PRIESTHOOD ASSEMBLY 2015
October, November, December 2015
For many years now the First Presidency has called for an assembly of the priesthood of the Remnant Church to gather at the Center Place for a weekend of study, worship, fellowship, and association with each other. Men have responded and have come from all portions of the country to attend these annual gatherings. October 2-4, 2015, found over seventy men once again responding to the call from the Church leadership for another weekend together.
The theme for this year’s assembly was “Let Us Pray, Let Us Witness, Let Us Be One.” Friday evening was a time devoted to an overview of the weekend’s program given by Presidents Frederick N. Larsen, Ralph W. Damon, and James A. VunCannon. “Let Us Pray” was a presentation given by President VunCannon, “Let Us Witness” was presented by President Damon, and “Let Us Be One” was the concluding presentation by President Larsen. Following this overview, we were led in worship by the Order of Patriarchs and Presiding Patriarch Carl W. VunCannon. Continuing our tradition of Friday evening sharing, the priesthood then joined with the ladies in a refreshment mixer in the Conference Center to close out the first evening of the assembly.
Saturday morning found the priesthood gathering in the Worship Center for a prayer service directed by the First Presidency, with assistance from Apostle Terry W. Patience giving the lead prayer. Following a brief break, President VunCannon gave his presentation on “Let Us Pray” and utilized High Priests David R. Van Fleet and Elbert Rogers as additional presenters on this topic. Brother Van Fleet spoke on the importance of our prayer services and how we might better utilize those wonderful opportunities. Brother Rogers spoke well regarding the combination of prayer and fasting and how each impacts and influences the lives of the Saints.
A catered lunch with the ladies in the Conference Center gave us a welcome break before the afternoon session of “Let Us Witness” was presented by President Damon. His presentation contained four segments of witnessing: “The Witness of our Choosing,” “The Witness of our Knowledge,” “The Witness of our Leadership,” and “The Witness of our Ministry.”
Because of the need to conduct some reorganizational business for two of our quorums, it was necessary to call for a special business session which followed the afternoon presentation. Brought before the priesthood and the women who were participating in their own retreat, High Priest Elbert Rogers and Seventy Ted E. Webb were sustained to be set apart for specific ministries. Brother Rogers was approved to be set apart in the role as a counselor to the President of the High Priest Quorum, and Brother Webb was approved to be set apart as the President of the First Quorum of Remnant Seventy. Those setting apart activities were scheduled to take place during the Sacrament Service to be held later in the evening.
The Women’s Council had prepared a special evening meal to be shared by everyone following the brief business session. Using a format which recalled the heralding of special banquets in ages past, special invitations were prepared for each person. A trumpet was blown signifying the advent of the meal, and all attendees were asked to move from the Worship Center to the Conference Center to partake in “The King’s Banquet.” Tables were arranged in a large oval with a special table commemorating the table for the King sitting at the head of the entire arrangement. All were directed toward the King’s table and then ushered to their own places for an enjoyable evening meal of soups and chili. It was a delightful and pleasant way to close a busy morning and afternoon and to prepare us for the “oneness” of worship which was to follow.
In the evening, President Larsen gave his perspectives of what becoming “One,” as a people, and as a Church, meant to him. He spoke of how to be “Unified in Spirit, Doctrine, and Fellowship.” His impassioned thoughts then gave way to the following Sacrament Service where Seventy S. Roger Tracy gave an address which brought our day’s worship, study and fellowship to a very appropriate and well deserved close.
Sunday morning found the priesthood gathering together for a final worship service together. The service was led by the First Presidency and provided an opportunity for Patriarchs Leland V. Collins and Arthur A. Allen to share some personal moments of reflection with the priesthood. After a brief break, both the priesthood and the ladies came together for a final worship service with an address of revival given by Presiding Patriarch VunCannon, challenging each one to rise above our current relationship with our Heavenly Father and to reach for a higher and deeper love with each other and our God.
From the eyes of the First Presidency, this was an outstanding weekend, a time in which we joined with the Women’s Retreat to further our understandings of welcoming the Christ into our lives through our service and our ongoing dedication to the building of the Kingdom of God here on earth. May we continue to pray, to witness, and and to become “One” in the work before each of us.