Friday, August 10, 2012

President Robinson's Letter to Missionaries

(1 Nephi 18:1)

Belgium/Netherlands Mission

7 August 2012

Sister Robinson and I have been here for over a month and are greatly impressed with the diligence and obedience demonstrated by each of you which is motivated by love.  
We are all in the purifier’s fire improving from where we now stand. 
In the spirit of focusing on and improving the details, I propose we consider 
avoiding distractions of various kinds when it applies.  I pray that we can keep our edge 
by fine tuning our behavior as we strive to fulfill our commitment for 
excellence in our missionary work.

In Alma 39, Alma chastises his son Corianton who boasted of his own strength and wisdom;
he left the ministry and chased after the harlot Isabel in the land of Siron.  Heaven forbid that any of us does such a thing in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission, 
however, metaphorically speaking, the lesson here is very relevant for us all. 
  Corianton sought after the “lusts” of his eyes.

It would pay for each of us to seriously ask ourselves, “What are the lusts of my eyes?  What is that last vestige of worldliness that occupies too many of my thoughts.  What is it that 
diverts my attention away from “…all my might, mind and strength…?  
It is human nature to want things but too much wanting will divert us from our work.  This is when selfless service must eliminate selfish striving.

Alma said:
“…go no more after the lusts of your eyes…”
“…suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish things… the devil leads away your heart…”

Then interestingly he said, “…counsel with your elder brothers in your undertakings…ye stand in need to be nourished by your brothers.  And give heed to their counsel.”  
Each member of a companionship stands in need to be nourished by the other.  
This not only applies to following the lead of those who have set a good example and gone before, but also to the diligent example you set for those who follow you.

Avoiding distractions is part of the Christ like attribute being diligent.  PMG  p. 121 states,  “Avoid anything that distracts your thoughts or actions.”   Following Christ is an invitation to become more like him.  It will bring the spirit to reside with you.

 The importance of this is no more evident that in President Ezra Taft Benson’s statement:

“The Spirit is the most important single element in this work.  With the Spirit magnifying your call, you can do miracles for the Lord in the mission field.  Without the Spirit, you will never succeed regardless of your talent and ability.”  (PMG p. 174)

We are all set apart missionaries and in the case of Elders, ordained Priesthood holders.  These callings bring with them a duty to act.  As bearers of these callings we are agents to act, not to be acted upon
 (2 Nephi 2:26).  We must not be distracted or sit back and watch as the world unfolds
 before the second coming of the Savior.  We must actively help to prepare the world for his coming through dedicated service we have covenanted to render.

Alma’s statement to Corianton applies to us all,  “…this was no excuse for thee, my son.  Thou shoudest have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted.” (Alma 39:4)
At the end of the day, the ministry to which we have been called is to teach of him who, “…surely shall come to take away the sins of the world...” and to declare unto this people that
“…salvation might come unto them.” (Alma 39:15-16)

I thank each you for the great work you are doing and the efforts you make.  It shows from the results we are experiencing.  It is truly a privilege for Sister Robinson and me to serve with you.


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