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Question

 

Hey Gramps!

A thought was shared in institute, and the sister mentioned that there will be a time that we will not be able to go to church and we will have to do everything church related in our own homes (aka administer the sacrament, lessons, etc). I don’t know if it’s a prophecy or just some wrong interpretation as I have never heard of it before. Can you tell me all you know about that? Thanks a ton!

Cameron

 

Answer

 

Dear Cameron,

There is a great many things that can and ought to be done within our own homes to build a foundation of faith for ourselves and our families. But we absolutely cannot do it without the ecclesiastical organization of the Church. Joseph Smith affirmed that in the restored Church of Jesus Christ “we believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.” And Paul tells us that this structure is intended “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” Some of these goals can be worked on individually, but my own experience tells me that until we’ve come to that “unity of the faith” it’s better to gather together “for the perfecting of the saints.” That is, while the body of Christ should be edified in their own homes, we will still need our stakes and wards organized to receive direction from local leaders, authorized with priesthood keys, to give us the correction and direction we need in our area.

On the subject of priesthood keys, the example you shared of having the sacrament in the home is something that can only happen when the local bishop directs congregants to do so. In the article I’ve linked, I call attention to the case where saints in the military may be deployed and then have to hold worship services (including the administration of the sacrament) on their own. For that to happen on a large scale basis sounds like a prophecy of woe. In contrast, the scriptures do speak of a time when “every man might speak in the name of God the Lord” and perhaps at such a time every father will rightly be a patriarch and prophet in his own home, and be able to conduct family worship services that include the sacrament — but such a time sounds Millennial to me and speculation in this matter would be useless as we’ll receive further instruction when the Savior returns and no bonus points for guessing correctly (and most likely demerits for acting without authority).

You are not the only one to hear whisperings of church dissolution in this day when “spiritual but not religious” is so popular. Elder Craig C. Christensen responded to something similar about the current generation in a Question and Answer session.

When you and I grew up – I’m speaking to those of us who have gray hair – when you and I grew up, the Church was the center of our lives, and the gospel was assumed. We got fully engaged in Church activities, and it seemed to be front and center. For a millennial, the gospel is what they embrace, and the Church is assumed. When we start talking about home-centered and gospel-supported, I worry that they will go all the way to the home and quit coming to church. But the fact of the matter, we need both. But they want causes. The millennials want to be engaged in good things. And if you really want to get them really engaged in the gospel, we have to put them to work in serving one another. One of the problems, frankly, is it doesn’t have to come in a calling. We have to find causes that they can embrace.

So many in this generation are looking for meaning. It’s not enough to labor, it must serve a purpose. The cause of Zion can be just that, but it must be expressed in a way for them to recognize it. Zion and her stakes (mark well the organization of stakes) are to be a defense and a refuge, which is a tremendously noble cause that requires the rolling up of many sleeves. And it will also require a testimony of the coming storm and wrath poured out upon the whole earth. If the saints have a burning testimony because of their faithfulness in home-centered worship, they will still need the stake organization to unite their witness and focus their spiritual gifts. And for the saints who are struggling with home-centered worship, the stake organization will be there to lift them up, practice repentance and forgiveness, and see to the welfare of their souls.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

 

 

 

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