In 1935, fresh off his own mission, the 25 year old Gordon B. Hinckley accepted an assignment to manage the newly created Radio, Publicity, and Mission Literature Committee of the Church. By 1937 this new department had released the first edition of The Missionary’s Hand Book. This book drew on several publications in circulation at the time and was published with the copyright of Heber J. Grant. Nine years later, the second edition was released, retaining the Grant copyright. In this post, the second of a series (see here for part 1), I offer several excerpts from the third and fourth chapters of the 1946 edition.
CHAPTER 3: Money, Time and Talent
Money, time and talent-these are precious endowments over which you have been made a steward. Upon the use you make of them will depend in large measure your success while in the mission field, and the habits you acquire in their care will affect the remainder of your life. (pg. 29)
There are few occupations where money plays a more minor role than it does in missionary work…But it must be remembered that in nearly every case someone at home is going without to supply you. (pg. 29)
The Daily Program
By way of suggestion the following outline is given. Missionaries who have followed such a program have steadily grown in power:
Have toilet made and ready for class by 7 o’clock.
7-8, Study class with prayer at beginning.
8-9, Breakfast and preparation for the day’s work.
9-12, Tracting or other planned proselyting activity.
2-5, Visiting investigators, tracting or holding meetings.
5-7:30, Study, dinner and relaxation
7:30, Meeting or visits or evening tracting.
Retire not later than 10:30
Recreation is of course essential. Setting-up exercises in the morning, and considerable walking will generally keep one in good physical condition. An occasional good picture show or better still, a fine artistic production, is stimulating. (pg. 31)
The Use of Talent
Most missions maintain publications. Write for them in otherwise idle moments. Do not be discouraged if your first attempt is not published; writers seldom make a mark the first time they submit. (pg. 32)
CHAPTER 4: The Spirit of God
The Need for Inspiration
…precious though the missionary’s message is, comparatively few who hear it show any interest in it. This condition prevails largely because there are many others-salesmen, philosopher and theorists with their own ideas-who are working for the public’s attention as zealously as are the missionaries. The result has become a general public indifference. (pg. 33)
…no teacher or expert is wise enough to determine the best approach in every case. Only a superior intelligence can point the way of conversation, the type of material to use, or the subject for discussion in a talk. The effective missionary soon comes to realize the necessity for the spirit of the Lord to guide him in approaching the many personalities with whom he comes in contact, so that the things he tells them or gives them to read will indeed be pearls of great price whose value outshines all else.
Desire, Effort, Prayer, Faith
Scientific discoveries are seldom made accidentally. Rather they are usually the result of an unsparing desire to learn, painstakingly effort, and a confidence that gratifying results will be achieved.
Spiritual blessings generally result from much the same process. (pg. 35)