Thursday, May 15, 2008

Missionary Work By Example

It’s come down to the two Davids. I’m not at all surprised, they’re both so talented. David Cook has such an amazing ability to make a song his own. David Archuleta sings with such conviction and sincerity, he brings tears to my eyes.

I love to watch American Idol and see these kids not only share, but improve, their talents each week. They use their musical talent to share themselves with the world.

David Archuleta now has the world as his audience and has an opportunity to share something else with the world: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I read that when he returned home shortly after President Hinckley’s death he was uncomfortable with all of the attention. He attended his seminary class and instead of focusing on his newfound fame, he bore a strong testimony of the gospel. He said how much he loved President Hinckley and what an influence President Hinckley had on his life. He didn’t want to talk about his experience on American Idol; he wanted to pay tribute to a prophet of God. What a great example.

Through our examples we have the opportunity every day to teach people about the gospel and about what we believe. The speech we use, the way we dress, and the subjects we discuss show people around us what is important to us. People watch us all the time.

When I was a teenager, an adult asked me why I didn’t drink beer. I responded that I wanted to obey the Word of Wisdom and had determined I wouldn’t drink alcohol even though it was a popular thing to do in high school. The adult told me he knew plenty of Mormons that drank beer and I was missing out by not partying—I needed to loosen up.

That conversation has always stayed with me. I never did drink beer or any other alcohol, but his comments made me realize what an impact others’ choices had made on him. The example set by others made him believe that the Word of Wisdom wasn’t really that important.

For good or bad, our example speaks so much louder than our words. We can say all we want about our beliefs, but the proof is in our actions. When we live what we believe, we are teaching others what is important to us. As we live the gospel the best we can, we are communicating to those around us that the gospel matters to us and we are doing missionary work.

We may never have the platform that David Archuleta has, but in our own sphere of influence we can be missionaries. We can show others the happiness and joy that comes from living the gospel. We can show them how the atonement works in our lives and how Jesus Christ can be our redeemer. We can do missionary work each day just by living our lives the way the Savior would have us live.

Return to the neighborhood.

1 comment:

Randall McNeely said...


I really enjoyed this entry. It's true, you never know who's watching you and what kind of impact you can have. I work with a lot of guys who don't use the best language and don't always talk about the most uplifting things. However, I've let them know my standards and I strive to live them. Now when I'm around, they do pretty well, and if they let something slip, they apologize. Some of my co-workers have even started asking a lot of questions about the church and we've had some really great conversations. I've had a lot of other experiences too. Thanks for the inspiring reminder!