Thursday, September 15, 2011

Elder Bednar's Visit from (Katie Pic)

The following story was posted on about Elder Bednar's recent trip to Europe.

When Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles arrived in Reading, England, for meetings with members, leaders, and missionaries, he knew he could not visit every person individually. The sheer number of members in Reading makes that impossible. Nevertheless, as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, he understood fully his commission to bless the lives of members, both collectively and individually.
“The ministry of a member of the Twelve is always to find individuals,” he said, “following the principle from the Book of Mormon, ‘one by one.’ An Apostle is always searching for the ones the Lord sent him to find . . . to lift, to bless, to do something to help an individual or a family.  When meeting with a group of members, of youth, or of young single adults, it is not that there is an audience of fifteen hundred; there are fifteen hundred ‘ones.’”

Questions and Answers

Elder Bednar answers missionary
Elder Bednar listens to a missionary, then directs him to gospel doctrines and principles that may help him find an answer.
That is why Elder Bednar chose a question-and-answer format for meetings he held with missionaries, stake leaders, and young single adults. But the question-and-answer sessions did not involve Elder Bednar asking the questions; instead, he invited the members to ask him questions. Then, with love, he taught them doctrine and principles that would guide and assist them. Teaching in this way, he could call on individuals who most needed his counsel, even though everyone benefitted from the instruction. Elder Bednar was able, through the guidance of the Holy Ghost, to reach out to the ones the Lord had prepared and placed in his path.

Sincere Questions

missionary asks Elder Bednar a question
At Elder Bednar’s invitation, missionaries, like members, share their thoughts and ask questions.
In an interview the day after one of the meetings, Elder Bednar said: “Anyone who was in the meeting with the young single adults last night would have been impressed by the authenticity, the openness, and the genuineness of the questions asked. My heart just reached out to several of those young people because of what they were asking and the sincerity with which they were asking.”

Answers Often Come “Line upon Line”

During the interview, Elder Bednar explained that “much of the world anticipates big results quickly. But the Lord builds a sure foundation and incrementally builds upon that foundation line upon line. If we go back to the early days of the Restoration, there were many converts in England. That pace is not the same now; it is slower. But in many of the areas where the missionaries are serving the converts continue to come one by one and learn line upon line; they are being retained. So there is steady growth.”

Goal Is to Help

Elder Bednar listening
Elder Bednar explains that one reason for meeting with local leaders is to become better acquainted with their needs.
When Elder Bednar comes as a member of the Twelve to visit an area of the Church, he explained that “obviously, we bring points of emphasis from the First Presidency and the Twelve.  But my question to the Area Presidency is, ‘How can we best help you?’” He said that approach helps formulate what takes place during the meetings held in the area.  My heart yearns to be of assistance in some way so that the members will have the fortitude, the faith, the courage to keep pressing forward.”

Acting Rather Than Being Acted Uponmissionary choir
A missionary choir uses music to invite the Spirit into the meeting with Elder Bednar. Sister Willard and Sister Housley on the far left.
Elder Bednar expressed: “Worldly influences would hinder use of our agency afforded through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  But we are agents who can act, and that affects everything in terms of how we live the gospel in our daily lives. It affects how we pray, how we study the scriptures, how we worship at church. There is a difference when one goes to a sacrament meeting essentially as an object waiting to be acted upon—‘Feed me, give me something’—as opposed to worshiping in sacrament meeting as an agent where you are acting—asking, seeking, and knocking.

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