Friday, September 19, 2008

A Letter to my sister over a year ago

[Many private letters have become spectacles of the masses, and so I figured I didn't want to be left out, this is a letter to one of my youngest sisters]

Dear C-,

I write this letter to my sweet, beautiful sister C-. This is a letter of stories of some of my experiences with our Prophet, dear Uncle Warren that you asked for. I want to start by telling you my testimony of him.

I know that Our Heavenly Father lives, and that He hears and answers every prayer we breathe. He, our Father in heaven, loves us more than we can even understand. Go outside and look up into the sky, He is up there watching me and watching you, and He can see everything all at the same time. He sees what we do, He sees what we say, and He sees what we think! He is our Father, and He made for us this whole earth, just to give us the opportunity to become like He and our Heavenly Mothers are. How do we do that? through obedience to His teachings to us. Obedience is the most important thing in our lives. Not just little obedience, not just outward obedience, but the obedience to our Heavenly Father that makes His Spirit come to us. Obedience to HIM!

Well, my dear sister, if we really knew how much our Heavenly Father wants to bless us eternally, how much he wants us to have greater blessings that we could even imagine, we would never even hesitate in our obedience. If we could even imagine how much He loves us, we would start to see how much He wants us to obey. Well, what does He want us to do? What is the first and most important thing in our lives? Prayer. You will find in all the studies of all the wonderful men and women in this world’s history that they were the ones who prayed the most; they were the ones who loved to pray the most, they were the ones who did everything they did through prayer.

The most important thing in our lives is to get to know our loving Father in heaven through humble prayer. Prayer is the way we get Heavenly Fathers Spirit, there is no other way. Prayer is the number one thing Heavenly Father told our oldest parents in the Garden of Eden to do, and to pray is the very last thing we should be doing at the end of our lives. We can never pray too much! We think all the time, we must be praying. When you think of the words Keep Sweet, it means to pray always, and love to obey. All the good things that we want to become comes through prayer, and obedience. Prayer is a two way contract. Here is what our Prophet said:

“…be a person from this moment on that never disturbs the spirit of God. It will take an exertion of prayer to always keep sweet. A lazy mind can easily become a disturbed mind. And a lazy mind is a mind that doesn't pray. Our Heavenly Father created us through birth, his own nature was born in us. And he made us so that he could read our minds. We have to just think and he can hear us. Every time you pray and ask for his spirit you're also making a promise with him that you will obey him. You must do your part because every prayer is a contract with Heavenly Father, an agreement, a covenant. Do your part, he will for sure will do his part. If you suddenly find yourself disturbed in your feelings, you haven't done your part. You have rejected the spirit of God by holding on to thoughts, feelings or desires opposite to that sweet spirit.” (WSJ 1/28/2003)

So in reality, PRAYER IS OBEDIENCE. ALL good things that we can do come through Obedient Prayer. Love, Repentance, Humility, Faith, Hope, Charity, and everything else will become automatic through Obedient Prayer. Think through prayer, read through prayer, talk through prayer, work through prayer, and make our Heavenly Father the most important one in our whole lives, and then we will see how to love our Prophet, our Fathers, our Mothers, and anyone they ask us to obey. We will love Heavenly Father SOOOO much that there is no job too big, no job too small, and no one we do not love.

I have been called upon by my Heavenly Father, through His Prophet, to literally have the opportunity to do what very few others in history have been required to do, but in some way we will all be willing to do if we truly love Heavenly Father most. And that is to actually sacrifice ALL THINGS out of obedience to Him. At one point everything was taken from me. All I had in this whole world was the clothes on my back. WHAT an OPPORTUNITY! Every day that we live is a blessing, I am very ashamed of all the opportunity’s that I have wasted, and I never want to waste another. How very helpless and useless we are without the help of Him we pray to! Our side of the bargain is easy, His is where the real love comes in.

So to finish this little sermon from one who has no right to preach, I say: The true thing that our Prophet wants from each of us, is to love and obey our Father in heaven as much as he does. For in all my dealings ever with that great man, he has told me, he has shown me, he has done everything he possibly could for me; that I may understand what KEEP SWEET really means.

I first met Uncle Warren in 1985 when A- and I were starting the seventh grade. It was a few short months after the first and only time I ever shook Uncle Roy’s hand. (I also felt the top of his head because he was growing new hair).
Uncle Warren is very tall and very thin. The first thing I remember about him is the spirit he carried, it was almost like a glow. It was exactly like the one around Uncle Roy. I remember sitting with Father and A- as he explained to us the rules of the school. He was very humble, and very earnest at the same time. I still remember his handshake, very soft and very clean, almost fragile. I remember the first morning class that I went to. Sitting at Cafeteria tables in the big meeting hall in Uncle Rulon’s home and the first thing Uncle Warren said was about kneeling down to pray. He at first wanted the whole school to kneel down, but he realized there was not enough room for everyone to kneel. That is the only thing about that day that I remember with him.

I remember seventh grade very well, and that I was not a very good student. At the end of the previous year in public school I was on the honor roll second highest in the school, but in seventh grade I got an F. I don’t remember what was said, but I know that A- and I went to him to be corrected at least once. Needless to say, I would rather forget. But I do remember our class party at the end of the school year, we had a contest between the boys and the girls of filling a bucket with water we had to carry across the lawn with little yogurt cups carried on our backs. The loser had to lay down on the lawn while Uncle Warren hosed them down. Sure glad it was the girls who lost! A water fight broke out from that and the girls really wanted to douse Uncle Warren, but he had a suit on so only a couple of girls were brave enough to try. He ran into the building. Uncle Roy passed away near the end of 1986, and in 1987 at the very first Conference under Uncle Rulon’s administration Uncle Warren sang the solo part to “The Seer” with the choir.

Uncle Warren is probably the smartest person I have ever met. I cannot think of one time that he could not answer a question asked him. No math problem, no history question, no science question did he ever not answer, but he would always say that if he didn’t know, he wouldn’t guess, he would tell us he didn’t know. I don’t remember that ever happening! He would always know something about it, if not quite a bit. He also could remember everyone who he had as a student. He almost never forgot your name. Even all of the first graders, when they went to shake his hand, he would call each of them by name, and there were dozens of them. I know that he really wanted each of his students to succeed.

I well remember my first class with him as my teacher, ninth grade Algebra. The first thing he did was to write a “3” on the chalk board. Then he pointed to it and asked us what it was. It didn’t matter what we said, he would say, “Is it? Are you sure?” For many minutes did he make us think hard, never saying “Right” or “Wrong”, just “Is it? Are you sure?” No one was sure of anything. He really enjoyed teaching and there is no better teacher ever. The next thing he did was write the motto of Algebra on the chalkboard. “THINK SIMPLE” He sure loved to teach. He was always happiest when he was teaching young people. Later in the year in that class, he was teaching about geometry and he explained what a hexagon, pentagon, and finally what a polygon was. He said “poly means many” A- quickly raised his hand and asked “So what’s a Pollyanna?” I well remember Uncle Warren almost hitting his head on the desk in front of him as he bent over laughing. After a minute he said “A-, be grateful for the ones you don’t get.”

One of the most memorable events in my life with Uncle Warren was in Ancient Priesthood History class. I remember it like it was yesterday. He was teaching of the words of Abraham from the Pearl of Great Price, about the noble and great ones of the earth. Read it! (Abraham 3vs19-26). These were to be the prophets and great ones. In that song of Uncle Fred that our Prophet sings, this is what he is talking about. I knew from the first time Uncle Warren said it that I was in the presence of one of them. I knew Uncle Warren was one of the noble and great ones before this world was made. I have never thought differently since that day.

Of course I really enjoyed Chorus class, how Uncle Warren wanted us to learn how to entertain in the home. We really enjoyed the unpracticed skits he would have us do. He would stand up in front of the whole class and say “OK Al and A you two are moving men, and R- (his sister) is the housewife who can’t make up her mind where she wants to put the couch, so you move it” Once he said “Al, you are prince charming, B- Fischer, you are Cinderella, and you three girls in the front here are the ugly step sisters, OK come up here.” Sometimes he would just say “You four boys I’ll give you five minutes to think up a skit and come up here and perform it for us.”

Once in a while Uncle Warren would do one himself, I remember the one where he was the father of a rebellious daughter (his wife) who had to go to the principal (one of the students) to get corrected and she was mouthy and he slapped her mouth, and she slapped his back on stage. It was hilarious! Once he was teaching his wife how to drive a stick shift. He really wanted us to learn how to entertain our own families at home, so we wouldn’t need the entertainment from the world. How wonderful are the memories!

I remember one time just before we were to go tubing down the hill across the road, he asked all the girls if there were any who had never had their faces rubbed into the snow. B-[my sister] was the only one to raise her hand. Uncle Warren looked at A-[my brother] and said “A- is that true? You have never washed her face in the snow?” To which B- yelled out “If you ever do, I will shave your head bald in the middle of the night!” A- shrugged and said “See, now you know why” Uncle Warren and everyone laughed really hard at that.
Once A- was wearing some pants that had a whole bunch of pockets and one of the teachers stopped him in the hall and rebuked him for wearing them. Uncle Warren walked up after that and A- asked him if his pants were O.K. and Uncle Warren said “Yea, those are really neat, you could put your guns in these pockets, and your ammo in this one and grenades here, and all your pens and pencils and extra stuff in here.” Needless to say, A- stopped wearing them! One day Uncle Warren was walking down the hall of the little high school building and saw three girls walk out of the bathroom at the same time. He called out “Three girls at the same time?” Then he said, “Come on boys lets see if you can do better than that.” All of the boys crammed into a bathroom about 4 feet by 4 feet square. There was over forty of us crammed in there. Uncle Warren counted us as we came out.

Uncle Warren was very talented at everything he did. And yet he was so humble about it. I remember the time that he came to the gym in Draper and played basketball with the high school boys after school. He was very good at basketball too, he was the best one there. I remember at the school outing at the end of the year he and I were standing together watching some others play basketball, he smiled “They’re pretty good aren’t they?” I smiled “You and me could take ‘em” He laughed. I really enjoyed making Uncle Warren laugh. Once in history class he was explaining the story of Cain visiting the apostle David W Patton and I asked if Cain was Bigfoot. He laughed at that for a long time.

Uncle Warren was my school teacher for every class I had my senior year except two. He taught Devotional, Accounting, History, Chemistry, Algebra 2, and Chorus. I was so spoiled!

One day morning class started late because so many students were late. Uncle Warren had all of the people who drove to school to meet with him after morning class, as he excused us he said aloud “I have only one thing to say to Al and A- Holm, Don’t be late for the Celestial Kingdom!”
I have had many experiences with him since high school, I had the wonderful opportunity to go back and teach the very last year of Alta Academy. M- was in third grade. K- was in fourth, H- was in sixth and C- and C- were graduating. In the middle of the year Uncle Parley passed away, and our Prophet Uncle Rulon ordained Uncle Warren to be his first councilor in the Presidency of Priesthood. I am so very, very blessed to have been given a testimony of the calling and mission of Uncle Warren, he means so much to us. He will have a people, I know this. We will all be held accountable for the blessings that we are given. We must be as light as a feather to be lifted up. There will be a people who love and obey in every thought, word, and action. Anything that we let tie us down to this earth will keep us from being lifted up. We can be a part of the promises to Ephriam. All of the family of Israel will be blessed by those who KEEP SWEET no matter what. No matter what happens to me, our work is each our own. Follow Uncle Warren, he is like Enoch who prepared a city for God to dwell in. Obedience, Prayer, and a Joy that Heavenly Father is alive and well and loves us all makes us happy. If we do this no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT, then we can be a part of the people who will see heavenly Father when he comes again to this land. If you want to see grandfather Carl, Uncle Rulon, Uncle Roy, John Y Barlow, and Joseph Smith and all the prophets, they will be there. O pray for me! and I will pray for you. Smile all the while!
Your unworthy brother,


yutthehay said...

I love you Al, because of your stand for this PROPHET. Just like he said the wait and see people are waiting to see if the Lord will bless him and uphold him. But you and I know better. I am not waiting to see cause I know that he is who we believe him to be and he is not self apointed.

Rose said...

Thanks Allen for the wonderful memories of Uncle Warren. :)
It is thinking of him that helps me keep my focus. When the world feels it is falling down around me, I just think of our Prophet. And that thought turns me to prayer.
I can almost hear him say an encouraging word, and then he'd smile. Ahh, that sweet, sincere smile.
I love the memories of him.

Any more memories of Uncle Warren??? Pass them on. Please. :)) I love to think of him.
Thanks again Allen.