Stu's Stories as at 2022

73 | P a g e Dr Werner Von Braun, the renowned physicist and space scientist, once said (and I paraphrase): “The more I learn about the universe, the more I believe in God as there can be no other explanation.” It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I came in contact with the Mormon Church and, thinking them just another off-beat sect who had conned someone I knew into joining, set out to disprove them. However, in researching it, for the first time in my life I started to find logic. Yes, there were some things that could not be properly explained but, at the same time, where not illogical. This was my introduction to the power of prayer and the answers that would readily come when you asked the right question in your prayer. I found that these answers came through a strong, relaxed feeling indicating which path to follow with no doubt about the correctness of that decision. If my prayer was for the wrong reason then no feeling would come...just continued frustration. I could relate many instances of this but will relate just one that, I feel, describes it well. When called by the Stake President to be the Elders Quorum President in Sydney I was asked to select and put forward names to be my Councillors. I was told if I prayed about it the Lord would guide me. So I prayed about it and when I gave the names for the 1st and 2nd Councillors I believed were right, the Stake President said: “But the 2nd name you gave is inactive and has been for several years. He is also known to not be keeping the Word of Wisdom in that he drinks alcohol.” My answer was that I had done as asked by the Stake President and prayed about it and those names were the answer I got. He reluctantly accepted that and, when asked to fill the calling, the Elder in question was just as shocked as the Stake President. However, after thinking about it, he said if that is what the Lord wants he would accept and would henceforth keep the Word of Wisdom. He promptly threw all the beer cans from his fridge into the bin. That man went on to be the Elders Quorum President after I had moved out of the area and he later served on the High Council and then as Bishop of a Sydney Northern Suburbs Ward. The power of prayer! We listened to the answer and it turned around someone’s life for which he and his family were forever grateful. Not my doing, but that of whom we listened too...the Lord. I could relate many more prayers that have been answered in this way, and, yes, I could relate many that seem to have not been answered. Why? Maybe I was praying for what I wanted and not what was needed. I do not have the answers but have learnt to put my trust in the Lord that He has His reason. I have always had an optimistic outlook on life...the glass is always half-full, never half-empty! This outlook has stood me in good stead, even in the darkest time of my life when I was diagnosed, at the age of 15, with polio. I was told the outcome was usually death or paralysis. Our doctor believed I needed to know the worst so I knew what I had to fight and he didn’t hold back. I was grateful for his forthrightness and through the months of paralyzing pain never once worried about what the outcome may bring. Perhaps, without knowing it, I was placing my trust in the Lord. Even after I was back on my feet and refused the physiotherapy offered as being wrong, I’m sure I was being guided. This proved correct when, simply using swimming as therapy, I slowly brought all the shrunken muscles back to near normal appearance. However, nothing could repair the nerve and cartilage damage that has plagued my life. As an optimist I never felt hard done by; no “why me?” as this, I believe, leads to depressive thoughts.

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