“I Can Be a Missionary Now,” Friend, July 2008, 10–12
The Apostle Paul was a great missionary. He said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ” (Romans 1:16). Paul traveled to many places to share the gospel. He found joy in sharing the gospel and helping people be happy.
The Prophet Joseph Smith’s brother Samuel was the first missionary in the latter days. Since that time, more than one million men and women have served missions. Each missionary, like Samuel Smith and Paul, has a testimony of the gospel and wants to share it with others.
President David O. McKay (1873–1970) said, “Every member a missionary.”1 That means you can be a missionary now! Sharing the gospel with others will remind you of your baptismal covenant to always remember Jesus Christ. Remember these words:
I can be a missionary now.
I don’t have to wait until I’m grown.
I’ll live each day the best that I know how,
And they’ll see I have a testimony of my own,
A testimony of my very own.2
Remove page 10. Cut out the home and the five windows. Glue each window in the window outlines on the gospel-sharing home. With your family, talk about the ideas on the home. Decide together what you can do to be missionaries now. Place the gospel-sharing home where your family can see it.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit; TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
Gather items for simple tasks that require preparation to complete. (For example, task: washing dishes—items could include soap and a dishcloth; task: cooking—items could include a recipe and ingredients.) Prepare a bag with a different task for each class.
Ask each class to open the bag, look at the items, determine what task needs to be completed, and explain why each item is necessary to complete the task. Invite each class to share its task with the Primary.
Explain that just as we need certain things to prepare to do a task, we need to do certain things to prepare to be a good missionary. Place GAK 605 (Young Boy Praying) and 617 (Search the Scriptures) on the chalkboard, and write below them, “I will prepare to be a missionary by praying and reading the scriptures daily.” Read the statement together, and ask the children to share how living this principle can prepare them to be missionaries.
Summarize the story of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah. Help the children find Alma 17:2–3, and read it together. Underline the phrases “they had searched the scriptures diligently” and “they had given themselves to much prayer.”
Sing the third verse of “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” (pp. 172–73). Emphasize the words prepare, study, and prayer. Bear testimony of the power of prayer and daily scripture study and how they can prepare us to be missionaries.
Prior to sharing time, obtain an empty container to fill with small objects such as beans or pebbles. Put the objects in a separate container or bag. Attach a label to the empty container that reads “Faithful and Obedient.” Prepare several case studies about faith and obedience for both younger and older children (see TNGC, 161–62).
Begin sharing time by writing “I will prepare to be a missionary by being faithful and obedient” on the chalkboard. Read it several times with the children.
Invite a child to choose a case study. Read the case study, and let the child or class answer what to do. Point out that the answer requires faith or obedience, and let the child put some of the small objects into the container. After each case study, sing the phrase “I’ll do what is right; I’ll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim” from “The Church of Jesus Christ” (p. 77). The phrase “His truth I will proclaim” means we will be missionaries. Continue until the “Faithful and Obedient” container is full, and then sing “The Church of Jesus Christ.” Bear testimony that being faithful and obedient prepares us to be missionaries.
Prior to sharing time, review the story about Richard that President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) shared (see “The Need for Greater Kindness,” Ensign, May 2006, 59–60). Be prepared to share the story in your own words.
Scramble the words of the statement “Living the gospel standards helps me be a missionary now.” Invite the children to place the words in the proper order. Ask the children to name some of My Gospel Standards, and briefly discuss them.
Ask the children to listen for a gospel standard as you share President Hinckley’s story. Discuss how important it is to be kind to others. If possible, invite the full-time missionaries or ward mission leader to talk about how being kind to others and being a good friend are important parts of being a missionary.
Provide the necessary materials for each child to make a missionary puppet (see Primary 3, 120–21). When the puppets are completed, invite the children to choose one way to show kindness and write it on the back of their puppet. Use the puppets to sing verse 3 of “I Want to Be a Missionary Now” (p. 168), emphasizing the words “I’ll live each day the best that I know how.” Bear testimony that obeying gospel standards helps all of us be missionaries.
Divide the Primary into three groups, and have each group learn a phrase of D&C 18:15. Repeat the scripture several times, and then say it together as a group. Sing the first verse of “The Things I Do” (pp. 170–71) or “I Want to Be Missionary Now.” Ask the children what kinds of things they can do to be missionaries now, and make a list on the chalkboard.
Place the gospel-sharing home from page 10 on the chalkboard. Ask a child to choose a window and place it on the home. Read the words in the window. If the idea is not on your list on the chalkboard, add it. Discuss ways to live what is described in each window. Continue to place windows on the home and discuss ways to have a gospel-sharing home.
Provide a copy of the gospel-sharing home for each child, and allow time to complete the project during sharing time. When the children are finished, review how to have a gospel-sharing home.
Tell a good experience you have had of sharing the gospel, or relate one from the Friend. Sing “The Things I Do” or “I Want to Be a Missionary Now.” Bear testimony of the blessings we receive as we share the gospel.
Song presentation: “Called to Serve” (pp. 174–75; or Hymns, no. 249). Hum or play the song once. Ask the children to raise their hands if they recognize the song. Ask how the song makes them feel. Tell them the name of the song, and show GAK 612 (Missionaries Teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ). Explain that this song is a favorite of missionaries who have been called to serve.
Teach the chorus first. Sing the last phrase, “God our strength will be; press forward ever, called to serve our King.” Have the children raise their hands when they hear the words “called to serve.” Sing the phrase to the children, and have them listen for whom they will serve. Divide the Primary into three groups. Have the first group sing “God our strength will be,” the second group sing “press forward ever,” and the third group sing “called to serve our King.” Sing the line several times so each group has a chance to sing each phrase.
Sing the first two lines of the chorus, and let the children discover that you repeat some words. Invite the children to sing the first two phrases with you. Sing the third phrase to the children, and ask them to listen for what kind of song they sing. Define the word triumph (victory, success). Sing the phrase again, and then sing the chorus together. Bear testimony that God is our strength and that He will help us do what He has called us to do.
As you teach the verses of the song, define other words, as needed, for the children.
Share a brief example of a missionary who was called to serve and did so with the strength of God (for example, Paul, Ammon, Samuel Smith, a General Authority, a local Church leader, or a member of your family).
Friend references: “Quiet Times,” Nov. 2003, 8–9; “Special Witness,” May 2007, 41; “Mission Impossible?” Mar. 2002, 11–13; “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them,” Sept. 2002, 4–6; “Emily Shares the Gospel,” Sept. 2004, 4–6; “Missionary Friends,” Mar. 2007, 8–9.