A Full and Special Week

11 March 2017

We had a special guest at our sacrament meeting this past Sunday. Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy was there. It was a fast and testimony meeting and he took a few minutes at the end to share some thoughts with us. It was wonderful! Such a great spirit! One thing he said was that while it is true that our earth life is a test, there’s only one question on the test — “How do I get back home?” 
Then, to answer that question, he referenced John 8: 27-29, where the Savior tells us that he does what Heavenly Father tells Him to do, and, also, that He does what pleases the Father.
Elder Cornish explained the difference between doing what you’re told to do, and doing that which is pleasing. He said when he was a boy, there were 6 children in his family and he was one of the younger ones. They lived in a small house in a neighborhood with other small homes, and people with modest incomes. In their family, they were assigned chores. The one chore all the children seemed to hate most was doing the dishes after dinner. He said he always did them when he was assigned because his mother’s rule was that if it was your turn to do the dishes you couldn’t go to bed until they were done. (He then commented on the amount of whining and complaining and bargaining and carrying on that he and most of his siblings did – making the task more difficult than it actually was.) Because his mother was firm, he did what he was commanded to do. His oldest sister, however, when it was her turn to do dishes, would get up from the table and immediately begin cleaning the dishes. She washed and dried and put them away, then she tidied the kitchen and swept the floor — all without complaint. SHE did what she was commanded to do, and, also what was pleasing to her parents.  
He bore testimony of the Savior and of the prophet – then said, as much as we love President Monson, he is not the one leading this Church. It is our Savior who leads us. (Even when we know these things, there is power in hearing it from a general authority.) He expressed gratitude for the service we give as missionaries and promised us that all our needs would be met while we are serving. The spirit was so strong! It was a great meeting.

I don’t think I ever mentioned the follow up report about all the glasses our previous branch (The Salt Lake 2nd Branch) collected and sent to Uganda just before Christmas. We sent 530 pairs of glasses, in various prescription strengths, and received a letter of profound gratitude from the Mission President there. He said before they received our boxes — there was one branch where the Relief Society sisters would pass around the one pair of glasses they had between them so they could take turns reading during a meeting. (It’s hard to imagine!) There were more pairs sent than they needed immediately, and the full-time missionaries have been distributing those in some of the poorer communities. 

And, I forgot to say last week that we had a visit from one of the young men who served his mission in the North Carolina, Raleigh Mission. At that time, he was Elder Grant Brewer. We got to know him when he taught a couple of discussions to one of our neighbors. Grant is now married and living in Carson City, Nevada. He, his wife and baby, and his parents came to SLC for a friend’s wedding, and we met up and spent a little time with them. We loved seeing him again and meeting his family.

It’s been kind of an exhausting week for me. One of the sisters in our zone (Sister Elena Filip, who is 75) fell on the ice, Monday, shattered her wrist and fractured her T-6 vertebrae. I’ve spent quite a bit of time at the hospital with her, and also checking on her and arranging help for her after I took her home. She’s a strong woman and is doing remarkably well, but is in a lot of pain. I know she's doing as well as she is because of all the prayers in her behalf. She has good neighbors who’ve been very helpful, as well. “I’m surrounded by angels!” she said.

We also attended a special Family History meeting this week. It was great to hear all the testimonies born of this work, and to see how it can change lives. (For both the living and the dead.) The most interesting video we saw, “Redeeming the Dead Redeemed Me” was of a man who talked about how he overcame word of wisdom and pornography addictions by doing Indexing. He said he’d reached a really low point in his life and one day he looked in the mirror and said, “You are the worst person you know.” He started praying and reading scriptures and asked Heavenly Father to help him. He was struggling to do better. . .  Then, a friend he had known from church growing up was talking to him and said something about indexing and he asked what it was. Although he was no longer a member of the church, he started indexing and discovered that while he was doing that, he didn’t have the desire to do wrong things. (He had previously tried, unsuccessfully, to quit some of his vices, and was astonished that this work had the effect it did.) He continued to pray and read his scriptures every day, and, whenever he felt tempted to do the things he wanted to stop doing, he would do more indexing. (He got LOTS of indexing done!) :-) Within a few months, he had met with his bishop and was able to be re-baptized into the church. His testimony was a marvelous witness of the power of the spirit of Elijah and how doing family history work can help increase our personal righteousness!

Part of the D.I.P. Zone (who attended the Mt. Timpanogos Temple). L to R: Elder Frank Howe; Sister Marianne Howe; Sister Barbara Peterson; Sister Ikuko Ishikawa; Sister Corliss Clayton; Sister Beverly Corcoran; Sister Colleen Lee; Elder David Lee; Sister Ann Packham; Elder Leland Montague; Sister Marlene Bollinger; Sister Sandra Montague; Sister Connie Mason; Sister Patricia Martindale; Elder Alan Martindale, Sister Cindy Bergener; Sister Betty Crenshaw; Elder Bob Crenshaw

Yesterday our zone went to the Mt. Timpanogos Temple together, had lunch at the Wild Zucchini Grill, then took a tour of the Holdman Studios Stained Glass Factory at Thanksgiving Point! This studio often does work for the church and we got to see the stained glass windows that will go into the Rome, Italy temple. They're beautiful, of course! They asked us not to take pictures of them since the church prefers to publish their own photos, but here's one of the windows they are creating to install in another site. A really interesting tour!

1 comment:

Patti said...

Elder Cornish is one of my personal favorites! He was a visitor with another General Authority for one of our stake conferences, and stayed in our home. He is so humble, wise, and filled with love. The story about indexing helping a man overcome his addictions was wonderful! As was seeing three of your kids and a passel of your grandkids at Catherine's wedding. I love me some Crenshaws!