Tomorrow I will be set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, I will not become a missionary when I pin the tag that bears the name of the Church and my own name to my shirt Monday night. Becoming a missionary requires much more than a white envelope with a call or a tag pinned to my shirt. Becoming a missionary is something we each began when we first started building and strengthening our testimonies of the Gospel, and is a process that should continue throughout the rest of our lives!
As heirs to the Abrahamic covenant, each one of us has the divine responsibility to become missionaries and to carry forth this great and marvelous work! Elder Bednar described how we can each become missionaries; he said, “You can increase in your desire to serve God and you can begin to think as missionaries think, to read what missionaries read, to pray as missionaries pray, and to feel what missionaries feel. You can avoid the worldly influences that cause the Holy Ghost to withdraw, and you can grow in confidence in recognizing and responding to spiritual promptings.”
I testify that each one of us have been called to this great and marvelous work! No matter what stage of life we are in or what our circumstances are, we can each become missionaries and join the Lord’s army in bringing His restored Gospel to all the world! Missionary work is not simply an activity in which we engage for a limited time or an assignment we must complete as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rather, missionary work is a manifestation of our spiritual identity and heritage. We were foreordained in the premortal existence and born into mortality to fulfill the covenant and promise God made to Abraham. We are here upon the earth at this time to magnify the priesthood and to preach the gospel. That is who we are, and that is why we are here—today and always…we have been prepared for this day to build up the kingdom of God. We are here upon the earth now to assist in this glorious work!!
As I depart for a full-time mission in João Pessoa, Brazil, I would challenge my friends and family to look for areas in their lives where they can become a missionary and take part in this GREAT AND MARVELOUS WORK!!!!