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missiondfu1 (Elder Uchtdorf)

Elder and Sister Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles

Tuesday devotional,  November 5, 2019


Sister Uchtdorf:

  • Sister Uchtdorf spent her youth in Frankfurt, Germany.  Some of the Uchtdorf’s grandchildren were present at the devotional, all in missionary attire.
  • You are all tools in the hands of the Lord.
  • Elder Uchtdorf and I consider ourselves on full-time missions for the rest of our lives.
  • Tonight you will hear from an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I know him, I love him, and he is my favorite apostle!
  • It is amazing that we are witnessing modern-day miracles every day.

Elder Uchtdorf:

  • By meeting my wife, you can tell how blessed I am.
  • One of my greatest joys is to be among you faithful missionaries.  Prayers are offered for you around the globe every day.
  • You are all humans, and you do human things, but you are also capable of doing great things.  Setbacks can happen.
  • Here is how I define being a successful missionary — success is doing well those things over which you have control.
    • You have very limited control over the number of converts you baptize.
    • You do have control over your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions.
    • Rejoice over the “almosts” — we almost had a baptism, we almost had an appointment, we almost taught a lesson.
    • Look at the blessings instead of the challenges.  Always look for the positive.
    • Be grateful instead of hateful, content instead of malcontent.
    • Rise above the difficulty of your circumstances.
    • Your actions are a testimony of your faith.
    • Accept success with humility and gratitude.
    • You do not have control over others but you do have control over how you think about others and act toward others.
  • Luke 2:52 is the new theme for the youth of the Church (“And Jesus grew is wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”)  
    • Jesus increased and grew and learned and became a model of perfection.
    • None of us are perfect, but as we hearken to the Lord we become more like Him.
  • How will you grow closer to God?  How will you improve yourselves physically and mentally?  How do you successfully control your thoughts, feelings, and actions?  Do well the things over which you have control.
  • Discipleship is not about doing things perfectly, but doing things intentionally.
    • Brother Oliver Granger in Doctrine and Covenants 117 was given the impossible charge of selling the properties that the saints had to abandon as they were driven out of Kirtland, Ohio.  The Lord said that his sacrifice would be more sacred to him than his increase.  He did the best he could.
    • Likewise, your sacrifice as a missionary will be more sacred to you than statistics.
  • Repentance:
    • It is not only a way to activate the Atonement of the Savior in your lives, but it is the axis upon which all things revolve.
    • When you decide to repent about something, you elevate that weakness to the top of your list to work on.
    • Ask Heavenly Father for His assistance.
  • Your influence will extend far beyond what you see and do and know on your mission.
    • Not long ago a friend of mine received an email that contained a picture of himself taken over 45 years ago while he was serving as a missionary.  He didn’t recognize the sender of the email, and the sender asked “Is this you?”.  It turns out that 46 years ago, he had taught a father, a mother, and two daughters.   They were later baptized, and now they were seeking to contact this missionary who had first taught them.  Also during his mission, a political coup occurred.  He and his companion visited some of the people who had been imprisoned during the coup.  In one room, there were over 200 people.  The prison guards stared at the missionaries with contempt.  The missionaries almost panicked, but they stayed and spoke words of encouragement to the prisoners.  They shook hands with many of the prisoners.  They felt hatred from some of the prisoners.  In fact, some of the prisoners felt that Americans (including these missionaries) were the cause of the coup.  However, one prisoners felt the Spirit as the missionaries visited.  He decided that if he was ever released from prison, he would find the Church those missionaries belonged to.  He eventually obtained his freedom, joined the Church, served a mission, married a wonderful woman.  His new wife had a picture of the missionary that had taught her family, and it was the same missionary who had visited him in prison.  This man went on to serve as a branch president and a district president.  He and his wife were pillars in the gospel in their area.  This couple was responsible for the email that he received 46 years later, seeking to find the missionary responsible for their conversion and to express thanks for his service.
    • Perhaps on the other side of the veil you will know the full extent of the good you did in your missionary service.
  • Be successful by doing well the things over which you have control, those being your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
    • Be positive.
    • You will stumble, but stand up and move forward.
    • You will be disappointed, but don’t allow yourself to be discouraged.
  • Elders and sisters, we pray for you daily.
  • I leave upon you an apostolic blessing:
    • As you draw near to God He will draw near to you.
    • You will hear and know the words of the Lord.
    • I bless you with grace, faith, gratitude, dignity, boldness, humble confidence.
    • I bless you to go forth with courage.
    • I bless you with wisdom and peace, knowing that your sacrifices will be acknowledged by God.
    • I bless you with all these things in the name of the ONE who heals, prospers, and protects, even our Savior Jesus Christ.
  • After the devotional, the Uchtdorfs lingered, blew kisses, waved, made heart shapes with their hands.  They were hesitant to leave.

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