|That tightening, claustrophobic feeling |
you get reading this, that is the iron rod!
With the lowering of the mission age, the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer is doing its part to help train young men (oh, and girls go too!) for the rigors and blessings of doing God’s work. As part of this effort, Elder Kory Anton, who is hoping to clear things up and return to the mission field very soon, offers his insights to help others prepare.
Today’s lesson might be hard doctrine for some of you, but remember that the wicked take the truth to be hard (1 Nephi 16:2). You can be like those mediocre missionaries, but if you are not perfectly obedient, God will spew you out (Rev. 3:16). Let me put it to you another way: obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles. Nothing will help you be more anxiously engaged in this divine work than the constant focus on being completely, flawlessly obedient.
The above truths should be clear to all true, faithful servants of God. Only the faithless, wicked, and people who have not fully repented of what was in their pre-mission browser history can fail to recognize and accept these eternal, celestial truths. We also know that God wants you to work miracles, and if working miracles depends upon exact obedience, how could you allow yourself to give anything less? Finally, keep this in mind: Jesus said that if you love Him you will keep His commandments. If keeping commandments is our primary way of showing God we love Him, how could God love us in return if we are not exactly, perfectly obedient? How should God feel if you miss an important missionary moment—a contact or lesson—because you had sinfully overslept by one minute or had an impure thought or cut thirty seconds short of your gospel study? Again, if you will accept the godly sorrow of your own guilt and let it work in your soul, you will see that God only truly loves miraculous, faithful, exact, and perfectly obedient missionaries.
The above truths are evident to God’s true servants, but some of you, the faithless and wicked, may have a hard time accepting them. You may say things like, “God loves us for who we are—His children,” or “God loves us in our imperfections—that is why we have a Savior.” You may be tempted to say that “the Holy Ghost seems to whisper peace to my soul about my best, imperfect, flawed efforts.” Oh what a wicked and perverse generation, who probably believes God inspires non-Mormons or that un-temple worthy people could be in the celestial kingdom with their family! God commanded us to be perfect (Matt. 5:48), He does not give a command without providing a way for us to do it (1 Nephi 3:7), blessings only come by exact obedience to unchanging laws (D&C 130:20-21), and God expects more of Mormons and even more of missionaries (D&C 82:3)! “Patience with imperfection” might be something God allows for sinful non-members who don’t yet know the truth, but missionaries must live the higher law, God’s higher standard.
Exact obedience is the most important quality missionaries should have. The only way missionaries can feel successful, can know that God loves them, and can be sure that they are acceptable to heaven is exact obedience. Everything else is just faithless, weak excuses!
All the best,
Elder Kory Anton