I loved D&C 18 as a teenager. To be honest, I loved anything that told me I had worth and value. But this was among my favorites because it was God saying that my soul was of great worth.
V. 6 says that the world is ripening in iniquity. Boy, aint that the truth!! I thought it was bad when I was growing up. But today's world makes me even more fearful for my kids to grow up and be exposed to the world. I'm starting to understand why some parents choose to home school. There is just so much bad stuff out there.
Vs. 10 & 11 tell us that the worth of souls is so great that Christ himself suffered for their sakes.
----- On Sunday, our RS lesson was on forgiveness. Have any of you read The Peacegiver? That book has changed the way I think about forgiveness and the Atonement in general. (It's sold at Deseret and Seagull book stores.) I won't expound further here, at least not right now, but that book just popped into my mind. ------
I also love verses of scriptures put to song. Janice Kapp Perry wrote a song using vs. 15 & 16.
"And if it so be that ye should labor all your days, and bring but one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with Him in the kingdom of our Father. How great shall be your joy."
While this is particularly talking about missionary work, I once heard someone teach that the "one soul" could be your own soul. You have to gain a testimony yourself before you can share it with others. Your joy will be ever greater if you bring many souls unto Christ, but even these could be the souls of your own children.
I'm not trying to look for a loophole so we can get away with not doing missionary work. But there are seasons of your life for different things. Growing up in Kansas, I had opportunites for missionary work -- much more so than living as a young mom in the heart of Mormondom. I was able to share my testimony and beliefs with many. But right now, I think it's more important that I teach my children about Christ and the gospel than it is to ask every stranger who doesn't "look" LDS to accept a Book of Mormon.
Along with the missionary work, God tells us to "contend with no church, save it be the church of the devil." (vs. 20) Before reading this I thought that basically there was our church, and every other church was "of the devil" since it wasn't God's true church. I believe that there were many good people out there -- good, strong Christians -- but they still attended the church of the devil. I realize now that I was wrong. God wouldn't have told us to contend against NO church if all other churches were of the devil.
Already in the Doctrine and Covenants God has revealed that the Restoration didn't come to destroy what truth was already on the earth, but to build upon it. (Much the same way that Christ didn't come to destroy the Law of Moses, but to build upon it.)
So since I feel that right now is the time to teach my children, I guess I should do a better job of it. To prepare them for this world that they are in.