“Church Leaders Instruct New Mission Presidents,” Ensign, Sept. 2001, 72
“I have no doubt that every day, somewhere in the world, there is a remarkable miracle of conversion taking place, perhaps many of them,” President Gordon B. Hinckley said as he concluded this year’s new mission presidents’ seminar held at the Provo Missionary Training Center on 26–28 June.
“You will become acquainted with such [conversion] stories during the years that you preside. …
“This is a Church of miracles. I know it. I have seen so many of them.”
President Hinckley and other members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles instructed 108 new mission presidents and their wives who were called from 12 nations and will serve in 39 countries. In July these new leaders joined the ranks of 334 mission presidents worldwide who currently preside over some 60,000 missionaries.
President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, gave the opening address at the seminar. In assuring the new presidents that their abilities would be enhanced as they served, President Monson cited principles taught by President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973): “First, whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies; second, when you are on the Lord’s errand, you are entitled to the Lord’s help; and third, the Lord shapes the back to bear the burdens placed upon it.”
President Monson ended with a promise: “Put aside any fears you may have, and the Lord will bless you. As you serve, you will learn who He is, how close He is, and that this is His Church. The Lord blesses those who put their trust in Him.”
President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, also spoke during the seminar, emphasizing the importance of involving members in missionary efforts.
“For full-time missionaries to be fully successful, they need to have the support of the members of the stakes,” President Faust explained. “One of the fruits of missionaries working together with members is that spirituality increases for both the members and the missionary.”
President Faust gave several suggestions for involving members in missionary work. He included the need for bishops to support missionary efforts, effective work by missionaries with ward mission leaders and the bishop, obedient and hardworking missionaries, youth participation, and fellowshipping of new converts.
During the three-day seminar, instruction was also provided by President Boyd K. Packer and Elders L. Tom Perry, Dallin H. Oaks, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Robert D. Hales, and Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.