The Wilkinson Center ballroom was filled to the max with hundreds of young adults considering serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at a prospective missionary fireside.
Elder Richard G. Hinckley, an emeritus general authority, and his wife, Sister Jane Hinckley, addressed the students.
Brad Farnsworth, a faculty member of the Department of Religious Education, conducted the meeting. He began by inviting all those who were planning to serve missions to stand up and recognize they are a part of a great number of prospective missionaries; he said they were a wonderful sight.
Sister Hinckley spoke first by sharing specific applications of being an effective missionary, including working hard, getting along with companions, maintaining focus, keeping a well-groomed appearance and being grateful.
“Be sure that you thank (people who help you). There will be a lot of people who do nice things for you,” Sister Hinckley said.
Elder Hinckley then took the remainder of the time to teach the audience the doctrine of missionary work. He served as a young missionary in Central Germany, and he and his wife served as mission presidents in Salt Lake City from 2001 to 2004. He began his remarks by testifying of the importance of a mission president’s wife.
“When you serve your mission. You will get to know and love your mission president and his wife, and realize that in almost every case, her sacrifice is greater than his,” Elder Hinckley said. “His wife … will be charged with simply loving and appreciating you, and supporting you. That’s what she’ll do, and that’s what my wife did.”
He passionately expressed the importance of the missionary purpose, also known as the doctrine of Christ. He referred the audience to Preach My Gospel, wherein the purpose of missionary work is outlined as inviting others “to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”
“Missionaries were very good at memorizing these few lines, but very few of them grasped or even stopped to think about what they mean. This will be your charge as a missionary,” Elder Hinckley said. “Every day for 18 or 24 months, you will be expected to extend these invitations.”
Elder Hinckley shared several missionary experiences and concluded with a promise to those planning to serve missions.
“I promise you that as you prepare for your mission and as you serve, you will come to love and appreciate what we call the doctrine of Christ as never before,” Elder Hinckley said. “It will change your lives, and it will change the lives of your investigators.”