James Tissot, The Wise Virgins, Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription.


D&C 58:26–33

For Younger Missionaries


  • How do we get beyond being missionaries because we fear the consequences of not doing so and into the mood of being “anxiously engaged” in this effort?
  • How does doing missionary work make it very unlikely that we will find ourselves doubting our faith?

Set a Date

My gas, phone, water, and electric companies, as well as my credit card companies … impose deadlines … to be sure that I pay my bills. If they didn’t, I would probably keep forgetting to pay them. Goals and deadlines, in other words, help almost all of us do what we need to do.

In contrast to home teaching, which has used the last day of the month as a de facto deadline, the member missionary effort has never imposed deadlines. As a result, most of us are not engaged in finding people for the missionaries to teach. Most of us want to be good missionaries—and we intend to start next week.

In 1984, Elder M. Russell Ballard challenged us in general conference to periodically set a date as a goal or deadline by which we would find someone to bring into our homes for the missionaries to teach. He promised us that if we would pick a date and not a person, and then do everything we could to discuss the gospel with as many people as possible, that the Lord would bless us to be able to find someone by that date who would accept our invitation to study the gospel with the missionaries. For some reason this talk had a powerful impact on me—probably because I was a ward mission leader. I got a strong feeling that this challenge was something that I specifically needed to do.

In my prayers that evening I set a date, conveniently about a year away, as part of this covenant with the Lord. I then committed that I would do all I could to engage in gospel discussions with as many different people as possible, and I restated to the Lord what I understood to be Elder Ballard’s promise…. [Each year] I have set a date in this manner, and in each instance God has blessed me to find someone whom I could introduce to the missionaries (Clayton M. Christensen, The Power of Everyday Missionaries, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013, 69-70).


Set Goals and Deadlines
to Engage Yourself
in the Work



Inviting Jacob—
A Story from The Friend


  • Why is it important, when being missionaries, to remember that everyone is free to make their own decisions?
  • Isn’t it good that Eric decided to just keep inviting and not get discouraged?
  • How do you think it made Jacob feel that Eric kept inviting him?


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