“POLYGAMY: Paid for primarily by your tax dollars!” Rebecca Kimbel
“Religions are the smelters and founders of imagination. The more any religion’s imagination—Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim [Mormon], Buddhist—is shaped in an isolated bubble, or in a dark cave, the more its imagination is likely to sale off in dangerous directions.
People who are connected to the world and exposed to different cultures and perspectives are far more likely to develop the imagination of “11-9”—The world of “Strategic Optimists.”
People who are feeling disconnected, for whom personal freedom and fulfillment are utopian fantasy, are more likely to develop the imagination of 9/11. Thomas L. Friedman The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st-Century
Continued from “Pt 34-F: The Mexico-LeBarons: Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?“
I left off in the last blog saying IF Grandpa Dayer was, as the story presently goes, ordained by his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson to carry-on “the scepter of power/the Johnson Mantle,” then there’s some real explaining to do—and not only when it comes to BFJ:
On the one hand, Grandfather Dayer” had supposedly received the sceptre of power, so HE was, therefore, the Pontiff—Head of God’s kingdom on earth: The one mighty and strong come to set the house of God in order.”
On the other hand, during his whole life he did little, to speak of, with this special anointing or mantle except talk about it! Then, shortly before he died at age 65, he supposedly passed his mantle/”scepter of power” down to only one of his sons!
But, wouldn’t you know it, ALL of Grandfather’s seven sons by my grandma Maud claimed (at one time or another) to hold their father Dayer’s supposed sceptre of power/Johnson Mantle!
Most of them claimed their father passed it on to them, exclusively, when he, Dayer, died –– just whichever son proved worthy enough was the son to whom Grandpa supposedly gave his special Pontiff position/ Priesthood! (If that doesn’t beat all!) 
But to make matters more confusing, Ross Wesley LeBaron, Sr., along with three of Dayer’s other sons (Ben, Joel, and Ervil) were, at ONE time in their life, ALL claiming, concurrantly, to be SOLE heir to Joseph Smith’s “keys to the kingdom”/ the scepter of power/ the Johnson mantle. (The Mexico-LeBarons used many names and titles to describe this special position of priesthood power.)
But, get this: SO was Ross Wesley LeBaron, Sr.’s oldest son, Ross Wesley LeBaron, Jr. ALSOclaiming, concurrently, to be God’s sole mouthpiece on earth, Pontiff — the Patriarchial heir to Joseph Smith’s mantle! 
I haven’t checked to see if cousin Owen LeBaron (lifespan: 1918-1975) was ever stillclaiming, concurrently with the other five, to be the “One Mighty and Strong”! But it’s possible — whether he was still in the nuthouse, as was my uncle Ben LeBaron, or out free.
But if he was, and Ross Weslie LeBaron, Jr. was also claiming to be successor to Joseph Smith’s mantle, that would make at least six LeBarons all claiming concurrently (at least at one time in history) to be the Pontiff — the OM&S — the sole heir to Joseph Smith’s keys to the kingdom of God on earth!
So, Button, button: Who DID get that button? It seems to me the “button” they got passed down to them was INSANITY. Sadly, Bipolar Disease is the “MANTLE /“Mental” Grandpa LeBaron passed on to his sons!
Only in delusion, illusion, or dishonesty does one claim to be “The One Mighty & Strong” — God’s one-and-only representative and mouthpiece to His people on earth!
(Continued in next blog.)
*This concludes today’s remarks. Thanks for visiting — and forfeedback. See you in the next blog block— in my own little corner of the World-Wide Web! ~ Stephany Spencer-LeBaron
. One concerned member of my extended family sent me this elequent bequest:
“Maybe you could add that Floren really was quite different from his other brothers? He NEVER tried to usurp “the Johnson mantle” or take any praise, recognition, or honor to himself — or seek a following. Floren could have started a church or picked up the COTFB [Church of the First born] and taken off with it. He didn’t!
Over the 25 years he was my father-in-law, I saw men come and go who would have loved to start it up with him, who tried to get him to do baptism, ordinances, marriage sealings, and confer priesthood. But he never would! He severely rebuked them for even asking him to.
Once, when discussing religion with a group of several men who had come from Chihuahua and the USA to visit him, as they were pressing him to take the lead in starting a “Bishop’s storehouse” and United Order, he stood up at his kitchen table where they were seated and slammed both fists down hard, and said: “I’D RATHER BE SHOT AT SUNRISE THAN TO TAKE A STEP IN THAT DIRECTION WITHOUT A “THUS SAITH THE LORD!”
He was such an honorable man. People can be 100% convicted, dedicated, and completely sincere, and still be completely wrong. Consider the Muslims.”
Floren was around 67 years old when you married his son. He was around 50 when you were born. I was around 30. MUCH water had passed beneath the bridge by the time you came on the scene: Unfortunately, you grew up with the revised COTFB’s so-called “documented history.”
But I recall when Uncle Floren broke away from Uncle Verlan’s group and formed a gathering place of his own because he felt the others weren’t doing it right … and he knew how it should be done and carried out. Not sure what priesthood position he claimed. Long since forgot!
But behind every great man is a great woman — or a number of great women, in Uncle Floren’s case — Aunt Drue being one of them, for sure! Somewhere along the line, perhaps in his failure to build a stronghold, etc., or perhaps in the advice of his wives — and having lost a number of them in his attempt to build a new gathering place — he took a different bend … an honorable turn in the road — the one you knew and loved so much.
I also know that tale about “Farmington Canyon, Utah,” etc., was never heard of between 1957 and 1967 (the ten early years of the COTFB wherein I was a member). It’s part of the revised version/the whitewashed version of how “Joel said” he was appointed to be the “one mighty and strong.”
If your mother refutes what I’ve said, she’s part of those who’ve colluded to revise, rewrite, and remake the early history of the Church of the Frstborn of the Fullness of Times!
There’s more on this in previous blogs … and blogs to come. Meanwhile, people must do their own reading and much research. However, most people believe what they want to believe; read and listen only to what agrees with what they believe.
Continued April 26, 2019: “Pt 34-H: The LeBaron Madmen: Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?”
“My brother Joel helped me set up the church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times in 1955. He agreed to work under my direction until the coming of the mighty and strong spoken of in the 85th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. “About a few weeks after the incorporation was set up and we’d done some advertising, he said he was “the mighty and strong” and our agreement was now broke. So he went to Mexico and Ervil was his main help then because he wasn’t up to the job. Joel was my worst enemy! The History and Teachings of Ross W. LeBaron: Interview to Dale Van Atta, 1977 
Continued from “Pt 34-E: The Mexico-LeBarons: Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?“
Up until Mother’s Brother Joel LeBaron began claiming he was “The One Mighty and Strong,” Mother never said a thing to me about her father Dayer having any “scepter of power.”
It wasn’t even till around 1949, after hearing her brother Ross Wesley preaching about it, that she began to give any credence at all to her pa’s claims of having a “special priesthood power and calling.” Mother says she, soon thereafter, questioned her pa about it. Says he told her he did INDEED have a special mantle–was INDEED set apart to do a great work in this world!
(Mental Institutions are full of people with these very same claims; yet, some people take their word for it and follow them as “profits.”)
Mother was around thirty when her crack-pot pa supposedly informred her he HAD been set aside to do a special work in this world. Yet, somehow, Mother’s older brothers, especially Wesley, had apparently grown up hearing from their father he, Dayer, was anointed/appointed by his grandfather B.F. Johnson to carry on a special priesthood mantle or calling.
It included raising his family in Mexico to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ—“because Christ’s second coming was going to happen very SOON … and in God’s chosen land … Mexico.”
Side note: That proclamation and warning was over 100 years ago! So much for the threat that the end of the world was coming “practically immediately” … so they’d better flee to Mexico, the land of refuge!
These kinds of “sky is falling” claims have been going on LONG before the “Chicken Little” fairy tale was created or writing was invented. And they don’t seem to be going away any time soon — because it’s true: OUR sky IS falling; i.e., we begin dying from the moment we’re born! We all age and die, but the world, itself, continues on.
The Mexico-LeBaron lore goes: “Benjamin F. Johnson told our father he was to raise his sons in Mexico as part of a great work he had been set apart to do in the last days.”
I don’t know how much of these rivalous, grandiose tales developed AFTER Grandpa Dayer died in 1951 — tales of a pontiff-like position of exclusive direction of God’s work — God’s kingdom on Earth — developed first by my mentally-off Grandpa, then by his insane son Ben; then added upon by delusional Uncle Wesley; then by copy-cat Uncle Joel … who got many of his ideas from his older brothers, especially Wesley. I only know Ma was my mother but she and the Mexico-LeBarons were fabricators.
But if Grandpa Dayer was, indeed, as the story presently goes, ordained by his grandfather Benjamin F. Johnson to carry-on “the scepter of power/the Johnson Mantle,” then there’s some BIG-TIME explaining to do! I’ll tell why in the next blog.
*This concludes today’s remarks. Thanks for visiting — and forfeedback. See you in the next blog-block— in my own little corner of the World-Wide Web! ~ Stephany Spencer-LeBaron
Floren McDonald LeBaron, “The Last of the Mexico-LeBarons”
“THE BEST IS YET TO COME!” (Floren’s favorite saying)
*I INTERRUPT MY SCHEDULED BLOGS TO BRING YOU THIS BELATED BUT HEARTFELT HEADLINE:
On February 17, 2019, two months before his 92nd birthday, my uncle Floren McDonald LeBaron — the last of the Mexico-LeBarons — left this earthly realm to join the rest of his family on the other side.
Second to the youngest of my maternal grandparents’ thirteen children, Floren was my favorite uncle … though I would never have chosen … could never have lived his lifestyle! But it’s said the world needs all kinds. He wasone-of-a-kind! So I suspect the mold was hidden when Floren was formed!
Though I often bring out the dark side of the Mexico-LeBarons, telling enlightning things others don’t want you to know … or don’t acknowledge, themselves, I did and still do love all of my uncles—even Uncle Ervil—though I hate the harm and everlasting hurt this criminally insane uncle caused me and countless others!
But you never completely stop loving somebody, though thoughts of their evil doings turn you inside-outside in seismic somersaults and you reel about.
But why?? Why do you never completely stop loving sinners? Becauseeverybody, I’ve learned, has a good side AND a bad.
Though some people definitely lean Much more to one side than the other, We never forget the good deeds of a brother.
We try to reconcile the bad, Wishing it weren’t so. But we can’t condemn the ignorant Nor the mentally-ill foe. Compassion won’t let us totally let go, ‘Cause hope springs eternal … and so?
I try to understand “Mentals,” — Show where they went wrong — Detest their evil doings all day long. But God’s the ultimate judge of our song. In that position I don’t belong; It’s a BIG job I won’t take on.
In keeping with this theme, My niece Vicky says:  “My father-in-law Floren believed: ‘Most people are good most of the time — All people are good part of the time; So we need to give people a chance to prove themselves.’
Floren wasn’t prejudice. He saw the best in everyone; Treated everyone as an equal. He believed in repentance. And gave everyone the benefit of the doubt.”
In that vein, and out of respect for my recently-bereaved, still-grieving family, in this “Headline,” I add supportive words, in keeping with my late Uncle Floren LeBaron, who always said: “Hope for the best, Look for the worst, And take what comes … With a grain of salt.” ‘Cause he always knew: “The best is yet to come!”
*Till then, And till we meet again … On the other side, R.I.P., My amazing, Unforgettable Uncle Floren!
 *NOTE: Much thanks to my niece Vicky Rogers LeBaron for allowing me to share her following Tribute — a fantastic Farewell Eulogy to her father-in-law/my uncle Floren McDonald LeBaron:
HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY SAY GOODBYE? (A TRIBUTE TO FLOREN M. LeBARON (2/17/1927–2/17/2019) (Memorial Services were on 2/22/2019) By Vicky Rogers LeBaron
Today we are honoring a truly great man, that, in some way, big or small, has made an impact on each of us, touched our lives, and changed us for the better. Most of us here are blessed enough to call him “Uncle”, “Grampa”, “Daddy” or “Friend”.
Floren McDonald LeBaron was born in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, on April 17th, 1927, to his loving parents, Alma Dayer LeBaron, Sr. and Maud Lucinda McDonald.
Floren entered this life as the tenth of thirteen children his mother had. He lived a happy childhood among the orchards, mountains, valleys and rivers that surrounded his childhood home. His days were always filled with outdoor adventures and animals; usually dogs, goats and horses.
He fell in love with horses at the age of ten — about the time he bought his first horse. He ended up with several more within a couple of years. He so enjoyed being around these lovely creatures, as a young man he went on to break them in and train them on a Horse Ranch in Arizona, for eleven years. Iit’s not surprising then, that “Strawberry Roan,” a song by Marty Robbins about a horse that couldn’t be broke, was one of his favorite songs; and he sang it to his kids and grandkids from time to time. He’d also play hymns on the harmonica, a favorite musical instrument among cowboys. “Don’t Fence Me In” was another song he liked that echoed his own sentiments.
His free spirit and zeal to live his life to the fullest in the great outdoors often led to good natured pranks brought on by too much energy when he was caged up in a schoolhouse.
His imagination and ingenuity were too big for his classrooms. And they frequently got him in trouble with his teachers. He liked to claim that his teachers only ever passed him on to the next grade, so they could get him out of their classroom every year.
Being locked up in school was mostly torture for Floren. But he loved to learn — just not in a classroom! He had the genius brain of an inventor and needed hands on experience to immerse himself in a thousand new possibilities.
And, like most true inventors, his mind moved on to the next new invention as soon as he had figured out the last one. He didn’t have time to waste messing around with something he already understood. That was old news: He’d teach the next guy how to put his invention to good use, then move on to the next exciting discovery! Making a profit from his inventions was never his aim or intentions.
He had a great love of animals, but the curiosity of the inventor in him could never let them alone. He was always experimenting with them, trying to figure out a better way to train or raise them. Whether it was raising suckling calves off of milk goats, or training his goat dogs to think they were goats, he always found joy in his endeavors and each new process or invention was his “best one yet!”
He periodically boasted that “He once had a horse he’d almost had trained to live without eating or drinking anything. But just about the time he had it fully trained, it up and died on him!”
He was quick witted and a natural-born joker, 🤹🏼♂ 🥳 He enjoyed a good laugh … whether it was at your expense, or his own!
In the words of the old English poet E. Arnold Bennett, “Happiness includes chiefly the idea of satisfaction after full honest effort. No one can possibly be satisfied and no one can possibly be happy who feels that in some paramount affairs he failed to take up the challenge of life.”
Floren did not fail this test! He took up the challenges of his life with more honest effort, hard-work, and dedication to his convictions than most other men could ever muster!
He had more faith, hopes, big dreams and high expectations of his many projects, goals, plans, inventions, and ways to raise goats and grow gardens, than any other man I’ve ever known.
He was seldom, if ever, negative. He always looked on the bright side of everything, saying, “The best is yet to come!” His optimistic outlook on the future and his never ending enthusiasm made it easy to believe in his projects and visions of the possibilities. [Emily Dickinson’s “Think in terms of possibilities” could well have been his motto.]
Many men walked away from a joint venture with him, or the next “best” investment project, disillusioned because they’d never see the fruits from their investment before Floren would drop it and move on to the next project. He never felt like any of them were failures because he’d proved that all of them could work!
He was a man who believed that “most people are good most of the time, and all people are goodpart of the time,” so we needed to give people a chance to prove themselves.
He wasn’t prejudice. He saw the best in everyone; treated everyone as an equal. He believed in repentance. And gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. He was an enemy to no one, and a friend to everyone. He truly loved his fellow man.
Floren was not “perfect” by any means. But, then, nobody is! In comparison to his good traits, his flaws were insignificant. He sincerely tried to improve any that he was aware of. They were his personal trials and he actively tried to overcome them.
He loved his family: His children, grandchildren, daughters and sons-in-laws, and his friends — from a REAL place in his heart.
He was never superficial; never put on airs. Floren was true to himself, his family, and his God. He had no dark secrets to hide. You could read Floren like an open book and it was easy reading.
He had a thousand exciting adventures to tell about a lifetime that could easily be compared to a Louis L’Amour western novel. It’s no wonder Louis L’Amour was his favorite author — and the books he chose to turn to, to unwind and rest his weary mind.
Floren was an avid reader. And spent hours a day studying the Scriptures and old church histories, etc. He had his Bible “so well trained it opened at once to the verse he’d command!”
If Floren was awake, the cogs in his brain were turning. They usually started up about 4:00 am. Anyone willing to discuss religion with him, over a cup of coffee at his kitchen table, was always welcome!
(The family, can probably, justifiably, blame all their coffee addictions on Dad. After all, it’s the fond memories of a cup of coffee and early morning Scripture studies and good laughs with him that keep us all attached to it!)
He loved old cowboy flicks. But “Rio Bravo” was his favorite movie. You couldn’t count the times he’d watched it over the years. And then there was RUMMY. How many hours have we all spent talking over the events of the day while trying to beat Dad at a hand of rummy?♠️♥️♣️♦️ Such good times will never be forgotten!
He once appeared in a 1957 movie called “Run of the Arrow.” He played the part of an extra dressed like an Indian riding on a horse of course!
Floren’s life was deep rooted in true happiness. He never succumbed to the blows of his hardships. He always picked himself up, dusted himself off, and persevered with more determination than he had done before.
In the words of E. Arnold Bennett “What great cause is he identified with?…. why He’s identified with the great cause of cheering us all up!”🥳. And so it was with Floren. His optimism was infectious. It was hard to ever be in a bad mood around him for long!
He put himself to the task of trying to put a smile on someone’s face, especially if he sensed you were down. He loved to see people laugh! He’d joke with complete strangers that he’d met on the bus, or in town. It was his surefire way of striking up a friendly conversation.
Even in the latter part of his life, just to get them laughing, Floren was always asking a riddle, telling a favorite old joke, or pulling a good-natured prank on an unsuspecting grandkid who’d come to visit him — like inviting you to dance with him so he could snatch the chair you were sitting in after he spun you around a couple of times — or giving someone a friendly smack, then teasing them with the line, “Didn’t anyone ever tell you it’s not right to hit an old man with glasses?” He was quite the character!
He loved to revisit his memories by telling stories of his adventurous past of being challenged to foot races and winning them all. Or riding through the “Blue Mountains” with his best buddy Marden Spencer, and their incredible adventures on their hunting trips together.
Or those stories of his guardian angel whomhe was sure had a sense of humor to match his own, and occasionally enjoyed “pulling a fast one” on Floren — by sewing his watch into the cuff lining of the bottom of his pants; or putting the sole of his shoe, that had just fallen off, up on top of a boulder sticking a few feet above the water, in the middle of the river, right where he knew Floren would have to cross it!
Floren, only minutes before, had realized he’d lost a sole from the bottom of his shoe somewhere down the road behind him. He’d been walking for hours and now, pressed for time, knew there was no turning back to look for it. Still, he’d been concerned with his large feet; that being out in the middle of Nicaragua among the small natives with tiny feet, he wouldn’t be able to find another pair of shoes to fit him.
As he crossed the river with his shoes in hand, he saw the sole OF HIS BOOT on top of the rock. It was a perfect match for the right foot, and there wasn’t another living soul anywhere around for miles. It had to have been set there by his guardian angel, no doubt!
One of his favorite stories to tell was the time he took his dad to the movie theater to see the movie “Francis, the Talking Mule”. Floren’s squinted little eyes would get big and light up as he recalled how his father laughed so hard at the movie his dentures would soon start to fall from his mouth. Because he had no control over his arms or hands, Floren would have to put the dentures back in his mouth for him! That story brought a smile to Floren’s face EVERY TIME he retold it.
Floren found as much joy in making people laugh and putting a smile on their faces as did the people he was trying to bring joy to.
Over the years, nothing was more typical than to see Floren returning from a hard day’s work covered in mud and drenched in sweat, cheerfully whistling or humming a favorite hymn as he walked down the road after spending the whole day in his “eras” or building fences for his beloved goats.
He was light hearted and enthusiastic about life, and always counted his blessings! He considered himself a rich man, not in worldly possessions, or financial gain, but in the things in life that really mattered to him: His God, his family, his friends and his freedom.
He believed in life, in liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the right to love and be loved, and that respecting the rights of others was the best way to obtain peace.
Floren believed in looking out for the poor and never passing a poor beggar by without giving him something. He taught that we should care for the sick, the needy, the orphans, and widows. And that we shouldn’t live above our means and get into debt.
You could say Floren was the original minimalist. He believed that “We should all come down to a higher standard of living.” And that “Having less is having more: More peace of mind, more time to spend doing the things that you love, more freedom from the cares of maintaining so many possessions, and more to share with your neighbor.
Floren, while in his teens, was indisputably instrumental in helping his father clear the valley, and settle the community of Colonia LeBaron, in the ejido of Galeana, Chihuahua, México. This major event in his life infected him at a young age with the “pioneer spirit.” Ever afterwards, he was on the forefront of settling new communities: From the mountains above El Valle to the beaches of Baja California, and the jungles of Nicaragua, Belize, and the Yucatan peninsula, Floren forged the way for others to follow.
He had a great affinity for water and watery savannah lands. Perhaps it was inspired by ISAIAH 32:20: “Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass” — one of his favorite Scriptures to quote.
Whatever it was that sparked his interest, he always seemed to be trying to get water up from under the ground; or to be planting his crops in the savannas or next to rivers and on top of “floating eras” in lakes where watering and weeding, the necessary evils of gardening, wouldn’t be necessary. He believed his efforts would be blessed.
When he lived up in the mountains in Chihuahua, he designed and developed a few water systems that ran hundreds of yards deep underground, from the distant hills to neighboring communities. He was the driving force and means that brought free running water to the families of over 200 farmers in the area at the time.
The news spread of his incredible feat of engineering! Soon the Federal Government of México, recognizing the potential of one of his projects, subsequently invested millions of pesos at the time, to enlarge and expand it.
Floren, never charged his neighbors for these services. Instead, he donated his time and efforts to seeing them through to completion. His vision and efforts have, no doubt, blessed thousands of families in those areas ever since.
When his older brother Joel asked Floren to give him a ride up to Farmington Canyon, in Utah, and told him he wouldn’t return until he had some answers regarding the “Johnson Mantle” that their father had given him, Floren quickly agreed to drive him there and pick him back up afterwards…the rest is documented history!
Suffice it to say that Floren was the first man to hear Joel’s testimony, the first man to believe in his mission, the first man Joel ordained, and the first one Joel gave a mission to, to preach
Floren was beside Joel from the beginning. And was a founding pillar in establishing “The Church of the First Born of the Fulness of Times.” He stood by Joel through all the trials … through thick and thin — right through to the tragic end.
Shortly before Joel’s death, he “commissioned” Floren to “find a place in the south to establish a food stronghold — a place where the saints could gather in their time of need. So again, Floren pioneered the way into the unknown jungles of Central America, all the while staying in the front ranks of the march of the saints to the south. With a sense of purpose and a renewed faith in the task at hand, and the firm knowledge that the Lord would provide the way to accomplish the task that was given to him, Floren set off for Nicaragua with some trusted companions. He never believed that failure was even a possibility because he knew “It was the right thing to do”.
When he and the others working alongside him were forced to leave their homes in Nicaragua in the 1970’s, because of the war that broke out there, Floren simply looked around for the next door to open … as the door to Nicaragua closed forever behind him.
Over the years, Floren often longed to return to the hills and climate of Nicaragua, and to its people that he loved. But when the way didn’t open up again, he made his home in the tropics of the Yucatan Peninsula — first in Belize and later in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
He always had a deep love and respect for the native people wherever he went. Their simple ways, humility, and welcoming attitudes warmed his heart. He tried to emulate their ways.
He was often accused of neglecting his family’s needs, because he chose to live like the natives around him: in stick wall huts with thatched, leaf roofs and “sascaab” dirt floors, often without electricity or any “modern conveniences.”
But Floren loved this pioneer lifestyle — and the opportunities for character growth that it provided for his children. In a world with increasingly less freedom, as a result of the modernization and ever growing cities, he watched his beloved outdoors and the ejido system shrinking — even as he searched for a life of freedom and opportunities for his family — a place where his children would be able to roam freely in nature, and enjoy the outdoors the way he did as a boy, without a care in the world. Now that’s a rare treasure!
When I questioned him once, about tending to his family’s wants and needs better, in a kind and gentle voice, full of faith, he replied with his usual friendly and reassuring manner: “Aren’t they my Father in Heaven’s children more than mine? Doesn’t he feed and clothe the lilies of the valleys and the birds in the trees?” “Yes.” I replied. “Well, how much greater than I does our loving Heavenly Father understand the just wants and needs of my family and the desires of their hearts; can he not provide for them better than I?”
Of course, I knew the answer was again “Yes.” I never questioned his motives again.
He had a way with words and reasoning. Very rarely would anyone with ought against him walk away without having the problem settled peaceably.
Floren had firm principles, beliefs, and standards; and lived by them to the best of his ability, never relinquishing his faith and beliefs to try to impress someone influential, or to spare the wrath of someone who disagreed with him — Although he adamantly insisted on claiming “the right to change his mind whenever he chose to!” Which he did frequently, over the years, as his understanding of the Scriptures increased, and greater knowledge was gained through his trials and errors. He was never afraid to admit he’d been wrong before.
Out with the old and in with the new! Floren was constantly seeking new experiences and greater understanding. But above all else he sought for, he sought to find favor in the sight of God.
Floren would often ask young adults, with a voice full of excitement and a sparkle in his eye, “Did you know that you are fulfilling prophecy today?! We all are! And we can choose to fulfill the positive side or the negative side of prophecy. Which side will you choose? “
Floren definitely had his fair share of hardships, uncertainty, and personal struggles. But in the pursuit of his religious convictions, hopes, dreams, and personal happiness, he never lost his sense of humor, his hard-work ethics, his decency and honesty, nor his kind and gentle nature.
He firmly believed that “Everything happened for a purpose.” And that “We should acknowledged the hand of God in all things.”
He was the last living child of his father’s household, and the beloved Patriarch of his own. For almost 92 years, Floren fully maintained his quick wit, analytical mind, ingenuity, and memory. His mind was never clouded with the cobwebs that so often come with old age. Although his sight had dimmed and his hearing diminished, he was thinking clearly and talking about “the next project,” and sharing his excitement about new project ideas and possibilities … up until just minutes before he left this world.
How can we say goodbye? When we think of this incredible man and how much he achieved in his lifetime, we remember a man that had the courage to face the uncertain future with unwavering faith in God as he traveled the often frightening and unpredictable path that lay before him. Hardwork, perseverance, humility, honesty, decency, love, and respect for his fellow man were the hallmarks of his character.
He lived a good long life the only way he knew how: He lived life his way! Still, 92 years is never enough time for someone that you want to keep around forever!
So, as we reluctantly say our last goodbye to this amazing man who means so much more to us all than words can say (and I’m sure none of us can imagine living life without him there to turn to), for his sake, we can reconcile ourselves in knowing that he’s been reunited with some of his greatest friends, his siblings, and his loving parents. I’m quite certain that the heavens echoed with shouts of joy when Floren returned home.
Outstretched arms welcomed him back into a loving embrace. And tears of joy were shed. We know he made the “final cut.” He was a choice soul!
As the hot tears stream down our puffy, red faces, reminding us of the immeasurable love we had for him, and we say our last goodbyes, let’s remember that we will see him again in the not too distant future. For his sake, let’s try to live lives that reflect all the joy and love he showed us. And remember the lessons we’ve learned from him. And let’s make him laugh and smile, cause you know he never liked to see any of us sad! Rest in peace, Dad! We will love you forever! ~Vicky R. LeBaron
I felt you simply must read this phenomenal, touching, tear-jerking “How Can We Say Goodbye?” I couldn’t compete with it — I wouldn’t even try! Just thinking about her Eulogy makes me cry! So hope you benefitted from my posting it here –its inspiration and all.
*This concludes today’s agenda. We’ll continue with regular themes next week, April 12, 2019, in: “Pt 34-F: The Mexico-LeBarons: Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?”