In 1837, Thomas B. Marsh was concerned about the state of the Church. In Missouri, church members had been driven from their homes. In Ohio, many members and even church leaders were becoming disaffected. As president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Thomas must have felt a deep desire to help curb the chaos and a frustration at his inability to do so. (See Kay Darowski, “The Faith and Fall of Thomas Marsh,” Revelations in Context.)
Joseph Smith received a revelation on Thomas’s behalf in which the Lord counseled him to (1) be of good cheer and (2) bear record of His name. The Lord reaffirmed that the responsibility to share the gospel was continuous:
Contend thou, therefore, morning by morning; and day after day let thy warning voice go forth; and when the night cometh let not the inhabitants of the earth slumber, because of thy speech.Doctrine and Covenants 112:5
The phrase “let not the inhabitants of the earth slumber” is reminiscent of some imagery used by Isaiah to describe the gathering of Israel. Referring to the people who would carry out the gathering, He said:
None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:Isaiah 5:27, 2 Nephi 15:26-27
At least twice in the Book of Mormon, we read about prophets whose desire to share the gospel overshadowed their desire for sleep:
- After Alma met with each of his sons, they went out to preach. “And Alma, also, himself, could not rest, and he also went forth” (Alma 43:1).
- “Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him. For he did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun” (Ether 12:2-3).
Elder Marcus B. Nash has encouraged us to fulfill our responsibility to share the gospel. Here is his specific invitation:
Share the gospel. Be you and hold up the light. Pray for heaven’s help and follow spiritual promptings. Share your life normally and naturally; invite another person to come and see, to come and help, and to come and belong. And then rejoice as you and those you love receive the promised blessings.“Hold Up Your Light,” General Conference, October 2021
Today I will share the gospel continuously and naturally. I will strive to be authentic and not hold back from sharing what matters most to me and inviting others to learn more.