A few days ago, I felt impressed that I needed to create a personal mission plan. I don’t remember how it all started, but when it came to me, I thought of the talk by Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, Hastening the Lord’s Game Plan. In that talk, he gave three suggestions for a personal mission plan that would be effective in bringing missionaries and members together in this monumental work. I thought they were an excellent place to start.
1. Pray specifically to bring someone closer to Jesus Christ and His Gospel every day
2. Pray for the missionaries in your area and their investigators by name every day.
– Greet them, look at their badge, call them by name, and ask them who they are teaching.
3. Invite a friend to activities in or out of your home. Wherever you go or whatever you do, ponder who might enjoy the occasion, and then listen to the Spirit as He directs you.
I added a bullet of my own after that, but I became really excited to start implementing these. I’ve been adding these to my prayers every day since. So far, the results have been beautiful.
But it’s that one about praying “specifically to bring someone closer to Jesus Christ and His Gospel every day” that seems to be getting me. These past two nights I’ve found myself at activities hosted by other Young Single Adult wards in the area. (Yes, we have an abundance of them.) Each night, I’ve prayed just prior to going in that I would be sensitive to notice someone in need. Each night, I’ve noticed someone on the outskirts of the activity with a darkened countenance. Each time, I’ve failed to act.
That’s hard. It’s easy enough to argue to the Lord later that it was a hard thing He had required of us. It’s a different matter entirely when you asked for the opportunity. I want to say that guilt wasn’t present as I reflected on these tonight; but sorrow was, as was worry and fear. This is a hard, sometimes ruthless world that we live in. Who knows where those two individuals were at in their lives at that moment. But even if the situation wasn’t dire, one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned from pondering the Savior’s crucifixion is that our Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to be alone.
These past two nights, I’ve been given opportunities to help some one person not feel alone. But I’ve had my own priorities or agendas. I wanted to meet people and make friends, which, in itself, isn’t a bad goal to have. Both nights, the people I’ve enjoyed spending time with were met outside of the time when I had that opportunity to help, and with plenty of time to spare. And how do I know it isn’t that person?
So, here’s my point.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Where is my love, and where is my loyalty? Am I willing to sacrifice my will for His? My time and my honor and comfort and pleasure, in order to feed one of His sheep?
“Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”