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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Tuesday devotional,  December 13, 2016

Tuesday devotional, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, December 13, 2016

  • I had to beg President Burgess to come, apparently he had a prohibition placed on me.
  • We love you.  We honor you. We have two grandchildren “out” in the mission field.  You are the “message” we intend to proclaim.
  • You only have 1 opportunity to make a first impression.  We care about how you look.
  • No young man was ever more “affected” by a mission than I was.  I learned how to put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13).
  • Learn how to play to your strengths, how to make your time count.
  • How did the Lord “invest” in Joseph Smith.  He lived great; he died great. Think of what he accomplished in just 24 years of his ministry (age 14 to age 38).  His preparation began in the pre-mortal realm. Revelation on temples, the priesthood, tithing, the Word of Wisdom, Relief Society, and many other divine doctrine was all brought forth AFTER 1830.  From 1820 to 1830, Joseph had one major assignment – bring forth the Book of Mormon. It is no coincidence that the church was organized just 10 days after the Book of Mormon went on sale.
  • What is your return on Joseph’s investment of time and faith?  Use the Book of Mormon!  It is the keystone. It holds the other stones in place. The integrity of this church stands or falls on the verity of the Book of Mormon.  It is a sudden-death proposition. It is either true or false – there are no other possibilities. We DO or we DIE with the Book of Mormon. Joseph was either a prophet or a charlatan, solely based on the Book of Mormon.  As missionaries, we need to come to grips with these facts now. Don’t neglect this first and greatest gift. We have not considered the Book of Mormon enough. We should get with it – invest the time. Do not miss the message of the Book of Mormon.  Read the Book of Mormon with investigators!  If they are not “progressing”, I would tell you that it is very probable that you have not emphasized the Book of Mormon enough! Supplement the Book of Mormon but never try to replace it!  Don’t read “Chicken Soup for the Soul” – read the Book of Mormon!  See Alma 26:1-8
  • I received two pieces of advice when I was called as an apostle: 1) Be the best you can be  2) Be yourself and give all glory to God.
  • Be an instrument!  How much value does a heart surgeon place on his instruments?  What can be wrong with a surgical instrument? 1) unclean 2) dull 3) misshapen.
  • You have to work your tail off as a missionary.  See Alma 26:11 “because of the power of the word that was IN US”.  They taught with power and authority.
  • Helaman 5:17-18  Go astonish someone!  We, at times, are not very astonishing.  Speak with thunder.
  • At this point, Elder Holland turned to President Burgess and asked if he could speak a little longer?  He then said to President Burgess, “Be careful how you answer that question.”
  • Alma 12:27 — “when our hearts were depressed”.  Bear your challenging times well and the Lord will give you success.  Why is missionary work so hard? Because achieving salvation is not a cheap experience. It was never easy.  The road to salvation passes through the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • I bless every one of you with a heightened love of the Book of Mormon, more intense prayers, greater ability to feel the spirit.  I bless you with these things as if my hands were literally upon your head. I bless you with good health and safety. I bless your families, even if they are broken or antagonistic.  I bless you with answers to your prayers, with the ability to overcome fatigue, frustration, homesickness.
  • Do you realize you might be the salvation of a wayward companion?
  • I bless you that people will believe you, and I bless you with a 10 or 100-fold increase in your abilities.

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