Relief Society: Hastening the work
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Latter-day Saint women in Zaragoza, Spain, have united their efforts in sharing the gospel. “There are miracles happening here,” said one Relief Society sister, Inés Faci of the Zaragoza 2nd Branch, Lléida Spain Stake.
This began with the Relief Society president, Sister Beatriz Arnal, who felt the desire for the sisters of her branch to be more involved in missionary work, in hastening the work of salvation in their branch and in receiving blessings promised to those who keep their covenants. As they counseled together, they felt impressed that each week one sister in Relief Society would be given a Book of Mormon with the goal to share it with someone the following week. As she did so, the rest of the sisters in the branch would be praying for her.
This combined effort united the sisters through prayers of faith and gave each sister an opportunity to experience the sweetness of missionary work.
One week the turn to share a Book of Mormon fell to Sister Victoria Guillen. That week she was approached by a neighbor, Almundena Arroyo, who asked for advice regarding some challenges she was experiencing. Sister Guillen and her family had recently accepted an invitation from the branch president, Manuel Gomez, to return to Church themselves, and their teenage children were preparing to be baptized. Sister Guillen bore testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ as she shared the Book of Mormon with her friend. She invited Almundena and her family to the baptism of her teenage children.
Investigators and the many members who attended the baptismal service felt the influence of the Spirit. Almundena and her husband, Jose Luis, were among those who attended the baptism of the Guillen children, and they expressed interest in the gospel.
They accepted the invitation to have the missionaries come and teach them the gospel message. The entire branch became involved in praying for the family and were grateful when, a few weeks later, Jose Luis and Almundena Arroyo and their 13-year-old daughter were all baptized members of the Church.
Brother Guillen is now serving in the elders quorum presidency. Brother and Sister Arroyo are serving as branch missionaries.
Sister Faci said, “The love for missionary work has spread throughout the branch.” Enthusiasm for the work has increased in the branch as members have heeded the counsel and received the promise given by President Thomas S. Monson in the October 2013 general conference: “[The Lord] has prepared the means for us to share the gospel in a multitude of ways, and He will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work.”
The members of this small branch knew that the covenants they made when they were baptized included serving the Lord and that the Lord would assist them in their labors, especially if they would unite their faith and prayers seeking for a way they could actively share the gospel. They joyfully kept their covenants through sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. They continue to experience baptisms and welcome new members as they work together in love and unity.
There really are miracles happening Zaragoza, Spain — miracles brought about by the faith and unified prayers of members joyfully keeping their covenants.
Quotes from Church leaders
After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel. — Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , p. 330.
It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand. While the outcome is a result of the exercise of one’s agency, sharing the gospel is our responsibility. — Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 2013 general conference, “Put Your Trust in the Lord.”
I love the scripture that reads: “And now when the people had heard these words [meaning the words describing the baptismal covenant], they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts” (Mosiah 18:9). I love the desire of their hearts. They cheerfully desired to make and keep their covenants!
“If we fully appreciated the many blessings which are ours through the redemption made for us, there is nothing that the Lord could ask of us that we would not anxiously and willingly do.” According to this statement by President Joseph Fielding Smith (“Importance of the Sacrament Meeting,” Relief Society Magazine, October 1943, 592), covenant keeping is one way to express our love for the incomprehensible, infinite Atonement of our Savior and Redeemer and the perfect love of our Father in Heaven. — Sister Linda K. Burton, 2013 Relief Society general meeting, “The Power, Joy and Love of Covenant Keeping.”