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The Joy of Sharing the Gospel

By Elder Julio Cesar Acosta of the Seventy
By Elder Jose L. Alonso of the Seventy

During the 2013 Worldwide Broadcast on The Work of Salvation, President Thomas S. Monson said, “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.”

It excites me to hear the words of President Monson because not only does he invite us to work together as members and missionaries, but he tells us what promises there are for us. One promise is that the Lord has prepared the means and another is that He will help us as we strive to share the Gospel with faith. Those are fabulous prophetic promises!

In the parable of the lost sheep in Luke 15: 4-6, the Savior teaches some principles that have helped me to participate more actively in missionary work. I know they work and bring great happiness. They are:

1.     Identify,

2.     Search until you find,

3.     Invite,

4.     Help,

5.     Ask others to get involved,

6.     Feel joy as you help them receive the saving ordinances.

Identify:
This principle can be applied in many ways, but one of these would be to list all of the friends, neighbors and relatives you know who are not yet members of the Church. Then think about who would be most receptive or most needs the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your list might be long, but in a spirit of prayer you might be inspired to start with just a few.

Seek until you find:
If often happens that the name that comes to mind is of someone whom you have not seen or lived near for a long time. Remember that if the impression is very strong, it will be necessary to do what the Savior did – to look until you find him. Remember that by applying these principles, many of the ones you know can be blessed. Act with great faith and patience.

Invite:
Once you have identified a person or family, extend an invitation to them to learn something about the Gospel. It does not always begin with inviting them to listen to the missionaries. You can start by giving them something to read, listen to, or see. Or invite them to a devotional, social activity, or service project. Use technology and all the resources available in social media to “invite” as well. Once you are more comfortable, you can invite them to listen to the missionaries.

Help:
Not everyone will accept the Gospel right away and many of them may need help. Providing help is not complicated – the principles of love and service give very good results.

Ask others to get involved:
We all need to be involved with more people when we are learning something new. Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a tremendous blessing, but for many people it represents a huge or challenging change. When others get involved in helping people learn and accept the gospel, it encourages them to move forward.

Feel joy:
The Savior said, “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. … And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!” (D&C 18:10, 15).

I fully rely on the promises that President Monson has expressed and I am excited that all of us can be involved in this great work. I love being a missionary. I love sharing the Gospel, and I love to think of the joy we bring to our Heavenly Father and to his son Jesus Christ that we are doing our part in this great work.