Sunday, January 8, 2017

Mission Life – Part 3 – Our Core Purpose

The third and most important aspect of Mission Life for us relates to our purpose for being here. The defined missionary purpose is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost,  and enduring to the end." Even though we are not out actively proselyting or teaching, this is still our purpose, too.

Every mission has certain "administrative" requirements. The office staff varies according to the needs of the specific mission, but usually includes a finance secretary, a mission secretary, and in many cases, individuals to oversee transportation, housing and other activities. Missionary work requires the efforts of a lot of people! Our service in the office allows the full-time missionaries to focus on their proselyting activities and not worry about paying bills, finding a place to live or getting around.

When I think of missionary work and the reason Trish and I are here, I am reminded of a story Elder M. Russell Ballard told in General Conference a few years ago. He told the story of a seven-year-old girl showing her grandfather a small tomato plant she had started from a single seed as part of a second-grade school project. She explained that from one tiny seed would come a plant and if the plant were cared for, it would grow many tomatoes that would each have many seeds. Elder Holland continued:
She said, “...if all of those seeds were planted and grew more tomatoes, and you planted all of those seeds, in a few seasons you would have millions of tomatoes.” 
“All,” she said in amazement, “from one little seed.” 
But then she said, “I almost killed my plant. I left it in a dark room and forgot to water it. When I remembered the plant, it was all wilted and dead looking. I cried because I thought of all of those millions of tomatoes that would never grow.” 
She was then excited to tell her grandfather about the “miracle” that happened.
She explained, “Momma said maybe the plant wasn’t dead. Maybe all it needed was some water and some light to bring life back. 
“And she was right. I gave the plant some water, and I put it in the window for light. And guess what?” she asked. “It came back to life, and now it’s going to grow millions of tomatoes!” 
Her small tomato plant, so full of potential but so weakened and wilted from unintentional neglect, was strengthened and revived through the simple ministration of water and light by the little girl’s loving and caring hands.
Heavenly Father's work and his glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39). We know we are where the Lord wants us to be, doing the work that the Lord wants us to do. We know that the Lord is in charge of and directs His work. Our mission president, President Vidmar, works under direct inspiration and revelation from God, and the missionaries, including those of us called to work in the mission office, seek to also have that same spirit of inspiration and revelation and to help provide the "water and the light" so needed in the lives of others.

Working together with the incredible full-time missionaries, I know we will accomplish the missionary goal of bringing others to Christ, so that they may enjoy all of the blessings of the gospel.

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