Dear Elders and Sisters,
What a joy it was to see you last week as we met in zone conferences! We are so grateful for the spirit we enjoyed in each of the meetings. I loved shaking hands with each of you. As I looked into your faces I saw purity, obedience, diligence and love. I am so grateful every day for the privilege to be here with you and to labor in this great work of gathering on behalf of the Lord. “That the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name in holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled” (D&C 101:64). It is our sacred privilege to be a part of this great gathering work and, in the process, we sanctify ourselves and come to know the Savior. I cannot think of anything we could be doing that would be of greater worth, either to ourselves or to our fellowman.
The work is challenging and requires our constant attention and our best efforts. At times it can be tedious, repetitive, discouraging and exhausting. I love what Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught about the value of hard work. “By work we sustain and enrich life. It enables us to survive the disappointments and tragedies of the mortal experience. Hard-earned achievement brings a sense of self-worth. Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires” (Nov. 2010, Ensign).
Elder Boyd K. Packer has said, “We are indoctrinated that somehow we should always be instantly emotionally comfortable….It was meant to be that life would be a challenge. To suffer some anxiety, some depression, some disappointment, even some failure is normal.” He went on to say, “Teach our members that if they have a good, miserable day once in a while, or several in a row, to stand steady and face them. Things will straighten out. There is great purpose in our struggle in life” (May 1978, Ensign).
It is my desire that you learn to work diligently and to use time wisely. Your time will pass quickly and you do not want to be left to say, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended” and my work is not finished! (See D&C 56:16). I ask each of you to use the mission standards as a guide to set goals. I believe that every companionship has the capacity to achieve mission standards. I believe that every companionship has the potential to baptize every transfer. We will be guided and directed from on high as we do all that we possibly can and we will be given even greater power as we sanctify ourselves (See D&C 43:16). We will be led to those who are prepared as we work diligently. We will be able to help more people come unto Christ and be baptized as we achieve our goals.
Mentor of Champions
PS. Great job with power week last week! At least one companionship accomplished all seven missions!