Scripture a short sermon

Hearken, O ye who have given your names to go forth and proclaim my gospel, and to prune my vineyard.

Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle, but labor with your might -Lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, proclaiming the truth according to the revelations and commandments which I have given you.

And thus, if ye are faithful ye shall be laden with many sheaves, and crowned with honor and glory, and immortality, and eternal life. (D&C 75:2-5.)

In the more than 160 years since this revelation was given, many a sermon to missionaries has been built upon the few short words of its verses.

Indeed, some of the phrases are almost slogans among today's army of more than 48,000 full-time missionaries: "Go forth," "neither be idle," "labor with your might," "Lift up your voices," and the promise, "Ye shall be laden with many sheaves."

When the revelation was given in January 1832, the Church had approximately 700 members. Within one year, membership increased to more than 2,600, and gained more than a thousand members a year until 1835, when it doubled from about 4,400 to 8,800 members.

This increase that has continued to the present is largely due to missionary work. The oft-repeated scriptural injunction to proclaim the gospel is continually echoed by today's leaders.

"We live in the most exciting era in the history of mankind," said Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve as he addressed April conference in 1989. "The potential for declaring the gospel to the peoples of the world has never been greater. . . ."

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