Responsibility of LDS to gather Abraham's seed

Listen to Spirit's prompting

Invite to come unto Christ

Be a friend

Nourish, support converts

It is the responsibility of members of the Church to gather Abraham's seed and bring them unto Christ, Elder E Ray Bateman of the Seventy declared Saturday afternoon.

Giving his first general conference address since being called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy last April 4, Elder Bateman explained that Abraham's seed is as "numerous as the sands of the sea shore."

"That really means they are all around us, said Elder Bateman, who was serving as president of the California Carlsbad Mission at the time of his call as a General Authority. "Are we looking?" he asked. "Are we asking? Are our good friends, or the people we work with, who are non-members, the seed of Abraham? Are we opening our mouth to see if we can find out? Are we listening to the prompting of the Spirit? The seed of Abraham hear His voice and will not harden their hearts. Do we invite them to come unto Christ? Are we allowing them to hear His voice?"

Saying the gospel is the pearl of great price, Elder Bateman said Abraham's children, referred to as "those little grains of sand, . . . need to be cultured to become pearls. They need the right friend, a responsibility to help them grow in service, and nourishment with charity to retain them, to truly become pearls of great worth in our Father's kingdom."

He then quoted President Gordon B. Hinckley: " `Be friendly. You have to make a friend before you make a convert. Conversion follows friendship. The opportunity to teach follows friendship.' "

Elder Bateman then related the account of Jim Hueston, who was introduced to the Church about 20 years ago in the ward in which Elder Bateman presided as bishop. After the man studied the gospel, took the discussions and gained a testimony, he was baptized. Soon after, he was made a home teacher and assigned a "strong, faithful, diligent home teaching companion."

"Brother Hueston . . . made sure that his home teaching was completed, not only for that first month, but for the past 20 years he has completed his home teaching every month. He has served in many different callings, and serving as a stake missionary was one of his favorites.

"Ward members wrapped their arms around Brother Hueston and made sure that he was a `fellow citizen with the Saints, and of the household of God.' " (Eph. 2:19.)

Continuing, Elder Bateman counseled: "Brothers and sisters, let us renew our commitment to seek the Spirit to help us find those who are Abraham's seed. Then let us open our mouths, friendship them, invite them to come unto Christ and be there to support, nourish and retain them. And, wherever possible, let us be there when they go to the temple.

"Our Father in Heaven wants all of Abraham's seed to return to Him. Let us join in this great balanced effort for conversion, retention and activation, to assist the Father and Son to turn those grains of sand into pearls in our Father's kingdom."

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