GCBC Week 23: “Missionaries Are a Treasure of the Church” by Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

I love missionary work.  I served as a missionary in Argentina about 15 years ago (ack!) and I still think of my mission on most days.  It was such a wonderful time of personal development, growing in my testimony and my personal relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and learning to love so many people.  Some of the missionaries I served with were the stalwart faithful kind that Elder Yamashita describes in this talk, and I still hold them in the highest respect. I saw how Heavenly Father can take young, inexperienced men and women and make them powerful tools in His work if they are faithful and obedient to the calling they have been given.

Missionaries Are a Treasure of the Church by Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

“Your attitudes and the love that you show toward others are very significant messages. Even though I didn’t immediately grasp all the doctrines that the missionaries taught me, I felt of their great love, and their many acts of kindness taught me important lessons. Your message is a message of love, a message of hope, and a message of faith. Your attitude and your actions invite the Spirit, and the Spirit enables us to understand the things that are important. What I want to convey to you is that through your love, you are imparting the love of God. You are a treasure of this Church. I am so very thankful to all of you for your sacrifice and your dedication.”

What points stood out to you as you studied this talk?  What did you learn about what we can do to prepare our children for missionary service?  Share your thoughts and insights in the comments below.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.” If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion here each week.

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11 thoughts on “GCBC Week 23: “Missionaries Are a Treasure of the Church” by Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

  1. So this talk reminded me of a talk by Elder W. Christopher Waddell (in Priesthood session), which then made me think of a talk from April 2010 (Priesthood session) by Elder Ronald A. Rasband. Anyway, so I studied both Elder Waddell’s talk and Elder Yakashima’s talk.

    I was struck tonight by the similarities in preparing for a mission and preparing for motherhood. Which shouldn’t be surprising, since the end goals of both groups of people (missionaries and mothers) is identical – teach the gospel and brings souls to Christ.

    I shared a few thoughts tonight on my blog, and I’ll share some other thoughts on Tuesday (thoughts about motherhood and how it is like serving a mission).

    By the way – Elder Rasband’s talk gives a “behind the scenes” look into how missionaries are assigned to their missions. You should really check it out.

  2. The points that I connected with are the three things you need to bring on your mission. These could also be the three things we should bring on our mission of “life”. “1. A desire to preach the gospel. 2. Develop your testimony. 3. Love others” These three things are things we should all be working on whatever our stage in our mission of “life”.

    • I got that too Erika, thanks for pointing it out. I know that when we talk about a mission we think of it in terms of 18-24 months. Your right though, to the Lord we are all on a mission, our life is a mission and we get out of it what we put in. Really profound if you think about it, thanks for pointing that out!

  3. I had FHE with my brother’s family last night. They invited a recently returned missionary in their ward to come speak to their family. You could tell what a good missionary he had been by the way his face lit up as he talked about the people he met and the things he did. He really brought a great spirit with him as he shared some of his experiences. I hope I’m preparing my own son well enough for when his turn comes–9 short years!

  4. What stood out to me about this talk was the different types of love:

    *the love we have for those we serve (as missionaries, but also in other capacities)

    *that we pass that love on to our children (whether it is a love of a country or people we served on our mission or our love for the Savior)

    *the love we have for those that have converted us

    *that our attitude (of love) invites the spirit and helps convert others

  5. I also related this talk to mothering. I really liked this part: “Your attitude and your actions invite the Spirit, and the Spirit enables us to understand the things that are important.” I think this is really true of children. They may not understand everything, but they will feel the spirit and get the important stuff from our love and attitude.

  6. What a nice talk. I have a unique view of missions. I have never been on a mission, possibly one day I will go on one with my husband. My husband wasn’t able to go on a mission, there were financial pressures on his family. He joined the military and sent all of his pay home to his mother for the first part of his service. While he was in the military he actually taught and baptised several people. He served on the High Council and on a Bishopbric while living in Germany. He spent double the amount of time that a normal mission would have been. I believe that he was exactly where the Lord wanted him to be. I know that going on a mission is something that is a goal got most kids growing up LDS, and it is an admirable goal. I also think that the Lord finds a way for those that want to serve missions but can’t. My husband has shared his journals with me from that time and it is very clear to me that the Lord had him right where he wanted him. I just felt like sharing that story…

  7. “Your attitude and your actions invite the Spirit, and the Spirit enables us to understand the things that are important.” It struck me how great a teaching tool just how we act and our attitude can be – because it invites the Spirit. To our children, our friends, our investigators, we can help them feel the Spirit by our attitude and actions.

  8. This was a great talk on preparing for missionary service and, as so many of you already pointed out, motherhood and “life” service in general. I particularly related it to teaching my CTR 6 class. As Elder Yamashita put it, “Your message is a message of love, a message of hope, and a message of faith. Your attitude and your actions invite the Spirit, and the Spirit enables us to understand the things that are important.” Even if they’re not totally comprehending the doctrine we’re discussing each week, I hope they’re feeling the Spirit and the love their Heavenly Father has for them. Then they can be prepared with the desire, the testimony, and the love to share the gospel themselves. (And I need to remember to pull out this talk for my son who will be submitting his own mission papers this summer.)

  9. This is a great idea to share insights from general conference talks. I love the subject of missions as well. I served in Chile over 20 years ago and now my oldest daughter is preparing to leave on her mission. It is an irreplacable experience that you could never duplicate anywhere else. We had a stake conference where (I can’t remember his name) we had a General Authority speaking in a satellite broadcas. Anyway, he said that a mission experience is so unique and sacred, it would take you 40 years studying the gospel for 30 minutes a day to gain what a full-time missionary does in 2 years. That sums it up! Missions are GREAT! Like Steph said above, I think about my mission almost everyday in something I am doing. I highly recommend them-even for young women if it is right for them.

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