From the Desk of....
Vol. 20 Number 1 Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2019 Issue No. 77
...The Presiding Patriarch
Presiding Patriarch Carl W. VunCannon, Jr.
As we begin the new year, 2019, our minds quickly begin to think about the focus of the new year which the Lord has given to each in our sojourn here on earth. Businesses and industries are busy trying to implement new programs and products so the bottom line will show an increase and profit for the stockholders.
How can this happen in the life of the church? In order to increase our bottom line, we need to increase our productivity and change our forward thinking and attitude. How? Suggestions may be: a 10% increase in our personal prayer life, a 10% increase in our study time in the Scriptures, a 10% increase in our obedience, a 10% increase in our giving, and a 10% increase in loving our neighbor. What would happen to our individual relationship with God and each other? And where would the church be in its stated mission at the end of the year?
The Order of Patriarchs stand ready to help anyone develop a strategy to increase spiritual life and find joy in offering more of themselves to the work of building the kingdom.
May the year 2019 be full of success as you find new ways to grow spiritually and move forward to Zion.
Next year in Zion!
…The Quorum of Twelve
Apostle Donald W. Burnett, President
From time to time I am asked, “What is the mission of the Remnant Church? Where are we going, and what are we doing to get there?” The mission of the Remnant Church, and the focus of the missionary arm of the Remnant Church, has always been, and still is, “to preach the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen.” From the time Joseph was in the grove where he heard the words, “This is my beloved Son, hear him,” the message of the missionaries of the Remnant Church has always been to tell every word that Jesus Christ has given to the world. Jesus said, in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
If mankind is to live, in this world and the next, by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God, doesn’t mankind need to hear those words? Don’t we all, members as well as priesthood, need to tell all those with whom we come in contact that there is hope for a better tomorrow in the words of our heavenly Father? It must be the goal of every person who belongs to the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
If there is anyone you know who would like to hear more of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the seventies of the Remnant Church have been holding classes teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know they are always looking for more people for these classes, and I know if you give them the name and contact information of someone who is looking to know more of Jesus Christ, they will include them.
The apostles and seventies of the Remnant Church are ready to share “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” to all who will listen. Our desire is to share this gospel with the world, one soul at a time.
For your part, you can invite everyone you can to come to the Remnant Church services and give them a chance to learn of the message of love, hope, peace, and forgiveness that Jesus Christ has for all mankind.
…The Quorum of High Priests
High Priest David R. Van Fleet, President
The monthly meetings of the high priests serve the purpose of providing instruction, fellowship, and unification for the men of this priesthood. This is important because Zion is mainly defined as a people who are of one heart and one mind, and for the people to be unified, the priesthood certainly must be united. In the final analysis, anything short of love for all people falls short of the zionic ideal, for God is love. When each can love all others, including those with whom we disagree, and even the unlovable, then a zionic condition will have been achieved. Paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 13, charity is patient and kind; therefore, we need to be understanding in our dealings with one another. We must be humble enough to acknowledge that our beliefs are often opinions, and the possibility exists that someone else could be right. The late high priest and my quorum counselor, Gilbert Marshall, once said something tongue-in-cheek to the effect of, “Of course I think I’m right; if I thought I were wrong I would change my belief.” Every one of us operates in this manner, but often with the expectation that we could not possibly be wrong.
For many, the step that follows confrontation or disagreement is the tragic step of withdrawal. While we may think we have arrived at such a decision on our own, we need to recognize that we have received input to do this from an evil source. To rephrase a cliché about marbles, we decide we will take our three books and go to our personal studies. F. Henry Edwards in his book, The Divine Purpose in Us, wrote, “People beyond number have permitted their Christianity to be shipwrecked simply because they are not vitally attached to the organic life of the people of God. One of the most insidious temptations of the devil is the temptation to continue in isolation, imagining a personal relationship with God is possible without a resultant relationship with his people. To yield to this temptation is itself a sin” (p. 198).
There is no doubt that we must exercise great effort to work toward this goal. A healthy, rested body, doing acts of good will, and using the process of reconciliation all contribute to success in this. However, this is not all that is required, as this kind of love or charity is not innate; it results from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. King Benjamin put it this way: “If he [a person] yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit…and becometh a saint, through the atonement of Christ…and becometh as a little child…humble, patient, full of love” (Mosiah 1:120), [then a person can truly be a loving saint]. Finally, it should be noted that standing against injustice, immorality, and corruption does not contradict love; rather, to oppose these evils is a requirement of love.
...The Quorum of Teachers
Teacher Donald L. Evans, President
The Presiding Bishop, the Bishopric, and leadership of the Aaronic priesthood have been working on plans for the 2019 Aaronic Priesthood Assembly on February 22nd through 24th. The restoration of Israel is the focus of the assembly this year. God has and will continue to bless our efforts as we accomplish this task. I personally have learned and been blessed a great deal so far. Time on one’s knees speaking with God opens up a much greater vista of spiritual knowledge than I understood was possible. The more I learn, the more I understand that there is so much more to learn.
We all must spend time in prayer, study, and worship in the search for our part in God’s will. Giving up our own will to be a part of God’s will in the restoration of Israel and the building of Zion should be the goal. We are much stronger on our knees before God.
Once again I ask for an interest in your prayers for the event.
...The Center Place of Zion Leadership
High Priest Thomas O. Moats
The year of 2018 is now complete. Budgets and elections are now compiled, and the themes for 2019 have been published and circulated. Looking back to the last several months, the Center Place of Zion has had many activities in the various congregations. There have been many potlucks and holiday dinners, many musical events, baptisms and ordinations, and a wonderful Christmas program. During the last year, we have been blessed with many inspirational and
meaningful preaching services. The local priesthood have stepped up and provided their ministry in bringing the word of God to our membership.
The crowning success for 2018 is in the number of home visits that were provided by our priesthood. We have completed 215 visits in the last ten months, and we look forward to our goal of 400 visits for 2019. The saints have been very accepting of Aaronic priesthood when coming into their homes. We appreciate everyone’s response, and we are looking forward for the same for 2019.
The home visiting program is very important to the church. It allows the priesthood the opportunity to visit each member and bring the good news of Jesus Christ into the member’s home. By visiting each home, the priesthood can know each family more intimately and bring guidance to issues, questions, and goals, thus unifying our congregations and entire membership. We are also able to talk about the mission of the church, recent and future developments occurring in the church, and in sharing the word of God in building his kingdom on earth, even Zion.
...The South Central District President
High Priest Elbert H. Rogers, SCD President
This past year has been both busy and productive for the South Central District. Our branch presidents have promoted home visiting and arranged for classes to be taught using the One Endeavor materials from church headquarters.
Late last fall, our district hosted the General Church Men’s Retreat at the Blackgum Campground with uplifting classes, wonderful food, and fellowship. Our theme for the weekend was The Eleventh Hour. The district ladies also held the South Central District Women’s Retreat at the campground. Their theme was Becoming Elect Ladies for Christ. Those who attended the retreats were truly blessed.
Our final worship together for the year was a district Christmas program held at the Sperry Branch. During the Sunday School hour, we had a Christmas story program put on by our children and young adults. The Christmas story was taken from the Book of Mormon and was titled The Tree of Life. The morning continued with an inspirational sermon from Patriarch Leland Collins, which was followed by a wonderful dinner supplied by the Sperry Branch.
The first district meeting of 2019 was a leadership meeting held at the Rogers, Arkansas, Branch. Those participating included our branch presidents, Elder Frank Potter from our Ava mission, our district president, secretary, women’s leader, and youth leader, and our apostle. The 2019 district events discussed were:
Feb 15–17 Workday at Ava, Missouri
March 24 District combined service/business meeting at Carthage, Missouri
April 26–28 Workday at Blackgum Campground
June 14–19 SCD Reunion at Blackgum Campground
July 24–27 Junior Camp (ages 8–11 or going into 4th–6th grades in the fall)
Sept 15 District combined service/business meeting (if needed) at Sperry, Oklahoma
Sept 20–22 District All Priesthood Retreat at Blackgum Campground
Dec 15 District combined Christmas service at Carthage, Missouri
Thanks to Parker Tibbitts for setting up a district Facebook page. Check out the page for details on events as they come up. The Facebook page is usually updated weekly.
As a district, we are anxiously looking forward to a new year filled with promises, adventures, and miracles as we work hard and read, study, and obey the Lord daily.
—Remember: 4 Nephi 1:17,19—
…The Women’s Council
Marci Damon, Chairperson
The Women’s Council is excited to inform the sisters of the church about our upcoming Women’s Retreat. Sisters, mark your calendars and prepare to come and be fed, uplifted, and renewed. The retreat will be April 5–7, 2019, at the Conference Center. The theme of the retreat is, Warfare Survival Guide: Avoiding Satan’s Attacks. The first class, “Know the Enemy,” will be taught by Sister Cindy Patience. The second class is entitled “Detecting Land Mines” by Sister Connie Boswell. Sister Brenda Evans will teach the third class, “Arm Yourself for the Skirmish,” and “Strategic Battle Plan” is the fourth class to be taught by Sister Vicki Argotsinger. During the retreat, there will be time for fellowship and sharing, as well as time to assist in service projects to help fellow saints; and, of course, a time to learn and worship the Lord. The cost, starting times, and requested items to bring for the retreat will soon be posted on the Women’s Council’s web page; please be watching. Babysitting will be available, so please indicate the age of your children on your registration form so we can adequately take care of them. If you have any questions, please contact Marci
Ardyce Nordeen, Media Outreach Coordinator
We are continuing to expand our possibilities and opportunities in the outreach we can have through the various mediums of media. Our dedicated broadcast team works to get our services online each Sunday morning and evening. While we still experience a few “glitches,” things are going well overall. We held a Tricaster training session on January 26th in order to add new members to the team.
The construction on the new recording studio at the headquarters building hit a bit of a snag in the late fall; drywall won’t dry if the room temperature is too low. As the days became cooler, the project had to take a slower pace. However, we are now ready for the finishing stages, and hopefully we will have the studio ready for action very soon!
Speaking of that facility, we are in the discussion phase for several new projects, including video “tracts” to place on our website or social media sites, extension versions of our original church video, and possibly a new specialized video segment about the Book of Mormon to use in the Visitors Center. We will keep you updated as these ideas become realities.
Moments with the Master has entered its fifth calendar year of publication. We have added a few new writers to our panel, and would encourage anyone with a testimony, scripture reflection, or spiritual poem to share with us in this ministry. As a resource for women’s groups, priesthood, or church school, we have an index of all past MWTM articles, complete through the January/February issue of this year. If you are interested in having a copy, please contact
us at headquarters, and we will get one to you, either digitally or in paper copy (for the cost of printing).
For those of you involved in the social media outreach, we encourage you to continue, and we thank those who forward the worship services and devotions to others. We have “friends” all over the country, and now, around the world! Pray that the Lord will increase the harvest!
Apostle Terry Patience, MIT Coordinator
Just before the Christmas break, we finished our study of the history of the church as found in the Old Testament. We started with the book of Genesis and gleaned from there as many details as we could. Even though the “church” of Adam’s day did not look like the church of today, we felt that it was still Christ’s church. It still had people who believed in God, tried to follow what God wanted them to do, and had priesthood leadership. We could see how many of the people of the Old Testament had a relationship with God and worshiped him as best they could. We could also see what problems the individuals wrestled with as they tried to put the teachings of God into their lives and as they participated in the ordinances given to them. We could also see what happened when people did not do as God asked them to do. In all of this, we can see the love of God for his creation, and that includes us.
If you would like to review the class notes, they can be found on the church’s web page under the MIT program tab, where I put summaries of the classes. Unfortunately, we could not cover all the wonderful messages found in the Old Testament because that would take several years.
Now, I have chosen to skip a lot of years and move to the history of the church in our more modern day, beginning with the history of Joseph Smith, Jr. I have done this in hopes of better preparing the class members for the upcoming church history tour in the summer of 2019. Again, we will not be able to cover all the stories and details of what is now over 200 years (Joseph Smith, Jr., was born December 23, 1805) of struggles, strifes, and joys. Again, the hope is to see the people and places as real and to gain a feeling of what they were going through as they, just like the people of the Old Testament, responded to the teachings and leadings of God through the Holy Spirit. This winter and spring, we will be moving through 31 lessons which cover the church up to today.
I am using for our references, The History of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, A Commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants, our Scriptures, and many other resources on the lives of these people.
If you would like to join us, we are still meeting on Monday and Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. in the headquarters building. Or, you can follow along on the MIT page on the church’s web site.
Understanding our “story” is necessary as we strive to help others outside our faith comprehend the wonderfulness of Christ’s church and why having that church, as he wants it to be, is so beneficial to each one of us. May we all become better missionaries. There are many people in the world who we can still reach, so they, too, may benefit from being a part of this wonderful church.
Thank you for your support and prayers.
...The General Church Music Director
Barbara Sherer, General Church Music Director
I attend the Bountiful Congregation in Jackson County. It has become increasingly important to me to be sure our young children can interact with the adults in singing our hymns. Singing should be an active part of worship for everyone. In a morning worship recently, I encouraged parents to teach their children the refrains of popular hymns that we sing. We did a trial run and taught the children the refrain of a hymn and then sang the entire hymn together with the children singing the refrain joyfully with us. We were enjoying the interaction together, and I am sure the Lord enjoyed it too. During devotions, sing a child’s song and an adult hymn refrain. Help them learn. Begin at an early age, and this will become a meaningful time of worship the children can carry through to adulthood. We are called to make a joyful noise and sing praises unto him.
Upcoming Hymns of the Month
March: Hymn 317, “God Has Spoken in All Ages”
April: Hymn 491, “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”
May: Hymn 627 “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
June: Hymn 347 “What Fruit Have You Gathered”
July: Hymn 579 “Come, All Ye Sons of Zion”
...The Religious Education Department
Beckie Hogan and Linda Burnett
We are excited to announce the new and improved prebaptismal materials. Many corrections and additions have been made. If you have children that will be eight years old this year, or adults that are interested in the fundamentals of the church, order one copy per student and one teacher edition. (The teacher edition has the answers to the puzzles and activities.) Call headquarters (816-461-7215) or email beckiehogan@ comcast.net to place an order.
If you did not receive the winter edition of Zion’s Kids, please request a copy. This publication is appropriate for elementary and early junior high ages and contains stories, activities, and historical information.