`The scriptures are replete with examples of what happens to individuals when the light of the gospel really permeates their souls," commented Elder L. Tom Perry of the Council of the Twelve.
Speaking in the April 1984 general conference, Elder Perry said the urgency for missionary work in modern times comes from the Savior's final teaching to His disciples during His earthly ministry:"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matt. 28:18-20.)
This urgency was understood before the Savior's birth by the four sons of Mosiah who "were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of their Redeemer." (Mosiah 27:36.)
"After conversion," continued Elder Perry, "comes the desire to share - not so much out of a sense of duty, even though that reponsibility falls on the priesthood, but out of a sincere love and appreciation for that which has been received. When such a `pearl of great price' comes into our lives, we cannot be content just to admire it by ourselves. It must be shared! And here is the great joy and happiness of the gift!
"I have been especially impressed with the older couples, who after fulfilling a life of service in their wards and stakes, have the desire to spend a period of time as missionaries in full service of the Lord. I have found them in all corners of the world, and they are, I guess, the happiest people I have ever met because of what they are accomplishing. . . .
"One couple reported, as they concluded their mission, that in the final testimony meeting these words were spoken of them: "Dear elder and sister, you just can't imagine what our life was like before you came. . . ."
"I hear you [older couplesT stand and bear your testimonies acknowledging your love for your companion and for the gospel. If that is really true, you will be like Andrew [of the New TestamentT or Alma - not content until you have shared the fulfillment you have found in the gospel of Jesus Christ in missionary service."