Following is the text of President Thomas S. Monson’s address during the 2016 Seminar for New Mission Presidents at the Church’s Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, on June 23. President Monson addressed the new mission presidents and their wives via a recorded message.
My brothers and sisters, how grateful I am for the opportunity to address you.
President Spencer W. Kimball once made the statement that missionary work is the lifeblood of the kingdom and that if the blood stops flowing, the kingdom stops growing. How privileged you are to be a central part of this vital endeavor.
Your call has come through inspiration. I testify to you that whom God calls, God qualifies. You will receive Heavenly help as you oversee prayerfully the work of your mission. The beautiful promise the Lord gave to the missionaries, as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, will be yours. Said He, “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88).
My own call to preside over the Church’s Canadian Mission came when Sister Monson and I were both just thirty-one years of age, with two young children and a third on the way. Over the years, as we reflected on our experiences in Canada, we recognized that some of the happiest times of our lives and some of our choicest and most lasting associations came during that three-year period. I am confident this will be your experience as well.
Entrusted to your care will be young men and young women, as well as senior couples, who have made the decision to serve the Lord and to share His gospel with others. Many are the sacrifices they and their families have made so that they might serve as the Lord’s representatives. As you contemplate the importance of a mission in their lives and in the lives of their families, you will be better able to motivate them, to guide them and to love them.
The next three years will go by faster than you envision, but the special bond you have with your missionaries will never end.
As you serve, you will build rich, eternal memories. In the words of the author James Barrie, “God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the December of our lives.” I know of no field which produces more fragrant nor bounteous roses than the mission field to which you have been called.
My brothers and sisters, may our Heavenly Father’s choicest blessings ever be yours, and may He guide and watch over you in all that you do.
I leave my love and my blessing with each of you and do so in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, amen.