I’ve been reading with interest the comments and excitement surrounded by the announcement of the new missionary schedule and key indicators. It’s an exciting change for sure. As a mission presidents wife I was very happy with the changes and can see so many advantages to these changes – benefits such as health improvements and young men and young women being more prepared to transition back into the ‘real world’, post mission, by continuing good study and prayer habits. It’s been fun over the last week to see the reactions of our missionaries. I make note here that the biggest source of excitement by the missionaries surrounding these changes is that they get to do their planning and personal study on Preparation Days in their PJ’s (if they choose)…put a smile on my face for sure.
Anything that helps our missionaries become more accountable for their time while serving gets my tick of approval too. This change will certainly affect the lives of these young people as they learn to schedule their busy days in the most effective way. Our hope and prayer too is that they will learn good discipline in their daily schedule so that when they go home they will be more able to discipline the spiritual aspects of their life, without someone telling them how to.
But the purpose of this post is not to highlight this small part of the Worldwide Broadcast for Missionaries in 2017. Indeed, these changes constituted about 1/4 of the entire broadcast. As stated in the heading of the broadcast, this training focuses on teaching repentance and baptizing converts as well as introduces changes to key indicators and the missionary schedule.
The real value of the broadcast was found in the training our missionaries received on the Doctrine of Christ. The missionaries were invited to join in with the Missionary Executive Council (comprised of Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, Elder Andersen, Sister Bonnie Oscarson, Elder Brent Nielson, and Stephen B. Allen) and participate in one of their council meetings at Church headquarters. In this meeting they spoke about the most important principles that constitute the Doctrine of Christ – Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Spirit, enduring to the end, real intent, testimony, conversion etc. all these things oh so important to success in their endeavours to ‘Teach Repentance and Baptise Converts’.
So my invitation to all those mums and dads who have a missionary serving right now is to ask them next Pday, in your weekly email, to share with you some of their insights they learned during that broadcast. Have them share the ways in which this broadcast helped them to find answers to their prayers or answers to questions about those they are teaching. Encourage them to refer back to their study journals often and seek inspiration as they consider the needs of their investigators.
In my opinion, these changes, and this more specific a renewed focus on the Doctrine of Christ by the brethren, heralds a new approach in the work of salvation.