Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Blessings of Missionary Service

I found this great article today while reading a missionary preparation website:

"I was recently reading a talk Elder Carlos E. Asay, former member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Presidency of the Seventy, gave a talk on the blessings of sharing the gospel. This is what he said:

“Perhaps your desire or will to serve would increase if you understood more fully the blessings associated with missionary service. God often reveals commandments and blessings together. For example, he gave the Word of Wisdom listing the commandments, and, at the same time, he recited a number of blessings that those who obeyed the commandments would receive. I would like to discuss with you some of the blessings associated with full-time missionary service. I can’t list everything, for there are so many blessings that I cannot number them, but I will share those that appear to be most common.”

He then listed these 17 blessings of missionary service:

  1. Eternal Life: “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matt. 19:29)
  2. Leadership Training: “Returned missionaries provide valuable leadership in the Church, especially in the developing countries of the world.”
  3. Building the Kingdom; Preparing a People for Christ’s Second Coming: “Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come.” (D&C 65:2, 6.)
  4. Memorable Experiences: “President Kimball has referred to missionary service as high adventure. He did so because the work is stirring and exciting.”
  5. Establishing Abiding Friendships: “The friendships we establish in the mission field with companions and converts become eternal.”
  6. Developing Love and Understanding of People: “Missionaries gain a love and understanding of others through their service.”
  7. Rendering Service: “He doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you.” (Mosiah 2: 23–24.)
  8. Being a Peacemaker: Elder N. Eldon Tanner said: “If every member of this Church would accept the call of our prophet today …and become missionaries in very deed, we could contribute more to the cause of peace than all the power that might be gathered together by all the governments.” (Conference Report, Oct. 1962, p. 69)
  9. Developing and Polishing Character: Stephen L Richards, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, talked about the influence of missions upon the Latter-day Saints. “The fundamental character of our manhood and womanhood has been improved,” he said.
  10. Forgiveness of Sins: Elder George F. Richards, also a former member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said: “In the name of the Lord I want to promise you that in the acceptance of the mission call and the dedication of yourself to the work, the Lord will forgive you of past transgressions.”
  11. Growth of Testimony: “Missionaries teach and testify… Each time they do, they invite the Spirit, and the truths they proclaim become more and more deeply ingrained in their own souls.”
  12. Companionship of the Holy Spirit: “Of all the companionships established in the mission field, the most cherished is the companionship of the Holy Spirit.”
  13. Closeness to the Lord: “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served?” (Mosiah 5:13.) “No one will ever fully understand the Savior’s work until he has invested in the business of saving souls, for that was the Savior’s role.”
  14. Growth in Faith: Mission “experiences plant seeds of faith in their hearts.”
  15. Growth in Knowledge of the Gospel: “Missions are schools of gospel learning, even schools for the prophets.”
  16. Peace of Conscience: Elder George Albert Smith taught that missionary work brings “peace and happiness beyond all understanding.” (Conference Report, Apr. 1922, p. 53.)
  17. Joy: President Heber J. Grant testified: “[I] had more joy while in the mission field than ever before or since.”(Improvement Era, Oct. 1936, p. 659.)

“I have given you seventeen blessings that result from missionary service. There are more—the list is almost endless. Please understand that these blessings and more can be yours, if you become converted to the service and make yourselves available to respond” (Carlos E. Asay , “The Blessings of Sharing the Gospel,” Prospective Missionary Conference in Provo, Utah, September 1984).

President Spencer W. Kimball once said that “missionary work, like the tithing, will pour out blessings, as Malachi said, so many blessings that there’ll hardly be room enough to receive them (See Mal. 3:10.)” (Area Conference Report, Korea, Aug. 1975, p. 61).

I know that missionary service requires sacrifice, but I also know that “sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven” (“Praise to the Man,” Hymns, no. 27). I add my testimony to Elder Asay’s and President Kimball’s that as you faithfully serve a full time mission, the blessings of the Lord will be poured out upon you. You and your family will receive blessings of both temporal and spiritual nature which will grant you joy in this life and in the eternities."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Favorite Quotes from General Conference, Oct. 2011

What an amazing thing Conference Weekend is. The Spirit that I felt while watching, listening, and reading the words of our prophet and the general authorities was so strong. I wish that I could feel the Spirit that strongly each and every day of my life. What a wonderful blessing it is for us to have a living prophet on the Earth today. One of the most profound and humbling things that I heard in all of conference was when President Monson said, “I am always humbled when my Heavenly Father communicates me.” He is a true prophet of God and President Monson understands God’s will for this Church and the people that follow Him. I ask that we all keep our beloved prophet in our daily prayers. Prayer does work, and we all need the blessings that come from it.

Love, Elder Spencer David Eastwood

Favorite Quotes From General Conference, Oct. 2011

You will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Spirit.” – President Packer

“The voice of the Holy Ghost comes as a feeling, rather than a sound.” – President Packer

“Great power comes from memorizing scriptures. It is like finding a new friend – providing motivation and inspiration when needed and can be a key to unlocking the miracles of heaven.” – Elder Scott

“Be diligent in keeping the commandments of God . . . always return thanks to Him in your prayers.” – Elder Scott

“Be as quick to kneel [in prayer] as you are to text.” Ian S Ardern of the Seventy

“The cost of repentance is swallowed up in the joy of forgiveness.” – Elder Christofferson

“True repentance is not superficial. It has two simple requirements: Confess your sins and then forsake them.” – Elder Christofferson

“Your fingers have been made to text and tweet not just to communicate with friends, but to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord.” – Elder Bednar

“Compared to God, we are nothing. But to God, we are everything.” – President Uchtdorf

“At times, we may feel invisible, alone, or forgotten. But we must always remember that we matter to our Father In Heaven.” – President Uchtdorf

“Be righteous examples to others . . . the most important thing we can do is share who we are.” – Elder Perry

“In the age of the Internet, ‘every member a missionary’ is a much simpler task.” – Elder Perry

“This is a time of increasing opportunities to share our beliefs.” – Elder Perry

“If we will just listen, the Spirit will bless us to know what to say that will highlight a truth of the Gospel.” – Elder Perry (can you tell that I loved his talk yet?)

“If you are associating with people who pull you down, use your agency and heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost to be directed in what you should do.” – President Packer

“If any of you have stumbled in the journey, there is a way back. There IS a way back. The process is called repentance. Christ gave his life to give us that gift.” – President Monson

“God knows where you need to go on your mission. He knows your mission president, He knows each of your companions and what you will learn from them, He knows what families you will interact with, and He knows what challenges you need to endure in order to grow.” – Elder Waddell of the Seventy

“Three things every young man should do when preparing for a mission: 1 - Arrive on your mission with your own testimony. 2 – Arrive on your mission worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. 3 – Arrive on your mission ready to work.” – Elder Waddell of the Seventy

“Brethren, we speak boldly to you because, frankly, subtlety just doesn’t work.” – Elder Holland

“The Lord has drawn lines . . . you can’t travel down a forbidden path and then challenge others to follow the straight and narrow.” – Elder Holland

“When the time for decision arrives, the time for preparation has passed.” – President Monson

“Too often we pray for patience, but we want it right now.” – Elder Hales

“Sometimes I do not receive an answer to my prayers because the Lord knows I am not yet ready for that answer.” – Elder Hales

“Don’t let any influence come into your home that would affect your commitments to the Lord or your family.” – Sister Dalton

“The Book of Mormon acts as a confirming, clarifying, unifying witness of the doctrines taught in the Bible.” – Elder Callister

“Don’t let the Book of Mormon be hidden from your view because of other things in your life.” – President Eyring

“I am always humbled when my Heavenly Father communicates with me. . . I’ve learned to recognize it, to trust it, and to follow it.” – President Monson, Sunday morning session.

“Let us stand in holy places and be not moved. We can do this as we invite the Spirit into our lives by living the Gospel.” – President Monson

“In this world, where nearly everything is changing, His constancy is something on which we can rely.” – President Monson

“When one accepts a covenant and fulfills their part, they immediately receive the blessings.” – Elder Nelson

“Jesus Christ is the life and the light of the world . . . He is the life because He is creator of all things. He is the way and the light because His teachings show us the way back to Father . . . He is our creator, and through His resurrection, we will all live again.” – Elder Oaks

“Even though I left my mission, my mission didn’t leave me . . . my mission was the best two years for my life.” – Elder Richardson, Second Counselor Sunday School Presidency

“The Holy Ghost is the real teacher and witness of truth.” – Elder Richardson

“The Spirit does not teach all at once. It teaches line upon line, here a little, there a little. It teaches us those things we need to know the most at that time.” – Elder Richardson

“The Holy Ghost teaches what we must know and does so that we may become what we must be.” – Elder Richardson

“Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that what is important to us is important to Him.” – Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy

“The object of prayer is not to change the mind of God, but to secure the blessings He already wants to give us.” – Elder Cornish of the Seventy

“I testify to you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. I acknowledge His hand in all things.” – President Thomas S. Monson