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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Ten Characteristics of those who've had their Calling and Election Made Sure, Part 2 of 5



Good, Plain Folk

I'd like to take you back about 180 years for a few minutes.

The Colesville Branch of the Church, having lived in the relative civility of New York and Ohio, followed the call to resettle on the frontier in Jackson County, Missouri. At first, the branch had neither tents nor implements to farm with. They had little to eat but some beef and cornmeal made by rubbing ears of corn against an old tin grater.  (Larry C. Porter, “The Colesville Branch in Kaw Township, Jackson County, Missouri, 1831 to 1833” in Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Missouri, ed. Arnold K. Garr and Clark V. Johnson (Provo, Utah: Department of Church History and Doctrine, 1997), p. 292; also see here).

Yet when the Prophet visited them, he found them in a lively mood. Amid what for lesser people would have been a plight of abject misery, the Colesville Branch welcomed their Prophet as had those that once shouted Hosanna at Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem; they rejoiced as the ancient Saints had when Paul returned from his long dispersion. 

Joseph, overcome with their greatness of soul and generosity of heart, gathered them together and did something that caused a considerable stir among those that witnessed it — he sealed up the branch, all present, to Eternal Life. (Dean Jessee, “Joseph Knight's Recollection of Early Mormon History,” BYU Studies 17, no. 1 (1976): 39; also see here)

Though it cannot be known if every member was present to be “sealed up,” in naming a few of the sixty-eight souls in the Colesville Branch, it is clear that these were just good, plain folk. No matter how you argue it, Ezekial and Electa Peck are not exactly household names, nor is Freeborn Demille, Hortensia Rogers, Orientia and Anna Badger, or the Joseph Knight Sr. family.  They never did anything earth shattering for history to remember, nor ascended to hold positions of honor in the Church.  They were just homey stalk with hearts in the right place. (Larry C. Porter, “'Ye Shall Go to the Ohio': Exodus of the New York Saints to Ohio, 1831,” Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Ohio, ed. Milton V. Backman Jr. (Provo, Utah: Department of Church History and Doctrine, 1990), 7.).

I doubt much has changed in the intervening 180 years.  Are we lesser Saints than those who went before?  I don't think so. 

Over the years, I have been blessed to meet many individuals who, like the Colesville Branch members, have unexpectedly received this blessing. 

These men and women, whom I have known for many years, have consistently shown by their words and deeds that they are not only disciples, not only friends, but they are also beloved of God.

They are good, faithful, temple-going, home/visiting teaching, humble latter-day saints who seek the constant companionship with the Lord 24 / 7 / 365.  Yet simultaneously, they shun spotlights and anything that highlights them.  They are adamant about maintaining anonymity and giving all the glory to God.

They also display many common characteristics which, when combined, further solidifies the testimonies they have borne not of themselves, but of their Savior.

The following two posts (after this one) will include what I consider the Top Ten characteristics of the called and elected.

Note:

  • There may be, and probably are, more than these 10 characteristics. 
  • These characteristics are displayed by the approximately two dozen people I know who have had their C&E.
  • I will not betray their anonymity.
  • ALL consider the Savior their best friend in a way that can't adequately be expressed in words.  When they speak of Him, their tone becomes softer, gentler, more sensitive.  In some cases, their eyes may well up as they contemplate He who held their hand and hugged them even in the deepest, darkest nights.
I will leave it to you, and the Spirit, to determine which of these 10 characteristics are relevant to -- and should be embraced by -- you.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing and testifying. I feel the Holy Spirit so strongly reading your postings.

    ReplyDelete