So this is what we did.
We dropped about 50 investigators and all of our baptismal dates except for one. We are doing it the way the Lord wants us to. We are called to build faith in an area as a whole. We have a large congregation of 800 members on the ward roster. Constantly the Prophets and Apostles in these days have stressed the importance of member missionary work. Imagine what would happen in Midwest City if half of the members (400) found 1 new person for the missionary's to teach in their home? Is that too much for God to ask? Imagine what would happen if members worldwide would simply pray and ask God to show them 1 person a year who has been prepared? I am tired of hearing from other people that the only friends they have are members and that's why they can't do missionary work. How on earth do you think you will be able to come to know God, if you don't even know His children. "For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same."(Luke 6:32-33) It's easy to be friends with people who already have your beliefs, values and interests but "what thank have ye?". Recently a general authority said this..."We don't know the Master because we don't know His children". Think about it. Reach out, branch out and be social. Let your light shine. Let me explain why.
The word Atonement is derived from the english language. It has no latin or greek roots. It literally means "At-one-ment" suggesting a putting "at one". That is the purpose of the Atonement. The Atonement of Jesus Christ cleanses us from the effects of sin and naturally changes our very natures so that we become more like Jesus Christ so that we can someday be "at-one" with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father We know that God and Jesus Christ are perfect and encompass all the Godly and Christ-like attributes that we so diligently work towards such as love, patience, mercy, and compassion etc...but for what purpose? Why do they have all of those perfect and Godly attributes? Moses 1:39 teaches us that God's WHOLE purpose is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man". God is the way He is so that He can accomplish those two purposes. He encompasses all the traits and characteristics of love, grace, mercy, patience, truth (etc) because He wants to bring us back into His presence. He wants to give His children eternal life, the life He lives. He wants to "draw us back" by the way His very nature is. We can only do that through His Son Jesus Christ and His Atonement. in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 17:20-21)
If we are to be "at-one" with God and be "saved", our WHOLE lives must eventually be completely aligned and focused on His purpose, which is "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man". The Atonement cleanses us from sin so that our natures can be changed to be more like His. Jesus Christ did this for only one purpose and that is so that He could "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" or in other words "accomplish the will of His Father". We cannot be saved ourselves if we are not engaged in the work of salvation. This is the lesson God wants to teach us. If you do not like doing missionary work, or you just don't have time for it, or you think it is uncomfortable you need to have more experiences with the Atonement. When the Atonement works in our lives, our purposes naturally change to become the purposes of God. What evidence do you have that the Atonement is working in your life? What are you doing "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"?
Love you guys. :)
Elder Dallin Cutler