`BE DOERS, NOT HEARERS ONLY'
FULFILL CHURCH'S MISSION, PROPHET URGES
SHARE GOSPEL AT HOME, ON MISSIONS
PRAY, STUDY SCRIPTURES
RECEIVE AND PROVIDE TEMPLE BLESSINGSIn remarks read at the close of conference Sunday afternoon, President Ezra Taft Benson urged Church members to prayerfully consider specific ways they as families and individuals can accomplish the mission of the Church: "to invite all to come unto Christ."
President Thomas S. Monson, who conducted the session, announced that President Gordon B. Hinckley would read President Benson's address because the prophet was "feeling a bit weary after having attended and participated in the many sessions of the conference.""While we still feel the spirit of this great conference and while the words still ring in our ears, let us determine how each of us can be doers of the word and not hearers only," President Benson admonished in his conference message.
Regarding the dimension of the Church's mission to proclaim the gospel, President Benson asked young men if they were earnestly preparing to serve full-time missions, adding that the Lord needs every unmarried young man between the ages of 19 and 26 "worthy, prepared, and excited about the mission field."
He also said the Lord needs mature couples to serve missions whose children have been raised, and who can love, fellowship and lead people to Christ.
"As a single sister, where marriage is not in your immediate future, have you prayed about serving a full-time mission and sought counsel from your parents and your bishop?" he asked. "Our single sisters are serving marvelous missions throughout the world."
He reminded Church members generally of their "sacred responsibility" to share the gospel with friends and family.
"The Lord needs every member of the Church having the faith and courage to set a date to have someone prepared to be taught by the missionaries," the prophet declared. "Would each member of the Church prayerfully consider this sacred challenge?"
Turning to another phase of the mission of the Church, perfecting the saints, President Benson said one way to accomplish this is through daily scripture reading.
"Are we as families and individuals reading daily from the Book of Mormon and using its teachings to bless and perfect our lives and those of our children?" President Benson asked.
"I rejoice in the thousands of members who are responding to this invitation and who testify of the blessings they are receiving."
Prayer also helps perfect the saints, bringing spiritual power and strength found in no other way, the prophet affirmed. "Are we praying both morning and night as a family and as individuals?"
He admonished Church members to hold family home evenings each week, saying the immediate results may seem far from ideal at times, but that holding family home evening helps perfect eternal family units.
"And now, what about family preparedness?" he asked. "Are each of us and our families following, where permitted, the long-standing counsel to have sufficient food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel on hand to last at least one year?"
The prophet then turned to the "divine charge to redeem the dead," asking Church members if they had prepared themselves to receive their own endowments and whether temple sealings for their families had been performed.
"By precept and example, our posterity should understand the transcendent importance of marrying the right person in the right place and sealing families for time and eternity," he said.
He also reminded Church members of the counsel to identify and receive temple ordinances for at least one ancestor, and added that they should be actively working on family histories and receiving the help they need from trained ward temple and family history consultants.
"Do we periodically participate in all of the temple ordinances and thus receive the full blessings of vicarious work for our ancestors?" he asked.
"Do we return to the temple often to receive the personal blessings that come from regular temple worship? Prayers are answered, revelation occurs, instruction by the Spirit takes place in the holy temples of the Lord, the prophet declared.
"Yes, brothers and sisters, the mission of the Church is glorious to invite all of us to come unto Christ through proclaiming the gospel, perfecting our lives and redeeming the dead. As we come unto Christ, we bless our own lives, those of our families, and our Father in Heaven's children, both living and dead."
President Benson said he felt impressed to say to the congregation what Alma said to members of the Church in his day, recorded in Alma 7:23-27. In those verses Alma enjoins Church members to be humble, submissive and gentle, to have faith, hope and charity, and keep their garments spotless.
"Now may I express my love for the Latter-day Saints everywhere," President Benson said. "There are no better people in all the world.
"I pray that we will be obedient to God, learn His will and do it, and, above all, that we will keep the first and great commandment to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength."
He testified that the kingdom of God has been restored, that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
He concluded by pledging his desire to do God's will and faithfully serve Him to the end.
"While we still feel the spirit of this great conference and while the words still ring in our ears, let us determine how each of us can be doers of the word and not hearers only,"