When two disciples of John the Baptist asked Jesus where He lived, He responded with an invitation: “Come and see” (John 1:39). Some time later, Nathanael responded to Philip’s enthusiasm about Jesus with skepticism. “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” he asked. Philip answered with the same invitation: “Come and see” (John 1:46).
An effective teacher not only answers questions but also helps students find their own answers. In Lehi’s dream, after partaking of the fruit which “filled [his] soul with exceedingly great joy,” Lehi beckoned to his family and “did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come…and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit” (1 Nephi 8:12, 15). He didn’t just want to tell them about his experience; he wanted them to experience the joy for themselves!
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has suggested two additional invitations we can add to the one made by Jesus and Philip. He encouraged us to invite people to “come and see, come and help, and come and stay” (“Missionary Work: Sharing What Is in Your Heart,” General Conference, April 2019). In a subsequent talk, he modified the third invitation from “come and stay” to “come and belong” (“Come and Belong,” General Conference, April 2020).
I love those three types of invitation:
- “Come and see” shows respect for the ability of the other person to experience what you have experienced and to evaluate it appropriately.
- “Come and help” appeals to people’s natural desire to serve and helps them play an active role instead of being passive observers.
- “Come and belong” expresses a willingness to include the individual in your group and treat them as an equal member.
Today, I will look for opportunities to extend invitations. Particularly when I am asked a question, I will look for ways to help the questioner experience the answer for themselves.
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