Matt 9:1 he...came into his own city
"His own city" refers to Capernaum.
"Situated on the northwestern shore of the sea, Capernaum was near the main caravan route between Egypt and Damascus. Thus, it was a center of commercial activity and contained perhaps 10,000 inhabitants in Jesus' day. (See Lamar C. Berrett, Discovering the World of the Bible, Provo, Utah: Young House, 1973, p. 354.) Here Jesus performed more recorded miracles than in any other city (see J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Our Lord of the Gospels, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974, pp. 535-37), and here he gave some of his greatest discourses. Yet Capernaum's residents remained unbelieving, and Jesus prophesied the city's eventual downfall. (See Matt. 11:23-24.) All that remains at the traditional site of ancient Capernaum today are the ruins of an old synagogue built in perhaps the second century A.D., and stones from surrounding buildings." ("The Land Jesus Knew, Part 2," Ensign, Jan. 1983, 33)
Capernaum Synagogue 2015
Ruins of dark volcanic rock from New Testament Period
Matt 9:2 seeing their faith
The Master's spiritual perceptiveness is impressive. In this chapter alone, we see his ability to look into someone's eyes and perceive what was in their hearts. He perceives the faith of the palsied man and his entourage; he knows the thoughts of the scribes (v. 4), he anticipates the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (v. 14-18) he looks at a publican and sees an apostle (v. 9). One of the many characteristics of Christ which we should attempt to emulate is his incredible spiritual sensitivity.
Matt 9:2 Son, be of good cheer
Neal A. Maxwell
"Jesus has repeatedly instructed us in yet another way in which we are to be like Him: We are to 'be of good cheer.' Being of good cheer is the proximate preparation for ultimate joy. Being of good cheer-one day at a time-precedes that point later on when, if we live righteously, we can justifiably say what Jesus said: 'Now behold, my joy is full.' (3 Ne 17:20)
"Gospel gladness is possible even in the midst of affliction, because of the reassuring realities that pertain to our mortal circumstance. The everlastingness of certain things puts the temporariness of other things in perspective. God's promises to us are so rich that even difficult tactical circumstances cannot conceal our causes for genuine cheerfulness: God is in charge; God's plan of happiness is underway; momentary tribulation does not set aside the universal resurrection, which is a reality; individual identity and personality are thereby assured; death has been defeated by Christ's atonement; and Satan and his misery-causing minions will finally be defeated. Each of these (and many more) form the litany of reassuring reality.
"Thus we should not let the gray mists of the moment obscure the bright promises and prospects of eternity. Gospel gladness is a precious, precious perspective-essential to have, if one is to keep his attitudinal balance while traveling the straight and narrow way." (Even As I Am, 98.)
Matt 9:6 that ye may know that the son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins
Bruce R. McConkie
"Rightly understood, this event in the life of our Lord was visible and irrefutable proof that he was the Messiah; and it was so recognized by those among whom he ministered. He had borne frequent verbal testimony that God was his Father and had supported that personal witness with an unparalleled ministry of preaching and healing. Now it was his purpose to announce that he had done what no one but God could do and to prove that he had done it by a further manifestation of his Father's power.
"Both Jesus and the 'doctors of the law' who were then present knew that none but God can forgive sins. Accordingly, as a pointed and dramatic witness that the power of God was resident in him, Jesus took (perhaps sought) this appropriate occasion to forgive sins. Being then called in question by the scripturalists who knew (and that rightly) that the false assumption of the power to forgive sins was blasphemy, Jesus did what no imposter could have done-he proved his divine power by healing the forgiven man. To his query, 'Does it require more power to forgive sins than to make the sick rise up and walk?' there could be only one answer! They are as one; he that can do the one, can do the other." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1: 177.)
Matt 9:9 he saw a man named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom
Bruce R. McConkie
"Publicans were tax collectors, representatives of an alien power which held the Jews in subjection, and as such they formed a hated, despised, and derided social group. No doubt it was particularly offensive to the Jews for one of their own race, such as Matthew, to accept such employment.
"Publicans were customarily classed with and considered to be sinners. The rabbis ranked them as cutthroats and robbers, as social outcasts, as religiously half-excommunicated. They were forbidden to serve as judges or to give evidence, and it was common to say of them: 'A religious man who becomes a publican, is to be driven out of the society of religion. It is not lawful to use the riches of such men, of whom it is presumed that all their wealth was gotten by rapine, and that all their business was the business of extortioners, such as publicans and robbers are.' (Dummelow, p. 657.)
"Matthew was one of these social outcasts; his friends and associates obviously belonged to the same group; and when he gave a feast (a sort of a reception) for Jesus, it was publicans and sinners who assembled to meet the Master." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1: 181.)
Matt 9:9 and he saith unto him, Follow me
"Such a custom-house officer was Matthew Levi, when the voice of our Lord, striking to the inmost depths of his heart, summoned him to far different work. It was a wonder that the Holy One should speak to such an one as he; and oh! in what different accents from what had ever fallen on his ears. But it was not merely condescension, kindness, sympathy, even familiar intercourse with one usually regarded as a social pariah; it was the closest fellowship; it was reception into the innermost circle; it was a call to the highest and holiest work which the Lord offered to Levi. And the busy road on which he sat to collect customs and dues would now no more know the familiar face of Levi, otherwise than as that of a messenger of peace, who brought glad tidings of great joy." (Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, chap. 4)
Thomas S. Monson
"Down through the generations of time, the message from Jesus has been the same. To Peter by the shores of beautiful Galilee, he said, 'Follow me. . . .' (Matt. 4:19.) To Philip of old came the call, 'Follow me.' (John 1:43.) To the Levite who sat at receipt of customs came the instructions, 'Follow me.' (Matt. 9:9.) And to you and to me, if we but listen, shall come that same beckoning invitation, 'Follow me.'" (Conference Report, October 1965, Afternoon Meeting 142.)
Sterling W. Sill
"Jesus demonstrated life's perfect pattern and then said, 'Follow me. . . . ' (Matt 9:9.) And every individual life must finally be judged by how well it carries out that single directive." (Conference Report, October 1964, Third Day-Morning Meeting 113.)
Matt 9:12 They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick
"I feel myself to be somewhat like a man who has been sick with a deadly disease. But the Physician can come to such a man and assure him that, if he will remain under the Physician's care, he will be cured. (See Matt. 9:10-13.) The treatment may be painful at times, and it will require the patient to go and do many things-which the Physician himself, through His grace, will help and empower the patient to do. (See Philip. 4:13 and Alma 26:12.) The time may be far hence when the patient finally will be pronounced whole and fit to come into the Physician's own home and dwell with him. But if the patient continues to submit to those ministrations, that time will come. I have come to feel the truth of what a former bishop of mine liked to say: that the Church is not a country club for Saints, but a hospital for sinners." (Colin B. Douglas, "What I've Learned about Grace Since Coming Down from the Sycomore Tree," Ensign, Apr. 1989, 13)
Carlos E. Asay
"One weekend when I had no Church assignments, I decided to attend a sacrament service in a local ward...Just moments before the meeting started, I saw two missionaries come in through a side door with a woman-a very worldly-looking woman. It was obvious that she was new to the group because she looked apprehensively from side to side and had to be guided to her seat. She was dressed in faded jeans and a tight sweater, and her face was heavily made up. Her dark and hardened countenance seemed to reflect a life of sin that was frightening to contemplate.
"I couldn't help but wonder who would be successful in influencing the other-she the missionaries, or the missionaries her. Immediately following the service, I sought out one of the missionaries and spoke with him privately about the woman he and his companion had brought to church. My initial question was: 'Elder, where did you meet that worldly woman?' My tone of voice was Pharisaic, inferring that he had brought to church someone who was unworthy of the privilege of worshiping with our group. The missionary bristled a little bit, stood his ground, and replied, 'Elder Asay, who has need of the physician, the sick or the whole?' (See Matt. 9:9-13.) Well, he had backed me into a corner. How could I question or refute what he and his good companion were attempting to do for someone who was spiritually sick and in desperate need of help from Christ, the Great Physician?
"...Time passed, and I almost completely forgot the incident. But some months later I attended a fast and testimony meeting in the same chapel. The crowd was much the same as before; some I recognized, some I didn't. One woman entered alone, walked down the aisle, and seated herself near the front of the chapel. She sat quietly, meditated, and waited for the start of the meeting. She was dressed tastefully and her face reflected a special saintliness. In fact, she was beautiful. There was something familiar about her, but I couldn't be sure whether I had ever seen her before. No one in the congregation seemed to worship as intently as she did during the service. She seemed to sing and pray with all her heart.
"It was a fast Sunday. The bishop bore his testimony and then invited others to bear theirs. The beautiful young woman was the first to respond. She stepped to the pulpit and began to speak. Among other things she tearfully told of how the missionaries had literally fished her out of the gutter, encouraged her to repent, and introduced her to members of the Church and to the fulness of the gospel. It was then that I realized she was the woman dressed in jeans that I had seen in church with the missionaries only a few weeks before. A miraculous transformation had taken place through the efforts of two dedicated missionaries who looked upon the woman not as she was but as she could become.
"I have often wondered about that woman who forsook the ways of the world and embraced saving truths at the invitation of two caring and loving missionaries." (The Seven M's of Missionary Service: Proclaiming the Gospel as a Member or Full-time Missionary, Chap 1.)
"I have spoken with other dozens of women who have temple marriages, active husbands, and children-blessings for which single sisters sometimes long-but who also feel like lost coins because there are other dimensions of their lives in which they feel inadequate and for which they feel censured, judged, excluded, and rejected.
"Something is wrong with this picture. The Savior did not go around making distinctions between individuals. He preached the gospel to all. He healed all. He loved everyone. True, he knew that there were the sinners and the righteous, but he did not turn away the 'many publicans and sinners [who] came and sat down with him and his disciples.' Instead, he reminded the judgmental Pharisees, 'They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick' ("Matt. 9:10"Matt. 9:11"Matt. 9:12Matthew 9:10-12). True, he knew about the sheep and goats, wheat and tares, and warned that someday there would come a great separation. But he did not authorize anyone else to make that separation or to cast anyone out before that final judgment came." (Sanctuary, 45.)
Matt 9:15 Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them?
Christ's answer teaches us something fundamental about fasting. He indicates that since his disciples were in the presence of God already, they did not need to fast. Fasting, then, is intended to bring us closer to God. The disciples had already come as close as you can get, walking and talking with Jesus Christ.
The privilege of enjoying the presence of God on a daily basis was something that the disciples may not have fully appreciated. Such a privilege obviated the need for certain things, including fasting and the gift of the Holy Ghost. We are taught that it was not necessary for the disciples to have the gift of the Holy Ghost when they were in the presence of another member of the Godhead.
Yet ironically, the children of the bridechamber did not progress nearly as fast while they were in the presence of the Bridegroom as they did after he ascended. It was after he had left them to themselves, when they needed both fasting and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, that they progressed in personal righteousness, leadership, and scriptural understanding. This is probably most evident in the life and ministry of Peter. It becomes a lesson for all of us. While the purpose of life is to return to live in the presence of God, our progression in His presence is much slower than when we have to face evil on our own, pray for protection, fast for the Spirit, and work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). But the goal of all this effort is to return to the chamber of the Bridegroom.
Joseph F. Smith
"As fasting should always be accompanied by prayer, this law would bring the people nearer to God, and divert their minds once a month at least, from the mad rush of worldly affairs and cause them to be brought into immediate contact with practical, pure, and undefiled religion - to visit the fatherless and the widow, and keep themselves unspotted from the sins of the world." (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., pp. 237-238.)
Matt 9:16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment
The sequence of doctrine in these verses (15-18) does not make sense. As recorded, the Savior teaches about fasting, then about the inappropriateness of mixing the old with the new. The juxtaposition of these concepts is difficult without the Joseph Smith Translation. In the JST, we learn that verses 16 and 17 were given in answer to another inquiry by the Pharisees. It makes clear that these verses have nothing to do with his teachings on fasting. The JST reads:
For when that which is new is come, the old is ready to be put away.' (JST Matt 9:18-21)
Hence, the baptism of the Pharisees and their hypocritical application of the law were not to be mixed with the teachings of the Lawgiver and his baptism by fire.
JST Matt 9:18 Why will ye not receive us with our baptism
Did the Pharisees practice baptism? What an intriguing concept! Neither the New nor the Old Testaments record that baptism took place prior to the ministry of John the Baptist. Yet, we know from latter-day revelation that it was practiced anciently. There are many indirect evidences that baptism was an accepted ordinance including the fact that John's baptism was never called into question. Had John really been the first person performing baptisms, the Pharisees would have been quick to question his new ordinance and his claims to authority. But they never challenged him on this issue, apparently because they were still practicing it themselves.
"Said one scholar about Jewish baptism: 'Now the process by which a man was made a proselyte [convert to Judaism] was threefold: it consisted of circumcision, immersion in water (i.e., baptism), and the presentation of an offering in the Temple. Of these rites baptism assumed a growing importance.'" (Robert L. Millet, Selected Writings of Robert L. Millet: Gospel Scholars Series, 63.)
"Baptism was a part of the preparatory gospel of the law of Moses. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10, bears testimony that Israel was baptized in the Red Sea with Moses. Doctrine and Covenants 84 is a confirming testimony that this principle was inherent in the law that the ancients practiced. The Book of Mormon bears testimony that baptism was a part of the law of Moses, which they brought with them, for the practice of it is found in the record from the very beginning to the end. But the Jews had lost the spirit and power of it and had confused and eventually combined it with, or in some cases, substituted it, for something else. Some of the performances given under the law of carnal commandments were a series of washings and cleansings that were to be performed in different times in people's lives. There were many washings of purification. Some of them had very practical purposes, but everything that was done under the law of carnal commandments was spiritually based. The performances were intended to teach a principle or to give focus and perspective. Therefore, there was no separation...of the temporal and the spiritual.
"But when Judah (the Jews) fell into apostasy and lost priesthood, they took the principle of baptism and some of these washings and mixed them together, forming a new interpretation and initiating the tradition that is still practiced today. They call it the Mikveh, meaning 'gathering of water.' It is a ritual bath, an immersion, of cleansing or washing. Jews of varying religious interpretations use it in a variety of different ways. Some do it only once or twice in their lifetime, whereas others do it frequently. In Qumran near the Dead Sea are numerous of these washing pools. They look like baptismal fonts, but they are the mikveh (bath) of the Jews who lived there. The ancient fortress of Masada likewise has these pools. The excavations south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem also reveal many mikveh." (Richard D. Draper, ed., A Witness of Jesus Christ: The 1989 Sperry Symposium on the Old Testament, 29.)
JST Matt 9:19 If ye had kept the law, ye would have received me, for I am he who gave the law
To those raised in the tradition of the Law of Moses, the Lawgiver was also the Lord God Almighty. He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was the creator of Heaven and Earth. Therefore, for the Lord to say 'I am who gave the law' defined his divine role as dramatically as anything else he could have said. Jesus Christ is none other than the God of the Old Testament. This must have been a shocking concept for the Pharisees. The scribes had earlier accused Jesus of blasphemy for saying that he had the power to forgive sins. How much more blasphemous to claim that he was Moses' Lawgiver!
Yet, the irony is that the Giver of the law was rejected by the experts of the law. When He came as a babe in a manger, raised in Nazareth, as the son of a carpenter, the Jews asked, 'How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?' (Jn 7:15) and 'Art thou greater than our father Abraham...whom makest thou thyself?' (Jn 8:53) and 'is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary?' (Matt 13:55) Therefore, when the Lawgiver explained that the Law would bring them all under condemnation, they did not believe. He said, 'Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?' (Jn 5:45-47)
Neal A. Maxwell
"It is ironic that many in Jesus' time refused to listen to Him because they were so fixed on Moses. To those who persecuted Him because He had healed an invalid on the Sabbath, he said: 'Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?' (John 5:46-47. See also Mormon 7:9.) Yet Jesus had personally called, instructed, and tutored Moses!" (Meek And Lowly, p. 76)
Matt 9:20 a woman which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years
For a woman to have a constant issue of blood was a stigma of uncleanliness. According to the Law of Moses, when a woman had an issue of blood, she was considered ceremonially unclean for 14 days (Lev. 15:19-28). Should anyone even touch a portion of her clothing, they were considered unclean for that day. Therefore, this woman must have been unclean according to the Law of Moses for 12 consecutive years. In 12 long years, she would not have been able to perform the rites of purification necessary to be made clean before the Lord.
When Christ healed this poor woman, he didn't just heal a disease, he didn't just cure a physical malady, he made clean that which was unclean. Symbolically, what is made unclean by the law can be made clean by the Savior. Even though this woman was not guilty of any particular sin, this healing is still symbolic of Christ's power over sin. If sin comes by the law, then redemption from sin comes from Christ (Rom. 3:20). As Christ redeemed this woman from the curse of her affliction, so he has 'redeemed us from the curse of the law' (Gal 3:13). Forevermore, she could rejoice, as did Paul saying, 'Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do...God [in] sending his own Son' (Rom 8:2) hath made me free from the curse of the law.
Matt 9:23 the minstrels and the people making a noise
Bruce R. McConkie
"Oriental customs of public mourning and display at the time of death prevailed among the Jews of Jesus' day. Noise, tumult, weeping, screeching, screaming, flute playing, and the use of hired mourners-all were part of the orthodox mourning rituals." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1: 316.)
Matt 9:24 the maid is not dead, but sleepeth
By this statement, Christ did not mean that the girl had not yet died, but that her condition was only temporary-like sleep. The statement seemed ridiculous and brought scorn, but it was intended as a foreshadowing of the miracle He intended to perform.
Matt 9:25 he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose
The same miraculous power by which Christ raised this young maiden was operative in the ministry of Joseph Smith. Indeed it has been operative ever since the Restoration of precious priesthood keys.
Gordon B. Hinckley
"That same power has been restored in this generation. It came through the laying on of hands by Peter, James, and John, who received it from the Lord himself. It was bestowed upon Joseph Smith, the prophet of this dispensation. Its presence is among us. Those who are acquainted with the history of the Church are familiar with the account related by Wilford Woodruff concerning the events of July 22, 1839. Nauvoo at that time was an unhealthy and swampy place. There was much sickness. Joseph was among those who were afflicted. But being filled with the Spirit, he rose from his bed and went out among the sick, healing them and raising them. He then crossed the river to the settlement in Montrose, Iowa. I now refer to the account of Elder Woodruff:
'The first house he visited was that occupied by Elder Brigham Young, the president of the quorum of the twelve, who lay sick. Joseph healed him, then he arose and accompanied the Prophet on his visit to others who were in the same condition. They visited Elder W. Woodruff, also Elders Orson Pratt and John Taylor, all of whom were living in Montrose. They also accompanied him. The next place they visited was the home of Elijah Fordham, who was supposed to be about breathing his last. When the company entered the room the Prophet of God walked up to the dying man, and took hold of his right hand and spoke to him; but Brother Fordham was unable to speak, his eyes were set in his head like glass, and he seemed entirely unconscious of all around him. Joseph held his hand and looked into his eyes in silence for a length of time. A change in the countenance of Brother Fordham was soon perceptible to all present. His sight returned, and upon Joseph asking him if he knew him, he, in a low whisper, answered, 'Yes.' Joseph asked him if he had faith to be healed. He answered, 'I fear it is too late; if you had come sooner I think I would have been healed.' The Prophet said, 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ?' He answered in a feeble voice, 'I do.' Joseph then stood erect, still holding his hand in silence several moments; then he spoke in a very loud voice, saying: 'Brother Fordham, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to arise from this bed and be made whole.' His voice was like the voice of God, and not of man. It seemed as though the house shook to its very foundations. Brother Fordham arose from his bed and was immediately made whole. His feet were bound in poultices, which he kicked off, then putting on his clothes, he ate a bowl of bread and milk, and followed the Prophet into the street. (As quoted in Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History, rev. ed. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1979], pp. 223-24.)'" (Gordon B. Hinckley, Faith: The Essence of True Religion [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 31.)
Matt 9:20-35 The dead raised, the blind see, the dumb speak
To read accounts of Christ's miracles is heartwarming and impressive. To see recreations of these events in films like "The Testaments" brings tears to the eyes. We wish that He could minister among us and perform more miraculous healings. But the healing power of the great Physician is felt even today. In many ways, these healings are even more miraculous! How many spiritually blind have been made to see by the light of Christ? How many souls, previously bound by Satan-made mute as to the things of the Spirit-now speak as 'with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel' (2 Ne 31:13)? And how many times, has the Lord shown mercy on the spiritually dead? Even when assumed to be too far gone, when the idea of redemption seems so ridiculous as to cause laughter and scorn, when the devil and his angels seem to celebrate their victory like minstrels 'making a noise,' the touch of the Master's hand can still bring life to that which was lost. 'He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die' (John 11:25-26).
Harold B. Lee
"The greatest miracles I see today are not necessarily the healing of sick bodies, but the greatest miracles I see are the healing of sick souls, those who are sick in soul and spirit and are downhearted and distraught, on the verge of nervous breakdowns. We are reaching out to all such, because they are precious in the sight of the Lord, and we want no one to feel that they are forgotten." (Ensign, July 1973, p. 123.)
Matt 9:29 according to your faith be it unto you
Howard W. Hunter
"Faith is the most powerful force in transforming human nature. As man's thoughts turn to God and the things that pertain to God, man undergoes a spiritual transformation. It lifts him from the commonplace and gives to him a noble and Godlike character. If we have faith in God, we are using one of the great laws of life. The most powerful force in human nature is the spiritual power of faith. Jesus said: 'According to your faith be it unto you' (Matthew 9:29). (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, 29.)
Matt 9:35 Jesus went about...teaching...and preaching...and healing
Jeffrey R. Holland
"Much of the comfort I am speaking of comes from the Savior's power to heal-to heal the wounds of life or of sorrow or, where necessary, of transgression. I would ask you now to help with this healing, healing for others, healing for those you love and, yes, perhaps especially for those you don't. The people around us need a lot of help, and I think the Lord expects us to join in that effort. I think that is what he meant when he said, in essence, Come see what I do and watch how I spend my time.
'...pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest' (Matt. 9:36-38).
"We all know that that call for more laborers into the work of the harvest refers primarily to teaching and testifying. It is a wonderful missionary scripture. But I wish to suggest that in context it surely is a call to heal one another as well. Jesus certainly did his missionary work, and he did that first. But as he went about preaching and teaching, he bound up all manner of wounds in the process. The verse summarizing all of this, coming just before the calling of the Twelve Apostles and their charge to do likewise, says: 'And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people' (Matt. 9:35).
"Most of the healing I am speaking of is not necessarily that of administering to the physically sick, though we surely should be ready and worthy to either request or give such a blessing at a moment's notice according to the order of the priesthood. No, what I refer to are those rending, wrenching illnesses of the soul that need to be healed but may be quite personal-some burden held deep inside, some weariness that is not always particularly obvious to the rest of the world. Here in the shadow of the 21st century we are more often to face slightly more metaphysical sicknesses than those biblical ills of old such as leprosy and consumption." ("Come unto Me," Ensign, Apr. 1998, 16)
Matt 9:36 he was moved with compassion...because they fainted and were scattered abroad
George Q. Cannon
"God...is the same today that He was a thousand years ago, or that He was at the beginning of creation. He has not grown old. He has not lost his powers. He has not become deaf. His heart is still moved with compassion for His children." (Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, vol. 2, December 13, 1891)
Neal A. Maxwell
"As we think of Jesus' role as a shepherd for all on this planet (and who knows how many more), it is subduing to ponder His complete compassion and mercy during His mortal ministry. 'But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.'
"When Jesus told Peter three times to feed His sheep, what other words of counsel would we expect to come from Him who is the loving 'great and true shepherd'? Not only does this Shepherd number His sheep, but He knows and loves them perfectly. He is the perfect Shepherd." (Even As I Am, 26.)
Matt 9:37 The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few
Elder Bernard P. Brockbank
"Immediately after the restoration, the great missionary program of the Church was commenced. The Savior said in a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, '. . . behold the field is white already to harvest; . . .' (D&C 4:4.) Christ said when he lived upon the earth that there were many people to be brought into the Church 'but the laborers are few.' (Matt. 9:37.)
"Today, 1964, the field is still white and ready to harvest. There are millions waiting today for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, but the laborers are few. We must find ways to reach and teach every creature. I sometimes wonder if we have actually taught one percent of God's children. That would be over thirty million. I know that millions have heard about the Church but there is no substitute for the teacher." (Conference Report, April 1964, Third Day-Morning Meeting 109 - 110.)
Gordon B. Hinckley
"We need more missionaries. We could use another ten thousand now. Anyone who feels we have enough knows not whereof he speaks. I remember listening to reports from the Area Presidencies of the various international areas of the world. Those reports indicated the magnitude of the work we must do. For instance, in one area we have only 270,000 members out of a total population of 640,000,000. 'The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.' (Matt. 9:37.) Now, brethren and sisters, what can we do?" ("The Field Is White Already to Harvest," Ensign, Dec. 1986, 3)