Today I reaffirm strongly that the Lord has asked every worthy, able young man to prepare for and serve a mission. For Latter-day Saint young men, missionary service is a priesthood responsibility. You young men have been reserved for this time when the promised gathering of Israel is taking place. As you serve missions, you play a pivotal role in this unprecedented event!
For you young and able sisters, a mission is also a powerful, but optional, opportunity. We love sister missionaries and welcome them wholeheartedly. What you contribute to this work is magnificent! Pray to know if the Lord would have you serve a mission, and the Holy Ghost will respond to your heart and mind.
Dear young friends, you are each vital to the Lord. He has held you in reserve until now to help gather Israel. Your decision to serve a mission, whether a proselyting or a service mission, will bless you and many others. We also welcome senior couples to serve when their circumstances permit. Their efforts are simply irreplaceable.
All missionaries teach and testify of the Savior. The spiritual darkness in the world makes the light of Jesus Christ needed more than ever. Everyone deserves the chance to know about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
My missionary service prepared me to be a better husband and father and to be successful in business. It also prepared me for a lifetime of service to the Lord in His Church.
…As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I now call upon you young men—and those young women who desire to serve a mission—to begin right now to talk with your parents about serving a mission. I also invite you to talk with your friends about serving a mission, and if one of your friends is not sure about serving, encourage them to talk with their bishop.
Commit to yourselves and to your Heavenly Father that you will serve a mission and that from this time forward you will strive to keep your hearts, hands, and minds clean and worthy. I invite you to gain a solid testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Fathers and mothers of these wonderful youth, you have a vital role in this preparation process. Begin today to talk with your children about missionary service. We know that the family is the most profound influence in helping our young men and young women prepare.
If you are still in the age range for missionary service but have not served yet due to the pandemic or other reasons, I invite you to serve now. Talk to your bishop, and prepare to serve the Lord.
I encourage you bishops to help all young men and young women who are close to missionary age to prepare to serve, and I also encourage you bishops to identify those who are old enough but who have not yet served. Invite each young man to become a missionary, as well as each young woman who desires to serve.
To the missionaries currently serving, we thank you. …I pray that you young men and young women and your parents will see and know how missionary service will forever bless your life.
When I was preparing to go on my mission, some surprising forces tried to discourage me. One was my dentist. When he realized my appointment was so I could be a missionary, he tried to dissuade me from serving. I had not had the least notion that my dentist was against the Church.
The interruption of my education was also complicated. When I asked for a two-year leave of absence from my university program, I was informed that it was not possible. I would lose my place at the university if I did not return after one year. In Brazil, this was serious since the only criterion for admittance in a university program was a very difficult and competitive examination.
After repeatedly insisting, I was reluctantly informed that after being absent for one year, I could apply for an exception on extraordinary grounds. It might be approved or not. I was terrified at the idea of retaking that difficult admissions test after two years away from my studies.
I also was especially interested in a young woman. Several of my friends shared that same interest. I thought to myself, “If I go on a mission, I’m running a risk.”
…Serving a full-time mission may seem difficult to us. Perhaps it requires that we give up important things for a moment. The Lord certainly knows this, and He will always be by our side.
…Remember the challenges that I thought I faced prior to my mission? My dentist? I found another. My university? They made an exception for me. Remember that young woman? She married one of my good friends.
…Among the many rich blessings He has given me for serving Him as a full-time missionary are a greater faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement and a stronger knowledge and testimony of His teachings.
…After my mission, I benefited from my increased courage to present myself as a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and His Church in all circumstances and to all people, even sharing the gospel with a beautiful woman who would become my virtuous, wise, fun, and beloved eternal companion, the sunshine of my life.
…My mission completely shaped my life. I learned it is worth the effort to trust in God, to trust in His wisdom and mercy and in His promises. After all, He is our Father, and without any doubt, He wants the best for us.
In a remarkable discussion with my wise and exemplary older brother, we concluded that his decision on whether to serve a mission and delay his education depended on three questions: (1) Is Jesus Christ divine? (2) Is the Book of Mormon the word of God? and (3) Is Joseph Smith the Prophet of the Restoration? If the answer to these questions was yes, it was clear that Joe could do more good taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world than becoming a doctor at an earlier date.
…we are grateful that in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, faithful missionaries have shared the gospel. Missionaries, we love you! The Lord asks each one of us to share His gospel in word and deed. Our personal conversion includes the responsibility to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the world.
The blessings of sharing the gospel include increasing our conversion to the will of God and letting God prevail in our lives. We bless others to experience a “mighty change” of heart. There is truly eternal joy in helping to bring souls unto Christ. Laboring for the conversion of oneself and others is the noble task.
The Savior’s great commission (“go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”) can be accomplished through simple, easily understandable principles taught to each of us from childhood: love, share, and invite.
…Through Christlike love for others, we preach the glorious, life-transforming properties of Christ’s gospel, and we participate significantly in the fulfilling of His great commission.
…Sharing isn’t about “selling” the gospel. You don’t have to write a sermon or correct someone’s incorrect perceptions. When it comes to missionary work, God doesn’t need you to be His sheriff; He does, however, ask that you be His sharer. By sharing our positive experiences in the gospel with others, we take part in fulfilling the Savior’s great commission.
…As we invite others to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ, we take part in the Savior’s call to engage in the work of His commission.