Elder Nelson: Four Adjustments to Missionary Work

Elder Russell M. Nelson
courtesy of LDS.org

At the Seminar for New Mission Presidents, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asserted that “missionary work should begin and end with our minds focused on the blessings of the holy temple.”  Elder Nelson who is also the Chairman of the Missionary Executive Council used an analogy dating back to his days as a surgeon to show the power of leadership and partnership.

“A successful outcome depends upon good communication, cooperation and commitment by each member of the team at all levels. If a complication should ensue, immediate steps are taken to rescue the patient, and nobody quibbles about whose job it is to save the patient’s life.”

He also said, “Likewise, a successful outcome with either a new or returning member reflects complete cooperation among the bishop, ward council, ward missionary leader and full-time missionaries. They work as partners. They sense their combined responsibility to care for the spiritual life of each precious son or daughter of God.”

In order to accomplish this, Elder Nelson announced four adjustments to the teaching process:

1. Missionaries will teach “Lesson 5: Laws and Ordinances” in Chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel both before and after baptism.

2. Mission presidents will actively teach and re-teach the Lord’s standard for baptism, as recorded in Doctrine and Covenants, section 20, verse 37. “Two phrases are particularly important in preparing the investigator for the covenant of baptism: “having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins”

3. “When possible, missionaries will work closely with each new member for at least three to four months after baptism and continue to keep close to them for at least a year and hopefully for many years and even generations”

4. “Missionaries will take the lead in re-teaching all five of the lessons in Preach My Gospel after baptism.”

Elder Nelson said mission presidents can measure success by having, “the grandchildren of your missionaries, and the grandchildren of those whom your missionaries baptize, to be endowed and sealed in the temple. We want multi-generational families of faith. God wants His children to return to Him, converted, endowed and sealed as families!”