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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Missionary Work

Well it has been raining off and on for a week now. As you can imagine after the NASHVILLE FLOOD 2010 people are probably getting scared. Some of the rest of us are just sick and tired of all of the rain. It seems like it just won't stop. Well that is because it is not going to stop the Work of God from progressing. Missionary work will still move forward. Many homes and yards are being damaged from the wind and rain. We have gone times without power because of it. But it doesn't stop us until we are giving the call. Our Heavenly Father is watching over us for sure.

Most of you have probably seen 19 to 25 year old elders and 21+ year old sisters walking around with these name tags from THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. We may have even knocked on your door. We do it all voluntarily. We do not get a reward in the church. They pay all their expenses by themselves. We are persecuted almost daily because of our beliefs. But I would do it over and over again because of the importance of it. We do this because of our love for the Savior. 

Some of you may be asking why there are missionaries. Lets find out why, shall we.

A Missionary Church

The blessings of the gospel are so precious that we try to share them with everyone we can. Imagine you found a cure for cancer. How urgently would you spread the news of your discovery? Who would you tell? The gospel of Jesus Christ is the cure for so many of life's ills that Mormons want to share the good news of eternal life with the same urgency.
The Lord's Church has always been a missionary church. Jesus Christ's life was the perfect example of missionary work. During His ministry on earth, He taught the gospel at all times, in all places, and to all kinds of people. Jesus taught the educated men in the temple, the sinners, the faithful and the unbelieving. He also called apostles and other disciples to preach the gospel so more people could hear about the blessings of His gospel. Most of their preaching during Christ's life was to their own people, the Jews. After Jesus was resurrected, He visited His apostles and sent them to preach to the gentiles. He commanded them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

Why Mormons send Missionaries Around the World?
We believe we are all part of one heavenly family, so missionary work isn't work so much as it is trying to help out our brothers and sisters.
That Mormons do missionary work is one of the Church's most recognized characteristics. Right now, tens of thousands of missionaries are walking, driving or riding their bikes around the world, handing out copies of the Book of Mormon and sharing the gospel with the people they meet. Why do these people, most of them under the age of 25, volunteer to leave their homes at their own expense and dedicate a period of their lives to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ?
The Lord said, “proclaim my gospel from land to land, and from city to city… bear testimony in every place, unto every people” (Doctrine and Covenants 66:5,7). We take that commandment to heart and look for opportunities to share the blessings we've received from living the gospel with everyone we can. Jesus taught, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). Knowing that certain ordinances like baptism are necessary for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father, we feel an urgent need to share this blessing with everyone we can. Our first interest as a Church—is that as many of the children of men as can, will be saved and exalted. While we work out our own salvation, we want to help those around us do the same. Because we are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, the more of us that are able to learn and keep His commandments and enjoy eternal life, the happier we'll all be.

What Missionaries Do

You might wonder what, exactly, a Mormon missionary does, other than ride a bike and knock on doors, or how a young man or woman just out of high school might end up on a mission. Here are the basics.
Most of the Church's missionaries are around twenty years old, though many members also volunteer to serve after they've retired. All prospective missionaries turn in applications to Church headquarters and they receive a call to a specific mission around the world. They spend a few weeks in a training center where some of them learn a new language and all of them rigorously study and practice teaching the gospel. Then they set off to their assigned locations and begin their service. Missionaries' lives are completely dedicated to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. They pay their own way and put off school, dating and work for two years in order to focus entirely on doing the Lord's work.
A common morning for a missionary might consist of waking up at 6:30 a.m., studying the scriptures, and meeting new people to share the gospel with. The afternoon might include discussing gospel lessons with people they meet and volunteering for service in the community. A good night has them teaching the gospel to interested individuals and helping them learn and keep God's commandments or attending a baptismal service for someone who's decided to join the Church. They return home around 9:30 p.m. and fall into bed, usually exhausted and happy.

We Teach of Jesus Christ

Mormons are known for the things they don't drink, their emphasis on the family and the Book of Mormon they read, but in the end the central message of our religion is our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness for His children and the Atoning sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Missionaries share one thing and one thing only - the gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Like Nephi, “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26). It may seem strange to focus so much of our lives on Jesus Christ, but the wisdom of the gospel applies to everything from the purpose of life to how we approach our work, how we relate to others, even how we take care of our bodies. The teachings of Jesus Christ have more power to bring lasting happiness than all the success and pleasure the world can offer. Every message Mormon missionaries share revolves around Him and how His Atonement and ordinances allow us to return to live with our Father in Heaven and our families in heaven.

At the end of 2010 there were recorded 52, 483 missionaries in 340 missions throughout the world. That is huge. Each of these missionaries are doing the Lord's work. I am honored to be one of these missionaries sharing the Gospel. Bearing testimony about our Savior Jesus Christ. This is a great cause that needs to move forward. Sharing the Gospel has been the most rewarding and most educating time of my life. I am so very thankful for this opportunity. I LOVE IT!

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