Sunday, July 8, 2012

you can save lives...

     I've been wanting to write this post for a week now... but I included some of the following stories and thoughts in a talk I gave in Sacrament Meeting today.

So... I didn't want to give it away on here before I actually gave the talk.

But I still wanted to post it for those of you who are not in my ward. So. Here you go.


You know... I think that when you gain a strong testimony and you realize the happiness and fulfillment that the Gospel brings to your life... you naturally gain a desire to share that happiness with others. 

It's why I started this blog.

You can do missionary work wherever you live - amongst nonmembers or even members of the Church.

I know that some people get scared to share the Gospel with their friends.

I mean, lots of things can go wrong. Maybe you don't know an answer to one of their questions. Maybe you find that your testimony isn't strong enough. Maybe they won't accept your beliefs.

Well... Let those fears go. 

Because I know that if you pray about it... Heavenly Father will tell you who needs the Gospel... and who will accept it. 

D&C 84:85 - Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.

Study the scriptures. Pay attention in church. Like the above verse explains, if you are treasuring up and learning about that which is good... you will know how to answer questions about the Church.

The Spirit will remind you what you read or heard in the very instant you need it. 

But the Spirit cannot remind you of something that you never read/heard in the first place.

So seek knowledge. And do not be afraid that someone will ask you a question. 

And remember... you can always say "I don't know, but I will try and find out". 

Now... I like to play soccer. 

And something that I've learned from soccer is that just one touch on the soccer ball... can change the whole game.

The same is true with our lives. One touch by the Master can change someone forever.

And something you say... even something little that you will forget about tomorrow... could change someone forever too.

You just never know.

Let me illustrate that with a couple stories. 

First of all... let me share with you the story of Wealtha Bradford Hatch.

Wealtha was born in 1804 in Maine. She married Ira Stearns Hatch and they ended up living near Farmersville, New York.

She was a wife. She was a mother. 

But she was no one incredibly significant to history.
(If you are one of her descendants... you might disagree with that (: haha. )

Anyways. After the Church was organized in 1830, missionaries were sent west to preach to the Lamanites (indians).

The specific missionaries in this story were Oliver Cowdrey, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Ziba Peterson, and Parley P. Pratt. 

Recognize some of them? Sweet. :)

These missionaries went to preach to the Catteraugus indians that were living on a reservation very near where Wealtha and Ira lived. 

So Wealtha got her hands on a Book of Mormon. And she read it. And she wanted to join the Church. 

This was a time of heavy persecution of Mormons, so her husband asked her to wait a while and see if the persecution kinda died down. 

Well... a year and a half later the missionaries had looped back around... and Wealtha was done waiting. She was seven months pregnant and they cut a hole in the ice for her to be baptized. 

A couple years later, her husband, Ira, went to meet the prophet in Kirtland, Ohio. I guess he decided that he was ready, because he joined the Church shortly afterward.

Eventually, Ira and Wealtha went west with the saints to Nauvoo. There, Wealtha died of cholera.

Okay. Why am I telling you this? Why is her story special? 

Well... Wealtha had seven children. If you count up her children and their converts, and their children and their converts... up until the present day... you can trace the membership of over a million members of the Church today back to the decision that Wealtha Bradford Hatch made in 1832 to join the Church. 

Does that make sense? Crazy.

Okay. One more example. This post is getting long. 

Abinadi. Abinadi went about preaching the Gospel. He ended up being killed for it - which was ordered by King Noah. 

After all that sacrifice... Abinadi only ended up with one convert. Alma.

Well, let's take a look at who descended from Alma. 

Alma ==> Alma the Younger ==> Helaman ==> Helaman ==> Nephi ==> Nephi ==> Nephi

Many of Alma's descendants ended up writing in the Book of Mormon. 

Actually, we pretty much have half of the Book of Mormon because of Abinadi. 

And just look at how many people the Book of Mormon has converted!

So... hopefully we learned the effects that just one touch has on generations to come. 

It's amazing. Amazing. 

You truly have no idea what could result from you sharing the Gospel with just one person.

You can save hundreds or thousands or millions of lives... who knows. 

And greater than that... you are saving their eternities.

D&C 18:15 - And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
                16 - And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

It's so amazing to think about how happy and grateful you and so many others will be far into the eternities for your decision to share the Gospel.

Even if it's just by being a good example... or bearing your testimony in front of a friend...

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Oh. One more quote. Then I'm done.

"Your call has eternal consequences for others and for you. In the world to come, thousands may call your name blessed, even more than the people you serve here. They will be the ancestors and the descendants of those who chose eternal life because of something you said or did, or even what you were. . .You see, there are no small callings to represent the Lord."
- Henry B. Eyring 

I guess you just never know.

P.S. Hopefully this freakishly long post can last you a week. I will be at Girl's Camp until Friday!! :)
(I'm thinking of auto-posting a great EFY song for Wednesday... So tune in then...!)

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