Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Lord teaches in modern scripture that Stakes in Zion are created that they may be for his people, “a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth”. As mortals we have little control over the frequency and intensity of storms or wrath encountered during this mortal sojourn. However, what we have control over is our personal response to the storms and the depth of our participation as a disciple, in the building, maintaining and strengthening of our stake for a refuge. I invite your participation.
Storms can be significant and far reaching. They may impact communities, specific regions of the earth or even the entire world and its people. Sometimes, overlooked or forgotten but perhaps most commonly experienced, are the storms found in the hearts and private lives of individuals and families. It is in such storms where loneliness, heartache and fear can overwhelm. From personal experiences we know the Lord sometimes calms the storm while other times permitting the storm to rage he calms us, his children.
I am grateful for the many acts of kindness and service our Saints have provided to members and nonmembers alike. We have participated recently in service projects through Light the World and I Was A Stranger initiatives. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear brothers and sisters, for your kindness and giving hearts manifested during these projects. Participation in service opportunities helps define and refine us. The Lord called his people Zion because they were of one heart and one mind and dwelt in righteousness. Take note, neither does a Zion people permit poor to be among them.
I feel impressed to call upon us members of the Huntington Beach North Stake to become a Zion people. In this season of storm and wrath, let us renew our desire to be of “one heart and one mind”. Let our efforts be directed to help reduce the poor we find among us. Let this effort begin in our home and ward family. And because all inhabitants of the earth are Heavenly Father’s children, let our desire to create Zion extend beyond the boundary of church membership. I encourage an increase in diligence in ministering to all. A call to discipleship from the Lord includes alleviating pain and suffering, and strengthening and lifting others.
I promise, the Lord will bless our desires and efforts individually and collectively, to meet the needs of each and every family in the Stake and beyond. We possess as Saints the knowledge and ability to combat turmoil and unrest caused through the rage of the adversary. As we choose opportunities to serve, let us remember that we should not serve at the expense of our families and other responsibilities. Let us unite in prayer that our homes can become sanctuaries of faith and the first line of defense where the Spirit resides, as President Nelson admonished us to make them in his recent General Conference address.
I further invite you to discuss this matter and how you can participate as a family in the building, maintaining and strengthening of our stake as a refuge from the storm.
I pray we will exercise our faith with confidence. The Lord is near. Pray and petition our Heavenly Father for an increase of faith in Jesus Christ. Then listen to the still small voice and go forward in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood to lift the burdens of another and to mend what recent storms have shattered and left broken.
With all my love and admiration.
Always Your Servant,
President Clay E. Johnson