Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Farewell Talk

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters,

I was asked to speak on the talk Of Regrets and Resolutions by Dieter F. Uchtdorf from the 2012 October General Conference. President Uchtdorf starts off by saying this, “The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets.” He then gives us advice on how we can live a life that we won’t regret. I was asked specifically to talk about the section of the talk that talks about how we need to meet our potential.

A great goal for someone to have is that they want to become the person that God wants them to be. This can be really hard because a lot of the time we have a different idea of what we should be than what Heavenly Father has in store for us. President Uchtdorf states that: “Our Heavenly Father sees our real potential. He knows things about us that we do not know ourselves. He prompts us during our lifetime to fulfill the measure of our creation, to live a good life, and to return to His presence.” We can become anything and do anything with the Lord’s help, and as long as we listen to the spirit everything will work out.

Another thing that President Uchtdorf talks about is time. How do we spend our time? Do we spend more time with video games, Pinterest, and our noses in our cell phones than with our family? Do we spend enough time in the scriptures and studying the gospel? Or are we watching TV instead? Are we spending time with those we love or just chatting with them over Facebook? President Uchtdorf states: “Why…do we devote so much of our time and energy to things that are so fleeting, so inconsequential, and so superficial?”

In Mathew 6:20-21 it says “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

President Uchtdorf says that we can start collecting our treasures in heaven: “By following the example of the Savior, by incorporating His teachings in our daily lives, by truly loving God and our fellowman.” It is important to keep an eternal perspective.

Lastly, we need to pour ourselves into the things we do. We shouldn’t just be doing things to get them done. There should always be a purpose for everything, and we should not just be stuck in the busy work of life. President Uchtdorf says: “When it comes to living the gospel, we should not be like the boy who dipped his toe in the water and then claimed he went swimming. As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of so much more. For that, good intentions are not enough. We must do. Even more important, we must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be.” It isn’t enough to just bear testimony of the gospel. We need to live it and be an example through our actions.

Now, I would like to share a story about Kristen Danner. She decided to live up to her potential and was an example by serving a full time mission. She says:

“At the beginning of 2010, I was struggling with some trials and went on a walk to clear my mind. While on the walk, I felt the Spirit whisper that I should not worry about the past; instead, I should think about my future. Just as I began reviewing my goal of finishing school, I was prompted to think about serving a mission. I never thought about a mission before, but as the idea took hold, so did an excitement and a desire to serve. However, I decided that I wanted a little more time to think about such a big decision.
The next few months were filled with promptings to serve a mission. While I still felt that same desire and excitement when the promptings came, doubts and fears came as well. I knew that women are encouraged to serve if they so desire but are not obligated to do so. During this time, I received priesthood blessings telling me the Lord would be pleased no matter what I chose.
The following summer I had a roommate who had served a mission. She said that she too felt fear before and even after she decided to serve. She helped me understand that the Spirit does not speak through doubt and fear. As we talked, the Spirit touched me. I returned to my room and read a letter from a friend who was serving a mission. The letter encouraged me to read Joshua 1:9, and I felt the Spirit nudge me to look it up.
The words pierced my soul: “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” I felt as though the Lord was speaking directly to me. I knew that I could serve a mission. I didn’t need to fear—I wouldn’t be doing it alone; the Lord would be with me.
One month later I received my call to the Philippines Iloilo Mission, where Joshua 1:9 was the mission theme.”

When we are starting to live up to our full potential, Satan will be working the hardest on us. Kristen knew that she could serve a mission, but when she started making her decision, Satan started planting doubts in her mind. But, she knew her potential and went on a mission because she knew it was right.

I would also like to quote President Thomas S. Monson because he addresses this topic as well, he says: “My brothers and sisters, may we resolve from this day forward to fill our hearts with love. May we go the extra mile to include in our lives any who are lonely or downhearted or who are suffering in any way. May we “[cheer] up the sad and [make] someone feel glad.” May we live so that when that final summons is heard, we may have no serious regrets, no unfinished business, but will be able to say with the Apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” I really like this because President Monson is always trying to help everyone he can. He serves and makes time for individual people. He made a promise to himself to always listen to every prompting the spirit gave him. It is very important to be in tune with the Holy Ghost at all times, especially on a mission.

President Monson also says, “Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important—and what is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, “They do not love that do not show their love.” 3 We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.” It is so important to show that we care for each and every individual in our lives. I love how President Monson is able to spend so much of his time with individual people. It shows how much he cares about people and that even President Monson is able to make time and he is the Prophet!

I hope to live up to my potential on my mission. I was called to serve in Vancouver, Canada, and I am so excited! I report to the MTC on August 7th. I love the gospel and I am so grateful to be able to share it with the people of Canada. I would like to quote the children’s song “Called to Serve”:
Called to serve Him, heav'nly King of glory,
Chosen e'er to witness for his name,
Far and wide we tell the Father's story,
Far and wide his love proclaim

I know that I got my calling from Heavenly Father and that I was meant to go there. In I Nephi 3:7 it says, “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” This is my favorite scripture because God promises that we will always be able to accomplish the things we need to with His help. He will only have us do things that we are strong enough to do.

I love this ward, and I am so glad that I was able to grow up around so many strong and righteous people. I’m going to miss you all and I am thankful for your influences in my life. I love this gospel and I know that it is true. I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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