Category Archives: Week One

Landscape_with_wheat_sheaves_and_rising_moon1

Vincent Van Gogh, Landscape with Wheat Sheaves and Rising Moon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

 

DAILY READING

D&C 4
2 Nephi 2:1-12
Mosiah 3:13-20

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • What is the gospel? What does the gospel offer to you and others?
  • Why do we preach the gospel?
  • How can living the gospel be so fulfilling of our deepest needs, both spiritual and temporal?

Your Commission to Teach the Restored Gospel

You are surrounded by people. You pass them on the street, visit them in their homes, and travel among them. All of them are children of God, your brothers and sisters. God loves them just as He loves you. Many of these people are searching for purpose in life. They are concerned for their families. They need the sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of God, members of His eternal family. They want to feel secure in a world of changing values. They want “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23), but they are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:12).

The gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith will bless their families, meet their spiritual needs, and help them fulfill their deepest desires. Although they may not know why, they need relief from feelings of guilt that come from mistakes and sins. They need to experience the joy of redemption by receiving forgiveness of their sins and enjoying the gift of the Holy Ghost.

[You] can teach people with power and authority that “redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah,” and that no one “can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:6, 8). As people come to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation by priesthood authority, they can be assured that they “are not cast off forever” (Book of Mormon, Title Page).

As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase. You will feel, as Lehi did, the “great … importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth” (2 Nephi 2:8).

President Ezra Taft Benson taught: “We are commanded by God to take this gospel to all the world. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the gospel will save the world from the calamity of its own self-destruction. Only the gospel will unite men of all races and nationalities in peace. Only the gospel will bring joy, happiness, and salvation to the human family” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 167).
You are called to represent Jesus Christ in helping people become clean from their sins. You do this by inviting them to come unto Jesus Christ and become converted to His restored gospel. To come to the Savior they must have faith in Him unto repentance—making the necessary changes to bring their life into agreement with His teachings. You can help people develop such faith by teaching them the restored gospel by the Spirit and inviting them to commit to live according to its teachings. Keeping this commitment prepares them for the covenant of baptism and confirmation and the precious gift of the Holy Ghost. They are to put off the “natural man” and become a Saint “through the atonement of Christ the Lord” (Mosiah 3:19) (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, 2004, 1–2).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

How to Be an
Everyday Missionary

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Bishop Konold Has a
Message for You!

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Can you remember how wonderful you felt when you invited a friend to come to church with you?
  • What can you do to make sure your family studies this guide and follows through on our commitment?
  •  

    Three Angels with trumpet

    J. Kirk Richards, Three Angel with Trump, Used with permission.

    DAILY READING

    3 Nephi 19:1-14
    Helaman 10:1-5

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    CONSIDER AS YOU READ

    • Why was it important for the disciples to teach the words of Jesus? What modern words of Christ can we share to wield that same power?
    • Why do you suppose the people’s desire to receive the Holy Ghost was perhaps even greater than their desire to have Christ return the next day? How can we increase our desire to have the Holy Ghost constantly with us?
    • Have you witnessed how even the slightest effort in missionary work brings you closer to the Spirit of the Lord? Why do you suppose this is so?

    The Visions and Blessings and Glories of God—

    Feeling the Spirit of God Again

    After I finished business school at age twenty-seven and began my career, in imperceptible increments I began to feel the Spirit less and less in my life. I was serving as a counselor to Bishop Kent Bowen in Boston, and I was spending a lot of time and energy to magnify that assignment. I was praying and studying the scriptures regularly, and yet despite my doing all these “right” things, I just felt that the Spirit was not with me as much as I had felt it when I was on my mission in Korea.

    Then we moved to Washington, D.C., where I was to work as a White House Fellow. All of a sudden, we lived and worked and commuted with new people, and I found myself with many more opportunities to discuss the gospel with my new friends. In short order after our move, two of my colleagues accepted my invitation to come to our home and take the missionary discussions.

    Before one of our lessons with them, we were scurrying around to clean things up. I put a tape of the Mormon Youth Symphony and Chorus into our stereo, and the choir began playing their rendition of “The Spirit of God” (Hymns, no. 2). I was in the dining room when they began the third verse:

    We’ll call in our solemn assemblies in spirit,
    To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad,
    That we through our faith may begin to inherit
    The visions and blessings and glories of God.

    As I heard those words, a powerful and sweet spirit entered my heart, and I realized what had been happening in my spiritual life. With our move to Washington, I had begun again to do my part in spreading forth the kingdom of heaven abroad. And what I inherited as a result were the visions and blessings and glories of God. I had begun feeling the Spirit again on a daily basis. My dreams were about spiritual things, and I was singing the hymns of the Restoration as I walked to the bus stop.

    I’ll summarize the lesson I learned from this with a metaphor. In a war, the generals give the state-of-the-art weapons to those soldiers who are on the front lines engaged in direct combat with the enemy. To those of their troops who work in administrative positions behind the lines, they’ll give less-potent tools. What had happened in Boston was that I had been spending more of my Church service on administrative things. I actually could do most of those kinds of things effectively, without needing to rely very heavily on the Spirit. But in becoming an active missionary again, I had essentially repositioned myself onto the front lines in the war against Satan over the souls of men. This meant that I needed the Spirit with me every day.

    Hence, under license given to each of us in section 4 of the Doctrine and Covenants, I “called myself” on a mission. I love my life as a missionary, keeping myself on the front lines. The image in my mind is that God, my General, stands at the door when I go out every morning; and, knowing what the war is like, day after day He gives me His most powerful weapon: His Spirit. For this I am grateful (Clayton M. Christensen, The Power of Everyday Missionaries, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013, 3–5).

    ADDITIONAL MEDIA

    How to Be an
    Everyday Missionary

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


    Activity Day Rescuers

    QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    • Can you think of friends that would enjoy Activity Days or Cub Scouts?
    • Have you felt the Spirit of the Lord when you have invited others to join with you in church or family events?
    • Doesn’t it get easier each time you make an invitation?

     

    Minerva Teichert, The Law on the Plates of Brass, Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

    DAILY READING

    1 Nephi 3:1-814:12-14

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    CONSIDER AS YOU READ

    • What do we need to do to apply Nephi’s famous “I will go and do…” approach to missionary work?
    • Nephi saw that the dominions of the Saints were small, but they were armed with “the power of God in great glory.” When have you felt that power in your life?

    The Visions and Blessings and Glories of God—

    Constants and Variables

    When we are busy serving in the Church, we can expect God to bless us with miracles when we go and do the things He commands (see 1 Ne. 3:7). In the equation that determines whether we can find people for the missionaries to teach, God’s role is a constant, not a variable. He always keeps His promises. The only variable is whether we have the faith to commit, obey, and expect miracles. Even more than other members, the busy men and women who lead our wards and stakes (or branches and districts) need to exercise this simple faith—because if they cannot speak in present-tense verbs and first-person pronouns about sharing the gospel, they cannot inspire others to fulfill our prophet’s member missionary call.

    Blessings

    Many of us know people who seem to be “natural missionaries,” almost as if they have an innate gift that makes sharing the gospel easy for them. We certainly are not naturals at this. We found the work to be uncomfortable and intimidating at the outset, but learning and following these lessons has helped us share the gospel in ways that have become natural.

    The blessings that have come to our family from doing this work have been incalculable. Missionary work has brought the Spirit of God into our home and our hearts. About four years ago, for example, we invited one of Clayton’s former students, Sunil, to take the missionary discussions in our home. The missionaries did a wonderful job, and at the close of the discussion they both testified of the truths they had taught us. We both bore our testimonies, and Clayton asked one of the missionaries to close with prayer. Just then our son Spencer raised his hand. “Dad, can I say something?” He then rose to his feet and, looking at Sunil with the purest gaze, said, “Sunil, I’m only 11 years old. But I want you to know that the things the missionaries have told you tonight are true. I know that God lives. I know that you and I are His sons and that Joseph Smith was truly a prophet of God.” As he shared his feelings, a sweet, powerful spirit came into the room.

    The next day Sunil sent an e-mail saying that while he had appreciated the clear explanation of our beliefs that the missionaries and we had provided during the discussion, “when your son stood and said those words, I felt something inside that I have never felt before. This must be what you mean when you speak of the Spirit of God.”

    Many blessings and friendships have come into our lives from trying to share the gospel. But this blessing has been one of the best: Having the missionaries regularly help us as a family teach the gospel to new and old friends through the power of the Holy Ghost has profoundly affected the faith of our five children and brought the Spirit of God into our home (Clayton M. Christensen, “Seven Lessons on Sharing the Gospel,” Ensign, Feb. 2005).

    ADDITIONAL MEDIA

    The Spirit of God

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


    The Brass Plates

    QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES/h3>

    • Sometimes does it seem as hard for us to share the gospel as it was for Nephi to go back for the plates?
    • How did Nephi overcome this fear?
    • Does sharing the gospel take faith? In what way?

     

    Pieter_Fransz._de_Grebber_-_Elisha_Refusing_Gifts_from_Naaman_-_WGA10388

    Pieter de Grebber, Elisha Refusing Gifts from Naaman, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

    DAILY READING

    2 Kings 5:1–14

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    CONSIDER AS YOU READ

    • Why did Naaman react the way he did to Elisha’s directions to bathe in the River Jordan? Do you have issues that undermine God’s simple, but
      demanding, commandments to care for others?
    • Why can we organize, plan, and produce a multi-faceted church activity yet we find it so difficult to invite a person to church?

    We Need Faith

    Despite the Savior’s assurances that the small things are the big things, many in the Church feel inferior for never having served in presidencies or bishoprics….
    I once felt passed over when another man was called to a leadership position I had felt I might receive. In the crisis of self-confidence that ensued, I realized that because our minds are finite, we create hierarchies and statistically aggregate people. We perceive stake presidents to be higher than bishops and Primary presidents higher than Primary teachers because they preside over more people. But God has an infinite mind. He needs no statistics above the level of the individual in order to have a perfect understanding of what is happening. This means, I realized, that the way God will measure my life is not by the numbers of people over whom I have presided but by the individual people whose lives I have touched with His love and with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    With this sense of my most important calling, I began to fast and pray that God would give me opportunities daily to bless and help people. As I acted upon the promptings I received, it was as if God spoke to me more frequently because He knew I was listening. This period in my life proved to be one of extraordinary spiritual growth. There is a calling far higher than that of stake president, bishop, or Relief Society president. It is to be a doer of good, a disciple of Christ, an intermediary through whom God answers others’ prayers.

    Just as Naaman had to overcome initial skepticism when Elisha prescribed a simple cure for his leprosy, we need faith to follow God’s simple instructions…. It takes faith to take God at His word (Clayton M. Christensen, “‘My Ways Are Not Your Ways’,” Ensign, Feb 2007, 54–59).

    ADDITIONAL MEDIA


    We Rejoice in Christ

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    prophet-elisha
    The Prophet Elisha—
    Three Miracles

    QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    • Does missionary work sometimes require a miracle? What makes miracles? What do we have to do to experience a miracle?
    • Did Naaman almost not get healed? What finally allowed him to be healed?
    • Do we have to be obedient to receive miracles in missionary work?

    ammon-stands-before-Limhi

    Minerva Teichert, Ammon Stands before Limhi,
    Brigham Young University Museum of Art.

    DAILY READING

    Alma 17:20–3918:1–40

    For Younger Missionaries

    CONSIDER AS YOU READ

    • What can we learn from Ammon’s declaration that he wished to dwell among the Ishmaelites?
    • How did Ammon’s service to the king prepare the way for later teaching? Can we incorporate this into our missionary efforts?
    • Ammon was “wise,” but “harmless.” How can we be wise in the timing and choosing whom we invite and how and what teach? What do we learn about the role of patience in missionary work? Is this inconsistent with the notion of “hastening the work?”

    Learn from a Missionary: Ammon

    Ammon, the Nephite missionary, provided an example for us. He had chosen to serve the Lamanite king and was sent to watch the flocks of Lamoni…. Now, we may read this as a story about some shepherds trying to round up some missing sheep, but the message is much more powerful and significant than that. Ammon was a missionary with noble intentions to bring the king and his kingdom back to the fold of righteousness, to the well of living water. The challenge looked daunting to those who could see only, in everyday terms, sheep strung out on hillsides and not enough manpower to round them up. They were discouraged and fearful that the king would discover their loss.

    Ammon not only led the force to recapture the sheep, he drove away the evil men who caused the problems; and his heroic efforts persuaded the king to follow him and to follow the Savior.

    Ammon teaches us that no matter our circumstances, we can be an example to others, we can lift them, we can inspire them to seek righteousness, and we can bear testimony … of the power of Jesus Christ…. Conversion requires consecrating our lives to caring for and serving others who need our help and to sharing our gifts and talents. The Lord didn’t say tend my sheep when it is convenient, watch my sheep when you aren’t busy. He said feed my sheep and my lambs; help them survive this world, keep them close to you. Lead them to safety—the safety of righteous choices that will prepare them for eternal life (Robert D. Hales, “When Thou Art Converted, Strengthen Thy Brethren,” Ensign, May 1997).

    ADDITIONAL MEDIA

    Ammon Teaches
    King Lamoni

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


    Ammon, a Great Servant

    QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES/h3>

    • How did it help the missionary Ammon when he told Lamoni that he wanted to live with his people? Would it help us if we were willing to play with our friends?
    • How did it help Ammon when he asked Lamoni what he thought about God? Should we ask our friends about their beliefs?
    • How can you be a better missionary by being more like Ammon?

     

    Michelangelo,_Creation_of_Adam_04 (1)

    Michelangelo Buonarroti, Detail from Sistine Chapel, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

    DAILY READING

    D&C 93:26-35
    Acts 17:24-29

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    CONSIDER AS YOU READ

    • How does knowing the doctrines taught in D&C 93:26-35 better prepare you for your next gospel-centered discussion at work or at school?
    • How does personal agency or free will relate to personal accountability?
    • D&C 93:33—Is there any difference between being joyful and having a fulness of joy?
    • What do these scriptural passages mean when they tell us that our united bodies and spirits can be temples of God? What similarities are there to the temple buildings in our midst? What differences?

    Preach My Gospel: God’s Purpose and Plan

    Many people wonder, “Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going?” The plan of salvation gives us the answers to these questions.

    God is the Father of our spirits. We are literally His children, and He loves us. We lived as spirit children of our Father in Heaven before we were born on this earth. We were not, however, like our Heavenly Father, nor could we ever become like Him and enjoy all the blessings that He enjoys without the experience of living in mortality with a physical body.

    God’s whole purpose—His work and His glory—is to enable each of us to enjoy all His blessings. He has provided a perfect plan to accomplish His purpose. We understood and accepted this plan before we came to the earth. In the scriptures God’s plan is called a merciful plan, the plan of happiness, the plan of redemption, and the plan of salvation….

    Agency, or the ability to choose, is one of God’s greatest gifts to His children. Our eternal progression depends on how we use this gift. We must choose whether to follow Jesus Christ or follow Satan.

    We are physically separated from God during life on earth, but He wants every one of His children to find peace in this life and a fulness of joy in His presence after this life. He wants us to become like Him (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2004), 89–90).

    ADDITIONAL MEDIA

    Our Eternal Life

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


    Ammon Meets
    King Lamoni’s Father

    QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    • How did Ammon teach Lamoni’s father to pray?
    • Have you ever prayed with your friends? How might you do that?
    • Do you remember to have a prayer on the food or to have family prayer when a friend is at your house? How might that affect them?

     

    portrait-of-christ-carl-bloch-205065-wallpaper

    Carl Bloch, Detail from Christ with Child, Skt. Nikolai Kirke (Holbæk, DK).

    DAILY READING

    There is no scripture reading assigned today. Use this day to catch up as needed and ponder the supplemental reading.

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    A Voice of Warning

    The Lord would not use the word warn if there is no danger. Yet not many people we know sense it. They have learned to ignore the increasing evidence that society is unraveling and that their lives and family lack the peace they once thought was possible. That willingness to ignore the signs of danger can make it easy for you to think: Why should I speak to anyone about the gospel who seems content? What danger is there to them or to me if I do or say nothing?

    Well, the danger may be hard to see, but it is real, both for them and for us. For instance, at some moment in the world to come, everyone you will ever meet will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, was to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temples of God on this earth. And they will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you.

    It’s easy to say, “The time isn’t right.” But there is danger in procrastination. Years
    ago I worked for a man in California. He hired me, he was kind to me, he seemed to regard me highly. I may have been the only Latter-day Saint he ever knew well. I don’t know all the reasons I found to wait for a better moment to talk with him about the gospel. I just remember my feeling of sorrow when I learned, after he had retired and I lived far away, that he and his wife had been killed in a late night drive to their home in Carmel, California….

    Now, I don’t know how the crowds will be handled in the world to come. But I suppose that I will meet him, that he will look into my eyes, and that I will see in them the question: “Hal, you knew. Why didn’t you tell me?” (Henry B. Eyring, “A Voice of Warning,” Ensign, Nov 1998).

    ADDITIONAL MEDIA


    Let Your Light So Shine

    FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


    I’ll Go Where You
    Want Me to Go

    QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

    • What activities, in addition to baptisms, can you invite a friend to attend with you?
    • What are some things you could to help others?
    • Do you know the missionaries’ names so you can introduce your friends to them?