From the Desk of...
Vol. 19, Number 3 Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec 2018 Issue No. 76
...The Presiding Patriarch
Presiding Patriarch Carl W. VunCannon, Jr.
The Lord patiently awaits for a people to fulfill their covenants made with him and his Son, Jesus. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has promised over and over again blessings untold if a people will, “seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Does the Lord need our stuff and our precious processions? What he needs is a committed people who are willing to respond to his commandments. In the early days of the renewal of the Remnant Church, we heard frequently the phrase, whatever it takes. We need to resurrect this phrase with emphasis on whatever, fulfill our commitment to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and allow the Lord to fulfill his promises to his faithful followers. Great is
his faithfulness to his children who love him and will serve him.
The church can only move forward in its quest for Zion as the membership (the church) gives its all to fulfill the will of our heavenly Father. What do you have in your life (time, talents, resources) that can be consecrated to the onward march to Zion?
My prayer is that we all may take seriously whatever it takes so his righteousness will be established in our day and time. May God bless us as we consider the pleadings of our heavenly Father to become faithful to our covenant with him.
“Wherefore, seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:38).
…The Quorum of Twelve
Apostle Donald W. Burnett, President
The men of the Quorum of Seventy have been traveling to many of the branches of the Remnant Church to bring about a rejuvenating spirit among the saints. I look forward to their continued success and ask an interest in your prayers for the efforts of the missionaries of the Remnant Church.
We are starting our fall retreats. One was held in New Martinsville, West Virginia, on October 6th and 7th where we were joined by the saints from Parkersburg, West Virginia. The New Martinsville Branch just had an increase in their membership with six baptisms just this last August. Seventies Bruce Terry and Ray Setter made the trip to New Martinsville to take part in that wonderful weekend. We look forward to visiting with their new members at this fall retreat.
We next will have our annual fall retreat for the Canadian saints at Teen Ranch just north of Toronto, Canada, on November 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. We always have a wonderful time with the saints from the north as the saints from Michigan join us there in Canada. This year we will have Alex VunCannon, president of the Elder’s Quorum, going with us to teach a class. We always have such an uplifting time at this retreat, and the people at Teen Ranch take such good care of us.
I have been undertaking the writing of new tracts for the church. Actually, they are tracts with the same gospel message as before due to the fact our doctrine and preaching has not changed. It has taken me longer than I expected as the editing process has been a learning process for me. However, they should be ready for print in the near future. Hopefully the new tracts will be something we can spread throughout all our communities and share with our families and
We must all find ways in which we can spread the gospel message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The times we live in are times of great sin. Sin is pushed in our face by those who think God is dead and that it does not matter what you do. We know that to be wrong, and we must stand for the principles of God in our everyday lives. We must tell the world by our words and deeds that the Lord is returning to this earth soon and that we are looking forward with great joy for his return. May the Lord bless you in your witness for him.
…The Quorum of Seventy
Seventy William Baker, President
Over the summer months, and in recent days, Seventies Chad Buttery and Matthew Goodrich have been laboring with pastors in Blackgum, Oklahoma, and Carthage, Missouri, in an effort to strengthen and grow the church in those areas. Seventies Darrin Moore and Roger Schuelke are seeking the Lord’s assistance in opening a mission in the Susquehanna area of Independence, Missouri.
Seventies Bruce Terry and Ray Setter have traveled to West Virginia and baptized six members into the body of Christ. Seventy Ted Webb has been ministering to scattered saints in Des Moines, Iowa, and is continuing his outreach in the Newton, Iowa, area. During this same time, men of the seventy have traveled to numerous places to preach and teach the gospel. This includes invitations from congregations outside of the Remnant Church. Seventies William Baker and Derek Ashwill have been conducting pre-baptismal classes, which will result in a baptism in October of this year. William is also holding cottage meetings and has organized classes that are attended throughout the week by members and non-members alike.
The seventy would like to thank Jim Noland for his assistance in outreach ministry in many areas. We would also like to thank each member of the priesthood who volunteered to provide ministry in Geneseo, Illinois, while Apostle Mark Deitrick recovered from hip surgery.
The efforts of all the saints are greatly appreciated and necessary for the strengthening and growth of the kingdom.
…The Quorum of High Priests
High Priest David R. Van Fleet, President
This Priesthood Is Named for Him
The Melchisedec priesthood is named for the great high priest of this name. (It is spelled Melchisedec in the Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Mormon, but Melchizedek in the Bible.) The official name of this priesthood is actually “the holy priesthood, after the order of the Son of God,” but it is called after the man, Melchizedek, in reverence to the name of the supreme being (D&C 104:1b–c). Melchizedek is not mentioned in Genesis until the 14th chapter, but suddenly in that chapter the patriarch Abraham pays him tithes. Hebrews 7:4 points out the fact that this famous patriarch paying Melchizedek tithes is a reason to consider him a great man. Alma points out that there were many high priests before and after Melchizedek, but none were greater (Alma 10:15). Finally, in Doctrine and Covenants 104:1b we are told that he was “a great high priest.”
He was called “King of righteousness” and “King of Salem,” which means King or “Prince of peace” (Hebrews 7:2; Genesis 14:33). Salem may refer to Jerusalem, and there is very high probability that the reference to Salem in Psalm 76:2 does refer to Jerusalem. He is called “Prince of peace” because he exercised mighty faith, received the office of high priest, and preached repentance to the people. The people heeded his ministry, repented, and peace was established (Alma 10:12–13). In fact, the change in the people was so drastic that they wrought righteousness and sought for the translated city of Enoch. Melchizedek was a righteous man, but he learned obedience by the things which he suffered. Heb. 5:8 reads, “Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” This has been a source of great confusion as Bible scholars have thought it referred to Christ, thinking that Christ somehow had to learn obedience, yet knowing this did not make sense. The Inspired Version of the Bible clarifies this with a footnote, explaining that it refers to Melchizedek, who is also mentioned in this chapter.
The faith and righteousness of Melchizedek should also be noted. Because of these two qualities, he performed many mighty miracles, such as stopping the mouths of lions and controlling fires. He magnified his calling as did other high priests in that day, some of whom were translated and taken up into heaven. The standard for this priesthood was established in that day, including breaking mountains, dividing seas, rerouting rivers, defying armies, dividing the earth, and even standing in the presence of God (Gen 14:26-32). The bar has been set very high for the men of our quorum. May the Lord bless us to minister as required to do our part in the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth.
...The Quorum of Priests
Priest Keith M. Cruikshank, President
The Quorum of Priests meets at 4:30 p.m. (CST) in the Headquarters Conference Room of the headquarters building the third Saturday of each month. Some of our discussions have been on a study produced years ago, including Family Steps toward Zion and The Ministry of the Priest. If you are unable to attend, you can access the meetings by calling 641-715-3580 and using the access code 285067923#.
...The Quorum of Teachers
Teacher Donald L. Evans, President
I am drawn to the temporal preparation of the home and church: the setting up of a storehouse in each home and within the church as a whole. The storehouse is not a few cans of food and water. A storehouse should be a plan and resources to keep our way of life as sustainable as possible. A storehouse helps give stability in your life and gives resources to help others in time of need.
We should also set up a spiritual storehouse in each home and the church as a whole. This would also include a plan and resources to keep our way of life as sustainable as possible. We need to set up a family altar and spend time every day seeking God’s will in our life.
Sometimes we are to give and help others, sometimes we are to give by accepting help from others. The blessing is in the giving and the acceptance. I struggle with the accepting help part of this. I have health issues that would require a transplant to reverse. But in my humanness, I do not want to do it because I would have to admit my frailty. I voiced this to a friend who is like a brother to me. He explained to me that accepting the gift is a blessing to the person who gives it. Now, that makes sense to me.
Illness can be a gift from God. It causes you to rethink what is truly important, your relationship with God, family, church family, and the world in general. Why worry about what others think of you? Give them the love of God, no matter what.
Once again, I ask for your prayers for the planning and execution stages of the 2019 Aaronic Priesthood Assembly to be held in February.
May God bless our efforts to follow his will.
...The Center Place of Zion Leadership
High Priest Thomas O. Moats
The presiding elders of the congregations of the Center Place of Zion hold monthly meetings to discuss issues in each congregation and to further unify the saints.
During the past three months, the Aaronic priesthood made 30 home visits, bringing the yearly total to 147. These home visits brought additional ministry to many families and also brought unity among our priesthood and families.
The summer months brought the Center Place Reunion, the Summer Preaching Series, and the dedication of the new church at Bountiful. The Center Place of Zion has been blessed with good preaching, wonderful fellowship, and a unifying spirit.
...The South Central District President
High Priest Elbert H. Rogers, SCD President
What a blessed and busy summer it has been for the South Central District and its people as we’ve strived for Zion and unity. Our reunion, held June 15th–21st, kicked off the summer at the Blackgum Campground. This was our first year to have our reunion at the church’s facility, and each person tasted a bit of Zion as we worshipped, prayed, learned, and played together under the leadership of Apostle Roger Tracy and District President Elbert Rogers. The Blackgum Campground also hosted Junior High and Senior High camps again this year. The theme for both camps was “Walking with Jesus”. There were 33 campers and staff combined at the Junior High Camp, led by Elbert and Coral Rogers as directors. Under Director Corwyn Mercer’s leadership, Senior High Camp had 45 staff and campers this year. You can read more about each of these events in The Remnant Record, which will be coming out in early 2019.
As has been the case for several years at the SCD (formerly Oklahoma) Reunion, Arline Davis reminded us daily of God’s presence with her inspiring worship settings. As Sister Arline was extremely ill during the week of reunion, her dear friend, Esther Miller, did the actual set up of each day’s worship center that Arline had prepared. We all appreciated so much the efforts of both ladies. (While writing this article, we were told that Sister Arline won her battle over cancer and is now with our Lord.)
In September, the SCD met for a combined worship service in Ava, Missouri, where four of our district branches came together. There were 14 people in attendance, including a guest who was not a church member but was interested in the church because of a pamphlet he found that Elder Frank Potter had distributed recently in town. The 10 a.m. prayer service was led by Elders R.J. Mendel and Brother Potter. The 11 a.m. message was given by Patriarch Ralph Damon using the topic, “Zion, the Kingdom of God.” Lunch was provided by the Ava Branch.
~ Remember: Genesis 7:77 ~
…The Women’s Council
Marci Damon, Chairperson
The Women’s Council would like to encourage every sister in the church, and any other interested individual, to read our next study book, Zionic Homes. The electronic version is on the Women’s Council web page. Go to the church’s website page, click on the “Leadership” tab, scroll down to “Women’s Council” and click on it. Once on the Women’s Council web page, scroll down to the bottom of the page under “Educational Resources,” to find the book. If anyone
desires a paper copy of the book, it may be ordered through the church office (816-461-7215) at a cost of $8 (includes printing, shipping, and handling). The prayer of the members of the council is that this book will draw us closer to each other and closer to the Lord.
It is time to start preparing for the next Women’s Retreat. The retreat will be held April 5–7, 2019. More specific information will be coming, so be watching on the website and in publications for time, cost, etc. One thing that can be shared now is that the retreat promises to be filled with great fellowship, wonderful learning, and joyous worship. Please plan to attend.
Ardyce Nordeen, Media Outreach Coordinator
Media Outreach has experienced an unusually busy summer and autumn season. Our broadcasting teams have continued to get our worship services each Sunday morning and evening online. They were also able to broadcast some of the Center Place Reunion services and classes in August. We have added a few more operators (cameras and Tricaster) to our group. We would be happy to train others interested in helping with this ministry; just give us a call!
While the church video was completed and viewed at conference time, we have continued to work on it over the past few months. We had to do some fine-tuning and have added a segment to the introduction.
Also, the church commissioned an original painting of Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. Muriel Luedeman of Independence, Missouri, completed this work in July, and we have inserted it into the video. Prints of this painting are available at the headquarters office.
The index of Moments with the Master articles is nearing completion. We hope to have it available in some form early next year. Speaking of next year, it is almost time to renew subscriptions if you receive the printed version of Moments. A renewal form can be found on page 29.
We are currently involved in the construction phase of a recording studio at headquarters. This room will be on the third floor and will enhance our abilities to create ministry videos for a variety of purposes. The studio should be in service by the time you read this. Stop in sometime and have a look!
Our social media team has been very active this summer and fall. They have created some beautiful Facebook posts for many of the special days in the past months. They also make sure that our worship service broadcasts go out on Facebook. Their commitment to outreach is deeply appreciated.
The need for outreach to a sin-sick world increases daily. Please keep our efforts in your prayers and consider helping wherever you can.
...The General Church Music Director
Barbara Sherer, General Church Music Director
Do your children or grandchildren know your favorite hymn, and why it is your favorite? I would like for us to think beyond “The Spirit of God…” or “There’s an Old, Old Path.” These are standard favorites of many,
but let’s ask ourselves what other favorites we have.
We need to get our families into our hymnal more than on Sundays or Wednesdays. Reading hymns aloud together is a great way to listen closely to the meaning of the words and to listen to your child read. For some, there are many miles between family members. Sharing a hymn, knowing you are both reading it every day, will create a bond no one can take away. It is an opening to share a testimony they may not have heard before. Distance between you may mean you need to make a copy of the hymn and share thoughts or testimonies by sending a letter. What an expression of love to share a poem about our Lord and Savior. Draw closer to your children, grandchildren, and to the Lord
by reading hymns together.
Upcoming Hymns of the Month
November: Hymn 600, “O God, with Thanks Unfeigned”
December: Hymn 144, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
January: Hymn 78, “Let Us Pray for One Another”
February: Hymn 547, “When Peace, Like A River”
March: Hymn 317, “God Has Spoken in All Ages”
April: Hymn 491, “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”
...The Religious Education Department
Beckie Hogan and Linda Burnett
It was a busy summer in the Center Place with plenty of camps, reunions, Vacation Church School, and other activities. Now that we are back to routines of school, we anticipate more regular Church School attendance. Our Church School teachers work hard to prepare for their classes, and when the students attend regularly, it is a positive experience for teachers and students.
We are in the process of updating some of the prebaptismal materials. Also, Cindy Patience will be producing a new version of Stepping Stones for children. This will include stories, activities, and information. If your branch is interested in subscriptions, please let us know at headquarters. They are wonderful, fourpage booklets that could supplement Church School or youth activities for children ages kindergarten through eighth grade.
Our pre-school program, Zion’s Academy, has started again. The classes meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. for three and four-year olds. There are still a few openings if you know a child that would benefit.
Handmaidens and Remnant Warriors meet every Monday evening. This program is for kindergarten through sixth grade.
“All are called according to the gifts of God unto them; and to the intent that all may labor together, let him that laboreth in the ministry and him that toileth in the affairs of the men of business and of work labor together with God for the accomplishment of the work intrusted to all.” D&C 119:8b