"What can I do to help build up the Lord's Church and see real growth where I live?" So asked Elder David F. Evans of the Seventy, who spoke Sunday afternoon about strengthening the Church through serving families, ward members and "the one" whom the Spirit may prompt reaching out to, he said.
First, Elder Evans said, real Church growth occurs in families. "Our most important work in this and every other endeavor is always within our own home and family," he said.
Second, Elder Evans said growth occurs as members "labor diligently to ... persuade [their] brethren to believe in Christ and be reconciled to God" (see 2 Nephi 25:23).
He spoke of Dave Orchard, a Salt Lake native who had many Latter-day Saint friends but wasn't a member himself. One day in his young adulthood, however, one of Dave's friends invited him to accompany him to an interview with his bishop.
"What an invitation!" Elder Evans declared. "But in the context of their friendship and circumstances, it was both natural and normal." Dave, said Elder Evans, received a testimony and was baptized by that bishop.
"As Dave spoke of his conversion and bore his testimony regarding these events, he asked ... "So, was it worth it?" Dave recounted the effort of friends and Church leaders through the years, with the result being "just one boy [being] baptized." As Dave pointed to his own family, he said, "Well, at least for my wife and our five children, the answer is 'yes.'"
"Whenever the gospel is shared," Elder Evans said, "it is never 'just one boy.' Whenever conversion happens or someone returns to the Lord, it is a family that is saved. ... Was it worth it? Oh, yes, it was worth it."
Elder Evans offered several ways members can act on spiritual promptings to serve others.
"If we will pray and ask Heavenly Father who we can help and promise to act on the promptings He gives us letting us know how we can help, He will answer our prayers and we will become instruments in His hands to do His work."
Elder Evans reminded members that they may have even thought about someone whom they could reach out to during the conference proceedings.
"My invitation is to act, without delay, on that prompting," he admonished. "Talk to your friend or family member. Do it in a natural and normal way. Let them know of your love for them and for the Lord. ... Watch as our Heavenly Father uses your willingness to act to bring about a miracle in your life and in the life of the person you care about."