The Message of the Mormon Missionary
The Mormon missionaries have a message, a message so important that they focus part of their lives solely on teaching it. The message is that Jesus Christ died to save us, that God will never stop speaking to us, and that God speaks to us through prophets even today. It is that God’s authority and God’s pure truth was lost from the earth with the death of the original Apostles and now has been restored to the earth – after centuries of confusion and sectarianism within the Christian Church. This confusion, the mingling of the philosophies of men with scripture, Mormons call the Great Apostasy.
But God has always spoken through prophets. Joseph Smith, the first prophet of this dispensation, received the necessary revelations and authority to restore His Church. Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon in 1829. This book is the record of a people who lived in the Americas centuries ago. Their prophets taught of Jesus Christ before He came. And Jesus Christ visited the Book of Mormon peoples and established His church as He had done in the Holy Land. The Book of Mormon is also called Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
Some of Joseph Smith’s revelations are recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants. The Doctrine and Covenants also contain revelations by other Mormon prophets. However, Mormon prophets don’t record visions and revelations often in the Doctrine and Covenants. In fact, it’s rare. However, they speak to the entire Church, guided by God and his Spirit, every six months in a meeting called General Conference.
Often, Mormon missionaries focus on the Book of Mormon when they teach, because it’s not as familiar to most people as the Bible. Also, it has essential elements of what Mormons believe is Christ’s Gospel, pure, complete, and restored. The Book of Mormon’s purpose is stated in its introduction – it is to be “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations.” The Book of Mormon was meant to come forth in the time it did, to strengthen the faith of those who follow Christ, to validate the biblical record, and to convince others of Christ’s salvation.
The Mormon missionary will also focus on families and eternal marriage. Because of the authority from God vested in the Mormon priesthood, ordinances can be performed to bind families together now and for all eternity. The missionaries will stress how important family prayer, family scripture study, and family church attendance is to keep families unified and strong against the assaults from media and culture. They will also talk about Family Home Evening, which is a time reserved for the family to be together. They will also talk about the blessings of going to the LDS temple. Mormons believe in temples, and it is in Mormon temples that couples and families can be sealed together for eternity. Mormon missionaries will also speak about who we are, where we came from, and why we’re on this earth. In the Mormon faith, we all have a relationship with God – and we are all His Spirit children. He has a plan for each of us. This is called the Plan of Salvation, or the Plan of Happiness.
Eventually, if you continue in the discussions, if you think their message is true, the missionaries will invite you to join the Mormon Church. They will help you through the process of preparing for baptism – how to have faith in Christ and in His gospel as restored, how to repent of your sins and receive forgiveness for them.
What can you do?
If you have a chance to meet the Mormon missionaries, take the time to listen to what they have to say. Their message may be what you need – peace and answers in a troubled and often confused world, where immediate pleasures give way to a feeling of purposelessness. If your life has hardships that you struggle to overcome, if you have addictions or sins you struggle to overcome, the Church will help you overcome these things and find strength of heart. It teaches that we are all of great worth to God, that He loves us, and we are never alone.
The missionaries will give you their message – and also ask you to read the Book of Mormon, which contains the word of God for us today. Indeed, the Book of Mormon invites all to lay their burdens at the feet of Christ and through Him find peace, joy, and Eternal Life:
Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot (from the Book of Mormon, Moroni 10:32-33, pg 531).”