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The Divine Call of a Missionary
Ronald A. Rasband
April 2010 General Conference
Ronald A. Rasband
April 2010 General Conference
Missionary work is a subject very close to my heart, as it is to every member of the eight Quorums of the Seventy, whom the Lord has appointed to go “before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” Luke 10:1 Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church and the lifesaving blessing to all who accept its message.
When the Master ministered among men, He called fishermen at Galilee to leave their nets and follow Him, declaring, “I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 The Lord extended those calls to humble men so that through them others would hear the truths of His gospel and come unto Him....
...Part of my early training as a new General Authority included an opportunity to sit with members of the Twelve as they assigned missionaries to serve in one of the 300-plus missions of this great Church.
With the encouragement and permission of President Henry B. Eyring, I would like to relate to you an experience, very special to me, which I had with him several years ago when he was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Each Apostle holds the keys of the kingdom and exercises them at the direction and assignment of the President of the Church. Elder Eyring was assigning missionaries to their fields of labor, and as part of my training, I was invited to observe.
I joined Elder Eyring early one morning in a room where several large computer screens had been prepared for the session. There was also a staff member from the Missionary Department who had been assigned to assist us that day.
First, we knelt together in prayer. I remember Elder Eyring using very sincere words, asking the Lord to bless him to know “perfectly” where the missionaries should be assigned. The word “perfectly” said much about the faith that Elder Eyring exhibited that day.
As the process began, a picture of the missionary to be assigned would come up on one of the computer screens. As each picture appeared, to me it was as if the missionary were in the room with us. Elder Eyring would then greet the missionary with his kind and endearing voice: “Good morning, Elder Reier or Sister Yang. How are you today?”
He told me that in his own mind he liked to think of where the missionaries would conclude their mission. This would aid him to know where they were to be assigned. Elder Eyring would then study the comments from the bishops and stake presidents, medical notes, and other issues relating to each missionary.
He then referred to another screen which displayed areas and missions across the world. Finally, as he was prompted by the Spirit, he would assign the missionary to his or her field of labor.
From others of the Twelve, I have learned that this general method is typical each week as Apostles of the Lord assign scores of missionaries to serve throughout the world.
Having served as a missionary in my own country in the Eastern States Mission a number of years ago, I was deeply moved by this experience. Also, having served as a mission president, I was grateful for a further witness in my heart that the missionaries I had received in New York City were sent to me by revelation.
After assigning a few missionaries, Elder Eyring turned to me as he pondered one particular missionary and said, “So, Brother Rasband, where do you think this missionary should go?” I was startled! I quietly suggested to Elder Eyring that I did not know and that I did not know I could know! He looked at me directly and simply said, “Brother Rasband, pay closer attention and you too can know!” With that, I pulled my chair a little closer to Elder Eyring and the computer screen, and I did pay much closer attention!
A couple of other times as the process moved along, Elder Eyring would turn to me and say, “Well, Brother Rasband, where do you feel this missionary should go?” I would name a particular mission, and Elder Eyring would look at me thoughtfully and say, “No, that’s not it!” He would then continue to assign the missionaries where he had felt prompted.
As we were nearing the completion of that assignment meeting, a picture of a certain missionary appeared on the screen. I had the strongest prompting, the strongest of the morning, that the missionary we had before us was to be assigned to Japan. I did not know that Elder Eyring was going to ask me on this one, but amazingly he did. I rather tentatively and humbly said to him, “Japan?” Elder Eyring responded immediately, “Yes, let’s go there.” And up on the computer screen the missions of Japan appeared. I instantly knew that the missionary was to go to the Japan Sapporo Mission.
Elder Eyring did not ask me the exact name of the mission, but he did assign that missionary to the Japan Sapporo Mission.
Privately in my heart I was deeply touched and sincerely grateful to the Lord for allowing me to experience the prompting to know where that missionary should go.
At the end of the meeting Elder Eyring bore his witness to me of the love of the Savior, which He has for each missionary assigned to go out into the world and preach the restored gospel. He said that it is by the great love of the Savior that His servants know where these wonderful young men and women, senior missionaries, and senior couple missionaries are to serve. I had a further witness that morning that every missionary called in this Church, and assigned or reassigned to a particular mission, is called by revelation from the Lord God Almighty through one of these, His servants.
George Magnusson: Tahiti Mission
George and Marian Magnusson: Utah Provo Mission President
David Magnusson: Chile Mission
Aliece Harms Magnusson: California Los Angeles Mission
Matthew Magnusson: Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission
Julina Magnusson Fernandez: Slovenia Ljubljana Mission (assigned to Croatia)
Enrique Fernandez: Massachusetts Boston Mission (Cambodian-speaking)
Andrew Magnusson : Michigan Detroit Mission
Scott Magnusson: Mexico Mexico City Mission
Scott and Kathleen Magnusson: El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission
Dave Meanea: California San Jose Mission
Lisa Magnusson: Argentina, Salta Mission
David Anderson: North Carolina Charlotte Mission
Kristine Magnusson Jeppson: Oregon Portland Mission
Bryce Jeppson: Spain Madrid Mission
Samuel Magnusson: Chile Rancagua Mission
Stan Albrecht: Argentina Córdoba Mission
Mark Johnson: Santo Domingo East Dominican Republic Mission
Jon Walker: Australia Brisbane Mission
Bryce Albrecht: Mexico Culiacán Mission
Mallory Rhead Albrecht: New Jersey Morristown Mission (Spanish-speaking)
Nathan Vasher: Missouri Independence Mission
Jay Albrecht: Chile Viña del Mar Mission
Marissa Albrecht: Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission
Dane Albrecht: Colombia Bogotá North Mission
Alec Albrecht: Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission
Laurel Albrecht: New Mexico Albuquerque Mission
Eric Magnusson: Ohio Columbus Mission
Evan Magnusson: Italy Milan Mission
Jason Fredrick: Russia Moscow Mission
Jared Magnusson: Portugal Lisbon Mission
Spencer Magnusson: Florida Tallahassee Mission
Craig Harris: Mexico Veracruz Mission
Craig and Lynn Harris: Church Service Missionaries–Hosting Conference Center
Alan Harris: Argentina Córdoba Mission
Shane Harris: Mexico Veracruz Mission
Douglas Harris: Uruguay Montevideo Mission
Trenton Adams: Argentina Neuquen Mission
David Landry: Argentina Neuquen Mission
Brennan Shaffer: Kentucky Louisville Mission
Jason Harris: Bolivia Cochabamba Mission
Russell Harris: Spain Madrid Mission
Christy Harris: Costa Rica San Jose Mission
Spencer Harris: Armenia Yerevan Mission
Trenton Harris: Uruguay Montevideo West Mission
Taylor Howard: Mexico Tijuana Mission