Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Divine Call of a Missionary

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

The Divine Call of a Missionary, by Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Of the Presidency of the Seventy

Upon graduating from BYU, we were faced with a major decision: where should we go for graduate school. I had been given wonderful offers from two great schools, but the decision was still ours. After study, fasting, and prayers, we decided on Texas. However, on occasion after we had moved, I would wonder, "What if we had chosen Illinois..." It was during these times of wondering that I would strongly recall the powerful experienced my wife and I shared as we contemplated this great decision, and the ways we saw that hand of the Lord directing our lives to come to Texas.

It was during these times of remembering that I would recall the revelation given to Oliver Cowdery, where he was given insight regarding witness: "What greater witness can you have than from God?" (see D&C 6:22-23 for more)

Remembering all of this reminds me of instances I had while serving as a full-time missionary in the Idaho Boise Mission. Sometimes I was asked what my thoughts/feelings were upon opening my mission call and learning that I was going to Idaho. These questions were almost always given by people who expected me to say that I was somehow disappointed. However, each time I would testify that I knew immediately that my call was right for me.

When questioned about my call, I would share how my mother and I knelt and prayed that we would both know "perfectly" that my call was inspired (my mother was included because I was the first missionary in our family, and it might be hard for her to say goodbye).

As soon as I read the words "Idaho Boise Mission," I knew (and my mother knew) that the call was from the Lord. It helped that both of my parents are from Idaho, so I was returning to the land of my fathers (just not the land of my forefathers!).

In his talk, Elder Rasband shared a story that I expect I will forever remember. It was the story of how he and President Eyring sat together, as part of Elder Rasband's training, and issued assignments to missionaries. I loved the systematic process of it all; I could imagine that I was sitting there, too!

Learning of the guided way that missionaries are given their assignments, I more fully appreciated Elder Rasband's testimony:

Every missionary called in this Church, and assigned or reassigned to a particular mission, is called by revelation from the Lord God Almighty through one of these, His servants.

I'm grateful for the Lord's guidance; I'm grateful that we can receive great witnesses from God (recall D&C 6:22-23); and I'm grateful for His servants and all they do to assist in His work.

0 thoughts