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After 38 years as a public school teacher/administrator in the Pacific Northwest, I retired last year to take full-time care of my wife who was diagnosed 6 years ago with early onset Alzheimer's. We recently moved 2000 miles to be near our daughters in the Midwest so they can help and provide us with backup support.
I believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever and that He not only can, but does call prophets today as He did in Old and New Testament times. I know the Bible and Book of Mormon are the word of God. They testify of Jesus Christ as our Savior and delineate the strait and narrow path leading back to our Father in Heaven. Anyone who claims Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon gives him way too much credit; especially when you consider he was only 24 years old when it was published. My faith provides me with strength and understanding in the face of adversity. I realize that I am accountable to God and the purpose of this life is to prepare to meet Him. I am grateful for and rely on the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ to save me and ultimately make right the unfairness and perplexities of life that seem so irresolvable.
It was my desire to win my wife's heart when we were courting. I now marvel at how trusting she is of me and only hope that I am as trusting of the Lord. My wife's early onset Alzheimer's is genetic and has a significant influence on our family, but we do not consider it to be a curse. This challenge has united our immediate family in an effort to care for her and support each other. There are two tenets, which may be unique to our faith, that we find extremely helpful and empowering in our situation. First, all of us lived as spirit children prior to this earth life and were endowed with free will to choose in that preexistence. Second, family relationships are not just accidental or temporary, but part of the great joy we experience during and after this earth life. We feel as a family that having Alzheimer's was something that my wife either volunteered for or at least acquiesced to in the preexistence; and she selected us to be her support team. We believe that this difficult time will ultimately prove to be a blessing if we handle it with faith and love. We take great comfort in the assurance of the eternal nature of families. Dealing with Alzheimer's certainly is not easy, but we have faith that we can do this and hopefully by serving my wife, learn and become what the Lord intends.