This letter comes from a Bishop in southern California. To protect the guilty, names and places have been replaced with xxxx.
I write to convey an important message and to strongly encourage you to come to a mailing party that will take place at the home of xxxx and xxxx xxxx, xxxx xxxx Avenue, xxxx, this coming Saturday, January 15, 2000 at 9:00 am.
President xxxx called an emergency meeting last Sunday to relay to bishops and stake leaders important instructions he received in a conference call with the Area President concerning the Defense of Marriage Initiative. The Area President had received a challenge from President Hinckley to increase our efforts in support of the Initiative.
He thanked those of us who have worked to pass the Initiative to date, but expressed concern that many of us have not participated, perhaps because we do not recognize the importance of the issue or the nature of the call we have received from our prophet. In summary, he said in part as follows:
This is not just about an election. Our effort to support the Marriage Initiative is a test of our faith and our willingness to keep the covenants we have made to follow the prophet. In same ways it is like Zion's Camp, an important and difficult assignment given to early church members to help the Saints in Missouri (see D&C sections 103 and 105). The faithfulness of members' responses to that call was an important training experience for future leaders of the Church, including future apostles and prophets. Likewise, as we support the Church's request that we work to help pass this initiative, we follow the Prophet (see D&C section 101) and express our faith in his divine calling. In the meeting yesterday President xxxx said he was as concerned about the corrosive effects on our souls of failing to follow the Prophet as he was about the outcome of the election.Let me add my testimony that we are led by a Prophet, and that we will be blessed as we answer his call.
Phase I of our efforts, precinct walking, is essentially over, but we need each of you to help us make Phase II a success. Phase II involves mailing brochures to selected voters, telephoning selected voters, and having yard signs put up in our community.
Members of our ward are being asked to address and stuff at least 1000 envelopes for mailing to voters in the very near future. I urge each of you to change your schedule, if necessary, and come to the mailing party that will be held at the xxxx's home this Saturday at 9:00 am. We should be able to complete the entire project in a couple of hours if enough of you attend. You will be called this week and asked if you will be able to come, and I hope you will say yes.
May the Lord bless all of us as we strive to do his will.