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Teaching the Honest in Heart
From “We Are One,” Ensign, May 2013, 62–63.
In 1955 I became an officer in the United States Air Force. My bishop at home gave me a blessing just before I left for my first station, which was in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In his blessing he said that my time in the air force would be missionary service. I arrived in church on my first Sunday at the Albuquerque First Branch. A man walked up to me, introduced himself as the district president, and told me that he was going to call me to serve as a district missionary.
I told him that I would be there for training for only a few weeks and then I would be assigned somewhere else in the world. He said, “I don’t know about that, but we are to call you to serve.” In the middle of my military training, by what appeared to be chance, I was chosen from hundreds of officers being trained to take the place in headquarters of an officer who had died suddenly.
So, for the two years I was there, I worked in my office. On most evenings and every weekend, I taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to people the members brought to us.
My companions and I averaged more than 40 hours a month in our missionary service without once having to knock on doors to find someone to teach. The members filled our plates so full that we often taught two families in an evening. I saw for myself the power and the blessing in the repeated call of prophets for every member to be a missionary.
On the last Sunday before I left Albuquerque, the first stake was organized in that city. There is now a sacred temple there, a house of the Lord, in a city where we once met in a single chapel with Saints who brought friends to us to be taught and to feel the witness of the Spirit. Those friends felt a welcoming home in the Lord’s true Church.
Additional resources on this topic: Gospel Principles (2009), “Missionary Work,” 189–95; “Missionary Work,” in Gospel Topics on LDS.org; and Jeffrey R. Holland, “We Are All Enlisted,” Ensign, Nov. 2011, 44–46.
The General Missionary Fund
In the April 2013 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson talked of the remarkable and inspiring response of young people to serve missions. He said, “To help maintain this missionary force, and because many of our missionaries come from modest circumstances, we invite you, as you are able, to contribute generously to the General Missionary Fund of the Church.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “Welcome to Conference,” Ensign, May 2013, 5.
Questions to Ponder
How has your life been blessed by your missionary service or the missionary service of another?
Why do you think prophets ask for the gospel to be taken to all the world?
How can you help those in your area who are no longer active in the Church to feel the witness of the Spirit?
Consider writing your thoughts in your journal or discussing them with others.
Prophetic Words on Moral Absolutes
“God reveals to His prophets that there are moral absolutes. Sin will always be sin. Disobedience to the Lord’s commandments will always deprive us of His blessings. The world changes constantly and dramatically, but God, His commandments, and promised blessings do not change. … We must not pick and choose which commandments we think are important to keep but acknowledge all of God’s commandments. We must stand firm and steadfast, having perfect confidence in the Lord’s consistency and perfect trust in His promises.”
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Obedience to Law Is Liberty,” Ensign, May 2013, 88.
Helping the Poor and the Needy
“Using funds donated by generous members, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sends food, clothing, and other essentials to relieve the suffering of adults and children all over the world. These humanitarian donations, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in the last decade, are made without any consideration of religion, race, or nationality. … During the last quarter century we have assisted nearly 30 million people in 179 countries.”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Followers of Christ,” Ensign, May 2013, 98.
Missionary Invitation: Catch the Wave
“You teenagers, embrace your new curriculum and teach one another the doctrine of Jesus Christ. Now is your time to prepare to teach others about the goodness of God.
“Young men and women, your education is ever important. … We encourage you to apply to your institution of choice before beginning your mission.
“You parents, teachers, and others, catch the wave as you prepare our rising generation to be worthy of missionary service. Meanwhile, your exemplary lives will attract the interest of your friends and neighbors.
“You adults, catch the wave with help for the spiritual, physical, and financial preparation of future missionaries.
“You senior couples, you plan for the day when you can go on your mission.
“Stake presidents and bishops … hold keys of responsibility for missionary work in their units.
“You ward mission leaders … are the connecting link between members and missionaries in this sacred work of rescuing God’s children.”
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Catch the Wave,” Ensign, May 2013, 45, 46.
Fill in the Blank
“Darkness will not gain victory over the ____________ of Christ” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Hope of God’s Light,” Ensign, May 2013, 77).
“The Church is a ____________ where followers of Christ attain peace” (Quentin L. Cook, “Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness,” Ensign, May 2013, 34).
“We who have mortal bodies have the __________ over the beings who do not” (Boyd K. Packer, “These Things I Know,” Ensign, May 2013, 8).
“As we give up commitment and fidelity to our __________ __________, we remove the glue that holds our society together” (L. Tom Perry, “Obedience to Law Is Liberty,” Ensign, May 2013, 87).
“If you’re not a full-time missionary with a missionary badge pinned on your coat, now is the time to paint one on your ____________” (Neil L. Andersen, “It’s a Miracle,” Ensign, May 2013, 78).
Answers: 1. light; 2. refuge; 3. power; 4. marriage partners; 5. heart.
Be Wise in How You Embrace Technology
“To share the gospel, young members in Boston started several blogs. Those who joined the Church began their learning online, followed by discussions with the missionaries. … One of [the bloggers] said, ‘This isn’t missionary work. This is missionary fun.’”1
“Why not choose a time each day to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other? Simply turn everything off.”2
“Mark important scriptures on your device and refer back to them frequently. … You could soon have hundreds of passages of scripture memorized. Those passages would prove to be a powerful source of inspiration and guidance by the Holy Ghost in times of need.”3