BETA

Missionary moments: Knelt by his bunk

Some years ago, I served my country at Fort Benning, Ga., in the 47th Infantry Division of the 29th Infantry and the 3rd Infantry Division without ever meeting another Church member. Then I received orders to be transferred to the 64th Tank Battalion.

One day while standing in line for food, I was reading a Church pamphlet. A soldier tapped me on the shoulder and said he was a member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now the Community of Christ). We became good friends and went on maneuvers together. After awhile I invited him to go to Columbus where I attended a little branch of the Church. I also gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he often read it while sitting in the jeep as he waited for a major he drove.

On many occasions, I asked Bob to pray or give talks in our little branch. He also played the piano. This went on for several months. Bob observed our standards and noticed I didn't gamble or drink or smoke. Then one day he came up to me and asked, "Shouldn't I be a member of the Church to do all these things in the branch?" He had been praying for some time about the truthfulness of the gospel. He was the only soldier I saw in the army who knelt down by his bunk to say his prayers.

We baptized him right away. When we were discharged he went to BYU and met his future wife. Bob and Jeri Roush settled in Ogden, Utah, and both held many positions in the Church.

Later, their son, Matthew, became the sports doctor for BYU teams. Matthew died unexpectedly in 2005. The talks given at Matthew's funeral showed how the gospel brought comfort to the family.

Bob and Jeri Roush recently sold their house in Ogden and put in their mission papers. They are now serving in the New York New York South Mission.

In addition, some 20 of their children and grandchildren have served full-time missions. — Bruce R. De Hann, Emigration 2nd Ward, Salt Lake Emigration Stake