I was recently reading a talk Elder Carlos E. Asay, former member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Presidency of the Seventy, gave a talk on the blessings of sharing the gospel. This is what he said:
“Perhaps your desire or will to serve would increase if you understood more fully the blessings associated with missionary service. God often reveals commandments and blessings together. For example, he gave the Word of Wisdom listing the commandments, and, at the same time, he recited a number of blessings that those who obeyed the commandments would receive. I would like to discuss with you some of the blessings associated with full-time missionary service. I can’t list everything, for there are so many blessings that I cannot number them, but I will share those that appear to be most common.”
He then listed these 17 blessings of missionary service:
- Eternal Life: “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” (Matt. 19:29)
- Leadership Training: “Returned missionaries provide valuable leadership in the Church, especially in the developing countries of the world.”
- Building the Kingdom; Preparing a People for Christ’s Second Coming: “Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come.” (D&C 65:2, 6.)
- Memorable Experiences: “President Kimball has referred to missionary service as high adventure. He did so because the work is stirring and exciting.”
- Establishing Abiding Friendships: “The friendships we establish in the mission field with companions and converts become eternal.”
- Developing Love and Understanding of People: “Missionaries gain a love and understanding of others through their service.”
- Rendering Service: “He doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you.” (Mosiah 2: 23–24.)
- Being a Peacemaker: Elder N. Eldon Tanner said: “If every member of this Church would accept the call of our prophet today …and become missionaries in very deed, we could contribute more to the cause of peace than all the power that might be gathered together by all the governments.” (Conference Report, Oct. 1962, p. 69)
- Developing and Polishing Character: Stephen L Richards, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, talked about the influence of missions upon the Latter-day Saints. “The fundamental character of our manhood and womanhood has been improved,” he said.
- Forgiveness of Sins: Elder George F. Richards, also a former member of the Quorum of the Twelve, said: “In the name of the Lord I want to promise you that in the acceptance of the mission call and the dedication of yourself to the work, the Lord will forgive you of past transgressions.”
- Growth of Testimony: “Missionaries teach and testify… Each time they do, they invite the Spirit, and the truths they proclaim become more and more deeply ingrained in their own souls.”
- Companionship of the Holy Spirit: “Of all the companionships established in the mission field, the most cherished is the companionship of the Holy Spirit.”
- Closeness to the Lord: “For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served?” (Mosiah 5:13.) “No one will ever fully understand the Savior’s work until he has invested in the business of saving souls, for that was the Savior’s role.”
- Growth in Faith: Mission “experiences plant seeds of faith in their hearts.”
- Growth in Knowledge of the Gospel: “Missions are schools of gospel learning, even schools for the prophets.”
- Peace of Conscience: Elder George Albert Smith taught that missionary work brings “peace and happiness beyond all understanding.” (Conference Report, Apr. 1922, p. 53.)
- Joy: President Heber J. Grant testified: “[I] had more joy while in the mission field than ever before or since.”(Improvement Era, Oct. 1936, p. 659.)
“I have given you seventeen blessings that result from missionary service. There are more—the list is almost endless. Please understand that these blessings and more can be yours, if you become converted to the service and make yourselves available to respond” (Carlos E. Asay , “The Blessings of Sharing the Gospel,” Prospective Missionary Conference in Provo, Utah, September 1984).
President Spencer W. Kimball once said that “missionary work, like the tithing, will pour out blessings, as Malachi said, so many blessings that there’ll hardly be room enough to receive them (See Mal. 3:10.)” (Area Conference Report, Korea, Aug. 1975, p. 61).
I know that missionary service requires sacrifice, but I also know that “sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven” (“Praise to the Man,” Hymns, no. 27). I add my testimony to Elder Asay’s and President Kimball’s that as you faithfully serve a full time mission, the blessings of the Lord will be poured out upon you. You and your family will receive blessings of both temporal and spiritual nature which will grant you joy in this life and in the eternities.