Monday, February 24, 2014

Rewind Back to the Beginning

Some people have expressed an interest in being able to read Missy's farewell talk. I am posting her main outline but it is not the actual talk she gave because as you know, those of you who know Missy, she tends to "wing it". This was on September 29, 2013.

I'm so excited to see all of your faces here today! You don't know how much your support means to me. Thank you.

For those of you who may not know, or might have forgotten, I have been called to serve in the South Carolina Columbia mission, and I leave this Wednesday. It's crazy how quickly, yet how slowly the time went by, but it's finally here and I'm quite eager to embark on this new adventure.

We went on trek a few years ago to Martin's Cove as a stake. Shout out to anyone who has gone on trek. Shout out to anyone who remembers my multiple emotional breakdowns, which were triggered because we ran out of cheese.

We had a theme song entitled, "God Was There." I feel that it really puts to light the struggles those early saints had to endure. I would like to read the words.

No we never walked alone across the mountains, even with the blizzard blowing strong. No we never felt abandoned by the mighty Lord above- for he filled our hearts with deep and purest love.
No we never crossed a river that was frozen- Never faced the windy snows alone. No we never felt abandoned by the mighty Lord above- for in our trials we learned of endless love.
We felt him near us as we knelt in prayer. Knowing he was there gave us hope to carry on. We felt him near us as we froze in sleep. Knowing he could keep, gave us hope to carry on. Our lord and savior heard each crying plea, answered tenderly to carry on, to carry on.
No we never thought that God had really left us. Never dreamed to see the things we saw. No we never felt abandoned by the mighty lord above for he filled our hearts with courage deep and strong
No we never ventured onward without knowing truly God was watching over all. Though our weary bones and dying can only testify, he watched us as we pushed for Zion's home.
We felt him near us as we forged the trail. Knowing oh so well, gave us life to carry on. we felt him near us, clearly God could see. Knowing, He, with love filled our hearts eternally.
We testify now. Let it ring in ear. Everyone must hear. Know this that God was there. That God was there. So carry on for God was there. 

The saints who crossed the plains had so much going against them, but they had even more going for them. I feel like the pioneers are superb examples of being not moved in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While on trek we got a very small glimpse of the pioneers' lives. However, there were a few differences. We had plenty of food. We didn't freeze-in fact, it was quite warm- and our trek only lasted 3 days. Those are some pretty big differences if you ask me.

I cried because I dropped my hamburger bun on the ground, spilled soda on my shirt, and I couldn't get beans because then they would touch my grapes. It's actually pretty silly now that I look back on it. BUT, they cried because they had to bury their husbands, and wives, and children, and friends. They cried because they didn't have enough to eat. They cried because they were always so cold. They cried because they had gone so far and felt like they couldn't go any further. But they kept going because they knew that this is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. They wanted so desperately to be a part of it. Their faith and trust in Jesus Christ pushed them through the times when the devil sent forth his mighty winds and when all his hail and his mighty storm beat upon them. They made it through because they knew what was ahead if they would endure to the end. 

Those saints who crossed the plains were so strong. They were so faithful. I don't believe it was easy at all. It wasn't easy for them to stand immovable in the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their day and age. I don't feel that it is always easy for us either. We have a completely different set of challenges than they did, but it is still hard to stand up for what we believe in sometimes. 

We can thank Satan for that. He is real. He is so incredibly real. And he is out there trying to pull us down, trying to ensnare our hearts in his chains of destruction. He will do anything to make us falter and think that we can't return to the goodness of God.

The adversary is going to beat us down. He is going to tell us we're not good enough and it's too hard to stand strong in the Gospel. He is going to tell us that we aren't worth it, and we can't do it. So just give up. Here's the thing: Satan doesn't love you. Why listen to someone who doesn't honestly care about us. But you know who does love us? Heavenly Father. And you are so completely, entirely worth it. You can stand strong and immovable in the Gospel on your trek through life. You can do it. We all can. The joy and knowledge that come from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ with perfect obedience is so worth it. It's not always easy, but it is always worth it.
     So how can we be not moved in this Gospel? I've thought of some ideas that might help. 

     I have been called to serve, but so have you. Whether it is a call to serve in a church position, such as the bishopric, relief society, primary, class presidency etc. or the call to be a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, or just to be a good friend. Every call to serve is valuable and never forgotten. I have found that when I am giving service, it serves me more than it serves the recipient. And it is so much fun!

* Love everyone- including yourself*
   You are enough. You are more than enough. And never let yourself believe otherwise. People make mistakes and we disappoint each other. But I know that when we make a constant effort to try and see each other through the eyes of God we can be happier and more keen to the promptings of the spirit.  

     D&C 90:24
    Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another.
      Prayer is true. Prayer works.
   Heavenly Father really is there, and he really does hear and answer every child's prayer. (10 points to Gryffindor for whoever caught on to that primary song reference. :)

    Temple, Temple, Temple. I can't say it enough. If you want to stand in the Gospel of Jesus Christ with unwavering faith, go to the temple frequently. If you can't yet go in, go with a full and open heart to the temple grounds, and dream of the day when you can enter. Then go quick to work to make that dream become a reality. I promise if you do this you will feel love and hope through the Holy Ghost. I know that if the temple is a priority in our daily lives we will be full with the light of Christ. We will be able to press forward on the toughest of days with strength and courage. We will more fully enjoy the good days. Our hearts will overflow with the urge to do right, and it will be easy to do that which is right. The temple is the place to be. It is through the temple that we can reach our full potential as children of a loving Heavenly Father. Through the temple we become the person we want to be, and the person God destined us to be.

     I know this is true. I have felt it in my heart. But don't just take my word for it. Find out for yourself. I know that if we always have the temple in our sights we can stand and be not moved.

Through service, love, prayer, and the temple we can be not moved. I pray that we may too be like those early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by standing strong in our faith. I pray that we may know it is all worth it in the end. I pray that one day we may all hear the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" because we were unmoved. 

            I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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