Elder Massimo De Feo, Italy
When my wife and I were being interviewed for our current calling, she asked, “What is our main responsibility?” The answer was direct and revelatory. “You are missionaries.” Those simple words made me think deeply about the true nature of each calling.
Each time we receive a calling, generally we limit our service to the model we use to define our calling. In other words, a quorum president thinks that his responsibility is primarily towards the Elders of his quorum. A primary leader focuses on children, and so it happens in all other callings. But truly all callings have a common foundation, a calling within the calling, in fact, the true calling.
calling within the calling
The Lord helps us understand this principle. “Wherefore, I, the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained? To preach my Gospel” (D&C 50:13-14). The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “After all that has been said, [our] greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel” (Joseph Smith, HC 2:478). Therefore, regardless of the calling which we are set apart for, or of the priesthood office which we are ordained to, the “true” calling for each one of us is to preach the Gospel. Thus a Seventy is a missionary, as also is a Stake president, a Bishop, and every member of the Church. We are all called to be missionaries, because indeed that is the true nature of all callings in the Kingdom of God.
“Wherefore, I, the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained? To preach my Gospel” (D&C 50:13-14).
“After all that has been said, [our] greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel” (Joseph Smith, HC 2:478).
The Lord decided to hasten the work of salvation in our day. Everywhere we look around us, in the wards and stakes of Zion in Europe, we witness miracles in the conversion of many who are accepting the Gospel joyfully and faithfully. Many are even spontaneously asking to join the kingdom of God through baptism. I am still moved as I remember the powerful testimony a good sister bore at a conference. She spoke of how she had felt a desire to help a neighbor who was not able to care for herself due to an accident. As she helped her, she saw many others visiting the home, including some young Americans. When she asked who all those people were, she was told that they were members of this woman’s Church and that the Americans were missionaries. When the member of the Church later approached her neighbor to ask her how she could repay her for her generous help the woman simply told her, “I don’t want money or gifts, but there is one thing you can do for me, if you really want to thank me . . . let me meet your missionaries . . .” She was baptized a week later, and her husband and son were also baptized shortly afterwards. The Lord had prepared an entire family to join the church.
This is a time of miracles. The Lord is preparing the hearts of our friends, our relatives, and our neighbors, like never before. If we understand the true nature of our callings, our efforts will be magnified and multiplied. On my mission I taught the Gospel to a young man who served a mission while I was still a missionary myself. I never would have imagined I would teach the Gospel to a young man who would also as a missionary affect the lives of many, just like his children after him, and my children after me, like a spiritual chain with no end. Ultimately, we cannot even imagine the eternal significance of what we do as missionaries.
Ammon focused his missionary efforts on one family, that of king Lamoni, and the blessings reached out to an entire nation (Alma 19:36). So it can be for us today in this day of miracles, if we only open our mouths. May we understand the true nature of our calling as missionaries, the true calling within the calling, knowing that the hearts of many have been prepared, and that the Lord will bless our efforts and will multiply our influence in the eternities. We are all called to be missionaries. Now is the time to accomplish His work. “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36).
“Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6:36).