sharing the gospel
Week 15 is scheduled for study April 5-11, 2021. Sharing the gospel is not the frightening task we often make it out to be. The steps this week’s chapters outline are simple and apply to all of us.

Day 1

Doctrine and Covenants 30-36 – I am called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the scriptures, we can find insights for our unique circumstances. Ask the Lord to help you find a message meant for you in doctrine and Covenants 30-36.

Every now and again, we are surprised or caught off guard by something we read. Our literary jolt requires us to go back and reread what we just read to see if we read it correctly. Here are some statements from the introduction to this week’s lessons. I have gathered them up and present them to you as one quote, though they are spaced apart in the manual.

If you know enough to accept the restored gospel by baptism, you know enough to share it with others. God has never hesitated to call upon the “unlearned” to preach His gospel. And we do that best not through our own wisdom and experience but “by the power of [the] Spirit.”

Today’s lesson specifically targets those who are being called to preach the gospel as an ordained missionary, but the principles and commandments in all of these sections apply to individual members of the Church. There are two main ways to share the gospel. The first is with words. The second is with action. Both methods can bring the Spirit, and both can teach of Christ.

When I was a missionary back in the late ’70’s, we just used words. We had a script to follow, and we had to memorize it verbatim. Today, missionaries are told to follow the Spirit when teaching. They use a different platform for teaching that is altogether better than what I used all those decades ago. And missionaries are to spend time each week physically serving those whom they have been called to touch with the Master’s hand.

Why would any of us be any different from a called missionary? We have all made the same covenant as found in the Book of Mosiah, in the Book of Mormon. Here is Mosiah 18:8-10.

And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?

I ask you, what is there that a missionary in the field is required to know that you don’t already know? What is there in this covenant that a missionary is required to perform that you shouldn’t also be doing? And when I say “you” I mean all of us. What is missionary work if it isn’t bearing one another’s burdens and bearing witness of the truths we have found in our life that bring us joy? Is that really so difficult and scary? The scriptures tell us that perfect love casts out all fear. Are we afraid to share the love of our life with someone whom we have come to love and respect? If we are, perhaps we need to re-examine our priorities in life. Here are two memes recently passing through social media. They are great examples of these principles.









We have all made the covenants at baptism to represent our Savior in all things and in all places for the rest of our lives. Some things we are called upon to do are scary for us. It all depends on what we consider to be hard. But most of what the Savior asks of us is as simple as being nice to others, and seeking to make life better for those around us.

So yes, we have all been called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, but that doesn’t mean we all have to stand on a box in the middle of a public square and shout our message over the noise of the milling crowds. This means to look for needs and fill them, be courteous and kind, and be forgiving and longsuffering as others learn more of him who has forgiven us of our own sins.

Day 2

Doctrine and Covenants 31:1-2, 5-6, 9, 13 – The Lord can help me with my family relationships.

In the scriptures, we can find insights for our unique circumstances. Ask the Lord to help you find a message meant for you in doctrine and Covenants 30-36.

It is time to liken the scriptures unto ourselves. While it is true that many of us have some very unusual life circumstances currently, many of us will either be able to apply the lessons from these verses in our lives in the future or we perhaps should have applied them to our lives already in the past. Either way, look for how God’s counsel to Thomas Marsh can apply to your personal situation today.

Thomas, my son, blessed are you because of your faith in my work.

Behold, you have had many afflictions because of your family; nevertheless, I will bless you and your family, yea, your little ones; and the day cometh that they will believe and know the truth and be one with you in my church.

All of us are blessed when we exercise faith in God’s work. There is never a time when this is not true. And many of us have experienced trials in this life because of our family members, whether siblings, parents, or our own spouse or children. Being family means being more vulnerable to the trials of this life we all face. When it is a family member who struggles we get a front row seat. When it is a neighbor who struggles, we may never hear about it. Being close to others who also experience life’s challenges gives us greater opportunity to practice the Christlike virtues we espoused at baptism.

And just a note about the closing comment the Lord made to Bro. Marsh – we all hope that our family will join us in our enthusiasm for the gospel of Christ in this life, but sometimes that blessing won’t come to us until the next. But whether it comes now or later, we still need to continue to exercise our faith that if someone can be reached, the Savior will be able to find a way to do it. Our faith must include not only faith in God’s timing, but in His ability to do His work in mortality and in the spirit world.

Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live.

Behold, verily I say unto you, go from them only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them.

Have you ever wondered HOW you are supposed to “thrust in your sickle with your might”? What exactly is involved in that process? Refer back to yesterday’s lesson for that answer. Remember that God does His work through His words. And it is our actions, once the words have been spoken that turn the tide and make the difference in people’s lives. The Spirit can make mighty changes take place in a person’s life, but nothing can last without physical action to carry out the new motives and knowledge. Words and action must be paired in order to create lasting change in a person’s life.

Be patient in afflictionsrevile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast.

If find it interesting that being patient in afflictions has been paired by the Lord with governing our homes in meekness. Isn’t it true that some of our greatest afflictions in life can come from the members of our own family? It is in the home we experience our greatest need for tolerance, forgiveness, and all the other Christlike virtues.

13 Be faithful unto the end, and lo, I am with you. These words are not of man nor of men, but of me, even Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, by the will of the Father. Amen.

This promise applies equally to all of us.

Day 3

Doctrine and Covenants 32; 35 – Was the mission to the Lamanites a failure?

In the scriptures, we can find insights for our unique circumstances. Ask the Lord to help you find a message meant for you in doctrine and Covenants 30-36.

Since you have already read the manual for today’s lesson, I will just state that much of what God creates and brings to pass in mortality, and in eternity, happens on the way to the end product. The growth of the soul, for example, is not in being able to play an instrument beautifully, but in the works that eventually enables us to do so. The marriage that is a success becomes that way because of all the work that goes into the relationship hour by hour, week after week, and year after year. It is the process that creates the end result.

In the case of the mission to the Lamanites, the manual points out that many in Kirtland were converted in the process of that mission elsewhere. This “side blessing” is a common event in almost everything God ordains. Look at the pandemic that came in 2020. We spent so much time looking at all the disappointments, struggles, and frustrations that most of us didn’t pair those events with the blessings that came from the pandemic in the first place. The Church learned how to better focus on the family-centered nature of the gospel. The family history conference that was growing out of its physical space was forced into cyberspace and exploded with more than a half million attendees the first time it was done. Who knows where such an event will take the genealogy efforts to find our ancestors in the future. And it only happened when it did because it became a sudden necessity. There are many examples of such things happening in people’s lives and in the Lord’s Church as a whole, and all because the world had a pandemic. The point here is that the Lord uses everything to move His own work forward. We may only see bits and pieces of things that catch our attention, but He is using everything that is happening on the planet to work towards the salvation of His children. So no, the mission to the Lamanites cannot be called a failure. At least the Lord didn’t consider it as such.

Day 4

Doctrine and Covenants 33:12-18 – If I build my life on the Savior’s gospel, I will not fall.

In the scriptures, we can find insights for our unique circumstances. Ask the Lord to help you find a message meant for you in doctrine and Covenants 30-36.

There is safety in consistent and persistent adherence to the commandments and to our habits of prayer and scripture study. Falling away from the Church rarely ever happens when a person is doggedly determined to maintain their connection with the Spirit, and is willing to do whatever the Spirit requires of them. It is when we stop praying, stop reading our scriptures, and start to question, doubt, and criticize the leaders or doctrines of the Church that falling away becomes a real possibility and eventuality.

Falling away from the Church doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by neglect. It happens because of pride, stubbornness, loss of faith, and other failings on the part of the person involved. When we are faithful, meek, humble, and filled with love for God and man, how can we fall? I know I am making this all sound very cut and dried, and very simple. In some ways it is, but in other ways it is not. Most of the time we don’t see what is happening in the life of another person that causes doubts to arise or uneasiness to occur. Sometimes we don’t even see it in ourselves. But the principle remains true. When we submit ourselves to the teachings of the scriptures and follow the counsel of the Lord’s servants, He will intervene in our behalf and teach us where we need to repent to prevent us from falling away. He won’t let us go too far down the wrong path. But this process requires us to be humble enough to be taught. And one of the first signs of apostasy is the loss of that ability. Once we lose our ability to be instructed by the Spirit, the sophestries of the world begin to replace the teachings of the Spirit.

FHE/Personal Study

The universal gospel need

I hope you read the Voices of the Restoration section. I am always surprised by the number of people who have written accounts in their personal journals about their search for the truth when they knew it didn’t currently exist on the earth. At the time of Joseph Smith, and for several generations before him, there was an ever growing awareness that the truth had been lost, but was promised to return. This is their belief based on their reading of their own Bibles. People had dreams, visions, intuitions, urges, all leading them to seek for truth they knew was out there somewhere.

People searching for the truth about life and eternity is still a thing. It didn’t disappear just because the Lord’s Church was restored. There are still people searching for something more in their life than what they currently have found. They live in all countries, and belong to all economic backgrounds and social circles. They may not even be aware that they are looking. Many of them are just uneasy, uncomfortable, knowing that there is an emptiness in their life they wish they could fill.

The emptiness is the lack of truth in their life. When people come to learn of God, His love, the mission of His Son, Jesus, and the plan of salvation God has given us, these people hear it with joy in their hearts. They often feel like they have found their long-lost family. They get baptized and feel like they have come “home.”

It is important to remember that these truth seekers are few in number compared to the many who aren’t really interested. But the Lord has always been concerned that we search for those who are interested. The blessings are available to all. Anyone can partake and enjoy, but the scriptures are very clear that those who will actually come to Christ will be the minority, not the majority. So though the need is universal, the willingness to do what is required to fill their need is more specialized. We seek for those who will believe and come to Christ. These are they whose company we hope to spend eternity enjoying.

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You Are Called to Preach My Gospel

Week 15