We’re asking you to join us in that for two years. We’re asking you to carry one leg of the race, one relay of the baton for two years’ time, or 18 months, as the case for the sisters, and to join President Hinckley and President Faust and President Monson and President Packer and all the brethren. And again I say, you only have to let your imagination move in the way that Sister Holland has suggested, that you join all the other prophets who have ever lived in doing this. It is a relatively short period of time. It may not seem short to you, but it is short to us who are doing this work for 40 or 45 years. We just thank you. We love you. We are honored and grateful that you have come. If fifteen of us had to do it alone, it would be a very, very hard work. If three members of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles of the Quorum had to do the work you’re doing, it would kill us off sooner than it’s going to kill us. So, it is a very personal expression of gratitude that we make. Thank you for serving. In doing that, I represent your Father, your Dad, your little brothers and your little sisters, your aunts, and your uncles, and your bishop and everybody who loves you and everybody who prays for you. You’re the most prayed for people on the face of the earth. I really believe that. I do not believe, collectively speaking, that there is any body of people that’s any collective circle of individuals are prayed for on the face of the earth than the LDS missionaries. I don’t think that other churches have the organizations we have or the missionary force to pray about and to pray for, and they’re not organized enough in their ecclesiastical organization to do the praying if they had the missionaries. And I used to think that you were the second, that the President of the Church was first, that he was the most prayed for man on the earth and you were second. But I’ve repented of that because I’ve never heard anybody pray for the President of the Church, who did not in the same breath, pray for the missionaries. So, it’s you and President Hinckley, neck and neck all the way down the line. And take comfort in that, take great satisfaction in that—I do!
We never fall in a crater unless we are somewhere near the edge of it. I have been up to Vesuvius and on a number of craters and volcanoes and I know you just don’t ever fall in a crater, unless you are on the edge of it. And so you just keep your hearts locked! I said lock them in Salt Lake when you leave the Mission Home and don’t give a thought to it. But if you go around say, “Well, she is kind of a pretty girl! She surely is a sweet little thing! She’s a nice girl! I’d like to talk to her- I’d just like to visit with her!” Well, you are in for trouble and that trouble can bring you a lifetime of trouble and a lifetime of regrets if you continue on with it. So, can I impress that again? LOCK YOUR HEARTS and leave the key at home! Wherever you live, leave the key home with your folks. And your heart – it’s only that part of it that deals with people generally that you open up. We just can’t tolerate it, can we? We can’t individually; we can’t totally.
I hope all of you are pointed in the direction of missionary service. I cannot promise you fun. I cannot promise you ease and comfort. I cannot promise you freedom from discouragement, from fear, from downright misery at times. But I can promise you that you will grow as you have never grown in a similar period during your entire lives. I can promise you a happiness that will be unique and wonderful and lasting. I can promise you that you will reevaluate your lives, that you will establish new priorities, that you will live closer to the Lord, that prayer will become a real and wonderful experience, that you will walk with faith in the outcome of the good things you do.