On the third and final day of the Mission Tour Elder Richards turned a few minutes over to me to address a group of missionaries for my final time. President Samuelian has requested that I put the thoughts that I shared in writing and email it to all the missionaries of our wonderful mission.
The day before the third conference Elder Richards asked me if I would take a few minutes in the next day’s conference. He told me not to prepare a talk but to think about think about what I might share and to go by the spirit. I felt impressed to talk the joy of selfless service and the misery of selfishness. This was a subject that I had on my mind consistently for the few days prior to the meeting. It all started when Elder Richards told Elder Buhler and me a story the Sunday before. The story was about when he was in medical school, was the Elders Quorum President, and was married with two young kids. He then started an internship which took up much of his time. Because of his extremely tight schedule he was not sure if he would be able to remain the Elders Quorum President. He prayed and eventually got a strong answer that he was to remain the Elders Quorum President. He told us how those years of being outrageously busy but still serving the Lord shaped his life.
As I thought about this story, I thought to myself, would I be willing to do that? Would I be willing to give up all of my physical comfort? This really got me thinking about physical comfort. Spiritual comfort brings peace and happiness, but physical comfort does not. Usually we make selfish decisions because it’s more comfortable, it’s easier. I thought to myself, what are examples of people who lived comfortable lives in the Book of Mormon? And what came to mind were King Noah and Laban. On the other hand all the Book of Mormon heroes we love chose to have very little physical comfort.Most of the miserable people I have met focus more on themselves and their comfort than anything else. They think that more comfort or selfish living will make them happy, but time and time again it leaves them miserable. The times on my mission where I have consistently gave up my comfort were the happiest times of my mission, and the times where I chose my comfort were the times I would like to forget. Elders and Sisters let’s not fool ourselves by thinking that sleeping in, staying in the apartment or any other type of disobedience big or small will make us happy. There is no joy in it, just regret and misery. The Lord blesses us with peace when we are doing what he would have us do. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. It does not come all at once, but as children of God we all have the ability to do whatever he commands us to. God did no send us here to be mediocre. We are His children with His potential. He sent us here to be extraordinary.
I wish you all the best of luck for the rest of your missions and the rest of your lives. Thank you for the examples you have been to me. Keep the faith. You will be in my prayers.