At the 2020 Mission Leadership Seminar, President Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, spoke about the importance and the process of creating lifelong conversion.
Multiple experiences in President Cordon’s life have taught her principles of successful missionary work. She served a full-time mission to Portugal, watched her parents serve as mission president and companion, and later she and her husband presided over the Brazil Curitiba Mission.
President Cordon taught that missionary work is not just about baptizing new members but about “nurturing lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ,” as reported by Church News.
“We rejoice when they choose to be baptized, but nothing compares to the whole-souled gratitude when these faithful converts remain firm in the faith of Christ,” said President Cordon.
She went on to give three key elements of member retention: anchoring member's testimonies in Christ, creating steadfast relationships, and becoming engaged in the work. President Cordon encouraged mission leaders to teach these principles to missionaries, not only for the sake of converts but for the missionaries themselves.
“You have a unique role as mission leaders—not only do you have a vision and testimony of retention, you have an opportunity to build missionaries who are capable of helping others become lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ,” she said. “The beautiful thing about helping your missionaries see the vision of retention is that they better understand this eternal truth for themselves. You will increase their desire to hold firm in the faith of Christ.”
Read a full summary of President Cordon’s remarks on retention and missionary work at Church News.