Proclaiming the good news of the gospel is a fundamental principle of the Christian faith, said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve. Three gospel writers — Mark, Matthew and Luke — reported this direction by the Savior, and modern prophets have likewise "challenged each of us to share the gospel."
Speaking Saturday morning, Elder Oaks quoted President Gordon B. Hinckley who, in a worldwide satellite address to missionaries and local leaders, asked for " 'an infusion of enthusiasm' for missionary work 'at every level of the Church.' "
Elder Oaks said that President Hinckley "asked each of us to give our very best efforts to assisting missionaries in finding persons to teach." Elder Oaks said that although it has been two-and-a-half years since the Church leader president made this plea, "most of us have not yet acted effectively upon his challenge."
He said he had prayerfully studied President Hinckley's words and pondered how members can share the gospel. "I have concluded that we need three things to fulfill our prophet's challenge. First, we need a sincere desire to share the gospel. Second, we need divine assistance. Third, we need to know what to do."
1. Desire. "Sharing the gospel begins with desire," he said. "I believe we acquire this desire in two steps. First, we must have a firm testimony of the truth and importance of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. . . . Second, we must have a love for God and for all of His children.
"The intensity of our desire to share the gospel is a great indicator of the extent of our personal conversion," Elder Oaks said.
"The most effective missionaries, member and full-time, always act out of love," said Elder Oaks. "If we lack this love for others, we should pray for it."
Divine assistance/right timing. "Our actions must be directed by the Lord," Elder Oaks said. "It is His work, not ours, and it must be done in His way and on His timing, not ours. Otherwise, our efforts are fated to frustration and failure. . . .
"We must pray for the Lord's help and directions so we can be instruments in His hands. . . . Then, we must be alert to hear and heed the promptings of His Spirit in how we proceed.
"Those promptings will come," Elder Oaks said, testifying that the Lord will prompt and guide those who desire and who sincerely seek guidance in how, where, when and with whom to share His gospel."
How to do it. Elder Oaks asked, "What should we do? How do we proceed? We begin by beginning. . . . Revelation comes most often when we are on the move."
Further, he declared, "We should pray, as Alma of old, for the Lord to give us 'power and wisdom that we may bring' our associates to the Lord." (Alma 31:34-35.)
Ways that members can increase their missionary effort is to invite friends to Church meetings and activities, make appreciative references about the Church and ask others if they would like to know more, and share Pass Along cards.
In conclusion, Elder Oaks introduced a new Church Web site that holds the potential to be "as exciting as publishing of written tracts in the nineteenth century and our use of radio, television and film in the twentieth." The Internet address is www.mormon.org.
Members can use this site by referring their friends who are interested in obtaining information about the Church, he said.