The RLDS Peacekeepers newsletter is available in an e-mail and a "dead tree" edition. Active-duty military members who join the association can receive either edition for free. Non-active-duty members receive either edition with a paid membership.
My mother passed away late in 1998. She and my father had better than 60 years of life in Independence, Missouri, and all of it was lived with the church very much at the center.
Her death was during the coldest days of our winter this year. When we planned for visits at the funeral home with family and friends, we were aware that it would be difficult for many to come out on the winter eveningscheduled.
However, we were comforted by the arrival of many old friends who had come to share with us their good memories of my mother, Geneva Cable. As many of them talked with me, I had the strongly freshened memory of the years of World War II and the years that immediately followed in the decade of the 1940s.
My parents, I knew, often invited young adults of the church into our home during those years. During the war, many of the young men came in military uniform. They were home on leave, or were preparing to go to assignments in all parts of the world. A few of those did not return, having paid the full cost of being a peacekeeper.
But among those visiting the funeral home were returned military folks from that time who told me how important the encouragement and friendship was they had received. And I remembered each one of them myself as absolute models of courage and Christian commitment. A couple of them became teachers of my Sunday School class when the war ended. Others were near neighbors and had their own parents who had room for me in their hearts just as my parents loved their sons.
I admired those men. And I have admired those serving the peacekeeping needs of so many nations around the world since that time. It has been my privilege to know personally service personnel in countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia in my work for the church. I find them all carrying the same sense of discipline and inner character that makes of them good citizens of their own countries and of the larger world as well. I have been able to be at home in so much of the world because of their dedication and skills.
My personal sense of peace has been blessed and enabled by these men and women. I am grateful for all that they do. One of the great privileges of my own life was a few short years in uniform. I hope my stewardship of my time in that way was a contributor to a sense of personal security for children of that time who are now grown and perhaps aware of the value of that form of ministry.
(Jim Cable is a former Apostle and now serves as the director of communication for the World Church -CH)
In August 1941 I attended Silver Lake Reunion (WA) where an Evangelist speaking by the direction of the Spirit told young men then present: ďif you are faithful to your covenant of baptism, you will have men fall to the right and to the left of you. Your lives will be spared. You will release from such situations without so much as the loss of a hair on your head.Ē I did not understand what all this meant until Dec. 7, 1941 and Pearl Harbor.
When that attack took place, I was on the Willard A Holbrook Army Transport. (The Navy ran better ships) We were one week West of Pearl Harbor in a 52 ship convoy. After hearing the attack on the shipís radio, I knew what had been said in my hearing. Tokyo Rose came on the radio immediately after the attack listing (in order and column) our convoy. Reminding us that we were without naval escort and too far for air cover. It was a little unnerving for all, including me until I recalled the Lordís promise.
During my 32 months in SWPA I spared many times. On R&R spent in Australia I met (when possible) with our church members in worship. My first experience: We did not list in phone books, I had no addresses. I found the LDS, went there, finally got a hint of where there was a group. I hired an air-bag operated taxi to the distant location. Spent 20 Aussie pounds, walked to the church meeting hall. It was then 11:30 AM and a Sacrament Sunday. No one was there, I inquired of a home nearby. I was told that they met at 1400 hours. I was directed to a local Deaconís home a few blocks away. On knocking at the door his wife came. I handed her my Priest card (I had been ordained at Ft. Lewis, WA on 11-17-41 under the hands of Apostle D.T. Williams and my father W.W. Belcher). The lady closed the door with me outside. Soon I heard the loudest roar from inside and the door was flung open. I was ushered into a bedroom where the Deacon was. His wife served him breakfast IN BED on Communion Sunday.
He confirmed the time of meeting. I left and went for a walk staying well away from the gathering I could see. I needed some evidence that my RLDS was divinely called of God. After I could hear some singing (from a familiar hymnal I well knew). I went in and sat on the back row. I spoke to no one and no one spoke to me.
Dan Belcher, Evangelist
I received this shortly after the last newsletter came out. -CH
I was responsible for the spiritual welfare of about 1500 marines in Viet Nam in the last half of 1965 and first half of 1966. I received a message from the Churchís World Headquarters that we had a church member who was wounded and had asked me to administer to him. I couldnít do it. I was too far away. Transportation was difficult and I really couldnít leave my marines. I was aware of an Army Pfc. in the area who was a young elder but the chance of my getting him out of the field to do the administration was very remote. However, I thought since I was a Chaplain and the message would go through the manís commanding officer I would give it a try.
I composed a message with the knowledge that the elderís commanding officer would read it first. I had no idea whether the elder was even interested ; I had not had any contact with him even though I did see a number of our church members. I sent the message and had asked for a response. I didnít get a response and I thought nothing had happened.
I was busy and forgot about it until 28 years later. I wasnít feeling very good but I answered the phone one evening. On the other end was the elder to whom I had sent the message. I still have never met him but what he told me on the phone gave me support I needed at that time. I found out that the commanding officer did pay attention to the message and called the young Pfc. in out of the field. The elder had not been told what it was about and he came in shaking in his boots. He thought he was in real trouble. Pfc.ís are not called in out of the field by the commanding officers unless something is really bad wrong. When the elder reported, the commanding officer gave him the message and asked him what it was all about. The message reminded the Pfc. he was an elder and had accepted that responsibility even if he didnít think he would ever have an opportunity to be an elder in the army. The commanding officer provided the Pfc. what he needed and he went on to perform the administration.
What was important was not the administration but that the Pfc. was reminded he was an elder as well. That has stayed with him since for the whole 28 years and he thanked me for reminding him. He had more respect for himself and others gad more respect for him being and elder as well as a Pfc. It came back to me when I needed it.
I have seen things like that happen over and over. God is at work in ways we may never expect.
Lt, CHC, USNR (Ret)
Please send your check to Lehman Heaviland - 309 Shrank - Independence, MO 64056.
This is the only way that we have at the present time to continue our newsletter mailings throughout the world. Hopefully the April 10 minute newsletter to all pastors will contain an invitation to Pastors outside of the US to send names of their military people.
updated: 14 Apr 2001
Additions? Corrections? Questions? Contact the Ministry to Military Personnel at CofChristPeacekeepers@yahoo.com!