So I wanna be an everyday missionary, how in the world do I do that? And where do I start? When I was called to be a ward missionary these were the questions I had. It was time for my own little MTC experience in my own home with the best teachers and those were The Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel. I just wanted to share some things with you that I found that were very helpful to me in getting started being an everyday missionary and how to overcome the fear.
The first thing I found I needed was the desire to serve.The way to become a true missionary is to have the desire to help people come to Christ.. Joseph B. Wirthlin best sums up why desire is important in his talk “Restoring the Lost Sheep.”
I would like to tell you a story of a young man who sought out a wise man who was recognized far and near for his good judgment. He asked for his expert advice on how to attain new heights of achievement in his field of endeavor. “Come with me,” said the wise man. Taking the youth to a nearby stream, he immersed him and held him under the water. When the young man was released, he was nearly drowned and came up fighting for breath, gasping, “Air, air, give me air!” “There,” said the wise man, “that’s the first lesson. When you want to succeed as badly as you wanted air, you will attain your goal. You will succeed!”
Desire, burning desire, is basic to achieving anything beyond the ordinary.
Why do I begin with this story? Because desire in everyone involved is the first step in the subject of my talk tonight, “helping inactive Church members to become active.”
Its pretty obvious to understand why desire is important, but I have found the trickiest part, at least for me, is finding that desire to share the gospel. I grew up in the church I know it is important to share the gospel but Elder M. Russell Ballard hit it on the head in his talk “Put your Trust in the Lord,” when he said one of the basic reasons to not share the gospel is fear. It is a fear to the point that he said, “Many members do not even pray for opportunities to share the gospel, fearing that they might receive divine promptings to do something they think they are not capable of doing.” I felt so guilty when he said this because I knew he was talking about me.
If I wanted an increased desire then this is what Preach My Gospel says, “As your understand of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase.” The key to missionary work is the Atonement of Christ. I found that to be so simple yet so profound.
There is a chapter in the Book of Mormon that shows this thought in perfect detail. I have now named this chapter “How to Become a Missionary” because it shows exactly that. That chapter or book is Enos. This book is about Enos experiencing the power of the Atonement. His soul hungered and he prayed until he received a remission of his sins. This was the first step in becoming an everyday missionary. We have to experience and know the Atonement. Just like Enos I should worry about our own soul and and use the Atonement of Jesus Christ so that I can feel that peace and guilelessness. To know the Atonement I have to actively be using it in our lives.
The Atonement is so sweet that just like an amazing dessert I am going to want to share it with others, and Enos is a perfect example of that. After he truly knew that his sins were forgiven of him and that his faith had made him whole he talks about that keyword, desire. He writes, “Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites.” He wanted his friends and family to experience what he had experienced. He wanted them to feel the peace and comfort he had. As my understanding and use of the Atonement increased in my live then so did my desire for those I care about to understand it too.
Just like how the scriptures says in 2 Nephi 28:30 I was taught “Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept.” The next step that Enos takes is he worried about his enemy the Laminites. For us our next step is that we will have a desire to help people we do not even know. This is when I become a true missionary and want to teach everyone, even those “scary people” I didn’t know.
In verse 12 it told me my next steps. It says, “And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith.” This verse points out three important elements. The first is that he kept praying for them. Like Elder M. Russell Ballard talked about, I should be praying for opportunities to share the gospel with them.
That brings up the second point. Enos explained that he labored with all diligence. That means that when he got those promptings of how to help them he followed them with diligence. He was actively looking for opportunities just like a full time missionary.
The last thing the scripture says, is that the Lord said to him that his desires will be granted. I can promise you that our desires will be granted as well, but first I had to have the desire and then I needed to labor with diligence for that desire. Elder M. Russell Ballard talk, “Put your Trust in the Lord,” explains it perfectly when it says, “It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand. While the outcome is a result of the exercise of one’s agency, sharing the gospel is our responsibility.”
I wrote this blog post even before I had a blog because I knew the questions I had about everyday missionary work were not alone. I am not going to say that I am a great or even a good everyday missionary, especially with how busy life is, but I am going to continue to use the atonement and continue to grow that desire. That is something I can do everyday. Am I still scared to death? Oh ya! But slowly it is going away as that desire takes over.