News Release

But I Have Chosen You


One of the greatest surprises in my life was when President Thomas S. Monson called me at home one evening in January 2008.  I can still hear his words, “You are called to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy until the age of seventy”.  I did a rapid calculation in my head and realized that this calling was going to last more than twenty five years, or, to put it another way, for an eternity!

 Since that time I have often meditated on the importance and the duration of our callings.  We sometimes hear people say, “It’s time I was released” or “I’ve been serving in this calling for too long”.  In reality, the question shouldn’t be posed in those terms.  Counting the duration of a calling is to forget the very nature of our personal commitment as a member of the Church.

 When the Savior was giving his final instructions to his apostles, he told them, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you” (1).  I remember the astonished look on the face of a young father to whom I recently extended the call of stake president.  He had not run a campaign to be chosen. He had sought neither honor nor power. He felt totally inadequate in the face of so many responsibilities.  However, he accepted the call with faith and humility, knowing that it came from the Lord. 

 Our callings are the temporal and visible manifestation of a more lasting and deep commitment. Jesus, feeling his death was imminent, addressed these challenging words to his disciples: “As my Father hath sent me, so send I you.” (2) When we enter the waters of baptism, we become the ‘envoys’ of the Savior or even his ‘representatives’.  We make a solemn commitment to be a tool in his hands to do the work of salvation.   

 The nature and duration of the calling are of little importance for our mission is eternal by nature.  It continues way beyond this life as President Joseph F. Smith’s vision describes, “I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their the great world of the spirits of the dead.” (3). 

 It is of little importance whom and with whom we serve.  We do not choose our fellow servants and the people we help by our personal affinities.  In the image of the Savior, we preach the gospel and render service to everyone, unconditionally and without respect of persons. 

 President Monson recently challenged us with this question, “What did you do for someone today?”  (4)  This prophetic invitation takes us back to the very essence of our mission as disciples of Christ.  It does not depend on the calling we currently have or on a responsibility assigned to us.  It is a way of life. It gives meaning to our earthly existence and to our eternal life. 

 Yes, we are our brothers’ keepers, whether or not they are members of the Church.  If you discovered a vaccine for cancer, wouldn’t your first reflex be to spread the news as quickly as possible in order to save lives? We believe that the gospel is a universal remedy against most of the ills of the modern world.  That’s why we are so keen to spread this Good News. 

 The Area Presidency recently set the goal of doubling the number of active members in Europe in the coming ten years.  That vision needs neither programs nor complex organizations nor special means in order to succeed.  It depends on the desire and faith of everyone.  If every member brought or brought back one soul to Christ, that would be sufficient to double attendance in all the wards and branches in Europe. 

 You do not have to be a full-time missionary in order to find people who are seeking after the Truth.  You do not have to be a Bishop, a Relief Society President or a Home Teacher to make contact with a less active member.  There are countless opportunities which just depend on our faith that, “The Lord has prepared people to receive you and the restored gospel” and that “ God will either lead you to them or He will lead them to you.”  (5)

 Here are some simple and concrete things we can all do:

           Always have missionary pass-along cards on us and give them out

  • Make a list of people we can help to return to Church.  Invite them to receive     the missionaries.
  • Put our personal profile and our testimony on  (in English)
  • Invite our family and our friends to important family events taking place at Church, such as a baptism, an ordination, a spiritual meeting on the occasion of a marriage, a missionary departure etc. 
  • Accompany our friends to a Church Family History Center
  • Center ward council and auxiliary presidency meetings on people, rather than on programs or activities. 
  • Go on teaching appointments with the missionaries.

 Sharing the gospel also lights a fire of joy in our hearts.  With Alma we can exclaim, “Yea, and this is my glory that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.” (6)

 Gérald Caussé

 1) John 15:16

 2) John 20:21

 3) D&C 138:57

 4) General Conference October 2009. Sunday morning session.

 5) Preach my Gospel page 171

 6) Alma 29:9


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