What of the
Sharing the the Gospel
Top Ten Excuses About Missionary Work
Friday, May 27 2011, Meridian Magazine
1. Ifm no scriptorian. No problem. Suppose your friend asks, gWhere in the Bible does it say anything about Joseph Smith?h Even a Bible scholar canft point to line and verse, but love can answer this question. You might say, gGod spoke through prophets anciently. Would you like to know what he is saying to them in our day?h
2. I canft risk a friendship. Some think that talking about religion may ruin a friendship. True friends respect the things we believe. They donft always agree with us, but genuine friendship doesnft crumble in the face of living and sharing what we believe.
3. I donft know any gnon-members.h Translation: Ifm afraid to step out of my comfort zone. Fair enough, but try it. Not only will you gain new friends; they will gain you.
4. Ifm too busy. Time is a matter of choice. What we love, we gmake timeh for. So the real question is: Do we love God enough to make time for his children? What we have to offer them is precious. We can make time for that.
5. Ifm not a full-time missionary. When full-time missionaries are released, they do not receive a congregational raise of the hand in gratitude for their service. The reason is that we are never greleasedh from the blessing and responsibility to open our mouths. We may be called and released from full-time service, but not from being member-missionaries.
6. My Neighbors Have Already Heard It. That may be, but the Lord prepares people in their circumstance, not just their location. A death, a birth, a wedding, or any of a hundred shifting circumstances can change attitudes and receptivity to weightier matters.
7. My House Is...fill in the blank: a mess, noisy, not conducive to the spirit? Elder Ballard said: gGospel sharing homes are very ordinary. It is a way of life. Creating a gospel-sharing home means inviting our friends and neighbors into the ongoing flow of family and Church activitiesh (M. Russell Ballard, gCreating a Gospel-Sharing Home,h Ensign, April, 2006). If you say grace at mealtime, yours can be a gospel-sharing home. If your children play with neighbors, yours can be a gospel-sharing home. If you view church videos, yours can be a gospel-sharing home.
8. Itfs Too Hard. Not really. A few months ago, my wife and I invited the twelve families on our street to a block-watch and paving party. All but three attended. We had a great time. They saw and heard what we stand for in the natural flow of being in our home. We didnft lose any neighbors and we gained several friends.
9. I Donft Know What to Say. Think back to how you met your best friend. Were you worried about what to say? When your goal is friendship, you will build relationships of trust. Trusted friends will often approach you about the gospel first. When that happens, you will know what to say.
10. Ifm afraid. The first time I dove off a diving board, I was afraid. The second time I dove, I was thrilled. Test the water; itfs great.
No earthly reward can match the supernal blessing of eternal life. Like Enos, ours is the blessing gto feel a desire for the welfare of (our) brethrenh (Enos 1:9). Who else will carry the words of life to our neighbors? If not us, who? If not now and forever...when?
Ultimately, we have the companionship of the greatest missionary the world has ever known: the Lord. gAnd whoso receiveth you, there will I be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you uph (D&C 84:88).