Faith—An Action Word

Faith—An Action Word

People who knew Tom Moses said that he would stop taking the discussions as soon as he heard about the Word of Wisdom. He listened to the message and that very evening gave up his cigarettes and never touched them again. Each step of faith in Tom’s life propelled him into action and each action placed him in a position to affect others around him.

“Tom and I met in Halifax on May 16th and he asked me for our first date,” Anne Moses recalls. “Though not a member of the LDS Church, he began attending meetings with me in June. By August, he’d started taking the discussions. We married on October 2nd and Tom was baptised two weeks later on October 17, 1971—five months from the day we met.”

One week after baptism,Tom received his regular paycheck. “Our rent was due, plus our car payment. He asked me what we should do. If he paid tithing there would be absolutely nothing left for food for the next two weeks. I told him to make that decision himself,” Anne remembers. “He paid the tithing and a miracle happened. My mother, who had not raised me and who rarely visited, arrived at our doorstep with bags of groceries, just enough to last until his next paycheck!”

With that faith, Tom put his heart and soul into living the gospel. He loved the Saviour with all his heart. A year after their marriage, a member of the District Presidency encouraged the Moses family to seek their Temple blessings. “In that very moment, Tom determined to save the money to make the trip to the London England Temple, the one nearest to us at the time,” Anne says. “We lived on our food storage for months until we had enough money for tickets for Tom, me and our two children to cross the Atlantic and be sealed together forever.” On the way to the temple, they got stuck in traffic and almost missed their temple appointment. “Thankfully, they waited for us. Then, we discovered that the stake president’s wife, my escort, had forgotten her temple recommend,” Anne added. “Despite these obstacles we were sealed on 7th June 1973.”

A short time later, Tom became the Branch President of the new Halifax Branch. “On one of our frequent trips to visit Tom’s parents in Yarmouth, Tom awoke and said that he had a very strong impression that we needed to move to Yarmouth,” Anne says. “This presented a problem for two reasons; he worked in Halifax, and there was no Church or members that we knew of in the Yarmouth area. He discussed the issue with the mission president who assured him that if we moved we would not be left alone.” On faith, they accepted a position in Yarmouth with the company Tom already worked for, although he was cautioned that this move would prevent him from climbing the corporate ladder.

“Our family held our first Church meeting alone in our room at the Eaton’s Motel in Yarmouth” Anne recalls. “We soon moved in with Tom’s parents who were not LDS, but we held our own meeting there anyway.” They were not alone for long. True to his promise, President Baker sent missionaries. Soon a   member family from Halifax moved nearby, then one from Sackville. “The missionaries baptised another family and we discovered some members who had been baptised by the “travelling missionaries” some years before,” Ann said. “With that we had enough members to hold services at the library and we became a dependent Sunday school (Dependent on Bridgewater, about 145 miles away—our closest branch).” As they grew in number, they requested permission to become a branch. Tom became the Branch President. “He always encouraged members to become temple worthy and to attend the temple,” Anne says.
Moses Photo

The opening of the Washington D.C. Temple meant the Moses family could drive to the temple rather than fly to London. “For thirteen years during March break, we packed up and made the sometimes hair-raising drive to Washington, often through snow, sleet, ice and slush. Tom had the faith that we would get there safely and we did,” Anne testifies. On their first Washington D.C. Temple visit, Anne submitted the names of her grandfather and great grandparents and many of their family for ordinance work. After performing several ordinances, they prepared to seal Anne’s grandfather to his parents. “Tom acted as proxy for my Grandfather, I for Grandfather’s Mother and a dear friend for his Father,” Anne explains. “When the sealer read my grandfather’s name he faltered, then repeated it. A very special feeling filled the room. I looked at Tom. We both had tears in our eyes. In fact, everyone in the room had experienced the same feeling of profound joy. The sealer told us that during the sealing every chair in the large sealing room had been filled. It is easy for me to forget events in my life, but that is one of the sacred events that I will always treasure.”

Over time, the Yarmouth branch moved from the Moses' home on Vancouver Street to the new chapel where they meet today. Tom served as President of the Yarmouth District. A few years later, the two districts became the Dartmouth Nova Scotia Stake.

The strength of Tom’s commitment to living the gospel extended outward. He involved himself in the community as a cub leader, baseball coach and volunteer for the food bank. He spent countless hours serving people in the community. “He’d always been concerned that the community of his youth couldn’t seem to unite on many issues,” Anne remembers. “He wanted to see his current community reconcile its differences and become ‘one’.”

Tom decided if the entire town worked to build a community centre, the effort would draw everyone together and give people a sense of purpose. The town’s people responded to Tom’s suggestion. Tom and Anne formed committees, gathered information and sorted through concerns from individuals. Soon, all agreed on a place and a plan of action. “Baptist, Catholic, Wesleyan, Anglican and Mormon—all worked side by side and shoulder to shoulder to construct the beautiful community centre we have now,” Anne says. “We finished debt free, everything paid for!”

Over time, Tom and Anne’s union blessed them in ways they couldn’t imagine in the beginning. When Tom’s kidneys failed him in 2009, they discovered that Anne was a perfect tissue match.  She’d given him her heart the day they married and on June 11, 2009 Anne donated one of her kidneys to Tom, a sacrifice she gladly made. Tom died unexpectedly on January 13, 2010.

Though a humble man who sought no praise or notice from anyone, his funeral filled the largest church in the area to capacity, including the attendance of five ministers of other faiths. At the reception following, many people related stories about how Tom had helped them. “He touched people’s hearts in so many ways,” Anne says. “We miss him terribly, yet Tom’s legacy to his family, the branch and our community is his unwavering example of humbly living the gospel and loving the Lord, Jesus Christ by serving wherever and whenever he could.” For Tom, “faith” meant action.
Moses Photo