Saturday, July 7, 2012

Chapter 12: An Enthusiastic Desire to Share the Gospel

Purpose: Our brothers and sisters throughout the world need the message of the restored gospel, and it is our privilege to share it with them.
Ponder: Review “From the Life of George Albert Smith” (pages 123–24). Why do you think President Smith was so enthusiastic about missionary work? What does it mean to you to be “first and foremost a missionary for the Church”?

1. The world needs what we have—the gospel of Jesus Christ, restored in its fulness.
President Smith taught, "The world is in distress, in travail, from one end of it to the other. Men and women are looking here and there, seeking where they shall go to do the things that will bring them peace. … The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. The truth revealed from heaven is here and it is that truth, that gospel, which, if the world only knew it, will be a panacea for all their ills. It is the only thing that will bring them peace while they remain upon the earth.3"
Ponder: What does the restored gospel offer the world in addition to the “moral lessons” offered in most religions? (see pages 124–25.)

2. There are many people who would embrace the truth if given the opportunity.
Read the section that begins on page 125 (see also D&C 123:12). What examples have you seen of people overcoming misconceptions about the Church by accepting the invitation to “come and see”? What are some effective ways to extend such an invitation?

3. We are enthusiastic about sharing the gospel because we love our neighbors.
President Smith was an enthusiastic missionary and taught the following:

When a man is sick, if he is our neighbor, we minister to him gladly; if there is a death in his family, we try to comfort him. But year in and year out we allow him to walk in paths that will destroy his opportunity for eternal life, we pass him by, as if he were a thing of naught.15
Do we realize that every man is in the image of God and is a son of God, and every woman his daughter? No matter where they may be, they are his children, and he loves them and desires their salvation. Surely as members of this Church we cannot sit idly by. We cannot receive the beneficent favor of our Heavenly Father that is bestowed upon us, the knowledge of eternal life, and selfishly retain it, thinking that we may be blessed thereby. It is not what we receive that enriches our lives, it is what we give.16
Let us be sufficiently interested in the salvation of men to exercise a holy zeal for their conversion: that we may enjoy their eternal gratitude and love, and the appreciation of our Heavenly Father, because of our unselfish interest in His children.17

Read the third full paragraph on page 128. Why do you think we are sometimes reluctant to share the gospel with our neighbors? As you study pages 127–29, think about what we can do to overcome that reluctance.

4. The Lord will hold us accountable for our efforts to share the gift of the gospel.
As you read the section that begins on page 129, ponder whether you are doing what the Lord expects you to do to share the gospel. Prayerfully consider how you might keep this commandment more fully.

Conclusion: If we share the gospel with God’s children, our reward will be great joy with them in the celestial kingdom.
Review the last section of teachings (pages 130–32) and think about the person who first introduced you or your family to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. What can you do to show or express your gratitude to that person?

1 comment:

molly kay said...

This is a subject that I love! Joining the church at 16 through a friend who introducd me to the church, I am constantly thinking about the gift she gave me and the sweet sister missionaries who taught me and inspired me to serve a mission 5 years later.I now that was being prepared by the Lord to meet my LDS friend and be willing to accept her invitation to learn more about the gospel.We never know who is searching and whom the Lord is preparing to hear the message.I certainly was not someone who my friend thought would be interested but when the Spirit promts, you listen. My unique conversion story allowed me to teach in a special way on my mission and to understand what most of my investigators were going through.I know that was all part of Heavenly Father's plan as well. I try to show gratitude for the blessing of the gospel that was shared with me through word & deed each day- always giving thanks to Heavenly Father who made sure that someone came into my life to change it forever.