Mission Callings
Chapter 11: Help People Make and Keep Commitments

“Chapter 11: Help People Make and Keep Commitments,” Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2023)

“Chapter 11,” Preach My Gospel

I Shall Not Want, by Yongsung Kim

Chapter 11

Help People Make and Keep Commitments

Consider This

  • How does keeping commitments relate to conversion?

  • How does keeping commitments relate to keeping covenants?

  • How can I extend invitations to help people grow spiritually and strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ?

  • Why is it important to share a sincere testimony?

  • What blessings can I promise?

  • How can I help people keep commitments?

Repentance, Commitment, and Conversion

As a missionary and disciple of Jesus Christ, you desire the salvation of souls (see Mosiah 28:3). The Savior is “mighty to save” those who keep the covenants they make through receiving essential priesthood ordinances, beginning with baptism (see 2 Nephi 31:19). Extending invitations and helping people keep commitments will prepare them for baptism.

People are saved on condition of repentance (see Helaman 5:11). Repentance is a full and sincere turning to Jesus Christ. Commitment is an essential part of repentance. When you invite people to make commitments as part of your teaching, you are inviting them to repent.

Commitment means choosing a course of action and following through on that choice. Consistently acting on truths of the gospel leads to conversion.

Conversion is a change in a person’s beliefs, heart, and life to accept and follow God’s will. It is a conscious decision to become a disciple of Christ. Conversion occurs as people exercise faith in Christ, repent of their sins, are baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. The Lord and His prophets refer to this change as a spiritual rebirth (see John 3:3–5; Mosiah 27:25–26).

The Savior’s Atonement makes conversion possible, and the Holy Ghost brings about this mighty change of heart (see Mosiah 5:2; Alma 5:12–14).

Conversion is a process, not an event. Helping people become converted to Jesus Christ is central to your missionary purpose. As guided by the Spirit, you invite people to make commitments that will help them grow spiritually and feel the influence of the Holy Ghost in their lives. Then you support people in keeping the commitments they have made. You help them act in faith toward lasting change (see Mosiah 6:3).

People who keep commitments before baptism are more likely to make and keep sacred covenants afterward. When you teach people to keep commitments, you are teaching them to keep covenants. Making and keeping covenants is an essential part of the gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s plan for His children.

This chapter includes guidelines for extending invitations, promising blessings, sharing your testimony, and helping people keep their commitments so they can come unto the Savior and be saved.

missionaries teaching woman

Extend Invitations

As a representative of Jesus Christ, you invite people to follow Him and receive the joy of His gospel. You extend specific invitations for them to do things that will build their faith in Christ. Then you support them in keeping their commitments.

Invitations and commitments are vital for the following reasons:

  • They help people live the principles they learn so they feel the confirming witness of the Spirit.

  • Keeping commitments is one way people demonstrate repentance (see Doctrine and Covenants 20:37).

  • Repentance helps people experience the peace and joy of God’s forgiveness. They will also have increased help from God for their challenges.

  • Keeping commitments prepares people to make and keep sacred covenants.

  • You can show your love for people and your faith in God’s promises by helping people keep their commitments.

Invite as Led by the Spirit

Seek the guidance of the Spirit about what invitations to extend and when to extend them. Consider what teaching or doctrine, correctly understood, will help a person accept your invitation. The right invitation at the right time can prompt people to do things that will build their faith. These actions can lead to a mighty change of heart (see Mosiah 5:2; Alma 5:12–14).

The invitations you extend may be small, such as reading a chapter of scripture or coming to sacrament meeting. Or they may be as pivotal as being baptized. Invitations should be appropriate for where a person is on his or her spiritual journey.

Spirit-led invitations build on each other to help a person progress spiritually (see 2 Nephi 28:30; Doctrine and Covenants 93:12–13). Ask yourself, “What commitments is the person keeping? What does he or she need to do next to progress?”

Listen to those you are talking with or teaching. From what you hear and feel, seek the Spirit’s guidance about what invitations will help each person progress toward making sacred covenants.

Principles for Extending Invitations

Extending invitations requires faith in Christ. Have faith that He will bless people when they accept and follow through on your invitations.

People are more likely to change when you invite them to act on a truth of the gospel and help them see how the change will bless them. They will change to the degree that they feel the Spirit and experience the joy of living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Whenever you engage with people, in person or online, consider what invitation could help them strengthen their faith in Christ and feel the Spirit. Sometimes this may be as simple as meeting with you again or coming to a Church activity.

As you prepare to teach a lesson, consider the needs and progress of each person. Make sure your lesson plan includes one or more invitations that will help the person progress.

Be careful not to extend too many invitations at once. A person needs time to act, grow, and learn from each invitation.

Be bold but not overbearing as you invite people to make commitments (see Alma 38:12). Respect people’s agency.

Scripture Study

Why are commitments important?

Invite with Kind and Clear Language

An invitation often takes the form of a “will you” question, which requires a yes or no response. Make your invitations kind, specific, and clear. They should invite or lead people to make a commitment to act with faith in Jesus Christ.

Although your invitations will be unique for each person, consider the following examples:

  • Attending church provides a time and place for you to worship God and feel His Spirit. It can also help you become part of a supportive community as you make changes to come closer to the Savior. Will you come with us to sacrament meeting this Sunday?

  • Now that we have discussed the importance of studying the scriptures, will you read [a specific passage of scripture]? Will you write down any impressions or questions you may have? We can discuss your thoughts the next time we meet.

  • We have been discussing the life of the Savior and His commandments. Will you follow His example by being baptized into His Church and making promises with Him? (See “The Invitation to Be Baptized and Confirmed” in chapter 3.)

  • You expressed interest in connecting more with God in your life. Will you pray with faith during the next few days so you can experience the blessings of prayer?

  • We have a video that we think you will find helpful. Can we show it to you or send you a link? Will you watch it? Can we check with you tomorrow to see what you think?

Seek the promptings of the Holy Ghost as you consider natural ways to extend kind, specific, and clear invitations.

Personal or Companion Study

In your study journal, write an invitation that is simple, direct, and clear for each commitment in a lesson. If you have done this activity before, repeat it and compare your new invitations with previous ones.

Review the invitations you have written with your companion. Then discuss the following questions:

  • How can we help people understand the Lord’s promised blessings associated with this invitation?

  • Why is this invitation important to me personally?

  • How can I help people feel God’s love for them as I extend invitations?

  • How can I improve in helping others act on invitations I extend?

Think of someone you are teaching. Practice extending these invitations as though you were addressing that person. Revise your invitations as needed.

Promise People Blessings

God promises to bless us as we keep His commandments (see Doctrine and Covenants 130:20–21). People who keep the commandments and remain faithful “are blessed in all things” and will “dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness” (Mosiah 2:41).

As you invite people to make commitments, promise them blessings for keeping their commitments. You can identify many of these blessings by studying the scriptures, the teachings of latter-day prophets, and the lessons in chapter 3. Think also of the blessings in your own life. Prayerfully decide what blessings to promise each person as you extend invitations.

When inviting a person to live a commandment, teach the following:

  • Obeying the commandments shows our love for Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ (see John 14:15).

  • Obeying the commandments shows God that we trust Him (see Proverbs 3:5–6).

  • God’s blessings are both spiritual and temporal (see Mosiah 2:41).

  • God’s greatest blessing is eternal life (see Doctrine and Covenants 14:7).

  • As we sincerely pray and act in faith, God will help us accomplish the things He has commanded us to do (see 1 Nephi 3:7).

  • God fulfills His promises to bless us according to His way and timing (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:68).

People often face opposition in keeping the commandments. Support those you teach, and assure them that God will bless them as they strive to do His will. Help them understand that opposition is an opportunity to grow by choosing to follow Christ even when it is difficult (see 2 Nephi 2:11, 13–16).

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught: “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come” (“An High Priest of Good Things to Come,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 38).

Scripture Study

What do the following scriptures teach about the Lord’s desire to bless us?

Personal Study

Read Doctrine and Covenants 82:10 and 130:20–21. Then study the following scriptures. Make two columns in your study journal. On one side, write the commandment you find in each passage. On the other side, write the promise for keeping the commandment.

Share Your Testimony

Share your testimony whenever you extend an invitation and promise blessings. Tell how you have been blessed as you have lived the principle you are teaching. Share your testimony that the principle will bless the person’s life as he or she lives it.

Your sincere testimony will help create an environment for people to feel the Holy Ghost confirm truth. This will encourage them to accept the invitations you will extend.

For more information, see “Share Your Testimony” in chapter 10.

group praying

Help People Keep Their Commitments

When people accept your invitations to do something, follow up to help them keep their commitments. You are helping people develop faith in Christ. Your role is to help them strengthen their faith and their resolve to progress toward full conversion. Do not just invite people to change; support them in doing it.

People will receive a witness of the Spirit as they exercise faith unto repentance by keeping commitments. That witness often does not come “until after the trial of [their] faith” (Ether 12:6). Do not be surprised when opposition arises. Plan how you will help them through the trial so they receive the witness of the Spirit. Other members of the Church can also provide support.

People often feel the influence of the Spirit when you are with them. Emphasize the importance of praying, reading the scriptures, and following through on your invitations so they will have these feelings when they are on their own.

Keeping commitments prepares people for ordinances and covenants along the path of lifelong conversion. Your efforts can help them “manifest by their works” their desire to follow Jesus Christ (Doctrine and Covenants 20:37).

women hugging

Plan for Brief Daily Contact

Helping people keep commitments begins when you first visit and teach them. Ask them to record their commitment on their phone, calendar, or something you leave with them.

Ask if you, or a member who has been participating, can make a brief daily contact between teaching visits. Explain that the purpose of these contacts is to support them, and describe some ways you can do that. These contacts are one way to apply the principle in Doctrine and Covenants 84:106.

Determine the method of contact that would be most effective, such as a brief visit, phone call, text, or social media message. Technology offers many options for additional reminders and support.

Encourage and Help People in Your Daily Contact

For every invitation you extend, record notes in the Preach My Gospel app about how to follow up the next day. As you plan the next day, seek the guidance of the Spirit as you discuss how to help people keep their commitments.

Make your daily contacts with people positive and encouraging. Pray for them. Show love and understanding as you help them keep their commitments. Answer questions and help them overcome challenges. If there is time, read together from the Book of Mormon. Share relevant Church media, including music produced by the Church that might lift them. Be respectful of their time and wishes.

Introduce them to other Church members. When appropriate, ask members to help people keep their commitments (see chapter 10).

Compliment people who are working to keep their commitments. Help them see how the Lord is pleased with their efforts. These people are changing their lives, which takes a lot of work and patience. Help them recognize the blessings they are receiving. Express confidence that they can succeed.

Also show love if people have not kept their commitments. Offer to support them during your daily contact. For example, if someone accepted an invitation to read a chapter in the Book of Mormon but has not done it yet, offer to read it together. Help the person discover by experience how keeping commitments can bless his or her life.

It might take many tries for people to keep a commitment, and you might need to make several visits to help them. Discuss how they can overcome challenges to keeping commitments. Be patient and supportive, not critical or judgmental.

Have the Influence of the Holy Ghost in Your Daily Contact

When you follow up with people, ask them to share their experience with keeping commitments. Ask what they have learned and felt. This will help them recognize the Spirit’s influence in their lives and help them identify the next step.

As you contact people each day, an important part of your purpose is to invite the influence of the Holy Ghost into their lives. Help them recognize how to feel the Spirit when you are not present. Your daily contact should strengthen the spiritual feelings they felt when you taught them. They will be converted as they feel the power and influence of the Holy Ghost.

Show Love

The process of conversion is centered in Christlike love (see 4 Nephi 1:15). Seek the gift of charity. Showing sincere love can help people feel the Spirit in their lives. Your expressions of love can also help them accept invitations and keep commitments that lead to conversion.

As you love and teach others, your own conversion to the Savior will deepen.

Assisting with the conversion of another person is a sacred work. You will find lasting joy as you devote yourself to this work and to serving others (see Matthew 10:39; Mosiah 2:17; Alma 27:17–18; Doctrine and Covenants 18:10–16).

Personal or Companion Study

Record in the Preach My Gospel app your plans for daily contact with each person you are teaching. Plan several days in advance what you will do to follow up with each person.

Choose one invitation you will extend when you teach each person. Then identify different concerns that might keep someone from accepting or keeping that commitment. Discuss and practice how you can best help people as they work to resolve their concerns.

The Lord Desires People to Come and Stay

Missionary work has its greatest effect as people make and keep the commitment to live the gospel and stay active in the Church throughout their lives. It is not enough for them to simply come into the Church. The Lord desires that they come to stay (see John 15:16). Direct all your teaching and invitations toward that end. To receive all the blessings that Heavenly Father has for them, members must continue to live the gospel by keeping the commandments and the covenants they have made as they stay active in the Church.

Nephi taught: “After ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; … ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, … and [if ye] endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:19–20).

Give your best efforts to help people qualify for “eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 14:7).

Ideas for Study and Application

Personal Study

  • Identify a commandment from lesson 4. Find and record the scripture references and quotations from latter-day prophets that describe the promised blessings associated with this commandment. Think of the blessings you have received by obeying this commandment, and write them in your journal.

  • When you communicate with your family or others, ask how they have been blessed by obeying a specific commandment (for example, keeping the Sabbath day holy, obeying the law of tithing, or keeping a commandment that is difficult for someone you are teaching).

  • Answer the following questions to help you identify areas where you can improve when extending invitations. Make plans to improve.

    • Do the people know that I love them?

    • Am I confident that they will be blessed by acting on our invitations?

    • Do I give appropriate time and attention to making daily contact with people to help them keep their commitments?

    • Do our lesson plans include specific invitations to act?

Companion Study and Companion Exchange

  • Review the invitations in one of the missionary lessons. For each invitation, answer the following questions:

    • What blessings has the Lord promised to those who keep this commitment?

    • How will obeying this principle help people increase their faith and testimony?

    • How will this commitment help people repent and be more sensitive to the Spirit?

  • From your planning tools, make a list of people you have contacted in the past two days. Include those you are teaching and members.

    • For each person, write the invitations you extended and commitments they made.

    • Consider what other invitations you could have extended.

    • Discuss why you were able to obtain commitments from some of these people but not from others.

    • What will you do to follow up on these invitations?

District Council, Zone Conferences, and Mission Leadership Council

  • Discuss effective and creative ideas for daily contact with people you are teaching. How have missionaries worked with members effectively? What printed or digital media are useful? What can you do when people are not home or are too busy to see you?

  • Discuss ways that missionaries have effectively taught the commandments in lesson 4.

Mission Leaders and Mission Counselors

  • When possible, accompany missionaries as they teach. Help them focus on helping people make and keep commitments.

  • Encourage ward priesthood leaders, organization leaders, and members to make daily contact with people the missionaries are teaching—if the people have agreed to this contact.