Each of us has a solemn obligation to, first, understand by the Spirit what has said about the mission of the Church; second, to catch the prophetic vision of missionary work and third, to implement completely in our own lives the words of the Lord and of His living Prophet pertaining to missionary work.
The most important counsel and direction on missionary work comes to us through the Lord to his Prophets, for the Prophet is literally the mouthpiece of the Lord. So stated the Lord: “For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth. In all patience and faith” (D&C 46:2/1835; D&C 21:5 Utah Version)
I testify to you by the Spirit that we should stand as living testimonies of what the Lord would have us do today. I fear that unless we fully understand the words of Prophets past and Prophets present and catch the vision of missionary work, and implement the words of the Lord, we will be held accountable before God. I also fear that we have not yet done what the Lord would have us do as directed to us in his revelations concerning missionary work.
The Lord has asked that we place great emphasis on the sacredness of bringing souls unto our Father in Heaven and the importance of greatly increasing convert baptisms. The Lord has given us much direction on this matter in fact he spoke to o John and Peter Whitmer on this very issue he said, “And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father.’” (D&C 40:3/1835)
As a Church, we have not yet caught that vision. Members are not bringing people and ultimately members into the Church year on year. We have not yet met the challenge and charge laid out by the Lord. As far as convert baptisms are concerned, we have only been converting a few people a year for the last six years. I say to you and to all our members wherever they may be, that we must have more converts. They must be well converted. No gimmicks to get baptisms. They must be real converts, but we do want more converts. It is imperative that we do as the Lord commands and bring souls unto Christ and bring them unto his church.
I call upon the members of this Church to actively go out into the world - not merely to make friends for the Church, though that is important - but to properly convert and baptize.“He that believeth and is baptized must be saved.” (Mark 16:16.) Note that the scripture says not he that heareth, but he that believeth and is baptized, and that is the important part.
For if we sit back in complacency and do nothing, then the Lord's Church will not grow, tithing will remain stagnant, and so the Church will remain stagnant and wither on the vine. And what will we say when we stand before the Lord as he calls us forward at judgment?
Shall we stand and say, ‘Lord I tried, but it was too hard, I had other priorities,’ or shall we stand and say, ‘I did as you commanded. I ploughed the field that was white and ready for the harvest; I spoke and I went out; I laboured hard in your name.’
Let me put it this way, and please take the time to think about this before answering to yourself. Do we really believe in revelation? If so, then why can we not accept the revealed Word of God? He has revealed to us that we should look on the fields; for they are white and ready to harvest (John 4:35.) It has be ready since the inception of the Church under our dear Prophet, Brother Joseph, who was commanded to restore Christ’s Church in these Latter Days. He has asked us again in modern day scripture to go out and harvest the field. (D&C 39:2/1835)
We have been given revelation in the form of great new scripture. Who are we to withhold that blessing from the world? Who are we to deny them a chance at salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ and his Church?
I ask each and every one of you, and I will include myself, to set for our church a goal that we shall get up and go out in to the world to the marketplaces and to the streets to endeavour to bring souls unto the Lord and to impart what has been given us as a gift by Almighty God.
Let us act in obedience so faithfully, that the Lord, in the final day, shall say to each one of us, “Well done, good and faithful servant… you have served me well.” (Matt. 25:21; Book of Jeraneck 9:12)
Bear testimony. Amen