The most important work Church members can do is to help God's children come to a full understanding of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of Twelve.
A young Joseph F. Smith wrote, while serving a mission in Hawaii, that he was "ready to go through thick and thin" for the cause in which he was engaged, recalled Elder Ballard Sunday afternoon.
"Today we must ask ourselves: Are we ready and willing to go through the thick and thin for this cause in which we are engaged," he questioned. "Do we reflect in our countenances the joy of living the gospel of Jesus Christ as true disciples should? If we do not understand and willingly teach others of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith, who will?"
The burden of taking the gospel to all people cannot be placed solely on the backs of the full-time missionaries, he said. The work of the gospel will not go forward until Church members arise individually and collectively to help build God's kingdom.
"Our duty lies in assisting others, through the power of the Spirit, to know and understand the doctrines and principles of the gospel," Elder Ballard said. "Everyone must come to feel that the doctrines of the Restoration are true and of great value. And everyone who accepts the message must strive to live the gospel by making and keeping sacred covenants and by participating in all the ordinances of salvation and exaltation."
True conversion, which comes through the changing power of the Spirit, is the key to accelerating the work of the Church, he added. Evidence of conversion comes when one is willing to share the gospel with others and help missionaries find someone to teach.
"The likelihood of lasting conversion greatly increases when a non-member has a friend or a relative who radiates the joy of being a member of the Church," Elder Ballard said.
Active Church members, especially priesthood and auxiliary leaders, need to do more to assist in the process of conversion, retention and activation, he said. Bishops should invite ward councils to help strengthen the spiritual conversion of those investigating the Church. Too often, ward council meetings focus on generalities. Council members should seek inspiration in determining which leaders and ward members can best help the missionaries fellowship specific individuals and families and bring them into the Church.
Elder Ballard counseled bishops to not forget to enlist the help of faithful sisters.
All can work harder to see that the presence of the Spirit is in all meetings to bring about deeper spiritual conversion, he said. Remember all that the Savior gave to save the whole world from sin.
Can anyone go before Him in some future day and say that he or she didn't share the gospel with others and help the missionaries find people to teach because they were too busy or too shy or for any other reason? Elder Ballard asked.