Yorkshire England, United Kingdom
I shall always be in his debt that he got down to writing some things that he knew would be useful to us in our time.
His last words constitute a handbook for church members. That dividend is too significant for us to pass it by with little thought. It is true that some things it contains have been revealed to us again, probably just to be sure. Yet, I asked, what would I miss most from his words if the Lamanites had caught up with him before he had written this?
Reading, re-reading, and separating the details of his legacy into discrete elements, I eventually settled on one verse that spoke with serene authority:
“And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.” –Moroni 6.4
Thinking about the import of this passage and its dynamic content, I was forced to conclude that it contained nothing that is not available elsewhere, at least as far as its principles are concerned.
Directions to keep good records, visit the saints in their homes, and care for them are not hard to find in the canon of latter-day revelations, but Moroni, in a single passage, set down his prescription for strengthening and perfecting the saints in a form that is direct and memorable.
As missionaries with assignments in the Church Educational System, Gay and I adopted this inspired counsel as our Liahona. For the thousand or so young people to whom we were appointed ministers, we had the method and the practice, the administering and the ministering particulars, the foundation and the system in what we came to regard as ‘Moroni’s Blessing.’
Church membership rolls make numbering and naming relatively easy. Relatively, because, as Moroni’s forbears complainingly remind us, record keeping can be laborious and is sometimes a neglected duty and when that happens, important people, our members, can be lost.
Numbering and naming refers to the process by which all members of the Church can be known though constantly refining and verifying Ward Membership records. Even when records are correct and up to date, it is still relatively easy for young people to slip quietly away. As one bishop said, “Young single adults don’t squeak.”
Close on the administrative task of correcting membership records comes the ministering work through which the silent lost are remembered and brought back into the minds of ward and stake leaders and officers.
It was interesting and encouraging to witness acts of remembering when we sat in meetings with leaders into whose special care the young have been placed.
The act of remembering is a miracle promised by the Saviour when he promised that the Holy Ghost would bring all things to our remembrance …
Our remembrance is miraculously ecphoriated when we prayerfully review the lists of those who need our remembrance to secure their temporal and spiritual salvation. And unless we remember them, we cannot initiate the final act of ministry for which all that has preceded it is the preparation.
Unless we know who and where they are and know where they are and also where they are at in their lives then we cannot begin to nourish them with the good word of God.
The nourishment of which Moroni wrote is that which
“… inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.” –Moroni 7:13
To those who walk in the paths that lie outside the gospel’s ways, inviting and enticing lost souls back into the fold begins with befriending and fellowshipping, and these acts of love are followed with sincere invitations to enjoy the company and sociability of good Latter-day saints.
This then leads to their receiving invitations and encouragement to return to church worship services culminating in their participation in the inspired programmes of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To those whose active participation is less than complete, the invitations are to become fully committed to participate in programmes from which at present they are missing.
They are all to be invited and encouraged to come unto Christ and be perfected in him by taking part in institute classes, quality social activities, much needed service projects, serving full time missions, and marrying a choice companion for time and eternity in the House of the Lord.
We are indebted to Moroni for the rule that empowers us to be Saviours on Mount Zion for these precious souls. Who knows how many prized souls will be saved through the saving of just one of these?
And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! –D&C 18:16
“You can work them back, you can persuade them back, but you can not forget them back!”
Will you hear and respond to the call by remembering and nourishing them? Someone’s life depends on our numbering, naming, remembering, and nourishing.