"We are a missionary-minded people," said President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency in priesthood session of the October 1987 general conference. "We have a divine mandate to proclaim the message of the Restoration. You young men here this night are on the threshold of your missionary opportunity. That energetic missionary from the Book of Mormon, even Alma, provides for us a blueprint for missionary conduct: `This is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.' (Alma 29:9.)

"I add my personal witness: Our missionaries are not salesmen with wares to peddle; rather, they are servants of the Most High God, with testimonies to bear, truths to teach and souls to save."Each missionary who goes forth in response to a sacred call becomes a servant of the Lord whose work this truly is. Do not fear, young men, for He will be with you. He never fails. He has promised: `I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.' (D&C 84:88.)

" `And ye shall go forth in the power of my Spirit, preaching my gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God.' " (D&C 42:6.)

President Monson counseled fathers and priesthood leaders regarding their responsibility to "prepare this generation of missionaries, to quicken in the hearts of these deacons, teachers, and priests not only an awareness of their obligation to serve, but also a vision of the opportunities and blessings which await them through a missionary call. The work is demanding, the impact everlasting. This is no time for `summer soldiers' in the army of the Lord."

Further, President Monson said: "I commend the many couples who now go forth to serve. Leaving the comforts of home, the companionship of family, they walk hand in hand as eternal companions, but also hand in hand with God as His representatives to a faith-starved world.

"To the many who contribute of their means for missionary service, I express the thanks of the Church and the sentiments of my soul. The gratitude of God may come soon. Then again, it may come [after many years.] . . . This I know: It will come. It will bless. It will comfort. It will sanctify."