The Vision of the South – Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone

As a boy, I remember going through my dad’s binder.  He kept a Franklin Day Planner stocked full of notes, old talks, information from meetings, details from work and church.  He also kept inside nuggets of interesting Mormon quotes, scriptures, and anything else he might easily want to quote if he found himself in a teaching moment, and wanted to move a crowd.

Somehow, I snagged the following jewel from his collection.  He probably doesn’t know that I have it.  I should probably return it to him one day.  This is a letter written by Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone on April 6, 1983 to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 21st Century after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  I have seen this partially quoted on the internet on many sites, but I’ve never seen the full letter posted in its entirety before.  It’s interesting because the most quoted parts are amazing, but there are some pretty prophetic things they often leave out that warrant a fresh look by those who live in the South, are from the South, or wish you could visit.  As you read it, think of all that of these things we’ve already witness happen, and which ones have not happened yet.

Vision of the South – Vaughn J. Featherstone -PDF of original letter by Vaughn J. Featherstone

———————————–

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The First Quorum of the Seventy

47 East South Temple Street

Salt Lake City, Utah 84130

To my beloved fellow saints in the twenty-first century,

God bless you.  We love you.  We are grateful to you for your great faith in Christ.  Many of you have probably lived through the darkest period in the history of the world.  Those of you who read this letter have witnessed the second coming of Christ, the day for which we have long awaited.  What a glorious experience to live in the day when our Lord, our Redeemer, the very Son of God is reigning personally upon the earth.

We can imagine what General Conference must be like, to have the Savior address the people.  My thoughts entertain such questions as, will there still be wards and stakes?  Will the Lord hold area conferences and solemn assemblies? Have those of you reading this letter been visited by Him?  My heart and soul seem nigh to be consumed at the very thought.  In 3rd Nephi Chapter 17 the people looked “steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.”  Oh what a blessed generation you are and must be.

My calling in the Church is a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.  When the First Quorum of the Seventy in this dispensation was organized, I was privileged to be called into it.  Previous to that time I had served as a second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.  The Church is organized in a way that members of the First Quorum of the Seventy supervise the areas of the earth under the direction of the Twelve Apostles.  I am the Executive Administrator (the supervisor) for the South Central Area of the United States.  This area includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and parts of Kentucky, Missouri, and Virginia.  The temple is in the area I supervise.  We have in this area, as presently organized, 44 stakes, 12 regions, and 9 missions.

There is a great satanic thrust, both by enemies of the Church from other religions and apostates who are filled with lies, deceit, and insidious evils.  But they nor all the hosts of Satan can stop this work.  We are seeing modern-day bands of Gadianton Robbers.  I believe we are on the very threshold of great trials.  The darkest clouds in the history of the world are on the horizon.  They are being driven with fierce satanic winds in our direction.  Earthquakes, famine, pestilences, disease, plagues will soon be upon us but we trust in our God and He will spare us and take us under his wings.

The Atlanta Temple is the first temple in the South.  I can see temples in Charlotte, Columbia, Birmingham, Jackson, Nashville, and in Louisiana and Arkansas.

We now have more than 110,000 members of the Church in this area.  I can see in my minds eye great hosts of converts to exceed a million members in the South.  We will baptize people in the tens of thousands.  These members, traditional Protestant and Catholic – Christians are being prepared right now.  We will baptize “pivotal” leaders and their influence will reach out.  Non-members will want to know about the Church.  These people will call the missionaries and will desire to be taught.  The missionaries will be teaching large groups from early morning until late at night.  Entire congregations will accept this message.  Ten times tens of thousands will be baptized into the Lord’s true Church.  I know that the spirit of the Lord is brooding over the South.  You who are reading this letter are witnesses to my words.

And should this letter come to the attention of our Lord who is reigning personally upon the earth, I have these words.  Dear Jesus, I love you.  You are most precious and dear to me.  My life has been committed to Thy work.  I have loved you and defended you with all my heart.  I would give my life for you.  You mean everything to me and my family.  Thanks for answering so many of my prayers.  Thanks for the magnificent atonement.  Thanks for your love and compassion.  You know my heart and you know that I love you.  I have tried to prove worthy as an especial witness of you.  Thank you for the holy call to serve as one of Thy General Authorities.  Possibly we will have had an interview as I later will have passed from this life.  If so, then I can tell you personally that I adore you and will worship you for time and all eternity and I will see you again there.

Farewell beloved saints and citizens, until we all meet in eternity.

Faithfully and eternally yours,

Vaughn J. Featherstone,

First Quorum of the Seventy

and Executive Administrator

———————————–

Hope you enjoy this as much as I have throughout the years.  Post your reactions, thoughts, and personal experiences with the Church’s growth in the South below!

Joshua B. Pettus

Your Friendly Mormon Neighbor

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15 Responses to The Vision of the South – Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone

  1. At the time he wrote the letter, the church only had one temple in the entire southern states, Atlanta, Georgia. I remember thinking as a teenager that it would take a miracle to get a temple closer to us. I think it is interesting to note the places that currently have temples, and those that do not yet.

    He mentions the following areas:
    Charlotte, NC – No temple yet, but there is one in Raleigh.
    Columbia, SC – Temple dedicated Oct.16, 1999
    Birmingham, AL – Temple dedicated September 3, 2000
    Jackson, MS – No temple yet
    Nashville, TN – Temple dedicated May 21, 2000
    Louisiana – Temple in Baton Rouge dedicated July, 16, 2000
    Arkansas – No temple yet

    Current temples not mentioned in letter:
    Raleigh, NC -Dedicated December 18, 1999
    Memphis, TN – Dedicated April 23, 2000
    Louisville, KY – Dedicated March 19, 2000

    Interesting to note, all of these temples that have been built so far are smaller temples and were dedicated within a year from one another. To this day, I consider the fact that the south has temples throughout the area a miracle, and was something we never dreamed would actually happen.

  2. Vaugh J Featherstone says:

    I lived in Georgia when he was the General Athuroity over our area for many years. He is a very dear friend. Looking for current contact information on him.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Do you know who this letter was sent to? This is the first I have ever heard of it and wonder who he gave it to after he wrote it. Thanks for sharing.

    • I don’t know… it looks as though it would have belonged in some sort of time capsule to be opened years later. I wonder if it was distributed out to local leaders or something during that time. I’ll ask my dad how he acquired it and if there are any other details he as on it. Thanks for reading!

      • Bob Cuthbertson says:

        I have heard of Elder Featherstone’s prophecy for years, having returned to the South in 1990 (Scottsboro, Alabama). I had never personally seen any details of it until now. We moved near Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2012, and haven’t heard any references to it here. Could you e-mail it to me? Also, if your dad confirms he addressed it to, that would be good to know. Once this particular letter is validated, I would like to use it to encourage other saints in my area.

        Thank You,

        Bob Cuthbertson
        Ooltewah, TN

  4. Ellen James-Georgieff says:

    I am looking for a way to contact Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone. In 1982, he gave a book he recently written to my son. It was inscribed and the message was a great inspiration to both my son and myself, and at the same time an incredible praise to me for my dedication to my son’s growth and development.
    Most of the time we never got the opportunity to see what happens to someone we have touched. My son became an Eagle Scout. He is a wonderful man, who I admire, and the pride in my voice when I speak of him, could only be gleamed from the message Elder Featherstone wrote in his book about me. His words lighted my path as nothing else, and helped me through the toughest times when I was falsely attacked by others, who assumed that because I was not married (at the time), that Ryan was illegitimate. Many single mothers, are single mothers because we lost our husbands though war or disease, not by choice. That doesn’t make us any less good parents then if our husbands had been able to be with us. It doesn’t change our character, or integrity, or our ability to raise righteous children. We travel a lonely path, laden with double responsibility, that few a willing to share. Frequently these children understand and grow more observant and appreciative of the single parent (because this happens to men too), because the see first hand the sacrifices made to give them the things needed to follow the path, with a greater emphasize on compassion and dedication.
    The recent babblings of this fool Richard Land would eradicated all my work in a single speech that has attempted to rob me of my greatest accomplishment, my greatest joy, and the greatest gift God gave me. I read that many LDS members are missing the facts that Mr Land is trying to take Satan place in supporting the elimination of free choice, by forcing everyone to do what he and he alone thinks is the right thing to do, at the loss to us to be able to define the right path, and without a thought of the circumstances around any issue.
    Please help me.
    Ellen James-Georgieff

  5. Sum says:

    Actually, Elder Featherstone stated that he put it in a time capsule buried by the SLC Temple, and to be opened in the year 2050.
    At least that is what I understood him saying when he came to NC on a regional conference so many years ago.

  6. Jake says:

    Ever get details from your Dad on this one? I’m just curious. Regardless, I believe what he said. I currently live in Southern California. There are many good people here, but godlessness is overtaking the area rapidly. For about 2 years now, since the 2012 election, my goal has been to move to the one place in the U.S. where there are many people of strong faith, and where it isn’t cold more than 1/2 the year (sorry Utah!). The south!

  7. G. W. Silver says:

    Sometime in about 1943-44, (2nd world war times) my family moved to the south-east part of Salt Lake City. Next door to us was the most active and popular family in the area. My parents had 2 other children one about 1 year old ( a boy) and a girl about 3 or 4. This was a 2nd marriage for my mother. She was about as active in our church as having 2 small children would allow. At 9 years old I was on my own a lot. I had a 2 wheel bike and much to explore. The Utah Prison was almost a hundred years old with a farm behind in a canyon with a trail. Really a bikepath that ran east of Sugerhouse. It was a wild fast ride from the to, under a tunnel thru sugerhouse and on to fairmont park. The “Richard’s LDS Ward house” .
    One day a teenage Vaughn Featherstone boy came to me and asked if I’d like to go with him to get a “malt”? I was about 9 and a lot intimidated by one of the “popular” guys on the block…but I did like snelgrove icecream. I got my “quarter” and we rode our bikes from Downington Avenue where we lived to 21st south for a malt. I was proud to be with Vaughn and I really enjoyed the Malt. I suspected that the local Bishop of my ward may have suggested it, but I also sensed that Vaughn was the type of guy who sensed that I needed a friend in the neighborhood. I did and I loved him for it. Gerald Silver, D News retired.

    • What a great story! It’s so interesting to hear personal stories of people’s encounters with the General Authorities in their younger years. Thank you so much for sharing that!

      • Rick Blackburn says:

        I find this of interest for many reasons.
        1. Elder Featherstone was the priest quorum advisor in the Boise 9th Ward where I grew up. I was Deacon at the time but my life was forever change by the influence he had on my Deacons Quorum advisor, Ron Loveland. One of the Lords great servants.
        2. He was my first wife’s Stake President and her father was his Executive Secretary when we where married and I was interviewed by him with my then wife to be.
        He was a legend in the Boise area and very highly respected.
        I had the opportunity while growing up to hear him speak many times.
        My Deacons Quorum advisor served as a counselor to him as the Boise North Stake President then followed him as Mission President in one of the Texas missions.
        Lastly, this letter, if accurate, holds great interest as my wife and I will soon depart for the Mississippi Jackson Mission and will be serving as the CES representatives in the Monroe, LA Stake for the S&I program.
        Rick & Sue

  8. JB says:

    Neither do I. Quite self-serving. Did you catch the phrase “they nor all the hosts of Satan can stop this work”? He forgot the “neither.” Take the Church’s own annual membership numbers and plot them. You’ll find its been in decline for decades and losing traction against the world’s population growth.

  9. Chris Coffey says:

    The original is in the Atlanta Temple corner stone….There are different versions of the original floating around. I talked with the temple recorder about it several years back. That’s what he told me.

  10. Sandra Harper says:

    neither did I

  11. Bob Taylor says:

    this is a very interesting letter, but i would greatly appreciate any further information you could provide regarding how it came to be public information when – as i understand it, it (the orginal?) was in a time capsule in the Atlanta or SLC temple.

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