Called to Serve Him

    “Called to Serve Him,” New Era, Mar. 1988, 64

    Special Issue:

    Called to Serve Him

    Preaching the gospel is one of the greatest forms of service of all.

    Called to serve Him, heav’nly King of glory,

    Chosen e’er to witness for his name,

    Far and wide we tell the Father’s story,

    Far and wide his love proclaim

    (Hymns, 1985, no. 249).

    What a great message this hymn gives us. And especially to you young men; what a responsibility you have. The Lord has told his people in Jerusalem, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19). In this dispensation he said, “Go ye into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, acting in the authority which I have given you, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 68:8). The Lord said through President Kimball that every young man should fill a mission. He should be better prepared and more worthy. The Lord has told us through President Benson to prepare better by reading and studying the Book of Mormon every day.

    Sergio was a young man who wanted to go on a mission. He was studying at a university 300 kilometers from home. He would come home regularly and talk with his bishop and stake president. He did not feel worthy to go on a mission. He said his mind was not clean: he saw and heard too many things at the university that made him think of evil. He was challenged to read the Book of Mormon every morning before going to school. He did this, and in a few months he was able to control his thoughts and he and his leaders felt good about his going on a mission. He went and served very well.

    Your Church leaders are ever ready to help you in your preparation, as are your parents. Another young man’s parents encouraged him to choose music carefully. He and his family listened to a talk by Elder Boyd K. Packer on choosing good music. He went to his room, sorted through his records, took a pile to the trash can and broke and discarded them. Following the principle of obedience prepared these young men to serve honorable missions.

    Jesus ministered for 40 days after his resurrection, and just before ascending to heaven he said to his disciples, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We today who are his disciples, we who hold his priesthood, are his witnesses; we are to testify of him, of his resurrection, of his Church, of his prophets and Apostles. Because “the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated. … And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days” (D&C 1:2, 4).

    Later, after his stay in Jerusalem, Jesus appeared on this continent and told the people why he had come to the earth. “I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me” (3 Ne. 27:13). He set the example. We read in Abraham 3:25 [Abr. 3:25]: “We will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” Now the Father and Jesus, through their prophets have asked each of you to preach the gospel and be a witness of Jesus Christ to all the world.

    The young women are not left out; you may participate in this missionary work. And what a responsibility you have, to help the young men to be prepared and worthy and to have a desire to fill a mission for the Lord, and after the mission to marry in the holy temple for time and eternity. Young sisters, with your encouragement and help, the young men will fill missions. You will both reap the blessings. After their missions they will be much better husbands and fathers.

    The Savior, in coming to the earth in Jerusalem, gave us the supreme example of obedience. He taught the Nephites, “I had been lifted up upon the cross; … that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works” (3 Ne. 27:14). Now, we as a church are responsible to tell the world as Alma the Younger said, “Men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again” (Mosiah 27:25). They must hear the gospel so they can live it, for “no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom” (3 Ne. 27:19). So we need to repent, have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and be faithful to the end.

    Sometimes you may think that this is not for you, or you are not capable of it. Think of young Nephi (see 1 Ne. 3:5–7). Do not murmur, thinking it is hard; the Lord has called you and He will open the way. Or think of Enoch, who, when called of the Lord, responded: “I … am but a lad, and all the people hate me; for I am slow of speech. … And the Lord said unto Enoch: Go forth and do as I have commanded thee” (Moses 6:31–32).

    Carlos Aguero, of Mendoza, Argentina, was called to go to Paris, France, for his mission. He had seldom been out of his own city. He knew no French. But he, like Nephi, did not murmur and he went. When he arrived in France, he found that his mission president did not speak Spanish. In fact, none of the other missionaries spoke Spanish; they only spoke English and French. Elder Aguero could not speak English. All the zone conferences and instructions were given in English. All other speaking was in French. Carlos studied, he prayed, he cried, he pleaded with the Lord and asked for help from his mission president and his companions. It took months, but he learned French and English. He served an honorable mission. Now living in Mendoza, Argentina, he often uses his English in Church service and in his profession. In April 1986 he translated for President Hinckley at a six-stake regional conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    The Lord always blesses us when we obey. But he blesses us in his way. Think of Joseph, the young man who was sold into Egypt. He had dreams, and he told his dreams to his brothers and parents. They were angry with him because of his dreams. Later his brothers sold him to travelers. In Egypt he worked in Potiphar’s house. He resisted the advances of Potiphar’s wife, was falsely accused and cast into prison (see Gen. 39). Was Joseph blessed for keeping the commandments? His brothers wanted to kill him. They put him in a well, then sold him because of the dreams the Lord gave him. When in Egypt he kept the law of chastity, and he was put into prison. Was he blessed? We are blessed of the Lord when we keep his commandments. Joseph became second only to the Pharaoh and saved his family from starvation (see Gen. 41–42). And, above all, he gained eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7).

    We also will be blessed with eternal life if we keep the commandments. And we are commanded to “go … into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, acting in the authority which I have given you, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (D&C 68:8–9).

    Called to serve Him, heav’nly King of glory,

    Chosen e’er to witness for his name,

    Far and wide we tell the Father’s story,

    Far and wide his love proclaim.

    Called to know the richness of his blessing

    Sons and daughters, children of a King—

    Glad of heart, his holy name confessing,

    Praises unto him we bring.

    Onward, ever onward, as we glory in his name;

    Forward, pressing forward, as a triumph song we sing.

    God our strength will be; press forward ever,

    Called to serve our King

    (Hymns, 1985, no. 249).

    This is my prayer and testimony to each of you.

    Photography by Craig Dimond