"There is no such things as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter." Doctrine and Covenants " 131:7-8
We will be the Lord's missionaries and bring the world His truth.
I suppose these thoughts and comments are similar to what was said about the early disciples of Christ. We aren't any different than the first followers of Christ in that we wish to share the glad tidings of great joy to all who will listen and even to those who don't want to be bothered. We are trying to gather God's family together to attend a great reunion some day. He wants everyone there, so they need the directions to guide them home. We are bringing them the GPS (or Sat Nav as it is called here) of the gospel.
Because people rejected and killed Jesus Christ and the Apostles, the priesthood authority to direct the affairs of the Church was lost. Revelation ceased and doctrine became corrupted. The Roman Empire, which at first persecuted the Christians, later adopted Christianity. They formed councils that settled important religious questions. Jesus Christ's simple teachings were debated and changed to conform to worldly philosophies (see Isaiah 24:5). People gradually accepted false teachers who taught pleasing doctrines rather than divine truth (Timothy 4:3-4).
People cannot be faulted for believing false creeds and doctrines. They worship according to what they know, yet they deserve the right to know truth and be able to make choices on whether they want to follow in traditions established upon things created by man or to embrace that which is restored by God.
The early reformers knew something was wrong with the religious teachings of the day and they tried to realigned the churches closer to what they knew was true. The reformation movement was a step towards finding truth. It was necessary to introduce change, but reformation only changed that which already existed. If what existed was not correct, then only a total restoration could bring Christ's Church back to its original form. As evidence that a full restoration was needed, it is interesting to review briefly what some major reformers and world religious leaders taught. I will ever be grateful for these wise, courageous men, some even giving their lives as Joseph Smith did, in bringing forth gospel light again into the world.
John Wycliffe, in the 14th century in England, taught that there was no priesthood keys in any church and the Holy Eucharist (or sacrament) was not the actual body and blood of Christ. He believed the church should not exercise political power over the people. He translated the Bible into English.
Martin Luther (1483-1546) nailed 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in defiance of many current teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, including the practice of having people pay money to be forgiven of their sins. He stated: "I have sought nothing beyond reforming the church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures . . . I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it." Luther and His Times, p. 509
William Tyndale (1494-1536) translated the New Testament into English. He made the scriptures available to the common people and exposed the false doctrines and corruption of religious leaders. He was executed for his work to bring forth truth to the people.
John Wesley (1703-1791) stated: "We seldom hear of them [most likely referring to Christians, disciples, and Apostles] after that fatal period when the Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian (appointed himself head of the church) . . . The real reason why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit were no longer to be found in the Christian Church was because the Christians were turned Heathen again and had only a dead form left [of religion]." Wesley's Works, vol. 7, sermon 89, pp87-89. Wesley was an Anglican Cleric and Christian theologian who founded the Methodist religion.
Roger Williams (1603-1683): "There is no regularly constituted church on earth, nor any person authorized to administer any church ordinance, nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking." Picturesque America, p. 502. He was an American Protestant theologian who founded the first Baptist church and later left it to become a Seeker, which was a forerunner of the Quakers that considered all organised churches of their day corrupt and thus preferred to wait for God's revelation.
Because Elder Blain and I know Christ's living Church is on the earth today, led by a prophet and apostles, we know we cannot sit at home forever and watch NCIS and sports. We cannot spend all of our time pursuing pleasurable recreational and cultural activities. There is nothing wrong with things other than Church-related activity, but there are times when the Spirit nudges us with the reminder there are things of an eternal nature that need doing as well. Thus, we are found on this mission trying to emulate a plea that good 'ole John Wesley has printed on his headstone in Wroot, England, which reads:
"Lord, let me not live to be useless."
We know there will be many places to see, things to study, history unveiled, and marvelous things to do in the hereafter if we don't get around to doing it all during this lifetime. There is time enough in eternity to do all we ever desired and more. At present, in this short expanse we call earth life, we feel we need to focus on being missionaries and be about our Father's business. When we return home, we shall be about His business in a different way spending time with family once again and serving in the Church in other ways.
What payoff do we receive for our work here in England? Obviously, concentrating 24-7 on studying and teaching the gospel brings us closer to God and deepens our spiritual knowledge and individual growth. but getting to know Heavenly Father's children is the greatest joy and blessing. Oh, how He and the Savior loves every single person on earth! That deep feeling of respect and love He allows us to feel for His children as they cross our path is our testimony that He truly does want all of us back home to live with Him again someday.