The first Sunday of each month is usually a “Fast Sunday”. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we fast for two meals, meaning we do not eat or drink for those two meals. It might be breakfast and lunch on that Sunday for example. We take the money that we would have spent on that food, and donate it in the form of a fast offering. We are actually encouraged to be generous and donate even more than the amount of that food’s cost. The Church then uses that money to help the poor and needy. Over the past few years I have been more on the administrative side of things in various wards and I’ve seen how this money is used to help those who are in need. I’m happy to be part of an organization which helps so many people. I know my fast offering is put to good use, quite often right in the ward/area where I live. In more affluent areas where they collect more fast offering than is used in that ward or stake (larger area comprised of multiple wards), it is sent to Church headquarters where they use it to help in areas which do not collect as much fast offerings.
Also part of Fast Sunday is testimony meeting. We sing an opening hymn, have an opening prayer offered by someone in the congregation, partake of the sacrament, and then the meeting is comprised of testimonies being shared about the Savior Jesus Christ and the gospel. The meeting is conducted by a member of the bishopric of the ward. A bishopric comprises the bishop, who is the ecclesiastical leader of the ward, and his two counselors. They are all high priests in the Melchizedek priesthood. They are also all just regular members of the congregation who have been called to serve in the position, usually for up to 5 years at a time. The church at the ward and stake level is entirely run by people from the congregation. There is no paid clergy or professionally instructed clergy. One week it is Brother Jones down the street, and then he might be called as bishop, then it is Bishop Jones for the next 5 years or so. It is incredible to me how the organization of the Church works so well. Not flawlessly, but surprisingly well. I can’t think of another organization that runs the same way.
Today, as a counselor in our local bishopric, it was my opportunity to bear my testimony and then turn the time over to the rest of the congregation to bear their testimony if they are so moved upon. As I was thinking about what I might say, I thought of crepes. Now, it is fast Sunday, so thinking of food isn’t a big surprise I guess. I served a mission in France, and as far as I’m concerned, they have the best food and pastries in the world. There is no argument. While there I learned how to make crepes. Les crêpes are delicate, delicious, fragile thin pancake-like flat, celestial creations. Made from ingredients like flour, eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, milk, water, oil, salt, and cooked in a special crepe pan. The temperature of the pan is very important to cook the crepe at the right speed. Too slow it sticks. Too fast it burns. The pan needs to be oiled so the crepe doesn’t stick. There needs to be enough eggs to make it hold together. There needs to be enough milk and water to make it thin. A crepe is a masterpiece. Often the first one or two crepes are sacrificial. They turn out not quite right because the temperature of the pan is off a bit or the ratio of eggs/flour/milk/water might be off. You need to adjust for altitude, for the size and thickness of the egg, for the type of flour and sugar used. Coming from France to the U.S., none of the ingredients were an exact match. So it took time to create the perfect recipe. If you veer off from the recipe, it just isn’t as good. It isn’t as sweet and delicious. If you add all of the toppings available such as jams, butter, sugar, cinnamon, berries, Nutella, bananas, cream filling, and powdered sugar, you can create something really delicious. But add too much salt, or not enough eggs, too much water, and the crepe itself can be gross, or just not that great.
So why would I talk about delicious crepes on fast Sunday to a congregation all fasting for two meals? Well, maybe it wasn’t the best idea. However, I was thinking about how the restored gospel in its fullness, when anxiously engaged, when you are all in, partaking of everything the restored gospel has to offer, being as involved as you can, makes you the happiest. Temple attendance, sacrament meeting attendance, serving in callings, praying day and night, giving service to others, having gospel study at home in the Come Follow Me program, daily reading of the Book of Mormon, family home evening, gospel doctrine class, priesthood and relief society, mutual, seminary & institute, family history, missionary work, ward, stake, and General Conferences. Now to sweeten it a bit more, add the toppings like camps, ward activities, trunk-or-treats, devotionals, firesides, face-to-face, and everything else. Fully participating in the recipe our prophet and the Lord Jesus Christ has given us in the latter-days as members of His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, brings us the most sweetness, deliciousness, and joy that the gospel can provide. If you start taking away pieces of it, then it becomes less sweet and less delicious. We may not enjoy it as much. “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” God has given us the recipe to have the most sweetness, and delicious tastes of the restored gospel in the latter days. We need to follow His recipe which is told to us through the Apostles and Prophets.
So now that I’ve got you thinking about crepes, go and make some for yourself, your family, or a neighbor. I’m pretty sure this is what we will be eating in heaven.