Chapter 14 MPM – Christlike Attributes
Doctrine and Covenants Section 4: 1 Now behold, a amarvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are acalled to the work;
From the Student Manual: If we are faithful, Jesus Christ will continue to magnify our talents and abilities and help us become more like Him. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The most persuasive gospel tract is the exemplary life of a faithful Latter-day Saint” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1982, 68; or Ensign, May 1982, 45).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “Surely there is no more powerful missionary message we can send to this world than the example of a loving and happy Latter-day Saint life. The manner and bearing, the smile and kindness of a faithful member of the Church brings a warmth and an outreach that no missionary tract or videotape can convey. People do not join the Church because of what they know. They join because of what they feel, what they see and want spiritually. Our spirit of testimony and happiness in that regard will come through to others if we let it. As the Lord said to Alma and the sons of Mosiah, ‘Go forth . . . that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls’ [Alma 17:11]” (in Conference Report, Mar.–Apr. 2001, 16; or Ensign, May 2001, 14).
President Boyd K. Packer: “As you test gospel principles by believing without knowing, the Spirit will begin to teach you. Gradually your faith will be replaced with knowledge. “You will be able to discern, or to see, with spiritual eyes” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 78; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 60).
President James E. Faust: “Many people do not fully understand the meaning of virtue. One commonly understood meaning is to be chaste or morally clean, but virtue in its fuller sense encompasses all traits of righteousness that help us form our character. An old sampler found in a museum in Newfoundland, stitched in 1813, reads: ‘Virtue is the chiefest beauty of the mind, the noblest ornament of humankind. Virtue is our safeguard and our guiding star that stirs up reason when our senses err’ ” (“The Virtues of Righteous Daughters of God,” Ensign, May 2003, 108).
Spencer W. Kimball: “The treasures of both secular and spiritual knowledge are hidden ones—but hidden from those who do not properly search and strive to find them.. . . Spiritual knowledge is not available merely forthe asking; even prayers are not enough. It takes persistence and dedication of one’s life. The knowledge of things in secular life are of time and are limited; the knowledge of the infinite truths are of time and eternity. “Of all treasures of knowledge, the most vital is the knowledge of God: his existence, powers, love, and promises. . . . “Secular knowledge, important as it may be, can never save a soul nor open the celestial kingdom nor create a world nor make a man a god, but it can be most helpful to that man who, placing first things first, has found the way to eternal life and who can now bring into play all knowledge to be his tool and servant” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 389–91).
Ezra Taft Benson – This means he is restrained in his emotions and verbal expressions. He does things in moderation and is not given to overindulgence. In a word, he has self-control. He is the master of his emotions, not the other way around” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 62; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 47).
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught: “We will have genuine joy and happiness only as we learn patience. “Dictionaries define patience in such terms as bearing pain or sorrow calmly or without complaint; not being hasty or impetuous; being steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity. . . . “. . . I believe that a lack of patience is a major cause of the difficulties and unhappiness in the world today. Too often, we are impatient with ourselves, with our family members and friends, and even with the Lord. We seem to demand what we want right now, regardless of whether we have earned it, whether it would be good for us, or whether it is right. . . . “We should learn to be patient with ourselves. Recognizing our strengths and our weaknesses, we should strive to use good judgment in all of our choices and decisions, make good use of every opportunity, and do our best in every task we undertake. We should not be unduly discouraged nor in despair at any time when we are doing the best we can. Rather, we should be satisfied with our progress even though it may come slowly at times” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 35–37; or Ensign, May 1987, 30, 32).
President Ezra Taft Benson said: “One who is kind is sympathetic and gentle with others. He is considerate of others’ feelings and courteous in his behavior. He has a helpful nature. Kindness pardons others’ weaknesses and faults. Kindness is extended to all—to the aged and the young, to animals, to those low of station as well as the high” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 62; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 47).
Elder Russell M. Nelson: “Godliness characterizes each of you who truly loves the Lord. You are constantly mindful of the Savior’s atonement and rejoice in His unconditional love. Meanwhile you vanquish personal pride and vain ambition. You consider your accomplishments important only if they help establish His kingdom on earth” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 83; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 61).
President Ezra Taft Benson: “The final and crowning virtue of the divine character is charity, or the pure love of Christ (see Moroni 7:47). If we would truly seek to be more like our Savior and Master, then learning to love as He loves should be our highest goal. Mormon called charity ‘the greatest of all’ (Moroni 7:46). “The world today speaks a great deal about love, and it is sought for by many. But the pure love of Christ differs greatly from what the world thinks of love. Charity never seeks selfish gratification. The pure love of Christ seeks only the eternal growth and joy of others” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 62; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 47).
Elder Richard G. Scott taught: “Humility is essential to the acquiring of spiritual knowledge. To be humble is to be teachable. Humility permits you to be tutored by the Spirit and to be taught from sources inspired by the Lord, such as the scriptures. The seeds of personal growth and understanding germinate and flourish in the fertile soil of humility. Their fruit is spiritual knowledge to guide you here and hereafter” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 118; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 87).
From Preach My Gospel: “Diligence is steady, consistent, earnest, and energetic effort in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord expects you to work diligently—persistently and with great effort and care…Focus on the most important things and avoid wasting time. Pray for guidance and strength.
Serve God with all our might, mind and strength:
Jeffrey R Holland: I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? . . . “. . . When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions” (“Missionary Work and the Atonement,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 14–15).
Ezra Taft Benson: “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power” (in Donald L. Staheli, in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 108; or Ensign, May 1998, 82).
Elder Richard G. Scott explained how personal obedience can help a missionary testify with power: “Missionaries who have paid tithing, for example, can bear witness of the promised blessings that the Lord gives for obedience. A missionary who has
lived a righteous life can bear powerful witness because he has had spiritual experiences in his life. Such experiences are conditioned upon worthiness and faith in the Savior” (in “Teaching from the Heart,” Ensign, June 2004, 9).
How to support new converts
Susan W. Tanner – One new member described this difficult change. She said: “When we as investigators become members of the Church, we are surprised to discover that we have entered into a completely foreign world, a world that has its own traditions, culture, and language. We discover that there is no one person or no one place of reference that we can turn to for guidance in our trip into this new world.” 1
Carl B Pratt: …have we learned to truly live the second great commandment: “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”? (Matt. 22:39). This is not something that can be assigned to the elders quorum or to the visiting teachers; this has to spring from the heart of every true disciple of Christ, a person who will look automatically and without being asked for opportunities to serve, to uplift, and to strengthen his fellowman…In building the kingdom of God, every positive act, every friendly greeting, every warm smile, every thoughtful, kind note contributes to the strength of the whole.
President Hinckley – With the ever-increasing number of converts, we must make an increasingly substantial effort to assist them as they find their way. Every one of them needs three things: a friend, a responsibility, and nurturing with “the good word of God” (Moro. 6:4). It is our duty and opportunity to provide these things.
Ideas on how to specifically support people you converted on your mission but don’t see anymore:
- Become friends with them on social media to show interest in their lives, set a good example, and to share the gospel.
- Write them letters or send them cards for holidays, birthdays or just because.
- Let them know you are still there for them to answer their questions and hear their concerns and experiences.
Building the Kingdom of God (Part 3 PEM, not chapter 12)
Chapter 11: Involving Everyone in Augusta, Maine
In the year 1963, over 450 members were baptized into the Farmingdale Branch.
In 1962, George McLaughlin was the President of the branch, and there were only 20 something active members. He fasted and prayed for two days for how to build the membership in the branch.
Through the spirit, he knew what he had to do. He called three families in the church to be proselyting families. They had to bring another family to a Wednesday evening meeting called a U-Night, where President McLaughlin would show a movie about the Church and then give a talk and testimony. The missionaries would then teach a discussion to these families in their homes later that week, and the next U-night, the missionaries would teach another discussion. They would meet with these families twice each week until they were baptized or decided not to continue investigating. The proselyting families would then need to find another family to bring to the next U-night. All newly baptized families were also called to be proselyting families. As time went on, they had to change the format of U-night to expand it.
451 people were baptized that first year, and 191 the next year.
To retain membership, they taught the new members how to be Mormons – how to give talks, how to give lessons, how to teach the gospel to their kids.
These new members had friends because they were brought by friends, and they had responsibility immediately.
Chapter 13 – Guiding the Weak and the Simple: Twenty-Six Branches in Queens
Summary from Everydaymissionaries.org: From 1991 to 1999, faithful leaders from two wards and two branches in Queens, New York believed that faith would increase in Queens if they allowed the weak and the simple to proclaim God’s gospel. Week after week, experienced leaders poured hours into training new and inexperienced members in God’s ways of leading and serving. In eight years, sacrament meeting attendance grew from 250 people to 2100 people meeting in 26 branches.
Definition of a strong ward is not so much if everyone magnifies their callings perfectly and all callings are filled, but if more and more people are baptized each year, more and more people become active again, and more and more people are becoming worthy and striving to go to the temple.
Chapter 14 – Building Wards that God Can Trust
Terenure Ward in Dublin –
- There was a man who always stood in the parking lot to welcome visitors to church. He would introduce himself, help them with their stuff, escort them to church, and suggest a good place to sit, as well as introduce them to many members.
- That ward was baptizing way more than the other wards in the area. Why? The Ward mission leader said: “He trusts you because you invite people to learn about the gospel. He trusts you because you are always looking for someone who is new at church and making them feel loved and needed – before and after baptism.”
Lamoille Branch in New Hampshire –
- The members were so good at making people feel welcome. They were warm, loving, and had arms outstretched.
Weston Ward in Boston –
- In one year about 300 people were baptized into their ward.
- The common reason converts gave for this was that they felt loved the minute they walked into the ward.
- Sister Perry, L. Tom Perry’s wife, saw a woman sitting by herself in jeans and a tshirt. She sat next to her and put her arm around her. The next week she too wore jeans and a tshirt.
- The Lord trusted this ward. They prayed for missionary experiences and would answer the call.
Brother Christensen said: “If God cannot trust the members of the Church to invite these people to learn His gospel, why would He put them in our path? And if God can’t trust us to make His children feel loved and needed after they join the Church, why would God guide these people there in the first place?”
He said God has to know and be certain that we will share the gospel if given the chance.
Chapter 15 – Jaime Valarezo and the Cambridge Spanish Branch
This branch only had six active men. The RS sisters fasted and prayed for a man to come to the branch who would become a great priesthood leader.
That Sunday, a 15-year-old immigrant from El Salvador came. He had such a bad stutter, he could only have a conversation with children.
The sisters were skeptical, but he prepared the sacrament, put the hymn books out, and was a wonder with kids. He often watched the children of parents who were taking missionary discussions.
He served a mission, and when he came back, he gave a beautiful talk. 13 boys in the congregation that day pledged to serve a mission just like Jaime. 12/13 did so.
What can we learn from this? We don’t know what God knows, and he works sometimes in unexpected ways.
Chapter 16 – The Thoughts and the Ways of God
Things to remember:
- We must follow God’s thoughts and His ways.
- Everybody, even the simple and weak, can be magnified and be able to proclaim the gospel.
- Friends and responsibility can bring people to the church and keep them there.
- Always think of who didn’t come to church who should have been there. Reach out.
- Love the people that come into your church building.
- Realize that you have the power to bring to pass much righteousness. (D&C 58:26-29).
- It is good to follow the Spirit and remember that God can reveal much to you on how you can share the gospel best.
- The Lord will be with us as will the Spirit and the angels to help us in our efforts.