Saturday, July 31, 2010

Inochi no Michi, July 2010

Click on picture to enlarge.

Dear Sisters and Elders of the Japan Nagoya Mission

Thank you for your warm and generous welcome to the mission. Our arrival at the Nagoya Eki and the part you played was a memory for our eternities. We are grateful to President and Sister Traveller for orchestrating such a wonderful experience. Your open arms and hearts have given us comfort and peace as we join you in the forward ranks of the Lord’s army.

Your kindness and the welcome organized by President Traveller are evidence of the careful attention he gave to every detail of his calling. President Traveller is the example of what he taught and emphasized; being a faithful finisher. We now celebrate President Traveller as a FINISHER!

In stark contrast to President Traveller’s example of attending faithfully to every detail, is the failure of the 2008 US Olympic Track team. Historically, United States Sprinters have dominated the Olympic stage. With the exception of the United States boycott in 1988, the United States 4 x 100 sprinters have won Olympic medals in every Olympic games except 1912. The US Women’s 4 x 100 sprinters have won Olympic medals since 1948. That remarkable performance ended in failure during the Beijing Games.

The men’s 4 x 100 relay was moving like a well oiled machine. Their race was going exactly as expected as they approached the last leg of the race. The team’s most celebrated sprinter was expected to carry the baton and the team into the medal round. And it would have happened exactly that way except the team did not attend to the little details of their duty. The exchange of the baton between two runners was botched, the baton fell to the ground and the Olympic games were over for the US men. The women fared no better. Just like the early part of the men’s race, the women were cruising in the lead and into the medal round when they too failed on the exchange. Their mission ended in failure.

Alma taught his son Helaman the important lesson of attending to the details in Alma chapter 37. In verse 41 the prophet teaches his son that it is by small means that miracles are brought about. Because these details are so small however, they are deemed to be insignificant. And when we deem the small thing to be insignificant, we stop doing it and then the miracles cease.

As a sure handed finisher, President Traveller took care to counsel with me frequently in the past several months. He listened to the spirit. He followed the Mission President’s Handbook—EXACTLY, to every detail. As a result, the passing of the baton has been flawless on his part. He passed the baton to me and has given me encouragement and cheered me forward as I now take up the race. The evidence of the spirit working on both President Traveller and me at the same time is astonishing to me. It is as though the Lord sent President Traveller in a direction without him knowing exactly why and he gave me the second part of the revelation so that I would pick up the baton at the appointed place.

President Traveller, I commit to honor your commitment to be a finisher by doing my part to attend faithfully to every detail as you did so that the miracles you began will be realized. I invite every missionary to consider three elements from the handbook—details, small things, really, that no one thinks very significant. Choose three things that have slipped, it might be the morning schedule, getting to bed on time, evening planning—small things that don’t appear to be that important. Select the three things that will invite the spirit into your life and into your work, three things that will turn your eyes to your purpose to bring our Father’s children to faith, repentance, baptism, receipt of the Holy Ghost and endurance to the end. Let’s attend to the details that will insure a secure passing of the baton—three things that will invite miracles, three things that will make us more trustworthy missionaries. And then, like President Traveller, let each of us commit to finish faithful to every detail so that the greatest army on earth, God’ army, will not fail for want of attention to detail.

My promise is God’s promise from Alma 37. When we take care of the details of our mission, as instructed by prophets, seers and revelators we will see and experience miracles in His work. I so promise.

In the name of Jesus Christ who inscribed us on the palms of His hands (1 Ne 21, Isaiah 48).


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