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True Police Stories

"Courage is the ability to move; when all around you are frozen in fear
and no one would blame you if you did nothing at all." Capt. Click. Phx. PD

My Name is Samuel Jeppsen

       I became a police officer with the belief I could make a difference.
                          Now, 25 years later, I believe I made a difference to a few people
                                                    person at a time.

I was born into the Church. My father was strong in the gospel and was faithful to the Lord and to his family throughout his life. He was the son of a bishop in a small town called Mantua Utah. A stubborn Danishman, he was one of the hardest workers I ever knew. But he was also one of the most giving men I ever knew. My mother is a Tongan lady, born on the isle of Tonga. She was raised a Methodist and was sent to Catholic schools for her education. At age 25, she became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My mother was the strongest believer in Christ I ever met. She was a quiet woman who didn't like to get up and speak but was asked on many occasions to share her inspiring conversion story. It is found here, in the poem section of this site entitled, "The Gift of My Heart." 

When my mother and her brother Frederick joined the Church in Tonga, it was at first, at great cost to them. In family relationships. But with their testimonies, their love and their long suffering, their joining the Church turned out to be the gateway for the rest of their family. Uncle Frederick went on to become the director of the well known, "Mormon Choir of Southern California." As the result of the work of my mother and father, today there are over 70 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who are members of the Church. Though gone now, my mothers testimony lives in me still. When I began police work in 1978 she gave me a new Bible and Book of Mormon. In my Bible she wrote,

                "Always stay very close to the Lord, my beloved son,
                        and He will always be your shepherd, and your constant guide,
                                             and will bring you forth triumphant."

In my Book of Mormon she wrote,

                 "Search, pray, and study diligently the contents
                                 of these truly great and marvelous Books.
                          I pray that they may become your constant companion
                                           for the knowledge of the Laws of God,
            and a great and powerful source of strength to you throughout your life."

                                My mother was, and is, a remarkable lady.
                                            She taught me much about
                                                       the great love of the Savior.

In 25 years of police work, I've had some really neat experiences. Experiences that have impacted me for better and for worse. I've been in four police officer involved shootings, lots and lots of scuffles and fights, kicked in a few doors, put my share of bad guys away and more. Being a cop was more than a job to me; it was who I was. Of all I could share, I feel to share three short stories with you. The first one is about an old man who was trapped in a wrecked car, holding the hand of his wife, his girlfriend who had been killed and was singing a song about Jesus. The second is about a lonely and forgotten about homeless man by the name of Mickey and the spiritual experience I had while talking with him. It is a story that if I forget all the other police experiences in my career, I will never forget that experience. The third story is about my friend and my cousin, Tisina Wolfgramm. Tisina, like my mother, is a Tongan. Tisina was crushed by a car and received a Melchizedek Priesthood blessing from her father. She is the recipient of a miracle. Each story had great impact on me and changed me forever.

The first story took place near the midpoint in my career. As a result of the amount of tragedy police officers deal with, we tend to become callous to it and unaware of the effect that callousness has on us. So like most cops, I learned to detach myself from human suffering. In fact, all emergency service personnel learn to do that.

                                Human tragedy is something we deal with,
                                                 but we seldom think about
                                                              and often become numb to.

I first realized just how numb I had gotten when one day I was inside a garage with a suicide victim who had taken a shotgun, placed it into his mouth and blown off the top of his head. The body was there. The shotgun was there. The scattered human blood, bone and tissue were there, and I was there. As I sat there alone in the garage for several hours, the garage door down while I gathered my evidence, did my investigation, recreated the scene and wrote my report, I had no more feeling for the victim or his family or the problems he left behind, than if I was just writing out a grocery list. He was just another piece of evidence inside the crime scene. After I was done with my investigation, I called to have the body picked up. When I left, I gave him and my attitude no more thought.

It was just another day at the office.

As I continued on in my career, I became better and better at removing myself from the human suffering that I saw. I had been on several scenes involving dead bodies. I had seen both the old and the young die. I had been to several fatality accidents and I had even been first on the scene of a vehicle fatality where the driver was caught inside when his fuel tank ruptured and burst into flames. As time went on, I got to the point where very little fazed me anymore. I had become almost totally numb to human tragedy and suffering. But I didn’t realize just how numb I had gotten until an incident occurred in my ninth year of law enforcement. An incident that only Julie and I and one old man knows anything about. An incident that I have never told anyone, not even my family. Yet, as hard as I try to forget, even today, the memory won’t leave me alone.

Julie and I were en route to Las Vegas. On that long straight stretch of road north of Kingman, about 25 miles south of Hoover Dam, we came upon a one car roll-over in the southbound lanes. The driver had lost control, over-corrected and rolled the vehicle. The vehicle came to rest upside down  in the median. We were one of the very first to come along. There were four occupants in the vehicle. The two occupants in the front seat had been ejected during the rollover. They appeared to be dead. The two occupants in the back seat of the vehicle were pinned in.

In the left rear seat, was an old woman. Her head was pinned forward onto her chest. Like the two occupants that were ejected, she appeared to be dead. In the right rear seat was an old man. He too had his head pinned forward on his chest but unlike the old woman, he was alive, alert and conscious. He was obviously the old woman’s husband and still her boyfriend as he was holding the old woman’s hand and he was singing a song about Jesus. There were only a few people there at the scene, and no one was doing anything. Julie looked at me in despair and said, “Honey, ...what do we do?” I was the bull of the woods. I was to know what to do, and to do it. So I surveyed the scene to see what I could do. Three of the people didn’t need first aid and the one that did, well, there was nothing I could do for him. Finishing my survey, I came back to the old man. He was still holding the old woman’s hand, still singing a song about Jesus. He looked at me, I looked at him. Our eyes made contact for a few moments as I listened to the words of his song. And then, without even a smile, or a look of compassion on my face, I turned, I walked away, ...and I left him there.

The sleeping pill I gave my subconscious was, “I was a professional! The best thing I can do for him is go call for professional help!” And so I did. But that wasn’t the truth. I didn’t need to do that. There were other people there, they could have done that. I didn’t have to just leave him like I did. I’ve seen that old man’s face a thousand times in my mind since that day and I can still hear his song. I have never spoken a word about him to anyone, yet I can’t stop thinking about him. How could have I become so cold and unfeeling to human suffering that I could just turn and walk away like that? Every time I see that old man’s face, every time I hear his song, I think of another similar incident that took place in my second year of law enforcement. Before I learned to become so cold and so unfeeling.

It was 0130 hrs. in the morning. Radio advised that MCSO (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office) had a “serious injury-possible fatality accident” at the intersection of Warner and McQueen. Their closest unit was twenty minutes away and they were asking for help. I was close and I was available so I grabbed the mic. and told radio I would respond. I was the first unit on scene. At a glance I could tell that the north bound vehicle had run the stop sign and struck the westbound vehicle in the driver’s door. The impact was a high speed impact, and the west bound vehicle was knocked over an irrigation canal. It came to rest upside down on the other side of the canal. The northbound vehicle then went nose first into the canal. The two occupants of that vehicle seemed to be in no immediate need of first aid. I then ran to the other car and quickly surveyed the damage.

The impact had taken place on the driver’s side of the vehicle, right into the passenger compartment with about two feet of penetration. The vehicle’s top was crushed in toward the passenger compartment as well. I got down on my knees and looked into the driver’s side of the vehicle. The driver was a young male in his mid twenties. He was pinned in the vehicle. His head was crushed forward onto his chest. By the distortion of his head and neck, I could tell he was dead.

From the other side I could hear sounds of groaning and cries for help. I got up and ran around to the passenger side. I got down on my hands and knees and looked inside. Seat belted in the right front passenger seat was a female in her mid twenties. She was hanging upside down and she was pinned in the vehicle. The sides and top were crushed in around her. She was alive, alert, and conscious. ...She was also nine months pregnant and going into labor.

I got on the air and told radio what I had and what I needed. The fire department responded with the “Jaws of Life” and spread the vehicle and got her out. Mesa General Hospital sent out a paramedic ambulance with a doctor inside. His name was Dr. Leavitt. But until the fire department, ambulance and doctor arrived, it was just me and her. Like the old man, there was nothing I could do for her. But I wanted to help her somehow. I wanted to do something for her. So I did the only thing I could do. I got down in the dirt alongside her and just stayed with her until help arrived. I put my face near the now crushed window opening, so I could make eye contact with her. I stuck my hand inside the car so she could take it if she wanted. I then stayed along side her, only leaving when I had to. I talked to her and told her everything would be fine.

                            Everything I did for her added up to nothing!
                                                                   ...But it was all I could do!

That young woman lost her husband and her baby that night. I wasn’t able to do anything for her and I never saw her again. I wanted to help, but I was helpless. But, as little as it was, you don’t know how many times I have seen that old man’s face in my mind, and wish I had done at least that much for him. I have wished many times that I could roll back the clock to that incident and create a different ending to that story. But I can’t. None of us can, can we! That experience on the road to Las Vegas changed the rest of my career. I vowed I would never again, be so cold and so unfeeling, that I could look upon another’s misery and feel nothing. No empathy. No desire to help in what ever way I could. I’m not the best cop out there, but since that time, I’ve always tried to make the situation better somehow for the other guy. It was not only my Christian duty, but I began to realize that but by the grace of God, I could be that, “other guy!”

Those two experiences taught me something about compassionate service that I would never forget. Sometimes we think that our small gestures of kindness often referred to as compassionate service, are little more than a waste of time. After all, how can a loaf of bread, a plate of food or some seemingly insignificant act be of much value?

Well, compassionate service is not about the loaf of bread or the plate of food you bring by. It’s not about helping someone move or lending a shoulder to cry on or merely just being there for someone. It’s far beyond that.

                          Compassionate Service is first aid the soul!
              That’s what the loaf of bread, the plate of food or the act of kindness
                                                            all about!

The only other police story I feel to share with you, so impacted me that I will never forget it and it will remain deep in my heart forever. It's about a guy by the name of Mikey.

I was working one afternoon and a “suspicious person” call came over the air. The complaint was that, “a black male adult about thirty-five years old, wearing a green coat and gray pants, was hanging around the eastbound on-ramp of Ellsworth Rd. and U.S. 60.” The chopper did a “fly over” and told me his location. I drove out there and sure enough, there he was. He was sitting down, off the side of the road in some weeds about head high. I got out of my car and began walking up on him. As I was doing so, I was looking him over to see what I was getting myself in for. But he was obviously just a transient. His coat and pants were old and ragged. They were also filthy, grimy, dirty. The kind that only comes from wearing the same clothing for a long period of time without washing them. Alongside him was a little duffle bag. It was open and inside were all his worldly possessions. He was sitting down in the weeds and was reading out of the Bible, in Second Corinthians. I smiled and said, “Hey partner.” But he didn’t say a thing. He never looked up. He just sat there as if I was not even there. I spoke to him again a little louder and more aggressively, “Hey partner.” The second time, just like the first time, he just sat there. Not a word. Not a move. The third time I spoke to him very sternly but as before, it was as if I wasn’t even there. I was certain I had a wise guy. Now, ready for and expecting a physical confrontation, I bent down and got real close to his ear and said very sternly,

                   “You don’t have to talk to me,
                                  but you do have to get up and get off the right of way.”

His failure to respond this time would have resulted in his physical removal and or arrest. But at that he slowly closed his Bible, rose to his feet and then he slowly turned and looked at me. Even though my stern facial expression never changed, the look he gave me melted my heart. I was no longer an angered man, ready to do battle. As we stood face to face, I realized that I had been wrong and that this guy wasn’t a wise guy at all. By the look he gave me, I could tell he’s had several police officers walk up to him in his life and say, “Move along son.” And now, I was just another one of many. In his eyes, the windows to his soul, I could see that this guy was a very sad and very, very, lonely man. I could also tell that this guy’s mind had stopped keeping up with his body a long time ago.

                    This guy wasn’t a man, he was just a boy.  ...Just a young boy.

Neither one of us said anything for a few moments. We just looked at each other. Then he reached into his right front pocket and pulled out a wrinkled up piece of paper. He reached into his left front pocket and pulled out a pen and he wrote, “I don’t have no place to go.” My heart went out to him. I’ve always been afraid of that terrible loneliness that I knew he was living. When I’ve seen people like this guy, I’ve often wondered why this was his lot in life and not mine. I thought and said the only thing I felt to say. I said, “Where’s your family?” He just shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. I asked, “Where’s your mom?” He wrote, “Dead.” I said, “Where’s your Dad?” He shook his head and looked away! I said, “Where’s your brothers and sisters?” He wrote, “I don’t have any!” I asked, “Who takes care of you?” He smiled and wrote “God!” I smiled back. There was a pause and then his eyes began to tear and he wrote “I wish I could be with my mom again!”

Instantly, I felt the love and the need I have for my family. Instantly I became so grateful for my family and my belief that a family can be a family forever. The belief that death only separates a  family for a short time. So grateful for the peace the gospel brings to my heart. So grateful for the love my mother and I have for each other. I wanted to tell him that there was a way that a family could be a family forever.

             I wanted to reach out and grab his arm and say, “Hey man,
                          haven’t you heard the good news?”                   
                                    “Don’t you know that families can be families forever?”

But I was a cop and I was there on business. This wasn’t the time or the place to tell him what I felt in my heart. So in my infinite wisdom, I looked up at him and said, “Well pal, I don’t know what to tell ya!” He looked at me for a few moments and then he wrote, “Yes you do!” I looked back up at him and asked, “I know what to tell you?” He shook his head yes and beckoned an answer with his hands. My heart went out to him. So, I told him the things that came to my heart to tell him. I remember those words as if I said them just minutes ago. I told him,

         "I know that Jesus Christ lives!  I know that Jesus Christ loves you!
                      I know that He watches over you!
                                 And I know that He allows your mother to watch over you,
                                                                         ...even still.

                  So on those nights when you’re cold and all alone,
            and there is no friend for you, remember that your mother loves you!
                                    That she watches over you!
                     And that she does her best, to protect you, and to comfort you,
                                                                        ...even still.”

Those words just seemed to be there for me and I felt in my heart to say them to him, so I did. Almost immediately, his eyes filled with tears. He took a step forward and threw his arms around me and began to hug me. He laid his head on my shoulder and began to cry. I was very touched, very speechless by the moment.

We became friends and we talked in the same manner for a few more minutes and then I asked him, "What’s your name?" A big ole grin came across his face and he wrote, “My mom called me Mikey.” I smiled back. I told him my name was Sam. We shook hands, conversed for a few more minutes and then I told him I had to go. As I turned to walk away, he reached out and grabbed my arm and stopped me. With a smile on his face and tears running down his cheeks he wrote,

                                          “Tell me again, about my mom.”

I’ve never seen him since and I don’t know where he went, but I will never forget Mikey. I will never forget his terrible loneliness. His desperate need for a family. The tremendous love and need he had for his mother. I will never forget the tears on his face, the sadness in his eyes when he wrote about his mom. I really believe in my heart, that she was there that day. Somehow helping me to convey her feelings to her son.

                       Now many years later, I still find myself thinking of Mikey. 

Partly perhaps because now I too have lost my mom. And my dad. But I am so grateful for a religion that believes that families can be families forever. That death does not separate loved ones but for a time. I am so grateful that my wife can be my wife for time and all eternity and we can live as husband and wife. As a couple, forever. So grateful that my children can be sealed to me for time and all eternity as well. That my children can live with their companion as husband and wife. As couples, with us, forever. So grateful that my older brother John, who died at 17 days, will still be my brother in the next life and still be a son to my mom and dad and that because my mom and dad have had him sealed to them, they did not lose him at his death. And that one day, they will have the opportunity to raise him during the millennium. 

               And I don't understand a religion that does not believe these things.
                            Nor do I understand someone who chooses to believe less.
                                           Less, when the Lord offers us so much more.

                                 Why would families be so important here 
                                                     ...only to end with death and disappear?

I'm grateful for the true knowledge that families can be families forever and that with the power Jesus gave Peter and told Peter would bind in heaven whatsoever he bound on earth and loose in heaven whatsoever was loosed on earth, families can be families forever. I am so grateful for a religion that teaches marriages do not have to be, "Until death do us part." But instead, if they are done in the Temple's of our Lord, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, they can be, "For time and all eternity."

Julie and I and our family have been sealed for time and all eternity
in the temple of our Lord, even Jesus the Christ.

I love my family with all my heart and I am so grateful that through our Savior Jesus Christ, the truth and power has been restored to the earth as it was in days of old. That the God of the Old Testament, the God of the New Testament, the Great Jehovah, even Jesus the Christ, through the Prophet Joseph Smith has brought back all the truths that were once upon the earth.

I love my wife more than I have words to express and no consolation prize, no matter how grand, would ever be grand enough to take her place in the hereafter. Never to be my wife again. I know my mother loves me with all her heart and no consolation prize would ever be enough to replace me in her life. And I know Mikey's mom loves Mikey with all her heart and no consolation prize would ever replace him in her life.

                I am so grateful for the true knowledge that families
can be families forever.
                                       For I know that my mom, like Mikey's mom, loves me
                                                                          ...even still.

This last story, not a police story, but is very dear to my heart because I know the people involved and it deals with part of my heritage. As I said earlier, my mother is a Tongan. She was born on the isle of Samoa while her mother and father were on a trip there. My mother married an American born full blooded Danishman. My mothers mother, Minna Mathilde Sanft, married an American doctor from San Francisco who moved to Tanga. Her mother, Haliote Fifita Afu, married a Prussian who moved to Tanga in the late 1870's. Haliote had a brother by the name of Pita Afu. Pita had a daughter by the name of Salome Fo'ou Afu who had Iohani Wolfgramm. Iohani had a daughter named Tisina. Tisina and I are of the same age and the same 4th generation from Pita and Haliote. Tisina and I are not only cousins, we are friends. I grew up around Tisina and Iohani and his wife Solate Fakatou. I've known them from the many family get-togethers in Salt Lake City, Utah. Iohani died in 1997 in my 19th year of law enforcement. Thus, though I am only 1/8th Tongan, I cherish that 1/8th. It makes me literally part of the House of Israel, whose branches ran over the wall from Joseph of Egypt. For these reason and more, I have a great love for the Tongan and Samoan people.

This next story was given to me by Tisina. It is from the journal of Iohani, who like my mother was a person of exceeding great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is about a car accident Tisina was involved in and a Melchizedek Priesthood blessing she received from her father, Iohani. This remarkable story is here as he wrote it in his journal.

"I was finishing up the monthly reports for the Fo'oi Branch when the Spirit told me to stop and look out the window, but I was too busy. The second time the Spirit spoke to me, he said, 'Iohani, stop now and look out the window.' Still I went on working. The third time I felt like someone was pushing me off the chair and told me to stop and look out the window. I was surprised to see a group of people hovering over something in the road and rushed out to find my family in trouble.

Many people, all at once, were trying to tell me what had happened. I could only see the body of my little girl Tisina with her head crushed and lifeless body laying in the street. My wife Salote had crossed the street to go to the home of Lolo and Mataele about 2:30 in the afternoon after sacrament meeting. Malina, Ana, Sale and Tisina were told to wait until the road was clear to cross. They couldn't figure out how Tisina came loose from Malina's hand and tried to run after her mother, but she ran into the road and was hit by a car. The driver was unaware that he had hit Tisina and that her lifeless body was laying in the road. The next car was full of American soldiers who had just returned from a sight seeing tour of the Village of Ha'Atafu and stopped immediately to help. Malina was the first one to try to pick Tisina's body off the street. Sale ran to hold her little head up but was too scared. Ana ran over and started to lift Tisina's body and saw the blood coming out through her mouth, nose, ears, and eyes. She was so frightened she dropped her and ran off. Salote came running and saw the blood on her face. She fainted by the roadway. Friends and neighbors came with a bucket of cold water to pour over Salote's face, then she finally came out of it.

My missionary companion, Samuela Vehikite, brought a mat to carry Tisina's body inside their house. A van arrived with American soldiers and offered to take Tisina back to the army hospital at Houma where an American doctor could see what could be done for the child. I agreed, so they put Tisina inside their truck and started for Houma, about a mile away. Though shocked, I finally got my composure and ran after the truck and said,

                           Please stop, please!  ...I just changed my mind.
                I forgot something very important to do for my daughter right now.

In my mind, I had forgotten to give Tisina a priesthood blessing. I asked the soldiers if they would please back up their truck and bring Tisina into the home right away. At this time, other churches had just barely let their members out from church. Sekona, a Samoan, call out and said, 'Iohani, don't try to act like God, but send your daughter to the hospital and see if a doctor can help her.'

                     Many were afraid and some were very upset with me,
                                but I understood something that non-members did not.

I called Samuela Vehikite to assist me by anointing the consecrated oil on Tisina's head and as I began to utter the prayer, I couldn't say a word. My mouth was locked. My mind was blank. No words would come. But in a few minutes the Spirit spoke to me in my mind that there were so many unbelievers in and out of the house that had no faith that Tisina would ever recover from her accident, that I should send the people home.

I immediately opened my eyes and asked the people if they wanted Tisina to come back to life to please leave my home now so we can pray for her. Oh my! Non-members were furious and started to spit at me. Some picked up rocks and started throwing them at the house as they were leaving, calling me names. I knew the American doctor might help Tisina walk again, but how about her brain? I knew that only God who created her, who gave her life, would be the only one who could help Tisina completely recover and bring her memory back to normal again.

I asked Salote to go ahead and fix supper for the family, but I would go and pray for Tisina. I prayed and prayed and thanked the Lord for all His blessings to us, for sending us on a mission, but how I wouldn't like to part with any of my children yet because we have no white material for her burial nor funeral cloth in Tongatapu, but in Vava'u we did. I reminded the Lord of how He saved the Israelites by parting the waters of the Red Sea, how Christ raised people from the dead, and of the simple faith of a missionary who just had his daughter run over by a car and had been killed, you can understand of my love for her. I reviewed how Lazarus was raised after being in the tomb for four days, through faith and the power of the priesthood. I prayed and thanked the Lord for those great prophets of old and their faith and special callings in the church from Adam down to the prophet Joseph Smith. I said, 'I don't want a funeral away from all my family, and if this little girl has a special mission on earth to do, please spare her life so she can fulfill that blessing and her mission.'

                   I was on my knees over four hours that evening.
                              Finally the Lord heard my prayer and said to me,
                                       'Tisina won't be with you tonight, but tomorrow.'  

                   A humble and very sweet warm feeling came over my heart
           and a great worry and fear was lifted from my shoulders that evening.
                                            I thanked God for the answer that I received.

I opened my eyes slowly, filled with deep gratitude and tears of joy. I went over to Salote and said, 'Not tonight, but tomorrow.' Salote and the children didn't touch any food that evening. Everyone was shocked and felt so bad about Tisina.

Samuela Vehikite and I waited and waited all night long and about 3:00am, we felt the Spirit fill our souls and knew that this was finally the right time for us to give Tisina her priesthood blessing. Samuela Vehikite anointed her and I sealed the blessing, I thanked the Lord and expressed his love to me in answering my prayers and said,

'Tisina, by the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood which we hold,
we ask Thee, our Heavenly Father, to bless Tisina from the top of her head
all the way down to her toes, that every bone, muscle, nerve, blood vessel, skin,
nails, hair or any part of her body that has been broken, lost or damaged, through
the power of the priesthood which we hold, we command it to return to it's normal
place and start to function and to do their work, that she will be able to stand and
her body will be returned and renewed with all its parts and start to function as they
were before. We promise you through the holy power of the priesthood that when
the sun rises in the morning, you will be raised up together with the sun. And when
other witnesses hear this testimony of Tisina, they will also testify that Jesus is the
Christ and through Him the Lord healed Tisina. Not tonight, but tomorrow,
Tisina will walk with the rest of the family as the Spirits whispers.'

After the blessing everyone knelt down before they went to bed and in a circle offered a prayer, then we retired. I came into the room where Tisina still had her face covered with the cloth. She was still dead. I picked her up and laid her little broken head on my arm and kept her body close to me. Hours seemed to pass. I finally dozed off and on for about two more hours and about 6:00 a.m. I felt someone playing around my face and touching my hair. I slowly opened my eyes and to my surprise saw Tisina standing up playing with my face and hair with a big smile on her face.

I slowly reached out to feel Tisina's head. It was normal. I started to feel her hands, legs, face, everything that had been promised had come true. Samela Vehikite remembered that in her priesthood blessing that when the sun rose up in the morning she would rise up together with the sun. So he opened the window shades and sure enough, the sun had just barely risen in the sky. How excited we were to have our little daughter back with us again. We sang a special hymn to thank God for her return and said a long prayer of thanksgiving by me.

                       A few minutes later a knock came to our door.
             Our Aunt Marie and Uncle Maile Niu, brought Tisina's burial clothing
                        and her burial box and asked where the dead child was.
                                           I said she was the one that answered the door. "

My dear brothers and sisters, if I could tell you anything I would tell you I know for an absolute certainty that Christ lives. I have just had too many experiences in my life to ever believe otherwise. Christ has always led His people by faith. His signs that He is there with us, are sometimes so slight, when explained to a non-believer, they are often explained away as a coincidence. Giving us our freedom to choose for ourselves is the way of the Lord. He gives us our choice to choose for ourselves whether His work was a miracle or just a coincidence. He forces no man to believe in Him. He makes no evidence so compelling that doubt is removed and our freedom to willingly choose to follow Him is taken from us.

When Christ was baptized, those who witnessed His baptism saw a dove descending out of heaven and landing on His shoulder. Those who believed in Christ, recognized it as the Spirit of God, descending upon the Only Begotten Son of God; Jesus The Christ. Those who believed not in Christ, saw only a dove land on his shoulder. Nothing more. Yet to both, the sign was given. Each were allowed to see what they believed. A miracle or a coincidence. But to he who believed, more and more of the mysteries of God were unfolded to him. And more and more of the power of Heaven was given him. And thus it is with us.

            We, the recipient, know when the Lord has answered our prayers.
                     We know when He has opened a door or performed a miracle for us.
                             In our hearts, we know  ...and we know He knows we know,
                                                              and so it is with me.

I know that He has answered many-many prayers of mine and has opened many-many doors for me that were otherwise shut. Both spiritually and temporally. Brothers and sisters, I have experienced talents and abilities in different circumstances that are not my own and I am a man who lives far beyond my ability to achieve. I know that Christ lives and I would not know it more if He were standing along side me now. I know that He lives. I know the Atonement is real and I know He loves us, even when we can no longer love ourselves. I know that He is the way. He is the Light of the world and the last and only hope any of us have.

He is Alfa and Omega, He is Jesus The Christ.

                                      Christ lives, my dear brother and sister.
                   He lives and He can do all He promised He could do for us. 
                            ...If, ...if, we will just turn our hearts to Him and follow Him.     

                              In the sacred name of the Savior, Jesus Christ,

                                 Officer Samuel Jeppsen #3751 (Ret) R# 140


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Thank you and God bless,


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