Saturday, November 2, 2013

Which Church to Join?

By Greg:

Well here is another post.  My children all know when I am left alone because I start to wax eloquent and then I get weird.  Well, I can feel myself slipping.

With my main companion gone, I have been assigned to help Elder Lillywhite with apartment acquisition and furnishing.  He is my now senior companion (he is 70, I am only 61).

Yesterday we started at 8:30 in the morning and ended after 8:00 pm. We found a new apartment to station some elders in Warsaw, Mo.  We will move them out of Clinton.  We found a new apartment for sisters who will move to Clinton.  We will give up the current elder's apartment.  We furnished the new sisters apartment with new beds and all of the other stuff they will need. It felt like moving one of my daughters into a student apartment at BYU.  Clinton is either the beginning or the end of the KATY trail, depending on how you look at it.  Warsaw is about an hour beyond that and is in the area known as the Lakes of the Ozarks.  There are lots of lakes and it was so beautiful with the fall leaves and the calm waters.  If the Elders can fellowship the right people they might get to fish from the shore.

We got back to the office at 5:00, and we were tired, but it was just in time to jump in my truck and go one hour north to Cameron and look for a home for another set of sisters.  On the next transfer (November 12) we need 8 new apartments.  We looked at a couple of options, but decided on a little house.  Again, we will move the Elders to the house and the sisters will get their current apartment.  We made it clear that the elders need to move out and clean it before the sisters arrive.

I have a lead on a couple of other apartments that we will look at on Monday.  This is a big job, but I am happy to help.

I took today and did a real P-day.  I got a hair cut, lubed and washed the truck, went shopping, did my wash (well, actually I went to the cleaners) cleaned the apartment (not to Debi's standard however--but after looking at these Elder's apartment--mine is Temple Ready!). In the afternoon I decided to take a walk.  I walked up to the Town Square and the Temple Lot.  It is not far, but the loop I walked took 2 hours.

I am still amazed at all the different churches.  When Joseph arrived in Far West in the spring of 1838 the Lord changed the name of the Church.  They were the Church of Christ before that April 26, 1838.  In Section 115 it reads: "For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints".

Well, if you go to the temple lot and look in all directions you can see:

The Visitor Center for our Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Then there is the "Temple" of the former Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, now known as the Community of Christ.  I think the names were too confusing for even them, but they still believe in the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants, but the look past some of both, and apparently section 115.

I was on the temple lot looking  south and east at our visitor's center and the RLDS (sorry, they will always be that to me) Temple was to my left (north of our visitor's center) and their tabernacle was to my right, just west of us on the same street.

They hold their meetings in their tabernacle, but their temple is for worship and reflection.  It is a symbol of peace, which is one of their major themes.  This is a big plaque on the wall of the temple proclaiming peace.

Also, in the plaza there is this cool statue where the man and his child is "beating swords into plow shares and spears into pruning hooks" as the prophets have dreamed of.

Just behind me was another "slinter group" known as the Church of Christ.  Also called the Church of Christ-Temple Lot.  Their main purpose is to own and hold the temple lot.  They have a white church.

Just north and across the street from the Temple Lot folks is what is called the Stone Church, which is one of the original RLDS buildings in the area.  This was their headquarters before the Tabernacle was constructed.

Now it gets a little tricky.  West of the Stone Church is another building that has this name: The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Around the corner I found the Restoration Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Now I walked east a couple of blocks and was back near the town square.  Here I found another panoramic view of churches.

The 1st Christian Church.  This is cool because the followers of Jesus were first call Christians at Antioch.  So if this really is the 1st Christian Church, it is really old.

Without moving from the interception I saw the 1st Presbyterian Church.  I thought it was also cool, as it was the first.  They are proud of the fact that they held together during the American Civil War, not like their neighbors, the Baptists. They also claim Harry met Bess here in Sunday School.  They do not mention that Harry Truman was not a member of this church.

Not to be outdone is the First United Methodist church, ever!


Joseph said they teach for doctrines the philosophes of men mingled with scripture.  Well they have expanded to self defense.

Then, of course, their is the First Baptist Church.  But I don't think they stayed together during the War of Northern Aggression.  Hence, we now have Southern Baptists.  Still, this one claims to be the first.

Harry Truman lived his whole life right here, except when he was in Washington.  He was never baptized nor did he belong to a church.  He certainly had several options very close by.  His church was government.  Here is where he presided as a judge.

As I read the plaques on all of these churches, I was taken by the fact that though many of the buildings were built after the congregations were founded, all of them were founded before the Mormons arrived in 1831.  The early brethren stated that among those opposing us, and also leading the mobs, were ministers of Christian churches in Jackson County.  I think the competition was part of the problem.  Our first missionaries converted several Jackson County families and that probably did not sit well with those ministers.

Well, everyone looks like they are doing OK now.  The buildings are well kept.  It would be interesting to go there tomorrow and see how we stack up with our three wards meeting in our Stake Center against the congregations of the others.

Still, Joseph was told to join none of them.  Especially the Methodists, the Baptists, and the Presbyterians.  Also, he was told to establish THE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


1 comment:

  1. You sound like a busy man even though your wife is away. Thanks for the downtown tour -- very interesting!