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Sharing gospel is lifelong charge

And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.

And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them. — Doctrine and Covenants 1:4-5

Lou Ceil and Scott H. Taggart, at Guayaquil Ecuador Temple in 1999, are now matron and president of the Montreal Quebec Temple. They have completed seven full-time missions, serving in Switzerland, Spain, Chile and Zaire; he twice presided over missions.
Lou Ceil and Scott H. Taggart, at Guayaquil Ecuador Temple in 1999, are now matron and president of the Montreal Quebec Temple. They have completed seven full-time missions, serving in Switzerland, Spain, Chile and Zaire; he twice presided over missions. Photo: Photo by John L. Hart

In this passage, the Lord says the "voice of warning" shall go out from "my disciples." Who are His disciples? In the Bible Dictionary, a disciple is defined as, first, a member of the Twelve, also called an apostle. But a disciple is also defined as "all followers of Jesus Christ." That means active members of His Church.

During the October 1997 general conference, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve, asked: "How seriously have you personally taken the Lord's charge to share His gospel? It is a lifelong responsibility. It is to be addressed differently according to the various seasons of your life. Not everyone can be a full-time missionary. If you can, do it. If not, seek other ways to serve that meet your present circumstances.

"As you ponder how to serve, consider where you can best participate in the steps that must unfold for a family or an individual to receive enduring conversion and full gospel blessings. First, the family or individual needs to be identified and prepared to receive the gospel. There follows a doctrinal conversion. That is, an understanding of new doctrines and prayer for confirmation of their truthfulness. As the teachings are practiced and the commandments lived, a testimony is gained, and conversion and baptism result. This effort is best performed by full-time missionaries working with stake missionaries supported by caring members. They systematically present doctrinal principles and are carefully trained to teach and testify of these truths.

"Simultaneously with doctrinal conversion there must be a social transition. Friends, habits, customs, and traditions not in harmony with the life of a Latter-day Saint are abandoned, replaced by new friends and activities that support a new life. Of the two important changes that must occur in a convert's life — the gaining of a testimony, or doctrinal conversion, and learning how to live as a Latter-day Saint, or the social transition — the latter is the most difficult to achieve. It is best accomplished with the love and support of members. Your worthy example and caring support can lead them through each step required to learn to live as a Latter-day Saint.

"This social transition requires careful nurturing and help to teach new patterns of life, to introduce new friends and to assist the new converts to be obedient and begin to serve in the Church. . . . As the representative of the Lord, President [Gordon B.] Hinckley stressed this vital role of members and leaders to help each new convert feel comfortable and be sustained in living the requirements of a new life. He said, 'With the ever-increasing number of converts, we must make an increasingly substantial effort to assist them as they find their way.' "

Elder Scott concluded his address: "Why every member a missionary? Because that is what the Lord has asked us to do. Prayerfully consider it. There are those who would forever call you the angel of understanding and compassion that led them to the truth, fortified them in their faith, or helped them learn to serve the Lord. Do it."

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