Our dear missionaries,
What a joy it is to serve hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder with you – a royal army of God’s sons and daughters. Today as we were driving to the Sonoma Ward, I told my dear wife that I felt sorry for her cousin Wesley and his wife Lori who have been called to serve in Mexico Guadalajara. She asked why and I told her that they were probably struck in traffic, with tons of smog and here we were driving on the Sonoma Highway in the middle of this beautiful land.
This letter is more of an invitation. This week we’ll be holding Zone Conferences across the mission and we ask for your prayers and preparation that as we attend, listen, participate in, that we’ll have a great pouring of the Spirit that we may all be edified and return to our areas with a greater desire to serve with our batteries charged and that we may be instructed by the Holy Spirit.
The theme of our conference is “Service through Obedience and Sacrifice”. We will discuss these two of five pillars that support all the covenants we make in the temple. Many of you have returned from the temple over the last couple of weeks and this should be fresh on your minds and hearts. The three other pillars in addition to obedience and sacrifice are – the Law of the Gospel (or law of conduct), the Laws of Chastity and Consecration.
These two laws – obedience and sacrifice – are of great importance as we dedicate our lives to sharing the Gospel as full-time missionaries. Through obedience we give our will to the Lord and through sacrifice, we perform our labors to show Him that we are obedient. By being obedient we begin to sacrifice and through out sacrifice we show our obedience to God.
Elder Perry stated: “The discipline contained in daily obedience and clean living and whole lives builds an armor of protection and safety from the temptations that beset you as you proceed through mortality.” Preach My Gospel, p 122. If our desires are to be true disciples – note that the word disciples and discipline have the exact same root – then we must exercise exact obedience in all we do – thus qualifying for the safety from temptations and sins that may beset us.
Partnered with obedience is the twin pillar of sacrifice. Elder Ballard said: “The law of sacrifice provides an opportunity for us to prove to the Lord that we love Him more than any other thing. As a result, the course sometimes becomes difficult since this is the process of perfection that prepares us for the celestial kingdom.”
Are we ready to be completely obedient and to lay all we have before the Lord to show Him our love and devotion? It is our charge to know God and Christ. In St. John, He declared: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.” St. John 17:3. If we want to be obedient and to sacrifice all that we have for His cause, then we must know Them who sent us. As we get to know the character of God, it will be much easier to show our devotion to them and thus we will be more desirous to obey and sacrifice. It is my prayer that we may know whom we serve and how.
We will also be instructed by the Assistants in three different workshops throughout the day of each Zone Conference. We all need your prayers and love as we prepare and deliver the messages that we have been inspired to prepare and give – all by the Holy Ghost.
Again, let’s prepare for our Zone Conference by pondering and praying these things that we may be prepared to be instructed by the Spirit and our souls will be filled as we, together, feast upon the word of God.
We love you and are so grateful to serve along side with each of you. You are the greatest missionaries in the world serving in the greatest mission on the earth. The best of the best!