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missionjrh2 (Elder Holland ** )

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

Tuesday devotional,  January 29, 2019

Tuesday devotional, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, January 29, 2019

  • Sister Holland has been sick all day today, but she said she wanted to come tonight.  “If those missionaries can do what they are doing, I can certainly get up and come and be with them.”
  • I was so touched by the choir number, “Nearer My God To Thee”.  Thank you, choir, but I remember that this same song was sung as the Titanic went down.  I hope that is not an omen for tonight.
  • I promise you that President Nelson will ask me a very specific question in two days at our weekly meeting in the Salt Lake Temple.  He will ask me if I told all of you here tonight that President Nelson loves you.  So here it is — President Nelson loves you, and he loves you sincerely.
  • I have to die to get out of my calling — you just need to serve faithfully for 18 or 24 months to complete your calling.
  • You can do this work, you should do this work, you must do this work, God will help you do this work.
  • It is understandable that you might be anxious or fearful.  When I went on my first mission, I had no family tradition to rely on.  I was inexperienced and naive, but when I think about what happened to me during those 2 years, I am filled with inexpressible gratitude.  Everything that is good or worthy or edifying about my life is a direct result of my faithful missionary service, including my marriage, where I was married, our children, the lives of our children, my education, my professional life, and my current calling in the church.
  • Do not falter!  Hundreds of thousands have served before you, and hundreds of thousands will serve after you.  This is your time!
  • You will be in a very select group in months to come, that being the “returned missionary” group.  Being a returned missionary should mean something.  Our expectations of you are high, and rightfully so!
  • Take heart, little campers!  Pull your socks up to your elbows and DO THIS!  The Spirit will fortify you.  You can do this because this work is TRUE!
  • If you need a visual aid, then I will fill that role tonight.  I am it.  I survived my mission, and it now means EVERYTHING to me.  It should mean everything to you.
  • I am going to discuss four things tonight that will guarantee you success in this work.
  • Point number one:  OBEDIENCE is the first law of everything.  Let’s just put this to rest right now.  Do this work in the Lord’s way and in no other way.  I will speak for all of your mission presidents — disobedience is the last thing they want.  Disobedience leads to miserable missionaries, miserable companions, miserable mission presidents.  We do not want nor need disobedience.  The Lord’s way is the only way!
  • Disobedience CANNOT be an issue for you.
  • The white missionary handbook is the distillation of 190 years of missionary work experience.  It is not the product of a group of cranky old men who took a big gulp of pickle juice, soured their moods, and invented a bunch of rules to make young missionaries miserable.  That handbook is for your protection and blessing.  Keep the rules, and keep them the Lord’s way!
  • No one needs your efforts if your efforts are not given in the way the Lord wants them given.
  • Do you remember what the first major promise or covenant is that we all made in the temple?  It was that we would OBEY!  D&C 130:18-19 reminds us that obedience was the motivating force “before the foundations of the earth”.  Obedience played the major role in our decisions in  pre-mortal life.  We simply decided rather we would obey and accept the Lord, or reject Him.
  • You will be happy if you obey — you and MANY others will be miserable if you disobey.
  • D&C 50:13-14  We are to preach the gospel by the Spirit and in no other way.  We can only teach with the spirit if we are obedient missionaries.
  • You receive the spirit by being obedient.  You can then teach with the spirit and bless lives.
  • Notice how frequently the term “power and authority” are mentioned in the Book of Mormon, and that phrase is usually linked to teaching.
  • Point number two:  “The Book of Mormon is the greatest proselytizing tool we have been given in this dispensation.”  — Sister Patricia Holland
  • You need to return from your missions with an everlasting testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon.  This book must be a great and abiding ANCHOR in our spiritual lives.
  • It was not coincidental that the Book of Mormon was translated, printed, and ready for distribution BEFORE the church was organized.  The Book of Mormon was preeminent, and should still be so in our lives today.
  • Get the Book of Mormon into people’s lives.
  • Point number three:  I received two pieces of advice from President Thomas S. Monson when I was called to be a general authority:  1) Be yourself, but be your best self  2) Give God the credit for everything good that happens in your ministry.   I give you the same advice.
  • Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches, without Me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5.   Keep that perspective.
  • The spirit comes to obedient souls.  You will speak and you will know what to speak.
  • Point number four:  Get out in your areas and ASTONISH people!  Notice how many times the scriptures mention people being astonished when wrought upon by the spirit.  (Matthew 22:33, Mark 6:2, Mark 7:37, Mark 11:18, Luke 4:32, Luke 2:47, Acts 13:12, Alma 11:46, Alma 14:2 & 10, Alma 20:26-27, Helaman 3:25).  Be astonished yourself and astonish others.
  • I find it astonishing that wonderful souls throughout the world accept the message that a FOURTEEN year old unschooled farm-boy saw the Father and the Son.  That is astonishing!
  • I bless you that your fear with dissipate.  You are a missionary and so am I.  You are apostolic and so am I.  We are involved in pursuing the salvation of men, the most important work in the universe!

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