Dear Elders and Sisters of the Nagoya Japan Mission
My career as a human performance scientist and management consultant has been guided by the doctrines of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. From as far back as I can remember, I have thrilled at the words written in the Doctrine and Covenants section 58 verses 26-29.
For behold it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with a doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.
The pronouncement from Deity that we are agents and that as such we should choose, for ourselves, to do many good things, is very exciting! In these words our loving Father in Heaven points to limitless opportunities for us to learn, grow, serve and become his wise servant. We have the whole world before us along with all of its resources so that we can make of our lives anything we choose! Our Father does not stop with these words of opportunity, he goes further to remind us that as His offspring, we are beings of power! The power is in us—both to choose and to act—to bring about much good. Even the final verse, which seems to be somber warning is really liberating guidance—a reminder to dive in with full purpose of heart, to act energetically and enthusiastically.
Along with these verses from the Doctrine and Covenants, the parable of the Talents as taught in Matthew 25:15-30 reminds us of the eternal law of stewardship. If we are good stewards over few things, the Lord can make us masters to rule over many things. As missionaries learn to keep apartments clean, they learn essential principles of stewardship that allows the Lord to bless them with comfortable and beautiful homes in their mature years. Being a good steward of the mission schedule prepares young men and women to perform well in school and career. When we choose to act as faithful stewards over small things we prepare ourselves for greater opportunities.
Elders and Sisters, because Sister Baird and I love you, we want for you all the choice blessings our Father has reserved for you and all that he has promised you in your patriarchal blessings. Learn now that you are agents—actors and that you are imbued with power. Learn now that when you act with energy and enthusiasm in your righteous choices God will bless you with peace, love, prosperity and success in both time and eternity. May He bless you to that end is our prayer for you,
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.