Hymn text by Evan Stephens, 1854-1930. View the full text of this hymn.

Those who have lived their lives in the Church have heard the story over and over, and those who aren’t may have heard it from someone who is a time or two. Joseph Smith, wondering which church he should join, went to the woods to pray and saw the Father and the Son, who told him that he should join none of them. They had a work for him to do, and through him, the gospel was restored in its fullness in our day.

And so it is. The voice of God, as we sing in this hymn, has been heard again in our day. He lives, and He has given His truth to us again. And now that we have it, it’s our duty to aid in the spread of that gospel by sharing it with not just some people, not just many people, but all people.

Rejoice, ye living and ye dead!
Rejoice, for your salvation
Begins anew this happy morn
Of final dispensation.

The word “final” is not idly chosen. This is it. There isn’t a fallback dispensation that we can rely on if we miss someone. We can’t lean back and take it easy, counting on someone else to pick up the slack. This is the last hurrah before the Lord’s second coming. When He comes, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is the Christ, but that’s no reason for us not to tell everyone beforehand. We want (and He wants) for His coming to be a joyful event, not a fearful one. We want everyone to bow and confess His name when He comes again because they were expecting Him. They knew He would come, and they knew who He was before He came.

O messengers of truth, go forth,
Proclaim the gospel story,
Go forth the nations to prepare
To greet the King of Glory.

There are full-time missionaries out there (many of them), and they do an outstanding job of proclaiming the gospel message. As the dispensation moves on and the second coming draws closer, those missionary efforts are intensified. There were just under 60,000 missionaries serving a few years ago; there are closer to 90,000 of them now. That’s a lot of messengers of truth. It’s even more when you consider that there are over 15 million members of the LDS Church out there with, ostensibly, the same mandate to proclaim the gospel, even if not in the same full-time sense. We share it with those we meet, glad tidings from Cumorah, a book to be revealed, the voices of Peter, James, and John, and so much more.

It’s an exciting time to be alive, and an exciting message to share. It’s one of joy, not one of fear. Redemption, restoration, and eternal life–that’s something that’s worth sharing with others. It’s something that’s worth shouting, too. Listen to how this hymn ends:

We shout hosanna, shout again
Till all creation blending
Shall join in one great, grand amen
Of anthems never ending.

The goal is to bring everyone back home. Everyone. And the goal is to have everyone participating in that last, great, grand choir singing praises to our Lord and King. Everyone. This is our last chance. There’s no failsafe dispensation following us. This is it. The voice of God again is heard, and it’s up to us to make sure that everyone hears it.

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