Before the resurrected Savior left his disciples to return to His Father in Heaven, He gave this amazing challenge to His followers. “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 always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28: 19-20 in the Bible)
As followers of Jesus Christ this is our challenge today, even as overwhelming as it is, until the end of the world. We are told to teach all nations about Jesus Christ, His plan of salvation and His commandments we are to keep. Those that accept His gospel we are to baptize. I read a talk given by John A. McCune on this subject.
Challenges and Trials in Our Lives
“We are not spared challenges and trials in our lives. We are often required to do difficult things that, if attempted alone, would be overwhelming and maybe impossible. As we accept the Savior’s invitation to “come unto me,” (Matthew 11: 28 in the Bible) He will provide the support, comfort, and peace that are necessary. Even in our deepest trials, we can feel the warm embrace of His love as we trust Him and accept His will. In 2014, while we as a family were serving a full-time mission, our family experienced an unexpected turn of events. When riding down a steep hill on a longboard, our youngest son fell and sustained a life-threatening injury to his brain. As his situation deteriorated, medical personnel rushed him into emergency surgery. Our family knelt on the floor of an otherwise empty hospital room, and we poured our hearts out to God. In the midst of this confusing and painful moment, we were filled with our Heavenly Father’s love and peace. We did not know what the future held or if we would see our son alive again. Our son experienced a significant loss of memory. His recovery included long and difficult physical, speech, and occupational therapy sessions. Challenges remain, but over time we have witnessed a miracle. We understand clearly that not every trial we face will have a result we wish for. However, as we remain focused on Christ, we will feel peace and see God’s miracles, whatever they may be, in His time and in His way.”
Hope in Jesus Christ
“There will be times when we will not be able to see any way that a current situation will end well. There may be times that the only hope we have is in Jesus Christ. What a blessing to have that hope and trust in Him. Christ is the one who will always keep His promises. His rest is assured for all who come unto Him. “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11: 28 in the Bible)
We have been given the opportunity to labor with the Lord in inviting others to come unto Him.
As we labor with Christ, our most deeply focused efforts should be within our own homes. There will be times when family members and close friends will face challenges. The voices of the world, and maybe their own desires, might cause them to question truth. We should do everything we can to help them feel both the Savior’s love and our love. “By this shall … men know … ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13: 35 in the Bible) Our ability to help others come unto Christ or return to Christ will largely be determined by the example we set through our own personal commitment to stay on the covenant path.”
Following the Savior May Come at a High Personal Price
Some people, when they accept Jesus Christ and change their lives to follow Him, pay a great price. Gordon B. Hinckley told the story of such a person. “I met a naval officer from a distant nation, a brilliant young man who had been brought to the United States for advanced training. Some of his associates in the United States Navy, whose behavior had attracted him, shared with him at his request their religious beliefs. He was not a Christian, but he was interested. They told him of the Savior of the world, of Jesus Christ born in Bethlehem, who gave his life for all mankind. They spoke of modern prophets. They taught him the gospel of the Master. The Spirit touched his heart, and he was baptized. He was introduced to me just before he was to return to his native land. We spoke of these things, and then I said: ‘Your people are not Christians. What will happen when you return home a Christian…’. His face clouded, and he replied, ‘My family will be disappointed. They may cast me out and regard me as dead. As for my future and my career, all opportunity may be foreclosed against me. ‘I asked, ‘Are you willing to pay so great a price for the gospel?’ His dark eyes, moistened by tears, shone from his handsome brown face as he answered, It’s true, isn’t it?” I think all of us who are Christians can learn from this young man.
Dallas Jones is the local leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This article quoted part of a talk by John A. McCune recorded in the May 2020 edition of Ensign. For further discussion call (231) 383-8359 or send an email to [email protected] If interested in reading previous articles written by Dallas Jones printed in the News Advocate go to djonesarticles.com