The Fifth Mission

The Fifth Mission

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Preach My Gospel

LDS missionaries study and use the book titled Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service. It's online here.

It's an outstanding guide, but there's an interesting aspect of it.

The book never uses the word Zion.

This strikes me as a strange omission.

In several places the guide encourages missionaries to refer to Moroni 10:3-5 when they teach investigators about prayer and how to gain their own testimony of the Book of Mormon. Lesson 2 suggests investigators read chapter 10 because "Moroni invites all to come unto Christ and be perfected in Him." Lesson 3 cites Moroni 10:7.

Chapter 4 of the Guide is titled "How Do I Recognize and Understand the Spirit?" It explains, "In Moroni’s concluding testimony, he wrote “a few words by way of exhortation” (Moroni 10:2). Read Moroni 10 and write in your own words what Moroni exhorts the reader of the Book of Mormon to do." Later, that chapter encourages missionaries to read Moroni 10:8-18 to understand the gifts of the Spirit.

But nowhere does the guide discuss or even mention Moroni's summary of the global purpose of missionary work, found in verse 31: "31 And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled."

It seems to me that missionaries ought to know that Joseph Smith said, "We ought to have the building up of Zion as our greatest object."

This ultimate objective would give more coherence to the missionary message. Yes, we teach people about the restoration, the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the commandments and the laws and ordinances, but to what end?

In verses 31 and 32, Moroni explains clearly the objectives are to (i) establish Zion and (ii) come unto Christ and be perfected in him. After all, Moroni sealed the book with these words.

Everything else the missionaries teach leads to those objectives.

Wouldn't it be clearer for both missionaries and investigators (and members) to have this two-fold objective spelled out the way Moroni expressed it?

I would include the establishment of Zion and coming unto Christ in every one of the lessons.

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