Climb Higher

Years ago I clipped this ad from a magazine. I can’t remember what the original advertisement was for, but I was struck by the applicability of the principles for many different aspects of life.

We’ll give you the training,

the tools, and the challenge.

How high the climb is up to you!

Today let’s apply this to preparation for a mission and how it will help you climb higher. It’s the perfect analogy.

1. The Training

Though you are being trained daily as you make righteous choices, study the scriptures, choose good friends, keep commitments, and work hard, the formal missionary training will be in the Missionary Training Center.

In a letter from President and Sister Smith (president of the Provo, Utah MTC and his wife) to prospective missionaries, they share great information about the experience you might have at the MTC:

“As you achieve goals, keep commitments, and stay focused on what really matters, you will receive excellent training to prepare you for your MTC experience.”

2. The Tools:

In the April 2010 General Conference President Thomas S. Monson taught us about the tools that prepare us for missionary service:

“Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. There are many tools to help you learn the lessons which will be beneficial to you as well as helping you to live the life you will need to have lived to be worthy. One such tool is the booklet entitled For the Strength of Youth, published under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It features standards from the writings and teachings of Church leaders and from scripture, adherence to which will bring the blessings of our Heavenly Father and the guidance of His Son to each of us. In addition, there are lesson manuals, carefully prepared after prayerful consideration. Families have family home evenings, where gospel principles are taught. Almost all of you have the opportunity to attend seminary classes taught by dedicated teachers who have much to share.” Preparation Brings Blessings by President Thomas S. Monson

a. For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Have you read it recently? Challenge: take 5 minutes before bed every night and read through one of the topics. Double Challenge: set a goal to improve on 1 principle taught. Triple Challenge: choose 1 principle a month to work on.

b. Lesson Manuals. Preach My Gospel is an excellent tool to study NOW to prepare yourself. Scriptures are the best lesson manuals ever. Challenge: commit to study 10 minutes a day out of the scriptures. Double Challenge: commit to 15 minutes a day study time. Triple Challenge: commit to 30 minutes a day study time in the scriptures and lesson manuals.

c. Family Home Evening: Do you participate in family home evening? Are you attending with a pleasant attitude? Challenge: If your family isn’t having them regularly, YOU initiate it. Plan a lesson. Keep it simple and fun. Double Challenge: Offer to teach a lesson once a month. Teaching gospel principles NOW will prepare you for teaching the gospel on your mission.

d. Seminary. This is a great place to learn the scriptures. Memorize the scripture mastery scriptures. Participate in class discussion. If you have early morning seminary, this is great practice for rising early. Make it a habit now! Challenge: commit to graduate from Seminary. Make it priority NOW.

3. The Challenge

The Challenge is to BECOME… become a disciple of Christ… become a valiant example of gospel principles.

“Brethren, the challenge to become applies precisely and perfectly to missionary preparation. Obviously, the process of becoming a missionary does not require a young man to wear a white shirt and tie to school every day or to follow the missionary guidelines for going to bed and getting up, although most parents certainly would support that idea. But you can increase in your desire to serve God (see D&C 4:3), and you can begin to think as missionaries think, to read what missionaries read, to pray as missionaries pray, and to feel what missionaries feel. You can avoid the worldly influences that cause the Holy Ghost to withdraw, and you can grow in confidence in recognizing and responding to spiritual promptings. Line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little, you can gradually become the missionary you hope to be and the missionary the Savior expects.” David A. Bednar, “Becoming a Missionary,” Ensign, Nov 2005

As you TRAIN daily,

utilize the TOOLS,

and accept the CHALLENGE to become,

you are choosing to be like those described by Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

“What we need now is the greatest generation of missionaries in the history of the Church. We need worthy, qualified, spiritually energized missionaries who, like Helaman’s 2,000 stripling warriors, are ‘exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity’ and who are ‘true at all times in whatsoever thing they [are] entrusted’ ( Alma 53:20 )” (The Greatest Generation of Missionaries by Elder Ballard in Ensign, Nov. 2002).

Climb Higher

How high the climb is up to you! Make it a worthwhile journey!

The view from the top is excellent and well-worth the hard work.

(Dead Horse Point, Utah, image used with permission from Ivan Makarov)
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