Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Talk: Three We Are Responsible Of

This is my home coming talk. I had returned from my mission to Sweden on the Wednesday prior to the meetings on Sunday.

Brothers and sisters,

Already a year ago I discussed with my missionary companion about what would we say in our home coming talks. This discussion took place on our way home from the last lesson of the evening. We had visited a less-active brother, helping him to figure out his faith and conviction.

Together with my companion we ended up to a simple message with three items. Of these I'd like to talk now.

1. Let's take good care of our home teaching assignments
2. Let's explain the gospel
3. Let's live according to the gospel

1. Let's Take Good Care of Our Home Teaching Assignments

At the concluding interview my mission president told me of the following when he served a bishop. Every home teaching companionship had several elderly sisters to take care of. Visiting percentage was not the highest. A comment along the lines of the following was made by one of the leaders in a priesthood meeting.

"Next time when you visit sister so and so (lonely, age 75+), you may consider to start by asking: "Sister so and so, now that it has been about a month of our last visit, would you tell how have you survived alone this whole month?"

So why do we home teach?

Point, which my mission president wanted me to understand was, that where a need is found, there we visit often. Home and visiting teaching are the easiest and clearest way to fulfill our baptismal covenant:

...and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;  Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in...

(Book of Mormon, Mosiah 18:8-9)

Where the work is done well, there the Lord will send his children to hear the message of the restored gospel.

2. Let's Explain the Gospel

New members and many of the less- or in-active brothers and sisters are confused and unsure. Let us not be afraid of questions. People need answers. If we do not know, it is perfectly okay to say "I don't know, let's ask someone who knows". Let's guide each other in order to grow together on the ways of the gospel.

Reading from Ephesians chapter four. Paul teaches the members of the Church about the responsibilities of leaders and teachers. These verses are applicable to us too. We all do have a responsibility to teach and guide each other. Verses 11-16...

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

(The Holy Bible KJV, New Testament 4:11-16)

3. Let's Live According to the Gospel

In the days of Alma the younger (a prophet in the ancient Americas) the way how the members of the Church lived  became a stumbling block and a hinder for many in joining the Church. In the Scriptures Isaiah teaches that Zion should rise from the dust and put on her beautiful clothes.

Christ spoke of His followers as the light of the world. Of the pharisees he spoke as hypocrites. Let us take care that we are in the group Christ called the light of the world.

Light casts away the dark.
Light clarifies.
Light gives warmth.
Light gives life.
Light guides.
Light shows the truth clearly.

Let us be an uplifting force in this world. Someone once told he felt he had failed if one could not see without saying that he was a disciple of Christ. Christ meant His Church as a place where the children of God could come and find a way home

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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