How Faith Makes ALL the Difference in Missionary Work

Introduction

Faith is such an important part of life. Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. We think that if we aren’t constantly following every little detail of what we have been asked to do, then we are failing. But that’s just not true. We are asked to have faith. Faith just means to believe, and then act upon that belief. I would bet you do that more often than you think. Maybe consider the little ways you show your faith in Christ every day.

This article is something I wrote about while I was serving my mission in West Texas. While it was originally written to be shared with other missionaries, the principles of faith discussed can be applied to everyone.


Missionary work is only possible through faith (1); faith in yourself, faith in God, faith in the message, and faith in the people you want (2) to teach. We need to have faith that the message we share is the truth (3). We need to trust that God is preparing (4) His people for us to teach and that He is preparing us to be able to accomplish His work. We need to have faith that this is the Lord’s work and that He directs it (5).

Faith is more than just believing that something is true (6). It’s doing something about it. It’s knocking on doors when that’s the last thing you want to do. We don’t knock on doors because it’s super effective and it’s the best way to find investigators. We knock on doors because we have faith that, because we are willing to go and try to find someone to teach, God will guide us to those who are prepared (7) or He will guide them to us (8). Either way, by acting on our faith, God can trust us to take care of His children.

Having faith means having a positive (9) attitude. We look for the good; the good in each day we live, the good in each investigator we teach, the good in each area we serve, the good in each situation we are placed, and the good in each person (especially other missionaries) that we are granted the gift of coming in contact with (10). The gospel of Jesus Christ is one of joy (11) and positivity. It cultivates love and respect. As missionaries, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to have the faith to make that positivity a part of us. Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints need to have enough faith in our Savior to radiate and feel enveloped in, love, joy, and respect (12).

Developing those characteristics can be difficult for some missionaries, but through Christ, all things are possible (13). The Lord has provided a way for us. He has given us scriptures (14), with prophets, commandments (15), and examples, so that we can learn and understand the way He needs us to be. He has given us leaders, who can provide support, and help us to be accountable for the things we are trying to improve in our lives (16). He has given us prayer (17). “Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. … Prayer is a form of work (Bible Dictionary: Prayer).” None of us are perfect (18). We all know that. However, perfect is what we are striving to be. This requires repentance on our part. “Without this, there can be no progress in the things of the soul’s salvation, for all accountable (19) persons are stained by sin and must be cleansed in order to enter the kingdom of God (Bible Dictionary: Repentance).” Through fasting, study, prayer, and repentance, we can become the kind of missionaries the Lord needs us to be.

Once we develop this love and respect, we are better able to strengthen and use our faith. This faith, along with our newly found Christ-like attributes, can help us to better serve and teach those around us. Our stronger faith and love will lead us to act. It will lead us to share the truths that we testify to everyone we see (20). It becomes easier as we realize God’s love for every one of His children and choose to express this love to them. We begin to love them as well, and desire (21) for them to share in the peace (22) and happiness we have acquired.

As missionaries, we have the privilege, responsibility, and honor of wearing Jesus Christ’s name on our chests. We need to live up to this name. We need to behave in the way Christ would if He were here. But He isn’t here. Instead, He has entrusted us to take His place, to do in our areas what He would do. This is what it means to be called as His representative. As we take faith in this, we can be more obedient in the ways that our Exemplar would have us. He was exactly obedient to everything He was asked to do, and even doing things He wasn’t asked to do. As we place our faith in Him, He can help us do the same. As we do this, we will behave in such a way that everyone will be able to recognize us as whom we have been called to be; missionaries: representatives of Jesus Christ (23).

Because of our calling, it is of the utmost importance that we listen to the Spirit. Our faith helps those promptings to come and gives us the confidence (24) to heed those promptings. We can be confident because the Lord qualifies (25) who He calls. He loves us too much to leave us alone. This is a work that we cannot do without help from and faith in our Savior. He perfectly understands our strengths and weaknesses. He knows who we are, and He knows what we are capable of. He makes up the difference for us. He makes all the difference.

As missionaries, we teach that faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement leads to repentance (26). I wonder if we truly believe that sometimes. We need to have faith that, when we invite our investigators to repent, they will. The Lord will help them to do the things that they need to do; just like He does for us, just like He did for the children of Israel (27). He gives us laws, makes promises with us, and places us in circumstances so that we all have the best chance possible to become our best selves.

As we repent, oftentimes we are also developing Christ-like attributes (28). These are the principles upon which every relationship we are in should be founded. We need to be patient, kind, full of love and faith. We need to have charity, virtue, and godliness. We need to grow our knowledge and learn to be humble. There are so many things that Christ is, that if we were, our work as missionaries would be phenomenal. We need to have the faith to change and make Christ a bigger part of our lives.

Faith and love are the ends all, do all of the work of the Lord. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands to invite all to come unto Christ. We do this by preaching the gospel, redeeming the dead, and perfecting the saints (29). A firm faith in our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, is the foundation upon which all of us should build. Elder Hales’s final words to the world were, “When we choose to have faith, we are prepared to stand in the presence of God. … After the Savior’s crucifixion, He appeared only to those ‘who had been faithful in the testimony of [Him] while they lived in mortality’ (D&C 138:12). Those ‘who rejected the testimonies…of the…prophets [could not] behold [the Savior’s] presence, nor look upon his face.’ (D&C 138:21) … Our faith prepares us to be in the presence of the Lord. (30)” In His presence, that is where we can find true joy. Joy is what we are promised in this work.

Faith is the way to obtain that joy so that we too, like Ammon, can say, “Behold…our brethren, who were in the darkest abyss, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this blessing, which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work…The field was white and blessed are we, for we did thrust in our sickles and did reap with all our might; yea all the day long did we labor: and behold the number of our sheaves!… Behold our joy is full, yea our hearts are brim with joy and we will rejoice in our God. … For as to our strength we are weak, therefore we will boast in our God, for in His strength, we can do all things. … Yea, and we have been instruments in His hands of doing this marvelous work…We have been forth amongst them and we have been patient and faithful in our sufferings and we have suffered every privation; yea we have traveled from house to house, relying on the mercies of God. …And we have suffered all manner of afflictions and all this that we might be the means of saving some soul, that perhaps our joy would be full. (31)” Through faith, we may also feel as the sons of Mosiah and say, “This is our life, our light, our salvation…yea, and we will give thanks to our God forever. (32)”

As we continually strengthen our faith and look steadfastly (33) toward Christ, as we work with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (34), relying on the Lord (35), we will find the joy that we have been promised and say, even as Alma did, and tell the world that, “The Lord hath given us exceedingly great joy in the fruit of our labors… yea, we do still put our trust in Him, and He will still deliver us. (36)”


One of the most wonderful parts of this gospel is how interconnected the beliefs are. Having faith leads to so many good things, for ourselves, and others. What good things have come because of the faith that you have? Share with us in the comments below!


1. General Conference Oct. 2017The Lord Leads His Church “You may think, at first, that such faith is not important to the success of the Lord’s Church and kingdom. However, you may discover—no matter where you are in the chain of priesthood service, from the Lord’s prophet to a new Aaronic Priesthood holder—that faith is essential.”
2. D&C 6:8; Enos 1:9; Mark 12:44
3. D&C 11:21; Why is a testimony important?
4. Prov. 16:1; Ezra 7:10; 1 Cor 2:9; Alma 16:16; D&C 78:7; D&C 132:3
5. Moses 1:39
6. Ether 12:30; General Conference Oct. 2017Has the Day of Miracles Ceased “King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego worship the golden image he set up as a god, threatening, “If ye worship not, ye shall be cast … into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” Then he taunted them with “Who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?”
These three devout disciples said: “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. … But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods.”They possessed full confidence that God could save them, “but if not,” they had complete faith in His plan.
Similarly, Elder David A. Bednar once asked a young man who had requested a priesthood blessing, “If it is the will of our Heavenly Father that you are transferred by death in your youth to the spirit world to continue your ministry, do you have the faith to submit to His will and not be healed?” Do we have the faith “not [to] be healed” from our earthly afflictions so we might be healed eternally?”
7. Election, Bible Dictionary “Election is an opportunity for service and is both on a national and an individual basis. On a national basis the seed of Abraham carry the gospel to the world. But it is by individual faithfulness that it is done.
The elect are chosen even “before the foundation of the world,” yet no one is unconditionally elected to eternal life. Each must, for himself, hearken to the gospel and receive its ordinances and covenants from the hands of the servants of the Lord in order to obtain salvation.”
8. Preach My Gospel Chapter 9 “Developing the Faith to Find” “Finding Through Your Own Efforts”
9. 2 Kings 6:16; General Conference Oct 2017 Turn on Your Light “Being happy doesn’t mean to slap a plastic smile on your face no matter what is going on. But it does mean keeping the laws of God and building and lifting others. When we build, when we lift the burden of others, it blesses our lives in ways our trials cannot take away. I have a quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley placed where I see it every day. He said: “You don’t … build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen.”; Psalm 146:5; True to the FaithHope pg 85; Preach My GospelHope pg117
10. General Conference Oct 2017 Three Sisters; True to the FaithUnity pg 182
11. 2 Nephi 2:25; 1 Sam 12:2-3; Psalm 126:5-6; Gal 5:22
12. General Conference Oct 2017 Abiding in God and Repairing the Breach“We must understand that God the Father directed His Son, Jesus Christ, to create the earth for our growth, that Heavenly Father gave His Son to pay the demands of justice for our salvation, and that the Father’s priesthood power and the Son’s true Church with the necessary ordinances were restored for our blessings. Can you feel the depth of love running through Their preparations for our joy and growth?… Simple love, honestly expressed, gives hope and value to others. …We are divinely designed to give love and be loved, and the deepest love comes when we are one with God.”
13. Matt 19:26; Mark 9:23
14. Bible DictionaryScripture;Preach My Gospel pg73 Study the Scriptures
15. John 13:34-35; Levi 18:26; Matt 7:7; Rev. 2:10; D&C 38:27
16. Preach My Gospel pg 150 Accountability; Heb 13:17-18
17. True to the FaithPrayer; Bible Dictionaryprayer
18. Matt 5:48; General Conference Oct 2017 Be Ye Therefore Perfect…Eventually
19. Hel 14:30-31
20. Preach My Gospel Chap 9; D&C 24:12; D&C 28:16; D&C 60:2-3, 7-8
21. D&C 11: 8,10,14,17,21,26; D&C 6:3,8,27
22. Mark 4:39
23. Adjusting to Missionary Life, Introduction
24.Psalm 27:1,3; Eph 3:10-12; Acts 28:30-31
25. General Conference, May 1996 Duty Calls “Now, some of you may be shy by nature or consider yourselves inadequate to respond affirmatively to a calling. Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. It is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”
26. What is True Repentance?; Bible DictionaryRepentance
27. Exodus 14:30-31; 1 Nephi 17:23-29; Moses 1:26
28. PreachC My GospelChapter 6How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes?
29. Church History in the Fulness of Times, Chapter 49 The Destiny of the Church
30. General Conference Oct 2017 The Voice of the Lord
31. Alma 26:3-30
32.Alma 26: 36-37
33. Steadfast and Immovable, Always Abounding in Good Works
34. D&C 4:2; D&C 59:5
35. Learning to Rely on the Lord
36. Alma 36:25-27

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