Select Page

missionafp (Elder Packer ** )

Elder & Sister Allen F. Packer, Emeritus General Authority Seventy

Tuesday devotional,  July 23, 2019

Tuesday devotional, Elder and Sister Allen F. Packer, Emeritus General Authority

Sister Packer:

  • After Christ’s resurrection, He sought out his apostles who were fishing on the Sea of Galilee.  They had fished all night without success.  John 21:6 tells us that Christ told them to cast their nets on the opposite side of the boat, and their nets were full of fish.
  • All of their combined fishing abilities were insignificant compared to the Savior’s incredible powers.
  • Trust in Jesus.  He knows how to “fish”, in every sense of the word.
  • Inspiration will come to you through your leaders, especially your mission presidents, on how to do missionary work (“fishing”).
  • Why would there be fish on one side of the boat and not on the other.  Only the Savior knows.  He will tell you where to “fish”.
  • Remember who we are supposed to follow.
  • God has given us a prophet, scriptures, and especially His Son.

Elder Packer:

  • This is the true church.  Sister Packer and I love missionary work.
  • A pioneer does one of two things: he settles a new area or he leads the way for others to follow.
  • One of Elder Packer’s relatives was in a handcart company.  She brought three pair of shoes with her for the journey.  She wore out 2 of the pairs in the first half of the journey.  She decided that she would save her third pair for the entrance in the Salt Lake Valley.  She tied the third pair around her neck and walked barefoot the entire last half of the journey.  As they approached the valley, she excitedly tried to put on her shoes but found that her feet were so swollen and abraded that the shoes would not fit.  She walked into the valley barefoot, leaving bloody footprints in the newly-fallen snow.  How do we plant seeds of faith of that magnitude into the hearts of our friends that we teach?
  • Your role as missionaries is to kindle sparks and flames of testimony in the honest in heart.
  • You are like farmers, planting and nurturing young plants.
  • Your most important investigators will not be found in your mission field.  They will be your children in years to come.  Parents need to have “converting and conversion” skills.  Parents are to children what missionaries are to investigators.
  • You are called to be agents of change.
  • You are actually your first investigator.
  • Only you can pay the price of conversion and testimony in your own life.
  • Testimonies come as you WORK!
  • The brethren and the Lord trust you.  Go to work; you can do this work.
  • Go teach all nations.  Follow the Savior’s charge to his apostles to go into all nations, teaching His gospel.
  • John 15:16 – ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.  You are chosen, ordained, authorized, seeking ‘fruit’, preparing souls to be truly converted, asking and receiving.
  • Why did Christ say ‘fruit’ rather than souls or persons?  Fruit represents the END of the growing process, and your ‘fruit’ should be ‘converts’.
  • Focus on the end result rather than on the growing process.
  • Our modern-day apostles think about you and the missionary effort every day.
  • Section 130 tells us that when we receive blessings it is because we have obeyed the law that governs that blessing.  Discover the laws of successful missionary work.
  • What are the conditions of true conversion?
    • You must earn your own testimony.
    • You must be willing to ACT when answers to prayers come.
    • You cannot stand on someone else’s testimony.
  • Learn how to ask inspired questions.
  • You will not fully absorb nor master all of the principles found in Preach My Gospel during your missions.   If will require a lifetime of study and application.
  • Conversion is a process, not an event.
    • Hear
    • Remember
    • Understand
    • Act
    • Do
    • Become
  • Testimony and conversion are not synonymous.  Elder Oaks pointed out the difference between knowing and feeling versus doing and becoming.
  • Teach people to endure to the end.  Testimonies can only grow or diminish.  They cannot remain unchanged or neutral.
  • Missionary success depends on:
    • Understanding the needs of your friends
    • Understanding what missionaries need to have to be effective
    • Understanding what a member feels
  • Don’t invite a person to be baptized until they fully understand what that commitment means
  • Teach with the temple in mind.
  • The church is a means to an end.
  • Some have said that when the number of baptisms goes up, the conversion percentage goes down.  That is false doctrine.  You can have both.
  • The image in our minds needs to be same as the image in the minds of investigators.
  • There are about thirty gospel principles in Preach My Gospel.  Teach not only the principles, but the relationship between the principles.  For example, the relationship between faith and repentance, and the relationship between mercy, justice, and the Atonement of the Savior.
  • Don’t muddle the core principles by presenting to much information.  Use simple lessons and avoid distractions.
  • More effective teaching can increase baptisms and increase conversion.
  • Don’t just teach to be understood, but teach so as to not be misunderstood.
  • Don’t equate the Church with the Gospel.  The Gospel remains the same, but the church changes.  The Church is still being restored.
  • The Gospel is perfect, but the members are not.  Testimony should be centered around the gospel, not the institution of the Church.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 82:10.  “I the Lord am bound when you do what I say…”   You are now acquiring the tools that lead to success, but you must use the tools correctly.
  • He left his “special” witness of Christ.

Click here to return to the General Authority speakers index
Click here to return to the MTC index page