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What the New Missionary Ages Really Mean

Today we had a regional stake conference, in which Elder Holland spoke. He ended his talk with what lowering the missionary ages really means and how missionary work affects all of us:

1. The change had nothing to do with convenience for young adults and everything to do with the large labor before us. The world needs more missionaries!

2. Time spent at the MTC has been cut down a third. The real MTC is the home, and preparation must start earlier. (I feel strongly about this, as I wrote in my post "This Is My Sacred Duty.")

3. Just as we want our children to have successful missions wherever they go, so do the parents of the missionaries sent to our area. We need to help them.

4. Tracting is no longer a reality today. We have to be the finders. Missionaries are simply the teachers.

Discussion: What can we do to make missionaries successful, both ones we send out and ones we receive?


Ryan said…
The most important things a missionary can do is always have the Holy Ghost with, become persistent as a little child and always go directly to God for any wisdom they feel they need.

When Joseph Smith lacked wisdom he went directly to God and God taught him what he wanted to know about and God qualified Joseph for His work by giving Joseph knowledge, and He gave Joseph the Gifts of the Spirit to do His will. That is the pattern that we should be drilling into the minds and hearts of our children.

It really is that simple, look to God in all things.

The Gospel is best adapted to the simple mind, so our approach should have a beautiful effortlessness to it, a simplicity that a little child has.

Robert Millet did a good job in describing the important qualities we should be teaching to our kids, this is how they should approach their relationship with Heavenly Father:

Dependent. Children depend on their parents or other significant persons in their lives. They cannot live without help, and they know it. They look to others for support and sustenance.

Submissive. Children readily acknowledge that they are under the care and keeping of others. They look to the leadership of parents or other loved ones and learn to abide by the standards of the family or of society.

Trusting. There is something very sobering about an innocent child looking into your eyes. Such trust and loyalty and eagerness to please! Unless they are taught by the perverse to do otherwise, children are extremely trusting.

Humble. Children are eager to learn, eager to be taught. They know, for the most part, what they don't know and want to change that. Their inquisitiveness is unaffected by pride and fear that others will think them deficient or inadequate for asking questions.

Patient and persistent. Children generally can sit and watch and listen to the simplest things for hours. They can wait almost indefinitely for an answer or for a solution to a problem.

Delighted by simple pleasures. Parents learn, with some frustration, that their little ones are just as content at Christmastime to play with the cardboard boxes as they are to play with the expensive toys that came in the boxes.

Alive to life about them. What a refreshing and lifting pleasure it is to watch a child in a meadow or in a forest or on a street corner as he or she attempts with childlike zeal to take in everything. Children literally and metaphorically love to take time to smell the roses.

Not caught up with life's stresses and strains. They do not yield to life's pressures, the anxieties associated with planning and overplanning for tomorrow. They celebrate the present.

Quick to forgive and forget. Many a parent has been heartsick for impatiently overreacting to a child's behavior, only to find that within moments all is forgotten and forgiven.

Pure. Above and beyond all that we have listed above, children are pure. Why are they pure? The humanist might answer: "A child is pure because he or she is just that way by nature. They are innately good." But the scriptures teach otherwise. An angel taught Benjamin that "even if it were possible that little children could sin they could not be saved" if there were no Atonement; "but I say unto you they are blessed; for behold, as in Adam, or by nature, they fall, even so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins" (Mosiah 3:16). Here is the sum and substance of the whole matter: little children are saved by Christ; they are pure because our Master has decreed them so, as an unconditional benefit of his atonement. "Little children are holy, being sanctified through the atonement of Jesus Christ; and this is what the scriptures mean" (D&C 74:7). God has instructed us that "little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten" (D&C 29:46).
DAD said…
thanks for the insight-DAD

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