Monday, January 27, 2014

President Packard's Letter to the Missionaries

This is President Packard's most recent letter to the mission...

Dear Elders and Sisters,

In Jacob’s first sermon recorded in the Book of Mormon, he announced that he had been “consecrated by my brother Nephi, unto whom ye look as a king or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety…” (2 Nephi 6:2). When Nephi died, Jacob again described Nephi as a protector, stating that the people “loved Nephi exceedingly, he having been a great protector for them, having wielded the sword of Laban in their defense, and having labored in all his days for their welfare.” (Jacob 1:10). Nephi as the great protector – it sounds right, doesn’t it?

Like Nephi, we are the protectors of the people we serve. The people we serve are young in the gospel, and they are vulnerable on all fronts. The adversary knows that fledgling faith will grow, so he focuses particular attention on those who are either new to the Gospel or are recently returning. Those with young faith will face many challenges including outside pressure from family and friends, anti-Mormon literature, personal insecurities about whether they can keep their covenants, and destructive habits that are difficult to break. You are their protectors, figuratively wielding the Sword of Laban in their defense!

Because you see yourselves as their protectors, you will make sure that they are not left to fight the adversary alone. Of course, you will share you testimony and you will teach them the Gospel, but your people are the most vulnerable when you are not with them. Thus, you will make sure you have frequent contact, you will warn them that negative family pressure and anti-Mormon literature will most likely come their way, and you will help them learn how to deal with these challenges ahead of time. You will help them find productive ways to serve in the Church, you will help them prepare to do temple work for their own family members, you will prepare the ward members to give them a wonderful experience at church, and you will help them have daily experiences with the Book of Mormon. Finally, you will advocate for them with the ward leaders and will make sure that your people have support and friendship from other members of the Church.

Nephi loved his people so much, he said: “For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.” (2 Nephi 33:3). As you protect your investigators and less-actives, they will love you exceedingly just as the people loved Nephi, and you will reciprocate that love just as Nephi loved them.

We pray that the Lord will protect you as you protect his children with fledgling faith.


President and Sister Packard

No comments:

Post a Comment