- Throughout the Church we are working hard to help all of our missionaries to increase their spiritual maturity. This worldwide effort has been referred to as “raising the bar” or “raising the standard.”
- But as we raise the level of expectation for the performance of our missionaries, we must also raise the level of expectation for the performance of all of the members of the Church in fulfilling our missionary duties. We need your help, brothers and sisters, to support and assist our missionaries in finding and baptizing many more of our Heavenly Father’s children. We need you to watch over, protect, and inspire the missionaries, who are servants of the Lord. If the standard is to be raised, it is raised for all of us. We must be more faithful. We must be more spiritually in tune. We must prepare ourselves to assist the missionaries in finding those of our Heavenly Father’s children who will embrace the message of the Restoration.
Elder Ballard says that member missionary service is simple but can be frightening. He suggests three things we can to do be more effective and less scared of this duty.
- Viewed from that eternal perspective, what we are to do seems so simple and clear, but I know that member missionary work can be challenging and sometimes frightening. Please allow me to suggest three simple things that we can do to assist in this divinely commissioned responsibility.
First, we should exercise our faith and pray individually and as families, asking for help in finding ways to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Ask the Lord to open the way. Prayerfully set a date with your family to have someone in your home for the missionaries to teach. Remember, brothers and sisters, this is the Lord’s Church. Let Him guide you through constant prayer.
He shares a great quote by President Hinckley about this change of heart we need to see take place in each member missionary.
- President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “It will be a great day when our people not only pray for the missionaries throughout the world, but ask the Lord to help them to assist the missionaries who are laboring in their own ward.”
Second, leaders must lead by example.
- The Spirit will prompt and guide you in finding those interested in our message. Your personal worthiness will give you the courage and the spiritual power to inspire your members to actively help the missionaries.
Third, member missionary work does not require the development of strategies or gimmicks. It does require faith—real faith and trust in the Lord. It also requires genuine love.
- So let the power of love guide us in sharing the gospel with family members, friends, neighbors, business associates, and any other people we encounter as we go through life. Most everyone wants to enjoy peace and happiness. That is a natural human desire. People want to find answers to the problems they face. This is increasingly true in the world we now live in.
- Professional advancement, increased income, bigger homes, or newer cars and recreational equipment do not bring lasting peace and happiness. Happiness comes from understanding God and knowing that He has a plan for our eternal joy and peace. Happiness comes from knowing and loving the Savior and living our lives in accordance with His teachings. Happiness comes from strong family and Church relationships based on gospel values.
Elder Ballard concludes by emphasizing that we are not interested in people joining the church. We are interested in bring people to the knowledge of Christ through the restoration of the church.
- We are not just trying to get people to join our Church; we are sharing with them the fulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. But as powerful as our message is, it cannot be imposed or forced upon people. It can only be shared—heart to heart, soul to soul, spirit to spirit—by being good neighbors and by caring and showing love. We need to be watchful for one another and reach out to one another. And as we do so, we will radiate the gospel in our own lives, and it will radiate to the people the blessings the gospel has to offer.
I have always found it easy to talk to people about my faith. I think people naturally are willing to talk about things that inspire them, make them better people, and have helped them out of their biggest struggles in life. For me, that is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. People love to know how your life has been influenced and what makes you the person you are. That naturally becomes a conversation of the power of Jesus Christ in my life. If you are struggling with how to talk about the gospel more, try talking about general things like going to church over the weekend, or something your family is involved with for an activity. These are natural and nonthreatening ways to discuss where you focus your time and attention. It shows what matters most in life without having to be nervous about asking someone to hear the missionary discussions.