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The Joy of Inviting Others to Come to Christ

The Joy of Inviting Others to Come to Christ
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By Elder Axel H. Leimer, Germany
Area Seventy


Area Seventy

More than 29 years ago a good friend of mine shared his beliefs about the Savior with me.  We were both working as waiters in an upscale Denver restaurant.  My friend Tony always worked at the restaurant during his semester breaks to support his young family.

Tony’s reputation was well established among our co-workers.  He was hardworking, reliable, and lived by a strict moral code.  Often he would defend his beliefs and way of life to colleagues in conversations.  He was open, upbeat, never defensive, and obviously was very comfortable with the decisions he had made in his life.  After I had asked him several questions about his beliefs, he invited me to come to his family’s home for a discussion.  He told me that the missionaries could better answer my questions.  This invitation changed my life. 

Tony recently described the joy he had felt when he was able to share the gospel with me those many years ago.  Yet, I cannot begin to count the blessings, which have come to me as a result of Tony’s willingness to share his testimony. 

We often hear talks about the joy we will feel if we bring souls unto Christ.  This joy comes from the Spirit that binds our experience to that of the receiver as he or she comes to know the Savior.  This bond of love is one of the great miracles of sharing the gospel.  And in the process of sharing, the joy and blessings are multiplied many times over.

True joy can be described as “a condition of great happiness coming from righteous living.“ [1] The joy we experience through the gospel is more enduring than any worldly fun.  It is a joy no one can take away from us.[2]

The Savior identifies Himself as the source of joy and clearly connects it to the keeping of His commandments, His love for us and our love for one another: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”[3]

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True Christian joy requires love for our neighbour as the only acceptable motive for missionary work.  Elder John K. Carmack spoke of this love as something that can neither be purchased nor forced. “Our method is to ‘persuade, … and bless with wisdom, love, and light, … but never force the human mind.’  [4] [5] He described it as a unifying love that is coupled with our testimonies.

I can express my love for the Savior, who is the source of my joy, by sharing the gospel with others.  Love must ever be the motivation for missionary work.

If the purpose of mortal life is for all people to have joy, then all should receive an invitation to come unto Christ.[6]

Because this joy, which follows an invitation to come unto Christ, multiplies between the giver and the receiver, it is perhaps one of the greatest forces for good in this world. It is indeed the one gift befitting true friendship and love.  Inviting others to come unto Christ, and thereby opening the door for them to eternal blessings, is the truest act of Christianity and proof of our love for one another.  How can we not follow the Lord’s invitation to invite all to come unto Christ?[7]

While my joy, as one who was invited to come unto Christ, continues to grow, it is further multiplied with every testimony and invitation I share.  May I invite you too, to bless someone’s life through a simple invitation.

 


[1] A Guide to the Scriptures

[2] John 16:22

[3] John 15:10 - 12

[4] Hymn 240: ‚Know This, That Every Soul Is Free’

[5] United in Love and Testimony, Elder John K. Carmack, Liahona, July 2001

[6] 2 Ne 2:22 - 25

[7] D&C 20:59