You. Are. Great.
I feel like we should get that out in the open now.
So throw away whatever hangup you have, whatever ‘but,’ whatever disbelief.
And believe what I’m saying.
Let’s talk about the f-word for a minute.
Here’s a newsflash. At some point in your beautiful, crazy life, you. will. fail.
Absolutely you will. I can’t tell you at what, and I hope it doesn’t tear you up too much. But you absolutely will.
Now let’s talk about obedience for a minute.
It’s the first law of heaven. I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like a pretty big deal. Obedience is NEVER failure.
Recently, I’ve seen several of my friends struggle with coming home from a mission early for medical reasons. Their hearts — which were fully invested in the selfless act of thrusting in their sickles with all of their might — are now broken. Some are shattered. In place of the burning desire to serve God with every ounce that lives in them, sadness, despair and an suffocating blanket of hopelessness — stitched together by the fear of failure — has enveloped them.
And that sounds suspiciously similar to the liar that lives underneath all of our insecurities; the deceiver who is burrowed underneath on deepest regrets and widest fears. That perpetrator of all self-doubt and self-loathing.
That sounds like Satan. And He. Does. Not. Love. You.
He never has. He never will.
So “be of good cheer,” the Savior commands his beloved disciples. He has overcome the world.
The Master admonished us that in the world, we would have tribulation, sadness and fear.
But his words are living water that hydrate the weakest corners of our souls with a profound and lasting peace.
God never calls us to fail.
That includes on a mission. To those of you, dear Elders and Sisters who have had to end your missionary service early for reasons outside of your control, do not despair. You were obedient to the call of a prophet of God, commissioned by the Lord himself to call you to your corner of His vineyard. That was by design. As was the duration.
Because God needs you to lift where you stand, no matter what mantle you stand under.
Missionary. Relief Society teacher. Ward greeter. Primary teacher. Sunday school president. Brother. Sister. Daughter. Son. Friend. Disciple.
He is still calling you to declare His word among His people that they might have everlasting life.
The Latter-days are a time for defenders. Defenders of Christ. Defenders of faith. The same faith you have studied, and preached and believed and cherished.
I am thoroughly convinced that as the days go on, and God’s side stand’s in stark contrast from the world’s side, he is calling and preparing an army of returned missionaries to serve and love and teach.
Some of them he needed as defenders before their 18 or 24 month mark.
Thank you for succeeding every day as a disciple of Christ.
Throw away your doubt.
Your soul, your worth, your faith — it’s beautiful.