Jeffrey R. Holland has a way of teaching with such fervor and emotion that it’s hard not to be filled with motivation after you hear him speak. This quote on missionary work will make any missionary excited to walk that extra mile and knock on one last door.
“You only get one chance to serve a mission; it is your responsibility, your duty, to use it to the fullest; to give every last ounce of energy until you collapse in exhaustion at the end of it.
All the hardships, all the tears, all the hard work will be looked back upon as the best thing you’ve ever done, not because you enjoyed it, not because you baptized everyone, but because you gave everything you had, even when you didn’t think you could, and especially when you didn’t want to.
You only get one chance to serve a mission; it is your responsibility, your duty, to use it to the fullest
Live your mission to your fullest, work harder than you’ve ever worked before. Let people know that this is the most important thing in the world to you…
If you do not run until you have nothing left to give, and then keep going anyway; cry and pray and work and sweat and plead until you are so drained that all you can do is turn to the Lord; if you don’t do this, then these people will not come to this joy because of you – their failure to come to Christ will be partially upon your head.
Come out of your mission proud of what you’ve done, and this experience will bless the rest of your life.”
In another address called the “Miracle of a Mission” Elder Holland also said:
“It [Missionary work] is by definition the most important thing you can do in the world, in time or eternity. For this reason you are engaged in the saving of the human soul. And that is the highest and holiest work in the universe.
That is the thing that God Himself said was His work and glory. It is the purpose for which the Savior came to the earth and gave His life and was resurrected to open those possibilities and promises of Eternal Life. It is the purpose for which every prophet has lived and every apostle has spoken.
It is the purpose for which every missionary since Adam and Eve has gone forth to declare the truth. You join those ranks! You join that brotherhood and sisterhood and it is as I said by definition, by theology, it is the most important thing you can do.”
In his powerful talk, “Missionary Work and the Atonement” Elder Holland also powerfully declared:
“I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?
It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.”