Missionary work, with the guidance of the Holy Ghost and under the direction of the Lord’s prophets and apostles, is vital in helping others to come unto Christ.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we learn it is our Father in Heaven’s work and His glory to bring to pass the immortality of eternal life of His spirit sons and daughters (Moses 1:39). Missionary work is an important aspect of the Lord’s church to help bring this to pass. Latter-day Saint men as young as 18 years-old and women as young as 19-years old are serving full-time missions all over the world. The women serve up to 18 months and the men serve up to 2 years. Some of these individuals serve as online missionaries. This a growing field of missionary work as people are spending more and more time on the internet. Men and women who for various reasons such as physical or emotional disabilities, who are unable to serve a full-time mission, have the option to be a service missionary. These individuals may serve in a Bishop’s Storehouse, a Distribution Center or in many other ways and places. Older couples may choose to become senior missionaries in their area or serve in other areas of the world providing a variety of services to and for the community and the church. Opportunities to serve in and for a community and for the church, which is in fact serving the Lord, are plentiful. As of the end of 2016 there were 421 missions, 70,946 full-time missionaries and 33,695 church-service Missionaries (Statistical Report 2016). There are also numerous individuals who volunteer their time and share their testimony of Jesus Christ as teachers, missionary supporters, bloggers, family history consultants and more. Members of the church volunteer their time and share their talents in different callings in the church. Truly, every member can be a missionary. Writing this article is my humble attempt to be a missionary of the Lord to those who are not members of the church.
Missionary work leads to teaching and learning about the true nature of the Godhead and of the Plan of Salvation.
Because of missionary work in all its appropriate forms and as directed by the Lord through His prophets and apostles, more of our brothers and sisters are coming to a knowledge of the true nature of our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost who bears record of the Father and the Son. More people are learning about our Father in Heaven’s Plan of Salvation, which helps us to understand who we are, where we came from and where we are going. The Plan of Happiness enables us to see the bigger picture, which gives us a better perspective on life. Missionaries also teach the following, which are all a part of the Plan of Happiness:
- The Resurrection of Jesus Christ makes possible for all who die to be resurrected with a perfect body at the appointed time, and to live for all eternity.
- There must be opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11). To be able to experience and have joy, we must also experience pain and suffering of different kinds. One analogy to this is, to taste and appreciate the sweet, we must also taste the bitter.
- Through the power of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we can sincerely repent of our sins and become clean again. This power can also help to lighten our burdens, compensate for our weaknesses, forgive and love others and learn from our mistakes and trials. All of these precious blessings make it possible for us to reach our fullest potential, including having charity for all. The power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ can bless us to experience a joy and a peace that surpasses all understanding (John 14:27); the kind of joy and peace within our soul that is not determined by our circumstances. I have experienced this peace and joy for myself. It is why I am striving to share the gospel with others, because I desire for all to experience this miracle.
Because each one of God’s children is of great worth, church leaders, missionaries and many members of the church spend a great deal of time and effort becoming prepared for or preparing members to serve an effective mission, or becoming better member missionaries themselves.
As members of the church we experience a kind of happiness and peace not offered by the world. Even during our unique and common trials and tribulations, we are richly blessed to know gospel truths and to experience greater light and knowledge. We, through different kinds of missionary work, want everyone to know and understand what we have been taught by ancient prophets as found in the holy scriptures, by the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, and by modern revelation of God through true prophets and apostles of the Lord. We want all of our brothers and sisters, for they are all precious to God, to receive additional blessings and to experience joy in serving the Lord. We know these blessings come by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, keeping covenants with our Father in Heaven and by sincere repentance of our sins. Again, all of this is made possible by the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We hope for all mankind to experience that peace which surpasses all understanding. We sincerely desire all will come into the fold of Christ, reach their fullest potential in this life and the hereafter and to be together forever with their families.
How deeply grateful I am to all missionaries, those who wear the missionary name tag and those who don’t, who often make many sacrifices and are serving others and the Lord in the capacity they are able to. Who are striving to plant good seeds of faith the hearts of others. Who endeavor to show love to people in many ways by teaching, testifying, forgiving, being peacemakers, serving and much more. They are the Lord’s hands and their sincere efforts have been and will be felt for generations to come. Indeed, the good consequences of their efforts, as guided by the Holy Ghost, will echo into eternity.
I love and I am grateful to be married to a wonderful man who served an honorable full-time mission. I love and I am thankful for our son Brandon, and the service missions he participated in; our son Dylan, who is a full-time missionary in Oklahoma, and our daughter Alyssa, a service missionary here in Utah. I am thankful for the joy they have brought my husband and I, for the choices they have made and are making and for their striving to cope with and learn from their various challenges. I love and appreciate my parents, siblings and their families, as well as my husband’s family. I also love and appreciate my friends and all those who have served and helped my family and I in many ways over the years.
To all those who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…
If you are not a member of the church and would like to learn more about the Plan of Salvation and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, click on mormon.org. There are missionaries online eager to answer your questions and teach you about Joseph Smith, the first Prophet of these latter days, and to teach you about the restore gospel of Jesus Christ. Learning about and becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ will take some time and effort, but oh how you are worth that time and effort. Though the Adversary will not make it easy, you will not be alone. You will receive help from missionaries, church leaders, other members of the church and through various resources of the church. Most importantly, heaven will be on your side, helping you on your journey. You will learn more and receive greater light and knowledge by reading and studying the Book of Mormon, by sincere and consistent prayer, and by expressing gratitude for the blessings you do have. Your answered questions will lead you to have more hope. Your unanswered questions will require more faith on the Lord, for “…faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things…” (Alma 32:21). But the Spirit of the Lord will help you to know that what you are being taught is true (James 1:5). As you begin to believe in gospel truths, your faith in Jesus Christ, however great or small that faith may be, will continue to grow. This faith, through your humble and sincere efforts, will help you to improve line upon line, precept upon precept. You will become closer to the Lord than you ever thought possible. You will be blessed in ways you could not imagine. This is true for all of us in the church no matter how long we have been members. We are all still learning and growing.
The most important thing for everyone to understand is “the worth of souls in great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10). Each one of us is a precious spirit son or daughter of God. He loves us more than we can comprehend. And when we fall, because we all do, we know we can get back up and keep trying. As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said in the October 2016 General Conference, “Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.”
Valerie and her husband are proud parents of three adult children. Valerie is the administrator for MormonDoctorsTestify.org and MormonConvertsTestify.org including corresponding Facebook pages. Soon the content of these websites will be transferred to FairMormon.org so as to hopefully reach more people online. Valerie's other Facebook pages are Be Prepared - Info. for Prospective & Current LDS Missionaries and Strong Family Ties. Valerie works with her husband, a private investigator, as an administrative assistant and an apprentice private investigator. She enjoys being a visiting teacher and an Activity Days leader in her ward. Scott and Valerie's oldest child participated in a service mission in Texas and Utah. Their middle child is a full-time missionary in Oklahoma. Their youngest child is a service missionary in Utah.