This is a very personal announcement. Forty-three years ago God committed to me His GREAT COMMISSION—to carry Christ's gospel— the KINGDOM OF GOD—to all the world. It is a staggering responsibility! In many ways He had prepared me for it in advance. Apart from organization, I have had to rely on God for private, personal needs as well.
Even before He thrust me into His Work, God provided the wife of my youth. He used her in bringing about my conversion, and for fifty happily married years giving me the needed closeness and warmth of companionship, love, affection and inspiration only a wife can give.
Since her death, God miraculously has opened to me doors (Rev. 3:8) to kings, emperors, presidents and prime ministers, so that Christ's message may be taken into nations whose doors were closed to this message. At this stage no one but myself can do this. And I could not endure the grueling worldwide travel had not God blessed me with youthful vigor, vitality, and energy (Isa. 40:28-31) enabling me to carry on more vigorously than one in a hundred half my calendar age. This almost constant travel (last year 300 out of 365 days) and loneliness has reawakened me to the serious need God recognized when He said, "It is not good that a man should be alone."
Directly or indirectly, you brethren are all my sons and daughters in the Lord. But I am nonetheless human. Like the Apostle Paul said, "We also are men, of like nature with you." God says through James, "Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves." Paul said, "Am I not an apostle?... Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife?" (RSV). People do sometimes forget an apostle has personal needs.
Of course no one could take the place of my beloved wife of fifty years. But the Work of God must go on, finishing the GREAT COMMISSION God committed to me, in this new and MOST IMPORTANT phase of the entire Work. And God now has graciously provided the wife to be constantly at my side—a woman truly led by God's Holy Spirit. We have given the matter much time, to be sure it has grown into true love and like-minded rapport, as well as definitely sure it is God's will.
This is to announce my marriage to Ramona Martin, in an informal and simple ceremony, attended only by our respective families on Sunday, April 17th, Garner Ted Armstrong officiating.