GCBC Week 6: “Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!” By Elder Russell M. Nelson

It’s week 6 of general conference book club, and we’ll be studying Elder Nelson’s talk from the Saturday A.M. session:

Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!

By Elder Russell M. Nelson

Elder Nelson repeated the phrase that is the title of his talk so many times that all of my children started paying attention. Every time he started building up to it, my son Clark would say, “Oh no, not again!,” and then Elder Nelson would say again: “Ask the missionaries. They can help you.”  Even now, they remember that specific phrase from conference, so it was definitely memorable.

I thought this was a fun talk in context of the big announcement about the new age requirements for missionary service. We were all already missionary-minded, knowing that we have to get to work to get our children prepared sooner for missionary service, and then Elder Nelson’s talk reinforced why that is so important.

He presented a long list of knowledge and services that missionaries can provide for those searching for truth. I think that list makes a good curriculum for our at-home pre-MTC efforts. At the same time, there are plenty of things he mentioned that I probably couldn’t have helped people with when I was a missionary, which brought to mind two thoughts: 1) They’ve definitely raised the bar, and 2) Missionaries welcome any kind of sincere questions, whether they know all the answers or not. They can always point people in the right direction. (For example, I couldn’t have answered questions about how to find your ancestors, but I could have hooked you up with Stake specialists who could help you.)

Also, I know this wasn’t the point of his talk, but I really love the Preach My Gospel manual that missionaries study and teach. I think if we use that as the curriculum to prepare our own children for future missionary service, they will be remarkably up for the task.

I love missionaries and missionary work. I cannot think of my own time as a missionary without being filled with gratitude for all I learned and felt as the Lord let me serve. I’m so excited for this rising generation and the opportunity they will have to join a royal army and go forth and do amazing things as the Lord is hastening His work.

You may have noticed completely different things as you studied this talk. Please share in the comments below some of the things you learned and felt.

(A reminder to those of you who are new to General Conference Book Club: You’re welcome to return to this post any time this week and leave your comment and thoughts in the comment section below. You may also want to see what others are saying about the talk and engage in a conversation for mutual understanding and encouragement. A new talk will be posted each Sunday and will be studied and discussed throughout the week.)


GCBC Week 23: “Missionaries Are a Treasure of the Church” by Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

I love missionary work.  I served as a missionary in Argentina about 15 years ago (ack!) and I still think of my mission on most days.  It was such a wonderful time of personal development, growing in my testimony and my personal relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and learning to love so many people.  Some of the missionaries I served with were the stalwart faithful kind that Elder Yamashita describes in this talk, and I still hold them in the highest respect. I saw how Heavenly Father can take young, inexperienced men and women and make them powerful tools in His work if they are faithful and obedient to the calling they have been given.

Missionaries Are a Treasure of the Church by Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

“Your attitudes and the love that you show toward others are very significant messages. Even though I didn’t immediately grasp all the doctrines that the missionaries taught me, I felt of their great love, and their many acts of kindness taught me important lessons. Your message is a message of love, a message of hope, and a message of faith. Your attitude and your actions invite the Spirit, and the Spirit enables us to understand the things that are important. What I want to convey to you is that through your love, you are imparting the love of God. You are a treasure of this Church. I am so very thankful to all of you for your sacrifice and your dedication.”

What points stood out to you as you studied this talk?  What did you learn about what we can do to prepare our children for missionary service?  Share your thoughts and insights in the comments below.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.” If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion here each week.