detail-Hoffman-ChristAndTheRichYoungRuler

Heinrich Hofman, Detail from Christ and the Rich Young Ruler, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

There is no scripture reading assigned today. Use this day to catch up as needed and ponder the supplemental reading.

For Younger Missionaries

MISSIONARY WORK AND THE ATONEMENT

Throughout the teaching experience, missionaries must bear testimony of the Savior and His gift of salvation to us. Obviously you should bear testimony regularly of all the principles you are teaching, but it is especially important that you bear testimony of this central doctrine in the plan of our Heavenly Father.

There are several reasons for bearing testimony. One is that when you declare the truth, it will bring an echo, a memory, even if it is an unconscious memory to the investigator, that they have heard this truth before—and of course they have. A missionary’s testimony invokes a great legacy of testimony dating back to the councils in heaven before this world was. There, in an earlier place, these same people heard this same plan outlined and heard there the role that Jesus Christ would play in their salvation.

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” (Rev. 12:10–11).

So the fact of the matter is investigators are not only hearing our testimony of Christ, but they are hearing echoes of other, earlier testimonies, including their own testimony of Him, for they were on the side of the faithful who kept their first estate and earned the privilege of a second estate. We must always remember that these investigators, every man, woman, and child, were among the valiant who once overcame Satan by the power of their testimony of Christ!

So when they hear others bear that witness of Christ’s saving mission,
it has a familiar feeling; it brings an echo of truth they themselves already know.

Furthermore, when you bear witness of “Jesus Christ, and him crucified,” (1 Cor. 2:2) to use Paul’s phrase, you invoke the power of God the Father and the Holy Ghost. The Savior Himself taught about bearing witness before any other doctrine when He visited the Nephites:

“After this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one.…

“And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me.…
“…Whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him [the investigator] will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him [the investigator] with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

“And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him [the investigator] of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.…
“…This is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them” (3 Ne. 11:27, 32, 35–36, 39).

So why should we bear frequent and powerful testimony of Christ as Savior, as Redeemer, as Atoning Lamb of God? Because doing so invites and becomes part of the divine power of testimony borne by God the Father and by the Holy Ghost, a testimony borne on wings of fire to the very hearts of investigators. Such a divine testimony of Christ is the rock upon which every new convert must build. Only this testimony of the atoning Anointed, Victorious One will prevail against the gates of hell. So saith the Son of God Himself….

I would particularly ask full-time and member missionaries to study from and teach the Atonement of Christ out of the Book of Mormon. I say that in a very biased way, because it was on my own mission that I came to love the Book of Mormon and the majesty of the Son of God which is revealed there. In its unparalleled focus on the messianic message of the Savior of the world, the Book of Mormon is literally a new testament or (to avoid confusion) “another testament” of Jesus Christ. As such the book centers upon that which scriptural testaments have always centered upon since the days of Adam and Eve: the declaration to all that through the Atonement of the Son of God, “as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will” (Moses 5:9) (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Missionary Work and the Atonement,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 8).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Brigham Young on Testimony:
A Man without Eloquence

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Matt & Mandy—
A Testimony

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Are you prepared, like Mandy, to comfort a friend who has lost a loved-one? How can you prepare?
  • What other kinds of changes might give us an opportunity to comfort others?

 

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