President Gordon B. Hinckley proclaimed: “Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church. It is the principal means by which it grows. …
“… This work was mandated by the Savior Himself in His instructions to the Apostles before His final ascension: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’ (Matthew 28:19)” (“Missionary Service,” First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 2003, 17).
As a teacher of future full-time missionaries, you have a marvelous opportunity to influence them for good. The principles discussed during this course have the potential to influence the way missionaries live and teach. Much of what they practice and learn in your class will become a part of their mission experience. Your efforts to effectively prepare your students for missionary service will have a positive impact on the growth and strength of the Church.
Packaged with this teacher manual is a DVD (item 54139). Track 1 is an introduction by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (5:31). In addition, there are 22 presentations available for you to use when teaching selected lessons. These are identified in the lessons with the icon shown here and a note in the teaching suggestion. Before you teach it is recommended that you view track 1, which is Elder Scott’s personal message to the teachers of this course.
Track 1 (5:31). Elder Richard G. Scott, introduction.
Track 2 (0:42). Elder Russell M. Nelson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1995. Chapter 1: Called to Serve.
Track 3 (5:41). Elder Jacob de Jager, in Conference Report, Oct. 1976. Chapter 1: Called to Serve.
Track 4 (3:38), segments 1–4. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, seminar for new mission presidents, June 2000, cited in “Missionary Work and the Atonement,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 10–11. Chapter 1: Called to Serve.
Track 5 (0:54). President Boyd K. Packer, seminar for new mission presidents, June 2002. Chapter 2: Personal Worthiness.
Track 6 (0:38). Elder Richard G. Scott, in Conference Report, Oct. 2000. Chapter 2: Personal Worthiness.
Track 7 (0:42). Elder Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Apr. 1989. Chapter 2: Personal Worthiness.
Track 8 (0:32). Elder Neal A. Maxwell, in Conference Report, Mar.–Apr. 2001. Chapter 3: The Companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Track 9 (6:00). President Brigham Young, “A Man without Eloquence.” Chapter 4: Teaching by the Spirit.
Track 10 (0:53). Elder L. Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Oct. 2001. Chapter 5: We Learn to Teach “by Study and Also by Faith,” Part 1.
Track 11 (4:30). “Plan of Salvation.” Chapter 7: Heavenly Father’s Plan.
Track 12 (0:33). Elder Russell M. Nelson, in Conference Report, Oct. 1996. Chapter 7: Heavenly Father’s Plan.
Track 13 (0:46). Elder Merrill J. Bateman, in Conference Report, Oct. 2003. Chapter 8: Prophets and Apostasy.
Track 14 (2:22). President Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Oct. 1999. Chapter 8: Prophets and Apostasy.
Track 15 (1:27). Elder Russell M. Nelson, seminar for new mission presidents, June 2000. Chapter 9: The Restoration and the Coming Forth of New Scripture.
Track 16 (1:18). Elder L. Tom Perry, in Conference Report, Oct. 1994. Chapter 9: The Restoration and the Coming Forth of New Scripture.
Track 17 (1:44). President Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Apr. 2002. Chapter 10: Faith and Conversion.
Track 18 (0:45). President Boyd K. Packer, seminar for new mission presidents, June 2003. Chapter 10: Faith and Conversion.
Track 19 (0:42). President Boyd K. Packer, seminar for new mission presidents, June 2003. Chapter 10: Faith and Conversion.
Track 20 (1:50), segments 1–2. President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 2003. Chapter 11: Physical and Emotional Preparation.
Track 21 (0:50). Elder Richard G. Scott, in Conference Report, Oct. 2003. Chapter 11: Physical and Emotional Preparation.
Track 22 (1:27). President Gordon B. Hinckley, portion from video Gordon B. Hinckley, Man of Integrity, 15th President of the Church (1995). Chapter 11: Physical and Emotional Preparation.
Track 23 (2:14). Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, seminar for new mission presidents, June 2000, cited in Ensign, Mar. 2001. Chapter 14: Christlike Attributes.
What Students Should Bring to Class
Encourage students to bring their scriptures and the student manual to every class. You should also encourage them to obtain a copy of True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference (2004; item 36863). This booklet contains gospel topics arranged alphabetically and will be a resource in this course as well as a help to students throughout their missions and thereafter.
When you teach chapter 11, Physical and Emotional Preparation, you may wish to provide students with personal copies of the Missionary Health Guide (2004; item 37012) as a resource to become familiar with before their missions. The guide is not necessary, however, to teach chapter 11.
It is recommended that students begin a study journal. This is a journal kept to record gospel insights learned from study. Many missions will instruct missionaries to keep such a journal, so this will give students a start on this useful missionary tool. They may wish to bring their study journal to class.
Opportunities for In-Class Practice
Developing the attributes and skills to teach the restored gospel effectively should be a major objective of this course. During the course students will learn how to organize and share gospel principles. They will be encouraged to become more sensitive to the workings of the Holy Ghost. Students will have several occasions to practice teaching gospel doctrines and principles to fellow students.
Sometimes teachers think they have so much to teach that they don’t want to take class time for student participation. Our missionaries, however, need to learn how to teach the doctrines of the kingdom clearly and effectively. The more they practice explaining and teaching the restored gospel doctrines and principles, the more capable they will become at teaching these truths to investigators once they reach the mission field. In-class teaching experiences, along with the “Suggested Assignments for Students,” will encourage your students to develop teaching skills, confidence, and Christlike attributes.
Ideas for Class Structure
During class you may occasionally want to group students into pairs for learning or teaching activities. Varying the pairs provides opportunity to work with different personalities.
You may assign individuals or groups to begin each class with a devotional.
What the Course Does Not Include
It is recommended that missionary preparation classes not be conducted like a zone conference of any particular mission.
This missionary preparation course helps prepare students for full-time missionary service. Its content has been carefully written to prepare future missionaries with an understanding of the doctrines and principles upon which the missionary program and Preach My Gospel (2004; item 36617) are centered. Preach My Gospel is the guide to missionary service that was written as the core missionary training resource. You may want to obtain a copy of this important guide to familiarize yourself with the text missionaries are using throughout their missionary training and service.
The missionary preparation manual was written to correspond to Preach My Gospel. Subjects such as understanding the call to serve a mission; learning to study and teach the gospel; the Apostasy and Restoration; understanding, recognizing, and teaching with the Holy Ghost; the importance of latter-day scripture; developing Christlike attributes; and using time wisely are covered in both this manual and Preach My Gospel. Topics covered in Preach My Gospel that are not covered in this course include learning another language, helping people make and keep covenants, preparing people for baptism, and working with members. Cooking and housekeeping skills, detailed mission organization, and budgeting are also not addressed in this course. Certain areas of training are best left to the home and family, missionary training centers, and mission presidents in the field.
Teacher Overview of Course
Carefully review the contents page for titles of lessons and subjects covered in this course. This should help you avoid extensive coverage of a subject mentioned in one lesson that will be covered more thoroughly later in the course.
Chapter Use and Format
Each chapter is intended for two regular class periods during the week or one night class of equivalent time. If taught during two class periods, you will need to determine a suitable division point within each chapter.
Each chapter has an introduction that identifies the lesson’s focus and then uses the following format:
Doctrines and Principles to Understand
A bulleted list of doctrines and principles provides you with an overview and suggests what the students should come to understand, accept, and apply in their lives.
The “Teaching Suggestions” section individually lists the “Doctrines and Principles to Understand” and provides one or more suggestions to consider as possible teaching approaches. The icon notes the beginning of each teaching suggestion.
You may use or modify a teaching suggestion, or you may provide a substitute approach for teaching the concepts. Determining which student manual statements to highlight in class is up to you as the teacher. How you teach should take into account such factors as the influence of the Holy Ghost, your personality and teaching style, class personalities, class time, cultural context, and student needs. It is anticipated that you will personalize the lessons with your own experiences, testimony, and insights. It is recommended, however, that you address every principle with students even though class time may not be sufficient for all the activities. Be prayerfully selective in how you use your time.
Suggested Assignments for Students
The suggested assignments are intended to help the students practice or apply the doctrines, principles, and methods taught in the lesson. These assignments are also printed in the student manual under the title “Suggested Assignments.”
The Need for Better Preparation
President Ezra Taft Benson requested better prepared missionaries: “There is a difference in missionaries. Some are better prepared to serve the Lord the first month in the mission field than some who are returning home after twenty-four months.
“We want young men entering the mission field who can enter the mission field ‘on the run,’ who have the faith born of personal righteousness and clean living that they can have a great and productive mission” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 59; or Ensign, May 1986, 45).
Through teaching this course, you have a great opportunity to help fulfill that commission.