Thomas Monson Starts a Rumor
from "Attitude is Important, Missionaries Told"
Church News, August 16, 1997
President Monson met with some of the missionaries of the Canada Toronto
East Mission serving in Kingston. He told the missionaries that when he
had arrived as mission president, Kingston had the reputation as a place
where no one was baptized. President Monson said:
While I was praying and pondering this sad dilemma, my wife called to my
attention an excerpt from a book, A Childs Story of the Life of Brigham
Young, by Deta Petersen Neeley. She read: "Brigham Young entered
Kingston, Ontario, on a cold snow-filled day. He labored thirty days and
baptized forty-five souls."
Here was the answer. If the missionary Brigham Young could accomplish
this harvest, so could the missionary of today. Without explanation I
withdrew the missionaries from Kingston, that the continuity of defeat
might be broken. Then I started a rumor: "Soon a new city will be
opened for missionary work, even the city where Brigham Young
proselyted and baptized 45 persons in 30 days."
The missionaries speculated as to the location. Their weekly letters
pleaded for the assignment to this "Shangri-la." More time passed. Then
four carefully selected missionaries - two of them new, two experienced
- were chosen for this high adventure. The members of the small branch
pledged their support. The missionaries pledged their lives. The Lord
honored both. In the space of three months, Kingston became the most
productive city of the Canadian Mission. The city was the same, the
population constant. The change was one of attitude.
For Latter-day Saints