Friday, July 26, 2013

Coming Home

Following is the transcript of the talk I gave when I came home from my two-year mission on July 14th, 2013 (pictures taken from a special exhibit at Thanksgiving Point of statues of Christ):

If there’s one thing I love, it’s being able to witness people making covenants. If there’s another thing I love, it’s being able to witness people renewing those covenants. I love sacrament meeting. I love sitting at the front, getting to watch people as they rely on the Atonement. There’s nothing more important, more fundamental to the gospel—to our lives—than the Atonement of Jesus Christ. As Isaiah taught, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” I testify of that.

I’d like to thank the youth speakers. Thank you, for setting the tone, for inviting the Spirit. Thank you, also, to the young women for that beautiful song. I have gained an undying witness that that is true, that He will not fail us. And that is exactly what I want to talk about today.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Christlike Part 4: Synergy

As his civilization was under attack and his people about to be completely wiped off from the face of the earth, Moroni, the last Nephite, spent his days running from the savage Lamanites and keeping a record. The record that he kept and preserved and eventually hid is one that has changed the world forever. His father Mormon compiled the great record and Moroni was given the charge of making sure they were safely deposited so that they could come forth in a later time.

Doing his best to not only preserve these records, but to add his own voice and his own teachings to them, the young prophet made some of the greatest contributions to the book, many of which are quoting from letters that his father had written to him. What would you write to your child if you were two of the last ones in your civilization? What would you write as you are on the brink of destruction and your enemies about to overtake everything you have ever known?

Would you begin your letter by stating how depressing your conditions are? Would you start by saying how scared you are for your life? What about starting by talking about how hard it is to continue to follow God when you are one of the very last ones doing so?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Christlike Part 3: If Ye Have Not Charity, Ye Are Nothing

Towards the very end of Christ's mortal ministry, some of the Jewish leaders came to Him with a test, as they often did. They hated Him and were constantly trying to find things that they could use to condemn Him to death. In this particular instance, they came up to Him as asked, saying, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

This response by the Savior exemplifies the importance of the third Christlike attribute that I want to share: charity. Jesus Christ perfectly personified all of the attributes I have previously written about and many others, but to me, this is the most prevalent and constant attribute of Christ. When I think of who He was, His love--charity--is the very first thing I think of.