MICHAEL PETERSON'S PERSONAL STORY
My name is Michael Peterson, born December 2, 1961, at Independence, Missouri, the fourth of five boys. I was born into a family of the Restoration, the fifth generation. My family stayed with Emma and the family after the assassination of Joseph Jr. and Hyrum and was part of the Reorganization in 1860 with family members part of the Apostles. My great, great, great Grandmother was part of the Presidency of the First Relieve Society. My mother and father met at Graceland College (RLDS College), my mother at age 17 was a stand out and my father was a smooth operator from a farm in Iowa with no real religious background except for RLDS friends in town. My maternal Grandparents and mother were very active in the RLDS Church and it was the most stable aspect of my young life with regular meetings and fellowship of the Saints. We would often get to see W Wallace Smith and his son Wallace B Smith at Church, descendants of Joseph Jr.
My parents divorced in 1965 which left mom raising all five of us boys alone. She did the best she could and with the help of family we made it alright. She went back to college and got a teaching degree which included me and my younger brother sitting in college lecture halls at 4 and 6 years of age. I must of really liked it because like my mother school was easy for me. My educational experience was the best. Because of a turn of events in the Kansas City area, and my gangster brothers, my mother and younger brother moved to St. Louis. My mother met and married the best man, a REAL man. He taught us what it meant to be honorable, spiritual, reliable. Together, they keep me on tract. They also taught me to be responsible for what you believe, test the water, check out other ways, but the Restoration always held up. Close to high school graduation I received my Patriarchal Blessing which was what you did in the RLDS Church. It told me I was a descendant of the Tribe of Judah and to study the Jewish language and culture because in the future I would be part of the restoration of the Jews to the Gospel.
However, my performance on the ACT and SAT opened so many doors to the future I forgot what I had been told in my blessing. I was free to go anywhere and do anything I wanted. So, I did what every kid who can does, I enrolled to go to medical school. While at college I discovered I had talents in other areas as well, which led to many distractions from spiritual matters and many violations of the Law of Chastity. And for the first time in my life is was exercising my free-will with abandon not remembering the great example and guidance given by many of those who loved and cared for me growing up. As I was about to enter medical school I was given an opportunity to work in the hospital. I was shocked and dismayed at what went on there. Being a doctor no longer was something I wanted at all.
While in St. Louis our family was part of a movement to restore the inner city. We had multiple buildings with many renters and restored many really neat old homes. While trying to re-evaluate what I was going to do next my mother took a nasty fall off a ladder and landed on some stairs and broke her arm in five places with every kind of fracture there is in medicine, great x-rays. They reset her arm but told she would never ever really be able to use it again. This was not acceptable to her so she went to a Chiropractor?, I had never heard of one, did not even know what one was. She started her treatments after the surgery and cast was removed. In no time she was doing a lot better, so I started hanging out at this Chiropractor's office. Within a few months the kid that did not even know what one was, was in school to be a Chiropractor. This felt good.
While in chiropractic college married a great girl that I met in medical school, but failed to treat her with the respect and honor she deserved and it will end in a divorce a few years later. Two months before graduation from chiropractic college my superman step father is in a car accident and forty days later he died. This was devastating. I went to school to make him proud, I did this for them. Graduation came, not like I thought at all. I passed my boards, worked two separate clinics but not happy. Became wrapped up in wrecking my marriage. My mother decided to move back to KC to be with her family, and I figured a new start would be good for me as well. So we loaded up the truck and moved to KC. Opened another clinic was still not happy, my marriage was over with continual violations of her trust. During this time I met the women that I was told to be patient and wait for in my earlier Patriarchal Blessing. I got divorced, opened a new better clinic, and started a not-for-profit organization for the poor and homeless with two to of my brothers. Things are doing better, but still not really happy.
So, now its 1992, and the search for who I am, and why I exist starts, with an interesting story about a book from 1851, called "The History and Origin of All Things including man from his creation to his end but not to his finality" by L. M. Arnold. By 1994 I've sold everything and have settled at home with my little brother and we started reading the Scriptures, doing chronologies, trying to FIGURE it all out. Working only to survive and that was easy with no bills. We became construction framers and worked seasonally. I got interested in any ancient texts, Egyptian, Sumerian, Chinese, Incan and Mayan. Four years pass having a great time, I love house framing and learning a lot about the past.
Then, it happens, the event that turns my search inwardly. I get hurt while playing tennis. Not, what you expected. Me, either. I pulled my soleus muscle off my tibia. This injury put me in the bed for many weeks. My left leg could not push a clutch so who wants to drive anyway. I called my earthly father and asked if I can use one of his cars to get out of the house. My destination, Church historical sites all over the four county area around Kansas City. This is the Thursday before Easter a particularly irritating time for me with Easter Sunday being the anniversary of my step-fathers death. So, for the next few days with crutches and because I've been reading the Book of Mormon, and disillusioned by the direction of the RLDS Church, and its selling out to join the World Council of Churches, I ended up at a MORMON visiting center. My testimony about Joseph Smith Jr. and the Book of Mormon having never been weakened by anything I have read or come across in my search so far. On Easter Sunday, I'm at home watching the movie The Ten Commandments, and I get a phone call that my earthly father has passed away from a heart attack. Wow, two dads dead on a Easter Sunday, what are the odds? With both earthly fathers gone, I focused on my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
After a few years and the increase responsibility of a child it was decided to go back to Chiropractic full-time. So the last day of framing was December 29, 2002, with the new office opening January 1, 2003. I said goodbye to my framing family that day and went home. I was sad I was going to miss those guys. The next couple days worked on the office getting it ready. New Years Eve comes with a call from my mother telling me she thinks she hurt her back yesterday could I come and check her out. Went over there to see what was up and noticed during the exam that her abdominal aorta was not right, called an ambulance and off to the hospital at about 5pm. The doctors sent her down for a sonogram and came to tell me that the aorta had dissected and she would not survive surgery. We told mom and she opted not to have surgery and she passed at 11:05PM. With the death of my step-father just before college graduation, and my mother's death just before the opening of this current office. I was no longer happy about opening my office. This event gave me a feeling of aloneness that I had never experienced before in my life. I was without the support of loving earthly parents who I could count on no matter how stupid I was.
After a year I was given an opportunity to go work with the Department of Homeland Security, and I took it. Next thing I knew, 4 years had passed and another little girl comes to join our home. The wife and I had gone separate ways with separate ideas on what is important for the children and I started saying the "N"-word. This is a hard word to hear for some people, but you must get your priorities straight. She was hearing me say "NO" with us going in different directions. I moved out in 2008 and we were divorced in 2010. I started a more profound search for who I was a how I can be of service to others. I moved to the Mark Twain National Forest area to get away from worldly distractions. I work at a youth ranch for wards of the state. It is night shift which gives me plenty of time to read.
On April 2, while watching the General Conferences of the LDS Church, The Lost Book of Lehi came to mind, so, I hit the Internet and I came across MWAW. I started reading and by June 2, had read all of it. Lost Book of Lehi, then, The Sealed Portion, then, Sacred Not Secret, then, Without Disclosing Who I Am, and finally, Human Reality. The most interesting of these was Joseph Jr. autobiography, because it told all the stories that had been handed down for generations through our family about what happened after the martyrdom. The feelings about and opposition towards Brigham Young. The failures of the early Church regarding expansion and location. Our family were Cleveland's and Kirtland was near the chunk of land given to my family after the war of 1812. My family handed down stories about the transitional period between 1844-1860 when the Church Reorganized under Joseph Smith III very similar to those spoken of in this book.
The Lost Book of Lehi and the Sealed Translation were excellent I could almost hear Moroni telling the story. Sacred not Secret explained and added new understanding to the Temple Ordinances. The Human Reality book will be the, most sent out part of these writings. Working with these kids I will throw some of these ideas around and let the kids hear and read of this book. It was said that: "TRUE doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the Gospel will improve behavior quicker than the study of behavior will improve behavior." and "For there are many yet on Earth among all sects, parties and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, (whereby they lie in wait to deceive), and who are only kept from the TRUTH because they know not where to find it.
In conclusion, the same spirit that gives me a unfailing testimony of the TRUTH of Joseph Smith Jr, and the Book of Mormon tells me that these writings are what they claim to be. And if they are, then the messenger must be who he claims to be. I will find out. See you soon.
Your Brother Michael
WHAT IS THE VOICE OF THE 'ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS' TELLING US? Ask Him Yourself!
© 2005 A Marvelous Work and a Wonder Purpose Trust