Elder Benjamin B. Banks, sustained at last April's general conference as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, addressed his remarks Saturday evening to young men planning or contemplating a mission.
He told of being invited by his sons nine years ago to go on a 220-mile bicycle trip. He said he was unprepared for the physical rigors of the trip because he had missed the training sessions. The experience made him resolve to better prepare for subsequent bicycle trips with his sons."If it is important to prepare for a bike ride, my young friends, why is it then so much more important for you in this life to prepare to serve as missionaries? Why? Because of the eternal significance of a mission in your life and in the lives of others."
He quoted Jesus' counsel in Matt. 28:19 to go and teach all nations, and Paul's statement in 1 Cor. 9:16 that "necessity is laid upon" him to preach the gospel.
Acknowledging the difficulty young people often encounter in deciding to serve a mission rather than pursuing vocational, educational, musical or athletic goals, Elder Banks quoted D&C 15:4, 6, which states that the thing of most worth is to declare repentance.
He promised the young men that if they serve a mission, they will have rewarding experiences, such as did a Sister Ciardo whose parents were bitter when she decided to serve a mission to Scotland. He said while she was serving, her mother was baptized and her father began to attend Church.