Our beloved prophet President Monson in the Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, Hastening the Work of Salvation said,
“To their [the words of the Quorum of the Twelve] words I add my own. Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Him. He has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work.” (President Thomas S. Monson, “Faith in the Work of Salvation,” Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, Hastening the Work of Salvation, June 23, 2013)
Act in faith! We like the early apostles plead to have our faith strengthened (see Luke 17:5). This means doing the work of the Lord. With joy and happiness to share the gospel. President Monson and all the prophets have encouraged us to share the gospel. Never think that you can’t make a difference. You can! Millions of members can make the difference. We are the Lord’s “finders.” We have friends, neighbors, and co-workers who need to hear the gospel. Imagine yourself in their position, “Would you rather be approached about such tender subjects by a friend or a stranger?” Whose words would you most likely accept? President Monson has said,
“On the average, a pair of missionaries knocks on 1,000 doors in straight tracting to find one convert. If a member prepares a person or family and then, with the nonmember’s approval, refers him to the missionaries, we baptize one out of twelve. But if the member prepares a person or family and invites him to Church or to an open house where perhaps the film Man’s Search for Happiness is shown, and then invites the person or family to hear the gospel taught in his home where the member can bear his testimony to the friend, we baptize one out of three. When you compare three-to-one with a thousand-to-one, you can see why we pray for energetic member involvement in this kind of member missionary activity” (Thomas S. Monson, “Status Report on Missionary Work,” Ensign, Oct. 1977, p. 11).
Times have not changed in the nearly forty years since these statistics were given. We sometimes don’t take seriously our charge that every member is a missionary as given by President David O. McKay back in 1959. We know that souls are precious, and yet for whatever the reason, we do not put the hand of fellowship forward, and so, those waiting to hear the gospel are left in jeopardy, without hope. Some people have no apparent desire to seek out any organized religion, while others, the elect of God, stand waiting for the invitation. Who are we to judge who to share the gospel with? It is our duty to share the gospel with everyone by our words, deeds, and actions. We need to be member missionaries and find joy in sharing the gospel and accept the responsibility with gladness, going forward with faith. There are thousands of missionaries in the field who are pleading for our help and there are millions of people looking and wondering about the real purpose of life. There are millions who seem satisfied with life. All of Heavenly Father’s children left pre-mortal life with the hope to return to His presence. We are the very ones, the seed of Abraham, to invite them to come unto Christ. Their eternal life is dependent upon our fulfilling our covenants with the Lord…and when we do we will experience joy that is indescribably delicious.
President Kimball spoke to us concerning missionary work many times and reminds us how others are in jeopardy without the gospel and we are in jeopardy if we do not share it:
“Why do the peoples of the world stand in jeopardy–because they cannot be saved without the gospel in their lives. They will continue to stand in jeopardy until the gospel is taken to them in such a way that they are willing either to receive it or reject it. This responsibility also places us in jeopardy so far as missionary work is concerned if we don’t share the gospel with them.” (“The Things of Eternity—Stand We in Jeopardy?” Ensign, Jan. 1977, p. 4).
We sometimes don’t understand the gravity of our charge of being a member missionary. We know that souls are precious, yet for whatever the reason, lack of skills, lack of time, thinking that it requires huge effort and commitment, or deep-seated fears, we do not make a plan to share the gospel or pray earnestly for missionary opportunities. Therefore those waiting to hear the gospel are left in jeopardy and without hope. Remember, “For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (D&C 123:12). We are the ones to help them find the truth. We are “finders.” This phrase will appear again and again throughout the book. It needs to be ingrained into our very soul. The Lord has reminded all of us, “And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a commandment, that every man, both elder, priest, teacher, and also member, go to with his might, with the labor of his hands, to prepare and accomplish the things which I have commanded. And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness. And go ye out from among the wicked. Save yourselves. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord. Even so. Amen” (D&C 38:40-42). Note the Lord said this was a commandment! We do it with meekness, but we do it. It is part of our being worthy of salvation and being made clean before the Lord. With this empowering commandment, I pray that we will not be found guilty of failing to share the gospel with our friends and neighbors rather we will find joy in sharing the gospel.
President Spencer W. Kimball has taught us concerning our duty of sharing the gospel.
“We would ask that you select a family, some family in your neighborhood, that you have considerable, high regard for, and then invite them to your home. Show them how to hold home evenings; teach them the gospel. There isn’t anyone here that can’t teach the gospel, and if there is, there are missionaries available. … If you can’t think of anything else you can say, “I know that God lives.” That’s the greatest testimony in the world. And you don’t need to have a thousand reasons for doing it.” (Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, SLC: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 552)