From: Francis Harper
Article for June 30
“I’m Fixin’ to Starve to Death”
In the early hours of October 15, 1996, I dreamed that I was meeting with a group of priesthood. I was seated within the group, when I felt someone from behind me give me a hug. I turned and recognized it was Norman Gunsolley, a High Priest I had known many years before. He smiled, and said, “I’ve stayed with the church, but I’m fixin’ to starve to death!” Thus ended the dream.
Later in the afternoon of the day this dream was received, an evangelist of another denomination of Christianity stopped by to visit. He was accompanied by one of his associates. In our conversation, I related the unusual dream I had received. I shared the phrase, “I’ve stayed with the church but I’m fixin’ to starve to death.” As I repeated the phrase, I noticed the two men looking at each other and smiling. I immediately asked them why they smiled. Their explanation was that John Wallace, the evangelist, had been using the phrase, “I’m fixin’ to” in his preaching so much lately that his family had mentioned it.
I had wondered why “I’m fixin’ to” had been used in the dream. It was not characteristic of my manner of speaking, nor to my knowledge, was it Gunsolley’s manner of speaking. This unusual phrase had been used to confirm the spiritual nature of the dream. God works in mysterious ways.
I have learned that we should not be too hasty in the interpretation of spiritual experiences. We need to diligently pray for a confirmation of the experience, and for the complete and correct interpretation. My first thought was that the priesthood member in the dream represented the priesthood who had remained faithful to the leadership of Wallace B. Smith. It seemed logical to conclude that any priesthood member who chose to stay with the RLDS Church, and the disjunctive doctrine they embraced, would be facing spiritual starvation.
As I continued to ponder the meaning of the dream, however, I realized that every priesthood member, yea, every member of the Restoration Movement is faced with a similar situation. I was reminded of the testimony given by Lloyd Swift at the Followers’ of Christ reunion of 1996. It was made known to Lloyd that just changing the place of our worship was not a guarantee that we were set free from apostasy.
Surely it is true that every member of the Restoration movement may carry some seeds of apostasy in their thinking. Apostle Oakman warned a group of priesthood many years ago: “Don’t go down to Egypt to get your corn.” In other words, don’t be content with the thinking of the world. Jesus warned his disciples to beware of the leaven, or doctrine, of men. The gates of hell will prevail against us whenever we neglect to “Hear him!” (Deuteronomy 18:18-19; Matthew 3:46 IV; Matthew Old man saying grace 00117:5; III Nephi 5:8).
There is only one true source of spiritual sustenance. “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37, 38).
Another scripture that seems to be related to this dream, and to spiritual starvation, is this: “Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord; And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst” (Amos 8:11-13).