By Emie Marulanda
Inviting others to church can be hard and push us out of our comfort zones. It can be even more difficult for a child who is shy or who has not been taught about how to share their testimonies or do missionary work. As parents who want to raise their children in the gospel, it is essential to give them the tools that they need to share the gospel when they feel inspired by the Spirit to do so. Sharing the gospel or inviting someone to church doesn’t have to be high pressure! We can make it fun, easy, and natural when we do these three things.
Set Righteous Intentions
Just as you feel the joy of the gospel, so do you want others to feel the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Having learned about the Restoration, the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the divine doctrine of eternal families, it would only be natural to want others to feel the same joy. We are surrounded by our fellow beings every day. God loves them just as He loves you. But just like most things in the gospel, by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.
We can start sharing the gospel once we have set righteous intentions and have a righteous desire:
- Have a genuine desire for others to experience the joy of the gospel, rather than extending an invite just to say you asked someone
- Make sure it’s out of sincere friendship, and not obligation
- Love for the Savior and for others is the spirit of missionary work
Kids have a great capacity to share with enthusiasm. They will feel excited, empowered, and ready to share the gospel when presented with the opportunity. Here are a few ways to help them do that:
- Show them that sharing the gospel is fun! Plan activities that allow you to share the gospel as a family. Show your kids your own enthusiasm, that they can see it as exciting and rewarding
- “Children will get into the spirit of sharing and find their own ways to do it once they are introduced to the joys of missionary work.”
- Teach them everyone has their own unique gifts, and guide them on how they can use those to touch the hearts of others with this sacred message
- “There are certain gifts and personality traits that only you possess. There are certain people that only you can touch.”
Encourage Them to Make Friends
“Friendshipping” or “fellowshipping” is a good place to start when it comes to sharing the gospel.
- Show your children that selfless service is one of the best ways to make connections with others
- Teach them to offer companionship and help to friends. Seeking out ways to help someone cultivates a more positive and trusting friendship
- Once they learn how to seek service opportunities, show them that they can always ask you for help to serve
When children are actively pursuing opportunities to help, don’t see it as a burden but rather a chance to serve a fellow being. The friendships that they make can become stronger and it’s at that time that they might feel prompted by the Spirit to share the gospel with them or invite them to church or church activities.
Parents, remember that you have the power to inspire them with your own testimony. “Personal stories that demonstrate how you received a testimony of a certain concept are not only memorable, but powerful.” They will be inspired to follow in your footsteps and have missionary experiences of their own. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their experiences, and continue to encourage them to seek out missionary experiences.
If you need help starting conversations with your children about missionary work and sharing their testimony, check out our books: This is the Spirit of Revelation and The Powers of Heaven: A Priesthood Guide for Latter-day Saint Girls and Boys.
Emie Marulanda is a student at Brigham Young University-Idaho who is currently studying Marriage and Family Studies. She is passionate about empowering parents to empower their kids for a bright, healthy future.
*There are affiliate links in this article. Any small financial gain from these links goes toward maintaining our website.
Handbook For Families. (1986). Teaching children to share the gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1986/04/teaching-children-to-share-the-gospel?lang=eng
Sharing the Gospel
“As with so many other things, sharing the gospel begins with desire. If we are to become more effective instruments in the hands of the Lord in sharing His gospel, we must sincerely desire to do so.” –Dallin H. Oaks
Do Your Kids Have Questions about the Gospel?
Everyone has questions. But sometimes, we’re not sure that’s okay. Meet Chloe. She has a question, and it won’t leave her alone. She isn’t sure if it’s okay to have certain questions, especially gospel questions. The more she tries to push her question away, the more it follows her. With her family’s help, Chloe learns one of the most important lessons in gospel living: Questions aren’t just good, they are great!