Imagine with me, for a moment, standing on a mountain in Galilee, witnessing the wonder and glory of the resurrected Savior visiting His disciples. How awe-inspiring to consider personally hearing these words, which He shared with them, His solemn charge to “go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”1 Surely these words would empower, inspire, and move each of us, as they did His Apostles. Indeed, they devoted the rest of their lives to doing just that.
Interestingly, it wasn’t only the Apostles who took Jesus’s words to heart. Members of the early Church, from the newest to the most seasoned, took part in the Savior’s great commission, sharing the good news of the gospel with those they met and knew. The determination to share their testimony of Jesus Christ helped His newly established Church grow expansively.2
We too, as Christ’s disciples, are invited to heed His commission today, as if we were there on that mountain in Galilee when He first proclaimed it. This commission began again in 1830, when Joseph Smith set apart his brother Samuel as an early missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ.3 Since that time, more than 1.5 million missionaries have traveled throughout the world teaching all nations and baptizing those who embrace the glad tidings of the restored gospel.
This is our doctrine. Our fond desire.
From our young children to the eldest among us, we yearn for the time when we can heed the Savior’s call and share the gospel with the nations of the world. I am sure you young men and young women felt a similar empowering challenge from our prophet yesterday as he invited you to prepare for full-time missionary service just as the Savior did with His Apostles.
Like sprinters at the starting blocks, we wait with anticipation for the official invitation, complete with the prophet’s signature, signaling the start of the race! This desire is noble and inspirational; however, let’s consider this question: why don’t we all begin now?
You might ask, “How can I be a missionary without a name badge?” Or we tell ourselves, “The full-time missionaries are set apart to do this work. I would like to help but perhaps later when life has calmed down a bit.”
Brothers and sisters, it is much simpler than that! Gratefully, the Savior’s great commission can be accomplished through simple, easily understandable principles taught to each of us from childhood: love, share, and invite.
The first thing we can do is love as Christ loved.
Our hearts are heavy with the human suffering and tensions that we see throughout the world during these tumultuous times. However, we can be also inspired by the outpouring of compassion and humanitarianism that has been demonstrated by people everywhere through their efforts to reach out to the marginalized—those displaced from their homes, separated from their families, or experiencing other forms of sorrow and despair.
Recently, news sources reported how a group of mothers in Poland, out of concern for desperate, fleeing families, left fully equipped strollers on a train station platform in a neat line, ready and waiting for refugee mothers and children who would need them at that border crossing as they deboarded a train. Surely, our Heavenly Father smiles upon acts of selfless charity such as these, for as we bear one another’s burdens, we “fulfil the law of Christ.”4
Whenever we show Christlike love toward our neighbor, we preach the gospel—even if we do not voice a single word.
Love for others is the eloquent expression of the second great commandment to love our neighbor;5 it shows the refining process of the Holy Spirit working within our own souls. By demonstrating Christ’s love to others, we may cause those who see our good works to “glorify [our] Father which is in heaven.”6
We do this expecting nothing in return.
Our hope, of course, is they will accept our love and our message, though how they react is not within our control.
What we do and who we are certainly are.
Through Christlike love for others, we preach the glorious, life-transforming properties of Christ’s gospel, and we participate significantly in the fulfilling of His great commission.
The second thing we can do is share.
During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brother Wisan from Thailand felt prompted to share his feelings and impressions of what he was learning in his study of the Book of Mormon on his social media account. In one of his particularly personal posts, he shared a story of two Book of Mormon missionaries, Alma and Amulek.
His brother, Winai, although set in his religious beliefs, was touched by the post and responded, unexpectedly asking, “Can I get that book in Thai?”
Wisan wisely arranged for a copy of the Book of Mormon to be delivered by two sister missionaries, who began teaching his brother.
Wisan joined in virtual lessons, during which he shared his feelings about the Book of Mormon. Winai learned to pray and study with a truth-seeking spirit, to accept and embrace the truth. Within months, Winai was baptized!
Wisan later said, “We have a responsibility to be an instrument in the hands of God, and we must be always ready for Him to do His work in His way through us.” Their family miracle came because Wisan simply shared the gospel in a normal and natural way.
We all share things with others. We do it often. We share what movies and food we like, funny things we see, places we visit, art we appreciate, quotes we’re inspired by.
How might we simply add to the list of things we already share what we love about the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf explained: “If someone asks about your weekend, don’t hesitate to talk about what you experienced at church. Tell about the little children who stood in front of a congregation and sang with eagerness how they are trying to be like Jesus. Talk about the group of youth who spent time helping the elderly in rest homes to compile personal histories.”7
Sharing isn’t about “selling” the gospel. You don’t have to write a sermon or correct someone’s incorrect perceptions.
When it comes to missionary work, God doesn’t need you to be His sheriff; He does, however, ask that you be His sharer.
By sharing our positive experiences in the gospel with others, we take part in fulfilling the Savior’s great commission.
The third thing you can do is invite.
Sister Mayra is a recent convert from Ecuador. Her joy in the gospel skyrocketed immediately following her baptism as she invited friends and loved ones around her through social media accounts. Many family members and friends who saw her posts responded with questions. Mayra connected with them, often inviting them to her home to meet with the missionaries together.
Mayra’s parents, her siblings, her aunt, two cousins, and several of her friends were baptized because she courageously invited them to “come and see,” “come and serve,” and “come and belong.” Through her normal and natural invitations, over 20 people have accepted her invitation to be baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ. This came about because Sister Mayra simply invited others to experience the joy she felt as a member of the Church.
There are hundreds of invitations we can extend to others. We can invite others to “come and see” a sacrament service, a ward activity, an online video that explains the gospel of Jesus Christ. “Come and see” can be an invitation to read the Book of Mormon or visit a new temple during its open house prior to its dedication. Sometimes the invitation is something we extend inward—an invitation to ourselves, giving us awareness and vision of opportunities surrounding us to act upon.
In our digital age, members often share messages through social media. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of uplifting things you might find worthy of sharing. This content offers invitations to “come and see,” “come and serve,” and “come and belong.”
As we invite others to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ, we take part in the Savior’s call to engage in the work of His commission.
My beloved brothers and sisters, we have spoken today of three simple things—easy things—that anyone can do. Things you can do! Perhaps you are already doing them—even without fully realizing that you are!
I invite you to consider ways you can love, share, and invite. As you do so, you will feel a measure of joy knowing that you are heeding the words of our beloved Savior.
What I am urging you to do is not a new program. You have heard these principles before. This is not the “next big thing” the Church is asking you to do. These three things are merely an extension of who we already are as disciples of Jesus Christ.
No name badge or letter is required.
No formal calling is needed.
As these three things become a natural part of who we are and how we live, they will become an automatic, unforced expression of genuine love.
Like those disciples of Christ who gathered together to learn from Him in Galilee 2,000 years ago, we too can embrace the Savior’s charge and go into all the world preaching the gospel.
As we love, share, and invite, we take part in that great and glorious work that prepares the earth for the return of its Messiah.
That we may heed the Savior’s call and strive to engage in His great commission is my prayer in the name of Jesus the Christ, amen.