Thirteen years ago, Elder M. Russell Ballard gave a landmark talk entitled, The Greatest Generation of Missionaries, that raised the bar for full-time missionaries. This talk had an incredible impact on those preparing for and serving full-time missions.

Last night at the general priesthood session, Elder Ballard reiterated this raising of the bar, but not just to the full-time missionaries, but to all young adults, with a focus on returned missionaries. He said:

What we need now is the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the Church. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate young adults who know how to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as you make your way through the daily trials and temptations of being a young, contemporary Latter-day Saint.”

He then went on to invite us to have a video chat with him as if we were having a personal interview. He asked us 9 questions. Here they are:

1. Do you search the scriptures regularly?

“2. Do you kneel in prayer to talk with your Heavenly Father each morning and each night?

“3. Do you fast an donate a fast offering each month? …

“4. Do you think deeply about the Savior and His atoning sacrifice for you when you are asked to prepare, bless, pass or partake of the sacrament?

“5. Do you attend your meetings and strive to keep the Sabbath day holy?

“6. Are you honest at home, school, church and work?

“7. Are you mentally and spiritually clean? …

“8. Are you careful with your time?

“9. And is there anything in your life you need to change and fix, beginning tonight?”

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Raising the bar for returned missionaries

He said that “RM doesn’t mean retired Mormon.” emphasizing that the mission isn’t the end of engaged activity in the Church. It should only be the beginning.

His words inspire young adults (before and after the mission) to think about what they are becoming and to continue on the path to becoming more like the Savior.