“Teaching from the Heart,” New Era, Sept. 2005, 24
The guidance of the Holy Ghost has always been critical in missionary work. Although various teaching methods and materials have been used since the organization of the restored Church, the scriptural direction hasn’t changed: “And if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach” (D&C 42:14).
In an effort to improve missionaries’ reliance on the Spirit, the Church has prepared, for all 341 missions worldwide, the Preach My Gospel manual.
“This manual is a guide to what a missionary needs to know and to become in order to be a teacher empowered to declare the message of the Restoration to the people of the world,” said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
At the heart of Preach My Gospel are the new missionary lessons. Aside from the lessons, other important aspects of missionary work taught in the new manual are goal setting, planning, and accountability in using time wisely.
“[Preach My Gospel] will require greater effort on the part of the missionaries,” says President Gordon B. Hinckley. “It will require much of prayer and much of study. In presenting the gospel to investigators it is hoped that not only will the mind be touched in understanding gospel principles but, more importantly, the heart will be touched by power of the Holy Ghost. … If there is better teaching in the conversion process, there will be greater retention of those who are baptized.”