Why you should Stop trying to do Missionary Work


Ever since the beginning of humanity we have been doing Missionary Work.  Throughout the Old Testament it is filled with Prophets leaving the comforts of their homes to tell people there was something greater.  It is a commandment given directly and plainly by our Master, Jesus Christ when He said “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” It continued on when Joseph and the faithful Saints left their families and homes to share something that was worth leaving family over.

earlymissionaries

Photo attribution Four Missionaries to the Lamanites, by Robert T. Barrett lds.org

It is clear that Missionary Work is a part of the gospel and will continue on.  So why should I stop trying?

yodaWe have to stop trying to do Missionary Work and start actually doing it.  Trying and Doing are opposites.  If I try to do my home or visiting teaching I will maybe see 1 family every 3 or 4 months. If I try to do Missionary Work I will not prepare myself through prayerful scripture study and I will not open my mouth when an opportunity comes along.  We pray over and over for missionary opportunities and we wonder why little happens. I’m confident Heavenly Father provides countless opportunities that we miss for whatever reason.  Whether we are full time missionaries away from our loved ones or we are in the workforce or at home we have to stop trying.  In 1999 President Hinckley envisioned a day where we would start doing.

Last year there were approximately 300,000 convert baptisms throughout the Church. This is tremendously significant. This is the equivalent of 120 new stakes of 2,500 members each. Think of that: 120 new stakes in a single year! It is wonderful. But it is not enough. I am not being unrealistic when I say that with concerted effort, with recognition of the duty which falls upon each of us as members of the Church, and with sincere prayer to the Lord for help, we could double that number.  -Gordon B. Hinckley

How do I starting doing?

Doing is an attitude and a mindset that brings about results.  An effective member missionary will open their mouth based on two factors. Personal worthiness and Confidence.

A worthy member will recognize and be sensitive to promptings from the Holy Spirit.  President Monson taught “Such inspiration and guidance are gifts He freely gives if we but seek them. What treasures they are! I am always humbled and grateful when my Heavenly Father communicates with me through His inspiration. I have learned to recognize it, to trust it, and to follow it” We become worthy by  keeping the commandments we all promise to follow.  Take the sacrament weekly and recommit yourself to do. After all, trying is only planning to fail.

A second attribute that will help you open your mouth is confidence.  If we are not confident, work on gaining it.  Do this by feasting upon the scriptures that so many people dedicated their lives to write for you.  Studying the word of God for understanding and inspiration feels much different than just skimming just to get it checked off for the day.  If you don’t know an answer to a question find the answer or refer to family or the full time missionaries. You don’t have to know everything, but you should gain enough knowledge to be able to share your beliefs in a loving way.

There’s a quote that one of my instructors from college emphasized that has stuck with me.  “Excellence not Perfection.” I’m the type of student who tries so hard to be perfect.  To not miss any points or make any mistakes.  What my instructor was teaching me was that in life we can’t be perfect.  We’re bound to make mistakes and falter. But we can strive to be excellent in all we do.  We will never be perfect missionaries but we can be excellent missionaries.

As you focus on personal worthiness His Spirit will be with you and you will gain confidence through gospel knowledge. You will start doing and then becoming.  And how great will be your Joy.

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6 thoughts on “Why you should Stop trying to do Missionary Work

  1. Shalom, yes preach the gospel, whereever you are, and when necessary use words. Thank you for your thoughts and inspirations. Be blessed.

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  2. The statement “ever since the beginning of humanity we have been doing missionary work” is basically wrong. Old testament prophets called children of Israel to repentance, but never tried to convert gentiles and they were never commanded to teach the gospel to all the world, in fact they ere forbidden to teach gentiles. These prophets seldom traveled far from their homes and only traveled when commanded by the Lord to go and warn somebody. Jonah is the only prophet who was commanded to leave Israel and go to Ninivah to call the people to repentance. Other than that the OT prophets seldom traveled. Missionary work started with Jesus Christ who sent his apostles to teach every nation, kindred, tongue and people. In the Book of Mormon, some Nephites went to the Lamenites to teach them the gospel, but there were no real efforts by teh Nephites to convert all the Lamenites. It was not until teh Gospel was restored to the earth, that real efforts were made to take the gospel to all the World.

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  3. Man I needed this. I’ve been struggling with this a ton lately. I wish I did more missionary work and am in a position where I should be able to do it all the time. Thank you for sharing. I needed the motivation 🙂

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  4. Nicely put. Thanks so much for the reminder/invitation to DO, not just try. Thank, too, for the tips on doing. Definitely one I will come back to.

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