It has been an amazing discovery journey. It was kind of like spilling a big bag of M&Ms. When you first see it, it is a mix of colors, and you have a certain understanding of what M&Ms are. But, if you separate out all of the reds, and blues, greens and yellows into separate piles, there is more clarity and more beauty. You begin to see what was really in the bag.
Spencer spoke in narrative form, which is by nature rambling, returning to themes in the middle of other themes, jumping from the past to the future and back, and then from feeling to feeling – the bag of M&Ms. After I had collected all of the statements on each theme into one place, the beauty appeared. There was so much more there than I had initially thought.
I thought it would take me a year to write this book, but it has taken just a couple of months. I think it’s a miracle. My hope is that the editing and rewriting process will go just as quickly.
I also want to report that Sacrament Meeting yesterday was on the subject of Home Teaching. Usually, this subject makes my eyelids droop because the final message is usually to instill guilt to motivate. I just don’t ingest guilt real well.
Our Bishop stood and spoke with so much power and so much of the Spirit, that I was riveted. He talked about Christ-centered ministry to others, and how our whole lives are centered on this one thing, that we serve one another. He outlined the difference between Telestial, Terrestrial and Celestial Home Teaching
Telestial = Reporting you did it, when you really didn’t – lying about it.
Terrestrial = “Did you enjoy the Superbowl? How about the Jazz? Is there anything we can do for you? Can we leave you with a prayer? See you next month.”
Celestial = Ministering to that family’s needs as Christ would, taking the Spirit into their home, blessing them individually, bringing them to Christ, and loving them as Christ would.
No guilt trip at all, just the sweetest truth humbly and powerfully stated.
Then, our Stake President stood, who coincidentally is our Bishop’s younger brother, and he spoke with equal eloquence and power about Home Teaching by the Spirit.
He told this story from his own experience.
He was called to be a bishop in his 20’s. He didn’t have children yet. His ward had a terrible HT tradition. He asked that seven of the families who refused to be visited be assigned to him. He said, the first time he called on them, that all seven refused to let him in. About that time his first daughter was born, and was seven months old. He prayed and prayed about how to get into the door and bless these people. Finally, the idea occurred to him to take his new-born daughter.
He said he showed up on their door on a cold winter night with this little precious bundle, and their hearts were softened. They let him in. He spent just a few minutes ministering to them, and loving them, and then left “because I have my little daughter with me tonight.”
He reported that today, sixteen years later, all of the families are active, and the 5 couples who had not been sealed in the temple, eventually were.
I am going to proclaim this Sacrament Meeting, the most uplifting and Spirit-filled Sacrament Meeting of my entire life. Following that, our Sunday School teacher kept that same Spiritual power flowing with a Christ-centered teaching on James 1. After that I had the privilege of teaching the High Priests on the subject of the Second Coming.
What a blessed day!
© November 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.