Removing ourselves to the ‘Exceedingly High Mountain’
A very warm welcome to our new Mission Presidents and their families!
While studying scriptures to prepare for the sessions of the day I
was cross referencing and found myself inspired in 1 Nephi 10:1
where it refers to desiring, believing and pondering and being caught
|Laoag Sunrise-Northern Luzon Island|
every word in the scriptures can be literal and symbolic and I reflected
on how I get myself to a state of mind of being in the ‘exceeding high
mountain’. To be elevated to a level of great heights and feel confident
of our ability to remain at that great height led me to ponder and
liken this unto my experiences and how they can assist me in using the
spirit as I prepare for each session, representing the Lord for His missionaries.
Starting with what I know. My father adored me and I thought he
thought I could do anything, (maybe except read). It wasn’t until
about 15 years of age I realized my mother and brothers were just as
important to him as I was (a painful lesson for another time). This
made it so easy to understand a Heavenly Father who adored me and
would send His only son down even if I was the only one the atonement
would save. I had all brothers and they hung the
moon and still do! The three of them taught me ultimate passion for life, submissiveness to the Lord’s
will without complaint or fear, and the way to find joy in the journey. I felt they would do anything to
protect me and I would walk through fire for any one of them. Thus, a loving big brother, who died for
me made complete sense in my mind. A talented and amazing mother and an adoring eternal companion
taught me all of what it felt to be adored and loved. Life was not easy, loss of jobs, family members to
early taken from this world, dad not a member for years, and all working early in our lives-as now I look
back, what a blessing all that opposition proved to be.
Obedience and hard work, then hard play were important concepts in our home. We were taught the 3
levels of obedience and work, though I would say my folks never gave an indication the first level, obedience
out of fear-the telestial level, was ever acceptable. They began at the ‘terrestrial’ level of why we
should obey and work hard, out of a sense of duty and honor for who we were and our name, the ‘Mount’
name, it meant something. No higher compliment could I pay than in my heart and mind to make someone
a Mount Brother…the ‘exceeding high Mount’ if you will.
Then as we matured it was to become obedience out of a deep sense of love. When you feel completely adored and loved you will do anything for those you love, and offense isn’t part of the equation! This is the ‘exceeding high mountain’ to be obedient and work as hard as you can out of a sense of love. My favorite leader in the Book of Mormon is Pahoran! Even when Moroni unrighteously slammed him he took no offense, he felt more love for him which made him look only for the good. This kind of blind love to others faults is my goal!
Now as I take these things I know and liken them unto our here and now. Many of our missionaries have no such orientation. To feel completely loved and adored is often experienced as fear and an ongoing fight to feel Christ-like love while their only memories are filled with abuse, abandonment and hopelessness. As they may never be able to understand my world where those few men make everything ok, I most probably will never comprehend their past horrors. Instead of adoring and seeking out those men of the earth who a loving Father gives us to provide, protect and preside over us allowing us to feel safe and loved, they fear further victimiza-tion. So we are it, we may be the only, or at least the first time, they get to feel totally adored and loved. Whether they are the best or least productive missionary in the field, we are what our Father uses to help them recognize their amazing worth. Sometimes the spirit has whispered when the most challenging missionary speaks to me, you have no idea what a miracle it is they even got their papers in, quit judging and help them feel my love! How do we help them feel the Savior’s love with the few minutes we have with them? Each one is different but I know that as I immerse myself each morning in the scriptures and prepare for each ses-sion, I have the right to call upon the spirit to lead those sessions, and he does! When I first arrived, even with my husband at my side, I too was overwhelmed, and had thoughts of desperately wanting to run back home to my family that loved me. Then I went to a fireside and President Neilson was speaking, I looked at him and felt his love, he knows how to represent the Savior! We spoke after the fireside and that feeling like I was the only one in the world and he would do anything for me filled my heart, he knows the spirit! How my heart jumped for joy as he was announced as our Area President! Then I spent time with my mission presidents, one working through the night and as I stood outside a bathroom door and listened to him with all the love of our Savior help his young missionary remember how to shower, clothe and dress, after a psychotic break. Another President working all through the night and sitting in my office with his arm around a Pacific Islander, whom it took all night for him to help his missionary feel the Savior’s love. Tears rolled from each of our eyes, as the spirit of our Savior sat in my office disguised that day as a mission president. I could go on for pages about the many experiences I’ve had with you mission presidents, but suffice it to say, my brothers are here! I testify to you when your missionaries leave this MTC they have felt that love, working with President Beck and Raul V. your missionaries have been ministered to, not just had the administering of their MTC provided for them. As with President Neilson, I have seen them connect, laugh, eat and teach with tender hearts with all the love of a big brother. These mentioned names and the Mission Presidents of the Philippines are my ‘Mount’ broth-ers, for your work is out of love, you are here representing the Savior and it is you and your beautiful brides that bring to these missionaries the ‘exceeding high mountain’ as our hearts are knit together in love! I pledge to do all I can to be worthy of your great spirits and example! I love you and thank you.
Your little sister,