From The Desk of...

Jul/Aug/Sep 2016

…The Quorum of High Priests, High Priest David Van Fleet, President

The high priests meet monthly for informational discussions on many topics related to our faith. These sessions are instructional rather than for formulating doctrine. Such was the case in our discussions related to Book of Mormon geography and physical symbols.

Joseph Smith, Jr. found the plates for the Book of Mormon on a hill near Palmyra, New York. A stone with the Ten Commandments inscribed on it in Hebrew, called the Decalogue Stone, was found near Newark, Ohio. A mound in western Illinois was designated by Joseph Smith, Jr. as having the remains of a Lamanite named Zelph. These were but a few of the evidences Brother Bill Derr brought to our attention at our June meeting that suggest that the Nephites and Lamanites may have inhabited (and Lamanites still inhabit?) eastern North America, rather than just Central America as commonly thought. There are many considerations to be investigated in determining the correct location.

Symbols are prevalent everywhere in our daily lives and in our worship. Which ones are acceptable and which ones are unacceptable may be a matter of personal preference in many cases, or are a matter of interpretation as to the intent of the Ten Commandments. The second commandment about refraining from bowing down to graven images has caused many Christians to hesitate in deciding how to adorn their sanctuaries. This was the subject of President James Vun Cannon’s presentation on "Idols and Idolatry" at our July meeting. The discussion proved quite enlightening on the subject, and the following is considered general guidance: "Idolatry is anything you worship (or put before God) that is not of God." Avoiding extremism in either direction was presented as the logical conclusion of our discussion.

…The Quorum of Priests, Priest Keith Cruickshank, President

Upcoming events for the Quorum of Priests are meetings scheduled for September 24th, October 15th, November 19th, and December 17th. All meetings will be in the Conference Room of the Remnant Church Headquarters building at 2:00 PM Central Time. A call-in number will be available for those unable to attend in person.

...The Quorum of Teachers,Teacher Don Evans, President

At the evening service at First Congregation July 3, 2016, three members of the Aaronic Priesthood were set apart: David Tims, President of the Quorum of Deacons, Rick Terry, Counselor to the President of the Quorum of Deacons, and Don Evans, President of the Quorum of Teachers.

Bishop Andrew Romer gave the charge to each of the men. I had been struggling with how to define the ministry of the teacher.  It is the ministry of reconciliation, of course, and during the charge, Brother Romer said something I found very profound. The ministry of the teacher is to reconcile Church members with God. I had never thought of it that way. Being reconciled with God is a first step in being reconciled with each other. It had never dawned on me that way before.

…The Women’s Council, Marci Damon, Chairperson

The Women’s Council prays that everyone had an opportunity this summer to participate in a reunion, camp, or Vacation Church School. Now that summer and all its activities are slowing down, the Women’s Council would like to remind you of some exciting things that will be coming up in the very near future.

The first activity will be the October Women’s Retreat. Please see the registration page in this issue for further information. We would like to encourage every woman that is able to come to the retreat. We know that you will be fed from on high, and if you are not there, you will be truly missed. Please mark your calendar for October 7–9, 2016. If you have any questions, please contact one of the members of the Women’s Council.

The second item we would like to share is that, starting in September, there will be a new educational article on the Women’s Council website page. There will be three articles presented quarterly that will deal with the theme: "Emergency Preparedness." The first article will discuss emergency and disaster preparedness. To find the article, go to the Church’s website (www.theremnantchurch.com), "hover" over "Leadership", and click on "Women’s Council." You will find the article there.

Thirdly, we suggest everyone go to our website page at least once a month to see the monthly prayer suggestion. The Council knows that our women can be powerful "prayer warriors," and we are asking them to pray for the specific suggestion listed. The August prayer suggestion is "School-Aged Members." September’s prayer suggestion is "College-Aged Saints," and October’s is "Remnant Families".

…The Historian, Priest Henry H. Goldman, Church Historian

As an historian, by training and by occupation. I read a lot of books. Some of these are for review for various historical journals. Others will serve as research for sermons, college classes, or just for general information.

Occasionally, books will find their way to my desk that can impact members of the Remnant Church. One of these is discussed herein.

For those of us who believe that God had a strong hand in bringing the United States into existence, Thomas S. Kidd’s interesting book, God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution (New York: Basic Books, 2010, $26.95) is a well-received study of the struggle to include the Lord in the "Declaration of Independence" and the United States’ Constitution. Some may disagree about the founding fathers’ approach to religions, but, hopefully, we will remain a Christian nation.

... The Media Outreach Department, Ardyce Nordeen, Media Outreach Coordinator

Our Media Outreach efforts continue to revolve around three main areas: the Livestream broadcasts of services here in the Center Place; the Moments with the Master devotional, which we publish every two months; and the production of a Remnant Church video. Currently, the video is our primary focus, with a proposed premier for the General Conference next April.

We experienced some significant technical difficulties this summer with the Livestream broadcasts. Our sincere apologies to those in isolated situations who depend on those services. We are working through some issues that have arisen, and will hopefully be back in full production soon. When there are problems, please remember that you can access archived videos of earlier services on the Church’s website. Go to the "Livestream" tab and scroll down to find previous videos that are available. Thank you for your patience!

…The Music Department, Barbara Sherer, Music Director

Several years ago, the Center Place branches hosted a hymn sing for many of the Restoration Saints of the area. One of the beautiful pieces that we heard was "Joseph’s Prayer," performed by The Mormon Chorale of the Independence area. Did you know we have a hymn in our hymnal that speaks of Joseph’s prayer in much the same way? It is well worth your time to read the words to hymn number 291, "Oh, How Lovely Was the Morning." Using the familiar tune, "Close to Thee," we find the words written by Clarice Hanson, that tell of the experience of Joseph in his prayer to his Almighty Father. It’s truly a beautiful hymn, and one I fear we don’t sing very often. Hopefully, this will give you the desire to sing this hymn and commune with the Saints in remembrance of the beginnings of the Restoration.

... The Religious Education Department, Beckie Hogan and Linda Burnett

The busy summer months are soon to pass, but in looking ahead to the fall and new beginnings, don’t forget to order your Church School materials in plenty of time. If you are using the Church curriculum, the quarterlies should last from 3-6 months. We are not in the office every day, and sometimes it takes several days to print materials.

Please plan a Church School recognition, with certificates for the students, as they are promoted to the next class level or continue on with their current teacher. If we continue to strive to make Church School enjoyable and worthwhile our program will grow.

Please contact Church headquarters if you would like to have a curriculum catalogue.