A reduction in the number of key indicators that missionaries record and report and changing references to home and visiting teaching to ministering are examples of updates to the online version of Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service.
The update was announced in a June 22 letter from the First Presidency that went to General Authorities and Area Seventies, general auxiliary leaders, presidents of missions and missionary training centers, presidents of stakes and districts, and bishops and branch presidents.
The updates reflect changes in Church and missionary programs as well as current Family History products and policies. The updates are available electronically on the Gospel Library app and lds.org online.
Later through the year and into early 2019, updates will be made to Preach My Gospel in other languages — Cebuano, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, Tagalog and Tongan. Leaders will receive notice when revised electronic and print versions are available in the local language. Missionaries and members are to use the current versions until updates are available.
The First Presidency letter noted that the doctrine and principles found in Preach My Gospel” are applicable to both members and missionaries. “Preach My Gospel will help members and missionaries better learn and teach the doctrine of Christ’s gospel, answer gospel questions, foster unity between members and full-time missionaries, and strengthen conversion,” the letter read.
The recent online update of Preach My Gospel reflects changes in the key indicators used by missionaries. In Chapter 8, "How Do I Use Time Wisely," and under the subhead of “Key Indicators to Record and Report,” four key indicators are listed as bulleted items, with the word “people” replacing the previously used term “investigators.”
The four are:
· People baptized and confirmed
· People with a baptismal date
· People who attended sacrament meeting
· New people being taught.
Another example of the update can be found in Chapter 12, “How Do I Prepare People for Baptism and Confirmation?”. Under the subhead “The Baptismal Service,” missionaries are encouraged to invite a member of the bishopric, quorum and auxiliary leaders and “ministering brothers and sisters (if assigned)” to attend the service.
The language reflects the Church’s changes from April 2018 general conference, where home teaching and visiting teaching was replaced with the new ministering program. Previously, Preach My Gospel used the terms “home teachers and visiting teachers.”
Online updates to Preach My Gospel can be found as early as the First Presidency Message addressed to “Dear Fellow Missionary,” with the message following the title page.
The first line reads: “We congratulate you on the great opportunity you have to be a missionary," and later adds, “We invite you to rise to a new sense of commitment to assist our Father in Heaven in His glorious work.” Previous print and online Preach My Gospel editions used the phrases “We compliment you …” and “We challenge you …”