The following is an excerpt from an article on LDS.net.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Preach My Gospel to missionaries. Since that time all members have been encouraged to read and study the missionary manual. In honor of the anniversary, I selected 10 of the best self-improvement activities for 10 years of Preach My Gospel.
Each activity can be used for family home evening, church lessons, or personal study. While these activities are designed for missionaries, everyone can use them for self-evaluation and personal growth.
10. Evaluate Your Personal Study
Below is a rating system to act as a personal inventory of your scripture study. Though some of the statements veer toward the obvious “I fall asleep as I study,” most of them require honest self-reflection. Most of the questions are relevant to non-missionaries, but you may need to find a way to apply a few to your personal spiritual activities.
Rate yourself on the following (1=never, 3=some of the time, and 5=almost always).
- I think about the people I am teaching when I study
- Throughout the day I think about what I studied in the morning.
- As I study, ideas come to my mind that have not occurred to me before.
- I record spiritual impressions and ideas in an appropriate place.
- I fall asleep as I study.
- I look forward to personal study.
- I look forward to companion study.
Review your responses. What are you doing well? Do you wish any of your responses were different? Set one or two goals that will improve the quality of your study.
9. Strengthen Testimony Through the Book of Mormon
Chapter five of Preach My Gospel teaches an approach to resolving concerns that brings most points of faith back to the question of whether Joseph Smith was a prophet, which can be determined by gaining a testimony of The Book of Mormon.
Learning to anchor our testimony can help us as we learn to walk by faith. And help us strengthen others who may waver. To read more about how to use The Book of Mormon to respond to objections you can read page 108-109 in Preach My Gospel.
In your study journal, write down how you would refer to Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon to respond to the following objections or concerns:
- “I don’t believe that God speaks to people anymore.”
- “I believe that I can worship God in my own way rather than through some organized religion.”
- “Why must I give up drinking wine with my meals if I join your church?”
- “Why do I need religion?”
8. Question Your Use of Time
Preach My Gospel devotes an entire chapter to helping missionaries take personal inventory of the way they use their time. One activity in particular is super helpful to everyone — not just missionaries. But to apply it to your life, rather than just listing proselyting activities, list everything you’ve done, and instead of asking if it influenced key indicators ask if it helped you reach your personal goals.
In your study journal, list every proselyting activity you have done in the past three days. For each activity, determine if it influenced one of the key indicators. If it did, write yes beside it. If it did not, write no. For each activity with a yes describe how it had an impact. For each activity with a no, decide why you did it and whether you will continue to do the activity in the future. Discuss your list with your companion, and explain why you marked some activities yes and some activities no. Discuss which activities you may need to stop doing.
To read the other 7 ways to celebrate Preach My Gospel, click here.