Thursday, November 27, 2014

Some Clarifications about the Retreat

Therefore, verily I say unto you, my friends, call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you. And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.
—D&C 88:117-118


Since I announced the Remnant Family Retreat in my last post, I've been asked a number of questions. So I thought I'd put together a FAQ list in an effort to help people understand what this retreat is and what it is not. Remember, I'm not the one organizing this event, and I'm not in charge of it.

I have spoken a few times with Bret Corbridge, the organizer of the retreat, and I have a good feel for what Bret is trying to accomplish. But I don't speak for him. So the following questions and answers are based only on my understanding of the retreat.

Frequent Questions Answered:

1. So are you trying to start a new church or group or something?

No. This event is not designed to start any organization or association. It is just an open invitation to whoever is interested in joining together for instruction, worship, and fellowship.

2. Are you trying to start Zion?

No. Only the Lord can bring again Zion. The purpose of this retreat is merely for those interested to join together for a weekend of worship, learning, and camaraderie. Principles concerning Zion will no doubt be taught and discussed, but nobody is laying out a city plat, making assignments, setting up rules, or anything else along those lines. Zion must begin in each individual's heart, not with a gathering or group.

3. Who, or what, is the Remnant? 

In the context of this retreat, the Remnant refers to those who believe in, and want to preserve and continue the restoration started by Joseph Smith. All who share this common desire are welcome.

4. Are we rushing things, rushing the pass, or otherwise doing things in haste? 

I'm not inclined to think so. This retreat is much like any other educational opportunity we all might engage in—like Education Week, or a weekend training seminar, or, dare I say, General Conference (only without teleprompters). I'm not aware of any efforts to do anything other than learn and worship, nor of any efforts to change anything currently happening within or without the LDS church. If I felt otherwise, I would not be publicizing this event.

5. Why gather together just to fail again? Won't the Lord gather His people when the time is right?

This is not a "gathering" like a permanent community, tent city, or relocation. Rather, it is a "gathering" like when all the relatives come for Thanksgiving and leave two days later. Nobody is staying.

Many smaller groups all over the U.S. are doing this same sort of gathering each week for worship, study and fellowship. This is an opportunity for the smaller groups to get to know one another.

6. Why this location? 

The location was chosen by Bret Corbridge because he finds it enjoyable and sacred. Having never been there myself, I'm looking forward to visiting the Mesa.

7. So who is speaking? 

Bret informs me the speaker list will not be announced in advance. This is specifically so that people who are coming to the retreat will come because they feel the Lord directs them to come—not because they are a fan of any particular speaker.

8. Is Bret trying to be a strongman? 

No, Bret is only doing the work to organize the retreat. He will not even be speaking at this event. He is not seeking to be any kind of leader.

9. So should I go? 

Well that really depends on whether the Lord is directing you to go. There's no reason you should attend this event unless the Lord directs you to.

10. Should I bring my kids?

Great question. I'm told Bret and others are working to find a way to accommodate children at events that will otherwise be more geared toward teens and adults. Got any suggestions how to make that work?

OK, those are the best answers I can give with what I know so far. I'm sure there will be more information available as things come together. The logistics and mechanics of the weekend are being worked on and are not yet settled. But I hope the above information addresses concerns about the motivation for, and purpose of the retreat.

Response so far has been very good. I want to remind you that if you're planning to attend, please drop Bret a line to let him know so that he can keep a headcount. It's important that the locations and events be planned to accommodate the right numbers. Click Here to download a PDF with contact information. 

I'm looking forward to attending, learning, worshiping and associating with all those who attend.

Meanwhile, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We, who are the beneficiaries of the Restoration have so much for which to be thankful!

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