Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has often wrestled with this question: “How can we, as disciples of Christ, best fulfill the great commission to teach all nations in our daily lives?”
In an Aug. 16 blog post on ChurchofJesusChrist.org, Elder Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recognized that while many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have enthusiastically responded to the call to share the gospel, others are more hesitant.
“I know that some of us are more outgoing than others. That’s OK,” he wrote in the blog post. “The Lord makes it possible for each of us, in our own way, to invite others to come and see and come and help. Then God will do His saving work, and they will come and stay.”
These invitations to “come and see,” “come and help” and “come and stay” were accompanied by three videos recently released by the Church and shared on Elder Uchtdorf’s Instagram account.
Come and See
The first video is an invitation to, well, invite.
From family home evening to giving a talk in sacrament meeting, a baptismal service to a self-reliance class, the clip shows Church members extending invitations to others to come join them in various Church activities and services.
“People like being included. They just need to be invited,” the video concludes.
Elder Uchtdorf encouraged members to share why Jesus Christ and His Church are important to them. “Invite them to come and see,” he continued. “Then encourage them to come and help. There are numerous opportunities for people to help in the Church.”
Come and Help
As in the first video, the second shows Latter-day Saints offering invitations. This time, the invitations are geared towards asking others to come and help with service projects and volunteer opportunities, including a blood drive, helping an elderly neighbor move and volunteering at an orphanage.
“People naturally want to help,” the video concludes. “They just need to be invited.”
Come and Stay
It’s Ryan’s first time attending a meeting at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As he approaches the building, Greg greets him outside and offers to show him around the meetinghouse.
Ward members scoot down their pews to welcome newcomers to sit with them.
During sacrament meeting, a bishop recognizes that there are several new faces and says, “I hope you feel at home with us.” After the meeting, ward members will come to say hello.
A ward bulletin board is shown with meeting schedules, a map of room locations and other information newcomers might need to get oriented.
Sister missionaries introduce Chris and Amy, a couple they’re teaching, to a couple in the ward. “Thank you so much for joining us today. … I hope you can join us next week,” the woman says to them.
These are several of the ways this video shows how Church members can help newcomers feel welcome.
“When people feel welcome, they’ll naturally want to stay.”
Elder Uchtdorf reiterated the five suggestions that everyone can do to participate in missionary work, which he gave in his April 2019 general conference address.
First, draw close to God.
“The closer you draw to our Heavenly Father, the more His light and joy will shine from within you,” Elder Uchtdorf wrote. “Others will notice that there is something unique and special about you. And they will ask about it, which, in turn, will give you an opportunity to invite them to come and see.”
Second, fill one’s heart with love for others.
Elder Uchtdorf urged Latter-day Saints to try to see everyone as a child of God. “Strive to emulate the love of Christ and have compassion and empathy for others,” he wrote.
Third, strive to walk the path of discipleship.
As one’s love for God and His children deepens, so does one’s commitment to follow Jesus Christ. This walk will take practice, but “the important thing is that you don’t give up.”
“Talking with others about your faith will become normal and natural,” Elder Uchtdorf wrote. This might not happen immediately, but it will happen, he promised.
Fourth, “share what is in your heart.”
Followers of Jesus Christ have the privilege of sharing the love Heavenly Father has for all of His children, Elder Uchtdorf wrote.
“Share with people why Jesus Christ and His Church are important to you. Invite them to come and see. Then encourage them to come and help.”
Finally, trust the Lord to work His miracles.
It is not the job of Church members to convert people, Elder Uchtdorf wrote. That is the Holy Ghost’s role. “Your role is to love God and your neighbors. Follow this path and God will work miracles through you to bless His precious children.”
If someone doesn’t accept the gospel message, don’t be discouraged, Elder Uchtdorf wrote. It’s possible that they will react poorly or be critical of the Church.
“However, the Lord works in mysterious ways,” he taught. “It may be that by your Christlike response to rejection, a hardened heart could be softened. …
“This is God’s work. With His help, we can do this.”