“New Mission Presidents Counseled,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 74–75
“I love this work with all my heart,” President Ezra Taft Benson told sixty-eight new mission presidents and their wives June 21. His remarks highlighted the first session of the annual seminar for new mission presidents at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.
Also present at the first session of the week-long seminar were President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency; most of the Quorum of the Twelve and the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy; and members of the First Quorum of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric.
Noting that “you are engaged in the greatest work in all the world,” President Benson promised the mission presidents that they would succeed. “You are not called to fail,” he said.
Following his opening remarks, President Benson asked Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve to read an address President Benson had prepared. The talk outlined six principles essential for a mission president’s success.
“The first principle is love,” he said. “Truly love the work in which you are engaged … love your own eternal companion … love your missionaries.” He advised mission presidents to then “teach your missionaries this principle of love.”
Speaking of work, the second principle, he counseled mission presidents to “teach your missionaries the love of work, and you set the example.”
He noted that the third principle is gospel study, and the fourth is prayer. “You and your missionaries should read daily from the Book of Mormon. Pray for divine direction. … Teach your missionaries the power of prayer.”
Regarding faith, the fifth principle, he told those present to have “faith in your missionaries” and “faith in yourself.”
“The sixth and final principle is obedience,” he said. “Simple obedience brings forth the blessings of heaven.”
Following his counsel to the mission presidents, President Benson spoke to the missionaries at the training center.