Do you know of Henry Schaeffer? Well, he was a Patriarch in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I was privy to be at church youth camps with him in Bandera, Texas. On one occasion, I heard him speak in tongues before a large group of teens. I was shaking and crying all at the same time; so powerful was the Holy Ghost!
I don’t remember the year a particular incident happened, but it was approximately between 1961-1966. I remember I was a teen, at our annual church summer youth camp. We were having our evening prayer service in the woods, sitting on the ground or big rocks, during the youth church camp. Brother Schaeffer was presiding along with some Elders. The participation was at an all time high during the prayer portion, and as always, all the teens were in serious contemplation. It was not uncommon to have the Lord Jesus speak through one or two of the priesthood up front, and we were eager to hear His words this night. It was dusk, and there was still a little bit of daylight.
When it was opened up to testimonies, I felt a strong urge to stand up and speak about Zion. While I was giving my testimony about Zion, a bird zipped through the grove at head level of those sitting down. It flew right across the Priesthood and in front of the teens. Suddenly, out of my mouth came the words, “Zion will surely will come, and it will come as quickly as the bird that flew by, and Zion will be during our generation.” Then suddenly Brother Schaeffer stood and said to the crowd, “And thus saith the Lord, your God, sister,” in confirmation that the group had heard Christ’s words from my mouth. The Holy Spirit was so strong, that we all wept. I felt extreme humility and very close to God.
I am 68, and this experience has stayed with me all of these years. To think that my friends and I could actually become a part of Zion in our life time was extremely exciting! I taught this to my two children, as they grew, along with stories of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We moved to Independence MO for three years, and lived a few houses down from the old Smith Home. We walked to the Stone Church every Wednesday night for prayer services, and could see the Auditorium lit up from our yard. I walked two different years to participate in the choir that sang the full rendition of the Messiah. I cried when my then husband said we were going to be moving away for a new military assignment. I felt like I was leaving home behind.
I was perhaps the odd one out, as over the years, I have not felt to get involved in any of the Restoration groups. I wrote the President of the Community of Christ and asked him to remove my name from their roster.
When I heard from my cousin about the Plates, which were going to be interpreted, I suddenly felt the excitement swell up inside of me! I knew this would be the beginning of the movement of our Lord Jesus and His people. Zion was coming too. The words of God came flooding back into my mind of that summer youth camp prayer service coming true. I even said, “Finally!”
Suddenly I wanted to go back to church! I chose to attend Zarahemla, where Brother Bob Moore attends, so I could hear about Zion and the Plates during Sunday School and Sermons. I live in Olathe, but I am there every Sunday morning and evening and for prayer services. And yes, the prayer services especially designed to pray for Zion.
I wanted to be a part so badly, that I asked Brother Bob Moore, if he and another Elder would come to my home and show me the pictures of the Plates and the Sword. He very kindly said he would. He took some time to get to know me, then we moved from the living room to the dining table, where Brother Bob opened the world to me! I had just completed a comprehensive study of the Book of Mormon, and when my eyes gazed at the photos, I felt as if I was back in those days. I just knew these were from God, and good would come from it!
I have not lost that feeling, nor wavered at any time since seeing those photos and attending the services at church. I am feeling the love of the members and witnessing their excitement too! And I’ve not forgotten that evening in the woods of Bandera Tx and the night I learned I too could be around to see Zion. I realize I must study the scriptures and prepare spiritually for such an encounter, but I feel the time is so very near! Those of us who believe in the Plates and Brother Mauricio, must make way for those who want to live in a righteous and Godly place.
I anticipate seeing many miracles take place, the likes of those in days of old.
Cille Austin 05.13.2018 (Kansas)