WEEK TWENTY November 18, 2013
We are in the process of assisting four brethren in preparing to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. In fact, as the number expanded I felt the need to create a teaching schedule and outline for them to follow. Right on cue the number of priesthood blessings has risen as well this week; two for comfort which were immediately answered; one for a medical procedure that caused great dread in the sister but worked our “miraculously” for her, and another for a little boy hurt in an accident whose facial wounds were healed within the week to the delight of his parents. So the Lord in His goodness was a special blessing to four individuals in need this week and we were blessed to witness His comfort and aid.
PREPARING TO RECEIVE
THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD
Doctrine of the Priesthood
2. Plan of Salvation
Journey of Mortality
3. Atonement of Jesus Christ
Justice and Mercy
4. Dispensations, Apostasy and Restoration
Reestablished not Reformed
What is the Priesthood?
What are Priesthood Keys?
Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood
Difference between Power and Authority
Ordination and Setting Apart
Role of Priesthood in the Family
Patriarchal Order of the Priesthood
In fact this has been a week of blessings. In the Newport Temple this week on a ward assignment felt a prompting to put the names of one of our grandchildren on the temple prayer roll. Seemed like a strange request to me but I so enjoy praying about those the Lord has asked me to pray for and this was very similar. So I entered the name. When I got home I told Jan what I had done and how surprising it was to me. She said, “Call his mother and you’ll know why.” I did and learned that I had a grandson in need. To think that the Lord in His caring style would prompt me to do something for him in his behalf without me even knowing about the situation was nearly overwhelming and as I have thought about it since the personally seeing the touch of the Master’s Hand has taken on even a greater meaning to me.
Sunday the Nineteen family had promised to come to church. We stopped by on Saturday and reconfirmed with them and I gave them a little write up I had prepared for them entitled the Oneness of the Father and Son. Well Saturday night I found myself transported back to a 19 year-old missionary. Praying feverishly, awakening several times during the night asking such questions as: will they come, will the talks be right, will the meeting schedule work, will they relate well to the ward members, will they fit it, etc. We had ward council early that morning so I apprised every one of their attendance. Right as the meeting was to start they came walking up the aisle. Jan had saved some seats in the chapel and we sat with the two of the between us. They have expressed a concern about the lifestyle changes required for membership in the church. The speakers were from the high council. The first spoke about the demands the Church places on us and used several of the ten commandments showing their modern application for us today. The next high council speaker spoke about his neighbors who into three discussion bailed because they weren’t ready to take on the time commitments but then explained how what the family had missed was how much he enjoyed being active in the Kingdom and serving others. Sunday school the same issue came up and several in the class shared their ideas and how easy it had been whereas prospectively it had appeared daunting. During Priesthood meeting it came up again and the group leader explained how the Holy Ghost modifies and changes ones feelings, likes and desires as we come unto Christ. A couple of brethren came up to Brother Nineteen and introduced themselves saying they had been in his home when he had first investigated the church ten years or more ago. They participated in Sunday school and Jan said the sister did in Relief Society as well. After the block I took them on a tour of the building and the bishop graciously invited them into his office to visit with them. Sister Nineteen was in tears several times throughout the day and told me “every talk and meeting was directed to us.” Brother Nineteen said, “Everything felt just right. I loved being here. Felt at home. There is a special warm feeling here.” They decided not to go home immediately to their yapping dogs as they wanted some quiet time to talk together. Priesthood opening exercises were a little rowdy especially with one of the bishop’s sons putting on a performance so Brother Nineteen leaned over and whispered to me, “I remember it being more serious before.” During the high priest meeting he leaned over again, “This is how I remember it.” So all my concerns and anxiety and everything turned out better than I could have even hoped for.
Met with Nineteen family early in the week and had a discussion on the Book of Mormon. Had given them Helaman 5 and 2nd Nephi 31 to read which they had done and came prepared with written outlines and questions from each chapter. She pointed out verse 14 in 2nd Nephi with its warning that if one falls away after baptism “better for you that ye had not known me,” and said, “Years ago when I had looked into the Church, I remember this verse and it frightened me. I wasn’t ready then. I told the Lord I wasn’t ready. But now it’s different. There is a different feel about it.” Brother Nineteen again born testimony to the truthfulness of the gospel and said, “I know I’ll be baptized sometime before I leave this life.” The difference even he recognizes is that this time his wife is serious about investigating which is the thing he had apparently wanted all along.
Found an excuse to go by and visit with the Fifteen family and were warmly welcomed. She shared the joy and tears she felt when her children walked up to the front of the chapel to participate in the Primary children. It came rushing out with such force I believe the husband was touched as well. Hope to get him to church someday. He would be such an asset to the Lord.
Brother Twenty told us at our meeting that he had set a goal of January to be ready to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, his two year anniversary since being baptized.
Zone Training focused on planning the last half hour of each day and made it sound like drudgery and a great sacrifice. We even heard the suggestion that the Lord wanted it done than because that was the hardest time to do it and therefore the greater sacrifice. Throughout the training I received powerful promptings using the creation as a pattern for effective training. So the next morning in my personal study time I put together this little outline on the thoughts that came to me during the zone meeting.
PLANNING THE LORD’S WAY
Gerald R. Haddock
Heavenly Father taught us the importance of planning and the pattern we should follow in our planning, when He shared experiences relative to the creation of this earth.
1. Counsel together. They counseled among themselves. (Abraham 5:1-3)
2. Establish our principal objective. To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)
3. Review prior plans and performance. The grand councilors sat at the head in yonder heavens and contemplated the creation of the worlds which were created at that time. (TPJS 348-349)
4. Visualize the objective being accomplished. All things were created spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth. (Moses 3:5)
5. Set deadlines. On the seventh time we will end our work. (Abraham 5:2)
6. Make Decisions. Thus were their decisions at the time that they counseled among themselves. (Abraham 5:3)
7. Covenant and act according to the plan. The Gods acted according to all that which they had said. (Abraham 5:4)
There are at least two critical reasons missionary daily planning is done the evening before.
1. A careful review of the current day, comparing that day’s plan with performance, measures performance and enables tools necessary to make adjustments in our planning and performance the following day.
2. It opens the windows of heaven allowing the whisperings of the Spirit and dreams of the night to settle upon us as the dews from heaven, bringing to our understanding such minor corrections, as may be necessary, enabling us to effectively implement our plan the Lord’s way.
Planning the evening before is not a sacrifice, rather an opportunity the Lord extends to increase our efficiency and prepare His way. Such planning increases our sensitivity to the voice of the Spirit and recognition of the will of the Lord, and instills confidence in our plan and power in our actions.
In fact during this week also wrote articles on Oneness of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost as well as Priesthood Authority Necessary. All little bite size pieces four pages or less.
Received a call from the One family. He being worried that they had missed us last week. We hadn’t come by because of her recent knee surgery and Jan’s infectious coughing. But it was nice to hear they had missed us. Said Sister One, “My husband so enjoys visiting with Elder Haddock. He felt so badly that he may have missed a visit this week because he didn’t get to the door fast enough. On Sunday, Sister Four had similar comments asking us to come to dinner with them and begin teaching her husband.
We had dinner this week with Elder and Sister Litchfield from Payson, Utah. He is the Finance person for our mission and she the secretary. Great couple. Fun to be with them. We’re both hoping we can make a visit to Los Angeles Temple Christmas decorations this season.
Met with the Six Family. I think we became acquainted and friends with them in the pre-earth life. Hit it off with them marvelously. Had quite a discussion of marriage and divorce, what a bishop does when he counsels, how he treats things, what causes divorce, when proper, etc.
One of the finest missionaries I knew in the mission field as a young man was Elder Paul Searle who recently wrote "I am enjoying your mission tremendously." If this blog is useful to him as our son-in-law Mark Wadsworth has said it is useful to him, then I guess it is not much of a sacrifice to take the time to record these thoughts.