Saturday 18th May was start of the Romford Stake Conference of the Preisthood Leadership and it was very fully attended both days, including a full turnout on Sunday morning.
One of the speakers referred to Doctrine and Covenants 2, which tells of the 116 pages of the manuscript which came to be lost. "As a Bishop, have you ever felt you have done something that has completely 'blown it'? (like the lost 116 pages?). This was President Bleakley of the Romford Ward, who is now leaving to go and look after the Southend Ward. He talked about Administering v. Exercising the Priesthood. Reference was made to D&C 5:16, Moroni Ch 10: 8-17. I personally admire President Bleakley, who always champions exercising the priesthood, and is a very capable Bishop.
His wife, Sister Bleakley, who has three children, also told us as to why she is a Mormon.
"Why am I a Mormon? It is because I was born in a household where both parents and grandparents were Mormons - I was born in the Church? That's part of the reason. But because I know our Saviour lives, I have chosen to be a Mormon."
Sister Bleakley grew up in Leeds, and there one day she saw a car with the registration LDS 4 EVA. To her this was of course our Church for ever, although to the car owner it was most probably Leeds for ever.
One of the missionaries, Elder Nicols, has just returned from Greece. He had a sunny testimony where he was at the Hills of Mars near the Acropolis, where the Saviour stood and prophesied in olden times.
We are here that we might have joy. Heavenly Father likes us to be joyful."
Brother Nicols is of the persuasion that we should continue to renew our covenants with Heavenly Father.
It may sound strange, but in Greece Yes is Na. (And the good news is that there has been a lot of repair
to the Greek economy, and it seems normality is fast returning to that golden land).
Sister Lydia Jacobs is a new convert, who met two missionaries is Southend. She was offered the Book of Mormon - what is this? she said. It talks about a Prophet (Joseph Smith) who lived to transcribe this book and make it available to the world. But she had heard that no one who sees the Father lives, yet two men who saw the Heavenly Father did live, to glorify His name. Lydia was baptised recently, after meeting President Jordan. She sounded like a transformation had taken place in her life. She is very joyful now. It is refreshing to know that should we see God, in our hearts, we would still live on, to glorify His name through sharing His message.
President Jordan especially travelled over to be at this testimony.
His wife, Sister Jordan, spoke about the success of the recent 'I'm a Mormon' campaign. People have even contacted the Church to enquire about tickets to the show, The Mormons are Coming.
There are Mormons all over London. Two missionaries near the Prince of Wales Theatre were asked for their autographs. "What do you actually do?" some missionaries were asked on a bus.
"Is that a real Book of Mormon?" others have asked, seeing a copy of the beautiful blue pocket size softcover volume, which is available for the asking to those who would read it and discover for the themselves the veracity of the message.
There is a special hotline to President Jordan between 9.30 and 10.30 pm each night, and missionaries phone in to tell him about the miracles that particular day. It is an even busier time as there is ever-growing curiousity about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Sister Bonnel Lawal spoke about the consequences of breaking God commandments, signs of which are to be seen everywhere and something we should guard ourselves against, despite the struggles to make ends meet and endeavour to buy the first house.
President David Barter, the Stake President, summed up his testimony in two golden words : Service sanctifies.
To all the above, in the name of our Saviour, whose message lives through the faithful congregations, I say Amen.
(Written by Duru-darshan
Melchizedek Priest at the Ilford Chapel)
18th and 19th May 2013.