Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lesson recap: Doing our part to share the gospel

George Albert Smith taught in Lesson 13, "Every member of the Church should delight in teaching the truth. We should each do something every day to bring the light to our fellow beings."

Think about something you LOVE about the gospel or the church. Sharing from a place of love will always be genuine and easier for you.

Compare it to this. If you happened into a store with a great shoe sale going on, you'd want to tell all your friends so they wouldn't miss out on the good deal. It can be the same with the gospel.

This is where I want you to focus your missionary efforts...from a place of honesty, telling others what you love about the gospel, how you've found answers to problems, how the plan of salvation gives you perspective, about the peace you feel, about the friendship of visiting teaching or the collective wisdom on Relief Society sisters gets you through.

If we are living exemplary lives, our influence may encourage others to learn about the gospel.

In President Smith's words, "Remember, we all have responsibilities. We may not be called to some definite duty, but in every neighborhood there is opportunity for each of us to radiate a spirit of peace and love and happiness to the end that people may understand the gospel and be gathered into the fold."

In a conference talk titled, "Perfect love casteth out all fear" L.Tom Perry says,
The growing visibility and reputation of the Church presents some remarkable opportunities to us as its members. We can help “disabuse the public mind” and correct misinformation when we are portrayed as something we are not. More important, though, we can share who we are.
There are a number of things that we can do—that you can do—to advance an understanding of the Church. If we do it with the same spirit and if we conduct ourselves in the same way we do when we host a temple open house, our friends and our neighbors will come to understand us better. Their suspicions will evaporate, negative stereotypes will disappear, and they will begin to understand the Church as it really is.
First, we must be bold in our declaration of Jesus Christ. We want others to know that we believe He is the central figure in all human history. ... We also believe that it is possible only through Christ to find ultimate contentment, hope, and happiness—both in this life and in the eternities. ...We declare our belief in Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Savior. He will bless us and guide us in all of our efforts. As we labor here in mortality, He will strengthen us and bring us peace in time of trials. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints walk by faith in Him whose Church it is.
Second, be righteous examples to others. ... Our lives should be examples of goodness and virtue as we try to emulate His example to the world. Good works by each of us can do credit both to the Savior and His Church. As you are engaged in doing good, being honorable and upright men and women, the Light of Christ will be reflected by your lives.
Next, speak up about the Church. In the course of our everyday lives, we are blessed with many opportunities to share our beliefs with others. When our professional and personal associates inquire about our religious beliefs, they are inviting us to share who we are and what we believe. They may or may not be interested in the Church, but they are interested in getting to know us at a deeper level.

We participate in missionary work by helping prepare future missionaries and by supporting them on their missions.

We as parents, Relief Society sisters, Primary teachers, Sunday school teachers can all help prepare and teach our young people to want to serve missions.

GAS: "I am impressed with the importance of preparing for the work. It is not sufficient merely that a boy signify his desire, because of his confidence in his parents, to do what they would have him do, go into the world and preach the gospel; it is not sufficient that he answer the calls that our Heavenly Father makes from time to time through his servants for mission service; but it is also necessary that he qualify for the work, search the scriptures, and learn what the Lord would have him know. It is important that our sons and daughters become established in their faith and know as their parents know, that this is our Father’s work. …"

Jeffery R. Holland spoke even stronger words for our young men in "We are all enlisted" in October 2011 conference. (Recommend reading the whole talk.)
...there are thousands of Aaronic Priesthood–age young men already on the records of this Church who constitute our pool of candidates for future missionary service. But the challenge is to have those deacons, teachers, and priests stay active enough and worthy enough to be ordained elders and serve as missionaries. So we need young men already on the team to stay on it and stop dribbling out of bounds just when we need you to get in the game and play your hearts out!
...the Lord has drawn lines of worthiness for those called to labor with Him in this work. No missionary can be unrepentant of sexual transgression or profane language or pornographic indulgence and then expect to challenge others to repent of those very things! You can’t do that. The Spirit will not be with you, and the words will choke in your throat as you speak them. You cannot travel down what Lehi called “forbidden paths” and expect to guide others to the “strait and narrow” one—it can’t be done.

But there is an answer to this challenge for you every bit as much as there is for that investigator to whom you will go. Whoever you are and whatever you have done, you can be forgiven. Every one of you young men can leave behind any transgression with which you may struggle. It is the miracle of forgiveness; it is the miracle of the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. But you cannot do it without an active commitment to the gospel, and you cannot do it without repentance where it is needed. I am asking you young men to be active and be clean. If required, I am asking you to get active and get clean.

We need thousands of more couples serving in the missions of the Church. Every mission president pleads for them.

Elder Holland: 
Now, you brethren of the Melchizedek Priesthood, don’t smile and settle back into the comfort of your seats. I am not through here. We need thousands of more couples serving in the missions of the Church. Every mission president pleads for them. Everywhere they serve, our couples bring a maturity to the work that no number of 19-year-olds, however good they are, can provide.

...Brethren, tell your wives that if you can leave your recliner and the remote control for a few short months, they can leave the grandchildren. Those little darlings will be just fine, and I promise you will do things for them in the service of the Lord that, worlds without end, you could never do if you stayed home to hover over them. What greater gift could grandparents give their posterity than to say by deed as well as word, “In this family we serve missions!”
Elder Holland announced that housing costs for couples would be supplemented by Church funds, couples can now serve 6, 12, 18 or 24 month missions, at their own expense they can return home briefly for critical family events and they don't have to knock doors. All recent changes that make serving a mission easier for older couples.

Sisters let's set our sights on serving missions, preparing ourselves now through study and service, and putting our finances in order so we can serve when the day comes.

The challenge: 

Think of that one thing you love about the gospel and this week work it into a conversation you have with a coworker, with a friend, with a neighbor, or with a child.

The promise from Elder Perry:

If you will respond to the invitation to share your beliefs and feelings about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, a spirit of love and a spirit of courage will be your constant companion.

And who doesn't want that!


Be an online missionary
Sharing the gospel online
Sharing the gospel through social media
Sharing the gospel through a blog
Interacting online as a member missionary

Get comfortable answering questions
Prepare a few answers to questions you may be asked
Answering gospel questions
Questions about church doctrine
Questions about the church in the world
Mormonism 101: FAQ

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