Seventies Jim and Patrick McKay
We traveled to St John, Kansas to meet with two elders from The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonites). This community was originally settled by William Bickerton and called Zion Valley. He believed this was a Stake of Zion with a purpose of ministering to the American Indians, which their church likes to identify as the "Seed of Joseph."
We spent several hours discussing the commonalities of our organizations and discussed the possibilities of healing the breach. They offered some testimonies to us, which were new regarding the prophetic promise of this event-taking place. We spent the night and left rejoicing in finding those desirous to be yoked together in the cause of Zion.
Colorado (Colorado Springs)
We continued our trip taking us to Colorado Springs to meet with a group of saints who are without any resident priesthood. We stayed in the home of sister Cindy Webb. We gathered several of the group for a class on the prophetic trajectory of the Book of Mormon and then continued to discuss the work with those in the home we stayed in. On Sunday morning we again taught a class on the Letter's of Oliver Cowdery and the commencement of the latter day work. We also occupied the pulpit and spoke on the power of faith. Two asked for administration following the preaching, both testified of receiving a blessing, one was immediate. We continued to discuss the angel message throughout the day and evening and moved on our journey Monday morning. Upon leaving, the group wanted to assist in our travel expense and made us a generous gift.
We visited the Provo Campus of Brigham Young University and met with the Chair of the Ancient History Department and two of her colleagues. They treated us to lunch and we were able to share seven testimonies regarding the healing of the breach in the Restoration. They were amazed at what we shared and asked for copies of the testimonies. We meet for 31/2 hours and at the end of our visit they expressed a desire to create a Book of Mormon Symposium Committee to produce a yearly Book of Mormon Festival. Our impression of them and the greater Salt Lake Basin was somewhat paradoxical. The LDS Church carries some beliefs which other portions of the Restoration do not embrace and have cause many to keep this Branch of the Restoration at arms length, yet they have seemingly an exhaustless amount of Book of Mormon Scholars who truly love this record and have blended their academic learning with their faith to testify of the books divine authenticity. We were reminded of one of Joseph Smith III's revelation that "the places we occupy should shine as Zion the redeemed of the Lord," and witnessed that to a very large extent they have done this. We realized they have created a system which has served their people well and has enabled them to grow the work with the understanding they posses. We could see the blessing these saints will bring when the Lord moves to unite the Restoration.
We returned to Colorado and met with the Rocky Mountain Restoration Branch. They have two elders, although presently one is hospitalized and is in his ninetieth year. We stayed in the home of the presiding elder, Brother Mark Nunn and his lovely wife, Sheri. We had the opportunity to teach 3 classes, two dealing with the office work of the Book of Mormon and the other on the gospel of the kingdom which Jesus taught as recorded in the New Testament. We preached on the atonement and the power to live our lives after the manner of happiness. Our discussion throughout the four days with these saints centered on the need to find common ground in the Restoration branches and prepare for the coming storm of judgment which is just before us. We felt impressed in our visit that the hand of The Lord's protection over this land was soon to be removed. These saints were active, hungry and ready to receive the ministry we were able to provide.
The scattered saints are anxious for ministry; many feel exiled in their isolated areas and are looking for direction to prepare for the unfolding events that are now happening. The need to remember the saints in the US should not be abandoned as opportunities present themselves for ministry in other parts of the world. We have witnessed a general senses that the saints are troubled by our times and the condition of the church. Hope should be our watchword as we seek to strengthen these faithful members in their remote condition. Many have not been able to retain their children following their displacement from the larger church with its various helps and governments.