The Lord will prepare the way for mission presidents and missionaries, said President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, during the 2014 Seminar for New Mission Presidents on June 23.
“God knows His servants,” he said. “He knows their potential. And He prepares the way in detail for them, if they have the faith to find and follow it.”
Speaking to 129 couples from 20 countries gathered at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, President Eyring said, “You should have no doubt in your mind or heart about your capacity to succeed. The Lord called you.”
He told the new mission presidents and their wives that just as Heavenly Father and the Savior knew them in the spirit world, They have watched them in this life. “They know all you have done, said, and even your thoughts,” he said. “They know the extent to which you have been purified and sanctified through your faith and your service in the cause of the Savior Jesus Christ.”
Success in missionary work will depend on keeping covenants with God and claiming the companionship of the Holy Ghost, he said. “Receiving spiritual gifts and keeping covenants will be at the heart of the success you want for every missionary you will serve,” he said. “And remember it was the Savior who said that a leader in His cause must be the servant of those he leads.”
President Eyring reminded mission leaders of something he said they already knew — that they will be lifting people more than running programs. “You serve your missionaries best by helping them grow in their desire and their power to be led by the Spirit in their thoughts, their words and in their actions,” he said. “You will be pleasantly surprised how much most of them have already recognized the joy of being directed by the Holy Ghost and feeling the influence of the Spirit of Christ.”
He told the mission leaders that they will have ample opportunity to let their missionaries increase in their faith so that they can and will bring spiritual gifts into their service. “Perhaps most of all, you can increase their faith that the Lord is in the work with them by the way you draw on revelation in your service so that they see the hand of the Lord in their lives.”
He said the Lord not only knew and prepared the mission presidents — but also the missionaries they would serve. He told the mission presidents that if they would pray in faith and in the spirit of fasting, they would be directed as they led the missionaries and determined where and with whom they would serve.
“You will receive a witness that the Lord loves these missionaries,” he said. “You will have a confirmation that He knows them. You will come to know that He has a companion prepared for them and has prepared people for them to find and teach.”
Spiritual gifts come as covenants with God are made and kept, continued President Eyring. “We promise to remember the Lord and keep His commandments,” he said. “God covenants to send the Spirit to be with us, always. Your missionaries will have spiritual gifts as they are obedient to the promises they made to God. That is why it is crucial for those who your missionaries teach to keep commitments they make not to the missionaries, but to God.”
The spiritual confirmation of truth depends on what a person does, said President Eyring. “If a missionary or a contact promises to pray and does it with real intent, God will answer their questions by the power of the Holy Ghost,” he explained. “Prayer is the key to opening spiritual gifts. You and your missionaries can combine your faith and prayers to bring spiritual gifts to the people who need them. I have seen that miracle granted again and again. The prophet is strengthened daily by millions of covenant disciples of Jesus Christ who pray for him. Every day I am with him, I see the gifts of revelation and prophecy granted to him.”
President Eyring told the new mission presidents that they would be wise to encourage their missionaries to join forces in prayer and in keeping their covenants. “As they respond, their desire for spiritual power in the work will be granted. Missionaries will find their power to discern hearts enhanced. Missionary companions will teach as one. Members will ask your missionaries to teach their neighbors and friends. People will ask what they can do to obtain the eternal joy which they never imagined was possible until the missionaries taught them.”
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