Inviting others to come unto Christ and helping them receive the blessings of the restored gospel is one of the greatest services anyone can do to their fellow human beings. Heavenly Father has shown his love for mankind through his prophets over the centuries. These prophets and other great missionaries throughout the scriptures have taught us that obedience to his commandments and ordinances brings peace to families and blesses them to have an eternal life.
As authorized representatives of Jesus Christ, these young missionaries have the opportunity to change people’s lives forever. They are expected to bring the blessings of the fullness of the gospel to families across the globe. They are required to teach with power and authority the message that “redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah.”1 They are to invite people to come unto Christ, become clean of their sins and find greater happiness and joy. They are to teach the message of the Restoration of the gospel by divine power and authority. They are to teach by the inspiration of the spirit. In Alma 12:7, we were taught that the spirit helps us to discern the needs of the people we teach. The spirit testifies of the truthfulness and confirms the divinity of the message shared.2 Just as the sons of Mosiah, they are to teach the word of God with power and authority.3 As they prayerfully exercise the authority given to them and remain worthy of their calling, they will receive higher powers from heaven to fearlessly fulfil their call of saving souls.
Along with spiritual preparation, these missionaries should begin to prepare themselves physically and mentally. To serve a full-time mission is a strenuous task and it requires them to be physically strong and mentally stable. The following are some things that are expected from a missionary candidate.
1. Many are called, but few are chosen. They have to set themselves apart by amassing knowledge of the gospel through scripture study. Read scriptures thoroughly. They will be well prepared for a gospel discussion under the direction of the spirit.
2. Work hard. They need to stay fit physically and expect long walks and hard days’ work. The Lord will guide them in his work. They need to remember who leads their steps and their paths. They should never get carried away and rely on their own strengths and abilities. It is the Lord who leads this work.
3. Improve speaking skills, communication skills and intra-personal communication skills. They are most essential in today’s world. Many people they meet could be experts in languages and communication. It is important to develop our skills and teach them in a way that the Gospel message is carried into their hearts.
4. Financial planning. Planning their finances for before, during and after their mission is very essential in today’s circumstances. It will help them serve their mission successfully and help lead a happy future family life.
5. Companionship management. They should learn to work well with others and be a team player. It will determine how they will treat and be treated by their future eternal companions.
These skills and attitudes help them become an effective missionary in serving the Lord and bringing souls unto him.
I express my gratitude to the Lord for calling me to serve a full time mission. It has changed my life forever. At that time I had no idea how it would change my life but after many years I now realize the good it has had on me. Here are some ways that serving a mission has changed my life.
1. It has increased my appreciation towards Heavenly Father and his son, Jesus Christ.
2. It has taught me to fall in love with scriptures. Every time I have read the Book of Mormon, I realize that it has a power and has brought many blessings into my life and opened many doors of scriptural understanding.
3. It has taught me to take my callings very seriously. I love to serve people and have grown to respect and appreciate Heavenly Father’s children.
4. It has taught me to manage my time, talents and resources wisely.
5. It has kept me on track to return to the temple as often as possible and continue to live the covenants which I have made in the House of the Lord.
6. It has taught me to love and cherish my family above all. It gives me an immense amount of strength to know that my family is mine eternally and that I can always trust and love them.
Missionary work is a privilege that the Lord has extended to each of us. It is a life changing experience to prepare ourselves to serve the Lord. It is a life-long commitment.
1 2 Nephi 2:6
2 D&C 100: 5-8
3 Alma 17: 2-3