So this week was soooo, good I am so glad I got to talk to you guys that was absolutely splendid. I had to give a talk on Sunday so here it is:
A Message that Saves
Good afternoon Brothers and sisters, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to you today. I am very grateful because this is a great opportunity to thank all of you for all your love and support and delicious meals, I would be a fool if I did not stand before you and thank you for everything you have done on behalf of the missionaries, and more specifically for me, I have spent these 6 months in such a great ward, and I can’t thank Heavenly Father enough for allowing me to spend so much of my time here surrounded by so many amazing members. I have met so many amazing people and have made so many friendships that it will be like another farewell when I have to leave. On missions we don’t have our families to lean on during the tough time and I have felt like you all have been my family to lean on when the times have been difficult. I am especially proud of the family I was able to teach, they will always hold a special place in my heart. It has been a marvelous privilege to have been here at the right time to have our paths crossed. As missionaries we are the ones that are supposed to do the teaching but I feel like I have been the teach-ee as I have learned so much from those valiant young men that I was able to baptize.
Alright, now to the talk…my message is entitled “a message that saves”, because of incidences in the recent years both natural disasters and terrible crimes, the world is starting to recognize that the world is slipping into destruction. It has brought attention to our families that we are indeed in the last days. The only thing we can “continually hold” to is the family and the gospel. I can’t imagine living in today’s society without the foundation of the gospel that we as members of the church have. The phrase “hold to the rod” is becoming quite literal as the world continues to ripen in iniquity. Not only holding to the iron rod ourselves but we can also be iron rods for our family and neighbors as we set a good example and help mankind down the path that leads to true happiness and true peace.
Because it was Christmas this past week we as missionaries have the unique opportunity to communicate to our family. While doing so my mother told me a story that really hit home. The girl that I am writing is someone who I am very close to and am well acquainted with her siblings. Her older sister lives in New Mexico with her cute little family her oldest child being 5 years old. My mom said that they had neighbors that they grew really close to and they had a little girl that was the same age as their little boy. They became good friends but that family, the neighbors, moved to Connecticut and that is where the little girl entered into kindergarten. As you know, an unspeakable tragedy occurred where kindergarten students were killed by an armed gunman and amid the disaster their little girl was found but her spirit was no longer with her body. That precious child was sent back to the loving Heavenly Father that knew she was too precious to go through the strife and grief of this evil, fallen world and her task was to just gain a body so she could move on with her eternal progression. What a tragedy to the parents that now have to overcome such a seemingly impossible obstacle. Luckily, they were also members of the church and they have the gospel that saves. They know that their little girl is in the eternal worlds and that if they keep their covenants they will be able to be a family forever and they will be able to raise her in the next life. They know that there is a life after death and that this earth life is only a sliver in the eternal scheme, they know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can help them overcome this and that his love can fill their empty hearts, they hold the gospel that allows them to access the blessings of the Atonement. Is it any wonder that the father of this girl was the first one to speak to the public after the catastrophe? Most of those parents I am sure are looking for the answers and think that all is lost and that they will never see their child again. That is why we must share the gospel with everyone. We must share it because it saves lives, it gives hope to the hopeless, faith to the faithless, and peace to the soul. It holds the keys to happiness and to repentance. That is what the gospel is all about repentance! To become clean again so that we can return to our Heavenly Father…to return to our God and Creator, the only way being through this gospel, through this priesthood, and through God’s only Begotten Son. (2 Nephi 9:21) He’s paid the price for ALL of us, for you and for me, and we need to help others learn how they can access the Atonement and the blessings that come from it! Life becomes so much easier to bear when we have the eternal perspective and when we know all of the eternal answers to life, we know why bad things happen, why there is evil, why there is death, why we must suffer sometimes, and where we come from and where we are going. We know these answers, but other people don’t! We could save someone from stumbling down a path of sorrow and instead lead them down the path that allows us to endure life well and to rise up against the Goliaths that challenge the way. That is why we must share the gospel. We have the best tools, the Book of Mormon, it is fail-proof and if they read it with a sincere heart, having faith in Christ, and with real intent he will always answer them. Always. Satan, the great deceiver, stops us from sharing with some classic thoughts, here are some examples:
· “I don’t have time…”
· “They won’t accept it, why bother…”
· “They aren’t ready yet…”
· “What if they think differently of me...?”
· “Next time…”
God knows who is ready and who is not, it is not our job to judge that, our job is just to share it. By taking time to share the gospel we can avoid tragedies and avoid heartache when tragedies do occur. By taking the time to share the gospel, we are not only blessed for it but they will be forever grateful that you took the time to share it with them. We just need to have faith that they will accept it and that they will act on what we teach. (2 Nephi 33:1) When we are guided by the Spirit it will whisper to them that it is true. They already accepted the gospel once, hence why they are here on Earth, we just need to help them remember and the Holy Ghost can do that (John 14:26)
The gospel is true and it is the only thing that brings happiness in this life and in the next. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he did translate the Book of Mormon and that it is the word of God. I know Jesus Christ lives and he is our savior, I am so glad that we have a loving Heavenly Father who doesn’t leave us here alone and without the way. He gave us the way and it is through his Son.
In his name, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Have a good week,