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missionlwc (Elder Clayton ** )

Elder and Sister L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy

Tuesday devotional,  January 28, 2020

Sister Clayton:

  • Did you sing that hymn just for me?  The author of the words in that hymn (“Where Can I Turn For Peace”) is a friend of mine.  Thank you.
  • No other assignment that Elder Clayton and I receive ranks as high or as coveted as speaking to you at the Missionary Training Center.  The Spirit is here in great abundance, just as I knew it would be.
  • Have any of you asked yourself, “Am I enough?  Can I do this work?”  None of us are good enough when alone, but the Lord will magnify us and we wlll be “enough and to spare”.
  • Doctrine and Covenants 64:33 tells us to not be weary in well-doing.  You are laying the foundation for a great work.  Small things (us) can bring about great things (conversions).  You can do this!  You are called of God.
  • The last time we were here, there was a group of wheel-chair bound missionaries here in front.  President Nelson was with us, and when he walked in and everyone arose, I noticed that these sweet wheelchair missionaries lifted themselves up as far as they could with their arms to show respect to President Nelson.  The sweetness of that gesture of respect has remained with me.
  • She recounted the story of Zacchaeus, the publican who climbed the tree to better see Jesus.  The points she made are these:
    • He was a publican, a tax-collector.  These publicans were despised by their fellow Jews.
    • He was short, thus looked-down on.
    • He was rich, so again despised by his peers.
    • He was spiritually sensitive enough to realize the Christ was someone special.
    • He turned his weaknesses into strengths by climbing a tree, showing interest, seeking the Lord.
    • He would not be satisfied until he had seen Jesus.  Are we making a similar effort to ‘see’ Him?
    • He compensated for his ‘disabilities’.  Are you will to ‘climb’?
    • Jesus looked up and saw him.  He will look up to see us.  Great blessings await.  He is aware of us.
    • Give it your best and Jesus will ‘see’ your efforts and see you.
    • How might we turn weaknesses into strengths?  Are there ‘negatives’ you could turn into ‘positives’?
  • We are not soloists in the work – we all are part of a grand orchestra.  Play your individual ‘instrument’ well.
  • She related that she sits by a Downs’ Syndrome young man at every session of general conference.  He is an angel.  He is devoted, he is pure.
  • Jesus can turn messes into messages, trials into triumphs, tests into testimonies!
  • You can be even better than you can imagine yourself to be.
  • Notice that Jesus said to his disciples, “I WILL MAKE YOU fishers of men.”  He and only He can turn us into fishers of men.  We can’t even be a fisher of men without Him
  • Have imagination, have vision, have confidence.

Elder Clayton:

  • I want to give you a vision of the context in which you will serve your missions.  Why are you serving at this historic time in the history of the Kingdom?
  • President Nelson has admonished us to study the First Vision in preparation for April 2020 conference.
  • In 2002, President Gordon B. Hinckley said that we as Latter-day Saints do not fully appreciate the strength of our position.  Our position is unique and it is wonderful.  The validity of this works rests on the First Vision.  All the events of the Restoration either occurred or they didn’t.  Either this is the Kingdom of God on earth or it is nothing.  There are no other options.
  • Joseph Smith was told that his name would be had for good and evil throughout the earth.  Daniel saw in vision the rock cut out without hands rolling forth and filling the earth.  You are literally fulfilling that dream.
  • In 1834, Joseph told the brethren that this Church would fill North and South America, that it would fill the earth.  In 1898 Wilford Woodruff read that prophecy in General Conference.  In 1925 Melvin J. Ballard dedicated South America for the preaching of the Gospel.  There was not one member of the Church anywhere on that continent.  Today the Church is in every country, temples dotting the continent, missionaries preaching in every city.
  • Every prophet has seen our day.  The gathering of Israel in happening in our day.  This is a crucial time.  There is nothing of greater consequence in the entire earth.  You are witnessing the stone rolling forth and filling the earth.
  • We have reason to celebrate.  Open your minds, your hearts, your eyes.  God is in this work.

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