Seven Years of Great Change
1977 to 1984
A Personal Eyewitness Account
The year 1977 saw another great turning point in the Branch Movement. The spiritual winds of change evinced a new message in the Branch. Indeed, a message within a message manifested during the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) 1977. It had been said that “nothing ever stayed the same in the Branch.” The Divine Hand periodically brought about circumstantial change and evolution in the message and the movement, mostly for good, but sometimes for testing or painful consequence, as was so often the case with First Day Adventists, Davidian SDAs, The Branch, and Israel of old.
For many years prior to 1977, from 1973, Lois Roden had studied the Person and work of the Holy Spirit, the great “mystery” Person of the Gospel accounts and the Old Testament. However, Lois Roden was impressed to remain silent for many years concerning her research and Divine impressions prior to 1977. Apparently, an initial presentation of the concept in the early seventies was not received by some. The people were not ready. Since the inception of the Branch Message in 1955, the nature and impetus of the message was decidedly masculine since the work of our Great High Priest in Heaven, Yahshua (Jesus), is, without question, masculine.
It was not so much Sister Roden’s design or decision to start teaching about the Person of the Holy Spirit,... she was given a Divine visitation one night in the early fall of 1977, at about 2 AM, when she viewed what she described as a “shimmering silver angel” of feminine characteristics, through her bedroom window, still studying at that hour, awash in her books, as she often did then, for the quiet and peace of that hour, without interruption. She knew it was time, time to speak..., to hold her peace no longer.
Near the end of the fall Feast in 1977, Lois Roden began an ongoing series of studies on the nature, work and PERSONALITY of the Holy Spirit. Although Ben Roden was always the visible central figure in the Movement in every respect, at the end of 1977 he was very much impressed to share his pulpit with his wife Lois. He was heard to have told his son and others, “let’s see what she can do”. The content of Lois Roden's message was of a surprising and even unsettling nature to the people, particularly the men. However, but no surprise, Ben Roden was not threatened by the new teaching, ... decidedly feminine in nature.
What was emerging was nothing less than the perfect counterpart to The Branch Message, the first part, known thereafter as “the Branch-He” Message (Jesus). The Branch-He Message in consonance with the emerging Message of the Holy Spirit-She, evidenced the beauty and balance that only the Divine Hand could bring forth. Ben Roden was a very kind and gracious to his wife in the emerging burden and message that she began to present to the people beginning October 1977. Ben Roden was was very close with his son George, due to the proximity of them both in the work. George Roden, like his father, was a big man, strong, secure, but the greatest attribute one could ascribe to George was that he adored his father and was probably, [no probably about it] the most loving, obedient, protective son a father could have. George loved his mother, but he loved his father even more. When George was in Waco, which was most of the time, he and his father were inseparable, as far as possible. George read and studied his father’s writings more than anyone, and he knew the message better than perhaps even his father.
The relationship between father and son was idyllic in nature -- all that our Heavenly Father had intended for an earthly father and son relationship.
This emerging revelation in The Branch Message and Movement in 1977 was no less than the capstone of a complete and well balanced message of Divine origin, of the Divine Family in Heaven as is only mentioned in passing in Ephesians 3:15. No message or movement in Judaism or Christianity, since their inception, had ever brought forth a message with such balance and openness with complete Scriptural foundation, and best of all, clearly evidenced in nature. Lois Roden repeatedly taught, according to Scripture and the writings of the Advent Movement, that the two great guideposts of truth are “the Word and nature.” “In the mouth of two or three witnesses a thing is established.”
As 1977 progressed, the Message of the Holy Spirit Feminine gained momentum. Ben Roden was increasingly favorable to the concept and revelation of the feminine Holy Spirit and Her Intercessory work, in Heaven and in the Earth. Later in 1977, Ben and Lois traveled by car throughout the USA and Canada to share the continuing new stream of information and evidence of the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit as the Other Divine Intercessor, counterpart to the Mediatorial Work of the Son of the Most High Father as Romans 8 tells. Lois Roden had come into ‘her-own’ in the work and message of the The Branch. She was most excited and tireless in her new role and mission to the church at large. Most of the membership accepted the message and shared her enthusiasm. The Branch publishing work also made a change in direction and emphasis with Lois Roden as co-publisher, and beginning in 1978, Ben Roden recognized Lois as “co-President” of the work, including her as co-signature on Branch Field Letters.
Exactly one year after the inception of the Message of the Branch-She, another event of earthshaking consequence came to pass in the Branch Movement, a startling and painful event completely unanticipated.
Ben Roden had been a man of good health overall and always a strong and active individual. But the purpose and plan of Heaven was bringing Ben Roden’s work to a close, even as a new chapter of the work had opened exactly one year prior. As the Hand of Providence designed, a new delineation of authority in the office of the Spirit of Prophecy has been well established in The Branch Message and Movement. Early in the fall of 1978, Ben, Lois and George had returned from the fall session of the General Conference of SDA at the headquarters in Tacoma Park, Maryland. They had what was described as a good meeting with the SDA leading brethren in sharing the new developments in the Branch Message of Revival and Reformation to the church.
A few days after returning to Waco, Ben complained of a sudden weakness and inability to keep warm, indicating a blood circulation problem. It was the end of the Feast of Tabernacles 1978, and on the first day of the week Lois made the decision to take Ben to the hospital in Temple, Texas. It was October 22, 1978. The next day was the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, a high Sabbath for the Movement, based on the Jewish Calendar, when all Branch believers were assembled in various places in the USA, Canada, England, and South America, to celebrate the conclusion of the High Holy Days for that year.
After determining there was nothing else she could do, Lois drove Ben to Temple, Texas. Ben Roden was admitted to the Temple Texas Hospital. He was 78 years of age but still in good health generally and very active on a daily basis. A handful of doctors worked diligently and extensively to determine the nature of the sudden affliction that Ben was experiencing. According to the description that was given by the doctors, they found it impossible to raise a blood vein to start intravenous treatment. The present day Advent Movement was born on October 22, 1844. But on this day in 1978, one phase of the Branch Message, the repeat of the Second Angel’s Message (Testimonies to Ministers, 59:1 E.G.W.), was coming to a close and another phase, the repeat of the Third Angel’s Message, was coming into her own, to stand alone, to carry on the work.
Ben was admitted to the Temple Hospital just after 9 am [the 3rd hour of the day] that morning on the 22nd. Sometime near the end of the 9th hour [after 4pm] Ben Roden died. The death certificate stated “pulmonary embolism” as the cause. On that same day George Roden and his family had been with the California group up in the mountains at the retreat facility east of Los Angeles for the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles that weekend. George had not left a phone number with anyone in Texas so it was difficult to locate him initially. Eventually, one member in the Los Angeles area that was still at home was reached by Jane Roden in Riverside and was told the solemn news. Jane was able to get the phone number of the retreat and eventually reached George there early that evening, the end of the first day of the week.
George Roden was quietly devastated, beyond words or tears, but he told no one, not even his wife or children, until they had left the meeting facility until they were half way down the mountain. During the otherwise wonderful Feast of Tabernacles gathering, George came into the room with great intensity and called for his wife Carmen to gather up the children and belongings and get loaded up into their Chevy Suburban. Before leaving that meeting, in a very intense and solemn manner, George apologized to the people for having to leave in such a terrible rush. No one else in the group was told of the day’s events until later that night, which was the last day of Feast of Tabernacles, a high Sabbath.
Don Bunds, a long time member, who assisted Jane in locating George that night, made his way up to the retreat facility and first informed Athen and Barbara Slawson late that night. They told the rest of the group the next day. That night however, one of the elderly Spanish speaking sisters was given a dream that Brother Roden had died. It was a Divinely merciful act to lessen the impact of the news that was shared the next day. George and his family had driven to Riverside that night to his sister’s home and from there made their way to the Ontario airport for an emergency flight to Texas and departed late that night with upwards of eleven family members. That night began a 40 day fast for George to seek for answers and Divine guidance.
According to the untitled booklet, with only a youthful Ben Roden’s portrait on the cover [the picture is the title, worth a thousand words], that George had published and distributed at the Keene SDA College Campmeeting the next summer (1979) and to the Branch field, he relates what happened that awesome and painful night.
From the 1979 memorial publication to Ben Roden pages 2-4, by George Roden:"Micah 4:9, "Now why dost thou cry out loud? Is there no King in thee? Is thy counselor perished? For pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail."
"There are three questions to be answered in this verse 9 of Micah 4. The question we want to deal with now is "is thy counselor perished?" This question as we see it applies to the counselor in The Branch Movement, who has passed away in death October 22, 1978 in Temple, Texas at 4:30 p.m. in Scott and White Hospital under the care of eight physicians.
"I and my family were in Los Angeles, Calif. the night of October 22, 1978 when I received the call from my sister Jane Roden that my father, Brother Roden, had passed away at 4:30 on Sunday the 22nd 1978.
"We left the retreat in the mountains where we received the call and drove to Riverside to Jane Roden's home. Upon our arrival Jane informed us that the doctors had, upon Jane's persistent questioning, informed her that her father must have been a very powerful man. He said that at about 4:00 o'clock he had a very earth shaking rigor, tremor and convulsion, that his whole body lifted up off the table upon which he was being cared for. This terrified the doctors attending him. They said that since he came into the hospital at 9:30 A.M. they had never seen anyone deteriorate towards death so suddenly and rapidly. The doctor said they were unable to withdraw any blood from his veins and that it appeared that he had a highly toxic condition called "sepsis", which the dictionary states the following", ... to make putrid, poisoning caused by the absorption into the blood of pathogenic microorganisms".
My sister Jane received a copy of the pathologist report on Bro. Roden which denied the existence of any poison. This letter was a copy sent to me in my name at Rt. 7, Box 471-B, Mt. Carmel Center. Jane phoned the doctor and he has denied almost everything he told her at the beginning. I also talked with the same doctor and he also told me that father raised up off the table. This confirmed to me the truth of that which Jane had told me.
"John Roden, my brother, told me that he and mother were out in the hall when they rushed father into the intensive care and one of the doctors later came out and told them that Mr. Roden was a very powerful man and that they were doing all in their power to save him. Mother said, "I knew when they rushed him into intensive care that I had lost him."
"The doctor told me that my father had been in shock four days before he died. That would be Thursday morning the 19th the day he was back from our trip to Autumn Council in Washington, D.C. at Takoma Park. Mother informed me that father had been very cold more than twenty-four hours before he died. Read 1 Kings l:l, David, King of Israel was also in this condition just before he died.
"I talked to the pathologist and he informed me that there was no sign of poisoning but that father had had a blood clot in his right leg below the knee and that it had gone to his lungs and caused a pulmonary embolism which caused his heart to fail. It could not pump through the blood vessels in his lungs that were clogged. The doctor said that this would be called a natural death.
"Bro. Roden had this swelling in his right leg one month before he died and I tried to get him to get a checkup and had even made arrangements for an appointment which he and mother cancelled. I believe he knew he was going to die and was just waiting, knowing that his work was finished.
"Mother insisted that father make the trip to Washington, D.C. for Autumn Council even though he was in bed sick. I protested against his going, knowing that he was very sick, but he ordered me to meet him there, so I flew from Los Angeles and met him in D.C."I asked the doctor if taking him to Washington was dangerous for him and he said no, but that on the contrary it helped him to live as long as he did. Father, mother says, told her that he was just glad that nothing happened to him in Washington, D.C. 1 Chronicles 28:1:
"And David assembled all the princes of Israel . . . " etc . . . "Then David the King stood upon his feet, and said, hear me, my brethren, and my people . . . "
"As David of old addressed the leaders of Israel, also Bro. Roden presented himself to the leaders of Israel at Takoma Park, Washington, D.C. Autumn Council, October 16, 1978 the first day of "Feast of Tabernacles and died October 22 between the 7th day Sabbath the 21st of October and the last day of Feast of Tabernacles October 23 which was Monday.
"Mother said to father and I, "George, this is the time of your anointing". Song of Solomon 3:11. I was indifferent to say the least. Mother also wanted me to not fly back to Los Angeles and come back with them to Mt. Carmel then fly to California from there. But father thought that it would be alright for me to fly back to L.A. so I did. The night I flew back father was in bed resting after being in bed that afternoon from a terrible pain in his back under his left shoulder blade. He took a shower and began feeling better. He told me that before he came to D.C. he had that terrible pain in his back but that it left him, therefore he decided to make the trip to D.C.
"We mourn our great loss but are consoled by the fact that he finished his task and fought a good fight and left us with the task of building the temple that he envisioned in Jerusalem. He and I were in Jerusalem, Passover 1977, and he pointed out to me the place where the new temple would be built and also gave me the measurement of the "cubit" recounted in Ezekiel chapters 40-47 by which measurement the temple will be built."David commanded Solomon, 1 Chronicles 22:16, "Of the gold, the silver, and the brass and iron, there is no number, Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee." So the Lord has commanded us to arise and be about the task of building the Lord's, The Branch Temple (Zachariah 6:12,13) in Jerusalem.Now we shall take up the text of Micah 4:9
"Now why dost thou (Zion, Mt. Carmel, The Branch) cry out loud? Is there no King in thee? ... for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail."
"Verse 10 " .. . Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered, there the Lord shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies."
"As most of you have heard Mt. Carmel Center is now in travail over the fact that even though Bro. Roden "thy counselor" has perished, passed away, the Lord has not forsaken her but has already a "king in thee".
"The pain has come to the leadership of Mt. Carmel because she does not want to release control of the work to Zech. 6:12, 13, "the man whose name is The Branch". "the angel that joins the third angel", and, "there will be those who will always want to control the work ... when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel that joins the third angel''. Read Testimonies to Ministers page 300.
"Bro. Roden, one month before he died, told me that I was "the man whose name is The Branch". I said, "father, you know who is "the man whose name is The Branch" and you ought not to talk that way." Because I had always believed that he was the one, “the man whose name is The Branch" that would build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. But he repeated to me that if Sr. Roden is right, then I was "the man whose name is The Branch." This really hurt me because I didn't believe Sr. Roden when she said "Let George do it", Symbolic Code Vol. 11 -8 page 7. I told her and the class that that statement was just a figure of speech.
"The travail of Zion (The Branch at Mt. Carmel Center) has developed to the point that Lois Roden so called President, Raymond Friesen, Vice President, Perry Jones, Secretary, Don Bunds, Bobby Kendrick, Clive Doyle, Bill Worrow and Athen Slawson have filed a restraining order on me to prohibit me from carrying on the work at Mt. Carmel Center to build the temple in Jerusalem.
"Evidently Sr. Roden and her false council do not want to "Let George do it". Because they are not letting him do it, must be the reason why Bro. Houteff said "let George do it". They filed the restraining order by Raymond Friesen, Vice-President on April 16th 1979, the Monday three days before the end of Passover on Wednesday the 18th. Case is set for week of June 11th in 19th District ..." end quote
In 1979 George lost his case in the Waco Courts and was soon thereafter, by legal action, forced to move his mobile home from off Mt. Carmel because he was selling off the horses and holding himself out as the President of the Branch DSDA Association. He and his family moved to their own newly acquired plot of land near Waco. Lois Roden was universally recognized by the membership as the legitimate head of The Branch work. The new delineation of authority was at best a paradox in the Scriptural sense, probably to no one else but myself, because I saw both sides of the issue. I fully accepted Sister Roden’s message and calling, even as “co-President” in The Branch. However, in the biblical reckoning, inheritance of property and authority was passed down from father to 1st born son, not from husband to wife. I was in a real quandary over it, but I initially supported George that first year after his father’s passing. In the Hebrew economy, the first-born son had the duty to take care of his mother and the immediate family.
Ben Roden did, without question, make a certain prophetic statement concerning his son, and Ben did give George the measurement of the long cubit. George wrote the study on the cubit to validate what his father revealed to him in 1978. It was and is still a landmark study of great importance. The work of building the Temple in Jerusalem, the “house of prayer for all nations” (Isa. 56:7) was the great and pinnacle work of the Branch Movement from it’s inception [this Temple, NOT for the re-institution of the animal sacrifices – NO, and NOT to be built upon the old Temple site on Mt. Moriah!]. George told me in 1979, the Ezekiel Temple would cost about three-quarters of a billion dollars to erect. Perhaps today it would amount closer to three quarters of a trillion dollars.
Nevertheless, the prophetic calling and Branch co-authority of Lois Roden could not be disputed among the membership. Lois carried on with her extensive studies on the Holy Spirit Feminine Ministration as co-Intercessor with the Son of the Most High.
HOWEVER, this concept of Co-Intercessor, the Divine Mother and the Divine Son, that Sister Roden taught, although true, presented a undercurrent of a growing Divine quandary or paradox in relation to the message of the Divine Family Image, still emerging in the movement. This seeming paradox lighted upon the minds of basically two of Sister Roden’s students. It was as if something was missing. A new level of knowledge was needed concerning the message given to Lois Roden.
The two students of Sister Roden that I refer to here are Charles Pace of Toronto, Canada, and Athen Slawson of Glendale, California, sometime in 1980 through early 1981, when a valuable insight was given to both men. I first learned of this new concept at Passover 1981 at the Glendale Branch meeting with Athen Slawson. Unbeknowns to anyone in California, Charles Pace was beginning to actively teach the new concept at The Branch meeting in Toronto that very same Passover, when a new tract had just been published and released by Sister Roden for the 1981 Passover. It was the beginning of a new understanding to a Divine riddle in the message. The emerging concept that would solve this Divine riddle in the Heavenly Ministration and the Divine Family Image was about to be solved. I interject this to say that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses, a thing is established”, according to biblical order. I was in a unique position to see it unfold first, certainly more fully than any other Branch believer that I know of, except for Barbara Slawson who also witnessed both meetings in 1981 and 1984 at Passover.
Lois Roden’s message was a vital link to our understanding of the “Closing-up of the Atonement”. Lois Roden’s publishing work grew and became rather prolific. Her world travels from 1979 onward were for the purpose of sharing the findings of her studies and the revelation of the Holy Spirit Mother. Her travels were extensive and the giving of this message was tireless. With her many associates and assistants at New Mt. Carmel, she was an unstoppable force for the truth, new truth, that no other religious figure had taught in modern times.
George loved and respected his mother even though they had weighty disagreements over priorities and delineation of authority in the work. He frequently visited his mother at Mt. Carmel during the time of his departure from New Mt. Carmel after his father's passing. In 1981, George accompanied his mother to Jerusalem to take Ben Roden’s body to Israel, to his final resting place in Jerusalem, the city he most dearly loved, at the top of the Mt. of Olives, to await the special resurrection of Daniel 12:1-3. Ben Roden’s grandson, Jonathan, was living in Israel at the time and was instrumental in acquiring the burial site.
However, unbeknownst and unforeseeable to both Lois Roden and George Roden, a new and dark chapter of events was soon to unfold from 1981 to 1984, which would test the bonds of family and friendships to the ultimate, and change the course of lives forever and the course of The Branch Movement for over a decade, until the climactic and horrific events of April 19th, 1993.
Sacred history is replete with tragic events, due to disobedience, sin, pride and failure to “watch and pray”. There was coming a greater lesson in the permissive hand of Divine forbearance that the Roden Family and the membership were to experience, .... for more complex reasons than one might first recognize. The people were about to face a test that many failed to recognize for what it was. Another Garden of Eden episode was unfolding, with a familiar scene, a wife separated from her husband and a snake, this time in human form, to wreak havoc with many lives and destroy many families. Lois Roden had long since lost the protection and counsel of her husband, friend and counselor, Ben Roden.
One hot dusty Texas summer day in 1981, a young man drove through the gate at New Mt. Carmel, who, some would say, was sent on a dark mission, which was ultimately the case, but initially, it seemed he was looking for direction and friendship. When Vernon Howell made many friends at New Mt. Carmel, and found a home, an emotional-spiritual home, perhaps for the first time in his life, he was also a very perceptive and perhaps an unwittingly opportunistic individual with his various talents to the point that he saw an opening to get more than just friendship from the people and from Lois Roden. It is the kind of trait that many people don’t even know they have until a catalytic circumstance opens its existence. Then is the moment of truth. Vernon Howell failed in his moment of truth, that is, if he was only initially looking for family, friendship and truth. May we all take the lesson to heart. Nobody is without serious fault of character and when the Holy Spirit gives opportunity to see it (in each one) in all it’s ugliness, we need to search it out and ask for Divine help to root it out before it becomes something that will change the bearer and the lives of others for the worse.
A month or two before I departed for Waco in the early spring of 1984, George Roden called and asked me to send out a formal invitation to all the Branch membership for the coming Passover convocation at New Mt. Carmel. He sent me the name list and a handwritten general invitation format to finalize, copy and mail, which I quickly did. Many, if not most, of the membership did not know of the seriousness of the events developing at New Mt. Carmel, which the Passover invitation clearly but briefly explained.
It was time to get ready to go, to prepare for a spiritual warfare event that none of us had seen before on that level. Members of the Branch Association came from all over the USA and Canada. Charles Pace, when he received the Passover invitation, knew it was time to present what he was seeing and teaching since 1981 in the greater revelation of the Divine Family Image.
Although the message of the Divine Daughter, Christ in the Personage of the Holy Ghost, was beginning to be developed in two of Lois Roden's study books at Passover 1981 (In Their Image and the Wife of God tract) Charles Pace had been told not to speak of it, a Divine Daughter, when he brought it to Lois Roden's attention in December of 1980, because it was not yet time, based on the type of the Cross of Calvary. In verity, only new truth, a greater revelation, would be truly effective in the approaching spiritual warfare of Passover 1984, to countermand the counterfeit message that Vernon Howell was presenting and developing prior to April 1984, in a firestorm of prophetic issues that no one seemed to have any answers for, to intervene in Sister Roden’s behalf. Sister Roden needed help, and by Divine Providence, love for The Branch Message, friends of the Movement, and of Sister Roden,…. Help was on the way.
There have been many books that have been written in the aftermath of The Branch warfare (from 1983 to 1993), at least several by individuals inside the David Koresh group, post 1985, describing details of the events from well after 1984 until 1993. I will not attempt to prevail upon that immense topic, beyond my eyewitness testimony and spiritual analysis to the end of 1984 in particular. However, none of the accounts, of all the books published, or, of the Koresh survivor interviews, ALL of them AFTER Sister Roden’s passing in 1986, NONE have dealt with the great spiritual warfare, the genesis of the events of Passover 1984 and the landmark convocation at New Mt. Carmel for the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, ... none of them!
I left Waco to return to California on the first day of 1985, having spent the whole time living at New Mt. Carmel for the preceding 9 months having witnessed the turn of events. Charles Pace and myself primarily, in the last three months of our time there, helped Lois Roden regain her spiritual footing and did some basic home renovation, painting and decorating, for her to get her office up and running again.
In the fall of 1984, we arranged a re-dedicatory baptism in the baptismal tank in the Branch Church on the property, with six other members who were not influenced or seduced by Vernon Howell. Sister Roden much appreciated the practical, spiritual and emotional support and the cleansing mikvah (baptism) for herself, and really, all who participated. We had all been deeply affected, in one way or another. There was no one left at Mt. Carmel that supported her ministry after Vernon accomplished his opportunistic masterful purpose on the minds of the people. Vernon had finally discovered his place, his purpose and his catalyst in life, that made him someone, someone that the people finally respected, loved, even adored, to their own undoing, and many -- to their unfortunate demise. It was the worst form of lawlessness and idolatry since the annals of ancient Israel.
Those of us who loved the Message and Ministry of the Branch, were determined to carry on with the work and do all that we could to support the work of Lois Roden. She was also determined to continue and carry on her work. We could do nothing else. As a personal testimony to Lois Roden, I was particularly thankful to her for being there for me when, one night in the summer of 1984, at around 2 AM, I finally determined that the pain of an ear ache, increasing over the last 18 hours, was sufficient that I needed some medical intervention, right away. Sister Roden later told me that when Jonathan Roden and I went swimming in the lake on Mt. Carmel, we need to be careful to dry our ears right away since there is a fungus in the water that can cause serious ear infection.
I walked over to Sister Roden’s house in the very early morning hours and found the outside bedroom door ajar, with the light on, so I knocked on the screen door. She had been up late, studying in bed, as was her custom, and had likely fallen asleep. She came to the door and I told her I needed to get some pain medication and a different antibiotic for my ear. Without hesitation she told me to get in the van and that “I’ll get my check book and be right there”. George Roden had taken me to a clinic the day before and was given a prescription of antibiotic ear drops. But the ear drops did not help.
Lois drove me to the hospital quickly but it seemed my condition worsened on the way. After arriving at the hospital, the doctor told me that my ear had swollen shut, so he ordered the pain medication injection that I needed immediately and a prescription for oral antibiotics. On the way back to Mt. Carmel I was feeling quite good, all pain subsided.
Still, when arriving at the parsonage at Mt. Carmel, I was definitely “out of it”, barely able to stay awake or keep my balance. Yes, I felt that good. Lois Roden physically assisted me back to my room at around 4 AM. Lois turned off the light on her way out, and I was gone in sixty seconds. I slept till about 2 PM the next day but remember Sister Roden dropping off the prescription late that morning when I briefly awakened. She took care of everything.
She occasionally spoke of “helper angels” in her ministry, referring to her students and assistants in her research and publishing work. But my testimony to Sister Roden was that she was an ‘attending angel’ to me, at a moment’s notice, in the middle of the night, when I needed immediate assistance. She was there for me. I include this personal note in tribute of her memory and her ministry. She was a wonderful person, dear friend, elder sister, even a kind of spiritual earthly mother figure, as a representative of the Holy Spirit Mother, for most of the Branch Congregation. She had her faults, failings and human weaknesses,… but don’t we all! Nevertheless, she completed her work, in the repeat of the Third Angel's message in the Advent Movement, Angel number 6 of Revelation chapter 14.