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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Sunday, July 26, 2009


How does transformation happen? Is it a matter of gathering up spiritual energy until somehow we reach critical mass and then things will magically change? Or is it because our increasing consciousness of that energy finally moves us to action?

This summer, powerful forces are at work in the lives of CEM members and friends. Already in Canada East Mission alone, we have had four reunions and three youth camps; each reporting wonderful, potentially life-changing encounters between people and Spirit. Many of our youth have been dramatically stimulated and changed by the powerful energy of the International Youth Forum (IYF) held in Independence, Missouri. This week, they move on to SPECTACULAR, held each year at Graceland University in Iowa, where more transformative experiences await them. At the same time, families gather eagerly at Erie Beach camp ground for yet another reunion that will no doubt provide even more spiritual banquets to be feasted upon and enjoyed. After that, we have still one more reunion and a wonderful Senior High Camp to go before the summer ends.

This is powerful spiritual energy! I have experienced it, and so have you. With all this going on, is it possible for the church and the world to go back to being the same? Can not all this renewed vigor change us and take us to a new level of consciousness? Will the world and the communities where we live not be different as a result of all this vital spiritual power? Can our congregations not become vibrant places of energy and action? How does transformation really happen?

Perhaps the key is to be found in a document we have had available to us for almost a decade. “Be courageous and visionary,” says Doctrine and Covenants, section 161:3c, “believing in the power of just a few vibrant witnesses to transform the world.” Okay, so it is witnesses who change the world, but who are those witnesses? Are we witnesses because we have seen and felt; observed and participated? Does that change anything other than ourselves? Perhaps the world is changed because we have been changed, and therefore behave differently. To paraphrase the oft-quoted words of Mahatma Gandhi, through our actions we become the change we wish to see in the world.

But witnesses are also called upon to tell what they have seen; to testify of what they know or believe to be true. There is a lot of power resident in words. The act of telling what has happened to bring about a change in us, has the ability to cause others to think deeply and can stir within them the desire to also experience such transformation. Is it possible that the power of a few vibrant witnesses to transform the world lies in their act of sharing their witness with others?

In the end, perhaps it is all of the above. Perhaps transformation happens because we are changed, because we take some action and behave differently, and because we tell others which leads to further change. Or, perhaps it is a gathering of spiritual energy (faith in God) that has the ability to magically change the world. Perhaps it is, but if that were the path to transformation, it would not require us to be “courageous and visionary”, or “vibrant witnesses” would it? History tells us that transformation requires action. Gandhi did not achieve independence for India by merely believing it was possible, but by acting on the possibility.

So, at the end of this summer of remarkable and powerful encounter with the Divine, the question is, will we be silent witnesses who believe in the power to transform the world, or will we be vibrant witnesses who do something about it? What will I do? What will you? Perhaps most important of all, what will we do? How will we transform the world?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you!
    I will use your words to remind the youth and young adults to be "vibrant witnesses". There is no doubt that they will transform our world.


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