Letter to a New Missionary

The Book of Papa

Strength and courage have their beginning in love. “I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.” Moroni 8:16

While on your mission, I advise frequent prayer. And not the kind of prayer a child prays. Children are innocent and so their prayers consist of innocence. You may face challenges that will take you apart and cause you to think that there is no putting you back together again. Let’s first talk a bit about Nephi (1Ne 2:16, 17:7 and many other places), Zeniff and his people (Mosiah 9:17), Brother of Jared (3:1), Alma and his brethren (Mosiah 23:28), King Lamoni (Alma 18:41), Amulek (Alma 34:27; actually 8-41), and others. When they approached the Lord with a challenge, they did not simply pray. They cried unto the Lord.

Crying unto the Lord is very different than simply praying. Studying that subject will provide much valuable knowledge. Our quest, here in mortality, is to figure out how to make thinner the veil between us and the Lord. We are not to wait until death for that reunion, as you will be taught in the temple. The Endowment is practice for the real thing. As you pray, picture yourself reaching through the veil with a hand on the Lord’s shoulder and His, on yours.

“Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God.” D&C 84:23 Moses taught his people that they could have a literal audience with God but they rejected that idea. The outward requirements are ordinances and authority. “And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh.” D&C 84:21 You will be ordained by men to a mortal fellowship. Seek, then, the ordination of God by His own voice. I have heard that voice in the latter years of my life. It may happen soon for you, or it may be years or decades before you hear it. Never doubt that possibility, and seek patience by your cryings to the Lord.

Never forget, “That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.” Study well the last twelve verses of D&C 121. There you will find the way to righteous power, influence, and confidence in the presence of God. Ask yourself, why do we so often seek confidence in the presence of men? Isn't confidence before the Lord what we really want? And, if we have that, what power can stop us? The roaring fires of Nebuchadnezzar's furnace could not stop Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. The lions of King Darius could not stop Daniel. All of Egypt could not stop Moses. And, even the Adversary, himself, could not stop Joseph Smith in the grove from his meeting with God.

The Lord told Nephi to build a ship. Read that conversation, and Nephi’s comments to his brothers, in First Nephi 17:7-52. There is much to ponder and learn from those passages. At some point on your mission or in your life, the Lord probably won’t ask you to build a ship, but He may ask you to do some other thing that you have no idea how to accomplish. You may even have to build the tools to construct what we wants you to build. You may even have those around you who think you are foolish for trying.

Nephi said unto his brothers who would not help him build the ship: “And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done. And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?” 1Ne  17:50-51

Never fear what the Lord wants you to do. Cry unto Him for help and then just proceed on, without fear, to doing it.

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