Can I Really Share a Book of Mormon?

[ 7 ] Comments

by Emily


Although I really want to do it, I’ve always had a hard time sharing the Gospel.  I saw first hand the exciting conversion of a gal from New Zealand, and I’ve given away a couple copies of the Book of Mormon, but other than that I’ve just (hopefully) shared the Gospel through living it.  I live in Utah and currently get discouraged because most people in my circle of influence with whom I could share are either not active or part-member not-active families.  I don’t want to make them like the Church less by being pushy.  I’m a stay-at-home mom, too, so the potential for meeting new people and getting to know them well enough to share just doesn’t happen very easily.As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are asked to share the Gospel, to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.  We’re reminded in Doctrine & Covenants 66: 5, 7 to “proclaim my gospel from land to land, and from city to city… bear testimony in every place, unto every people.”  We’re taught to be good missionaries from the time we are little.

My husband, however, had a positive experience recently with sharing the Gospel, which gave me some encouragement.  One day, he came home, said a co-worker was getting married, and told me that he wanted to give the happy couple a Book of Mormon as part of their wedding gift.  My husband, who must share a little of my anxiety, was a bit concerned because he didn’t want to create any awkwardness between himself and the co-worker.  My husband delivered the book along with a gift card and hoped for the best.

To our surprise and delight, a few days after delivering the gift, we got a lovely thank you card in the mail from the co-worker and his wife.  The co-worker said that after living six years in Salt Lake, they “finally” got their own copy!  He actually sounded glad.  We wondered if he was joking or just trying to be polite, but we really think he appreciated it.

I began to feel a little less fearful about sharing the Gospel and tried to think of someone to whom I could give a Book of Mormon.  Like I said, I don’t meet a lot of new people, but it dawned on me that there is a wonderful nanny in our neighborhood.  I hadn’t thought of her before because she doesn’t physically live here, but she’s here all the time, and I’m actually getting to know her a bit.  I’m not quite ready to dive right in on this, but I’m ready to receive the promptings on what to do and when.

I feel kind of silly admitting how difficult it is for me to share the Gospel, but I’m guessing I’m not the only one.  What are your experiences with sharing?  How do you not get discouraged?  How many disappointments does it take before you have a positive experience?  How do you not get pushy or overbearing?

About Emily

I'm a busy mom of 4 living in Utah and have been married for 14 years. I went to Ricks & BYU and have a BS in Health Science and minors in History and International Development. I did my student teaching in Western Samoa. If I ever have time, I enjoy blogging and sewing (especially re-enactment sewing), but usually I'm just trying to make time to exercise and clean the house. I hope to someday remodel and get more into historical research.

7 Responses to Can I Really Share a Book of Mormon?

  1. Paul says:

    It is so easy to be afraid to share. I am, however, the product of member missionary work; I was the first in my family to be invited to church — to Primary as a child. In time, the family of the boy who invited me invited our family to meet with missionaries, and the rest is history.

    I wish I could say we’ve repeated the experience, but we haven’t (despite our invitations). But my own personal experience is that the Lord answers specific prayers and does open opportunities for us to share.

    My challenge is to keep the relationship “the same” after an invitation has been extended and declined. My perception has been that both sides of the transaction realize something significant has happened.

  2. Bonnie says:

    It’s so easy to get caught up in our intellectual pursuit of perfection, tweaking and growing and learning, and miss that the primary function of our baptismal covenant is to stand as a witness. Children are better at it than I am, and I notice this and am embarrassed that I don’t speak with settled confidence. Most of my sharing has been too intense.

    When I was managing a program for people on welfare, however, I learned how to be at ease with my faith and share naturally instead of in forced ways. To be honest, however, I never gave a Book of Mormon to anyone, and as I read your experience I wondered if I did someone a disservice along the way. Perhaps I was being a little too careful.

    I’ll have to try harder to open myself to promptings in this direction.

  3. Julia says:

    I have given a few people a copy of the Book of Mormon without them asking for it, but I haven’t found that to be a successful way of truly sharing the gospel. I have been the primary person that new members a half dozen times, and in each case, living the gospel was the most important missionary work I did. There were promptings along the way to share an activity, a thought, or an experience. There were lots of invitations to spend time together that were not in any way church related. There were apologies for canceled time together, and the explanation if a visiting teaching sister in need, or the need to fill in for someone. Mostly, there were lots of answers to questions.

    In every baptism where I have been the primary LDS contact or friend, the Holy Ghost has been the one calling the shots. Whenever the missionaries ask us to pray and place a Book of Mormon, I always pray for someone who is ready for the Book of Mormon to ask me questions.

    I have several pretty significant events in my life that have related to friends/husbands joining the church. Maybe I will submit them as a guest post, after I write it up clearly.

  4. Emily says:

    Thanks guys, I really appreciate your experiences.

  5. […] other key element in the member relationship with living prophets is the right to have the Holy Ghost confirm to us that the words they speak are inspired of God. This does not mean, however, that […]

  6. Nicole says:

    Loved reading this! I can completely relate to everything you said. I recently gave my first 2 books of mormons away to our midwives and it was intimidating. But I followed the prompting. Did I get success? I don’t know yet. Success because I followed the prompting, but they didn’t get back to me for several months when they usually do asap, so that was disappointing. in the last few months i have received several promptings that actually didn’t go anywhere and i wondered why they didn’t work, because i got the prompting, right? but the big answer was if I would FOLLOW the prompting. The more we seek missionary opportunities, the more they will be given to us and the more “practice” we get and the less scary they will be.

    • Ryan says:

      Clayton M. Christensen in his book, “The Power of Everyday Missionaries” helps us to understand that inviting someone to learn more about the gospel in any way is success regardless of the outcome. He notes that you have given these individuals “the opportunity to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ more deeply. Whether or not the ever enter the waters of baptism, they have taken a step along the path of their own eternal progression.” Inviting = success. Please continue to follow the promptings.

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