Monthly Archives: July 2013

“The Church You Want”

This past Friday I was away at Girls Camp held at the Thomas S Monson Recreation Camp and then spent the weekend at a cottage right around the corner from it. We attended Church in Peterborough, Ontario. I used to live in Peterborough (my brother left on his mission from there) so it was nice to visit and see some familiar faces.

While I was there, I noticed a poem up on the wall. It has been there as long as I remember (25 years?) but I’ve never read it before this past Sunday. It’s quite nice. The main message is that Church will be what we make of it.

The Church You Like Peterborough-20130707-00457

Note: I couldn’t find who originally wrote it.

The Church You Want

If you want to have the kind of a church
Like the kind of a church you like,
You needn’t slip your clothes in a grip
And start on a long, long hike.
You’ll only find what you left behind,
For there’s nothing really new.
It’s a knock at yourself when you knock your church;
It isn’t the church–it’s you.

When everything seems to be going wrong,
And trouble seems everywhere brewing;
When prayer-meetings, young people’s meetings, and all,
seem simmering slowly-stewing
Just take a look at yourself and say,
“What’s the use of being blue?”
Are you doing your “bit” to make things “hit”?
It isn’t the church–it’s you.

It’s really strange sometimes, don’t you know,
That things go as well as they do,
When we think of the little–the very small mite–
We add to the work of the few.
We sit, and stand round, and complain of what’s done,
And do very little but fuss.
Are we bearing our share of the burdens to bear?
It isn’t the church–it’s us.

So, if you want to have the kind of church
Like the kind of a church you like,
Put off your guile, and put on your best smile,
And hike, my brother, just hike,
To the work in hand that has to be done–
The work of saving a few.
It isn’t the church that is wrong, my boy;
It isn’t the church–it’s you.

A dying Apostle’s testimony

I, like many of you, follow quite a few Mormon blogs. Ardis over at Keepaptichinin always has fascinating historical postings. A couple of months ago she posted something about President Joseph Fielding Smith’s last testimony. There is a line in his remarks where he says:

Now, my young friends, as I stand at the edge of eternity, I want you to know that in my many years on the earth, I have found great joy and happiness.

Who knows if he really knew he would die shortly after making those remarks, but in hindsight he certainly seems to foresee it.

That made me think of other final testimonies. Perhaps the most “famous” one was from Bruce R McConkie. He spoke in April 1985 General Conference and said this (and then passed away two weeks later):

I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.
But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.

Maybe it’s just me, but it almost seemed like President Boyd K Packer was saying goodbye during the Work of Salvation broadcast. I wonder how much time he has left.

I still have very much to learn. I don’t know how long I’ll be learning for, but when it’s over I’ll go to the new realm and being a new school. I express my testimony to you that the Lord lives, that the restoration is true, that it was managed and determined beyond the veil for our benefit. I know the Lord lives, and I know the Lord.

Have you seen the Latter-day Apostles web site?

Have you seen the Latter-day Apostles web site? It is a cool site that someone has put together that shows all of the First Presidencies and Apostles that we’ve had since the Church was organized. You can pick a date in time or you can view a bit of a slide show and watch the changes happen over time.

latter-day_apostles_1899

latter-day_apostles_2013

I spent a little bit of time the other day looking at the changes. I wondered what was the greatest number of future presidents that were in the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the same time. This is what I’ve seen. I may have missed someone, but these are definitely going to be among the highest:

  • In March 1945 there was the President of the Church (Heber J Grant) with a future president as a counselor (David O McKay), and 5 future presidents in the quorum together (George Albert Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B Lee, Spencer W Kimball, and Ezra Taft Benson)
  • In October 1968 there was the President of the Church (David O McKay) and 7 future presidents in the quorum together (Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B Lee, Spencer W Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W Hunter, Gordon B Hinckley, and Thomas S Monson)

Neat!

Most charitable states in America

There was recently a report about the most charitable states in America. Not too surprisingly Utah was number 1.

Utah, home to the nation’s biggest Mormon population, is also the most charitable state, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s most recent report that looks at giving as a percentage of discretionary income — your income excluding essential expenses.

Mormons are supposed to tithe at least 10 percent of their income to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the median donation among Utah households lines up with that requirement — amounting to $5,255 per household, or 10.6 percent of discretionary income.

On the one hand it’s interesting that the entire population, on average, pays 10% in charitable donations. This just happens to be what tithing is. On the other hand, I’m sure there are people who think that people should be giving to causes other than the Church.

If you read the entire article, and follow some of the links, the findings are quite interesting. Generally speaking, it seems that the more religious an area is, the more they donate. It also mentions that New Hampshire has a fairly high average income, but has the lowest donation rate.