Relief Society Sisters Are Helping with the Harvest of Souls
By Anne H. Clegg, Relief Society general board
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, stated, “Whatever our age, capacity, Church calling, or location, we are as one called to the work to help Him in His harvest of souls.”
The call has gone out to all the world that we are all needed to be involved in the work of salvation. As we learn in Doctrine and Covenants 4:3, “if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.”
This isn’t just limited to those who are serving full-time missions. This is a call to everyone with a desire to serve the Lord.
Relief Society sisters should play an important role in this work.
The young Relief Society sisters of the Church have been responding with eagerness and a willingness to serve. When the age was lowered from 21 to 19 for sisters to serve, it opened the opportunity to many more young women to serve full-time missions. The number of sister missionaries currently serving has more than doubled, but serving a full-time mission isn’t the only way to be involved in the work of salvation.
Olivia Snarr of Kaysville, Utah, is an example of a young woman who wants to one day serve a full-time mission, yet she did not feel it was the right thing for her to do at this time.
Many of Olivia’s friends were choosing to serve full-time missions, but she felt strongly that she should finish her schooling. The decision of whether or not to serve a mission was a difficult one, and with all the excitement she realized that missionary work was important for her to be a part of even if she wasn’t going to be serving full-time.
Olivia is part of a group who attended the temple every Tuesday morning to do baptisms for the dead before attending classes at Utah State University. This helps bring the gospel to everyone who has lived on the earth but didn’t have the opportunity to experience or hear the gospel while in mortality.
She also loves to do indexing. Her mother had a calling in the ward to teach everyone about indexing, so she taught Olivia as well. Olivia helped her roommate to get involved in indexing with her. She can be found doing indexing on her laptop while waiting in a class for a professor to show up or just any time she gets a few spare moments.
Olivia found one of her roommates to be a great example of sharing the gospel. This roommate invited a nonmember friend throughout the school year to attend devotionals and activities with them. At the end of the semester, she gave a Book of Mormon to this nonmember friend. Olivia felt the example taught her that we should always look for opportunities to invite others to share in what we have been given in the gospel.
Olivia is “catching the wave” of missionary work by moving out of her comfort zone and participating in many different aspects of the work of salvation. She said she is going to “try harder to share the gospel with everyone I come in contact with. I don’t need a full-time call to make that commitment.”
Members are needed throughout the world to aid in the work of salvation.
Elder L. Tom Perry taught: “The Lord’s work moves forward when each of us understands and fulfills our purposes. The priesthood will be strengthened and we will experience profound success in missionary work and reactivation when ward councils and members and full-time missionaries are united in the Lord’s purposes” (Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, June 23, 2013).
Sister Rakelle Sanchez from Logan, Utah, who is serving in the Guatemala Guatemala City South Mission, stated: “I wasn’t able to really realize the importance of the members in missionary work until I got out here to the mission. They are a huge part. There are so many opportunities we have every day to share the gospel. I loved how Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve said, ‘The work of salvation excludes no one’ and that all actions we do should be motivated by love. Love is the key in sharing the gospel. I have come to see more and more each day to love and act as Jesus Christ would if He were the one sharing the gospel.”