Missionary Work

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“I recently read the story of Marie Madeline Cardon, who, with her family, received the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ from the first missionaries called to serve in Italy in 1850. She was a young woman of 17 or 18 years of age when they were baptized. One Sunday, while the family was holding a worship service in their home high in the Alps of northern Italy, an angry mob of men, including some of the local ministers, gathered around the house and began shouting, yelling, and calling for the missionaries to be brought outside, I don’t think they were anxious to be taught the gospel—they intended bodily harm. It was young Marie who marched out of the house to confront the mob. They continued their vicious yells and demands for the missionaries to be brought out. Marie raised her Bible up in her hand and commanded them to depart. She told them that the elders were under her protection and that they could not harm one hair of their heads. Listen to her own words: ‘All stood aghast. ….God was with me. He placed those words in my mouth, or I could not have spoken them. All was calm, instantly. That strong ferocious body of men stood helpless before a weak, trembling, yet fearless girl.’ The ministers asked the mob to leave, which they did quietly in shame, fear, and remorse. The small flock completed their meeting in peace.

“Can’t you just picture that brave young woman, the same age as many of you, standing up to a mob and defending her newly found beliefs with courage and conviction?”

Bonnie L. Oscarson, Relief Society General President
Defenders of the Family Proclamation,” April 2015 General Conference

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“At the end of the day, a pair of missionaries starts toward home when one suddenly turns to the other and says, ‘I feel we need to stop at this one last place.’ A home teacher is prompted to call one of the families he visited just a few days before. A young woman plans on attending a school friend’s party yet feels impressed to stay home this time.

“How did the missionaries know to knock on the door of someone who had been praying for them? or the home teacher to call a family that was in desperate need? or the young woman to stay away from a situation where her values could be compromised? In each of these situations they were guided by the influence of the Holy Ghost.

“Similar experiences happen repeatedly to members throughout the world on a regular basis, and there are those who desire to feel the Spirit guiding them daily in their lives. While each person can learn to recognize the whisperings of the Spirit, that learning process can be facilitated as others help us understand about the Holy Ghost, share their personal testimonies, and provide an environment where the Spirit can be felt.”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit,” October 2009 General Conference

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“Aaron, who was a great missionary, used the scriptures to teach the Lamanite king and the people of Ammon about faith and repentance and about Jesus Christ and the plan of happiness (see Alma 22:12–14; 23:4–5). Today, reading and studying the scriptures continues to build our faith, helps us resist temptation, and allows us to grow closer to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
A Lesson from the Book of Mormon,” October 2007 General Conference

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“Stanley was a 19-year-old investigator in Hong Kong. He was excited about the gospel and wanted to be baptized until his friends criticized the Church. He met with the missionaries. They testified that God cared enough about him to answer his prayer. They invited him to kneel and ask Heavenly Father if the teachings were true. First one companion and then the other offered a short prayer. Then Stanley prayed. When he finished his humble prayer, they asked him, ‘Stanley, how do you feel?’ He slowly raised his head and in almost a whisper replied, ‘Baptism, baptism.’ ”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
A Lesson from the Book of Mormon,” October 2007 General Conference

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“A sister in Mexico City was 16 years old when the missionaries came to her door. She says that as they taught with the Spirit, ‘it seemed like they had taken the bandages off my eyes and that the Lord was clearing my understanding. … The word of God and my prayers strengthened [me] to overcome my next trial, to face my father. When I met rejection from my family because of my baptism, the Spirit of the Lord strengthened me by whispering: ‘Keep on. Go on. Some of your relatives will become members of the Church.’ ‘ ”

Vicki F. Matsumori, Second Counselor, Primary General Presidency
A Lesson from the Book of Mormon,” October 2007 General Conference

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“I testify of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I have felt His love; I have felt His forgiveness. I think of a sister missionary as she departed the mission. In her final testimony she said, ‘I came on a mission to let Heavenly Father know I loved Him, to express appreciation to Him, and to pay Him back,’ and she said, ‘I’m leaving more in His debt than I ever was before I came.’ ”

Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society General President
Feel the Love of the Lord,” April 2002 General Conference

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“Every time we strengthen our own testimony or help someone else strengthen theirs, we build the kingdom of God. Every time we mentor a newly baptized sister or befriend a wandering soul without judging her or invite a nonmember family to home evening or give a Book of Mormon to a colleague or lead a family to the temple or stand up for modesty and motherhood or invite the missionaries into our homes or help someone discover the power of the word, we build the kingdom of God.”

Sheri L. Dew, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Stand Tall and Stand Together,” October 2000 General Conference

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“There is nothing this confused world needs more, nothing that inspires a greater sense of well-being, nothing that has greater power to strengthen families than the gospel of Jesus Christ… The Savior will do for each of us what He has promised to do—if we will have faith in Him and receive His gift.”

Sheri L. Dew, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Our Only Chance,” April 1999 General Conference

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“Most of us have witnessed how living the gospel can change the lives of people in a positive way. As an example of this, I recall a family that we met while in the mission field. The missionaries described the Barnes family as being a wonderful family, but with no evidence at all of Church influence in their lives. The father was rough and crude, a beer-drinking toughie. His children were afraid of him. Their home was far from tidy, and their appearance the same. They had had a hard life. But as the missionaries met with them, a marvelous transformation began taking place. They were impressed with the life and teachings of the Savior and made an effort to apply his teachings in their lives. Their very appearance and outlook on life began to change.

“Learning about unconditional love and not being judgmental gave them a new approach with an adult son who is an alcoholic. Their new attitude, along with professional help, seems to be making a real difference in his life.

“Learning to respect themselves as sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, they threw away their cigarettes, and they stopped drinking. They cleaned themselves up and their surroundings as well. And now there is a loving spirit in their home, where they read the scriptures regularly.”

Barbara W. Winder, Relief Society General President
Hope in Christ”, October 1986 General Conference

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