What is the gospel?
3 Nephi 27
13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.
17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.
18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.
19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.
20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
22 Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
Romans 1:16-17 – 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “Let us reach out to the world in our missionary service, teaching all who will listen concerning the restoration of the gospel, speaking without fear but also without self-righteousness, of the First Vision, testifying of the Book of Mormon and of the restoration of the priesthood. Let us, my brothers and sisters, get on our knees and pray for the opportunity to bring others into the joy of the gospel” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2000, 110–11; or Ensign, May 2000, 87).
Why do you think it is important to teach each of these things?
D&C 88:81 – 81 Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.
Qualities of the Sons of Mosiah, great missionaries of their day.
Mosiah 28:3 – 3 Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.
Alma 17:2-12 – look for qualities of sons of Mosiah
Samuel H. Smith
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the twelve Apostles wrote about the first missionary of this dispensation, Samuel Smith, one of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s brothers. This early missionary serves as an important example to faithful missionaries who may feel like they see few fruits from their labors and about how to use the Book of Mormon in missionary work.
“His is a story of great faith and courage in the face of discouraging circumstances. He was not called as the first missionary by accident. After receiving a spiritual confirmation of the truthfulness of what his prophet-brother had been telling him, he became the third person baptized in this dispensation— following Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
“He began his mission with a sure knowledge of the truthfulness of the sacred work being performed by Joseph Smith and also of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. As one of the Eight Witnesses, Samuel was privileged to be shown the plates by Joseph, and was able to hold the plates in his hands and examine the ancient writing thereon. He was also one of the six charter members of the Church when it was organized on 6 April 1830.
“Shortly before he received his formal missionary call, Samuel sold a copy of the Book of Mormon to Phineas Young, a traveling preacher. In this initial encounter he held a book in his hand and offered it to Phineas.
“ ‘There is a book, sir, I wish you to read.’
“Phineas hesitated. ‘Pray, sir, what book have you?’
“ ‘The Book of Mormon, or, as it is called by some, the Golden Bible.’
“ ‘Ah, sir, then it purports to be a revelation?’
“ ‘Yes. It is a revelation from God.’
“The young man showed Phineas the last two pages of the book and had him read the testimony of the witnesses. The young man continued, ‘If you will read this book with a prayerful heart and ask God to give you a witness you will know of the truth of this work.’
“His earnest demeanor and forthright manner impressed Phineas, who told the young man he would certainly read it. Phineas asked his name; he told him it was Samuel H. Smith.
“ ‘Ah, you are one of the witnesses.’
“ ‘Yes, I know the book to be a revelation from God, translated by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, and that my brother, Joseph Smith, Jun., is a Prophet, Seer and Revelator’ (quoted in S. Dilworth Young, Brigham Young—His Life (First Half), Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [17 Mar. 1964], 3).
“When Samuel left on his first mission, shortly following the organization of the Church, he was armed with a testimony of the truth and little else. But he needed little else. He had a testimony, and he had copies of the Book of Mormon—the missionary tool for conversion. He carried a knapsack with him that he filled with as many copies of this book as he could carry. He probably even carried one in his hand. “You have to remember that this had never been done before. He didn’t have a companion to show him how to use the Book of Mormon. There was no missionary training center for this young man. “So Samuel left Palmyra to travel throughout the countryside, seeking converts and interested individuals who would purchase a copy of the Book of Mormon. He walked 25 miles that first day, and upon reaching an inn, he asked the innkeeper if he would buy one of the books. When the innkeeper learned more of his mission, Samuel was forced to leave and spent that first night under an apple tree.
“The next day Samuel met a Methodist preacher named John P. Greene. Mr. Greene was not personally interested in reading the book, but he said he would keep it to see if anyone else wanted to buy it. Samuel did not give up. He called again on the Greene family and found that Mr. Greene’s wife, Rhoda Young Greene—a sister of Phineas Young—had read the book. She later convinced her husband that he needed to read it as well. Samuel did not baptize one soul on that first mission, but those two copies of the Book of Mormon that were given to Phineas Young and John P. Greene eventually were the means of converting a whole neighborhood, including Brigham Young and his family and Heber C. Kimball and his family” (“The Book of Mormon: The Heart of Missionary Proselyting,” Ensign, Sept. 2002, 15–16).
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained: “Are you of Israel? Absolutely. You are the ‘Hope of Israel, Zion’s army, Children of the promised day’ (Hymns, 1985, no. 259). . . . “. . . Most of us are of the lineage of Joseph through Ephraim or Manasseh. That was the lineage selected to pioneer the gathering of Israel, the seed to lead throughout the world in blessing all the nations of the earth. “Missionary work is only the beginning of that blessing” (“Thanks for the Covenant,” in Brigham Young University 1988–89 Devotional and Fireside Speeches , 58–59).
Newly called apostle, Jeffrey R. Holland, said: “Beyond my words and teachings and spoken witness, my life must be part of that testimony of Jesus” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 40; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 31).
- How has being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brought you closer to Jesus Christ?
- How has drawing closer to Christ influenced or changed your life?
James 1: 26-27: If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
D&C 121:45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
Elder David B. Haight, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, described the blessings of receiving the temple endowment: “The environment in the temple is intended to provide the worthy member of the Church with the power of enlightenment, of testimony, and of understanding. The temple endowment gives knowledge that, when acted upon, provides strength and conviction of truth” (A Light unto the World , 49).
While serving as a member of the Seventy, Elder Jack H. Goaslind Jr. spoke of the relationship of the endowment to missionary service: “By obeying the commandments and fulfilling these covenants, we are sanctified, purified, and born of the Spirit. We become vessels worthy of receiving the Holy Spirit and the accompanying gifts of the Spirit that must attend this work if we are to succeed” (in Conference Boyd K Packer – “Repentance, like soap, should be used frequently” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 9; or Ensign, May 1997, 9).
Blessings of Missionary Work
Quotes from Clayton Christensen:
- “With our move to Washington, I had begun again to do my part in spreading forth the kingdom of heaven abroad. And what I inherited as a result were the visions and blessings and glories of God. I had begun feeling the Spirit again on a daily basis. My dreams were about spiritual things, and I was singing the hymns of the Restoration as I walked to the bus stop.”
- “In becoming and active missionary again, I had essentially repositioned myself onto the front lines in the war against Satan over the souls of men…God, my General, stands at the door when I go out every morning; and knowing what the war is like, day after day He gives me His most powerful weapon: His Spirit.”
- “Having the missionaries regularly help us as a family teach the gospel to new and old friends through the power of the Holy Ghost has profoundly affected the faith of our five children and brought the Spirit of God into our home.”
- “Sharing the gospel doesn’t just require that we have the power of God unto the convincing of men; it gives us this power.”
- “[Missionary work] doesn’t just demand our purity. It will help us be pure.”
- “For those of us who struggle with sadness, sharing the gospel will give us great joy.”
- “Whatever our other responsibilities in the kingdom of God might be, we will become more successful in those callings and in our personal efforts to become pure disciples of Christ when sharing the gospel becomes part of all that we do.”