Do they still call it the “Little White Bible,” or is my slang 30 years out of date?
In any case, here are the instructions given to missionaries in 1941:
INSTRUCTIONS TO MISSIONARIES
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
“For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
“And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance;
“And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth.
“Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto his people;
“And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father?
“And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me?” – Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 18:10-16.
Every missionary Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is endowed with the Holy Priesthood and is sent forth as a minister of the restored Gospel of our Lord and Savior. He is expected by those who send him to be of upright conduct and morally clean; and he should keep himself pure, sweet, and unspotted from the sins of the world. He should avoid the very appearance of evil, so that, when honorably released, he may return home with clean hands and a pure heart.
Among the items of counsel given by the authorities of the Church to missionaries before departure for the mission field the following should be indelibly stamped upon the mind and heart of every Elder:
Traveling to Mission Field.
1. From the time that you are set apart for your missionary labors, ever bear in mind that you are a special representative of the Church and its work and never forget that the Church and its members will be judged by your actions. A thoughtless disregard of the simple rules of conduct is often responsible for positive injury to the missionary and the great cause he represents,.
2. While in cars, ships, hotels, or other public places, never indulge in loud speaking, heated discussions, inappropriate singing, games of chance, vulgar stories or in any conduct whatsoever that is rowdy or boisterous and not becoming a gentleman.
3. The journey to the mission field often affords excellent opportunity for study. You will do well to avail yourself of this opportunity.
4. If you have the privilege of “sight-seeing” within the larger cities, you should refrain from visiting the “districts” of bad reputation. If you cannot assist in correcting evil, avoid it entirely.
In the Mission Field.
5. When you reach your field of labor let all your talents, affections and powers be centered on the work of the ministry.
6. Carefully observe an perform all instructions given to you by those in authority.
7. Get an understanding of the Gospel through prayerful and careful study and teach it as the spirit directs. Study the scriptures with care – the Jewish, the Nephite, and the latter-day revelations. Store your mind with knowledge of the truth, and the Spirit of the Lord will bring it to your remembrance in due season.
8. Live near the Lord so that you can approach Him and appeal to Him on all occasions. Do all things with a prayerful heart; pray vocally morning and evening, oftener when necessary, and pray secretly every day. Prayer should be appropriate to the occasion, and the Spirit of the Lord will direct the one who prays if he be responsive to the divine influence.
9. Seek learning by faith as well as by study. Try to acquire proficiency in the use of the language, but do not depend upon fine words or upon the learning of the world for the effectiveness of your preaching.
10. Remember that you are sent out to preach the first principles of the Gospel and to call men to repentance; not to pose as expounders of mysteries, either spiritual or otherwise. Do not enter into debate with fellow missionaries nor with anyone else over obscure points and passages; and do not seek to advance beyond what the Lord has revealed.
11. Portray the excellencies of the Gospel, but never ridicule the religious beliefs of others. Impute sincerity of mind and purpose to other men as you claim it for yourself.
12. Do your best at all times. Your duty to yourself and to your God demands this constant effort.
13. Be appreciative of every act of kindness shown you and leave your blessing with the deserving.
14. Bless, but do not curse.
15. Be charitable to the unfortunate, and sympathize with the afflicted.
16. Lodge, eat and pray with the people as opportunity may allow and accept their hospitality with gratitude.
17. Seek to learn the will of the Lord and then do it. when success attends your labors give God the glory.
18. Observe the word of wisdom in all strictness, refraining from the use of tea, coffee, tobacco, and intoxicants of every kind.
19. Care well for your health, remembering always that your life is precious. all excesses are wrong and bring ill results. You should not walk too much, talk too much, fast too much, eat or drink too much, nor attempt to do without needful things. Remember that wisdom in all things is one of the greatest gifts; therefore, cultivate it.
20. Be cleanly in your person, clothing, and habits. Be of genteel deportment and pattern after the best manners. Do not engage in undignified games, sports, or pastimes.
21. Be candid and sincere; be pleasant and cheerful, but do not indulge in nonsense, ridicule, or unseemly jesting.
22. Guard against undue familiarity with persons of the opposite sex. Any departure from this rule may lead to immorality, and a fallen brother not only condemns himself but brings misery and woe to the kindred of both parties concerned. Sexual sin is a heinous offense: there are few sins more enticing and none more dangerous and deadly.
23. Keep a brief daily journal of your life’s (missionary) labors. Elders should be especially careful to make record of all their ministrations as bearers of the Priesthood, such as baptisms, confirmations, blessings and naming of children, ordinations, etc. Manifestations of the power of the spirit in relief of suffering, healing, etc., should be recorded by missionaries who are witnesses thereto, and should be reported to the respective Mission Presidents.
24. Do not let your ambition to bring new members into the Church lead you to baptize those who are unworthy. never baptize a married woman without the consent of her husband, nor minor children without the consent of their parents.
25. Be punctual in duty, that the Spirit of the Lord may not be grieved by the unseemliness of tardy attendance.
26. Never say in public or in private that you do not know the Gospel is true.
27. Hold sacred and do not make common use of the names of Deity, or of such titles as Apostle, Prophet, Seer and Revelator. The ordinary titles for bearers of the Melchizedek Priesthood are Elder and Brother.
28. Honor the laws of the country, the state, and the community in which you labor.
29. Spend as little money as possible. Let the world and your fellow-members of the Church assist you in the things that are needful, thereby affording them opportunity to prove that they are disciples of the Lord.
30. Take good care of your money. guard against loss and robbery.
31. Do not borrow money from members of the Church or others.
32. Write your given name in full or abbreviate specifically, as “Geo.” for George, “Wm.” for William. Initials fail to indicate the sex or to make clear which person is meant.
33. Do not engage in long sightseeing trips during your mission.
34. Get the spirit of your mission and keep it. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”
35. Upon your release, or prior thereto, do not make promises to write or render other personal service when you return home. Wait until you do return and then do all you reasonably can to keep alive the good and pure acquaintanceship you have formed in the mission field.
36. The conduct of missionaries on their homeward journey should be circumspect, and in every respect compatible with their high calling and their ministry. If there is opportunity for sight-seeing, it should be enjoyed in the spirit of learning and righteous pleasure. Let it be repeated that no good will come to you or others from witnessing evil sights.
37. Your ministry in God’s service does not end with your missionary release.
38. In the zeal which comes of missionary experience caution should be observed not to obtrude your views upon others. Every proper opportunity, however, should be sought to explain the Gospel.
39. Upon your arrival home and the resumption of your home associations, do not become discouraged in the service of the Lord, if you seemingly fail to find the same intense devotion to the work of the gospel that you discovered among your missionary associates.
40. Be charitable in your judgment of others.
41. Be diligent in your Church duties at home. Accept willingly any appointment that may be given to you which you can, in reason, perform, be it ever so humble. Let the beneficent spirit of your mission be infused into all your subsequent associations and work.
42. Remember that consistency, stability and fidelity to principle are qualities essential to a great character.
In behalf of Council of Twelve Apostles