Saturday, November 1, 2008
A week or so before my scheduled Chrismation, I asked Fr. John to discuss the service text, word by word, so that I could enter the Church community wholeheartedly, without reservation. He agreed.
The review took more time than expected, which was interrupted by typical demands on Fr. John's priestly ministry. When we finally completed the review, he paused to look at me and then softly exclaimed, "Why, you have been Orthodox since your conception!"
At that statement I experienced a surprising "rush" of recognition, which was followed immediately by the lifting of a burden that I had felt and carried since birth. Conception predates birth. My Orthodox conception preceded my Mormon birth. It was as if my father's spirit had come into our midst to ratify the Orthodox path I was now on.
This brought to mind the last of six "Dialogues with Joseph Smith", which I'd finished writing two years earlier in November 2006. At the end of the sixth dialogue, the spirit of my dad came into my consciousness to encounter the protesting earth-bound spirit of Joseph Smith, which was still attached to mine. Then Dad gently, but firmly escorted the still protesting Joseph into the LIGHT.
The following month I received the Ancient Echoes musical files, which launched this Orthodox Odyssey.