Sunday, September 25, 2011

Book of Mormon Missionaries Then and Now

Why do young people all over over the world give up two years of their lives to do missionary work? Perhaps some of the reasons might be found in reading about missionaries in the Book of Mormon:

The Book of Mormon, Jacob, chapter 1, verse 19:
And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.

An example of missionaries in The Book of Mormon:

The Book of Mormon, Alma, chapter 26, verse 29:
And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

Listening to the Spirit is also important on the bad days:

The Book of Mormon, Alma, chapter 26, verse 27:
Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

... and this is what makes it all worth while:

The Book of Mormon, Alma, chapter 26, verse 30 - 31:
30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.

Young and old, Brothers and Sisters all over the world go and serve on missions, not because they have to and not because anybody makes them. They go because their message is real, they know the required process for spiritual change and they have seen it work. These missionaries bring the same message that changed their own lives for the better. To see that change and the happiness it brings into people's lives is only a small part of the motivation behind a good missionary. It becomes a duty with the understanding that responsibility is not about yourself but others!

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