The video that this transcript comes from is incomplete, and it begins after Wilcox has already been speaking. Please keep that in mind.
… mentioned in his testimony that the greatest thing on Earth right out the Gathering of Israel. We have a Prophet speaking about it constantly, but we don’t understand exactly what it means.
So tonight let’s learn a little bit more about the Gathering of Israel and the the reason it’s important, because it answers questions that every one of us have. Questions like, “Why do we have to live in a way that’s so different from the rest of the world?”, “Why do we have to live a lot of chastity that nobody else even cares about?”, “Why do we have to live a Sabbath Day that nobody else cares about?”, “Why do we have to avoid pornography when everybody else says it’s ‘harmless adult entertainment’?”, “Why do we have to live a word wisdom that everybody thinks is so outdated and so wrong?”, “Why do we have to go on a mission? Why do you have to pay for that yourself?” There are a lot of questions to be asked.
Now, when we’re little children in the Church, often we’re told it’s because we’re children of God, and that is a very true answer, but it doesn’t set us apart. Everybody who has ever been born is a child of God. So why do we have to distill differently from other children of God? Now, when we’re young men and young women, they’ll tell us it’s because we’ve been safe for the last days, and that also is a very true amateur, but it doesn’t set us apart. Everybody on Earth right now has been saved in the last days, and they don’t talk like they’ve been safe the last days, I’ll tell you that much. So why do we have to live so differently? Why do we have to worry about living the gospel, about caring for those in need, about sharing the gospel with others, about uniting families for eternity in temples? Why don’t we worry about that when others don’t?
Tonight, let’s get past the primary answers and the young men and women answers. As true as those answers are, let’s learn a new word, a word that does set us apart. The word is “birthright”. Birthright. It’s a good word. It’s a General Conference word. (In a General Conference voice) “Oh youth, of the noble birthright” Its like “Mufasa” – (mimicking Lion King) “Say it again! Say it again!”
And it’s a good word. We just don’t know what it means. We even sing songs about it. “Oh, youth of the noble…? birthright, carry on, carry on, carry on.” At BYU we sing “Marry on, marry on, marry on” we kind of change the words there.
Explanation of “Birthright”
“Youth of a noble birthright”. If you looked up “birthright” in the Bible dictionary, it would say, “see: firstborn”, if you looked up “firstborn”, then you learn a little bit about what a birthright is. I’m going to have Bishop Meyers, this one right here, stand up, and his wife is named Melissa, come on up here, Melissa. They’re going to be my dad and my mom. So you might be right here. And now we need number one son right there, (pointing to random people in the audience) come on up. Let’s have number two son, the guy next to ya. Alright, this is a member family, so we’re just getting started. Alright, number three son right there. Now we need a daughter right here. We need another daughter right there. And now we need a baby on that guy right there. Come on up. Yeah, come on up. Come on over. You’ll be right here, and then come on this side of me, sweetheart. And this is my baby! Right here. Okay, mom and dad, you did well. Good job. So dad is loaded. Now we’re back in the Old Testament days. We’re going clear back to the Old Testament. Dad is so rich. He has land, he has silver, he has gold. He has fresh things. He has oxen, he has sheep. He has serpents, and he dies.
You’re out of here. You’re off to the spirit world. Who gets the money? How many say mom? She’s like, “Vote for me!” How many say number one son? How many say number two son? Number three son? Daughter? Daughter? Baby?
Okay, count the boys. If there’s four boys in the family, then that estate is divided into five equal shares. Baby gets his share and he’s out of here; he’s going to go make his way the world. This boy gets his share and he’s gone. This guy gets his share and he’s out here. And this boy gets two shares; that’s what the birth rate is: a double portion. A double portion. But notice something. He’s not going anywhere. Because with the extra portion comes adding responsibility. He has to care for his grieving mother. (Woman doesn’t look sad) Grieving! She’s like all happy! He’s got to care for his grieving mother. He’s got to provide for his sisters so that they can have dowries and be properly married. And even after mom and sisters are gone, he’ll get married. He’ll have his own family that he will stay till the end of his days to govern the affairs of his father’s estate. He cares for his brothers and sisters. And he governs the affairs of his father’s estate.
Now you start understanding why sing the in the church today that says, “because I have been… I to…”
(Gesturing to everyone he pulled up to the podium) Thank you very much. Thank you for your help. Say goodbye to your father.
We must give because we have been given so much. We are children of the birthright. That means we care for our brothers and sisters. “Why do I have to pay fast offerings?”, “Why do I have to pay for humanitarian aid?” We care for our brothers and sisters and we govern the affairs of our father’s Kingdom. “How come I have to have a calling?”, “Why do I have to stand up in front of people and go like this? (mimics conducting music)” Nobody even looked at you… to govern the affairs of your father’s estate. To govern your father’s Kingdom.
So now you start understanding the responsibilities. But why? How did we get this birthright? “Brother Wilcox? I’m not the oldest in my family, and some of the girls would be good. I’m not even a boy. So what does this have to do with me?” It has everything to do with you, because we’re not just talking about your birth order or your gender. We’re talking about the blood that flows in your veins. We’re talking about being children of the birthright.
Let’s go back to the Old Testament again. Let’s create another family. This won’t be the family of Bishop Meyers, this will be the family of Jacob. And we’re going to go back and create that family.
Role Playing and Explaining Biblical Genealogy
So President Call, can you find me some young men? We want to pick on someone who has (?) that’s great. Sister Call, will you find some young women? And then when do they pick on you, whether you’re up here or not — If you could stay seated (gesturing to teens standing up). You can give him the card, then they can stay seated, and then if she calls you up out of audience, just sit right up here, and then you’ll be able to come and make our family really quickly.
Let’s go back to the very beginning. We’re talking about Adam and Eve, and that was the first dispensation, and God made a covenant with Adam. We could call it “The Adamic Covenant”, but in the scriptures, it’s called “The New and Everlasting Covenant”. “Everlasting” because it’s eternal, “new” because it is made new in every dispensation. So in the second dispensation, after apostasy, then the covenant was made new with Enoch. Then after Enoch’s city was raised, the covenant was made new with Noah. Then after apostasy, the covenant was renewed with Abraham.
Well that’s just mean! Pick on the girl with the crutches! Hey! She made it up; she’s doing just fine.
So, Abraham. Abraham had a son named…? Who had a son named…? Okay, that’s where we start. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Fourth dispensation; third generation. Jacob, come on up. Gentlemen, scoot down a little bit, then I’ll be a chair for her, too. Alright, Jacob you’re going to be right down there at the end. And Jacob is a righteous man. You can tell by looking at him, he’s just a righteous man, and because he’s so righteous, he wants the blessings of the fathers. He wants those blessings, and he honors those blessings.
Now, Abraham is the same, and that’s why we call it “the Abrahamic Covenant”. It’s not because Abraham started it; it’s because Abraham was such a good example of living it, just like Melchizedec who got the priesthood named after him. So he wants it just like his grandfather, he wants the blessings. So he received a new name. And many of you have had the same experience as you stay righteous, you were able to receive a new name. His new name was Israel. So instead of Israel being a country, Israel started as a man, and he and his posterity are the house, our family of Israel.
Jacob, the house of Jacob. So Jacob wanted to marry a girl named Rachel. Rachel, come on down. And he worked for seven years to be able to marry her. And by the time it was time to marry her, her older sister, Leah, come on down. Leah, her older sister, wasn’t married, and it was improper for an older sister to marry after a younger sister. So Jacob married Leah first. Leah scoot over next to Jacob. And Rachel said, —
(Squeaking) “Oh! but, brother Wilcox, that’s, like, polygamy.” No, its not “like” polygamy, it is polygamy. “Oh, but brother Wilcox, I’m like losing my testimony because I found out Joseph Smith was a polygamist.” How come nobody is losing their testimony because Jacob was a polygamist?
“Also, brother Wilcox, are you saying that everybody has to live this way?” No. “Is this the way we’ll have to live in heaven?” Some girl said to me once, “Are we going to be forced to live to live polygamy in heaven?” I said, “Listen to yourself. If you just used ‘force’ and ‘heaven’ in the same sentence. What’s wrong with that picture?” No, we’re not going to be forced. And this is not a way that God has asked all of his children to enter in.
In the introduction to the manifesto, it says that normally, one man married to one woman is God’s law. That’s the norm. But does God sometimes break His own laws? Yeah, Nephi about that one. Yeah. Sometimes for His purposes, He’ll change His own rules, and this is one of those times. The early Church was one of those times.
“Well, why did we have to have polygamy?” I don’t know all the reasons, but I know a good one: to get me here. I’m walking on this Earth because somebody lived polygamy. How many of you are walking on this Earth because somebody lived polygamy? And if your hand isn’t up, you’re not going back far enough. Everybody in this chapel is here because somebody did this law when God asked it of them.
So instead of freaking out about it, let’s just realize that God sometimes asked His children to live this way, and this was one of the time.
Back to Biblical Genealogy
Well, so, Leah starts having kids. She has son number one, two, three, and four. Boys to tucked in the corner with her cards. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah. Okay, Jacob, I’m going to move into this very next – yeah, head down there. Leah, you stand there next to your husband. Boys, line up next to your mother? Holy smoke. That’s a lot of fake boys from one little girl. Wow, mom, and you did well.
All right, so we got 1, 2, 3, 4. Now, about now, Rachel’s freaking out. She’s like, “Whoa, I want to have children. My sister is filling the nursery at church. I want children, too.” So, she says, “Jacob, will you take my handmaiden, Bilhah. And will you have children to me through her?” So, Bilhah marries Jacob; she becomes his third wife, his first concubine.
“What?! I thought the concubines were wicked and evil?” Well, they are in the Book of Mormon when King Noah takes them without permission. But a concubine is simply a secondary wife. She was Rachel’s servant, so she comes from a lower social status, and that’s why the name has changed. Concubine.
But Jacob marries Bilhah. Bilhah has son number five and son number six. Come on down, boys. Stand by your mom. Okay, so we got Dan and Naphtali. Let Dan sneak in there first. Okay, perfect. Now about now, Leah is saying “This is brilliant. Get another woman children? I love this idea.” She says, “Will you please take my handmaiden, Zilpah? And will you have children to me through her?”
So, Jacob, marries Zilpah, his fourth wife, his second concubine. And she has son number. Where are we? Seven and eight. Come on up, “Gad” and “Asher”. Okay, good, hold your sign up so they see who you are.
About now you’re thinking “Its gotta be Rachel’s turn! It has got to be Rachel’s turn!” No! Leah! Kiss him! Again! The woman is a machine! And she has son number 9, and son number 10, Issachar and Zebulun, and the only girl who’s mentioned, and that’s Diana.
Okay, so hobble on up here. Bless your heart. I don’t know whether your knees are more sore or your underarms after crawling around on those crutches. Bless you. Alright so then we have Diana.
Finally, after all this time, it’s Rachel’s turn. Yay! Okay, Rachel head to the end. And Rachel has two sons. She has Joseph, and she has the baby, Benjamin. You realize we’re going to call you “baby”, like, the rest of your life? I’m like “the baby – wahhhh”. So we’ve got Joseph and we’ve got Benjamin the baby, and she dies in childbirth with Benjamin. I know it’s sad, but it’s in the Bible, so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
Oh, how many sons? How many tribes? “Oh, brother Wilcox–” And again, it’s like the light just went on. No, the light did not go on, but it will; stick with me. It will go on. First thing you have to remember is we don’t get too high up with numbers. How many men are in the quorum of the twelve? Fifteen. When one dies do we call it “the quorum of the eleven”? No. So don’t get too hung up with numbers. You’re going to find out there’s actually 14 tribes that a patriarch can use as he gives tribes as he feels the inspiration to name from a tribe. And if you’re go into the Old Testament, there’s half tribes beyond that. So we don’t worry too much about numbers.
With that in mind, then let’s remember that Levi is not a traditional tribe. “Levi” is the priesthood. So Levi is the priesthood. Have you heard of the “Levitical priesthood”? See, remember, they had the Melchizedec priesthood in families for most of the beginning of the Old Testament, but then later they received a preparatory priesthood, the Levitical priesthood. And it was the descendants of Levi that was spread of all the other tribes and provided the priesthood to perform ordinances. So Levi is not a traditional tribe. He’s a tribe, but he has no land of inheritance because his posterity is spread throughout all the different tribes. So that means they’re only eleven tribes. And that means somebody better tell President Nelson, because they’ve got twelve oxen under every one of those baptismal fonts and there’s only eleven. Right or wrong?
Priesthood Digression – Race and Gender
Wrong. Where does the other one come from? Okay, first, let’s talk a little bit about Levi.
We live in a day where a lot of people are very concerned about priesthood issues. I don’t mean to oversimplify – that matters – but it’s really not as hard as we’re making it.
“Brother Wilcox, how come the blacks didn’t received the priesthood until 1978? What’s with that? Was Brigham Young racist? What’s with that?” Oh, you’ll hear a lot of things, but maybe we’re asking the wrong questions.
I went to a professional conference. Had a name tag on it, it said, “Brad Wilcox, Brigham Young University”. Some lady comes up, she sees my name tag, and she goes, (yelling) “…Why don’t you give women the priesthood?!” Just like that. I said, “Good to meet you, too”. Then I said, “What’s the priesthood?” She said, “I don’t know, but I think the women should have it”. Seriously? “I don’t know, but the women should have it”? I mean, I’m going to let her voice, just because it’s loud and all over social media, I’m going to let that brown out my testimony? No way. Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions.
“Why didn’t the blacks get the priesthood until 1978”? Why didn’t the whites get priesthood until 1829? 1,829 years they waited for the priesthood to be restored. And why didn’t Gentiles get the gospel until after the Jews? And why didn’t anybody but the tribe of Levi get the priesthood in the days of Jacob? See, when we looked at it like that, then instead of trying to figure out God’s timeline, maybe we can just be grateful. Grateful that the Gentiles received the gospel, grateful that the priesthood was restored in 1829, and grateful right down to our socks that the blacks received the priesthood in 1978. Grateful.
“Yeah, but how come the women don’t have the priesthood?” Sisters, listen very closely. You have access to every priesthood blessing. There’s not one priesthood blessing that you are denied. And you serve with priesthood authority. When you are set apart in a calling or as a missionary, you serve with priesthood authority. Men don’t serve “real missions” and women serve “faith missions”. No, they are authorized representatives of Jesus Christ, men and women, because the sisters have been set apart. And sisters, you are endowed in your temples with priesthood power and you dress in priesthood robes.
So what is it you’re missing? Two things, keys and your missing ordination. “What’s up? How the women aren’t ordained? How come women don’t have priesthood keys?” First, let’s talk about keys. Keys are an organizational structure. It’s the authority to preside over ordinances. And women don’t have the same thing that most men in the church don’t have. Most men in the Church don’t have keys. How many men in a ward have priesthood keys? The Spirit is whispering… The Spirit is whispering… Four! Yes. And who are they? And tomorrow the bishop, elder’s quorum president, teacher’s quorum president, and Deacons quorum president.
So please don’t mix up keys with influence. Surely there are women in the church who have much more influence than a deacon’s quorum president. See, women have all the influence that they possibly can have. One thing I’ve learned since being called into the general presidency a year and a half ago is that the sisters, the nine sisters who serve as organizational presidents and counselors, are very involved with the running of the entire church. I didn’t realize that. If you’d have asked me a year and a half ago what the primary presidency do? Run the primary? No, they run the church. They literally serve on all the executive councils of the church. The missionary council, priesthood and family council. They serve on the welfare, humanitarian aid council, on the temple council. They serve with Apostles, and they meet with the quorum of the twelve every Wednesday. Every Wednesday they meet with the quorum of the twelve Apostles.
Now, when you realize that the Apostles know when they do priesthood trainings, they always go accompanied by one of these sisters who also trains with them, then you understand that the sisters were very engaged in having an influence in this church. I sit in some of those meetings too, and I’m told to shut up. And the sisters are told to speak up. If they don’t speak up, Elder Bowers will say, “Sister Gordon, what do you think about this? Tell us what you’re thinking about this.” Does anybody else ask brother Wilcox what he’s thinking about with this? No, not at all. Sit there and smile, Brad, and sit there and smile.
So women have great influence. You know that in your wards. You know that in your stakes. And you know that at the general level of the church. Don’t mix keys up with influence. Right now, I don’t have keys. I’m a general officer. But if that man weren’t sitting here right now, I could not be speaking to you. If the Area Presidency had not given permission for us to have this fireside, I could not be speaking to you. So don’t mix keys up with influence.
Now, why aren’t women ordained to the priesthood? Again, maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Maybe the question we should ask is, “Why don’t they need to be?” Sisters, how many of you have ever gone into a temple to perform ordinances? Raise your hands. Raise them high. Do you realize that you are doing something that no man in the church can do? There’s not a man in the church that can walk into that temple to perform ordinances if he hasn’t been ordained, and yet you waltz right in. So maybe the question we should be asking is, “What do women bring wisdom from the premortal life that men learn through ordination?” Maybe that’s the question. They should keep us up at night.
Priesthood – Old Testament Lineage
Well, Levi has the priesthood.
Now let’s talk about the other word and where the other tribe comes from. The word is “birthright”. Who has the birthright? Reuben has the birthright. So instead of one tribe, how many does he have? Two. He has an extra portion. But Reuben also has something else. Ruben has a morality problem. Yeah, and its a big one. He actually sleeps with one of his father’s wives, Bilhah. I know you guys, this is worse than Dowton Abbey, but it actually is in the Bible.
And yay for repentance. Yay for repentance. Reuben retains his tribe, but he loses the birthright. Its passed not to Simeon, which would be the case if he only have one wife. Instead, it’s passed to the first born of the second full wife, and that is Joseph.
(singing) “Go, go, go, Joseph nanananana, come on now Joseph” Joseph has the birthright. So does he care for his brothers and sisters? Oh, yeah. He saves their sinking lives. Does he govern the affirms of his father’s kingdom? Yeah, and all of Egypt at the same time. He’s kind of an expert Meyer. So Joseph has not one tribe, but two.
Before I bring those boys up, his son, let’s just remember, Joseph got a coat of many colors. How many remember the story? Why did he get the coat? What was the Bible story say? Why did he get the coat? “Oh, daddy’s little favorite. Father loved him most.”
In 1988, a young Apostle named Russell M. Nelson, you think he just started talking about the house of Israel? 1988. Stood at BYU, gave an incredible talk called “Thanks for the Covenant”. And in the talk, he said the Bible stories are misinterpreted. He says he didn’t get the coat because he’s daddy’s little favorite. He said the coat was the symbol of the birthright – the extra portion – and it was being passed from Reuben to Joseph.
And you want to get a little deeper than that? The word that was translated as “coat”, as in something we wear overclothing, could easily have been translated as “coat”, as in coats of skins, as in a garment worn under clothing. There are many people in this congregation right now who are wearing a coat of many colors. Well, that’s just cause you washed it with the reds. Haven’t you learned not to do that?
You have a coat that symbolizes the birthright that you have the extra portion you have. And so Joseph has two tribes. He has two sons. Benjamin, scoot on down the wall. He has Manasseh, who is born first. Lehi comes from Manasseh, by the way. And we have Ephraim, who is born second. Go, stand by your daddy. Who’s your Daddy?
Manasseh and Ephraim. Grandpa Jacob adopts those boys. If you go to Genesis 48, he adopts them so that they will be on equal footing with the other tribal leaders. And he adopts them in different order. His adopts, Ephraim first and Manasseh and second – trade places. Ephraim first and then Manasseh. And there you have it: the twelve tribe of Israel. Jacob is not a traditional tribe. He has two. Ephraim and Manasseh. And Levi is not a traditional tribe.
So the twelve tribes include Ephraim and Manasseh in place of Levi and Joseph. And those are the twelve oxen that are under that baptismal font.
“Oh, Brother Wilcox, thank you. This was a great little Sunday school lesson! I learned so much! It was a great little visual thing. But what does this have to do with me?” Now we’re going to do something you cannot do in any other Christian church. For them, this is a Bible story. This is just a Broadway musical. But for you, this is very personal. How many of you are from Ephraim? Wow, look at all those hands. How many are from Manasseh? Manasseh, would you stand up? Stand up from Manasseh.
The reason I’m having them stand is because I want to point something out to you. When I taught this to my missionaries in Chile, I said, “How many are from Ephraim?” and there were a handful of missionaries from Iowa. I said “How many are from Manasseh?” The whole chapel full of latino missionaries.
The symposium(?). Ephraim: temporal kingdom builders. Manasseh: spiritual kingdom builders. The birthright was given to the sons. That’s what the scriptures say. Sons, plural of Joseph. So Ephraim and Manasseh both have this birthright. Manasseh teaching Ephraim (?). Ephraim teaching Manasseh leadership. Manasseh and Ephraim working together to gather Israel.
Thank you very much for standing up. So, Ephraim, Manasseh, would you please gather Israel? I mean, like, pick up the cards. There you go. Let’s give them all a silent round of applause. They did a very nice job. Thanks for helping out, you guys. Especially Diana. Good job, Diana. Leah, way to go! What a woman.
Explanation of Where lost Tribes Are
As we conclude, let’s just say, “Alright, Brother Wilcox. We know that they’re supposed to gather Israel, but what exactly does that mean?” Assyria from the north, king is horrible, blood thirsty warriors. They killed many of the northern tribes, the ten tribes that made up the Kingdom of Israel. And those they didn’t kill, they dragged away and they separated them because if they kept them together, they would have rebelled, but they separated them. And so within a few generations, they forgot who they were. They were spread all throughout the north country, and they forgot who they were.
(The person holding the camera gets up and leaves the chapel at this point, and its rather difficult to say what Wilcox is saying.)
That’s why the Jews know who they are. When the king of Persia took over Babylon he let the Jews go back to Israel – back to Jerusalem.
So they know who they are. Even if the Jew isn’t religious, even if the Jew doesn’t believe in God, does he know he’s a Jew? Yes. He knows that. He knows he’s of Israel. And so he knows who he is, they’re not lost.
But the other tribes are lost. So with the restoration of the gospel, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, … (?) and the keys to the gathering of Israel to Joseph Smith. … (?)
(The person holding the camera goes back to the chapel at this point, and its rather difficult to say what Wilcox is saying.)
So Joseph starts sending missionaries out – they start gathering Ephraim and Manasseh. Why were they gathered first? Who had the birthright? Ephraim and Manasseh. So they are gathered first. They have the extra portions and the extra responsibility, and then now you see people gathered from other tribes as well.
Gathering Israel Today
Remember when Sister Nelson talked about this in the youth fireside? What did she find in Russia? Every tribe. Its happening, people. Its happening right before our eyes.
“Well so what if its happening? So someone’s from Issachar, who the heck cares? What does it mean?”, “So somebody from Benjamin, what does it mean?” When the patriarch puts his hands on your head, he’s not giving you a DNA test. At this point, there’s no such thing as a pure blood anybody. In Harry Potter language, we’re all mud bloods. So when he puts his hands on your head, he’s designating he’s — by inspiration — he’s telling you the tribe through which you will receive your blessings and the tribe through which you will bless others.
So, yes, it’s a linkage to the past, but it also has to do with the future. Knowing your tribe right now doesn’t matter much because all the tribes are working together to gather Israel. But when the Second Coming comes, that’s when these tribes are going to give us a totally different organization; a different level of organization that’s going to become very important. I mean, right now we’ve got to get organized because when Jesus comes and he says, “By the way, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”, and that’s what he’s going to say.
So do you think there’s going to be a little interest in the church? Oh, yeah. Will we be ready to have 2 billion people join the church in one day? Will we have enough stake presidents? Will we have enough bishops? Will we have enough young women’s presidents? Will we have enough full time missionaries? Will we have enough full tithe payers?
We got to get with it. We got to get organized. So that when we have that huge influx into the Church, it doesn’t swamp us. We’ve got leaders all over the world who can handle that. “So, Elder Darwin, you’re not going to Guatemala to baptize everybody”. Now that’s what your mission President might say, and that’s certainly what your zone leader is going to say. But really, you’re there just to get things organized, bring people into the church, help them become leaders, help people back into the church and help them become leaders. Help youth become leaders, help other missionaries become leaders. You’ve got to strengthen this organization. So when Jesus comes, that’s when we’re going to baptize everybody necessarily, and we’ve got to be ready for that.
Now, when Jesus comes, he’s also going to govern the world. He’s not going to be governed by a President or a conference or a Senate or a Parliament or a Prime Minister. He’s going to govern the world. Well, if he’s governing the world, then who’s helping? Us. And that’s where the tribes come in.
In one instant, he will be able to say, “If you are from Detroit, thank you for your service and getting ready for this day. Now, I’d like you to be in charge of medical care”, “But I’m not a doctor”, “You don’t have to be. Just get it organized.” “If you’re from Issachar, you’re in charge of education”, “I’m not a teacher”, “You don’t have to be. Just get it organized.”
Do you see? President Oaks called the tribes “the government of God”, and we have to be ready to be called up in a moment’s notice and to be able to be part of that additional organization. For there will not just be a capitol in Jerusalem in which we will run the Church, but there will be a capitol in the Americans in Missouri, and from that capitol we will run the temporal world, and you’ll be part of that. That’s what you were born for.
I’ll end with one analogy that might help you understand. Let’s say that God loves all His children. Let’s just draw it out. God loves all his children, so he puts them on an ocean liner cruise. Why would he do that? Why would he send them away? So that they can get to know each other, so that they can have fun, so that they can be happy, so that they can learn something. But he also wants them to come back. So he looks among all His children and He finds some children He can trust. It’s one thing to be loved. It’s another thing to be trusted, and he’s trusted you with the birthright.
So he finds you, and he makes you members of His crew. So when you look around yourself on that cruise ship and you think, “Dang it, how come I can’t wear nice bathing suits? How come I can’t wear a modest gown and go to a dance?” Remember who you are. You’re not a passenger; you’re a crew member.
“But how come I can’t drink all night and sleep all day? How come I can’t party like that?” Remember who you are. You’re not a passenger; you’re a crew member.
“How come I can’t eat at the buffet?” I’m not just talking about food. “How come I can’t do that?” Remember who you are. You are a member of the crew.
Elder Darlene, you’re wearing the names tag that identifies you as a member of the crew. And before you complain too long or too loud, because you have crew member responsibilities that passengers don’t have, remember maybe you get something the passengers don’t get. What is it? A paycheck! There’s nothing you can ever be asked to do in this church, nothing, for which you haven’t already been paid in advance and paid in full.
I remember when Tom Meyers used to stand in front of our young single adult ward and say “You have all the cookies.” Do you remember this Tom? “You have all the cookies?” Do you realize that just because you have one change of shoes? Do you realize that it puts you right at the top of humans who walk on this planet and if a change of shoes puts you there where on Earth with the checks where college education puts ya?
I hope you’ve realized you’ve been given much temporarily and spiritually. You go into temples where you receive an endowment – a gift that other children of God don’t yet receive. You have been paid in advance and paid in full.
So don’t you dare let the world change you when you were born to change the world. Don’t you dare let the world leave its mark on you, when you were born to leave your mark on it.
Stay true, square your shoulders, bear this kingdom off triumphantly, stay strong, don’t waver, be true to the birthright you have been given, be true to who you really are, and I say this with all of my love with all of my full confidence in you to succeed.
I say this is the name of Jesus Christ, who was born in June by the way, amen.