Thursday, November 6, 2014

Update and a letter to my family and friends

I've not posted for a long time.  It's been nearly 41/2 years since I was diagnosed with brain cancer.  I haven't had an active tumor for over 2 years and I have been off Chemo for 11/2 years. The chemo and the radition are still affecting my energy and will continue to affect me, probably for life.  I'm very weak but feel pretty good, just not able to do much physical activity. and Roma helps me a lot.
Shortly after my diagnoses I wrote a letter to be read at my funeral, thinking that I would die soon.  Some of the people I wrote the letter for have since died and I wanted to get my feelings and story out for all to read.
I have had a good life,  mostly due to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So I decided to publish that letter on my blog.  I hope that it doesn't offend anyone, but never the less, that's how I feel.
Here is the letter I wrote 4 years ago.

Funeral Talk

I am writing this talk on September 2, 2010. I can’t sleep as usual. It is 3:30 in the morning and I can’t get something off my mind. When I joined the Mormon Church in 1967 many of my family and friends wondered why. My dad and several others thought I did it for Roma. I did!!; and because it was teaching the truth. Because I joined the Mormon Church and married Roma I have had the most fantastic marriage any man could hope for. She is my eternal partner, my life, and my soul. All the success in life that I have enjoyed is due to her undying support and counsel. This talk is for the Peterson brothers, cousins, uncle’s, and whomever else may have made it down to this funeral that knew me as a young man.
I started dating Roma in High School. I was an active, participating Lutheran boy. I went out on a date as a favor to a friend who was dating one of her best friends. We liked each other and pretty much went steady from then on. I knew she was Mormon. Her dad was my Jr. High band teacher whom I was just a little scared of. He gave permission for her to go out with me because he thought I was a pretty good guy. 
When I saw how strong in the faith she was, I was bound and determined to show her the error of her ways. I was sure I could convince her that the Mormon Church was a hoax. I even took my Luther’s Small Catechism to school with me to show her the correct doctrines. 
She sucked me in. She would take me to family gatherings at her house or the church where I became very comfortable and things were talked about that touched my heart. I remember going to her Church one day and hearing a hymn (I Need Thee Every Hour) that rang true to my heart and is still one of my favorite hymns. I learned of a God that is a personal being who loves me and is the literal father of my spirit, and an Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, who died for my sins so that I might return to my Father in Heaven and the Holy Ghost who is the comforter. Three distinct beings who love me and act in concert with each other, not the three distinct beings in one divine personage that I had always thought. The concept rang true to my heart, but I couldn’t accept the story that the church was founded by a boy prophet Joseph Smith. 
I began reading the Book of Mormon. It read like scripture; it felt like scripture, and although I wouldn’t acknowledge it I began to think it might be true.
At this time I counseled with my dad and he thought I was crazy. He said if I joined the Mormon Church I would not be welcome in his house. 
Well, I liked moms cooking and needed a place to crash, so I dropped the subject. By this time I knew I would shortly be going away to school. I determined to study the Mormon Church more there outside the influence of Roma and my Dad. That’s what I did. 
While in my first semester at the Air Force Academy I began to go to the LDS services. While there I invited the Mormon Missionaries to come visit me. Over a series of six weeks they taught me about the church. As I learned and studied the Church I became more and more convinced of the truthfulness, but I couldn’t come to any decision. I didn’t want to hurt my dad, but my heart said that the Mormon Church was true. After long and fervent prayer I received a confirmation that I should join the Church. I made the most difficult phone call of my life and told my dad I was joining the LDS Church. He took it very hard, but thank goodness didn’t kick me out of the family. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. The Lord did restore his Church in these latter days through the Prophet Joseph Smith. He does lead his Church through living prophets today. He loves us and succors us. He leads us beside the still waters and the turbulent waters too. He has blessed my life in time of trial and I have come out on the other side as a better man. I have an eternal family and l look forward to meeting them and you all on the other side for I know I will see you and those that have gone on before. This is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Funeral Talk


Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers in my behalf.  

2 comments:

  1. Dad, I waited to read this until I could not be interrupted by kiddos. Thanks so much for sharing. What a wonderful story and testimony. Your testimony has strengthened mine. I'm so grateful that I was brought up in a home where the Gospel was taught. Love you guys!!

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    1. *****************************

      An inspirational story of vulnerability and overcoming adversity
      thanks for having the courage to share

      Qualified Life Coach
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      All the best
      for the future
      Bren

      *****************************

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