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missionkfr (Elder Richards)

Elder & Sister Kent F. Richards of the Seventy

Tuesday devotional,  July 31, 2018


Tuesday devotional, Elder and Sister Kent F. Richards of the Seventy, July 31, 2018

Sister Richards:

  • A visiting non-member guest at the Missionary Training Center remarked about the “eyes and faces” of the missionaries.  You remind me of President Nelson’s statement – “Begin with the end in mind”. The end for which we all strive is:
    • Being endowed
    • Having a family
    • Receiving and honoring covenants
    • Earning eternal life
  • Three places to remember ‘the end in mind’:
    • For those you serve – lose yourself in their service, this is not about YOU.
    • The church and the Godhead – you can honestly testify that the Godhead will bless lives personally.
    • For you – give, reap, bless, receive blessings.
  • You stand on the threshold of involvement in other peoples’ lives!

Elder Richards:

  • If all I heard tonight was you singing, it would be enough to make the evening worthwhile.
  • I want to share a few critical elements of missionary work.
  • My ancestor, Franklin D. Richards received a blessing from Brigham Young as he began his fourth mission:
    • The Holy Ghost will be with you.
    • Angels will be round about you.
    • You will prophesy and be blessed with the gifts of tongues.
    • You will recognize the honest in heart.
    • You will receive the riches of eternity.
    • President Young told him, “If there is some blessing you earnestly desire that was not mentioned in this blessing, write it down and live for it, and you will receive it.”
  • Your potential is unlimited.  You are endowed with power from on high.  The Lord has great works laid up in store for all of you.
  • The communication of truth comes in two ways:
    • A confirmation of “all truth” in general and in its entirety.
    • A spiritual expanding of understanding of individual packets of truth, enlarging and enlightening our minds in specifics.  These revelations come independently from our physical senses, but are communicated spiritually. These are usually feelings, not sounds, thoughts, feelings, promptings, influences, impressions.
  • Conversion comes through the spirit – hearts, ears, minds, spirit.
  • We do not give the spirit, we merely lead people to circumstances where they can feel it for themselves.  They have to find the “water” on their own.
  • Remember the Gilbert Arizona youth program just before the dedication of the temple.  A veritable downpour of rain came, soaking all the participants, but they “never felt warmer” or closer to the spirit.  You will have “rainstorms” in which you will feel the spirit.
  • Suva Fiji temple re-dedication took place in the midst of a Category 5 cyclone.
  • Those who experienced these situations will never forget them.
  • He talked about light, and that darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, the light of everlasting life, truth = spirit = light
  • Open the door of the spirit for others to step in and feel !
  • Teach with words of light.  Don’t bend the truth or use anecdotes that are not completely true. The spirit cannot bear witness of things that are not true.
  • Don’t teach by rote memorization, teach by inspiration.
  • Use gospel scholarship to improve gospel teaching.  Don’t over-prepare. Our teaching must be spiritual, not merely academic.
  • Elder Packer asked all general authorities to write a ONE-PAGE description of the plan of salvation.  Why? To drive home the point of simplicity and plainness.
  • Teach slowly, clearly, simply.  Ask questions to help them search for knowledge.
  • You can speak with the tongues of angels – don’t use parables or analogies or metaphors or similes, unless the Savior used them.  Keep things simple.
  • He once asked a missionary to teach the First Vision SIMPLY.  The missionary was a Spanish-speaker, but he asked him to teach the Vision in English!  The missionary said, “I don’t speak English”. Elder Richards encouraged him to try. The elder said only four words – “Joseph Smith saw God”.  The spirit was manifested in power and clarity for all who hear those four words. Never was a more forceful witness given than on that occasion.
  • Pause and be quiet during your teaching, let the spirit speak.
  • Open your mouth and become like Nephi.  Study Doctrine and Covenants 33 carefully.
  • Unto what were you ordained?  Find the answer in Doctrine and Covenants 50.
  • I leave you with these seven thoughts:
    • Receive your own conviction
    • Become true instruments
    • Teach in purity and plainness
    • Teach in clarity and simplicity
    • Speak slowly
    • Chase away darkness with LIGHT
    • Give your hearts to HIM!

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