Missionaries of the Kobe Mission,
Welcome to 2010! This is going to be a wonderful year for the Japan Kobe Mission. I believe we will continue to see great miracles and the work move forward at an even greater pace this year if we remain focused on our purpose as missionaries and are exactly obedient to the Lord.
Our purpose is clear. We are to find, teach, baptize, confirm and establish the church here in this region of Japan. There are many means and methods to finding and teaching the Lord’s elect. Preach My Gospel says we should use "...every honorable means to find people who are willing to listen to the message of the Restoration.” (PMG p. 220) Preach My Gospel also teaches us that “there are many honorable ways to find those being prepared for the restored gospel. You need to do all you can to be placed in the path of those who are being prepared.” (PMG p.167)
We know that the guidance of the Spirit is the Key to doing this. The price we pay to have the guidance of the Spirit is Obedience. Obedience is the Price.
Obedience is the first law of heaven. In that great council in heaven we were told that a world would be created on for us to dwell “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” (Abraham 3:25)
The great plan of happiness is based on the principle of obedience. The purpose of life is for us to prove our obedience to the commandments of God. And the Lord has promised us that when we are obedient, we qualify for specific blessings.
“There is a law irrevocably declared in heaven before the foundation of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated. And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” (D&C 130:20-21)
To be great missionaries and to qualify for the blessings associated with missionary work and finding the elect, those prepared to hear the gospel, we must learn to obey with exactness the commandments of the Lord and the rules of the mission. And when we do so we know the Lord will always keep His promises to us.
“I, the Lord, am bound when you do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (D&C 82:10)
The scriptures are filled with examples of obedient people who were given great blessings. Often those blessings consist of great power and authority to move the work of the Lord forward here on earth. The Sons of Mosiah are a good example of missionaries who were obedient and blessed.
“…they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth, for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” (Alma 17:2-3)
They were obedient to the commandments of God. They worked diligently as missionaries and they were thus blessed with great power and authority. In the book of Helaman we read that the people “…did fast and pray oft, and did grow stronger and stronger in humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.” (Helaman 3:35)
Yielding your heart unto God means that you are obedient to His words. This requires humility and the acknowledgement that God knows more than you do and what is best for you. We must sanctify ourselves by yielding our will to the Lord. When we do so we will be given great power as missionaries. Obedience gives us power as missionaries. Listen to the words of the Lord to Nephi, the son of Helaman:
"Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld that thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but thou hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this…I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will." (Helaman 10:4-5)
Again the Sons of Mosiah taught:
“And now behold my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things save it be the penitent. Yea, he that repenteth and exreciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing; unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls unto repentance…” (Alma 26:21-22)
Is that not our purpose? To bring thousands unto repentance. And how can we do it? By humbling ourselves, putting off the natural man, and obeying with exactness the Lord and His servants.
I promise each of you that as a missionary, you will receive great power and authority from the Lord to do the His work here in Japan when you pay the price of Obedience by humbling yourselves and submitting your will to the will of the Lord.
May the Lord bless you with a wonderful year!
President and Sister McIntyre