Elder and Sister Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve
Tuesday devotional, October 24, 2017
1/ Sister Stevenson
- I testify of the love Heavenly Father has for each of you. He knows everything about you.
- I have a personal testimony of D&C 84:88. I was alone in a hotel room in a huge city in Japan and looked out at the thousands of people. I asked, “How can Heavenly Father possibly be aware of me with all the billions on this planet. I opened my scriptures to Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 and read that He would be on my right hand and on my left hand, and that His spirit would be in my heart. I knew that was true!
2/ Elder Stevenson
- Greetings from President Monson. He can’t go to the office, so the office comes to him.
- He turned 90 on the solar eclipse day.
- First missionary preparation was in the School of the Prophets, with Joseph Smith teaching.
- The first mission home was in Salt Lake City, opened in 1925.
- About 40,000 missionaries go through our missionary training centers each year. Currently, 56 languages are taught.
- How much has changed and how much has stayed the same at missionary training centers?
- We have 70,000 missionaries in 421 missions in 162 countries speaking over 60 languages.
- We now stand on the broad shoulders of great missionaries of the past.
- His 4th great grandfather was called to full-time missionary service over the pulpit at general conference. He wasn’t even in attendance. He left for South Africa just 2 weeks later, leaving his wife and children at home.
- His grandfather was serving in the 1940’s and his mission president had them all go “without purse or scrip”. No spending, no permanent apartment, relying solely upon those they were teaching for their sustenance.
- Pay close attention to Preach My Gospel, especially chapter six with its discussion of Christ-like attributes. I am going to concentrate on 4 attributes discussed in that chapter.
- Humility – Pride can take various forms. Do not covet leadership positions. Don’t covet high numbers for key indicators. Relationships can be damaged by pride.
- Obedience – the rules are for your safety and protection. Obedience is the key to happiness. It is a Missionary Handbook “of blessings”. Obedient missionaries are happy missionaries, disobedient missionaries are miserable missionaries
- Virtue – what are your innermost thoughts? What you think of when you are alone is a great indicator of your virtue. Studying scriptures helps maintain virtue
- Diligence – the ultimate way to show love for the Lord
- The Lord’s work is sweet labor, not work.
- Great success story. Two elders set some very high goals for a certain day. They wanted to contact a certain number of people. The goal was incredibly high. They worked hard all day long, but at 8:45 pm they were still not at their goal, even though they had contacted more people than ever before. But they decided to take advantage of the last 15 minutes and went to a busy train station to contact people. A man watched the missionaries from a distance, and an audible voice said, “Go talk to those two young men. They are men of God and you need to hear their message.” He looked around to see who had said this, but it was of the Spirit. He approached them. He was baptized 2 months later. What if the missionaries had been content with a big number but short of their goal?