"A Message to Future Missionaries"Today our YSA stake had the opportunity to hear from the president (and his wife) of the Washington D.C. temple. It was such a great privilege to hear from President and Sister Swinton and to be reminded of the blessings of the temple.
We can go to the temple to come closer to our Father in Heaven, to receive revelation and be edified by the Spirit. The most important thing that we ever do in the temple, however, is make covenants with the Lord and receive an endowment in return.
In order to become a full-time missionary, we must be worthy to enter the temple and willing to make sacred promises with God, promises that we will be righteous and follow his commandments. All full-time proselyting missionaries are endowed in the temple and then set apart by their stake president for the work. Even members who have not served a full-time mission must be endowed to be sealed in marriage in the temple. It's a necessary and beautiful covenant that we make with the Lord, and when we keep our promises He blesses us exponentially more than we can understand.
About a year ago, Elder Holland wrote an article (I know, I know, Elder Holland again) called "A Message to Future Missionaries" in which he talks about the importance of keeping covenants as a missionary. He says:
"It is so important for you to understand that going to the temple for your own endowment, including the magnificent ordinances that prepare you for that endowment, are an integral part of your mission preparation and your mission commitment.
When you go to the temple, you will begin to understand the significance of those temple covenants, the inextricable link between your endowment there and your missionary success...
Indeed, the very word endowment conveys the essence of that vital link. An endowment is a gift. It contains the same root word as dowry, which is a special gift to start a new couple on their married life. ...
That is what God does for us every time we make a covenant with Him. He endows us. We promise to do certain things, depending on the ordinance, and He promises special gifts in return—wonderful gifts, unspeakable gifts, nearly incomprehensible gifts. So I say to you as I say to myself—if we really want to succeed in our callings, if we want to have access to every help and every advantage and every blessing from the Father, if we want to have the door of heaven thrown open to us that we might receive the powers of godliness, we must keep our covenants!"A mission is a hard thing. A really hard thing. Maybe the hardest thing you'll ever do. No one is denying that. But no one is expecting you to do it alone, either. We are assigned companions to work with; we have a mission president to guide and direct us; most importantly, we make solemn, sacred promises with the Lord in the temple before we go, and in return the Lord is with us, blessing us and protecting us as we do His work. If you've ever wondered how a missionary can be working nearly 24/7, every day of the week (including Sunday!) like I have, that's your answer.
There's one quote in particular from this article that I really love. "It is when an entire mission is united by the strength of every missionary’s integrity, every missionary’s personal covenant keeping, that we move mountains." Isn't that cool? When you are a missionary, every other missionary in your area is contributing to your strength. As a missionary, you are never alone. You have your companion, the missionaries in your area, the missionaries everywhere, really, and most importantly, God, behind you, lending you power and strength. As long as you remain true to your covenants, you will be united with the people around you who are keeping their own covenants, and able to do things that, on your own, might never be possible.
Happy Sunday, future missionaries! And remember: I think you're great. You're my inspiration!