A few years ago, I had the responsibility to recruit some volunteers to help a family move between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Knowing that it was a time of year when people are spending time with their families, and being somewhat self-conscious about making this request on short notice, I emphasized the negative aspects of the request on my first few phone calls. “I know it’s a busy time of year,” I said, “and I realize that you have family in town, but this family could really use your help.” Predictably, no one responded well to that invitation. They all had plans and were unable to help. Finally, I decided to change my approach. I opened a call with these words: “Do I have a Christmas service opportunity for you!” Perhaps this good friend would have accepted the invitation anyway, but I think it made a difference that I emphasized the positive.
Three times in 1829 and 1830, the Lord instructed people to declare His gospel “with the sound of rejoicing” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:37, 28:16, 29:4). Since the word “gospel” means “good news,” it makes sense that we would share it with joy and enthusiasm.
The angel who appeared to King Benjamin said, “The Lord…hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy” (Mosiah 3:4).
Alma asked Korihor, “What doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?” (Alma 30:34)
And listen to the enthusiasm in this invitation from Isaiah:
With a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter to the end of the earth; say ye: The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.Isaiah 48:20, 1 Nephi 20:20
Here’s how Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf describes what we need to communicate:
What a glorious message we have to share: because of Jesus Christ, every man, woman, and child can return home safely to their heavenly home and there dwell in glory and righteousness!
There is even more good news to share.
God has appeared to man in our day! We have a living prophet.“Your Great Adventure,” General Conference, October 2019
Elder Uchtdorf suggested that we extend three invitations to our friends:
- “Come and see! Find out for yourself how walking the path of discipleship will be rewarding and ennobling.”
- “Come and help, as we try to make the world a better place.”
- “Come and stay!… Join with us, and you will make us better. And, in the process, you will become better as well. Let’s take this adventure together.”
Today, I will share the gospel with “the sound of rejoicing.” I will focus my attention on the truths which inspire and empower me and which give me hope. I will extend invitations to others with optimism, emphasizing the joy they will feel as they act in accordance with the teachings of the Savior.