What Is My Role in the Work of Salvation?
“Behold, I will hasten my work in its time” (D&C 88:73).
It is truly an exciting time to be a Latter-day Saint. The work of the Lord is moving forward at an accelerated rate. It’s inspiring to witness it, but you are to be more than just a witness—you are to take an active part. Your loving Heavenly Father sent you here at this time, in these circumstances, because He knows what you can do. He prepared you before you came to earth, and He’s been preparing you throughout your life. Your time is now.
You made a covenant, when you were baptized, to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and take upon yourself His name (see Mosiah 18:10). You renew that covenant every time you worthily partake of the sacrament (see Moroni 4:3). As you keep this covenant, you receive the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, who purifies and strengthens you for the work God needs you to accomplish.
What is your work? You’ve already started it—and you may be doing more than you realize. When you “comfort those who stand in need of comfort,” when you “stand as witnesses of God” (Mosiah 18:9), when you bear your testimony to someone who needs a spiritual lift, when you are baptized and confirmed for an ancestor whose name you researched yourself, you’re doing the work of salvation. You’ve probably already tasted how sweet this work is—and how much you rely on the Spirit to accomplish it.
This is why you study the scriptures, pray daily, live the Lord’s standards, and avoid impure influences—because you want to have the Holy Ghost with you. You want to stay connected to your Father in Heaven, because you love Him. He loves you too, and He wants nothing more than for you to return to Him, clean and pure and ready to enjoy eternal life with Him. That is His work and His glory (see Moses 1:39).
There are some important milestones ahead of you along your path back to Heavenly Father. If you are a young man, your service in the Aaronic Priesthood is preparing you to serve a full-time mission and for the coming day when you will be ordained an elder and begin to worthily exercise the power of the Melchizedek Priesthood to bless your family and others around you. But don’t think that priesthood service is for men only.
If you are a young woman, you also participate in bringing the blessings of priesthood power to Heavenly Father’s children. You take part in priesthood service as you serve in Church callings, fulfill assignments, attend the temple, share the gospel, and invite all to come unto Christ. That’s why it’s essential that you understand the doctrine of the priesthood and see yourself in the work of the priesthood.
The sacred ordinances of the temple are also in your near future. Keep the covenants you have already made, live worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and learn to recognize His voice as He teaches you spiritual truths—these are the best ways you can prepare to make covenants and be taught in the house of the Lord.
You may also be looking forward to a call to serve a full-time mission. In the meantime, as a member of the Church you already are a missionary, and you stand “ready always to give an answer to every man” who is searching for the truth (1 Peter 3:15). You know that the best way to prepare for missionary service is to be a missionary now—and for the rest of your life.
These three milestones—priesthood service, temple ordinances, and a full-time mission or work as a member missionary—may seem like separate events. But your preparation will be much more effective if you consider how they connect as part of one work—the work of salvation. The blessings of the priesthood, for example, find their fullest expression in the holy temple. And full-time missionary service is, in reality, just one way you live the covenant you make in the temple to consecrate yourself to the building up of God’s kingdom on earth. In fact, an important part of what missionaries do is take the blessings of the priesthood and the temple to all the world.
This, then, is your role in the work of salvation—your own salvation, but also the salvation of your family and all of God’s family. Take personal responsibility for your preparation to participate in this work. Your family can support and encourage you, and your Church leaders and teachers will do their part, but ultimately you determine the quality of your experience. Don’t wait to be told what to do—exercise your agency, and seek personal guidance from the Holy Ghost. He will guide you. Remember the Savior’s words:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; … nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours” (D&C 78:17–18).