Wednesday, August 31, 2011

McKay Brothers--Adding to the Church...such as Should Be Saved

The work of the kingdom finds us laboring to find souls 'that gladly receive his word and are baptized; thus adding to His church daily, such as should be saved.'  We received notice on August 8, 2011 of a family member that needed a visit if we were still in the area.  We checked our maps and found that we were just a few miles from making such a visit.  A day later and we would have been out of the Browns Valley area, on our way south towards Los Angeles.  What we found was a warm, engaging couple that eagerly welcomed us into their home, in spite of laborers working on the house.  We met Nelson and Beverly Lucas and began to engage them in conversation to find that she had been worshiping in the local LDS church for the past 20 years.  Nelson, in his late 80's is a member of the Reorganization, holding the office of Priest.  Without much hesitation Beverly announces that she desired baptism.  As quickly as this statement was made, a knock on the door brought the close friends and neighbors of the Lucas', who are member of the LDS church.  Our conversation quickly changed with no opening to address Beverly's concern.  We proceeded with a power point presentation on the redemption of Zion and its fulfillment through the seed of Joseph Smith, Jr.  All received the presentation well and we thanked our hosts for their time and were on our way.

Beverly's statement could not be shaken from our thoughts, desiring that we might be given an opportunity to meet with her again as we worked our way back north to meet other commitments.  We continued to visit about Beverly's statement and were impressed more so as each day passed.  We determined that we would drive to the Lucas home on August 26th.  As we sat in conversation, we went directly to the issue of what appeared to us as an unusual statement.  She explained that she had wanted to be baptized in the LDS church, but her husband's faith was an obstacle that had caused some division between them over the years.  We began to share on one significant point of difference; was Mary overshadowed by the Holy Ghost in conceiving the Savior, as both the Book of Mormon and the Bible taught or not?  As we began to open the word of God and the official teachings of the LDS church, tears began to course down her face as the spirit bore witness of the truthfulness of our testimony.  We told her we felt directed by the spirit to return and ask her to be baptized.  She gladly received the word and accepted the invitation to enter into the waters of regeneration.

Baptismal charge by Jim McKay
 Preparations were made to meet the Lucas' and other saints we have been ministering to in the Yuba City and Oroville areas at Collins Lake on Sunday afternoon, August 28th, at 4 p.m.  We had made a visit to the lake to determine a good spot, which we did find.  We were told there would be a $12 fee for each vehicle.  When we arrived on Sunday, prepared to pay for three vehicles, we were told there would be no charge.  We had prayed that such would be the case. Now, for the second time on this mission trip, God had moved upon the hearts of others and opened the way, giving us a testimony of His hand in this work.

Beverly Lucas baptized by Patrick McKay
Eight of us gathered, "Afar in Old Judea" was sung, prayer by Elder Lyn Wixom, and remarks by Seventy Jim McKay were spoken in charging our sisters as to the nature and authority of that which was about to transpire.  We walked to the waters edge as Seventy Patrick McKay, taking Beverly in hand, entered into the water and performed this sacred ordinance.

Confering of the Holy Ghost to Beverly Lucas
After changing and then returning to the Lucas home, Patrick delivered a charge centering on the gift of the Holy Ghost.  We laid our hands upon her head and Seventy Jim McKay spoke the long awaited words of joy, 'receive ye the Holy Ghost'. Priest Nelson Lucas closed our service with prayer.  There were tears of joy by those gathered.

We returned on Monday, August 29th to administer the sacrament and set brother Nelson apart to strengthen him in his ministry.  Brother Patrick spoke and administered the emblems to the four of us.  With tears of joy, sister Beverly shared that she had heard that prayer of blessing for 20 years, wondering what it would be like to partake.  Her testimony is, "it was worth the wait." Brother Nelson gave expression to what this meant to him, his relationship with Beverly and that his work was not done.  Brother Jim spoke words of counsel and encouragement to brother Nelson as the hands of both Seventy were placed upon his head, challenging him to step forward, responding to the ministry he had been called to many years before.

Our testimony is that the Lord blesses His servants as they go forth to declare His name and the hope of His Kingdom.  Please remember this family that the Holy Spirit will visit them, encouraging and ministering to their needs.

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