Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hastening The Work of Salvation

What do you think of when you hear the word 'missionary?'

I think a common thought is people knocking on doors, the name tag, teaching lessons on the restoration, and baptism.  However, these aren't the only things missionary work includes.

I'm sure you remember the age change for missionaries, it is clear that the Lord is hastening His work.  Many young adults have made the choice to serve missions, with over 80,000 missionaries in the field to date.  However, you don't have to serve a full time mission to be a missionary or engage in this work.

We are all unique. We are all different.  For this reason, I am convinced that we ALL have something to offer. There is something about each and every one of us that the Lord can use to help him in his work.  We ALL can be instruments in the Lord's hand.  If you think about it, if we were all exactly the same, we wouldn't learn anything at all and we couldn't progress, which is what this life is all about.  So of course we have something to offer. Of course we do!

We can be missionaries in lots of ways. Whether it be fulfilling our church callings, visiting/home teaching, inviting someone to church, gospel discussions, being the best we can be/being the best example we can, being a friend or simply smiling or saying hello to someone, we can be missionaries. Just because you don't wear a name tag doesn't mean you aren't capable to do the work.  If you have already worn that name tag, you are technically still on a mission.  A mission doesn't end after 18-24 months.  Missionary work is a life long thing. There will always be someone to help, there will always be work to do.

In September 2013, my stake had a 'Special Stake Wide Missionary Training Meeting' Hosted by Elder Lund.  I remember him telling a story, I believe he was talking with Elder Christofferson.  Elder Lund was telling him that he wondered how much worse the world was going to get, how much more wicked the world would get before Christ comes.  Elder Christofferson replied by saying "Look around, the world is already plenty wicked. The Lord isn't waiting for the world to get darker, he is waiting for us to shine brighter." He is waiting on us. We need to be ready, and help others be ready.  If you don't know where to start, right where you are is a good place. In your home, at church. How can you magnify your callings to bring people closer to Christ?  What else can you do in your home or what can you start doing to keep your family rooted in the Gospel?  Especially here in Utah, where everyone says things like 'The Mormon Capital, Happy Valley Utah, Mormon Ville' etc...believe it or not, there are people who are not members, there are members who are inactive, there are members who are struggling.

Missionary work is not about finding people who are not members to baptize. It is about bringing people unto Christ. It is time to do our part. It is time to stop procrastinating, time to do our best to put the fear aside, to put ourselves aside.  I know this is easier said than done most of the time, but it is so important! The Lord needs us.  He depends on us to help him in his work, as we depend on Him to help us do that work.  "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)  "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not into thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (proverbs 3:5-6)

"Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:9)

Why should we be afraid when we have the Lord to help and guide us?
"And your whole labor shall be in Zion, with all your soul, from henceforth; yea, you shall ever open your mouth in my cause, not fearing what man can do, for I am with you. Amen." (D&C 30:11)  "Open your mouths and they shall be filled, and you shall become even as Nephi of old, who journeyed from Jerusalem in the wilderness. Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you. " (D&C 33:8-9)

I know that this work is important. I know that Our Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us, I know that he knows us personally, and better than we ever possibly could know ourselves. He knows what is best for us, he knows how to help us.  This Gospel is true and perfect and it is the only thing that will bring us true and eternal happiness.  We are all precious in his sight (D&C 18:10,) He wants each and every one of us to be able to return to him, to inherit his kingdom and live in Celestial glory. We can! We can also help others on their way.  Our Father gave us a very great and precious gift: His Son, Jesus Christ, to Atone for our sins, and to show us the way.  Through Christ, we can do all things.  I'm grateful for this gospel, I'm grateful for the guidance, peace, comfort and happiness it has brought me.  It is for everyone, not just me. 

 "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 Monson

Every member a missionary!