Monday, September 1, 2008

Speaking in Church

Well what can I say, its finally over. Off the hook for a little while from speaking in church. I have now spoken twice this year in church. I was getting really nervous because there were callings or announcements to do so we started the sacrament ten minutes into the meeting. Ten minutes later it was time for all of us to speak. Me, Michelle, and one( yep one) youth speaker. I was thinking that we were totally screwed. But the youth speaker told me her talk was 5 pages long, I told her that's crazy cuz mine was 7 pages and it was double spaced. Well she spoke for 15 minutes, I was impressed by a youth speaker. She spoke longer than me. SO I lucked out and had only 10 min left in the meeting when it was my turn, so that's all I gave. Since everyone else posts their talks, I will do the same.

Oh yeah, I haven't heard back from Banner yet, I will keep y'all posted. And that lovely storm last Thursday hit my work and we had no power have the day and it was end of month so we a had to stay and work on generator power with no A/C for about 6 hours, that sucked.

Here's my talk:

This past week I have had time to think about my trials and the things that I am going through. I kept asking myself when it is going to end because I can’t take much more of this. Then I started to prepare my talk and I read so many things about trials and how to overcome them. The one consistent thing I read in most of the talks was that we need to endure to the end. But enduring to the end isn’t always the easiest thing. Life can throw some pretty big curve balls at us which make it easy to forget such a simple principle.

So how do we endure to the end? Is it just surviving and waiting for the end to overtake us? Or do we need to have great faith and follow the commandments of our Heavenly Father.

Often we do not know what we can endure until after a trial of our faith. We are also taught by the Lord that we will never be tested beyond that which we can endure (see 1 Cor. 10:13).
If we are patient in our afflictions, endure them well, and wait upon the Lord to learn the lessons of mortality, the Lord will be with us to strengthen us unto the end of our days: “He that shall [faithfully] endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13:13) and return with honor to our Heavenly Father.

We learn to endure to the end by learning to finish our current responsibilities, and we simply continue doing it all of our lives. We cannot expect to learn endurance in our later years if we have developed the habit of quitting when things get difficult now.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus “fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matt. 26:39).
It takes great faith and courage to pray to our Heavenly Father, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.” The faith to believe in the Lord and endure brings great strength. Some may say if we have enough faith, we can sometimes change the circumstances that are causing our trials and tribulations. Is our faith to change circumstances, or is it to endure them? Faithful prayers may be offered to change or moderate events in our life, but we must always remember that when concluding each prayer, there is an understanding: “Thy will be done” (Matt. 26:42). Faith in the Lord includes trust in the Lord. The faith to endure well is faith based upon accepting the Lord’s will and the lessons learned in the events that transpire.

As we put our faith in the Lord and keep our focus on the eternities, we will be blessed to be able to accept whatever trial we are given, for life on earth, as we know it, is only temporary, and, if we endure it well, the Lord has promised us: “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7).
I read a story from the New Era given by Teri Halling in May 1991 issue. I would like to read it to you. It says:
Murphy’s Law could have been named after me. It wasn’t just “one of those days.” It was turning into one of those weeks. Fortunately, the solution was on a slip of paper in my jewelry box.
It had been a tiring day at school. I was ready to call it quits after getting a C on an exam for which I had studied for weeks, having a fight with my best friend, and scraping my knee during gym.
“Hey,” I told myself, “you’ll be okay. Remember, endure to the end!” So I tried to put forth extra effort to have a good attitude.
The following day seemed worse. It all started with soggy cereal. Next, I couldn’t find my shoe and nearly missed the bus. When I came home, I realized that I had left my homework at school. I kept telling myself, “Hang in there; you’ll make it!”
Later that afternoon, my grandmother called to tell me that my great-grandmother had passed away. I could hardly believe it. I was devastated. I found myself crying nonstop. All I could think about was Great-grandma and her happy, smiling face. She cared about everyone, and I never heard her speak an unkind word. Everybody loved her. Some of my fondest memories are of her telling me Bible and Book of Mormon stories during trips.
Now she was gone.
The next day was difficult for me, and school was discouraging. We had a pop quiz that lowered my overall grade, and my eighth-grade band teacher got upset at us for no apparent reason. I tried praying for comfort, but it didn’t seem to help. I think it was because I was feeling sorry for myself.
When I came home from a Mutual activity that evening, I went into my room and locked the door. Then the tears came full force. Suddenly, I realized that if I wanted comfort, I needed to help myself a little. I opened my jewelry box and pulled out a piece of paper on which I had written three scriptures that could give comfort. The paper had been part of a Sunday School lesson a year earlier. I chose to read Doctrine and Covenants 50:5:
“But blessed are they who are faithful and endure, whether in life or in death, for they shall inherit eternal life.” [D&C 50:5]
I couldn’t have felt better or calmer. I decided that I would endure and have faith. That verse had a great impact on me. So now whenever I have troubles that seem to go on and never stop, my Doctrine and Covenants is the first thing I go to. I have read that verse over and over. Then I pray about it, and pretty soon things start to get better.

What a great story, I have those kind of days, who doesn’t. It really is about how we deal with those kind of days.

I have gone through one of my biggest trials this year. Having to start over with work has been a very hard thing to do. I have had days when I think about my own trials and how depressing it is and why does it have to happen to me. If I continue that way of thinking it can be really easy to start on a path to destruction. I could let depression get me down and cause me to forget about my role I play in my family. I am a father, a husband, and a son. I can’t let the trials in life ruin my life, I need to get up and show my family that no matter what the trials are that I can still be there for them and that the Lord is my first priority.

We all have many different trials that come upon us, and each one can have a different set of responses to them. If someone is stricken with an illness, they may need to be patient and faithful. Others may suffer from someone’s hurtful words or actions may need to work on forgiving those whom offended them. If a trial is due to disobedience, then the behavior should be to seek forgiveness. There are many ways to deal with our trials, but the one thing we all need to do is remember what Alma taught, he said, “Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.” Alma 36:3

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin once told of farmers in the hot desert of northwest Mexico who “grow varieties of corn and beans that are unusually hardy and drought resistant. These varieties survive and flourish in a harsh climate where other plants would wither and die. One of these plants is the white tepary bean. Its seed will sprout and the plant will grow even when very little rain falls. It sends its roots as deep as six feet into the rocky, sandy earth to find the moisture it needs. It can flower and fruit in the 115-degree (Fahrenheit) desert temperatures with only one yearly rainfall. Its foliage remains remarkably green, with little irrigation, even in the heat of mid-July.” What can we learn from this analogy? Elder Wirthlin suggested: “Perhaps members of the Church could emulate the example of these hardy, sturdy plants. We should send our roots deep into the soil of the gospel. We should grow, flourish, flower, and bear good fruit in abundance despite the evil, temptation, or criticism we might encounter. We should learn to thrive in the heat of adversity” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 7; or Ensign, May 1989, 7)

I would like to close by reading two quotes. First, Elder Orson F. Whitney said: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven” (quoted in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, 98).

And the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, … knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 304).

Brothers and Sisters, I know that our trials sometime seem hard and that they will never go away. But I know that the Lord has his hand in everything, he said he will not give us more trials then we can handle and there are times when it seems he gave all of them to me at once. But if we learn to deal with them with patience, humility, faithfulness, and endure to the end, we will get through them. I feel like I have had to relearn these principles myself in the past year. I know that I couldn’t have made it through this without my family especially my wife. Without her, my trials would have been so much harder. It is nice to have someone there to pick me back up when I would start to sink down in despair. We have the support in our ward to endure to the end. We are all an eternal family who can support each other through our friendship and love. I know personally how hard things can be and feel I need to share that with those who need to hear it. An old saying says , “when life deals you lemons, serve it lemonade.” What a great way to deal with things that come up, take the sour things and make them sweet. I may be having trials with starting over in the workplace, but with faith, I know the lord will teach me what I need to learn from this experience. But I have to do my part and read my scriptures, say my prayers, perform my callings, come to church, go to the Temple, and obey the commandments. If I can do these things, then the Lord will bless me and help me learn. I hope that as we leave here today, that we cannot worry so much about the trials and tribulations we have in our lives, but to focus on the blessings that we will receive from these trials.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


music lady said...

Great talk. Wish I could have been there in person. Thanks for sharing.
At the beginning you said "endure them (adversities) well, and wait upon the Lord." I did some studying on the word "wait" and it means to serve the Lord even though we have struggles and adversity.One needs to serve others too and not think that we are the only ones hurting. I liked the way you said we don't just endure, we have to do good and constructive things along the way.

Richard said...

Great talk!! I bet it was much better being there feeling the Spirit in person. You guys did a great JOB!! You were inspired.

Jonathan said...

Your talk was also really good. I learned a lot from yours. I hope you get that banner job.

Love ya