Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Winter Retreat 2008

A few hours ago I returned home from the 2008 Remnant Church Winter Retreat. It's kind of a bittersweet thing. I'm ready to come home and sleep in my bed, but at the same time I don't want to because that means I have to come back to reality. I have to come back into this world and face real life. I don't like doing that.

For a couple days I got to spend all of my time surrounded by people that I know care about me. I was surrounded by people I care about. For a short period I didn't have to worry about the distractions and the pressures of life. The day-to-day activities that are normally vying for precedence were temporarily put on the back-burner. Even though I had to sleep on the floor and I had middle schoolers running around yelling and screaming and goofing off until 2 o'clock in the morning, even though there were kids that annoyed me to no end, it was great. It was beyond great. Words can't adequately express just how it is that I feel. All I can say is that's where my heart is. That's where I want to be. With those kids, with those people, it all just feels right. Nothing really seems to be wrong with the world.

But, as great as retreats and camps like that are, they are merely a glimpse of what Zion will be like. They are only a taste of the sweet, sweet spirit that will be flowing throughout the streets of that perfect city. It brings me to tears thinking about it. I close my eyes. I can see the sun shining, I can hear the birds singing, I feel the cool, clean air filling my lungs. I see little children riding their bikes down the sidewalks, I see the clean streets, the green trees and grass. I see people working together, serving one another, helping each other.

It's a dream that thousands of people have had for nearly 180 years. It's a dream that thousands have worked towards, a dream that hundreds have given their very lives for.

Time for a history lesson. On April 6, 1830, the Lord Jesus restored His church to this earth in it's purest and truest form. For this reason that church bore His name as "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". This dream, this goal, this "Zion" was the sole mission of that church. Over the years, things have happened, and that church has fractured and broken into hundreds of little branches. Now I don't know what all of those little branches believe, but I do know that there are a few that still hold to that dream of Zion. The branch that I am a part of--The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints--still holds true to that dream of Zion. Just as it was the mission and the goal of the original church, so, too, it is our mission and our goal. It is what we are earnestly working towards, it is what we, as a people, long for. It's what we have been called forth to do.

But it is hard for me to understand just how this can be accomplished. It's an undertaking greater than any that mankind has known before. It is something that nobody fully understands. There are few that even hold a grasp to very notion of it. But I know that someday, somehow it will happen. It has to. As we have been told, if we are faithful, then "Zion, will unfold before us". But it's only through the power of God that we'll be able to stay faithful. But with His help, we won't lose hold of that ideal. We won't lose sight of that light at the end of the tunnel. With His help, we will be able to accomplish this mission, and we will build Zion. Not only for our well being, but for the well being of mankind.

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