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?

 

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