Seminar for mission presidents: Universal message of missionary work


Despite cultural differences, the basic principles of successful missionary work are universal, said Bishop Gérald Caussé, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.

Speaking during the 2012 Seminar for New Mission Presidents, Bishop Caussé said, as a member of the Europe Area Presidency, he often searched for a winning formula that could be applied to all missions and make missionary work successful. "In the course of my travels, I didn't find a magic formula, personal method, or special program that could explain the results of such or such a mission," he said. "Success in missionary work always finds its roots in the application of a few fundamental principles. These principles are very simple. It is in the constancy and perseverance in applying them that success is found in this beautiful work."

Bishop Gerald Causse
Bishop Gerald Causse | Intellectual Reserve Inc.

Bishop Caussé said one humble mission president who had phenomenal growth in the number of baptisms in his mission explained the success this way: "In our mission we have great faith and we pray all the time."

"The central and ultimate objective of the Church of Jesus Christ is to help all human beings one day return to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father, where we will be eternally happy," he said. "Consequently, our task consists of inviting all men to qualify themselves to be washed and purified in the atoning blood of the Savior. … The good news is that the path for coming to Christ is known. The path is called the good news, the gospel or the doctrine of Christ. Jesus not only accomplished the immense gift of the Atonement but also gave us instructions on how to apply it."

At the heart of this universal message are baptism of water and fire, he said.

"We have a unique message for the world. We possess the true baptism," he said. "Why do we sometimes hide it? Why be timid about such a glorious message? When missionaries approach people, they should, as quickly as possible, come to the announcements that the true ordinances of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost have been restored."

Bishop Caussé said after a person has accepted the invitation — or the possibility— of being baptized, he or she must commit to the preparatory work. Baptism can be truly effective only if it is preceded by faith and repentance."

Missionaries should strive to help their investigators experience the Atonement in their lives. "To understand, to know and to live the Atonement is an experience that investigators should have before their baptism. It is the best guarantee that they will know how to remain faithful after baptism. The life of a member of the Church is not a long tranquil river. If new members don't know how to exercise faith and to repent, they can fall and not know how to get back up."

Concluding, Bishop Caussé invited the new mission presidents to invite their missionaries to put the doctrine of Christ at the very center of their efforts and their teachings.

"I believe that it is necessary to understand the principles of the gospel to be able to teach them," he said. "Furthermore, it is necessary to live them. That is why the surest means you have to help your missionaries will be to help them live and experience these principles in their personal lives. Invite your missionaries to deepen their understanding of the Atonement. Invite them to exercise their faith. Teach them the principle of grace, which allows them to turn their weakness into strength. Invite them to claim the blessings of the Atonement by repenting each day."

— Sarah Jane Weaver

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