A few weeks ago, I wrote about my experience as a Ward Mission Leader when I served as a “companion” to the missionary serving in our ward for a week. I was accustomed to having the missionaries in my home, meeting with investigators, and bearing testimony. I was very hesitant about knocking on doors as a missionary again, however.
To my astonishment, I immediately started to say all the things on the doorstep I used to say as a missionary with ease. However, I was asking different questions as a married man in my mid-30’s than I did as a 20-year-old bachelor. I was inquiring with interest about their employment, their families and children, and generally able to connect on a human level. As I prepared a talk last week to present our ward mission plan in Sacrament Meeting, I pondered on why I was a better missionary now than before.
Elder Uchtdorf spoke during the most recent General Conference about our personal missionary efforts. He laid out five steps that any member can do as part of their personal mission plan. Interestingly enough, four of the five steps involve improving ourselves, with only one step the actual sharing of the Gospel with our friends and acquaintances through the many mediums now available to us.
The Lord has promised that if we open our mouths they will be filled. We have been commanded to declare repentance and to bring souls to Christ. Is it possible for our mouths to be filled with something that has never been there before? Of course. Is it possible for an impression to be given to us that hadn’t occurred to us previously? Definitely. However, I would submit that we recall the mission of the Holy Ghost:
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.John 14:26
Going back to my experience knocking on doors and contacting new people – why would I ask new, varying questions that I didn’t before? Is it because I now had new experiences to draw upon, experiences I had no comprehension of as a 19-year-old kid? Is it possible that we feel tentative as member missionaries because we haven’t filled our minds and hearts with light, wisdom, knowledge, and spiritual experiences that would fill our mouths?
It is perfectly sensible for a personal mission plan to include personal scripture study, prayer, and fasting – just as the Sons of Mosiah did in days of old. If we’re fearful that our mouths won’t be filled when opportunity knocks, perhaps it is because we need to do better in filling our minds and our spirits first.
“Missionary Work: Sharing What is in Your Heart” – Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April 2019
“Missionary Work – Our Responsibility” – Elder David B. Haight, October 1993
You can follow Dustin on Twitter at @dmturner1232.