All posts by kevinthescout

Scouting Author, Blogger, Speaker, Historian, Scouting Veteran, Camp director

Introducing the Home and Family Missionary in Training Program

I have mentioned our daughter, Kaylea, and how she and her husband, J.D. are raising missionaries … Well, now she has six children – five boys and one girl – all between the ages of eight and twelve.  So, that is a lot of missionaries who could all leave about the same time.  And that is a lot of missionary preparation that needs to happen.  It is exciting to think about all of those missionaries.

Kaylea and her husband, J.D., have regularly bought new suits (beginning with the feature photo shown with this blog – when the boys were eight and under) – and dresses for Lucy.  When they bought their first suits for the boys I was excited … I could only imagine how fabulous they must look.  I decided that if they were willing to get the suits for the boys, then I, as the Grandpa, should get some “Future Missionary” name badges for them.  I went to the local LDS book store to make a purchase.

They actually had two badge options.  One was the “Future Missionary” that I went there looking for.  And the other, I had not seen before.  It said, “Missionary in Training”.  I just kind of stared at those badges for a few moments as I first saw them.  Then suddenly I was overpowered almost by the Spirit.  I felt a rush of inspiration about the development of a “Missionary in Training” program for all of those missionaries in that one family – and thought too, of all of the rest of our grandkids.  Wow!  I had never considered this before.  And I certainly would not have thought of it myself.

Anyway, after that initial inspiration – for which I am very grateful, I began to ponder and think about what might be in such a program.  The ideas kept coming (literally flowed into my mind) as I worked over the next few months to get the ideas and inspiration down on paper.  Details of the full program were unfolded to me.  And the inspiration expanded to include not just a program for my own grandkids but also to all other parents serious about their charge for missionary preparation.

And that’s what this package is all about.  It is all about training our missionaries and preparing them now so that they can be prepared to serve anywhere in the world as they are called.  It is very much a home and family program designed to help parents and families focus specifically upon the training of their own missionaries – to serve now with their friends and neighbors – as also to prepare them to be future full-time missionaries.

I really love the recent quote as given by Sister Julie B. Beck when she was general Relief Society President.  She said:

“Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre-missionary training center  (MTC).  Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC   would be a review  and not a revelation.  That is influence; that is power.”   (“Mothers who Know”, Beck, Julie B., Ensign,  November    2007   available at https://www.lds.org/general-          conference/2007/10/mothers-who-       know?lang=eng).

 Well, there we have it!  That is the challenge for all of us – dads included!  We all know that we need to help prepare the next generation of missionaries and we all want to do it … and we probably all wonder how we can rise to the massive challenge of that preparation.  So, how do we get started?  What do we do?  Sure, we can do/have home evening – and everything else that was on my list above – and more … but how can we not only do the minimums, but also keep pace (run like crazy) with the vision of our Church leaders?

This program, “MISSIONARY IN TRAINING” might help us all to do that.  It might help us get focused to really step up and do as we have been asked.  It can be the tool that we all have wanted anyway … the tool for us to really get involved and progressing toward the missionary preparation goal with our children.

“MISSIONARY IN TRAINING”The Program really is home evening (as we should have been doing anyway) but with a new missionary focus – and specific missionary preparation activities.  The program also involves missionary lessons, an attitude of missionary work, an organization, and excitement to get our children (sons AND daughters) thinking of how they too can commit and prepare to be missionaries.  It is not just a one-time lesson on missionary work.  It is rather, a total commitment kind of thing.  It will take major effort and commitment, and that level of commitment must be for the long-haul … but the results can be phenomenal.  Really great things can happen for you and your family as parents gives the program a full effort and that long-term commitment to the children.

If you are serious about the missionary commitment for your children and family …  If you want to really “Do It” (as President Spencer W. Kimball taught), then this program may be for you … Check it out … see what it might do to assist you in your goals and dreams – your missionary preparation and training responsibilities in the family.

“MISSIONARY IN TRAINING”!  (That sounds really great but let’s make that “OUR MISSIONARIES IN TRAINING”) … WOW!  You can do it through your very own “Home and Family Missionary Training Center” – with you, parents, and your teenage sons and daughters as the Ammonite trainers … and all of your children – of all ages – participating as Future Missionaries.  CATCH THE VISION OF THAT … Your own Home and Family Missionary Training Center for your children – a part of “The GREATEST GENERATION of MISSIONARIES!” MAKE THE COMMITMENT … and GO FOR IT!  MISSIONS, HERE WE COME!

Kevin V. Hunt

             PROGRAM SUMMARY

MISSIONARY IN TRAINING (MIT) is a HOME and  FAMILY MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTER program.  It’s a fun and very detailed program designed to help families (with children – both boys and girls – of all ages) to train their sons and daughters as future missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The program consists of weekly Missionary Study Sessions, monthly (or more frequent) missionary preparation activities, weekly “P-Day” missionary preparation activities, as well as special Home and Family Missionary Training Center conferences.

All of these training sessions, missionary preparation activities and conferences are designed to teach and to prepare future missionaries through building testimony of gospel doctrine as well as practical application of needed “missionary life skills”.

The MISSIONARY IN TRAINING PROGRAM is a LONG-TERM PLAN, a HOME and FAMILY-CENTERED PROGRAM FOR MISSIONARY PREPARATION – typically to be staged during your regular family home evening times (and the weekly home evening will now be called a “Missionary Training (or “study”) Session”.  The program also involves special missionary preparation activities and conferences held on Saturdays or other days as the family organizes its own HOME AND FAMILY MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTER.

In addition to the home centered MISSIONARY IN TRAINING program, there is also a week-long “MISSIONARY TRAINING CAMP” (The MTC) program entitled “The Camp of Ammon”. This MTC program – to be held at various times and locations throughout the country – incorporates many of the same learning sessions as MISSIONARY IN TRAINING (which can take a year or two) but study sessions, missionary preparation activities and conferences are all compressed into five days of intense training.

At the MTC – The Camp of Ammon, youth dress, live and act as regular missionaries!  They will eat, sleep and really live the missionary life!  If you really want to get your sons and daughters excited about their future missions, send them to this great MTC program.  It might be one of the best investments you’ll ever make!   (Note:  This is a developed program but has not yet been staged.  If you have interest, you could help us make this a reality …  Contact Kevin Hunt to express interest!)

Youth have who participated in the MIT program at home and who also attend the MTC “Camp of Ammon” program can help to motivate, inspire and encourage other Camp of Ammon participants.  And they will return from the Camp of Ammon supercharged to be “Ammonite trainers” in your own Home and Family Missionary Training Center.  Check out both programs on the internet at www.missionaryintraining.com.

The MISSIONARY IN TRAINING PROGRAM will strengthen youth resolve to serve missions, will pull your family together in a marvelous way and will get everyone thinking about being missionaries now and in the future.  The MISSIONARY IN TRAINING PROGRAM will be beneficial to your family and others – in so many ways – and it will be great fun for you and all families, everywhere.

This is a home and family centered program designed to help accomplish the mission and objectives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for missionary preparation and the family.  It is a “program with a plan” to help parents serious about their parenting responsibilities and opportunities.  And while the program is congruent with Church policies and objectives, it is not a program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nor is it endorsed by the Church.

As the Director(s) of your own Home and Family Missionary Training Center, you can commit yourself (yourselves) to active, deliberate and focused missionary training for your children.  You can help them to prepare to be effective missionaries.  You can prepare them to be ready to serve whenever and wherever they might be needed in the world.

You can determine the level of participation and training for your own family.  The Missionary in Training program is a comprehensive package designed to assist you in your parental responsibilities and opportunities.  But, the program, and your use of it, is still flexible.  You should utilize the program as desired to meet the needs of your own family – while also maintaining your own family traditions, goals and activities.  The program is designed as a tool to help you achieve your own family objectives.

The Missionary in Training program is designed to be fun and exciting.  This is not something you “have to do” but as you CHOOSE to do it, your family will have some really great times together.  You’ll later look back and rejoice together in the missionary preparation for each family member – and ultimately your missionary success – through your posterity – throughout the world.

For more information about the Missionary in Training Program contact:  Kevin Hunt

Missionary in Training       E-mail: info@missionaryintraining.com

Phone: 480-717-8241        Websites:  www.missionaryintraining.com

Kevin Hunt is an author, blogger and speaker.  He writes regularly on three different Scouting blogsites and shares his insights about Scouting, Scouting in the LDS Church, and other subjects.  New blogs are posted on his Facebook page: Scouting Trails Books and Blogs.

COVER BOOK A

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A Missionary Son Speaks and Encourages his Siblings in Mission Preparation

ELDER KC HUNTAs our son, K.C., was on his mission, he had time to reflect upon his mission preparation – and even lack thereof.  It was exciting to see our missionary son speak and encourage his younger brothers and sisters to serve.  He wrote a great letter home to his younger brothers and gave them some suggestions for their missionary preparation.  K.C.’s advice is generally applicable to all youth who are now contemplating serving a mission. Share his words with your young men and women.  In October of 2004, Elder Hunt wrote:

“Recently I have felt some desire to write to you both.  I wish to make amends where necessary and help inspire and instruct you in your preparations for missionary service – especially with the changes that are currently taking place.

I feel as though I haven’t always been a very good example to either of you.  Throughout our early years, I spent a lot of time being the bully and a pretty big jerk.  I realized the error of my ways before leaving and tried to be better – but never really went through the complete repentance process, I think.  So, I wanted to apologize to each of you and let you know that I was in the wrong – “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and well be forever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Spirit.”  I would also ask for forgiveness from you both.  Will you forgive me?  I hope that we can all learn from my poor choices and be better people because of it.

It is an exciting time to be a missionary!  I don’t know if you know about what is taking place at all, or how much you may know.  But, I figured I’d give ya’ll a live – “from the field” explanation of some of the new changes and maybe in some way, help prepare you both for when that time comes.

As I became a missionary, they had just recently done away with the memorized discussions.  So, in the MTC, we learned how to “Teach by the Spirit” by writing outlines of what was contained in the old 6 discussions.  That worked great, for the most part, and prepared us for now.

In the MTC, we were given a lot of materials to help us teach.  We had the discussions, the New Member Lessons, The Missionary Guide, and the Missionary Gospel Study Program booklet. All of that totaled about 700 pages of information.

Well, the General Missionary Committee, The First Presidency, and Quorum of the 12, decided they wanted to reduce all of that to one book – with no more than 250 pages.  They did just that.  The end result was “PREACH MY GOSPEL”.  It is an amazing tool for missionaries.  It is designed to make better missionaries and to teach them how to study better and to learn and teach the doctrine of the church.Preach-My-Gospel

With “PMG” comes a revised set of lessons (rather than “discussions”) which teach the same doctrine of the 6 discussions, but much simpler – and in only 4 lessons.  We then study the lessons, and create our own lesson plans to include: 1) the doctrine, 2) Supporting scripture(s) and 3) Teaching “by the Spirit”.  The bold, clear, and direct commitments were somewhat overlooked before, so this all focuses on commitments and being BOLD.  All of this is what you can expect to learn, live and teach.  There have also been other more minor changes:  A set 30-minute workout time, unified area books and a number/people tracking system for reporting.

I feel as though I am here preparing the way for you.  I’ve thought a lot about you both with these new changes.  “Raising the Bar” and “Teaching by the Spirit” were mere preparations for this new way of life and work.  I am part of that generation of missionaries. But, you are both part of the next generation – which I would say is greater.  You will both come into the field after all these preparations have been made and implemented.  You are to be the greatest generation of missionaries – for you will have the greatest tools available to be better missionaries and to teach better!  Never before have missionaries been endowed with as much as you will be!

Hopefully I’ve got you excited to be a missionary!  You really should be!  And now, some counsel that you will hopefully take to heart:

  • You must have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His Atonement – as well as The Restoration and all that comes with that knowledge.
  • You need to know how to study – not just read – the scriptures. (And I’ve included a copy of the new missionary lessons for you to study if you so desire.  Memorize the main doctrinal points in order.  Memorize scriptures form the lessons.)  SCRIPTURES
  • Memorize D&C 50:13-22, as well as D&C 4.
  • Live the Gospel completely. You can’t afford to deviate in the least.  Repent and purify yourselves.
  • Be a missionary NOW! Go on exchanges, help teach, talk to your friends who are not members.
  • Save money for your mission and for afterwards. Pay your tithing and fast offerings.
  • Appreciate mom and dad’s counsel – as well as that of other leaders – and live it.

Hopefully, I’m not preaching to you (or to the choir) but these are things that I could have done better at – and that I know will help you to be more prepared to serve the Lord.  Look forward to missionary service.  It’s AWESOME!

ELDER KC WITH PARENTS AND MISSION PRES
Elder K.C. Hunt with parents and Mission President at end of his mission to Ft. Worth, Texas

One more piece of advice and then I will close.  Don’t worry about girls and getting all serious with them before leaving.  Just have a good time and get to know a bunch of people.  Ninety per cent of them girls that you hang out with now will be married by the time you get home, anyway.  I promise!

God is our loving Heavenly Father!  He created a plan for us – including The Atonement – so that we can return to him!  Jesus fulfilled that infinite and perfect Atonement.  They spoke to Joseph Smith and through him, restored the truth in its fullness.  We are led by a living prophet today!  The Book of Mormon is evidence of all of this!  I know it is – because I’ve done my homework – and hopefully, you are too!  I love you both!  … LATER …”

Love,

ELDER KEVIN C. HUNT

Although his counsel is now ten-plus years old, it is still very valuable for today – even though the pace of missionary work has quickened manifold even since that time.  And with recent changes in missionary age for service, and all that we have heard about “raising the bar”, our preparation of future missionaries must be stepped up and taken to new and higher levels.

And with the recent announcement by President Monson – about boys being able to serve at age 18 and girls, at 19, the preparation of missionaries rests very squarely – and with a lot of force – upon parents and families.  It now must all happen before the children graduate from high school.  Seminary, Scouting, Priesthood and Young Women can all help but very clearly, the responsibility now – more than ever – is upon parents and families.KC WITH MOM AND DAD AT DALLAS TEMPLE

So, how are we going to do it?  (We’ll talk more of that later!)

 

“Missionary Training Begins Early”

Although this talk was presented many years ago, it is still the classic talk about home and family missionary preparation.  It sets the standard, even for us today – a generation or two later.

“MISSIONARY TRAINING BEGINS EARLY”

April General Conference 1972

By Elder S. Dilworth Young

“In my mind’s eye I see Russell Nelson, Jr., newly arrived from his home in heaven and staring up into the eyes of his father as though to say to him (as Joseph Smith said to Newel K. Whitney), “You prayed me here; now what do you want of me?”

I do not know that his father, who is the general superintendent of the Sunday School and the father of nine daughters, wants him to become a famous surgeon. I believe he will lead his son wisely as to what his earthly vocation will be, but I am sure he will want this boy to go on a mission, that hope of great adventure which comes into the early life of all Latter-day Saint boys. If this is the father’s desire, he will start early to prepare his son.

The first prayers the baby will hear will be that he will grow up to go on a mission and to be married in the temple. Both of the words “mission” and “temple” he will not understand; but later, when comprehension comes, they will be so ingrained in his memory that they will be a part of his being. Later, as he lisps his own prayer, he will find the words “make me worthy to go on a mission” easy to say. Neither will he stumble over the words “marry” or “temple.”

If his father is wise, his boy’s early years will be filled with stories of the experiences of the missionaries of the past. He should begin by telling of his own ancestors, to give the boy knowledge that mission adventures are not the exclusive property of the leaders but that the followers had equally miraculous adventures. But, of course, he will want to learn of the heroic journey of Samuel H. Smith and his companion from Far West on an eastern missionary journey. He will want to learn of the missionary journey of Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young when they, ill from fever, arose from their beds and started out, how Brother Kimball was poisoned and was saved by the loyal work of his companion, and how they miraculously found money in the purse, just enough for each day’s journey. But he will need to know, too, that today with our affluence he may not find money; he will find something far richer—the great joy that comes from seeing people’s lives miraculously changed as they accept the gospel.

He will need to know that he must develop physical stamina, not for athletics but for his mission. He will play basketball to develop wind and limb to serve the Lord.

As he grows, he will need to talk man-to-man, or rather boy-to-man, why all this should be. His father will say, “For your mission, son, you will need to learn by heart many things. And so we shall now start.”

Then his father will teach him the simple truths that are important. They will memorize the prophecy in the book of Nephi about the descendant of Joseph who, bearing the name of his ancestor, would do great things. And then his father will tell him the story of the modern Joseph, the fulfillment of that prophecy—what he did to be a great boy. He will learn that boys do not need to wait until they are men to be great.

He will thrill with the ancient prophecy of the angel who would fly through the heavens having the everlasting gospel to preach to all the world and how this prophecy was actually fulfilled through angelic visits to the young boy prophet.

In the same manner they will comb the scriptures, doctrine by doctrine, and learn those vital to missionary work. They will read together the great boy-literature of the world. The chivalry at the court of King Arthur will be mirrored in his treatment of girls and, later, young women. And he will learn the place of animals in his life when he runs the Trail of the Sand Hill Stag with Seton and will learn the immense power of nature as he survives a ride down a snow avalanche with Enos A. Mills.

He will also learn of the winter journey to rescue the handcart company, victim of the Wyoming blizzards. His father will see to it that he gets the feel of a real blizzard and the helplessness of the brave people who had only the Lord to depend on for deliverance. He will be taught these lessons at the home evening, at the dinner table, at bedtime, in camp, on hikes and journeys. And driven home at all these stages will be the theme that the greatest adventure a boy can have is to go on a mission and learn to depend on the Lord when faced with a bitter, cold, or hostile world, and that the greatest joy he can experience is to give of his all in the service of the Master in bringing souls unto him.

Having seen and heard his father pray, he will want to pray too and will soon learn about the whisperings of the Spirit, which comes into his “feeling,” as Nephi pointed out to his rebellious brothers. (See 1 Ne. 17:45.)

He will need to learn also of the important principle of obedience. Teach him that the Lord Jesus Christ was completely obedient to his father and that if your son would be a successful missionary, he must be completely obedient to those in authority over him. Faithfully learning this lesson before he goes into the mission field will equip him for his work there.

Give him responsibility, and teach him to forget himself in service to others. These, coupled with obedience, will help him to find true humility—all of which are vital factors for his reception of the Holy Ghost.

And so, through his growing years he will apply the truth of all things. Lay the foundation well, Brother Nelson; it begins at birth and its effects cease not until the mission of life is complete.

Meanwhile, his mother will have a hand in his growth also. Faith-building begins in the cradle and ends not at the grave. In the formative years your boy will need to learn how to give and take, how to get along, how to put up with inconveniences, how to be patient and tolerant, how to resolve differences with playmates and, later, with missionary companions.

He will need long training in neatness and in the handling of his clothing. He will need to know the “rubbing board” techniques of washing his clothes and how to keep them white and clean. Ironing and pressing should be second nature. He will need to learn that bodily cleanliness goes with spiritual cleanness and that the body is the expression of the spirit.

He will need to know how to cook—how to make the food he prepares taste good and at the same time meet his many nutritional needs. Nothing will buoy up a missionary like a tasty meal. Why shouldn’t this boy learn to cook well? And while he is about it, he should learn that the dusty, ill-kept room with its unmade bed is the devil’s best means of discouragement.

Just as surely as he walks, his manner, his attitude, his clothing, his complete self will be concrete evidence of what he is in his soul. He cannot conceal himself. Teach him, then, that these things reveal his spirit and show what he really is and that the success of his mission will be found in how his spirit speaks to the spirits of those he meets.

In the process of his growing, make sure that he will learn how the Church came to be and where it has gone from there. And let him learn to know that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will give men reason for their repentance from sin, which is the great doctrine that brings hope; that baptism by immersion is both a covenant and a sign of acceptance; and that the gift of the Holy Ghost is what makes him, and his father and his mother, different from the world; and that it will make those he converts different also.

He will not consider the Book of Mormon dull reading if you will make it live for him while he is growing. And if he learns that reading scripture by the Spirit with an open heart and a searching mind is indeed hearing the voice of the Lord, as the Lord told the Twelve it is (see D&C 18:34–36), you will have him on his way to becoming a missionary.

He began to prepare for his work here before he came to earth, when he repudiated Satan and all of his subtle sophistries. Now he is to prove that he can live in a body and control its earthly tendencies and temptations as he did as a spirit before his arrival here in mortality.

As with Russell Nelson, Jr., so it is with all boys—and girls too. Let us not leave out the girls—they also may go on missions. These young folks may become great of themselves, but with the faith and teaching of their fathers and mothers they will become greater. The Eternal Father taught his Only Begotten Son. He depends on us to teach our children truth that they may . better serve the Father of their spirits and live.

To those who may not have had these training opportunities in their childhood, through humility and diligent effort in their teen years, they can still achieve the same thing.

Two years on a mission will give the experience and practice in the great virtues of which I speak. It will confirm that the Lord truly speaks in this day, for he will constantly whisper the truth of this great latter-day work into the soul of the valiant missionary.

Later he will know this whispering in the affairs of his adult years and, following it, will find the true entrance to the things which will give him eternal life in the kingdom of our Lord.

The Lord has said that to bring one soul to him brings joy and that to bring many souls gives proportionately greater joy. The prepared youth will find that joy on his mission. It will sustain him through his life.

The greatest gift any of us can have is the knowledge, borne of the Spirit, that God our Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to atone for the sins of all of us in the world from the beginning to the end, that they both live, corporeal, glorified, and anxious that all of us may desire to come into their presence. I have that knowledge. Joseph Smith was the modern prophet through whom the Lord restored his work in these last days. … [and our current Prophet] is the worthy recipient and holder of the same keys of authority to speak to the people on behalf of the Lord.

I bear this witness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Setting the Stage for Home Missionary Training

What the Lord says to us about missions:

“Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.

“You shall declare the things which have been revealed to my servant, Joseph Smith, jun.  You shall begin to preach from this time forth, yea, to reap in the field which is white already to be burned.

“Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul …

“Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you, and I will establish a church by your hand.

“Go your way whithersoever I will, and it shall be given you by the comforter what you shall do and whither you shall go.”   (D&C 31:3-11)

A Quote by Sister Julie B. Beck (Former General Relief Society President)

“Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre-missionary training center (MTC).  Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation.  That is influence; that is power.”  (“Mothers who Know”, Ensign, November 2007.)

And here are the words of Elder Russel M. Nelson: (“Preparing Future Missionaries” 2013 Worldwide Missionary Training, wwwl.ds.org.)

“The preparation of missionaries begins in the family.  Each home can become a miniature missionary training center.  With the option that young men and young women may serve as full-time missionaries at an earlier age, parents and teachers need to prepare their children earlier.

“Nothing is more important for future missionaries than to feel the righteous influence of the priesthood in their homes and experiences its blessings in their lives.  After they are baptized, they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Young men honor and exercise the Aaronic Priesthood. Young women know their values and pursue their personal progress.

“Our youth learn to teach, and love the Gospel and become converted.  They may participate in family history work and perform vicarious ordinances in the Temple.  As they continue along the straight and narrow path, worthy men receive the Melchizedek Priesthood.  Righteous men and women may be endowed and sealed in the Temple.  Faithful fathers and mothers raise faithful families.  Through it all they become exemplary men and women, real servants of the Lord – prepared to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout their mortal lives.”