When the sons of Mosiah and a small number of their friends embarked on a mission among their enemies, the Lamanites, they knew they couldn’t accomplish their objectives alone. They would need God’s help. To that end, they “searched the scriptures diligently” and “[gave] themselves to much prayer, and fasting.” As a result, “they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God” (Alma 17:2-3).
The Spirit of the Lord not only empowered them in their teaching, He also comforted them and gave them guidance (Alma 17:10-11). As they separated themselves to teach in different cities, their collective prayer was that “the Lord would grant unto them a portion of his Spirit, to go with them, and abide with them” (Alma 17:9). And the Lord answered that prayer. (See Alma 18:35, 24:8.)
In January 1832, at a church conference in Amherst, Ohio, a large number of men were called to serve as missionaries. They were counseled to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost, who would help them know:
- What to teach: Wiliam E. McLellin and Luke Johnson were to “proclaim the things which I have commanded them, calling on the name of the Lord for the Comforter, which shall teach them all things that are expedient for them” (Doctrine and Covenants 75:9-10).
- Where to teach: To all of the missionaries, the Lord said, “Let them ask and they shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto them, and be made known from on high, even by the Comforter, whither they shall go” (Doctrine and Covenants 75:27).
Missionaries today have been given the same promise:
You will succeed in your work as you learn to receive and follow personal revelation….
Pray for the Spirit’s guidance, and valiantly follow the promptings you receive.Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, Chapter 4: “How Do I Recognize and Understand the Spirit?”
Today, I will seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost, especially in my efforts to share the gospel. I will remember that the Spirit can help me know both what to teach and where to teach.