- Teach God's love
- Bring restored truth- Offer peace, happiness
Paraphrasing the slogan of a prominent greeting card company, Bishop Richard C. Edgley declared, "We care enough to send our very best."
Bishop Edgley, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, focused his address Sunday morning to "those of you who are not of our faith" and spoke of the more than 50,000 missionaries serving throughout the world today.
"We send these young men, young women and mature couples to all parts of the world, wherever hosting governments and countries will welcome them. They often live in unfamiliar environments, which are sometimes unfriendly to those who would teach the saving truths of Jesus Christ."
Bishop Edgley continued: "Behind each missionary is a private story of years of personal commitment, preparation, personal sacrifice and examples of love for the Savior.
"Their work consists mostly of proselytizing and teaching but also includes a generous amount of time for voluntary community service. They have part of one day a week for personal preparedness, letter writing and some relaxation and recreation. Excluded from their mission are dating, secular music, beaches, swimming and many other activities considered normal for young men and women of this age."
Some outside the Church, Bishop Edgley noted, may feel a mission is an unreasonable sacrifice. "Our missionaries . . . view it as an opportunity to manifest their love to the Savior . . . . I see it as truly one of the distinguishing characteristics of true Christianity. I see these young missionaries as true Christian servants, exemplifying the highest Christian principles by testifying of and serving our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
"Some have questioned why our missionaries would be sent to all parts of the world, even among our fellow Christians. Our missionaries go to all nations and all people because they have a firm, unshakable testimony that God still loves the world and that He has spoken again as an indication of that love. He has restored previous truths lost over the centuries of Christian persecution, dark ages and years of confusion - truths that are essential to our peace and our happiness.
"Our missionaries do not attempt to take away any precious truths, values or principles that have led so many of you to a life of righteous service and devotion to the Savior. Rather, they come to your homes to present further evidence, additional scripture, that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ. . . ."
Missionaries will teach, Bishop Edgley declared, of the First Vision to the boy Prophet Joseph Smith to commence the restoration, of the purpose of mortality and of the possibility of eternal families.
Bishop Edgley encouraged those listening to listen to the missionaries' message. "May I suggest that you not just accept their message but that you inquire fervently of our Father in Heaven as to its truthfulness and its value to you and your family."