Sunday, May 19, 2013

Raising the Bar

"Please understand this: the bar that is the standard for missionary service is being raised. The day of the “repent and go” missionary is over."..." It is far better to keep yourselves clean and pure and valiant"
"doing such simple things as:
    Developing a meaningful prayer relationship with your Heavenly Father.
    Keeping the Sabbath day holy.
    Working and putting part of your earnings in a savings account.
    Paying a full and honest tithing.
    Limiting the amount of time spent playing computer games. How many kills you can make in a minute with a computer game will have zero effect on your capacity to be a good missionary.
    Giving the Lord more of your time by studying the scriptures and gaining an understanding of the marvelous message of the Restoration that we have for the world.
    Serving others and sharing your testimony with them."
"...fathers, you have a vital role in this preparation process."..."if we are “raising the bar” for your sons to serve as missionaries, that means we are also “raising the bar” for you. If we expect more of them, that means we expect more of you and your wife as well."

President Gordon B Hinckley,"To Men of the Priesthood,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 57
"We must raise the bar on the worthiness and qualifications of those who go into the world as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ

Letter From the First Presidency, December 11, 2002
“Full-time missionary service is a privilege for those who are called through inspiration by the President of the Church. Bishops and stake presidents have the serious responsibility to identify worthy, qualified members who are spiritually, physically, and emotionally prepared for this sacred service and who can be recommended without reservation. Those individuals not able to meet the physical, mental, and emotional demands of full-time missionary work are honorably excused and should not be recommended. They may be called to serve in other rewarding capacities.”

Elder L Tom Perry, Raising the Bar, October 2007 General Conference
"The bar was raised by the leaders of the Church, and now the minimum standard for participating in missionary work is absolute moral worthiness; physical health and strength; intellectual, social, and emotional development."
"Raising the bar to a higher physical standard could involve further physical conditioning.

"It also could include improving your physical appearance. A missionary is expected to dress a certain way, projecting a clean-cut appearance that includes an appropriate haircut; being clean shaven; wearing a clean white shirt, a tie, and a well-pressed suit—all the way down to a good shoe shine. Start now to prepare for a full-time mission by adopting the appearance of a full-time missionary.
"Raise the bar higher in your intellectual preparation. Take your schooling seriously. It is important to be able to read, speak, and write with intelligence. Expand your knowledge of the world around you by reading good books. Learn how to study. Then apply your improved study habits to learning the gospel of Jesus Christ. Consistently and regularly read from the Book of Mormon."
"Learn now about your emotional limits, and learn how to control your emotions under the circumstances you will face as a missionary. By doing this, you raise the bar to greater heights and, in effect, fortify yourself against emotional challenges during your missionary service."
"Much of missionary work involves relating face-to-face with people, and unless you set the bar higher in the development of your social skills, you will find yourself under prepared."
"Be certain that you easily clear the minimum standards for service as a missionary and that you are continually raising the bar. "

Elder Tad R Callister, The Power of the Priesthood in the Boy, General Conference April 2013
We can raise the bar and vision for these young men, and they will respond.”

My Thoughts
We raise the bar on missionary service by raising the bar on young men and what we expect of them before they are missionary age.


Elder Robert D Hales, Stand Strong in Holy Places, General Conference April 2013
"When we obey the Word of Wisdom, our agency is protected from addictions to substances like alcohol, drugs, and tobacco."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ward Mission Leader

Elder Russell M Nelson, Catch the Wave, April 2013 General Conference
I would like to speak specifically to each of you ward mission leaders. You have been called by your bishop to lead missionary work in the ward. And some of you are so successful that an assistant has also been called to help you. Along with others on the ward council, you identify less-active members, part-member families, and interested neighbors. You meet regularly with assigned full-time missionaries. You advise and assist the missionaries. Please help them to fill their daily planners with focused and meaningful teaching opportunities. This is your responsibility. Your role is crucial, truly crucial to the success of this work. If you catch the wave with faith and enthusiasm, others will also. You, as the ward mission leader, are the connecting link between members and missionaries in this sacred work of rescuing God’s children.”


Elder David A Bednar, We Believe in Being Chaste, General Conference April 2013
“...intimate relations are proper only between a man and a woman in the marriage relationship prescribed in God’s plan. Such relations are not merely a curiosity to be explored, an appetite to be satisfied, or a type of recreation or entertainment to be pursued selfishly. They are not a conquest to be achieved or simply an act to be performed. Rather, they are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential and a way of strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife.
Love increases through righteous restraint and decreases through impulsive indulgence.”

Russell M. Nelson, “Our Sacred Duty to Honor Women,” Ensign, May 1999, 39.
“Be considerate and kind in the tender intimacies of your married life. Let your thoughts and actions inspire confidence and trust. Let your words be wholesome and your time together be uplifting."

Jeffrey R. Holland, “How Do I Love Thee?” (Brigham Young University devotional, Feb. 15, 2000),
"Much damage can be done if we are not in tender hands, caring hands. To give ourselves totally to another person, as we do in marriage, is the most trusting step we take in any human relationship."


Elder David A Bednar, We Believe in Being Chaste, April 2013 General Conference
Love increases through righteous restraint and decreases through impulsive indulgence.”

President Boyd K Packer, Counsel to Youth, October 2011 General Conference
The family is the center of that plan. The family depends on the worthy use of those life-giving powers that are in your body.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Fundamental to Our Faith, Ensign January 2011
The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given His children. The use of this creative power was mandated in the first commandment to “be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Another important commandment forbade its misuse: “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14), and “ye should abstain from fornication” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). The emphasis we place on this law of chastity is explained by our understanding of the purpose of our procreative powers in the accomplishment of God’s plan.

Physical Bodies

Elder David A Bednar, We Believe in Being Chaste, General Conference April 2013
Our physical bodies make possible a breadth, a depth, and an intensity of experience that simply could not be obtained in our premortal existence. Thus, our relationships with other people, our capacity to recognize and act in accordance with truth, and our ability to obey the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ are amplified through our physical bodies. In the school of mortality, we experience tenderness, love, kindness, happiness, sorrow, disappointment, pain, and even the challenges of physical limitations in ways that prepare us for eternity. Simply stated, there are lessons we must learn and experiences we must have”

Russell M. Nelson, “We Are Children of God,” Liahona, Jan. 1999, 103; Ensign, Nov. 1998, 85, 86
“For reasons usually unknown, some people are born with physical limitations. Specific parts of the body may be abnormal. Regulatory systems may be out of balance. And all of our bodies are subject to disease and death. Nevertheless, the gift of a physical body is priceless. …
“A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames. …”

Quoted by William Clayton, reporting an undated discourse given by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois; in L. John Nuttall, “Extracts from William Clayton’s Private Book,” pp. 7–8, Journals of L. John Nuttall, 1857–1904, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; copy in Church Archives
“We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine’s body to having none. All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.”