“The Harvest Truly Is Plenteous, but the Labourers Are Few”
35 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.
36 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.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Elder L. Tom Perry said:
“We read from the Gospel of Matthew:
“‘And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every [manner of] sickness and every disease among the people.
“‘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.
“‘[And] saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
“‘Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest’ (Matt. 9:35–38).
“The shortage of laborers in the Lord’s vineyard continues now, as it did in previous times.
“History has recently recorded the words of a prophet calling for every worthy and able young man to serve a full-time mission. The response to the prophet’s voice has been heartwarming. Many thousands of young men have listened to his clarion call and have come forward to fulfill honorable, successful missions, declaring the gospel of our Lord and Savior to ever-increasing numbers. Their harvest has been truly remarkable.
“As the numbers increase, the call of the prophet was again heard to open the doors of nations to the preaching of the gospel. We have all witnessed a miracle of the power of the united prayers of the Saints. Doors have been opened to the preaching of the gospel in nations never dreamed of or hoped for just a few years ago. Now the demand for increased numbers of full-time missionaries is greater than ever before. And again we issue the call for every worthy young man to heed the voice of the prophet to serve as a full-time missionary. We call on you bishops and branch presidents to see that every worthy and able young man has an opportunity to go forth into the mission field. Many of our young women have also served in the mission field. They have been some of the most productive missionaries we have.
“President Kimball made the following statement regarding young women serving: ‘Many young women have a desire to serve a full-time mission, and they are also welcome in the Lord’s service. This responsibility is not on them as it is on the elders, but they will receive rich blessings for their unselfish sacrifice. The Lord is pleased [with] their willingness to bring souls to him’ (President Kimball Speaks Out, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1981, p. 30).
“These valiant young men and young women go into the mission field bearing a strong witness of the mission of our Lord and Savior, giving true Christian service and teaching with faith and conviction.”
(“But the Labourers Are Few,” Ensign, May 1992, 23–24.)