LDS Missionary Lance Eliason Strengthens Faith

Lance Eliason

Lance Eliason

By Braydon Heier

Lance Eliason, College of Southern Nevada student, served for two years on a mission in Ecuador to help others while spreading the gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“The greatest experience was seeing how people’s lives were blessed and changed for the better as they followed the teachings of Jesus Christ,” Eliason said. “There is not one day that goes by that I don’t think of the people that I met in Ecuador.”

What inspired Eliason to serve on a mission was the happiness and joy he felt in his family as they followed the commandments and lived the gospel of Christ. He wanted to share that with others.

“I felt the need to sacrifice two years of my life so that other people could feel the same,” Eliason said. “It helps those around us understand their purpose in this life and that there is a Heavenly Father, God, who loves all of his children and answers their prayers.”

“As parents it’s not easy to see your son leave for two years and to be able to talk to him twice a year,” said Peggy Eliason, Lance’s mother. “We took comfort in knowing that he was following the counsel of a prophet. But what really helped us is knowing that our Heavenly Father sent his son to sacrifice his life for each of us. So it made it easier for us to sacrifice our own son for two years by serving the Lord.”

“I have always been a momma’s boy and I never spent more than a week away from her before my mission,” Eliason said. “I had to learn many things from cooking to sewing a button on a shirt or a pair of pants. Let’s just say, I missed her a lot.”

While on his mission, Eliason learned about himself. “I was able to mature as a man and figure out what I wanted in my life after my mission was completed.”

untitledThe LDS Church has more than 15 million members worldwide. There are 88,000 missionaries serving in 406 locations, according to Mormon Newsroom, an official website of the church. Missionaries leave as early as 18 years old and serve for 18 months to two years in a location assigned to them by the First Presidency, the highest-governing body of the church.

“A missionary is a representative of Jesus Christ,” said Elder Alexander Calaway, who is currently serving in Las Vegas. “Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement.”

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church that Jesus Christ himself established,” Eliason said. “It has been restored through a Prophet Joseph Smith and has since been led by a prophet called of God. It is the only church that has the power and authority from God to perform the ordinances necessary to return back to his presence after this life.”

Eliason sacrificed a lot during those two years but now sees the blessings of his life being transformed.

“I gave up the opportunity to start my collegiate education right after high school and the opportunity to play baseball at the collegiate level,” Eliason said. Now back from his mission, he is a full-time college student pursuing an education in dentistry. “I do feel like I need to catch up, but that is what keeps me focused on passing every class and motivated to finish my degree as soon as possible.”

“The routine of the mission prepared me for the schedule and routine of college life,” Eliason said. “I apply the desire and discipline to study and learn new things. I also apply the ability to prioritize and manage my time in a productive manner.”

“We have seen our son’s life change when he returned home,” Peggy Eliason said. “He became more responsible; his study habits became more of a habit and he became more familiar with the scriptures. The Book of Mormon became his best friend. He has seen many situations in his mission that humbled him and made him appreciate the simple things in life.”

“I hope to receive the education necessary to have a successful career in order to provide for my future family as me and my wife, Ashley, are expecting our first child any day now,” Eliason said.

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