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					Volume 4                                                       Oct/Nov/Dec 2003
Number 4                                                            Issue No. 17




           Home of the Sperry Oklahoma Remnant Branch
       Their very versatile worship facility was completed in 1996. The large
      Gymnasium-Fellowship Hall (below tree, center left) was added in 2000.
                                                              Inside This Issue
                                 Editorial Comment-Lane Harold, Assistant Editor .....................3
                                 Historic Priesthood Assembly .....................................................5
                                 Official Statement........................................................................6
                                   President Frederick N. Larsen
                                 Inspired Document ..................................................................... 7
                                 Biographical Sketch-W. Kevin Romer........................................8
                                 Statement of Acceptance and Testimony ....................................8
The Hastening                      Presiding Bishop Designate W. Kevin Romer, Lee’s Summit, MO
    Times                        New Converts in Belgium .........................................................10
 Volume 4 - Number 4             Canadian Incorporation Achieved.............................................10
        Issue 17                 An Intriguing Testimony from Abroad .....................................11
  Oct./Nov./Dec. 2003              Elder Francis Custers of Brussels, Belgium
                                 From the Quorum of Twelve Apostles......................................12
                                 The Opportunity to Contribute ..................................................13
     Editors In Chief              Apostle Leland V. Collins of Independence, MO
   The First Presidency          Blessings Derived from Stewardship Obedience ......................17
    Frederick N. Larsen            Marjorie Spease of Independence, MO
   David W. Bowerman             Thou Lackest One Thing...........................................................19
    P. James Buchman               Mary Lou Bartrow of Blue Springs, MO
                                 The Call to Sainthood................................................................20
     Assistant Editor
                                   Elder Eugene Harrington of Blue Springs, MO
     Lane W. Harold
                                 From Our Youth ........................................................................24
       Proofreader               I Am Only One, But I Am One! ................................................25
       Carol E. Starks             Dorothy (Toby) Edwards of Independence, MO
                                 From the Order of Patriarch/Evangelists...................................26
 Production Manager              The First Presidency, “Anciently” ............................................27
       Edwin M. Gates              R. Ben Madison of Milwaukee, WI
                                 Lehi: Leader of a Prestigious Family of Traders.......................30
                                   High Priest Lane W. Harold of Lee’s Summit, MO
AThe Hastening Times@            BELIEF BRIEFS –Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost ..............................35
 is published quarterly by the     Gregory A. Turner of Independence, MO
        Remnant
  CHURCH of JESUS
      CHRIST
                                                                 VISIT OUR WEB-SITE
of Latter Day Saints
      700 W. Lexington
                                                                www.theremnantchurch.com
  Independence, MO 64050
       (816) 461-7215
    FAX (816) 461-7278                      FRONT COVER B Sperry Oklahoma Remnant Branch
Editorial Comment . . .
Each quarter as staff members assemble the next Hastening Times, we make mental note of the continuing
serious nature of our current times, of the great need for God=s Kingdom and certainly for the modern City
of Zion to be established as our Lord has commanded. We let this awareness serve as a necessary note of
urgency for the Remnant Church cause, which our Lord urges us to undertake for the benefit of a hurting
world. In fact as we prepare each issue, we wonder how world news events and the relations between many
of the nations can get much worse and still leave us with an intact society. Again, that is the case this Fall as
we all watch the unfolding occupational problems in liberated Iraq, and further note with apprehension the
military and political tensions that are constantly growing in many other places. Unfortunately, this trend
toward bad news also seems to follow us into our home communities as well, and we note that it takes our
newscasters ever longer to relate the latest daily incidents of crime, violence, and the growing number of
cases of child and spousal abuse.

For others in our society, the trouble areas frequently revolve around the loss of employment and the great
current difficulty so many workers are encountering in finding suitable replacement work for the essential
support of their families. Too many jobs have already gone overseas, but frequently many of us are partly
responsible for economically pushing our manufacturers to move their plants abroad in order to keep costs
low and products priced competitively. Most of us like to buy at the best price, even if that requires the
products to come from overseas. Hence, many workers among us are laid off in this recessionary
environment and are never hired back. They fall victim to the ever-increasing accomplishments of computer
automation and the re-assignment of work to contract persons who in many cases receive low wages and
draw few benefits. It is a very serious problem, and no one making the headlines today seems to have a
suitable answer for the good of society as a whole.

Some of us who have arrived at post-retirement age take some comfort in noting that there is yet no shortage
of soul-rewarding but mostly non-paying volunteer positions in worthy religious and charitable
organizations. In this one way, seniors seem to be the fortunate ones in this economic crisis, but we
certainly understand the seriousness of the problem for those other seniors who have available to them only
minimal support, as well as for all the younger wage-earners who are still in the workforce and whose labors
contribute needed dollars to Social Security accounts. In this environment we agonize with the struggling
younger work force. As this new century unfolds, the capitalist system again appears severely challenged to
provide and coordinate an economy that has now gone global, and where every conscientious worker=s
needs can be reasonably met. The economic gulf between the fortunes of the rich and the growing numbers
of poor in our present society becomes ever wider and presents a very serious economic and political
challenge. A Zionic approach to attitudes and available resources could help ease the present pain in our
society, but how will the few members of the Remnant Church and the somewhat more numerous
Restorationists inform and convince our materialistic citizenry of Zion=s tremendous possibilities? We
desperately need a functioning Zion, the one that our society has not yet taken the time nor made the effort
to learn about. We need a demonstration of our Lord=s Zionic genius before our current system disintegrates
politically; otherwise, the terrible consequences of bitterness, anger and frustration take over. We are now
witnessing this among some disillusioned elements in occupied Iraq. Yet we as a people continue to share
the enjoyment of the many blessings which we experience in our current society, and in which most of us
share at least some of the time. Transportation, communication and standards of living for those fortunate
enough to remain employed have never been higher and would amaze our loved ones from earlier
generations. Going to Church or area meetings is infinitely easier now than it was a century ago, when the
horse in the barn had to be hitched to the buggy before going anywhere. How many of us pause to give
thanks as we slide behind the wheel of our comfortable, dependable automobile and then drive quickly and
easily to our meeting, even in inclement weather?

We hope that each member is joyfully carrying his portion of witnessing concerning the very real
opportunity to establish the Lord=s Zion in our day and time. The need could not be greater. We have the
gospel and most of the organizational tools needed for Zion=s creation, and we have the promise of
receiving the rest of them if we will develop and demonstrate the necessary spiritual maturity. In a posture
of assistance, Enoch=s people are waiting to return among us and our Apostles and Seventies are now
carrying the message of the re-ordered Remnant to many parts of this land. Are we remembering to support
their efforts with our sincere prayers? Let not those opposing voices be heeded, those of the perennial
critics who would prefer to wait Afor a more opportune time, or a more perfect method.@ Like the Jews of
Jesus= time, they may wait in vain!

Our voices in sincere testimony, the kind that has attracted the attention of the Custers family in Belgium,
(see letter page 11) must go forth with continued determination. In the media frenzy that typifies
communications today, our message must go forth to all those whose attention can be drawn with the same
persistence demonstrated on recent TV advertisements by the AFLAC Duck. Creating a humorous but
pitiful environment for the efforts of this well-meaning but often frustrated duck, the crafters of modern TV
advertising have produced a series of episodes wherein the AFLAC Duck tries, often without success, to
identify the available accident-insurance carrier. Every time he quacks out the name AFLAC to an inquiring
person, an avalanche of well-timed “noise” obscures his message—things like passing truck air-horns,
dropped tools and overturned display cases. Remnant Saints can identify with this determined duck. We do
our best to inform inquiring friends of the availability and early accomplishments of the reordered Remnant
Church. Frequently, this testimony is challenged or obscured with the “noise” of a few fully-convinced
opponents, critical of what we have done. Someday soon they may discover that we were God’s last-days
choice for a rescue of His latter-day work and the reestablishment of His Church. “My Spirit shall not
always strive with man.” (D & C 1:5g)




 Priesthood Assembly                       The Gathering Place                       October 25-26, 2003
HISTORIC PRIESTHOOD ASSEMBLY . . .

They came, one hundred ninety in all, priesthood from Texas to Toronto, Colorado to Maryland, and many
places in between. A weekend long to be remembered concluded on Sunday, October 26, 2003 with the
assurance that the Lord’s Church is moving forward step by sure and certain step.

It was a Priesthood Assembly in every sense. Approximately three-fourths of all ordained brethren in the
Church were in attendance. Beginning on Saturday, October 25, after registration and a period of warm and
joyful fellowship, a presentation relating to the history of Kirtland, and the House of the Lord still standing
today as a memorial to the sacrifice of Saints in an earlier period, delivered by Elder Raymond Clough, Jr.
opened the sessions. President Frederick N. Larsen then discussed Temple ministries and pointed the
brethren to a long-awaited event yet to come, when the Lord’s house will stand complete on the dedicated
spot in the land of Zion.

Following an evening meal in the Conference Center, graciously provided under the direction of Sister Mary
Morland and her able assistants, Patriarch Roger C. Gault, newly-appointed General Church Director of
Priesthood and Leadership, delivered an address on “Requirements for an Endowing Experience.” As a
fitting end to the day, the Order of Patriarchs led the assembled body in a closing period of worship. With
hearts warmed by deep feelings of gratitude and praise the Holy Spirit settled as a benediction on the
assembly.

On Sunday morning the brethren assembled early. Having come in an attitude of fasting and prayer, the
morning devotions set the tone for events that would follow. To a hushed assembly President Larsen
informed the brethren of an inspired message which had come to him with direction to further complete
restitution of the Church. He then withdrew from the sanctuary and President Bowerman called for a period
of special preparation during which Brother Gault offered prayer on behalf of all assembled. The document
was then read and a copy given to each quorum for further prayerful consideration [See the message printed
elsewhere in this issue.].

During the next hour the Quorum of Twelve, the Seventy, Quorum of High Priests, Order of
Patriarch/Evangelists, and mass meetings of the Elders and Aaronic offices met to give consideration to the
guidance received through President Larsen. As the body reassembled, every group responded unanimously
in favor of the counsel given and recommended the inspired document be forwarded to the April 2004
General Conference for approval. As the Prophet returned to the assembly every man present arose and
spontaneously responded by singing the traditional hymn for such an occasion. Brother Bowerman then
officially informed President Larsen of the unanimous, affirmative action of the quorums to which Brother
Larsen responded. W. Kevin Romer was then called on for a statement regarding his response. (The content
of this statement, along with a biographical sketch, is also included elsewhere.)

The hours had passed all too quickly and it was now time to join in the closing
session. The Holy Spirit was noticeably present. A sublime atmosphere of new and
enlivened commitment filled every heart. In this setting President Larsen brought
further words of counsel and commendation. On that high level the assembly
came to an end. They filed out in quiet reverence, each one pondering what had
been experienced. Beyond the sanctuary parting words were exchanged and the
echo of “Kirtland next October” was in the air.#
                              Official Statement
In view of the custom that prevailed for many years in the Reorganization, relating to the manner
in which revelation was received and enacted, we believe there is wisdom in issuing a formal
explanation to the Church in light of recent events. We therefore submit the following
information for that purpose.

It should be recognized that a great many of the revelations which now constitute the Doctrine
and Covenants were received and presented, to both individuals and small groups of leaders at
various times, without the benefit of General Conference authorization which would come later.
Similarly, a few of the revelations which came through Joseph Smith III, in the early
development of the Reorganization, were not formally adopted by a General Conference until a
later and more convenient date.

In the present situation the President of the Church, Frederick N. Larsen, was impressed to
proceed with prophetic direction as is evident from the document which follows, when the
priesthood would be assembled in organized quorums. This was carried out with the intent that
full implementation would occur later. The advisability of a specially called General Conference
in late November 2003 was finally rejected, it being concluded that an unusual burden of travel
would be placed on the membership, recognizing that such a gathering is already scheduled for
April 2004, a short four months later.

By way of further explanation, and to clarify the existing situation, Elder W. Kevin Romer will
be recognized as the Presiding Bishop “designate” until formal approval by the body can be
obtained. He will then be ordained as the law provides. In the interim, Brother Romer will have
the opportunity to familiarize himself with the temporal affairs of the Church and choose
counselors as he may feel directed.

We rejoice with the Church that revelation to the Prophet is not limited to a once-a-year, or
longer, period of time. With the more complete structure of the Church continuing to unfold, the
call has again been sounded for the priesthood, and the Saints, to further prepare spiritually for
the great events clearly before us. As the Church is faithful, the further blessings of heaven and
“commandments, not a few” can be expected.

In the bonds of fraternity,
THE FIRST PRESIDENCY
By:



Frederick N. Larsen
                                     Inspired Document
Having given careful and prayerful consideration to the needs of the Church, particularly regarding the office of
the Bishopric, and in response to what I perceived as divine guidance in the early morning hours of September 1,
2003 and additionally confirmed in direct petition to our heavenly Father on September 19, 2003, the following is
presented to the priesthood in quorums assembled on October 26, 2003:

The Spirit of Inspiration through my servant the President of the High Priesthood and of the Church directs that
it is now time to implement more fully the temporal law of my Church. It shall be in fulfillment of, and according
to, the pattern given previously in my law.

My servant W. Kevin Romer, if willing to serve, is now called from among his brethren of the High Priesthood to
the office of Presiding Bishop of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

He has a deep abiding faith and testimony of the divinity and renewal of my Church, and if he accepts, will be
blessed with all the powers of heaven at his disposal. This call is made now because the time grows short for the
redemption of my Zion and the work of the Bishopric must proceed with all haste. Preparation must be made
before the next General Conference in order that the work towards fulfillment of the temporal law may be
hastened. My servant Kevin Romer shall be free to select his counselors as wisdom and inspiration directs. This
calling also bestows upon my servant the office of President of the Aaronic Priesthood, which priesthood has the
power to administer the outward ordinances and the ministering of angels. This is in harmony with the covenants
and commandments already given.

Opportunity for approval of this call should be granted to the priesthood quorums here assembled, and later,
approval afforded to the membership body at the next General Conference.

The Spirit directs further:

I have set in my Church those offices of priesthood necessary to bring to pass the building of my earthly
Kingdom-even Zion. It is now the duty of every man called to priesthood office to magnify his calling and make
preparation before the night comes. I will honor those who respond in righteousness with the powers of heaven,
for it will require those powers for the work that lies ahead. Continue to seek the endowment you so eagerly look
for, which will only come through the further sanctification of your everyday lives.

I have blessed you thus far, my little flock, speaking concerning the membership at large, with many gifts and my
Holy Spirit as you have followed the pattern in the restitution of my Church. Continue to be faithful, humble, and
unified in your worship and service to me and, as promised earlier, my Zion will unfold before you.

Thus saith the Spirit, Amen.

Your servant in Christ,



Frederick N. Larsen, President of the Church
October 26, 2003
                                                         BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
                                                     W. Kevin Romer - Lee’s Summit, Missouri

                                          met at Graceland, in 1977. They have two children, Annie and
                                          Andrew, both currently attending Park University in Parkville,
                                          Missouri. Brother Romer attended both Graceland College and
                                          Park College, graduating Cum Laude from Park in June 1980 with
                                          a degree in Business Administration and a concentration in
                                          Accounting.
                                               During his 23-year career in the Property and Casualty
W. Kevin Romer was born                   Insurance field he has held various management positions, the last
September 9, 1957 near Chicago,           four years as Vice-President of claims for Fireman’s Fund
Illinois and was baptized into the        Insurance Company. He currently is responsible for their Property
Reorganized Church September 3,           Claims division, which pays out over one billion dollars in claims
1966. His parents are Elder Bruce E.      annually.
Romer and Dorothy L. Romer                     Brother Romer was ordained a Priest in 1981, an Elder in
(deceased). He is a third generation      1994 and a High Priest in 2003. He has served in the Church as
member of the church with his             Youth Leader and Bishop’s agent. After years of holding fast to
grandfather Elder Orrin Romer             the Rod of Iron during the Dark and Cloudy years, he and his
(deceased) being a convert to the         family affiliated with the Remnant Church in April of 2002 with a
Reorganization in the 1920’s. Kevin       strong personal testimony of the Lord’s hand in the renewal of His
married Lois S. F. Seiple, whom he        Church. #




                  Statement of Acceptance and Testimony
                         Priesthood Assembly – Independence, Mo – October 26, 2003
It is an extremely humbling experience to stand          Remnant movement, we knew about the
before you. I have been touched by the Holy Spirit       Proclamation to the Faithful and they came out to
in a way that there is no doubt in my mind of this       share their testimony. After that visit Lois and I and
call. I am thrilled to serve in any way that I can to    the kids really studied. And as we studied, and
assist in this great work that He has called all of us   sought the truth with a willing heart and an open
to. My mind goes back to King Benjamin in the            mind to the Spirit of the Lord, it was brought to us
Book of Mormon and the type of leader he was in          that indeed this group of Remnant Saints were
the Church back then. I think the best description is    following the same pattern set down for the
“servant-leader” and I truly believe that our prophet,   Reorganization and the restoration of His Church.
Brother Fred Larsen, is setting that example for us.         When Brother Fred sent out his letter prior to
None of us should be above the other, and we must        the General Conference of April 2002, the Spirit
all be fitly framed together for a perfect system.       bore witness again. A voice spoke from heaven
That pattern was set by our Lord and Savior, Jesus       regarding the truthfulness of his being the prophet,
Christ himself, when he was here on this earth.          seer, and revelator to this His Church. Renewal was
    I would like to share with you my testimony, the     indeed taking place! We attended Conference that
journey on which the Lord has taken my family and        year, having affiliated by then with the Church.
me over the last two years, starting with a visit from   Again I bear witness there were angels present
Brothers Steve Church and Albert Burdick to              during Brother Larsen’s ordination. Indeed, the
Sacramento, California. We had heard of the              visions and blessings of old were returning to the
Church. It was again time for the building up of His      able to work out of my home here in the Center
kingdom.                                                  Place of Zion.
    We attended the Colorado Reunion in June of                We attended the 2003 General Conference
2002, and something very interesting happened             where I was ordained a High Priest. Again the Lord
there. Between services I happened to be sitting          moved and we closed on our house that very week,
across the table from a woman in the dining hall.         and we were actually able to buy a house while here
We were talking about the financial law and               in the Center Place. There is no doubt in my mind
stewardship. She looked me straight in the eye and        concerning the Lord’s hand in our lives during that
asked me, “Was I going to be the next Bishop of the       period. We knew we were to be here for a purpose.
Church?” Well I hadn’t had an inkling until that          So, indeed, when President Larsen came to our
moment of such a call. But from that time forth the       home recently I really wasn’t surprised when he
Spirit rested upon me in such a way that it was clear     shared with me what the Lord wanted me to do. So
our family was to gather here to the Center Place.        today, I humbly accept this call, should the General
Lois and I struggled with that a little bit because we    Conference approve the revelatory document and
knew the law and that things need to be done in           my calling.
order, and the need for a Bishop. We talked with               The only reservation I have, and I shared this
each other and said “Well, what if I’m to be that         with Brother Larsen when he was at our home, I
Bishop, how can we gather?” But the Lord kept             know the burdens of this office will be great. There
taking care of things and urging us to gather. In         will be many who will look to the Presiding Bishop
November 2002, I felt it was necessary to put our         for answers relating to the financial law, how the
house on the market, sell it, and rent a place until      Kingdom will be built up here in the Center Place,
June of 2004, because things at work were such that       and I am concerned about that as well. I am sure
I was committed contractually with my company             many of you brethren have felt a similar concern
until then. I couldn’t in good faith walk away from       whenever you have had to preach a sermon—will
those obligations.                                        the Lord really be there when you need Him, or
    In February, President Larsen called us and said      would He leave you to your own? I know I can’t
he would be coming out to California, and that he         possibly do this work on my own.
wanted to visit with us. He did so late that month             Some days ago I went over to the Church office
and shared with us my son’s calling to the office of      to meet with President Larsen. On the way over, the
Priest, and my calling to the office of High Priest. It   Spirit fell upon me so heavily I could barely see
has been my experience that when the Lord asks            through the tears to drive my car. In that experience
you to do something He clears the way! He doesn’t         the Lord promised He would be with us all in our
always guarantee a smooth road but He provides a          callings, that indeed, Zion might be freed from her
way. The very week Brother Larsen came out we             bondage. I understand the sacred and the holy trust
sold our house.                                           the Lord places on this office in the Church; to use
    As time went on I continued to feel the pressing      the widow’s mite in a way and a manner designed
need to gather, and not wait until 2004. Again the        of God; that whoever holds this office must be
Lord moved in our lives, things changed at work           above reproach; that there must be confidentiality in
and the assignment that I had was changing. So I          a way that builds trust, and a oneness for His
went to my boss, under what I believe was the             kingdom, that indeed, Zion might be sanctified as
direction of the Spirit, and asked if there were any      we fulfill the law. So Brethren, I indeed dedicate my
reason why I couldn’t carry out my new assignment         life to His service, to assist in this great work in any
from anywhere in the country. A couple of days            way that I am able, under His Spirit and direction. I
later, after she had talked with the C.E.O. of the        earnestly ask for your support and your prayers, that
company, she said yes, they would allow me to             the Heavenly Father might continue to bless us all
relocate. The Lord had cleared the way for me to be       as we move onward to Zion. Thank you. #
New Converts in Belgium
Pictured at right, the Custers family, Brussels, Belgium. Meet Brother and
Sister Francis and Nathalie with their three children, Noemie (center),
Anne Marie (left), and Debora (right).

By way of added comment to the testimony appearing on the opposite
page, following extensive communication over a period of many weeks it
was determined that President Frederick N. Larsen and Apostle V. Lee
Killpack should undertake a trip to visit the Custers in their homeland.
After obtaining a very modest airfare rate, arrangements for the trip were
undertaken to occur during the dates of October 16-22, 2003. The brethren
were guests in the home. While visiting with the Custers family intense
periods of instruction culminated in the baptism and confirmation of
Brother and Sister Custers and the blessing of their three children.

The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was partaken of with our new members in Belgium following their
confirmations. Among the many remarkable experiences which occurred during the visit of President Larsen
and Apostle Killpack was the ordination of Brother Francis to the office of Elder. Of further interest is the
information that prayers in behalf of Anne Marie, who was scheduled to have tubes placed in her ears,
resulted in returning from her doctor’s appointment with a report the procedure would not be necessary.

Brother Custers has an intense desire to share the “good news” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is looking
forward to the day when a branch of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints may be
established in his homeland.



                                                    Canadian Incorporation Achieved
                       It is with special pleasure we are now able to announce the formal incorporation of
                       the Church in Canada. Elder Kevin Mills of the Toronto Branch has carried major
                        responsibility in pursuing this process, which began in November of 2001, to its
                        successful completion.

                        With legal status having been granted, although a few minor details remain to be
       wrapped up, Canadian Saints may now look forward to their contributions also being recognized for
    income tax exemption purposes. Brother Mills in his FAX, reporting the good news, tells of interesting
    and surprising little events that moved the process forward. He concludes by saying “We solemnly
    believe, and testify, that this was all done with the Lord’s timing and not by our design. Let all
thanksgiving, praise, honour and glory be His is our prayer in Christ Jesus.” Congratulations to our
Canadian Saints who will now have legal denominational status for the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints in Joseph’s land “northward.”
                  An Intriguing Testimony from Abroad
                          (Translated from the French Language)




    We are the Custers family from Bruxelles, Belgium. It is with great joy and humility that
we share with you our testimony of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ and his wonderful
Church, the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are a family of five;
my name is Francis, my wife is Nathalie and our three children are Noemie (8 years old),
Anne Marie (7) and Debora (2).
    We are simple people who live in a beautiful country. My wife and I were born into non-
practicing Catholic families. We have always had faith in God and His Gospel. We have
attended the Catholic Church a little, but have never found our place with them. We were
looking for a church that would be more in harmony with the true Word of God. One day I
was prompted to surf the Internet, and by the grace of God I fell upon the wonderful site of this
[Remnant] Church. We will never thank our Savior enough for having guided us to your
Internet site. The first instant I saw it, a powerful emotion washed over me in the deepest part
of my being. It said: THIS IS WHAT YOU'VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR; THERE IS
THE TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS OUR SAVIOR. After having written to Independence,
to my great surprise, our wonderful Apostle Lee Killpack took the time and patience to answer
us. His kindness and love have touched us so deeply, we have tears in our eyes and testify of it
to you.
    As time went on, he sent us the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants which
we have come to know and love. We read them every day; they are a true spiritual feast for us.
We give thanks to God for these sacred writings, and testify to you with all the energy in our
souls that the Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants are the Word of God. We
have had the opportunity to experiment with the promise of Moroni in chapter 10:3-5. We
testify that if you follow righteously with faith what Moroni tells us in these verses, you will
have an answer from our Heavenly Father.
    Sadly, we are in a country where the Church does not exist, where there are no priesthood,
no Saints, hymns or baptism, no one to teach every Sunday. But in this spiritual desert, God
has started to open a door to make known his Gospel and His true Church. We know we have
a responsibility to bring the Gospel to the world, and show that the teachings of Jesus Christ
bring a solution to the problems of humanity. The world must know that the Church is being
directed by a true prophet of God, and by true Apostles of Christ. Continue to embrace them
with love, and see that you are by their sides to serve.
    Be fervent in spirit, humble, and devoted; take every effort to save yourselves and all those
you have brought to the Gospel of God. Brothers and sisters, let us serve together for this cause
in unity. Let us not ask what the Gospel can do for you, but what we can do for the Church,
and then act. We end our testimony by saying we love you and are blessed to know you because
you are the chosen people of God. We thank with all our hearts dear Brother Lee and his wife,
and Megan [Robb] and Armand [Wijckmans] for what they do for us. We are happy to share
our testimony with anyone! God bless you all!

                                                                      The Custers Family
                            From the Quorum of Twelve
     In April of 1954, our Lord through President Israel      Lord’s Supper, ordination, blessing of children, and
A. Smith said, “The field of opportunity in new places        administration to the sick were once again administered
is great in all areas, and there are men who earnestly        on the European Continent. Brother Custers was
desire to do missionary work… the growing desire for          ordained to the office of Elder in the Melchisedec
missionary work will be amply rewarded, and the               Priesthood. His desire to witness in his homeland will
Church will be blessed even more than in the past” (D         bear positive results.
& C 143:3b, 4). Now, nearly 50 years later, the Church             After extensive planning, a January-February-March
again is challenged that the “field of opportunity is great   2004 Missionary Emphasis in the Center Place,
in all areas.” The priesthood structure of the Church is      sponsored by the Quorum of Twelve and the Seventy,
now in place. The flame of evangelistic spirit has been       has been formally presented to the priesthood of each of
ignited and the opportunity lies before us.                   the three Center Place congregations. Local leadership
     The Quorum of Twelve has been responding on              will now be actively making preparations for a harvest of
many fronts to new “fields of opportunity.” Listed below      souls. The priesthood and members alike recognize that
are some of those “fronts.”                                   the “field is white already to harvest.” Pray that the Lord
     Apostles Wayne A. Bartrow and Robert E.                  of the Harvest will send more workers!
Ostrander, assisted by Seventies Richard L. Wilson and             In the Pacific Northwest Seventy James Watkins is
John L. Dollen, have responded to contacts in Sault Ste.      working to establish a group in the Boise, Idaho area,
Marie and Toronto, Ontario; Garden City and Traverse          where services are currently being held once a month.
City, Michigan; Follensbee, West Virginia; and                Seventy John L. Dollen is presently making contacts
Coshocton, Ohio. Potential exists for establishing new        with potential new members in the Maryland/
branches in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Garden City,           Washington D.C. area.
Michigan, and in New Martinsville, West Virginia.                  The Quorum of Twelve has been responding to
     Apostles Leland V. Collins and Gary L. Argotsinger,      several contacts outside the continental United States.
joined by Seventy Donald W. Burnett, recently held a          We are hopeful that present contacts in Belgium,
missionary series in Cameron, Missouri. Positive fruit        Holland, Italy, England, and Russia may one day bear
was borne and it is hoped, with continued efforts, a          fruit.
branch of the Remnant Church may be established.                   The Twelve currently have two functioning
Brother Argotsinger will soon be pursuing openings in         committees: one responsible for the development of an
the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area.                     “Instructional Manual for the Seventy” and the other to
     Apostle V. Lee Killpack and Patriarch E. Dan             produce revised “Go Ye and Teach” missionary
Gough have reported from a recent trip that opportunity       materials. Both committees are nearing the completion
to establish groups in the Dallas/Ft. Worth and               of their assigned responsibilities.
Bryan/College Station, Texas areas may soon emerge.                The Twelve currently has oversight of the Church
     Elder Ronnie Rogers of Locust Grove, Oklahoma            Web-page, which has become an effective missionary
has a sincere desire to reach out to native Cherokee          tool. Members of the Quorum are now producing a Basic
Indians living in that region. Books of Mormon have           Beliefs series currently featured on the Web-page.
been supplied to Brother Rogers as a witnessing tool to            In addition to the above cited activities, the Quorum
assist with outreach to the Cherokee Indian Nation.           has responded to numerous preaching and teaching
     Apostles Steve R. Church and James L. Rogers, in         assignments in the Center Place and outlying branches.
association with Seventies Duane Price, Jr., and Richard           The recent revelatory message stated, “It is now the
Trimble, have made numerous visits in the Ava and             duty of every man called to priesthood office to magnify
Carthage Branches of Missouri and in Rogers, Arkansas.        his calling and make preparation before the night
Their efforts are committed to strengthening these            comes.” The promise attached to this counsel stirs the
branches of the Church and are already bearing positive       hearts of our Quorum. May all who have accepted the
fruit.                                                        oath and covenant of priesthood magnify their calling in
     Recently President Frederick N. Larsen and Apostle       the harvest of souls now lying before the Church.
V. Lee Killpack traveled to Belgium to respond to a
family desiring to join the Remnant Church. As a result       For the Quorum of Twelve,
we now have two new members in Brussels. The                  V. Lee Killpack – President
ordinances of baptism, confirmation, sacrament of the
                    THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONTRIBUTE
                                         by Leland V. Collins
                        Sermon at the 2003 In-Town Reunion, Independence, MO


Romans 12 – The words of the great Apostle Paul:        financially, and also to give many countless hours
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies      of labor, and some that are still going to have to go
of God, that ye present your bodies a living            on to maintain this place. But look at what we’ve
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your     got! And it’s still a gift from God, as well as from
reasonable service. And be not conformed to this        you. Because of this response I think that you are
world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of         the most generous people I have ever known. You
your mind, that ye may prove what that good, and        give until it hurts, and then you give more, and you
acceptable, and perfect will of God is.                 keep giving if there is a need. I’ve seen this from
                                                        the Saints from the beginning of my sojourn with


M           y first reunion this year was in Idaho. I them. The great thing about it is that so many of
            was asked to preach and I immediately       them follow the law and are accountable stewards,
            accepted because that is my practice– to the point that this is why they can be generous. It
when I’m asked, I say yes. I think about the is because of the law of the repression of
consequences later! Being very poor in geography I      unnecessary wants. They’ve got something left
thought Idaho surely bordered Missouri– fourteen        over—to help people gather in, and that gathering in
hundred miles later I realized my assumption was process is still going on.
wrong! We had a fantastic time with the Saints there        Paul tells us to present our bodies a living
in Idaho, a precious journey out there and back with sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. And he tells us
the brothers and sisters that I was riding with; I just that this is our reasonable service. For all the good
wouldn’t trade anything for that experience. It’s like  things that I could say about you and your
everything else in the Church—if you don’t go, you      contributions, I’d still have to say it’s still not good
won’t know. If you don’t experience something, if enough; it still falls short of what the heavenly
you don’t try to learn about it, you won’t know; Father has set before us as the standard of his holy
you’ll always have to go by somebody else’s Son, Jesus Christ. Are you willing to lay your very
testimony. That’ll get you by for a while but it’s life down for the work? And even harder than that,
still not good enough.                                  are you willing to move out in faith and become that
     My      subject     is   “The                                       living sacrifice and give your every
Opportunity to Contribute.” The          “I don’t think you can          waking moment to building the
word “contribute” has an                 [prepare] by yourself;          kingdom? “And be not conformed
interesting definition. I always        there must be somebody to this world; but be ye
think of the meaning “to give or                                         transformed by the renewing of
                                         else to serve, someone
to grant, to supply” that’s the                                          your mind, that ye may prove what
common one. But it also had               else involved in this          that good, and acceptable, and
another definition: “to play a                   process.”               perfect will of God is.” [Romans
significant part in bringing about                                       12:2]
an end or a result.” God contributed to the                 When I think about the opportunity to
movement for the kingdom. We have witnessed contribute, I think about service. In what ways can
many contributions here in this [Gathering] Place.      we serve God and contribute to the whole, and at
We know that it was a miracle for us to have this the same time work on becoming holy and
building placed in our possession, and to have this     acceptable unto God? Service is the only way to
land. When we got it, it wasn’t much to look at. But become holy and acceptable unto God. I don’t think
it didn’t take the Saints very long to contribute you can do it by yourself; there must be somebody
else to serve, someone else involved in this process.        The Lord tells us through his servant Isaiah
If we start thinking about “my” salvation, “my” [55:8 & 9] “For my thoughts are not your
kingdom, “my” sanctification, “my” reward, or thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the
“my” glory, I think we’ve missed the mark. We Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the
must strive to help the whole church become the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and
kingdom of God on earth. Zion of old was a city of my thoughts than your thoughts.” Because we are
united people. We must take the “me” out of our lower in thought and ways than our heavenly
thinking and concentrate on the “we.”                    Father, we must echo our thoughts in Christ for
     There are a lot of things that we must needed repentance, as stated by the great psalmist
accomplish and disciplines that we must establish in David in Psalms 51:10-18, “Create in me a clean
our own personal lives. But we must remember to heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
help others to develop those same disciplines. We Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not
must not just read about the kingdom, or think about thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy
the kingdom. People, we are called to “be” the of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free
kingdom.                                                            Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors
     Paul says “be not conformed to this                            thy ways; and sinners shall be converted
world; but be ye transformed by the               Tested,           unto thee.” Once we have found this joy,
renewing of your mind, that ye may prove Tempered,                  this salvation in Christ’s Church, we’ve
what that good, and acceptable, and                                 got to share it. You cannot hold it in; you
perfect will of God is.” Before we are Tried,                       have to seek to bring others into this
baptized we’re natural man, an enemy to              and living same relationship with the heavenly
God; we’ve got to be transformed and                 within the Father that you have found. That’s why I
completely changed to become that new               confines of have cottage meetings whenever I can.
creature. Do you keep the Sabbath day                               That’s why I went to Idaho, even if I
holy? Babylon teaches that it is okay to go         Discipline didn’t know where it was!
to ballgames on Sunday; that it is okay to                              “The sacrifices of God are a broken
watch the Chiefs on TV. Babylon teaches                             spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O
it’s okay to play golf or do whatever thing that         God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good
occupies our time on the Sabbath other than pleasure unto Zion; build thou the walls of
worship, prayer, and fasting. We should be studying Jerusalem.” [Psa 51: 17-18] When I think about the
and meeting with the Saints often to talk about the opportunity that each one of us has today to
goodness and mercy of God, who condescends to            contribute to the work of the kingdom I have to look
men and blesses us immensely.                            back at some of the contributions that were made by
     We must be transformed by the indwelling of our predecessors in this Western Hemisphere as
the Holy Spirit of God so we can become those new recorded in the Book of Mormon. Some of my
creatures that we are called to be after our baptisms. favorite characters are Alma and the sons of
With renewed minds and great faith, we can now be Mosiah. I relate to the great apostle Paul—not that
new creatures, and prove it so by implementing into I’ll ever be as dedicated and willing to put my life
our very being what is good and acceptable, and          on the line—but those New World people are the
what that perfect will of God is for each of us. We ones I look up to. The sons of Mosiah and Alma had
must be the latter-day Saint—tested, tempered and        rebelled, and rejected the teachings of their parents,
tried, and living within the confines of discipline—a fighting against the Church. This is a very familiar
discipline within the kingdom of God and the theme in today’s world. They had an experience just
parameters of the laws of that kingdom, even the like Paul did on the road to Damascus, one that
Celestial Kingdom. This renewing of our minds and turned them around and changed their lives forever.
attitudes must take place, because our tendency is They had to share this experience. They chose to go
always to slide back into that natural man who is an to a land where they could be killed, the land of the
enemy to God.                                            Lamanites. These men were Nephites and they were
hated enemies of the Lamanites, but they wanted to do, that I may have this eternal life of which thou
teach the Lamanites the folly of their present ways, hast spoken?... Behold, said he, I will give up all
and convert them to the Lord Jesus Christ.             that I possess; yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that
    Ammon, one of the sons of Mosiah, converted I may receive this great joy… the king did bow
King Lamoni, who believed the words of Ammon;          down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, even
King Lamoni soon learned exactly what he looked he did prostrate himself upon the earth, and cried
like in the eyes of Almighty God, and it overcame mightily, saying, O God, … wilt thou make thyself
him. The dark veil of unbelief was cast away from known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to
his mind, and the truth overcame his natural frame; know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead,
he was carried away in God. The King lay there for and be saved at the last day.”
two days and two nights, and the servants thought          This king was truly converted. He sent a
he was dead. They wanted to bury him; they even proclamation throughout the land “that Aaron and
said he began to stink, but Ammon knew he wasn’t       his brethren went forth from city to city,… to
dead. The queen asked of Ammon what was going preach and to teach the word of God among them;
on and Ammon told her the king was ‘sleeping in        … And thousands were brought to the knowledge
God’ at this time and that tomorrow he would           of the Lord,…as many of the Lamanites as
awaken.                                                believed in their preaching, and were converted
    This woman believed, “And                                         unto the Lord, never did fall away,
Ammon said unto her, Blessed art             “Is your faith so        for they became a righteous people:
thou, because of thy exceeding faith;        strong that you           They did lay down the weapons of
I say unto thee, woman, there has            could walk out           their rebellion, that they did not
not been such great faith among all        there without any fight against God any more, neither
the people of the Nephites.” And she                                  against any of their brethren.”
watched over the bed that night and
                                               weapons and                These people buried their
the next day, according to the words        become a human            weapons; they were used to going
of Ammon, and the king arose and he         sacrifice because         down to the land of the Nephites and
stretched forth his hand to his wife          you refused to          murdering, stealing, and plundering.
and said “Blessed be the name of              harm another            Now they had this great change that
God, and blessed art thou; For as                                     had come over them and they had
                                                 human?”
sure as thou livest, behold, I have                                   buried their weapons and made a
seen my Redeemer; and he shall                                        covenant with the heavenly Father
come forth and be born of a woman, and he shall        that they would never stain those weapons again
redeem all mankind who believe on his name.” with the blood of any human. Immediately
[Alma 12:140]                                          Lamanites from other lands got word of this change
    This timetable is about 90 years before Christ and didn’t like the fact that the Lamanites had made
was born. King Lamoni, being converted, wanted         friends with the Nephites. Immediately these
his father, who was king over all the land to also be  converts were attacked by neighboring Lamanites
converted. This was Aaron’s job. Alma 13:45            and “when the people saw that they were coming
begins the narrative: “And Aaron did expound unto against them, they went out to meet them, and
him the scriptures, from the creation of Adam,         prostrated themselves before them to the earth,
laying the fall of man before him, and their carnal and began to call on the name of the Lord; And
state, and also the plan of redemption, which was      thus they were in this attitude when the Lamanites
prepared from the foundation of the world,             began to fall upon them, and began to slay them
through Christ, for all whosoever would believe on with the sword.” [Alma 14: 49-50] Is your faith so
his name… but the sufferings and death of Christ       strong that you could walk out there without any
atoneth for their sins, through faith and              weapons and become a human sacrifice because you
repentance,… that after Aaron had expounded refused to harm another human? “and thus without
these things unto him, the king said, What shall I meeting any resistance, they did slay a thousand
                                                       and five of them; … Now when the Lamanites saw
that their brethen would not flee from the sword,      faith that kept them alive during battle: their
… but that they would lie down and perish, and         mothers. How important it is today, in the spiritual
praised God even in the very act of perishing          battle that we are presently engaged in, for the
under the sword; …they did forbear from slaying        mothers to teach their children! Paul tells us in
them; …they threw down their weapons of war,           Ephesians 6 to “Put on the whole armor of God,
and they would not take them again, …the people        that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of
of God were joined that day by more than the           the devil… against the rulers of the darkness of
number who had been slain….” Over a thousand           this world, against spiritual wickedness in high
of them were slain, but more than that number were     places.” We’re in a spiritual battle, much more
converted to the Church of Jesus Christ. God does      violent than anything physical that can happen to
work in mysterious ways!                               us, because it has eternal implications.
    About twenty years later came the advent of             To perform every word of command with
Helaman’s 2000—a group of young men who had            exactness – that’s what we have to do with the
not been born when their parents made their            scriptures. None of them can be passed over lightly.
covenant with God not to take up weapons again.        We have to implement all of them in our lives
These young men vowed to “protect the land unto        exactly as they are written. We are young as a
the laying down of their lives… that they never        Church, and we must put our faith and trust in God
would give up their liberty, but they would fight…     to the same degree that these young men did as they
to protect the Nephites and themselves from            were about to face seasoned warriors. If God is on
bondage… Helaman did march at the head of his          your side, you can’t lose. The opportunity to
two thousand stripling soldiers…” How did they         contribute all of ourselves to this cause is presently
have that kind of faith to go against these seasoned   at hand. O
warriors and in most cases, defeat them? Only with
the help of God. You know who taught them this

P
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                                                                                       Above: Two members of
 Above: Three of the Michigan
                                                                                       the Quorum of Twelve
 brethren enjoy a moment of
                                                                                       talk things over at the
 reflection.
                                                                                       evening     meal     on
                                                                                       Saturday.
 Right: An evening worship led by the
 Order of Patriarch/Evangelists ends
 Saturday’s sessions.
    BLESSINGS DERIVED
    STEWARDSHIP OBEDIENCE
F
R
O
M

                                       By Marjorie Spease
             Given at a Combined “Stewardship” service of First and Center Congregations

     My parents were committed to the financial law      wanted to see me. I couldn=t imagine why Mr.
and their children grew up with that example. My         Thomas didn=t just stop by my desk as he always
first [accounting] statement was filed very soon         did when he needed to talk with me. In the privacy
after my baptism, beginning a practice which has         of his office, I was told that the Government had
remained throughout my life.                             some highly confidential work which must be done
     As a boy, my husband Carson had a horse. He         for a few weeks. I never knew how or why I was
became an excellent rider and learned much about         chosen to do this, and I was a bit uneasy and
horses and their care. When he was a very young          nervous about the secrecy. I told no one. Not even
man, he got a job on a beautiful farm between            my sisters with whom I lived knew that I was doing
Liberty and North Kansas City. Carson=s work             anything other than my regular work, and to this
consisted mainly of helping care for the owner=s         day, I have not told anyone except my husband
string of racehorses. He liked that farm, he liked his   exactly what I did. A few days after all was
work, and he decided that farming was a good life.       completed and I was beginning to relax a bit, I got
Later, when Carson and I met at Far West Stake           another memo: my boss wanted to see me at my
Reunion, I learned very early that the dream of his      earliest convenience. I was petrified; all I could
life was to become a farmer.                             think was that there must have been a leak and I
     After we were married, we kept up with our          might be blamed, even though I knew I was
tithing, and before he went overseas in World War        innocent. When I stepped into Mr. Thomas= office
II, we would often try to figure what it would cost      and he said, “You=d better sit down,” I was even
to get a start in farming. Always we ended with the      more frightened. Then he said, “I have here in my
same answer: there was no way we could ever come         hand a communication from the Vice-President of
up with enough money! But the dream persisted.           Boeing.” I thought “Oh my! If this has gone all the
When Carson went overseas, there was a 5% pay            way to the top, how awful can it be?”
raise, but his Sergeant=s take-home pay was still less       Then Mr. Thomas said, “The Vice-President has
than $100 a month. He signed forms for the               given instructions that because of your recent work,
government to send most of his salary directly to        you are to be raised to the top of your pay scale,
the bank. He drew just over $4.00 per month for          effective immediately.” I almost burst out crying
himself and, when he came home, he had all of that       with relief, and with joy, because I was working ten
except what he spent to buy a gift for me as he came     hours a day, six and often seven days a week, and I
back through Paris!                                      knew that with so many hours and that wonderful
     While he was gone, I worked in the Master           pay raise, Carson=s dream just might be in sight. I
Control office at Boeing. If our work was                was cautioned that for obvious reasons, my raise
satisfactory, we received a five-cent per hour pay       would also have to be kept confidential, so I
raise approximately every three months until we          couldn=t tell even my husband until he got home
reached the top of our pay scale, which took a long      after the war ended.
time. Every month, I managed to live on one week=s           I kept up with our tithing and, when Carson did
salary and sent the other three weeks= pay to the        get home, he was offered a job with Santa Fe
bank. One morning, I received a memo that my boss        Trailways Bus Co. It was tempting, but after a few
days of thinking it over, he decided to follow his    said our home was safe--nothing to worry about.
dream, and he ordered a new tractor. There were       But the predictions from the Corps of Engineers
long waiting lists, but veterans were given priority, were ominous, so Carson began watching the levees
so in a couple of months his shiny new red tractor    very often, both day and night. When the water was
arrived! We had put our name                                                lapping almost at the top of the
on waiting lists at several                                                 levees and the crest had not yet
appliance stores too, so in four
                                          “We were making                   reached Omaha, 100 miles
or five months we had the              enough to get by, but                north, Carson hurriedly moved
major appliances we needed.           as we purchased more all his equipment to my sister=s
Carson had rented some                                                      and her husband=s farm which
farmland, and so far we had
                                         equipment that he                  was on much higher ground.
paid cash for everything with          needed, there never                      We moved all our furniture
money that had already been           seemed to be enough                   upstairs, except our freezer and
tithed. We were making enough         money left over to pay                my piano. The freezer was full,
to get by, but as we purchased                                              so had to be taken to where it
more equipment that he needed,             all of our tithing.”             could be plugged into
there never seemed to be                                                    electricity. Carson and a
enough money left over to pay all of our tithing.     neighbor put my piano up on cement blocks and
    We bought a new John Deere self-propelled         thought it would surely be safe. About three weeks
combine. We were living in northwest Missouri,        later when we were able to get back to our home,
and it was the first self-propelled combine in the we found the water line inside our house was 41
area. We=d had lots of rain that spring, so Carson    inches high. What a mess, and what a lot of hard
bought from Boeing the wheels and tires from a work faced us. But my piano was on the cement
B-17 bomber and had them put on his combine. blocks looking perfectly fine, until the men started
With those “humongous” tires, he was able to cut to move it to clean under it. The moment they
our wheat on ground so soft and muddy a tractor       touched it, it just collapsed into a thousand pieces.
couldn=t go through it, let alone a tractor trying to So we didn=t lose any farm equipment or any
pull a conventional combine. Men began to come furniture except the piano, but we lost 200 acres of
by—neighbors and even men from ten or fifteen beautiful wheat, and by the time the ground dried
miles away, asking Carson to come cut their wheat. enough to plant the later crops, it was so late that
The combine almost paid for itself that year, a very they didn=t mature. We had no income that year
real blessing to us. And the $5,000 we paid for the except what Carson made providing the service of
combine added another $500 to our tithing debt.       custom combining, and the bulk of our tithing
    During this time, Carson was attending school     remained unpaid, even though we kept trying to
under the GI Bill. He went Tuesday and Thursday whittle it down a bit.
nights and Saturdays. They finished in less than          Not long after we moved to a church-owned
three and one-half years because they did not stop    farm at Atherton, Missouri, we were filling out our
for the summers. On graduation night, a letter was annual tithing statement and trying to figure out
read from the President of the University of how much we could afford to pay. I=m sure
Missouri, congratulating the men and saying that everyone knows that farmers don=t live from a
their certificate was the equivalent to a degree in month-to-month paycheck. Farm income is from
Agriculture. We felt that was a huge blessing. While crop to crop - sometimes two or three a year,
he was in school, we received a Veteran=s check       sometimes one, and sometimes none, as in the case
each month to help with living expenses, which was of flood or severe drought. So it takes very careful
a very great help. Also, during this time, we had a planning ahead. When we had finished our
beautiful baby boy and life was looking good.         statement, the best we could do, we would still owe
    Then there was a flood. The mighty Missouri $963.89 tithing. Neither Carson nor I have ever
River got bluff-to-bluff in Holt County. Old timers forgotten that number, which is a fair sum even
today, but to a young couple with a two-year-old         Champion,” another for “Jackson County Farm
son in 1954, it was an awesome amount. We signed         Family of the Year.” I don=t remember what they all
the statement and wrote a check for what we could        are—they=ve been in that box a lot of years, but they
afford to pay. As I was putting them in an envelope,     are absolute evidence of the temporal blessings we
Carson looked at me and said, “If we don=t make          received, and both Carson and I are convinced that
enough this year to pay off our tithing, I=m going to    much of this was in response to that evening when
the bank and borrow enough money to pay it.” I           he made a very solemn determination that our
blinked a few times, but I knew he was committed         $963.89 of tithing was going to be paid in full that
to what he had said.                                     year.
    Our wheat crop turned out exceptionally well             This has all been about temporal blessings, but
that summer, and the day the harvest was finished,       we=ve had many others. A short time ago, Carson
Carson came in, and I guess we twirled around the        was looking out of our apartment over McCoy Park
kitchen a few times, we were so happy. And he said,      toward the Truman Library, and I said, “Are you
“When you get a minute, write a check to the             wishing you could be out in a field on a tractor
Bishop for $963.89 and we=ll get it in the mail          digging up soil?” And he said, “Yes, I am.” So
tomorrow.” The fall crops were good, too, and all        perhaps the greatest blessing that came to us was
the remaining years were pretty good, except one         that we spent most of our lives doing what he dearly
when we had a drought. Even that year was not a          loved, in an area where we could also be very active
total loss financially, and it was a happy year          in Christ=s Church. We are so thankful to still be a
because we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl.      part of that Church, “The Remnant Church of Jesus
    In our storage area there is a box full of plaques   Christ of Latter Day Saints.” We have truly been
and awards. There is one for outstanding corn            blessed.
production, one that says “National Soybean




                                           By Mary Lou Bartrow

During a recent Communion Sunday, I felt The             obedience to God by filing our tithing statement
Holy Spirit very strongly during our Prayer and          before the Bishop was called?@ I thought, we have
Testimony Service. It flowed into our Sacrament          too few filers on record, what was holding us back?
Service and the ministry of music. I listened to the
words of Christ being expounded and they touched         Then I remembered the story of the rich young
my heart anew. All day long they seemed to stay          ruler. He could not follow Jesus because he would
with me. The evening service was a combined              not give up all that he had accumulated. He had
worship with our other branches. It was wonderful        lacked just that one thing. Is this not like some of
and warm to embrace each other in His love. The          us? Do we not hesitate to make an accounting to the
prelude music was so beautiful and uplifting, and all    Lord and pay our required tithes because we have
the music thereafter. In the preached word, the          so much, or possibly because we have other
theme began “It Pleaseth God....” Our substance          immediate plans for its use? Everything is really
was mentioned and explained, that it was not             God=s; we just have a hard time parting with it. It is
measured in the value of things we acquired, but by      my prayer that in the future, God will find us more
our heart and what was in it. We were asked,             faithful and obedient servants.
AWouldn=t it be good if we would exercise our
                                                                 The Call to Sainthood
                                                 By Eugene Harrington
                                        Sermon given at Blue Springs Congregation

     This challenge to Sainthood has been put forth                     realize it needs improvement. The financial law
to us in many ways and many times; it has                               skipped a beat the last few years for us; now that we
challenged me because I have been a procrastinator.                     have again found the old, old path, things are much
I was watering the fruit trees because we have had                      improved. The Word of Wisdom and prayer have
no rain, and the ground was very dry. They each                         been strong, but there=s always room for
need five gallons of water a week; I thought of                         improvement. We have family prayer in the
myself not properly watering this soul. I hope that                     morning, and family and individual prayers in the
we can catch a glimpse of the vision that He has for                    evening, but Paul in Thessalonians says to pray
us as a people, for if the people have no vision, they                  without ceasing. It means we should pray for those
will perish. We often think that we can sit back,                       in need, in our family and for others. In Korea, there
listen, and help those in need, but then not do what                    was a large congregation that went to the
the Lord wants us to do.                                                mountaintop once a month to pray for eight hours. I
     There is a story of a young lad who came to his                    wonder how long we would last if we tried that!
minister and said “I believe the Bible, but there are                   Would we be able to stay on our knees for that
some things in it that I question, like Jonah in the                    long? Would we soon be repeating ourselves in our
whale.” The minister looked at the lad, who was                         prayers? Daniel prayed three times a day. In Alma
just sitting down to a dinner of fresh mackerel, and                    in the Book of Mormon, it says, “Yea, humble
said, “Don=t worry about the bones, don=t waste                         yourselves and continue in prayer unto him; cry
your time on them; just put them aside and eat the                      [pray] unto him when you are in your fields; yea,
meat.”                                                                  over all your flocks; cry unto him in your houses,
     Several weeks ago we were talking about time                       yea, over all of your household, both morning,
on our hands, time to do this or that. Here is a poem                   mid-day, and evening; yea, cry unto him against
I=d like to share with you:                                             the power of your enemies;...Cry unto him over the
                                                                        crops of your fields, that you may prosper in them;
  I knelt to pray, but not for long, I had too much to do;
  I had to hurry and get to work, for bills would soon be due;
                                                                        cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may
  So I knelt and said a hurried prayer, and jumped up off my knees;     increase. But this is not all; ye must pour out your
  My Christian duty was now done, my soul could rest at ease.           souls in your closets, and your secret places, and
  All day long I had no time to spread a word of cheer;
                                                                        in your wilderness; yea, and when you do not cry
  No time to speak of Christ to friends, they=d laugh at me I=d fear;   unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, and drawn
  No time, no time, too much to do, that was my constant cry,           out in prayer unto him continually for your
  No time to give to souls in need, but at last the time to die.
                                                                        welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are
  I went before the Lord, I came and stood with downcast eyes,          around you. And behold, my brethren, I say unto
  For in His hands God held a book, it was the book of my life.         you, Do not suppose that this is all; for after ye
  God looked into His book and said AYour name I cannot find,
  I once was going to write it down, but I never found the time.@
                                                                        have done all these things, if ye turn away the
                                                                        needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and
   Study has been one of my weaker points, and I                        afflicted, and impart of your substance if ye have,
to those who stand in need; I say unto you, If ye do instruction that comes forth from the Word of God.
not any of these things, behold, your prayer is Years ago my Mom and Dad would plant a huge
vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as           garden; we had potatoes, strawberries, peas and
hypocrites who do deny the faith.” (Alma 16:219-        carrots, radishes--just name it, we had it. It turned
224) That is a strong admonition! Along with out well to the benefit of the whole family. When
praying is giving to the needy. In Genesis, the         we were ready to move to Blue Springs we again
description of the city of Enoch said they were of decided to have a big garden; we=ll have everything
one heart and one mind and dwelt in righteousness, we can produce, as we have plenty of room.
but there were no poor among them. Mosiah relates       However, it didn=t turn out too well; I hadn=t paid
similar words. There=s a story of a lady who was enough attention to what Dad and Mom did!
continually giving to the Church for the needs of the Sometimes I don=t pay close enough attention to
people. One day she had to do the laundry (in her what the Lord is trying to do in my life; sometimes I
day there were no washing machines, dryers, and falter and fail.
refrigerators); she had a copper                                                  I relate that to the gospel;
kettle and a washboard, but she                                               we read and study and pray
couldn=t find any soap. She              “One day she had to do               and try to follow His Word,
looked in her purse and fingered       the laundry; … she had a               but sometimes we “mess up,”
a few coins; she thought she                                                  and sometimes the results are
                                            copper kettle and a
could go to the store and buy                                                 pretty sad. I refer to the
some soap, but the Spirit told             washboard, but she                 guidelines that the Lord has
her, “No”--those coins were to          couldn=t find any soap….              provided as “recipes for life.”
be put aside for the Church. She         There came a knock on                In the end, when our final
was also short of milk and food        her door, and there was a              product comes forth, it will
for the children=s breakfast She       man in the uniform of the              show how well we followed
did not know what was going to            day which advertised                God=s Word. We have to pay
take place. Back in those days,                                               close attention and follow
there     were      door-to-door
                                         Oxydol Soap.He said, ‘I              those instructions, for there are
salesmen who would come to                have a little sample of             no shortcuts in the gospel.
neighborhoods and give little              soap for you today.’”              There=s only one way into the
samples to advertise their                                                    Kingdom, and that is through
products. There came a knock on her door, and the “door” which He has provided.
there was a man in the uniform of the day which             Before Enoch was removed into heaven, he
advertised Oxydol Soap. He said, “I have a little observed, “...I beheld the angels descending out of
sample of soap for you today”; she replied, “Isn=t      heaven bearing the testimony of the Father and of
that interesting; I was going to do my laundry but the Son, and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and
did not have a bit of soap; as a matter of fact I have they were caught up by the powers of heaven unto
hardly any money.” The salesman went back out to Zion. And it came to pass that the God of Heaven
his car and returned with a big box of Oxydol. She      looked upon the residue of the people and wept.”
thanked him and he left. As she was preparing for And Enoch bore record of it saying, “How is it that
the laundry, there came another knock on the door; you can weep, seeing you are holy, and from all
it was a neighbor with two gallons of milk, who said eternity to all eternity?” And the Lord said unto
“We had lots of extra [milk] so I decided to bring it   Enoch, “Behold these your brethren; they are the
over.” So the Lord blessed her twice, she had tried workmanship of my own hands, and I gave them
to be obedient to what the Lord wanted her to do.       their knowledge in the day I created them; and in
    Obedience is a most important concept; we hope the garden of Eden gave I unto man his agency;
for obedience from our children, and company and unto your brethren have I said, and also gave
executives hope for obedience from their commandments, that they should love one another,
employees. There=s a saying: “Love is like oil to the and that they should choose me, their Father; but,
wheels of obedience.” Obedience is following every behold, they are without affection, and they hate
their own blood, and the fire of my indignation is     good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of
kindled against them, and in my hot displeasure conscience.” (Alma 15:54-56). There is a challenge
will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce     here: we will reap what we sow and receive what
anger is kindled against them. Behold, I am God,       we desire. This is the kind of God we worship, a
Man of Holiness is my name, Man of Counsel is          God who has given us the right to choose and will
my name, and Endless and Eternal is my name, force no man to choose to follow Him. He came in
also...and among all the workmanship of my hand the flesh, came down to our level to help us
there has not been so great wickedness as among understand where we are in relation to Him; to
your brethren; but, behold, their sins shall be upon hopefully call us to follow Him to a higher plain. He
the heads of their fathers. Satan shall be their is striving with us daily, trying to encourage us and
father...Wherefore, should not the heavens weep, help us to follow Him, for His way is the only way
seeing these shall suffer?” (D&C 36:7a-f, g, j).       to eternal life and joy. The scriptures say that man
     Do we not weep when our children refuse to        was created to have joy; the sorrows in this life are
obey us and when [as a consequence] they get           because we have gone astray from the purpose for
hurtBwhen they fall off their bicycles, or when they which we were created and from the life of harmony
stick their fingers in the fire, after they have been with God=s laws which promise to give us joy. In
warned and forewarned? Because of the D&C 22:23, it says, “...This is my work and my
consequences, they get hurt. Do we not pain glory, to bring to pass the immortality, and eternal
because of what they are then going through? This life of man.” Eternal life built on a harmonious
is what I believe the Lord is doing: weeping for the relationship is eternal joy.
residue of his people who will not acknowledge him         Several years ago we were meeting in our home
or properly respond to his work.                       for worship. because of things that were taking
     We have a choice, and: “...I would declare unto   place in our previous Church affiliation. We had
every soul, as with the voice of thunder, two priesthood members, so we could function in
repentance, and the plan of redemption, that they the ordinances needed. Though few in number, we
should repent and come unto our God, that there enjoyed spiritual experiences. Jesus comes to those
might be no more sorrow upon all the face of the who are willing to follow him and keep his
earth.” ( Alma 15:53). Wanting to help build Zion commandments. In one of the meetings, I saw Jesus
is the purpose of this Remnant body, and the reason as the people were gathered in prayer. He held out
this fellowship has been drawn together. This is a his outstretched arms, as you have often seen in
place where we can learn to love each other and be pictures. He told us, “I am pleased with what you
with God; a place where we have the promise that are doing; keep doing it and follow the Word. But
Jesus will come and teach us about the Universe this is not all; there are other groups that are doing
and Creation, and about God                                                  the same thing.”
the Father. “But behold, I am a                                                   When we left Olathe and
man, and do sin in my wish;                 “We are learning the             moved to Blue Springs, the
for I ought to be content with          concepts of Zion--how to             concept of Zionic relationships
the things which the Lord hath          work together. There are             became evident: that each
allotted unto me. I ought not           different personalities and          might work for the other=s
to harrow up in my desires, the           ideas, but that=s good,            good. Our family knows what it
firm decree of a just God, for I          because it helps us to             is to work together -- there are
know that he granteth unto                                                   nine of us living in one big
men according to their desire,
                                         grow into a more useful
                                                                             house. We feel God led us
whether it be unto death or                        whole.”                   there and all have had to learn
unto life;...yea, and I know                                                 how to “row the boat” together.
that good and evil have come before all men; or he Our oars have to go in the same direction if we are
that knows not good from evil is blameless; but he going to move the boat. Sometimes each has had to
that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given pray for correction. We are learning the concepts of
according to his desires; whether he deserveth         Zion--how to work together. There are different
personalities and ideas, but that=s good, because it      few verses of the 10th chapter of John, you will find
helps us to grow into a more useful whole. God            that there is only one way to enter into the
made us different for a wise purpose, and He made         Kingdom. If you try to gain the Kingdom in any
a place for all of His children--places called glories,   other way, it will be as a “thief and a robber.” Jesus
which He designed according to their desires. The         has places for those who do not want to reach for
Apostle Paul spoke of these glories to the Galatian       the highest, who will not make the effort to be with
Saints; he spoke of the third heaven, so there are        him and his Father.
evidently different glories. Hence, we believe there           A simple explanation for the four kinds of seeds
are different levels in eternity, for men are not the     that the sower scattered in the parable given in
same. God is a just God and a rewarder of men             Matthew are the glories. Jesus was trying to tell his
according to their attitudes and works. Man cannot        audience that the glories are representative of four
enter heaven by his works only; no man can work           kinds of people. An insight on the glories was given
enough to “earn” forgiveness, but through following       to my companion and these are so plain and simple
Jesus in his life of atonement, the way becomes           that they are easily remembered! The Celestial are
open to us.                                               those who want to serve God on His terms; the
     We have a deaf daughter who had spinal               Terrestrial are those who want to serve Him on their
meningitis when she was six months old. She               terms, and the Telestial are those who don=t want to
became deaf and blind for a time; then she regained       serve Him on either His or their terms, yet will not
her sight through administration and prayer, but she      “defy Him.” The Sons of Perdition are those who
is still deaf. We know that someday the Lord can          have and will “defy Him,” and are therefore those
bless her and restore her hearing. Her mother and I       who will taste of the “second death” on Judgment
wondered how we would teach her the gospel,               Day.
especially the difficult concepts like eternal life and        This story shows us just how important it is to
the glories. The Lord took over for us; she has had       obey God=s wishes, to try and please Him. The
many experiences with him. One night the Lord             Endowment is coming because we need it to build
taught her about the glories in a dream; that is the      Zion. If we want to understand just how important it
way he speaks to her. The next morning she brought        is to please Him, there is a powerful testimony
a drawing of what she had seen. There were three          contained in a vision received by Roy Weldon,
glories drawn as planets, and a fourth one for the        entitled “The Mountain of the Lord=s House.” He
Sons of Perdition. She said Jesus came and took her       explains that where each of us will be for eternity
up to see the heavens. A big book opened in the           will be determined by what we did here, and by the
sky, and she saw a big planet with a word written on      further choices we make with the little time that is
it. All she could remember was CELE. When her             left. God will not always strive with man. When we
mother spelled out the rest of “Celestial” for her,       feel that prompting inside of us, either to do
she said “Yes, that=s what it was.” There was a           something or not (particularly when we have prayed
smaller planet beyond it with the word “Good,” and        for guidance), that impulse is the Holy Ghost. Some
beyond that, a still smaller one with the word            call it conscience, but it is a very active part of the
“Fair.” Far away was a small, red angry-looking           power of heaven, trying to help us successfully
planet which she did not understand at all. Her           serve God on His terms--to learn to be Celestial--so
Mom told her that was where the devil and his kind        we will be judged worthy to live with Jesus and his
were placed for eternity--those who defy God. So          Father in eternity. How merciful and loving God is,
God has provided a place for everyone.                    to give every man, woman and child an opportunity
     But where we go will depend upon our desires,        to choose to serve Him and become like His Son,
and how we adhere to His guidelines. God gives us         Jesus. But the available time is short; the time to
the privilege of choosing for ourselves where we          choose is now! O
will go; wherever it is, it will be with those who are
much like us. We have the promise of heaven, yet
often we excuse ourselves from our sins and think
we can slip into the Kingdom. If you read the first
                             OUR YOUTH
FROM




                                                            already published: Senior High Camp is June 6 to 12,
     Our Church Youth Are On the                            and Junior High Camp is July 18 to 24. Youth should
               Move!                                        mark your calendars now, as these will be great
                 By Gregory A. Turner                       camps. To the adults: if you would volunteer to help
      A number of Church youth have recently                this coming year, we promise it will be an experience
 completed a busy summer schedule. Twenty Junior            that will warm your heart. Contact the Church Youth
 and Senior High youth from the Center Place,               Leader, Gregory Turner.
 southern Missouri and Oklahoma caravanned to the                The yearly theme (Church-wide) for the Youth
 Colorado Reunion, held at Cedaredge, Colorado. They        Department is AMagnify Your Life for Him.@ There
                left early on Saturday, June 7, and         are several areas that are being emphasized and in
                                journeyed the long          which the youth are encouraged to study and grow as
                                distance across Kansas      the year proceeds. These areas include study, service,
                                  and eastern Colorado      recreation and fellowship. In addition to local
                                  five vans. They were
                                  in five vans. They        congregation/branch activities, monthly classes are
                                 rewarded with a visit to   being sponsored by the Church Youth Leader. Several
                                 Six Flags amusement        guest teachers will be participating. These are being
 park                in Denver, from late afternoon until   held in the Center Place and will continue through
 the park closing time. Along with the youth, there         until May. The following topics are being studied:
 were seven adult leaders and chaperones; however,
 when everyone reached the amusement park, it was             • Church History (from Adam until 1830)
 discovered that some of the adults were still very           • Church History (from 1830 to 2003)
 much Ayouth.@ The trip continued on Sunday to the
 Reunion Grounds, where the youth participated in the         • Aaronic Priesthood
 services and received important instruction and              • Melchisedec Priesthood
 wonderful fellowship. They renewed friendships with          • The Presidency and the Bishopric
 those attending from California and Idaho, and also
                                                              • Ordinances and Sacraments
 renewed their dedication to the Lord. On the return
 trip, the group spent a morning white-water rafting on
 the Colorado River near Glenwood Springs. It was an             An outline of each class will be posted on the
 enjoyable time. Some were courageous and                   Church=s Web-Site so that all youth groups can study
 experienced a refreshing quick Adip@ in the river, while   the same material. It is our desire that each local
 others (primarily the adults) were Aassisted@ into the     branch will take advantage of these resources and will
 river! The swimming episodes were rather brief, as the     provide opportunities for their youth to gather together
 water temperature was a Abalmy@ 48 degrees!                for study, fellowship and service.
      Subsequent activities were two camps held in               Additionally, a Winter Retreat is planned for
 Blackgum, Oklahoma. Each camp (Jr. And Sr. High)           December 29 to January 1. We will spend time in
 was attended by approximately 22 youth. The                study, fellowship and recreation, and will conclude
 attendees came from nearby Missouri and                    with a New Year=s Eve Party. The timing was chosen
 Oklahoma (including local residents),                      to allow maximum attendance during holiday school
 and as far away as California and Idaho.                   closings, so we trust that many can attend. The retreat
 Each camp involved class instruction,                      will be held in Independence for those youth presently
 craft     projects,    recreation     and                  in 6th grade through 12th grade. We would encourage
 swimming, and memorable evening
 and memorable evening campfires. The                       all to prepare for this retreat by praying and fasting, so
 schedule for next summer=s camps is                        that the Spirit might feed us when we get together. #
                        Women=s Department
                                  I AM ONLY ONE, BUT I AM ONE!
                                            By Dorothy (Toby) Edwards

     John Milton, an English poet and political                 They also serve who only stand and wait.”
writer, wrote one of the world=s greatest epic poems,
Paradise Lost, after he was totally blind (1667).                  In these days, our men of the priesthood are
Milton was a Puritan, a highly religious man who               devoting themselves whole-heartedly to perfecting
studied for the clergy, but came to believe that               their lives and ministry, that the long-anticipated
“...tyranny had invaded the church,” and he could              Endowment might be a reality, and the witness of
not honestly enter the ministry. He chose to become            the Restoration Gospel might go unto all the world.
a poet and wrote about love, politics and religion. In         There are times when we, as women, ask “What is it
1660 the government executed a number of Puritans              we can do?” In these moments, remember the words
who they felt were responsible for the death of                of Milton: “Who best bears his mild yoke, they
Charles I. Milton was arrested but later released.             serve Him best.” At times, our commission to
His work and constant study strained his already               submission seems restrictive - as a mild yoke, but
weak eyes, and he became blind in 1652. In 1673 he             we are not called “to post o=er land and ocean” but
wrote a sonnet, On His Blindness, from which these             to support our men, challenge our children and
lines are taken:                                               youth to Christ-like lives, bear witness to our
                                                               communities through Zionic homes, and render
 “Does God expect day-labor, light denied?
 I fondly ask, But patience, to prevent                        service to our neighbors and those in need.
 That murmur soon replies, God does not need
 Either man=s work or his own gifts. Who best                     May God bless us all, for all are called (D&C
 Bears his mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state (God=s)   119:8b) and He has given us the power to become
 Is kingly; thousands at His bidding speed                     what He has called us to be (John 1:12), and we
 And post o=er land and ocean without rest;                    urge you to commit to the following challenge:




                          I am only one, but I AM one.
                             I cannot do everything,
                             But I CAN do something.
                         What I CAN do I SHOULD do, and
                         With the help of God, I WILL do!
                  from the

                  Order of Patriarch/Evangelists   By Conrad R. Faulk
Beginning with this issue of The Hastening Times a                 A good understanding of the work of the men of the
column will be available for use by the Order of              Order is provided by the following quotation from
Patriarch/Evangelists. This will furnish opportunities to     Doctrine and Covenants 125:3a-4e: AThe patriarch is
answer questions or provide information and                   an evangelical minister. The duties of this office are to
explanations. Questions regarding the work and calling        be an evangelical minister; to preach, teach, expound,
of the men of the Order (including, but not limited to,       exhort, to be a revivalist, and to visit branches and
Patriarchal Blessings), or comments and/or suggestions        districts as wisdom may direct, invitation, request, or
about the contents of the column are invited. In some         the Spirit of God determine and require; to comfort the
instances, future columns may include answers or              Saints; to be a father to the church; to give counsel and
information related to inquiries received. However,           advice to individuals who may seek for such, to lay on
confidentiality will be protected; names of those             hands for the conferment of spiritual blessing, and if so
corresponding will not be published. Every effort will be     led, to point out the lineage of the one who is blessed.@
put forth to provide timely private answers where such             AHe is to be free from responsibility B ministerial B
are appropriate and requested, and a proper return            as a traveling minister, and from the care of the local
address is provided.                                          branch or church and district affairs. When traveling
     Communications should be directed to:                    and preaching, holding revival meetings, he is to labor
      The Order of Patriarch/Evangelists                      in connection with the branch and district officers, not
      Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints     subject to the ministerial control of the missionary in
      700 West Lexington                                      charge, except he should transcend his bounds and teach
      Independence, MO 64050                                  false doctrine or be found in transgression. He is not to
     It seems appropriate for this first column that we       meddle with branch affairs or district affairs. He is not
present some basic information regarding the Order of         to listen to complaints made by individuals to him, but if
Patriarch/Evangelists, and it will simply be a reminder       persons insist upon presenting their troubles, he is to
for many of our readers. However, some mis-                   request them and require them to make them in writing,
understanding and confusion has arisen through the            signing the name, giving time, place, and character of
years, and it is hoped that the work and calling of the       the trouble, with the witnesses, which it will be his duty
men of the Order can be brought into focus for the            to present to the branch or district officers, as the case
edification of all.                                           may require. He is not to be put in charge of either
     A Patriarch/Evangelist is a High Priest who has been     branch or district. These are the privileges which attach
called and set apart to serve in specific and unique          to the office of patriarch and evangelical minister.@
aspects of ministry. Although the members of the Order             The work and calling of the members of the Order
are enrolled with the High Priests (Doctrine and              are closely aligned with all other aspects of ministry in
Covenants 129:7a), they are not called upon to function       the Church. While their role is not administrative, they
in those responsibilities of High Priests such as presiding   work in close relationship with administrative officers,
over Branches or Districts, or filling administrative,        both local and general, and provide counsel and advice
managerial and other related roles. The essence of their      for the advancement of the Church=s total program and
basic ministry is, however, consistent with that of the       ministry. (Much of this brief overview was taken from,
High Priest as described in this passage from the Letter      and based upon, material contained in the Church
to the Hebrews: AFor every high priest taken from             publication, AThe Work and Calling of the Order of
among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to         Patriarch/Evangelists in the Last Days@ -- Priesthood
God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for          Reference Library-2003.)
sins; Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and                 The men of the Order of Patriarch/Evangelists stand
on them that are out of the way; for that he himself          ready to provide ministry for the Saints which will help
also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof        all of us accomplish the challenging tasks of true
he ought, as for the people, so also for himself to offer     discipleship. We look forward to your inquiries. #
for sins.@ (Hebrews 5:1-3, IV)
                               The First Presidency, AAnciently@
                   Available Fragments of Ancient Commentary Seem to Support
                 the Restoration Structure of a Presidency for the Primitive Church
                                         By R. Ben Madison

The following article, while not presenting an           Bedouin stumbled upon the Scrolls, a young New
official position of the Church, offers an               Yorker had already informed the world that the
interesting overview of a subject which has been         early Church had indeed been led by fifteen men.
debated extensively. Brother Madison offers some         The young Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., wrote in
insightful and well-presented views which may be         1835:
of interest to those wishing to pursue further               AOf the Melchisedec priesthood, three
study. The Editors                                           presiding high priests, chosen by the body,
                                                             appointed and ordained to that office, and


T
        hose ancient residents of Qumran, who                upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of
        appear to have written the famous Dead Sea           the church, form a quorum of the Presidency
        Scrolls, and who may have also been                  of the church. The twelve traveling councilors
        studying and debating among themselves in            are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special
their isolated desert monastery at the same time as          witnesses of the name of Christ, in all the
Jesus was calling forth and baptizing those earliest         world; thus differing from other officers in the
Christian disciples in Galilee, were of course               church in the duties of their calling. And they
different Jewish communities. But each drew from             form a quorum equal in authority and power
the same streams of Jewish tradition. The Qumran             to the three presidents previously mentioned.”
Manual of Discipline, felt to have been written              (D.&C. 104:11b-d.)
around 130 B.C.1, contains this prophecy of the              In case anyone should think that this three-man
coming messianic Church of the future:                   First Presidency was an innovation, Joseph also tells
    [There shall be] in the council of the community     us explicitly that “...a quorum of three presidents
    twelve men and three priests, perfect in all that    were anciently, who were ordained after the order
    has been revealed from all the Law, for the          of Melchisedec, and were righteous and holy
    practice of truth and righteousness, and justice     men.@ (D.&C. 104:11h; emphasis added.)
    and love of mercy, and walking humbly each               Qumran=s Manual of Discipline points forward
    man with his neighbour, for the preserving of        to, and Joseph Smith=s writings point back to,
    faith in the land with a lowly disposition and a     twelve early Apostles led by a three-man
    broken spirit.... When these exist in Israel the     Presidency. The New Testament (hereafter
    council of the community will be established in      abbreviated ANT@) rarely concerns itself with
    truth for an eternal planting, a house of holiness   administrative details, but the writers of Acts 15 and
    for Israel.... And when these exist as a             Galatians 2 give us hints about early Church
    community in Israel, according to this               structure. Galatians 2 recounts the “incident at
    programme, they shall be separated from              Antioch,” wherein Peter and Paul appear to differ
    among the settlement of men of iniquity to go        sharply over interpretations of Jesus= message to the
    into the desert, to prepare there the way of Him,    Gentiles. Craig C. Hill makes a central point:
    as it is written [according to Isaiah 40:3; also     “...Despite the banality of this description, there is
    see Mark 1:2].2                                      probably no [Biblical] event that is of greater
    Respectable Christian groups, drawing on their       importance to one=s understanding of the character
understandings of their ancient traditions, believe      of the early church than this so-called incident at
that “Aauthority” in the Early Church rested with the    Antioch.”3
Twelve Apostles. These “mainstream” Christians               In Galatians 2, Paul relates the existence of a
cannot accept that a body of fifteen leaders has any     First Presidency in the Early Church. He writes that
scriptural basis. Yet long before 1947 when a young      James, also Cephas (a.k.a. Peter, “the rock”) and
John were acclaimed as the Church=s “pillars” (Gal. Luke 22:34) and the brothers James and John (Mark
2:9). In Jewish law, a “pillar” often meant “a person 10:35, Matthew 20:18): in other words, that
holding a key position.”4 Calling a man a “pillar” is confiding “inner circle” of Jesus.
rare in the Bible, but significantly in Jeremiah 1:18,      In the version told by Matthew, the mother of
it means “God=s chosen prophet.” This “pillar” the sons of Zebedee asked Jesus to “...declare that
terminology in Galatians is all the more curious these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right
because of the way in which Paul appears to slight hand and one at your left hand, in your kingdom”
the office. In the Inspired Version (of the Bible), he (Matt. 20:21, N.R.S.V.). The image is that of the
writes:                                                 First Presidency, the leader in the middle with his
“And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed two counselors, one on the right hand and the other
to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given on the left. Jesus replied by stating that these
unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right positions would be given to those men “for whom it
hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the has been prepared by my Father” (vs. 23). So
heathen, and they unto the circumcision.” (Gal. while there was no three-man First Presidency
2:9, emphasis added.)                                                    separate from the Twelve in Jesus=
     The word “seemed,” carried                                          lifetime, his disciples were likely
over in the Inspired Version from            “Regardless of              aware that such a body would one
the King James Translation, may              Paul=s precise              day be formed; and they wanted to
imply an unintended note of                                              know who would be called into it.
criticism; one wonders whether           wording, it is clear                 Apparently, Jesus= words made
later opponents of these “pillars”         to historians that            the desired impact upon Peter,
may have tampered with the                                               James and John. We learn that this
language. The NIV reads:                    he is describing             “inner circle” did not lay any
“..James, Peter and John, those               one overall                claim to higher leadership after the
reputed to be pillars...” The New           ‘president’ and              resurrection of the Lord, but
Revised Standard Version reads:                                          rather, chose James, the Lord=s
“...James and Cephas and John,             two counselors.”              brother, to lead the Church. In a
who       were      acknowledged                                         remarkable passage, Clement of
pillars...” (All emphases added.)                                        Alexandria, writing in the 190's
For their part, Greek manuscripts of Galatians are A.D., taught us that Peter, James and John—Jesus=
“almost incoherent”5 and therefore not helpful.         “inner circle”—chose another James, the Lord=s
     Regardless of Paul=s precise wording, it is clear brother, to be the leader or “Bishop of Jerusalem” (a
to historians that he is describing one overall term which will be explained below.) And James
“president” and two counselors. S. G . F. Brandon       then chose his two counselors: Peter and John. This
writes that, “The Pauline evidence shows us a quorum of three, the very “James, Cephas and
triumvirate [ruling threesome] of James, Peter, and John” of Paul=s Letter to the Galatians, then
John, of which James, the Lord=s brother, is clearly assumed leadership over the Apostles, the Seventy,
the dominant member.”6                                  and the entire Church. Clement writes:
     During his earthly ministry, it does not seem APeter, James, and John, after the Ascension of the
that Jesus chose “counselors” to stand by his side.     Saviour, did not claim preeminence because the
Instead, an “inner circle” of three Apostles within     Saviour had specifically honoured them, but chose
the Twelve served as his closest companions: Peter, James the Righteous as Bishop of Jerusalem... .
along with James and John (the sons of Zebedee, James the Righteous, John and Peter were entrusted
Matt. 17:1.) However, all these men were aware of by the Lord after his resurrection with the higher
a still higher calling. In a story so important that it knowledge. They imparted it to the other apostles,
was told five separate times in the N.T., Jesus=        and the other apostles to the Seventy, one of whom
disciples “disputed among themselves, who was the was Barnabas.7
greatest among them” (see Mark 9:30-35, Mark                The parallels with Latter Day Saint history are
10:27-45, Matthew 20:18-28, Luke 9:46ff, and Luke fascinating. The same group of three Apostles who
22:24-34). This “dispute” seemed to have involved chose and ordained James, the Lord=s brother, also
the “twelve” (Mark 9:32), also Peter (Mark 10:31, appeared in the Latter-Days to ordain Joseph Smith,
Jr. to the fullness of the Melchisedec Priesthood       scholars have begun to follow the evidence to where
(see D.&C. 26:3.) It is an interesting coincidence      it leads, not always to where the church tells them
that the Bible has no record of James= ordination,      to go. In 1983, Cardinal Ratzinger, the Roman
just as there is no written account of Joseph Smith,    Church=s official guardian of the faith, publicly
Jr.=s own ordination to the same high and holy          confessed that “The early church did indeed know
office, an event that evidently took place on 25        nothing of Roman primacy in [its] practice.”15 Jean
January 1832, at Amherst, Ohio.                         Danielou, one of this church’s foremost scholars,
     Medieval Church records, historically projecting   now writes: AIt was the party of James and the
a later understanding of church organization back       Jewish Christian church of Jerusalem that exercised
into the Early Church, refer to James, not as the       the dominant influence during the first decades of
president of the Church, but as the “Bishop of          the church.”16 This is, of course, a total surrender of
Jerusalem.”8 It is clear from many early sources that   the Peter-first position, upon which the Church of
this so-called “Bishop” was really the President of     the Middle Ages is built.
the whole Church. The Pope=s first title is “Bishop          Today, we may call the ruling triumvirate or
of Rome,” so Middle Ages tradition rests on the         threesome of primitive Christianity “the First
theory that the head of the Church may be styled as     Presidency,” and we affirm with confidence that it
“Bishop” of such-and-such a city. Jesus Christ is       was chaired by James, the Lord=s own brother. This
called, at least metaphorically, a “Bishop” (1 Peter    is an important point, for if there was at that time a
2:25), and a piece of Jewish Christian literature       First Presidency providing direction to the Twelve
alludes to Jesus= leadership as his “bishopric.”9       Apostles, then the whole of Gentile Christian
Curiously, the undisputed President of the Qumran       tradition which denies this fact is, to that extent,
sect was also called “bishop” (Hebrew:                  illegitimate. Furthermore, the Latter Day Saint
mebaqqer).10                                            tradition which upholds this governing structure is,
     Evidence shows that James= “bishopric”             to that extent, a genuine restoration of the
surpassed all others. Eusebius, the fourth century      configuration of early Christianity. It is another
Christian historian, refers to the “Episcopal Throne    verification for the Restoration, brought forth in
of Jerusalem” [an administrative concept based on       1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr., as having returned to the
the leadership of Bishops] occupied by James and        people of the earth the “fullness” of Christ=s
his successors. He pointedly credits no other           everlasting Gospel!
bishopric with such a “Throne.”11 His (Eusebius=)
contemporary, Epiphanius of Salamis, adds more           1.   A.R.C. Leaney, The Rule of Qumran and its Meaning, p. 116.
                                                         2.   Leaney, p. 208f.
grandeur when he describes James as “the First to        3.   Craig C. Hill, Hellenists and Hebrews, p. 126.
whom the Lord entrusted his Throne upon earth.”12        4.   S.G.F. Brandon, Jesus and the Zealots, p. 158f.
(Emphasis added.) This was apparently a real,            5.   S.G.F. Brandon, The Fall of Jerusalem and the Early Christian
                                                              Church, p. 136.
physical “throne” as well as a spiritual one:
                                                         6.   S.G.F. Brandon, The Fall of Jerusalem, p. 49.
Eusebius notes in his day that some kind of chair        7.   Eusebius, History of the Church from Christ to Constantine, p. 36.
(for the administering of Church business) was still     8.   Eusebius, xxiii.
preserved in Jerusalem as a precious and venerated       9.   Jean Danielou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity, p. 14.
relic, as late as AD 325.13                             10.   R. Alastair Campbell, The Elders: Seniority within Earliest
                                                              Christianity, p. 59.
     The apologists for the Church of the Middle        11.   Eusebius, p. 379.
Ages, who claim the Church is founded on Peter,         12.   Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus, P. 200.
see James as a “difficulty,” who “seems not to fit      13.   Eusebius, p. 234.
                                                        14.   A Catholic Dictionary of Theology, AApostolic Succession.@
into any orderly picture of the [dominant Church]
                                                        15.   Quoted in Gavin White, The Mother Church Your Mother Never Told
succession but to upset the whole idea of it.”14              You Of, p. 123.
However, in recent decades, high-ranking church         16.   Quoted in Pierre-Antoine Bernheim, James, Brother of Jesus, p. 7.
Lehi: Leader of a Prestigious Family of Traders
Part II - Joseph=s Supposed ALanguage Errors@ Now Largely
Recognized to Be Correct Semitic Idiom
By Lane W. Harold

It has been necessary to rewrite Part II three times, in order to properly take note of the important Internet
commentary that has followed the original published testimony by Elder Harold Nelson of his experience with Semitic
linguist Sami Hanna, and which this author was made aware of in April, 2003. This testimony and comments about it
were the basis of the original writing of Part II. Then followed a retraction statement by Mark Hanna, who as his son,
insisted this retraction should be added to the Internet message of his father, disclaiming part of his father=s original
message. Then followed many comments by others, both pro and con, and these included a statement purportedly by
Harold Nelson=s friend, who said that while Nelson had known and originally converted Sami Hanna to the L.D.S.
faith, that he had never publicly spoken on this, nor published the Internet testimony along with linguistic examples
taken from the Book of Mormon, which were attributed by Nelson to Hanna. So it remains hard to know with certainty
what did happen in this blizzard of testimonies and retractions, and who is telling the whole truth about this
interesting episode. I was about to conclude that no Arabic Book of Mormon had ever been translated (as claimed by
the original Nelson Testimony, attributed to Hanna), when two Utah Elders, answering my inquiry, brought me a copy
of an Arabic translation made in 1985. What, then, should I believe?
     All this underscores a tremendous problem with Internet information of which the Saints need to be reminded.
While much of this very convenient information is probably true, it is interspersed with both accidental and purposeful
distortions, false attributions, as well as with complete and intentional fabrications. Using its information is like
walking into an unsupervised public library that has been stocked with anything and everything that users wanted to
place on its shelves, and with no librarian or research staff checking on motives or reliability. The user has to be
wary, and carefully compare stories for believability, and check important facts or conclusions independently.



I    n Part II of this work, a brief examination will be
     made of the peculiarities in the language used in the
     Book of Mormon, and how these actually testify of
     the book=s authenticity. From the pages of this
ancient work, the reader soon learns that these prophets
                                                              These skills were then taken to America and continued
                                                              for another 1000 years, from Lehi=s time (600 B.C.) to
                                                              the final days of Moroni and the tragic end of the
                                                              Nephite nation (about 424 A.D.).
                                                                  Amazingly, these ancient translating skills had been
claimed that certain carefully-selected Hebrew scholars       retained, or perhaps relearned, by Moses when he spent
still retained, at Lehi=s migration time of 600 B.C., a       his first 40 years growing up as an adopted son of
knowledge of how to read and write ancient Egyptian           Pharaoh. These skills were not forgotten as the Hebrews
Ahieroglyphic@ characters. This knowledge had                 finally left Egypt and migrated back to Judea, under the
reportedly first been learned by the Hebrews when the         leadership of Moses, Aaron and Joshua. About nine
Biblical Joseph (Jacob=s son) was sold into Egyptian          centuries later, we are again made aware of these skills
slavery by his ten older brothers (Gen. 37:18-28.)            in the story of Lehi, who was evidently one of those
However, Joseph=s many developing gifts, including            successor prophets who still possessed and used this
both his prophetic and his administrative talents, soon       ancient knowledge. He subsequently taught these
came to the attention of Pharaoh. Because of this great       capabilities to his most gifted and obedient sons, Nephi
promise, Joseph was released from an unjust                   and later young Jacob.
imprisonment, and in time was even elevated within the            In the last few decades, authorities with a Semitic
government to become second in command in all of              language familiarity, commenting at various times on the
Egypt. He was taught in all their writing techniques.         book=s language and message, have produced many
From that time forward, the knowledge of how to read          fascinating testimonies about the unusual expressions of
Egyptian writing was evidently known by a succession          the ancient writers. The FARMS organization in Utah
of Hebrew prophets. We can deduce this from comments          has collected and described many of these over the years.
made by various Nephite prophets (see Mosiah 1:5-6 and        Most of the reliable linguistic commentaries have been
Mormon 4:98-100). We conclude that at that time, this         very helpful in reassuring Book of Mormon believers of
shorthand writing skill had been long practiced and kept      the authentic nature of the work of Lehi and his
active for various reasons for a period of over 1000          successors. In numerous articles and presentations these
years, as reckoned from Joseph=s time up to the time that     commentators have pointed out that the unusual
Lehi and his party departed Jerusalem for America.            expressions in the Book of Mormon become much more
meaningful when they are realized to be mostly usages      divine command and assistance. At that time, Joseph was
of proper and authentic Semitic idioms (they are a         a 22-year old frontier farm boy, and admitted that he
mixture of both Hebrew and Arabic). Lehi and his family    initially knew nothing of ancient Egyptian writing. With
appear to have been thoroughly familiar with Arabic        divine help, the book=s message had been taken from
languages, even though they were Jews, and probably        those anciently-created Egyptian hieroglyphic-characters
used Hebrew as their first language. A possible            embossed into thin metallic sheets of foil. The
explanation for this Arabic familiarity was given in Part  Ashorthand@ Egyptian characters engraved into them
I, in Issue 16 of The Hastening Times. Thus, the growing   were said to have been Aselected@ by the ancient prophets
evidence is that these Semitic usages testify of the       because of their space-saving abilities. They required
authenticity of the Book of Mormon writing, and help       fewer sheets of the precious metallic foil, which had
assure the reader that it was not fraudulently done by any been used as the writing material in this message-
    th
19 century American fabricator.                            preservation process, and thus could survive many
       However, one of these claimed expert commentators,  centuries of burial in the damp earth.
a linguistic resource person named Sami Hanna and               However, the ancient authors explained that the
originally from Egypt, who was apparently working on       Semitic characters they used in their record had
Middle-Eastern languages at the University of Utah, was    unfortunately been modified significantly over time. By
described by his Aneighbor,@ Russell Nelson in a           gradual but unintentional modification, they now
fascinating testimony on the Internet. Elder Nelson was    differed somewhat from the original characters learned
said to have told Sami Hanna about the unique origins of   back in Egypt by their scribal predecessors. Linguists
the Book of Mormon. He also supplied him with a copy       explain that this is a phenomenon which typically
and told him the known details about its 1827-29           happens to any active language with the passage of time.
translation by the youthful Joseph                                              It was described by Restoration
Smith, Jr., from ancient Egyptian            “Nephi … had been the              author Glenn A. Scott, Jr., who
writing forms, engraved on plates          book=s original author, and          referred to it as unintentional
which had been long buried. In the                                              Alanguage drift.@5
process of examining the English                Moroni was its final                 As Lehi=s society developed,
language expressions of the current          authorBthe first and the           emigrated from Jerusalem, and
Book of Mormon, Sami Hanna                  last of a sequential line of        necessarily adapted to their new
became convinced of the authentic                                               Central American environment over
Semitic evidences in Joseph Smith=s
                                                 American scribal-              many years, their writing styles
English translation. It was reported          prophets--all of whom             Aevolved@ further. This was true
that he soon joined the L.D.S.             were of Hebrew origin, but because their use of the shorthand
Church. His testimony was very               who purposely wrote in             characters had also evolved
interesting and was my basis for the                                            somewhat from the original
first writing of this second article on              Egyptian.”                 Egyptian style of writing used by
Lehi.                                                                           Joseph and Moses. Thus, Lehi=s son
       In brief, the story went as                                              Nephi used characters that were
follows. This Sami Hanna was claimed to be a native        already somewhat different from those known and used
Egyptian, and also was said to have the very interesting   in Moses= time. The final Nephite prophet, Moroni,
background of being an academic scholar specializing in    writing to complete the Book of Mormon record about
Middle-Eastern studies. He was supposedly particularly     424 A.D., ventured that no one then living anywhere in
interested in the whole family of Semitic languages and    the world (even someone directly from Egypt) could any
customs, especially those including ancient                longer fully translate their evolved style of Egyptian
communications in Arabic, Abyssinian, Hebrew, Arabaic      writing without divine help. However, this deficiency
(sometimes called Aramaic) and Assyrian.                   proved to be no obstacle, for eventually in 1827, God
       This Egyptian-language expert particularly pondered provided the translation into English for Joseph Smith,
those unique aspects attributed to the manuscript of the   Jr., who dictated what he was permitted to Aread@ to his
Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith had said that it was          scribe, using his divine gift. When printed, this record
contained on an anciently-assembled stack of buried        became the Book of Mormon in its original 1830 edition.
plates (in New York=s Hill Cumorah) Ahaving the                 Nephi (probably with Lehi=s oversight) had been the
appearance of gold,@ and that were originally translated   book=s original author, and Moroni was its final
with God=s help into English. Joseph had always            authorBthe first and the last of a sequential line of
emphasized that the translation had been made only with    American scribal-prophets--all of whom were of Hebrew
origin, but who purposely wrote in Egyptian. They wrote     (example: Jarom 1:2). This odd and seemingly awkward
on these durable alloy plates as a shorthand means of       expression, while archaic in English, is excellent Arabic
communicating and preserving their extensive records:       grammar. The book also contains many unusual
AAnd now behold, we have written this record                compound verbs such as Adid eat@, Adid go@, Adid smile@,
according to our knowledge of the characters which          Adid transgress@, etc. (example: Alma 1:50). Critics
are called among us the reformed Egyptian, being            remind us that these same expressions are used in some
handed down and altered by us according to our              Bible translations, and that perhaps Joseph Smith was
manner of speech; and if our plates had been                just copying their usage. Joseph Smith had only a third-
sufficiently large, we should have written in the           grade education and was certainly no Bible scholar. He
Hebrew, but the Hebrew hath [by now] been altered by        did well to read his family copy of the King James
us also; and if we should have written in the Hebrew        Version. Thus it is interesting that while they are
[our unambiguous normal language for writing],              irritatingly awkward English usage, these compound
behold, ye would have had no imperfection in our            verbs are classically-correct grammar in the several
record. But the Lord knoweth the things which we have       Semitic languages of the Middle-East.
written, and also that none other people [now existing]          This Egyptian expert also found many other longer
knoweth our language [as it has evolved]; and because       expressions of interest. In Omni 1:33, the expression is
that none other people knoweth our language,                used: A...Zarahemla gave a genealogy of his fathers,
therefore, He hath prepared means for the                   according to his memory; and they are written, but not
interpretation thereof.@ (Mormon 4:98-100; brackets         in these plates.@ He indicated that this is a typical custom
added for explanation.)                                     of his Semitic forebears: to be able, upon request, to
     Many embedded Arabic idioms are now                    recite their genealogy from memory. The unusual term
recognizable, subtly contained within this Book of          Astiffneckedness@ is also used in a number of places
Mormon text, and were described very effectively in the     within the Book of Mormon text to denote a person of
testimony attributed to Professor Sami Hanna. After all,    exceptional stubbornness and rigidity: (1 Nephi 1:38;
it was claimed, he was thoroughly familiar with this        Words of Mor. 1:26; 3 Nephi 7:17). This Egyptian
Arabic idiom. Because of his extensive background, the      linguist was reported to observe that there was little
testimony claimed he knew intuitively from what he read     likelihood of a pioneer lad such as Joseph Smith, Jr.
that this book had to be a divinely-provided document.      purposely selecting such an unlikely and little-used word
He realized the near-impossibility that its many            to try to illustrate his point, had he been the originating
fascinating messages and idioms could in some way           author of such a story. In fact, no one in Joseph=s circle
have been forged, or perhaps even just embellished from     of pioneer friends and associates would have found this
some already existing work,6 by any group of 19th -         to be a logical and understandable word-choice to
century Americans, such as young Joseph Smith, Jr. and      describe such a trait. However, in Arabic the custom is to
the frontier friends who had assisted him.                  use just such a descriptive adjective. An obstinate person
     Many other valid experts over the years have already   is often described by them as being Astiff-necked.@
come to similar conclusions. The original testimony of           Other narratives in the book occasionally introduce
Sami Hanna, reportedly written for him by Elder Harold      words which were unknown to the English dictionaries
Nelson, went to considerable length to explain that to      of Joseph=s day (even though some of them are listed
this specially-trained Egyptian man, the message of this    today). Just such a word is introduced in Mosiah 7:11:
work was unmistakably Semitic, and therefore had to be      A...King Noah built many elegant and spacious
genuine!7                                                   buildings and ornamented them with fine work and
The recent combination of modern research into the          precious things, including ziff.@ How many readers of
ancient languages, along with recognition of growing        the Book of Mormon have wondered what this term
archeological insights obtained from continuing             Aziff@ denoted, or what the author intended to depict with
explorations into remote Meso-American sites, are           its use? However, the Egyptian man said (and this is
further validating this American witness to the message     evidently now known to be true) that it translates readily
and messiahship of our Lord Jesus Christ.                   back into Arabic, for a Aziff@ is a special kind of curved
     To illustrate some of the book=s usages and phrases    sword, similar to a scimitar and carried in a sheath. It is
which helped convince him of its authenticity, this         not only used for ornamentation and decoration, but also
Internet communication related several interesting          frequently used for practical weaponry and displayed as
examples, some of which will be quoted. The Book of         an artifact of ancient warfare.
Mormon contains many statements throughout its long              In his long narrative, the Prophet Alma refers to
narratives wherein the words A...must needs be@ are used    A...Helaman, son of Helaman@ (Alma 30:15). Did you
ever ask yourself why Joseph Smith, who was himself          include them in such a writing would, for the Semitic
denoted as a AJunior@ to his father of the same name, and    mind, destroy the intended cohesiveness of the narrative.
the father was therefore AJoseph Senior,@ did not use the    We must remember that a part of the divinely-stated
familiar designation, Helaman, Jr.? In Arabic or ancient     purpose of the Book of Mormon (as explained by
Hebrew, there is no word AJunior@ to describe this same-     Moroni in its ancient Title Page) is for A...the convincing
name relationship. They would use these very words           of the Jew and the Gentile [which would also include
(awkward though they might be in English), which             the Arabic and other Semitic peoples] that Jesus is
Joseph Smith had recited from the plates, in order to        [indeed] the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting
describe such a family relationship exactly as it was        himself unto all nations.@ (Brackets added.) To have
written in those records.                                    altered the book=s narrative structure by omitting these
     The numbering system used frequently in the Book        Aands@ would have partially destroyed an aspect of its
of Mormon has also seemed peculiarly archaic to many         authentic Middle-Eastern flavor, and thus the resulting
readers (see Helaman 2:1 and also Hel. 2:3; 2:16, etc.).     attestation to its true origin!
Instead of writing the forty-first, the forty-third or the        However, believers in the message of the Book of
forty-sixth year, which would have been correct English,     Mormon have known for many years that this book is
Joseph chose to translate the text into the archaic form     not a hoax. The Holy Spirit testifies of the truth of its
Aforty and first@, Aforty and third@, and Aforty and sixth.@ message, and for most readers, this testimony is even
Again, this particular usage was precisely correct Arabic,   more important to their conversion than merely verifying
as all Semitic languages number as well as write from        linguistic or archeological discoveries. Neighbor Harold
right to left, and in numbering they use the Aands@ to       Nelson, writing on the Internet, pointed out that his
separate the columns mentally as well as verbally.           Aexpert neighbor@ verified that this text could not have
     Furthermore, the seemingly over-frequent use of the     been fabricated by any group of pioneer Americans. This
word Aand@ seemed to serve as a connector (conjunction)      realization gave credence to the book=s claim of having
in certain long dissertations about related events. Since    originated from the genuine expression of Middle-
the publication of the Book of Mormon, this has              Eastern minds (those ancient Nephite prophets), and thus
frequently resulted in some reader-irritation, along with    by men who were thoroughly familiar with the idioms of
unwarranted criticisms of the apparent Asimplicity@ of       those Semitic languages, as well as of the peoples who
this book=s authors, who were presumed by these critics      used them.
to have been young Joseph and his assistants. Many such           This Egyptian man observed that the Book of
persons accused Joseph Smith, Jr. of incorrectly using       Mormon text Aflowed@ quite easily back into the Arabic
his frontier grammar, when they                                                      format, almost as if it was Aa
supposed that he, working alone                                                      complete and natural fit.@ The
or     with     some      unlearned            “The Holy Spirit                      linguistic familiarity portion of his
coworkers, had authored a                 testifies of the truth of                  father’s testimony was not
fraudulent work which quickly               its message, and for                     retracted by the son. He did claim
revealed his deficiency in English                                                   that his father had withdrawn from
grammar. In the 3rd chapter of                most readers, this                     the L.D.S. Church and had never
Helaman (written about 20 B.C.),         testimony is even more                      assisted in a translation into
many such conjunctive Aands@ are              important to their                     Arabic. The disclaimer on the
used in this long narrative to tie                                                   L.D.S. Web-Site does not mention
together all the important                      conversion than                      an Arabic Book of Mormon=s
experiences that happened to a                 merely verifying                      existence.8 This author=s inquiry to
younger Nephi, this descendant                     linguistic or                     the L.D.S. Visitor=s Center brought
being another son of Helaman,                                                        out two missionaries who
and all of whom were distant                      archeological                      presented        me      with       a
descendants of Lehi.                              discoveries.”                      complimentary copy of the Book
     This younger Nephi sought to                                                    of Mormon in Arabic! It seems
lecture and warn his people of the                                                   very genuine. However, they did
serious consequences of their growing spiritual              not know anything about its origin or the circumstances
rebelliousness. Understanding the ancient prophet=s          of its translation in 1985, but referred me to language
motive, our Middle-Eastern Aexpert@ explained that these     authorities at B.Y.U., which contacts have not yet been
Aands@ are typically used to tie together such related       made. We must remain uncertain of just how much of
narratives in the writings of Semitic cultures. Failure to   this story or its alleged retraction we can believe,
because an Arabic Book of Mormon does exist. Did               return among a core group of true believers (Ether 6:1-
Sami Hanna help produce it, in spite of what his son           10). After all, Jesus personally assured them and their
claims, or do we owe this effort to some other translator?     descendants that they should expect and prepare for this
Is the son=s disclaimer genuine, or might it have been         momentous future development! He assured this for all
partially made to avoid repercussions from critics?            those who will read and believe this testimony contained
     While most of us cannot read its message in Arabic,       in the Book of Mormon (Moroni 10:3-7), and then make
there are 150 million people who today use some dialect        and keep the required authoritative covenant which
of Arabic as their Afirst language.@ Additionally, there are   Christ had described.
over 700 million people who, although normally using
some other primary language, do understand and can
read much of Arabic writing. Only a small portion of           1. Witt, Gregory; ANephi, Metallurgist Extrordinaire@, The
these many peoples can read English sufficiently well to       Witness; The Book of Mormon Foundation, 210 W. White
understand a message as detailed as the Book of                Oak St., Independence, MO 64050; No. 104, June 2002, pp.
Mormon. Thus, they are not likely to have ever heard its       1-2. This endnote marker is located in Part I, p.30, right
                                                               column, last paragraph, after ASome of the researchers...@(1)
soul-saving message.
     With this background and level of Nephite                 2. Parry, Donald W., Peterson, Daniel C., and Welch, John
scholarship, it becomes clear just how these transplanted      W.; Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon;
Jews in America surpassed, in their day, the faith level       Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies
and the religious accomplishments of their cousins in the      (FARMS), Brigham Young University, P. O. Box 7113,
Middle East. When, immediately following his                   University Station, Provo84602; 2002, pp. 87-88. This
resurrection, Jesus appeared unto these Nephites in            marker is located in Part I, p.31, left column, 2nd paragraph,
Central America, as he had promised that he would do           line 7, after A...on less durable sheets,@(2)
for all the separated portions of the House of Israel
(Matt. 10:4-7; 15:23-28; Acts 1:6-8), they recognized          3. Witt, Gregory; ANephi, Metallurgist Extrordinaire@, Op.
and greeted him with belief and expectation. Their             Cit., pp. 1-2. This marker is located in Part I, p.31, right
                                                               column, at end of 2nd paragraph, after A...ancient
sacred records reveal this, and because of the previous
                                                               societies.@(3)
instructions that their prophets had preserved through all
those years, they knew this Jesus was the one who had          4. Parry, Donald W., Peterson, Daniel C., and Welch, John
been prophesied to come, by their own Old Testament            W.; Op. Cit., pp. 60-62. This marker is located in Part I, p.
writers.                                                       32, right column, 1st paragraph, line 6 from top of page, after
     Because of their great faith, these Nephite peoples       A...to get in Jerusalem,@(4)
were visited personally by Jesus Christ, received
extensively of his gospel ministry and soon fully              5. Scott, Glenn A. Jr.; Voices from the Dust, Chpt. 7, pp.
accepted him as their long-awaited Messiah. When he            62-72; School of Saints, 520 W. Maple, Independence, MO
left them, and after a short period of time, they quickly      64050; 1996.
unified themselves and rapidly experienced a Agolden-
                                                               6. Parry, Donald W., Peterson, Daniel C., and Welch, John
age@ of glorious achievement. They were able to build a
                                                               W.; Op. Cit., pp. 69-76.
harmonious, righteous society on this continent, and
maintained it for about 200 years. In achieving this ideal     7. Private Internet communication received and relayed to
association, which our world still struggles                   friends (April 7, 2003) by Garland D. Schnack, of
unsuccessfully to replicate today, they used the Master=s      Independence, MO, but whose testimonial content has since
teachings as their guide, the ones which they had heard        been found to be possibly defective, according to a L.D.S.
Jesus teach from his own mouth during his visit among          Church disclaimer statement, but whose textual conclusions
them. The Book of Mormon story, telling in detail about        concerning alleged Semitic origins for these Book of
all these happenings, is the Nephites= crowning and            Mormon scriptures appear to be largely accurate, to which
unique testament of Jesus= stature and greatness. It adds      the disclaimer statement seems to agree.
immeasurably to the Biblical witness that we already
                                                               8. For viewing the full testimony and disclaimer portion of
know and enjoy. With this account, the Nephites of that
                                                               this exchange, see L.D.S. Web-Site,
day express to us their certainty of Jesus= final end-time     www.greaterthings.com/Topical/BofM_Arabic.htm.
                                    BELIEF BRIEFS
                                    Please Explain Your Understanding of the Difference in
                                    Meaning, if any, Between Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost, as Used
                                    in Our Scriptures.


     There have been occasional discussions among the Saints as to              Secondly, some have suggested that perhaps the difference
the differences between the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost. Some           between the two is the difference between God=s Spirit and that
have tried to make a great importance of the issue, even with              received by the Alaying on of hands@ for confirmation. The
stubbornness, while others have been confused over it. This is             scriptures do not support this perceived difference. What is
unfortunate because it distracts the Saints from far more important        supported, are the varying degrees , levels, or ministries of the Holy
goals. This is not an unimportant issue, for it has been said that all     Spirit. Section 90:5 implies that the elements, the very physical
heresy and/or apostasy begins with a misunderstanding or                   realm around us, are derived of God=s Spirit, being His tabernacle.
misapprehension of the nature of God. With a little study and              This is a difficult concept to comprehend, but in agreement with Aall
research the whole question is easily settled.                             things unto me are spiritual@ (D&C 28:9). The 1st level of God=s
     Evan Fry, in The Restoration Faith, discusses our belief in the       Spirit is given to everyone, to bear witness of the truth and to lead
Holy Spirit as a part of the Godhead, and states that the term AHoly       men to repentance, A...the Spirit giveth light to every man that
Spirit@ is synonymous with AHoly Ghost.@ I agree with Brother Fry          cometh into the world@ (D&C 83:7c). The 2nd level of the Spirit is
fully, but for those who may require more evidence, let us look at         that which is received upon confirmation under the hands of the
some salient points.                                                       Elders. Throughout the scriptures, the terms Holy Spirit and Holy
     Firstly, it is critical to remember that the Bible and the Book of    Ghost are used interchangeably; D&C 55:1 and 76:5c specifically
Mormon were not originally written in English. The Bible was               refer to the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. The 3rd degree, or level
translated into English from the best available Hebrew and Greek           of the Spirit is the Holy Spirit of Promise. This Spirit, conferred
manuscripts (and these were not original documents) by the                 upon the apostles by Jesus after his resurrection, cannot have been
Committee appointed by King James in the early 1600's. The                 the same as received by their baptism/confirmation; it is an added
Inspired Version is but a correction (albeit we believe a divinely         degree of the Spirit given to those who are heirs of eternal life and
guided one) of the King James Version, with some additions                 celestial glory (John 20:22, I John 3:9, Eph. 1:13, D&C 85:1-2a).
primarily in Genesis. Probably greater than 98% of the KJV is              The Presiding Patriarch (Hyrum Smith) was given power to seal the
unchanged (in the Inspired Version) and thus retains the original          Holy Spirit of Promise (D&C 107:38).
English translation. The Book of Mormon was written in Areformed                Finally, it is important that we interpret and understand the
Egyptian,@ by the ancient record-keepers, but retained Hebraic             meaning of scripture by scripture; that is by comparison with other
thought and linguistic patterns. It was translated by the Agift and        passages of scripture that cover similar topics, always taking into
power of God@ by Joseph Smith, Jr., initially with the use of the          account the time period, audience, and purpose for which a
Urim and Thummin.                                                          particular scripture was given. The Three Standard Books are called
     The word Aspirit@ and Aghost@ in the New Testament were               such because they are our Astandard.@ There are some
translated from the Greek word Apneuma@ which comes from Apneo@            Restorationists who are belittling one book of scripture, while
(Strongs Exhaustive Concordance). Pneo means Ato breathe [hard],           elevating another to supreme position; and the Doctrine and
blow, breeze.@ Pneuma is Aa current of air, breath, or breeze, or          Covenants has suffered particularly from this view. All of the
figuratively a spirit, soul, vital principle, ghost, life, or mind.@ Our   scriptures are given for our instruction. There is neither
word Apneumonia,@ a respiratory or Abreathing@ disease, is based on        disagreement nor inconsistency between them. Through Joseph
Apneuma.@ The King James Committee interchangeably translated              Smith, Jr., all three have been placed in our possession; the Inspired
pneuma as Aspirit@ or Aghost,@ as the meaning of the Greek word            Version, the Book of Mormon, and the (majority of the) Doctrine
means both or is synonymous. Therefore, no theological difference          and Covenants. The Lord in his revelation to Jason Briggs,
can be inferred from use of either spirit or ghost in our English          foundational and seminal to the Reorganization, said, ATherefore,
translation. For example, Jesus referred to the AComforter@ as both        let the elders whom I have ordained by the hand of my servant
the Spirit of truth and the Holy Ghost (John 14:16-17, 26; also            Joseph, or by the hand of those ordained by him, resist not this
D&C 39:2b and 85:1-2). Perhaps, these are best summarized by               authority, nor faint in the discharge of duty, which is to preach my
D&C 35:1b: “… and I will lay my hand upon you… and you                     gospel as revealed in the record of the Jews, the Book of Mormon,
shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter,               and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; and cry repentance and
which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom;” The            remission of sins through obedience to the gospel...@ (RLDS Church
Book of Mormon uses the term AGhost@ more frequently, but not to           History, Vol 3, p 201).
the exclusion of ASpirit.@ A careful reading of the results of a word      Answered by Gregory A. Turner, Standing High Council
search for both Aspirit@ and Aghost@ will find no difference in the
meaning of the two words.
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