James Morris: Oridnary Man Extraordinary Call

Baptism of James Morris and his brother--James is the short one!

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Missionary headquarters for the Oregon Eugene Mission

A marker55 W 29th Ave Ste A Eugene OR 97405 -
55 West 29th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97405, USA
[get directions]

Missionary headquarters for the Oregon Eugene Mission

James Morris is a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thousand of people receive a call, a notice in the mail that informs them of where they will go as did Elder James Morris. Thousands make the choice to serve; all of them are known and special to the Lord. I know this one.

I wrote about his brother Wesley, also an Elder Morris. James served a mission at the same time his older brother served until he recently returned home, though Wesley was in Guatemala and James is Stateside.

When James and Wesley first came into our Laveen Ward/Congregation--together they stood always as inseparable as identical twins though they are not. I scarcely would see one brother without the other close by.

The first thing that I noticed about the two was the vivid yellow hair. I almost thought I had seen two(2) real-life Naruto characters depicted in the image below of the cartoon. If you look to the right you will notice their bright yellow hair and Naruto's bright yellow hair hair below.

The baptismal picture to the right and above chronicles both Elder Morris's journey into The Church of Jesus Christ from the beginning up until my friend Elder James Morris went on his mission, which is where I am leading!

Elder James Morris was called to serve in the Oregon Eugene Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ off Latter-day Saints. Because he serves in another part of the USA, he was not worried much about cultural differences or language barriers.

He informed me prior to leaving to start his service that he will enjoy the cool weather there as opposed to the dry hot weather in Phoenix! His eyes lit up with excitement when I asked him why he moved out of his Aunt and Uncle's house before going on his mission with pride and satisfaction.

"I am an almost 20-year-old man," he said. "I don't need any one telling me when I can leave or when I can come home."

"It helped me prepare for my mission. I will have to live on my own (I added with a companion as he spoke)."

He took living on his own five months prior to his mission as a badge of honor; one where he proved to himself that he could be independent in the world whiles still living his life dependent on Jesus Christ his master.

His favorite scripture is in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ in the book of 1 Nephi 3:7 which reads in part,

...I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Elder Morris spoke with convincing piercing pale blue eyes that he knew he did he right thing for himself to serve as a missionary and for his love of his brother Elder Wesley Morris who he absolutely adores.

Wesley is revered with great care and devotion by his brother James. It is all in the eyes. I could see it, the reverence, the devotion, and the love, as James spoke of Wesley.

The great respect for Wesley's service as a missionary encouraged James to follow in his footsteps and rise to the challenge of leading other people to the very truths that changed both elders lives.

Elder Morris's Family

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Not always a Mormon...

Separated from his birth family in Michigan, James found himself in the care of his Uncle and Aunt, Terry and Alyeska pictured in the image above. James said that he felt the Spirit of God when a very planned dinner occurred at his Aunt and Uncle's house with missionaries.

He saw no angels or had no great waking visions that lead him to accept the gospel message from those elders who taught him. What he had was a feeling of peace and calm. James referred to this feelings often as we spoke prior to his leaving. He is strengthened by the knowledge that it, the message the missionaries taught him, felt right.

He said, "I didn't know it was the spirit back then; I just knew that it left when the missionaries left." He wanted the feeling to stay!

James was baptized on December 12, 2009. James, Elder Morris, was age 14 at the time. He prayed about the gospel the missionaries taught, felt good about it, and accepted the invitation to change his life at that young age.

The message he shares is about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as it was revealed through a prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr. Smith himself was a young man when he chronicled his first experience with God--14 years old!

Source

In a great theophany, Joseph Smith, Jr. saw God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son in answer to his prayer about what church to attend. In answer to Smith's prayer, he receive what he asked for and so much more! Seeing God, Smith knew unequivocally that God and Jesus Christ are separate beings physically and Jesus Christ truly lives!

Smith also, from that great introduction to the creators of all things, received direction over time in what manner to restore The Church of Jesus Christ in the latter-days with authority; and as recorded in the Bible as a letter to the Ephesians, Paul instructed that God

...gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of theknowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ (Ephesians 4:11-15)

Just like his brother Elder Wesley Morris, Elder James Morris recognized Jesus Christ's true teachings within the organization the world calls the Mormon Church. They recognize it as what it claims to be The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Morris humbly stated before he left, "I'm serving a mission because it is the right thing to do."

One of my chiefest concerns with talking to James was to dispense some of my elderly and sage advice about preparing for a mission. I did share some things, but I think I learned more in that meeting. It is cliche to say so, but there is a reason we people say it.

James is the most humble person that I have ever met save Elder Msetle who I met on my mission. I have only once experienced the humility that exuded from James and it caught me off guard and humbled me a little.

It made me love James more and joy in the fact that other people will have the chance to feel that loving humility, teachable spirit, contrite and broken hearted man.

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Letters Home

The following are some excerpts of letters Elder James Morris sent to his Congregational family as he served the Lord.

I love this gospel with all of my heart. This is the greatest work ever! I know that I have been called by a prophet of god to preach the gospel to Heavenly Fathers children. Joseph Smith is a prophet of god and the priesthood keys have been restored on the earth today.

I love the scriptures and the Book of Mormon. It is so true when Joseph Smith said this is the most correct of any other book on earth and that a man can grow nearer to god by abiding by its precepts than by any other book!

Thomas S. Monson is the prophet on the earth today and he receives direct revelation from Heavenly Father. I love you all and i hope that everyone has a safe and blessed week .
love,
Elder Morris

© 2015 Rodric Johnson

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10 comments

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 16 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

Thanks for this one. Baptism stories are always interesting when a person chooses to be baptized and isn't just baptized because "it's the thing to do" or "because it's the church my parents go to", etc.


graceinus 16 months ago from those of the Ekklesia

You say Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. Well then, I say Joseph Smith was a bald face liar.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 16 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Why does Joseph Smith, Jr. have to be the bald face liar when it is I who am saying that he saw God and Jesus, graceinus?

If I say he didn't see them will you then say that he is telling the truth?

Now if you want to say that Joseph Smith, Jr said that he saw God and Jesus and you wanted to directly call him a liar for doing so, that would make sense.

I am assuming that you disagree with the claims of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and you want that to be known to all who read here. I let the comment remain for that purpose alone.

God can reveal what is true to all who are willing to ask in faith. Think about what you want to know. Study about it. Then ask God if it is correct.

Elder Morris and millions of others have asked if God revealed Himself and His Son to Joseph Smith, Jr, after we meditated on it, researched about it and prayed God told us that He did.

How can you fight that type of knowledge without betraying reason? If you believe in God, you can just ask Him if we are telling the truth. If you believe He can answer you, then you will wait for it to come.


graceinus 16 months ago from those of the Ekklesia

I'll make it simple so that you may understand it. I believe the mormon church is built upon the lie of Joseph Smith and HIS claim that he saw God and Jesus Christ. And yes I believe Joseph Smith is a bald face liar. The gold tablets and book of mormons is nothing but garbage.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 16 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

You are entitled to your beliefs my sibling. I know that Joseph Smith did see God the Father and Jesus Christ and that the Book of Mormon is the word of, mind of and will of God.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is built upon revelation through Joseph Smith, yes. His testimony of the resurrected Jesus Christ laid the foundation for building up of Christ's kingdom.

The Book of Mormon was translated from the gold tablets or as we call it the gold plates and they are of immeasurable worth.


graceinus 16 months ago from those of the Ekklesia

I know that many mormons don't trust the Holy Bible because it conflicks with the book of mormon. Mormons place far more trust in the book of mormons.

Just some verses in the Bible that conflicks with the book of mormons. And these are just a few I'll mention.

Book of mormon, Alma 46:13-16 conflicks with the bible in Acts 11:26.

Book of mormon Alma 7:10 conflicks with the bible in Matthew 2:1 and Matthew 21:17.

Book of Monmons, Hel 14:23-27 conflicks with the bible in Luke 23:44.

These are just a few of many more conflicking verses I could list. The mormons claim that many of the verse in the bible are wrong or misunderstood, so the Book of mormon helps clear things up for better understanding. Because the bible in their view is in err, so the book of mormons has fixed all those misunderstanding. Hummmmm So let me ask you. The Book of mormons states in Alma 7:10 that Jesus was born in Jerusalem, but the bible says in Matthew 2:1 that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. I have no doubt Jesus was born in Bethlehem. So if the book of mormon is wrong about where Jesus was born, then what else are they wrong about? But hey, Joseph Smith wouldn't lie or would he.

You don't need to reply, I had enough of your garbage.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 16 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

I suppose we will not hear from graceinus anymore per the last line of his comment. I think that graceinus is a guy?

Anyway, for those of you who want an explanation here it goes...

I can understand how graceinus can see a contradiction between the listed verses and the Bible because of his premise that The Book of Mormon is a replacement for the Bible.

The truth is, the Book of Mormon and the Bible work hand in hand to support each other as companions both testifying of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon does not usurp any power from the Bible at all.

Each scripture records the dealings of God with a population on different parts of the planet. Being called a Christian first in the Holy Land is valid as being called Christian first in the Ancient Americas is valid.

The groups were oceans apart and they had no contact with each other to determine who said what first. The writers of each record only had the knowledge God gave them and the experiences of their worlds. Apparently God did not see the need to correlate historical facts across the oceans at that time. However, the doctrine in the Books are consistent with each other.

Alma 46:13-16 does not conflict with Acts 11:26. any more than Luke conflicts with John. The writer had different information about history is all. Read the verse and keep in mind that the writers of each record had no dealings with each other.

The same applies to the next grouping of verses referring to the birth of Jesus. He was born in Bethlehem, a suburb of Jerusalem. In the Book of Mormon it says that he was born at Jerusalem. I don't think it matters much since the people of the Book of Mormon did not know about Bethlehem and had only heard of Jerusalem from their own scriptures.

Since the Book of Mormon is not trying to replace the Bible, only add to its testimony of Christ, I think the part about it, the book, validating the Bible's claim that Jesus was born of Mary, who was virgin.

I don't like playing with semantics, but the word "at" instead of "in" referring to Christ's birth can be argued that the prophet Nephi who foresaw the birth was just giving a general idea of Christ's birth and not a specific place. I really am not concerned with it, but someone reading might be so I mention it.

Remember, The Book of Mormon is ANOTHER testament of Jesus Christ and not a replacement testament. Mormon Christians still use the Bible. I am the Sunday School president for my local congregation in Laveen, AZ at the time that I am writing this comment July 22, 2013 and we are studying the New Testament this year.

I am more familiar with the Book of Mormon than the Bible because the Book of Mormon converted me to Christianity. I started believing the Bible because I was told that it was also the word of God by the missionaries who taught me and within the Book of Mormon itself.

I had a Christian background, but I strayed away from Christ seeking Islam until I found the Book of Mormon. You can read about it in the link below.

http://rationalfaiths.com/the-book-of-mormon-led-m...

I show favor to the Book of Mormon, not because it is better than the Bible according to LDS teachings, but because by it I obtained my testimony of Christ.

It would be like saying my favorite book is Saint John because it teaches:

if all the doings of Christ were written there would not be enough books to contain them!

That does not mean I ignore the Book of Revelations and refuse to read it because I like John. It just means I have a favorite book of Scripture, but I accept ALL scripture.

The last verse comparison in Helaman and Luke speak about what happened during the death of Christ on different continents. The damage in the ancient Americas was quite a bit more extensive than in and at Jerusalem. That's it.

Hopefully this provides some insight into your personal study of both books of scripture--enough insight to study for yourself and obtain a witness from God! (speaking to the silent reader who does not feel the need to comment)


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 16 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Perspycacious , thanks so much for reading about my friend Elder Morris. I find it refreshing to hear the testimonies of people who are sure of what they know and how they know it. I had the great privileged of speaking to both of the Morris elders and I am so proud that they came from my congregation, the Laveen Ward of the Phoenix Stake (diocese).

I also have the pleasure of interviewing another elder about to go on his mission who grew up in the LDS church. I look forward to it. Also, my son will soon be serving a mission. He decided recently to go when he finishes high school. I hope he lets me write up on him too.

I love missionaries. I love conversion stories to Christ!


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 16 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

A discussion with someone who already has a fixed opinion is not really a discussion. I like the sort of person who seeks to broaden their understanding of other people's perspectives. This Hub will also be available for them to do what they come seeking to do. As such it has merit and serves a commendable purpose. Thanks.


Rodric29 profile image

Rodric29 16 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona Author

Amen my friend, Amen. How can I show that I love my brothers and sisters of a differing view better than to be interested in what they believe and their opinions?

Perspyacious, thanks for you wise words and encouragement. It takes a lot for these young men and women to go out and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but they feel that it is true. I know I did as a missionary and still do now. I am open to hear what others have experienced though, at least I think I am.

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