Quotes on Missionaries

Our missionaries are going forth to different nations. . . . The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done. — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:540

Another miracle is the way missionaries are protected during their labors.  Of course we have fatalities among our young missionaries – about three to six per year over the last decade  –  all of them tragic.  But the official death rates for comparable-age young men and women are eight times higher than the death rates of our missionaries.  In other words, our young men and women are eight times safer in the mission field than the general population of their peers at home.  In view of the hazards of missionary labor, this mortality record is nothing less than a miracle. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Miracles,” Ensign, June 2001, p. 9

The servants of God are angels in one sense, sent forth to gather the house of Israel from the four corners of the earth; and the Elders of this Church in their labors have fulfilled, partly, the sayings of the Savior, when they had found two working in the field, one has received the Gospel and been gathered, and the other left; two working in a mill, one has been taken and the other left; two lying in a bed, the one has been taken and the other left.  But no doubt there sayings will have their final and complete fulfilment about the time of the second coming of the Savior (President Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, 10:103). The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 51

The Lord will send special blessings to your family as you serve.  “I, the Lord, give unto them a promise that I will provide for their families” (D&C 118:3). Couples are sometimes concerned that in their absence they will miss weddings, births, family reunions, and other family events.  We have learned that the impact on families while grandparents are on missions is worth a thousand sermons.  Families are greatly strengthened as they pray for their parents and grandparents and read letters sent home which share their testimonies and the contribution they are making in the mission field. — Elder Robert D. Hales, Ensign, May 2001, p. 26

So we have a dilemma tonight, you and I.  It is that there are thousands of Aaronic Priesthood-age young men already on the records of this Church who constitute our pool of candidates for future missionary service.  But the challenge is to have those deacons, teachers, and priests stay active enough and worthy enough to be ordained elders and serve as missionaries.  So we need young men already on the team to stay on it and stop dribbling out of bounds just when we need you to get in the game and play your hearts out! In almost all athletic contests of which I know, there are lines drawn on the floor or the field within which every participant must stay in order to compete.  Well, the Lord has drawn lines of worthiness for those called to labor with Him in this work.  No missionary can be unrepentant of sexual transgression or profane language or pornographic indulgence and then expect to challenge others to repent of those very things!  You can’t do that.  The Spirit will not be with you, and the words will choke in your throat as you speak them.  You cannot travel down what Lehi called “forbidden paths” and expect to guide others to the “strait and narrow” one – it can’t be done.  (1 Nephi 8:28 and 2 Nephi 31:18.) — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “We Are All Enlisted,” Ensign, November 2011, p. 45

We are missionaries every day in our families, in our schools, in our places of employment, and in our communities.  Regardless of our age, experience, or station in life, we are all missionaries. — Elder David A. Bednar, “Becoming a Missionary, Ensign, November 2005, p. 44

Many beautiful lessons might be drawn from this passage of scripture, but I have only time to dwell upon one.  It tells me that Providence is over all, and that he holds the nations in the hollow of his hand; that he is using not only his covenant people, but other peoples as well, to consummate a work, stupendous, magnificent, and altogether too arduous for this little handful of Saints to accomplish by and of themselves.  Alma seems to have thought, for the moment, that man was doing God’s work for him, instead of which it is God, who is doing his own work, and using men as his instruments.  Nor is he limited in the choice of instruments to his own people.  He sways the scepter over all nations, and they are all playing into his hands, knowingly or unknowingly.  Alma knew this, but had momentarily lost sight of it. — Elder Orson F. Whitney, “God Uses Men as His Instruments” General Conference, April 1921

All down the ages men bearing the authority of the Holy Priesthood – patriarchs, prophets, apostles and others – have officiated in the name of the Lord, doing the things that he required of them; and outside the pale of their activities other good and great men, not bearing the Priesthood, but possessing profundity of thought, great wisdom, and a desire to uplift their fellows, have been sent by the Almighty into many nations, to give them, not the fulness of the Gospel, but that portion of truth that they were able to receive and wisely use.  Such men as Confucius, the Chinese philosopher; Zoroaster, the Persian sage; Gautama or Buddha, of the Hindus; Socrates and Plato, of the Greeks; these all had some of the light that is universally diffused, and concerning which we have this day heard. They were servants of the Lord in a lesser sense, and were sent to those pagan or heathen nations to give them the measure of truth that a wise Providence had allotted to them….

And not only teachers – not poets and philosophers alone; but inventors, discoverers, warriors, statesmen, rulers, et al. These also have been used from the beginning to help along the Lord’s work – mighty auxiliaries in the hands of an Almighty God, carrying out his purposes, consciously or unconsciously. . . . — Elder Orson F. Whitney, “God Uses Men as His Instruments” General Conference, April 1921