Vision to the Kingdom
By Presiding Bishop & Arronic High Priest W. Kevin Romer
Volume 19, Number 1, Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2018, Issue No.74
The Third Component of One Endeavor
Our “Vision to the Kingdom” is centered in and through Jesus Christ. It is his kingdom and can only come to the earth through his infinite atonement and the gift and power
of the Holy Spirit which bears witness of him and leads us into all truth and righteousness. The righteousness we seek is not our own, but his. It is his righteousness we are called to establish, lest any man should boast. All glory rests in God and his Son, Jesus Christ.
In this brief article, I will address four simple truths which are necessary components in our journey toward, and within, his kingdom. However, these are not the only truths we are called to express. There are many others.
1) We are called into action as soon as we enter into fellowship with Jesus Christ;
2) We are called into a servant relationship with Jesus Christ, which finds expression in all we do;
3) The temporal and secular aspects of our lives need to come into harmony with our spiritual lives, making the secular become sacred;
4) We are called into community to be gathered together in Christ, with the individual disciple inseparably connected with the body of Christ;making his fellowship with us a visible reality.
Action: As members of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, having been baptized, having received the Holy Ghost, and having taken upon us the name of Jesus Christ, we are called to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1: 22). We are also admonished that “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 81: 3b). We are called to show our faith by our works, becoming the hands and feet of Jesus.
Servanthood: In James, we also find these words: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the vices of the world” (James 1:27).
We actually put these principles into practice collectively in the church through our Lunch Partners and Clothes Closet programs, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, as well as individually through many examples in our daily personal lives.
Jesus said, “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me.…Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:36,41).
Jesus is the true light, which lighteth every man who cometh into the world, and those that are in service to their fellow man are literally in the service of their God.
Making the secular become sacred: We believe we are called to make our secular lives sacred through the joining of our temporal life and spiritual life into one. Paul tells us that Jesus, the Son of God, “is consecrated forevermore” (Hebrews 7:27). To consecrate means to make holy. Jesus told us that he would write his law into our hearts and minds. In this way, our actions are made pure in motive through the pure love of Jesus Christ.
Through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, we can become his hands and feet, thus fulfilling the will of God. In this way, the works we do become his works and not ours. His righteousness is thus established; to him be the glory. It is the pattern that Christ established in doing God’s will and not his own.
Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and in him and through him we live and move and have our being. Sacrifice is the only way that the pure love of Jesus Christ can be expressed. All love and goodness comes from God.
We, as members of the Remnant Church, believe in the principle of consecration, just as the saints in the day of Pentecost laid all at the apostles’ feet, and distribution
was made so that there was not any among them who lacked. Jesus said, “whosoever of you forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:34).
We do not believe in a common purse or common ownership but in being stewards over our own property or that which we receive through consecration. The surplus above our needs and just wants is voluntarily donated to a storehouse that can be called upon to assist those in need of assistance in their stewardship. We recognize God as the owner and creator of all things, and we are but stewards.
Community: “But the incarnate Son of God needs not only ears or hearts, but living people who will follow him. That is why he called his disciples into a literal, bodily following, and thus made his fellowship with them a visible reality....
…In order that they might enjoy that fellowship with him, the disciples must leave everything else behind, and submit to suffering and persecution. Yet even in the midst of their persecutions they receive back all they had lost in visible form – brothers, sisters, fields, and houses in his fellowship, the church consisting of Christ’s followers manifest to the whole world as a visible community. Here were bodies that acted, worked, and suffered in fellowship with Jesus….
…In the Christian life the individual disciple and the body of Jesus belong inseparably together.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “A Visible Reality,” in Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People, ed. Charles Moore (New York: Plough Publishing House, 2016) 41-42).
Our community covenants are simple. First and foremost, we are a “Sermon on the Mount” community; a place of safety and refuge. Jesus Christ is the center and purpose of all that is done in community. Each member will strive to walk in the attitude of Jesus Christ. Each member of the community will strive to keep all of God’s commandments and walk in the spirit of grace toward all men. Each member of community will strive to be an advocate for each other and walk in the pure love of Jesus Christ, who is our advocate with the Father. Each member will resist the spirit of Satan, who is the accuser of our brethren.