21st Ask Josh – One Favor for the World

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2008 at 6:51 am

Jessica G of George Fox University said:

if you could do one positive thing that completely changes the world what would it be


Dear Jessica,

I think this is my favorite question I have ever been asked thus far. Deep down in my mind I have always wanted to share my feelings on this topic. But I have to start with a story. 

A certain man named Alma, the son of a revered prophet and statesman of the same name, had spent the days of his youth as something of a rebel.  In fact, one historian described him as “a very wicked and idolatrous man” (Mosiah 27:8).  Nobody in his family or community knew what to do with him.  He was just a bad kid.  “He became a great hinderment to the prosperity of the Church of God” (Mosiah 27:9) and he himself later would admit that he “murdered many of [God’s] children, or rather led them away unto destruction” (Alma 36:14). The only solution his family and community saw was to pray for the man.  They just prayed for Alma.  They had no other solution.

In answer to those prayers, an angel appeared with a voice that shook the earth and gave Alma quite a scare on behalf of God Himself and in answer to all those prayers.  Alma was so shocked, he was catatonic for three days.  I have been reprimanded before, but never so much that I had been left completely speechless and motionless for three days.

Anyway, when Alma came to, he was a changed man.  And he spent the rest of his days in the service of God and his fellow man.  He eventually became so revered and respected and in tune with God that army generals came to him to know exactly where they should go to stop invaders from entering their country, he became the Chief Judge of his people, he and his friends would convert an entire savage nation into a thriving Christian society, he was eventually translated like Moses, that is, he was taken directly up to Heaven at the end of his life without even going through the formality of dying.

Later in his life, Alma penned these words about his wish for the world:

“O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth” (Alma 29:1-2).

If I could do one thing for the world, it would be something like Alma’s wish to be an angel and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to every person. Knowing that if they would accept the gospel and live it, “there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.”

If I could do one good thing for the world, I would tell them about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness that He has for us, and the Restoration of His Church upon the earth, namely The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Yes, that would be my gift to the world.

I realize that there may appear to be a bit of an air of presumptuousness when I say that.  Some might say, “Wait, that’s the Mormon Church! Aren’t they a cult? Don’t they worship Joseph Smith? Don’t they have their own Bible?”  And then they will proceed to tell me all the bad things they have heard from pastors, well-meaning friends, and perhaps even inactive or former members of the Church itself.

Despite what you may have heard about my religion, I can assure you that no other path in life will take you on a straighter course to happiness and salvation, both spiritual and temporal. The Gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith has the solution to all the world’s problems.  It is true.

It has the solutions for poverty in the world:

Ezra Taft Benson, a former president of my Church, said, “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.” (Ensign, July 1989)

It has the solutions for the many behavioral problems in the world:

A current living Apostle named Boyd K Packer said this:

“I have long believed that the study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than talking about behavior will improve behavior” (Ensign, May 1997).

So simple you might even say, “well, anyone could have just said that.”  Well, it’s a simple solution the Gospel offers.  And I love it.  And I want the world to know it.

The Gospel blesses families.  It gives each person a meaningful role as a son, daughter, brother, sister, parent, child.  We learn to love one another and value what each person brings to the team.

The Gospel gives us a sense of identity.  We believe that all people are children of a loving Heavenly Father, “and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).  In times of both trouble and happiness we know that we can look to a kind and gracious Heavenly Father for guidance and strength.  Self-doubting and insecurities really pale in comparison to the knowledge of where we come from and with Whom we can return if we but live faithfully.

I have said it before and I will say it again that every good thing that I have I have because of this Church.  I really have thought it sometimes unfair that I have benefited so much from the good decisions chiefly made by others who were just doing what the Lord told them to through the scriptures and promptings they received and from counsel they followed from the inspired Prophets and Apostles and Bishops who run the Church under the direction of Jesus Christ Himself. Yes, we believe that Christ stands at the head of this Church. And I have been the beneficiary of countless blessings because of it.
There is so much I would love to say, and I am more than willing to answer any questions to the best of my ability to any readers who want to know more.  I am not an authority on Church doctrine, but I know where to find it.  

The Gift that I would offer to the whole world is not that inaccessible really.  Earnest seekers of truth may talk to Church representatives all around the globe.

There are resources online such as or  Our entire canon of scripture is available online as well as more of what God has revealed in our modern times.

Let me say again that I love this Gospel.  It is amazing.  I invite you to look into it and even make it a matter of prayer.  The last chapter of the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ  promises that if you pray and ask God with a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Christ, you can know for yourself by the promptings of the Holy Ghost whether or not it is true.  It is a promise I have tested multiple times and I know for myself that it is indeed true and a real source of strength in times of shifting values and relativism. 

God bless you, my friend!

  1. You’re a good person, Josh! I don’t think any of us hear that enough… You are an amazing person. Just remember that.*muah*

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