With the lowering of the mission age, the Mormon Tabernacle Enquirer is doing its part to help train young men 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.
|Yes, I know I used it before, but it still works!|
Let’s face it—lots of new missionaries feel uncomfortable with the adjustment to mission life. Before the mission, they had a first name; now they are elder, or, if they happen to be a girl, sister. But the gospel clearly shows us that the desire to be individuals, or worse, to be different from others, is one of Satan’s tools to drag us carefully down to hell. Since being just like everyone else is an eternal truth that everyone who is righteous automatically accepts, today’s mini lesson is about how to be of one heart and one mind in the mission.
Some missionaries don’t understand the eternal, celestial truth behind the idea of being of one heart and one mind. It doesn’t just mean being dedicated to the Lord or loving others. It certainly doesn’t mean being different, or worse, enjoying differences. No! Being of one heart and one mind means thinking, acting, believing, and doing exactly what everyone else does. The right shape or form that you should take is the one form or shape God dictates for all. God only truly loves us and uses us when we take that shape or form—when we conform!
This eternal, celestial truth trips up many missionaries. They willingly think, act, or even believe differently than others. These differences cause confusion, conflict, and contention, which we all know are of the devil. God loves a smooth, happy, easy, calm, peaceful group where there are no thorny differences. Satan wants us to be different so he can create challenges, conflicts, contention, and risks. Nothing gets in the way of God’s work more than challenges, conflicts, contention, differences, and risks! That is just the truth.
Satan sometimes sneaks into a missionary’s heart with half-truths or all-out lies. He may say things like “prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.” He perverts Paul’s ideas with lies like “the church is like the body of Christ with lots of different and valuable parts so we should value and admire individual differences.” He whispers seductive falsehoods like “God loves you as an individual and that is why all ordinances are done for individuals and not groups.” Oh the subtle craftiness of the evil one! Satan may even try to tempt us into believing that challenges, risks, differences of opinion, and doubts can be the very obstacles that create faith or that those things actually help us develop true compassion and love. Don’t be fooled! God has given us leaders and the general group of the church so that we can easily conform. Being like everyone else in the church is like peacefully, effortlessly falling into a large, slow river. You should have allowed your individual self to drown in that river of easy conformity when you made your baptismal covenants and the individual self died! Missionaries of all people should give up the natural, individual man to become a saint with celestial sameness. Having the same views, same beliefs, same opinions, same tastes, and doing the same things as everyone else in the mission or in the church is the only way to make sure you are on the straight and narrow path with everyone else.
Blessed, certain, and strong will be the day when every missionary not only looks like every other missionary, but when they all think, act, and believe just like everyone else in pure and celestial conformity!
All the best,
Elder Kory Anton