Leaves in a Stream
Does the meaning of life lie only in finding the most pleasurable way to get through it? Or is there some higher purpose—some divinely construed order? As William Sheffield pursued his profession, he was able to acquire nearly everything he thought he could ever want. He had an expensive car, a large home in southern California, frequent trips to Europe, a wonderful wife and children, and esteem and prestige in his profession. He had everything. Yet, it wasn't enough. He sensed a hollowness in his life. He found himself more and more asking the question, Is this all there is?
When a person hasn't yet acquired all the kinds of things alleged to bring happiness, he often believes that this deep-rooted emptiness can be filled by things. Only after he has acquired things does he disappointedly discover his emptiness still predominates.
Only through struggling with his soul does he learn that his innate emptiness is exactly that—innate, inborn. Man without God must be empty. Man without God is like a beach without the ocean, leaves without a tree, and stars without a sky. Unless a human plugs into the powers of heaven, he must feel empty.
So, as William Sheffield discerned, being undecided and uncommitted was living a life as contrary to God' s will as if he had denied God with the conviction of an atheist. Above any other thing, he felt he owed it to his very life to find truth.
Though the title of this story may seem unclear at first, I feel certain you will quickly see the analogy, and upon reading my story I hope you will see how great is our God, ready at any time to allow us to follow him as a leaf in a stream. All we need do is commit to him to do whatever he asks, go wherever he calls, whenever he calls.
I began my professional life as a lawyer. Upon completing law school at the University of California at Berkeley, I joined the Orange County, California, public defender's staff as a deputy public defender. From there I entered private practice as a sole practitioner. As my practice grew I began to specialize in trial law, representing clients in courts around the world. Cases in England, Syria, India, Hong Kong, and other such places caused me to be away from home frequently and required many hours of thought and preparation.
Representing clients such as former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who faced criminal charges motivated by political opponents wishing to imprison her, injected much stress into my life. Also, representing clients who faced a long prison commitment, sometimes even the death penalty, or who perhaps were threatened by the prospect of losing everything they had worked for, combined to make my world one of incredible pressure. But I seemed to thrive on it. Yet, I knew after several years of running from court to court, airport to airport in the United States and abroad, that it was time to settle down and give my family some time. It was then that I decided to seek a worldly plum, a judgeship.
The day Governor Brown telephoned to say I had been appointed to a seat on the Superior Court of California, I felt exhilarated, filled with visions of perhaps sitting on the Supreme Court some day.
Accepting a judicial appointment meant a substantial cut in income from the practice of law. But the tradeoffs felt good: the respect that automatically comes with the role, the power of making important decisions, and the ability to dramatically do good in the lives of people.
I enjoyed judging for other reasons as well. I was learning new skills, such as how to listen (a skill foreign to lawyers), and how to evaluate credibility (often a judge's most important skill); I was developing a "judicial temperament." Also, as long as I've been involved in the legal profession, from my first day in law school, I have loved the law— both the academic and the practice sides.
By June 1984 my life couldn't have been more the way I wanted it. I was happily married to Leslie, a wonderful and supportive wife, and we had two wonderful daughters. I had been a judge for a year and a half. My presiding judge had assigned me to what I considered the best and most responsible judicial assignment, the Law and Motion Court. This responsibility meant considering and deciding up to fifty separate motions each day, after reading the paperwork and listening to the arguments of counsel. Also, just two months earlier we had closed escrow on a beautiful home which Leslie had wanted for years. By June our extensive remodeling was half finished.
But during this time, something else was going on in our lives that would soon cause us to give up this near-idyllic life and become as leaves in a stream.
For most of my adult life, my belief in God was strong, yet fuzzy. Other than knowing there was a God, I had very little religious life. I had no church (though raised Baptist), no clear idea who Jesus was, no idea whatsoever about where I had come from, why I was here on earth, or where I was going. Yet, seldom would a day pass that I would not silently ask myself those questions. I wondered: Is the meaning of life only found in chasing the most pleasurable way to get through it? Or is there more? Is there some higher purpose, some divinely established order?
While still a practicing lawyer I had decided to aggressively seek answers to these questions. My Christian friends had told me all I had to do was follow the counsel in Luke: "Seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Luke 11:9). During the early 1980s I believed I had been both knocking and seeking, with no response. I had begun to question whether anyone was home.
About 1981 I had decided that perhaps the only way I would see the door opened was to place myself in a setting where I would constantly be reviewing the scriptures, and where I would be surrounded by good Christians. Maybe some of the divine grace they enjoyed would spill over onto me.
I applied for admission to the Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. At a meeting with the admissions committee, someone asked: "Now, Mr. Sheffield, are you certain you're willing to commit the rest of your life to serving Christ?" My response was a quick and emphatic, "Yes!" I went on to explain, "But I believe I should tell you I don't consider myself a believer." That answer was both unexpected and confusing. "How could you say you are willing to dedicate the rest of your life to serving Christ, and why do you want to come to a theological seminary, if you're not a believer?" My answer was simple. I wanted to be a believer— if it was true. So, I theorized, if I associated with believers and studied scripture every day, surely I would soon be in a position to judge the truth of the message. I told the committee, only half-jokingly, that I felt that at the end of three years together I would either be a believer, or they would be non-believers. After a heated debate, the committee denied my application. I was back to what seemed like square one in my seeking process. I was still knocking; God, it seemed, was still not answering.
One day in 1983, while driving toward the courthouse at approximately seven-thirty A.M., I flipped on the radio station selector button and the numbers began to whirl, coming to rest on "Pastor Jack." Pastor Jack Hayford is a radio evangelist preaching from the Church on the Way, a Foursquare Gospel church in Van Nuys, California. Normally I would have changed to the news. This day my hands seemed locked on the steering wheel. I listened to Pastor Jack. I found his preaching, his exposition of the Bible, captivating, appealing to both mind and heart.
After listening to Pastor Jack almost daily for nearly eight months, I could honestly say the door had been opened. I had sought and had found. The grace of God was upon me. Also, the still small voice from within, calling me to the seminary—a voice I had been hearing for ten years—was clear, compelling, and undeniable.
I decided to tell Leslie that I was resigning from the bench because the Lord was leading us to the seminary in Connecticut. I did not know what to expect from her. I knew she had worked long and hard to acquire our new home. Her response was wonderful!
I remember coming home and explaining I must reapply to the seminary. I had completed a new application to the Yale Divinity School. "We should follow the Lord," she said. "If he is calling, we have no choice but to follow." I mailed my renewed application to Yale. This time I could say I was a believer.
A week or two later, YDS Associate Dean Joan Forsberg phoned and told me my application had been accepted. I was about to leave judging to become a seminarian. Interestingly, though, while I was certain the Lord was calling me, I only presumed it was because he wanted me as a pastor in a church. I couldn't say I knew I had been called to pastor, only to attend the seminary. With this news from Yale we proceeded to move east.
Approximately the first of September we made the move to Weston, Connecticut, to our home which we had chosen on a prior trip. For the first two or three Sundays we attended a nearby Methodist church. I was satisfied with that church, I said, though actually I felt something was missing. After the third Sunday, Leslie informed me that as for her—since she was drifting toward becoming a minister's wife—she needed to resolve the lingering feelings she had for the church of her childhood, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although she had been born in Salt Lake City and baptized at the age of eight, she had been inactive since she was eighteen. She told me that either she needed to cut the ties and get out, or reactivate one hundred percent and get in. She said that next Sunday she was attending the Mormon church; I could do as I pleased. I felt angered by the pressure. Either I had to go with her on Sunday to the Mormon church, which I did not want to do, or I had to split our family on Sunday, which I did not want to do.
A day or two later I prayed that I might be counseled on this matter. Immediately it dawned on me that before leaving California I had promised the Lord I would be a "leaf in a stream." Here I was, already putting strings on my commitment. It was impressed on me that which church we attend, or ultimately join, should be the Lord's call. I was at the seminary because of his call, and which church I joined should likewise be his call. This realization permitted me to attend the Mormon church the following Sunday with great peace. I could investigate in an open, honest, and sincere way. (At the time, however, I must admit I could not see how any reasonable mind could swallow the Joseph Smith story. It seemed to me to be more Disney than Disney.)
We began attending the New Canaan First Ward. It seemed from the first moment of our arrival that we were expected. Something like two minutes after we entered the building we were arm-in-arm with two or three members who were inviting us to a dinner party.
Probably the first thing that attracted me to the Church, and especially this ward, was the spirituality of the male members, particularly since most of these men were New York City businessmen making money in the fastest of all fast lanes, downtown Manhattan. It was my belief that one has to elect whether to be of the world or in the world; that if one chooses to make money, that choice excludes spirituality. I was intrigued at how these men were able to blend a business life in New York and an obviously deep spirituality. What was it that caused tears to well up in their eyes when they testified that Christ lives and this is his Church? I needed to find out.
On Monday, after our third Sunday at the New Canaan First Ward, Leslie and I were driving toward Yale, approaching an on-ramp to Highway 95 leading north. It is approximately seven to ten miles from this on-ramp to the Yale exit. As I was negotiating the circular ramp, Leslie asked me what I thought about the Church so far. (I had been pretty close-mouthed.) I told her I did not like the children crying and yelling during the sacrament service. It was difficult to be spiritual in such an atmosphere. The worst of the kids seemed to be my own, fighting over the Cheerios and crayons. Also, I missed a professionally trained theologian preaching from the pulpit. Then, referring to the members, I said to her—and I remember the exact words—"They're so unprofessional, just like little children…. "Just as I said "like little children," my mind became totally blank. I continued to drive, and according to Leslie I continued in conversation with her, but I have absolutely no memory of anything between saying "like little children" and getting off the highway at the Yale exit, approximately ten minutes later. And as we were exiting the highway, my next words were, "…just like Jesus would want them to be." This semi-conscious admission amazed both of us.
As we became closer friends with many of the ward member families, several people, including my wife, were suggesting I read the Book of Mormon. Other people during my lifetime had tried to persuade me to read the book, but I had always avoided them. I think I had some unconscious knowledge that once I had read it I would be a "goner." I had many excuses, though the primary reason was I simply hadn't been ready. But I seemed to have run out of excuses, and I agreed to read the Book of Mormon during the Christmas holidays.
I devoted approximately ten days to this reading; I read it nearly cover to cover. And I believe, with the state of mind suggested by Moroni 10:4, I was sincere, had real intent, and prayed in the name of Christ to know whether it be true. I expected my prayers to be answered immediately. They were not.
Leslie asked me what I thought about the book. My reaction was that I simply did not think it probable or likely it could have been fabricated. It bordered on the impossible for a relatively young boy from a farming community in upstate New York in the early eighteen hundreds to have been intelligent enough to have fabricated this complicated, sophisticated, and doctrinally profound text. Yet I didn't have a testimony. I could merely say that I believed it was unlikely that Joseph fabricated the book. I knew that either Joseph translated the book the way he claimed, or he did not— he plagiarized it, wrote the entire book himself, did a fancy cut and paste, or in some way fashioned the book other than as he claimed. I continued my reasoning that if Joseph fabricated the book we could call him a fraud and move on. Either Joseph was a true or a false prophet. I was determined to resolve which.
Resolving the question of whether Joseph Smith's story of the book's origin was true required, among other things, further study of Mormon theology. I went to my friend, Yale Associate Dean Harry Baker Adams, and told him that for my own personal benefit I needed to study more Mormon theology and asked that he sponsor me in an independent study for credit. His response was that he knew less about the Book of Mormon than I did, because he had not read it, but would be willing to sponsor me.
I commenced reading the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, Mormon Doctrine, Lectures on Faith, Jesus the Christ, The Articles of Faith, and others. I also read anti-Mormon literature. I told Leslie that a good judge doesn't know the strength of the plaintiff's case until he's heard the defense. I was intrigued by the idea that anyone could go into almost any Christian bookstore and purchase anti-Mormon books. I wondered why there was so much anti-Mormon literature? There wasn't anti-Episcopalian or anti-Methodist, so why anti-Mormon? Was there some connection between Satan and the anti-Mormon hate books? Was Satan not concerned with Episcopalians or Methodists or other sects? If that was true, what was the difference between Latter-day Saints and the others? Perhaps the greater the truth, the greater the opposition? My friend, Pastor Jack Hayford, sent me a film and a ten-inch-high stack of books and tapes (audio and video) of anti-Mormon propaganda. Peculiarly, this material arrived at about the same time that I finished reading the Book of Mormon.
An interesting series of events, properly described only as a miracle, also occurred at about this point in my investigation of the Church. One evening my Mormon friend, Bill Benac, and I were discussing a point of doctrine. My ego was offended by an idea. My understanding (or misunderstanding) was that if I were to join the Church, I would be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood, not the Melchizedek Priesthood, and would, on Sundays, be relegated to join the Aaronic Priesthood teenage boys. During this discussion, Leslie said, in effect, "Assume your understanding is correct, that if you do join you'll be ordained a priest and even be placed with the teenage boys. Assume that to be true! Would you join, nevertheless, if you were persuaded Christ wanted you to?" My response was, "Yes, of course. But he'll have to jackhammer me so I'll know it's his will." Angrily, I stormed out of Bill's house.
Prepare to enter: the jackhammer.
The next day Leslie and I walked into the divinity school, having already decided to skip chapel service and go to the cafeteria. Both of us were depressed because of the contention of the night before. As we started to enter the cafeteria, for some reason I changed my mind. I said, "No, let's go to the chapel." As we walked in, the service was underway. The first words I heard coming from the day' s guest speaker were (and I remember the exact quote), "Sometimes the Lord wants us to do things that are personally offensive." Those words pierced my ears as though powered by a jackhammer. The speaker's sermon was on 1 Corinthians 12, where Paul preaches the equality of all who serve in the kingdom. For nearly forty-five minutes this speaker preached that everyone has different gifts, that the church is as a human body, composed of individual parts, with none more important than the other. All who serve God are equal. Forty-five minutes of punch after punch: jackhammering.
Next, we left the chapel and went to our New Testament class. The topic: 1 Corinthians 12, the church's "corporate" nature. More jackhammering. Concluding this class, the professor assigned us three articles to read for the next class period. Each article had as its theme the equality among those who serve God in the church.
By the time I returned home that evening, I conceded the Lord had made his point. I telephoned Bill Benac and told him that my stubbornness, my ego, my anger of yesterday had totally dissipated and none of the concerns I had about the Aaronic Priesthood were still alive. They had been hammered from me, being replaced by understanding and serenity.
About now I needed to make a decision about my next year of school. It had been my intention to accomplish the second of my three-year degree program at Cambridge University in England. Yale required two years in residency. I had always, as long as I could remember, wanted the experience of studying at Cambridge. I saw this as my chance to accomplish that wish. So, at the end of the winter semester at Yale, I had made arrangements with Cambridge that were almost complete.
However, in spite of my wish to attend Cambridge, I was beginning to once again feel the pull of the Holy Spirit. After reading several Mormon books and considering the opposition, I felt the Spirit pulling me west, not east. I discerned a distinct impression from the Holy Ghost that God wanted me at Brigham Young University next year, not Cambridge.
The Spirit's call was undeniable. Therefore, in response I telephoned BYU's College of Religious Education, and Keith Perkins introduced himself. I told him a little of my background, that I was a student at Yale, and that it was my desire to come to BYU the next school year to study Mormon theology. I informed him I was pursuing a graduate degree. He responded that several years ago BYU had done away with its graduate religion program and had very few, if any, graduate religion courses available. Believing I had misread the Spirit, I thanked him and was preparing to terminate the conversation when he said, "But—we will resurrect our graduate program for you if you don't mind being the only student." My next task was to complete the other half of the idea. Not wanting a three-year degree program to turn into four, I needed Yale to credit me for studying at BYU. I went again to Dean Harry Adams. As always he was sensitive, spiritual, and willing to help where he could. I believe he also felt the Spirit's lead. I told Dean Adams the courses I was intending to take at BYU and inquired, "Would Yale give me credit?" With little hesitation he responded, "Yes, BYU's a good school." That sentence seemed to seal my second seminary year at Brigham Young University. As I was leaving the dean's office, he said, "Bill, I believe Joseph probably was a prophet."
The time was late March, early April. I decided that as I was to attend BYU it was time I ask God for a revelatory answer to three compelling questions: 1) Was Joseph Smith a prophet? In other words, did he have God's authority to speak for Him? 2) Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the only church with His authority? And regardless of the answers to the first two questions, 3) Which church did He want me to join?
Bill Benac suggested he and I take a trip into the woods of Vermont to fast, pray, and seek the Lord's answers. I thought this was a marvelous idea. After a prayerful sendoff by our wives and some friends at Yale, we went to Vermont. I chose to return to a wooded area containing a pond, Buck Pond, where twenty years earlier I had spent a summer as director of a Christian summer camp. I remembered it with fond memories and believed it was just the place for calling upon the powers of heaven.
Arriving at Buck Pond, Bill and I located a small hotel nearby at Stowe and spent the night. The next morning there was quite a lot of snow around the perimeter, and the lake itself, approximately three-fourths of a mile in diameter, was frozen solid. Squarely in the center was a large stone protruding approximately four feet above the ice. For the next three days we spent a significant portion of daylight hours on our knees at that rock in the center of that beautiful pond. We prayed silently and audibly. Bill gave me a blessing, yet we received no response.
Try as hard as we could, we failed to receive answers to any of the three questions put before the Lord. However, toward the end of the third day I received a strong impression that it simply was not time for answers. The Spirit whispered that these questions would remain unanswered until I reached BYU. I went home feeling good about our trip to the woods, knowing the Lord had heard me.
We (Leslie attended most classes with me) completed the school year at Yale, said good-bye to our many Connecticut friends, and departed by car for California—via Utah. We arrived in Provo approximately six days later to look for a home. In our one day there we found a residence which was exactly what we were looking for; we also met a vice-president of BYU and several professors of the College of Religious Education. All were wonderfully hospitable to us. We immediately felt at home and knew that, once again, the Spirit was actively engaged in our welfare.
We left Provo and headed toward southern California. I had agreed to spend the summer back on the Superior Court bench, and we had taken a condominium on the sand at Huntington Beach. After a wonderful southern California summer, lots of beach, ocean, and sun time, we left for Utah, arriving in time for Education Week in mid-August.
We had heard many good reports about Education Week. I obtained the catalog and picked several classes. As I was scanning the courses and instructors, I noticed the name Joseph McConkie. I knew the McConkie name because in April during the Church's semi-annual conference, Elder Bruce R. McConkie had given his final testimony. I had watched that testimony live, via satellite television at our ward in New Canaan. Probably no more stirring testimony has ever been given. I watched, listened, and felt Elder McConkie's spirit. I was deeply impressed. Similarly, I observed President Gordon B. Hinckley, a man of obvious deep spirituality, sensitivity, and gentleness. There was some indescribable quality of goodness about these two men that I could sense through the television. I felt an immediate and deep affection for them both.
It was impressed upon me while watching both men that sometime soon I would have the privilege of knowing them. I knew somewhat of Elder McConkie's health problems but, of course, did not realize how imminent his death was. He died a few days after testifying of Jesus Christ and stating, "In a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God's Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer." (Ensign, May 1985, p. 11.)
So I signed up for Joseph McConkie's course, "Defending the Faith," taught with his colleague Robert Millet. As I listened, I felt chills and goose bumps. My eyes began to tear uncontrollably. My pulse pounded; I knew that everything Brother McConkie was saying was truth. Next was Brother Millet's lecture on the Atonement. My emotional reaction was the same, as was my conclusion. Brother Millet's exposition of the doctrine of the Atonement was truth. I knew with all my heart that the Spirit was answering the questions I had asked in April on Buck Pond.
I came home and again began reading my Book of Mormon. It was as though I had never read it. Words, concepts, ideas leaped out at me. In several places I marked in the margin the only descriptive word I could think of: Wow! As I read, I experienced the same emotional reaction I had earlier in the day. I knew the Spirit was telling me Joseph Smith's story was true and he was indeed a prophet; that the church he was commissioned to commence is the true Church. I knew that for some inexplicable but glorious reason the Father and Son had, before the world was formed, selected Joseph Smith, among all the choice spirits, to restore the gospel to this dispensation of time. Many things I did not understand, but I knew Joseph Smith was a prophet and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was Christ's church.
Yet, I did not receive an answer to the third question—which church I should join. I could perceive that Joseph was a prophet and the LDS church was true, but thought perhaps the Lord wanted me in some other church.
A few weeks later, perhaps too boldly pushing the Lord, I decided to seek his answer to that final question: Which church should I join? It was a beautiful Sunday, bright and sunny with a few clouds sprinkled across the sky. I telephoned Bill Benac and Don Gull in Connecticut and told them I intended to ask the Lord which church he wanted me in, and that at 5:30 that evening, 7:30 their time, I would begin praying. I asked that they pray with me.
In describing what happened at precisely 5:30 that Sunday afternoon, I will only describe the facts, not drawing any conclusions. What occurred was so dramatic that I hesitate to draw the apparent and perhaps obvious conclusion.
At precisely five-thirty I went into my study, closed the door, got on my knees, and began to pray. I thanked the Lord for the unequivocal answer he had given me to the two questions I had asked earlier, but I told him I would appreciate an answer to the remaining, lingering question of which church I should join. I reiterated my commitment to be a leaf in the stream. I wanted only to serve him, to dedicate and commit my life to helping further his plan. I knew that the church I would ultimately join should be his decision. I was now before him, I believed humbly, on my knees seeking one answer to one question.
As I knelt and prayed, eyes closed, head down, I heard the rushing of wind. It was terrifically loud. The trees were brushing against the roof of the study. I looked up and out the window. The clear sunny day had suddenly become dark. Thick black clouds were everywhere, rolling from west to east, carrying the winds with them. It began to rain—one of the most severe rainstorms I had ever witnessed. Yet as it rained the sun seemed to shine through the clouds, causing the raindrops to appear golden. I looked out of my study and could barely see the house across the street.
I was drawn outside. I slid open the study door and stepped out onto the concrete porch, protected by an overhang. I looked up into the sky and saw bolts of lightning, followed by clashes of thunder echoing across the sky. Still, the rain was golden in color. I looked up and once again asked: "Which church do you want me in, Lord?" The answer came back like thunder, a loud clear voice from within: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." The answer was unequivocal, unmistakable, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." I walked back into my house stunned, incredulous. I closed the sliding doors and again looked outside. The clouds were parting. The sun was coming through bright, bold, glistening off the rain. Within ten minutes the sky was once again clear and sunny. At approximately 6:10 P.M. on that Sunday afternoon, I telephoned my Connecticut friends and asked them to baptize me.
On November 9, 1985, my wife, children, and myself, including my older daughter, Kim, were in Connecticut for my baptism. I felt I owed it to my friends there to be baptized with them. They had been so patient, loving, and enduring that I couldn't imagine not sharing that event with them.
We gathered at the New Canaan chapel on Saturday morning. My friend and dean from Yale, Harry Adams, gave the opening prayer. Bill Benac performed the baptism; Don Gull confirmed me.
I had wondered whether, at the time the bishop laid his hands on my head, I would feel anything, physically. I did. When Don emphatically stated, "Receive the Holy Ghost," it was as though someone was standing above me slowly pouring warm water on my head. I could feel a physical sensation starting from the top of my head, slowly moving down throughout my body. It was as though the Holy Ghost was penetrating my body, finding a home there. It was a wonderful, secure, and comforting feeling.
That evening, believing that my wonderfully spiritual day had ended, Leslie and I went to bed. I said my prayers. I began to thank the Lord for permitting me to be baptized and for the wonderful experience of receiving the Holy Ghost. I felt truly blessed. But it was not over yet. As I started to pray, I began to experience in the center of my mind flashes of color—brilliant flashes of color. First red, followed by green, and finally blue. Three colors, as brilliant as Fourth of July fireworks. Each was separate and distinct, first red, next green, then blue. As each color slowly burst in the forefront of my mind, in the very center of the burst appeared a snow-white dove. What a glorious blessing! This sign told me I had, in fact, received the Holy Ghost; that the Lord approved of what I had done that morning, that he was pleased I had joined his church, and that he approved of the level of my faith.
After all of these events and the many miracles and promptings of the Spirit, how could I not know that this church is God's church? How could I not know that Joseph Smith was God's prophet? How could I not know that I was to commit the remainder of my life to His service as a member of His church?
And I also know that Leslie and I are destined for time and eternity to be "leaves in a stream."
Hartman and Connie Rector, No More Strangers, Vol. 4 p.136