We returned from the mission president’s seminar last week. It was in San Diego and we were with 31 other mission presidents. Elder Christopherson of the 12 attended for 3 days as well as Elder Maines, Johnson and Nielson.
I love Elder Christopherson. He is the most humble, personable man. During one session he was looking for a scripture and couldn’t find it right off the bat, he said,…. “I think it moved”, as he was thumbing through the pages. It was very funny.
He speaks in a very simple and direct way. He gets to the heart of the matter quickly, states the truth and then doesn’t say much more. He reminds me of Elder Balentyne a former missionary in our mission. Here are some things he talked about over the 3 days he was there with us:
- Testimony is different than Conversion. (He was talking about this in relation to how return missionaries can fall away from the church.) Mos 4:2,3 and 5:2. We can definitely believe without living our beliefs. When we believe and live our beliefs, we are converted. Conversion is having experiences with the atonement that affects our heart, it’s not just knowledge in our minds. Our heart feels a desire to change, it wants to be clean and pure, and our heart loves God more than the world.
- We live in the time of being observers and watchers. We need to be owners instead. It reminds me of a missionary who said in his departing testimony, “I want to be a doer, not a sayer.”
- Marriage and Family is critical in God’s plan. Woman and Men both bear the burdens of life. Unity as man and woman is critical. Adversary is attacking that unity. Our time will be well spent in teaching marriage and family ideals.
- Justification cleans us from sin. Sanctification removes the effect of sin. We had a training with the missionaries a few weeks ago and it was explained in a way I understood better than I ever had before the difference between justification and sanctification. Imagine a scale, __-2__-1__0__+1__+2 __. Justification is what happens to us when we have sinned and are in the negative and we repent. The atonement brings us to zero by washing and cleaning us. Sanctification is what happens to us to move us past zero. It makes us holy, Christ like, and enabled.
- 1 Corin 3: 5-7 We plant and water, but the increase comes from the Lord. Pride is foolishness and a lack of understanding. Without Him; His spirit, and all that that implies there would be no increase. He allows us to have the china and the linen in our hands because He loves and trusts us. But He is the increase.
- You can only know if you are truly a success by receiving a witness from the Lord. If He approves then you are a success. He also said, “I want to say thank you, but it is inadequate. But the Lord can express thank you perfectly to you.”
I am grateful that living apostles and a prophet are on the earth today. The priesthood keys they hold mean everything to the spiritual work going on in the earth today.