I had the shock of my life a few weeks ago when one of my Elders Quorum Presidents Patrick O’Brien told me in an interview that he was seriously considering accepting a lucrative offer from his company to go to
California, which is in . He explained that the head office is right next to a beautiful beach and that he could buy a home in a very nice neighbourhood close by. America
The O’Brien’s are from a small branch and to lose a solid family like them would be a great hardship on the other members. Sister O’Brien is the Young Women’s President and their children make up half of the primary. As an experienced Church leader I knew just what to do.
I asked Brother O’Brien if he had considered the Church policy related to this matter. He replied that he didn’t know the Church had a policy on whether he should take a job transfer to
and wasn’t even sure that the Church should be trying to influence his decision one way or the other. America
I was able to explain that the policies the Church has in place are for our own good and well being; they have been written by prophets, seers and revelators according to the spirit of the Lord that is in them and we would do well to heed their counsel.
We logged onto lds.org to read the inspiring policy that the Lord has put in place for the edification of mankind. I asked Brother O’Brien to prayerfully consider the section entitled “Emigration of Members” which is summarized below:
*“Members are encouraged to remain in their native lands to build up and strengthen the Church. As members remain in their homelands and work to build the Church there, great blessings will come to them personally and to the Church. Stakes and wards throughout the world will be strengthened, making it possible to share the blessings of the gospel with an even greater number of Heavenly Father’s children.”
Critics will probably say that the Church is simply trying to look after its own interests but they fail to understand that our ways are not the Lord's ways, nor are our thoughts his. I asked Brother O’Brien to fast and pray about whether he and his family would be better off heeding the advice of the Brethren by staying in
to partake of the great blessings that the Brethren have promised to them. I further explained as per the manual that the Brethren have been kind and thoughtful enough to warn that “... those who emigrate often encounter language, cultural, and economic challenges, resulting in disappointment...” Ireland
I related to him how often in
we have to say things 17 times before being properly understood and how the culture is so very different from ours. America
Three days later Brother O’Brien rang me to confirm that he had turned down the offer and that his co-worker (who is Presbyterian) will be going to work and live by the beach in
instead. He said to me “I bet the Presbyterian Church doesn’t even have an emigration policy” and I answered “Well Brother O'Brien, that’s just one of the many great advantages of being in the one true Church!” California