Morning devotion: A labor of love

Missionary Mormons
Missionary Mormons (Photo credit: More Good Foundation)

And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also. – John 4:21

 Missionary Work is a work of love and trust, and it has to be done on that basis

 – Gordon B. Hinkley, Stand a Little Taller

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Missionary Church. Young men are called to serve a two-year mission. Young women have the opportunity to participate in serving a mission as well. Members of the Church are also called to serve a mission by sharing the message of the Restoration to family, friends, and neighbors. By doing so, we are helping the young men and women of the church fulfill their callings to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are sincere, humble, and willing to accept the message that we teach. Yet, if sharing the message of the Gospel is done out of sheer obligation and not out of a love for our fellow neighbors, what does it benefit them? How does it benefit us?

Missionary work begins with charity, service follows, and then hope develops. However, without a deep and compassionate love to seek out and rescue those who have fallen by the wayside, seek out to comfort those who are hurting, or willing to come alongside and mourn with those who are in mourning, we are not of any use to share the splendor of the Gospel restored in these latter days. Jesus Christ, himself, preached the importance of love by reiterating that before one comes before the alter and give of their sacrifice, they first must leave their gift and be reconciled with their fellow brother. Our hearts must be without judgment. Our hearts must be without malice towards another. We must acknowledge our own biased and prejudices and how it may communicate to others when it comes to sharing the Gospel.

Motivated by the love of Christ, and a dutiful reliance on the powerful witness of the Holy Spirit, we can be the means to help those outside of our faith to understand what it is we believe, to know of a surety that we do follow and worship Jesus the Christ, Son of the Living God. It is not through intellectual reasoning, badgering, or even condescension. Conversion is wrought through the pure love of Christ and when we are in the position to emulate the pure love of Christ, then we are able to love that individual who we are serving and sharing the message of the Gospel with, to bring them to a knowledge of Christ, and the hope that lies within us and the reality of our purpose and eternal destiny.

Therefore, let us take up the banner of charity and compassion, seek out and emulate the love our Savior had for people, and through our compassion, charity, and Christ-like mindset, we will be able to change lives and fulfill our callings through missionary work.

 

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