The story of Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah is one of the best missionary stories in the Book of Mormon. They all experienced an indescribable joy when they were reunited in Zarahemla after their respective full-time missions. How can we prepare the youth of Zion to go on a mission and experience the same happiness these great missionaries felt? After obtaining a sincere desire, there are three (3) types of important preparations we need to do. These are,
- Physical preparation. Do we have a healthy body? We can achieve this by regularly exercise, eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep.
- Temporal preparation. There are the things we need to bring such as polos, neck ties, shoes, hygiene kit (tooth brush, soap, shampoo etc). This is our temporal luggage.
- Spiritual preparation or he called it our "spiritual luggage".
1. Alma 17:2 - "..searched the scriptures diligently." We can obtain knowledge through regular personal study. When we read, it is also important to "ponderize" that we may imprint His words on our hearts. ATTEND SEMINARY AND INSTITUTE. Make this our priority!
2. Alma 17:3 - "to much prayer, and fasting (take note the word "too"). They had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation - and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God." Missionaries are authorized teachers of the Lord and His church. The spirit is the most important ingredient of an edifying lessons/discussions.
3. Alma 17:4 - "had been teaching the word of God for the space of fourteen years among the Lamanites." We can start our missionary labor by working with the missionaries (take note the word 14 yrs). Heavenly Father only requires 2 years of our lives. (sacrifice and desire)
4. Alma 17:5 - "for they had many afflictions; they did suffer much, both in body and in mind, such as hunger, thirst and fatigue, and also much labor in the spirit." We need to be prepared both spiritually and physically. We need to develop resiliency.
5. Alma 17:6 - Having taken leave of their father, Mosiah, in the first year of the judges; having refused the kingdom which their father was desirous to confer upon them. We are required to leave the world behind. This is not our time. But this is the Lord's time.
6. Alma 17:7 - took their swords , and their spears, and their bows, and their arrows, and their slings; and this they did that they might provide food for themselves. Each day is a constant battle between good and evil. We can win our fights by putting on the whole armor of God. Satan desires for our destruction. He will tempt us and discourage us so we will not finish this mission.
7. Alma 17:9 - fasted much and prayed much - that the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, and abide with them. Prayer and fasting were given an emphasis twice because both are highly important in order to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost always.
8. Alma 17:10 - the Lord did visit them with his Spirit. It is vital to teach by the spirit because He will carry our message unto the hearts of our investigators. We are promised to have His companionship when we are obedient to all the mission rules.
9. Alma 17:11 - be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me. Patience, patience and more patience.
10. Alma 17:12 - the hearts of the sons of Mosiah, and also those who were with them, took courage to go forth unto the Lamanites to declare unto them the word of God. Lock your heart!!! FOCUS and remember, "the harder you work, the more beautiful your wife will be 🙂
11. Alma 17:18 - Ammon being the chief among them, or rather he did administer unto them, and he departed from them, after having blessed them according to their several stations. Missionaries are called and to be set apart by their Stake President. They are authorized and ordained representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ.
12 Alma 17:25 - Ammon said unto him: Nay, but I will be thy servant. Therefore Ammon became a servant to king Lamoni. To get to the hearts of our investigators, members and everyone around us, serve. Be a servant unto them.
13. Alma 17:31 - be of good cheer - Be happy and always smile.
14: Lastly Alma 17:32 - search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon.
We are to search for the Lost sheep and Follow the prophets.
The most important preparations we will do have something to do with our spirituality. They do not occupy much of our physical luggage but more of our hearts. The scriptures taught us that the Lord looketh in the heart. And the reason why we must serve the Him is found in John 14:15, "IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. To serve is a commandment.
Now after hearing these words, what shall we do?
In Mosiah 4:10 "And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them."
We are all missionaries. I encourage all of us to check our spiritual luggage regularly because these are the ones we can bring with us in the Celestial kingdom.