Mission leaders and missionaries come to the mission field with diverse professional and educational backgrounds, interests, and hobbies. Success is measured in each of these areas by diverse and unique indicators, said Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“Much of your combined life experience will help you in your new role as mission leaders. However, they now have a new identity and a new purpose as full-time representatives of Jesus Christ and His restored Church, ”Elder Stevenson told the new mission presidents and their companions on Thursday, June 24.
Speaking during the 2021 Seminar for New Mission Leaders, Elder Stevenson testified that the Lord gives mission success and it is measured according to His principles.
Focus on the calling, not your skills
Elder Stevenson used an example from the life of President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, to help inspire mission leaders to contemplate their new role as representatives of the Savior.
At the beginning of his service as an Apostle, President Oaks asked himself: “For the rest of your life, will you be a judge and lawyer who has been called to be an Apostle, or will you be an Apostle who used to be a lawyer and judge? ? “
“I decided that instead of trying to adapt my calling to my credentials, I would try to adapt to my calling,” said President Oaks.
As mission leaders embark on the journey of adjusting to their calling, Elder Stevenson identified numerous resources available to help them succeed, including the Holy Ghost, the area presidency, the Missionary Department, the General Manual, the Mission President’s Manual and “Preach my Gospel.”
Elder Stevenson invited mission leaders to try to identify the Lord’s promises in the scriptures for those involved in missionary work. The Lord promised: “Go among your brothers the Lamanites, and suffer your afflictions with patience., and I will give you success”(Alma 26:27, italics added).
Quoting from “Preach My Gospel,” Elder Stevenson emphasized, “Your success as a missionary is measured primarily by your commitment to finding, teaching, baptizing, and confirming people and helping them become faithful members of the Church who enjoy being present. Holy Spirit”.
Probably different from some traditional measures of success that mission leaders were accustomed to in their professional lives, these measures “are universal for all mission leaders and missionaries,” Elder Stevenson said.
As he later defines “Preach My Gospel,” one can know that he has been a successful missionary when:
- Feel the Spirit.
- Love people.
- Obey exactly.
- Receive and follow the Spirit.
- It is like Christ.
- It works effectively.
- Strengthen the Church.
- Invite people to repentance.
- Teach and serve others.
- It does good.
Regardless of a missionary’s linguistic ability, gospel knowledge, memorization ability, public speaking skills, or physical appearance, acquiring these from these is within his grasp. And when they do, the acceleration of the work reaches its potential, ”Elder Stevenson said.
“Your careful balance of these spiritually developed principles of success with prayerful goals, standards of excellence, and measurement of approved indicators will bless your mission.”
Examples of missionaries from It’ssuccess
Using video and audio clips, Elder Stevenson shared specific cause-and-effect examples of successful missionaries.
When Elder Hoopes and his companion in the Wisconsin Milwaukee Mission returned home at 8:55 pm one Sunday night, they wanted to obey the mission guidelines exactly and work for five more minutes. The first person Elder Hoopes reached out to on social media wanted to know more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. After a short video call about the Book of Mormon, a few days later he was taught a lesson at a member’s home.
Elder Caicedo of the Ecuador Quito North Mission described an experience in which he called his grandmother on preparation day and was asked by his cousin what Elder Caicedo was doing. The question led to teaching his family a lesson. Elder Caicedo saw the blessings of working effectively every day to bring souls to Christ, even on Preparation Day.
President and Sister Bussey of the Spain Madrid Mission shared the “Preach My Gospel” markers of success that they emphasize in each conference and interview. “Perfectionism and comparison are some of Satan’s tools most often used by our missionaries,” said Sister Bussey. “Helping them believe and embrace these principles brings relief and renewed energy for work.”
In each of these examples – and others shared by Elder Stevenson, missionaries “were motivated from the inside out, rather than pushed from the outside in, or from the top down, to accomplish what is outlined in their ministry. missionary, ”he said.
Again, quoting from “Preach My Gospel,” Elder Stevenson said: “When you have done the best you can, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself. You can be sure that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you. “
Elder Stevenson concluded by recounting an experience that he and his wife, Sister Lesa Stevenson, had while serving as mission leaders in the Japan Nagoya Mission. Sister Stevenson’s decision to act in response to the suggestion to speak to one of her missionaries led her to assist him in receiving medical care that turned out to be timely and essential.
“Presidents and sisters, as you reset your expectations and measures of success for yourself and your missionaries, ensuring that you align with the principles outlined in ‘Preach My Gospel,’ you will be blessed,” Elder Stevenson testified
“You too can know that your success will be measured primarily by your commitment to fulfilling your missionary purpose. You can confidently testify, as I testify to you, of the Lord’s promise to his missionary servants: ‘I will give you success.’ And with comforting assurance ‘you can feel the Lord being pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you.’
“Ammon and his brothers wisely recognized that the success they enjoyed did not come from their own strength, but rather it was the Lord who made them successful,” Elder Stevenson said.