Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Preparing the World for the Second Coming

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Preparing the World for the Second Coming, by Neil L. Andersen
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

When speakers say who their remarks are directed toward, do you ever feel tempted to tune out and not pay attention? I don't imagine I'm the only one who does this; however, whenever I feel this way in general conference, I actually get excited shortly afterward because it feels like I'm dropping eaves (or eavesdropping) on a privileged conversation! (Yes, I'm strange.)

Elder Andersen addressed the young priesthood holders (up to age 25) and spoke of the link between missionary service and preparing the world for the Second Coming. I thought of this address just the other day when a friend who has recently moved to Europe made a facebook status update about watching rugby and trying to figure the game out. When I read this, I thought of Elder Andersen's story of Sid Going, the rugby player from New Zealand who postponed his athletic career for a mission. (It's really not surprising that I thought of this story because it contributed more than half to my working knowledge of rugby!)

Sid Going was good:

How good was Sid Going? He was so good that training and game schedules were changed because he would not play on Sunday. Sid was so good the Queen of England acknowledged his contribution to rugby. He was so good a book was written about him titled Super Sid.

Here's the book:

I love that when describing this man and his service, Elder Andersen spoke of the most important events after his choice to serve the Lord instead of pursue fame and glory:

You’re probably wondering what happened to Sid Going following his mission. Most important: an eternal marriage to his sweetheart, Colleen; five noble children; and a generation of grandchildren. He has lived his life trusting in his Father in Heaven, keeping the commandments, and serving others.

Did you get that? Listed as most important were his marriage and family.

Knowing that I'm not in the intended audience for this talk—I'm too old and I've completed a full-time mission (to Boise, Idaho!)—I wondered what happened to Clark Siler following his mission. I don't know that I've done amazing things and achieved achieved glory, but I do know that I have an amazing wife and glorious family!

I'm convinced that I'm vastly different than I would have otherwise been had I not made the choice to faithfully serve the Lord as a missionary. I was once part of the Lord's worldwide missionary coverage: "The sun never sets on righteous missionaries testifying of the Savior."

I know that I can (and should) still participate in missionary work, but I look forward to the time that I can return to full-time service, "but this time with a companion of [my] own choosing:" my wonderful wife, Maryann!

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