Mission Callings
Chapter 9: Find People to Teach

“Chapter 9: Find People to Teach,” Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2023)

“Chapter 9,” Preach My Gospel

The Good Shepherd, by Del Parson

Chapter 9

Find People to Teach

Consider This

  • How can I exercise faith in Christ to find people to teach?

  • How can we expand our vision and improve our plans for finding people to teach?

  • How can I grow in my ability and confidence to talk with the people I meet each day?

  • How can we unite with members in sharing the gospel?

  • What should we do when we receive referrals?

  • What are some ideas for finding people to teach that we have not yet tried?

The resurrected Savior told His disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19; see also Mark 16:15). The Lord repeated this commission in our day, saying, “Go ye into all the world [and] preach the gospel” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:8; see also 50:14).

Missionary work is finding people, teaching them, and helping them prepare for baptism. You will fulfill the Lord’s commission to teach His gospel and baptize converts as you “find them that will receive you” (Doctrine and Covenants 42:8). Nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach. Watch all the time for opportunities to introduce the gospel. Learn to use the ways that are effective in your area.

It is especially important to work with members in finding. Work hard to earn their trust. When members trust missionaries, they are more likely to invite their friends and family members to meet with you. These people are more likely to be converted unto the Lord, be baptized, and progress on the gospel path.

Finding will happen according to a person’s readiness to hear the gospel. The timing will be different for each person. Finding can result from a first-time interaction or from many interactions over an extended time. Many people have several interactions with the missionaries or Church members before beginning a serious study of the gospel. Do not hesitate to contact them again.

Your efforts to find may bear fruit after you have been transferred or even after you have finished your mission. Regardless of the timing or the outcome, the Lord is grateful for your efforts.

This chapter outlines principles and ideas to help you find. These principles are universal. However, missionaries and mission leaders may need to adapt them to their circumstances.

Exercise Faith to Find People to Teach

Wherever you serve, the Lord has called you to labor “for the salvation of souls” (Doctrine and Covenants 100:4). To do this, you need to exercise faith in Christ to find people to teach so they can choose to follow Him and be baptized.

Faith is a principle of action and power. Have faith that the Lord is preparing people to receive the restored gospel. Have patient confidence that He will lead you to them, or them to you. Act on your faith by setting goals, making plans, and carrying out your plans to find people to teach (see chapter 8).

missionaries praying

Pray with faith as you seek God’s help to find people to teach. When Alma led a mission to the Zoramites, he prayed: “O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ. Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious … ; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring [them] again unto thee” (Alma 31:34–35).

The people you meet often do not realize that they are looking for the restored gospel until they have found it. For example, one convert said, “When I heard the gospel, it filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t know was there.” Another said, “I have finished the search I didn’t know I was on.” Others are actively looking for the truth but do not know where to find it (see Doctrine and Covenants 123:12).

Seek the guidance of the Spirit as you look for people to teach. Finding by the Spirit is as important as teaching by the Spirit. Have faith that you will know how to find those who will receive you.

Companion Study

There may be members in your area who are converts to the Church. Ask how they came in contact with the Church. Their answers may give you insights into how to find. Also ask how they came to know that the missionaries were teaching them the truth. Summarize their experiences in your study journal.

Scripture Study

How are God’s children prepared and led to the restored gospel?

Expand Your Vision of Planning to Find

As you seek to find people to teach, be aware of the difference between scheduling and planning. Scheduling is filling up your planner and your day. Planning is making a prayerful, purposeful effort to focus on people and the best ways to find them.

The right activity, at the right time and in the right location, can help you find people to teach. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where might we meet people the Lord may be preparing?

  • What are the best places and types of activities to find people at specific times of the day or week?

  • How can we show love, serve them, or bring value to their lives right now?

  • How can we use personal strengths, skills, and talents to uplift them?

  • What are our backup plans if something doesn’t work out?

Try to recognize ways that the Lord is preparing people. Are they willing to talk with you? Are they seeking help or comfort?

Think about finding efforts that have been successful. Where was the first interaction? Did the efforts include local members? Was technology used?

Begin your planning by focusing on how you can bless people, and then your schedule will take shape.

Companion Study

With your companion, use the table below to evaluate your efforts in finding people to teach. Plan to try some of the ideas that are new to you.

Finding Efforts



Almost Always

We get to know members and support them in their efforts to share the gospel, including new members, youth, those who are preparing to serve missions, returning missionaries, part-member families, and prospective elders.

We work to earn members’ trust so they will be comfortable inviting their family members and friends to meet with us.

We work with ward leaders in weekly coordination meetings to support our finding efforts and find out if there are people we could contact.

We work with current people being taught, people formerly taught, and media-referred people to find.

We talk with as many people as we can each day.

We spiritually prepare and pray for God’s help as we plan to find people to teach.

We believe that the Lord is preparing people for us to teach.

We consider how to help those we meet feel the influence of the Holy Ghost.

We set specific weekly and daily finding goals (see chapter 8).

We are constantly looking for people to teach.

We are creative and use a variety of ways to find people. We try new ways and avoid getting stuck in a routine.

We plan specifically to find. We plan when, where, and how we will focus.

We consider what the best locations and times of day might be to find people to teach.

We consider what finding activities have been effective in the past.

We adjust our finding plans as needed and have backup plans when scheduled events fall through.

We use the Preach My Gospel app to find, to set goals and make plans, and to review and update our records daily.

We use our personal talents and strengths to help find.

We plan when and how we will use social media and other technology to find people to teach.

We use the media campaigns and local offerings that meet the interests and needs of people in our area.

We respond quickly to online requests and messages from people who might be interested.

We plan our social media posts in advance and work with members to find online.

Be Diligent in Finding

Make Finding a Constant Effort

In the early days of the restored Church, the Lord repeatedly instructed a group of brethren to teach His gospel “by the way” as they traveled. He wanted them to use every opportunity to share the gospel. (See Doctrine and Covenants 52:9–10, 22–23, 25–27.)

Apply this instruction to your finding. Make a diligent effort to find throughout the day. Plan your finding efforts—and also look for unplanned opportunities. Finding new people to teach is a constant need.

Seek inspiration and be willing to use a variety of ways. Focus on the ways that are most effective in your area.

Christ Calling Peter and Andrew, by James T. Harwood

Keep Lines in the Water

Concerning the work of missionaries, President Dallin H. Oaks said:

“None of us should be like the fisherman who thinks he has been fishing all day when in reality he has spent most of his time getting to and from the water, eating lunch, and fussing with his equipment. Fishing success is related to how long you have your line in the water, not to how long you are away from the apartment. Some fishermen are away from home for twelve hours and have their line in the water for ten hours. Other fishermen are away from home for twelve hours and have their line in the water for only two hours. This last type may wonder why they do not have the same success as others.

“The same principle applies to missionaries, whom the Master called ‘fishers of men’ [Matthew 4:19]. A missionary’s line should drop into the fishing water the moment he or she leaves the apartment” (seminar for new mission presidents, June 20, 2000).

multiple fishing rods

Elder Quentin L. Cook expanded on this comparison. In addition to keeping your “line in the water” for longer periods of time, he taught that missionaries who find people to teach “consistently keep multiple lines in the water. …

“They identify and contact part-member families.

“They search their [Preach My Gospel app] for people who have been taught in the past to contact by phone and text.

“They offer service to members, people who have been taught in the past, current people they are teaching, and the community at large. …

“They help members create gospel messages to share on their own … social media platforms.

“They obtain referrals from the people they visit and teach” (“Be Spiritual Pathfinders and Influencers,” missionary devotional, Sept. 10, 2020; emphasis added).

Companion Study

Discuss the following questions:

  • What are some ways you can keep your “line in the water” longer during the day?

  • What are some ways you can keep multiple lines in the water as you find people to teach?

  • What features in the Preach My Gospel app can help you?

  • How might you use technology to help you keep multiple lines in the water?

Talk with Everyone

Develop a deep desire to bring souls to Christ (see Mosiah 28:3). When you feel this desire, your love and concern will be reflected in your efforts to find. Your love will also be reflected in your conversations.

Talk with as many people as you can each day. Talk with them wherever you go. Where appropriate, go from home to home. The Lord instructed some of the early elders of the Church, “Open your mouth to declare my gospel.” He then promised that their mouths would “be filled” with what to teach (Doctrine and Covenants 30:5; see also 33:7–10).

Similarly, the Lord told Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, “Lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts.” He then promised, “It shall be given you … in the very moment, what ye shall say” (Doctrine and Covenants 100:5–6).

As you meet people, often you will feel the Spirit help you know what to say. However, if you do not feel a prompting, just start somewhere—perhaps by asking a question and listening to their response (see “Find People Where They Are” in this chapter). Or perhaps speak of the Lord Jesus Christ or of Joseph Smith’s calling to be a prophet of God.

The following ideas can help as you talk with those you meet:

  • Be warm, authentic, and friendly. Look for ways to connect with the person and begin a conversation.

  • Listen sincerely to what people say. Seek to understand each person’s needs and interests. Offer personal help as appropriate.

  • Consider how the gospel can help meet their needs. Then teach a basic gospel truth and invite them to learn more. Share how the restored gospel can bring greater hope and meaning into their lives.

  • Ask about their families. Help them see how the restored gospel can bless their families. Offer to help them find the names of their deceased ancestors.

  • Invite them to come to sacrament meeting.

  • Offer pamphlets or other Church materials, both printed and digital.

  • Share with them your purpose as a missionary and why you decided to serve a mission.

These principles also apply to your interactions with members.

It is natural to be somewhat apprehensive about talking with people. Pray for faith and courage to teach the restored gospel. Everyone you meet is your brother or sister in the family of God. Remember that He “denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; … all are alike unto God” (2 Nephi 26:33).

Personal or Companion Study

Read the account from Victor Manuel Cabrera in “Thirsting for the Living Water,” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 60–61. As you do, look for how he was prepared to receive the missionaries and how the missionaries used an unplanned opportunity to teach him the gospel.

  • How had the man been prepared for the restored gospel?

  • What would have happened if the elders had not shared a gospel message?

  • Review what you did yesterday. Did you talk with as many people as you could? If not, set goals and make plans to talk with more people today.

Scripture Study

What can you learn from the following scriptures about finding people to teach? What can you learn from these scriptures about what you should teach? What does the Lord promise?

Unite with Members

“Inviting all to receive the gospel is part of the work of salvation and exaltation” (General Handbook, 23.0). Work with members of the Church to find people to teach. When members refer someone to you and then participate in the lessons, people are more likely to be baptized and remain active in the Church.

Build Strong Relationships with Local Leaders

Build strong relationships with the bishopric and other ward leaders. The ward mission leader (if one is called) and the elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies are your primary points of contact. Seek their guidance, and support them in the weekly coordination meetings (see chapter 13).

During weekly coordination meetings, work with the priests quorum assistant and Young Women class president for the oldest class. These youth have an important role in sharing the gospel. Help them encourage quorum and class members to share the gospel. One way is for youth to invite friends to activities.

Regularly ask yourself, “Am I a blessing to local leaders?” Develop an attitude of “How can I help?” Like Ammon in the Book of Mormon, approach local leaders with an attitude of service (see Alma 17:23–25).

To mission leaders, President Russell M. Nelson taught: “I hope that you will learn to love the local leaders and members. Lift them and inspire them. Your ability to link the enthusiasm of the missionaries with the stability and loving efforts of the members cannot be overemphasized. Your success will be multiplied exponentially” (“Hopes of My Heart,” seminar for new mission leaders, June 23, 2019).

missionaires teaching women

Support Members in Their Efforts to Share the Gospel

There are many ways to support and encourage members in sharing the gospel. Help them reflect on how the gospel has blessed their lives. Encourage them to “hold up [their] light that it may shine unto the world” (3 Nephi 18:24).

Help members apply the principles of love, share, and invite. Give examples of normal and natural ways they can apply these principles.

Love. One way to show love for God is by loving and serving His children. Encourage members to reach out with love to family members, friends, neighbors, and others. Any effort to express love is an important way to keep covenants they have made with God (see Mosiah 18:9–10).

Share. Because of their love for God and His children, members naturally want to share the blessings He has given them (see John 13:34–35). Encourage members to tell others about how the gospel blesses their lives. Encourage them to speak of the Savior and His influence. Help them feel the joy of sharing their love, time, and life events. Help them learn how to share in normal and natural ways—simply as part of what they are already doing in their lives.

Elder Gary E. Stevenson

“We all share things with others. We do it often. We share what movies and food we like, funny things we see, places we visit, art we appreciate, quotes we’re inspired by.

“How might we simply add to the list of things we already share what we love about the gospel of Jesus Christ? … By sharing our positive experiences in the gospel with others, we take part in fulfilling the Savior’s great commission” (Gary E. Stevenson, “Love, Share, Invite,” Liahona, May 2022, 86).

Invite. The Savior invites all to receive His gospel and prepare for eternal life (see Alma 5:33–34). As with sharing, inviting is often a matter of simply including family, friends, and neighbors in what members are already doing. Encourage members to pray about inviting people in the following ways:

  • Come and see. Invite people to “come and see” the blessings they can receive through Jesus Christ, His gospel, and His Church.

  • Come and serve. Invite people to “come and serve” others in need.

  • Come and belong. Invite people to “come and belong” as members of the restored Church of Jesus Christ.

Elder Gary E. Stevenson said: “There are hundreds of invitations we can extend to others. We can invite others to ‘come and see’ a sacrament service, a ward activity, an online video that explains the gospel of Jesus Christ. ‘Come and see’ can be an invitation to read the Book of Mormon or visit a new temple during its open house prior to its dedication. Sometimes the invitation is something we extend inward—an invitation to ourselves, giving us awareness and vision of opportunities surrounding us to act upon” (“Love, Share, Invite,” 86).

Be sure to help youth love, share, and invite. Youth are especially gifted at loving their friends, sharing what is in their heart, and inviting them to activities.

Help members understand that any effort to live the principles of love, share, and invite is positive, whether or not a person meets with the missionaries or joins the Church.

Help members draw on their strengths in sharing the gospel. Some are great at finding people to teach, and some are great teachers. Some have a natural ability to connect with friends, while others love to pray for their friends. Help them see that there are ways for everyone to participate.

When you visit members, do so with a purpose. Show that you are anxiously engaged in the work of finding and teaching. Respect their time and schedule.

Some members might welcome having you teach a message from one of the lessons. The truths of the gospel are life changing. Strengthening members’ understanding of the gospel will increase their trust in you and build their excitement to share it. Help them recognize the Spirit and act on promptings.

Seek to find people to teach through part-member families, prospective elders, returning members, and new members. They will likely have many family members and friends of other faiths.

In all you do with members, follow the Spirit and seek to build their faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ.

For more ideas and resources on how you can support members in sharing the gospel, see:

Promise Blessings for Sharing the Gospel

Help members understand the remarkable blessings of sharing the gospel. These include:

Companion Study

  • Review your last weekly coordination meeting. How could you have made it more effective? Review requests from ward leaders and plan how and when to respond.

  • Plan how you will coordinate your missionary efforts in the next coordination meeting.

  • Learn the names of ward leaders (men and women). Plan what you will do during the next month to develop stronger relationships with them and support them in their missionary efforts.

Find through the Preach My Gospel App

The Preach My Gospel app is a great resource for finding people to teach. Missionaries who consistently use the features in this app have more success finding. To become acquainted with these features, refer to training provided within the app. Be sensitive to spiritual promptings you may receive as you review the names of people.

The app includes information about people who were previously referred, contacted, or taught. Some of these people might want to meet with missionaries again. They might also know of other people who may be interested in learning about the gospel.

In your planning, use the map and filters in the app to prioritize which people to visit. Look at their information and learn how they were found. See if there is a record about members who helped them. Use this information to determine how best to reach out to them again.

missionaries studying on phones

Use the filters feature in the app to identify all those who:

  • Had a previously scheduled baptismal date but were not baptized.

  • Attended sacrament meeting at least once but were not baptized.

  • Received more than three lessons.

  • Have not been contacted recently.

If people you contact are not interested in being taught or choose to stop receiving visits, record that information in the app. Record how you will keep in touch with them and nurture them until they are ready to learn more. For example, consider inviting them to sign up for an email series to receive messages about Jesus Christ or other gospel topics. You might also connect them with a member who can answer questions and nurture their interest and friendship. Set a reminder in the app to follow up with them. Ask if they know anyone else who might be interested.

You can also find people to teach through the Preach My Gospel app by using filters or groups to send group messages. This can be a great way to let people know about events like ward activities and baptismal services. Follow up with personal invitations to these events.

Companion Study

To see what a great resource the Preach My Gospel app can be in finding, try the following activities. As you do, pay attention to the impressions you receive.

  • Using a filter, identify all the people who have been taught three or more lessons. Individually invite them to attend church this Sunday.

  • Create a filter and find all those who had a baptismal date scheduled and attended church at least twice.

  • Plan to message people individually to join a ward activity or service project. Occasionally you may want to send a group message and follow up with people individually.

  • Discuss with your companion those who you felt impressed about. Make plans to visit or otherwise contact them soon.

Find through Service

Provide Opportunities for People to Come and Serve

People can have positive experiences and connect with missionaries and local members at service activities. Many people are happy to share their talents, skills, or services and just need to be invited.

Invite people to participate in service activities organized by the ward. You can also connect people with service opportunities such as those on JustServe.org where it is available. As you serve with others, you come together in a powerful way.

Offer Service

Like the Savior, “[go] about doing good” (Acts 10:38; see also “Go about Doing Good” in chapter 1). Pray to be aware of opportunities to do good throughout each day. Sometimes your service will be planned, but often it will be unplanned. Find simple and immediate ways to serve, help, and lift people. Remember that the Lord took unexpected opportunities to reach out and bless others.

Serve with a sincere desire to help people. If the service leads to a teaching opportunity, be grateful. If not, then be grateful to have done good for someone. Answer questions if people ask them. If someone expresses interest, reply briefly and arrange to meet at a different time to share a message.

Be sure to follow the guidelines for service in Missionary Standards for Disciples of Jesus Christ, 2.7 and 7.2.

Find People Where They Are

Finding people where they are begins with trying to see them as God does. Assume that you may have been led to talk with this person, or he or she may have been led to you. Seek to understand people’s spiritual needs and desires. Find out what is most important to them, especially in their relationships with family and God. You might ask questions like those below—and then sincerely listen:

  • What do you value most?

  • What gives you joy?

  • What do you want for your own future and for those you love?

  • What challenges do you face in reaching your hopes and dreams?

  • What aspects of your life do you want to improve?

Seek inspiration as you reflect on what you learn about the person’s hopes and desires. What gospel truths naturally connect with what he or she wants?

Consider your approach from that person’s perspective. What does he or she know about you? What can you offer that might be helpful? Does the person feel that an interaction with you will be worthwhile?

Consider different reasons people might want to get to know you, other members, or the Church. Some examples of what you can provide are outlined below.

missionaries talking to woman

Give Experiences or Information They Would Value

Use Church resources and your own talents and strengths to connect with someone’s interests. Seek Heavenly Father’s help in offering information or experiences the person will value.

Be open to inspiration and be creative as you think about different kinds of experiences or information you can provide. Some ideas are listed below.

  • Share a link to a Church resource that provides information about something that would interest them.

  • Host an event like a devotional (in person or streaming live).

  • Offer something at a local gathering or event (for example, create free family history trees at a local market).

  • Offer to teach a class.

  • Organize a scripture study class, or offer to read the Bible and other scriptures with them.

  • Teach English as a second language.

  • Publicize local Church activities like a holiday party or self-reliance classes. Use flyers or social media.

  • Invite them to a baptismal service.

  • Offer to give them a tour of the local meetinghouse.

One of the most valuable experiences you can help people have is attending a Church service. Invite them and explain what it will be like. Tell them how attending a sacrament meeting will bless their lives.

Facilitate Genuine Relationships

Many people would like to meet others in their community or get to know them better. Some people are lonely. Some ideas for helping facilitate genuine relationships are listed below.

  • Visit people who have recently moved into the area to welcome them.

  • Introduce people in the community to members who have shared interests.

  • Invite people to ward meetings, activities, and open houses.

  • Offer to help them connect with the ward temple and family history leader, who can help them learn more about their deceased family members.

  • Offer to teach people how to hold home evening or read the scriptures as a family. (See General Handbook, 2.2.4, for helpful principles that can be adapted to people’s circumstances.)

  • Invite people of the appropriate age to attend seminary, attend institute, or participate in BYU–Pathway Worldwide.

There are many honorable ways to find those who are being prepared for the restored gospel. Do what you can to be placed in the path of those who are being prepared.

Companion Study

Identify some ideas in this section that you have not tried. Make plans to try some of the ideas during the next week.

Contact People Referred to You

People referred to you may be ready to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. Referrals may come from members of the Church, other missionaries, Church headquarters, and local social media efforts.

Reach Out Promptly

When a person is referred to you through headquarters or local social media, review the information in the Preach My Gospel app about their interests. Attempt to contact them as soon as possible.

missionary knocking on door

Use the following guidelines when working with people referred to you:

  • If the person was referred by a member or by other missionaries, contact the person who sent the referral to learn more. If missionaries referred the person, they may teach with you virtually if their mission leader approves. Members may join you in person or virtually to participate in teaching.

  • Promptly attempt to contact the person through a visit, call, text, email, or other form of communication. If the person does not respond, try to contact him or her at a different time of day.

  • If your initial contact was by call, text, or email, arrange a time to meet in person or through technology.

  • As a companionship, review the person’s request and identify his or her needs and interests. Determine how the gospel can help meet those needs.

  • When you meet, bring any requested items, such as the Book of Mormon. Share gospel truths from the missionary lessons that meet the person’s interests or needs.

Sometimes people who are referred can lead you to others whom God is preparing. If the people you contact are not interested, ask if they know others who might be interested or who need hope in their lives. Perhaps you have been led to this person because someone else in the home or neighborhood is ready for the gospel.

If an appointment with someone falls through, consider how you can do other missionary work in the area. The Preach My Gospel app can help you find people nearby who were previously contacted or taught.

Refer People to Missionaries in Another Area

When you meet people who are interested in learning more about the gospel but live outside your assigned area, introduce them to the gospel. Then help them prepare to meet missionaries and members where they live.

With your mission president’s approval, you may continue to support these people to help them receive the gospel (see Missionary Standards7.5.4).

Companion Study

Review all the people who have been referred in your area within the last month. Identify any people you have been unable to contact, and try to contact them again. Decide which of those who have been contacted should be visited again. Update these records in the Preach My Gospel app.

missionaries talking on phone

Use Technology

There are many ways you can use technology to find people to teach. Some examples are listed below:

  • Use social media to work with members to find people.

  • Build relationships by reaching out through email and social media.

  • Share uplifting scriptures, quotes, and gospel messages.

  • Help people use FamilySearch.org to learn more about their deceased family members.

  • Offer online classes to teach skills.

  • Make appropriate connections through shared online interest groups.

  • Create a post that tells about upcoming ward events.

Using technology is an important way to keep “multiple lines in the water” throughout the day. In addition to your other finding efforts, keep multiple internet lines in the water.

Elder David A. Bednar

Elder David A. Bednar taught: “Technology provides a multitude of powerful channels through which we can proclaim ‘Jesus Christ, and him crucified’ and ‘preach repentance unto the people’ [1 Corinthians 2:2; Doctrine and Covenants 44:3]. The rising generation is especially well prepared to hear and learn about the restored gospel through these means of communication” (“They Should Proclaim These Things unto the World,” seminar for new mission presidents, June 24, 2016).

Companion Study

Find out what your mission is doing with social media. Discuss with your companion how you could create social media posts that align with this. Your posts should comply with Church internet policy (see “Internet” in section 38.8 of the General Handbook).

If your mission has a social media specialist, draw on his or her expertise as you create social media posts.

two women talking

Use Family History

Family history is another way you can find people to teach. Throughout the world, the Spirit is influencing millions of people to identify their deceased ancestors. Many want a stronger connection with their extended family. This can lead to a desire to find a connection and identity as part of God’s family.

What we sometimes refer to as the spirit of Elijah is the influence of the Holy Ghost drawing people to identify, document, and cherish their family members—both past and present (see Malachi 4:5–6).

In your finding, you might introduce people to FamilySearch.org or invite them to download the FamilySearch Tree app or the FamilySearch Memories app. You could also give them a copy of the booklet My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together. These resources help people discover relatives and ancestors and gather their stories.

Determine what family history resources are available in your area and how they could help the people you contact. The ward temple and family history leader can help people identify their deceased ancestors.

Invite people to share memories of their loved ones with you. As they do, they may feel the Holy Ghost testify to them about the importance of families in God’s plan. These moments can lead to natural conversations about the purpose of life, God’s plan of happiness, and the role of the Savior in that plan.

When appropriate, teach people the doctrine about why Church members do family history work and how it relates to temples.

Pray to be aware of opportunities to use family history in your finding efforts. Be creative, and become familiar with available resources.

Scripture Study

Study the following scriptures about family history. Record what you learn.

Sealing Power Restored through Elijah

Work for the Dead

Personal or Companion Study

Try one or more of the following activities to help you find through family history.

  • Arrange to visit with a member who has experience with family history. Learn what services are available through your ward temple and family history leader.

  • Practice how you will offer family history help to those you meet. Make plans to offer family history in your finding efforts.

  • Read and discuss the Families and Temples booklet to gain a stronger understanding of family history work. Write what you learn in your study journal.

  • Use the My Family booklet or FamilySearch.org resources as you find people to teach.

  • Where possible, hold an open house, teach a family history class in a public place, or offer consultations.

Find When You Teach

Finding and teaching are related activities. People you teach often have friends or relatives who are prepared to receive the restored gospel. As the people you teach experience the blessings of the gospel, their desire to share it will increase (see 1 Nephi 8:12). In all situations—such as finding, teaching, and working with members—ask, “Who do you know who would benefit from this message?”

When those you teach are preparing for their baptismal service, ask them about family and friends they would like to invite to their baptism. Make plans to invite and encourage all to come. The Spirit can be powerfully felt during a baptismal service.

Companion Study

Review a list of people you are teaching. Make a list of those you have asked for referrals and those you have not asked. Practice how you will extend a referral invitation to those in each group. In your planner, make a note to extend this invitation in your next visits.

women looking at phone

Teach When You Find

As you meet people and identify their interests and needs, develop the habit of beginning to teach and share your testimony. You will find more people to teach as you testify of the Savior and His gospel and allow them to feel the power of the Holy Ghost.

Consider teaching on topics such as happiness, adversity, the purpose of life, or death. Whatever your initial approach, refer quickly and simply to the Savior, His gospel, and His call to the Prophet Joseph Smith. This is our unique message to the world.

The following sections provide examples of how you might briefly teach about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the importance of the family.

Teach and Testify about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Testify of Jesus Christ and teach brief summaries of restored truth. For example, you can testify of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in just two or three sentences:

After centuries of being lost, truths have been restored by a loving God through a living prophet. We have evidence of this that you can hold in your hands, read, and ponder in your heart. We invite you to read and pray to learn its truth for yourself. Will you allow us to …

If you have a little more time, you might say more:

Our message is simple. God is our Father. We are His children. We are part of His family. He knows us personally and loves us. He wants us to experience joy. From the beginning of the world, He has followed a pattern of reaching out in love to reveal the gospel of Jesus Christ so His children can know how to return to Him. He has revealed the gospel to prophets such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. But many people repeatedly chose to reject the gospel and the prophets who taught it. Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ Himself taught His gospel. People even rejected Jesus. After the deaths of Jesus’s Apostles, people distorted true doctrine, such as about the Godhead. They also changed ordinances, such as baptism.

Our invitation to you is to add to the truths you already treasure. Consider the evidence that our Heavenly Father has again reached out to His children in love and revealed the true doctrine and ordinances to a prophet. This prophet’s name is Joseph Smith. The evidence of this truth is found in a book—the Book of Mormon. You can hold it in your hands, read it, and ponder its truth in your mind and heart. We invite you to attend church to learn more.

Teach and Testify about the Importance of the Family

Addressing the importance of the family will help you find people to teach, whether they have a Christian background or a non-Christian one. You can quickly relate what most people know about the family to Heavenly Father’s plan of salvation. You might say something like this:

Our family can be one of the most important influences in our lives. Our family ties us to one another and can help us feel needed and loved.

Having a strong, happy family is the highest priority for many people. Having a strong marriage and raising children in today’s world can be very challenging.

You could then make a transition to the message of the Restoration:

You have been part of God’s family since before you were born. He is our Father. Heavenly Father wants us to return to live with Him. You are His child, and He loves you. He has a plan to help you return to Him.

These truths and others have been restored to the earth by our loving Heavenly Father through a living prophet. These truths help us understand our place in God’s family. May we teach you more about these truths? Will you attend church so you can learn more?

Companion Study

Prepare a one-minute message based on one of the lessons in chapter 3. Practice sharing it with each other. Think of ways you might share this message in a finding situation. Plan to share it in an appropriate situation to invite others to learn more about Jesus Christ.

No Effort Is Wasted

When people choose not to learn more about the restored gospel, your efforts are not wasted. Perhaps you have planted a seed that will grow at another time. Whether that happens or not, your service and expressions of genuine love will bless both you and them.

If people are not ready to receive the gospel, see what else you can do to enrich their lives. The relationships you develop are still meaningful and valuable. Continue to be a friend.

People sometimes need time to consider the changes that are asked of them. Help them receive messages through Church emails or websites. These messages might help prepare people to accept future invitations to learn more.

When a person does not accept the gospel, it is natural to be disappointed. However, as you turn to the Lord in such times, He has promised, “I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee” (Isaiah 41:10).

Through faith in Christ, you can find peace and reassurance about your efforts. Maintain a vision of who you are and why you are serving the Lord as a missionary. Faith will help you press forward and continue in righteous desires.

Ideas for Study and Application

Personal Study

Companion Study and Companion Exchange

  • Make plans to meet with new members in your area. If needed, use the Preach My Gospel app to identify them. Ask questions like these:

    • How were you prepared for the gospel?

    • When and how did you first come in contact with the Church?

    • What prompted you to meet with missionaries?

    • How can we support your continued progress?

    From these meetings, what did you learn about finding people who progress toward baptism? Make plans to apply what you learn this week.

  • Review each of the following topics. Using the lessons in chapter 3, prepare a simple finding approach. Practice teaching in a finding setting.

    • Feeling a need for more direction and purpose in life

    • Wanting to feel closer to God

    • Needing help with important decisions

District Council, Zone Conferences, and Mission Leadership Council

  • Read and discuss the “Expand Your Vision of Planning to Find” section. Have each companionship complete the evaluation.

    • Discuss how these ideas have helped missionaries find people to teach.

    • List other ideas for finding people to teach. Invite the missionaries to demonstrate their ideas.

    • Invite the missionaries to set personal goals for improving their finding efforts.

  • Create a list of several finding opportunities.

    • Assign each missionary one of the opportunities. Give each missionary five minutes to prepare how he or she would teach part of a lesson in the assigned situation.

    • Emphasize the need to keep the length of the message appropriate for the setting.

    • Invite several missionaries to teach the lesson they planned in their assigned situation.

  • Invite the missionaries to practice sharing a one-minute gospel message with each other. You may want to set up a variety of finding settings, such as teaching in a member’s home, teaching on a doorstep, teaching on a sidewalk, or contacting a referral. Have the missionaries practice teaching in each of these settings.

Mission Leaders and Mission Counselors

  • Set an example of member-missionary work in your family. Share your experiences with the missionaries and members.

  • Counsel with local priesthood and organization leaders about the best ways for missionaries to find people to teach in your mission.

  • Organize missionary devotionals at which you can speak to the people being taught in your mission. Coordinate with local priesthood leaders so members can bring their friends. Invite new members to share their testimonies and tell their conversion stories before you speak.

  • Occasionally go with missionaries to help them find people to teach.