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M. James Custer

      As a boy I experienced several occasions of direct revelation which I did not recognize for what it was. Though unrecognized, those occasions were sufficiently impressive that I gave them due respect. Several times their influence rescued me from the brink of spiritual disaster. When I first entered the military, near the close of World War II, I began a diligent reading of the scriptures and was soon confronted with the book of Revelation which I really didnít understand, but which implanted a mild yet significant concern in my mind for what the future held. When I read the Book of Daniel, my budding concern became an ugly blossom. As I read further into the scriptures, I encountered other provocations including the revelations of latter-day prophets which provoked even more intense consternation.

      I had always been prone to listen and act upon divine counsel even though I failed to recognize where it came from. The Lord finally blessed me with a revelation that was unmistakably a message from him. This revelation came in the form of five dreams experienced over four consecutive nights. I was shown that the gospel had indeed been lost to the earth and again restored in these latter days; that the latter days would experience great anarchy and Satanís influence would become spectacular. I was also shown that after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith authority in the church passed to Brigham Young. The final dream showed me that darkness would cover the earth until Christ returned, and that I would be caught up to witness his return.

      With this witness, I intensified my attempt to correlate the many troubling prophecies I was studying. My efforts became frustrated because latter-day events were scattered throughout many books of scripture; no one place could be considered comprehensive. The whole picture was not available to me. I wanted to see a chronological event-line that was reasonably comprehensive, but I never found it.

      I left the military and attended BYU. Even though I was starting a family, working full time and going to school full time, I still managed to continue my scripture study but wasnít able to correlate the latter day scriptures to my satisfaction.

      After graduation, and as a result of this dilemma, I took up a quest. At first it was simply to discover where I wanted life to take me, but as my perception grew, I experienced a gradual change. I was no longer simply looking for what was coming up in life, I was looking for ways to deal with it.

      I worked my way through many trial and error experiences trying to prepare myself and my family for the coming apocalypse and the building of Zion. Because my knowledge was incomplete, I succeeded in frightening my family without teaching them the flip side which is the way to avoid the apocalypse through repentance and faith and eventually the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.

      One day I was pondering the principles Jesus taught Nicodemus in John 3:3-8. I could see that being born of the Spirit (3:5) initiated a paradigm shift in our state of being. The scripture said "that which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit". I realized that this change enables one to travel like the wind (3:8), as Jesus himself often did. Then on a particular occasion I suddenly came to the distinct realization that being born of the Spirit is a change equivalent to translation.

      Realizing the phenomenal nature of this change intrigued me and I pursued it to a full understand and a spiritual testimony. This altered the entire nature of my quest. My quest now became the fulfilment of this time of probation in order to overcome my spiritual death. I knew that if I could accomplish this, my family and I could make it through the time of the apocalypse with immunity to all of its destructions.

      In the process of this study, I also discovered the key to a scripturally based time line extending from the time of Christ to his second coming. And I was able, at last, to construct that comprehensive apocalyptic event line that had been so illusive to me.

      Also, as I was studying and pondering my way through, I was prompted to write essays cataloguing my discoveries. With all this, I felt I had something worth sharing with people and I considered writing a book. But as I thought about the task, I felt concern that my pride might be the motivation and I immediately abandoned the idea. About two months later, however, as I arose from bed one morning, a voice spoke to me in a mildly scolding tone, "Iím telling you once more, get those books published." The effort began immediately. There are now three doctrinal books and four novels. The novels contain the principles detailed in the doctrinal books but are woven into stories.