Sunday, March 23, 2014

Farewell Talk

Today was my farewell, although I don't leave until next Wednesday (April 2).  It was awesome.  Here is my farewell talk for those who couldn't make it, or wanted a copy of it!  Thank you to those who came and for all of the support from friends and family I have had over the years. 

"The POWER of the Book of Mormon in my life."
I would like to start off by sharing a favorite children's hymn "Scripture Power."
            1.  Because I want to be like the Savior, and I can,
            I'm reading His instructions, I'm following His plan.
            Because I want the power His word will give to me,
            I'm changing how I live, I'm changing what I'll be.
            Scripture power keeps me safe from sin.
            Scripture power is the power to win.
            Scripture power! Ev'ryday I need
            The power that I get each time I read.
            2.  I'll find the sword of truth in each scripture that I learn.
            I'll take the shield of faith from these pages that I turn.
            I'll wear each vital part of the armor of the Lord,
            And fight my daily battles, and win a great reward.
            Scripture power keeps me safe from sin.
            Scripture power is the power to win.
            Scripture power! Ev'ryday I need
            The power that I get each time I read.

Like I said, this used to be one of my favorite hymns.  It was always the best because all of us kids got the chance to raise our Scriptures above our heads as we shouted "Scripture Power!"  As much as I loved this song I didn't always know what it meant, or the full purpose of the song.
Today I would like to talk about how I found out the Book of Mormon is true, but really this is my testimony of the book.
We all have been given this book, and I would like us all to think of it as a present.   Imagine that you have a gift and you give it to a friend, but they didn't ever open the gift.  They let it sit on their bed-side table, or even under a bunch of old clothes.  They just didn't care about it.  This gift wasn't a cheapo gift.  It was a thought-out, time consuming gift that you put your whole heart into hoping that your friend would treasure it.  But, they didn't treasure it.  How would that make you feel?
Personally, I would be very disappointed.  Just as we give gifts to our friends, Heavenly Father has given us the gift of the Book of Mormon.  The writings in the book were meant for us to use in our lives.  1 Nephi 13:40
Now that we realize what a great gift this is.. we should open it! 
3 Nephi 23:5 And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved.  Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things.  6 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had said these words he said unto them again, after he had expounded all the scriptures unto them which they had received, he said unto them:  Behold, other scriptures I would that ye should write, that ye have not.
The first thing anyone has to do, and what I had to do is actually read the Book.  And not just "read" it to say that you did.  You have to read it will full intent to be converted unto Christ.  Moroni 7:6-8  I have now read it twice.  The first time I read it just to say I had.  This last time I read it, I really searched out answers.  I prayed hard for  to know that this book was true.  My answer did not come quickly, nor did I recognize the Spirit that was in me until I had delved deep and had studied for a long time.  I even doubted, more than I ever had before.  I was up at college this past fall semester and realized that I wanted to serve a mission but didn't think I could because I didn't know if it was true.  I didn't know for myself, because I had a lot of doubts.  But then a talk was given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf and he said "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."   Mormon 9:27  At this point I had to truly have faith, which I realized I didn't have much of before.  I took a leap of faith and read the book, ignoring past feelings I have had regarding the Church.  And this is what I ask of you today, is have you really read the Book of Mormon? 
In regular school we have history classes.  What are they for anyway?  I remember one of my history teachers saying that we read and learn about our history so that hopefully we will not make the same mistakes again.  Like WW1 and WW2, but we use history as a lesson.  If you think about it the Book of Mormon is just another history textbook.  The only difference is that the Book of Mormon was written by God and his disciples, whereas our textbooks are written not by Him (Jesus Christ).  Yet we read and study our school textbooks like we should be studying the Book of Mormon.
To reiterate: the first step is to actually read the Book. The second is to find out what you really like about the scriptures and if it is true.  Moroni 10:4-5  For me, I love hearing stories.  I have loved reading ever since I was little.  I love mystery books, and really anything that has a good plot.  Guess what!  The Book of Mormon is a great drama.  It talks about wars, lessons people have learned, and really it is Another Testament of Christ.  It is truth.  We can find Christ's example and light throughout all of the chapters.  A few of my favorite characters are King Benjamin and Alma the Younger.  King Benjamin worked hard among the people and for the people so that they may prosper in the land. 
The last thing I had to do, was apply the Book of Mormon to my life.  I would like to share 1 of my favorite scriptures that I try my best to live by. 
Alma 37:37:  Counsel with the Lord in all they doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
Moroni 10:32
Talk about how I am not perfect, but I use these scriptures as a guideline as to how I should act.  Even though I am not perfect, the Gospel is, and so are these scriptures.   One more scripture I would like to share is Mormon 9:31- Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.
I know that if we read the Book of Mormon and apply it to our lives, we will be blessed.  It has so much knowledge.  My mom used to tell me stories of stupid things she has done in hope that I will not make the same mistakes.  Of course sometimes I didn't listen to her and I would have to learn my own lesson.  But, if we truly read and understand the Book of Mormon, we realize that it is a great tool.  It is an instruction manual, given to us for our use. 
A new movie came out recently called "Inspired Guns."  It is about 2 missionaries who end up being involved with the mafia.. just watch it.  During one scene of the movie 2 of the main characters who are in the mafia are told to read the Book.  And I quote- "The answers are in the Book!".  How true is that?
Heavenly Father didn't give us this book so that we could just toss it out.  He had his prophets write down their history so that we could learn from it in hope that we wouldn't make the same mistakes that they did.
In closing I would like to share a little bit of King Benjamin's knowledge:  Mosiah 1:6-7:  O my sons, I would that ye should remember these sayings are true, and also that these records are true.  And behold, also the plates of Nephi, which contain the records and the sayings of our fathers from the time they left Jerusalem until now, and they are true; and we can know of their surety because we have them before our eyes. 
7 And now, my sons, I would that ye should remember to search them diligently, that ye may profit thereby; and I would that ye should keep the commandments of God, that ye may prosper in the land according to the promises which the Lord made unto our fathers.

Now, I would not be able to say these things if I didn't know for myself that these things are true.  If you really have questions and are wondering about what church is true, READ THE BOOK OF MORMON.  Really read and ponder the book.  Study it out and truly ask God if this book is true. 

En el nombre de JesuChristo, amen.
(I don't know if I spelled that right...)


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