In my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there is a great focus on missionary work. We believe our greatest and most important duty is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Formal missionaries in my faith are people who accept a calling to go to a place other than home to teach the gospel to others for a period of time, accompanied by others doing to same. What most don’t realize is that we are all missionaries.
When a person does missionary work all they’re doing, in a way, is teaching the gospel to the best of their knowledge to someone else. In that way, every person who understands our faith and teaches its principles to someone else has done missionary work. I’ve had many missionary experiences and I’m not even 18 years old yet, the age at which I’m eligible to receive a formal missionary calling.
One such missionary moment happened very recently. I was sitting on break at work when my supervisor came in and started to rant about how alcohol tax was too high in Utah. I really didn’t care much about it since I’ll never drink and purchase alcohol, but I listened anyway. He started to say that the tax was the fault of the Mormon’s.
I saw this as a perfect opportunity to teach what I believed — beliefs based in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I started to explain why I don’t drink and why it’s bad for you. I continued to explain the Word of Wisdom and other doctrines of my faith. One topic led to the next and eventually I started to go through the timeline of the restoration of the priesthood, starting in the Old Testament and all scriptures up to its restoration to the latter-day prophet Joseph Smith. This interested him; the timeline and my ability to explain a bit of history about the Jewish and Catholic religions and how they were part of the scriptures I read. I explained how the privilege of the priesthood power, the power of God, had been lost on the earth. Because I had studied the scriptures, both Bible and Book of Mormon, I was able to talk to him about my beliefs in a way he could understand — through the language of shared beliefs in the bible.
During our conversation, the one thing that surprised him the most, the one thing he wanted to learn more about was Joseph Smith’s first vision. I shared everything I knew, all the details, including the power of the devil trying to bind Joseph’s tongue as he spoke, quoting from Joseph Smith History (JSH) verse 16: “…but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world…” I knew as I shared this scripture, it had power and it made an impression on my supervisor. He started to ask me more questions. I could tell he felt the spirit.
I want those who read this to know we are all missionaries. It’s important we learn all we can about the gospel so we are ready to share knowledge and testimony at all times. When we are able to discuss and share gospel knowledge, those we teach grow, but so do we. It is my prayer that we may all live as brothers and sisters with our Heavenly Father again.