May 12, 2020 - Letter from the First Presidency

 

 

The First Presidency of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, once again, send a letter of warmth and encouragement to members and friends.  In some ways, the days and weeks of the recent past (since we have not been able to meet together in church services), seem to have gone by slowly.  Then in other ways, the time seems to have passed swiftly and many of us wonder where the time has gone.  In many ways, to me this is how life has been in general.  Occasionally, time has gone by very slowly.  Then, again, it seems that decades have swiftly passed. 

 

I am reminded of the scripture where we read about time seeming to be a vapor… James Chapter 4 verses 13-15 we read that not only does time pass all too swiftly, but also that we cannot be certain of what may befall us in this present life.  “ Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain; Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.  For what is your life?  It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.  For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” 

A common expression is “Time flies when you are having fun.”  Well, it has been my experience that time flies regardless of how much fun one is having.  But it does seem that the more pleasant the circumstances, the more quickly that part of life passes us by.  Since all of life quickly passes us by, we are each reminded to spend time each day “getting our lives in order”.  I have to continually remind myself of the scriptures dealing with the subject of “not procrastinating the day of my repentance”.  We all have the need of repentance in our lives.  It is never wise to put this off.  I am aware that in the recent days of social distancing, many families have taken time to go through possessions, storage boxes, closets and deciding what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away as trash.  I have heard that the companies that take care of our refuse have been inundated.  My family is no exception and this is an effort we are engaged in also.  More importantly,  I need to be, and am trying to be, involved in purging from my life, and my demeanor those attributes and tendencies that I need to change.


Changes are being made at the Gathering Place in the form of security upgrades at the Worship Center and the Conference Center.  The changes entail actual key locks and keys being reworked, but also electronic key fobs for the Worship Center being included in the system.  So, if it has been over a couple weeks since you tried to gain access to one of the buildings, you will need to contact Joe or Chris Bryant if you are needing into one of the buildings.


The First Presidency and Presiding Bishopric and others have been in discussions lately concerning issues confronting the church, planning when to again meet together at individual churches.  Discussions have also been held to determine when to schedule the various camps, reunions, conferences, or whether to delay them months or even into next year.  Certainly we have been considering the advice and counsel of governmental bodies to determine the wisdom and also legality of the meeting schedules.  We assure you that we are as enthused as each of you to cautiously get back into meeting with our brothers and sisters.  However, we are not interested in putting the Body of Christ in harm’s way in the process of meeting.  Recently, you have become aware that Vacation Church School has been cancelled for the year as those leaders felt it wise to do so.  As we progress later into the year, it will be interesting to see what we will be allowed to do with the other camps, etc. 


We have all been challenged on ways to bring aid, assistance, and ministry to others, but continue to find ways.  We will continue to assure our physical, mental and spiritual health along the way toward getting beyond the challenges we’ve been facing.  I feel that we each have certain scriptures that we gravitate toward during times of stress.  I list a few of those that assist me at these times.   
 
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me… Philippians 4:13
 
And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath
kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things…  D&C 59:5b
 
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks; for this is
the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you…  I Thessalonians 5:16-18
 
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of
love, and of a sound mind…  II Timothy 1:7
 
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into many afflictions; Knowing this,
that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have
its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing…  James 1:2-4
 
Men are, that they might have joy…  II Nephi 1:115.


When we think on these and similar reminders from the word of the Lord, things are brought back into sharper focus.  We all have tremendous blessings from our Heavenly Father.  The promises of God are sure.  Hopefully we each have been taking the provided time to reflect on what positive things the scriptures have for us.


I found a few statements that I like, attributed to various people concerning weathering life’s ups and downs.

 

“I like to think of life as an adventure, like a roller coaster.  It helps with
the ups and downs.”  Eddie Izzard
 
“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world
will be clean.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
 
“How does it help…to make troubles heavier by
bemoaning them?”  Seneca
 
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to
continue that counts.”  Winston Churchill
 
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.  It’s about learning
how to dance in the rain.”  Vivian Greene
 
“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.  Now is the time to
understand more, so that we may fear less.”  Marie Curie
 
“Well-being is realized in small steps, but it is no small thing.”  Zeno


It is our prayer and desire that the Lord will bless each of you physically and spiritually as we go through the challenges of this present life.  If we allow the Lord to lead us and guide us, all will be well.

 

Michael Hogan

For the First Presidency