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Now is the Time for Members and Missionaries to Come Together

Now is the Time for Members and Missionaries to Come Together
The Lord has said that he will “hasten [His] work in its time” (D&C 88:73).  As members of His Church, we have been asked to do all that we can do to move the work of salvation forward in our wards and stakes. In an address to all members of the Church in 2013, President Thomas S. Monson emphasized the importance of working together as members and missionaries when he said, “Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together … [and] labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work” (“Faith in the Work of Salvation” [address given at a special broadcast, June 23, 2013]; ).
One of the ways that members and missionaries can “come together” is to be equally engaged in the work. When we are working together, the Lord can magnify our efforts. Elder Boyd K. Packer taught this principle with a simple story about a visit to a country fair in the United States. Country fairs are opportunities for famers to come together to showcase the fruits of their labors and to demonstrate expertise with livestock. He told the story about a contest where pairs of oxen pulled enormous loads while coupled together with heavy wooden yokes.   He observed that the oxen that could pull the heaviest loads, were not always those that were the largest or strongest animals. Rather, those that won the contest were those oxen that, regardless of their size and strength, were “equally yoked”. This means that when the signal was given, they worked with, not against, each other. Their unity was the key to their success. (Elder Boyd K. Packer, Excerpt from an address delivered at a Regional Representatives seminar, 3 April 1975, see also the video at )

The same principle applies to missionary work as well, especially as members and missionaries come together and are “equally yoked” to the task at hand. When members and missionaries work together in harmony and unity, the Lord magnifies their efforts and helps them to accomplish much more than they otherwise could.

How can we as members work more unitedly with the full time missionaries? What can we do to “come together” to be more effective as we hasten the work of salvation? Here are a few practical suggestions that our family has found that will help us to work more effectively together:

  1. 1. Pray for missionary experiences. Don’t just pray for the missionaries, but pray instead as individuals and as a family for people to be placed in your path that can be taught by the full time missionaries. Pray that the Lord will introduce you to those that have been prepared, those who will “hear [His] voice and harden not their hearts” (D&C 29:7).

  1. 2. Invite the missionaries into your home. Invite the full time missionaries to come to your home, not just to visit and socialize, but to teach you the lessons like they would teach their investigators. This will give you the chance to see them in their true roles as teachers of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They will bring the Spirit into your home in a powerful way and will fill you with a greater desire to work closely with them.

  1. 3. Open your mouth. Let others know that you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Let them know that you feel that the Church has been a great blessing in your life. When they show interest, invite them to “come and see” like the Savior invited Andrew to come and see during his ministry (John 1:39). Let them see for themselves what the Gospel can mean in the lives of those who accept it.                                                                                                                            4. Have faith. This is His work; they are His children. He knows His sheep and they are numbered (3 Nephi 18:31). Let go and let the Savior “do [his] own work” (2 Nephi 27:21). We worry too much about what people will think or say. We can simply rely on the promises that he has made that if we “trust in [him]”, we “shall not be confounded” (D&C 84:116). He is the Lord of the harvest.

Some years ago when our children were younger, we felt a desire to be more engaged as a family in the work of bringing souls to God. My wife and I pondered and prayed to know how we could do this. How could we be more effective in our personal missionary efforts and how could we engage our children in the work as well? We felt impressed to invite the full time missionaries to come to our home once a week to teach us the same lessons that they taught their investigators. It was a simple and straightforward experience. Each week they came. They never stayed for more than 20 or 30 minutes. We began with a prayer. They taught us as they would teach a progressing investigator. We ended with a prayer. The miracle was that as we participated, there came into our hearts and into our home a renewed spirit of missionary work. We began to think about it all the time. Our prayers began to change as we prayed for personal missionary experiences. Our confidence and trust in the missionaries increased as we felt the Spirit during the lessons. We became convinced that they would represent us well with our friends and acquaintances that we referred to them. 

The results were slow to come at first, but steadily we began to have natural yet miraculous experiences. Our children gave the Book of Mormon to friends and teachers. My wife invited a door-to-door salesman to hear the missionary lessons. I became more aware of those that surrounded me every day and opened my mouth to let them know that I loved the gospel of Jesus Christ. This simple experience has changed our family forever. To this day, we continue to share the gospel. Our lives have been immeasurably blessed as we have teamed with the full time missionaries to further the Lord’s work in whatever part of the kingdom that we have been living in at the time.

As we join together with the full time missionaries, we will be magnified and blessed in a way that we will hardly be able to understand. We can come together at this time, as members and missionaries, according to the promise of our prophet, and the Lord will help us to help Him to do his work.