Celebrate! The Lost Are Found
By John Wight, president of seventy
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. —Luke 15:7 NRSV
When my oldest son was about 8 years old, we visited a fast-food restaurant with a play area for children—an enclosure with thousands of small plastic balls. My son jumped in and “swam” around. He was having a wonderful time until he realized he had lost his watch. It was somewhere in that mess of balls.
My first thought was to explain there was no way we ever could find it. Perhaps if the restaurant workers emptied the ball pit to clean, they would find the lost watch. However, his anguish was more powerful than my “easy” approach. So we prayed for calm that we might find the watch. After just a few minutes of searching, he found it. My son’s joy was indescribable.
This experience caused me to think about the power of prayer and the unquestioning faith of children. But thinking about my son’s joy also brought to mind Jesus’ parables about the lost sheep and the lost coin. Jesus’ point was twofold: one, it is important to seek out the lost, and two, when we find the lost, we are filled with joy and gratitude.
There are millions of “lost” souls around us every day. People long for the joy, hope, love, and peace of Jesus Christ. Rather than taking the easy way out and waiting until someone might “empty the ball pit,” we have a wonderful opportunity to prayerfully seek these people. When we find them, we share the joyous news of the gospel. And, indeed, our joy will be full when we invite them to Christ.
Prayer for Peace
Tender Shepherd, let us rejoice over every found soul. We praise you for every opportunity to Invite People to Christ and share his peace.
Spiritual Practice: Invite People to Christ
Read and reflect on Doctrine and Covenants 162:3b and 163:2b. Pray to be aware of people who might be receptive, and therefore blessed, by your sharing of the message of the Living Christ. Imagine being in relationship with them and inviting them to Christ. In preparation, discover your personal testimony of Christ. “Be persistent in your witness and diligent in your mission to the world.” Repeat this mantra throughout the day: “Christ’s mission, our mission, my mission.”
Today, God, I will not give up in my search for ways to share your peace.