We met together for another Mission Leadership Council. I cannot believe how quickly the month passes and another meeting is upon us. These missionaries represent the very best of the mission. We are grateful for their courage, obedience and dedication. They are valiant in their testimonies of Christ and full of hope for His promised blessings. Every month, we have new leaders. They bring new insights and desire to help. It is exciting to watch them grow and learn from those more experienced. We see future leaders in His kingdom, future fathers and mothers and committed disciples of the Savior.

I love the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. Embedded in the record are life-saving and life-guiding principles. When I look at these missionaries who are part of the Mission Leadership Council, I see brave warriors who are willing to carry the cause of Christ full of hope for a better world.

Helaman teaches this great principle of hope. In the 58th chapter of Alma, we read an account of a time of great discouragement and despair. He shares they were without aid and provisions for many months. "And we did wait in these difficult circumstances for the space of many months, even until we were about to perish for the want of food." In fear for their lives and their homes, full of grief and fear, they began to pour out their souls to God, "that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people. Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him. And we did take courage with our small force which we had received, and were fixed with a determination . . .."

The trials missionaries and all of us face most likely are not of this nature. Our enemies might be the heat and humidity, the dirt, the strange food, physical illness, homesickness. We may feel abandoned by God and "wait in these difficult circumstances" for a very long time. Helaman and his band of men teach us that as we pour out our souls to God he will strengthen us and in some way deliver us from the hands of our enemies. Waiting can prove to be difficult. The kind of strength He sends may not be what we had in mind, but eventually, and in His time, it will come.

Preach My Gospel on page 117 teaches: "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement." 

President James E. Faust taught: "Hope is the anchor of our souls . . .."

It is amazing to see the hope in the eyes of these missionaries. They struggle through difficult experiences holding onto the hope that He surely provides. It is a sacred moment to watch how the Savior provides His relief and in His time. It isn't always a big change or a miracle. It sometimes is as simple as noticing that when they come to meetings in an air-conditioned building they are wearing their long-sleeved shirts. The Lord has lightened their burden by blessing their bodies to adjust to the intense heat and humidity. We see them understanding and growing in Gospel knowledge. We see them being motivated to be obedient. We see them solving problems and supporting other missionaries as they struggle. They truly understand Mormon's counsel to his son, Moroni: "My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever."

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoy reading your posts -- it's like a devotional just for me. Thank you for having the insight to take the long view with your missionaries and to give all of us inspiration and hope along the way. Our prayers are with you and your missionaries in every righteous effort. Much love