Category Archives: Handbook 2

5.2 Convert Retention

Three things that converts, and all members of the Church, need to stay active:

  1. friendship
  2. opportunities to mature and serve in the Church
  3. nourishing by the word of God.

Bishopric’s responsibilities to accomplish this includes

  • facilitating fellowshipping opportunities
  • assigning callings to each new adult member.
  • ordaining worthy male converts to priesthood office.

Ward Council helps by discussing ways to help new members feel:

  • the love of other members.
  • the joy of serving in the Lord’s kingdom.
  • the peace that comes from living gospel principles.

Ward council can also discuss possible service opportunities in family history or temple work.

The bulk of the work of convert and new member retention should rest on the Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders.

Gospel Principles Class should be attended by new converts for a few months. No specific time frame is given beyond that. It impresses me that there should be an emphasis on teaching from the Book of Mormon in this class using it as the main support to the lesson manual. Another aspect of this class is to encourage members to be reading regularly from the Book of Mormon.

 

 

 

2.1.3 Covenants

Honoring and keeping our covenants brings great blessings in mortality and qualifies us for exaltation.

Scriptures referencing this idea:

Exodus 19:3-6:

And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

 

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

 

And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

The purposes of the Lord for the children of Israel were to create a kingdom of priests or holy people. The reality of that objective is only beginning to be realized in our day. This explains why there are so many ordained Elders in the church in our day. It has always been the objectives or the purposes of the Lord to establish the church this way. (That wasn’t the purpose of this scritpure, but it also strikes me as curious.)

Judges 2:1

And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

 Moroni 10:33

And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

This is a fascinating side note, the promise of grace is extended to us by covenant. On what conditions does God extend to us his grace? On the conditions that we are willing to abide his covenants. That is the missing key in understanding the argument between works verses faith.

 

 

 

2.1.2 Ordinances

Ordinances are are sacred physical acts with symbolic meaning which opens the door to rich spiritual blessings. One of the ordinances mentioned is the sacrament. Perhaps a study of ordinances and their purposes will bring a greater spiritual understanding of the sacrament.

If I were to prepare a sacrament meeting that called specific attention to the sacrament, perhaps I would focus on various topics such as ordinances, symbolism, or the Savior’s Atonement. Review this section of the Handbook 2 to gain a good focus on how to present.

Temple ordinances performed vicariously for deceased persons must be accepted and the related covenants honored by the deceased person in the spirit world.