We Are His Witnesses

By Elder Waldo P. Call

Of the First Quorum of the Seventy

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    The Lord always blesses us when we obey. But he blesses us in his way.

    The Lord told this Apostles 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 our day he has 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 Spencer W. Kimball that every young man should fill a mission. He should be better prepared and more worthy. The Lord has told us through President Ezra Taft 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. Sergio 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. One young man’s parents encouraged him to choose carefully the music he listened to. 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 helped prepare this young man to serve an honorable mission.

    Jesus ministered for forty 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 Judea, 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).

    After his stay in Jerusalem, Jesus appeared on the American 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. 7:13). 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 the Son, through their prophets, have asked each of you to preach the gospel and be a witness of Jesus Christ to all the world.

    The Savior, in coming to the earth, 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 work 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 like Nephi, he 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.

    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. His brothers were angry with him because of his dreams. Later they 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 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).

    Illustrated by Olinda Reynolds