I was always a little nervous to tell people the story of Joseph Smith’s firs vision because I didn’t know if they would see it as a believable story. It meant so much to me...
You're probably waiting excitedly to enter the MTC. Sometimes those weeks before entering can feel like years so why not take advantage of the time and get a head start on memorizing useful things you will be memorizing on the mission? There are 4 main things every Missionary President has you memorize. Sometimes you even have these memorized in your MTC class within the first couple of days of being there. No matter what language you are called to serve in, memorizing these in English will help you when it comes to memorizing it in your own mission language. So what are these 4 things that are so important that you need to memorize them?
1. My Purpose-
Your purpose is stated in the beginning of Preach My Gospel. Coming to a true understanding of what your purpose is as a missionary is crucial to feeling successful in the mission field. Your purpose is not to baptize as many people as you possibly can. Your purpose is not to enjoy seeing a different part of the world that you've never experienced before. Your purpose is not to becoming best friends with each of your companions. According to Preach My Gospel, your purpose is to:
Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
Your purpose is to invite others to act and come closer to Christ in the way He taught through His doctrine. How beautiful is that? So on those days when you feel like you may be failing as a missionary, or you feel like no matter what you do no one is responding well take a moment to recite your purpose and ask yourself if you are fulfilling it. Are you inviting others to come unto Christ? Agency is real and people will always make their own choices, but their choices do not reflect what kind of a missionary you are. Know your purpose and find peace in it.
If you'd like to read more about your purpose as a missionary you can find that chapter of Preach My Gospel by clicking here.
2. The Standard of Truth-
The standard of truth is part of the Wentworth letter written by the Prophet Joseph Smith to Mr. Wentworth, the editor of the Chicago Democrat. In the letter, Joseph explains his experience with the restoration of the gospel as well as a brief overview of the history of the early church ending in details about the missionary work of the church moving forward. The Standard of Truth is included in the section about the missionary work and reads as follows.
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.
There is great power in this statement. Imagine the power that is felt when an auditorium filled with missionaries all recite this together. Goose bump worthy for sure! Having the words of the prophet of the restoration at your fingertips, or in your mind rather, on difficult days is an extremely useful tool. It is encouraging and energizing. If you'd like to read the entire Wentworth letter you can find it by clicking here.
3. D&C 4-
This entire section was given to Joseph Smith as revelation for his father but it can be used to anyone who has a desire to serve and help the work progress. The section can be found at the link here or you can read it below.
1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.
4. The First Vision-
You will recite the first vision account of Joseph Smith every day while in the mission field. Make sure you are comfortable with it. If you are learning to teach in a different language you will also be learning it in your mission language. Memorizing it in English first is very helpful though so take the time to do that before you enter the MTC for sure. The first vision can be found in Joseph Smith History in your scriptures or it can also be found in the third chapter of Preach My Gospel near the end of lesson one. You can find the link for it here.
I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. … When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
There you have it! 4 simple passages that you will use regularly and can find strength from during your missionary service. If you don't think you'll be able to memorize these before entering the MTC don't stress, you will do it while you are there but any advanced preparation you give to preparing yourself will be helpful once you are there. God speed elders and sisters!