Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Restoration
By: Cambrea VanKammen
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is WONDERFUL because it is Heavenly Father’s plan for us. This plan is also known as the plan of happiness because we know that when we follow our Heavenly Father’s plan, we can return to live with Him again and ultimately be happy. Heavenly Father’s plan teaches us that through the atonement of Jesus Christ, we can all be saved. Jesus Christ sacrificed himself so that all of us could receive eternal lives and be free from the eternal punishment of sin. As we follow God’s commandments, come unto Christ, and live like Him, we will be worthy of the blessings of receiving forgiveness for our sins, and using the atonement in our lives.
Now, when Christ was on the Earth, we know that he gave priesthood authority, the authority to act in His name, to the apostles. John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (Luke 6:13 “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples; and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; ”) However, as the wicked people persecuted the apostles, the fullness of the gospel died with the apostles. This is what we know to be the Great apostasy. The church became corrupted and people tried to pick up bits and pieces. It was like a glass plate. When it falls on the ground, it shatters. You can try to pick it up and glue it back together, but no matter how hard you try, there will still be missing pieces.
We know that the fullness of this gospel that was once on the Earth was restored by a young boy named Joseph Smith. Today we have a prophet, apostles, and an organized church just like when Christ was on the Earth.
This is the short version of the Restoration, but you can see that the gospel has been through a lot. It is precious and fragile! The restoration gives us hope, and shows God’s love for His children. He does not want us to be lost. He wants us to return to Him. L. Tom Perry related a cookbook to eternal life. Take a moment and look at this brief history of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have something absolutely wonderful. Something that gives so many people joy and that promises us joy for eternity, if we live worthily, and follow God’s commandments. Eternal life is promised to us all. What our eternal life is like depends on our willingness to follow directions exactly. L. Tom Perry, an apostle of the Lord on the earth today related our vision of eternal life to a cookbook. In every cookbook there are perfect pictures of the food in the cookbook. With the plan on making our food look exactly like the picture in the cookbook, we follow the directions exactly. We must do this in our own lives. Picture eternal life. What do we have to do to make our eternal life wonderful? L. Tom Perry said, if we truly wanted our eternal life to look like our picture in our head, We would not need to be prodded to do the many things involved with enduring to the end, like doing our home teaching or visiting teaching, attending our meetings, going to the temple, living moral lives, saying our prayers, or reading the scriptures. We would want to do all these things and more because we realize they will prepare us to go somewhere we yearn to go.
This should be our attitude for the gospel. We should have a great desire to do the things that we need to do to return to our Heavenly Father. Now, if we had this great desire, we would want our friends and all those we come in contact with to know it too. Share it. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” Now is the time to share this restored gospel. The Lord’s work is truly hastening and we can all be a part of it. You don’t have to be a full time missionary to share the gospel we all love.
Okay, so you may be super awesome, and you have shared the gospel. How else can I share the gospel? I have a friend who is on a mission in Finland right now, and I would like to share an excerpt from her last email home;
She said, “Members think that “missionary work” means just inviting our friends to learn from the missionaries, but in reality, that’s only a part of it. Missionary work is inviting friends, family, and neighbors into our gospel centered lives, into our happiness, so they can realize that this is something they want. Invite people to a ward activity, a baptism, ask to come support us when we have a talk.”
Missionary work is not just inviting the missionaries to come and teach your neighbors, coworkers, or friends. While that is a great form of missionary work, it is also sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through your example. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” As you follow Christ’s example, the light of the gospel will shine in your eyes.
Many of you have heard the story of the BYU campus in Jerusalem. But, let me re-tell it for those who have not yet heard it. The Israeli government agreed to let us build a church school in Israel under one condition: not to proselyte. The church agreed. But after the lease was signed, one man commented, “Oh we know you are not going to proselyte, but what are we going to do about the light in your eyes,” Brothers and sisters, you have a light that radiates in your eyes. This light is the light of Christ. People can see that light as you learn and grown in the gospel, and as you increase your testimony.
If you take anything away from this talk today, I want you to take away something my mission prep teacher told me in college: When you share the gospel, you must always relate back to Jesus Christ. When you do, the spirit will automatically be there. So, when you are bearing your testimony by example, make sure you reflect Jesus Christ because the spirit will radiate off of you, and touch those around you. It is important to always keep the spirit with you. Pray for SPIRIT! The Spirit will guide you as he has something to work with. Study, learn, and he will bring to remembrance. We must be worthy for the spirit, and ask for the spirit in our lives. I pray for spirit every day to be more in tune with it. Use the atonement, to be clean so you can only have spirit with you.
A Missionary’s purpose: “Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We must all have this purpose in mind and be member missionaries.
I can’t wait to serve in Puerto Rico.
Reason I am serving: I cannot bear the fact that there are people who do not know about this beautiful restoration.
My missionary scripture: can be found in Bible and Book of Mormon because it is not only a testimony of both our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ’s power, but also connects the Bible and Book of Mormon together. Isaiah 12:2 & 5 “Behold, God is my salvation.; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song he also is become my salvation. Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. (2 Nephi 22: 2 & 5) I am SCARED to learn Spanish, and to go to a foreign country all by myself, where I know absolutely no one, but I KNOW that through Jesus Christ, I can do all things. Our Heavenly Father will not let me put the salvation of His children in Jeopardy. Therefore, I know that as I work hard, and put my trust in Him, I can do all things. D&C 76:22-24 is another one of my favorite scriptures of all time because the testimony is so powerful. And, I can’t say it any better. “And now after the many testimonies which have been given him, this is the testimony last of all, which we give of him; THAT HE LIVES! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father. That by him, through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.