Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Mission XP - Email talk 12 July 2016
I decided since i didn't have time to share how the week went I'd share the talk I gave in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Dad, Kristina forgive me if I cannot fully recollect the events of the stories you were a part of however they served well in bringing the spirit through personal experiences.
STANDING UP AGAINST SATAN AND HELPING OTHERS DO THE SAME
Where I'm from
How long I've been out or not doesn't matter 🙄 Brother Halladay called us about a week ago asking if we could give a talk in his ward. Obviously we accepted 😉 but he let it be up to our disgression what we'd talk about. My companion and I have prayed everyday as we have prepared for this opprotunity. I pray that each of us will be able to feel the spirit teaching us and testifying to us as we listen.
Often times in life we go through many trails and we face many challenges and temptations. This afternoon I would like to talk about how we can learn and grow and stand up to Satan.
LEARNING TO CATCH MY SELF
There was a time, and don't laugh I don't share this for humor, when I couldn't catch my self. We found this out one day when I was 7 or 8. My mom and dad called us into there room to have a family meeting. And we all ran in. I was last and as I came into the room I tripped over my feet and feel flat on my face. My parents at first were worried then my dad asked me, "why didn't you use your arms?" I didn't know. I'm not sure how often I had fallen before but it never occured to me to throw my hands in front of me to catch myself. After that he took every opprotunity he could to trip me and I continued to fall until I learned how to catch myself. Of coarse that sounds mean and im sure I wasn't to thrilled about this expirience as it was happening. But what is it that we can use when in life we fall spiritually? Those two arms I used to catch myself are:
FAITH AND REPENTANCE
Faith and repentance. Faith: a strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion/complete trust or confidence in someone or something. The first principle of the gospel is to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. To have a firm belief that he is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. That it is through His grace and mercy that we can live
with our father in heaven again. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to live with them again. They want us to recieve the blessings and strength that come by having faith. Moroni 7:33-And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. In preach my gospel chapter 3 lesson 3 it states:
"Faith in Christ leads to action. It leads to sincere and lasting repentance. Having faith causes us to try as
hard as we can to learn about and become more like our Savior. We want to learn what His commandments
are and then obey them. Even though we will still make mistakes, we show our love for Him by striving to
keep His commandments and avoid sin."
Faith leades to sincere and lasting repentance. Repentance is the second principle of the gospel. Repentance, put simply, is making changes to bring our lives in closer harmony with god and the teachings of Jesus Christ. As we repent, our view of ourselves and the world changes. As we change, we recognize that we are children of God
and that we need not continue making the same mistakes over and over. As we sincerly repent we can feel the forgivness of our Heavenly Father by feeling his spirit the Holy Ghost stronger. But we are not perfect and we will make mistakes again.
WRESTLING WITH MY DAD
I remember when I was younger, about the age when you loved your dad so much and you always wanted to see him when he came home and you wanted to spend time with him...you know before your a teenager...and
I remember this age always having those wrestle fights with my dad. I, naturally being 8 or 9 thought that I could easily take on my dad. I knew what he'd do. I'd watched my sisters do this so much before. I was small very thin but I could only see it as an advantage. You know when you where younger and you'd run around your house as a little child with everything going by fast and you could see in your head, you could see that you were running so fast like the flash. And then as an adult you see your child or a child running back and forth for
no apparent reason, and all you see is that determined and proud face as he runs slightly faster than you walk. That was me, I thought I was so fast and I was small so naturally I was that much harder to grab. My dad is a big man, a giant in my 8 year old eyes. So I figured he was slow and with my lightning speed I could take him on. So I did. My sisters had just finished wresting him. The advantage was mine. He was probably worn out. He didn't have a fighting chance, I came at him, I did the old, you think I'm going to run into you but at the last second I duck under his legs and I'm behind him and I can grab his legs and now he can't walk. And everything was going perfectly as planned except for I didn't get to the ducking part of my plan and within 5 seconds I was hanging upside down by my legs. This happened every single time I'd go up against my dad. It was so frustrating how he'd pin me down a different way each time. Thinking of that spiritually...
DON'T GIVE UP
I don't know if you've ever felt this way before like I have this plan to get back on the right path, to beat Satan. There is a temptation I'm facing that I want so badly to get over, to over come, but I keep messing up. I keep making the same mistake over and over again. I repent and I fall and I repent and I fall and I repent and I fall and finally I just don't want to get up I just don't want to try anymore I can't try anymore. I cant even pray to heavenly father right now because he knows I'm just going to mess up again. There is no way that Heavenly Father could possibly forgive me again...I'm just not worthy of his help or his forgivness. BROTHERS AND SISTERS THIS IS NOT NOW NOR WILL IT EVER BE TRUE. Our Heavenly Father has an unimaginable amount of love for us and desire for us to live with him again, he is always holding out his arms for us ready to embrace us as we simply try to do better. And knows we will do better. He sent us here with a plan for us to continuously progress. 📈We start off here in life 📈 and Heavenly Father knows that we're not just gonna progress like this / we are going to mess up \ what do we do when that happens? We repent. We feel sorry for what we've done,
we pray to god for forgivness and strength, we do what we can to make it better, and give it our all to not do it again. But what happens if we do it again?
This is the thought process I used to have of repentance and I think some of us have today. The first time we mess up we eventually get to the point were we know we need to access the Atonement. We do and we
feel an incredible peace and love. Then (IF) we make that mistake for a 2nd and 3rd time we know the Atonement is there for us so we pray again for forgivness and strength, we feel less like it will work as powerfully as the first time but it still gets us back to here. And anytime after the 4th or 5th time we mess up we just give up on asking for forgivness because we've messed up too much and/or we're unworthy.
Brothers and sisters here is the reality of repentance and progression in God's eyes. Jesus Christ suffered, bled, and died for us. He felt all the pain we will ever feel and all the sorrow, fear, and doubt we could ever feel. It does not matter where we are in life or what mistakes we have or keep making. He preformed the infinite Atonement for us because his love for us is infinite. There is not a limit of use of the atonement. When ones desire is to come closer to our Father in Heaven and become better.
I hope you all know what a benchpress is. For those of you who don't it's a bench that you lay on and while you are laying on your back you take a bar with wieghts on it and you push up . People do this to exercise their chest. Usually when one bench presses they will have a spotter or a person who will stand behind them ready to help them if they cannot push the bar all the way up. You usually have enough weight on the bar so you can only push it all the way up by yourself 9 or 10 times. When you finally cant get it all the way up by yourself the spotter will take 2 fingers and apply just a little bit of his strength while you are still using all of your strength. As you continue working out you will gradually put little by little more weight on the bar. So you will still need the spotter because you will consistantly be progressing in the wieght your benching.
In our life, Jesus Christ is our spotter. He is always spotting us because we are constantly learning and growing. We are constantly making mistakes and repenting. But we are also constantly adding weight and endurance skill to our bar of trials and temptations.
Because the Atonement is here for us to use infinatley in our path of progression it doesnt just have the power to bring us back to where we were 📈 but it can, if we allow it, bring us here / and if we are constantly trying our best and putting in all our effort and strength, even if we keep going through the pattern of sining and repenting will will have become what God wanted us to become because we have grown and progressed.
STANDING AGAINST MY SISTER
Eventually as I got older I got taller too. I got a little bigger but not much, I've been a literal stick most of my life. I'm the youngest of three. I've got two older sisters. When I was in 8th grade I was taller than my oldest 🙄 I wasn't really tall she was just really short. My other sister, whose in the middle, was still a bit taller than me but skinnier and she was a freshman in high school. And she had joined this army program called JROTC a junior army type of program in high school. And she thought she was big and bad. She was on Raiders, which is the the most physical team in JROTC so she was pretty proud of herself, as well she should have been. And one afternoon I think on a Saturday somehow she and I had gotten into a conversation that led to her saying,"I bet I could beat you in wrestling" with my response being "snort" because she was a girl and my sister. We were close in height now so she definitely wasn't going to take me down. I guess I was pretty proud too, for being the
skeleton that I was. Well, we got in our positions, we were in opposite corners of the living room, which is about the only part of wrestling we really knew, our parents and sister were watching from the couch. I don't know why my parents let us do this, my mom probably was just watching for pure amusement but my dad, you know I'm pretty sure my dad just wanted to see his son taken down by a girl. So my sister and I started. We both came at each other, I wast too focused on what she was going to do I just focused on her leg. When I got there I rabbed it and pulled up. She was on one foot and stumbled and at the same moment I stumbled too and realized she'd gone for the same thing. So now we're both on one foot balancing and trying to knock the other one down. Eventually we let go and started on our feet again. And she comes at me. It's pretty even but one of two things
arechappening now. Either im standing in a forward leaning position and she just isnt moving me or I keep pinning her down, but she never gave up. And I don't know how she did it but she wiggled herself out of my hold every single time. I'd never completley win. Id' have her in a hold but I could never completley win. She'd come at me, she couldn't knock me down but I did get off balanced and then I'd take her down, thinking it was finally over, finally I beat her.
THE POWER OF SCRIPTURES IN OUR EVERYDAY LIFE
But when your wrestling with someone or something and you got it pinned, you don't stop. You don't say well I've got him down so now I can get up, turn around, and walk away? If there are any current or former addicts of any kind in here you know as well as i do and better than anyone else that you can never allow your gaurd to go down. Because what's going to happen when you turn your back or stop putting all your effort in standing up to satan? Something is going to happen. You give into a temptation, or mabye a death occurs that you weren't ready for, a denial, a layoff, an injury. So what can we do? What must we do to face satan? Spiritual feast upon the gospel. 2Nephi 32:20 "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." The Book of Mormon has been emphasized very strongly. That is because as we pray and study the Book of Mormon we
find for ourselves that it is not only teaches us more about our Savior but we learn of a people who had trials just like we do today. We have been given this record, this testimony of people after people, this journal of experiences, several of which we are familiar with, to learn how to over come; The loss of loved ones, the temptations of lying, stealing, committing adultery and coveting. We can better learn how to access the Atonement of Jesus Christ as we go through depression, anxiety, and fear. We can learn how to better love our
neighbor. To recieve the knowledge that you are a son or daughter of a Father in Heaven who loves you. We invite you to read from the Book of Mormon everyday and pray to know how to apply it to your life. It will bless you. You will feel the spirit. You will come closer to your Savior Jesus Christ. You will learn of the plan that our Father in Heaven has for us. We find ourselves sometimes forgetting that we came to earth to be tested and tried, to learn and to grow through easy and hard times. But when we are faced with trials and temptation remember to always turn to the lord and have faith in his only begotten Son.
BE A STRENGTH AND SUPPORT FOR OTHERS
We also sometimes forget that it might be harder for others to get through thier trials because they don't yet understand how to access the Atonement. In many of these cases remember that we have been blessed with the knowledge of the gospel and in such is a great responsibility. Mosiah 2:41 is one of my most favorite scriptures. It says, "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."
(Talk about it)
What i find intresting is that earlier in this chapter Mosiah speaks of service...
-service for others
-serving them by testifying and bringing them the gospel
Here are three quotes from three prophets to us:
President Joseph Smith (1830–1844)
“After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith , 113).
“Let the Saints remember that great things depend on their individual exertion, and that they are called to be co-workers with us and the Holy Spirit in accomplishing the great work of the last days”
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 178–79).
President Brigham Young (1847–1877)
“There is neither man or woman in this Church who is not on a mission. That mission will last as long as they live, and it is to do good, to promote righteousness, to teach the principles of truth, and to prevail upon themselves and everybody around them to live those principles that they may obtain eternal life” (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe , 322).
President John Taylor (1880–1887)
“Our duty is to preach the gospel to all men. … This is what God expects of us” (The Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham , 234–35).
I give you my representative witness that we do in fact have a Heavenly Father who loves us. Jesus is the Christ and He lives. The Atonement truly is here at the ready for each of us to access as we allow it to change our hearts and lives. As we are receptive to and accept The gospel of Jesus Christ we will be receptive to all the
blessings that come from it. In this i so testify in the name of Jesus Christ amen.