I just realized today that after three years of running this website, I’ve never directly written about the purpose of missionary work. As a future missionary, it’s pretty important to know the purpose of your preparation. So here we go. Your purpose as a missionary is to:
“Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”
You can find that statement on page 0ne of the missionary’s Preach My Gospel, in your mission call letter from the prophet, and in numerous other missionary materials. That purpose will be likely be studied, reviewed, and committed to memory by the time you leave the MTC. And you future missionaries would do well to learn it now.
Preach the Gospel to Every Creature
The resurrected Jesus Christ commanded his Apostles: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) The Lord has repeated this commandment to missionaries in our day:
- “If they desire to take upon them my name with full purpose of heart, they are called to go into all the world to preach my gospel unto every creature.” (D&C 18:28)
- “The sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth—the gospel must be preached unto every creature, with signs following them that believe.” (D&C 58:64)
- “Go ye, go ye into the world and preach the gospel to every creature that cometh under the sound of your voice.” (D&C 80:1)
- “Purify your hearts before me; and then go ye into all the world, and preach my gospel unto every creature who has not received it.” (D&C 112:28)
Our living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, has repeated this call for young people to prepare and serve and preach the gospel to all the world. As I’ve talked about before, every other modern prophet since President Spencer W. Kimball has stated that in the Church we expect that every young man should serve a mission.
Bring the World the Glorious Truths of the Gospel
Most people want “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23), but they are “kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:12). As a called representative of Jesus Christ, you can help people find that peace, joy, and eternal life. You do this by inviting them to come unto Jesus Christ and become converted to His restored gospel. To come to the Savior they must have faith in Him, repentant, and be baptized. As your understanding grows of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation, your desire to share the gospel with others will increase. You will feel, as Lehi did, the “great . . . importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth” (2 Nephi 2:8).
The gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and will bless the families of the earth and help them fulfill their truest desires. As an authorized representative of Jesus Christ, missionaries teach people with power and authority that “redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah,” and that no one “can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:6, 8). As people come to accept the restored gospel and receive the ordinances of baptism and confirmation by priesthood authority, they can be assured that they “are not cast off forever” (Book of Mormon, Title Page).
Power to Fulfill Your Purpose
Missionaries have a heavy responsibility, but they have been ordained with authority and power to fulfill their mission call. When missionaries are set apart by priesthood authority at the beginning of their mission, they receive the privilege and power to represent the Lord. President Spencer W. Kimball said: “The setting apart may be taken literally; it is a setting apart from sin, apart from the carnal; apart from everything which is crude, low, vicious, cheap, or vulgar; set apart from the world to a higher plane of thought and activity. The blessing is conditional upon faithful performance” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , 478).
Do not be afraid or shy about fulfilling this commission. As I’ve said many times on this site, open your mouth. As a missionary, if you prayerfully and worthily exercise the authority they have been given, you will receive spiritual power to fulfill the call you have been given.
There is no greater work than to be engaged in building the kingdom of God as missionaries. As the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith manual). May the Lord bless you as you prepare to preach the gospel and may you have much success in fulfilling your purpose as a missionary.