Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The 4th Missionary

Family and Friends,

I am not going to focus this email on what happened this week. Know the following: The work is moving forward and we had 4 people in church. Look for the baptisms in 2 weeks. Go Tomebamba!!!

What I am going to focus my email on: The Fourth Missionary

Elder Johnson, who has quickly become my best friend in the mission, even though he knows it not, has been talking with me as of late about the 4th Missionary. Finally I got my hands on the talk he was refering to... and I can now share it with all of you.

The talk was written by Lawrence E. C. of the Seventy (1st Quorum). I felt a huge need to read the talk... but the talk is 29 pages long... and I just never thought I would have the time. But needless to say... the Lord gives us the time.

It was Tuesday night. I was all ready for bed. In fact: I was In Bed. And I was going to go to sleep. My bed has had flees for the past 2 months now so I have been used to waking with hundreds of red bites that itch like none other. So I carefully wrapped myself in a clean blanket and bedded down for the night. I awoke at 12:30... unable to sleep. Itching all over from a hoard of rabid flees. I tossed and turned for about a half hour. I had to sleep! I need to work each day. Not that I am tired by 2:00 anyway. I prayed so that the Lord would put me to sleep. It had worked a few nights back so I thought I would put the Almighty's blessings to use again. He didn´t put me back to sleep. A thought came to my mind: Use the time to study. So I did.

When I got to my desk. The door safely closed as not to wake the other missionaries. I first saw the talk of the 4th Missionary sitting at the corner of my desk. I had nothing else to do... and I had plenty of time... so I decided to read the talk. And I read... and I read... then I thought... and then I read some more... The time seemed to stand still and I spent hours and hours reading and meditating. When I finished reading I opened up my journal and I started writing what I learned. Then I reread a few more parts of the talk... then I had time to do what I really needed to do: I prayed. I had a good long talk with my Father in Heaven.

I then tried to get some sleep. I finished my studies at 5:00... so I thought I would be able to sleep. It was more haphazard than anything else. I was so tired the next day. Drained. I felt like Joseph Smith after his visits from the Angel Moroni. Please don´t think that this was some HUGE spiritual experience for me... because it was FAR FROM. It was more of a realization that I had a lot more to do during my mission than I was doing. That maybe I was a good missionary... but I could be a better one. I could be the 4th Missionary.

I started putting in practice some of the things the talk mentioned instantly. I have seen the difference immediately. I was so impressed by the talk that I have attached it and am sending it to you all today. I hope you read it. It not only applies to missionaries... but it applies to all aspects of life... it applies to who you will become and who you are.

I talked with Elder Johnson about what I had learned and about what I am now putting into practice... and he gave me another assignment: to read the talk given by Elder Scott from the October 2010 Conference because it had a similar message. I hope you read that talk as well but you will have to prove your own faith in what I am saying by looking it up on www.lds.org .

Here is a snip it to catch and draw your attention. Hoping that you will read the rest of the talk:

So, do you see that the question is not only "are you obedient?" nor is it only, "are you worthy?" Rather, the central question, the critical question is "who are you, and who are you becoming?"

In the parable of the ten virgins five are prepared and enter the Lord's presence and five do not. Why does the Lord choose to use the metaphor of "virgins" in this particular parable? Why not ten maids, or ten servants? Why virgins? It is the only time that He employs the characterization of "virgins" in a parable. Is there a reason?

What does virginity imply? Purity. There were ten worthy, pure maidens and yet five did not enter His presence, despite their worthiness. Why not? He said to them: "Verily I say unto you, I know you not." (Matthew 25:12)

Do not misunderstand; obedience and worthiness are crucial, absolutely essential. Worthiness or purity is a quality of godliness, but it is only one quality of godliness. It is not the whole of it. The question may not be merely "are you worthy, pure and clean?" It may not be only "have you been forgiven of your sins?" It may not even be only "were you obedient?" The central question is more likely to be: "Who are you?" Who are you and who are you becoming?

Think about it...and then read the whole talk. It really made me think. And now I am doing things differently.

Love you all,

Elder Robinson

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  1. Elder Jethro,
    My son is currently serving a mission in Guatemala and asked me to find a talk for him called The Fourth Missionary. After looking on LDS.org and doing a Google search, your blog is the only spot that I can find with a reference to the same talk he is looking for. On your blog it says that you are sending a link to the talk, but it's not included in your post. Do you by chance still have the reference to it that you can share with me? You can email me back at lauraleeh58@comcast.net

    Thank you!
    Lauralee Horrocks

  2. Elder Jethro,
    I read this talk on my mission, my mission president LOVED it! As did I, i have a friend leaving on a mission in a few weeks and would like to get him a copy of it. My copy has been covered with notes and is very beat up. I havent been able to find it on the internet either. If you have a link and would be able to send it to me i would appreciate it very much!
    My e-mail address is r-green23@live.com
    Thank you so much
    Riley Greenhalgh