I have just returned from visiting the Feast sites again this year.
A short time ago I sent a general letter to the Church membership explaining the serious need for Garner Ted Armstrong to be allowed a leave of absence by reason of ill health — not physical, but frayed nerves and excessive high tension which has built up over a period of years due to the heavy and crushing responsibilities of his office.
After starting his leave of absence, he felt he would be up to making the circuit of the Festival sites. He felt the imperative duty to speak at these sites. I agreed. But after Squaw Valley, his fourth site, tensions had built up until his nerves-were at razor-edge, and he could not continue.
He is now on the leave of absence. It may take some weeks for full recovery. Therefore I have this morning called board meetings of both the Church and the College, at which we made official the relieving of all responsibilities from my son Garner Ted until recovery and return. The Boards have acted on my appointment of Mr. Albert J. Portune as acting Executive Vice President of both Church and College, and as Vice-Chancellor of Ambassador College.
I feel few if any realize the crushing superhuman load Garner Ted has been carrying. The many hours at high tension to accumulate facts, knowledge of conditions, material, for a half- hour radio broadcast daily, seven days a week, a half-hour documentary telecast every week, many lectures before many outside groups, much travel to make radio and television interviews in various parts of the world, the writing of so many articles, reports to field ministers, so many sermons. This is all STRENUOUS, high-tension, hard driving work, much harder than physical labor. He has had to drive himself entirely too hard. In addition to the above, he has been interrupted by a constant succession of problems to solve and questions to answer in the executive capacity, from both the college and the Church. He has had to carry a good share of my chief executive responsibilities.
He will be going hunting as soon as the season opens, after which he will seek quiet and calm out in the wide open spaces.
I have been shocked to learn that there have been many rumors circulating among members in regard to my son. These could not be more FALSE!
Shame on those who PROFESS to be God's people, and are willing to circulate rumors AGAINST one God has used so mightily — INSTEAD OF PRAYING FOR HIM! I call on you, by authority of Jesus Christ, to SPIKE any such rumors that may come to your attention.
Do you believe this is the very WORK OF GOD? Do you KNOW it? Do you KNOW that the living Jesus Christ is the HEAD of this Work, and that He has called and chosen me as His human leader here on earth? Do you have FAITH that Jesus Christ is DIRECTING HIS WORK, and directing me, and that you can RELY on this LEADERSHIP? In the name of Jesus Christ, STOP suspicions, questions, surmisings, evil rumors! Instead PRAY for my son Garner Ted, and for the WORK OF GOD!
How much time are YOU spending daily ON YOUR KNEES? I call for MORE PRAYER — and more EARNEST, CONTRITE, PREVAILING and BELIEVING prayer — for my son, for me, and for more TOGETHERNESS in God's Work!