Rembrandt, Moses Smashing the Tablets of the Law, (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.


Isaiah 43:1–4
Deuteronomy 30:2–6

For Younger Missionaries


  • Do all of the Lord’s promises to those who help in the gathering apply to us as we invite others to hear the gospel?
  • As you read these scriptures, can you get a sense of the special love and close relationship we develop with Christ as we strive to rescue His children?
  • How does His love empower us to be courageous messengers?

The Perfect Referral

Let’s talk about … preparing your friends to meet the missionaries. We could call this “how to make the perfect referral.” It begins long before the referral. It begins, oddly enough, with how we feel about ourselves. To start with, we usually have to like ourselves and know that we are spirit children of our Father in heaven. At that point we will not need our friends to feed our egos, flatter our self-images, or assure us that we are worthwhile persons.

If we don’t have this kind of self-assurance and security two things could happen: (1) We could approach our friends about the Church because we are trying to prove to God, to the Church, or to the ward mission leader that we really are “good” members of the Church. That’s exploitation of our friendship—and believe me, there’s no way to hide that kind of insincerity. (2) The second thing is that if our friends respond negatively to our invitation we will feel angry or hurt and, thinking that they are rejecting us personally, will withdraw our friendship. Of course that closes the door forever on sharing the gospel with them and may lead to our criticizing them or, depending on how insecure we feel, even criticizing the member missionary program.

If we have these insecurities, what can we do about them? The same things that we do to gain a testimony of a principle of the gospel: study, prayer, and hard work. I testify that really understanding our own individual worth in the sight of our loving Father is one of the most humbling and exciting experiences we can have. We sense our own sacredness, our own nobility and dignity. And no external occurrence can really hurt that feeling.

Once we feel this way about ourselves, we can understand that our friend is equally precious to the Lord and, consequently, infinitely precious to us. When we treat people with that kind of care and thoughtfulness, they respond; when we tell them in that context that we’d like to share with them something very precious to us—the gospel—they respond with the same kind of respect that we have shown them. But in addition to making the invitation to learn about the gospel in this atmosphere of good feelings, let’s be sure that we make it clearly. A simple way is to restate in one way or another what the agreement is: “Then you’d like to have the missionaries show their films and present their half dozen lessons to you at our home, right?” This clear restatement leaves little room for misunderstandings and future hurt feelings.

The last step in making the referral is usually (there may be exceptions, depending on the circumstances) to have your friend taught in your presence. You know him best; you can read his clues if he begins to feel pressured or uncomfortable. Later, you can help explain doctrines from the background of your shared experience and feelings. What a boost you can give the spirit that the missionaries will bring with them! (Sterling Ellsworth, “When You Think You’ve Really Blown It,” Ensign, Oct. 1977).


Those Warned Must Warn Others


The Prophets Tell about Jesus


  • How do prophets help our faith grow?
  • Have you tried to tell a friend that there is a prophet on the earth today? How might you do that?


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