Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Most Important Invitation A Latter-day Saint Can Make: Thoughts on Henry B. Eyring's March 2008 Ensign Article

As you know I track the public blogs of all mission presidents and missionaries with most being on my sidebar. I actually have a pretty good grasp of what is going on in about 30 missions of the 350 missions in the church just by reading these blogs. I read six mission presidents blogs with great interest because it is a culture that few of us will ever experience in the Church. One exceptional mission president that I track is Mike Murray, President of the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission.

President Murray used to work for Microsoft and hails from Redmond, Washington where he hobnobbed with the likes of Bill Gates. Prior to working for Gates he worked for many years for Steve Jobs at Apple Computers so he knows some of the big technology players and made a substantial amount of money himself before retiring at an early age. Because of his technology savvy he was one of the first mission presidents to implement the Church's new missionary software.

He writes sporadic posts but most of them are very insightful and usually relate some missionary principle from his personal life experiences to some aspect of missionary work. On Tuesday, 24 February 2009 he shared one of his better posts which is entitled Not All Invitations Are Created Equal.

In this post President Murray draws on Elder Henry B. Eyring's Come Unto Christ March 2008 Ensign message about the greatest invitation a Latter-day Saint can make and relates how it applies to his life:

When I was a child I frequently received invitations to the birthday parties of my school friends. Sometimes receiving the invitation was as exciting as attending the party. As we get older, invitations can open doors that we otherwise would never enter. Here are two such examples in my own life:

In the fall of 1993 my wife and I received an exciting invitation. We were invited to attend the private wedding of Bill and Melinda Gates on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. The wedding took place on January 1, 1994. It was a terrifically fun event and we were very grateful for that invitation.

In October 2006 I was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Stanford University LDS Convocation, held in the architecturally beautiful Memorial Church in the center of the campus. This was a very special event for me because I attended Stanford both as an undergraduate (B.S. 1977) and a graduate student (MBA 1981).

Though we try not admit it, most of us would enjoy being invited to special events. For instance, would you turn down an invitation to the Presidential Inauguration? How about the Academy Awards? The Superbowl?

Not all invitations are created equal -- and this is the point of this blog posting. Consider the following from Henry B. Erying of the First Presidency: "“The words ‘come unto Christ’ are an invitation. It is the most important invitation you could ever offer to another person. It is the most important invitation anyone could accept." (Come Unto Christ, Ensign, March 2008)

In the spring of 1975 I accepted this invitation. I was baptized on April 19, 1975 in the LDS Institute Building on the Stanford campus. All that I now am has been built upon my "coming unto Christ". I do not have a separate philosophy of life.

Our 130 missionaries are in the invitation business. This is a new idea for them. They are offering "the most important invitation you could ever offer to another person". Can you imagine a better way to invest 18 or 24 months as a young adult? I can't!
If you want to learn some insights about missionary work from one of the top mission presidents check out his blog. He is doing some innovative things in his mission. I like to share some unusual things I find and spotlight them so others can be inspired to be better missionaries and mission presidents. The scope of my blog is to drive people to information that will help them in the missionary process. There is no aspect of missionary work that I haven't researched. My pointing you to Mike Murray will inspire you as he is one of the best mission presidents out there.

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