On Special Assignment (3 Nephi 28)
When someone is placed "on special assignment," it means that they've been taken away from their regular duties and given something else to do — presumably, a task or project of great importance that requires the person to give it their full attention and focus.
In 3 Nephi 28, Jesus places three of His 12 disciples on special assignment. It all begins when He gives each of the 12 disciples in America the opportunity to make a special request of Him. Nine of them choose to live to the age of 72 and then to leave this life and go immediately to be with Jesus in His kingdom. The other three have an unusual request — they so strongly desire to bring souls to Christ that they want to remain on earth and continue doing this until the time that Jesus comes again.
These three are hesitant to actually make this request — not knowing that the opportunity for such a special assignment even exists — but Jesus discerns their thoughts and grants them this desire. Once the desire is expressed, there is no turning back; their bodies are transfigured or converted into a different form. Their new bodies will never die, and they are now free to focus on their special assignment of bringing souls to Christ.
Generally referred to by many of us as "The Three Nephites," these three beloved disciples of Christ still exist today and are occasionally seen in vision:
"They are as the angels of God, and if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good." (3 Nephi 28:30)
Based on their special assignment, it is reasonable to assume that when they pray to appear to someone and are then seen, there are souls being called to Christ.
Wouldn't it be a great honor to be chosen for a special assignment? Well, you have been! If you've given your life to Christ:
- You have been chosen and drawn by the Holy Ghost into the Family of God.
- You have been converted from a previous form into a new creature in Christ. (No turning back!)
- Your soul will never die. When you depart from this life, you will go on to live eternally with God.
- You now have a different focus in life. Whatever was most important to you before should now be superseded by whatever the Lord is directing you to do.
The only differences between you and the three men described above are:
- You only have a short amount of time to accomplish your special assignment on earth.
- There are many things in life to distract you from your special assignment.
So, how do we make the most effective use of the limited time we have? The Three Nephites pray for the opportunity to be involved in situations relative to their special assignment. We can do the same. Praying for opportunities to be used by God to help others will generally lead to such opportunities being presented. We just need to be ready to recognize these opportunities, push aside any distractions in our lives, and give the necessary focus to our special assignment.
Be honored to have been chosen for this special assignment of living your life for Christ. As Jesus said on a few occasions, "Many are called but few are chosen." Make the most of your special assignment, and look forward to the day when you will hear the Lord say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matthew 25:21).
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.