|Monterrey West Mission--Elder Holland Conference|
May 20, 2013
What is your purpose as a missionary? It is to take investigators to salvation. How do we do that? We teach doctrine: First, we take them to the restoration, then to the Doctrine of Christ: Faith, repentance, baptism, and the Holy Ghost. As missionaries we must continue to go deeper and deeper and not just brush the surface of these crucial doctrines. (As he was writing these points on the board in Spanish, he had trouble spelling repentance--arrepentimiento. He said, “This is a very big word in Spanish, and it is a very big problem--in any language.)
We read together 2 Ne. 31:2, 21, 10, 9, 12, 13, 17 and 2 Ne. 32:6 in that order. More fundamental than the Doctrine of Christ is the life of Christ--more than what you teach is what you are. Christ came to turn doctrine into action. Look at His life and follow Him (2 Ne. 31:13, 17). All of these words we have just read were written on metal plates. Why did he keep repeating the same message over and over when it was so difficult to engrave by hand? Because this was a very important message--the only message: Live as Christ lived.
Obedience is the first law of Heaven--and obedience is the first law of everything. If you want investigators to have more faith, then you need to have more faith. If you want them to repent, you need to repent. Every principle you ask of them, you need to put into practice. Do everything you know how to do to follow Christ. That is the most fundamental missionary message that there is in this life. We begin to understand, when we would rather die than disappoint Christ; when we have nothing in us that would crucify Christ again.
In Mosiah 27 we read about how Alma and the sons of Mosiah were “astonished” by the angel (vs. 12). You don’t need to be an angel to astonish--just live as Christ lived. Now that takes a great price; but living a Christ-like life means being obedient to the laws of God--all of them. That obedience bestows upon you power and authority. And that combination astonishes! (see Hel. 5:17-19)
“Why is the work so hard? Why isn't it easier? If this was so easy,” Elder Holland said, “I would do it better and so would you. I have thought about it for 50 years. It is not easy for us because it never was easy for Him. There was not one earthly thing in Christ’s life that was. The road to Salvation always goes through Gethsemane.
“Being a disciple of Christ is the most joyful thing in life and the most difficult. I love the Lord with all my heart--with every fiber, muscle, cell, and chromosome of my being. The gospel has given me everything! I bear witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ and of the Father.
May 21, 2013
I want you to love every single minute of this mission--the good, the bad, and the ugly--it should be the Clint Eastwood mission! On a graph, the excitement and commitment at the beginning of a mission are a steep angle. Later in a mission the angle lessens and sometimes flattens out, or even declines. Maintain an upward angle and continue to get better and better until the very end of your mission.
- Keep the Book of Mormon in the center of your study every day, no matter what else you study.
- Continue to have powerful scripture study time
- Develop a new love of the scriptures
- Persevere vigorously with language study
You can’t teach the Doctrine of Christ until you live it--you need to bring it to the teaching. In the Doctrine of Christ, we are His investigators. None of us are home yet. He wants you to have more faith, repent more, study more (the same things you want your investigators to do). Pray with greater urgency, change your habits, put it all on the line. Do all you know how to do to emulate Christ. When we love Him and reverence Him, then we can teach with power and authority.
- 2 Ne. 31:13--You must live with real intent, without pretense or hypocrisy
- You must have integrity in what you are doing here.
- We need you forever! You can’t go inactive! We can’t lose the shepherds!
- If you come to teach this and testify of this truth--you must believe it. We need you to be your best convert. That is the only one I insist you bring to the Lord!
- Don’t ask your investigators to do something you are not willing to do for the rest of your life.
- Pray less like a child and more like an investigator
- Study with more intensity
- Clean up bad habits