How can we, as disciples of Christ, best fulfill the great commission to teach all nations in our daily lives? I have often wrestled with this question.
During this past year, I have had the exciting opportunity to be deeply involved with the worldwide missionary activities of the Church. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—both in the past as well as today—have enthusiastically and joyfully responded to the admonition of “every member a missionary!”
Some of us seem to have a gift for this. We love being ambassadors of the gospel. We boldly and gladly serve and lead the work as member missionaries.
However, others of us are more hesitant.
I know that some of us are more outgoing than others. That’s okay. The Lord makes it possible for each of us, in our own way, to invite others to come and see and come and help. Then God will do His saving work, and they will come and stay.
May I suggest five things anyone can do to participate in the Savior’s great commission to help gather Israel.
1. Draw close to God. The first great commandment is to love God. It is a primary reason we are here. Ask yourself, “Do I really believe in Heavenly Father? Do I love and trust Him?”
The closer you draw to our Heavenly Father, the more His light and joy will shine from within you. Others will notice that there is something unique and special about you. And they will ask about it, which, in turn, will give you an opportunity to invite them to come and see.
2. Fill your heart with love for others. This is the second great commandment. Try to truly see everyone around you as a child of God. Laugh with them. Rejoice with them. Weep with them. Respect them. Heal, lift, and strengthen them. Strive to emulate the love of Christ and have compassion and empathy for others.
3. Strive to walk the path of discipleship. As your love for God and His children deepens, so does your commitment to follow Jesus Christ.
Walking the path of discipleship takes practice—each day, little by little, “grace for grace,” “line upon line.” Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back. The important thing is that you don’t give up. You will eventually become better, happier, and more authentic. Talking with others about your faith will become normal and natural. In fact, the gospel will be such an essential, precious part of your life that it would feel unnatural not to talk about it with others. That may not happen immediately—it is a lifelong effort. But it will happen.
4. Share what is in your heart. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have the privilege to share the love our Heavenly Father has for all of His children. This may seem like a large or intimidating task—but it is actually quite simple. Share what is in your heart! Extend invitations in a normal and natural way. Stay with the following principles: love God; love your neighbor; and believe, love, do.
Share with people why Jesus Christ and His Church are important to you. Invite them to come and see. Then encourage them to come and help. There are numerous opportunities for people to help in the Church.
5. Trust the Lord to work His miracles. Understand that it’s not your job to convert people. That is the role of the Holy Ghost. Your role is to share what is in your heart and to live consistent with your beliefs.
Don’t be discouraged if someone does not accept the gospel message. It is not a personal failure. That is between the individual and Heavenly Father. Your role is to love God and your neighbors. Follow this path, and God will work miracles through you to bless His precious children.
These five suggestions will help you to do what disciples of Jesus Christ have done since ancient times: invite others to come and see, come and help, and come and stay.
“But,” you might ask, “what if I do all this and people react poorly? What if they are critical about the Church? What if they unfriend me?”
Yes, that may happen. However, the Lord works in mysterious ways. It may be that by your Christlike response to rejection, a hardened heart could be softened.
My dear friends, as we participate in loving our neighbors, we will rejoice in knowing that we are a significant part in preparing Christ’s coming in “power and great glory; with all the holy angels.”
This is God’s work. With His help, we can do this.