Category Archives: Week Six

j-kirk-richards-baptism

J. Kirk Richards, Jesus is Baptized, Used with artist’s permission.

DAILY READING

D&C 20:37, 68–74
John 14:23–27

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • Remember your baptism and confirmation. Who performed them and when? Were missionaries involved?
  • Do any of the Qualifications for Baptism (D&C 20:37) also apply to the partaking of the sacrament? Should this figure in your missionary plan?
  • What does it take to keep converts active in the Church, growing, and living a gospel-centered life?

PREACH MY GOSPEL—
Baptism

Baptism is for the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost brings a host of blessings to those who live worthy of it. Through these ordinances people enter the gate and continue on the path to eternal life. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said: “We do not preach and teach in order to ‘bring people into the Church’ or to increase the membership of the Church. We do not preach and teach just to persuade people to live better lives…. We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance and baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God. No one else can do this” (“The Purpose of Missionary Work,” Missionary satellite broadcast, Apr. 1995).

As you teach the restored gospel, help people understand the sacred nature of baptism and confirmation. Help them realize that receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost is a great blessing in this life and a key to their salvation. The Holy Ghost will “teach [them] all things” (John 14:26)….

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost” (History of the Church, 5:499).

Help those you teach understand that to qualify for baptism and confirmation they must meet the conditions….

  • Humble themselves before God.
  • Desire to be baptized.
  • Come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits.
  • Repent of all their sins.
  • Are willing to take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ.
  • Have a determination to serve Christ to the end.
  • Manifest by their works that they have received the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins.

After worthy converts are baptized, they are confirmed members of the Church and the gift of the Holy Ghost is conferred upon them….

While the two ordinances are separated by a brief time, confirmation complements and completes baptism.

When people have been baptized and confirmed members of the Church, continue to work … to help these new converts adjust to their new life and continue their spiritual growth. The Church is established as people who have testimonies are baptized and confirmed, keep their covenants, prepare actively to go to the temple, and help strengthen the ward or branch.

Converts who have member friends, who are given responsibility, and who are nourished by God’s word will grow in testimony and faith (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, 2004, 9).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Invitation to be Baptized: German

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Jesus is Baptized

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • What do you think attracted people to John the Baptist?
  • What would you tell someone who asked you (as they asked John) what it takes to follow Jesus?
  • How do you think John felt when Jesus asked John to baptize him?

 

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J. Kirk Richards, Greatest in the Kingdom, Used with artist’s permission.

DAILY READING

1 Corinthians 13

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • How can the pure love of Christ help us learn how to reach people?
  • Can the love of Christ actually put substance and meaning into otherwise hollow words?

THE POWER OF EVERYDAY MISSIONARIES

The third habit is one that I use with people I know well. I decouple my invitation to learn about the Church from my relationship with them, using language like this: “Scott, I’m going to ask you a question. But before I ask, we need to agree that our friendship won’t be affected if you decide that this isn’t of interest to you. Okay?” Almost always they assure me that this is all right. Then I say, “You know, I’m a member of the LDS Church. For a while I’ve just had a sense that there are a few aspects about the Church that might be interesting to you. If at some point you have an interest, I’d love the chance to talk a bit about these things.” By couching my invitation in this way, I make it easy for them to say no, and as a consequence it doesn’t strain my relationship with them at all. In fact, whether or not they have an interest, almost always they will thank me for caring enough about them to ask (Clayton M. Christensen, The Power of Everyday Missionaries, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013, 27–28).

I Talked to a Classmate about the Church

I am currently obtaining my MBA from Duke University, and I had been praying to share the gospel in any way I could. I thought often about an international student from South Korea that I had become close with, but I felt that I lacked the “tools” to proactively do something about my feelings and thoughts as a member missionary. I even ordered a Korean Book of Mormon, but it continued to sit on my nightstand as I didn’t know necessarily how to bring it up or when the right moment would be.

I decided to read The Power of Everyday Missionaries, which provided hundreds of ideas for me to use in my member missionary efforts. One piece of advice particularly struck me as being very helpful in my situation. There is a practical tip of “Decoupling”—in other words, separating your relationship with the person from the invitation to learn more about the church. The simple phrases in the book gave me exactly what I needed to approach my friend.

On Good Friday I scheduled a very informal lunch with my friend as we had not caught up during our rigorous school schedule. We talked about our traditions of celebrating Easter, and I said to my friend, “I would like to ask you a question. But, before I do, we need to agree that our friendship won’t be affected if you decide that this isn’t of interest to you. Okay?” (This was the decoupling part.) My friend assured me that it would be alright. Then I said, “As you know I am a member of the LDS Church. And, for a while I have had a sense that there are a few aspects about the Church that might be of interest to you. So, for Easter, I purchased a copy of the Book of Mormon in Korean for you, and I wanted to know if you’d accept my gift to you.”

My friend was very excited about the kind gesture. He even promised me that he would read one page a day. He asked some basic questions, and I explained how the Book of Mormon complemented the Bible in doctrine but was a history of a people in the Americas. It was a wonderful experience, and I know that it was the simple tool that I learned in Everyday Missionaries that armed me with the courage and confidence to share the gospel, even and especially, in my very busy and fast-paced student life (Ian M. Durham,  “I Talked to a Classmate about the Church,” http://www.everydaymissionaries.org/i-talked-to-a-classmate-about-the-church/ [accessed Dec 7, 2013]).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

How Do I Love Thee?

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Pass It On

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Can you think of something you can do for another today?
  • You are welcome to record your good deed in the comment box below—so others can be inspired your ideas of service.

 

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J. Kirk Richards, Portrait of Christ, Used with artist’s permission.

DAILY READING

D&C 121:41–42, 45–46
2 Corinthians 6:1–7

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • Without decoupling our invitations to nonmembers, might we be perceived as not possessing unfeigned love? How can we demonstrate to others that our “faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death”?
  • Verse 46 promises that if we do as instructed the Holy Ghost shall be our constant companion. How is that essential to effective missionary service?

THE POWER OF EVERYDAY MISSIONARIES—
Decoupling

I play soccer with some older guys who are not members of the church…. One of the guys I play with is a good man who has coached my son and has a son on his team. We were at one of their games, and I prayed and told the Lord I would invite them but He would need to arrange it so I could.

After the game my friend and his whole family crowded around me and began talking to me, and I thought this is it, I better ask.

I told him I wanted to invite him to do something but that if he was not interested we would still be friends. I then asked if he and his wife would like to come to our home and learn more about our church. He said that he and his wife had been talking about the need their family has for a good church and had even seen my wife’s car at our church building and mentioned they should check out our church.

I was stunned. He and his wife both expressed their desire to learn more.

He texted me shortly before our scheduled meeting and apologized that they could not make it but said that they would like to come to church the next day. The whole family came. They stayed for all three meetings and said they enjoyed it…. [Afterwards] my friend said he was very interested, and he gladly accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon. They met the missionaries and have an appointment to hear the first lesson in our home in a few days.

I cannot tell you how good this has made [us] feel. We have felt the joy of being member missionaries, and it is awesome (Anon., “I Invited My Soccer Buddy,” The Power of Everyday Missionaries, http://www.everydaymissionaries.org/i-invited-my-soccer-buddy [accessed Dec 7, 2013]).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Invite Without Conditions

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Jesus Christ
Blesses the Children

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • What would you ask the Lord to bless you with if you sat with Him?
  • If you had been there, would you have brought a friend to receive a blessing from Jesus? Can you do that now?

 

Cosimo_Rosselli_Sermone_della_Montagna-sm

Cosimo Rosselli, Sermon on the Mount, Sistine Chapel, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

Matthew 7:1–12

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • How would we want to be treated if we choose differently than what someone else expects?
  • How does pre-judging others prevent us from sharing and inviting them to come unto Christ?
  • Those whom we seek are most likely involved in sinful behavior of some kind (as are we). If we are looking for pure people, are we likely to ever extend an invitation?

SO THEY DON’T JOIN THE CHURCH

Wow! This was it! My chance to finally get involved in missionary work, and with a low risk factor, too. I could hardly believe my eyes when I discovered Jennifer, my daughter’s kindergarten friend, and her parents at our church! Investigators!

Up to this point my batting average in missionary work had been pretty low, exceeded only in laxity by my attempts at genealogy. From the time fifteen years earlier when I had excitedly made my way into the “mission field” (meaning then anywhere outside the boundaries of Utah and southern Idaho), I had been sadly disappointed at my failure to spread the good word. Oh, I’d made a few frightened attempts at asking the Golden Questions, but they’d always been terminated by a friendly “thanks, but no thanks” type of response.

Now someone else, I discovered, had done the hard part, and here they were, a “golden” family, as the missionaries liked to call them, in my very ward, just waiting to be fellowshipped! Opportunity excited my courage, and beginning at that point our acquaintance became friendship.

Jennifer’s mother, Patti, was an attractive, outgoing woman, and she fit right into our circle of friends. She graciously accepted my offer of rides to Primary for the children, and I was delighted when she would call with a problem she was having with a newly discovered principle of the gospel or an outlandish rumor she had heard. I suffered when she began reading the negatively slanted material she found at the public library, and I was amazed at the way she could read A Marvelous Work and a Wonder late at night after a hard day’s work.

Mike and Patti were bright, practical people, and their conversion came only after much careful thought and study. They weren’t baptized right away, nor were they sure they wanted to be. They needed time to test, to practice, to make sure their decision was right. It was during these months of waiting and hoping that I discovered what is, I guess, the basis of all human relationships, the substance of Christianity.

During those days of wondering “Will they or won’t they?” “What if they decide against the Church?” “What if …” I asked myself the inevitable question: If Patti decides not to join the Church, will it affect our friendship?

The answer, I knew, had to be a firm, emphatic “No!” For a “yes” answer may have meant that I wasn’t concerned with my friend, but with a baptism, with my own welfare. (After all, if I labor all my days and bring just one soul, how great will be my joy! [See D&C 18:15.]) The question brought a rush of principles and values—the importance of missionary work, the happiness the gospel brings, the importance of steadfastness. But the ultimate principle always surfaced: If I were really interested in Patti’s welfare, our friendship wouldn’t be contingent upon baptism within a given framework of time. Because I became aware of that principle I learned to know Patti as a person with hopes and dreams, successes and disappointments, joys and fears, and not just as “an investigator” (Afton J. Day, “So They Don’t Join the Church,” Ensign, Oct. 1977).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Sermon on the Mount:
Treasures in Heaven

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


My Brother Hyrum

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • How might the way this little girl treats her brother help others to be better people?
  • Wouldn’t we all be better missionaries if we could love the way this little girl does?

 

teichert-meeting-with-lamonis-father

Minerva Kohlhepp Teichert, The Meeting with Lamoni’s Father, BYU Museum of Art, for non-commercial use only.

DAILY READING

Alma 19

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • What do we learn from Ammon about the role of patience in missionary work?
  • Do you think there may have been a different result had Ammon rushed into the queen and immediately declared that Lamoni was not dead?
  • How can the persistence and courage demonstrated by Mary in the account below be applied in today’s missionary efforts?

LEARN FROM MISSIONARIES—
Abish and Mary

Mary was born in 1830. The missionaries taught her family in Switzerland when she was 24. She was still living at home, weaving and selling cloth to help support her family on their small farm. When the family heard the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, they knew it was true. They were baptized. Mary’s brothers were called on missions, going without purse or scrip. The rest of the family sold their possessions to go to America to gather with the Saints.

There was not enough money for all to go. Mary volunteered to stay behind because she felt she could earn enough from her weaving to support herself and save for her passage. She found her way to Berlin and to the home of a woman who hired her to weave cloth for the family’s clothing. She lived in a servant’s room and set up her loom in the living area of the home.

It was against the law then to teach the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Berlin. But Mary could not keep the good news to herself. The woman of the house and her friends would gather around the loom to hear the Swiss girl teach. She talked about the appearance of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith, of the visitation of angels, and of the Book of Mormon. When she came to the accounts of Alma, she taught the doctrine of the Resurrection.

That caused some problems with her weaving. In those days, many children died very young. The women around the loom had lost children in death, some of them several children. When Mary taught the truth that little children were heirs of the celestial kingdom and that those women might again be with them and with the Savior and our Heavenly Father, tears rolled down the faces of the women. Mary cried too. All those tears falling got the cloth wet that Mary had woven.

Mary’s teaching created a more serious problem. Even though Mary begged the women not to talk about what she told them, they did. They shared the joyous doctrine with their friends. So one night there was a knock at the door. It was the police. They took Mary off to jail. On the way, she asked the policeman for the name of the judge she was to appear before the next morning. She asked if he had a family. She asked if he was a good father and a good husband. The policeman smiled as he described the judge as a man of the world.

At the jail, Mary asked for a pencil and some paper. She wrote a letter to the judge. She wrote about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ as described in the Book of Mormon, about the spirit world, and about how long the judge would have to think and to consider his life before facing the final judgment. She wrote that she knew he had much to repent of which would break his family’s heart and bring him great sorrow. She wrote through the night. In the morning she asked the policeman to take her letter to the judge. He did.

Later, the policeman was summoned by the judge to his office. The letter Mary had written was irrefutable evidence that she was teaching the gospel and so breaking the law. Nevertheless, it wasn’t long until the policeman came back to Mary’s cell. He told her that all charges were dismissed and that she was free to go, on the conditions she had stated in her letter. Her teaching the doctrine of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ had opened eyes and hearts enough to get her cast into jail. And her declaring the doctrine of repentance to the judge got her cast out of jail (Henry B. Eyring, “The Power of Teaching Doctrine,” Ensign, May 1999).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Rescued by Christ

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Extraordinary Gift

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Do you have special gifts or talents? How can you share them? How can you use them to bring others to Christ?
  • Do you help others discover and share their talents?

 

tissot-could-you-not-wait-with-me-one-hour

James Tissot, Could You Not Wait with Me One Hour, Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription.

DAILY READING

Alma 11:40; 34:8–16; 42:22–25
2 Nephi 9:21–24

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • What aspects of Christ’s Atonement are infinitely applicable? Which are conditionally applicable?
  • How does Christ’s Atonement fulfill the Law of Moses?
  • What part do gospel ordinances play in applying the Atonement?

PREACH MY GOSPEL—
Cleansed from Sin

God sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, into the world so that all of God’s children would have the possibility of returning to live in His presence after they die. Only through the Savior’s grace and mercy can we become clean from sin so that we can live in our Heavenly Father’s presence. Becoming clean from sin is being healed spiritually (see 3 Nephi 9:13; 18:32).

Because of Christ’s Atonement and Resurrection, all people will be brought back into the presence of the Lord to be judged according to their works and their desires (see 2 Nephi 9:10–16; Helaman 14:15–18; 3 Nephi 27:14–22; D&C 137:9). We will be judged according to the laws of justice and mercy.

Justice is the unchanging law that brings consequences for actions—blessings for obedience to God’s commandments and penalties for disobedience. We all commit sin. Sin makes us unclean, and no unclean thing can live in God’s presence (see 1 Nephi 10:21; 3 Nephi 27:19; Moses 6:57).

The Savior satisfied the demands of justice for those who repent of their sins and endeavor to keep all of His commandments when He stood in our place and suffered the penalty for our sins. This act is called the Atonement. Because of this selfless act, Christ can plead with the Father on our behalf. Heavenly Father can apply mercy, withhold punishment from us, and welcome us into His presence. Our Heavenly Father shows mercy when He forgives us of our sins and helps us return to dwell in His presence (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, 2004, 51).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA & FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

Please read and discuss the following video together as a family.

Reclaimed

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Are there things about your life you would like to “reclaim?” Can you help others reclaim their lives and make them beautiful?
  • Can the gospel help us to beautify our lives? Maybe the best way to beautify our lives is helping others reclaim theirs.

 

ChristandThorns

Carl Heinrich Bloch, Christ and Thorns, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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

An Essential Role

[L]et the power of love guide us in sharing the gospel with family members, friends, neighbors, business associates, and any other people we encounter as we go through life. Most everyone wants to enjoy peace and happiness. That is a natural human desire. People want to find answers to the problems they face. This is increasingly true in the world we now live in.

Professional advancement, increased income, bigger homes, or newer cars and recreational equipment do not bring lasting peace and happiness. Happiness comes from understanding God and knowing that He has a plan for our eternal joy and peace. Happiness comes from knowing and loving the Savior and living our lives in accordance with His teachings. Happiness comes from strong family and Church relationships based on gospel values.

Some members say, “I’m afraid to share the gospel because I might offend someone.” Experience has shown that people are not offended when the sharing is motivated by the spirit of love and concern. How could anyone be offended when we say something like this: “I love the way my church helps me” and then add whatever the Spirit directs. It’s when we appear only to be fulfilling an assignment and we fail to express real interest and love that we offend others. Don’t ever forget, brothers and sisters, that you and I have in our possession the very points of doctrine that will bring people to the Lord. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ has within it the power to bring deep and abiding happiness to the human soul—something that will be valued and cherished for the rest of time and for all eternity. We are not just trying to get people to join our Church; we are sharing with them the fulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. But as powerful as our message is, it cannot be imposed or forced upon people. It can only be shared—heart to heart, soul to soul, spirit to spirit—by being good neighbors and by caring and showing love (M. Russell Ballard, “The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work,” Ensign, May 2003).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

The Purpose of Missionary Work:
The Robles Family

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Through Your Eyes

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Are you able to find God’s love in everything you see?
  • Do you realize that God’s love is expressed in every person you meet? Does remembering that help you as a missionary?