Missionary Work
January 2013

“Missionary Work,” Ensign, Jan. 2013, 7

Visiting Teaching Message

Missionary Work

Prayerfully study this material and, as appropriate, discuss it with the sisters you visit. Use the questions to help you strengthen your sisters and to make Relief Society an active part of your own life. For more information, go to reliefsociety.lds.org.

Relief Society seal

Faith, Family, Relief

Latter-day Saints are sent forth “to labor in [the Lord’s] vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men” (D&C 138:56), which includes missionary work. We don’t need a formal mission call to share the gospel. Others whose lives will be blessed by the gospel surround us, and as we prepare ourselves, the Lord will use us. Visiting teachers can embrace their spiritual responsibilities and help “bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

When the Prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society in 1842, he said that the women were not only to look after the poor but also to save souls.1 This is still our purpose.

“The Lord … entrusts a testimony of the truth to those who will share it with others,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “Even more, the Lord expects the members of His Church to ‘open [their mouths] at all times, declaring [His] gospel with the sound of rejoicing’ (D&C 28:16). … Sometimes a single phrase of testimony can set events in motion that affect someone’s life for eternity.”2

From the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 1:20–23; 18:15; 123:12

From Our History

The story of Olga Kovářová of the former Czechoslovakia is an example of member missionary work from our Relief Society history. In the 1970s, Olga was a doctoral student and hungry for a deeper spiritual life. She noticed 75-year-old Otakar Vojkůvka, a Latter-day Saint. “He appeared to me seventy-five in his age but in his heart nearer to eighteen and full of joy,” she said. “This was so unusual in Czechoslovakia at that time of cynicism.”

Olga asked Otakar and his family how they found joy. They introduced her to other Church members and gave her a Book of Mormon. She read it eagerly and was soon baptized and confirmed. Since that time Olga has been an influence for good in a world of political oppression and religious persecution. She served as Relief Society president in her little branch and helped save the souls of others by bringing them to Christ.3


  1. See Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 453.

  2. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Waiting on the Road to Damascus,” Ensign, May 2011, 76–77.

  3. See Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society (2011), 92–95.

Photo illustration by Matthew Reier