A Blessing For Plainview: The Mission President & Stake Presidency Visit   Leave a comment

On Sunday, April 25th 2010 we had a momentous occasion! It was (From the recollection of our Branch President Williams) the first fireside Plainview had seen in over twelve years.

I would love nothing more than to elaborate on how this came to be, before I discuss the fireside in actuality. On January 10th, 2010 , I received a calling that would be the last I’d ever think the Lord would have inspired our Branch Presidency to call me to; Branch Mission Leader. Truly, it was a calling that humbled me deeply as I looked well into the responsibilities of such a great calling. I went straight to work (Amidst A Re-organization of the Stake Presidency.) trying to get the info that I needed from deep reflection and humble prayer in the Lubbock Temple… I began to ask to what extent or specific that the Lord wished me to approach this new calling. Little was I aware that the Lord wasn’t going to Fed-Ex all my needed wisdom, but did indicate to me (Or caused me to reflect on) a particular scripture;

“Study it out in your mind; then … ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” (D&C 9:8; italics added.)

Now, that simply states you need to pray, but not some monotonous casual prayer that the Zoramites of old would be tickled pink to hear! This prayer that was needed of me by the Lord, was His way of telling me to continue steadfast in prayer, not meant to cease. Said the Lord,

“Cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
“Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 37:36–37; emphasis added).

So I set out just to do that very thing, sadly, having to deal day in and day out with doubt concerning my ability to fulfill this new calling. Often, almost every time the Stake Presidency visited (Mostly President Kimball) I would ask for the assurances that I should have been able to realize without them breathing a word in my direction. But, such is the way the adversary works against me. Finally, a special moment came for me, but I must first tell you concerning January and February of this year.

I went to the Temple 6 or 7 times in those two months. Each time I began to get more and more insight and testimony of the Holy Ghost that the Lord indeed was guiding me. In the process of that, on January 16th 2010 I I finally got affirmation as I read D & C section 42 that I needed to become more familiar with the word of God, and free of fear that comes from teaching the Gospel to investigators with the Missionaries. I went out as often as possible with the Missionaries. Most weeks this meant at least 4 or 5 outings with the Elders.

Sometime close after all this, several ideas of possible things we could do to help the Member Missionary Effort get better came and went. One idea was frequented and prayed about, a Fireside to help give counsel to the members of the branch. I presented this information at some point to Brother Brown and President Kimball and slowly started to make arrangements for the Fireside. Initial planning on my part targeted May 22nd to deliver this grand Fireside to the Branch. Taken aback, it was not long after the idea was initially presented, that I was informed for a change to make it on April 25th. The enthusiasm of the Stake Presidency, and even Mission President was grand.

The special occasion that I eluded to (earlier) was that a General Authority, alongside our Stake Presidency took time from their busy schedule and gave me a blessing. Never had I previously felt so honored… and it made a great difference for me (still continues to as well). Weeks of preparation still had me short of anxiety free living when I conducted that Fireside. But what an incredible Fireside it was. The Porters (Who are our Branch Missionaries) expertly helped me in planning to put the wonderful thing together.

As I stood there, giving my talk, I was frequently with emotions near the  surface as I stressed significance of our study of the Book Of Mormon. I was overwhelmed by this great Spiritual lift of the Spirit, to me, it felt that my speaking held no distinct pattern and I feared many would believe that. So far as I know, nobody has thought that. After I spoke, President McCombs (I hope I spelt that right) was asked by President Shumway to bear short testimony regarding this work. He did so, and he did command the attention of all whom were there. I personally was touched by his testimony as I silently reflected about my life of the past 2 years.

We were then blessed to hear testimony of President Kimball, and in that a great parable (if that is best means of referring to his relation of a story:) he spoke that like a basketball being shot towards a hoop, it may not always go in on the first time, but it will eventually go in. The same he related to Missionary work; Not every time we knock, or invite an investigator to our church do they come, or take lessons, but the Lord will provide that means of eventually that person coming around… even if we aren’t around to see it.

President Robinson then spoke after we had our congregational hymn, and I think the best and most significant thing he spoke concerning, was that even Missionaries in the field, on their mission call, suffered from the anxiety just as we did. It was great to perceive this, and I don’t believe I am the only one whom took that talk, and made it a Spiritual reason to try harder, to “lengthen our stride”.

The last speaker that addressed us, was President Shumway himself. His command of the audience was without words to best explain. He wanted us all to focus on “Inviting” people to come out… and even spoke after the Fireside was over, to me personally describing it simply as, “Invite, Invite…… Invite”. All whom attended this meeting were moved upon by the power of the Spirit, and some (visibly to me) had made resolutions to themselves to take it up a notch.

I must say that the Lord has blessed us Brethren… let us do all we can to preach the Gospel to every “Nation, Kindred, Tounge and People” , because the Lord said that his glory was to bring about the immortality and Eternal Life of man. Thats a charge we need to be keen on remembering. I love you all brethren. Truly we are all going to make things happen here in Plainview, and I look forward to every single moment of it!!

 *********************************************************************************

Elder Jeffrey Holland at the 180th annual General Conference, said the following: • Above all, start by separating yourself from people, materials, and circumstances that will harm you. As those battling something like alcoholism know, the pull of proximity can be fatal. So too in moral matters. Like Joseph in the presence of Potiphar’s wife,4 just run—run as far away as you can get from whatever or whoever it is that beguiles you. And please, when fleeing the scene of temptation, do not leave a forwarding address. * • Acknowledge that people bound by the chains of true addictions often need more help than self-help, and that may include you. Seek that help and welcome it. Talk to your bishop. Follow his counsel. Ask for a priesthood blessing. Use the Church’s Family Services offerings or seek other suitable professional help. Pray without ceasing. Ask for angels to help you. * • Along with filters on computers and a lock on affections, remember that the only real control in life is self-control. Exercise more control over even the marginal moments that confront you. If a TV show is indecent, turn it off. If a movie is crude, walk out. If an improper relationship is developing, sever it. Many of these influences, at least initially, may not technically be evil, but they can blunt our judgment, dull our spirituality, and lead to something that could be evil. An old proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,5 so watch your step. * • Like thieves in the night, unwelcome thoughts can and do seek entrance to our minds. But we don’t have to throw open the door, serve them tea and crumpets, and then tell them where the silverware is kept! (You shouldn’t be serving tea anyway.) Throw the rascals out! Replace lewd thoughts with hopeful images and joyful memories; picture the faces of those who love you and would be shattered if you let them down. More than one man has been saved from sin or stupidity by remembering the face of his mother, his wife, or his child waiting somewhere for him at home. Whatever thoughts you have, make sure they are welcome in your heart by invitation only. As an ancient poet once said, let will be your reason.6 * • Cultivate and be where the Spirit of the Lord is. Make sure that includes your own home or apartment, dictating the kind of art, music, and literature you keep there. If you are endowed, go to the temple as often as your circumstances allow. Remember that the temple arms you “with [God’s] power, … [puts His] glory … round about [you], and [gives His] angels … charge over [you].”7 And when you leave the temple, remember the symbols you take with you, never to be set aside or forgotten.

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