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Mission leader success, teaches Elder Renlund, comes when their missionaries become faithful disciples of Christ


Many participants at the 2022 Seminar for New Mission Leaders likely arrived wondering if they could measure up to the expectations and the majesty of their new callings as mission leaders.

“I hope this seminar has been able to lift a burden and provide answers to questions you had and ideas you need for your service,” reassured Elder Dale G. Renlund in his Saturday, June 25, instruction at the annual seminar.

Elder Renlund then shared suggestions on how mission leaders can assess their success.

A mission leader’s task is two-fold. One pertains to helping missionaries become disciples of Jesus Christ. The second other pertains to gathering scattered Israel. 

Helping missionaries become disciples

A mission leader’s success is measured primarily by his or her commitment to helping each missionary become a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. 

How long, asked Elder Renlund, does it take to make and measure that commitment to the missionaries?

“It can happen today,” he said. “If a burning desire in your heart is to help each missionary become a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ, you are a successful mission leader.”

Read more talk summaries and see photos from the 2022 Seminar for New Mission Leaders here

Success is also realized when mission leaders “fulfill their duty.”

“To fulfill your duty, you seek inspiration from heaven to guide you, do the best you can, and try to get better over time.

During his June 25, 2022, presentation at the 2022 Seminar for New Mission Leaders, Elder Dale G. Renlund teaches the importance of each missionary becoming a faithful disciple of Christ.

During his June 25, 2022, presentation at the 2022 Seminar for New Mission Leaders, Elder Dale G. Renlund teaches the importance of each missionary becoming a faithful disciple of Christ.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“Simply stated, make a reasonable effort. The effort should be aerobic, not anaerobic.”

As Joseph Smith once promised: “Therefore, dearly beloved brethren [and sisters], let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”

Gathering scattered Israel

Missionaries are called to preach the gospel to every creature.

“This is what missionaries are called to do,” said Elder Renlund. “As they work hard to accomplish this commission, the Lord will be pleased with their efforts to gather scattered Israel. In many ways, mission leaders are the ones who help missionaries become committed, who stir their passion, motivate them to work, and raise the sights for the missionaries to help the Lord in His purpose.”

These two functions — helping each missionary become a faithful disciple of Christ and preaching the gospel —  might appear to be in tension with each other. Focusing disproportionately on one function or the other, will result in less than optimal results.

But mission leaders, he said, have the challenge and opportunity to optimize both functions.

Newly called mission leaders listen to instruction from Elder Dale G. Renlund in an overflow hall during the 2022 Seminar for New Mission Leaders in Provo, Utah.

Newly called mission leaders listen to instruction from Elder Dale G. Renlund in an overflow hall during the 2022 Seminar for New Mission Leaders in Provo, Utah.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“The optimization occurs best by helping a missionary focus on his or her purpose, not on his or her receiving the personal benefits of missionary service,” Elder Renlund taught.

“A missionary that is simply seeking those personal blessings is unlikely to receive those blessings. The best way to turn a missionary into a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ is for him or her to be focused on the missionary purpose, by being outwardly directed, focused on those he or she teaches.”

Missionaries who serve others will soon find their purpose to be meaningful and will experience personal growth. By focusing on their purpose, missionaries develop the very fiber of being a lifelong, faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.  

Elder Renlund then invited several mission leaders participating in the seminar to discuss their own mission-directed path to discipleship.

The leaders shared with Elder Renlund several mission-taught insights — including the knowledge that God loves them, discovering personal revelation through study of the Book of Mormon and witnessing daily miracles as they served others.

Elder Dale G. Renlund, far left, discusses with a panel of newly called mission leaders about the importance of missionaries becoming disciples of the Lord.

Elder Dale G. Renlund, far left, discusses with a panel of newly called mission leaders about the importance of missionaries becoming disciples of the Lord.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Concluding, Elder Renlund asked all the mission leaders in attendance to consider this question: “Based on what you have heard, how will you help missionaries experience the lasting impact of a mission?”

Several mission leaders from around the world offered brief responses, such as inspiring the missionaries to come unto Christ and feel His spirit and helping each young elder or sister realize and appreciate his or her own potential.

“You can be successful,” assured Elder Renlund. “You do so by being committed to helping all your missionaries become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ by helping them focus on their missionary objective.

“You have the confidence and faith of the leaders of the Church and most importantly the Lord Jesus Christ.”

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