Faith Matters: ‘Turn from the negative and look for the good’

  • Second Councilor Shaun Schofield, President Robert Doty and First Councilor Brian Prescott of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • First Councilor Brian Prescott , President Robert Doty and Second Councilor Shaun Schofield of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Greenfield. September 7, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 92 Colrain Road, Greenfield. September 7, 2017. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Lay Faith Leaders, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints
Sunday, October 08, 2017

(Each Saturday, a faith leader in Franklin County offers a personal perspective in this space. To become part of this series, email religion@recorder.com or call 413-772-0261, ext. 265.)

By President Robert Doty, First Counselor Brian Prescott and Second Councilor Shaun Schofield

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a small but active congregation in Greenfield. We are a lay church with no paid clergy, giving every member the opportunity to lead and teach. Our members take on the tasks of presidents and councilors of our various auxiliaries, as well as teaching, praying, presenting messages in our Sacrament meeting, and organizing enriching activities for all. The first Sunday of every month provides a time for all to offer their testimonies about their relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Greenfield Branch, as we are called, is led by President Robert P. Doty and two councilors, Brian W. Prescott and Shaun Schofield. A larger church unit is called a ward. And a group of wards/branches is under the leadership of a Stake. Think of a large tent covering the land with many “stakes” holding it together and you will understand the analogy. The center of our Stake is located in Ludlow with meetinghouses from Pittsfield to Oxford.

We are led by a living prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and his councilors, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, as well as a Council of Twelve Apostles. This is the same organization that existed in Christ’s lifetime.

Twice a year, in April and October, the worldwide church holds a General Conference from Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. It goes out to every corner of the Earth on internet, satellite, TV and radio stations. Our latest conference was held Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. All may find this broadcast by going to www.lds.org or www.mormon.org. These two-hour sessions are filled with inspirational talks given by these leaders as well as many others from all the auxiliaries including women’s and children’s. These talks are also archived for reading, listening and watching at any time.

At such a conference, our past president, President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Jesus Christ is the key figure of our faith. The official name of the church is ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.’ We worship Him as Lord and Savior. The Bible is our scripture. We believe that the prophets of the Old Testament who foretold of the coming of the Messiah spoke under divine inspiration. We glory in the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, setting forth the events of the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh.”

President Hinckley also said: “There is a terrible ailment of pessimism in the land. It’s almost endemic. We’re constantly fed a steady and sour diet of character assassination, fault-finding, evil-speaking of one another… I come with a plea that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I’m asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort.

“I am not asking that all criticism be silent. Growth comes with correction. Strength comes with repentance. Wise is the man or woman who, committing mistakes pointed out by others, changes his or her course.

“I am not suggesting that our conversations be all honey. Clever expression that is sincere and honest is a skill to be sought and cultivated. What I am suggesting and asking is that we turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good in the land and times in which we live, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism. Let our faith replace our fears.”

Dean L. Larson, another leader said, “There is something essential about joining together with other believers in worship, to sing, to pray, to learn of God’s will for us, and to acknowledge his goodness to us. He has commanded that this should be so.”

Our doors are open to any who wish to be part of our church family.

If you would like to know more, you may contact our missionaries at (413) 824-9040.

About The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A meetinghouse for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is nestled between BJ’s and Charlene Manor at 92 Colrain Road in Greenfield. Look for the brick and stone entrance sign at the lane just north of BJ’s. Sunday services begin at 10 a.m. To facilitate time and travel, we have a block of three distinct classes and meetings, all on Sunday: Sacrament Meeting for all ages is first, followed by Sunday School classes by age, and then an activity period for small children, youth classes, and a time for men’s and women’s auxiliaries. To learn more, you may contact our missionaries at (413) 824-9040.