The Lord told Isaiah to preach the gospel whole-heartedly, holding nothing back. “Cry aloud,” He said, “spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet” (Isaiah 58:1). In another passage, he instructs the children of Israel to prepare for massive growth and prosperity:
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakesIsaiah 54:2
The Hebrew phrase translated “spare not” in these passages—‘al-tabsok (אל־תחשך)—appears in other translations as “don’t hold back” or “don’t be timid.” (See Isaiah 58:1 and Isaiah 54:2 on biblehub.com.)
When the Savior visited the American continent following His death and resurrection, He quoted the second of these passages to the people gathered at the temple in Bountiful. (See 3 Nephi 22:2.)
Multiple times in modern revelation, the Lord has reiterated his admonition to “spare not” when it comes to preaching the gospel:
- To Ezra Thayer and Northrop Sweet: “Yea, open your mouths and spare not, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your backs, for lo, I am with you” (Doctrine and Covenants 33:9).
- To Orson Pratt: “Lift up your voice and spare not, for the Lord God hath spoken” (Doctrine and Covenants 34:10).
- To church leaders in Ohio: “Lift up your voices and spare not. Call upon the nations to repent, both old and young, both bond and free, saying: Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord” (Doctrine and Covenants 43:20).
- To a group of recently returned missionaries: “Search diligently and spare not” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:94).
- To William Law: “Let my servant William cry aloud and spare not, with joy and rejoicing, and with hosannas to him that sitteth upon the throne forever and ever, saith the Lord your God” (Doctrine and Covenants 124:101).
I think the Lord’s position on this topic is clear. His message is so important that He wants His servants to share it openly and with conviction. He wants us to be all in—to overcome any reservations or nervousness that might prevent us from committing fully to His work. He wants us not to hold back.
Today, I will “spare not” in the work God has asked me to do. I will reach out to others with confidence that God will help me do His work. I will not be timid in fulfilling my divinely-given responsibilities.