Isn’t it interesting that sometimes we can spend time doing something but never feel like we are what we do? Now that was a tongue twister. Here’s an example of what I mean . . . for years I ran but never called myself a runner. Yet. I’m a runner.
The other day I saw an ad for the book Suit Up! that I am a contributor in. The tag line reads “Written by some of the best preparation experts of our day,”… then listed each author’s name, including mine! And I thought “wait, is that me? Am I a mission prep expert?” These questions have focused my thoughts for the past week as I’m really pondering what it means to be a mission preparation expert.
Here are some of the questions I’m asking myself:
What am I actively doing to participate in the hastening of the work of salvation?
How am I helping to prepare missionaries and teachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
And what qualifies an individual to be an expert?
You see, though I didn’t serve a full-time mission for the LDS Church, I am passionate about sharing the Gospel and helping others to feel confident in teaching the Gospel. (Isn’t it tricky how we sometimes feel that if we didn’t formalize a period of time in our lives we aren’t qualified? i.e. a full-time sister missionary = qualification to be an effective missionary?) As I am becoming a little more intentional in my thinking, I am realizing that a majority of my life’s work is just that… assisting in preparing future missionaries and Gospel teachers.
I love every single minute that I get to teach the Gospel, especially the Book of Mormon. Having just completed the first week of summer session at Brigham Young University, I feel all the more aware of this sacred trust, this great opportunity to put a few drops in the buckets of these student’s testimonies as they navigate the path of conversion.
Today I visited a Primary in my stake and listened as great leaders invited children ages 3-11 to specifically participate in the hastening of the work by praying for children in their neighborhood that do not consistently attend Church. Tears ran down my face as I saw and felt the enthusiasm and commitment of these little ones. Then as I had the opportunity to testify to them, I felt a power from them and a stewardship to teach them well.
But we don’t have to have a calling with the youth, a career in teaching the Gospel, or even children of our own to be mission preparation experts. All it takes is desire. And action.
Will you share with me your thoughts on this topic. What are you learning and feeling about the hastening of the work of salvation AND your part in it? Share anything you’d like in the comments of this post. And at the end of the week, I’ll draw from the comments and send an autographed (by all the authors!) copy of the book Suit Up! to a lucky winner.
I am so excited to learn from you as we go forth boldly and nobly in this great cause.