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'Make calling the focus of your mission'

Continued from page 3to be a leader you must first learn to be a good follower. You will never learn the principles of leadership until you learn how to follow them.

"You may feel that you know a lot more than your senior companion, but he is your senior companion and you should follow him in righteousness. This is one of the greatest lessons in life: to learn how to follow your district leader and zone leader and especially your mission president."

President Hunter told missionaries, "The Savior has outlined the purpose of your mission: `Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' " (Matt. 28:19.)

As missionaries teach potential converts, the missionaries should ensure that the converts "have a sufficient foundation of faith, understanding, conviction, and commitment to keep themselves faithful when they become members of the Church. Please be certain there is coordination with the ward mission leader and stake missionaries so that new converts are warmly fellowshiped by ward or branch members."

He cautioned: "You can't be a part of worldly things and also carry out your role as a representative of the Lord. The two are not compatible. Your objective has been clearly defined for you. From the day you were set apart, you were charged to not be of the world, meaning that you were transferred then from worldly things into a spiritual climate for the duration of your mission.

"If you have found yourself in this new climate, you are on your way. If you haven't, then you've got some work to do. Satan is always present and will do everything he can to hinder and block and defeat. We encourage you as companionships to help each other in this matter."

When missionary companions comply with this directive to be spiritual, "two persons dedicated, living in faith, and being prayerful can be an awesome force in the work of the Lord."

"I commend you for responding to the call to serve," he continued. "A great indicator of your personal conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ is the desire to share it with others. For this reason the Lord gave a charge to every member of the Church to be a missionary. Each of us present today has a duty to bear faithful testimony of our Lord and Savior and His restored gospel."

President Hunter concluded, saying: "I bear my solemn witness to you, my beloved brethren and sisters, that our Heavenly Father lives. His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer and the head of the Church. We are His humble servants. He speaks to His prophets today as He has in the past. May each of you receive His promised blessings through your faithful service. May you also receive His commendation, `Well done, thou good and faithful servant." (Matt. 25:21.)

Elder Haight, chairman of the Missionary Executive Council, conducted the service and delivered an address. He reminded the missionaries, "We are dedicated to accomplish a great harvest of souls that the Lord has shown to us."

In achieving this great harvest, missionaries must "involve the members of the Church in the wards and the branches where you are laboring."

"Finding prospective converts through members is the key to conversion and retention, and thus to the future growth of the Church," he emphasized. He also noted, "We must have many more worthy and well-prepared full-time missionaries."

Elder Maxwell also encouraged missionaries to involve members in missionary work. "The more local leaders and members become part of the conversion and integration process, the more they will identify with new members and feel a keen personal sense of responsibility for them. . . . Very soon these new members should have new friends, friends who will be with them long after their beloved full-time missionaries are transferred or released.

"Clearly, when we baptize, our eyes should gaze beyond the baptismal font to the holy temple. The great garner into which the sheaves should be gathered is the holy temple."

Elder Ballard said members must be involved in the social transition of converts. "The bond of fellowship is vital. It is part of the feeling of oneness and unity with the Saints. It is part of the process of nourishing the seed of faith so that it does not shrivel and die because of neglect."

Missionaries are to find, teach and baptize converts, and to help retain them in activity in the Church. They also are to visit less-active members and help bring them to full activity. Each week, missionary companions are to provide four hours of community service.

"Great spiritual experiences await you if you will walk in the footsteps of the Savior by serving others," said Elder Ballard.

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