Good afternoon everyone! Well today I have been assigned to speak on a talk given by Bishop Dean M. Davies in April at general conference. He started his talk off talking about the San Francisco Earth quake in 1989. He spoke about how he was at a stoplight and saw the waves in the concrete. He was scared, but not hurt. He said, “The earthquake caused severe damage in the San Francisco Bay Area, most notably on unstable soil in San Francisco and Oakland. In San Francisco, the Marina District had been ‘built on a landfill made of a mixture of sand, dirt, rubble, … and other materials containing a high percentage of groundwater. Some of the fill was rubble dumped into the San Francisco Bay after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.’ In about 1915, apartment buildings were then built on the landfill. In the 1989 earthquake, the water-saturated unconsolidated mud, sand, and rubble converted to a liquid-like mass, causing the buildings to collapse.” The damage left about 12,000 people homeless. Interesting enough my family was 4 of those 12,000 people left homeless. I wasn’t born yet, but I have heard a lot of stories about the earthquake from my parents. They saw houses and apartments burning, buildings falling, people hurt, and probably other really terrifying events going on all around them. But they always say in the end they were extremely blessed. All of this happened because there was not a sure foundation. It is interesting to think that with a sure foundation this would be a completely different story. So, how do we start building our own sure foundation? It says in Helaman 5:12 also a scripture mastery mom, “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” So, the answer is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ should be important to all of us. He did so much for us. My very best friend in the whole world is a very strong Christian. She talks about Jesus Christ like she knows him and has known him her whole life. Whenever I feel concerned about anything and everything there is a scripture she always quotes. It is in Philippians 4:13 and it simply and beautifully states, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” This scripture is a real reminder that he is our foundation. He will never let us down and will only bring us up. A lot of people believe that, not just Mormons. When I was writing this talk I got an interesting message on Facebook from a girl who had been in my English class last semester at BYU Idaho. Her name was Chanock and she was born and raised in South Korea. She was very shy, but I always helped her with her essays because she couldn’t write in English very well. In the message she had asked me about my mission and when I was leaving. She wanted my e-mail address, so that we could stay in contact while I was away. We talked for a little bit and she went on to tell me that English was very, very hard for her. I started asking her about learning a language because that is a big concern to me right for obvious reasons. She then went on to tell me that in her school in South Korea she had learned English, but just grammar. Although grammar was important to her and helped a lot, she said it would be nice to understand it all. This relates to an idea of a foundation. Grammar was her foundation. She needed it, but she also needed to strengthen it by learning more. Grammar was enough, but in order to be firm in the English language she need to work to build upon it. Jesus Christ is our main foundation and we need to start with that, but there are other things we need to do that will make our foundation in Christ become firm. The three things that are essential to building upon our foundation are primary answers, praying, reading the scriptures, and partaking of the sacrament. Well let’s talk about the first one, prayer. In Mathew 7:12-17, Jesus is teaching his disciples how to pray. He taught them not to pray loudly in public just so others can see, but to pray quietly or with the right intention in mind. He taught them the correct pattern they should pray in and most importantly that when you pray Heavenly Father hears you. What a blessing it is to know that when we pray, we can be heard. Heavenly father loves his children and wants us to have what we need. It is also so much easier to have a true relationship with Christ because of prayer. Prayer strengthens that relationship and that is one thing we need to have a firm foundation in Christ. Second, reading the scriptures. Of course we all know that some nights we are just so tired and want to go to bed with out reading. We all know that feeling and some of us get that feeling a lot. Don’t worry I am very guilty of that…anyways it is really important and is filled with blessings. Last semester I took the class Book of Mormon at BYU Idaho. This class goes through the first half of the Book of Mormon. It was a very easy class where I was only required to read and write in my journal daily and show up to discuss what we read. About a month after I got my mission call I started to get really nervous. It wasn’t the fact that I was going on a mission to Brazil; it was the fact that I was going on my mission to Brazil and speaking Portuguese. Languages are hard for me and have always been. In high school I really hated taking Spanish, sorry brother blue. So thoughts like- How am I going to be able to speak to these people at all and understand them or why can’t I just teach in English because I’m good at English, came into my head? So, that day I was reading for my class and kind of feeling down and defeated when a scripture came along. It was 2 Nephi 31:13 and it says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.” I don’t know if you understand how amazing this scripture really is. A week before I read this I was sitting with my neighbor and her boyfriend talking about Brazil and he told me that the Portuguese language’s nickname is the language of Angels. And it said right in that scripture that if I was living right I would be able to speak the tongue of angels. I love when little moments like these happen while reading the scriptures. Heavenly Father has scriptures on this earth for us to read and understand. It is important to build a foundation on scriptures because they are exact words from God. Third, partaking of the sacrament. The sacrament is very easy to over look. Sometimes kids are screaming, or you have a lot on your mind that keeps you from really understanding the importance of the sacrament. I found a story by John H. Groberg that speaks of how important the sacrament really is, “Some years ago, a young couple we will call the Joneses visited with their bishop about a problem the wife had. The details are not important, but through the direction of the Spirit, the bishop’s decision was that, among other things, Sister Jones would not partake of the sacrament for a period of time while she worked out some attitudes and problems. With lots of love and support, she continued to attend meetings with her family, and few but her husband and the bishop were aware of the situation or even noticed that week after week she did not partake of the sacrament. At first she didn’t feel much difference; but as time went on, she became more and more desirous to be worthy to partake of the sacrament. She thought she had repented before, but as the real soul-searching deepened and as her desire to worthily partake of the sacrament increased, true fundamental changes began to take place in her life and in her actions and in her thinking. More time passed. Finally, during one sacrament meeting, the Spirit bore witness to the bishop and to Brother and Sister Jones that the time had come for her to again partake of the sacrament. “Next Sunday,” the bishop said. Next Sunday came, and Sister Jones sat again with her family, nervous, yet excited and full of anticipation. “Am I really worthy? How I want to be!” she thought. The sacrament hymn was more meaningful than ever. She sang with such feeling that it was difficult to hold back the tears. And the sacrament prayers—how profound! She listened so intently that every word sank deep into her soul—to take his name, always remember him, keep his commandments, always have his Spirit. “Oh, how I desire this,” she thought. The deacons began to move up and down the aisles, and the trays were passed from person to person across the rows. As one young deacon got closer and closer to her row, her heart began to pound harder and harder. Then the tray was coming down her very row. Now her husband was holding the tray in front of her! Tears streamed down her face. There was a barely audible sob of joy, as she reached for the emblem of the Lord’s love for her. The congregation did not hear the sob, but they did notice the tears in the bishop’s eyes.” Like Sister Jones we should feel the urge that we want the sacrament so bad that it brings tears to our eyes. The sacrament is a sacred time where we get to really think about Jesus and his sacrifice; we need to learn to cherish it. Hard things come into our life and sometimes test our faith. The reason a firm foundation is important is so that when times get tough we can stand strong. I remember many times in high school when I was made fun of for what I believed. I can say honestly some days I would come home in tears. But what really kept me coming back to church was my firm foundation in it. I have been shown so many miracles in my life that I have no doubt that this gospel is true. I have seen lives change when people really sunk into the words of the gospel. Because of this firm foundation I am going on a mission. I am so excited to teach people about happiness and true love. I know that I will not baptize everyone I speak to, but my goal is to at least plant Jesus Christ into his or her lives. He is amazing and his love changes lives. My mission is going to be really hard for me, but really, really good for me. I am grateful for a firm foundation in Christ and I am grateful for prayer, scriptures, and the sacrament that really help we build upon the foundation of Christ. I am grateful for my family and their support in building my foundation of Christ. They have all been my examples. When my dad went on a mission his family was inactive and his decision of going brought his whole family back. Since then, my grandpa has been a bishop, my grandma has been a relief society president and my uncle and aunts are all active in their wards. His example and faith are such a support to me and my extended family. Although my mom and I drive each other nuts a lot because we are so much alike I couldn’t have a better person in my life to raise me. She has taught me the definition of a truly virtuous woman. She loves Jesus Christ and her family more than the world. And mom I promise I won’t throw away my plane ticket this time! My brothers and sisters have also taught me so much. We are all so different and that makes getting together so much more enjoyable. I am grateful for their support and their love as I take this huge step in my life. I am so grateful for this church and the strength it has given me! I am more than excited to go and serve the Lord. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
As many of you know I gave my farewell talk this last Sunday, which was May 26,2013! If you missed it I thought I would post it on my blog! Here you go! Enjoy!