High Priests Quorum
Independence, Missouri, August 15, 2011
As brothers called to serve the Lord in the office of High
Priest, we recognize a responsibility of helping to provide
spiritual guidance to the body of Christ. It is in the bonds of
charity and humility that we come to you at this time, offering
what we believe is inspired counsel - a call to a specific
season of fasting, prayer and study for the purpose of
thanksgiving, repentance, and preparation.
Beginning Sunday, August 28, 2011 through Thursday, October 6,
2011, we invite you to join us in a 40-day fast before the
Lord. We have planned the fast to be structured in three parts
as follows (please refer to the included Fasting Guidelines for more
Part One - Thanksgiving and Praise (10 days, August 28 -
Part Two - Forgiveness and Repentance (20 days, September 7 -
Part Three - Consecration and Preparation (10 days, September 27
- October 6)
Please at least fast the evening meal each Wednesday during
these 40 days and dedicate some devotional time with the Lord each day in prayer and scripture
Why are we calling for a fast? We see the signs of the end
times upon us and we recognize
accordingly that the Lord requires an extraordinary response
from His people to meet the end-time
challenges and fulfill His purposes before the Lord’s return.
Several separate groups and individuals have
been inspired with light and counsel that share this common
theme, and we feel the Lord is guiding us all
to humble ourselves and prepare for the days ahead. This call
to fasting is in response to that guidance.
Who is included in the call to fast? We invite all the Saints
of the everlasting covenant that was
restored in 1830, regardless of affiliation. Whether or not you
recognize our priesthood authority as High
Priests or Elders to call the Saints to such a fast as this, we
ask that you recognize our common
brotherhood in the Restoration as fellow Saints, or at least
recognize the signs of the end times and the
need for all of the Lord’s people to fast and repent and prepare
for the work ahead. In that spirit, we
humbly ask in the bonds of peace and in the pure love of Christ
that you join us in this fast.
We want you to know that this is something we will be doing in
our own lives. We invite all the members of the body of Christ,
wherever they may be, to join with us in this endeavor.
To conclude the fast, we will be inviting the pastors,
priesthood, and leaders of as many churches
and groups of the Restoration Movement as we can contact to join
us in coordinating special services in the
Center Place of Zion (Independence, MO) as well as other
locations. Details for this will be forthcoming.
Along with the Fasting Guidelines, a series of Questions and
Answers and Words of Counsel are included on the following
pages. We hope these will address any questions you may have
regarding this period of fasting.
On behalf of the High Priests Quorum, and in Gospel bonds,
As the High Priests met in quorum at the 2011 Seventy Missionary
Family Reunion at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, Chuck
Perry (president of the quorum) presented the letter below from
Brother Kerry Lancaster to the quorum for prayerful consideration.
It was agreed in the quorum that the letter contains wise
counsel, and a committee was formed to plan the means for
following through with the counsel given. This call to fast to
all the saints of the Restoration Movement is the result of
these efforts. While we recognize there are many who will not
regard the following as inspired or wise counsel from the
Lord, we include it here as a means of further explanation.
While you may not agree with parts or all of this counsel, we
hope you will understand and accept that we feel
bound and obligated to diligently follow what we feel is the
call of the Lord at this time for fasting and repentance, and
forgiveness of our brothers and sisters, our families and
friends, our enemies and strangers, and turn to the Lord for
Words of Counsel, given to the High Priests Quorum July 1, 2011
Dear Brother Chuck,
burning and sober manner it has been heavily impressed upon me,
more than I can bear, that it is time for the Saints to
be on our knees in humble supplication to the Lord in
repentance, seeking forgiveness and mercy. The conditions of the
world today are rife with the signs we have studied and preached
for generations - wars and rumors of wars, tumult in the
nations, the Middle East in unrest and chaos, societies breaking
down across the world, record droughts, record fires
destroying the land, record floods as rivers burst their banks
and levies, record tornadoes and hurricanes, record earthquakes
and tsunamis, economic collapse and ruin, immoral and corrupt
leaders in all the nations including ours, unemployment,
huge institutions and businesses failing... the earth is
groaning under the rampant sin and oppression covering her face.
And many are asking: “Where is the Lord?”
But the Lord responds: “Where are My Saints, where is My
storehouse, where is My Zion?”
church, we have suffered for decades in the wilderness as
scattered and lost sheep. We have taken refuge in our own
self-perceived righteousness by shunning the apostasy of the
leadership of the RLDS / Community of Christ and casting
ourselves off from their errs and deceptions. We rebuked and
rejected the sons of Joseph because they stumbled and spoke
Yet look at us. We are scattered. We are beaten down. We are
trodden underfoot in the world. We are weak. We have no voice to
warn the world and prepare for the Lord’s return. And we have
not asked ourselves what the Lord now asks us to examine and
understand: if we are the righteous of the Church, then why did
the Lord allow wicked servants to bring us to this captive
state, in effectual bondage?
We have somewhat sought to forgive those who have done this to us (as
individuals, but not corporately), but we have not examined
ourselves to look to our own culpability.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” declared the Lord. Yet
we did raise up a god before Him... a god we thought was holy
and good and worthy of being worshipped. Over the years, the
RLDS had come to worship the Church, instead of the Lord.
We worshipped its history, its structure, its holy places in
Kirtland and Independence and Nauvoo, its quorums, its
conferences, its councils, its stakes and districts and offices
The Church became our god, and the Lord took it from us to turn
us back to Him. And we have been asking the Lord to give us
back the Church, and give us a Prophet again. Yet the Lord asks:
“Will you accept and hear My true prophets, or will you stone
them and rend them in the courtyard like the children of Israel
The Lord would have us humble ourselves and prepare ourselves to hear Him
before we can receive and accept what He has
“Sanctify a fast before Me,” says the Lord, “and turn from your pride, and
humble yourselves. Yea, declare a fast, and
forgive all who have wronged you, before seeking mercy and
forgiveness from Me. Yea, seek to know and understand your own
sins and transgressions which have led you to this state such
that you can truly repent, and be forgiven. Uphold the sons
of Joseph to Me in mighty prayer, that the covenant I swore in
My righteousness to their father Joseph, and that was appointed
unto and inherited therein by his son Joseph, and as was
inherited in righteousness and truth also by his sons
Frederick Madison, and Israel Alexander, and William Wallace,
yea, and as was inherited therein also, because of My Covenant,
with his son Wallace Bunnell, yea, uphold them to Me that the
covenant I made with Joseph may be restored and fulfilled, even
as I swore to him in My righteousness.”
“Yea, uphold the sons of Joseph in mighty prayer to Me, with
much love and compassion and mercy and forgiveness, yea,
even that same love and compassion and mercy and forgiveness
that ye seek from Me, or I shall turn My face from you and
reject your prayers for yourselves, as you bleat about aimlessly
for safe pastures and the comfort of the Shepherd’s rod and
“Humble yourselves before Me, and cast off your pride and your
righteousness, for it is as filthy rags before Me, and lest ye
humble yourselves and repent, ye shall fade before Me as a dry
leaf, and your iniquities, which I can no longer bear, shall take you away like
“And seek earnestly to be reconciled one with another, for if ye are not
one, even as I have commanded that ye be one, ye
are not Mine, saith the Lord. Contend with no brother, but come
together in prayer and fasting. Invite all to fast and pray
before Me - even those who will not meet with you in conference,
or even at the Lamb’s table. Your divisions and
separations from each other over matters of organization are a
stench to Me. It is the work of the adversary, and behold, he
sifts you as he desires, for you have given yourselves over to
him. Seek your brothers in prayer and fasting, and invite them
all to pray and fast. Those who have My Spirit will hear My call
to fast and pray, to repent, and to forgive. It is necessary
that the Saints come together as My people in unity and single
purpose of heart and mind, or I can in no wise minister unto
you, or receive you unto Myself.”
“The time is at hand, saith the Lord, that My people come out of
Babylon! Look! The signs are before you, and ye seek that I
should redeem you before the end! How can ye be redeemed if ye
repent not, if ye forgive not, if ye unite not as one? How can
ye hear Me, if ye hear not My servants? If ye reject them, ye
reject Me, and ye shall remain a hiss and a byword -
salt that has lost its savor and is trodden under foot - spewed
lukewarm from My mouth.”
“Repent! Declare a fast! Pray for the sons of Joseph, and for the sheep
who remain scattered! Call everyone who will hear to repentance
and humility. I speak this concerning all the Saints who love
Me, yea, all the children of the work that was
restored through My servant Joseph in 1830, for there are many
who will hear and who will respond. Come together in prayer and
fasting, in humility and meekness, in charity one for another,
esteeming each other above yourselves. This is My word and My
will. Ye who will hear, see that ye do. Amen.”
We ask that you review and consider these guidelines along with
the following Questions and Answers as you prepare to join us in
this fast. It is our hope and expectation that we can be united
in this effort as we seek to grow closer to
God and each other during this season of fasting and prayer and
In the outline below, some scripture passages are recommended
for special study during this fast. Because we are inviting all
the Saints of the divergent paths of the Restoration Movement to
participate, scripture references will include chapter and verse
indicators for common passages that we share from the following
KJV = King James Version
IV = Inspired Version of the Holy Scriptures
[KJV / IV indicated only where chapter/verse numbers differ]
Book of Mormon
LBM = LDS Book of Mormon (1981 edition)
RBM = RLDS / Community of Christ Book of Mormon (1908
Doctrine and Covenants
LDC = LDS Doctrine and Covenants
RDC = RLDS / Community of Christ Doctrine and Covenants
BC = Book of Commandments
Please note: If you have any medical conditions or special
nutritional requirements or considerations please
consult a physician before entering into any dietary fast.
Part One - Thanksgiving and Praise (10 days, August 28 -
During this first period of the fast, we wish to spend time with
the Lord for no other purpose than that of praising
His name and expressing our heartfelt thanks for the wonderful
things He has done for us through the ages. Please bring no
petition to the Lord in prayer during this time. Rather, offer
prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving for the gift of His Son,
the plan of Salvation, and all the gifts and blessings He shed forth
on the whole world at the time of the Restoration of the
gospel in 1830. These gifts and blessings include knowledge of
lost scriptures and covenants, the fullness of the gospel and
its ordinances, the restored priesthood, the restoration of
spiritual gifts, the continuing light of on-going revelation,
call as partners with the Lord in bringing forth the cause of
Zion. Let us with gladness and praise set aside the first ten
days of fasting and prayer as a period of reflective gratitude and
constant thanksgiving to God for these precious gifts.
Suggested scripture study (this is just a starting point, please
II Samuel 22
||I Chron 16:7-36;
Job 26, 36, 37, 38
Ps 8, 19, 23, 24, 29, 31, 33
Ps 34, 46, 47, 48, 50,
68, 84, 86, 87, 90, 92
Ps 93, 95, 96, 97, 98,
Ps 100, 103, 104, 113,
Ps132, 136, 145, 147,
Ps 149, 150
||Isaiah 11, 12, 53, 58
Joel 2:1, 11, 15-16
RDC 17:4a, b / LDC 20:17-19 / BC 24:13-14
RDC 108:7a-c / LDC 133:36-40
Part Two - Forgiveness and Repentance (20 days, September 7 - September 26)
During this twenty day period of the fast, let us seek to fully
forgive everyone without reservation before we seek the Lord’s
forgiveness for our own failings and transgressions. Set aside
the first ten days of this period as a time of forgiving others.
For too long, many of us have allowed the hurt and offenses we
have felt in the past to bind the present and the future. We
feel that we all need to specifically take time to search our
hearts for the offenses and hurts that we have
not forgiven and take action.Suggested scripture study (these suggestions are just
to help get you started):
We must follow the Lord’s commandment that before we come to the
altar, we first reconcile with our brothers and sisters (Matthew
5:23-24 KJV / 5:25-26 IV). According to Isaiah chapter 58, a
fast includes righteous action in our
lives, not just a prayerful period of going without food.
Then please dedicate the second ten days of this period for
repentance for squandering the gifts the Lord has given us, for
fracturing into many folds, and for allowing differences to
separate us when He has clearly said “I say unto you, Be one;
and if ye are not one, ye are not Mine” (RDC 38:6a; LDC 36:27;
BC 40:22) and “Let nothing separate you from each
Also, during this period let us all repent for failing to
fulfill the tasks He gave us to accomplish, including
becoming the people of Zion, restoring the tribes of Israel to a
knowledge of the covenants and the Messiah, and failure to
uphold the seed of Joseph Smith, Jr. in constant prayer.
Matt 5:23-26 IV / 5:21-24 KJV
Matt 21:26-34 IV / 21:28-32 KJV
Matt 6:14-15 KJV
/ 6:13-16 IV
Mark 11:25-26 KJV / 11:27-28 IV
Luke 17:3-3; Luke 19:8-10 IV
II Corinthians 2:5-11
Hebrews 8:12; 10:17
RDC 58:9c / LDC 58:42 / BC 59:53
RDC 81:1a / LDC 82:1
RDC 95:7a-g / LDC
RDC 64:2b-2g / LDC 64:7-13 / BC 65:9-15
Mosiah 11:137-141 RBM / Mosiah 26:29-32 LBM
Psalm 51, 60, 137
Matthew 4:16 IV / 4:17 KJV
7:1-9 IV / 7:1-6 KJV
II Corinthians 7:9-11
II Nephi 13:13-17 RBM / II Nephi 31:10-13 LBM
RBM / Helaman 5:29-32 LBM
III Nephi 4:41-43, 58 RBM / III Nephi 9:13-14; 10:6 LBM
III Nephi 12:32 RBM / III Nephi 27:19 LBM
Suggested scripture study ((again,
these suggestions are just to help get you started):
- Consecration and Preparation (10 days, September 27 - October 6)
During this third period of the fast, we suggest a ten day
period of re-dedication to the tasks that lie before us now at
this last hour. In order to carry out these tasks, we will need
the power and the light to do so. If we truly seek that power
and that light, we must be willing to be transformed into a
dedicated and consecrated people and priesthood, we must be a
people who are willing and able to come out of Babylon to
execute the work of God at the hour of the coming of the
Bridegroom … a willingness to put on the whole armor of God and
be “armed with righteousness and with the power of
God in great glory.” (1 Nephi 3:231 RBM / 1 Nephi 14:14 LBM)
I Samuel 3:8-11; 12:10
Isaiah 2, 5, 6, 25, 26, 27, 35, 40
I Nephi 3:26-32 RBM / I Nephi 10:17-19 LBM
RDC 140:5c-d; RDC 38:5c-6a / LDC 38:23-27/ BC 40:19-22
1:1a-8c / LDC 1:1-39 / BC 1:1-7
RDC 2:1a-2b / LDC 3:1-4 / BC 2:1-2
RDC 4:1a-2b / LDC 4:1-7 / BC 3:1-2
RDC 6:1a-4b / LDC 6:1-9 / BC 5:1-4
RDC 28:1a-g / LDC 29:1-11/ BC 29:1-13
Pastors are encouraged to explore additional opportunities for
study, fasting and prayer within their branches and
congregations as the Spirit may lead them. The Aaronic
priesthood is encouraged to visit the homes of each member
during these 40 days. The Melchisedec priesthood is encouraged
to enjoin the powers of heaven and lead the Saints by example in
this period of spiritual preparation. This will require the
demonstration of a greater spiritual authority than has been
manifest in the priesthood for several generations. In order to
fulfill this task and magnify our callings, we must cleanse our
temples and be righteous vessels of the Lord.
We all are falling short of the glory of God in many ways in all
We believe we need this 40-day period
of fasting, prayer and action to commit our lives to gospel
living. This is a necessary first step in being ready to heed
Lord’s call to respond to greater work and ministry in each of
our lives as individuals, and collectively as the body of
Questions and Answers
Q: What is the goal of this fast?
A: The goals are to draw closer to God at this critical time in
human history, to draw closer to each other in
better unity, to forgive each other of all past hurts, to seek
God’s forgiveness for our individual and corporate
failings, and to prepare ourselves for fully living the gospel
in Zionic conditions as the Lord intends for us.
Q: Who will be participating?
A: We are inviting as many Saints as possible of the various
churches with common origins in the Restoration Movement of 1830
who have demonstrated willingness to work together in the past
at various levels.
Q: What if no one else participates with you in this fast but
A: There is no way to anticipate who will or who won’t respond
to this invitation to fast and pray. But even if
you are the only soul who responds, we will joyously praise the
Lord for your humble and willing response.
Q: I learned of this call to fasting late, or after it started -
can I still participate?
A: Yes! Please join us at any time during this period. As the
word spreads, we hope more and more Saints
throughout the world will join in this fast.
Q: I have diabetes or other medical or nutritional requirements
or considerations - should I participate?
A: Anyone who has any health concerns should consult a physician
before entering into a fast. As much as may be safe and
practicable, please join with us as best as possible without
endangering your health.
Q: Why fast only Wednesday evenings?
A: We hope everyone who participates in this fast will find a
time each day to spend in prayer and study and devotion with the
Lord. The fast of the Wednesday evening meal is being set aside
as a special time when we
can all be assured we are united in fasting and prayer together.
Q: How should I fast?
A: It has become somewhat popular in modern culture to
substitute abstaining from other activities rather than
abstaining from meals or foods. Scripturally speaking, a fast
refers to abstaining from food for a period of time for
spiritual purposes. To deny ourselves food is to deny our
natural physical needs for nourishment in favor of the spiritual
nourishment provided through communion with the Lord. The
scriptures tell us that the natural man is an enemy to God,
thus, to deny our nature is to die to self and rely on the Lord.
However, additional counsel is given in Isaiah chapter 58
regarding a true fast before the Lord: to loose the bonds of
wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go
free, to break every yoke of bondage, to share our bread with
the hungry, to invite the poor into our houses, and to clothe
the naked. Additionally, Christ taught us in Matthew chapter 6
that we are to fast before the Lord, not to be seen of others.
Spend the empty eating time in righteous pursuits: prayer,
throughout each day, praying often. Separate yourself from
distractions of the world as much as possible. And above all,
submit yourself to God and seek His will for you. And remember,
fasting is not just a supplement to
prayer, it is a form of worship in itself.
Q: Should I give up all foods as I fast or just some foods?
A: This matter should be decided between you and your health
care or nutritional provider if you have special dietary needs,
or between you and the Lord as you examine yourself and your own
condition. We welcome your participation in a partial fast if
this makes it possible for you to participate. No one will be
able to fully fast all meals every day during the 40 day period,
so find and follow an appropriate and meaningful fast.
Q: What is a partial fast?
A: A partial fast is where certain foods are sacrificed for the
fast, such as one meal a day, one meal a week, half
portions, no meats, no desserts, or other combinations.
Q: Can’t I fast by giving up an activity, like watching
television, instead of giving up meals or some foods?
A: Please do consider giving up television during this fast at
least during Wednesday evenings, and more if possible. But just
giving up television or sports or entertainment or other
activities is not a true fast.
Q: Isn’t fasting a personal choice? Why call a corporate fast?
A: Yes fasting is a personal choice, and so is prayer. Yet we
come together often in prayer services to pray
together. There are many scriptural precedents of corporate
fasts. Most examples are found in the Old
Testament among ancient Israel and even the Ninevites.
References to corporate fasts are also found in the
Book of Mormon in the books of Helaman and Moroni.
Q: Why divide the fast into three different parts?
A: We feel it is important to first spend time in praise and
thanksgiving to God for His goodness and mercy, for His
longsuffering, for the marvelous gift of His Son, for the
knowledge of the fullness of the gospel, and for the many gifts
and blessings He has generously poured out on us. This attitude
of thanksgiving and worship and praise should continue
throughout the fast, but we wish to dedicate time for this
alone, for God is greatly to be
praised, and worthy of our worship.
If we are to “cleanse our temples” and prepare ourselves for the
work and challenges ahead as part of this fast, we cannot fully
enlist in that endeavor without first fully repenting of our
sins, individually and collectively. And we know we cannot ask
the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness for our own sins if there are
those whom we have not yet fully forgiven. Thus, we feel it is
imperative to set aside a time for forgiveness of others and
reconciliation, followed by repentance and seeking forgiveness
of the Lord. If we thus forgive others and repent before the
Lord, we can then approach Him with faith to seek His blessing
in order to prepare us for the trials
ahead and the work of the kingdom yet undone before the Lord’s
Q: What if there is no Divine outpouring of blessings or
miracles or spiritual gifts or manifestations as a result
of this fast?
A: When King David fasted before the Lord after David sinned and
his son became sick (II Samuel 12), the Lord did not grant
David’s request to spare his son. David’s son died. Was it
right that David fasted? Yes it was. We do not fast to bend
the Lord to our will, but rather to yield ourselves to His will.
Q: Why invite so many diverse groups of different Restoration
A: We have felt especially compelled and directed to do this,
through many recent testimonies and experiences.
Q: I don’t agree with your doctrine nor do I accept your
priesthood authority - why should I participate with
you in this fast?
A: If you agree that the Lord is good and holy and righteous and
worthy of our worship, if you agree that the Lord commanded in
all the scriptures that we fast and pray often, if you agree
that we are all sinners and we all fall short of the glory of
God, if you agree with the Lord when He said we should all
repent of our sins, if you agree with the Lord when He said we
must forgive others, then please consider praying and fasting
Lord during this time on that basis.
Q: What if I reject or have doubts about the divinity or
authority or wisdom or timeliness or appropriateness of the
counsel given in the document you included in this invitation -
should I still consider participating?
A: Please refer to the answer to the previous question and
consider participating on those grounds.
Q: Does my church leadership or pastor or presiding elder/officer or
bishop know about this invitation to fast?
A: We are attempting to
make this invitation known to everyone equally. Our contact
information may not be current or up to date in all cases, but we
plan to ensure members and leaders are informed alike.
Q: Does my church leadership or pastor or presiding elder/officer or
bishop need to approve and agree to this
invitation to fast before I decide if I should participate?
A: We can’t make decisions such as these for anyone. Pray to the
Lord about this and do as He leads you as
best as possible. That is all we ask.
Q: Should branches or congregations or missions or wards observe
this fast together as a group, or is the fast
based on individual response and participation?
A: We are hoping the Saints will participate together in your
various congregations, but it takes individuals to
form a group so individual response will obviously be necessary.
Q: What should branches or congregations or missions or wards do
differently during this fast?
A: Reminders in bulletins or periodicals or newsletters or during
announcements at gatherings would be helpful,
and special prayer services would surely be appropriate if possible.
Q: Are there any special church service or worship guidelines
available for branches or congregations or
missions or wards that choose to participate?
A: We are asking everyone to proceed along these lines as you feel
led by the Lord. No special programs or outlines or activities have
been prepared or outlined for all participants.
Q: What kind of worship services are planned to conclude the fast?
A: This is yet to be determined. We are making this a matter of
earnest prayer and would welcome your prayers in this regard as
well. More information will be distributed during the fast as
Q: Where will these concluding services be held?
A: Not everyone who participates in the fast will be able to travel
to come together to a single location for concluding services. We
hope to be able to assist in coordinating many different concluding
service activities in different regions of the world. But we do
especially want to provide for a joint service in the Center Place
of Zion (Independence, MO, USA) for as many as can travel or attend.
Q: How can I help facilitate or organize these services?
A: Much help will be needed so your assistance would be
appreciated. More information will be forthcoming
as plans and needs become better known in the days ahead.
Q: How can I help spread the word about this fast?
A: Telephone, email, Facebook, newsletters, bulletins, word of mouth
- whatever means available to you!
Q: Who can I contact for more information or to offer my assistance?
A: High Priest Chuck Perry. eMail: email@example.com