As a missionary, I was asked to memorize D&C 4 (in Russian and English). I love how succinctly this chapter reveals the significance of missionary work as well as the qualifications for service.
First, we must have a desire to serve God. If we have that desire, then we will be called to the work. To me, that implies not only full time missionary service, but our day-to-day life as well. If we have a desire to share the gospel, then we will find opportunities to do so. We will be led to opportunities to share divine truth.
Second, we must serve God with our whole being. We must unite heart, might, mind, and strength. As I have read this verse, I have wondered how might and strength might differ or whether they are merely synonyms. For me, might implies a certain consecrated effort inspired by the power of the Holy Ghost, while strength merely implies the brute efforts of our body. This is supported by the repetition of might in the fourth verse in the context of thrusting one’s sickle with might. Regardless, the repetition seems significant because it underscores the significant investment of energy that missionary work requires.
Third, we must seek to develop a variety of Christlike attributes. Of those many attributes, the one’s repeated in verses 5 and 6 are faith and charity. Those two attributes seem to be of preeminent significance. And if we consider that love is a near synonym for charity, then it is clear that love/charity is the cardinal attribute we need. We must love those we serve. We must desire for their salvation with all our hearts. And when that love is felt, then miracles can happen.
Fourth, we must have an eye single to the glory of God. God’s work and glory is to bring eternal life to mankind. We must similarly be driven by that desire. And we must work in the Lord’s way and as led by the spirit. If we do missionary work in our own way, we will not see fruit.
Fifth, we must ask, seek and knock. We must turn to God and ask for guidance and help. Without him, we will be lost and aimless in our efforts.
Finally, the promised blessing is incredible for both the missionary and those that we teach. We bring salvation to our souls, and also “lay up in store” those that we help so that they to may receive the blessings of eternal life. What an incredible life changing work.