Monday, December 5, 2011

Elder Jepsen - Mission Entry 103: I Too Am Going On a Mission!

I was supposed to be in Provo, Utah, getting ready to enter the Missionary Training Center in preparation to serve my mission. That was the plan but these are the facts: I am not in the MTC, I am not in Provo, Utah and I am not even in the States. 

I am getting ready to go and get set apart to serve in the Copenhagen Denmark Mission, where I did much of my growing up. The processing of my visa was delayed, just like it happened to my brother Lee but I will be off for the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah at a later date. 

I look up to the many missionaries I have met through my youth. I have observed their unselfish service, they're great examples to me and I have a lot to live up to! I must admit that I am a little stressed about now going to be one myself but for now I am off to serve a mission and that's what matters to me. By the time you read this, I'll be a missionary serving somewhere in Denmark and I can use all the prayers I can get.

It may seem anticlimactic to some but what makes a mission great is not about new places and experiences, adventure and travel to distant countries and cultures. It's about service to God and service to your fellowman. The Book of Mormon has stated it much clearer than I can in Mosiah 2:17:

"When Ye Are in the Service
 of Your Fellow Beings Ye Are Only in the 
Service of Your God"

I am excited to go on a mission and regardless of where this might be in the world it's still a mission, because this is not about me. This is about helping others find strength and peace in God as I have. This is about making God accessible to others and God matters to everyone, everywhere. People everywhere can benefit from the peace in our hearts that come with the Lord's blessings. David A. Bednar, An apostle of the Lord stated God's gifts to include strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving kindnesses, support and spiritual gifts which we receive from, because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Here at the time of year when many thoughts and activities are focused on Christmas are those not gifts worth receiving?

I believe that God is the same today as he was yesterday or a thousand years ago. Ergo, it's important to me to be be a member of a church of the same organizational structure that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth. I believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly and I also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

My Mom and Dad both served full-time missions and Stake missions, my sister served a long mini-mission and both my brothers served full-time missions. I appreciate their examples as I look up to my family but I am not going on a mission just because they did. I chose to prepare for and go on a mission because I want to and because I believe it's my responsibility to share what I have been given. Yet I could not just go on a mission on my own accord. To be a missionary, preach the gospel  and administer the ordinances of the gospel I had to be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority.

I was called and next I will be set apart by those in authority to do so. I chose to accept this challenge and go on a mission because I believe in God, the Eternal Father, in His Son, Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. I believe that we all are responsible for our choices in life, good and bad but that God's mercy allows us access to His peace, redemption and forgiveness. I believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

We can find forgiveness, strength, peace and redemption in God. The terms, principles and ordinances of His gospel are not at all difficult: First, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost and that's what I'll be teaching on my mission.

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