Notwithstanding Their Hardness, Let Us Labor Diligently – Moroni 9:4-6

4 Behold, I am laboring with them continually; and when I speak the word of God with sharpness they tremble and anger against me; and when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it; wherefore, I fear lest the Spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them.
5 For so exceedingly do they anger that it seemeth me that they have no fear of death; and they have lost their love, one towards another; and they thirst after blood and revenge continually.
6 And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.

Missionary work can be difficult. Most missionaries become accustomed to hearing people say “no,” over and over again. As much as we’d like to reduce the risk of failure and avoid the sting of rejection, there is no way around the fact that we are taking a risk every time we invite someone to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But as Mormon teaches his son Moroni in the passage above, our obligation to share the gospel is not dependent on the likely response of the people around us. Even though Mormon and Moroni lived in a time of extreme wickedness and rampant antagonism to the gospel, they were still under obligation, like all disciples of Christ, to stand as witnesses of God until the end of their lives. Even though Mormon’s attempts to teach using different styles and techniques had all failed, he was still duty-bound to continue to try. “Notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently,” he said. 
Why would the Lord ask that of us? The obvious reason is because we never know when a person’s heart will change. A loved one who was previously uninterested in the gospel or even firmly opposed to it may eventually be willing to accept an invitation if we make it clear that the invitation is always there. Another reason is given by Mormon at the end of the passage: because fulfilling our duty to share the gospel is an integral part of our salvation. As we struggle and experience the humbling realities of missionary work, we become stronger, we overcome our own weaknesses and faults, and we invite the grace of God into our hearts which uplifts and sanctifies us.
Today, I will remember Mormon’s admonition to his son. I will not allow fear of rejection to keep me from sharing the gospel with the people around me. I will try different approaches, as Mormon did. But if one approach doesn’t work, I will not stop trying. I will not give up. I will remember that my obligation to share the gospel is not dependent on the reaction of the people around me.
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