Summer is the opportune time for many high school and college students to seek employment. Some need a job so that they can save money to help pay their school expenses. Some may have aspirations of making a sizable purchase such as an automobile or a new computer. And others may go to work to earn money to build a little nest egg in a checking or savings account to be used for future necessities.
Working for a Higher Purpose
Still, there are others who have an even higher purpose for joining the workforce. There are those who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who spend their summers working in order to earn money to help finance their upcoming full-time missions.
The money that they earn will go towards new suits or dresses, sturdy footwear, and mission accounts. The jobs that they perform could range from washing cars to mowing lawns to teaching music lessons to babysitting. No job is considered insignificant, and no earned wages are considered too small. These future missionaries realize that their labors are not in vain. Soon they will be working in the Lord’s vineyard in various parts of the world teaching His gospel, and performing labors of love for the people they will serve.
Mission Funds are Sacred Funds
An 18-year-old recent high school graduate from South Jordan, Utah, Cole Byrd, commented, “I know the money that I’m making will go toward finding people to teach the gospel in my mission.” Byrd, who has received his mission call to serve in the Chile Santiago South Mission, gets up early each morning, checks the operability of his lawn equipment, and then goes to work at various landscaping jobs. He never misses a day of work because he realizes that he is earning money to help support him in an even greater work that he will soon be a part of.
For the past two years, Vanessa Palmer, a graduate of BYU-Idaho, has been teaching kindergarten students at Columbia Elementary in West Jordan, Utah. She has lived on her own for the past five years, and one of the things that she has learned is how to budget and manage the money that she earns. She admits that she had not always planned to serve a mission, and leaving a promising career behind for 18 months as she goes to serve in the Idaho Boise Mission was not an easy decision, “But after much prayer, I just felt like I needed to go,” she said. She further commented, “I just know there is someone in the Boise mission that I need to teach and share the gospel with.”
For God and Country
Living in Annapolis, Maryland, the home of the United States Naval Academy, I have been blessed over the years to see young men and young women from my ward who have a desire to serve their country, place their careers on hold for 18 months to two years to willingly serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ. They have to make the decision to serve a mission prior to the start of third year of school, and once they make the decision, they do so realizing that once they leave the Academy, getting back in is not necessarily an easy process. However, that process has become somewhat easier over the years, as those in charge at the Naval Academy have witnessed the quality of young officers that are found in returned missionaries.
Cathryn DeLong, a Pennsylvania native, and a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy for the past two years, will soon be leaving the Academy to serve an 18-month mission in the Russia Novosibirsk Mission. As a Midshipman, DeLong does not earn a large income, but she has stated that she is satisfied to know that the money that she does earn will help allow her to bring the saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to others. She also commented, “I’m excited to have this adventure. I will be meeting people in Russia and sharing the gospel with them.” She will spend a few weeks of naval training in Israel before reporting to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in August 2014.
On the Lord’s Errand
Christ commanded His Apostles, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). As modern-day disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, many young men and women are anxiously engaged in preparing to answer the call to embark on the Lord’s errand wherever He needs them to go. Some may be at the start of a rewarding career, and some may already be well established in their career field. Nevertheless, each are willing to give of their time and service for the greater cause of bringing the world His Truth. With that higher purpose at the forefront, they know that the money that they earn from their labors during their summer employment will help enable them to do the work that the Lord has called them to do.