Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fare Thee Well

Sunday, February 15, 2015 Sacrament Meeting Talk
I have never been excited to speak, and today is not an exception. But I am glad that I am speaking, because that means I’m going on my mission, because I have grown a foot or two. I am so grateful and glad that I am able to serve in the Mexico City East mission. When people say that it’s a sacrifice to go on a mission, I don’t really think so. Sure in the definition of the word I’m giving up two years, but not really, because I’m living two years in the service of the Lord.
Most of you have heard Doctrine and Covenants section 4 and know it as the missionary scripture. Doctrine and Covenants is another book of scripture that we have, that is filled with revelation from modern day prophets.  I want to break D&C 4 down and talk about each verse.
Verse 1: Now behold there is a marvelous work about to come forth among the children of men.  Historically speaking, this revelation was given before the church was organized here on earth. So this revelation is talking about the restoration of Christ’s church on the earth. But it also speaks of the marvelous work going on in the world today. The word of the gospel is being spread across the earth by about 84 thousand missionaries, in 406 different missions in nearly every corner of the earth.
Verse 2: Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, mind, and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. This is a call to action for all people in the church. If we are to be in the service of God, we need to do so with all our heart, our mind, and our strength.  Then surely we would stand blameless before God at the last day.
Verse 3: Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work. This verse is seen as a call for missionaries, that if you want to serve God that you are called on a mission. I see it though, as a call for all people, that if they have desire to live God’s commandments and serve, then they should work at living the gospel life. For it is work, to obey all God’s commandments and to serve everyone. But how great is the joy and blessings from living the gospel.
Verse 4: For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul; The field is white. Brother Porter told me once that there are people who are being prepared for me to teach them. Maybe it’s a friend of theirs showing an example of what it is to be a disciple of Christ, or another missionary that opened their mind but couldn’t quite get through to them. He said that they are ready to hear the gospel through me, that there is someone waiting that only I could touch their heart by something I say or the way I say it, so that the Holy Spirit can testify to their soul of the truth.  That was so powerful to me, as I sat in the back of the car either going to or from temple baptisms; it has stuck with me since then. Let yourselves be a tool in God’s hand so that He can prepare someone to hear the gospel from a missionary.

Verse 5 and 6: And faith, hope, charity, and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence. There are five things that qualify a person for the work: first, faith. Well I hope so. I don’t know anyone who would do this without faith. It is because of my faith in Jesus Christ, His atonement, and that he established this church, that I am going far away from my home to share the joy and truth of this gospel. Second, hope. Hope may have the reputation for being uncertain, but in the gospel it is unwavering and active hope. Because when we hope we trust God’s promises. Then there is charity and love. Every missionary I have known said they came to love the people of their mission, and when they learned to love them, their mission was so much greater.  Charity, as said in Moroni 7: 47, is the pure love of Christ. If we were to have pure love like Christ does, to see all people with love and to see them as children of God, oh how perfect would that be?  And last, an eye single to the glory of God. What does that mean? Well, Elder Nelson compared it to a pair of binoculars where the right side is our view of a situation, and the left side is God’s perspective. If the two sides of the binoculars have two different images, the picture does not work. So to have the picture work, both images need to be the same. We need to see as God sees, not to see a person as an angry, dirty, homeless person, but to see a person who has gone through much in their life, who needs love and help.
Verse 7: Ask and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be given unto you. Amen.  If you need answers, ask of your Father in Heaven having real intent and He will answer you because He loves you.
Scriptures I could have used
There is the tradition that when a person goes on a mission the ward puts up a plaque with their picture, their mission and a scripture of their choosing. On my plaque I chose to put Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 which reads: And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up. Oh how great is this scripture?! God promises that he will be with me, and all around me, to comfort me and help me, wherever I go. It is a testament to me of God’s love for each of us, his children, that he cares about me to comfort and help me. It was hard to pick a single scripture to use on my plaque so I'll share a few of the runners up.
Isaiah 12: 2 behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he is also become my salvation.
Alma 29: 1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of my heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people.
Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
D&C 31:3 Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission has come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare great tidings of great joy unto this generation.
Alma 37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means doth confound the wise. This is a well-known scripture in the LDS church, but I’m not sure that many people know the context of the scripture. In the previous verse, it explains, “if they are kept they must retain brightness.” The scripture is about polishing the plates. How interesting is it that a scripture that small and simple could bring a great message. If my dad told me to keep care of a book of the records of my family, of course I would keep good care of the book, but I don’t think I would write in the book that my dad told me to keep good care of this book. God must have prompted Helaman to write in his record that his father Alma told him to preserve to plates. A very small and simple prompting that turned into great inspiration. That just shows that no matter how small a prompting is from the Holy Ghost, we should follow it. When a prompting comes and you think it insignificant, that small action could be very significant to someone far down the road.
I ‘m going to steal something from my friend Connor’s talk because I feel the same. It is a great thing that I can preach the gospel in a different language because the gospel is simple and I will only have a simple understanding of the language. I will only teach simply so that I don’t mess it up with complicated opinions and such.
Shout out to devotionals
I was born and raised in this church, knowing about gospel principles because that is what I was taught. I used to be jealous of converts to the church because they had a conversion story, of how they came to know the Church was true. It wasn’t until sometime later that I realized I didn’t have a conversion story not because I was born in this church, but because I hadn’t gained a testimony for myself.  I just had the testimonies of those who had taught me. It was then that I prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true, because if the Book of Mormon was false that would mean Joseph Smith was a fake and this church is not the true church. But when I prayed to my Father in Heaven, if the Book of Mormon was true, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of peace that yes, the Book of Mormon is true, and with that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God that restored Christ’s church on the earth today.  

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