Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The 40 Days and Nights Challenge

The most important message I could share with each of you is the power you have as member missionaries.

I know this is something you probably hear a lot, but do you really know the power you have in the lives of others?  Some of you may be Return Missionaries, and some of you may be living vicariously through your children's experiences…either way I want to share with each of you how Today is the day for you to stand up and be Called to Serve!

Missionary work is not hard, all it takes is a simple testimony of one truth, and that is, Jesus Christ lives!  The rest will come as you study the scriptures and “Open Your Mouth” or with todays technology…move your fingers!

A little over 5 month ago I had an amazing opportunity to help a Sister Missionary in our ward who was injured.  She could not do the work in “conventional” ways….I say this because instead of just sitting on our couch while she healed, I took it upon myself to find something that she could do.

I created a program called 
The 40 Days and 40 Nights Challenge.

I won’t go into all of the details here of how all this came to be, but you can read about it in the “
Prepare” Challenge.

In short, this challenge was about helping members prepare themselves for opportunities to experience what it is like to serve.  Not just as a missionary but as a child of God.

“I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” Mosiah 2:17

I wanted people to experience this, to know that missionary work is just as King Benjamin declared….it is Service!  As we search, ponder and pray the Lord will prepare us with opportunities to serve, and as we serve and do these things we have the ability to bear witness of the Gospel or Jesus Christ.  Heavenly Father provides ways for things to happen, ways for us to share our testimony.  As we live the gospel people come to us….we no longer have to search for them…Heavenly Father brings them to us and we know who they are when they appear in our lives.

As this challenge went on, I saw a need to continue them and to find new focuses, new activities, things that would keep people motivated to study the scriptures and invite these opportunities to build.

I cannot tell you how excited the missionaries have been as I have told them of the countless experiences I have heard. Members who have never read the Book of Mormon before, inactive members coming back into activity in the church, non members joining the church, families coming closer, and parents accepting the challenge by their missionaries to embark in this work.

Without fail these sweet Elders and Sisters want nothing more then to see their families stand beside them in this great work!  They get so excited when you get involved, when you have experiences that they can relate to, and when you take it upon yourselves to come closer to the Savior.

Every time I create a new challenge I am asked, will you friend my mom on Facebook and ask her to do it!  They know Mom is where to turn to in order to get the message out there!  They know they can rely on Mom!

Starting May 1st, we are doing a new Challenge on “Faith”, and as I thought about this challenge I thought about the “Faith” of those Mothers of the 2000 Stripling Warriors, and how these valiant Sons recognized their Mothers for all that they taught them.

How special these Mothers are!  They were such a significant part of these young men’s growth and dedication that the Lord saw it fit for this to be in scripture.  I am sure there were may uplifting word spoken by Helaman, but nothing was more important then the teachings of their mothers.

I know that there were more then 2000 young men that joined the Stripling Warriors, and I want for each of you to consider this as I talk about your roles as a mother in this work.

There may have been more or less then 2000 Mothers, the numbers really do not matter, what matters is what they did to have such a strong impact in their Children's lives.

Each of you are Mothers to a Stripling Warrior.  Each or your Children who enters into the House of the Lord becomes a covenanted child of God, one who promises to do all that is required or him or her.  Shortly after this time, they are set apart as a Representative of Jesus Christ himself!  Not only are they promising to give everything they have to the Lord, they are now official representatives of HIM! They are called to do those things that he himself would do if he were here upon the earth.  They are a part of a Royal Army! One that no flag will ever fly for, but one where the banner of righteousness is unfurled!  They are a part of a Modern Day Army of Stripling Warriors, one where both Sons and Daughters serve!  They stand amongst Hundreds of Thousands who have served and will serve!  Brothers and Sisters of the Lords Elect!

As Mothers you hold a special place in the hearts of these warriors and just as I said before they still come to you for strength and support!

So for all of your sons and daughters I invite each of you to take upon yourselves this Challenge…This Challenge on Faith.  To set aside a few min each day to read just 4 scriptures and a quote and to focus on just one thing or thought that day, that will help you draw closer to the Lord.  If you want to take this challenge one step farther you are welcome to but for now this is the minimum requirement. To read these 5 things and do the one thing listed that day to come closer to Christ and strengthen your faith as you share it with your children and the children of many other Mothers.

You are one of the 2000 Mothers of the Stripling Warriors!!!

Elder Ballard gave an amazing talk this past General Conference on Following Up. There was a section in his talk in which he spoke about the power of sharing the things you are learning with your missionaries. “Brothers and sisters, can you imagine the impact if family and friends included things they are learning from their personal study of Preach My Gospel in their letters and emails to their full-time missionaries? Can you picture the blessings that will come to families when they know and understand better what their sons and daughters will be studying and teaching on their missions? Can you even begin to fathom the extraordinary outpouring of atoning grace that will be ours, individually and collectively, according to the Savior’s promise to all who bear testimony in the process of inviting souls to come unto Him—and then following up on those invitations?”

Mothers we have a vision!  This is just not my request but the request of several mothers and missionaries that you get involved in this challenge.  To those who wish to do more we have things you can do.  We can teach you how to be more involved in social media, or other ways that you can serve.

We are calling upon all the Mothers of our 107,000+ Missionaries… To accept this invitation to raise the bar as mothers, to stand beside your children as they serve.

I know the power that these experiences have to your missionaries! I see HOPE grow!  When you send letters and emails to your children talking about this work and doing these challenges they want to do better!

They want nothing more then to have you be apart of this great work with them!

They want you to feel the spirit that they feel everyday, they want to have those bonding experiences that they share in with their investigators.  They want you to feel the power of the Holy Ghost in your life as they do!

Mom’s they want for you to stand beside them as they serve…even if it is just “spiritually there.”

I promise you that they will feel of your presence, and you in turn will feel of theirs!

That time away will not be so bad!

I promise you, that if you heed to the council of Elder Ballard you will feel an outpouring of those blessings he spoke of!  I know this is true because I have experienced it in my own life, both now and while I served as a missionary.  I have seen miracles happen and I testify that they will happen in your life as you diligently seek the Lord through living the Gospel!

I hope each off you will accept this Challenge in your lives!  It is more then just 40 Days and 40 Nights, that is just symbolic of all that Christ did for us….he fasted for 40 Days and 40 Nights so he could prove himself to the Father before his ultimate sacrifice and then he came back after his resurrection for 40 Days to teach us.  

What are we willing to do to help our children to be successful? What are we willing to sacrifice to have the Lord in our lives?  Are we willing to prove to the Lord that we will do whatsoever is required of us to come unto him?  Are we willing to feast upon the words of Christ for 40 Days and 40 Nights and learn the things he came here to teach us?  Are we willing to face the challenges before us?  

You have a great strength!  As you do this not only will your lives be blessed but you will also bless the lives of a Warrior serving in your ward, a warrior to a Mother you stand beside in this challenge.  You will strengthen one another and your children will rise triumphant in their Faith through your efforts!  Do not underestimate your abilities!!!

You are The Mothers of the Modern Day Stripling Warriors! 


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  1. I'm excited to be a part of the 40 days and 40 nights challenge. Thank you for putting this together.

  2. So proud of our missionaries. Time to BE a missionary!

  3. I signed up a week ago, have been waiting for the new round to start. Looking forward to it and VERY excited to be able to share my growth and testimony with others and My Missionary.!
    Krista Fish Morgan

  4. Thanks so much for putting this together!!

  5. This will help me get motivated to read my scriptures hopefully ;)

  6. Candi Brundage: I'm excited to start! And excited to share with my missionary!

  7. I just tried the link to the 40 day challenge and received an error message. Can I register?

  8. Laura, Jessi said her site is down....she's working on getting it back up and working properly asap!

  9. I just happened to fall upon this on the very day that my son has exactly 40 days left in his mission! Thank you for the inspired challenge!!