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Question

 

Gramps,

In D&C 84:87-97 with emphasis on verse 92. “…cleanse your feet even with water, pure water, whether in heat or cold….”   Do missionaries carry this “pure water” with them or how do they accomplish this? In our Bible belt region of the country they get rejected far more than received. Thank you for being there and for your wonderful answers.

Ron

 

Answer

 

Ron,

This is an interesting question. It surely would be interesting if this is how things worked in the church. The truth is, however, that the missionaries do not hold the keys required to perform the ordinance of ‘shaking the dust off the feet’ against a city, home, etc.

The ordinance indicates that the servants of the Lord have given up on the area and have decided to leave them to God’s justice. Such a decision rests with priesthood holders of much higher authority, namely the Apostles and the Seventy. They are the individuals who, by direction of the First Presidency, decide what areas are open to missionary work, and which ones should be closed. For instance, dangerous parts of cities may be closed to missionary work, however that doesn’t mean the area has had the requisite ‘dusting of the feet’ treatment. Most of the time it’s merely re-assigning the elders or sisters to a different area, and not replacing them with another companionship for a period of time.

There are also a few reasons to close an area to missionary work along with hazardous social conditions. It could be due to poor missionary conduct that damages the reputation and image of the church, it could be due to no progress in the area for an extended period of time, it could even be due to natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, etc.  There have also been cases where the local governments have changed leadership and have made new rules which forbid proselytizing by missionaries.

I’m not aware of any area of the world that has had the ‘dusting of the feet’ ordinance performed against it, however that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. It’s just not something the church publicizes, along with all the other priesthood ordinances that are performed around the world daily.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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