Leadership Concerning Our "Ward Councils"   Leave a comment

Hello Brethren! Before I start, I wish to take the time to say Merry Christmas!

     On Saturday, December 19th, 2009 the leadership of branch, ward and stake leaders convened to discuss a energized and enthusiastic mission to revamp the Missionary Effort. We had the distinct pleasure to be taught and edified by a General Authority, Elder Webb. The Lubbock Stake was blessed several weeks earlier with a visit from Elder Webb and Elder Christiansen. (I hope I am spelling their names correctly)
     Before much of any information was taught, the Presiding Authorities provided us with the knowledge that at the end of 2010, some new manuals should be in the hands of leaderships. (I believe, but am not sure if it was indicated simply for Branch Presidencies, Ward Presidencies or even Stake…. but they will be out.)

     I absolutely loved the opportunity to sit in the second row and look right up at all the speakers, and perfectly hear their council. (Both the meeting on December 19th, and the other several weeks earlier) Participation was essential. It still is. I knew at both meetings that I could not learn anything if I did not act on the promptings of the Holy Ghost to participate. It is my distinct affirmation, that the Leaders we sustained to the Stake Presidency were indeed called of God. 
     Their love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ shows in their concern and drive showing any and all whom are present that they were loved. To (As close as I can recall from my notes) quote President Shumway, “If you are here… you belong here!”.
     Elder Webb mentioned some scriptures, and I took some notes there. I love how the scriptures can and ought relate to our day. The first scripture he used was D & C 44:2 which reads as follows:

      “And it shall come to pass, that inasmuch as they are faithful, and exercise faith in me, I will pour out my Spirit upon them in the day that they assemble themselves together.” 

     Now, my understanding from this scripture is I think what Elder Webb wished others to see. When we discuss in our Ward Councils the Missionary Effort (Which seems to have adopted a name) “Member Missionary” ; Far too frequently, we would ask just for people to grab five names basically off the top of our heads from the High Priests, Elders and Relief Society, giving little, if any, thought or prayer or fasting into it. He may have also wished us to perceive what we needed to see!
     Truly, How often do we “Search, Ponder & Pray” concerning the Lord’s will? As the Primary Song So clearly puts forth:

  ” I love to read the Holy Scriptures and every time I do, I feel the spirit start to grow within my heart, a testimony that they’re true, Search, Ponder & Pray, are the things that I must do, the Spirit will guide and deep inside I know the scriptures are true. So prayerfully I’ll read the Scriptures each day my whole life through, I’ll come to understand, I’ll heed the Lords command and live as He would have me do, Search, Ponder and Pray, are the things that I must do, the Spirit will guide and deep inside I know the scriptures are true.”

    Have we the conviction similar to the songs our children are taught by to have? I fall short for sure. So why is it so important for us to pray about it? Consider the countless invitations the Savior extends;

3 Ne. 27: 29
Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; andshall be opened.  unto him that knocketh, it

D&C 4: 7
Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen. 

D&C 6: 5
Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you. 

D&C 11: 5
Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.

D&C 12: 5
Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you. 


D&C 14: 5 
Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you. 

D&C 49: 26
Behold, I say unto you, go forth as I have commanded you; repent of all your sins; ask and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you.

D&C 66: 9 
Lay your hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. Return not till I, the Lord, shall send you. Be patient in affliction. Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 

D&C 75: 27

Let them ask and they shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto them, and be made known from on high, even by the Comforter, whither they shall go. 

D&C 88: 63
Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 

Previous to this, I mentioned 10 scriptures, where the Lord tells all whom read, to ask! Asking the Lord, whom knows our every desire both before we speak them and why, still wishes us to demonstrate our Faith by calling upon him! Prayer is essential to the Missionary effort… and because it is, Nephi cautions:

2 Ne. 32: 8
And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in yourhearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. Forif ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray

So, the adversary has a tool called “Rationalization” which is not at all rational, but rather foolish… He used it many times in the Scriptures, but, he drives very hard for us all to stay away from calling upon the Lord. Take a moment to study how not calling upon the Lord can stifle our progress… The brother of Jared, prior to building the ships to cross the great waters, failed to call upon the Lord for 4 years, and see what happened:


   And now I proceed with my record; for behold, it came to pass that theLord did bring Jared and his brethren forth even to that great seawhich divideth the lands. And as they came to the sea they pitchedtheir tents; and they called the name of the place Moriancumer; and they dwelt in tents, and dwelt in tents upon the seashore for the space of four years.

   And it came to pass at the end of four years that the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him. And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord.

   And the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done,and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were withhim. And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethrenof their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall rememberthat my Spirit will not always strivewith man; wherefore, if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe ye shall becut off from the presence of the Lord. And these are my thoughts upon the land which I shall give you for your inheritance; for it shall be a land choice above all other lands.(Ether 2: 13-15)
It is there I make my (im sure for the reader) long awaited point on prayer… If we don’t pray about the names of whom we wish to help, if we do not call upon him for that much needed revelation, we can’t, as Elder Webb stated, tell them that “We have been prayed here.” My goodness how great a point does Elder Webb make there.
Some time was turned over to President Robinson, where he expounded on further points, as were found in the last chapter of Matthew.
So, we have the scriptural drive, the spiritual understanding… now we need to understand this;

  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, evenend of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28: 18-20)
 
 

We have the means and motivation to do this work. The dream of doubling the stake and effectively implementing the Ward Council where we are, we can do it. In 3rd Nephi , the same significance is shown. The Savior calls out;

 

And it came to pass that he spake unto Nephi (for Nephi was among the multitude) and he commanded him that he should come forth.(3rd Nephi 11:18)

And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the HolyGhost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that theFather commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. 
 

 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. 
 

 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. 
 

 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost. 
 

And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one. (3rd Nephi: 32-36)
So we have the power, the authority and means of moving the work forward! 

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea,by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, accordingto his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, thencometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel. (2 Nephi 31:13)

 
We need to keep His commandments, and fear nothing. But if we dont understand why, we may not see;

Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark. 
(2nd Nephi 32: 4)


We couldn’t have asked for a better understanding!! So, to know, we must ask, and to ask means we have faith, and if we have faith, we can hope. This Branch has reached its time to rise up above its minimum requirements. The people here want the word;

D&C 123: 12
For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it

In short brethren, this was a great meeting. We have been given all we need, now we need but use it and seek those whom are ready, the ones, that through fervent prayer, will accept this Gospel now! Its my personal Testimony that both members and Elders can be a powerful influence, and say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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