Friday, December 19, 2008

Questions, LDS Missionaries, and General Authorities

When I was a missionary serving under M. Russell Ballard one of his favorite things to do as a member of the First Quorum of Seventy and later as an Apostle as he spoke to missionary groups and to his former missionaries was to allow us to ask and his answering questions. He would tell us that no question was stupid but that if he could he would answer the question. If he didn't know the answer he would just tell us he didn't by making a joke. I think this has become standard practice for the Twelve and Seventies as they meet with missionary groups.

I was reading in Brother and Sister Urmston missionary couple blog that are serving for two years down in the Australia Melbourne Mission. Back in March David Bednar visited their mission and did pretty much the same thing as Elder Ballard. Here is a brief description of his meeting with this group of missionaries:
We had the wonderful opportunity this week to be in company with Elder [Bednar] and his sweet wife. Our first meeting was on Thursday. Both missions met together to hear what he had to say. We first heard from Sister [Bednar] . After she spoke I new why he was able to be called to be an Apostle. She was very sweet and humble in her ways. She spoke of how she met him and her love for him and how she knew that he was an Apostle. Then we heard from an Apostle. He was dynamic, brilliant, funny, personable and very spiritual. The meeting took the format of Questions and Answers, both ways. First he asked the Missionaries questions and we had the opportunity to ask him. He told us first that there are no bad questions, but some are better then other. For instance. Where is the Sword of Laban? bad question and he would answer I don't know and I don't care. He asked how often are you going to have the chance to be this close to an Apostle and be able to ask him any question. He said a good question would be. What is it like to pray in the Quorum of the Twelve. We had that question.Answer was The prayers are childlike. Unless you become as a little child, you can not enter into the kingdom of God. Mostly the prayers are prayer of gratitude. We attended two more meetings. One was single adults and we were able to get 9 of our young Chinese new members and also three of the others that we see. They were thrilled to be there. The Questions were all good. He told us to begin with, that this was to be a Revelatory Experience and that we were to take no notes of what he said. We were only to write things that came to our mind that would tell us something to help us. It was a great experience. The third time was Sunday evening. That one was an Australia fireside. He was in Sydney and each Stake center received the broadcast with telephone communications to each building. Questions came from each area. He visited Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. Every mission and every temple and other in between. I was touch by the spirit and received some answers for myself.
I understand their reluctance to have what they say recorded since they are shooting from the hip. Elder Ballard would even answer questions about the second endowment or anointing from time to time. I like the fact that they tackle so many topics since it makes for an interesting and lively meeting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found a Wonderful site on Isaiah!
The site has free lessons on every chapter.
Very well done and in the author’s own voice.
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Temple President.

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