Welcome to January and a new year! Named after Janus, the Roman deity who is depicted with two contrasting faces representing the old and new, the past and future, endings and new beginnings, all of which relate to the outgoing year of 2018 and the incoming year 2019.
As we look back to the year 2018, we see a year where many new and exciting church policies have been implemented. We now have Ministering which replaced Visiting and Home teaching, High Priests which now meet with the Elders Quorum. A two hour block on Sundays to help facilitate home centered church supported gospel instruction and learning, supported through the “Come Follow Me” resource. Progression for children and youth in January, rather than on their birthday. Elimination of the Scouting program and the Manti and Castle Valley Pageant beginning in 2020 and the emphasis on the name of the Church, making certain we include the Saviors name when referencing His church, rather than just “Mormons”. I’m sure as the year 2019 progresses, we’ll see many more revelations pertaining to Church policy and to our personal salvation and exaltation. That is why it’s so important that we continue to listen to the still small voice that bears witness that the changes implemented are inspired and are revelations from the Lord, through His Prophet, for us. Also those promptings from the Spirit keep us on the Covenant Path that leads us back to our Heavenly Father.
Our theme for January is the Covenant Path, a phrase often used by our beloved Prophet and President of the Church, Russell M. Nelson. With so many church policy changes, one can’t help but think that the future holds some uncertainty. But as Elder Todd Christofferson recently stated, “We have no need to fear the future if we exercise gratitude for the blessings we share, be responsible for the choices we make in life, and have faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ”.
May we all find solace and peace of mind in recalling the words of the Old Testament Prophet Amos when he said “Surely the Lord God will do nothing but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the Prophets.”
Bishopric 1st Counselor Brother Gunderson