Objective: To encourage the sisters to participate in missionary work among their own people.

Before his ascension, the Lord instructed his disciples to teach the gospel among all nations. (See Matt. 28:19–20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47–48.) In our day, President Ezra Taft Benson has given us the same instructions. “The world needs the gospel,” he has said, “and we are charged by command of the Lord … to spread it.” (Ensign, May 1986, p. 77.)

Many sisters will serve a mission at some time in their lives. Many others will teach and help prepare their children to serve missions. But whether or not we serve a mission, we can all be missionaries by setting an example and by sharing the gospel with our families, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.

To learn to share the gospel effectively, we must first prepare ourselves by studying it. As Hyrum Smith, the brother of the Prophet Joseph, prepared to serve a mission, the Lord counseled him: “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men.” (D&C 11:21.)

One single sister learned the importance of preparation when a nonmember co-worker invited her to lunch and startled her by asking her about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Though she managed to tell her co-worker about the First Vision and to bear her testimony, the sister nevertheless wished that she had been better prepared.

Full-time missionaries study so they can better understand the gospel. We can do the same. We can also pray for guidance about with whom we should share the gospel. One family invited the stake missionaries to teach them how to use the Book of Mormon more effectively as a missionary tool. They also talked together about how to fellowship friends. The more the family learned about missionary work, the more eager they became to share the gospel.

As members of the Church, we are “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.” (Mosiah 18:9.) To accomplish this, we need to make our surroundings and homes places of prayer, peace, and learning, where all who enter can feel the Lord’s Spirit. If the Lord’s Spirit is welcome in our homes, our own testimonies and those of our families will grow and we will be prepared to share our feelings about the gospel and the difference it has made in our lives.

The Lord has told us that “there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations … who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” (D&C 123:12.) We can help others to find the truth by befriending them, serving them, and inviting them to participate with us in family, community, and Church activities.

Many nonmembers will develop an interest in the Church as a result of such fellowshipping. For example, one woman who attended Relief Society homemaking meetings for several months before joining the Church credits her friends’ example for leading her to the truth. Likewise, genuine friendship and caring may help bring many less-active members back into the fold.

As we fellowship nonmembers and less-active members, we need to make sure that our friendships with them are genuine. By showing concern for others and serving them as the Savior did, we can influence their lives for good, even if that influence does not result in baptism or reactivation.

Suggestions for Visiting Teachers

  1. Read D&C 15:6; D&C 18:10–16; and D&C 123:11–17 and discuss how we can make our homes places of beauty, peace, and learning, where the gospel can be shared with others.

  2. Discuss some ways we can be better missionaries, and how we might befriend nonmembers or less-active members.

(See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 48–51, 74–83, 89–94, 98–115, 130–31, 135, 167, 187–89, 208–210, 236–37, 240–44 for related materials.)

Illustrated by Beth Maryon Whittaker