President Russell M. Nelson announced the second edition of “Preach My Gospel” on June 22, explaining that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a sacred and covenant responsibility to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Our charge is much more than just inviting people to join the Church,” he said during the opening moments of the 2023 Seminar for New Mission Leaders. “We want each one to become a fully truly converted disciple of Jesus Christ and to follow Him, now and forever.”
The second edition of “Preach My Gospel,” issued by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, is an enhanced resource to all members and missionaries in sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
“The Lord declared two millennia ago, ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’ (Matthew 28:19), taught President Nelson. “That commandment is still in force, made vital again by the Savior’s coming to the earth, under the direction of God the Father, to the Prophet Joseph Smith to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness and to reestablish His Church.”
President Nelson noted that the second edition of “Preach My Gospel” carries the subtitle “A Guide To Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“This new edition comes at a time when the world is rapidly changing, and reflects a sensitivity to many of those changes,” he said. “It contains some of the best instruction I’ve ever seen to help people accept the Lord’s invitation to come unto Him.”
During the Seminar for New Mission leaders, every member of the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Missionary Executive Council spoke about a chapter of the updated manual.
Following are their teachings:
President Russell M. Nelson: Of “Preach My Gospel” second edition, he said: “I would like to refer to the front cover, which is a scripture in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is only one verse of scripture quoted on that first page. With the Lord speaking, it says, ‘Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.’ (3 Nephi 27:20). … That verse of scripture is the gospel plan in a nutshell. In one sentence, He refers to faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, endure to the end and, by implication, Judgment.
“The second edition of ‘Preach My Gospel’ affirms that missionaries are not called to ask people to join the Church; they are called to invite those people to come unto Jesus Christ. Good missionaries convert people to Jesus Christ and become His lifelong examples — His lifelong disciples.”
Chapter 1: ‘Fulfill Your Missionary Purpose’
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and chairman of the Missionary Executive Council: “One of the reasons for missionary success is the clearly defined purpose set forth in the scriptures and chapter 1 of ‘Preach My Gospel.’ That purpose has not changed. It has been declared in the revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants and the doctrine of Christ set forth in the Book of Mormon. The missionary purpose as set forth on this page reads the same but shifts the emphasis from learning what your purpose is as a missionary to fulfilling that purpose. ...
“Individuals who know their purpose in whatever they are doing, including missionary work, are able to decide what should take priority in their lives at a specific time to accomplish their purpose. As you help your missionaries feel passionate about their purpose as emissaries of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they will be inspired, uplifted and motivated to accomplish the work to gather Israel.”
Chapter 2: ‘Search the Scriptures and Put On the Armor of God’
Elder Marcus B. Nash, General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Missionary Department: “Chapter 2 of the second edition of ‘Preach My Gospel’ is titled ‘Search the Scriptures and Put On the Armor of God.’ 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. Think of the young Joseph Smith, Mormon, Nephi and a host of others. There is a wellspring of spiritual power that is only available to those who consistently study, feast upon and treasure up the word of God.”
Chapter 3, Lesson 1: ‘Study and Teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ’
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: Of the Prophet Joseph Smith as a missionary and his missionary companion, his older brother Hyrum, he said: “I know of no greater missionary companionship that has ever served in this dispensation. Much can be learned by our missionaries in following the example of these prophets. They were men of integrity, loyalty, courage, trust, faith and unwavering testimony. One hundred seventy-nine years ago … these prophet brothers gave their lives and sealed their testimony to all that God and Jesus Christ had revealed in restoring the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to all of the world.
“No missionary … should ever fail to understand and appreciate the great price that others have paid to establish once again the Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth. No assignment or challenge of any missionary should hold him or her back from boldly declaring the gospel truths that are ours to share.”
Chapter 3, Lesson 2: ‘Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation’
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency: “The plan of salvation shows our Heavenly Father’s love for all His children. In the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a unique understanding of our Heavenly Father’s plan. We look on it as a map that shows us how to chart our life’s journey through mortality to the heavenly destination He desires for us. God loves His children so much that in His plan, He gave His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior and Redeemer, to suffer and die for us. God’s plan shows us how He views the purpose of mortal life and the divine judgment that follows it and the ultimate glorious potential of all of His children. ...
“We are commanded to share these truths of eternity with others. As a Book of Mormon prophet taught, we ‘must press forward ... having a ... love of God and of all men’ (2 Nephi 31:20). But with that love we owe to all of our neighbors, we accept their decisions.”
Chapter 3, Lesson 3: ‘The Gospel of Jesus Christ’
President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency: “Most of you know from your own experience that missionary work requires and builds unshakable faith that we labor with and for Jesus Christ. One of the great tools to help your missionaries develop that faith is found in ‘Preach My Gospel.’ Lesson 3 in chapter 3 is titled ‘The Gospel of Jesus Christ.’ Studying this section will help your missionaries teach by the Spirit the gospel of Jesus Christ and lead those they teach to conversion. When earnestly studied, it will do far more than that. This chapter describes how faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end blesses all of God’s children. As your missionaries study and prepare to teach, they will find their own conversion deepen. That deepening will increase their ability to teach by the Spirit and to testify with greater power.”
Chapter 3, Lesson 4: ‘Becoming Lifelong Disciples of Jesus Christ’
President Bonnie H. Cordon, then Young Women general president and a member of the Missionary Executive Council: “The faithful actions of a disciple are not just what we do; they are who we become. Consider this mindset of becoming: The goal is not to run a marathon; the goal is to become a runner. If we only work toward the event, the one race, then the next day, we could be sitting on the couch eating chips — and that’s not a bad option. But if the goal is to be a runner, then we would rejoice in what we’ve accomplished, get up early the next day, put on our shoes and go for a run, because it’s who we are.
“The goal is not just to read a book; the goal is to become a reader. The goal is not to just learn an instrument; the goal is to become a musician. The goal is not to just be baptized, just serve a mission; the goal is to become a lifelong disciple of Jesus Christ and build an eternal covenant relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and return back to Their presence.”
Chapter 4: ‘Seek and Rely on the Spirit’
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “It’s by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost that we are sanctified, made more holy, more complete and more like God. It is through the redemption of Christ and the sanctifying power of the Holy Ghost that we are spiritually born again. ... Just as physicians need to use a stethoscope competently to help their patients, we need to competently seek and rely on the Holy Ghost for ourselves and for those we are called to teach.
“Seek and rely are the imperative elements of the title of chapter 4 of ‘Preach My Gospel.’ Seeking the Holy Ghost involves more than simply being confirmed a member of the Church. It’s naive to think that just because we’ve received the gifts of the Holy Ghost and an accompanying certificate, all we need to do is to say: ‘OK, I’m ready. Reveal.’ Early in his life, as a scribe to Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery made that mistake, thinking that all he had to do was ask. Seeking guidance from the Holy Ghost requires consistent and diligent work.”
Chapter 5: ‘Use the Power of the Book of Mormon’
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “I want to say again and again, I love the Book of Mormon. It is the Lord’s instrument of conversion in these latter days. Its publication is the sign that the long-prophesied gathering of Israel is now underway. The Book of Mormon is the tool — the sickle, if you will — that we are to thrust in with our might in that great field that ‘is white already to harvest’ (Doctrine and Covenants 12:3). Thus, the Book of Mormon becomes both the sign of and the means for gathering the Lord’s covenant people in this last dispensation. As President Nelson put it, ‘This is the book that will help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.’ President Russell M. Nelson once referred to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as ‘a miraculous miracle.’ And so it was. ...
“The power of the Book of Mormon is in the witness of the Holy Spirit that accompanies it. The witness of the Holy Ghost that the book is true and that it is compelling evidence of the latter-day Restoration. The witness of the Holy Ghost, of the truth of the doctrine that it teaches. And the witness of the Holy Ghost that its testimony of Jesus Christ is true.”
Chapter 6: ‘Seek Christlike Attributes’
Sister Amy A. Wright, first counselor in the Primary general presidency and a member of the Missionary Executive Council: “In order to become like Jesus, it is essential that we know His true character and attributes. ...
“As we carefully study the Savior’s life, attributes and mission, we can find the answer to every question of the heart and mind. When it comes to seeking Christlike attributes, the Savior continuously directs our vision to children as the blueprint for our behavior. ... As missionaries strive to develop His Christlike attributes, I testify that they will have experiences with their Savior, like the Book of Mormon prophets of old, that are so deeply profound and personal, they will choose to be valiant in their testimonies all the days of their lives.”
Chapter 7: ‘Learn Your Mission Language’
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “One of the fundamental truths that will motivate missionaries to learn to preach the gospel in their mission language is having a burning testimony that they have been called of God by a Prophet to proclaim the ‘glad tidings ..., even the everlasting gospel’ (Doctrine and Covenants 79:1). Furthermore, as they were set apart, they received the authority, right, responsibility and privilege to represent the Savior before the world. As they consistently work to strengthen their testimony of Jesus Christ and the gospel truths that they will teach, God can and will bestow upon them spiritual power that will help them to fulfill their purpose. What a unique privilege. That testimony will help them to strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ, to learn how to express themselves more efficiently in their mission language and effectively fulfill their purpose.”
Chapter 8: ‘Accomplish the Work Through Goals and Plans’
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “I am thrilled with the focused message to missionaries embodied in the new title of chapter 8. Missionaries are more likely to ‘Accomplish the Work Through Goals and Plans.’ ... Now, to help missionaries apply the inspired updates in ‘Preach My Gospel’ second edition to their daily efforts, we are excited to announce the introduction of the new “Preach My Gospel” app.
“This updated app replaces and is an enhancement to what has been the Area Book Planner. It broadens and deepens digital goal setting and planning tools for missionaries. The updated name clarifies the app’s purpose, which is to help missionaries apply the principles they learn as they study ‘Preach My Gospel.’ As they learn doctrine and principles through ‘Preach My Gospel,’ the app provides a practical application for missionaries to accomplish the work through goals and plans.”
Chapter 9: ‘Find People to Teach’
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “In Doctrine and Covenants 30:5, the Lord instructs missionaries to ‘open your mouth to declare my gospel.’ The Lord later promised that if they would do this, their mouths would ‘be filled’ with what to teach (Doctrine and Covenants 33:8). ...
“When we discuss the scriptural phrase ‘open your mouth,’ we often envision a missionary companionship approaching someone on a busy street to introduce that person to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. That is surely one way this scripture can be fulfilled. I would also like you to think of other settings. Help your missionaries open their mouths with a variety of people from a variety of finding sources, including members, missionaries’ own efforts and social media, always with a focus on the purpose to find, teach and baptize souls to Jesus Christ.”
Chapter 10: ‘Teach To Build Faith in Jesus Christ’
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Please consider the definition of faith in the Lord as set forth in the ‘Lectures on Faith’: ‘Faith [in Christ is] the first principle in revealed religion, ... the foundation of all righteousness ... and the principle of action in all intelligent beings.’ The spiritual gift of faith in Christ entails the exercise of our moral agency, to act in accordance with His teachings and follow Him, learn His doctrine, keep His commandments, bind ourselves to Him through covenants, trust in His promises, and meekly accept His will and timing in our lives. Abiding in the Savior, walking with Him and living His doctrine and correct principles are essential, because ‘faith without works is dead’ (James 2:26).”
Chapter 11: ‘Help People Make and Keep Commitments’
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “The principle of carefully individualizing and spiritually customizing our teaching applies as well to our helping people make and keep commitments. This is the central message today, is that through understanding, inspiration and kindness, our missionaries have the power to spiritually lead those they teach to sincerely make and keep commitments. We know that as a seeker of truth consistently makes and keeps commitments — honestly pursuing a spiritual course with faith — the Lord will bless him or her with added light and knowledge, leading to a genuine conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. ‘That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day’ (Doctrine and Covenants 50:24).”
Chapter 12: ‘Help People Prepare for Baptism and Confirmation’
Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Everything in ‘Preach My Gospel’ comes together as we fulfill our missionary purpose to invite and help individuals come to Jesus Christ, to help people prepare for baptism and confirmation. We prepare people for baptism and confirmation as we understand doctrine, principles and practice. ... We are preparing them to see and enter into the kingdom of God, to be received by the Lord Jesus Christ, as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This joy cascades through generations; it unites families eternally in the Lord. May you and your missionaries find that enduring joy as you prepare people for baptism and confirmation in ‘every nation, kindred, tongue, and people’ (Mosiah 15:28).”
Chapter 13: ‘Unite With Leaders and Members to Establish the Church’
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “The work of sharing the gospel and establishing the Lord’s Church is led by revelation. That is the rock. …
“Imagine how much more can be accomplished, how many more of God’s children could be gathered and blessed when God’s revelation to members, to stake and ward leaders is united with a revelation He has given to the missionaries, to you. Establishing the Church of Jesus Christ doesn’t just mean increasing it in members — it also means increasing it in strength, in spiritual strength, emotional strength and, of course, in numbers. ... And all of this happens most effectively when missionaries, members, leaders and the angels of heaven work together as fellow servants.”
The Savior’s model of leadership
Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Presidency of the Seventy: “We have been ‘endowed with power from on high’ (Doctrine and Covenants 38:32) and need to live so that power remains with us. Our missionaries have been endowed with the same power, and as we receive this power from on high, they will be more likely to live so they can also have it in their lives.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Brothers and sisters, the title of our discussion for this moment is your influence on the lives of your missionaries. I asked for this topic, because it ranks among the most important messages that you take with you into the mission field. And once again, I meekly offer myself as a visual aid. I’ve gone around this Church visiting hundreds of missions and thousands of missionaries. I’ve done this for 33 years now. I’ve declared to them, those missionaries, wherever they were, that no young man was more affected by a mission than I was.
“My whole life — in the mission and for these 60 years after it — was reshaped and refined and renewed as no other.”