James Tissot, Saint James the Less, Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription.


D&C 27:15–18; 51:17–20

For Younger Missionaries


  • How does approaching the work with “joy” in our hearts, in and of itself, further the work?
  • Do you see missionary efforts as a cure for despondence, gloominess, or depression? What is the only offensive weapon we need as we put on the full armor of God? (D&C 27:18) Is it sufficient to the task?

How to Testify

Why is testimony bearing so powerful, so needful? At least three reasons come to mind. First, testifying is the purest form of human communication. The deepest meaning, the deepest conviction of one’s soul is being given to another through the medium of the Holy Spirit. “Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together” (D&C 50:22). The Lord wants his children to hear and receive divine truths so they might live by them and receive more.

Second, testimony bearing helps us to feel less of a “stranger here.” Undoubtedly, we knew many eternal truths before coming here and “pure testimony” thins the veil sufficiently to remind and recover, to plant premortal spirit knowledge into our flesh, to penetrate the mortal overlay with eternal awarenesses. To a degree, we feel “home.”

President Joseph F. Smith taught: “All those salient truths which come home so forcibly to the head and heart seem but the awakening of the memories of the spirit.” He then asked: “Can we know anything here that we did not know before we came?” (Gospel Doctrine, 1939, 13).

Third, people hunger for something fixed and certain in the universe: something they can deeply believe in and depend on. Perhaps this is true more now than ever before because most everything in the world is changing, including the speed of change itself. There must be something changeless that is true! When we are anchored and invulnerable down deep, we can be open and vulnerable on the surface of our lives by flowing with changes, loving unconditionally, and viewing life as a marvelously exciting adventure.

Without such anchorage, we fabricate defensive measures to keep us from being vulnerable to all the fickle forces that play upon our lives. These mental-emotional defenses take many forms, including (1) categorizing and prejudging people, places, and ideas so as to be protected from the new and unexpected (prejudice); (2) expecting nothing to avoid being disappointed (hopelessness); (3) believing nothing to avoid being responsible (cynicism); (4) communicating in sarcasm and cutting humor to avoid being emotionally exposed and vulnerable (light-minded, guileful); (5) waiting on others to love us first, and even then impugning the motive of one taking such initiative (doubting, fearing).

A genuine testimony provides its own armor, making such defenses unnecessary (study D&C 27:15–18), and when borne a testimony can hold forth hope of that armor to the listener (Steven R. Covey, “How to Testify,” Ensign, Oct. 1977).


Purpose of Life


Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon
Learn about Zion


  • Do you think the missionaries had any idea that Sidney Rigdon would become a missionary and leader in the church?
  • How do your missionary efforts help to create Zion?


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