All missionaries serving for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormon missionaries, have one common goal in mind. That goal is to bring souls unto Christ. Missionaries throughout the world teach the same message of Jesus Christ and the blessings that can come from accepting Him into one’s life. Put simply, Mormon missionaries are sent to teach faith, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins.
Mormon missionaries teach the basic principles of Mormonism. The official name of the “Mormon” Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many people of other faiths refer to members of this church as Mormons because Latter-day Saints believe in a book of scripture called the Book of Mormon, which is a companion book of scripture to the Bible. Because this nickname has stuck, people continue to call the religion Mormonism, but the tenets of the faith all focus on Jesus Christ.
Mormon missionaries teach about the Godhead, which Mormonism teaches is God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost: three separate beings. Mormon missionaries teach the “Plan of Salvation,” which is a road map for salvation, explaining where we have been, why we are here on earth, and where we are going. They teach the importance of prophets and their ability to receive continuing revelation. Missionaries teach about the importance of family relationships and serving others. Mormon missionaries teach the laws of salvation and exaltation–if we accept Jesus Christ and live according to His teachings, we can dwell with Heavenly Father forever.
Missionaries teach about Joseph Smith and the “first vision.” In the early 1800s, during a period of great religious fervor in the northeastern United States, Joseph Smith found himself in a quandary regarding his possible religious affiliation. Mormonism teaches that Joseph Smith prayed to know which church to join. Upon doing so, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him not to join any of them. He was instead called to restore the true Gospel of Jesus Christ upon the earth. For hundreds of years, the truth and the authority to act in God’s name had been lost. Mormons call this the “Great Apostasy.” After Christ’s crucifixion and the death of His apostles, churches rose up without authority, and preached the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture. Through inspiration from God, Joseph Smith found an ancient record and translated what is now known as the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is a record of ancient inhabitants of the Americas, who migrated from Israel at the time of the Babylonian captivity. Christ visited these people after His resurrection, so the Book of Mormon substantiates the Bible and is a second witness for Christ.
Missionaries use the Book of Mormon to teach basic principles of the Mormonism. The main purpose of the Book of Mormon is to help believers strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ and to convince others to come unto Christ. The Book of Mormon was written for our generation in this day to bring men unto Christ. If the Book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith is a prophet, and the restoration of Christ’s gospel is occurring.
Missionaries encourage those they teach to ponder the words of the Book of Mormon and ask Heavenly Father sincerely through prayer if the Mormon Church is right for them. Thus, a missionary’s role is not to “sell” the gospel. Instead, the missionary teaches the principles of truth and then sends the investigating person to the Lord in prayer. The Lord Himself reveals to the sincere supplicant through the Holy Ghost that the gospel is true. When the investigator has learned about the gospel of Jesus Christ and has gained a testimony of its truthfulness, the missionary asks if he or she wants to be baptized. Being baptized and confirmed a member of the Mormon Church is a major event in one’s life that brings much happiness and peace. Confirmation brings the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, the distinguishing aspect of membership in the Church.