Sunday, March 8, 2009

Missionary Service: A Holy Calling, a Glorious Work

Teaching of the Presidents, Joseph Smith, Chapter 28.
Taught by Marie Tiller.

"Let my servant [insert your name here] go... and proclaim my gospel and open the door of salvation..."

How do you feel about proclaiming the gospel? Are you a lion or a chicken?

We know that we have been given the duty, "the greatest and most important duty," to preach the gospel.

Elder Heber C. Kimball when called to go to England on a mission in 1837 was overwhelmed by the thought of such an undertaking: "I felt myself one of the very weakest of God's servants. I asked Joseph what I should say when I got there; he told me to go to the Lord and He would guide me, and speak through me by the same spirit that [directed] him."

There is our promise and the key: Go to the Lord. He will guide us and speak through us by the Spirit.

That guidance can be powerful. It can give us the spirit of discernment and the inspiration to speak, the content to speak, and the ability to love others.

What happens to us between feeling bold about sharing the gospel as children and feeling more timid as we grow older? Several ideas were given by class members: the great and spacious building or fear of those who would mock us, our own pride, other's judgements, and feeling discouraged when we don't succeed sometimes. One way to overcome these is to prepare.

Our preparation should foster faith, virtue, diligence and love in ourselves, which will then enable us to do this work. Also, understanding other religions and beliefs helps us find common ground from which to build a relationship and add truth.

Don't over-prepare. Don't wait to share what you already know and feel. Just teach the simple truths of the gospel. Live so as to have the Spirit with you, rely on the Spirit to touch the hearts of those you talk to, and be very specific in your prayers.

Sisters, know that God knows you, your doubts and fears, and your opportunities and talents, and He will help you share the gospel. Let us too be "determined to lift up [our] voice in this city and leave the event with God," as Joseph Smith was.

Thanks to Marie Tiller for her preparation, for her humor, and especially for making this topic relevant to us today.

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