Central American youths encouraged to ‘straightway’ leave nets, follow Christ as missionaries

Elder S. Mark Palmer and other Church leaders share uplifting gospel messages at devotional in Guatemala

When Jesus Christ invited fishermen Peter and Andrew to follow Him and become fishers of men, the scriptures say they “straightway left their nets and followed Him” (Matt. 4:20).

Following the Lord’s invitation to “straightway” leave your nets to become His disciples will enable you to find the great joy that comes with sharing the gospel, said Elder S. Mark Palmer, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy.

“‘Straightway’ is an important term used in the scriptures,” he said. “Tonight with all the love in my heart I want you to keep this phrase in your mind as you hear the Lord invite you through a living prophet to serve a mission.”

Elder Palmer’s message was delivered to Central American youths during a devotional for future missionaries in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on Tuesday, April 16.

Elder S. Mark Palmer, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, takes a photo with young men.
Elder S. Mark Palmer, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, takes a photo with young men following a devotional in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on April 16, 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Palmer was joined by his wife, Sister Jacqueline Palmer, as well as Elder Bryan K. Taylor and Elder Taylor G. Godoy, who both serve in the Church’s Central America Area presidency, and Elder Godoy’s wife, Sister Carol Godoy. Each speaker shared uplifting gospel messages.

After citing the words of President Russell M. Nelson and telling the experiences of three young missionaries, Elder Palmer extended the following three invitations:

  1. Strive to develop a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon by studying it every day of your life.
  2. Don’t let financial or family concerns get in the way of your desire to serve.
  3. Experience the joy of sharing the gospel with others.

Elder Palmer’s message encouraged the youth to seek the blessings of missionary service. Although the pandemic may have limited the work, the rising generation has the Lord’s trust and will be strengthened during hard times.

Read the full article in Spanish at

Related Stories
Which Latin America nations have more Church members?
Elder Renlund ministers to Latter-day Saints in Central American countries
Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed