Saturday, March 19, 2011

for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Today we did something in our Elder's Quorum that I conceived a month or two ago.  Rewind to January and our quorum made some goals to get out and visit less/inactive families/individuals.  The goals are to go from the 30% home teaching that we had in December of  2010 (on par with the Stake Average) to 40% in March, 50% in June, 60% in September, and finally 70% by December of 2011.  When I became Elder's Quorum President we were at 13% so we've already doubled that and I believe we will make our goal of 40% this month if not better than that.

What I had conceived was Home Teaching Blitzes or Because We Care Blitzes.  Perhaps it was the NFL Playoffs or the Super Bowl that gave me the idea to somehow incorporate the idea of rushing the quarter back mentality when going out in force to visit families that had not been visited in a long time.  So at 9 am this morning I and 11 other Brethren met at the church, knelt in prayer, then divided a long list of names and went out visiting.

Our focus on this first blitz was to contact brethren that were already Elders or prospective Elders within our ward.  The first success was the overwhelming participation from the quorum.  We had one High Priest, one Priest (my companion Josh Sponenburg) a recently reactive member and recipient of the Aaronic Priesthood himeself, and even one brother who was baptized a few months ago but has yet to receive the priesthood.  All the others were Elders.

The second success came in discovering that one third of those on our list had moved.  The next task will be to determine if they've moved to another location within our ward boundaries or if we need to send their names to Salt Lake to have that team try and find them.

The third success was that of the remaining two thirds half of them welcomed the idea of visits from the Missionaries and Home Teachers and this doesn't mean that the other third was not receptive because some of them simply weren't home.

The greatest success in my mind though was that the brethren that participated realized that they had made a difference.  That they had blessed lives, including their own, by the service they had performed.

Luke 15
11¶And he said, A certain man had two sons:
 12And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of agoods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
 13And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there awasted his bsubstance with criotous living.
 14And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
 15And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
 16And he awould fain have filled his belly with the bhusks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
 17And when he acame to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
 18I will aarise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have bsinned against heaven, and before thee,
 19And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
 20And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had acompassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
 21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more aworthy to be called thy bson.
 22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
 23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
 25Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
 26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
 27And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
 28And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
 29And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
 30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
 31And he said unto him, aSon, thou art ever with me, and ball that I have is thine.
 32It was ameet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Great Faith

I received a call late yesterday afternoon from a sister in our ward who is fighting cancer.  She first asked if she had home teachers since she was fairly new to the ward.  She did indeed have them and I was saddened to discover they had made no attempt to contact her.  In the absence of dedicated Home Teachers I of course take the call and make the visit.  I love to visit the members and would home teach each and everyone of them if I were able BUT of course there is not enough time and that is why we have a quorum.

I called a nearby priesthood holder and asked them to accompany me to her home to administer.  We found her frail and weak yet full of faith and hopeful of a good outcome.

Despite how aggressive the cancer has been and the ravaging effects that it has had on her body, she has faith in the power of the priesthood.  Her husband shared the promises of previous blessings she had received which of course gave her hope of a cure.

I did not feel the impression that she would be healed but more a feeling of comfort which was conveyed through the blessing.  I know that it is the faith of the one receiving the blessing that is most important.  "Thy Faith Hath Made Thee Whole"  I certainly have faith but I know that it is something that I can and should continue to strengthen.

This good sister is an example of great faith.