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Loren Spendlove served as a young missionary in Brazil, then found himself speaking Portuguese again as a missionary couple with his wife Tina—this time in Mozambique. They later returned to Mozambique as mission leaders. Loren and Tina served as missionaries again in Brazil and as Kennedy Center teachers in Guangzhou, China, and Loren served as a branch president in Bethlehem, Palestine.
Loren has an MA in Jewish Studies from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a PhD in Education, an MBA, and is a Certified Management Accountant and Certified in Financial Management. He has worked in corporate financial management, as a teacher in accounting and finance, and operated his own business for 20 years.
02:00 Introduction to the topic of the podcast and Loren Spendlove
03:50 Loren Spendlove, an atypical mission president and person
06:30 The unusual story of getting called as mission president to Mozambique
22:00 Loren’s first experience being a mission president with not having much leadership experience. He had to be ordained a High Priest.
26:40 Loren talks about serving in the church as a divorcee
28:20 We have a hard time differentiating culture from gospel. We want to impose our ideas onto other individuals.
31:30 The first step is to discover your culture and see how it impacts your view of the gospel
34:20 Orthodoxy keeps us all in line but there is also room to innovate. Depending on the culture and area we might need to change some things.
43:15 Principles vs rules. What works for the area that you are in?
46:40 One thing that Loren taught his missionaries was that their true obedience was to the Spirit of God and not to the written word. The Spirit always trumps the written word.
50:00 Differentiate between questioning and doubting. Question everything and doubt nothing. Questioning is not knowing and trying to discover and research. Doubting always starts as negative and normally ends negative too.
57:00 As mission president, Loren decided it would be more beneficial to de-emphasize baptisms and stop reporting them to the missionaries. They started reporting sacrament meeting attendance because that’s what they really wanted to focus on.
1:00:00 “Instead of being a forceful mission president, I decided that I was going to be a gospel teacher.”
1:01:15 The purpose of the zone conferences was to become a better follower of Jesus Christ. Becoming a better missionary will be an automatic result of becoming a better follower of Christ. Loren focused on the doctrine as a mission president.
1:05:30 Doctrine isn’t invented but it’s still being discovered. The restoration is still ongoing.
1:08:10 How can we study the gospel better?
1:12:00 Times where Loren felt the Spirit the strongest
1:16:00 Loren’s final thoughts and testimony on being a follower and leader of Jesus Christ
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I really enjoyed this podcast. It is chock full of principles and experiences that explain them. I happen to agree with everything Loren shared because I have experienced doing them myself.
As a young missionary, Loren Spendlove’s district in the Missionary Training Center (Language Training Mission) was 3 weeks behind my own. Both our districts arrived in Brazil at the same time after more than a year of no American missionaries entering the Brazil Porto Alegre Mission because of visa issues. Consequently, the missionaries in our groups served in leadership positions most of our mission. I always remember Loren as a strong, faithful missionary and a solid leader albeit with his own uniqueness.
When I heard he and his wife had been called to lead the Mozambique Maputo Mission, I contacted and congratulated him. He shared a little bit about his call and its circumstances but this interview gave me a lot more insight. I think he is right on the mark with regard to so many points that were made. We should all contemplate them.
This is the best Podcast I ever heard in my life, I served in Mozambique on that time with him, but I’ll tell u, I didn’t know many things abt him as I learned today. He is such a great advicers and Tina, Tina is Tina what a wonderful woman, so so sweet, so special. There are so many things I can say abt them, but I let know this, They love the gostel and they want you to know more and more in better way. Everytime I have QUESTION abt some principles after i made my own research I always looked for him to help me understand better the doctrine.
I absolutely LOVED this episode, especially with the insight in HOW to lead with principles rather than rules. It can be tough. I also appreciated how much receptiveness he received from higher authority when he felt things needed to be different. So many times people think they can’t even request permission to deviate from the norm because it’s “against the handbook”.
There was only one thing I did not 100% agree with, though. And that is the idea that the main purpose for Come Follow Me exists is to get people in the scriptures, and since Bro. Spendlove already does that, he doesn’t have a need to read those lessons. Now, I do agree that not everyone needs to read the CFM lessons all the time. However, I would claim that one of the main purposes for CFM is to give the body of the Worldwide Church a common framework in with to discuss the Gospel, and to provide families with a framework in which to teach the principle of Gospel Study to their children at various age levels. Someone with as much life experience as Bro. Spendlove can probably add to a gospel discussion about any subject CFM is going to bring up without having to previously study or brush up on it. But I don’t think that’s the case for many of us (especially if we haven’t had as much time on the Earth as he has!). Personally, I am at an age where I at least need to familiarize myself with the “official block of scriptures” for the week so I can make sure that I do my part to add to relevant gospel discussion at Church. I think we need to know enough about the subject matter to be able to contribute productively, and if that means reading CFM every week, then that’s what it means. If it means you already know everything to know about what is presented in the manual, then you go deeper into other things related to that topic and principle.
I just listened to this podcast (I have so many podcasts that I am always in the past). One thing that struck me about the podcast is the comment about being divorced and still serving in the Church. I knew of a sister in a ward I was in who had been divorced in the past. Because of her being divorced and then remarried, she felt that she would never be called into any leadership role in the ward or even to be able to be a temple worker. Then in that ward, someone was called as Bishop who had been divorced many years before his calling. The fact that he was called as Bishop gave this sister hope that she could have a bigger calling and she was not being excluded from serving. Thanks for sharing this example of a person who was divorced and then was called as a Mission President.