Elders Ballard, Jensen Visit Members in Mexico
“Deep conversion of the spirit is necessary for our members to introduce to their hearts what they agreed to in their minds.”—Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
During the weekend of September 10–11, 2011, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Jay E. Jensen of the Presidency of the Seventy met with members in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Cuernavaca Mexico Mission Conference
On Saturday, September 10, Elder Ballard and Elder Jensen addressed missionaries and priesthood leaders in two separate meetings.
Elder Ballard impressed upon missionaries of the Cuernavaca Mexico Mission the importance of an enthusiastic attitude in missionary work.
“It is easier to communicate by the Spirit when we are enthusiastic,” he said.
Conversion or activation always begins with what investigators feel, more than with what they know, he continued. “That is the power of missionaries—to set up the opportunity for people to feel what they once felt in the primordial world.”
He then went on to a question-and-answer discussion with the missionaries, covering topics that included the gift of discernment, making people feel welcome at church, faith, and reactivation.
Elder Jensen counseled missionaries to “use as many of the six senses as possible. … With investigators, we have them touch the book, their eyes read the words, and their ears hear the words. Use these characteristics to bring success,” he said.
He issued the missionaries nine invitations:
- Have a shared vision with balanced efforts.
- Develop the attributes of Christ.
- Plan effectively and efficiently.
- Make daily positive contact with investigators.
- Make sure investigators attend sacrament meeting frequently before they are baptized.
- Find elect investigators who hear the Lord’s voice.
- Seek two new member referrals daily.
- Coordinate weekly with the ward missionary leader.
- Be bold—use “will you” questions. Use all the priesthood keys.
Cuernavaca Priesthood Leadership Meeting
In addressing priesthood leaders, Elder Ballard focused on the need for reactivation within wards. He counseled leaders to connect the local missionary work with the work of reactivation in the ward.
“[Missionaries] can make the first contact, but the second contact needs to be with ward members to build a relationship,” he said. “We should teach less active and nonmembers about the Lord, His established Church, the Apostasy, and the Restoration. Bear testimony.”
Elder Jensen emphasized to priesthood leaders the importance of spiritual experiences and covenants.
He told the parable of the pearl:
“A merchant found a beautiful pearl and wanted to share its beauty, so he asked a craftsman to make a box to house it,” he said. He then explained that the craftsman discovered that as people came to see the pearl, they admired the box and overlooked the pearl.
An example of this in the Church, he said, is the temple. The temple is like the box, but the covenants and the doctrine represent the pearl that is of more value.
“The purpose of the Church is to carry out the salvation and exaltation of God’s children,” Elder Jensen said.
Saturday Evening—Young Adults and Youth
Later that day Elder Ballard held a devotional with young single adults from Cuernavaca in the Civac stake center.
Elder Benjamín De Hoyos of the Seventy and Mexico City Mexico Temple president Santiago Mejía Mora were also in attendance. Both spoke on the importance of living worthy to be married in the temple.
Elder Ballard spoke on several topics, telling those in attendance to pray, be careful with their use of technology, and work to strengthen their self-control.
“Take care of the inner self,” he said. “Help each other prepare for the future, and seek an eternal companion through prayer. In the Lord’s time, things will work out.”
Meanwhile, Elder Jensen spent Saturday evening in a devotional with youth from Cuautla in the Cuautla Mexico Zapata Stake center.
Sunday, September 11—Stake Conferences
On Sunday, September 11, 2011, both Brethren presided over stake conferences—Elder Ballard in Cuernavaca and Elder Jensen in Cuautla.
Elder Ballard closed the conference by asking members to embed the gospel in the hearts of the people of Mexico through spiritual experiences.
“There is too much mental acceptance of the gospel without experiencing a spiritual acceptance,” he said. “Deep conversion of the spirit is necessary for our members to introduce to their hearts what they agreed to in their minds.”