The following is the testimony of Elder Jess Holsworth, Independence, MO. Prayer meeting group elder for the Stone Church Congregation in the 1950s
"I want to give you a testimony of this latter-day work. I believe that everybody here is a member of the church. Anybody who is antagonistic would not be at this meeting. I believe that everybody here believes that this is the true church. I KNOW IT. I want to tell you the difference between belief and knowledge. Faith is to believe; knowledge is to know. You believeI KNOW! I told you two weeks ago, I have been active up until a short time ago until I have to give up work because my heart was not working the way it should, and I had to resign. I have been a group elder for about 25 years, and I know what group work is.
In the group I had charge of, there were some in the group that were not as faithful as they ought to have been. They were attending other churches. So I prayed over the matter as to what I should do. I made up my mind to attend this other church our people were going to, to see what they had to say and what they had to offer. My wife and I went to this church to hear what our group membership were hearing that caused them to attend this other church. We went there a few times and one night when we were there, the minister was just about half through his sermon, and I turned to my wife and said, 'Ive got enough of this. Lets go home.' We got up in the middle of that mans sermon and went home. I could not swallow what he was teaching; we talked about that on the way home.
That night in our evening prayer I presented this matter to the Lord. I talked to the Lord just as I am talking to you. I told the Lord, 'I have been placed in charge of these people, and if that man is right I want to know it. I dont want to lead Your people astray. If that church is right, show me, and I will obey You and I will join it.' I talked to Him just as I am talking to you. I meant everything I said.
When we retired for the night, I lay there but I did not sleep. I could not sleep. I dont know how long I lay awake until the room began to get light. It got about as light as a coal oil lamp. There was a personage came up to the door of the bedroom and stood there. I was facing him and he came to the foot of the bed. He said, 'You are doing wrong to keep the people from that church. That man is right and you are wrong.' The Lord has blessed me with the gift of discernment. I raised up on my left elbow, and pointing with my right hand, said, 'Get thou behind me, Satan, for I perceive thou hast changed thyself nigh unto an angel of light.' He began to weep and cry, and he left the room. A feeling came to me that I had rebuked the Spirit of the Lord. I prayed a silent prayer to the Lord. 'Lord, I have witnessed one force here tonightone power. Manifest the other power to me that I may not be deceived, for I dont want to lead your people astray. If this church is right, if that people is right, show me and I will do what You tell me to do.'
I had not much more than finished that prayer until the ceiling disappeared and I saw a shaft of light from heaven and in that light there was a ladder. The ladder was gold and the stands were about three inches in diameter. The rounds were about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The ladder was in the light and as far as I could see, that ladder reached to the heavens. I saw two personages come down that ladder, a step at a time and both stepped on the floor. One sat in a chair in the room, and the other sat on the side of the bed. The one that sat on the side of the bed talked to me. When they conversed together I could not understand them. The one that sat in the chair did not say anything to me. When the one sitting on my bed talked to me I could understand him. The first words were these: 'I come to see if you are still in the faith.' I said, 'I think I am. I am trying to live my religion the best I know how.' I looked at him and I thought, 'Now I have received the other force. I saw one force come in the door. The other came from the heavens.' I said, 'I would like to ask you a question.' He gave me permission to ask a question. 'Is this man right and is this church right that I went to last night?' The messenger had a pleasant look on his face. When I asked him that, there was a sad look on his face. He said, 'No, they are not right. You should stand by Frederick M. Smith, the prophet of God, on who has been chosen and ordained to lead the people.' Those are the words he spoke to me. I asked him who he was. He said this: 'We are angels of agency. When a child becomes eight years of age, we come and place our hands upon their heads and give them the right to choose for themselves. Before that time the sins of the child are upon the heads of the parents.' That is in harmony with the Doctrine and Covenants 68:4. You ask your parents to show it to you.
I know where the laying on of hands originated. It originated in heaven. Did you ever think of it? We lay on hands to confer authority, to administer and ordain. I have always thought of why we had to lay on hands for different ordinances. They said that they were angels of agency. You have seen trapeze performers, men with close fitting uniforms. That is the way there were dressed in white. Their trousers and coats were tight fitting. When he told me that I should stand by the prophet of God, the leader of this church, I went among the people and told them this. I got every one of them back into the church except two or three families."
Oscar Case And The Army Worms
Earlier I mentioned the Case brothers. Oscar and his brother, Hubert, were old time missionaries in the early 1900s. Hubert was pure love and Oscar was fire. Oscar believed in strict obedience to all the laws of Christ, and his faith reached to the heavens. Ive never known a man with as much faith as Oscar had. He was quick to obey the Word of Wisdom, and the law of tithing; and God blessed his ministry.
God tells us to pay tithes; its good stewardship. It disciplines our lives and teaches us how to become more Christ-like. God doesnt need our money; the Universe is His and all its wealth, but through obedience to this law, we are blessed and the gospel can be shared with others. Paying tithing also reminds us just Who owns everything. It teaches us humility.
Abraham, the father of the Israelite nation, paid tithing to Melchisedec.1 Tithing probably began with Adam, for Gods principles are eternal. God said to try Him; pay our tithes and see if He doesnt open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that we cant contain it all.2 Oscar believed this. The following is an excerpt from his book, My Book of Acts, p. 131. The story of the army worms is evidence of Gods promise being true.
A Faithful Tither Is Protected
"When I lived in northern Montana some years ago, I had a homestead of 320 acres of good land. I had improved it with a house and had a crop of 12 acres of flax, 20 acres of oats, and 10 acres of wheat. I came home one day at noon for dinner and while eating lunch I looked out the kitchen door across the road at Mr. Alairs wheat. He had 320 acres all in wheat. I saw a large black spot of ground. I said to my wife, 'Whats that over on Alairs wheat?' She said, 'I dont know. Ive been watching it all morning, and its getting larger.' I said, Im going over there and see.
I went and, of all the worms I had ever seen, that was the limit. It looked to me like there was a carload. I came back and I said, 'Sweetheart, its about time we were getting down on our knees.'
She said, 'What?'
I said, 'Thats army worms and they are coming straight toward our crop and taking that wheat smooth to the ground.'
It was June and the wheat was about 6 inches high.
She said, 'They will take our crop.'
I said, 'No, they wont! Ive paid every cent of my tithing, and the promise is--the destroyer will pass you by.'
She said, 'Do you think God will send those worms by?'
I said, 'He sure will. Lets pray right now and ask Him to do it.'
We agreed and right there we got down on our knees and I told the Lord all about it, and asked Him to send those worms by. He did. And those worms crawled right straight across my place for three weeks and took the crop on the other side.
That Mr. Alair was a Presbyterian preacher who talked at the schoolhouse and had his Sunday School every Sunday. I had Sunday School and preached in my own house. He was up there to my place everyday, and he would always say, 'Case, are they eating on you yet?'
Id say, 'No, the Lord sent those worms by.'
He said, 'You dont think He could do that, do you?'
I said, 'Certainly. Dont you know about that promiseThey will pass you by?'
He said,'I didnt think He could do it for you.'
I said, 'Look at those worms. They are in a hurry; they didnt take a bite out of anything I had, garden or crop.'
The law of the Lord is perfect. The testimony of the Lord is sure. Such things will happen in Zion, when we fulfill the Celestial Law and are united in that bond and holy union with each other and our Lord. Then we will possess the goodly land of Zion, and we may be the Zion of our God.
this solemn way, He fixed these holy rites.
He bade us all obey. And keep this path of light.
For A Faith That Will Not Shrink!
Daily I watched my prize Yucca plant about to bloom for the first time. It was special, not because I particularly liked Yucca, but I needed a strong-looking plant in this spot by the front door and had gone to great pains to get it. Gene and I drove along the dusty back roads of Kansas farmlands and spotted the mother plant growing half out of the ditch, hanging over the embankment where no one could enjoy its glorious blossoms in season. In delight I dug a sprout loose and carted it home. Now it was ready to bloom. And then it popped out in joy, beautiful white little flowers shaped like bells.
The next morning I went to see how many more flowers had opened up. There at the bottom of the plant lay the first ones. Whats going on! I shrieked. Thats not normal! I looked closer and my beautiful plant had been invaded by BIG bugs ready to chew them off the minute the opened up. I thought, Thats just what Satan does to Gods flowers (us). Well, Ill take care of them fast! I zipped to the garage and in 30 seconds I was back. Take that! And that! I delightfully shot insecticide on them. But to my dismay they just kept on walking around as if I wasnt even there. I was used to seeing insects dive-bomb immediately when shot. Disgusted, I mumbled about the ineffectiveness of this product. (I forgot these were BIG bugs.) And thats when the Holy Spirit taught me one of the greatest lessons of my life about faith. He said, The insecticide is like faithonce you have sprayed it on (prayed it on), you sit back in patience and wait on God to do the work. Watch. It will take effect.
So I did just as the Spirit said, I waited longer and watched closer. Soon after, those bugs, who had felt the spray and had no idea what had happened to them, just kept on doing as they were doing. And then they began to wobblefirst one then two. One turned over on its back, its legs went straight up in the air and it was dead! The insecticide worked.
Faith, once put in action is like that insecticide--pour it on the problem and it has to take effect sooner or later, because its there.
The Faith Of A Grain Of Mustard Seed
The following was transcribed from a tape distributed by Dr. Carl Sanders. Dr. Sanders, co-inventor of the microcomputer chip which is being implanted in humans today, was chief engineer on the project which included a team of 100 men and 2 women. Not realizing the potential for evil they were inventing, they ended up with a means to code and identify every human on earth. Then God showed him what he had been a party to, through the Book of Revelation. He cried for two days. He was converted to Christianity and God told him to go tell people what is herethe technology for the Mark of the Beast. His testimony is: Dont take itdont take the mark! Dont let the world put the microchip in your hand or forehead. 3
The most important thing I can share with you is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Folks, stand on the Rock, Jesus Christ. Dont listen to all the other things that come in. I want to share one more thing with you... In the Bible it talks about the faith of a grain of mustard seed. And a lot of people dont really understand that, but I want to share something with you that we did. We took a bean and put it under a radio-active isotope, and then we sprouted it and it came up all like this. It lost all of its engineering that would let the bean grow properly. We took a piece of corn and put it under a radio-active isotope and we planted it and it came out grotesque. We took a mustard seed and for 72 hours we put it under a radio-active isotope and then we planted it. And guess what happened folksit came up mustard. It came up a beautiful mustard plant.
The mustard of today is the same mustard seed Jesus was talking about in His day. There has never been a hybrid mustard. You cannot hybrid a mustard. It will not be hybrid. Hybrid corn will not grow again. Hybrid beans wont grow again. Hybrid potatoes wont grow again. The life is in the seed and theyre dead because theyve been hybrid. But the mustardyou cannot graft into a mustard. You can cut into the side of it and put a graft in it and the graft will die.
And so when Jesus was talking about the faith of a grain of mustard seed folks, He was talking about an unaltering faith. You cant alter it. You cant mutilate it. Were talking about a faith you cant graft into. You cant cut a hole in the side and put something in there. If youve the faith of a grain of mustard seed, nobody can come along and stick something else in theresome new doctrinesome new wind of doctrine that comes along. Its the faith of a grain of mustard seed. And its unchanging. It has not changed since the days of Jesus. A mustard seed is a mustard seed. It is exactly the same. Praise God! And thats the kind of faith were going to need in these days as these things come down. . . .
1. Tithing means a portion of mans temporal possessions (time and talents) are owed to God to help prosper His work on earth. Melchisedec, who was Gods High Priest, was king of Salem (later called Jerusalem). (Gen. 14:18-20, also D&C 64:5a-b)
2. Malachi 3:8-11
3. Dr. Carl Sanders can be reached at Trumpet Ministries, 510 Main St., Suite 4, Cottage Grove, OR 97424, Ph (509) 623-6285
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