155. We Pray for You
[A Variation on a Theme--See No. 52.]
Motivation and Background:
The "Cookie Crusade" continues, as reports of "new waves" of COVID infections inspire international "hand wringing" and dire pronouncements by America's "talking head" news and pundit corps about their anticipation of the death of our nation by a disease with about a 97% survival rate--we've had worse flu seasons in our past. Frankly, the situation has so devolved into farce and political warfare that I made a promise to myself weeks ago to ignore all political, social, or economic news until after the election some weeks hence. Thus far, this promise has proven wonderfully liberating. [Now, if I could only rid myself of the FLOOD of IM texts demanding money for various causes!]
However, with General Conference approaching I felt a renewed need to "get a message of hope and trust out" to our Ward members. Thus, I "retread" No. 52 into the following, and baked many more brownies:
# 155: We Pray for You
It’s been long since we have seen you,
But your face is in our hearts,
And we’ve prayed that Father keep you,
In His care while we’re apart.
Cruel disease has kept us distant, (1)
“Ne’er to touch or even meet.
But our love for you won’t falter,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet. (2)
Despite crises that surround us,
And the cries of doom and gloom.
When we kneel and speak to Father,
We can feel Him in our room.
For that being, most exalted,
Who created all we know,
Has assured us He still listens,
To each humble prayer below. (3)
Knowing all “from the beginning” (4)
Jesus saw our troubled days.
And with perfect love and wisdom
Planned for griefs which will not stay.
Thus, our worship has not ended
Just because our chapel’s closed.
In our homes we now still worship,
And our love for others grows. (5)
Everywhere and every hour,
In your neighbors homes each day,
Families kneel in true devotion,
And the children learn to pray.
Hear their parents as they teach them,
How to ask God to impart
Peace, and love, and joy, and safety,
To the members in their hearts.
You are always in our hearts. (6)
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1. We have entered into the eighth month of the “lock down” which has prevented us from meeting to worship and socialize. Yet we remain confident that this period of harsh and unwelcome testing will soon be over.
2. The immortal words of “God be With You Till We Meet Again” are printed below to remind us of this comforting truth—we shall yet meet before our Savior if we obey His laws and love as He did.
3. “Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul. Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father. . . .It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help. He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer.” Richard G. Scott, “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2007, p. 8
4. The Lord said to Abraham, “My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee” (Abr. 2:8).
5. “Home Centered, Church Supported Worship” was announced in 2018, and thereafter, the entire focus of the Restored Church was shifted to prepare us for our troubled times.
6. We are encouraged to pray for one another individually, as families, using Temple Prayer Rolls, and to fulfill the commandment to “Love one another” See, John 13:34: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved
that ye also love one another.” (KJV)
1. God be with you till we meet again; 2. God be with you till we meet again;
By his counsel’s guide, uphold you; When life’s perils thick confound you,
With his sheep securely fold you. Put his arms unfailing round you.
God be with you till we meet again. God be with you till we meet again.
3. God be with you till we meet again; Chorus: Till we meet, till we meet,
Keep love’s banner floating o’er you; Till we meet at Jesus’ feet,
Smite death’s threat’ning wave before you. Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again. God be with you till we meet again
Text: Jeremiah E. Rankin, 1828–1904
Music: William G. Tomer, 1833–1896
It has taken us months, but we finally "got the message" to "share the message digitally". We now have ZOOM devotionals every Sunday (!) together with a full schedule of (a) Sunday School Lessons (!); (b) Relief Society Lessons (!); and (c) Elders Quorum Lessons (!). More and more, our Ward Members are visiting one another; giving little gifts; sharing hand made cards; and delivering notes of love and encouragement.
More and more we are skyping and texting and calling one another to share news and convey testimony and love. Yes, it took us a while to "catch the vision", but I believe we are now on a better path of discipleship. By New Year's I expect to conclude the Cookie Crusade with a great change of heart about the importance of sociality and communication with other Saints outside of our formal meetings: "Home Centered, Church Supported Worship"--what a gloriously inspired concept!