Dear Elders and Sisters,
During this past week I have enjoyed reading your emails and have felt particularly inspired as you shared with me your impressions and insights from our recent general conference. I am so grateful to live in a time when we have prophets, apostles and other inspired leaders. I am also very pleased to know that you, “my little sons [and daughters],” understand and know from your own experience, the great blessings that come as you listen and hearken to the conference messages. It is truly a source of comfort, direction, and strength that comes to us every six months. I hope that you will make a habit and develop your own traditions of participating in general conference for the rest of your lives.
Since our most recent zone conferences, many of you have expressed your feelings about working according to our missionary purpose. Our motivation must always be love for the Savior and for our fellow man. The reason that Alma and the sons of Mosiah were such remarkable missionaries was their love for others, “They could not bear that any human soul should perish” (Mosiah 28:3). They were also properly prepared. “They had searched the scriptures diligently…they had given themselves to much prayer and fasting… they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation…they taught with power and authority from God” (Alma 17:2-3). We can, and should, follow their example and strive to be motivated and prepared likewise.
Although I am grateful for the growth and progress that comes to us, both individually and collectively, as we increase in understanding and apply the missionary purpose, I am concerned that we have been finding and teaching significantly less people over the past month than we were previously. Our mission standards should not become the focus of all that we are trying to accomplish, however as you focus on the integrity of your purpose, I hope that you will continue to make goals and plans to achieve mission standards. If your motivation is pure and your methods are correct, you will find great joy and success as you strive diligently to accomplish your purpose. Our mission standards will serve as a guide and a source of inspiration to “raise your vision and increase your faith” (PMG, pg. 146).
This week you received a request to complete a questionnaire from the missionary department. Elder Gerrit W. Gong, our Asia Area president, generated this request in preparation for his upcoming mission tour at the end of November. If you have not taken time to complete the survey, I urge you to complete it today. Please be candid and forthright in your answers, as they will help us to understand our strengths and weaknesses and what we can do to improve.
I am continually amazed as I see your faith, diligence and skills enable you to “invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel….” I testify that He lives and stands at the head of this Church and directs this work. I know that there is nothing that you could be doing at this time that would be of greater value, either to you or to those that you are working with, than assisting them as they come unto Christ. May you continue to find joy and satisfaction in the Lord’s work of salvation is my constant prayer.