Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reunion Report: An Amazing Weekend!

Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.
—D&C 6:32


I've been trying to collect my thoughts for three days since returning from the Reunion in Colorado. It was an amazing, wonderful experience, and to tell you the truth, it's left me rather speechless. I think others have done an admirable job of summarizing the events, speakers, and spirit, so I don't plan to write a day-by-day travelogue. Rather, I'll just focus on a few things that struck me.

People. I can honestly say I've never before associated with such a wonderful, loving, light-filled group. I had the opportunity to meet many people who had travelled from all over, but who shared a common bond of brotherhood and sisterhood in seeking the Lord. Now that I read it, that last sentence sounds a little dour and pious, like this was some sort of Sunday school. The opposite is true. These were people filled with joy, light, happiness, gratitude and fun. I hope I can live up to such a state in my own life. I thank God for the examples I saw. 

I was also surprised and delighted to see a long-time friend who knew nothing of this event or movement, but just happened to be visiting the area. I was so pleased she joined with us in worship.

Places: Many reported feeling something special about the Mesa, and I'll agree it is a breathtaking, beautiful place, and certainly a great place to hold such an event. I'll be honest though—places aren't the primary consideration for me. I believe it's just as possible to commune with God in a closet as it is on a mountain top. But I do appreciate the effort that it required to gather where we did, because it introduced a greater opportunity for sacrifice. Almost everyone there had to make considerable effort to get there. The snow prevented much exploring of the Mesa, perhaps by design, and so the events were primarily confined to established, public venues. I'll add that the venues were well chosen and perfectly suited to the needs. I thank God for accommodating this gathering.

Weather: The weather forecast leading up to the reunion was, shall we say, not promising. But the weather actually turned out to be quite cooperative. Up on the Mesa, the patchy sunshine brought needed warmth to the outdoor testimony meeting, the forecasted 10 inches of snow turned out to be more like one inch, and the contrast between freezing temperatures on the Mesa and warming sunshine below reminded me of God's mercies and contrasts. I thank God for the beautiful weather.

Events: EVERY event I attended exceeded my expectations. The speakers, camaraderie, and activities all increased my desire for Christ and Zion. Highlights for me included the group Jewish dance demonstration, a barbecue with wonderful friends, the men's meeting where I learned from my Godly brothers, taking the sacrament outdoors in a beautiful setting with about 200 people, and hearing many, many incredible, enlightening, and spirit-filled testimonies. The organization and execution of this entire weekend simply couldn't have been better. I thank God for His hand and the hands of his servants to make the reunion possible.

Fear: It's no secret that there was some fear and concern expressed online before the reunion. Some were fearful that this event would displease God, involve bizarre or unholy worship practices, or promote destructive ideas. I'm pleased to report that it turns out there was no cause for concern. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING focused on Jesus Christ and His gospel. I didn't encounter any ideas or practices that weren't absolutely scriptural, uplifting, and approved of God. I thank God for the warnings issued before the reunion that, I believe, helped us all keep an eye single to His glory.

Work: I had a very small part in organizing this event. But even my small part required time, effort, money and attention to detail. Therefore, I'm absolutely amazed by the sacrifice of those who played major parts in putting the reunion together. Venue rental, printed materials, sound equipment, transportation, child care, campfires, food, name tags, scheduling, cleanup, first aid, and a thousand other details were provided by voluntary sacrifice. I am in awe to know a small part of what it took to provide this experience, and my heart is moved with gratitude to everyone who worked so hard and gave so much so that I could experience what I did. I thank God for his servants who saw to the details.

Worship: The scriptures discuss various forms of worship, including prayer, song, dance, music and shouts. I was pleased to participate in every one of these forms at the reunion. Nobody was more surprised than me when I received direction from the Lord that we close our worship service with three blasts on the Shofar and three shouts of praise to the Holy One of Israel (2 Nephi 31:13). I've never experienced anything like it, and even now, it fills me with joy. I shout my thanks to God. 

A Movement among the People: This movement is real. People are waking up, shedding their scales of darkness and unbelief, learning truth, and seeking to know the Lord personally. Spiritual gifts, miracles, and angelic ministrations are manifest. The restoration continues! Oh, how I thank God that the restoration continues!

Messages: I really appreciated the speakers and the messages they offered. Perhaps even more, I appreciated the spontaneous testimonies shared at the testimony meetings. Though the testimonies were not recorded, the speakers were. Here's the link where you can listen to the talks:


Photos: And finally, here are a photos so those who couldn't make it can get a feel for the events. Click any photo to enlarge.


During a break between speakers on Friday night
The end of the Saturday morning meeting, before heading to breakout sessions
The testimony meeting on the Mesa. Note the snow, the clouds, and the sunshine.
A beautiful, young person testifies of her conversation with God
The view on the way up the Mesa
Preparing for the Sacrament meeting on Sunday
Yours truly, speaking on Sunday. You can tell it's me by the empty seats.
After the Sacrament meeting on Sunday

And help us by the power of thy Spirit, that we may mingle our voices with those bright, shining seraphs around thy throne, with acclamations of praise, singing Hosanna to God and the Lamb! And let these, thine anointed ones, be clothed with salvation, and thy saints shout aloud for joy. Amen, and Amen.
—D&C 109:79-80

7 comments:

  1. I would have loved to be there. To bad Sweden is so far away.

    Could you post links to other blogs or sites where reports from the reunion have been posted?

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  2. Thank you, Adrian. As with the talks and testimonies, your perspective complements and enhances all those that have come before and will come after. The more time that passes, as perspective lays its blanket upon our experience, the more I am speechless about what occurred that weekend. In 62 years of life, I have never, EVER experienced anything that even approaches the experience of this gathering. I know the Lord was there. I know He and angels rejoiced with us. I know the effects of this single weekend gathering will be eternal. Yes - I said ETERNAL.

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  3. Hi Christian,

    I would have loved to be there, too. Reading the observations of folks who attended has been useful to me.

    Start with Scott Stover, the second commentor here: https://scottstover.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/through-my-eyes-grand-mesa-reunion/

    Tim Malone: http://latterdaycommentary.com/2015/05/18/a-report-from-the-grand-mesa-retreat/

    Listening to the recorded talks suggests that some folks like Adrian expounded the scriptures and some folks simply shared their remarkable stories. I believe both were important. http://reunion.totheremnant.com/

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    1. Also Jules:

      http://myjourneytothefullness.com/2015/05/19/100792/

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  4. Adrian,

    I give a 2nd witness that Places are not that important compared to the conditions of the Heart. Zion is a people of ONE Heart and ONE mind, and once that is reached...then the Place of Zion will manifest.

    Thank you for being there this weekend.

    Some of the heavy lifting is coming...as people will need to look deep into there hearts, and give the Idols they are holding wholly to the Lord. Its nice to meet everyone, but the broken parts will still need to be ready to be one. We can not get there till we all are one with the Lord. It will happen.

    Joseph

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    Replies
    1. I agree, Joseph. The heavy lifting is coming. I think it's approaching quickly. I hope and pray we are ready for it.

      I think it's important for us to look into our own hearts. Are we angry at someone who we think did wrong to us? Are we accusing anyone? Are we contentious, proud, and so forth.

      This is real. This is serious. I think it will take all of our commitment. Even that wouldn't be enough if the Lord wasn't willing to lift us and help us.

      I pray for this movement often. When I see strongmen or contention or accusations, it worries me. I cannot change anyone else, but I look into my heart. Can I remove all anger, condemnation, accusation, jarring? Am I willing to have a broken heart? Am I willing to come to my Lord on HIS terms.

      Toni

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  5. I laughed out loud at your caption, "you can tell it's me by the empty seats."

    Readers should know, of course that except for those few seats the place was packed. Everyone wanted to hear what you had to say, and none of us were disappointed. Your talk was by far the most powerful and inspiring of all, Adrian.

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