Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Be Thou an Example of the Believers

(find the talk here)

It never seems coincidental to me that more than one speaker will choose the same topic for General Conference. Usually I see it as an opportunity to learn and study a truth that is particularly important to our Heavenly Father at this moment.

In October, both Elder Russell M. Nelson and a counselor in the general Young Women’s Presidency spoke on the exact same subject: Being an example of the believers.

I recently listened to this talk (and Sister Cook’s talk) during a run. I enjoy listening to the General Conference talks as I run. I become lost in their words, and I can feel the Holy Spirit around me. I think it helps me as a runner.

“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

Elder Nelson begins his talk by speaking to the missionaries of the Church (the talk was actually given in Priesthood session). He reminds members of President Monson’s impassioned plea for more members to prepare for missionary work – whether as full time missionaries in the field, or as member missionaries.

Every time I hear the prophets speak of missionary work, especially senior couples, I am reminded of how much I look forward to serving a senior mission with my husband. I want to prepare the very best I can for that sacred mission, and I know that we need to prepare financially, physically, spiritually, and emotionally for that responsibility. It gives us something great to work towards. I think we shall serve mission after mission after mission until the day we die.

Elder Nelson goes on to talk about every member a missionary. He reminds us that “as followers of Jesus Christ, each of [us] can live in accord with His teachings.” We should be always living the standards of the Church and the commandments of God, and people will notices us and ask us why we are so different. I have had this experiences several times.

Once when my sister and I were young and took on babysitting jobs together, one of our clients who was a friend of our father asked him why we seemed so mature and confident, and why we were so radiant. We answered by sharing with this family a Book of Mormon and literature about eternal families (they had a daughter who had passed away several years ago). Elder Nelson admonishes us to “Let your response be warm and joyful. And let your response be relevant to that individual.” It is significant that we shared with them the importance of eternal families, because that was relevant to them. We have since lost contact with this family, but I like to believe that something we said prompted them to read and study the Book of Mormon and the other words of the prophets about eternal families. Something in me hopes that they come to Christ and are baptized so that they can enjoy the sealing ordinances of the temple and be sealed to their deceased loved one.

You can invite a friend to read the Book of Mormon. Explain that it is not a novel or a history book. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. Its very purpose is “to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.” There is a power in this book that can touch the hearts and lift the lives of honest seekers of truth. Invite your friend to read the book prayerfully.

This is one of my favorite comments in this whole talk. I believe with all my heart that the Book of Mormon is more than a novel or a history book, just as Jesus Christ was more than just a nice man, or just a prophet. This book testifies of the divinity of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and that He is indeed our Savior – the Savior of the world.

I had a dream last night that I was able to bear testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon to a friend in high school. The girl in my dream is one I didn’t even really recognize, and I don’t know if the dream was in particular about her, or just about my responsibility to share the gospel and bear testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, but I have been affected by that dream. I hope that I can bear testimony more often and more fervently of that book. I am realizing as I grow that bearing testimony of the gospel to my friends who are already members of Christ’s church is not in vain – for when we bear testimony to each other, we build up one another’s testimonies, which enables us to go forth with more power and the Spirit to testify of the gospel to others.

Elder Nelson also reminds us of the wonderful tool technology can be in sharing the gospel. That is the reason I have this blog. It’s not big, and I only have three followers, but I hope that through my writing about the gospel I can perhaps share the gospel with more people than I could if I didn’t write.

I am grateful for every opportunity that I have to share the gospel.

How do you share the gospel? Do you live the gospel in a way that people ask questions? How do you answer them? Are you looking for the truth? Have you prayerfully read the Book of Mormon?

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