Sunday, January 25, 2015

"Send forth the elders of my church" (Doctrine & Covenants 133:8)

Over the past several months, I have begun to see a bit of a cultural shift (I guess that'd be the right term) among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that has really begun to bug me. I've begun to see tons of blog posts about how we shouldn't be judging people who haven't served missions. I get that some are unable to serve due to health or other circumstances. However, the message in these posts are different: it is that no young man who has not served a mission is to be under any condemnation. It gives the message to those on the fence that a mission can be just not for them.

President Kimball once said, "I was asked a few years ago, “Should every young man who is a member of the Church fill a mission?” And I responded with the answer the Lord has given: “Yes, every worthy young man should fill a mission.” The Lord expects it of him. And if he is not now worthy to fill a mission, then he should start at once to qualify himself. The Lord has instructed, “Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and them upon the Jews.” (D&C 133:8)."

 I really do not care what the excuses are being propagated to make those who choose not to serve feel good about themselves. It is a priesthood responsibility to bear the gospel to all nations. In Institute, I learned that the missionary department is estimating that we need 96,000 missionaries to cover India alone: we have 88,000 missionaries. There is no way we can do it without getting more of the young men to go out and live up to the measure of their ordination to the holy priesthood.

There is no greater duty we have than to engage in the work of salvation: we cannot keep losing more and more young men as they desire not to go on missions! Making these excuses amounts to fighting against the Kingdom of God rolling forth. Imagine if you can convince one young man to not go on a mission. How many lives would go untouched simply because he was not there where he was supposed to be? How many souls will be on his head, because someone convinced him through cunning means that it was unimportant to serve?

"Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks" (Jeremiah 16:14-16). This is the most important work! The more hunters and fishers we have, the more of God's children, even the whole house of Israel can be gathered again. Without the missionary work, we will cease to see the miracles.

Stop making excuses! And, "Send forth the elders of [His] church" (Doctrine & Covenants 133:8)!