An image of him is on the cover of chapter one of Preach My Gospel (as shown above).
Dan Jones baptized thousands of people while he was a missionary in the early history of the Church. His work in Wales became the foundation of the Church there, not to mention all the saints who came west to the Rocky Mountains.
So how can you prepare to be a Dan Jones type of missionary? Well, here are just three (of many) ways you can become a Dan Jones missionary.
1. Believe in and Seek for Miracles
The sooner you start to really believe in miracles, the better. During the mission you witness some of the most amazing miracles of your life. There will be nights when you come home to your journal and all you can write is “Wow” because you have no words for how amazing it was that just happened. You witness things that not many people do as a missionary. But that’s not because “normal” people can’t see miracles. We can and we should seek them out.
“I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.”
– Mormon 9:11 [1. Mormon 9:11]
You don’t have to wait to be a missionary for God to show you miracles. Seek for miracles now and seek them through the whole mission. And seek them after. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
2. Weave the Word of God into the Fiber of Your Soul
Feasting upon the word of God will activate the power of the atonement in a way that not many other things will. Activating this power will do more for you than any other thing as a missionary. There is actual power as we take in the words and put them deep within our hearts. How is it that Alma was a wicked priest of Noah who committed whoredoms and spent his strength with harlots [2. Mosiah 12:29] and then not long after, he was baptizing whole congregations in the waters of Mormon? [3. Mosiah 18] How is it that Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah were “the vilest of sinners” [4. Mosiah 28:4] and yet were able to make such a mighty change that they converted an entire nation of Lamanites, and later in life Alma was even translated? [5. See Alma 26 and Alma 45:18-19] It is because the word of God, planted deep within our souls, activates the power of the atonement.
“Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us…” [6. Alma26:13 – italics added]
I believe that the word was literally IN them – a literal part of their physical and spiritual makeup. It was quite literally, like Jeremiah said “in their inward parts” written in their hearts. [7. See Jeremiah 31:33-34]
The word written in our hearts and in our “inward parts” activates power unto transformation: the power of the atonement to make us very powerful missionaries, like unto Dan Jones.
3. Activate the Atonement by Receiving the Holy Ghost
The Lord Himself invited us to activate the atonement through the reception of the Holy Ghost. As we do any of the above, we are using our agency to choose God. And when we do this, the Holy Ghost comes. When we were confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the person doing so confirms us and then tells us: “receive the Holy Ghost.” It is command, not an endowment. We are the ones who have to act to receive the Holy Ghost. And though we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, the gift is only activated as we do the things that will bring the presence of the Holy Ghost. We get to choose to receive the Holy Ghost every day of our life, or not. And when we DO choose to receive the Holy Ghost, we activate the power of the atonement. I love what Henry B. Eyring said about this activation power:
“Receiving the Holy Ghost is the therapy which effects forgiveness and heals the sin-sick soul. Now that is a fact you can act on with confidence. You can invite the Holy Ghost’s companionship in your life. And you can know when he is there, and when he withdraws. And when he is your companion, you can have confidence that the Atonement is working in your life.”
There is no question in my mind that (among other things) Dan Jones did these things to make such an impact in his missionary service. What are other things that you make us powerful missionaries?
Comment below to let me know what you think!