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BYU educator Gary Arnoldson discusses M&M's and missionary work at devotional

In Tuesday’s devotional, Gary E. Arnoldson of the David O. McKay School of Education, used M&M’s to outline important aspects of missionary work.

“One of my favorite candies is M&M’s and one of my favorite interests is missionary work,” Arnoldson said.

Arnoldson told his own miraculous conversion story. As a young man his family was less active. One summer, working for a turkey-feeding company, he accidently injected a turkey vaccine in his hand. A large abscess began to develop, and the doctor told him he’d lose a few fingers. “I started to pray—probably the first sincere prayer of my life,” Arnoldson said. “I knew that I would not lose my fingers or hand. A calm had settled over me and a peace that I just knew I would be okay.”

After this experience Arnoldson committed to serve the Lord.

“My miraculous conversion was nothing more than an answer to a very sincere prayer,” said Arnoldson. He spoke of the importance of praying and asking the Lord to know his will. “Most are going along with the next step in their life, just trying to make the best decisions they can. It is important to know what the Lord wants of you.”

Talking of answers to prayer and conversion, Arnoldson said, “It is not a big thing. It is the small whisper. Miraculous is anything coming from the Lord, for He is the giver of all good gifts.”

Quoting Doctrine and Covenants, Arnoldson said, “’Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.’ That is true today more so than ever before. We are witnessing that coming to pass. We are not only witnesses to it happening, but we are the participants in it,” speaking of the Book of Mormon, the priesthood and missionary work.

Throughout these happenings, Arnoldson said, “I soon found out that there was something greater than myself, and I wanted to keep the promises I made.”

“A mission is not a saving ordinance, but it does bring salvation to the soul. I have been home from mission for 41 years now, and there has not been a day go by that I haven’t been blessed because of my mission. The mission only lasted two years, but 40 years later it has not dimmed with time. If it only brought one soul unto salvation, mine, it was worth it,” Arnoldson said.

Those that magnify their callings receive “all the Father hath,” Arnoldson said.

Arnoldson also spoke on money management. “Any young person who comes up with the desire to serve a mission can definitely find funding. But don’t take it for granted. I think the Lord expects us to do all we can to prepare financially and not leave it up to someone else,” Arnoldson said as he shared his own family’s experiences paying for missions.

Arnoldson concluded, “Just like the candy M&M’s that come in so many colors but all taste the same, missionary work looks different for every person but all leads to the same thing, bringing souls unto Christ,” Arnoldson said. “I’m sure you can come up with a lot more “m” words out there that can represent missionary minded members, it still all comes down to the work of the Savior. Miraculous conversion—just a simple prayer, marvelous work—The Book of Mormon, magnify—all the Father has, and money management—knowing who’s work this really is.”

To read the talk in its entirety, visit speeches.byu.edu. The devotional will also be rebroadcast on BYUtv. Check byutv.org for schedules, as well as on demand availability.

 

Writer: Stephanie Bahr

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