Making the Team

Reading: “Preparing for Missionary Service,” Elder Daryl H. Garn, Liahona, May 2003

If you have as a goal to someday play on some kind of elite sports team, then you will do all you can to make yourself good enough to get onto that team.  You will practice, you will study strategies, you will talk with experts and learn from them.

In this talk, Elder Garn makes the point that preparing for a mission should be like preparing to get onto a sports team.  You do not join a team hoping that you will learn how to play during your participation.  So, you should do all you can before you serve a mission to be ready to be part of the greatest missionary team in the world.

He quoted President Hinckley as saying:

We simply cannot permit those who have not qualified themselves as to worthiness to go into the world to speak the glad tidings of the gospel. (First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 2003, 17)

I remember hearing all kinds of stories as a youth about how young men went on missions with weak testimonies and came back with strong ones.  The idea was that if we can just get them to go on a mission, then we can save them from whatever bad things they have done in their life.  You can quickly see how this attitude would have a detrimental affect on missionary work.  If you send out unprepared, feeble missionaries, they may become stronger over time, but it will be at the cost of the work they could have done.  You will lose investigators and the work of the Lord will be diminished.

This reminds me of a scripture:

And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed. (Alma 34:33)

Whether it is a missionary work, or going to the temple, or death, we are always tempted to put off our preparation until the last minute.  It seems like there will always be more time, and there are more immediate things to work on.  Now is always the time for me, for your, for everyone to prepare to serve and to meet God.  If we put off our work we may find that we do not have the skills necessary to, in essence, “make the team.”

Today I am going to come up with a plan to improve our family prayer and scripture study.  Between the move, my husband going back to school, and just general life business we have not done so well lately.  I have been putting it off, thinking it will be better to wait until the house is unpacked, or I come back from our trip, or my husband is more settled into his new routine.  However, I now am sure that NOW is always the best time to prepare spiritually for the future.

What are you doing, or what do you need to do, to “make the team”?


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