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Élder Casey Jefferies
August 8, 2016
Flower Mound 3rd Ward
Elder Jacob Parsons
Here is my address and here is my talk that I promised to send last week.
5215 Villa Brook Ln. #702
Arlington, TX 76017
For your information, in the future if you happen to be at dinner with
a member of the stake presidency and his family, do not mention how
long it has been since you last spoke in a sacrament meeting. He can
probably fix that real quick.
In all honesty, though, it is wonderful to be up here speaking to you
today. I have been invited to share my thoughts on "following the
Saviors example and inviting all to 'come and see'. I pray that the
spirit will be here that we might be taught from on high and that we
may all "be edified and rejoice together."
The savior has frequently invited others to "come and see" in ancient
and modern scripture. This does not always take place in the literal
wordage of "come and see." it often comes in terms of "come unto me
all ye that are heavy laden, and will give ye rest." (Matt. 11:28-30)
"sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt
have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." (Luke 18:22) "Follow me
and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19) Moroni said, "come
unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all
ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and
love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace
sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and
if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny
the power of God." (Moroni 10:32). Saying "come unto Christ" is way of
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans
3:23) "No unclean thing can enter into [God's] kingdom; therefore
nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their
garments in [Christ's] blood, because of their faith, and the
repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. Now
this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come
unto [him] and be baptized in [him] name, that ye may be sanctified by
the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before
[him] at the last day." (3 Nephi 27:19-20 emphasis added) This means
brothers and sisters, that no one that is living, that has lived or
has yet to live upon the face of this earth, can enter into the
kingdom of our Father unless they have exercised faith unto
repentance, have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and
the Holy Ghost and received the Holy Ghost by someone who has power
and authority from God and continues to hold true to those sacred
promises, or covenants, that they have made. These are commandments
that God himself has established and there is no other way that a man
can enter into the kingdom of heaven.
So what does all of that have anything to do with "inviting all to
come and see?" I believe it has everything to do with doing just that.
You see, if we believe that, and I know that all if not most everyone
of us present believes such, and if we believe that the authority of
God is once more upon the earth, a fact which again I know that most
present believes in; then that would mean that WE as members of this
church have the responsibility to share the gospel and "warn our
neighbor." We all know that, and we all want that. We all want to
share the gospel at least in some way, big or small. But what is the
best way to actually share it? How do we actually follow the example
fo Christ and invite all to come and see?
If we follow the pattern that I am about to share, we will start to
have the confidence and faith we need to share the gospel.
Pray for and seek inspiration. The Savior has said "ask and ye shall
receive, knock and it shall be open unto you" (3 Nephi 27:29). That is
a simple and amazing promise from our Savior that when we ask in his
name, the things that are righteous and in accordance with his will,
shall be granted. But because Heavenly Father respects agency, we need
to invite those blessings and promptings into our minds and hearts by
asking for them.
Set goals and make plans. In Preach My Gospel it says "goals reflect
the desires of our hearts." Brothers and sisters, setting a goal does
not need to be a huge deal where you make a contract and sign it or
establish a monthly quota or something like that, just ponder on what
you think you could do and what you can do. Take those thoughts to the
Lord. Christ said to Oliver Cowdry, "study it out in your mind, then
ask me if it be right." You can receive inspiration while pondering
what you might say or do in a particular situation or with someone in
specific. Either way, the words of the Lord will be with you.
Act in faith and follow through on your plan. This is often the
hardest thing for us to do, even for missionaries! You are not alone
when you struggle to muster up the courage to talk to someone about
the gospel. It takes time and practice to get comfortable doing that.
Maybe you might not think you know enough to share our beliefs. Maybe
you just don't know how to start off the conversation or steer it into
a gospel conversation. A good brother told my companion and I recently
that he wished that there were a list of ways that could lead to start
off these kinds of conversations. As I thought about this, I think the
best ways to start conversations that lead to gospel principles is
starting one! Because of the way we live our religion, it will come up
in conversation. Our religion is an everyday endeavor to become better
adn not just believe good and moral principles. It is normal to have
those feelings of nervousness, uneasiness or even after what we might
think of as a failed attempt we may feel like we failed. You succeed
when you invite. Everytime someone has a positive experience with a
member of this church, it brings them closer to making a covenant with
our Heavenly Father. A way that I overcome those feelings of
nervousness, at least in part, is by role playing or practicing what I
am going to teach or share. There are situations that you can't
exactly prepare for, but "when we are prepared, we shall not fear." We
have the promise, again from Christ himself, that if we treasure up in
our minds and in our hearts the words of life, we shall be given that
portion of the gospel that shall be meted to every man in the hour,
yea the very moment. Pratice.
Now brothers and sisters, this does not need to be a long, drawn out
process that takes up a lot of time. With the exception of "treasuring
up continually the words of life," this can all be done in a moment.
We can pray for the courage to share our beliefs, think about what we
might share then act in faith and actually share it! Just like that.
Like I said earlier, living the gospel everyday is crucial in
preparing to share the gospel. We need to have the spirit with us. We
need to build our lives upon Jesus Christ. We need to have daily,
meaningful prayer that is a spiritual experience for us. We need to
have quality, not neseccarily quantity, scripture study. We need to
have a meaningful Sabbath day. We need to attend the temple regularly,
and we need to serve those around us. All of these things will prepare
us to share the gospel at a moments notice. We all fall short of doing
those things, don't feel like a failure, after all "a saint is someone
who keeps on trying." Do not get discouraged if someone does not
accept the gospel even if you are feeling great about it. Remember
that Heavenly Father respects everyone's choices and their right to
choose for themselves. You are simply providing that person another
chance to change and repent. This is why you "succeed when you
I have faith that you and I can share the gospel with those around us.
We need to pray daily for missionary opportunities then seek
throughout the day to find someone that the Lord has placed in our
path to share the gospel with – and he will! There will be someone in
your path that God will help through you. "I will go before your face.
I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be
in your hearts and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." I
close with the words of one of my favorite scriptures in the Doctrine
and Convenants. "There are many yet on the earth among all sects,
parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness
of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and are kept from the
truth because they know not where to find it – Therefore, that we
should waste and wear out our lives In bringing to light all the
hidden things of darkness, wherein we may know them; and they are
truly manifest from heaven – these things should then be attended to
with great ernestness. ... Dearly beloved brethren [and sisters], let
us cheerfully do all things in our power; and then may we stand still,
with the utmost assuarnce, to see the salvation of god, and for his
arm to be revealed." (D&C 123:12-14;17)
I bear my witness that this work is sacred and it is marvelous. I know
that Jesus Christ is the son of God, our Savior and Redeemer. Joseph
Smith is his revelator in these last days, the Book of Mormon is true
– the word of God – and I know that God loves and knows each and every
one of his children here on the earth including you and me. I so
testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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