We can strengthen families, communities, and nations by learning how to be more effective missionaries.
President David O. McKay said, “Every member a missionary,” and President Thomas S. Monson called for better member missionaries. Are you following this counsel? Would you like to know how to be a better member missionary?
This site has prepared some family home evening lessons to help us become better missionaries by using the missionary manual, Preach My Gospel. The “lessons cover everything from using the Book of Mormon to teach to understanding the Spirit better.” The site promises that “family home evenings will be filled with the spirit of missionary work” if you use the lessons.
The first lesson comes from Preach My Gospel, Chapter 4 “Recognizing the Spirit.” The purpose of the lesson is to help members of our families recognize how the Holy Ghost works. The lesson emphasizes that there are many different voices in the world, all clamoring for our attention. If we are not careful, we may not hear the “still, small voice” of the Spirit speaking to us.
I remember being concerned when I recognized that my youngest child, an “only child” for five years, was constantly listening to music. It seemed she had her radio or stereo on from the time she awoke until the time she went to bed. This may not have been the fact, but it concerned me.
I remember teaching her to shut off the music, at least for a few minutes each day, to allow some quiet time when she could listen to the promptings of the Spirit. She accepted my counsel and was blessed for doing so. Hearing the promptings of the Holy Spirit is an acquired ability. In order to hear it, we must be listening for it.
The lesson also encourages members of the family to learn about spiritual gifts. Preach My Gospel contains this statement: “Gifts of the Spirit are special spiritual blessings that the Lord gives to worthy individuals for their own benefit and for their use in blessing others” (page 91). The following scriptures contain descriptions of spiritual gifts: 1 Corinthians 12:1-12, Moroni 10:8-18, and Doctrine and Covenants 46:11-33.
There are many gifts of the Spirit, but there are several that can specifically be used in missionary work.
The gift to teach the word of wisdom and/or the word of knowledge, the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, the gift to learn and speak languages, and the gift to be a peacemaker are all gifts that can be used in sharing the gospel.
We can become more effective at sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ by recognizing the special gifts that God has given to us. As we do, we can strengthen our own families as well as communities and nations.