Think about all of the great changes that have created movement in The Church in the last few years:
1. Preach My Gospel: No more memorized lessons. A built-in-rely-on-the-Holy-Ghost system which requires more from the giver and definitely improves impact for the receiver. Preach My Gospel (PMG) is a resource to help all members learn how to study and share the Gospel most effectively- for themselves.
2. New World-Wide Training Programs: A chance for members to be taught a little more informally at the foot of our leaders. Great ideas and modeling have come from this venue.
2. New youth curriculum: Once PMG had had some time to soak in, The Church backed it up one more level to the pre-missionary crew. (In other words, PMG becomes a refresher course and not a training manual.) Come Follow Me showed up on the stage right when things were getting way too out-dated for this tech-savvy group of youth. Teaching topically by the Spirit with current resources creates HUGE movement and great training for our youth. And it gives the adults a gentle nudge to update our teaching styles thus creating movement for us. It’s all a little scary at first, but oh, so refreshing!
3. New Family Search.org: Friendlier, easier, faster. I think that most wards and stakes have been pushing to get their members involved in Family History work in one way or another. Our ward has really encouraged indexing. Our youth had an activity where they took an ancestor to the temple for baptism. In general, the youth are leading out in many ways in these efforts-just as Elder predicted. They are going to run us over in the next decade if we don’t get movin’.
4. New temple endowment presentations-created quite a personal stir for everyone that I’ve talked to and are a positive testament to the power of media and interpretation…new thoughts and feelings come up every time I attend.
5. New Missionary Age: the missionary force doubled which means more of God’s children can hear the Gospel today.
6. New Women’s Conference Age: All females 8 and older can now attend the General Women’s Meeting. A strong message that even Primary-aged girls are capable of feeling the Spirit and learning from such a venue. (I live with an 8 yo girl and they are spot-on!)
And where did all of this movement start? I’ve got my suspicions…
7. Temples, temples, and more temples: Since 1999-only 15 years ago- 90 temples have been built and brought into operation. In 2000 alone, 34 temples were dedicated! It took The Church 155 years to build the first 34 temples…then in ONE year! BAM-34 temples dedicated. Talk about movement.
But I guess this really goes back to Ezra T. Benson pleading with us to flood the earth with Book of Mormon, which created membership, which created a demand for temples which temple building created a place for the Spirit to dwell more fully on the earth. And through that Spirit, the Lord has prepared a vast army of Covenant People who can now move His work forward at an unprecedented pace. A pace which has been appropriately named, “Hastening The Work of Salvation”.
I can hardly wait to see what happens next.