Before my mission, I had a lot of friends and acquaintances express their surprise that I was going to spend two years going door to door "selling" my church to strangers. Others told me that a service mission was much more honorable than a proselyting mission, more Christlike even. On my mission, I've met many people that did not like what I represent and told me, with varying degrees of kindness, that I am misguided.
To them I quote the words of the prophet-historian Mormon:
"Behold, I am a disciple of The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they may have eternal life."
I want everyone to know that I'm not here to convince anyone to join my church or win them over to my philosophies, but to open the doors of eternal life to the people I meet.
While some of my friends are surprised that I have dedicated this time in my life to sharing my beliefs, I am equally surprised that so many churches DON'T do that! If you had the "words of eternal life", wouldn't you want to share them? Especially if the Savior had commanded you to "teach all nations, baptizing them"? I know that I would. I know I do!
So, back to that first scripture. "Called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they may have eternal life." The thing that caught my attention in this scripture was the repeated word "Him/His". Over and over it points us back to Jesus Christ, just as a missionary should. We're not here to disseminate information or "win people over". We are here to bring souls unto Jesus Christ.
I think the key to all of this is that we, as humans, can't do anything to save ourselves. We are doomed the first time we make a mistake. Only Jesus Christ has the ability to save us. So, as missionaries, we can't save anyone. We can only point them towards Jesus Christ and let Him do the saving.
So what does bringing souls unto Christ entail? Is that just a euphemism for that idea of going around arguing about differing doctrines? Is it a label we put on our efforts to make ourselves feel good?
No. It is real.
Bringing souls to Christ is the simple act of teaching, testifying, and inviting, over and over, lesson after lesson, day after day, forever. We teach from the scriptures and help people feel of God's love for them. We testify of the principles we teach, telling stories of how they have blessed us in our own lives. And then we invite, show people what the next step in their relationship with God could be, as long as they are willing to accept it. "Will you pray with your family each night?" "Will you come to church with us this Sunday?" "When you find out that these things are true, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized?"
I know that this is truly God's work, and it is real. I know that He loves each and every one of us and that He wants each of us to qualify to live with Him and our families in Heaven for eternity. But I also know that that can't happen without the Gospel of Jesus Christ, namely faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. That is why I am here, hundreds of miles from home, sharing what I believe. Because I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they may have eternal life.