WEEK TWENTY-THREE December 9, 2013
Each day fly’s by so fast I’m beginning to wonder if we will be able to accomplish anything when we get home. There just isn’t enough time in a given day. We are sure having a hard time shoehorning in everything we need to get done out here. Seems we get up, then its lunch, and dinner and we’re off to bed.
We’ve been meeting with the Nineteen Family seated around a table as I keep finding myself drawing what I am trying to explain. Each time one of the dogs sniffs around Jan’s purse which is on the floor. They told us that one night on the dog’s bed was a rubber band bracelet the 11-year old daughter of the Fifteen Family had made for Jan and 4 unwrapped but uneaten cough drop all from Jan’s purse.
We had our first discussion, a very engaging one on the godhead, with the Twenty-first family this week. In asking whether they we had covered the subject thoroughly enough for them, the both remarked, she a lifelong member and he recently baptized, that they had learned more about the godhead than they had ever been exposed to before. Next week we are going to review the testimony of the living apostles and prophets of Jesus Christ. We encouraged them to write up the inspiring story of the two dreams that led to Brother Twenty-first’s baptism.
Meeting with Brother Twenty he was anxious for more information from the Bible as the need for authority in Christ’s church. That has been a recurring theme. In fact I had a bible study meeting scheduled this week to cover that topic but it had to be postponed to later in the month. Holiday season no matter how often I hear (I heard the same thing as a young missionary) that Christmas is such a wonderful time to share the gospel I have not found that to be true. People are just too busy and have little time for anything other than family. Made a suggestion to the bishop that this brother who is unable to work be considered for some volunteer duty at the Bishop’s storehouse to keep him busy and engaged and the bishop said he would follow up on that.
At their request we had a wonderful meeting with the One Family. The change in our reception has been remarkable as they have actively been seeking us out to share gospel messages with them.
Our scheduled meeting with the Nineteen Family was cancelled and they didn’t accept our invitation to come with us to the Sing Noel Christmas presentation of the Santa Margarita Stake on Saturday evening, just too busy. Wow, what a presentation. The quality of the musicians, the singing the orchestration and presentation itself were beyond anything we could compare it with. What a wonderful experience we were absolutely thrilled with it all. As a nice side note we have the Six Family and the Thirty Family there with us. The Thirty Family are friends of the Six Family who when they were invited had a very unflattering view of “senior missionaries” imaging us in dowdy clothes and pulling a wagon filled with Bibles. After the visit and presentation they told the Six Family, and maybe the best compliment we have ever received, “They are not weird at all.” We also received an invitation from them for dinner this holiday season. They live outside our mission in Anaheim Hills. So remember friends, we are not weird at all.
I have tried to enlist the support of home and visiting teachers to set up appointments for us with families they feel we could bless with our special talent of “time.” This week a home teacher in the Aliso Creek arranged for us to visit a sister with them, the Thirty-First family who is an enforcement officer with IRS. She had two large cats and by large I mean close to mountain lion size so I found myself silently praying that I could survive the allergic reaction I have to cats, praying that my throat would not well shut as has normally happened. I was wise enough to locate a sit far from any perch. We had a good visit, not sure how often we can visit there however although we would be welcome. When we got home I hung my clothes outside our room for a couple of days and immediately took some Benadryl and other than some coughing, congestion and tiredness for a couple of days, made it okay thanks be to God.
PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY, APOSTASY AND RESTORATION
1. Jesus Christ organized His church with priesthood authority during His mortal ministry
2. He continued to direct His church through the priesthood after His resurrection
3. The apostasy and loss of priesthood authority was foretold
4. The need for a subsequent restoration was prophesied
Jesus received His instructions from His Father in Heaven and personally instructed and directed the leaders of the church
HEBREWS 1:1-3 Instructed by the Father
MATTHEW 16:16-19 Church to be directed by revelation
MATTHEW 28:19-20 He would guide church leaders from heaven
JOHN 14:26 Holy Ghost sent in fulfillment
ACTS 10 Peter directed to teach gospel to the whole world
The ordinances and principles of the gospel are only administered through the priesthood
HEBREWS 5:4-6 God have this authority to Jesus Christ
Christ ordained apostles and gave them power and authority of the priesthood
JOHN 15:16 I have chosen and ordained you
To maintain order in the church, Jesus gave the greatest responsibility and authority to the Twelve Apostles
EPHESIANS 2:19-21 Church was carefully organized and compared to a building, its sure foundation being prophets and apostles
MATTHEW 16:19 Peter was appointed the chief apostle
LUKE 10:1 Seventies appointed in pairs to assist the Twelve
The pattern and appointment continued after Christ was resurrected
ACTS 1:1-2 Gave commandments to the Apostles through the Holy Ghost
ACTS 1:23-24 Revelation from heaven designated who was to be called
The priesthood was necessary to do missionary work, perform ordinances, instruct and inspire Church members and maintain order and consistency, until—
EPHESIANS 4:12-13 Come to a unity of the faith, unto a perfect man
The organization of the Church was intended to continue
ACTS 13:1-3 Priesthood ordination by the laying on of hands following revelation
EPHESIANS 4:4-6 One Lord, one faith, one baptism
The Bible predicts the great apostasy
ISAIAH 24:1, 3, 5-6 Transgressed laws, changed ordinances, broken everlasting covenant
AMOS 8:11-12 Famine from hearing the word of the Lord
ACTS 20:29-30 Apostasy within the church established by Christ
2 THESS. 2:1-3 Christ will not return until after there has been a falling away first
2 TIMOTHY 3:1, 5 Apostasy will come because people deny priesthood authority
Paul’s letters are perhaps one of the best witnesses of the eroding forces washing away the foundation of the Church as he spends considerable energy trying to smother the flames of apostasy
GALATIANS 1:6-7 Marvel you are so soon removed from the gospel of Christ
Since God loves all his children in all ages, His gospel, including ordinances and authority, was introduced in the beginning of time
Moses 5:58-59 Gospel preached from the beginning by an holy ordinance
Alma 13:2-7 Ordained unto the high priesthood, which order was from the foundation of the world
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day is the Church of Jesus Christ, re-established 6 April 1830
D&C 1:30 The only true and living church
D&C 115:3-5 A standard for the nations