If Ye Are Prepared….

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“We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal and that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”

Articles of Faith 9

The mission of the kingdom of God encompasses inviting all to come unto Christ, to receive the ordinances and covenants of the gospel, that they may have ‘peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come’ (D&C 59:23)

Since the call of President Russell M. Nelson, revelation from God has established a series of organisational changes to bring a dedicated home-centred, church-supported focus. Organisational changes like these are not self-serving, neither are they change for change’s sake. These inspired alterations are given from God as “directions how [we] may act before [Him], that it may turn to [us] for our salvation.” (D&C 82:10)

Although many have pointed to the changes enacted in recent months by President Nelson which have prepared us for this time – and without mistake the hand of the Lord has been in the timing – I am reminded of The Family: A Proclamation To The World. This document, given in 1995 addressed globally the continuing decline of family relationships and spoke of the doctrines, principles and risks involved. It gave corrective guidance and forewarned strongly for such times as these. Personally, I feel it is no coincidence that the Proclamation sits centrally to the renewed focus of a home centred faith.

“Wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy shall not overcome.”

Doctrine and Covenants 38:9

So the Lord has prepared us, or at least invited us to be prepared, for this time. What is it we have been prepared to do?

Thomas S. Monson Quote: “When the time for decision arrives, the ...

Below are four things that the Prophet and Apostles have recently invited us to attend to.

  1. Come Follow Me. The Lord has repeatedly invited us to study his word (D&C 11:22). The church has supported us in doing this by giving us the Come Follow Me study resources. As the saying goes ‘it does what it says on the tin’, or in other words as we follow Christ, we will be guided to him. In last year’s ward conference, one of the messages given from the pulpit was that Come Follow Me is about revelation.
  2. Keep the Sabbath day holy. The word disciple is rooted in discipline. Setting one day a week aside for the Lord is a signal to Him of our discipleship, of our discipline. It witnesses that we are ‘willing to be called by His name’ and to be His ‘peculiar people’.
  3. Minister. To anyone and everyone. The baptismal covenant to “mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places” doesn’t have any stipulation about whom we do these things with and certainly is very open on the how and when! Perhaps some of our ministering will guided by a church assignment, perhaps some of it is targeted to a friend, and perhaps for some of it we “cast our bread upon the waters” of the internet trusting to the Lord that “we will find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1). By doing so we #HearHim when he said ‘love one another, as I have loved you.’ (John 13:34)
  4. Support the rising generation. With repeated scriptural warnings of growing tribulation and commotion in the world, it becomes us to help the next generation be prepared also. Our rising generation need to know that ‘in God we trust’ and they can too.

May each of us signify by our actions that we are true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. May we renovate our lives through our faith and trust in Him. May we access the power of His Atonement by our repentance each day. And may we dedicate and rededicate our lives to serving God and His children—on both sides of the veil.

Rusell M. Nelson, April 2019

I used to love hearing Gordon B Hinckley, 15th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, speak. He always radiated quiet, determined optimism. In 2005 he gave a talk to the Priesthood called ‘If Ye Are Prepared’. He noted the pattern of calamities in the world at that time and remarked:

“What we have experienced in the past was all foretold, and the end is not yet. Just as there have been calamities in the past, we expect more in the future. What do we do?

Someone has said it was not raining when Noah built the ark. But he built it, and the rains came.”

Gordon B. Hinckley, ‘If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear’ October 2005

Much has been prophesied concerning the last days, and – for all that has happened – there is more to come. Perhaps we will return to meeting together soon, perhaps not. And when we do, perhaps there will be further occasions like these days when we cannot meet for a time.

 “I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.

And that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless.”

Doctrine and Covenants 38:30-31

We should take heart and ‘be of good courage’. The Lord has indeed prepared us for times such as these because He wants us to succeed. The truth of the Apostle Paul’s words are borne out by many a scriptural account. He poses this question with resounding, optimistic faith;

‘If God be for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31).

Romans 8:31

My love, prayers and concern for you all,

Bishop Batt

Updates

The Funeral of Brother Bill Lawson

Bro. Bill’s burial will take place on the 22nd May. At this current time, the maximum permitted gathering for his interment is six. As a ward, we will hold a memorial service at a later time when the Chapel is open again and it is safe to gather. We would like to provide a written memorial of messages for his family. If you would like to contribute to this collection, please email the Bishop at woodsettonbishoplds@gmail.com by the 8th May.

Woodsetton Ward Online Social Night

Following an excellent initiative by Bishop Fakatou in Solihull, we will be using zoom to host an online social on Thursday 31st April between 7.00-8.30pm. This will be an unstructured activity just allowing members to socialise with each other and share time together. The zoom link is available on request by contacting us.

BYU Women’s Conference

BYU Women's Conference, cosponsored by The Relief Society | Gather All Safely in Christ | Digital Event May 1, 2020

Live Streaming

Beginning at 10:00 a.m. MDT on May 1, 2020. 
The Live Streaming sessions and the Sister-to-Sister session (pre-recorded) will be available on this page, on the church website, or on Facebook. There is no cost and no registration for this event. Speakers are;

Sandra Rogers Gather All Safely In Christ

Kate Holbrook The Continuing Restoration and Gathering of Israel

Video-on-Demand Sessions

Available May 1, 2020
Beginning at noon MDT
These sessions will be pre-recorded and will be available to watch any time after Noon on Friday, May 1. There is no cost to watch and no registration for this event.

Jean B. Bingham and Sharon Eubank of the Relief Society General Presidency,
Gathering Together in the Latter Days
Maria Luisa Torres and David Torres, “Taking Time to Talk: Communication in Marriage
Rosemary Thackeray, “The Lord Knows You and Is Aware of You
Gaylamarie Rosenberg, “Gather to Be Perfected but Not Perfect

Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults with Elder and Sister Gay

Robert and Lynette gay

Sunday May 3rd 6.00pm MDT (Midnight GMT) available from the church.

Proverbs 15:14 “The heart ❤️ of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge:….”

You’ve probably heard the saying- knowledge is power. If you wish to be knowledgeable then educate yourself. Educating ourselves; and by this I mean learning in the widest sense, gives us a sense of achievement, a sense of awareness, a sense of power. It can open our minds and help us to be more sensitive to the needs of others because we know more about their situation, their condition, etc.

We are taught in the scriptures to learn or study out of the best books. Those books that can teach us spiritual truth – the scriptures, are vital to our spiritual development.

“You have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise”

Mosiah 12:27

Abinadi, rebuking the priests uttered the words above, reminding us that we can be wise by understanding not only with our heads but with our hearts too.

How do we feel about something we have heard or learnt or studied. I remember attending a school open day where the head mistress said – “we educate the whole child”. This is a great goal. If we want to educate our whole self, we need to be educated – physically, intellectually, emotionally, linguistically, socially and spiritually. This way we can gain understanding, and once we gain understanding we will be hungry for more knowledge.

“Oh remember my son [or daughter] and learn wisdom in thy youth [and always], yea learn in thy youth [and adulthood ] to keep the commandments of God”.

Alma 37:35

By Sandra Pratt, President of the children’s Primary Organisation, Woodsetton Ward

Worldwide Fast Announced

The President and Prophet of the Church has extended the following invite to all people worldwide.

‘God “has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name” (Alma 26:35).So, during times of deep distress, as when illness reaches pandemic proportions, the most natural thing for us to do is to call upon our Heavenly Father and His Son—the Master Healer—to show forth Their marvelous power to bless the people of the earth.

I am calling for another worldwide fast. For all whose health may permit, let us fast, pray, and unite our faith once again. Let us prayerfully plead for relief from this global pandemic.I invite all, including those not of our faith, to fast and pray in two days on Good Friday, April 10, that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized.

How do we fast? Two meals, or a period of 24 hours, is customary. But you decide what would constitute a sacrifice for you, as you remember the supreme sacrifice the Savior made for you. Let us unite in pleading for healing throughout the world.’

Russell M. Nelson

Transcription Tuesday

‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ magazine has sponsored the annual Transcription Tuesday indexing event since 2017. This has always been a very successful event for FamilySearch with many tens of thousands of records indexed on our site, involving thousands of people new to indexing. During the event in February 2020, we had more than 20,000 records indexed in one day.

During the current coronavirus lockdown, we discussed with WDYTYA Magazine the possibility of another Transcription Tuesday event, as a fun and productive activity that everyone can enjoy at home.

WDYTYA Magazine and FamilySearch have agreed to promote another Transcription Tuesday this coming week on 14th April 2020.

Ward Update

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As a Bishopric we think of you daily, especially at this unusual time.  You may be aware that President Nelson has asked the whole church to join in a worldwide fast to “pray for relief from the physical, emotional and economic effects of this global pandemic” and to plead for “physical, spiritual and other healing throughout the entire world.”

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/president-nelson-fast-pray-relief-covid-19

Below are some other things that we hope you will find useful to know.

1) The ward has a presence online in two locations, http://www.woodsettonward.blog is freely accessible and has no need for an account to access.  It will be updated at least twice a week with news and uplifting content.  Woodsetton Ward on Facebook will have the same content, except that this platform is also able to show video.

2) We are trialing online discussion for the adults and youth tomorrow (Sunday 28th March).  These will both be provided via Zoom.  You can either connect by internet (requires a webcam and microphone) or just by phone audio. We would love you to attend if possible, the invites are at the end of this blog.  The adult session will be focused around ‘Come Follow Me’ for the week, and the youth session will be to share uplifting thoughts, insights and actions in response to the pandemic.

3) General Conference, next weekend, will be streamed live for all sessions. President Nelson has asked us to study and ponder Joseph Smith History in preparation for this conference season.

4) Please be reminded that our food storage is for use in times of necessity.  If you are able to shop, then please continue to do so as per government guidelines.  In this way, you will retain your store for a time when its use may be unavoidable. If you need help with physically collecting shopping, then contact your ministers, Elder’s Quorum President or Relief Society President.

With love,

Bishop

ADULT COME FOLLOW ME – 3pm

Woodsetton Bishop is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Come Follow Me, Woodsetton Ward

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/432260427?pwd=Nk84N1JSWkQwdUtuMlhVQmF4YW9CQT09

Meeting ID: 432 260 427

Password: 014471

Dial by your location

        +44 208 080 6592 United Kingdom

        +44 330 088 5830 United Kingdom

        +44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom

        +44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom

        +44 208 080 6591 United Kingdom

Meeting ID: 432 260 427

YOUTH – 7pm

Woodsetton Bishop is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Woodsetton Youth Together

Time: Mar 29, 2020 07:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/230532713?pwd=TEt0UVlCcExWRXdidUo1bmg2b21QZz09

Meeting ID: 230 532 713

Password: 705150

Dial by your location

        +44 208 080 6591 United Kingdom

        +44 208 080 6592 United Kingdom

        +44 330 088 5830 United Kingdom

        +44 131 460 1196 United Kingdom

        +44 203 481 5240 United Kingdom

Meeting ID: 230 532 713

Find your local number: https://us04web.zoom.us/u/fd6KQT3fD5

Give Us This Day

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

These are sobering times, which may have led to some pondering and introspection.

When the Saviour gave us His example of how to pray, He instructed us

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

Matthew 6:9-13

The outline given above is undeniably brief.  I remember repeating it frequently in early morning assemblies at primary school.  It carried little meaning to me at that time. Time and experience tend to hone our understanding if we are open to the Lord’s instruction.

After the Exodus from Egypt, the ancient Israelites found themselves effectively stranded in the uncompromising harshness of the desert.  Wanting for even basic sustenance, they ‘murmured against Moses’ and wished that they had died in Egypt. Moses explained that their mumurings were not against him, but ultimately against the Lord. 

In response, the Lord promised to ‘rain bread from heaven’, but He did this with certain conditions imposed that meant that the Israelites would be required to go and gather their bread daily from the ground.  There could be no stockpiling, for the bread would decay overnight.

In this way, the Lord offered to sustain His people, and by doing so the Lord would ‘prove them, whether they will walk in [His] law.’  Their faith would be tested daily, and they would be required to work to gather their blessing and live by it. The Lord told them that by doing this they ‘shall know that I am the Lord your God.’

Around us, faith has struggled to have a place in our modern world.  Enos remarked, I think perhaps he did so sadly, that alongside significant calamities and challenges “nothing save…. continually reminding them of death and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God…. would keep them from going down speedily to destruction.” (Enos 1:23) The need for daily bread is real.

What is the manner of our manna?  How are we sustained from day to day?

President Nelson recently and prophetically counseled us

“Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory. But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”

Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives

Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life.  This truth is reaffirmed in partaking the Sacrament as we are fed and filled through Him (see Nephi 18:1-9). In Christ, our Father in Heaven has provided for our safe return to Him and – as for the ancient Israelites – given us a way to know that He is our God.  

The prayers we offer, the study we undertake, the service we render, is in the name of Christ. His is the name we have taken upon us, and ‘the only name whereby man is saved.’  Because of this, the revelation we receive, the blessings bestowed, the empowerment to act, and the guidance, peace and fruits of the Spirit are all given us daily by virtue of the Bread of Life which is Christ. 

If it so be that we are required to live daily by faith, then this is an invitation to draw closer to the Lord, to know Him more deeply, to trust Him more fully.

“Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom; Lead thou me on!

The night is dark, and I am far from home; Lead thou me on!

Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see

the distant scene – one step enough for me.”

Hymns 97

We are frequently reminded that we live in uncertain times, unprecedented in recent history.  However, the Lord has always encouraged his people to ‘walk by faith, not by sight’ (2 Cor 5:7).  To name a few, Noah, Moses, Lehi, Jared, Mormon, Moroni, the Pioneers, all had to live on ‘daily bread’.  Let us take the opportunity that is here in our days to do the same, strengthen one another and reach out to those who struggle without faith.

This is the Church of Jesus Christ, He actively leads and guides us personally through the Holy Ghost and through the living prophet. There is daily bread.

Remember one another, love one another. My love, prayers and concern for you all,

Bishop Batt.

Quick Update from Ward Council

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

Following Ward Council last night, please can we urge everyone please to not contribute to the general panic-buying at large around us. Instead, please shop little and often. Reserve your food storage until it actually becomes necessary to use it. If you need help with this, contact your organisation leaders.

The Preston Temple, along with all Temples in Europe is now closed for all ordinance work.