As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have been invited and commissioned to share the gospel with everyone. The living prophets have spoken. The scriptures, past prophets, and church leaders have all preached the same profound truths of sharing the gospel. The vision is clear. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. 28:19) “And to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life” (Mosiah 18:9) “I say unto you, that 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) We have often heard the above scriptures. Do we believe them? Do we accept them? Do we live them? Sure we want to! We just need a little help. There is nothing to hard for the Lord and us to do together. He is our strength if we let Him into our lives. We must be willing. The Lord needs our help, every member of the Church, to build up the Kingdom of God. We are member missionaries who share the gospel of Jesus Christ. The prophets have admonished us to hasten the Lord’s work. We have the commission. The question is whether or not we will accept it and the responsibility that goes with it. Remember that we are chosen to share the gospel and the Lord will help us even to the point that the Holy Spirit will give us the words we need to say. Let us ask in faith, believing and the Lord will make us mighty member missionaries. We are commissioned to seek out the elect for they will hear the Lords voice and not harden their hearts.
An article in the Atlantic Monthly gave insight about the feelings college-aged non-believers have regarding those who profess Christianity, or any religion that promises eternal blessings or consequences:
“Michael, a political science major at Dartmouth, told us that he is drawn to Christians like that (those who embrace and live their beliefs), adding: ‘I really can’t consider a Christian a good, moral person if he isn’t trying to convert me.’ As surprising as it may seem, this sentiment is not as unusual as you might think. It finds resonance in the well-publicized comments of Penn Jillette, the atheist illusionist and comedian: ‘I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…. How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?’ Comments like these should cause every Christian to examine his conscience to see if he truly believes that Jesus is, as he claimed, ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’….I again quote Michael: ‘Christianity is something that if you really believed it, it would change your life and you would want to change [the lives] of others. I haven’t seen too much of that’” (Taunton, Larry A. “Listening to Young Atheists: Lessons for a Stronger Christianity.” Atlantic Monthly. Atlantic Monthly, 06 Jun 2013. Web.)
Is not this an indictment against those who profess to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and especially those who profess that we have the true gospel of Jesus Christ? This is why we are a proselytizing Church. There are few Churches in the world who seek with such fervor to bring others to the Lord Jesus Christ. As this is the purpose of the Church, we as members need to do our best. The Lord will help us be our best and even give us the words we need to say to invite others to partake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When we turn our lives over to the Lord, we get the same blessings that His prophets receive…revelation. The Lord will help us share the gospel.
Why is sharing the gospel and being a member missionary so important?
1) Souls are precious. “The worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” (D&C 18:10) Everything Heavenly Father and our Savior do is for the welfare of Their children.
2) We are the only ones who have the gospel to share. We are the seed of Abraham and through us the whole earth will be blessed, “Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.” (D&C 110:12) “Ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” (3 Nephi 20:25) What a responsibility. You remember, “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!” (D&C 18:15-16) How do you feel about those two verses? Do we not seek joy and happiness? Who is in charge of our time? We do what we want to do! Think about it! I promise you the joy of helping one come unto Christ is fulfilling. This is what we do as fathers and mothers. We bring our children to Christ as we raise them in the gospel. Our children were our first investigators. We have joy in them and our posterity. And are we not all the family of God? Are we not all brothers and sisters? Is not God the Father the Father of us all? We are family and we need to help our brothers and sisters.
3) The elect of God are waiting for us. “And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts.” (D&C 29:7) We are responsible for the gathering of Israel. We will be held accountable.
What do we need to do as member missionaries?
1) We need to invite people to come unto Christ. He is the only way. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
2) We should fast and pray for all those who know not God (see Alma 6:6).
3) We need to share the gospel by opening our mouths. And the Lord will help us, “Verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men; For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.” (D&C 100:5-6)
4) We must learn to trust in the Lord. “Whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for 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) In our weakness we can be made strong! In the strength of the Lord we can do all things. “I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things.” (Alma 26:12)
5) We need to come unto the Lord that we might be strengthened to do His work. “If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27)
6) We need to accept our sacred duty with all our hearts, might, mind and strength. We need to make a plan to become the Lord’s member missionary. We need to prepare just as the young men and women of the Church! They go out with some fear and trembling but as they act with faith and rely on the Lord. They become mighty instruments in His hands of the Lord to do good. They have the joy as Alma described, “I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and 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. And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.” (Alma 29:9-10)
And so can we. We are all missionaries at all times. When people ask me where I have served missions I simply say with a little smile…Earth! We laugh but hopefully a message was sent.