Monday, September 26, 2011

Sept 16 -18, 2011 Visit by the Church of Jesus Christ

The past two summers while doing missionary work in the state of California we have had the privilege of developing a relationship with members of the Church of Jesus Christ.  During those visits we have shared their pulpit a number of times, stayed in their homes and met them in numerous social gatherings.  We have sensed the presence of the good spirit as we have worshiped and shared in the rich testimonies of both of our heritages. 

This past weekend, September 16-18, four of their ministers flew to Independence, Missouri from Ohio, to share with various groups that comprise the Restoration Branch Movement.

Our weekend activities began with a long awaited visit to the home of Seventy Neil Simmons.  It was their hearts desire to meet and spend some time visiting with sister Verneil about her many testimonies regarding the Book of Mormon and her research on the limited geography model.  The presence of the good spirit permeated our time of over 2 ½ hours.  All shared openly the deep-seated convictions of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the unfolding truth of the location of Book of Mormon lands.

We then spent over 3 hours meeting in the fellowship room at the Zarahemla Branch with 13 of the local Seventy.  Brother Patrick led us in a brief period of worship, calling upon themes that we both hold dear to the prosecution of the work, followed in prayer by Brother Jim.  Our discussion centered around such topics as the work in India, differences in church structure, calls to the ministry, the law of stewardship, gathering to this continent and the First Nations Peoples.

Our four brothers followed this with an open gathering of Saints from various branches of the Restoration to listen to an evening presentation on the history and movement of the Church of Jesus Christ.  We were introduced to a number of their beautiful hymns, with the congregation rejoicing as all were led in joyful singing.  Brother Patrick introduced the thought and desire that we should all have in attempting to build bridges between groups to sew the entire Restoration Movement back together into a beautiful tapestry that the work of the Lord will find its fulfillment.  Wonderful fellowship followed as the Saints had the opportunity to personally meet these brothers.  The association was rich as those gathered testified of the movement of the Holy Spirit and the blessing in this effort to begin developing a relationship with those of the Church of Jesus Christ.

As we gathered Sunday morning at Saint's Haven Restoration Branch, the Saints arrived early as brother Patrick presented a class on the Antiquity of the Gospel.  The morning class was followed by a wonderful service of worship with special music by Sister Paula Swayne.  Her offerings represented a selection from the Church of Jesus Christ's, Songs of Zion, Won't it Be Something To See Israel Smile and our own There's An Old, Old Path.  Brother Jim presided and Phil Jackson of the Church of Jesus Christ shared in the spoken word, recounting the angel message, the work among the seed of Joseph and a call to righteousness.  Fellowship continued as we shared in a wonderful meal prepared by the Sisters of the branch.

We look forward to a continuing relationship with our Brothers and Sisters of the Church of Jesus Christ. May God hear our prayers and bless our efforts to follow the leadings of His Spirit.

Seventies Jim and Patrick McKay

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