When our young men and women first began to "notice" each other, we had to make some decisions as to divine order for the whole thing. There were a lot of elders meetings, a lot of calls to older ministries, a lot of midnight oil was burned. It was decided that if a man felt something special towards a woman, he should speak to an elder about it; the same in the case of a woman feeling something special towards a man. That way, if only one of them felt something, there would be no upset if it was one-sided.
When the elders (together) felt there was something two-sided, they would go to the next step - which was asking prophets (somewhere - usually not local, who might know what was going on), if the prophets saw a vision while praying, they would write it down and give it to the elder (the prophet never knew who it was for). The elder would say something like, "I'd like you to pray for a brother and see if the Lord gives you anything."
If the Lord confirmed their feelings, they could begin to "walk it out". That involved sitting with each other at some of the meetings, maybe eating with one of their families, always being with others, no bodily contact. This was a time to get to know the "whole person"; opportunity to develop a relationship, not just something physical. The relationship could be terminated at any time that either one wanted it to be.
If, after a year, they still felt the Lord wanted them together, they could speak to the elders and ask for confirmation to be married. The same procedure would be repeated - the prophets never knowing what the visions were for. Sometimes the visions would show a particular flaw in one, and the Lord wanted to deal with that area, first. Sometimes the visions showed the time was right to go ahead, or maybe it wasn't right at all. Those who were honestly seeking the Lord, as to their future, submitted to what He spoke.
Through the years, we had always been taught to give (financially), as the Lord led. Tithing wasn't preached, per se, because the New Testament speaks of us giving God all we have and are. On the farm, it was always emphasized, to give as we felt the Lord speak to us. There were a lot of needs during the first few years. There was food to buy, gasoline for the van, Coleman fuel, propane (later), fences to build, animals to buy, grain, seed, fertilizer. It was announced when there was a need, and as we felt to give, we did. After 1 1/2 years, we had given all we had.
Now, all we had was our Family Allowance cheques (the first year or so, none of us had applied for F.A., but we were told (by the government) that if we wanted to be part of Canada, we should participate in its government provisions); they paid us retro-active; it wasn't much in those days, something like $6 a child. So, we felt to give 50% of that money to the farm, we had the rest to live on. It wasn't very easy because we had a lot of children to buy clothes for and the few grocery supplies we had in our cabin, but that's what we felt to do. We got most of our clothes from the clothing bank that was upstairs in the Tabernacle.
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Pen Name: Aimee Love
Graham River - after it changed it's course.