San Pedro Sula East Mission
2013 - 2016

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Mission, in the Service of God

In the Service of Their God . . .

(Enjoy this beautiful video . . . of the life of a missionary here in Central America,
prepared by those who love missionaries here in our mission)

"Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen. (Doctrine and Covenants 4)

Called to the Work . . .

Above is a scripture much loved and memorized by missionaries throughout the world.  Really, it's a call to each of us.  To share, teach and testify of our Savior, Jeus Christ, the lessons of the atonement and the restored gospel.

But today . . . at this blessed and sacred time of year, when we celebrate the birth of the Savior, a long time ago, in the humble city of Bethlehem, with all the surroundings of the nativity story as found in literature throughout the ages, and the scriptures of the New Testament.  Today, I want to focus on the tens of thousands of young people throughout the world, those who willingly give up 18 months to two years of their life, so that others might find the Light of the Savior in their life.

These last years have shown me the magnitude of their service, sacrifice, dedication, love, honor, commitment . . . I can't praise them high enough.  My heart is full each time I ponder upon the more than 65,000 young people and the Light that they share daily as they go through the world.  From small villages, in jungles, in big cities, in ghettos, in bordos, on mountains, in valleys, speaking almost every language imaginable.  It's touches my heart each day as I think of the message and the hundreds of testimonies that are born daily of the Savior, our Heavenly Father, their love for mankind and for the children of God.   It is such a privilege to find myself among them.

Qualified for the Work . . .

As missionaries prepare to serve the are busy accumulating the necessary physics preparations that will sustain them on their journey.  Suitcases, clothing, incidentals, good shoes, white shirts, ties, knee length skirts, bug spray, umbrellas . . . you name it.  Much is required.

But even more than the physical necessities and even of more greater value and importance are the spiritual necessities as outlines in the scripture above from D&C 4.

  • Desire
  • A Calling
  • Work ethic
  • Strength
  • Emotional preparation
  • Faith
  • Hope
  • Charity
  • Love
  • Eye single to the glory of God
  • Faith
  • Virtue
  • Knowledge
  • Temperance
  • Patience
  • Brotherly Kindness
  • Godliness
  • Charity
  • Humility
  • Diligence
  • Desire

I am humbled each day as I see these young people develop these qualities in their life that will bless their service here in the mission field, and bless their lives and their families forever more.

Where else can you gain these divine attributes in your life in such a short period of time.  I stand all amazed . . .  truly.

I Stand All Amazed . . .

I think almost all of us understand (me from experience in much practice!) how difficult it is to give your whole heart over to the Lord.  Yet this is what He is asking of each, especially during this period of missionary service.  We all like to retain and keep handy a little package of our favorite weaknesses, those things in which we are most reluctant to submit, or pay the price to conquer.  

Serving with all our might and our strength.  To me, might is slightly different than strength.  It involves a capacity which is comprised of spiritual energy, devotion, commitment and faithfulness.  It inspires a divine purpose.  Have you ever noticed that frequently the most spiritual people, are also some of the most hard working?  

In whatever manner the Lord has called us to serve, as Home teachers, Visiting teachers, Gospel doctrine teachers, Primary leaders . . . we can each follow the examples of the missionaries and service with all our heart, might, mind and strength.

Blessed Art Thou . . .

I love this additional witness from the scripture that our Heavenly Father desires to bless us as we serve him with a fullness of heart . . .

"Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever;"  (Helaman 10:4)

Our Heavenly Father promises great blessings to all who labor in His service.  The scriptures are full of references that illustrate our Heavenly Father's desire to bless His children.  Frequently we study these together in our training meetings with our missionaries.   These scriptures always fill my heart as I have witnessed these great blessings in my own life and in the lives of the missionaries which surround us.

One which is in my heart daily at this time of year is the great joy I find as I teach and testify of our Savior, that although He came to the world long ago, suffered and died for use, today . . .

He lives!

He Lives!

I'm so grateful for this powerful witness, for the many instances in my life that have strengthened this witness that I share, for the many miracles that have occurred in my  life that testify to me that I have a real Heavenly Father who loves me and blesses me.

I am grateful at this time of year.  And yet, I am also humbled when I think of the need that I have for the atonement daily in my life  And so grateful that there was a Savior who loved me enough to take my weakness upon him.  I'm grateful to testify of these things each day.

Enjoy this beautiful Christmas season.  Enjoy the holidays filled with love, laughter, warm hugs amongst family, the smiles and excitement of little children, the bright and sparkling lights of the season, enjoy it all!  And remember the reason for the season.

 . . . "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

 Called to Serve . . .
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