Monday, June 13, 2011

Missionary Work- Gospel Principles Lesson 33

Yesterday was my day to teach at Church. I'm LDS (aka the way, I heard "The Book Of Mormon" musical by the SouthPark guys did great at the Tony Awards last night!) and I teach the 2nd Sunday of every month in Relief Society, the woman's organization of the church. Below is my rough outline from my lesson. This month it was on missionary work. I had a lot of good participation, I wish I could share all that everyone said! (The headings in bold are the headings directly from the Gospel Principles Manual)
On the board I wrote a scripture and a quote:
“Proclaim my gospel from land to land, and from city to city. … Bear testimony in every place, unto every people” Doctrine and Covenants 66:5,7

"Missionary work is not just one of the 88 keys on a piano that is occasionally played; it is a major chord in a compelling melody that needs to be played continuously throughout our lives if we are to remain in harmony with our commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ." -Elder Quentin L. Cook

The Lord's Church is a Missionary Church
what does this mean?  Maybe that we are responsible for sharing the Gospel everyday of our lives, that we are in charge of making sure everyone knows of the truthfulness of the Gospel. I had quite a few good answers to that question.
  •   Missionary work has been present since the beginning of the earth. In Moses chapter 5:58 it says “the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning.” The Lord first revealed his plan to Adam, the first man on the earth, the Gospel has been preached ever since that day, what a long time!
  • What is the missionary message? In Matthew 28:19-20 it says that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior. That the gospel has been restored to the earth through a prophet of God. And that my friends, is the message of missionaries
The Gospel Will Be Preached To All the World
Latter-day revelation tells us we must take the restored gospel to every nation and people (D&C 133:37) This hasn’t happened yet
  • which countries are we not allowed to go into? The countries where we do not have any missionaries as of 2007: Middle East countries
    All African countries except for
    Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Africa (we do have missions in those countries). Mainland China, Cuba, North Korea
    We do have humanitarian couple missionaries in some of those countries, but we don't have proselyting missionaries.)
  • But in 1 Nephi 3:7 we learn that the Lord never gives us a commandment without preparing a way for us to accomplish it. In other words, if the Lord said we should preach the Gospel throughout the entire world, it will happen....someday.....
  • The Lord is “inspiring the minds of great people to create inventions that further the work of the Lord in ways this world has never known” (Russell M. Nelson, Ensign 1988 April pg 73) What a great thing! In the manual it says that we who have the fullness of the gospel  need to use these inventions to fulfill the Lord’s commandment.
  • What are these inventions that are helping us be missionaries? Newspapers, magazines, television, radio, satellites, computers, the internet, chat with missionaries on, etc. Can you imagine what else there is to come?! How is technology an effective way of teaching?
 Missionary Work is Important
President Ezra Taft Benson said:
“ this is our first interest as a Church- to save and exalt the souls of the children of men.”
It may be important but it’s not really all that easy!
 Two great quotes here:
"Missionary work is difficult. It taxes one’s energies, it strains one’s capacity, it demands one’s best effort—frequently a second effort. No other labor requires longer hours or greater devotion or such sacrifice and fervent prayer."       -Thomas S. Monson from the talk "That All May Hear"
 “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?”    -Jeffrey R. Holland as quoted in the talk "Be A Missionary All Your Life" by Quentin L. Cook.
We Should All Be Missionaries
Some questions to ponder:

How can we look for ways to share our own faith? How can we make personal connections with people? How can we show love and respect for those who do not share our faith? In what ways do women add to the work of spreading the Gospel? How does the Spirit Influence your personal sharing of testimony? 
One of the ways in which I personally find missionary work to be particularly challenging is that it seems difficult to assert that you have the truth and others don’t (or that they’re in spiritual darkness) without conveying an attitude of spiritual arrogance or superiority. How do you express a conviction that the gospel is an important and vital message without sounding like you think you’re better than others? 

In D&C 88:81 It says “It becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor”-We have been taught by Spencer W. Kimball that we should show our neighbors that we love them before we warn them. They need to experience our friendship and fellowship.
I love this! My husband is not a member of the church and I completely understand the need for love and friendship as part of missionary work.

The Lord Promises Us Blessings for doing Missionary Work
  • D&C 62:3 “Ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you.”  
 I concluded with a great story by Thomas S. Monson:

Many years ago I boarded a plane in San Francisco en route to Los Angeles. As I sat down, the seat next to mine was empty. Soon, however, there occupied that seat a most lovely young lady. 
As the plane became airborne, I noticed that she was reading a book. I glanced at the title: A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. I mustered up my courage and said to her, “You must be a Mormon.”
She replied, “Oh no. Why would you ask?”
I said, “Well, you’re reading a book written by LeGrand Richards, a very prominent leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
She responded, “Is that right? A friend gave this book to me, but I don’t know much about it. However, it has aroused my curiosity.”
I wondered silently, Should I be forward and say more about the Church? The words of the Apostle Peter crossed my mind, “Be ready always to give an answer to every [one] that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15). I decided that now was the time for me to share my testimony with her. I told her that it had been my privilege years before to assist Elder Richards in printing this book.
I mentioned the great missionary spirit of this man and told her of the many thousands of people who had embraced the truth after reading that which he had prepared. Then it was my privilege, during the remainder of the flight, to answer her questions relative to the Church—intelligent questions which came from her heart, which I perceived was seeking the truth.
I asked if I might have the opportunity to have the missionaries call upon her. I asked if she would like to attend one of our wards in San Francisco, where she lived. Her answers were affirmative. She gave me her name—Yvonne Ramirez—and indicated that she was a flight attendant on her way to an assignment.
Upon returning home, I wrote to the mission president and the stake president, advising them of my conversation and that I had written to her and sent along some suggested reading.
Several months passed by. Then I received a telephone call from the stake president, who asked, “Brother Monson, do you remember sitting next to a flight attendant on a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles early this fall?” I answered affirmatively. He continued, “I thought you would like to know that Yvonne Ramirez has just become the most recently baptized and confirmed member of the Church. She would like to speak with you.”
A sweet voice came on the line: “Brother Monson, thank you for sharing with me your testimony. I am the happiest person in all the world.”
As tears filled my eyes and gratitude to God enlarged my soul, I thanked her and commended her on her search for truth and, having found it, her decision to enter those waters which cleanse and purify and provide entrance to eternal life.

I sat silently for a few minutes after replacing the telephone receiver. The words of our Savior coursed through my mind: 
“And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88).
Such is the promise to all of us when we pursue our missionary opportunities and follow the counsel and obey the commandments of Jesus of Nazareth, our Savior and King.

Thanks for taking the time to read this very long and wordy lesson outline. I hope you found it inspiring or interesting or maybe you're even preparing to teach on the subject and could use something I wrote about. Have a great day!


  1. Thank you so much for your outline.  I am teaching this lesson on Fathers Day and didn't know where to start.    This is my first time teaching in RS, and I am super nervous.  This will help me out a ton.  Thanks.
    S Benson

  2. You're so so so welcome! I'm incredibly glad you found it helpful. You'll do just fine on Sunday, the 1st time is always the scariest but it gets easier =)

  3. THank you also. I teach this on Father's Day and your quotes were EXTREMLY helpful. I am having sisters share examples that match the suggsestion in the panuals on 193.  So instead of just reading through the list, I am using the testimony/ experience of others to prove that that method of "missionary work" works!
    Anyway - thanks you.  This was way helpful!


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