I recently read Preach My Gospel because I was asked to give a talk based on something in one chapter. What I found was what everyone had said about it: it is a concise, easy to follow guide to teaching people the teachings of the Church. Anyone with the desire to do so could carefully and prayerfully read the book and be prepared to tell a non-member what they need to know what the Church says they need to know in order to be baptized.
Which leads to this scenario:
Let’s say I have a friend who has seen my interaction with the church, and who I have talked to about my feelings about the gospel, and he says he would like to know more. Why would I call the missionaries?
- I am likely to understand my friend’s concerns and spiritual interests better than the missionaries.
- My life experience is probably closer to my friend’s than the missionaries, not only because we are closer in age, but because we are more likely to share a cultural background.
- The missionaries have other short-term interests and pressures that may not serve my friend and his spiritual interests.
- In some situations, I cannot rely upon the language skills of the missionaries.
- With Preach My Gospel, I have all of the same information they have, plus my own experience making the gospel work in the world in which my firend and I actually operate.
There are situations when missionaries might be quite useful — if the ‘sharing’ member were quite new, or shy, or there was some complication in the relationship. I also suppose that some people would prefer to have the missionaries do the teaching so that a rejection of the gospel doesn’t impact the friendship.But if I think about sharing the gospel with a willing friend, inviting twenty year-old strangers (in every sense of the word) over to do so seems like an odd move.