The Prophet Joseph Smith once said, “Let every man, woman and child realize the importance of the work, and act as if success depended on his individual exertion alone; let all feel an interest in it, and then consider they live in a day, the contemplation of which animated the bosoms of kings, Prophets, and righteous men thousands of years ago—the prospect of which inspired their sweetest notes, and most exalted lays…” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Joseph Smith, Chapter 11
Elder Neal A. Maxwell summarized this principle when he said, “Brothers and sisters, these are our days. This is our time on earth. These are our tasks to be done!” (“Be of Good Cheer,” General Conference, October 1982). Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “This is our time; these are our days. We are where the action is. Our firm testimony will motivate us to change ourselves and then bless the world” (“The Power of a Personal Testimony,” Ensign, November 2006).
Elder M. Russell Ballard said, “My message this afternoon is that the Lord is hastening His work. In our day this can be done only when every member of the Church reaches out with love to share the truths of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to work together in partnership with our 80,000 missionaries now serving. Information about this great work, especially the assignments for the stake and ward council leaders, is clearly outlined on the LDS.org website entitled, ‘Hastening the Work of Salvation.’” (“Put Your Trust in the Lord,” General Conference, October 2013).
I would like to share a few proven approaches that can be used by members and missionaries can apply to take advantage of our opportunity to hasten the Lord’s work in our day:
- Make friends with good people and share openly with them specific experiences you have had because of your membership in the Church that bring you happiness, such as from a recent family home evening, sacrament meeting, lesson, or service activity.
- If your friends, neighbors or relatives express interest, invite them to listen to the missionaries—ideally in your home with you, to accompany you to church on a specific day, or to read the Book of Mormon.
- Visit a less-active member of the Church in company with the full time missionaries. Help them remember the sweet feelings of the spirit they had in their early experiences with the Church, and ask them if they would like to have those same feelings in their lives now. Invite them to be taught the missionary discussions again and set a specific time and place where you and the missionaries can return to start re-teaching them. Remember, true doctrine properly understood invites the spirit.
- In coordination with the ward/branch council, invite a group of less-active members, investigators, and active members to a “cottage meeting” in your home where the missionaries can teach and testify of basic doctrines. (See “Seek and Ye Shall Find” at http://www.lds.org/training/wwlt/2013/hastening/ward-council-and-mission-leaders?lang=eng#media= ).
- Members should offer themselves and full time missionaries should coordinate closely with ward/branch councils to include appropriate members in their appointments as they teach investigators.
We are moved by President Monson’s promise: “[The Lord] will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work” (“Welcome to Conference,” General Conference, October 2013). We pray that each of us will respond to the choice blessings the gospel has brought into our lives by helping all of those around us to receive the same joy and thus fulfill the purposes for which we were sent to earth in this, our day.