Missions are Fun

Preston Temple photo taken 21 Nov. 2010

A missionary is someone who leaves his or her home for a little while so others can have their families forever.

Curious about Mormons? Go to the source and find real people at mormon.org--read what they believe and have live chats if you wish! (an official Church website)

Or, go to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, official web site: lds.org.

Note: The Blain's England Manchester Mission blog is a personal blog that is not endorsed, approved, or sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Our Mission Scriptures

Our Mission Scriptures:

"Oh, that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart . . . Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth." Alma 29:1-2 (Book of Mormon)

" . . . be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Bible)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sacred Missionary and Pure in Heart

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?  or who shall stand in his holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.  He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.  Psalm 24:4-5

This is the Blackburn District standing with President and Sister Bullock.  It is the last picture we will have with them as our mission and their mission comes to a close.  The picture is taken on the Preston Temple grounds where our zone conferences are held.  The temple can barely be seen in the right of the photo.  "Don't be something that you're not, but be everything that you are."  -President Bullock.

 Our last zone conference with President and Sister Bullock was 23 June.  They have established a mission culture that has helped us to know the difference between a social, honorable, and sacred missionary.  A sacred missionary has both feet in the mission and sees his or her mission as sacred, holy, and holds deep reverence for it.  President and Sister Bullock are truly a perfect example of being pure in heart in their intentions and each exemplifies a sacred missionary.  How fortunate we have been to learn and be inspired by their example and teachings!

The 'Sacred Missionary Document' (written by David J. Bullock) begins with this quote:  "Whenever Church members speak of consecration, it should be done reverently while acknowledging that each of us 'come(s) short of the glory of God,' some of us far short (Romans 3:23).   Even the conscientious have not arrived, but they sense the shortfall and are genuinely striving.  Consolingly, God's grace flows not only to those 'who love Him and all His commandments ,'but likewise to those 'that seek so to do.'  A second group of members are 'honorable' but not valiant.'  They are not really aware of the gap nor of the importance of closing it (see D&C 76:75, 79).  Those 'honorable' individuals are certainly not miserable nor wicked, nor are they unrighteous and unhappy.  It is not what they have done but what they have left undone that is amiss.  For example, if valiant, they could touch others deeply instead of merely being remembered pleasantly.  A third group are those entangled with the 'ungodliness' of the world, reminding us all, as Peter wrote, that if 'we are overcome' by something worldly,' we are brought in bondage,' (2 Peter 2:19)"  Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Nov. 1995, p.22.

"You will get as much out of something as you put into it."  President Bullock  "Happiness is in the journey, not the destination.  I have found more enjoyment in the pursuit of a goal than in reaching the goal.  Find the joy in the journey."  President Bullock.
I will share some of the tidbits from President Bullock's talks in this blog post and Sister Bullock's in the next post, since I believe their broad range of experience in life has produced much wisdom.  They know what brings lasting happiness and success in life.

President Bullock's list of the top five "life changing books," (outside of scriptures) which changed his life forever and altered his direction in some way (he has read a lot of religious and secular books over the years).

Jesus the Christ, by James E. Talmage (he read this on his first mission and it opened his understanding of the Atonement)
Pure in Heart, by Dallin H. Oaks (our of print) (the difference between doing and becoming)
The Miracle of Forgiveness, by Spencer W. Kimball (everything is in our minds first)
Teach Ye Diligently, by Boyd K. Packer (teaching methods of Jesus Christ)
The Infinite Atonement, by Tad R. Callister (he read this while serving as mission president)

President Bullock asked himself how many drops of blood is he personally responsible for in
Jesus Christ's suffering.  He said that repentance is a process and not an event.  As we gain knowledge, we will become more aware of the things we have done (or should have done but didn't), to cause our Savior to suffer.  We can use the power of the Atonement, through repentance, to rectify the feelings of unworthiness we will feel as we discover our sins.

He went on to say that we will be known in the hereafter by our hearts, as we will be identified not by our physical appearance we had on earth (which is a result of human genetics), but by our spirits, which are eternal.  We will be glorified beings that radiate beauty according to the level of our righteousness.  We will be known by who we really are.  

President Bullock also said people will be judged not by the heights they gain, but from the depth from which they came.  When we are asked to stretch beyond our capabilities, it is because we are loved and God wants to help us become who we are supposed to be.  He then said that we cannot become a hermit (how many times have I wished to be just that?) and indulge ourselves in selfish pursuits.  We are needed to enrich the world for others and to make it a better place overall through our service.  We must strive to never become who we are not, but become everything we are--everything the Lord expects us to be. 

Being pure in heart is the key to the Celestial Kingdom.

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