Brothers and Sisters, I stand before you with such excitement to be able to speak to you today about how to be a better member missionary.
President Eyring has said: “Whatever our age, capacity, Church calling, or location, we are as one called to the work to help Him in His harvest of souls.”
Today I am going talk about 10 ways you can do missionary work, as well as share some of my recent experiences.
- Pray for the missionaries around the world, and in our ward.
- Pray for those investigating the gospel.
- Pray that more areas of the world will allow missionary work.
- Pray to know who in your life is ready to hear the gospel. Pray to have missionary experiences each day.
Team Up with the Missionaries
- Have the missionaries in your home for meals. Listen to their suggestions. Tell them your fears/concerns. Do their challenges.
Sister Wilde recently gave a challenge to put a bow around a Book of Mormon and give it to someone for Christmas. Jad and I took this challenge seriously. We felt inspired to give a BOM to my paternal grandparents. We were a little nervous to give it to them, but they responded graciously and happily.
2. Contribute to the General Missionary Fund whenever you can.
Be actively involved in Church
- Participate in Sunday School and your other classes. Answer the teacher’s questions and give personal experiences.
- Bear your testimony when prompted. A dear sister told me last week that because of a testimony I recently gave in RS, she felt the Spirit testify to her of Joseph Smith being a prophet.
- Fulfill your callings. It doesn’t matter what calling you have – you can help other people’s testimonies, as well as your own, to grow.
- Do your home teaching and visiting teaching. Everyone needs spiritual nourishment and friendship. I promise you that by doing this faithfully, you will develop a greater love for others.
- Volunteer to do compassionate service. Sometimes it can be hard to take time out to bring someone a meal or pay someone a visit, but it can be so rewarding to you and the person you are serving. Because Jad and I signed up to bring a meal to a less active family several months ago, we have formed a friendship and a fond admiration for a couple we would not have otherwise had the blessing to meet.
- Visit the Gospel Essentials class periodically. Your light and testimony may help investigators and new members feel the Spirit.
- Share your talents when you can to help uplift and strengthen others’ testimonies.
Be a Good Example
President Uchtdorf said:
“When we have integrity and live consistently by our standards, people notice. When we radiate joy and happiness, they notice even more.
Everyone wants to be happy. When we members of the Church radiate the light of the gospel, people can see our happiness and sense the love of God filling and overflowing in our lives. They want to know why. They want to understand our secret.
That leads them to ask questions such as “Why are you so happy?” or “Why do you always have such a positive attitude?” The answers to these questions, of course, lead perfectly into a conversation about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Jad and I are friends with an unmarried couple named Ipsita and Keith. The first time we met Ipsita, she told us what good examples Jad and I were of a good marriage. She said it was refreshing to see us put our family and marriage as a top priority in our lives. We were pleasantly surprised because we did not think we had done anything special to prove our devotion to family. This taught us that people really do notice us and wish to be like us as we are following the gospel.
Make your Home a Holy Place
Richard G Scott said: “As you center your home on the Savior, it will naturally become a refuge not only to your own family but also to friends who live in more difficult circumstances. They will be drawn to the serenity they feel there. Welcome such friends into your home. They will blossom in that Christ-centered environment. Become friends with your children’s friends. Be a worthy example to them.
One of the greatest blessings we can offer to the world is the power of a Christ-centered home where the gospel is taught, covenants are kept, and love abounds.”
Jad and I have had more than one missionary experience simply by inviting people into our home for dinner. In two cases, Jad and I had very long conversations regarding our beliefs with couples not of our faith, one of those couples being Ipsita and Keith, and the other being our neighbors, Maria and Jay. These long gospel-centered conversations were motivated partly because of the pictures and atmosphere in our home, but also because the gospel was naturally brought into the conversation just by talking about our lives.
Bring the gospel into everyday conversation
Our church involvement encompasses much of our lives, from Sunday Sacrament meetings to FHE to the Temple to family history work, etc. When people ask you what you did on any given day of the past week, include your gospel-centered activities. Most likely your friends will be intrigued and want to learn more.
Do missionary work electronically via websites, email, blogging or social media.
Much of today’s conversation is done online.
- An excellent missionary tool is Mormon.org. Each member of the church is encouraged to create and maintain a Mormon.org profile. This helps nonmembers get a look into the lives of individual Mormons all over the world.
- To help do missionary work via email, you can add a scripture, a prophetic quote or a link to your mormon.org profile at the bottom of your email signature. I just changed my signature to my Mormon.org profile link.
- Blogging is an increasingly popular way to share information about your life. If you have your own blog, try to make it a natural habit to talk about the gospel in your posts .
Those of us who do not have a blog of our own can respond to other members’ blog posts with our testimonies. Or, we can share a blog post with our comments.
Sometimes we may feel prompted to respond to nonmembers’ blogs with our testimonies of certain truths. Recently, a man from my neighborhood extended an invitation to read and respond to a blog post that attempted to prove Christ was resurrected, solely based on historical evidence. I felt I should respond. I thought about and prayed about how to respond for a few hours before I did. I testified of the importance of faith in knowing of Christ’s atonement and divinity. I even spoke of the Book of Mormon being another testament of Jesus Christ. I do not know if I touched anyone’s life or not, but I felt the spirit as I wrote, and my testimony grew.
4. Social media may be the most popular way to communicate with others quickly. Because I have made a covenant to be a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places, I want my Facebook page to be a holy place. I want people to know my Facebook page is safe to view, free from contention and vulgarity. I want people to know from first glance that I am a Christian, even a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
To make sure I am being a good example on Facebook, I recently went through my FB page and deleted old pictures, liked pages, etc., that would set a bad example.
I have decided to not post or say anything on my FB page that is negative or that spawns from a contentious or angry heart. I will delete any contention that is posted on my page.
I will not like a post with a funny or even inspirational message if the picture is inappropriate or the page from which it originates has an inappropriate name (many of these page names are full of profanity).
As well as being a good example on Facebook, I also strive to be a missionary there. Here are some things I have done:
- Like pages created by the church (apostles, church newsroom, etc)
- Add church websites to your profile
- Share uplifting experiences as the Spirit directs
- Invite people to activities and to church
- Share spiritual quotes from the apostles and prophets.
- Pay attention to who “likes” your spiritual posts or shares. Some of these people may not be members and might like to hear more from you.
The website for hastening the work suggests that we focus on relationships and messages that bring us closer to Jesus Christ. We are asked to use the Spirit as we find ways to share the gospel online and to have courage to share our testimonies of the Savior when we feel prompted.
Elder Ballard asks us to “remember who we are – Latter-day Saints.”
Love Your Neighbor
- Smile often and be cheerful. Say hello and wave to people.
- When you see someone who has a need, help in any way you can. You may be the ray of sunshine someone needs to endure a hard day.
- Show support and encouragement to others, and compliment them for their efforts.
I recently sent an email thanking a member of my community for his thought out solution to a neighborhood issue. He said: Thank you, dear. You are a good person, and sweet besides! <smile>
- Pay attention to struggles people go through. Perhaps you can ease their pain.
In August of this year, a nonmember friend of mine posted on FB that her husband’s close family member had died and they were very heartbroken. I felt inspired to send her a link to the Plan of Salvation on Mormon.org. She responded: Thanks, Mandy. You are such a sweet soul.
- Forgive others when they offend. Do not hold grudges or gossip about others.
Give out Church Materials
- Give out pass-along cards. It might be a good idea to leave some of these cards in your wallet or purse. On Mormon.org you can actually print your own pass-along cards with your picture and a link to your personal Mormon.org profile.
- Give out pamphlets, videos, or church magazines to those who have specific questions about the church.
- Give out a Book of Mormon
A few months ago, Sister Vaughan gave a talk. Following her talk, I had a very strong impression I should give a Book of Mormon to two different couples – the same couples we had in our home and had gospel discussions with previously.
I mailed the book to one of the couples, Ipsita and Keith, including a letter with our testimonies and why we wanted to give them the book. Ipsita wrote me a message on FB that said: We got the bible (she meant Book of Mormon) that you sent us. I just wanted to thank you guys for thinking of us. And you’re right, I love learning about religions so it will be a great read.
- Invite your nonmember friends and less active friends/family members to church activities, to church, to watch General Conference, to meet with the missionaries, etc.
- For a Sunday activity more than once, my family has made invitations to church activities to pass out to friends.
- Follow the promptings of the Spirit in these invitations. Once, after taking my friend home, who had come to Institute with me, I felt prompted to bear my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and invite her and her husband to meet with the missionaries. They have met with them one time at this point. I hope through my family’s continuing to fellowship them and share the gospel with them, they will want to meet with the missionaries again.
These are some of the ways in which we can help Heavenly Father bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children.
I would like to leave you with a couple quotes that can fan our desire to do missionary work:
“I testify that many of those who need our help are there waiting for us. They are ready for their valiant brothers and sisters to reach out to them and rescue them through small and simple means.”
Neil L Andersen:
“I promise you, as you pray to know with whom to speak, names and faces will come into your mind. Words to speak will be given in the very moment you need them.22 Opportunities will open to you. Faith will overcome doubt, and the Lord will bless you with your very own miracles.”
Brothers and sisters, I have gained such a strong testimony of missionary work in such a short amount of time. I have personally seen Heavenly Father send me opportunities. I have seen the blessings of taking those opportunities. I may not see the blessings my missionary efforts have had on others yet, but I have seen a great difference in my life. I feel an abundance of the Spirit and I have an increased gratitude for the innumerable blessings I have being a member of this church.
I know that as we share the gospel in a spirit of love, recognizing that God wants all of us to live with Him again, we will find great joy now and in the kingdom of Heaven.
I realize that suggestions can only help but so much. I admit that most of my life I have been terrified to share the gospel. I know that many of you may have your own reservations. I would like to speak to some of those:
To those struggling to find a desire to do missionary work, hear the words of the Savior:
9 Blessed are the apeacemakers: for they shall be called the bchildren of God.
10 Blessed are they which are apersecuted for brighteousness’ sake: for ctheirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Bruce R. McConkie explained that peacemakers, in the full sense, are ‘only those who believe and spread the fullness of the gospel.’
President Joseph F. Smith taught, “There never can come to the world that spirit of peace and love … until mankind will receive God’s truth and God’s message … , and acknowledge his power and authority which is divine.”13
Living and sharing the gospel, and perhaps being persecuted for it, is a cause for rejoicing because if done faithfully, we will live with Heavenly Father and Jesus eternally. Harold B Lee said that the Beatitudes embody the “constitution for a perfect life.” As we do missionary work with pure intent, we are becoming more like Christ, and closer to perfection.
We also are helping the world and individual lives to be more peaceful.
To those who don’t think they have the right talents to speak to others about the gospel, hear the words of
And Richard G Scott:
“One who is obedient to His commandments is trusted of the Lord. That individual has access to His inspiration to know what to do and, as needed, the divine power to do it.”
To those who are afraid of rejection or damaging a friendship by sharing the gospel, hear the words of
And Robert D Hales – “We never know who may be depending us. And as the Savior said, we know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them, and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them (3Ne 18:32)”
And 1John 4:18-19 – 18
There is no afear in blove; but perfect clove casteth out fear: because fear hath dtorment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
19 We alove him, because he first loved us.
*Remember, Satan is the one who wants us to be afraid. As we focus on our love for God and his children, our fear will be replaced with faith and a desire to do the work.
To those who think they don’t know enough or have a strong enough testimony to share the gospel, hear the words of Jeffrey R Holland:
“The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.
Honestly acknowledge your questions and your concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.”
To those who feel they have exhausted their efforts to bring their wayward family members back to the fold, hear the words of President Eyring:
“Many of you have loved ones who are wandering off the path to eternal life. You wonder what more you can do to bring them back. You can depend on the Lord to draw closer to them as you serve Him in faith.”
And President Monson:
“We need to bear in mind that people can change. They can put behind them bad habits. They can repent from transgressions. … “… We can help them to overcome their shortcomings. We must develop the capacity to see men not as they are at present but as they may become.”47
To those who think their missionary efforts never convert, hear the words of President Uchtdorf:
“Conversion comes not through our words but through the heavenly ministrations of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes all it takes is one single phrase of our testimony or about an experience to set in motion the softening of a heart or the opening of a door that can lead others to experience sublime truths through the promptings of the Spirit.
Brothers and sisters, have faith. The Lord can magnify the words you speak and make them mighty. God doesn’t ask you to convert but rather to open your mouths. The task of converting is not yours—that belongs to the person hearing and to the Holy Spirit.”
To those who want to share the gospel, but just don’t know where to start, hear the words of David F Evans:
If we will pray and ask Heavenly Father who we can help and promise to act on the promptings He gives us letting us know how we can help, He will answer our prayers and we will become instruments in His hands to do His work. Acting in love upon the promptings given by the Spirit becomes the catalyst.11
My counsel is the same that President Monson has given so many times from this very pulpit: “Never delay a prompting.”12 As you act on the prompting and do it with love, watch as our Heavenly Father uses your willingness to act to bring about a miracle in your life and in the life of the person you care about.13