In reading through the conference talks from this past weekend I couldn't help but think of how grateful I am to have a missionary out serving. It truly is a privilege to be the mom of a young man who has chosen to leave college where the palm trees blow. To pack up his life in a few boxes and leave for 2 years with a couple of suitcases in his hands and giving up things/people that meant so much to him....All because he loves the Lord and chooses to keep the commandments. I am inspired weekly by the stories shared by not only Cameron, but so many of the other young men and women that are out serving right now. Cameron, someday when you are back and have an opportunity to read this blog, please know how much you are loved and how supported you are in your choice to serve. There is no other place you should be right now, than exactly where you are.
I have copied part of the talk that was given this past General Conference by Dallin H. Oaks. I love the message and Cameron, and I LOVE YOU! Mom
Dallin H. Oaks Conference Talk April 2012
The best-known examples of unique LDS service and sacrifice are the work of our missionaries. Currently they number more than 50,000 young men and young women and over 5,000 adult men and women. They devote from six months to two years of their lives to teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and providing humanitarian service in more than 160 countries in the world. Their work always involves sacrifice, including the years they give to the work of the Lord and also the sacrifices made in providing funds for their support.
Those who remain at home—parents and other family members—also sacrifice by forgoing the companionship and service of the missionaries they send forth. For example, a young Brazilian received a missionary call while he was working to support his brothers and sisters after his father and mother died. A General Authority described these children’s meeting in council and remembering that their deceased parents had taught them that they should always be prepared to serve the Lord. The young man accepted his missionary call, and a 16-year-old brother took over the responsibility of working to support the family.6 Most of us know of many other examples of sacrifice to serve a mission or to support a missionary. We know of no other voluntary service and sacrifice like this in any other organization in the world.
We are frequently asked, “How do you persuade your young people and your older members to leave their schooling or their retirement to sacrifice in this way?” I have heard many give this explanation: “Knowing what my Savior did for me—His grace in suffering for my sins and in overcoming death so I can live again—I feel privileged to make the small sacrifice I am asked to make in His service. I want to share the understanding He has given me.” How do we persuade such followers of Christ to serve? As a prophet explained, “We [just] ask them.”7
Other sacrifices resulting from missionary service are the sacrifices of those who act on the teachings of the missionaries and become members of the Church. For many converts, these sacrifices are very significant, including the loss of friends and family associations.
Many years ago this conference heard of a young man who found the restored gospel while he was studying in the United States. As this man was about to return to his native land, President Gordon B. Hinckley asked him what would happen to him when he returned home as a Christian. “My family will be disappointed,” the young man answered. “They may cast me out and regard me as dead. As for my future and my career, all opportunity may be foreclosed against me.”
“Are you willing to pay so great a price for the gospel?” President Hinckley asked.
Tearfully the young man answered, “It’s true, isn’t it?” When that was affirmed, he replied, “Then what else matters?”8 That is the spirit of sacrifice among many of our new members.