Established by Prophets of God, the vision and clarion call has always been to bring souls unto Christ, rescue the weary and lost and to provide all the full fellowship which the gospel brings. As we begin this New Year, that same vision is an inherent responsibility for each member to catch, understand, and live.
The scriptures are replete with commands, promises, calls and rewards for teaching the gospel. The word command is used deliberately and provides directive from which we, individually and collectively, cannot escape.
When Jesus took His Twelve Apostles to the top of the Mount of Olives, He defined the vision He had for them:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).
May I suggest the Lord carefully chose His words in subsequent scriptures when expanding His vision to include every nation, every land, uttermost bounds of the earth, the entire world, every tongue, every people, and every soul. (See Moses 6:36)
Today, He needs us to serve with willing hearts to bring souls unto Him. We must clearly catch the vision and be prepared to lengthen our stride and to say as His servants: “Here am I send me” (Abraham 3: 27)
A significant revelation states:
“For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth – the gospel must be preached unto every creature...” (D&C 58:64).
It was President John Taylor who said:
“God will hold us responsible to the people we might have saved, had we done our duty.”
Speaking in the October 1966 conference of the Church, President David O’ McKay indicated that scientific discoveries of recent years will make possible the preaching of the gospel to every kindred, tongue and people.
President Spencer W. Kimball expounded on such discoveries and indicated that Father in Heaven has now provided us with abilities to produce communication opportunities with possibilities beyond comprehension. Such advances are to help fulfil the words of the Lord that “the sound must go forth from this place unto all the world.” (D&C 58:64)
Even though there are millions of people throughout the world who cannot read or write, there is a way to reach them through the electronic media.
Some today have suggested that the advent of the technology of yesteryear, and that which is yet to be produced, is but a tiny miracle which will be recorded by historians as an event even greater than the invention of the printing press. (President Spencer W. Kimball)
People throughout the world are anxious and willing to learn, if only they can hear the sound in their own language and in a manner that they can grasp and understand.
“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, ...who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—” (D&C 123:12).
Many members of the Church have already caught the vision and can truly testify such truth is available, here and now, for all to instil as daily bread in our lives.
“Blessed forever be His holy name; great and wondrous are His ways. Let all nations give heed to His servants, for they are preparing the way for His coming; yea, when He shall come in power and great glory, to take unto Himself a kingdom, prepared and made ready in the due time of the Lord; for this is the Lord’s work; woe be unto him who putteth forth his hand, his influence, his energies or any of his powers to oppose it.” (Brigham Young, Millennial Star, Vol. 15, pp, 106-107).
“Our voices must be heard in opposition to these dangerous trends which are designed to destroy the faith of mankind. The Lord literally answers our prayers through the service that we give to others. Be an example of Christ-like service and help others return to their Christian faith by encouraging them to get out and serve their fellowmen.” (Elder L. Tom Perry, Quorum of The Twelve Apostles).
Our current Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson quoted the First Presidency in 1839:
“Upon your diligence, your perseverance and faithfulness, the soundness of the doctrines which you preach, the moral precepts that you advance and practice...hang the destinies of the human family” (President Monson, April 2008 General Conference).
President Monson reaffirmed that The First Presidency today has never been more unified in that same commitment for each of us to provide for the present and future.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may we catch this vision and step forward, assume our responsibility and preserve the noble heritage of the past and instil in the minds of those whom we serve The Prophet Joseph Smith’s declaration of:
The Standard of Truth
“The Standard of Truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear; till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
(Joseph Smith – The Wentworth Letter, March 1, 1842)