Five Things the Doctrine and Covenants Will Teach You about Being a Missionary
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“Five Things the Doctrine and Covenants Will Teach You about Being a Missionary,” New Era, August 2018

5 Things the Doctrine and Covenants Will Teach You about Being a Missionary


If you’re preparing for a mission or just looking for ways to talk to your friends about your beliefs, there’s a guide so great you might call it another missionary manual.

It’s the Doctrine and Covenants. There we find newly revealed and beautiful doctrines about eternal families, what happens when we die, and how Jesus Christ’s Church should be organized. But we also find—again and again—commandments to share the gospel. In fact, with all the promises and admonitions it gives to missionaries, you might look at this book of scripture as a guide to sharing the gospel.

For example, here are five wonderful truths you can learn about missionary work just from reading the Doctrine and Covenants.

1 You don’t need to worry about where you go.

D&C 80:3: “Wherefore, go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss.”

“I do not believe that the phrase ‘it mattereth not’ as used by the Lord in this scripture suggests that He does not care where His servants labor. In fact, He cares deeply. … He inspires, guides, and directs His authorized servants. As missionaries strive to be ever more worthy and capable instruments in His hands and do their best to fulfill faithfully their duties, then with His help they ‘cannot go amiss’—wherever they serve.”1

—Elder David A. Bednar

2 Treasure the scriptures, and you’ll know what to say.

D&C 84:85: “Treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.”

“As you treasure up the words of the scriptures and latter-day prophets by study and faith, your desire to share the gospel will increase. You are promised that the Spirit will help you know what to say when you teach.”2

Preach My Gospel

3 People looking for the gospel are everywhere.

D&C 123:12: “For there are many yet on the earth … who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.”

“All around you, every day, are friends and neighbors ‘who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.’ As you are directed by the Spirit, you can share a thought, an invitation, a text or tweet that will introduce your friends to the truths of the restored gospel.”3

—Elder David A. Bednar

4 Pray well to teach well.

D&C 42:14: “And the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith; and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.”

“Missionaries should get on their knees and plead with the Lord to loosen their tongues and speak through them to the blessing of those they will be teaching. If they will do this, a new light will come into their lives. There will be greater enthusiasm for the work. They will come to know that in a very real sense, they are servants of the Lord speaking in His behalf. They will find a different response from those they teach.”4

—President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008)

5 The Holy Ghost will testify to those you speak to.

D&C 100:7–8: “But a commandment I give unto you, that ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things. And I give unto you this promise, that inasmuch as ye do this the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say.”

“The Holy Ghost can work through the Light of Christ. A teacher of gospel truths is not planting something foreign or even new into an adult or a child. Rather, the missionary or teacher is making contact with the Spirit of Christ already there. The gospel will have a familiar ‘ring’ to them.”5

—President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015)

Set a Goal

This is just the beginning. As you study the Doctrine and Covenants this year, set a goal to learn as much as you can about missionary work. Then do all you can to start living some of those teachings. Remember: “If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; for behold the field is white already to harvest” (D&C 4:3–4).


  1. David A. Bednar, April 2017 general conference.

  2. Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2004), 19.

  3. David A. Bednar, April 2017 general conference.

  4. Gordon B. Hinckley, “Missionary Service,” First Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 11, 2003, 20.

  5. Boyd K. Packer, “The Light of Christ: What Everyone Called to Preach the Gospel, Teach the Gospel, or Live the Gospel Should Know” (address delivered at the seminar for new mission presidents, June 22, 2004), 2, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.