Your mission didn’t really begin the day you were set apart and won’t end the day you are released. A mission isn’t like putting on an employee or school uniform in the morning only to take it off again when the day is done. Since the time you were baptized, you have been on the covenant path that leads to eternal happiness, joy, and peace. Your full-time mission experience can be a transforming event but should also be an integral part of your life mission experience.
When seen from an eternal perspective, your full-time mission experience is more than a check box to be marked off—it is a means to continue becoming a lifelong disciple of Jesus Christ.
The Prophet Joseph Smith reflected on the blessings and privileges we have when we decide to become part of this great work of salvation. He asked the early Saints, “Brethren [and sisters], shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren [and sisters]; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:22).
Enjoy your missionary experience as you love God and love your neighbor. This is a time to rejoice and to experience lasting happiness and peace through Jesus Christ.
True disciples of Jesus Christ are obedient. The Savior taught, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Keeping the commandments means that you willingly and faithfully do what the Lord asks because you love Him and also that you do so with “joyfulness” (Colossians 1:11) and “gladness and singleness of heart” (Acts 2:46).
Jesus Christ is the example of perfect faithfulness. He did only the Father’s will. Follow Him by doing your best to keep all of His commandments and live the missionary standards. Being faithful and obedient also means that you try to learn, grow, and improve; correct mistakes quickly; and take personal responsibility for your actions.
Your mission leaders will consistently help you learn how to apply the principles in this handbook.
You will be most safe when you follow the commandments and missionary standards and use common sense. But realize that even when you keep the commandments, you may experience trouble, sickness, or harm (see John 16:33). The Savior experienced all of these things (see Alma 7:11–12; Doctrine and Covenants 122:8), and He promises, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18).
God loves you. Choose to keep the commandments because you love God. Do not try to make deals with the Lord and expect specific blessings by adjusting what is required of you. The requirements you are expected to uphold are approved by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and are found in these standards. For example, don’t try to bargain with the Lord by getting up earlier, going without food or drink (beyond the monthly fast), or skipping a preparation day.
God invites you to dedicate yourself to Him throughout your life. Mission standards such as personal study, goal setting, and the righteous use of technology will bless you on your mission and help you for the rest of your life.
Let the commandments in the scriptures, the principles in Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, and the missionary standards outlined in this book become lifelong guiding principles. As you follow God’s commandments and standards, He will direct, bless, and guide you throughout your life.