Invite

The Savior has introduced Himself multiple times with a variation of the following statement:

I came unto my own, and my own received me not.

3 Nephi 9:16 (See also Doctrine and Covenants 6:21, 10:57, 11:29, 39:3, 45:8.)

He knows what it is like to be rejected by the very people He is trying to help. He offers us valuable gifts, but He doesn’t try to force us to receive them.

Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.

Alma 5:33

He is inclusive with His invitations:

He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him.

2 Nephi 26:33

But it is entirely up to them to decide whether to accept His guidance and receive the associated blessings.

When He gave a difficult commandment to members of the church in 1830, He explained:

Inasmuch as my people shall assemble themselves at the Ohio, I have kept in store a blessing such as is not known among the children of men, and it shall be poured forth upon their heads.

Doctrine and Covenants 39:15

He clearly hoped they would follow this instruction. Nevertheless, He emphasized to Joseph Smith that, while it was the right thing to do, it was up to each member whether they would do it: “Behold, here is wisdom, and let every man choose for himself” (Doctrine and Covenants 37:4).

Commenting on this passage, Elder Neil L. Andersen explained that we should follow the example of Jesus Christ by inviting others to come unto Him while respecting their decisions:

To those who show an interest in our conversations, we can follow the Savior’s example by inviting them to “come and see.” Some will accept our invitation, and others will not. We all know someone who has been invited several times before accepting an invitation to “come and see….”

We respect each person’s choice and timing. The Lord said, “Let every man choose for himself.” A person’s lack of interest need not diminish our bonds of friendship and love.

It’s a Miracle,” General Conference, April 2013

Today I will invite others to do good. I will focus less on how they are likely to react and more on ensuring that my invitations are in harmony with the will of God.

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