PROCLAIM THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL–A MARVELOUS WORK AND A WONDER!
When the Lord left his apostles, he said: “Go ye therefore, and teach ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” In latter-day times, the Lord’s charge to His small band of disciples echoed His words spoken centuries before: The VOICE OF WARNING shall be unto all people. For verily, the sound must go forth . . . into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”
In April 1834, four years after the church was formally organized, the prophet gathered all the priesthood holders in Kirkland in a 14 square foot room, and made this remarkable prophecy. “Brethren, I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight, but I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and Kingdom than a babe upon its mother’s lap. You don’t comprehend it. It is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church WILL FILL NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA–IT WILL FILL THE WORLD.” What incredible vision and prophecy! This is the stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands that Daniel the prophet saw, that will fill the whole earth.” With the worldwide missionary work that is occurring right now, this is now happening in front of our eyes.
Though the Lord is spreading the gospel across the world, He is very aware of “the one,” the individual. President Monson said: “I never cease to be amazed by how the Lord can motivate and direct the length and breadth of His Kingdom and yet have time to provide inspiration concerning one individual.”
PEARL: Section 4. “Behold a marvelous work and a wonder is about to come forth among the children of men. Therefore, if ye have DESIRES to serve God, ye are called to the work. For behold, the field is white, already to harvest. . . “
The Lord said through Isaiah: “Behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder.” Isaiah 29:14. This “marvelous work” is truly the missionary work that is spreading through the world at a rapid rate. We are ALL called, all members to this work for “every member is a missionary!” We don’t have to be formally called to serve a mission, the Lord needs all of us to open our mouth and talk with our family, friends, and neighbor.
“It is not necessary for you to be called to go into the mission field in order to proclaim the truth. Begin on the man who lives next door by inspiring confidence in him, by inspiring love in him for you because of your righteousness, and your missionary work has already begun.” President George Albert Smith
PEARL: “The thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the Kingdom of my Father.” D&C 15:6
Lessons learned in the assigned D&C sections:
Section 29:7 PEARL: “And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts.” Elect people from all over the world who hearts are pure, recognize the gospel message when they hear it, and receive it with gladness.
Section 30: only one person is to receive revelation at a time for the whole Church.
Section 31: a bitter price was paid for Thomas Marsh’s pride for not following the Lord’s counsel which led him out of the Church.
Although we are promised blessings from the Lord, including patriarchial blessings, there is still an obligation for us to do our part in order that the blessings be fulfilled.
Section 31:3: PEARL “Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.” (D&C 31:3)
Section 31:11: “And it shall be given you by the Comforter what you shall do and whither you shall go.”
Section 45:57 PEARL: “For they that are wise and have received the truth (church members), and (here’s the KEY), HAVE TAKEN THE HOLY GHOST FOR THEIR GUIDE, and have not been deceived . . . shall abide the day.”
The JST says in the Sermon on the Mount, “blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, FOR THEY SHALL BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST.”
To do effective missionary work with family and friends: 1) use normal conversation about the gospel-use religious and Mormon words and then explain when asked 2) OPEN YOUR MOUTHS AT ALL TIMES!
D&C 33:8-12: “OPEN YOUR MOUTHS and they shall be filled (with the HG), OPEN YOUR MOUTHS and spare not (don’t hold back) OPEN YOUR MOUTHS and prepare for the Lord’s coming.
PEARL: “Behold, I send you out to testify and warn the people; and it becometh every man who hath been warned, to warn their neighbor. Therefore, they are left without excuse, and their sins are upon their own heads.” D&C 88:81,82
Joseph Smith taught: “Let every man, woman, and child realize the importance of the work, and act as if success depended on his individual exertion along.”
Work within your own families to bring the gospel to them: “The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do, will be within the walls of your own home.” Harold B. Lee
“Much of what we do organizationally, is scaffolding, as we seek to build the individual and we must not mistake the scaffolding for the soul.” Harold B. Lee
Make your home a mini-MTC: Elder Bednar taught that “parents are to be the prime gospel teachers of their children.”
“. . . which parent in the Book of Mormon times would let their children march out to the front of battle without a breastplate and shield and sword? This protective armor is manifest today by opening our mouths and teachings in the home to protect our children from the “fiery darts of the adversary.” Elder Ted Callister
Clayton Christensen’s book, The Power of Everday Missionaries, some excellent points and suggestions are made concerning members doing missionary work. When talking to others about the gospel, we often launch into a doctrinal response–eternal families, modern prophets, scriptures, etc. It makes sense to us because the doctrine is the reason we are in the church. Doctrine over time becomes important to converts too, but typically it isn’t the initial reason for their interest.
In a survey, this is what affected people who investigated the church first (what they saw in their Mormon friends): 1) They saw a feeling of closeness to God that they too wanted to experience 2) They felt a feeling of happiness and a sense of peace they desired 3) They sensed purposefulness and direction in their lives and wanted it as well.
Brother Christensen suggests when people inquire about the church we say something like, “Yes, I’m a Mormon. It’s a great church. Why do you ask?” Then we give them a chance to talk about what they’re interested in, from THEIR frame of reference, not ours.
PEARL: D&C 18:15-16 “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 . . . how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!”
Read the words of Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd. It is beautiful and shows the sincere and unconditional love the Good Shepherd (our Savior) has for the “one,” and for all of His “lost sheep” and His great desire to bring them all to the fold.