Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Two Deacons Robbed Of Fast Offerings In American Fork, Utah; Brent King And Hannah Huckabee Arrested In Alpine And Charged With Robbery

Two boys who are most likely deacons in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and who were collecting fast offerings from local ward members were robbed of the proceeds on Sunday May 6th, 2012, but the robbers were quickly tracked down and jailed.

The boys, ages 13 and 14, were going door to door collecting fast offerings in a neighborhood near 300 East and 500 South in American Fork, Utah when a car driven by Hannah Huckabee pulled up next to them. Brent King exited the passenger side and demanded that the boys hand over the envelope containing the offerings. The boys refused; after a short tug-of-war, King took the envelope, got back in the car, and the two sped away. KSL news video embedded below:

King and Huckabee were arrested later Sunday in Alpine when officers noticed a vehicle matching the description of the car used in the robberies. King and Huckabee, both of American Fork, were booked into the Utah County Jail. The two had dumped the envelope in a nearby stream when they discovered it contained all checks and no cash. Both are charged with second-degree felony robbery; King is being held on $5,000 bail, while Huckabee’s bail was set at $10,000. The bail disparity is explained somewhat by their past records; while Brent King has previous arrests for theft and possession of drug paraphernalia, Hannah Huckabee has previous arrests for possession of heroin, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession/use of a controlled substance, as well as DUI and theft. She's also been arrested on an immigration hold; her native country is the United Kingdom. Their first court appearance is scheduled for May 15th.

The LDS Church designates one Sunday each month, usually the first Sunday, as a day of fasting. Proper observance of fast Sunday includes going without food and drink for two consecutive meals, attending fast and testimony meeting, and giving a fast offering to help care for those in need. A fast offering should be at least the value of the two meals not eaten. When possible, we should be generous and give much more than this amount. However, fast offerings are not considered a litmus test of temple worthiness like tithing; failure to pay tithing can prevent a member from getting a temple recommend.

Collection of fast offerings is the primary responsibility of deacons, who occupy the lowest rung on the Aaronic Priesthood ladder. Upon reaching the age of 12, a young man deemed worthy has the Aaronic Priesthood conferred upon him, and is ordained to the office of a deacon. Upon reaching the age of 14, a worthy male is ordained to the office of a teacher, and at 16, a priest. However, with each successive ordination, one does not lose previous responsibilities, but gains new responsibilities. Consequently, if there are not enough deacons in a ward or branch, teachers and priests can be called upon to collect fast offerings and fulfill the other responsibilities of a deacon. The "Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part A", sets forth the specific responsibilities for each office of the Priesthood.

The Aaronic Priesthood is the lesser of the two priesthoods and is considered by the LDS Church to be an apprenticeship. It focuses more upon the temporal ordinances of the Church, and is the same Priesthood conferred upon the tribe of Levi in ancient Israel. The Lord bestows His priesthood to different groups in different ways at different times in history; while only the tribe of Levi got priesthood responsibilities in Israel, all worthy males get priesthood. responsibilities in our time.

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