`Only as we sacrifice do we move forward'

A willingness to sacrifice, as exemplified by the Pioneers who came to the Salt Lake Valley 150 years ago, is needed today to move forward the work of the Lord, said President Gordon B. Hinckley.

President Hinckley addressed new mission presidents and their wives on June 27, the final day of the annual Mission Presidents Seminar that began four days earlier on June 24."We are now commemorating the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley," President Hinckley noted. "Tremendous was their fortitude, their faith and their vision. With nothing but their bare hands and the will to do, they set to work and made this desert blossom like a rose. They sacrificed very much, even their lives in some cases."

But, he said, "The days of sacrifice are not behind us. . . . It seems to me that only as we sacrifice do we move forward the work of the Lord. It was so when Jesus wrought the great Atonement, it was so in the days of the pioneers, it is so today."

He acknowledged the sacrifice the new mission leaders were making to leave their homes for three years and thanked them for accepting their calls.

"Each of you will have a wonderful experience and work very hard, perhaps harder than you have ever worked in your lives, but you will gain deeper satisfaction as you do so," he said. "Your burden will be lightened by the Spirit of the Lord. You will be motivated by that Spirit, and you will do things you thought you were never capable of accomplishing.

Reminiscing on his lifetime missionary service, he observed: "I think I have had the longest continuous association with the missionary work of the Church of any living man." This association, he said, began with his call as a missionary in 1933, and "I've been at it ever since in one capacity or another."

"I love this work. I love the missionaries. I love the mission presidents and their wives and families. I love all who have to do with this great and selfless cause."

He suggested five principles for sustaining missionary work. "I don't hesitate to promise that if you observe them, you will be blessed in your work and in your ministry," he said.

Work with an eye single to the glory of God.

"The Lord has said, `And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you.' (D&C 88:67).

"In that declaration is the whole spirit of missionary service. You as presidents and wives must become great exemplars before your missionaries in observing this demanding standard of deportment. You must know, and each of them must come to know, that you are not sent to serve yourselves, but to serve the Lord."

However, he said, "there will be personal benefits unusual and remarkable. These will come in proportion to the degree of selflessness evidenced in your service."

Continuing, President Hinckley observed that to the degree missionaries keep their eyes single to the glory of God, "There will follow an absence of selfishness, and the darkness associated therewith. There will follow an absence of laziness and the darkness that comes therefrom. There will follow the absence of sin and the terrible darkness that inevitably accompanies it."

Practice and teach effective habits of study and work.

"There are few things that you can impart of more lasting value to the future than the acquisition of habits of study and work," said President Hinckley. "The vocation of your missionaries will vary when they leave the field and take up their life's work, but the habits they establish while in the field will remain with them. What a singular and remarkable opportunity you have to teach them how to apply themselves, to study, to get up in the morning, to get out and do the work that is expected of them."

He said the Church is producing men of "tremendous quality and accomplishment" who are being recognized far and wide for their abilities.

"The roots of their accomplishments in so very many cases are found in the habits acquired while serving as missionaries."

Observe habits of personal safety and welfare.

"Please, observe and teach habits of safety and well-being. As the president, you are the watchman on the tower. Safeguard those in your charge. As surely as this is the Lord's work, so the adversary will do all that he can to injure and destroy.

"Brethren, you are guardians of those sent to work under your direction. You must be aware of the areas where they labor. You must be aware of the hazards they face. You must do all you can, and you must observe these same practices yourselves to reduce injury."

Make love the lodestar of your lives.

"When all is said and done, love - Godly and wonderful love - is the essence of our work," said President Hinckley. "The Son of God came into the world not to condemn the world but to save it. We are His servants, and love must be the unfailing, constant lodestar of our service."

Live close to the Lord at all times and in all circumstances.

"Wrote James, `Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.' (James 4:8.)

"This is His work. We are His servants. There is no way we can accomplish very much without His help. That help will be forthcoming if we draw near to Him.

" `In God we trust' must be our constant motto. Prayer is our great source of strength. God will not forsake us if we come unto Him in faith. This is His work. He does not wish it, or us, to fail."

President Hinckley testified of the truthfulness of the scripture, "Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers." (D&C 122:10.)

"I believe this. I know this. I have seen the manifestation of the fulfillment of this promise. You will see the manifestation of the fulness of His promise. Draw near to the Lord and make Him your constant source of strength.

"I know as you do that there is joy in this service that can be found nowhere else."

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