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?

 

Brooklyn_Museum_-_Our_Lord_Jesus_Christ_Notre-Seigneur_Jésus-Christ_-_James_Tissot

James Tissot, Our Lord Jesus, Brooklyn Museum, (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

3 Nephi 11:31–41; 27:13–22

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • We can’t succeed alone. For the gospel plan to work for us, several individuals need to be involved. How many of them can you name?
  • What is the process for making the gospel of Christ our pattern for living? How do we get started? How do we return to the gospel path when we have strayed?

PREACH MY GOSPEL—
Gospel of Jesus Christ

The gospel of Jesus Christ defines both your message and your purpose; that is, it provides both the “what” and the “why” of missionary work. The Savior defined His gospel to include some very vital and basic doctrines. He came into the world to do His Father’s will, and His Father sent Him into the world to be lifted up on the cross. By His Atonement and Resurrection, all men will be lifted up to stand before Christ to be judged of their works, whether they be good or evil. Those who exercise faith in Christ, repent of their sins, and are baptized in Christ’s name can be sanctified by the Holy Ghost. If they endure to the end, they will stand spotless before Christ at the last day and will enter into the rest of the Lord. Christ will hold them guiltless before the Father. He will be their Mediator and Advocate. Those who do not endure in faithfulness to the end will be “cast into the fire … because of the justice of the Father (see 3 Nephi 27:13–22; compare 2 Nephi 31:10–21; 3 Nephi 11:31–41; D&C 76:40–42, 50–53).

The purpose of the gospel is to cleanse people of their sins so they can receive the Savior’s mercy at the day of judgment. Therefore, the focus of this book and, more important, the work you do each day is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

Individuals and families begin to follow Christ as they exercise faith in Him and repent of their sins. They receive a remission of sins through baptism and by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost from one who has authority from God to perform these ordinances.

“Preach the first principles of the Gospel—preach them over again: you will find that day after day new ideas and additional light concerning them will be revealed to you. You can enlarge upon them so as to comprehend them clearly. You will then be able to make them more plainly understood by those [you] teach.” – Hyrum Smith, History of the Church, 6:323

They then endure to the end, or, in other words, they continue throughout their lives in exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting, and renewing the covenants they have made. These are not just steps that they experience once in their lives; rather, when repeated throughout life these principles become an increasingly rewarding pattern of living. In fact, it is the only way of living that will bring peace of conscience and enable Heavenly Father’s children to return to live in His presence.

Obedience to Jesus Christ is a lifelong commitment. Through exercising faith, repenting, being baptized and committing to serve Christ, and then receiving the Holy Ghost, we can experience healing, forgiveness of sins, and complete conversion to the Savior and His gospel.

Help people gain faith in Jesus Christ unto repentance by teaching and testifying that the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the authority of the priesthood have been restored and by inviting them to live by His teachings (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, 2004, 5-6).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

The Gospel is Good News

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Jesus Christ Appears
to the Nephites

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Do some people we might talk to need to hear three or more times before they understand?
  • Jesus asked the people to go home and think and pray about what He said. Is that something we could ask our friends to do after talking about a gospel point?

 

Sankt_Matthaeus_Kirke_Copenhagen_altarpiece

Henrik Olrik, Sankt Matthaeus Kirke Copenhagen altarpiece, (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

3 Ne 12:10-16; 18:24-25

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • Have you felt blessed when persecuted or rejected in the Lord’s service? How do we develop that ability?
  • How do we put the savor back in our salt? Do you see how putting the gospel in our daily conversation is putting our candle on a candlestick?

THE POWER OF EVERYDAY MISSIONARIES—
Use Mormon Words

A friend gave me the first idea: to use religious words and “Mormon” words in my day-to-day conversations, such as these:

“I am so tired. I am the scoutmaster in our troop sponsored by the LDS Church, and I took the boys on an overnight camping trip last night.”

“I go to the Mormon Church in Belmont, and a friend who gave the sermon last Sunday said something that is exactly how we need to start this presentation.”

“When I was a Mormon missionary in Korea….”

“My daughter who is a student at BYU….” And so on.

When I use these words in my conversation, it is like I am opening a door for people to a conversation about the Church. The vast majority, of course, don’t walk through the door, and that’s fine. But sometimes they walk through the door by asking, “Oh—so you’re a Mormon?”

I respond, “I am, and it is a wonderful church. Why do you ask?” I have found it very helpful to ask, “Why do you ask?” rather than telling them information that they do not care about. This way, we can have a conversation about what they’re interested in. Most of the time their interest is transitory, and that is fine. But on occasion the person will show even more interest, which then gives me the chance to invite them to have a deeper conversation.

It is important to view normal conversations with people in probabilistic terms. If 5 percent of people have some latent interest in the LDS Church, and I open up a conversational door about the church with twenty people, one of them will express interest—and I can’t judge who it will be. If we open a door to a hundred people, five of them will be interested. This is why it is so important to make the gospel a part of our conversations in an open, matter-of-fact way (Clayton M. Christensen, The Power of Everyday Missionaries, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013, 25–26).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Use Mormon Words

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


The Sermon on the Mount

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • How can you use these teachings of Jesus to help your friends find happiness?
  • How might being a peacemaker help others believe in Christ?

 

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Sower_Le_semeur_-_James_Tissot

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

DAILY READING

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

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • 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?

THE POWER OF EVERYDAY MISSIONARIES—
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).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Sharing the Gospel

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


The Parable of the Sower

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

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

 

Domenico_Fetti_-_Moses_before_the_Burning_Bush

Domenico Fetti, Moses before the Burning bush, Kunsthistorisches Museum, (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

Romans 10:13-17
Moses 1:1-10

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • How did Moses’ new knowledge of who he was and what God expected of him change him? Can our testimony help others to better know who they are and what God expects?
  • Where do we fit into the steps Paul outlines for a person to be able to call upon the Lord and be saved?
  • When the scriptures speak of beautiful feet upon the mountain, are they speaking of you?

HOW SHOULD WE BEAR TESTIMONY?

1. Bear testimony by and through the Spirit. Timing is often critical. By cultivating the gift of the Spirit called discernment, by praying specifically for the spirit of a testimony, and by being open and receptive, we will come to know when and how to bear testimony. It is inappropriate, even destructive, to bear testimony when the Spirit isn’t present, when love is not felt, when the teaching has been vague and confusing, and when our personal lives clearly do not comport with our words….

2. Testify when you feel full of love. In fact, showing love when teaching gospel truths is a form of testimony in itself. People often cannot receive more light and truth except on conditions of being loved in various ways, including teaching and testifying, praying with and for them, encouraging and affirming them, empathizing with and understanding them, and walking with and sacrificing for them. Many parents, teachers, and member missionaries who do the first three and not the last two would be amazed at the power of all five together.

3. Testify to people, not at them. The purpose is to bless people, not to blast them. Even in those instances in scriptural history when pure testimony was being borne against the souls of people, the ultimate motive was to call (shake) to repentance and to bless, not to condemn….

4. Occasionally, as moved by the Spirit, testify of the identity and worth of the other person and of his or her ability, with God’s help, to accept and obey the truth given, and also of the power or freedom to choose to obey. As a mission president, I wrote a letter to each new convert asking for a letter in return outlining the conversion process, including the problems and obstacles confronted. About half of the responses indicated that from the very beginning they never doubted the truth of the message. They doubted themselves. They doubted their worth or their ability to live the truth.

But when people become aware of their own eternal identity, of their godly potentialities and of their agency or power to choose their response in any set of circumstances, a vital something is unlocked and released….

5. Testify, as impressed, of how testimony comes. Testimony comes from the Holy Ghost; it comes to one who is open and seeking and who is trying to be true to the truth already given. Otherwise, many people carry the cultural notion that the way to truth is intellectual, which is part of it but certainly not the important part. People will come to know the truth to the degree they are true to the truth. To find truth, we must set out to be true….

6. Occasionally, identify the Spirit when you sense it and feel that others sense it also. Otherwise, many get a wrong idea of what to expect and like “fish who discover water last” will continue looking through a false-expectation lens for the more dramatic and mystical, “looking beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14), discounting the sweetness, the mind-heart harmony, and the quiet reassuring peace of the still small voice.

“My friend, the same sweet peaceful spirit you and I both feel right now is the same spirit you will feel when you prayerfully ponder the Book of Mormon.”…

The way we live is our clearest testimony, particularly under strain and threat. Over time it reflects what we really believe. If it is in harmony with what we say we believe, the Lord will use us and bear testimony through us in some way to every person we meet….

Relatively few of our Father in heaven’s children possess testimonies of those precious truths and powers which alone can heal individuals and families and even nations” (Stephen R. Covey, “How to Testify,” Ensign, Oct. 1977).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

I Am a Son of God

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


The Pearl of Great Price

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • How was Moses able to get Satan to leave?
  • Will Satan try to get us to follow him when we are about to work for Jesus? How do we overcome his temptations?

 

Trial_of_Abinadi

Minerva Kohlhepp Teichert, Trial of Abinadi, BYU Museum of Art.

DAILY READING

Mosiah 11:20-29; 15

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • It would be unusual, in this day, for a missionary to directly confront an evil ruler and a prophet; but can you see a similar dynamic in today’s world—worldly and lustful living and denial of God face the call of a prophet to repentance? What is our role in declaring repentance and how can we be most effective in delivering the message?
  • How do we teach people that humility precedes answers to prayer? If we are not humble can we expect God’s support?
  • Abinadi had a message to deliver and nothing would stop him from declaring it—not even the threat of death. Is there significance to the fact that Abinadi could not be stilled, yet, as he pointed out (15:6), Christ would not speak? Are there times when silence is the best teacher?
  • Note in 15:14-18, the high honor bestowed upon those who declare truth and peace—missionaries.

LEARN FROM A MISSIONARY: ABINADI

I was once invited to speak at graduation services at a university. The university president had wanted President Gordon B. Hinckley to be invited but found that he was unavailable. So by default I got the invitation. I was then a junior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The person who invited me to speak became anxious as she learned more about my obligations as an Apostle. She called me on the phone and said that she now understood that my duty was to be a witness of Jesus Christ.

In very firm tones she told me that I could not do that when I spoke there. She explained that the university respected people of all religious beliefs, including those who denied the existence of a God. She repeated, “You cannot fulfill your duty here.”

I hung up the phone with serious questions in my mind. Should I tell the university that I would not keep my agreement to speak? It was only two weeks before the event. My appearance there had been announced. What effect would my failing to keep my agreement have on the good name of the Church?

I prayed to know what God would have me do. The answer came in a surprising way to me. I realized that the examples of Nephi, Abinadi, Alma, Amulek, and the sons of Mosiah applied to what I was. They were bold witnesses of Jesus Christ in the face of deadly peril.

So the only choice to be made was how to prepare. I dug into everything I could learn about the university. As the day of the talk grew closer, my anxiety rose and my prayers intensified.

In a miracle like the Red Sea parting, I found a news article. That university had been honored for doing what the Church has learned to do in our humanitarian efforts across the world. And so in my talk I described what we and they had done to lift people in great need. I said that I knew that Jesus Christ was the source of the blessings that had come into the lives of those we and they had served.

After the meeting the audience rose to applaud, which seemed a little unusual to me. I was amazed but still a little anxious. I remembered what happened to Abinadi. Only Alma had accepted his witness. But that night, at a large formal dinner, I heard the university president say that in my talk he heard the words of God.

Now, such a miraculous deliverance is rare in my experience as a witness of Christ. But the effect of the Book of Mormon on your character, power, and courage to be a witness for God is certain. The doctrine and the valiant examples in that book will lift, guide, and embolden you (Henry B. Eyring, “A Witness,” Ensign, Nov. 2011).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Abinadi Converted One Soul

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Abinadi and King Noah

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Do you think Abinadi even knew that Alma (a priest of King Noah) was listening to what he was saying?
  • Why was Abinadi willing to give his life for his testimony?

 

855px-Gethsemane_Carl_Bloch

Carl Heinrich Bloch, An Angel Comforting Jesus before His Arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

2 Nephi 2:6–8
Alma 7:11–13
D&C 19:15–19
John 3:16–21
1 John 1:5-9

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • What does it mean to have a change of heart? How should we help investigators experience theirs?
  • Christ’s Atonement is the central doctrine of the restored gospel. Is it the central focus of your own approach to missionary work?
  • How can all that is unfair about life be made right through the Atonement?

PREACH MY GOSPEL—
Christ in Gethsemane

We will all suffer physical death, but Jesus Christ overcame the obstacle of physical death for us. When He died on the cross, His spirit became separated from His body. On the third day, His spirit and His body were reunited eternally, never to be separated again. He appeared to many people, showing them that He had an immortal body of flesh and bone. The reuniting of body and spirit is called resurrection and is a gift promised to each of us. Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected regardless of whether we have done good or evil in this life. We will have a perfect, immortal body of flesh and bones that will never again be subject to disease, pain, or death. The resurrection makes it possible to return to God’s presence to be judged but does not guarantee that we will be able to live in His presence. To receive that blessing, we must also be cleansed from sin.

God sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to overcome the obstacle of sin in addition to the obstacle of physical death. We are not responsible for the Fall of Adam and Eve, but we are responsible for our own sins. God cannot look on sin with any degree of allowance, and sin prevents us from living in His presence. Only through the Savior’s grace and mercy can we become clean from sin so that we can live with God again. This is possible through exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

To fulfill the plan of salvation, Christ paid the penalty for our sins. He alone was able to do that. He was called and prepared in pre-earth life. He was the literal Son of God in the flesh. He was sinless and completely obedient to His Father. Though tempted, He never gave in to temptation. When the Father asked His Beloved Son to pay the price of the world’s sins, Jesus was prepared and willing. The Atonement included His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and His suffering and death on the cross, and it ended with His Resurrection. Though He suffered beyond comprehension—so much so that He bled from every pore and asked whether it were possible that this burden be lifted from Him—He submitted to the Father’s will in a supreme expression of love for His Father and for us. This triumph of Jesus Christ over spiritual death by His suffering and over physical death by His Resurrection is called the Atonement.

Christ promises to forgive our sins on the condition that we accept Him by exercising faith in Him, repenting, receiving baptism by immersion, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, and striving faithfully to keep His commandments to the end of our lives. Through continuing repentance, we may obtain forgiveness and be cleansed of our sins by the power of the Holy Ghost. We are relieved of the burden of guilt and shame, and through Jesus Christ we become worthy to return to the presence of God.

As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

In paying the penalty for our sins, Jesus did not, however, eliminate our personal responsibility. We must show that we accept Him and that we will follow His commandments. Only through the gift of the Atonement can we return to live with God (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, 2004, 51-52).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

For God So Loved the World

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Feed My Sheep

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Have you ever thought about the gospel as a “gift?”
  • Can you think of ways and times that you can give such a gift?

 

Richards-Gethsemane

J. Kirk Richards, Gethsemane, Used with artist’s permission.

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

Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?…

I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that [we] have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. [We] have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary….

If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass” (Mark 14:36), then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.

The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Missionary Work and the Atonement,” Ensign, Mar. 2001).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

The Savior Suffers
in Gethsemane

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


Jesus Suffers in the
Garden of Gethsemane

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • Doesn’t it make you feel good to know that when you are serving his children you are making Jesus’ suffering have greater meaning and value?
  • How does it make you feel to know that even Jesus experienced fears? Can He help you through your fears?

 

The_Hill_Cumorah_by_C.C.A._Christensen

Carl Christian Anton Christensen, The Hill Cumorah, (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons.

DAILY READING

D&C 20:1-30; 42:12-17

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • Billions of people, past and present, have been Christians. What about the message of the restored gospel is so fundamentally different than their beliefs? Why does the Lord insist that this message be preached in plainness and power?
  • What caused the “Dark Ages” to be so dark?

PREACH MY GOSPEL—
The Restoration

Through a modern prophet, God has restored knowledge about the plan of salvation, which is centered on Christ’s Atonement and fulfilled by living the first principles and ordinances of the gospel.

Make sure that everyone you teach clearly understands the following:

  • God is our literal Father in Heaven. He loves us. Every person on earth is a child of God and a member of God’s family. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our Savior and Redeemer.
  • Our loving Father in Heaven reached out to His children throughout biblical history by revealing His gospel to prophets. Sadly, many people rejected that gospel; even some of those who accepted it changed gospel doctrines and ordinances and fell into unbelief and apostasy.
  • Our Father in Heaven sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to earth. He performed miracles and taught His gospel. He accomplished the Atonement and was resurrected.

Beginning with the First Vision, God has again reached out in love to His children. He restored the gospel of Jesus Christ and His priesthood authority and organized His Church on the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is convincing evidence of this Restoration.

As you help investigators see the pattern of apostasy and restoration, they will be prepared to … accept the restored gospel, receive the ordinances of salvation…, and follow the way to eternal life. Help people recognize that the Church is not just another religion, nor is it an American church. Rather, it is a restoration of the “fulness of [the] gospel” (D&C 1:23), the same as was revealed and taught from the beginning (Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, 2004, 6–7).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

Modern-day Prophet—Noelle

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


What the Restoration
Means for Me

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • What can you share about Joseph Smith?
  • How does the testimony of our early Church leaders and members help your testimony?
  • How can you build on that testimony?

 

King_Benjamins_Farewell_Address

Minerva Kohlhepp Teichert, King Benjamin’s Farewell Address,  BYU Museum of Art.

DAILY READING

Mosiah 4:6-12

For Younger Missionaries

CONSIDER AS YOU READ

  • What needs did King Benjamin perceive the people had and how did he help them to find peace? Are those needs any different today?
  • How can we remind ourselves that others are not looking for facts or doctrine—they are searching for peace, comfort, and happiness?

THE POWER OF EVERYDAY MISSIONARIES—
What They Are Interested In

When someone says, “Tell me about the Mormon Church,” we often give a doctrinal response—eternal families, modern prophets and scriptures, and so on. This makes sense to us because doctrine is the reason why we are in our church instead of in another. Doctrine over time becomes very important to converts, too. But it typically is not the initial reason for their interest.

In 1975, the Church did an extensive survey of new converts to determine what it was about the Church that had initially interested them…. These were the results, in order of frequency of mention:

  1. The feeling of closeness to God that they wanted to experience because they could see this closeness in the lives of Mormons they knew.
  2. Happiness and a sense of peace, which they wanted and which they saw in the lives of Mormons they knew.
  3. They wanted a better sense of purposefulness and direction in their lives. They tended to see this in Mormons they knew.

Only 9 percent of new converts said that doctrine was the main thing that attracted them to the Church. For all who are baptized and remain active, doctrine becomes much of the glue that cements them in the Church. But it typically isn’t what they were looking for at the outset….

[W]hen someone gives us a chance to tell them about us, as a general rule we ought not to tell them what we like about our own church…. Rather, when I respond with a question like “It’s a great church. Why do you ask?” if they don’t have anything specific in mind, I then answer with something relating to the three reasons noted above. If they have something more specific in mind, then I can answer specifically (Clayton M. Christensen, The Power of Everyday Missionaries, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2013, 26–27).

ADDITIONAL MEDIA

We Can Find Happiness

FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES


King Benjamin

QUESTIONS FOR YOUNGER MISSIONARIES

  • According to King Benjamin, how do we serve God?
  • Does this have any thing to do with missionary work?
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could help others experience the joy King Benjamin’s people experienced when they repented?