The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Forget Yourself and Serve

October 7, 2014
I love Tuesday devotionals in the MTC.  Ten minutes before the devotional starts we have hymn singing.  We have sung Called to Serve each time we have been together.  It is a very powerful experience to hear 2000 missionaries singing called that hymn.  Sunday evening our chorister had us start the song like we were in the distant coming over a mountain.  The volume increasing as we came closer until we were at full volume.  Then the end of the hymn slowdown in full volume.  It was really powerful. After the devotionals the young elders meet with their branch presidents and talk about the talks. 

Elder Brent H. Nielson was our speaker tonight.  He is a seventy in the first quorum of seventy.  His wife also spoke.  Sister Nielson talked about pruning roses.  Then she related it to the Lord pruning the missionaries to go on missions.  They have pruned their cell phones, families, girls friends, cars etc. but it is because the Lord wants us to produce more fruit. 
Elder Nielson told us that we were to go home and in our journals record this historic day.  There are 88,034 missionaries in the mission field.   Never in the history of the church has there been that many missionaries out at the same time.  There are 2000 missionaries in the MTC right now in fact they couldn’t fit them all into the hall and there were missionaries in two other locations viewing the devotional in different buildings tonight.  Those 2000 missionaries will bring into the church 10,000 converts.  Three new stake will have to be created because of the service we will give. 
He shared the 10 things he wished he had known when he served his mission 40 years ago. 
1.       You are normal.  Missing family and your past life is normal.  Fearing being able to learn a new language is normal.  Forget yourself and go to work.
2.       You can do hard things.  Salvation does not come cheap.  It cost the blood of the greatest person that lived on the earth our Savior.  Even He faced hard things and His response was, “Not my will but thine be done.” 
3.       It is not about you.  If you lose your life you will find it. If you find yourself you will lose it.  If all you do is worry about yourself forget yourself and go work.  This mission is not about you.
4.       Embrace your companion he or she is on your same team.  Don’t criticize members of your own team.
5.       You must treasure up the words of life.  D&C 84:85.  Treasure up your favorite scriptures and lessons.
6.       You will have another new adjustment when you arrive in the mission field.  I thought how true that is. As I looked at all the new senior couples that arrived yesterday, I thought I have already become comfortable being in the MTC.  They look unsure of what is to come.  I thought we have already done that week.  Now the unknown is the mission field.  I am not sure how long it will take us to feel comfortable there.
7.       You must know that the heavens are opened to everyone.  Connect people to heaven.  The Lord came to a 14 year old boy so tell us that He will reveal to anyone.  If he had come to an old man everyone would have thought you had to be old to receive revelation or be a minister.  Matt. 16:13-16 you will know Jesus is the Christ by revelation.
8.       You are an inviter-will you?  We invite others to come and make commitments and follow up on those commitments.  Each person has their own agency. 
9.       Your righteous efforts will produce eternal results. The missionaries’ impact on the Church will have an eternal impact.
10.   It’s all about you-go and become.  As you lose your life the Lord will bless you forever. 

I know my first mission changed my life forever.  It will be interesting to see the impact this mission will have on us as a couple, individually, and more important on our posterity.   


  1. Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Reading this talk took my back to my mission. It almost seems like a dream now. I really like how Sister Nielson said how the Lord is pruning us so we CAN bear more fruit. That's a great analogy.