Albert L Taylor “Sonny”
I finally asked my husband for permission to visit the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but he forbade me, saying, I was not to use his vehicles using his gas to go there and threatened to do physical harm if he caught any Mormons on his property.
I did later call the little chapel in Hagerstown, asking to speak to their pastor. The lady who answered the phone said he was referred to as bishop and that he was at work, that he worked like everyone else. She gave me his home phone number telling me about what time he could be reached. I called the Bishop at his home making an appointment to meet with him. I was so full of fear, fear that my husband would find out. I walked into the Hagerstown chapel and was seated until time to see the bishop. The bishop soon appeared, extended his hand and introduced himself as Al Taylor. He escorted me into his office. He wanted to know the reason for my visit. I told him I wanted to be baptized. I had never attended this Church before. I knew nothing about the Book of Mormon. I never knew any members or missionaries or anything about the Church, except to hear that it was a Cult. He then wanted to know who I was, my family, my husband and what he did. I didn’t want to tell him he was a preacher as I was afraid he would call him. He picked up the phone book to look up my address, I knew my husband was listed under a pastor, so, I then told him he was an ordained minister and asked him to “Please, do not call my house.”
He asked, “Will your husband give you permission to be baptized?” I said, “He would never do that.” He said, “I’m sorry but that is the only way.” I couldn’t control the tears and disappointment as I got up and walked out of his office. For months I had been under much stress in knowing what I should do. I had been living in fear, fear of not obeying my husband and friends or obeying the Spirit.
As I was leaving I heard Bishop Taylor call to me and said, “If you were legally separated you could be baptized.” Now the Church does not condone divorce but Bishop Taylor was a wise bishop knowing that in this situation this was indeed the only way for this woman to be baptized. I will not go into more detail here.
I met with two great missionaries, I only remember Elder Levitt from Utah who became like a son, I have beautiful, fond memories of Elder Levitt.
The morning of my baptism (Tuesday 24 February 1981) a sister called me saying, “You may want to take a pen and paper to record any special experience you have during your baptism.” I thought, “No special experience will happen to me.” There are several steps going down into the baptismal font. As I came up out of the water and started toward those steps I heard someone say, “Look, she is treading water!” My feet did not touch the bottom of the pool until I reached the steps. A beautiful experience.
Several years after my baptism, Bishop Taylor and family moved to Orem, Utah. The Taylor’s would return to Hagerstown every summer visiting family and friends. I usually invited them for lunch. Bishop Taylor was telling about becoming quite ill and the doctors were thinking he had a stroke but was later diagnosed as Parkinson’s.
I later moved to Utah, crossing the plains in a covered wagon. A Volkswagen 🙂
We visited the Taylor’s in Orem a few times and finding our dear bishop and friend in a deteriorating condition from the ravages of Parkinson’s disease. On one visit he paid me a real compliment. He said, “There were times I was suffering so terribly I thought about committing suicide but then I thought of you. “I thought if Grace could go through what she did, I think I can handle this.”
Albert “Sonny” Lester Taylor’s Obituary:
Albert “Sonny” Lester Taylor, 65, of Orem, was born February 26, 1941, in Williamsport, Maryland, to Lee and Myra Jane Myers Taylor. He returned to his Heavenly Father on Sunday, July 23, 2006, in Orem, Utah.
He married July 1, 1967, to Marie King. They were later sealed in the Washington DC LDS Temple.
He served in the US Air Force with military police, training dogs. He was employed with Xerox Corporation in the service department, retiring after 32 years.
He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many positions including Bishop and counselor in a Stake Presidency.
He is survived by his wife, Marie, of Orem; his children, Brooke (Steve) Pritchett, Orem, Troy Taylor, Park City, Joni Casper, Greenville, SC; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; his mother, Jane Taylor, Williamsport, Maryland; his brothers and sisters, Calvin Taylor, Gerald Taylor, Lois Driesbach, and Fay Deeds.
Al always greeted everyone with a big smile and a humorous story. He was always happy and joyful.
He was preceded in death by his son Merle Taylor, his dad, Lee Taylor, and brother, AllenTaylor.
Funeral services under the direction of Walker Sanderson Funeral Home will be held on Friday, July 28th, at 11 a.m. in the Northridge 4th Ward, 1750 North 165 East, Orem. Friends may call Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 East 800 North, Orem, and Friday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. prior to services at the ward chapel. Burial will be in the Orem City Cemetery with full military rites.