25 October 2010

A very brief summary of meeting with bishop H. David Burton and elder Jeffrey R. Holland

The following is a very brief summary of what was presented in the talks yesterday in the extraordinary stake conference meeting. Present were bishop David Burton, presiding bishop, and elder Jeffrey R Holland, member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The meeting was held at the Bellville chapel in the Cape Town South Africa stake.

Pres. Mervyn Giddey, stake president, spoke about his impressions following the meetings yesterday about rescuing the one. There should be no animosity toward any, and cited the example of Joseph who was sold into Egypt and how he was loving and charitable towards his brothers who had sold him into Egypt. The worth of souls is great – and we need to value each soul.

Four members were called upon to speak extemporaneously.
Angie Spires bore testimony of the rewards of faithful endurance despite challenges.
Alex Giddey told how he had received his testimony after repeated pleading.
Tracy Armstrong told of being challenged to study the Book of Mormon together with studying Preach My Gospel
Kaylianne Zokufa told that if we walk faithfully we will be able to walk in these difficult challenges of the world. Set an example and your light will shine where it is needed.

Elder Jackson Mkhabela – learn what we should learn, do what we should do, become what we should become, or what we have been given will be taken away from us.

Sister Burton – She told of how she has thought in a sacrament meeting how similar meetings are occurring all over the world, bringing home the reality of this being a truly worldwide Church. She encouraged children to obey their parents. She believes that parents would give their lives for their children and related a story of a bird that had apparently given its life trying to get to its children to feed them after construction work made the nest inaccessible.

Bishop Burton – Read from John chapter 4 and asked what we must accomplish to receive the living water. He told how he, as a 13 year old had reluctantly accompanied his father to administer to a sick ward member, and he had gone to sit on the front steps to think of the ball game that he was missing because of this visit. Then pres. David O Mackay came and sat next to him and chatted. He told of the time that he, as a 13 year old, was joined by pres. John Taylor, and how brother Taylor pulled up his sleeve and showed young David McKay the wounds that he has received when in Carthage jail at the time of Joseph Smith’s martyrdom. Here was young David being told by an older David of his experiences as a young David.

Sister Patricia Holland – she said that nothing, not even the beautiful Cape, is as beautiful as the testimony and spirit in this stake meeting.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland – he had loved every second of the meeting so far. He asked the choir to once again sing ‘Beautiful Saviour’. He told how he had borne witness of the savior since the time that he was in Primary, but that the witness that he bears now is that of a Witness. He said that his presence in Cape Town today was a witness of the restoration of the Gospel, that God lives, Jesus Christ lives, that they have visited the Earth in these last days. He was sent to us as a witness that this is true. He told of the apostles of old who, after less than 36 months of training, under the tutelage of Jesus Christ, were suddenly left alone. They had been prepared, but they failed to grasp the preparation telling them that Christ would be going away from them. There was probably depression, confusion, certainly chaos. They had decided to go fishing again – the one thing that they knew how to do. Things had not been easy for them at the first, or the last, nor any time in between. While fishing they were hailed by a man on the shore who had a fire burning with food for them which would be very welcome as they had caught nothing during the night. This stranger asked how the fishing had been, and then told them to cast the net on the other side of the boat. They questioned, but did anyway, and the result was then a catch that was too vast for them to bring in easily. They then recognized that it was the Saviour who had spoken to them and Peter, impetuous as ever, jumped into the water to swim ashore. The Saviour then asked Peter three times ‘lovest thou me more than these?’ Peter was grieved when asked the third time (he was becoming sensitive about threes after denying three times at the palace at the time of the trial). It was important for Peter to affirm his love three times, and to receive the instructions three times to feed the Saviour’s lambs and sheep. Elder Holland stressed to us – do we love Him? We need to have the same changing and renewed matured commitment that Peter and the other apostles needed, and we need to love Him, and feed His sheep. He said that we are apostles with a lower case A. He stressed that there is no vindictiveness in the father – He is not out to condemn us – but we need to answer the question ‘do you love me’? What are we going to do to show our love for Him? Elder Holland then gave an apostolic blessing, stressing that it was to each individual, as though we had his hands placed personally on each of our heads. He blessed the fathers, the mothers, the young and old, and sent us out to witness.

Following the meeting there was no rush for members to leave because the heavens opened with a heavy downpour. We had no rain at home just about 7km away. But the fellowshipping was enhanced by members staying and chatting rather than going out in the rain.