Original article posted by Greg:

I have been asked to speak on the worth of the soul. And for some reason I’ve also been asked to speak on missionary work.

Happily, these two topics: the worth of a soul, and missionary work – are pretty closely related. In fact, I’ve found that it’s possible to speak on almost any two subjects in this church and find plenty of doctrinal connections.

In fact, almost any topic you can think of can be connected to the atonement.

The atonement is the single most important event in the history of the universe. Every part of our lives revolves around it. Every doctrine taught, every talk given, every prayer answered is a consequence of the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Write that down. Okay, remember – Atonement of Jesus Christ, cause we’ll come back to that one.

The worth of a soul – – – –

There are two ways you can examine the worth of a soul. We are accustomed to measuring our souls from our own perspective. This usually results in a kind of cheapening of our worth. A kind of cosmic gasp as eventually each of us realize we are only the tiniest of specks in the vastness of the universe. Some go so far as to say things like “Who could ever love me?” The other way to examine the worth of a soul is from the perspective of Jehovah. The perfect and eternal being who has said that His work and glory is to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man.

In other words, what makes him glorious is the fact that your worth is so great.

Here comes the atonement again:
As far as your Father in Heaven is concerned, your worth is greater than the life of his only begotten. As far as Jesus is concerned, He would be willing to suffer the weight of every sin, temptation and pain ever experienced in the world because he values you so highly.

His work and his glory is you.

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are blessed to know these teachings. We can know with a surety that these things are true: That our Father loves us and values us more than anything else. That Jesus sacrificed all he had, even taking death upon himself for us. As members of the Church, we have the chance to draw closer to Jesus Christ than any person has been able to for nearly 2000 years.

For any who wonder, “Who could love me?” or who think “I am worthless.” it’s only necessary to open the scriptures to learn of the love of Jesus Christ for each one of us.

for example.
Matthew 14:29-31 Immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand.

Sometimes when we feel like we’re drowning – all it takes is to ask for the help of those who love us. Was there ever a person in all the scripture who asked “Oh Jesus, thou son of God, Have mercy on me.” and was turned away? Was there a single soul who when seeking blessings at the hand of the lord was spurned? No. Jesus Christ has love for all, and none who call on his name shall be turned away wanting.

These lessons fill us with joy. When we can remember our worth, and the worth of those around us, there is less hate, less jealousy, more love, more peace to be had. We have been blessed with knowledge kept hidden for a long time. And because of those blessings, we are asked to take upon us responsibilities.

Turn to the last chapter of John.

The disciples of Jesus were also blessed with added knowledge of the atonement. They witnessed first hand His ministry, His glory, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. When the risen Lord returned to them, what do you think his lesson was?

In verse 15 of chapter 21 of John, Jesus turns to Peter and asks him: Lovest thou me more than these? Peter answers Yes, you know I do. To which Jesus responds “Feed My Lambs.” Then immediately asks peter again, “Lovest thou me?” Peter once again says yes, and Jesus once again says “Feed my Sheep.”

There’s something you notice in seminary classes. And that’s if something is important, it will be repeated. For instance, the biggest sinners get what we used to call the “Triple Wo.” Like “Wo Wo Wo unto them in that day…” Then you knew that Heavenly Father wasn’t messing around.

When Joseph Smith received a visitation from Moroni, the vision was repeated 3 times and then again the following night. It must have been important.

So, we can tell how important this is to Jesus. Because sitting there, in person, already having asked peter twice – he once again asked “Lovest thou me?”

I imagine peter must have been somewhat distraught, wondering if Jesus believed him or not. But I’m certain he got the message. For a third time he said “Thou knowest that I love thee.” And for a third time, Jesus said “Feed my sheep.”

The last two verses of Matthew say “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.”

In the last chapter of Mark it says “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel…”

That indicates to me that this subject must be somewhat important to the man who loves us more than anything else in the universe. The same man who has not only overcome death itself, but has offered to save us from our own sins.

And it’s a beautiful thing. Because as we draw nearer to him, he turns our eyes to those who don’t yet know to ask for his grace and peace. With every step upwards to Christ, our eyes will be drawn to those drowning in a sea of sorrows, waiting for a hand to be stretched forth.

We know that not everybody will grasp the hand that reaches to save them. We aren’t commanded to baptize everybody – just to let them hear the gospel and let them call upon the Lord if they will. So we can’t expect every person we share the gospel with to react warmly. We know from experience that many will be hostile. But we have to try.

We are commanded to try.

Because there are those fainting, struggling seamen you may rescue, you may save. There are those like he who came to phillip in the eighth book of acts and said “How can I [find my way], except some man should guide me?”

As we experience more of the love of Christ, we will draw nearer to him. As we draw nearer to him, we will learn to love him. As we learn to love him, so will we begin to feel the love he has for all of our brothers and sisters – and we will begin to echo that divine love in our thoughts, words, and deeds.

I will now share the parable of September eleventh. It’s not really a parable, but I like to think that someday I could really write parables.

September eleventh, two thousand and one hit very much like a bombshell. My roommate and I sat affixed to the televisions (we had two tuned to different news channels, plus a couple of radios on news stations) for the entire day. I was at Weber State University at the time, and I don’t think anybody went to class that day. Everybody was stunned. Everybody was confused. Questions whirled inside our heads as we tried to come to terms with a world that had suddenly changed on us literally, overnight.

The next day I still missed my classes, except for institute. I was taking a class on religions of the world. The institute teacher decided it was time for us to move ahead to Islam, but before doing that, he wanted to have a day devoted to our thoughts and questions.

The first question asked was from a young lady sitting in the back. She asked, very honestly, “Why do I feel so bad? I did not know any of these people. This doesn’t affect my life directly. Why do I feel so bad?” And we knew she was echoing every persons question in that room.

For a while there was silence, then the teacher asked “How does Heavenly Father feel right now?” Somebody answered with “sad.” The teacher nodded his head and said, “why?”

The answer is because thousands of his beloved children just died – many cut off in their lives before they had a chance to hear his gospel. The teacher then asked, “Why do we feel so sad?”

The answer became clear. “Because we just saw thousands of our brothers and sisters killed, and we love them. And we feel our Fathers love for each of us.”

For some, this love is enough to motivate us to get out and share the message. For some of us, we need a challenge to get us going. Something like a goal.

I therefore share the parable of the Chinese. Once again, not a real parable

Because I got called to Taiwan, I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine named Brother Cloward. He told me that the first presidency has said that Taiwan is the key to China. And that president kimball expressed a desire for all latter-day saints to learn chinese.

This got me wondering as to why we aren’t in some parts of the world yet. Why is China still closed to us? Why did it take so long to get into Russia? When will we get into the Islamic countries to share our message?

The obvious answer is that we’re not yet ready. So I then wondered, why aren’t we ready? I mean, we’ve got sixty thousand missionaries already working every day to spread the gospel.

I’ve done some math.

If we rely on the missionaries to do what we’ve ALL been commanded to do- that is share the gospel – it would be impossible to catch up to the population of the world. In fact, if we put every missionary we had into china alone and closed every other mission – each companionship would have to teach the gospel to one thousand five hundred people each year for fifty years to reach everybody. And that’s not counting the twenty two million people born in china every year. It would take an additional 750 people taught per companionship per year just to keep up with the birth rate.

And that’s just china.

So I started to wonder. How hard would the church as a whole have to work to bring the gospel to all of china in just fifty years? In other words, how many people would each of us have to share the gospel with, Not baptize necessarily, just share the gospel with each year.

Any guesses?

The answer is 3.

In fact, three is too many. It’s more like 2.7. if each of us just presented the gospel to three people each year, then it would take only 40 years to bring the message to the entire 1.5 billion people in china. And that’s assuming the church wouldn’t grow at all in 40 years.

Just three people a year is enough to cover the most heavily populated nation in the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in just a few decades. Imagine if you would share the gospel with three families each year. If we were willing to do that, I think the Lord would open the way before us.

So there’s the challenge for those who want a challenge.

And for some, the potential blessing is what motivates people to serve. For instance I recently heard a man say that he can tell he served a great mission because he has a beautiful wife. So, for those who are interested in the blessings associated with sharing the gospel, I give the parable of the Mexicans.

For the past two years, I’ve worked at a restaurant. While there I’ve come to know and learn the stories of a few mexican workers. I’m sure they were there legally.

Two of them in particular impressed me. Both of them worked what amounted to two full-time jobs. Both of them worked hard all the time. Not taking a minute to sit and rest or to be a slacker. So, since they were both the most hard working employees we had, they were also the most highly paid employees we had. And of course, since they were highly paid, they made sure that they earned it.

One day I asked one of them, “Why do you work so much? Don’t you want to relax? What are you going to do with so much money?” The answer he gave me was that he was sending all his money home to Mexico – to his family. And they were saving it. In a couple more years he is going to go back to mexico, where he will live like a king for the rest of his life. With a mansion, servants, a car, and a well taken care of family. By the way, he’s 19.

I recently heard on a news show that the biggest income for Mexico is now money sent home by workers in the US. It’s even bigger than tourism. There are hundreds of mexicans who die in the arizona deserts trying to cross into the USA for a job, but they keep risking it every year. Thousands get turned back at the border. But they keep coming. Many get arrested and sent home, but they try to come back. Why? So they can work very hard for a few years, then cross the border and live in their mansions.

When you cross that border that we all will have to cross some day – and you return home to your father – will you find that you have given enough for Christ to build you a mansion? Will you have earned enough to make a home for an eternal family? There’s only one way to be sure. Keep working, every day to keep the commandments. Share the gospel at every opportunity. Become a strength to the church, not just another silent member.

I want to close with a reminder about the Love of Jesus Christ. It’s in Romans chapter eight.

Because, like I said, it all comes back to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is the greatest act of love ever performed. And it was done for you. So that you would have a way home. Because your Father and your elder brother love you.

Romans 8:35-39

Orginal comments:


Nickname: Edward_Nigma
Re: Talk of 2-8-04
Very Good Talk, I teach priesthood and I’m going to use your talk as an example of people using thier talents online for missionary work.

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