As we seek to serve we need to remember the lost and weary. One of the great efforts President Monson has taught us is to rescue those lost and struggling saints. Yes, we are to seek the lost, the lonely, and the weary. This was always the Savior’s admonition as described in the three great parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son. The Lord was always seeking to bless the less fortunate and those with heavy burdens to bear. We are to lift up the hand that hangs down. We are to, “strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings” (D&C 108:7). This is what we are about. This is our work. Every soul is precious.
Being mindful of this in the England South Mission, we started a rescue effort and had all the couples correlate the work within the stakes and wards. The elders, sisters, and couples systematically visited every name of those who weren’t attending. I had hundreds of pages of success stories due to this effort. All souls are precious, member and non-member alike. In one way, rescuing a soul who has made a commitment saves them all the sorrow of failing to keep the commandments.
Pat and I looked at the ward list in Epsom to see if there were any families we could help. We were member missionaries in our ward. I reviewed the less active member list with the assistants who also had served in that ward for several months. I asked if any of those listed had not been contacted. They assured me that all had and the effort had been made. I had a nagging feeling about one of the families, the Hallett family. They had been inactive for almost five years. Two boys of baptismal age were not yet baptized. The Spirit was strong and said, “They are the ones.” They needed another chance. So I called them on the phone and invited their family to dinner. They readily accepted and were delightful. We had questions galore because we were new to England and visited for over an hour after dinner. Following dinner, we talked about their life and activity. They invited us to their house and the friendship grew. As the Spirit prompted us, we asked if they wouldn’t mind if we taught the boys about the Church and even suggested that Brother Hallett prepare himself to do the baptisms, of which he did. Our daughters Tricia and Traci (member missionaries) came with us to make the visits and assisted us in teaching the lessons. The family was simply the greatest. The baptisms were wonderful. We were full of joy and happiness. Gratitude for the goodness of God and for the magnificent Hallett family who are strong in the faith and life is good. We have kept in touch. The Lord will provide the way and the means for blessings to be poured out upon His children.
The rescue effort is of prime importance. Every soul is precious. There are those who have struggled and find themselves estranged from the Church. Every ward should have a plan to visit and hopefully bring back to activity all who have strayed. This is missionary work too. The home teaching and visiting teacher efforts are always seeking to help the weary and downtrodden. Visit with the Bishop or Relief Society president and they will help you find people who need your love. You may be just the one to bring a soul back into full fellowship…and this is joy.