Col. Guy Hollingsworth, who teaches courses about Pakistan and the Middle East at BYU-Idaho, spoke to students about consistent spiritual preparation during his devotional address.
He told students about his desire to serve a foreign mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he received his mission call, he was at first disappointed to learn he was called to serve in the Albuquerque New Mexico Mission. He said he offered a halfhearted prayer and asked, “Surely Heavenly Father, there is no one better prepared than me to serve a foreign mission?” He said the scripture in Isaiah 55:8 applied to his situation that day, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” He served the mission and now prays to return there with his wife.
He also spoke of other times he was called to unexpected places or asked to fulfill unexpected duties including the call to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan in difficult assignments. He was also called as a branch president in each country. He counseled the students, “Whether a calling or assignment for you comes to help the many or the one, the time to serve is now, and the preparation that is needed for such a calling is often past.” He asked them, “what did you do to prepare to serve the Lord this morning, or yesterday, or last year? Have you built your testimony and preparation line upon line, so that when the Lord calls on you, in the form of a spotty Middle East Skype call, or in the comfort of your home Bishop’s office, will you have paid the price for that call to duty—regardless of where and what it might be?”
Col. Hollingsworth told a story about the difficult process of finding the right soldiers to serve in his interagency team. He said on paper each candidate looked stellar. When they arrived to join the team he would watch them closely. A couple of times he had to send the soldiers home because what he saw in person did not match what he read on paper. He emphasized the question to students, “Does your spiritual resume match up with your daily thoughts and actions—scripture study, daily prayer, serving others, staying worthy, keeping the commandments? Does your preparation that others see on paper if you will, match up with what the Lord really expects in whatever calling comes your way? Will He have to send you away from a potential assignment at hand? Or will you be able to deliver for Him on a moment’s notice today, tomorrow, next year, or 30 years from now? To answer yes on all accounts, you must truly take on a genuine and ongoing spiritual sense of urgency and a righteous call to duty.”