Friday, May 23, 2014
Elder Holland - Awesome!
We just got back awhile ago from Elder Holland's meeting with our whole mission. It was awesome! He started by shaking each person's hand when he came in, so mom and I got to shake his hand - that alone was probably worth the trip to Boston! Elder Halstrom of the presidents of the seventy came also and spoke first. His talk was about missionary work and he said that our mission president (President Packard) was as good as they get. He said we are all involved in the "Work of Salvation", and that missionary work and temple work and family history work and humanitarian service are all intertwined - none more important than the rest, but all part of the work of salvation. Then Sister Holland spoke and said the two questions that we all have to answer are (1) Do you love God and the Savior with all your heart and might? and (2) Will you love the person that God puts in front of you?
Elder Holland then spoke and started by saying, "If I had any backbone at all, I would just say the closing prayer and we would end this meeting having been greatly fed by the Spirit - but I'm too weak, so I'm going to say some things about what we expect of you..." It was pretty funny to hear that from him. Then he went in to what really bothers him, and focused on missionaries that become inactive when they return home. He got pretty agitated and said "that I cannot abide! Don't deny the power of this mission!" He said that he thinks about his mission just about every day of his life. He said we are so worried about bringing in the sheep that he hopes we don't have to worry about the shepherds too. He said that we are God's investigators - everything that we want for our investigators God wants for you, you're just a little further along is all. He said that he was in a meeting sitting next to Hugh Nibley and Br Nibley said to him that he had discovered that the only two things that we must continue to do throughout our lives are forgive and repent.
Elder Holland then spoke about the coming forth of "Preach My Gospel" Thirteen years ago President Hinckley said at a mission president's conference, "There's something dramatically wrong with the missionary program of the church." He was speaking of memorized lessons and missionaries not knowing the gospel well enough and not having their own testimonies. It took six years to bring about PMG, and its purpose was to convert the missionary, not investigators. He then taught on a white board about going where the investigator is, using John chapters 3 and 4. He talked about the corrupt and apostate state of the jews and then said "Welcome to Boston!" It was also pretty funny. He said, "Whatever the question is, the answer is the Spirit."
In all, he spoke for about 2 hours and it was wonderful - the time passed too quickly.
Love to all. The church is definitely true.