Be an Example

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What does a missionary look like? Find out by looking in a mirror.

basketball player

Somebody asks, “What does a missionary look like?” You could say, “White shirt, tie, name tag; rides a bike.” But you could also say, “You’re looking at one right now.” And the truth is, both answers should be right.

“Wait a minute,” you say. “I’m not like the elders and sisters, meeting with members and investigators, teaching lessons, devoting myself full-time to sharing the gospel.” No, you’re not exactly like that, but:

  • Remember that basketball game when the call went the other way? You were ready to say some bad words, but you restrained yourself. Did you know someone was watching you and was impressed by your self-control?

  • Or how about the time you stayed after school for a service project and talked with your friend who doesn’t go to any church? You told her that helping others makes us feel good, because by serving them we’re serving God.

The Savior said that people, seeing our good works, will glorify Heavenly Father (see Matthew 5:16). So although you may not always think of it that way, simply by living the gospel, you’re being a missionary.

Your Choice

young man and young woman

In the Book of Mormon, Alma praised his sons Helaman and Shiblon for upholding the standards of righteousness. Corianton, however, had seriously sinned.

Alma reprimanded Corianton not only for his own misconduct but also because of its negative effect on others: “How great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words” (Alma 39:11).

Helaman and Shiblon demonstrated the importance of setting a good example. But Corianton showed that being bad not only hurts you but may also hurt others. Just like these three sons, you can be an example for good or for evil. It’s up to you!

Although They’ve Never Met

Read about the gratitude a woman expresses for a young woman she’s never met but who made a big difference in her life at lds.org/go/exampleNE3.

Sabrina’s Invitation

Flaviana Gonzalez lives in Salto, Uruguay.

When I was 17, Sabrina and I went to the same boarding school in Uruguay. I was going through a difficult time and didn’t want to have anything to do with anybody. But I did make a few friends.

Sabrina in particular stood out. She was nice to everyone. She invited me to play volleyball at her church, and she smiled even when I made excuses not to go. As I felt more comfortable with her, I thought maybe I should go.

Then one day I was rushed to the hospital with appendicitis. After surgery, I couldn’t go to school for 15 days. When I returned, Sabrina wasn’t there. She had moved back home. School wasn’t the same without her, so I wrote her a letter.

I asked her to forgive me for not playing volleyball. I told her that I’d always felt good around her and that I missed her.

Soon I received a letter and a package. In the letter, Sabrina told me she was happy that I’d written to her. She also told me about a tragic bus accident in which several people she knew had been killed. Then she wrote something that would change my life:

“We should always be at peace with God, because we never know when He will call us to His presence. Please read the book I sent with this letter. Ask God if it is true.”

In the package was the Book of Mormon. I started reading and I did ask if it was true. I felt so wonderful I thought my heart would burst. I’d never felt that way before. I went to church and started meeting with the missionaries. Soon I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

That was 15 years ago. Today I still have a firm testimony. Thank you, Sabrina, for inviting me to play volleyball. Even though I never did come to play, your example helped to bring me to Jesus Christ.

Heart to Heart, Soul to Soul

M. Russell Ballard

“As powerful as our message is, it cannot be imposed or forced upon people. It can only be shared—heart to heart, soul to soul, spirit to spirit—by being good neighbors and by caring and showing love. … And as we do so, we will radiate the gospel in our own lives, and it will radiate to the people the blessings the gospel has to offer.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work,” Ensign, May 2003, 40.