Count The Cost

February 14, 2011

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:28

This scripture is used commonly as a justification scripture to justify the ridiculous amount of planning and preparation that we are required to do in our missionary work. I personally am disgusted by the idea of planning a lesson or sitting down and planning the week. Maby this is just because I’m lazy. But I like to think its that the lord thinks the way I do about such planning. If we take a look at this scripture in a little bit of context it can make more sense and fit in line with what the lord has said about planning. So lets dig in (Using the Joseph smith translation to ensure purity)

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 Therefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.

29 For which of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have money to finish his work?

30 Lest, unhappily, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish his work, all who behold, begin to mock him,

31 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. And this he said, signifying there should not any man follow him, unless he was able to continue; saying,

32 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him who cometh against him with twenty thousand.

33 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an embassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

34 So likewise, whosoever of you forsaketh not all that he hath he cannot be my disciple.

Notice specifically what I underlined here.  I believe its obvious that the savior is in no way referring to the type of planning in Preach My Gospel chapter 8… he is more specificly speaking of the foundation of his church and how  it is to be a strong foundation therefore his is making the apostles aware of the test. A Zions camp situation if you will.

In contrast to the  idea of planning and or goal setting I find the saviors words very comforting.

Which of you by taking thought (setting goals, Planning)  can add one cubit unto his stature?And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the alilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;    (3 Nephi 13 27-28)

“But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shallspeak: for it shall be given you in that some hour what ye shall speak. For itis not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”(Matt. 10:19-20)

“But notwithstanding those things which are written, it always has beengiven to the elders of my church from the beginning, and ever shall be, toconduct all meetings as they are directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.” (D.& C. 46:2)

contrast found in preach my gospel

“I am so thoroughly convincedthat if we don’t set goals in ourlife and learn how to master thetechniques of living to reach ourgoals, we can reach a ripe old ageand look back on our life only tosee that we reached but a smallpart of our full potential. When one learns to master theprinciples of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”



OCT. 18, 1981

Well here we have a major conflict with 3 Nephi 13 27-28. The fact of the matter is that we have reduced way to much of our missionary efforts to the point where many missionary’s think in accordance with korihors plan.

The following scripture has been edited to fit the matter at hand my word s in red

“And many more such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this Mission according to the management of the Missionarry”  (see alma 30: 17)

If  I may beg your indulgence for a moment take a trip on over  to PMG Chapter 8 and then open your nearest instruction manual for any of your high tech devices and notice the similarities. Diagrams charts arrows fancy tips all some real good management.

Just my thoughts on planning

The only time that I feel that the spirit can work within me is when I clear my mind of my “brilliant ideas” and let the lord tell me what to say. Its kind of like when someone is trying to talk to you they wont say anything until you stop talking. Likewise the lord waits until we have quit thinking of what are we going to say next before he tells us what to say.



February 1, 2011

D&C Section 121:42 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

The scripture doesn’t say a little can be or it’s ok if some is, but it says NO PORWER OR INFLUENCE SHOULD BE MAINTAINED. On a mission you run into a lot of the men spoken of in verse 39 of this section.  I’m going through an experience right now with one such leader.  But what causes this compulsion this overbearing management? Well let’s back track a few verses and see verse 35

35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men,

This gives us a hint and o boy is this true. One only has to hear of the overwhelming amount of aspiration that goes on in leadership meetings to know where the hearts of almost all men are. Its said that they “aspire to the honors of men” but what are the honors of men? Well in this case it can be many things but callings are a big one that comes to mind.

The totem pole starts at district leader and then zone leader up to AP being the Holy Grail for aspiring elders.  The problem with all of this though goes back to the general business style structure of a mission. I remember sitting listening to the mtc president lecture us on statistics. He had a picture of the key indicator stats sheet projected on the wall and he pointed at it and blatantly said “treat this like a Business”. Most aren’t so foreword, but the parallels between the missionary world and the corporate world are striking when you look at both.

Granted I have never been in a corporation trying to work my way to the top, but I can just imagine that the atmosphere in which a leader pretends to care about the concern of a worker to hear some ways in which the lower worker isn’t following procedure. Then when the lower level worker isn’t listening the one above him reports the fallacy in order to win some brownie points with the boss, in hopes of an advance up the ranks of the corporation. anyone who doesn’t believe me or refuses to see these parallels can check the video here.

Exodus 1: 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens.

Leadership isn’t all  bad it’s good when a person is put into leadership and leads righteously by example rather than by unrighteous dominion. But it’s when leaders become taskmasters is when it can be grievous to bear. It is my humble prayer that the lord will hear my cry by reason of my taskmasters (Exodus 7:3).