A few wards got together and had sacrament meeting, a few speakers to prepare us for the changes and then the changes. The opening song was "I'll go where you want me to go". Everyone chuckled when that was announced. A new ward was created. (A ward is a geographical area of a congregation.) To prepare us for the changes a talk was given about the difference between The Lords church and other churches and how they run.
The speaker spoke about a very good friend of his who is a minister of another faith. It's his profession and he competes with other ministers. He's worried about getting fired and loosing his pension, he walks a doctrinal tight rope. He had to go soft of doctrine for the younger crowd who wore jeans and baseball caps to church and be more flamboyant too. The older membership who wore Sunday best wanted him to get doctrinally tougher. He had to find people to come to church- he had to "enroll" people, do fund raisers, and keep everyone happy, etc.
This was all shared with us to remind us how the true church is organized and ran. In the Lords church the doctrine does not change. His house is a house of order. D&C 132:8. The hard and fast doctrine in the handbook says that THE FAMILY is the most important unit of church now and in eternity.
Twin Falls in the last few years: The South stake awas created and 4 new chapels were built. The Stake President has a Bishop he loves. The worlds way would be to shop around, but we all have one bishop and one stake president. One point man, one spiritual leader with clear boundaries in geographical areas. They do not have to worry about fund raising, having others join or keeping people happy. All of us are with in a 5 min drive of 4 church buildings.
In Germany a congregation meet in a dance hall and came early to clean up the boose and garbage left there. When the missionary came, who is now in the stake presidency here, who could play the piano the members cried. The piano was out of tune and some keys didn't work and the player was marginal, but the members cried. What about Montana and Maine? The same thing happens there. The doctrines of the kingdom are taught.
The wards here are long and narrow running north to south. The wards are equal in high priest, the elderly, youth, sisters, etc. If the needs of the saints aren't being met it's the bishops burden. Some wards have been up to 5 to 6 hundred in membership. They should be around 350.
The bishop has a lot of duties:
- All callings in the Aaronic Priesthood
- He's the president of the priest quorum
- He is responsible for the $ in the ward
- He's responsible for the missionary work
- He's a Sheppard
- He's a judge in Israel.
But his most important job is to be there for the saints when they need him.
Everyone needs a friend, to give service, and to be nourished in the good word of God and that doesn't always happen in a large ward. A ward needs to have at least 300 members, have 15 active Melchizedek priesthood holders that are full tithe payers. The presidency worked on rearranging thy boundaries for some time. They tried it by age, income, youth, and they crunched the numbers, created many boundaries, then prayed and went to the temple.
Once they have it decided they send the maps and an application to the area authority of the 70. Then the 7 presidents of the 70. They look to see if the guidelines were met. This stake made a the wards above the minimum guidelines and because all the wards were so close in numbers they received a letter giving them the OK to make the change. The Lynnwood ward was created and this process included realigning the nearby stake and so the first presidency had to be sign that OK.
All 15 Stakes within the temple district are experiencing growth, and there were 3 stakes who had members attending the wrong ward and sometimes the wrong stake. Those Stakes are Jerome, Kimberly and the South Twin Falls Stake. Everything has been corrected.
What was so wonderful about the mtg was he released collectively those who would be attending another ward. He had the members of each ward stand up, so we could all see who we would be loosing or gaining. Today in church we learned that the first ward needed to fill 35 positions. We got quite a bit of new members who are mostly retired and at least 3 of the men had been bishops in the past. What was really nice was that I could feel the spirit- even at a reorganization mtg. I'm reminded of other reorganization mtgs I've attended in the past and there again I felt the spirit. The church is led by revelation, not the desires of men. The closing song was "God be with you till we meet again".
To read more about the doctrine of a TRUE and LIVING CHURCH, From Elder Oaks go here.
From Elder Eyring go here.
To read a response to an Evangelical Christian about the need for continuing revelation go here.