Missionary Work: Part Two

The Good News of the Gospel

One day we were solicited by a salesman. We liked the product and let him in to share more. During the presentation we also discussed the Latter-Day Saints, and how we are members of this church. He asked some questions, and with the short time we had I bore my testimony of the first vision and The Book of Mormon. He felt the Holy Spirit.

Because he was a supervising salesman, he was able to lower the price for us without getting special permission. He asked us to make a reasonable offer of what we could afford for a down payment and a monthly payment, which would have been on a three year payment plan, unless we were to pay more into the monthly payments.

He accepted our offer, and then gave us another option which would have been better for him. It was for one-third more a month, and a higher down payment. At that time I had offered him a Book of Mormon, and told him that to me this was worth more than any money could be, and that if he would read from it, I would accept his second offer. He honestly gave his reluctance to do so, and I reassured him that it was up to him, and that to help him we would take the higher price.

He had been impressed with us, and we with him. What he didn’t know, was that this higher price would make it more difficult for us financially, especially it being an obligation for the next 3 years, unless we used our next season’s tax refund to finish paying it off, which would be a while away.

It’s in my prayers, that because we were sacrificing at such a price financially to help him, that he take the opportunity to read The Book of Mormon, and learn the truth for himself.

In my mind came the urgency from Christ and His ministry, “If I have paid such a high price for you to save your soul, ought not ye with the same such urgency, share the gospel with all these My brethren, of whom I have paid so high a price for?”

Please, please, I urge you – share the gospel! Live it, love it, and rejoice in it with all your heart, mind and fellow Saints! Be open minded for the Lord’s desperate pleadings for you to follow His holy will, and share his loving, saving gospel, atoning sacrifice and care for all! Desperate is the need, urgent is the call!

Shane

Missionary Work, Service and Ministering

Being a Good Neighbor


A talk given by Shane R. Brown
During a Sacrament Meeting 6/09/2019

Let’s start off with the basics. I am a child of God. You are a child of God. We are all His beloved sons and daughters. God, our true and perfect Father, has sent us away, to school us on how to work, serve others, and be missionaries, bringing the gospel covenants and blessings to all His children. This is why we are here.

To love, serve, teach, associate and bless each other. To laugh and have joy and peace together. All through the righteous teachings of the gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ, through His gifts of the atonement, administered through the Holy Ghost, and further through the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Consider this quote from Elder Uchtdorf from his April 2019 talk, entitled, Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart. He says:

Laugh with them. Rejoice with them. Weep with them. Respect them. Heal, lift, and strengthen them.

What a great opportunity for all of God’s children, to reconnect on why we are here. To rekindle in our souls, the sacred work of lovingly gathering safe, all of God’s children into His fold and kingdom, that we also may return to His glory.

And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

These are our true brothers and sisters, whom we already know, love, honor, and respect, and they need us more than anything, and we them! What we offer them in Christ, are the most important, significant and incomprehensible blessings they could ever possibly receive, and without it, the unthinkable.

So how do we love and give this gift to others? Through missionary work, teaching and service. It is also in this service that our spirits grow and mature. Jesus Christ spoke very emphatically about loving service when He talked about true religion, as is found in Matthew 25:37-40, that we obtain charity, the highest saving virtue, and grace, to obtain the Kingdom of God.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

In pure missionary work is service. As missionaries, young men and women receive a letter of calling, in which they are called to serve in such and such a mission.

I believe that as members of our Savior’s church, the word for service and missionary work combined, is ministering. These two things together really are our call from the Lord as our stewardship, for our ministering efforts needed in the field of service, are not limited by anything earthly, nor by any geographical location. I am a missionary. You are a missionary. We are all called to serve.

I’m going to read Doctrine and Covenants 4, in the which I will add commentary for applicable context.

Now behold (or, at this very time, look into a vision of what I’m saying, and remember, Jesus Christ is speaking to and calling us), a marvelous work (or a work the whole world will greatly marvel at and be aware of), is about to come forth among the children of men (or among us, with the children of men, through God’s help).

Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God (or you, as you set a course of service for our fellow beings), see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day (this means that we must serve with all our capacities combined, to be readily equipped for the salvation of souls, for we cannot be saved without being member ministers. We must also remember, that as children of the covenant of Abraham, we already have the blood stewardship of everyone upon us so as to answer the call, we must. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work; (There it is, your official letter of calling from the Lord).

For behold (or look upon your life openly, and see the lambs in your life, which you can minister to, feed and love), the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul; (we cannot be saved unless we share, prepare and help others accept and live the gospel. Then we must continually feed His sheep once they have entered His fold. This works best when all of us feed one another through ministering and gathering together to partake of the sacrament).

And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God (or in other words, in every endeavor, our eyes being fixed upon the Lord, in that we do things for Him, and with Him), qualify him (or her) for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence (and I would add, obtaining these things through feasting upon the words of Christ, for this shall help us develop these virtues).

Ask, and ye shall receive; (asking the Father to help us have these ministering experiences, and help us magnify them), knock, and it shall be opened unto you (this is the success factor! It doesn’t mean they will join the church right away or in this life, but you have successfully helped plant a seed, or a desire to do so, as in Alma 32). Amen.

We hear this theme of ministering repeated in the mission statement of the church, in the perfecting of the saints through serving and living the gospel. Redeeming the dead, and ourselves through family history and temple work, which when aided through missionary work on the other side of the veil, makes this efficacious. Proclaiming the gospel throughout all the earth, sounding the gospel in every ear, helping people know of the love and goodness of Christ through our efforts, and taking care of the sick and needy through service and ministering.

This brings to light again, this very important truth. Missionary work and service together, truly are the embodiment of, and true form of ministering. We are bringing together everything the Lord has blessed us with to give, and ministering in the Lord’s way.

For example, if we bring a need to the attention of the Bishop, Elder’s Quorum President or Relief Society President, then administering and ministering can take place. In such a circumstance, a quorum or relief society can engage in bringing assistance to these needs, and filling them will be a manifestation to others of the Lord’s true church, functioning after the order of the Son of God. To truly be His disciples.

We are not to bury our talents, but to bring them forth, opening the door of opportunity and salvation to the rest of the world. Why else are we here!? Doing these things will in turn open the door of our salvation. For in no other way can we be saved, but by bringing others with us, through doing as Jesus would do. Our mandate will not be complete, unless we are true member ministers, through being active missionaries, loving and serving, and standing in for the Lord. In essence, becoming other’s true friends, and developing meaningful, lasting relationships with them.

When I look at the world around me, and all the people I meet and observe, one thing always comes to mind. None of us really have it all together in and of ourselves. No one is a professional at anything. We take ourselves way to seriously. We are all fallen, and a far cry from who we need to be. But, as we lay down our pride, put aside our self inflicted agenda, and forget ourselves, mercifully following the will and Spirit of the Lord, by steadfastly living the gospel with the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we will grow in the purposes of the Lord, and His use and care, and His privileges and blessings will sanctify and purify us, making us justified and confident in the presence of God our loving Father. He will, as in the parable of the talents, use us to do great things. Together we can do more.

Let me emphasize that we really do need each other. I believe that we shouldn’t wait to participate in redemptive acts of service and ministering, until we are of a certain personal stature. Greatness comes not from individual effort alone, but because we are willing to expose our weaknesses, and allow our burdens to be borne. This goes for everyone.

None of us are complete without each other. We need one another! My plea, is that we acknowledge our imperfections, and begin to fill in the gaps we all have, by standing in them for each other. What do we have to lose? Not a thing. What do we have to gain? Everything. In this there is true greatness, happiness, peace and reward. Let us be one, serve the Lord, learn to see the world as a world of opportunities, and, as it states in the Old Testament, esteem others as greater than ourselves, that we may do as He did, and live as He lived. I know we can bring about this change, and prepare the world for our Lord’s triumphant return. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Missionary Work: Part One

We’ll Bring The World His Truth!

I have thought much about my life and the influence I have to make a difference in the world and the lives around me, particularly in the field of spreading the good news of the gospel.

I have at times been frustrated at how life in general can feel as though I’m being encroached upon by the actions of others, not doing what they ought, and how that makes me feel, in reference to my own spiritual equilibrium.

As I have battled that war, and have won, I want to share some inspirational points which may help you get through these challenges, and better serve the Lord.

I find myself in the natural flow and current of the atonement, where stuff that used to drag me down, doesn’t bother me anymore, because I am over it now. I live with the guidance of the Holy Spirit in my life, and act out of Heavenly Father’s will as a daily experience.

I feel Him in me, and I in He. This came with some significant course corrections and realignment, as well as adjustments. I feel I’m doing much better, and this because of the gift of repentance and change.

This message is on the grounds of how to get to the place I’ve found of doing God’s will, from where I was before, when I was a victim, being acted upon rather than acting. I’m now playing my role as a good and faithful servant of the Lord, sharing and spreading his good news.

I have often been drawn in life, to the analogy of the lobsters trying to fight their way out of a boiling hot water pot. As they fight frantically for a way to stop the pain, there are some who look up for higher solutions. Time and time again we see how the lower creatures pull down on the ones trying to escape over the top and side of the burning pit, making it much harder for any chance of escape.

I see this as a true principle in life. Yes, many people present themselves in opposition to progress anytime someone decides to reach for a higher plain. History has repeated itself in this way many times, and I have seen this much in my own life.

I am free, and can stand up, and do as God wants, because that’s what He has created me for. As a person continues to progress and move up from one thing to another, the ability to do more and better things increases, as does the speed and capacity to do so.

The thought which inspired this post is this:

To see the sin around us, as opportunities to serve, love and give light and help to others.

Wow, what a game changer! As this post’s focus is on missionary work, what better way to utilize ourselves than as ministers of need? So, with this in mind, know that there is a way to get from point ‘A,’ (I want to share my testimony and knowledge of the gospel), to point ‘B,’ (I am sharing my influence and testimony through service, as well as teaching others the gospel).

In teaching the gospel, the Lord has commanded:

11 Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men. D&C 11: 21

This pertains to living the word, for without living the word, you will not have God’s Spirit. Having the word changes us internally, to desire to live worthily and keep His commandments. However, if we hold on to our sins, or seek to excuse them, we will not have the Holy Spirit with us, and will be deceived, even in our learning of the gospel.

A huge part of desiring to share the gospel, and our success in doing so, is our faithful diligence in living it. We cannot have our bodies full of light and glory, if our eyes are not singly fixed upon our Savior, who is our divine light and perfect exemplar.

My deepest and innermost desire in sharing this post with you, is to plead with you to come, come unto Christ, and be perfected in Him. Be one who battles above the other “lobsters.” Be one who acknowledges the frailties of men, but then gets right up there and says, “Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s correct or right. I choose to follow God.” And then go out there and do it!

Please do not rationalize desensitizing media, or worldly hobbies that take you away from God and off your life’s path to Him. Yes, everyone else may do it, but when Noah was told not to participate, but to save himself and family, he did! You should too. Remember who you are. You come from the Holiest of all Gods, the Most High God line. Come, and know Him, and know why you are here.

32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors. Alma 34:32

And now I ask, what will you do with your time? How will you work out your eternity? What will you anchor your heart to or set your heart upon, that it may lead you to God? For remember:

12 …where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34

If your treasures are stored up in heaven, there will your heart be, and your salvation and reward too. If your treasures are of and upon the world, there is your heart, and your reward, namely death, hell and misery, for these are the fruits of a fallen, unrepentant heart.

If you want to abide in the presence of God the Father, then right here and now, live with Him in your life, do His will, and follow His path. You will find His way, which is the only way, even Christ, the truth, life and light.

The prophets and scriptures teach us how to live and what is real; about truth and the spiritual realms and what faith is.

For there are things existing, which though we do not currently see with our mortal carnal eyes, are just as real and substantial as a broken chair, or an umbrella right before our eyes. Our task then is to learn how to navigate through these spiritual realities, through learning and understanding the truth as it is, and applying it in all these circumstances and avenues. Each and every day, come closer and closer to God, as we find out who we are, and what roles we play.

What a blessing to have the fullness of the restored gospel, where Jesus Christ Himself reigns at the head, and a prophet upon the earth in our day to administer on His behalf. For these things I am ever grateful, and will always be Heavenly Father’s loving child.

Shane

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