On Tuesday, February 15, 2011 the missionaries in the Japan Tokyo mission were able to visit with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder Ronald Rasband who is one of the Presidents of the Seventy. Their wives also accompanied them. The meeting was held in the church adjacent to the Tokyo temple. They had a late morning meeting with just the missionaries and then another meeting that evening with all of the LDS members in the are. I will try to post some of the main points of their talks.
Sister Rasband (AM Meeting): She talked about holding up your light so it can shine forth. Christ is the light.
Elder Rasband (AM Meeting): He stated that Japan is not the most difficult mission in the church, but one of the hardest. He said the purpose for the church in these latter days is for the Gathering of Israel and the Lord's elect. He quoted Doctrine and Covenants 123:12 about the elect being blinded by the craftiness of men. He said we need to have great earnestness in finding the Lord's elect. He talked about Names. The Lord knows us all by Name. Names are important. In the temples we do work for one Name at a time--everyone is an individual.
Sister Holland (AM Meeting): She told of a woman in Norway who felt the power of the Priesthood in the missionaries as they walked by her little shop each day. She wanted to find out about that source of power so she stopped them one day to talk. Soon she was baptized and raised her sons to become missionaries. Power can emanate from a missionary. Others will sense his power and will want to know why you glow. She asked the missionaries to show the glow of angel light in their souls. She said "You don't have to be perfect to have Heavenly Father's love, but you have to be trying to become perfect."
Elder Holland (AM Meeting): He thanked the missionaries for serving their missions. He said that the General authorities can not duplicate themselves and be everywhere they need to be to do missionary work so they rely on the missionaries to be emissary's for the restored church. Missionary work is the miracle of the Restoration. Invite others to come and see what we have to offer. Missionaries are the foot soldiers in God's Kingdom.
The most powerful thing he said was this: "If I find you at some later date and learn that you have gone inactive in this church, I will find you. How Dare You be here in Japan, telling others to change their lives, and not be willing to change your own. You have been guaranteed one convert on your mission--YOU! So get up on time and study!!" He said that it took seven years to write Preach My Gospel and it was created out of concern for the return missionary inactivity. Convert the missionary and then the investigator. He said that study has to be personal and powerful. Obedience is the first law of everything. We are going to Spiritual Medical School every day. Be ready to save spiritual lives.
The evening session was held in Kichijoji Chapel. Nine stakes were invited. Most of them were Japanese members of the church but there were some other members from the Tokyo South District which consists of three English speaking branches. There are three branches from the Honshu Military District in the Tokyo area.
Sister Holland - PM Session: She said that we believe we are all brothers and sisters of Eternal parents. Jesus was sent to show us what Godlike love is like. It isn't our outward appearance that will make us happy. Our happiness is not obtained by jobs or education or how talented we might be. Our greatest achievement and joy is our relationship with other people and with our families. She said the Japanese have the quality of patience.
Elder Holland - PM Session: The church is destined to fill the world. This Church bears His name and the Priesthood bears His name. He guides from heaven. The challenge of the leaders is to administrate the 2,900 Stakes in the church-30,000 wards and branches-342 missions with 127 new mission presidents. There can only be three members in the Presidency and 12 Apostles. Currently there are 14 million members of the church. The Presidency is trying to get out to large groups. Currently it would take 29 years to have an apostle visit each stake--that is if there were no more growth. All they can do is wave and send you a kiss.
He said the real message he has to give was that God knows each of us by name. In the Gospel we are saved one person at a time. When we are baptized we take upon the name of Christ. You are born with a name, baptized by name, ordination and temple blessings individualize us. Christ bore our sins personally, not collectively. He quoted Doctrine & Covenants 18:10--a missionary verse "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."
He told of two missionaries who were only a footnote in church history--Eliazer Miller and Alphias Gifford (sp?). In 1832 they left their families to serve a mission and only had two baptisms--Brigham Young and Heber C Kimball. I'm sure they did not think they were successful missionaries. Abinidi didn't know what the outcome of his speech to King Noah and his priests. He didn't know Alma by name or that Alma was changed by his preaching. Alma equals everyone in the church. Do you understand why God loves you individually? He spoke about God's individual and personal love for each of us. He said. "We don't tell stories about stakes, wards or groups. We tell stories about individuals. Yes, working together as a family for salvation is so extremely important, but that is not enough until you are in it personally. It is about the individual's conversion. It is about YOU." You never know how you can impact the world.