Tuesday, May 31, 2011

There is a person pretending to be me......

Brothers and Sisters,

A person pretending to be me set up this fake profile:

Which is an impersonation of my real profile here:

This person has made some comments in my name to the effect that I am not really a stake president.  I have deleted those comments.

I have also reported this to blogger and asked them to delete the impersonator.  For now any comments made by me or that seem to be made by me can be verified by clicking on my name.  My 'real' profile has been viewed 4,700 or so times whereas the fake profile has been viewed twice.

Actually I have made a change that all comments will now have to be approved by me.  This way no one will have to guess whether a comment by "Stake Pres." is actually from President Paternoster.  All is restored and I do have to sincerely congratulate the impersonator for his or her ingenuity.

Monday, May 30, 2011

President Paternoster discloses how Tithing helps the poor and needy

A member of my stake Jon Hare (name has been changed) recently came to me stating that he had read online that the Church keeps secret all of its financial income and how it is spent.  He also didn’t think the church was using tithing funds to help the poor as per the original scriptural intent.  He spoke negatively of some mall over in America that the church was investing in.  Jon, a former high priest group leader who is financially very well off admitted that he was considering the possibility of not paying tithing anymore even though he knew this meant he could no longer attend the temple.

Seeing the seriousness of the situation I invited him into my office to see if I could calm his fears with accurate and correct information.  We had a prayer together and he asked that we start by reading from the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 14:37-38 which talking about (the man) Melchizedek states “And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram, being the high priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God; Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor."

From this scripture we learn that the storehouse of God in which the tithes were brought (that there may be meat in mine house…) were originally intended to bless the poor.  Brother Hare pointed out that this is our first and oldest scriptural reference to tithing.  He also pointed out that in the early days of the church in Utah tithing was used to assist those in need.

It is precisely these sorts of questions that I as a humble representative of the Lord am prepared to answer.

I asked him to join me on my side of the desk upon which I had my laptop.  We then went to this site which shows exactly how much income the church both received (8.5M pounds) and gave out (3.7M) in the UK in 2009:

We also read what the official purpose of this charity was, which I have copied and pasted below:

I explained to Brother Hare that tithes are of course used to fund our buildings including our temples and some funds are invested in properties perhaps even including malls. Some money may be invested in businesses with the purpose of producing further opportunities to help the poor. From this site it is clear that money received by the church is used to assist the needy.

Brother Hare proved to be a little tougher to convince than I expected and explained to me that fast offering and humanitarian aid money which is donated by members to the church over and above tithing is used for the poor.  Obviously he was right and I agreed with him on this point. I didn’t yet have him convinced that actual tithing money (above that which is needed to fund the buildings etc) went to the poor.  But I had one more card to play, so to speak.

I showed him that not only does the church willingly and voluntarily post such details in the UK but this is also the case across the ocean in Canada.  I have an aunt who keeps me abreast of developments in the church over there.  In fact on the Canada Revenue Agency website we can see the details of each church unit (ward) and what their individual charitable income was for the past few years:

The unit called “THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS IN CANADA” can be considered the ‘head office’ (as in all donations roll up to that charity from which funds are given back to wards etc).

As a summary though I pointed out to Jon that of the 145 million received from other registered charities (i.e. wards*) in 2009 the church did in fact follow the Lords injunction to ‘receive tithes for the poor’ by giving precisely 40 Million Dollars to BYU. 

I told him how joyous the saints in Canada must be to be able to support the Lords University and students in this way. I further pointed out that in 2010 in order for the church to be even more profitable and capable of assisting the sometimes destitute students and programs at BYU all chapel cleaning staff in Canada (who according to my aunt happened to be church members) had been let go.  With this move member’s now have the additional responsibility and blessing above and beyond their other church duties of cleaning their own sacred chapels.

We looked at this link showing the 40 Million dollar donation to BYU which I explained to Brother Hare is public information (not hidden as per his original concern) provided by the church for anyone in the world to see**: 

Needless to say Brother Hare was settled on the matter and convinced that the lies he had read online about the church not disclosing its financial details were completely unfounded. He further admitted that he had been deceived into thinking that tithing money was not being used for the poor as per the Biblical intent.  Said Hare, “If BYU students aren’t poor I don’t know who is”. He thanked me very much for my time and agreed to pay a full tithe this year as he has faithfully done in the past.  He also asked if it was possible to make donations directly to BYU separate from paying tithing. I confirmed that he could.

I know that the Lord will bless him for his faith and obedience.  I don’t mind members having questions; I just wish they would go to the right sources (humble church leaders) for answers rather than the internet.

President Paternoster

*$145,582,695 received from other registered charities (wards)

**In case the link ever doesn’t work I will briefly list below the pertinent details:
Qualified donees
Name of organization: Brigham Young University
City: Provo, UT
Amount of specified gifts: $ 40,000,000

It then goes on to list the specific amounts some of the wards received back from Canada‘s church head office which I assume were used for budgets and welfare assistance.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wilt thou deny the Book of Mormon?

As more and more members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are crawling under and around the Book of Mormon on their way out of the church creating for themselves a lifetime of guilt, sorrow and wastefulness I stand with the apostles in declaring for the angels in heaven to record that I know the book to be a true and historically accurate account of the inhabitants of ancient America.

Serious study of the Book of Mormon is flourishing today as never before. And, with more study, the book’s sturdiness and richness and the remarkable accomplishment of its translator, the Prophet Joseph Smith, become more apparent for everyone to see. 

Scholarship does not replace spiritual witness as a source of testimony. As Elder B. H. Roberts of the Seventy said: “The power of the Holy Ghost … must ever be the chief source of evidence for the Book of Mormon. All other evidence is secondary. … No arrangement of evidence, however skillfully ordered; no argument, however adroitly made, can ever take its place.”

Yet scholarship has a definite place even in spiritual matters. In 1832 the Lord said to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “Seek learning, even by study and also by faith” Careful scholarship helps us to understand more fully, deeply, and precisely. “To be known, the truth must be stated,” Elder Roberts said, “and the clearer and more complete the statement is, the better opportunity will the Holy Spirit have for testifying to the souls of men that the work is true.”

It is an established and undisputed fact that the Prophet Joseph Smith did indeed possess the gold plates. In addition to Joseph, 11 official and several unofficial witnesses testified to the existence of the plates. Meticulous research on these witnesses has confirmed their good character and the veracity of their accounts. The language on the plates was reformed Egyptian which would have been common amongst ancient Native Americans.  Had the Spaniards not destroyed so many records upon their arrival in the Americas we would have assuredly found many more documents written in this popular tongue.

Further, there is no evidence at all that Joseph Smith did any scholarly research, or even that he read very much, before the Book of Mormon appeared.  He was probably illiterate by our modern day standards. In fact, according to the Ensign article upon which I am basing this post* he may not even have owned a Bible at the time of translation.  The fact that a large part of the Book of Mormon matches the King James Version of the Bible word for word is nothing short of a miracle. 

Joseph Smith spent the bulk of his innocent youth cutting trees, burning brush, clearing rocks, plowing, digging wells and in a nutshell avoiding all trouble and controversy.

Research shows clearly that the book does not fit the culture of early 19th-century America. There is little of the military romanticism of Joseph Smith’s America. Instead, we see grimly realistic portrayals of war’s devastation and suffering. And in the story of the Gadianton robbers we have a detailed, realistic portrayal of a prolonged guerrilla struggle—lacking any trace of fife and drum, uniforms, or parades—published well over a century before the guerrilla theorists of the 20th century put pens to paper.

DNA evidence clearly shows that the ancestors of modern Native Americans were principally and partially to a large and often undetectable extent among the Lamanites’ as confirmed in the introduction of the Book of Mormon. 

As Latter-day Saints, we must never take the Book of Mormon for granted. That it was produced by an almost completely uneducated young man constitutes a challenge to the entire world. Anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists and many other fields of research have done nothing but confirm the already overwhelming evidence that the book is authentic.

Those who do not wish to believe and obey must conjure up their own ideas for explaining it and the mounting evidence for its authenticity. And while we may never “prove” the Book of Mormon true, the trajectory of the evidence strongly suggests that it is exactly what it claims to be. Thousands of hours of research have produced the current blossoming of Book of Mormon studies that bless the lives of Latter-day Saints. They cannot be lightly brushed aside.

The conclusion of the matter is that much modern evidence supports the even more powerful witness of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith, who translated it, had to be what he said he was, a prophet of God. Thomas S. Monson is the true prophet on the earth today, and I am a stake president with all the keys, rights and privileges appertaining to my sacred calling and duty. I leave these thoughts with you, humbly, in the holy and most sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Missionary Work - That they may hear the Message of Truth

Brothers and Sisters have you ever wanted to just sit someone down and explain something to them whether they wanted to listen or not?  This happens to me all the time.  As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we are anxiously engaged in saving souls through missionary work.  Every member is a missionary and we must preach the gospel in order that the sins of the world fall not upon our own heads at the last day. 

According to a 'stake president only' training meeting I recently attended studies have shown that non-members often suspect that they will be preached to from members and do their best to avoid such situations.

It is in this spirit that I want to discuss with you a way in which missionary work can be done that will likely be more effective and rewarding for you.  You will need to learn to create settings in which it would be socially unacceptable for a non member to not listen to the message of the gospel. This will enable you to help them feel the spirit that under other circumstances would not be possible. 

Allow me to give an example from personal experience.  My neighbors Pete and Dave have always been very friendly with me.  I have often thought they would make excellent church members, but they always seemed hesitant whenever I would invite them to our church.  I noticed they had a small rainbow on their car and took the opportunity thank them for reminding me of the covenant God had made with Noah after the flood. When I told them the name of the church and my position therein I could discern that they were quite uncomfortable.  I didn’t see much of them over the next few weeks.

When I ran into them in town I insisted that they come over for dinner and looking at each other they rather hesitantly accepted.  I had Sister Paternoster make a wonderful meal and decided to invite the missionaries over also.

When Pete and Dave arrived the missionaries were already at our home and we had a wonderful dinner.  In this setting the Elders were able to help my neighbors understand the importance of the First Vision.  I then gave each of them their very own copy of The Book of Mormon with my testimony written therein and explained to them the eternal nature of marriage and families. 

While Pete and Dave haven’t yet joined the church and don’t seem to be home when the missionaries stop by I can feel good knowing that I did my part in helping them understand the restored gospel.
Another beautiful example of creating a setting in which it would be difficult for a non member to not listen to the message of the gospel was given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in the October 2006 general conference.  His talk can be found at this link:

In summary Elder Holland talked about a non member sister who was invited by her member colleagues to go on a hike in the mountains of Provo.  They chose to do this on the first Saturday of October. 

“As the sun steadily rose, so did the hikers on the mountainside. Then, as the ten o’clock hour approached, the group began to find places to sit down… But the participants seemed unusually earnest about this particular break, some pulling out pencils and notebooks while one intently dialed a transistor radio.

What then happened would be a turning point in her life forever. One of her friends said, “Carolyn, we need to explain something. This is the first Saturday in October, and for us that means not only lovely weather and bright fall foliage, but it also means a general conference of the Church. As Latter-day Saints, wherever we are or whatever we are doing, we stop and listen. So we are going to sit here among the oak and the pines, look out over the valley below, and listen to the prophets of God for a couple of hours.”

“A couple of hours!” thought Carolyn. “I didn’t know there were prophets of God still living,” she said, “and I certainly didn’t know there were two hours’ worth!” Little did she know that they were going to stop again at two o’clock that afternoon for another two hours and then invite her to tune in at home for four more the next day.

Well, the rest is history. With the gift of a leather-bound copy of the scriptures from her students, the love of friends and families in the LDS ward she began to attend, and spiritual experiences we want all who make their way into the light of the gospel to have, Carolyn was baptized and confirmed a member of the Church”

Brothers and Sisters as you pray for ways to introduce your friends to the gospel please consider the examples given by Elder Holland and I in this blog post. 


President Paternoster

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Bitter Fruits of Apostasy

This post is dedicated to Sister Fitzgerald who upon leaving the church has known only bitterness and grief.  I will speak directly to her with the hopes that others in her situation will liken my words unto themselves.

Sister Fitzgerald, according to D&C 29:7 missionaries are sent throughout the world to "bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts". In Mormon 9:23 we learn from our loving Savior that “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

Sister Fitzgerald since you joined the true church you are amongst the very elect of God.  Why then have you turned away from that which you know to be true? While I do not know the details I do know that many have been offended at something little that someone said or did. Sister Fitzgerald did your Bishop spell or pronounce your name incorrectly?  Is this what started you on the road to apostasy? I realize that this can be hurtful as it happens to me all the time, but I would ask that you ponder the inspiring words of Apostle Elder Bednar who said "Let me make sure I understand what has happened to you. Because someone at church offended you, you have not been blessed by the ordinance of the sacrament. You have withdrawn yourself from the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Because someone at church offended you, you have cut yourself off from priesthood ordinances and the holy temple. You have discontinued your opportunity to serve others and to learn and grow. And you are leaving barriers that will impede the spiritual progress of your children, your children's children, and the generations that will follow."

Sister Fitzgerald when members are offended they lose the spirit of the work in which they are engaged and become infidel in their feelings. They say that they do not know whether the Bible is true, whether the Book of Mormon is true, nor whether there is a God or not. When they lose the spirit of this work, they lose the knowledge of the things of God in time and in eternity; all is lost to them.  Is this your fate Sister Fitzgerald? Has your mind become confused and darkened in this manner?

Within the church we find all that is good, pure, holy, God-like, exalting and ennobling. Will you listen as I tell you what you will receive in exchange for giving up the church? Pay attention for I can say it in very few words and here they are: death, hell and the grave. That is what you will get in exchange and I can assure you that Satan rejoices exceedingly over your fate Sister Fitzgerald.

You are experiencing darkness, ignorance, doubt, pain, sorrow, grief, mourning and unhappiness right now. You have no arm to lean upon in the day of calamity and no eye to pity you when you are forlorn and cast down. This is what you get in exchange for your apostasy from the Gospel of the Son of God. This is the reward Satan has in store for you.

You have gone into the dark, and are not able to judge, conceive or comprehend things as they are. You are like the drunkard who thinks that everybody is the worse for liquor but himself, and he is the only sober man in the neighborhood. The apostate thinks that everybody is wrong but himself.

Sister Fitzgerald have you committed a sin but do not want to repent? Are you trying to avoid giving a detailed account of your iniquities to your righteous priesthood leaders that you may be forgiven? To silence your conscience or justify your sinful actions have you moved away from the truth, looking for imperfections in others or questioning Church doctrine? Do not fall into this oh so common trap.

I testify that you may return from the mists of the darkness of personal apostasy by repenting of your sins, overcoming offense, eliminating faultfinding, and following your Church leaders. You must also humble yourself, forgive others, keep your covenants, partake of the sacrament worthily each week, and strengthen your testimony through prayer, daily scripture study, temple attendance and serving your fellowmen.

In a moment of utter despair you reached out to me, a stake president on my facebook wall and pleaded for help.  This assures me that the spirit is still buried deep within you.  Our conversation can be found here for all to read:

In a nutshell you asked what you should do about church members who express disappointment and heartbreak over your choices.  This was my response, given powerfully as directed by The Lord Omnipotent:
“Sister Fitzgerald, before you joined this Church you stood on neutral ground. When the gospel was preached, good and evil were set before you. There were two opposite masters inviting you to serve them. Had you chosen to reject the missionaries and serve Satan you would have been judged accordingly at the last day. But when you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God. When you did that you left the neutral ground and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve, it will be by the instigation of the evil one, and you will follow his dictation and be his servant.

It is with this knowledge and our deep concern for your welfare that we (the righteous Saints of God) tell you that we are disappointed in you. By saying this we are hoping to make you think more deeply about your decision because evidently you have not given it enough thought. A deep thinker would come to understand that Satan is at the root of any doubts and that only by coming back to the Church can one be saved. Please listen to the heartfelt anguish and pleadings of your fellow saints, put back on your holy garments and enjoy the financial blessings of paying tithing once more that the windows of heaven may be opened unto you and your children.”

Brothers and Sisters if you have left the Church I would plead with you to return to the safety of the fold.  Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.  For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.


President Paternoster

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Divinely Inspired Church-writing Committee

As I took the opportunity to attend a high priest class on Sunday I was disappointed that the teacher had fallen into the temptation to turn to an unofficial internet based resource (which did not carry an official church logo), in an attempt to justify an interpretation on tithing that was not in accordance with the manual we all had in front of us. 

The problem with these sorts of lessons is that while they can be very convincing they are not always in harmony with current church teachings.  Fortunately I was there to provide the official position of the church in the matter.

After the lesson I was able to meet with and correct the teacher who agreed to abide by my counsel in the future.  We read together an article entitled “Use Proper Sources” which is linked below:

In brief the article talks about a stressed out sister who while preparing a lesson had lots of books, magazines and her laptop computer open.  Her daughter informed her that an inspired Church-writing committee had already done all this research for her. Everything the mother needed — and more — was right there in her manual.

Following the advice of her daughter, the woman turned off her computer, shut the dozens of books open on her dining room table and picked up her manual and scriptures. The frustration she had previously experienced disappeared. She knew the material was doctrinally accurate. She knew its source was valid. She knew it had been approved by the men called to lead the Lord's work on the earth today and that it was what they wanted her to teach.

Teachers in the Church do themselves and the people they serve a great disservice when they turn to unofficial — not correlated — materials in the planning of lessons and activities.

As teachers are obedient to this counsel they will be at peace and all will be uplifted.

The Church — through its inspired correlation program — has given us official sources of information to help us prepare lessons and learn the gospel. Instead of turning to unofficial books and Web sites, let's use those sources.  For your edification I will list below some credible sources of information:
The Scriptures
Church approved manuals

Please stay away from sites that claim to have truths about our religion, but are really designed to make you question your faith and devotion to the Lord and His Church.

President Paternoster

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Songs that Satan Singeth

Brothers and Sisters I speak today to the precious youth of the church - though this talk will be equally applicable to their parents.  While driving home from meeting a fellow network and referral marketing partner the other day I decided that instead of listening to my usual Mormon Tabernacle choir CD’s, I would turn on the radio to see what ‘the world’ is listening too. 

I came across a music station and was utterly shocked at what I heard.  While sitting in traffic I managed to scribble down some of the artist’s names and their words.  My notes may not be precisely accurate but they do accurately portray the gist of what is being sung in these the latter-days.

The first song was by a woman named Rinahanna (or something similar) who used these words “It feels so good being bad, there's no way I'm turning back..... oh, you turn me on...”  I was absolutely dumbfounded!! Satan must be laughing with glee as he inspires these songs and sees us listening to them.  As a stake president I can assure you that in opposition to the message of this song being bad never feels good.  You cannot do wrong and feel right – it is completely contrary to the plan of happiness. 

Then a song came on from a woman that according to my notes is named Katy Sperry who sung about how she kissed another girl! And not only that but she claims to have actually liked it!  Again this is completely opposite to the message of the gospel that the savior would have us teach. 

While on the subject of kissing I would just like to clarify that in some circumstances a kiss may be appropriate. President Kimball said: “Even if timely courtship justifies the kiss, it should be a clean, decent, sexless one like the kiss between mother and son, or father and daughter.” Please keep this counsel in mind.

Then a song by ‘Kesha’ came on which compared love to drugs.  This is a comparison that should never be made.  Some of the lyrics I wrote down were as follows “I won't listen to any advice, mamma's telling me to think twice - but left to my own devices I'm addicted, it’s a crisis. My friends think I've gone crazy, my judgment is getting kind of hazy” Here she is singing of the damaging results of taking drugs.  The song has nothing to do with the pure love that Christ would have us have in our hearts.

She then ended the song with the words “I like your beard”.  Full time missionaries, general authorities and stake presidents are required to be clean shaven at all times.  I will take this opportunity to ask the young men and in fact all men within the sound of my voice to follow this Christ like example. 

While still stuck in traffic a song by a certain Spritney Bears came on.  As I was listening to it I inadvertently found myself clicking my fingers through no conscious effort of my own and my right foot tapped on the gas pedal to the point where I almost hit the car in front of me. This is a clear indication and warning to me about how Satan gets into our minds and hearts.  Brothers and sisters we must shun these so-called artists.

Now I do not wish to give the impression that all of today’s music is bad.  A song by James Blunt came on and the words were so inspiring that I took the time to look them up.  I am sure that this man is a member of the church and that he was in fact singing about the restoration. This artist would make a better role model for our youth. Here is a link to his song so you can follow along
These are some of his words with my comments in brackets:
My life is brilliant (Here Blunt is referring to the brilliant light of Christ that shines within his soul. This we can all have).
My love is pure (here unlike Kesha he is singing of the pure love of Christ, also known as charity).
I saw an angel, of that I'm sure. (Here he is likely speaking of Joseph Smith’s vision when the resurrected angel Moroni came, as prophesied in the book of revelation)
You're beautiful; it's true (all resurrected beings are beautiful)
And I don't know what to do, Cause I'll never be with you. (Here James Blunt is showing us a glimpse of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that await those who do not live up to the standards the Lord has set for us)
There must be an angel with a smile on her face, when she thought up that I should be with you. (This refers to the pre-mortal life wherein angels rejoiced in the plan of salvation that was set forth by the Lord)
But it's time to face the truth, I will never be with you (again here is the lament of the fallen, but this need not be our fate brothers and sisters)

In the pamphlet ‘For the Strength of Youth’ we learn that unworthy music may seem harmless, but it can have evil effects on your mind and spirit.  Choose carefully the music you listen to. Pay attention to how you feel when you are listening to it. Don’t listen to music that drives away the Spirit and encourages immorality.

Young people, you cannot afford to fill your mind with the unworthy music of our day. It is not harmless! It can welcome onto the stage of your mind unworthy thoughts upon which you may act.

You are a son or a daughter of Almighty God and should have self-respect.  I now ask that you go through your IPods and delete those songs that are not in harmony with the teachings of the church. Such music ought not to belong to young people concerned about spiritual development. Go through your collection. Get rid of the worst of it and keep the best of it. Be selective in what you listen to. It becomes a part of you.

The Lord has said, “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.”

I leave these thoughts and counsel with you, trusting that you will obey the pleadings of a stake president, and do so in the sacred and holy name of our lord and savior, even Jesus Christ, amen.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Be Ye Not Offended

As a stake president I have seen many people drift into inactivity due to being offended when clearly no offense was intended.  Allow me to discuss a recent example in my stake. 

A 24 year old overweight single sister went to see her Bishop for some advice.  She hadn’t been on a date for a few months and felt left behind as she attended several of her friend’s weddings.  She felt lonely and depressed.  In the purity and goodness of charity, trying to help the poor girl, the bishop counseled her that it might be a good idea to lose a few pounds and wear some makeup. 

The sister was heartbroken at this counsel and did not return to church the next week nor the week after that.  Her father came to see me and complained about the bishop in question.  This of course was a very delicate matter but I want you to know that I defended that great bishop.  I had called and set him apart myself and knew him to be a man of God. When you keep your life in harmony with the gospel it is promised unto you that the spirit will bring all things to your remembrance.  At this time I remembered an inspiring talk given by Vaughn J. Featherstone which due to its importance is still featured on lds.org today.  Please click on the below link so that you can see that I followed the example given on the church’s official website that day:
(I suggest you read the whole talk but for the purpose of this discussion please go to just over half the way down the page where a similar situation is disussed)

I said to this father, “You are wrong. That sweet bishop, out of purity and love for your daughter, felt and did that which he was constrained by the spirit to do. I know that it was a message from the Lord to your daughter”.  Like the woman in the talk by Vaughn J. Featherstone I assume that she was probably up in her bedroom the night before praying, ‘Heavenly Father, I am lonely. I need someone. Please help me. Help me to find someone so I won’t be so lonely.’” And yet oftentimes we are offended because a sweet bishop gives us some instruction which is hard for us to live.

This experience clearly shows that when members choose to be offended at the counsel of priesthood leaders they only end up hurting themselves.

Please let me know if you have been offended by a church leader and share what you did to overcome such feelings.