President Johnson shared this message with each district we visited for interviews this past month:
Moroni, The Brother of Jared & Comparing
I am grateful to be with you who contribute to the success of the PPM. I love each of you, and am grateful for your dedication and influence. Being a missionary is challenging. One challenge I have noticed in some missionaries is the tendency to feel we aren’t good enough, talented enough or powerful enough to do what we have been asked to do. We put forth our best efforts, but some of us struggle with feelings of inadequacy.
Sometimes these feelings arise as we compare ourselves with other missionaries in the Book of Ether even the great prophet Moroni seemed to have some feelings of inadequacy as he compared his writings to those of the Brother of Jared. Speaking to the Lord he said, “. . . the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing. . . like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them. . . when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words” (Ether 12:23-25).
In light of the powerful writing of the Brother of Jared, Moroni was concerned his offering, his writing wasn’t good enough—that it would be mocked. Have you ever felt that way about your abilities in comparison with other missionaries around you? Have you felt your missionary work wasn’t good enough—that it might even be mocked?
Some of the Lord’s words in answer to Moroni are very familiar to us. They have even been chosen as a scripture mastery passage. “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27)
Each of us has been inspired by the Lord’s words to Moroni. I am grateful that Moroni was also strengthened by these words and didn’t abort his task because of his feelings of weakness or awkwardness. What if, when he was exposed to the writings of the Brother of Jared, he had just given up? What if we didn’t have his writings in the Book of Mormon?
• No conclusion to his father’s book chronicling the final destruction of his people
• No Book of Ether
• No Book of Moroni
For someone who viewed himself as weak in writing, the Lord’s grace was sufficient and then some. I don’t know if Moroni’s writing soared to the heights of the writings of the brother of Jared, but I do know that with the Spirit, Moroni’s words have had a powerful impact on me and on millions of others who have read them. A report on the digital versions of the scriptures says three of the top five highlighted verses in all the standard works are from Moroni’s writings—including Ether 12:27.
When we feel our missionary efforts are weak and don’t measure up to others’ abilities, we can look inward and upward and not sideways or over our shoulders. We don’t need to spend our energies worrying about how we compare with others. We can spend our energies humbling ourselves and focusing on the people we are working with. The Lord’s grace is sufficient for us, too--sufficient for our efforts as missionaries, and sufficient for our efforts in gaining eternal life.
Discussion with Sister Johnson on The Parable of the Sower - The Power of the Word in Changing Hearts
NEW GRAND DARLING BORN OCTOBER 14, 2016 MALLORY HOLDING HARPER
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