New leaders assigned to supervise missions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received training and instruction from Church leaders at a mission leadership seminar.
The seminar—held June 23–25, 2019, at the Provo, Utah, missionary training center—marks the beginning of a three-year assignment for 164 couples serving as new mission leaders in various parts of the world.
“Our missionaries collectively constitute the lifeblood of the next generation,” said President Russell M. Nelson in a welcome address to new mission leaders. “The day will come when they will sit in chairs that we now occupy. They are the future leaders of the Church. Please persuade them to become devout disciples of the Lord.”
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Church’s Missionary Executive Council, recounted the many recent changes in missionary work designed to strengthen and help missionaries. These include increased use of technology for finding and teaching people, updates to dress standards for sister missionaries and to the weekly communication policy for all missionaries, and a new series of safety videos.
“For the next three years, your opportunity and your great charge are to create a spirit of love, unity, and high expectation in the mission where you have been called to serve God and His children,” said Elder Uchtdorf. “You will do this by helping your beloved and precious missionaries to be filled with a love of God, with a desire to keep His commandments, and with an authentic love for all people.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and member of the Missionary Executive Council, introduced a new missionary handbook of instructions, and mission leaders received preview copies. The handbook, Missionary Standards for Disciples of Jesus Christ, will replace the current 2010 version and will be available to all missionaries later this year.
“Missionary Standards for Disciples of Jesus Christ is more principle-based than prescription-based,” said Elder Andersen. “It is an invitation to obedience, with more words of the Savior, more meaningful scripture references, and an opening letter from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.”
Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women general president and member of the Missionary Executive Council, counseled the new mission leaders about love. She shared experiences of past missionaries and mission leaders, as well as impressions from her own life.
“As a mother, I did not particularly care where my children served their missions, but I did care who their mission president would be,” said Sister Cordon. “I wanted my children to be guided and mentored by a faithful husband and wife who would help them continue to feel that nourishing love from God, advance their love for God, and build on their understanding of how to love like God. Dear friends, you are those mission presidents and companions whom the mothers and fathers are praying and hoping will love their missionaries. You will be a blessing in their lives.”
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