See, life is better for everyone now. :)
Yesterday I mentioned Elder Maxwell. I thought about him yesterday and decided that he has had a very profound effect on shaping my life, how I think, and some of the things I choose to do. I thought of the most influential woman I have known as well who has also had a profound effect on my life. Her name is Mary Ellen Edmunds.
Sister Edmunds as I knew her, was the director of training at the MTC when I was there for two months at the end of 1981. I think she taught us about five times a week when I was there. I was called as a regular missionary but with additional assignments as a Welfare Service missionary. This required a great deal of specialized training in the MTC. Sister Edmunds was in charge of that training. Every Welfare Service missionary had a different experience on their missions because of the location they served in and according to the needs of their local leaders. We were trained to be resources to the local leaders. We did all kinds of different things as part of this special calling. One of the things I was asked to do was to coordinate lessons to teach the local leaders the Welfare Service plan. I did that on a number of occasions for several different groups of leaders. It was always humbling and always rewarding. I did a lot of leadership training which helped me the rest of my life.
Sister Edmunds taught me what the Welfare Service plan was. It has been quoted to be "the essence of the gospel." I listened very carefully and it had a profound effect on me. It was one of those times in my life when the whole course of my life changed. I always think of her fondly. She is one of the women I admire most and I will always be grateful for what she taught me.
The following is a talk about the Welfare Service plan which we studied as a missionaries. This is what I taught many, many times to Chinese leaders. It is also part of who I am.
President Kimball gave this talk. He was a prophet of God. He said that the Welfare Services plan "is the crowning principle of a Christian life." I hope I have been true to what I was taught so long ago.