James Tissot, The Sower, Brooklyn Museum, (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.


1 Nephi 8:24-28
Mark 4:14-20
D&C 3:3,7-8

For Younger Missionaries


  • Do fears and inhibitions keep us from letting others know about our faith and membership in the Church? How can we overcome them?
  • Will God support us if we do? Will he support us if we don’t?
  • This is not a time when religion is honored and respected. More often than not we hear those in the large building (or big-screen TV) mocking and ridiculing religion. And yet, the Lord says this is the time to hasten His work. Can we hold to the rod?

Use Mormon Words

Several years ago Elder Christensen set a date of January 31 [as a commitment to find someone to have the gospel taught to]. Early January came, and despite having initiated conversations with dozens of people and inviting several of them to meet the missionaries, he failed to find anyone who was interested. He was scheduled to travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, for an academic conference on January 20, and the way his schedule looked, it seemed clear that he had to meet the person he could introduce to the missionaries on his flight to or from Hawaii. There was no other time. He pleaded in daily prayer that God would cause a person to sit next to him on the plane who would accept his invitation.

After all that effort, he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw his seatmate—a man named Vinnie who was wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt unbuttoned to his sternum, sporting three gold chains on his hairy chest. Vinnie explained that he worked 11 months every year to save enough to escape to Hawaii for a month in winter to chase women. Clayton was so disappointed. He had tried and prayed so hard to find someone—and instead he got stuck next to a man who didn’t seem to have a religious bone in his body. Discouraged, Clayton turned to some reading.

A CHALLENGE: Use Mormon Words

For the next week, use “Mormon words” at every opportunity. In a natural, non-manipulative way, refer to:

  • Meetings attended, talks heard on Sunday
  • A church book, article or talk you read
  • Why you’re not drinking coffee
  • Activities your children are attending
  • Work you do in your calling
  • Family history discoveries
  • BYU football (or U of U if you prefer)

How many gospel conversations did you start?

When the flight attendant brought lunch, Clayton put his reading down and made small talk with his seatmate. Vinnie asked Clayton if he had been to Hawaii before, and Clayton responded that he had attended a language training school in Laie en route to a mission he had served for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Korea. Surprisingly, Vinnie put his fork down and said, “So you’re a Mormon? The funniest thing has happened to me over the past year. I’ve never had any interest in religion, but I’ve had this growing curiosity to know more about Mormons. I don’t know why. Could you tell me a little about your church?”

For the next three hours, enveloped by a wonderful spirit, they discussed the gospel of Jesus Christ, article of faith by article of faith. Several times on the remainder of the flight, Vinnie interrupted to say thanks for telling him about the Church. As the plane landed, Clayton told Vinnie there were missionaries in his hometown and asked if they could visit him when he returned. Vinnie asked if there were missionaries in Honolulu. Clayton received this golden answer to his prayers by using a “Mormon” phrase to open the door to a conversation and by suspending his judgment of what might be in Vinnie’s heart (Clayton M. Christensen, “Seven Lessons on Sharing the Gospel,” Ensign, Feb. 2005).


Sharing the Gospel


The Parable of the Sower


  • Why must we share the gospel with many people?
  • Can we help prepare the soil for gospel seeds?


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