Friday, March 25, 2011

The Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Stake President

I am very proud of my son.  He has grown up to be a wonderful husband, father and priesthood holder.  I asked him to prepare a talk at our November 2010 Stake Conference on the subject of following the stake president.  He submitted his intended talk to me and after a few modifications I sent it back to him.  Apart from my talk which ended the conference this was by far the highlight of the conference weekend for all stake members.  Below are the words he spoke: 

Brothers and Sisters I have been asked to speak to you today on the subject of sustaining and following our local leaders.  Since this is stake conference I will concentrate on sustaining and obeying the stake president.  I have entitled my talk “The Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Stake President” which has reference to President Bensons talk given at BYU in 1980.  This talk was referred to twice in the recent October 2010 General Conference.  I have of course adapted the 14 principles to apply to the father of our stake who is also my earthly father even President William Lilburn Godfrey Paternoster.  

The first principle in following the stake president is to understand that he is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything within our stake.  This privilege and responsibility rests with him and him only. 

In our day the stake president has told us to keep the commandments, to love our fellowman, to serve, to take care of the rising generation, to rescue the inactive or less active—to do many things that we call prophetic priorities. We need to understand that these priorities are God’s priorities and the stake president is His voice in communicating them to all of the Church in this area.

We would do well to apply the following scriptures as we think of our stake president. We are counseled to “give heed unto all his words and commandments” (D&C 21:4). We also learn: “For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.”

The second fundamental is that the living stake president is more vital to us than the scriptures or standard works.  While the scriptures are important I can testify to you that our living stake president is receiving specific revelations for us in these the latter-days that cannot be found in the current standard works of the Church.

The third fundamental is that the current stake president is more important to us than past stake presidents.

We learn a great lesson about this from the scriptures. In the times of Noah it was easier for the people to believe in the dead prophets, but it was difficult for them to believe in Noah. We know that because of their incredulity they did not survive the Flood.  Similar things can happen to us in our area if we do not heed the words of president Paternoster.

The fourth fundamental is that the stake president will never lead the Church in this area astray.

President Paternoster has said on several occasions: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as the president of this stake to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty”.

The fifth fundamental is that the stake president is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.  As the Lords representative in this area President Paternoster has the right and sole responsibility to counsel government representatives, mayors, other civic leaders, law enforcement officers, scientists and other religious communities; even if he himself has not held such a position within the community. 

The Lord called a young man, Joseph Smith, to restore His Church. Do you think that the young Joseph Smith was a doctor in theology or science? We know that he was a humble and not academically educated young man. But he was chosen by the Lord, and he received from the Lord all that was necessary to honor and magnify the calling of a prophet of the Restoration.  So it is with our stake president.

The sixth fundamental is that the stake president does not have to say ‘Thus saith the Lord’ to give us scripture.  Every word that proceedeth forth from his mouth is to be counted as if it were the mind and will of the Lord.  Obedience to the president at all times without question is essential to our salvation. 

The seventh principle is that the stake president tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.  President Paternoster often laments that people within the stake speak to him as did Laman and Lemuel to Nephi saying “Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear” 
Our stake president will often reply as did Nephi “And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us.”

The eighth fundamental is that the stake president is not limited by men’s reasoning.
Does it seem reasonable to cure throat cancer by telling a man to wash seventeen times in the river right behind this very stake center in the middle of winter? No it doesn’t. Yet this is precisely what the President told Brother Stumstead to do; and was he healed?  With the help of radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and this act of faith he most certainly was.  In fact he is sitting amongst us today. 

Brothers and sisters my time is running out so I will skip to the last principle about obedience to the president which is probably the most important and is a warning unto all; follow him and be blessed; reject him and suffer.  I don't know how to make it any clearer than that.

We are privileged to have the words of our living stake president during this wonderful stake conference. He will speak the will of the Lord for us, his people. He will transmit the word of God and His counsel to us. Pay attention and follow his instruction and suggestions, and I testify to you that your life will be completely blessed.

Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. Bill Paternoster is the current living president who works under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who are prophets, seers, and revelators.  I say these things most humbly in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

19 comments:

diogenes said...

President, when you become a general authority which middle initial will you use? "L' or "G"?

It must be so comforting for those in your stake to know that once you speak the thinking has been done.

Stake Pres. said...
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SCW said...

Do you find it ironic that your son based his words on a dead prophet rather than the words of the living prophet Thomas S. Monson?

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite LDS blog ever. Wonderful post President William Lilburn Godfrey Paternoster! I'm surprised your parents couldn't find room for a LeVoy or LaVar in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

@ SCW there is another way of looking at it. It is more likely that Pres. Paternoster's son based his talk on the two GA's who addressed the fourteen fundamentals in following the Prophet By Elder Benson (during the resent GC I might add) and that it was they who are the ones who based their words on a dead apostle (Elder Benson was not a prophet at the time he gave this talk).

Sis. Daniels

Stake Pres. said...
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Anonymous said...

This is a spoof blog, isn't it? What Stake do you govern President?

Daniel said...

Does it seem reasonable to cure throat cancer by telling a man to wash seventeen times in the river right behind this very stake center in the middle of winter? No it doesn’t. Yet this is precisely what the President told Brother Stumstead to do; and was he healed? With the help of radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and this act of faith he most certainly was.

Latter-day scoffers tell me that such healing is due to the human medical treatments and not through prayer. But I ask them: Who inspired the humans to make the treatment that cured the cancer that the Lord in his mercy created?

The Lord. That's who.

They never seem to have an answer to that. They just stare in silence.

Stake Pres. said...
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Anonymous said...

Aahhhh, I get it now. You're not just a piece of work. You're a piece of shit pretending to be a piece of work.

But don't worry. I'll make it my life now to expose your sorry ass and bring it all down.

You're the epitome of bullshit.

Your mom's brother's uncle's son's wife's mother's niece's boytoy.

Stake Pres. said...
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Sunshine said...

Yeah, great post Patternoster. I hate to de-leaven your zeal, but your son's talk doesn't exactly set your stake apart from every other snoozefest conference in every other stake out there.

I guess I'll have to continue to wait to hear the words "food storage" coupled with "defend" or "rioters" coming from any pulpit.

Stake Pres. said...
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anonymous #2 said...

Sunshine,

I agree with you about wanting to hear talk from our inspired general authorities from the pulpit about having our 2 yrs+ food storage, & how to defend ourselves from the upcoming riotors when they realize they should have done some preparing for themselves.

President, tell us about food storage preparation, protection from riotors & criminals stealing our food - we need to know more for the hard times coming! The writing's on the wall & we deserve to hear from our inspired leaders such as yourself. We need to know what to do to be prepared. Please.

- anonymous #2

Stake Pres. said...
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anonymous #2 said...

I read your post of jan 17th & found it informative. I do wish you would do another post on this topic, more about the forces gathering upon the world & solutions to be prepared so we don't fear. By the way, why don't the GA's tell us more on this matter?

Spider said...

President, what happened at the weekend, did Pres Uchtdorf forget to read your name out? I am so sad we won't get to hear you at general conference lol

Stake Pres. said...
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Bishop Ripplefritz said...

Thank you once again President Paternoster for your valuable insights. I particularly appreciate your emphasis on the the fact we have no need to be familiar with facts or knowledge regarding the particular topic we are inspired to address. Too often I have been challenged while defending intelligent design and creationism, and my response has always been that you don't need to know anything about science when discussing it's shortcomings! You would think that would be obvious to our Saints, but no, there is always the weak testimony brother or sister who insists on a factual basis where only spiritual principles apply. Bruce R. McKonkie said it best in his venerated "Mormn Doctrine".

My best to you and your sweet wife and children, President Paternoster!

Bishop Poindexter Ripplefritz