Have you ever wondered why you were born at this time in the history of the world, why you are living here in Canada, and why you have the privilege of being acquainted with the gospel of Jesus Christ?
In a vision shown to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 3, 1918, the prophet saw the spirit world, that place where we go after this life. Among other things, he saw were:
'…the Prophet Joseph Smith, and my father, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and other choice spirits who were reserved to come forth in the fullness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work,…“I observed that they were also among the noble and great ones who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God. “Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.” (Doctrine & Covenants 138:53, 55 & 56)
It was not a coincidence that those great men were born at that time in the history of the world, just as it is no coincidence that we are born at this time. We were reserved because God has a great work for us to do in the establishment of His kingdom upon the earth.
In October 2010 General Conference, speaking to the young people of the Church, President Thomas S. Monson said, “Every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty—an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much. Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. Keep yourselves clean and pure and worthy to represent the Lord. … Sisters: while you do not have the same priesthood responsibility as do the young men to serve as full-time missionaries, you also make a valuable contribution as missionaries, and we welcome your service” (“The Lord Needs Missionaries,” Ensign, January 2011).
What a privilege our young people have! They were reserved to be born in the fullness of times, to be acquainted with the eternal Gospel; they were prepared for these days and received from God the mission to build up His kingdom. Therefore, let us not be surprised with the Lord’s revelation to Joseph Smith in Section 31 of the Doctrine and Covenants, filled with optimism and promised blessings:
“Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation.
You shall declare the things which have been revealed to my servant, Joseph Smith, Jun. You shall begin to preach from this time forth, yea, to reap in the field which is white already to be burned.
Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live.
Behold, verily I say unto you, go from them only for a little time, and declare my
word, and I will prepare a place for them.
Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand” (D&C 31: 3-4, 5-7).
Yes, we ought to rejoice in the privilege of being able to serve the Lord at this time anywhere in the world, especially here in Canada. And we rejoice also because He promises us great blessings as we do so, such as our tongues being loosed, forgiveness for sins committed, many baptisms (our backs laden with sheaves), life for our families and a place prepared for them, as well as the establishment of the Church through us. What magnificent promises!
As we consider that we have waited thousands of years for this day and privilege, and as we realize how much it is that God still desires to bless us with because of our willingness to serve Him, we must lift up our hearts and rejoice tremendously because the hour of our mission is come!
I have been richly blessed as a result of serving a mission and I feel in my heart that it is because I hearkened to His voice when He called me. To tell the truth, I think the same thing will happen to all those who accept a call to serve Him by the same manner. I pray that each young man will give ear to the Lord’s call to serve and will rejoice at this privilege. I hope that the sisters who may desire to serve will know that they “make a valuable contribution.” May each father and mother rejoice with their children who desire to serve the Lord on a mission, and may they all be blessed greatly by our Heavenly Father because of this service.