Elder Nash teaches studying, feasting upon and treasuring the word of God

‘Preach My Gospel,’ chapter 2: At the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders, Elder Nash underscores the spiritual power available through the scriptures

PROVO, Utah — Study the word of God. Feast upon the word of God. And treasure up the word of God.

The three phases served as repeated efforts for full-time missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as Elder Marcus B. Nash — a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Missionary Department — focused on the spiritual power available to each missionary through the scriptures, with a knowledge of the scriptures a skill that produces confidence.

“Why is the word of God so vital?” asked Elder Nash in his Saturday, June 24, address at the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders at the Provo Missionary Training Center. “It is because the scriptures are His words, and ‘He is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness’ (Alma 38:9). 

“Importantly, as we feast upon and treasure up His word, we — and those we teach — will be filled with light and truth. Studying and living the word of God will help us — and those we teach — live righteously and receive divine protection and strength. His words will help us come to know Him and taste His love, which is sweet above all that is sweet. His words will fill our souls with joy.”

Elder Marcus B. Nash, a General Authority Seventy, speaks at the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders on June 24.  | Cody Bell, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Nash based his seminar message on Chapter 2 — “Search the Scriptures and Put on the Armor of God” — of the new “Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” 

‘The same for anyone’

While instructing new mission leaders, he acknowledged the message is for all, not just missionaries. “The mandate for each missionary to search the scriptures is clear and unequivocal, for searching the scriptures brings to them the power of God. It does the same for anyone, regardless of their age and experience.”

“Preach My Gospel” is designed to help each missionary become both strong and skilled, Elder Nash said.

During the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders on June 24, Elder Marcus B. Nash, a General Authority Seventy, teaches about studying the scriptures. | Cody Bell, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

“By ‘strong,’ I mean missionaries who are strong in the Spirit because they know and love the scriptures, the Lord Himself and the doctrine of His gospel. By ‘skilled,’ I mean missionaries who are learning how to plan, set goals, find, teach, inviting, follow up and work in unity with members.

“It is important for missionaries to develop both spiritual strength and skill.”

Elder Nash asked his listeners to note a significant increase in the number of scriptures cited and woven throughout the text of the updated “Preach My Gospel.

“This is intentional,” he added. “The missionaries will receive the full power and impact of ‘Preach My Gospel’ only to the degree they look up the cited scriptures and cross-reference them with the many other scriptures they find on their own.”

Nourish the word, get it into the soul

The new edition of “Preach My Gospel” gives three keys on how to nourish the word and get it into the souls of those sharing the gospel, said Elder Nash, highlight the topic subheadings:

  • “Seek the Spirit”
  • “Look for Answers to Questions”
  • “Live What You Learn”

Said Elder Nash: “It is only by learning and applying the doctrine and principles that the missionary comes to understand the gospel and see its relevance to life. That is power. … The power of the word will grow in them to the degree they apply these keys to their study of the scriptures.”

Use technology righteously

Reminding new mission leaders that almost all missionaries have a smart phone, Elder Nash said it is a great blessing for some and a real challenge for others. “Each of them must learn to use technology righteously, for that is what the Lord and His Prophet see — I use that verb intentionally, he is a seer — that they need to learn and do, now and for the rest of their lives.”

New mission leaders take notes during Saturday’s sessions of the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders at the Provo MTC on June 24. | Cody Bell, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

He listed the four “clear and simple” safeguards by subheading — and cited the accompanying scriptures — for using technology that are new with the second chapter of “Preach My Gospel” and included in Chapter 2.

“These safeguards for using technology are not ancillary or optional,” he said. “They are part of putting on the armor of God to protect them from the evil that is on the internet.”

Concluded Elder Nash: “I love the Savior and I love His word — the scriptures are manna to my soul, they are delicious to me. I love and respect His faithful missionaries and hunger for them to daily feast at the Lord’s table.”

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