Sunday, June 7, 2015

Mission Newsletter

Boldness not Overbearance
President and Sister Packer
Ukraine Kyiv Mission 
7 June 2015

Elders and Sisters,
Finding new people to teach is central to what we do. “Nothing else happens until we find someone to teach. There is really nothing more that I can add to what is already in Preach My Gospel, but I do want to break us free from the ruts we are in with a few highlights from this Chapter as well as give you permission to be a little more creative than you have been in the past. Being conservative is important in this work, but it can paralyze us because we fear making mistakes and not accomplish anything. Elder Porters comment a few weeks ago about, “If you haven’t almost been arrested you probably aren’t doing this work right.” he said in jest, but there is something to his point. We need to take more risks in finding people to teach. This absolutely does not mean that we pester people until they seek legal means to stop this work. The scripture “Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from Russian it is “ Проявляй смелость, но не наглость; а также смотри, чтобы ты обуздывал все свои страсти, дабы ты был преисполнен любви; смотри, чтобы ты воздерживался от праздности.” I don’t understand “overbearance”, but I do understand the word “наглость”. We are not here to annoy people; we are here to share with them the most important message they will ever hear and we do it with the meekness and gentleness Christ showed. (Matt. 11:29) It is not possible to gain the other attributes of Christ of faith, hope, and charity without the attribute of humility and meekness. (Moroni 7:43-44) Elder Maxwell said of meekness:
Granted, none of us likes, or should like, to be disregarded, to be silenced, to see a flawed argument prevail, or to endure a gratuitous discourtesy. But such circumstances seldom constitute that field of action from which meekness calls upon us to retire gracefully. Unfortunately, we usually do battle, unmeekly, over far less justifiable things, such as “turf”.
Just what is this “turf” we insist on defending almost at the slightest provocation? If it is real estate, this will not rise with us in the resurrection. If it is concern over the opinions of us held by others, there is only One opinion of us that really matters. Besides, the opinions of others will only be lowered if we go on an ego tantrum. If “turf” is status, we should not be overly concerned with today’s organizational charts. Who cares now about the pecking order in the Sanhedrin in 31 A.D., though so many cared so much at the time? Where are those now who worried so much over losing their places in the synagogues? (See John 12:42.)...
The meek use power and authority properly, no doubt because their gentleness and meekness reflect a love unfeigned, a genuine caring. The influence they exercise flows from a deep concern: “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.” (D&C 121:41.).... Yes, there are real costs associated with meekness. A significant down payment must be made. It can come from our sufficient supply of pride. We must also be willing to endure the subsequent erosion of unbecoming ego. Furthermore, our hearts will be broken in order that they might be rebuilt. As Ezekiel said, one’s task is to “make you a new heart and a new spirit.” (Ezek. 18:31.) There is no way that such dismantling, such erosion, such rebuilding can occur without real cost in pain, pride, adjustments, and even some dismay. Yet since we cannot be “acceptable before God save [we are] meek and lowly in heart” (Moro. 7:44), the reality of that awesome requirement must be heeded! Better to save one’s soul than to save one’s face.
So what does this mean for us in our finding? We go forth confidently and meekly. We don’t contact people who are having a conversation on their cell phone. We don’t interrupt two people who are in the middle of a conversation. When we are told “no I am not interested” we do not continue to push. We do not argue or force. It does mean we are confident inviting people to repent and to be baptized. We are not ashamed of our message and we share it openly and honestly with all whom we meet. We go about this work in the way the Savior himself would go about it. We remember Him in all that we do and say. We do what He would do. Thanks for all you do!
President and Sister Packer

Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness.
(Alma 38:12) 

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