Elder and Sister Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy
Tuesday devotional, August 13, 2019
- You have sung simple, beautiful principles. Thank you for being here. Thank you for repenting. The Spirit is pouring out of you.
- God and Jesus Christ are in charge of this work. God’s goal is to bless His children. You have the opportunity to help Him in achieving this goal.
- The best way to bless others is via the Holy Ghost. You will and must have a close relationship with the Holy Ghost.
- The Spirit speaks to each of us personally, individually, and often differently.
- The Holy Ghost blessed me as I was trying to decide if I should marry my husband.
- My father once told me that the Holy Ghost is in my like ‘breathing’. Only is extreme circumstances are we even aware that we are breathing, but what a critical role breathing plays in our lives. Similarly, the Holy Ghost is a continual part of our spiritual life, often in the background unnoticed, but the Spirit can come to the foreground when needed and be very apparent.
- Since the Spirit is always present with us, it is appropriate at times to stop, think, pray, and ask for a strong witness.
- Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 assures us that the Spirit is always present with us and that the Spirit permeates everything we do in righteousness.
- She told the story of a woman whose little girl was killed by being hit by a car. Her grief knew no bounds. Two sister missionaries were trying to find the house of this grieving mother. They were prompted to knock a door as they were searching, and it was the home of the woman who had hit the little girl. She likewise was grieving and needed the Lord’s comfort but knew not how to find it.
- The Holy Ghost is a gift. Embrace the gift.
- We love you. Thank you for being here.
- Do you realize the significance of this work? There are 67,000 of you currently. Each month we baptize 20,000 new converts into the church. This work is large and majestic. I welcome you to the work!
- ComeuntoChrist.org received 29 million hits in 2018.
- Asking questions invites revelation. We want to know, we seek, we ask.
- I asked missionaries to submit questions they would like to have answered. I hope you find this helpful and edifying.
- Question # 1 — What percentage of missionaries struggle with homesickness? The answer is 100%. It is normal. It will pass.
- Question # 2 — How do I overcome feelings of not being good enough for this work? Elder Boyd K. Packer at one point said that he had served as an apostle for 46 years, and that there was one emotion that he and his brethren had NEVER felt. That emotion was FEAR. The brethren have no fear of the future, and we should have no fear. Faith will always drive out fear. Remember the statement of the Savior to his apostles when the boat was about to capsize in stormy seas. He asked them why they were fearful and where their faith was. The apostles wondered what manner of man this man was. Peter walked on water but only sank when he took his gaze off Christ and allowed fear to creep in. Fear and doubt are not Christ-like attributes. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us to move forward with faith, no fearing, no doubting.
- Question # 3 — How do I overcome the feelings brought on by an ‘unexciting’ mission assignment? Are you aware that the vast majority of missionaries serve in their home country? You have been assigned by revelation. You will know why you were sent to your particular by the end of your mission. President Uchtdorf reminds us to ‘lift where you stand’!
- Question # 4 — How can we come to love the people where we labor? Embrace the culture, become like the people where you serve. Never ridicule the culture or practices of the people around you. People will love you if you love them and their mannerisms.
- Question # 5 — How can I come to love and respect the mission rules? Rules keep you safe. You are safer in the mission field than you are at home. Most bad things happen late at night, so you are in your apartments late at night. Always be within sight and sound of your companion, always! Remember Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 — “I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say; when ye do not what I say, YE HAVE NO PROMISE.” If you disobey the rules, the Lord has no option to say to you, “Good luck, you are ON YOUR OWN. I sure hope things work out for you.” The missionary handbook could be called the missionary safety book.
- Question # 6 — How do I learn to answer deep, profound questions on the spot? The formula is found in Doctrine and Covenants 84:85 which says, “…treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.” Treasure up scriptures and Preach My Gospel.
- Question # 7 — How can I best help wards and branches with small numbers of active members? Invite all people to come unto Christ. Remember that we go to church to give, NOT TO GET! Serve, serve, serve.
- Question # 8 — How do I teach by the Spirit? The Spirit will be all around you if you merit it. You will know when you DON’T have the spirit. Shoot for ‘steady as she goes’. Avoid the ups and downs. Be steady. Don’t adopt a school teacher approach. Be flexible and inspirational. TAKE YOUR INVESTIGATORS TO HEAVEN! Let them feel what it is like to be immersed in the Spirit. Teach people, not lessons.
- Question # 9 — What if I don’t get along with my companion? Remember that you and your companion are on the same team! Why would you ever criticize a fellow team member? Become ONE. Embrace your companion and your differences. Learn about him, care about him. John 17:21 says, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT THOU HAST SENT ME.”