The Lord’s commission to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) applies to us just as it did to his disciples of old. “We must take missionary work more seriously,” President Ezra Taft Benson says. “More is expected of us than any previous generation.” (General Conference, April 1985.)
For an example of how we can prepare to be effective missionaries, we can look to the four sons of Mosiah. Surely they must have been afraid to preach. But as they prepared, their hearts “took courage to go forth.” (Alma 17:12.)
These young men repented of their sins and tried with all their hearts to live the gospel. (See Mosiah 27:32–37.) They “searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.” They also fasted and prayed so that God would “grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, … that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring … their brethren … to the knowledge of the truth.” (See Alma 17:2–3, 9.) Their preparation can serve as a pattern for us.
“We need not be sent to far away cities or distant lands to be missionaries,” Elder M. Russell Ballard says. “Our next-door neighbors, friends, acquaintances, family members, relatives and the stranger down the street are all part of the world with whom we should be sharing the gospel message.”
Elder Ballard has outlined a procedure that can help us in our missionary work. First, we can prayerfully set a date by which we will have someone prepared to hear the gospel message. Second, we can fast and pray for guidance about whom the Lord would have us share the gospel with. “You will have special spiritual experiences as the Lord inspires you,” says Elder Ballard. “He will help you to see and understand this work more clearly by bringing names of nonmembers to your mind. … You will be blessed to know what you should say and how you should approach each person.”
As we seek the Lord’s guidance in doing missionary work, we will bring great blessings into our own lives and into the lives of others. “No joy,” says Elder Ballard, “equals that of bringing the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ into the life of one of Heavenly Father’s children.” (General Conference, October 1984.)
Tell an experience of when you shared the gospel with a nonmember or a less-active member. Encourage the sister to pray for guidance about someone with whom she might share the gospel.
(See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pages 109–15 and 208–9, for related materials.)