I attend a fellowship meeting once each month with a group that meets in Riverdale. Last night was our scheduled meeting. For me it was a milestone meeting.
When Denver Snuffer gave the portion of his talk “Remembering the Restoration” in Grand Junction Colorado, he made a statement to the effect that “if you want an education like none other, then gather a group together and pay your tithing among yourselves, and help the poor among you.” Some who are very close to me and my family decided without further persuasion that was exactly what we would do. We began immediately to meet as two families which also included married children and their spouses, and began to pay the money previously given to the LDS Church to ourselves for use among “our” poor.
Almost from the beginning, in this quite intimate setting of 13 individuals, the idea was expressed that we should all affix our names to an agreement which would state our intent as a group and include a statement to the effect that anyone could withdraw at any time, but they must realize they would not receive any money back if they left, or any effects their donated money might have produce.
Shortly after the 10th portion of that talk, when it was re-iterated that we should begin to form fellowships, our small group was besieged with requests to join us in our meetings. That group has now swollen to the size that about 100 attend each meeting and I’m sure that many more have attended although perhaps not regularly. Throughout this growth the “Entry Promise” [which it came to be called] has been used to identify “members” who would have voting status on any group decisions which were to be made, particularly on how any collected tithing money should be used, and up until last night has continued to identify what was expected of those who would be a member. It was a good thing to know what we were about, and to be able to “control” somewhat, this increasingly diverse group. And I, particularly had a vested interest in this document, as it was me that wrote the damned thing.
Some things transpired over the last couple of weeks that made necessary a re-visiting of that agreement, and its intended effect, and result, and its potential to wreak havoc on those who had affixed their names to it, and what it was doing to those who wanted to fellowship with us, but would not sign the document. I don’t feel it necessary to go into all that input, but only to say that it began to make me burn with shame that I had essentially been the instigator of such a thing, and although I try not to speak very much in our fellowship meetings anymore, something I had written over a year ago continued to control how [and by who] our meeting was administered. I have since learned that when my opportunity came to instigate the insertion of that document way back when, we all would have been better off if I’d have just gotten on my horse and rode west.
Last night in our scheduled fellowship meeting I stood up and made it known that I would be blotting my name off that document. I stated my reasons why, which was that I essentially have made a grevious error in ever signing it, and then I proposed to the group that the “Entry Promise” be abolished.
Brothers and sisters. Below is a synopsis of what transpired:
Brothers and Sisters
In the meeting this evening a proposal was made and seconded, and then voted on in the affirmative by as far as I could tell every individual present, to abolish the “Entry Agreement.”
In effect I would surmise that what this primarily means is that the fellowship will be comprised of whoever is attending on any given evening.
If any of you reading this have a copy of that agreement, it is no longer supported by the original, as it was shredded in full view of all present tonight, and therefore should be considered null and void.
So, this puts this group back into the realm of an “idea” and not an institution with agreements and requirements.
I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. I hope all feel the same way, but if you don’t, [I was going to say, tough, but instead I will say I personally feel this way is more appropriate.]. It’s a done deal, and has the absolute, unanimous, common consent of everyone who came to the meeting.