February 21, 2018 / 2:33 PM / 4 months ago

Factbox: Quotes from Billy Graham's autobiography

(Reuters) - U.S. evangelist Billy Graham died on Wednesday at the age of 99. Selected quotes from his 1997 autobiography, “Just As I Am”:

US evangelist Billy Graham preaches the Gospel to thousands of believers during tonight's meeting at Bercy's Stadium in Paris as part of a worldwide crusade, September 20, 1986. REUTERS/STR/File Photo

- Graham was a 20-year-old college student taking a moonlight stroll on a golf course at the Florida Bible Institute near Tampa, Florida, when he decided to dedicate his life to preaching the Gospel:

“No sign in the heavens. No voice from above. But in my spirit I knew I had been called to the ministry. And I knew my answer was yes.”

- After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the Mayo Clinic, Graham said his illness brought him closer to God:

“Suffering is part of the human condition and it comes to us all. The key is how we react to it, either turning away from God in anger and bitterness or growing closer to Him in trust and confidence.”

- On a lingering regret about spending so much time away from his family as he preached around the world:

“Every day I was absent from my family is gone forever. Although much of that travel was necessary, some of it was not.”

- On his years spent counseling presidents:

“If I had to do it over again, I would also avoid any semblance of involvement in partisan politics. An evangelist is called to do one thing, and one thing only: to proclaim the Gospel. Becoming involved in strictly political issues or partisan politics dilutes the evangelist’s impact and compromises his message.”

- On dying:

“I know that soon my life will be over. I thank God for it, and for all He has given me in this life.

“But I look forward to Heaven.”

Compiled by Bill Trott; Editing by Frances Kerry

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