The Truth of God Will Go Forth

Reading: “The Truth of God Shall Go Forth,” Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 2008 General Conference, Sunday Morning Session

In the past couple of weeks the Mormon church has gotten a lot of bad press.  First of all, the success of proposition 8 in California, which clearly would not have passed were it not for the efforts of the church, has led many to protest the church’s involvement.  Second, the Jewish coalition to remove victims of the holocaust from the records of the church recently broke off talks and made a public statement demanding the church stop all proxy work for the dead.

When we see the church we hold so dear being criticized so strongly by those who disagree with us, it can be upsetting.  However, Elder Ballard’s talk speaks of hope in spite of persecution.  In his talk he outlines the growth of the church, even in times when we were much more hated and desipised than we are now. Nothing will stop the work of God, as he says:

God has spoken through His prophet and announced to the world that “the Standard of Truth has been erected” and that “no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing.” That is undeniably and indisputably true. We have seen it for ourselves, in decade after decade, from the time of the Prophet Joseph Smith to the time of President Thomas S. Monson. Persecutions have raged. Calumny and lies and misrepresentation have attempted to defame. But in every decade from the time of the Restoration forward, the truth of God has gone “forth boldly, nobly, and independent.” The little Church that started in 1830 with just a handful of members has now grown to more than 13 million Latter-day Saints in many different nations around the world, and we are well on our way to penetrating every continent, visiting every clime, sweeping every country, and sounding in every ear.

While it would be too lengthy to repeat, I found the history of the growth of the church to be very inspiring and would encourage you to go read it.

Elder Ballard ended his talk asking members to continue to live the gospel, and to rise to the challenges of our day and time.  He says,

he Lord isn’t asking us to load up a handcart; He’s asking us to fortify our faith. He isn’t asking us to walk across a continent; He’s asking us to walk across the street to visit our neighbor. He isn’t asking us to give all of our worldly possessions to build a temple; He’s asking us to give of our means and our time despite the pressures of modern living to continue to build temples and then to attend regularly the temples already built. He isn’t asking us to die a martyr’s death; He’s asking us to live a disciple’s life.

I cannot think of a specific thing I can do today, other than generally living the gospel, that directly pertains to missionary work.  However, this talk did remind me that President Monson specifically asked us as a church to pray for missionary work to be able to go into countries where it is not currently welcome.  So, today I am going to once again put that in my prayers, and hope to remember to do so in the future.

What can you do to help the church continue to grow, as Elder Ballard says?

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