July 1, 2012
Dear Stripling Warriors,
We are so grateful to be with you. You can imagine the anticipation we experienced as we prepared to join you (you had similar feelings when you were called to be here). We are thrilled to be here serving among the greatest missionaries in the world. This is the “greatest mission on the earth” and you are “the greatest missionaries upon the earth.” We truly believe that and count on you to also believe as well.We have been so impressed with those of you we have met and wait with great anticipation to meet the rest of you over the next few days. Your leaders are so well prepared and I can see the light of the Gospel shinning in their eyes as they are eager to help each one of us succeed in this great work. You are truly sons and daughter of God and there is a divine spark in each of you. Our charge is to help you kindle that spark to a roaring fire with a burning testimony as you share the Doctrine of Christ with all those you teach and prepare for baptism.
Last week we had the distinct honor of being with our Prophets, Seers and Revelators and we felt of their deep, deep love they have for each and everyone one of the missionaries throughout the earth. They pray for all of us daily and are concerned for our welfare and want us to be successful. I would like to share a few things that President Henry B. Eyring shared with us in regards to our service and how we stand in the sight of God – source is from an article in the Church News."You are never alone in the Lord's work,"
"We who are called of God know that is true, but we sometimes feel and act as if that fact was not a practical and hourly reality in our service in the Kingdom of God."
Speaking to new mission presidents and their wives, President Eyring recalled a conversation with President James E. Faust, then second counselor in the First Presidency.
President Eyring had just been called to the Quorum of the Twelve and President Faust had noticed he was beginning to doubt himself. "I felt he was going to answer the question of whether I was approved of the Lord," President Eyring recalled. "I began to ask him for that reassurance.… He pointed to the ceiling of his office and said quietly, 'Don't ask me. Ask Him.'"
President Eyring said President Faust knew that the only source for the answer to his question was the Lord of the vineyard.
"President Faust knew that time after time I had been called to labor. He and other human servants knew what I had done over those years. But only the Lord knew what had been in my heart and what had happened to my heart. Only the Lord knew in what way the Atonement and the Holy Ghost had changed and purified me."
President Eyring said that only the Father, His Beloved Son, and the Holy Ghost can provide the assurance Church members need to go forward boldly in their service.
"It is not what we have done that matters," he said. "It is how our hearts have been changed through our faithful obedience. And only God knows that."
President Eyring said he has learned how to seek and then feel the assurance that he is approved enough in his service to go forward in confidence. "Everyone needs that assurance," he said.
He asked the mission presidents to teach their missionaries that there is only one audience that they can trust perfectly. "Only God is a sure source of accolade," he said. "And the accolade we need is to know that by serving Him faithfully we have become more like Him.
"That could shape the praise you give your missionaries. You will tend to praise them more for what they are becoming than for what they have done."
The most certain evidence of approval is that the Lord trusts a person by sending the Spirit to testify, guide and help them in the harvest, he said.
"I find that only comes after prayer, searching scriptures and the words of living prophets, exact obedience, love of others, humbly listening for the Spirit and long and painful labor.
"I wish I could tell you that it took less effort and came more quickly. I wish the harvest was easy and that the Holy Ghost was given just for the asking. … The Holy Ghost comes as we try to give our all. And it is the Holy Ghost who both cleanses us and conveys the Lord's approval."
Temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, charity and humility give servants of the Lord the power to work with and influence other people, President Eyring said: Teachers improve, he added, as they try to feel the true love of God for their students. "It takes faith in the Savior that He loves every student— or every contact — enough to have paid the price of his or her sins."
President Eyring said teaching is just one of the ways missionaries labor with and for others. "But all those labors must spring from the love of God to be effective," he said.
Love of God begets love, President Eyring added.
"You will touch a few. They will touch others. And in the years ahead you will find that the fruits of your labors were multiplied a hundredfold by those with whom you served. And most of all you will come to see that it was the loving service of Heavenly Father, of the Savior of the world, and of the Holy Ghost which allowed you to be blessed with peace here and joy in the celestial kingdom, never to feel alone."
So it is with us dear missionaries that we go to the altar of the Lord to give all that we have and then to look for His approval and if we have given all our “heart, might, mind and strength” we will truly come to understand and feel his Divine approval.It is our prayer that we may so feel as we faithfully serve Him who is the Giver of Life, the Fountain of all Truth and the most Loving Heavenly Father. He wants us to succeed and we will with His help.
My dear Kathie and I are here to help you be successful. We love you and are in awe of who you are and your great potential. Let your Divine Spark take flame in doing this work and we will help kindle it and great shall be the fruits of our labors as we give all to our Savior in helping with His work and glory to “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
With great love and honor we serve you.
President and Sister Alba