Sunday morning, March 20, dozens of families around Palm Coast and Flagler County got in their cars and drove to DeLand. There, they sat at the feet of David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It was a rare visit from an apostle, which Mormons believe is the same office as was held by Peter, James and John in the New Testament, and whose calling is to be a “special witness of Jesus Christ” to the world.
Bednar said that, with only 12 apostles in the church, and nearly 14 million members worldwide, it would likely be 30 years before an apostle came to the region again — and that’s if the church stops growing. If the church continues to grow, Bednar said, statistically there would likely never be another apostle to visit the area.
Click here to watch a video of Bednar’s most recent address to the worldwide church, given in October 2010.
Bednar typically only has time to meet with the regional leaders of congregations. He travels incessantly, often making stops in more than one country in the same week.
I had the privilege to be in several meetings with him this weekend, some with as few as four or five other people in the room, and some with more than 1,000 people in the chapel and overflow areas. I was able to sit next to him during a simple meal and talk to him about his golf game.
One of the messages Bednar conveyed during the weekend’s meetings was that members needed to understand that it is not enough just to believe, but they also need to act on that belief by serving others. He said, "Conversion is being true to what we know — consistently."
He quoted the scripture from the Bible, which reads, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
No matter your religious beliefs, this visit was a good thing for Palm Coast.
Many families who attended were uplifted and inspired to be better people because of this visit from one of the church’s world leaders. May we all seek out someone around us — maybe it’s a neighbor who has lost her job, or an elderly man who now struggles to mow his own lawn — and offer to help, just because they’re our neighbors. Just because it’s the right thing to do.