The Presidential Tour
By James Vun Cannon, Counselor to the First Presidency
Volume 20, Number 1, Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2019 Issue No. 77
Our church is a very busy place, and sometimes we do not realize that the church is working and providing ministry almost around the clock. The First Presidency desires to share the current direction of the church, different ministry projects, and all of the great things that are happening in the church with the Remnant Saints.
In 2018 and early 2019, I, along with other general church officers, including Presiding Bishop Kevin Romer and President of the Twelve Apostles, Donald Burnett, visited all of the branches of the church in North America.
I enjoyed immensely the opportunity to visit the saints and have been welcomed into many homes and churches. What a pleasure it has been to experience first-hand that we are a loving and inviting people. The saints shared so much with me: their personal testimonies, blessings and hopes, and desires for the kingdom.
During the tour, I presented and reaffirmed the direction of the church, which is found in our mission statement:
“The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been called into renewal to preach the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen, and to prepare and gather a righteous people for the building of the Kingdom of God on earth, Zion.”
We also covered the roadmap and strategy of the general church, which was followed by a discussion on each of the topics. Next, we covered some of the ministry/projects that the general church has undertaken. Then a special screening of the “Church Movie” was shown.
The Visitors Center is located in the church headquarters building. The Visitors Center is an important aspect of the overall missionary work of the church. It is intended to be an ambassador for the church and to promote the fullness of the gospel. Along with the movie, there is a section of the Visitors Center that will promote the Book of Mormon with a life-sized projection of Nephi and Moroni telling visitors about the Book of Mormon. This follows the direction of the church “to preach the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will listen.”
When the Lord gave the Great Commission in Mark 16:14, “Go ye into all the world,” he set the goal for the church going forward. In order for us to reach the world with limited resources, social media is our first line of contact for most people. However, most people who are seeking the gospel find our website. After they have spent time researching the website for our beliefs, they decide to contact the church on social media. Currently, we are in the process of rebuilding our church website into a repository of all the doctrinal beliefs of the church.
Another project that we have completed is the church video studio. The studio is located on the third floor in the headquarters building. The purpose of the studio is to create missionary and doctrinal messages that can be seen on the website, social media, and video tracts. The studio will also be used for movie production, online classes, and the missionary preaching channel.
Video tracts are another way of getting missionary doctrinal messages to the public instead of relying totally on printed tracts. A video tract is accessed by using a smartphone to scan a Quick Response Code (QR code) located on a paper tract (or anything that can be printed) to access the video tract movie or website. A QR code is a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional barcode) developed in 1994 and has become widely used as a way to share information quickly.
Along with the other technologies the church has been adopting to help in the ministry is Realm, the new church management software (CMS). Realm is a type of CMS software that helps with church administration, accounting, electronic giving, and communication. Members and priesthood are provided with a mobile app to send messages to the church, stake, district, congregation, branch, group, or members. Realm helps church staff manage their jobs, run
reports, and accept all types of contributions from members. All of these features help with automating office and administrative tasks.
The last things that were discussed were our “Great Things Happening” ministry efforts, both missionary and in the church. Home ministry is a vitally important part of ministry to the saints. The Center Place of Zion completed 225 home visits for 2018 which, according to the Bishopric, is five to six times more than we have ever done in the church.
Our missionaries have been charged with growing all branches of the church to at least 50 members. The missionaries currently have four active missions: Florida, North Kansas City, Idaho, and Iowa. Southern Indiana Branch has added approximately 25 people in attendance to their branch.
Some of the social media firsts include virtual cottage meetings, member affiliations, and a baptism.
Brothers and sisters, we have been truly blessed this past year with all of the ministries that have occurred. Many saints and priesthood have made this possible through their holy desires, sacrifice, and holy works. May we yield our hearts to God so that 2019 will be even more fruitful.