Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Great Shall Be Your Joy


Last night I had a dream about a friend of mine who was recently baptized into another church. In the dream, he came to me and was very concerned that he was missing something. He kept telling me “But what if I am missing something?”

He is missing something, and I need to have the courage to show him what he is missing.

So this morning I went to LDS.org and chose “Study by Topic” and clicked on Missionary Work. Listed among the extra resources was an article by President Monson from back in the 90s. He told a story about sitting next to a woman on a plan, and that eventually he “mustered up [his] courage” to talk to her about the Church. If President Monson, who has been an apostle since he was 36, and has been the President of the Church for the last several years, once upon a time had to muster up courage to talk to people about the gospel, I suddenly don’t feel quite as bad for needing to do the same!

I love the scripture above from Doctrine & Covenants section 18. It has long been one of my favorites. For a long time I felt bad that I didn’t serve a mission, but as I have grown in motherhood, I realize that mothering is one of the most divine missions. I have the opportunity to bring souls into this world and bring them unto Christ. Children are born innocent, but they are not born with all of the saving ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As they grow, they need to be prepared to learn about the gospel, gain their own testimony, and receive those ordinances – and that is my job, as their mother. I am comforted that the Lord sees my work of raising and nuturing my own children as significant.

However, that does not mean that I get to rest from the labors of sharing the gospel with others. Paul taught us that we should “be … an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” And Elder Stapley (a Latter-Day Apostle) quoted Paul, who said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.” To which Elder Stapley added, “If we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, then we should not be ashamed to live it. And if we are not ashamed to live it, then we should not be ashamed to share it.”

And the Lord himself has said, “But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths … because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them.” So I do have a responsibility to share the gospel with everyone, really. And especially with those who seek it. I know that I can find those who seek the gospel by praying for guidance from the Lord through His Holy Spirit. He will guide me to those who are seeking the truth, and I believe He does just that.

“And 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.”
Doctrine & Covenants 84:88

I know that the Lord will help me share His gospel. Why wouldn’t He? He has said, “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 kept from the truth because they know not where to find it” (emphasis added). I know that this is true. I think that many people who would find converts to their church are not being completely deceptive – they truly believe that the members of their congregations and churches are saved. I think that many join other Churches because it feels better than nothing, but that righteous seekers of truth will indeed feel the truthfulness of the fullness of Christ’s gospel when they find it – and it is our job to bring it to them, or bring them to the gospel.

How do you share the gospel? Are you an “example of the believers”? Do you open your mouth? Are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ? Or do you share your testimony freely with those around you?

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