Chapter 18, A Phone Call

In December of 2016, I received a phone call from Sheila Calder. She and her husband, Cameron are friends in the ward. She told me she had been to lunch that day with some ladies from the ward. During lunch, Lorna’s name came up in the conversation.

Connie Larson, who had moved from the ward, was at the luncheon. She asked those at the table if they knew if I was dating? No one at the lunch knew whether I was or wasn’t. She told them that there was a widow in her new ward, whom she felt I should meet. Then she explained why she felt that way. Then said she was hesitant to call me. Sheila said, “I’ll call him. What’s her name and number?”

Sheila called and asked if I was dating. I answered no. She told me about the lunch she attended that day. She told me about Connie’s feeling that I should meet a widow in her ward. I told Sheila I appreciated the call and the inquiry, but I was not interested in dating yet.  She insisted I call and sent me Connie’s number.

I had no intention of calling.

However, for the next few days, I’m “troubled.” I’m feeling I should call, but I don’t want to. The feeling won’t go away. I decide to at least make the call.

I call Connie and ask her about the widow she feels I should meet.

During the previous summer  (it’s now December), Connie was jogging in a local park. She jogged by a bench that Brenda, the widow from her ward, was sitting on.  Connie hears someone say: “Introduce Brenda to Craig Jenkins.”

That afternoon, Connie and her husband, Mike, ran into me at Costco (I remembered that meeting at Costco).  She hears again, “Introduce Brenda to Craig.”  Connie told me that every time she sees Brenda, she hears the same thing, “Introduce Brenda to Craig.”

When Connie was telling her experience to those at the lunch, Brenda walked into the restaurant.

I’m not a big believer in coincidences anymore.

Elder Gerald N. Lund , Quorum of the Seventy Divine Signatures, 20–21

As a popular saying goes, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” But in my experience it is just the opposite. What we call coincidence is God’s way of letting Himself be known….

Sometimes, the Lord sends His blessings in such a highly unusual, dramatic, or precisely timed manner that it might be likened to a “divine Signature.” It is as though the Lord “signs” the blessing personally so that we know with certainty that it comes from Him. In doing so, God not only gives us blessings, but at the same time He also strengthens our faith and deepens our testimony of Him.

I called Brenda.  She had been a widow for a few years. She told me that when her husband died, good riddance. She never wanted to see him again, and certainly didn’t want to be sealed to him. She said he had done “some things.” I didn’t ask what those things were.

She then told me that she had come to believe from her personal impressions that you can repent on the other side of the veil. But, she had been unable to find any statements from the brethren to corroborate what she was believing.  She had even attended a fireside on Life after Life, where the presenter was unable to give her a definitive answer.

I told her yes, of  course you can repent on the other side of the veil. The second estate, the time to prepare to meet God, is birth to resurrection, not birth to death. I have statements by Elder Packer, Elder Maxwell, Elder Oaks, Eldred G. Smith, (Church Patriarch from 1947-1979), Alma, Section 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants, and others. I’ll email them to you.

A short time later I received this email back from her.

I want to thank you again for sharing your collection of articles with me. I have read and reread them and have found great comfort in their words. I have also shared them with some of my children. The most rewarding part of the experience has been that they served as a second witness of the things that had been revealed to me through personal revelation. I am very thankful for a merciful Heavenly Father, for a loving husband, for Connie’s willingness to follow a prompting and for your courage in calling me and being willing to share sacred things with me.

Brenda and I never met.  Just a phone call and an email. However, I do feel a connection to Brenda, and her husband, who loves her.

Brenda’s husband had repented. He was then authorized to speak the words to Brenda’s mind that you can repent on the other side of the veil, and that he had repented.

Brenda had believed what most Latter-day Saints believe. If you are a Church member and you die in your sins, you had your one chance. No Celestial Kingdom for you.

For Brenda, that belief was being challenged by her personal revelation, that her husband, who had been active, endowed, sealed in the Temple, but had done some things, who hadn’t repented before he died, wasn’t lost. He could repent of those things’ in the spirit world.

She wanted to believe the impressions she was feeling, but needed a second witness to confirm what was being revealed to her.

Council meetings are held on the other side of the veil, Church and family. In a council meeting her husband addresses her need for an additional witness to confirm to her what she was now believing. A statement from a credible source.

Don’t ask me how, but in some way he finds out that I have quotes that will confirm the impressions that Brenda has been receiving.

How to get them to Brenda? Again, in some way, he becomes aware that Connie is a link; she knows both of us. It was not a coincidence that Brenda was sitting on a bench in Lambert Park when Connie jogged by, or she ran into me at Costco later in the day, or that every time she saw Brenda she would hear the same thing: introduce Brenda to Craig.

Because of Connie’s reticence (completely understandable) to call me, after a few months Brenda’s husband makes arrangements for ladies from the ward and Connie to meet for lunch (because “they can do things from there”).

Lorna’s name comes up at lunch, my name comes up, Connie shares her story. Sheila calls me: I’m not going to call, but I’m troubled by Brenda’s husband (always authorized)  to make the call. I call, and Brenda gets the quotes she needs to confirm what had been revealed to her. She knows her husband has repented and loves her.

Larry James, a fellow ordinance worker at the Timpanogos Temple shared his experience with me.

I have been an active Church member all of my life, and have held a temple recommend since 1961, when my wife and I were married. I have been a priesthood leader for decades, serving as a bishop and stake president.

I am writing about a single event that happened in the Mount Timpanogos Temple. My wife and I were asked to help one of the families in our ward with sealings for their family. I was sitting in one of the witness chairs when the sound in the room became very still. I heard a female voice speak to my mind. She said, “Don’t forget me.” It was the voice of my younger sister. She was born in 1946, whereas I was born in 1939. This had never happened to me, and I began to weep. Needless to say, I interrupted the session, and the sealer sensed I was in some kind of trouble.

I explained to him what had happened, and he didn’t seem surprised. My sister had been dead for over four years. She was baptized at the age of eight, as we all were, but she was never active in the Church. She had been married five times and had six children by different men. I had written her off as having made her decision as to the gospel of Christ. Well, within one week, my wife and I had her temple endowment completed in the temple. After the session that day the sealer said to me that the end of mortality will not be until the resurrection takes place.