On New Year’s Day, President Russell M. Nelson shared the following message on social media:
When I spoke during last October’s general conference, I designated 2020 as a bicentennial period commemorating 200 years since God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith in a vision. That singular event in human history initiated the Restoration of the Lord’s gospel—an unfolding Restoration that continues today.
God loves all of His children and has a vision for each of us. Just as He listened to Joseph’s prayer in 1820, He listens to you and yearns to speak with you through the Spirit. We invite you to be a major part of sharing the message of the ongoing restoration of the Savior’s gospel. We will share more about this soon, but you can start today by acting on the invitations I extended to you at last general conference to immerse yourself in the glorious light of the Restoration.
You may wish to begin your preparation by reading afresh Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price. Or ponder important questions such as, “How would my life be different if my knowledge gained from the Book of Mormon were suddenly taken away?” or “How have the events that followed the First Vision made a difference for me and my loved ones?”
Select your own questions. Design your own plan. Act on any of these invitations to prepare yourself for sharing the important messages of the ongoing Restoration. It is your personal preparation that will help April’s general conference become for you not only memorable but also unforgettable. The time to act is now. This is a hinge point in the history of the Church, and your part is vital.
What ways to share the Restoration have come to mind? What have you already done?
Here are some ideas that came to my mind or that I noticed my friends doing to heed President Nelson’s invitation.
1. Share the Story of the Restoration with a Friend Who Hasn’t Heard It Before
This is an obvious fulfillment of President Nelson’s invitation to share the Restoration. But it doesn’t have to be an hour-long discussion with refreshments.
Sharing the message could be as quick and easy as telling the cashier why I was buying treats for a classroom of kids when I was subbing seminary class two weeks ago. She was impressed that teenagers got up to study the Gospel. And maybe the story sparks some curiosity for the next time she meets a member of the Church.
2. Share a Message of the Restoration on Social Media
Sharing on social media doesn’t need to be wordy or complicated. However the Holy Ghost directs you to share is the perfect way to share.
The day President Nelson issued his invitation, I saw my friend Cindy had already acted by posting a link to a video about the Restoration with her own invitation. Simple and effective.
3. Invite Your Ministering Families to Experience the Restoration
As my friend Kehau Woolsey prepared a Book of Mormon scripture journal to use as she studies “Come, Follow Me” this year, she felt prompted to make some for her ministering families. She’d purchased composition books when they were on sale and printed off pictures and text for the cover.
She provided a Book of Mormon reading guide as well as a copy of the Book of Mormon and Come, Follow Me manual. She printed off President Nelson’s invitation and included that in her handwritten invitation. She created a beautiful and thoughtful gift to share as she ministers with love.
Kehau provided a jumping-off point for her sisters to remember the impact the Restoration has had on their lives and an invitation to strengthen their faith.
4. Invite Your Class Members at Church to Pray About the Truthfulness of the Book of Mormon
My family had read the Book of Mormon several times when my primary teacher invited her class of 8-year-olds to follow Moroni’s admonition to pray and ask God if the Book of Mormon was true. I hadn’t ever actually knelt and asked Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon was true.
After church, I knelt on my bunk bed and determined I wouldn’t leave until I had an answer. I didn’t really know how the answer would come, but I knew it would.
“Dear Heavenly Father, My teacher said I needed to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon is true. Is it true?” I sat back and waited.
After several moments of waiting, I heard a voice say, “Yes. You already know it’s true, Delisa.” “OK, thanks!” I responded and jumped down to play.
I’ve experienced many answered prayers, but this one experience has influenced my life more than any other. Because of it, I knew the Lord would answer my prayer. I knew one way the Holy Ghost spoke to me. I knew I could ask questions, simple or complicated, and get answers.
When I’ve been struggling with faith or courage, the same voice comes to my mind — “You already know it’s true, Delisa” — and that answer brings great peace.
I’ve been steady in my faith in the Restoration because a primary teacher invited me to know about the truth of the Book of Mormon for myself.
Even if you’re not the official teacher, you can testify of the Restoration’s impact in your life and invite others to find out, too.
5. Hear the Missionaries Share the Story of the Restoration
They’d love to share the message of the Restoration in our homes to our family, friends, and those we minister to. You can also go with them as they share the message in your community. They’ll even visit your ministering families with you. Teaching with the missionaries is amazing!
6. Host a Book of Mormon Marathon for Kids and/or Family Members in Your Life
Looking for creative ways to get your teens into the Book of Mormon? My homeschooling mom friend, Roxanne Carlile, felt prompted to host a Book of Mormon Marathon at her house with kids in her homeschool coop. So last weekend, the teenagers met on Friday and Saturday and read the Book of Mormon together.
Roxanne prepped their reading schedule (and snacks) and planned for a 24-hour marathon, 12 hours on Friday and 12 hours on Saturday “to increase focus and avoid a co-ed sleepover.”
And they did it! How fun and unifying to read the whole Book of Mormon together! And how cool to know that you really can read the whole book in 24 hours! What a creative way to share the Restoration!
7. Share a Story of How You or a Family Member Were Impacted by the Restoration
The Restoration impacts our lives completely. Reading others’ stories of conversion can strengthen our own. Share your conversion story or a story of one of your ancestors’ conversion with others.
8. Give a picture of the First Vision to Children in your Family or a Primary Class
We are such visual people. Does your family have a favorite picture of the First Vision? Do you have a picture of the First Vision in your home?
One way to share the Restoration is to share the images of the Restoration. Give pictures to family members, friends, strangers, or even adopt a primary class and share with the children there.
9. Volunteer as a Church Service Missionary
Share the message of the ongoing Restoration as a church service missionary! There is a wide variety of service options to choose from with various weekly time commitments and durations of missionary service.
At 16, Elan Gandauli nearly died from cancer. After battling for several years, he is in remission now with a strong desire to serve the Lord. He’s representing the Lord and our stake as a church service missionary helping those who need assistance at the Bishop’s Storehouse. He serves there for several hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays and then serves in the temple on Saturdays.
Possible Church-service missions include:
Helping Members Live the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- Distribution Center retail stores
- Church headquarters hosting
- Meetinghouse maintenance, inspection, and repair
- Church media support
- Seminaries and institutes student recruitment and enrollment
- Technical support
Gathering Israel through Missionary Efforts
- Mission offices: administrative assistant, referral management, materials, office support
- Church media support
Caring for the Poor and Needy
- Addiction recovery
- Bishop’s storehouses
- Deseret Industries
- Employment resource centers
- Inner-city mission
Enabling the Salvation of the Dead
- Family history research
- Family history data specialist
- FamilySearch indexing
- FamilySearch support
10. Prepare to Share
President Nelson suggested that more specifics would be asked of us in the coming weeks.
Is sharing the Restoration difficult for you?
Prepare your heart to respond to the prophet’s directives by answering the questions or making a plan like President Nelson requested.
“You may wish to begin your preparation by reading afresh Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price. Or ponder important questions such as, “How would my life be different if my knowledge gained from the Book of Mormon were suddenly taken away?” or “How have the events that followed the First Vision made a difference for me and my loved ones?”
Select your own questions. Design your own plan. Act on any of these invitations to prepare yourself for sharing the important messages of the ongoing Restoration.”
Share your answers to his/your questions in your journal or to a friend or in Family Home Evening or a Sunday School class or on social media.
Do you have questions about aspects of the Restoration? This is the perfect time to find the answers to your questions! The Lord will pour out His Spirit on us as we heed the direction of His prophet.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.