Every Member a Missionary
March 1989

“Every Member a Missionary,” Ensign, Mar. 1989, 69

The Visiting Teacher:

Every Member a Missionary

Objective: To remind the sisters that every Latter-day Saint can be an effective missionary.

The Lord’s commission to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) applies to us just as it did to his disciples of old. “We must take missionary work more seriously,” President Ezra Taft Benson says. “We have been greatly blessed with the material means, the technology, and an inspired message to bring the gospel to all men. More is expected of us than any previous generation.” (Ensign, May 1985, p. 6.)

Let’s not be afraid to be missionaries. The Lord has said, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.) If we diligently prepare for and pray for opportunities to share the gospel, the Lord will assist us in doing missionary work.

For an example of how we can prepare to be effective missionaries, we can look to the four sons of Mosiah. Were the sons of Mosiah afraid to preach the gospel to the Lamanites? Surely they must have been. But as they prepared, their hearts “took courage to go forth.” (Alma 17:12.)

These young men repented of their sins and tried with all their hearts to live the gospel. (See Mosiah 27:32–37.) They “searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.” They also fasted and prayed so that God would “grant unto them a portion of his Spirit to go with them, … that they might be an instrument in the hands of God to bring … their brethren … to the knowledge of the truth.” (See Alma 17:2–3, 9.)

Their preparation can serve as a pattern for us. Daily scripture study increases our knowledge of the gospel and helps make us more comfortable discussing it with others. Prayer, fasting, repentance, and living the gospel help draw us closer to our Father in Heaven and help us to feel his Spirit, which will guide us in our efforts to share the gospel.

We should all seek opportunities to do missionary work. “We need not be sent to far-flung cities or set our feet on distant lands to be missionaries,” Elder M. Russell Ballard says. “Our next-door neighbors, friends, acquaintances, family members, relatives, and the stranger down the street are all part of the world with whom we should be sharing the gospel message.”

Elder Ballard has outlined a procedure that can help us in our missionary work. First, we can prayerfully set a date by which we will have someone prepared to hear the gospel message. Second, we can fast and pray for guidance about whom the Lord would have us share the gospel with. “You will have special spiritual experiences as the Lord inspires you,” says Elder Ballard. “He will sharpen your vision of this work by bringing names of nonmembers to your mind. … You will be blessed to know what you should say and how you should approach each person.”

As we seek the Lord’s guidance in doing missionary work, we will bring great blessings into our own lives and into the lives of others. “No joy,” says Elder Ballard, “equals that of bringing the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ into the life of one of Heavenly Father’s children.” (Ensign, Nov. 1984, pp. 16–17.)

Suggestions for Visiting Teachers

  1. Read Alma 17 and Alma 26. Discuss how we can follow the example of the sons of Mosiah in preparing ourselves and then doing missionary work.

  2. Tell an experience of when you shared the gospel with a nonmember or a less-active member. Encourage the sister to pray for guidance about someone with whom she might share the gospel.

(See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 109–15 and 208–9, for related materials.)

Illustrated by Beth Maryon Whittaker