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I'm passionate about the message in Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 22: Carrying the Gospel to the World. There is such a great need for the gospel throughout the world (every single person, right?!). The gospel of Jesus Christ would solve so many problems, heartaches, and pain. As Ezra Taft Benson said,
WE HAVE IT! You have it. I have it. And now we need to share it with everyone! How are you sharing the gospel? Are you preparing to go on a mission? Are you helping others prepare to go? Are you sharing how the gospel has improved your life? It is so easy to come up with excuses not to open our mouths but every time we keep it shut instead, Satan wins that battle. We have to be confident and we need to live worthily of the Spirit so when the time comes we can speak with clarity and power. President Benson stated, "As members of the Lord's Church, we must take missionary work seriously... We cannot avoid it." One of the things that holds us back is missionary work is well, work! It takes effort and time.
In the beginning, you may feel missionary work is yet another thing to do and almost dread it but I know as you start to share the words of Christ, it will no longer feel like work. It will feel like, as Elder Neil L. Andersen stated, "missionary fun!" There is so much joy to be had in sharing truth with others! You may not see all the fruits of your labors but you will be blessed for striving to help further the Lord's great work. And when the opposition comes as it almost always will, your testimony will be stronger and you will be able to withstand the attacks better than you have ever before.
- See if you can get extra copies of the Book of Mormon from your distribution center or local full-time missionaries then pass out these Testimony Book Plates. Ask everyone to take a minute and write their testimony down during class. Then challenge them to either take a copy of the Book of Mormon with them and glue their testimony in it with the intent to give it to someone or stick their testimony in their own scriptures to read when they need their own missionary nourishment.
- Use Preach My Gospel in your lesson. In Chapter 9 it specifically list ways missionaries need members help! Print out our Preach My Gospel Study Journal and use some of the pages for group work in your class. PLUS if you buy the Preach My Gospel Study Journal now through the morning of November 30th, I'll give you the Ezra Taft Benson Chapter 22 Study Journal for free and an extra $1 off. Add both to your cart and enter coupon code FREEzra to get your discount.
- Spend some time discussing Returned Missionaries and how RM doesn't mean "Retired Mormon." Read more about how to continue to lengthen your stride after you take the name tag off here (P.S. I mention a really great book for all RM's on that post- be sure to check it out).
- Practice being a member missionary yourself! Read some of the Be a Missionary Now posts on this site such as Small and Simple Ways You Can Share the Gospel or Pinned On Our Hearts: How to Be a Great Member Missionary and implement them in your life this week. Keep a journal of all the things you tried, when you felt the Spirit prompt you and your resulting actions. What blessings did you notice as you opened your mouth and heart?
- Take a few minutes to talk about how to best help those that have decided to leave the church. Mandy writes a great post on how to be the right kind of friend when this happens.
- Read about why all these bloggers are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Listen to their stories and the outcomes of their willingness to share their testimonies or take a leap of faith. Also consider sharing part of "Meet the Mormons" in your lesson.
- I included a BUNCH more teaching ideas in this chapter's Study Journal- grab yours now.
- Looking for a great treat to include? My Computer is My Canvas makes theses Missionary Chocolate Nugget Wrappers that are perfect for this lesson.
- Hang this banner up behind you as you teach for a great visual reminder (from LDS Printable)
- Watch my latest Periscope over here for 7 ideas on how to teach this lesson.
Want to resize these images or send for photo prints? All image files are included in the Study Journal.
There are a whole lot of missionary related songs in the hymnal. Find a way to include a little music in your lesson this week with these ideas.
"Men Are That They Might Have Joy"- Hymn #275
"Now We'll Sing with One Accord"- Hymn #25
"The Iron Rod"- Hymn #274
"Arise, O Glorious Zion"- Hymn #40
"Because I Have Been Given Much"- Hymn #219
"Behold! A Royal Army"- Hymn #251
"Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy"- Hymn #335 (Men's Choir)
"Called to Serve"- Hymn #249
"Come, All Whose Souls Are Lighted"- Hymn #268
"Come, All Ye Sons of God"- Hymn #322 (Men)
"Faith of Our Fathers"- Hymn #84
"Go Forth with Faith"- Hymn #263
"Go, Ye Messengers of Glory"- Hymn #262
"Go, Ye Messengers of Heaven"- Hymn #327 (Men's Choir)
"God Bless Our Prophet Dear"-Hymn #24
"How Wondrous and Great"- Hymn #267
"I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go"-Hymn #270
"Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise"- Hymn #41
"Like Ten Thousand Legions Marching"- Hymn #253
"O Saints of Zion"- Hymn #39
"Rejoice! A Glorious Sound Is Heard"- Hymn #257
"Saints, Behold How Great Jehovah"- Hymn #28
"See the Mighty Priesthood Gathered"- Hymn #325 (Men's Choir)
"See, the Mighty Angel Flying"- Hymn #330 (Men's Choir)
"The Light Divine"- Hymn #305
"The Time Is Far Spent"- Hymn #266
"The Voice of God Again Is Heard"- Hymn #18
"Thy Holy Word"- Hymn #279
"We Are Sowing"- Hymn #216
"Ye Elders of Israel"- Hymn #319 (Men)
"Ye Who Are Called to Labor"- Hymn #321 (Men)
Questions to Ponder
- Why does the world desperately need the gospel more than anything else?
- What are some restored truths that the world hungers for?
- How can you share the gospel in your current situation?
- How can you prepare for full-time missionary service?
- How have you seen the study of the Book of Mormon help in someone's conversion?
- Why do you think the Book of Mormon is the "greatest tool which God has given us to convert the world"?
- How can you improve in your efforts to share the Book of Mormon?
- Why do you think the 4 keys President Benson mentioned in section 4 are so effective in the success of missionary work?
- How have you seen people using the 4 keys successfully?
Loving all these ideas and helps? Please pin it so others can find this resources too!
Suggested Study Schedule
This study guide is also included in the Study Journal along with additional resources and plenty of teaching ideas. Buy yours here.
Watch: The Book of Mormon "Shall Hiss Forth" (about 1 minute) and The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon Signaled the Beginning of the Gathering of Israel (about 30 seconds)
"Becoming a Missionary" by Elder David A. Bednar
"The Returned Missionary" by Elder L. Tom Perry
"Why Every Member a Missionary" by Elder Richard G. Scott
"The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work" by Elder M. Russell Ballard
"We Are All Enlisted" by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Looking for more great ideas? Come join our Private Facebook Group and learn from others teaching this lesson and share your own thoughts.