TRAINING RECEIVED FROM ELDER BRADFORD
Spanish by Erin Howarth, 2001
Ideal organization of a mission:
The mission is for the missionary. The by-product is to baptize and to convert oneself. They leave many material things, but they are learning the discipline of God: praying with sensitivity, studying, and plannning your time, budgeting, ideal companionship.
- The missionaries should live only two in each apartment. Thus they can better help each other in preparing, in desciplin, and in order.
- In the office they should have four missionaries (two secretaries and the historian and the one for materials). There can also be a couple that does the work of two elders. The assistants will only be in the office when the president needs them to plan his activities calendar, ask for their advice regarding transfers, and for any planning meeting for conferences that must be carried out. The rest of the time, they should be traveling to train the zone leaders and district leaders in their own areas.
- No missionary should go to the mission office. Only those that are asked by the president for some interview should go. Also, you should solve your problems first with your district leaders, the district leader will go to the zone leader, and they will go to the assistants. They do not have to call the president with problems that can be solved by the other leaders. USE THE LINE OF ESTABLISHED AUTHORITY.
- The schedule for the mission office Tuesday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. without exception. Only when the president is traveling, or there is some emergency, should anyone come to the office on Monday or in other hours. This must be the exception and not the rule. The president and missionaries from the office should take p'day every Monday, and on Saturdays, missionaries from the office work in proselyting.
- Phone calls to the office must be limited to true emergencies. If you are calling about any question, that can be directed to your immediate leaders, as specified in the previous point. Monday nobody will be in the office.
- The zones should have from 24 to 32 misioneries. The zone leaders should not travel or go on splits unless there is a serious problem. The zone leader should have the model district model: hour to rise, study, cleaning of the apartment, baptisms, obedience, good comradeship, number of discussions taught, number of people taught, district meetings and evaluation, seriousness, form of leader of that district. The zone leader will travel to the other districts to train and to solve any problem. His companion must accompany him. NEVER travel ALONE. Don't let splits break up the companionship that must be fortified everyday.
- Have the district meeting every week. The zone leader will train the missionaries in the things pertaining to the district and will teach a spiritual lesson, topics from the Missionary Guide.
The idea is that nobody in the mission should fail because there must be a feeling of teamwork in everything. If one is failing, the other must come to his aid and support him. He must not criticize or accuse him. Also, with the language, each missionary must feel the desire and joy in the opportunity that they have to learn another language and to try to do it with enthusiasm
Moses 5:26-29: "And Cain was wroth, and listened not any more to the voice of the Lord, neither to Abel, his brother, who walked in holiness before the Lord. 27 And Adam and his wife mourned before the Lord, because of Cain and his brethren. 28 And it came to pass that Cain took one of his brothers' daughters to wife, and they loved Satan more than God. 29 And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die; and this that thy father may not know it; and this day I will deliver thy brother Abel into thine hands."
This organization has another intention and that is to form future priesthood leaders. The assistants are going to teach the zone leaders. The zone leaders will teach the district leaders, and they will teach the missionaries. The role of district leader will be fortified because of greater autonomy. Only when they request aid from their zone leaders, will they visit them. If the zone leaders cannot solve the problem, they will call the assistants.
The zone conferences will take place every month and a half (5 or 7 during the year). There will be exceptions when there is a visit from a general authority or for Christmas. The zone leaders will participate in the zone conferences with a message or topic assigned with enough anticipation so that they prepare themselves very well.
FIVE KEYS THAT MUST BE CONSIDERED BEFORE THE BAPTISM
- From the first contact to the baptism. a logical period of time must have passed. There is no specific time period, the missionary must know by the Spirit.
- They must teach them the six dicussions completely. There is no time limit for this. The investigator must be converted to the Church as an organization and cpmverted to the gospel as a saving principle, in order to be baptized.
- The investigators must attend the Sunday meetings, specially the sacramental meeting, since they begin to receive the discussions. They will be able to catch what we believe and understand what is The Church itself. Misioneries must help their investigators to feel the Spirit. Do not criticize the problems of the unit, rather, tell them that we need them as future leaders.
- The investigators must be presented to the ward or branch leaders. If this is not fulfilled, they must not be bautizados. This is said by the authority of The Church.
- They must be interviewed by the district leader or another missionary who is not the one that is teaching them. ONLY full-time missionaries should interniew investigators, not members of the ward.
The baptismal interview must be made with enough anticipation before the baptism.
D&C 20: 37: "And again, by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of baptism-All those who humble themselves before God, and desire to be baptized, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church."
Moroni 6: 1-8: "AND now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it. Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins. 3 And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end. 4 And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith. 5 And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. 6 And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. 7 And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders, and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ. 8 But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven."
There are several reasons for this:
- Between the interview and the baptism there should be a time to invite friends and relatives to the baptismal service.
- This will be one of the most important events of their life, and it is a good opportunity to obtain references.
- Organize the baptismal service so that it is very spiritual.
- Have the baptismal clothes ready.
- Fill the font.
- Assign the speakers with enough time to prepare well.
- Select music appropriately.
- Select witnesses.
- Correlate with the ward mision leader.
- Review each detail.
When asking the necessary questions, formulate them so that the person does not answer with YES or NO. They must understand the question clearly, and they must answer so that the one conducting the interview can know that they have understood it well and are really prepared to live in agreement with that commandment.
It is obligatory to teach each principle. We cannot leave out any of them. They are there to be taught so that the missionaries know that the investigators understand each principle clearly before beginning with the next concept. Maybe they do not understand the necessity of a savior. To be saved from what? We must put ourselves in their place and ask them to explain their beliefs.
FIVE POINTS TO CONSIDER IN THE DISCUSSIONS THAT ELDER BRADFORD GAVE US.
- The restoration of the gospel and the organization of the Church.
D&C 20: 1-4: "THE rise of the Church of Christ in these last days, being one thousand eight hundred and thirty years since the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the flesh, it being regularly organized and established agreeable to the laws of our country, by the will and commandments of God, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month which is called April- 2 Which commandments were given to Joseph Smith, Jun., who was called of God, and ordained an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the first elder of this church; 3 And to Oliver Cowdery, who was also called of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to be the second elder of this church, and ordained under his hand; 4 And this according to the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be all glory, both now and forever. Amen."
- Verse 9 tells us how the people fell and how he raises us and the coming of the Book of Mormon and its translation. "Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also;"
D&C 20: 5-12: "After it was truly manifested unto this first elder that he had received a remission of his sins, he was entangled again in the vanities of the world; 6 But after repenting, and humbling himself sincerely, through faith, God ministered unto him by an holy angel, whose countenance was as lightning, and whose garments were pure and white above all other whiteness; 7 And gave unto him commandments which inspired him; 8 And gave him power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; 9 Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also; 10 Which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them- 11 Proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old; 12 Thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, today,and forever. Amen."
- The ones that receive the Book of Mormon have glory; the ones that reject it will be condemned.
D&C 20: 15-16: "But those who harden their hearts in bunbelief, and reject it, it shall turn to their own condemnation- 16 For the Lord God has spoken it; and we, the elders of the church, have heard and bear witness to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."
- By the three points previous we know that there is an infinite God in the skies. We are his creation.
D&C 20: 17-19: "By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them; 18 And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them; 19 And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship."
- We know that there is a savior.
D&C 20: 20-21: "But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man. 21 Wherefore, the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him."
There are three very important conditions in verse 25!
D&C 20: 25: "That as many as would
should be saved."
- believe and
- be baptized in his holy name, and
- endure in faith to the end,
We can not ASSUME that others will understand these things quickly.
THE BAPTISMAL SERVICE
We must do everything possible so that the baptismal service is well organized and inspiring for the other people and an unforgettable event. What are some of the objectives of a good baptismal service?
- The most fundamental objective is carrying out the ordinance of the baptism for the salvation of the conert, helping him feel the influence of the Holy Spirit, and strengthening his desire to remain active.
- Also, the service must help non-members feel the influence of the Holy Spirit so that they accept the invitation to receive the discussion. (Get referrals.)
- The preparation for the baptismal service must include the following:
- Verify the name with an identity card.
- Always have two witnesses who can verify that the prayer of the ordinance is correct, verify the pronouciation of the name and verify that the immersion is total.
- Invite the friends and relatives of the convert, the member and the investigators to the baptismal service.
- Inform the ecclesiastical leaders of the baptismal service.
- Asign ahead of time the person who is going to give a talk.
- Invite a member of the bishopric so that he can prepare to attend the baptismal servie
- Prepare the baptismal hall for the meeting. Set up chairs, etc.
- Verify that the font is full.
- Verify that there are baptismal clothes
- Have someone receive the investigators at the door.
- Have the pink page [membership record] prepared to give to the bishopric.
- Assign someone to direct music and have special hymns selected with are well known.
- End the service by requesting testimonies from the new converts.
If you would like to help proof read these pages, contact Erin Howarth.