“New MTC Presidents Instructed,” Ensign, Apr. 1998, 77
“Make giants out of all the missionaries,” said Elder David B. Haight of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to eight presidents and their wives newly called to lead half the Church’s total of 16 worldwide missionary training centers. “Try to save every one. Teach them well to testify to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.”
Elder Haight’s 16 January address concluded a five-day seminar held for the new MTC presidents and their wives at the Provo Missionary Training Center. Elder Haight serves as chairman of the Missionary Executive Council. He was accompanied by Elder Earl C. Tingey of the Presidency of the Seventy, executive director of the Missionary Department, who also spoke during the seminar.
“Young hearts and souls will come under your influence, and they’ll be affected by you,” remarked Elder Haight. “They’ll watch you to see what you do and what you say and how you treat each other as husband and wife, because you will be representing the Church. They will rise to heights we know not of as a result of being in your care.”
Encouraging the new MTC presidents and their wives to serve with love, Elder Haight said: “That loving ingredient in the Church is difficult to really explain. It is that feeling that we have toward one and another, the feeling the Savior talked about: ‘Love one another’ [John 13:34]. Loving one another [means] hoping we can communicate properly, that we can convey to someone else that which is in our heart and mind. There’s a love about this work, about the scriptures, about the teachings, about the way we say it, the way we shake hands and when we look at people. There is something about it that draws us together. There is a bonding of our hearts and our souls.”
In his remarks, Elder Tingey said: “President Hinckley is redefining the retention of converts in activity to the entire Church. We do not have to reduce the number of converts to retain converts. … They must have new friends in the Church.”