I did the New Testament twice and have large binders for each one.

Having come into the Church through the Genealogy Center I became a volunteer at the Family History Center in the Hurst, Texas Stake and worked there for about 5 years.

On March 9, 1997 I was ordained to the office of Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. Later on 25 February, 1998, I was ordained to the office of Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood.

In about a year, since becoming a member, I was allowed to go to the Temple and receive my Endowment. This was a great day in my life and a special spiritual experience, it was a life changing event that is hard to explain or express your feelings.

After receiving my Endowment and allowed to go to the Temple and work there, I decided that I would like to volunteer and work in the Temple. I went into see the President of the Temple and told him I was there to volunteer and would do anything they asked me to do like wash dishes or work in the Cafeteria.

He informed me that they could use someone to help out in the Laundry and Clothing Issue, so that is where I went to work and about 7 years later I am still working there each Friday night.

For a couple of years I volunteered as a Volunteer Ordinance Worker on the Thursday evening shift. I try to go to the Temple 3 or 4 times a week, since I live about 35 miles from the Temple.

Every once in a while I get to go 5 days a week, since I only work part time and semi retired. I love going to the Temple, sometimes you get frustrated driving in the traffic for about an hour, but when you arrive it gives you a feeling of coming home and you have made it one more time.

I have researched my family genealogy the best that I can and have been able to do the work for them in the Dallas Temple. I have located several members of my family, that were not known to us at the time, through the computer.

The internet has helped to find other members that I could not have found by myself. My brother told me of one of our uncles leaving home when he was young and no one in the family every heard of him for a long time. I was able to find them in California and got in touch with some of his descendents.

My brother in Dallas has been to California for their family reunion and go a lot of information and pictures. One of them lives in Oklahoma and came down to Texas and visited with us. The Uncle that went to California had 11 children, 10 of them were girls and they gave us pictures of them and their families.

Several people had told me I needed to get my Patriarchal Blessing. When researching this I was worried about what would turn up about my past. I thought God was going to drag the through the hot coals and this would look bad when written down on paper.

Out Patriarch was Brother Neff and he was a very nice man and in my Ward, so I decided to go and see him. The day I visited him he talked to me a little bit and took me into another room where he had a tape recorder, which was used so his wife could type the blessing down on paper.

When I received my blessing I thought he was talking longer than I had expected and when it was typed up it took a full page and a half. I received a wonderful blessing and God had a lot of nice things to say about me and my future.

I was told that in the future I would be married and sealed for time and for eternity in the Temple, so I guess I will be married one of these day. If not in this life in the next one or Millennium.

During my blessing is the only time I have heard a distinct voice speak to me and one years later in the Temple while in the Celestial Room I received a vision in my mind as to the question I was asking God. Most of the time it is a comforting feeling that you receive in answer to your questions and concerns.

I always carry a Book of Mormon with me at work and other places and if the occasion arises I try to get them to take a copy and read it. When I go to the Temple in Dallas I always stop and the Book Store and see if there is anything I cannot live without.

I read several books a month and try to read books by leaders and members of the Church. When I am wearing my suit I always wear a tie pin with an emblem from the Church and when people ask me about it I can explain it to them and ask if they would like to read about it.

In the Church they believe in keeping you busy and always doing something. My first calling was to be a Historical Clerk and keep records of the activities in the Ward.

The clerk decided I should go to the Bishopric meetings, which are 2 hour meetings before the 3 hour block meetings, so I was at Church about 6 hours.

The Ward Boundaries were changed and I was a member of a new ward in another building, and then I was given a calling to be a Sunday School Teacher to the young people, this lasted about 6 months and then I was given a calling to be Ward Membership Clerk and guess what, the ward clerk thought I should attend the Bishopric Meetings again.

Then I was made Ward Clerk and guess who went to the Bishopric Meeting, your right me again. This lasted about 2 years and guess what they split up the boundaries again and I was in a new ward.

This time I was made Ward Finance Clerk, I did not half to go to the meetings but there is a catch, I had to stay a couple of hours after the 3 hour block time to figure out the finances and they we had to take them to the bank.

I have always wondered “How do you get out of all those meetings”, but I love it and would not change the experiences I have received. After 8 years in the Church I still have not found anything about the Church that I disagree with, but there are some of the people in the Church that I have a difference of opinion with.

It is now July 26, 2005 and I have decided to move to another apartment. This will put me in another Ward and Stake. The Church is true and exciting and growing around the world. New technology has help spread the Gospel and increasing our genealogy research.

After moving into another part of the Dallas, Fort Worth Area I became a member of the Euless 1st Ward in the Colleyville Stake and attended my first Sunday Meetings on 14 August, 2005. I have not had any callings for about three weeks and this is like a mini vacation, I am positive they will come up with something for me to do soon.

I read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith History, Articles of Faith. I have gone through them 21 times, since 1996, and am on my 22nd time at this time.

One of the best parts about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Scriptures is the Bible Dictionary. I have gone through the Dictionary several times and refer to it often for answers to my questions. It is more complete than any Bible Dictionary I have found.

I finished the Book of Mormon before the end of the year, as per President Hinckley.

 

 

 

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