The Lord’s Great Work and Our Great Opportunity
July 2024

“The Lord’s Great Work and Our Great Opportunity,” Liahona, July 2024.

The Lord’s Great Work and Our Great Opportunity

When we love, share, and invite, we are laboring with the Lord to help each precious soul come unto Him.

two women talking as they walk down a street

Every prophet in this last, great dispensation has taught members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. In my lifetime, several examples come to mind:

President David O. McKay (1873–1970), the prophet of my youth, declared, “Every member a missionary.”

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught, “The day for carrying the gospel to ever more places and people is here and now,” and “we must lengthen our stride” in sharing the gospel with others.

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) said: “Great is our work, tremendous is our responsibility in helping to find those to teach. The Lord has laid upon us a mandate to teach the gospel to every creature. This will take [our] very best efforts.”

And President Russell M. Nelson has taught: “Missionary work is an essential part of the great gathering of Israel. That gathering is the most important work taking place on earth today. Nothing else compares in magnitude. Nothing else compares in importance. The Lord’s missionaries—His disciples—are engaged in the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, the greatest work on earth today.”

I came to know this for myself as a young missionary in the British Mission. I am even more sure of it today. As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, I testify that opportunities are everywhere to help others come unto Christ by showing our love, sharing our beliefs, and inviting them to join with us to experience the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Work Moves Forward

I was privileged to be on assignment in the Missionary Department of the Church when the first edition of Preach My Gospel was introduced in 2004, and again when the second edition was released in 2023. I believe that Preach My Gospel has blessed missionary work in a profound way.

The new Preach My Gospel includes everything we have learned since 2004, inspired direction from every member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and changes made for sharing the gospel in a digital age. Some of these changes have resulted in significant success.

We have found that sharing the gospel in simple, normal, and natural ways through the principles of “love, share, invite” greatly blesses the kingdom. Jesus Christ shared the gospel this way when He lived on earth. He shared His life and His love and invited all to come unto Him (see Matthew 11:28). To love, share, and invite as He did is a special blessing and responsibility for every member of the Church.

Start with Love

In the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, Jesus Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world and suffered all sorrows and “pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” (Alma 7:11). This “caused [Him], … the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:18). Through His Atonement and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has made salvation and exaltation possible for all.

Turning to the Savior and pondering all He has done for us creates in us a heart filled with love for Him. He then turns our hearts toward others and commands us to love them (see John 13:34–35) and to share His gospel with them (see Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15). If those around us can feel that we genuinely love and care for them, they will likely open their hearts to our messages, just as King Lamoni opened his heart to receive the gospel because of Ammon’s love and service (see Alma 17–19).

When we share the gospel, let us start with love. As we reach out to others in love—remembering that they are our brothers and sisters and beloved children of our Heavenly Father—opportunities will open for us to share what we know to be true.

Be Anxiously Engaged and Share

No one was more dedicated to sharing the gospel than President M. Russell Ballard (1928–2023). In his final general conference address, he testified, “One of the most glorious and wonderful things that anybody in this world can know [is] that our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have revealed Themselves in this latter day and that Joseph [Smith] has been raised up to restore the fulness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Throughout his life, and throughout most of the world, President Ballard was anxiously engaged in sharing this precious message with everyone. He encouraged us to do the same. He taught that we share the gospel “by being good neighbors and by caring and showing love.” In doing so, we “radiate the gospel in our own lives, and … radiate to [others] the blessings the gospel has to offer.” We also “bear testimony of what [we] know and believe and what [we] feel.” President Ballard taught, “A pure testimony … can be carried by the power of the Holy Ghost into the hearts of others who are open to receive it.”

Sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ was the greatest desire of President Ballard’s heart. We can be anxiously engaged—as he was—in sharing the gospel in both word and deed. We never know who among us might be searching for the light of the gospel but does not know where to find it (see Doctrine and Covenants 123:12).

two men walking up some stairs

Extend Heartfelt Invitations

In helping others come unto Christ, we invite them to experience the joy that the Savior and His gospel bring. We can do this by inviting them to come to an activity, to read the Book of Mormon, or to meet with the missionaries. We can also extend a heartfelt invitation for them to attend sacrament meeting with us.

We attend sacrament meeting each week to “worship God and partake of the sacrament to remember Jesus Christ and His Atonement.” This is an opportune time for people to feel the Spirit, come closer to the Savior, and strengthen their faith in Him.

As we look for ways to love, share, and invite, our planning and efforts should include helping people to attend sacrament meeting. If they will accept our invitation and attend sacrament meeting, they are much more likely to continue on the path to baptism and conversion. I believe with all my heart that great success will come as we invite others to attend sacrament meeting and help them recognize the blessings they can receive from doing so.

The Lord Will Guide Us

We never know what successes and challenges we will have as we love, share, and invite. The sons of Mosiah “went forth from city to city, and from one house of worship to another, … among the Lamanites, to preach and to teach the word of God among them; and thus they began to have great success.” Through their efforts, “thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord,” and many “were converted … [and] never did fall away” (Alma 23:4–6).

While this will not always be our experience, the Lord has promised that He will labor alongside us because every soul is precious to Him. As we put our trust in the Lord and engage in His service, He will guide us in how to share His gospel with others by loving them, sharing our lives and testimonies with them, and inviting them to join us in following Him.

“Great shall be [our] joy” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:15) when we take the opportunities all around us to assist the Lord Jesus Christ in His great work of bringing souls unto Him.