Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Chaplain Nicholson Meets the Mormons

Chaplain CPT William Nicholson is of the Moravian Church, a “Christ-centered church that believes in the entire open Bible.” He is Pastor of his own congregation in Anchorage Alaska, and is, among other things, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Theological Institute there. He has been attending our LDS meetings often for several months. He particularly enjoys the fact that Mormons are a care-free group for him--they seem to set-up and run themselves, unlike the members of other faiths that he is responsible for.

Being deployed with the unit with the largest concentration of Mormons(66%), he is writing an article about his experiences with them and so we have been under close observation! He accepted an opportunity to speak to us in Sacrament Service and encouraged us much in our faith and in the faith of Christ. He is impressed with the depth of devotion he experienced in the meetings and seems to have determined it is because the members have to prepare their own talks--and may introduce the practice to his poor, unsuspecting, home parish when he returns!

Speaking of his experience with the LDS in Kirkuk, he says “It did not take me long to find out that LDS soldiers are thought of highly by LTC Russell Johnson, the Commander of the 1-148th field artillery Battalion. He says they have high ethical standards.” Furthermore Nicholson says, “I find the soldiers of the 1-148th Field Artillery unit are very motivated and professional. They are soldiers that love what they do. The love one thing more: their families and their church. One thing we will always agree on is that salvation is in no other than in and through Jesus Christ.”

He is not wrong.

Captain Burt of the 148th B-Battery concurs, indicating that the military is well aware of the integrity of LDS soldiers and sends them where ethics are being abused and trust is needed most. Chaplain Nicholson also notes that LDS soldiers handle themselves better under pressures, not needing the counseling that other soldiers do, for example, when a comrade has fallen in action.

We are honored by our shared devotion with Chaplain Nicholson. How lucky his congregation at home will be to get him back, and we are proud to call this Eskimo, “Brother.”

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