Missionary Service
January 2009

“Missionary Service,” New Era, Jan. 2009, 43

What Joseph Smith Taught

Missionary Service

The Prophet Joseph Smith knew the importance of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as how to do it.

From the earliest days of his ministry, the Prophet Joseph Smith preached the gospel of Jesus Christ as it was revealed to him by the Lord, and under the Lord’s direction, he called others to do the same. The Lord revealed many things to the Prophet regarding the importance of preaching the gospel, as well as the way in which it should be preached (see, for instance, D&C 4; 11; 33; 42:1–17; 50:10–22; 84:54–91; 100:1–8). Here are some of his teachings on these matters.*

We Preach Out of Duty and Love

“After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.”

“Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”

Teach Simple Truths with Humility

“When you are sent into the world to preach, tell those things you are sent to tell. … Declare the first principles, and let mysteries alone, lest ye be overthrown. … Preach those things the Lord has told you to preach about—repentance and baptism for the remission of sins.”

“The Elders should go forth … in all meekness, in sobriety, and preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified; not to contend with others on account of their faith, or systems of religion, but pursue a steady course.”

Teach by the Spirit

“All are to preach the Gospel, by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost; and no man can preach the Gospel without the Holy Ghost.”

“When [the elders] teach as directed by the Spirit, according to the revelations of Jesus Christ, … they will preach the truth and prosper without complaint. Thus we … admonish elders and members to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God [see Matthew 4:4].”

  • From Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 330–33.

Illustrated by Sam Lawlor