12) MISSIONARY WORK: What is the focus of our missionary efforts? Who are the elect?

Prophetic Statements

Joseph Smith

After his death the Prophet Joseph appeared to Brigham Young and pleaded:

“Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. . . . Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord, they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world. Our Father in Heaven organized the human family, but they are [now] all disorganized and in great confusion.” 1

Joseph Fielding Smith

“Through this scattering the Lord has caused Israel to mix with the nations and bring the Gentiles within the blessings of the seed of Abraham. We are preaching the gospel now in all parts of the world, and for what purpose? To gather out from the Gentile nations the lost sheep of the house of Israel. It is by this scattering that the Gentile nations have been blessed, and if they will truly repent they are entitled to all the blessings promised to Israel, “which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.” 2

“Will those in the other kingdoms besides the celestial, have the gospel taught to them?

Yes, all truth is gospel truth; and every soul eventually must become acquainted with the plan of salvation, at least as far as it is possible for him to do. We read that every knee must bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This being true, then every soul must know something about him.

But matters which have been held in reserve for the faithful and which have been kept hid from the world by divine decree since before the foundation of the earth, need not be known after the resurrection any more than before, to those who are not entitled to receive them. For instance, there will be covenants and obligations required of these who enter into the exaltation which in no way will apply to those who do not enter into the exaltation, for they do not receive the fulness. In every kingdom the inhabitants must know that they have been redeemed from death, and have received such blessings as are granted them, through the mercy of Jesus Christ.” 3


3 Nephi 28:29

And it shall come to pass, when the Lord seeth fit in his wisdom that they shall minister unto all the scattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them.

Jeremiah 16:14-17

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.

Supporting Statements

Bruce R. McConkie

There is no way to make sense out of life without a knowledge of the doctrine of premortal life. The idea that mortal birth is the beginning is preposterous. There is no way to explain life if you believe that. . . . When we understand the doctrine of premortal life, then things fit together and make sense. 4

R. Wayne Shute, Monte S. Nyman, Randy L. Bott

Ephraim, Chosen of The Lord

“First, the Lord will send for many fishers; then he will send for many hunters. Fishing in the days of Jeremiah was done with nets and schools of fish were caught. In the early days of the Church, the missionaries went to the carious locations and preached to congregations, or invited all interested people to assemble in the local schoolhouses, or community halls. Ofttimes, whole groups of people were converted. The conversion of these groups would fulfill Jeremiah’s prophecy of fishing.

The hunting people would follow the fishing period of missionary work as foretold by Jeremiah. Hunting is done on a one-on-one basis. Later the Church missionary program changed from the teaching of groups to the teaching of individuals or families as is presently done and further fulfills Jeremiah’s prophecy.” 5

  1. Journal History, 23 February 1847, emphasis added; cited in McConkie and Millet, The Holy Ghost, pp. 10-11
  2. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers To Gospel Questions 2:57
  3. Joseph Fielding Smith, ‘’Doctrines of Salvation’’, 2:23
  4. Bruce R. McConkie, Conference Report, October 1983, p. 22
  5. Ephraim: Chosen of the Lord, pg. 39-40, R. Wayne Shute, Monte S. Nyman, Randy L. Bott
Filter by Categories

Explore our newest project!

Unlock a treasure trove of FREE resources! Dive into engaging videos, lesson plans, activities, and much more—all perfectly aligned with Come Follow Me 2024.

Join our email newsletter!
Latest News