I have Stake Conference tomorrow, and I was asked to speak in it (uhhh scary yeah I know) on missionary work and preparation. That is one stinking BROAD subject. I have thought about it every day for a couple weeks, trying to find some sort of inspiration on what direction to go. I sat at the computer countless times, praying and pleading with Heavenly Father for help and guidance. But then I had a solid chat with my dear friend Courtney (shout out to you!) after attending a lecture at school. We talked about our recognition of the sadness and pain of those around us. College is the age of rebellion. No longer living at home, they try new things, searching for happiness in the wrong places. But all they get is short term satisfaction.
They don't know that they are children of a loving Heavenly Father, or that Christ died for them. They don't feel the holy ghost every day, they don't receive comfort from the scriptures, they don't know that Christ's true church is on the earth! The gospel brings me pure happiness. Pure joy. I know that Christ lives. I know we have a prophet today. I know that there is a life after death, that peace will be given to those that suffer, and that we can be with the ones we love forever. I want other people to be happy.
I'm going to take that one step further. Why do we do missionary work? yes, it's a commandment, yes we are following Christ's example, yes it gives us brownie points. But ultimately we do it because of love. Because we love our brothers and sisters. We want them to be happy. For how great will be their joy in the kingdom of their father. Their joy. not mine.
That's what this gospel is. It is joy! Missionary work is joy! Joy for those we love, joy for those who are lost, joy for those in need of comfort, and most importantly joy in the presence of our Heavenly Father, surrounded by our brothers and sisters. I want them to be happy. That is why I am going on a mission. For how great will be their joy.
This is why I chose that scripture as my title so long ago. And it took me this long to realize that. And so this is what I finally realized I would write my talk on!
One last quote for you from Jeffery R Holland
“An invitation that is born of our love for others and for the lord Jesus Christ and our desire for the happiness of these friends and family members will never be seen as offensive or judgmental. The resurrected Lord’s final commission to his disciples was to teach and to baptize. Baptisms is the essential first ordinance on the journey to salvation the scriptures tell us of the lords joy when we baptize repentant qualified persons. We ought to be eager to do so and bring them that joy. The wonderful thing about it is this is filled with joy for ourselves as well.”