…VAN EEN VERNUFTIGE MAKELIJ…
(1 Nephi 18:1)
One would be smart to pick his battles in life. There are plenty of challenges and we cannot fight them all. So, focus on what can make a difference. I have said many times, we have control over only a few things on our mission. We control how well we prepare to become very good at what we do. We control how hard we work which is a measure of our commitment to excellence. We control our worthiness. Having “control” of something does no good unless we make an effort to improve with determination to succeed. We are warriors in this struggle to successfully invite and help others to come unto Christ and to convert ourselves in a deep enduring way. I hope each of us at the end of our mission can truthfully say, “I never worked so hard in all my life, and I became the best I could be.”
Since July all missionaries in the mission have been improving to become very good at what we do. A few of the skills and processes we have taught are: the mission plan is to follow the keys - the Stake Plan, Operation Build a Stake, internalize attributes of Christ, become addicted to the pursuit, eliminate self limiting beliefs, find the one each day, IFBP process to invite for baptism, maintain 3-5 progressing investigators, shelf life, top 10, presentation skills, complement members, train your replacement, leaders are responsible for performance of the group, increase exchanges to assist each other, set an example, go on monthly home and visiting teaching assignments, raise expectations to one baptism per month per companionship, etc.
I stated that we are warriors, I am reminded of the story of great warriors, Captain Moroni and Teancum (Alma 50, 51). Captain Moroni had been busy with the people building fortifications to protect the people and their cities from their enemies. This was a time described as prosperous and there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi. Then the people who possessed the land of Morianton claimed part of the land of Lehi and not only contention but war broke out between the two sides. Morianton, the leader of one side, was a passionate man and beat his servant, who fled to Moroni’s camp and told him that Morianton was planning to flee with his people to the land northward and joint those people which created a grave danger to the Nephites.
Teancum lead an army to head the people of Morianton. They successfully stopped them. Later in a general election the people choose a free government supported by Freemen as opposed to a dictator supported by the Kingmen. The Kingmen, being sore losers, would not support the nation in battle. Therefore, while Captain Moroni cleaned out the Kingmen and subjected the people to peace and civilization, the Lamonites lead by Amalickiah came into the land and conquered several of their cities with the fortifications. Captain Moroni again sent Teancum this time to stop the advance of Amalickiah’s army. Teancum was again successful. He repulsed Amalickiah’s army and killed Amalickiah. Teancum’s secret for this great victory is found as follows:
“… Teancum and his men…were great warriors; for every man of Teancum did exceed the Lamanites in their strength and in their skill of war insomuch that they did gain advantage over the Lamanites.” (Alma 51:31)
This is a great metaphor for the Elders and Sisters in the Belgium Netherlands Mission. I bolded the words above to draw attention to what this is saying. Can you imagine this army? Teancum did not take his B Team. These warriors must have repeatedly practiced, studied, exercised and re-trained to have become so skilled. Every man was skilled. They were not run of the mill warriors, each of them were great warriors. All of the warriors, not some of them or a few of them, exceeded the strength and the skill of the Lamanites. These were the best, not a rag tag group with a few good ones. Captain Moroni understood the principle, “don’t take pea shooter to a gun fight,” and he obviously understood the one thing they had complete control over is how well prepared they were. Apparently, by hard work and effort they became great warriors which greatly increased their chances of success.
We are great warriors in the battle we are waging to recover those who want to join God’s chosen people. We are in the front lines of this war, the oldest war on earth which began in the pre-earth life. This week at Zone Conference we will learn more simple, effective and necessary skills and techniques that will make us great warriors in missionary work. It will take some work and effort to internalize better skills but becoming a great warrior is worth the effort. It will bring about more success. Come prepared for improvement. We already have the basics of what it takes and each of us can improve personally in specific areas so we can exceed the strength and the skill of Satan’s opposition.