In her Conference address on Saturday, October 4, 2008, Sister Sylvia H. Allred, first counselor of the General Relief Society Presidency, spoke on missionary work and the great impact it can have in all of our lives. She offers us all a much needed nudge to improve in our own efforts. As so many of us realize, the dedication of one or two people can affect the futures and even the eternities of hundreds of people.
Sister Allred states:
Follow the link to read the full article, or visit byu.tv to watch the Conference broadcast, then consider how you might enlarge upon the opportunities the Lord has given you for more missionary experiences.
Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church. There is no greater work, no more important work. It blesses the lives of all those who participate in it. It will continue blessing future generations.
You might be asking yourself: How can I assist in missionary work? In what ways can I participate? There are two fundamental truths to keep in mind as you embark on the work. First, have a clear understanding that God loves all His children and desires their salvation. In Doctrine and Covenants 18:13 we read, “And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth.” Second, our message of Christ and His restored gospel is the most important gift you have to give.
As outlined in Preach My Gospel, missionary work is a four-fold endeavor: finding investigators, teaching and baptizing, fellowshipping new members, and fellowshipping and teaching less-active members.7 Every member of the Church—children, youth, and adults—can assist in any or all of these efforts.
Begin by being a good neighbor and a good friend. Set a example of righteousness and kindness. Let your smile radiate love, peace, and happiness. Live a gospel-centered life.
Then, be more specific in your missionary efforts. Let me suggest some ideas. You might find two or three that work for you:
- If you have children at home, help prepare them for missionary service.
- Prepare yourself for missionary service.
- Invite family and friends to listen to the missionaries or to attend our Church meetings and activities.
- Accompany the missionaries to investigators’ homes, or invite the missionaries to teach nonmembers in your home.
- Invite people to a family home evening in your home.
- Invite people to a family history center, or help them do family history research.
- Give referrals to the missionaries. Members can be the greatest and best source of referrals.
- Share your beliefs and testimony with nonmember friends and family.
- Seek for opportunities to reach out to others.
- Extend friendship to investigators and new converts.
- Give your best efforts to finding those who are seeking the truth.
- If you have family members or friends on missions, send them letters of love and encouragement, and pray for them.
You will experience joy in the fruits of your labor. A greater enthusiasm for missionary work will strengthen your entire ward or branch. The whole Church will feel the effects of your labor.