Today’s post is by a good friend of mine. Over the weekend Ken sent out this email to members of the wards Elders Quorum and it struck a chord with me. He is of course right, there is a very real danger that extended time away from the “community of saints” can create bad habits, but he astutely points out the remedy. This unique time is a chance to hone our Home Centered gospel skills, not a holiday from church. I chose the title of this post, because it is his and my concern, that our faith will be intact when we get to “The Other Side” of this pandemic, which we will.
I share now with his permission.
I hope you don’t mind me sending this email to you – I do it because I love you all and I am concerned about us having no personal face to face contact, due to meetings being cancelled.
It occurred to me that my experience of church, especially, the going inactive part, might be useful to remember at this time.
When I went inactive about 25+ years ago, it was not because I did not believe in God and Jesus Christ any more, nor was it because someone or something offended me, it was because I just got into the habit of not going to church on Sundays ……
Satan was very suttle – He provided circumstances which made it easy for me to miss a couple of Sundays at church, with legitimate reasons, that was the start of my downward slide – having missed a couple of Sundays what would one more matter – and so it went on, the weeks and months passed and I found that I had missed more Sundays than I had attended, in fact I had not been to any at all for months.
It became a 20+ year habit, in the end, it was easier not to go, it even felt normal not to go – I could always find something else to do..
We are all in this situation now, through no fault of our own – but be assured that Satan will take advantage of the situation and lull us into a a sense of well being and will very quickly establish a routine of not going to church or not needing church in our lives, if we let him…
I do not want to get to the end of this crisis and find that many of us are no longer coming to church – for whatever reason..
Don’t be kidded that, “All is well in Zion”. Don’t be kidded that, It won’t happen to me or my family:- Many others have thought that, before you..
Brethren – Be alert – be aware – it can happen without you realising it has.
I don’t want to be too dramatic, I certainly don’t want to be frightening anyone.
We need, however, to realise the seriousness of this viral outbreak and what can happen in the months ahead…
Hopefully not, but we need to realise that some of us might not be here at the end of this Coronavirus crisis – that in itself is a frightening enough thought, so we must not lose anyone for any other reason…
Brethren I love you and want to be with you for ever, not just in this life, but in the eternities.
It came to my notice recently – that on Sunday last (the first sunday we missed church), some of us had a Sunday service of there own, in their homes with their families – what a great idea! – it shows we can all learn from each other..
It does not have to be for 2 hours – it can be as little as half an hour – but it would start at 10:00am as church does and would contain the blessing and passing of Sacrament with our families..maybe a 5 minute talk – a Hymn – Scripture reading – Listen to a conference talk – opening prayer and closing prayer – the options are endless..
Also Family home evening on Monday,s – with family activities – make it fun brethren..
I know we all know these things – I am teaching you to suck eggs! – Reminders are always good…we sometimes think we are invincible…
But habits form very quickly, Good ones and Bad ones.
We cannot visit each other, but we can be in contact, by Phone – By Text – By Skype – By E Mail – By Facebook – By Twitter – the technology is endless – lets use for our advantage…
Please! – wash your hands – Keep isolated – Keep safe – Most of all keep the commandments – Have your prayers daily – Study and read your scriptures daily – Keep up with Sunday school by having a Come, Follow Me lesson every week – have Sunday church together – have Family home evening – watch general conference coming up in April – this will deepen our conversion – it will strengthen our Testimony – and it will keep us strong in the gospel.
Do not be kidded into thinking everything is OK – Make sure it is, by doing all these things.
Lets make sure we do what we must, and prepare ourselves, ready to come back to church when we can – ALL OF US!
Brethren – I love you and I worry about you and your families…..BE SAFE – BE STRONG – BE FAITHFUL
Ken Austin currently serves as a Ward Executive Secretary, and has served in many other callings.