For the Strength of Youth
Always a Missionary
January 2024

“Always a Missionary,” Liahona, Jan. 2024.

For the Strength of Youth Remembers

Always a Missionary

Remembering President M. Russell Ballard

M. Russell Ballard

While serving as a young missionary in England, President M. Russell Ballard had an experience that changed his life forever.

“I remember walking down the side of the River Trent in Nottingham, England. …

“As I was walking along that river, … I said a prayer in my heart. I desired to feel some guidance from the Lord. I pled that He would be pleased with what I was trying to do. I asked, ‘Am I doing what you want?’”1

“An overwhelming feeling of peace and understanding came over me. It was at that precise moment in time that I came to know that Jesus Christ knew me, [and] that He loved me, … I didn’t see any visions and I didn’t hear any voices, but I could not have known of Christ’s reality and divinity any more intensely had He stood before me and called out my name.

“My life has been shaped by that experience. From that day to the present, every significant decision I have made has been influenced by my knowledge of the Savior.”2

This knowledge allowed President Ballard to speak with boldness as a special witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He taught us, through example and testimony, how “to rise up, to measure up, and to be fully prepared to serve the Lord.”3

President Ballard in chapel in Georgetown, Massachusetts

President Ballard in Georgetown, Massachusetts, USA, on May 13, 2022.

A Love for Sharing the Gospel

Everywhere he went, President Ballard made sharing the gospel a priority. “Preaching the Restoration of the gospel has always been special to me,” he said. “I loved being a missionary in England. I loved being a mission president in Canada. And I love my present calling [as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles], which allows me opportunities to share the message of the Restoration of the gospel to the world.”4

President Ballard taught that we can all share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ simply “by being good neighbors and by caring and showing love. … And as we do so, we will radiate the gospel in our own lives, and it will radiate to [others] the blessings the gospel has to offer.”5

Our love for the Lord and for others will “guide us in sharing the gospel with family members, friends, neighbors, business associates, and any other people we encounter as we go through life.”6

We Need You Now!

President Ballard taught that you don’t need to wait to be a full-time missionary to start sharing the gospel. He declared, “The Church needs our youth now. The Lord needs you now!”7

“This is the most important work that we can participate in,”8 President Ballard taught. “Let your voice be heard in declaring the great and glorious message of the Restoration of the fulness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.”9