A few days ago I was looking around on the church website and I happened to go to the full-time missionary portal. I hadn’t been on that part of the site since we came on our mission (though I went to it often before that.)
While there, I discovered that last week, (on Jan 25) there was a Worldwide Missionary Training Broadcast by the Missionary Executive Council of the Church. I assume our mission wasn’t made aware of it because we are not serving a proselyting mission – and the primary topic was to help missionaries learn to teach repentance and baptize converts. [ The Missionary Executive Council is composed of Elder Dallin H. Oaks, who chairs the council; Elder David A. Bednar; Elder Neil L. Anderson; Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President; W. Christopher Waddell, of the Presiding Bishopric; Brent H. Nielson, of the Seventy (and executive director of the missionary department); and Stephen B. Allen, managing director of the missionary department. ]
I particularly liked something Elder Bednar said. He said, “Too often in the church, we have a cook book, checklist mentality about living the gospel. So, faith is this little separate thing, and then, repentance is a separate thing, and then there’s the ordinance of baptism, and then receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.
But, all things are gathered together in one, in Christ.
So, faith is in the Savior – in Him as the Son of God – in His nature and attributes.
Repentance is dependence upon Him. . .
then following Him - is baptism.
Pressing forward with Him is enduring to the end with the companionship of the Holy Ghost. . .
They are all interrelated. . . Faith that leads to repentance will lead to baptism. They are all tied together.
There is no spiritual power in treating these fundamental elements of the doctrine of Christ as separate things.” Isn’t that beautiful?
During another part of the discussion Elder Oaks said, “we study – so that we may be nourished by the good word of God. We pray – so that we can be inspired by the Holy Ghost.”
Elder Oaks then quoted Doctrine and Covenants 6:36, which is the Savior, saying, “Look unto me in every thought. Doubt not. Fear not.” Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear = inaction. But, faith is a principle of action.
I’m glad I heard the great insights discussed by this council — basic principles, well taught.
Yesterday, our zone went to the Bountiful Temple together and it felt wonderful to be there with these good people we serve with each day. After our session, I noticed one sister was kind of emotional, so I went to talk to her. She said, “Usually, when I go to the temple, I don’t have any family with me, but, today, it felt like all of you were my family.” (We gave each other a big hug.)
*About 2/3 of our Zone went to the Bountiful temple on 3 Feb 2017
(There were five more who attended but aren’t in the picture.)
We love all the good sisters and brothers in our zone. It's a great place to be!
And, we're especially thinking of our granddaughter, Sophia, today, since its her first time to go to the temple to perform sacred ordinances. I sent her some family names I discovered recently and am excited that we'll be working together to complete their work!
Also, I forgot to mention that we saw President Uchtdorf in the cafeteria yesterday. He sat at the table right next to ours. (One of the sisters at our table could hardly contain herself she was so "star-struck". LOL!) I have to admit, though, that it's kind of fun to have an apostle sighting from time-to-time. :-)
*Missionaries pictured: Front row, L to R: Elder Frank Howe; Sister Marianne Howe; Sister Deborah Mangum; Sister Barbara Peterson, Sister Betty Crenshaw, Sister Colleen Lee, Sister Elena Filip, Sister Marlene Bollinger, Sister Ikuko Ishikawa, and, Elder Bob Crenshaw. Back row, L to R: Elder Jakob Wolff, Elder Dallin Perkins, Elder David Lee, Elder Matthew Huskinson, Elder Steven Wilde, Elder Jenner Sorensen, Elder Nathaniel Wilkes, Elder Jacob Wamsley, and, Elder Harrison LaRose. (Attending, but not pictured: Sister Cindy Bergener, Sister Corliss Clayton, Elder Ed and Sister Sandra Montague, and, Sister Lois Wille)