I loved to sing this song when I was in primary (Sunday school for kids under the age of 12),
I want to be a missionary now
“I want to be a missionary now.
I don’t want to wait until I’m grown.
I want to share the gospel while I’m young,
For I have a testimony of my own.”
“I want to tell my friends about my church
And the happiness it brings to me.
I’ll tell them how the gospel was restored
And how the Book of Mormon came to be.”
Words and music: Grietje Terburg Rowley, b. 1927. © 1984 IRI
Missionary work is very important to Mormonism. It is, in fact, one of the three main goals-
- Perfect the Saints
- Redeem the Dead
- Proclaim the Gospel
I wanted to be a missionary. I wanted to serve a mission. I wanted to spread the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I wanted to tell others about my beliefs, my faith, my truth and my knowledge.
I knew that I was part of the only true church restored by God. I had truth that others did not have. It was my calling and responsibility to share my knowledge with others, and I did my best to spread the gospel.
I wanted to share what I knew about prophets, temples and eternal families. I wanted to tell everyone that I had truth that could bring overwhelming joy and peace into their lives. My church had answers to so many of life’s troubling questions of why we are here and the purpose of life.
I knew the answers
…because my church had taught me the answers.
My church taught me to trust and obey what I learned from the men who led our church and who communicated with God. My church taught me that I could know the truth through prayer and the sweet feelings of the spirit. If I prayed and had faith, then I could know, without any doubt, that my church was the only church, on the earth, lead by God.
I wanted to share the gospel like I was taught in that song.
There was only one problem, I found truth that contradicted the truth that my religion had taught me. I found truth through extensive research. I read accounts of early members of the church, I read journals, I listened to various podcasts. I had spent so much of my life basing my truth on feelings and trusting what others had told me, that I had never really looked for truth outside of the church. What I learned challenged what I thought I knew.
All of a sudden, the song had new meaning.
I want to tell my friends about the truth, and the that freedom that it brings to me.
I want to talk about Zelf and the Kinderhook Plates, and the discrimination against the LGBT.
I want to share the truth about the church, and how the Book of Mormon truly came to be.
I want to love and to let go of sin and guilt and act how Christ truly wanted us to be.