Joseph_Smith,_Jr._profile_by_Bathsheba_Smith_circa_1843

Bathsheba W. Smith, Joseph Smith, Jr., [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

D&C 33:8–11; 71:1–6

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • Will the Lord open our mouths for us? When we speak of the gospel, how will He help us?
  • Joseph and Sidney had important organizational and administrative callings in the formative period of the Church that would take all their time. Why would the Lord call them on a mission in the middle of it all?
  • Do you hear the Lord calling you on a mission as his servants declare that we must “hasten the work?”

THE POWER OF EVERYDAY MISSIONARIES

As I boarded a plane bound for Salt Lake City, … I found the first available window seat next to a gentleman in his mid-thirties. We sat a seat apart from each other, and I got my book out again to continue reading about the character of Christ.

But then the Spirit said to me, “If you want to try out this principle, you should … talk to this man, rather than ignore him.”…

I closed my book and started talking to the man. This was not the first time I had tried to be friendly to someone on a flight with the intention of sharing the gospel, but I hadn’t had much success before so I was dubious.

Jim (not his real name) was returning home after a fishing trip in Alaska…. We talked freely then for 30 minutes about our lives, our goals and so on. Still, even though I used … Mormon lingo like “Missionary Homecoming,” “Temple Square,” and “Missionary Training Center” he didn’t respond to any of it….

Jim finally told me, “I used to be Mormon when I was a kid, but I haven’t been to church since I was 12. My whole family is gung-ho about the church and they keep trying to get me to come back.” He told me he lost a brother, that an old lady had offended him after he passed the sacrament for the first time, and a couple of other issues that he had with the church. I apologized, but he said “Nah, those concerns are really dumb, and they’re just little things that keep me from going.”

Me: “Oh, ok. So if you don’t mind me asking, what keeps you from coming to church?”

Jim: “I just don’t think I believe in God. I take comfort in the fact that I don’t know if He exists.”

Me: “Huh. That’s interesting. At least you’re honest about what you know and what you don’t know. Do you have any desire to know if God is there?”

Jim: “Maybe I did at one point, but I feel like that’s passed.”

Me: “Ok. Well, Jim, I think you are a wonderful guy, and you are so honest about your beliefs, so I want to be honest with you. I know that God does exist, because I’ve taken the time to ask Him. Do you know how you can know that God is there, if the desire comes back to you?… You said you like to be in nature…. [I]f you want to know if He is there, just go out by yourself like you’re going hiking, and spill your guts out to God. Ask Him if He is there, take some quiet time to listen, and I know you’ll get a feeling of peace and comfort, telling you that He is real.”…

I felt a surge of gratitude that I could be a witness for Jesus Christ. Jim and I continued our conversation, as I listened to all the concerns he had about religion in general and society…:

“The problem with society is that we are so concerned with material things. Everyone wants to fill their houses with things that don’t mean anything.

“People just aren’t nice to each other anymore. What happened to common decency? I wish more people were nice to talk to, like you.

“All of these organizations don’t do anything for you, they’re all just social constructs that keep us from thinking creatively.”…

“Jim, I submit to you that the cure for every single problem you named is 1) knowing that God exists 2) understanding your relationship to Him, and 3) knowing what God expects of you. If everyone would just talk to God, know that He is their Father, and then do what He asks, none of the problems with materialism, selfishness, decency and corruption would exist.”…

We walked together to get our luggage from the baggage claim when the flight was over, and it killed me to say goodbye. I could feel my heart feeling so full of the Lord’s love for him (Emily, “A Missionary Experience Unlike Any I Ever Had—’Turning Outward’ to Jim,” The Power of Everyday Missionaries, http://www.everydaymissionaries.org/turning-outward-jim/ [accessed Dec 7, 2013]).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Conversion Story—Jean

 

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Joseph Smith and Sidney
Rigdon Go on a Mission

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Isn’t it interesting that even the prophet was called on a mission?
  • Because he did what the Lord commanded, do you think the Lord blessed him in all his other responsibilities?
  • Would you have the courage to stand up and correct something wrong that was said about the Church? Could you do it with love?

 

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