Some time ago a clever person developed a poster that read, Plan Ahead. But the two words were spaced in such a manner that the letter “d” on the word “ahead” did not fit within the border of the sign. The irony of such a poster caused it to become a cultural icon.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner I invite you to take advantage of the goodwill that accompanies these two special holidays and Plan Ahead to be members missionaries. As you do so I have faith that conversations about the church will come up and you will be able to successfully invite people to meet with the missionaries.
President Kimball taught, “I feel the Lord has placed, in a very natural way within our circles of friends and acquaintances, many persons who are ready to enter into his Church. We ask that you prayerfully identify those persons and then ask the Lord’s assistance in helping you introduce them to the gospel.” (Ensign June 1983)
Many years ago a book circulated through the church called, A Member Missionary, Hey… I Can Do That. (Gary Coleman, 1983). One of the key aspects of the book was the idea that as members of the church we could be good member missionaries without doing any socially uncomfortable things. The author postulated that could be done by:
- Letting people know you are a member of the church. The author suggests that when people ask, “So, what did you do this weekend?” that you tell them you chaperoned a youth dance, or went camping with the Boy Scouts or spoke in church. These types of responses will let others know you are a member of the church.
- Talk about the church in such a manner that others will know you find joy and satisfaction in your church service. Some will be curious about this type of joyful service and want to know more.
- Let others know that you are happy to answer questions about the Church. If you let people know you are willing to discuss such topics (perhaps at another time or place) you will often find yourself having meaningful gospel conversations.
Which brings me back to Plan Ahead. As you interact with non-members have something you can give them. Most chapels have stands with church produced Pass-A-Long cards or other church literature. It would be nice if every member had several of these professionally produce cards in their purse or brief case to hand out when the opportunity arises. And, it is always a good idea to have a Book of Mormon in your home, car and office so it can be presented whenever the occasion permits.
It is my testimony that God lives and He loves us unconditionally. But, blessings from God are conditioned upon keeping commandments. Finding ways to share the gospel with others is one of the key commandments He has placed upon members of His church. As you Plan Ahead for missionary opportunities the Lord will bless you with the chance to speak with others about the gospel.
- Blake Murdock, President, Colorado Denver South Mission
Elder Bruce Kneeland
Full-time volunteer Senior Missionary
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
“When ye are in the service of your fellow being ye are in the service of God”