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The Lord has provided measures to help keep missionaries safe from spiritual and physical hazards, Elder David F. Evans of the Seventy and director of the Missionary Department said during the 2015 Seminar for New Mission Presidents held in the Provo Missionary Training Center on June 25.
He said he wouldn’t speak of the usual safety concerns, such as carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, seat belts, bike helmets, or the avoidance of pornography or other material introduced through technology.
“Rather, I will speak of those principles of spiritual and physical safety, and the safeguards that are available to you, and that apply no matter where you serve and no matter the environment around you,” he said.
Drawing from the words of Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Evans echoed his words of teaching — and reteaching — the fundamental doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Your obedient willingness to teach and reteach this basic doctrine, without wandering into spiritual side trails, will keep your missionaries firmly centered in true doctrine and that will protectively change and improve their attitudes and behaviors.”
Teaching basic true doctrine “will improve behavior quicker than simply focusing on behavior,” he said. It is important to listen to the Spirit and heed promptings. Obedience to God’s commandments provides physical and spiritual protection.
Recognizing that it is not possible to quarantine anyone from all temptation and unworthy influences, Elder Evans spoke of giving missionaries tools to withstand temptations and overcome evil.
“Obedience coupled with repentance will protect them during their missions and provide a protective pattern for the rest of their lives,” he said. “Experiences with your love and trust, especially after they make mistakes, will safeguard them during their missions, and give them a pattern for how to lead their families and others throughout their lives.”
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