Missionary Work, Salvation, & Scare Tactics!
We have all heard the great missionary sermons in sacrament meetings that tell us what we need to do to help the missionaries and their work progress. Along with these great sermons we sometimes get the "scare tactic" aproach about missionary work and salvation. Yesterday was one of those scare tactic moments when the speaker gave the seemongly all to familiar " just think of what will happen when you get to the other side and meet your neighbor and he will come up to you in tears and cry out saying why didn't you share the gospel with me, you were my neighbor!" Other scare tactics I have heard fall on the lines of "Just think of how you will be held responsible for all the people you were supposed to teach the gospel to and didn't because you did not go on a mission". There are other scare tactics we use also to literally scare us into forcing the gospel on others in fear that they will die tomorrow without their salvation being secured.
This leads me to think that we are somewhat programmed in scare tactics as children and youth into believing that a lack of preaching the gospel to our neighbors will somehow damn us and damn our neighbors in the process. So in fear we are always trying to push the gospel on others so that we can justify ourselves with our folley ways. Do we find true joy in saving others, or are we just too concerned about the "fear factor" of sitting idly by while the neighbor is partying on Sunday out at the lake?
I think the real truth od it is that our neighbors are already aware of our religious beliefs and that in all reality, building a good neighborly relationship with them is actually more important than pressing the constant peer presured need to share the gospel with them. Chances are they will join the church based more upon your actions and deeds rather than what you say to them at the BBQ when you slip in to say something about your religion. It will also be the case that when that unconverted neighbor does run into you in the spirit world they will fall upon your shoulders in pure joy and say- "wow, your religion really is true and I now want to be converted, and thankyou so much for alway being my neighbor and friend in Christ".
Leave the scare tactics out of missionary work as far as your good neighbors and friends are concerned. Chances are they are not evil people that need a good sermon anyway! Let our actions speak louder than our words so that when we do speak our words become more powerful than a rushing river!
Salvation is open to all including those dear loved family members and friends who depart this life either in rebellion or truthfully not knowing God's will concerning them. And also let it not trouble our hearts to think of what could of or should of been on those dear loved ones who pass without their salvation secure for we shall meet again and then shall our joy be full knowing that finally they too have accepted the gospel on the other side, Amen!