March: Matthew 9-10; Mark 5 and Luke 9
I don’t know if I want to know my future. If I knew that my future was full of pain and suffering, I don’t know if it would make my future easier or harder. Personally, I would worry too much about how much the future would hurt or how bad it would really be.
Become a Missionary No Matter What
The Savior prophesied to His disciples about how His servants would be treated after He was gone, and his description was not a pretty picture. The Lord told His apostles to be missionaries and bear the testimony that He is the Christ to the world. They were supposed to be missionaries with no purse or script and rely on the goodness of the people in the towns they visit. If people did not help them or let them into their towns, the apostles were to dust the feet off their feet. He also told them that bearing their testimonies of Jesus Christ to the world would have dire consequences.
Luke 9:1-5 “And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. An whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.”
These experiences were similar to missionaries’ experiences at the beginning of our dispensation. In latter-day revelation, missionaries are supposed to do the same things: (1) go without purse and script, (2) seek out people who will care for them, and (3) dust off their feet for people who would not help them. The missionaries are also told to judge righteously. Dusting off our feet as missionaries would be a judgement that we should make sure to judge righteously.
But there is hope! The Lord also told his missionaries: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell… Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, he will I also confess before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:28, 32)
Receiving a Prophet
The Lord continued to give the apostles hope by telling them that those who listen and help them will be rewarded and by losing their life, they are finding their life. “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.” (Matthew 10:39-40).
The gift of receiving a prophet, especially our prophet today, can change our lives. “A prophet does not stand between you and the Savior. Rather, he stands beside you and points the way to the Savior.”[i] General Conference is coming up this April. How will we receive the prophet into our home? My friend, Stephanie Sorenson, calls it her favorite holiday. How do we see General Conference? Is it with excitement or dread?
How much I love our dear prophet. He called my husband, Steve, to be a stake president and then he and his wife, Wendy, visited us when we served as mission leaders in Brazil. I can testify that he is a prophet of God.
Elder Neil L. Andersen bore a similar testimony in April General Conference 2018: “The Prophet of God” Most would acknowledge his wisdom and judgment: nine decades of learning about life and death, living unselfishly, loving and teaching God’s children in every corner of the globe, and maturing with the experiences of having 10 children, 57 grandchildren, and 118 great-grandchildren (this last number changes frequently; a great-grandson was born only this past Wednesday).”[ii] As we receive the words and example of this great man, we will be blessed for our faith in the prophet’s words as Pres. Nelson tells us the words of Christ for us today.
[i][i][i] Neal L. Andersen, “The Prophet of God,” GC April 2018.
[ii][ii][ii] Neal L. Andersen, “The Prophet of God,” GC April 2018.