Sunday, September 8, 2013

Farewell Talk

In case you missed it, here is my farewell talk:

Good morning brothers and Sisters, Thank you all for coming! 

When I first got the topic to speak on Humility, my first thought was humility? What am I supposed to say about humility!? And how does that have anything to do with serving a mission? Well brothers and sisters when researching this topic I had a very humbling experience. I never understood how important humility is in order to be a useful instrument in God’s hands!! I never realized how much the general authorities and the scriptures stress so much that we must be humble and not have pride. I never knew how important being humble was to being able to serve a successful mission. President Spencer W. Kimball stated that first we have to commit to one of God’s most basic commandments to develop the essential virtues of kindness, helpfulness, love, concern and generosity. How could someone serve a mission without those five virtues? Humility is the ability to be taught, it is knowing that we are always dependent. We are always dependent on God to teach us every day. The spirit is our teacher. The spirit confirms upon us truths, when the spirit confirms something in my heart at that moment, there is no doubt in my mind that what I had been taught was true. Pride is the opposite, with pride we do not look up to God and care about what is right. Pride is Satan’s greatest tool, was it not how the devil became the devil? Christ wanted to serve man and bring men to where he is and give them all that he has, however the devil wanted to rule and be above men.

For some people, being humble is a weakness. They think that you can never succeed without having pride in yourself. But really, humility is the biggest strength. Without humility we cannot have the spirit of God. It gives us the spirit of the lord, it gives us god’s angels by our side, it gives us all the blessings that god has in store for us.

I read in 2nd Kings Chapter 6 and found one of my favorite scripture stories that I had never heard of before. The king of Syria had declared war on Israel. But Elisha would receive inspiration from God about where the Syrian army was planning to attack the Israelite troops and he would tell the Israelite king. When the Syrian king learned of this, he sent his troops out at night with chariots and horses and hundreds of men and encompassed Elisha’s city so he could capture Elisha. When Elisha’s servant awoke in the morning, he was terrified when he saw the host of the Syrian army surrounding them. He came running to Elisha and said “Master what should we do!?” Elisha answered “fear not, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” Elisha then prayed that his servant could see what he could see, and “he beheld that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire and gods angels round about Elisha.” It is amazing that with the power of God and the spirit of God we can do so much more than we can even imagine. It is amazing to me the things God will do to protect and bless you as long as we can follow him and follow one simple commandment and be humble.

Some people think that being humble is thinking less of ourselves. However, Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: “Some suppose that humility is about beating ourselves up. Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless, meaningless, or of little value. Nor does it mean denying or withholding the talents God has given us. We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves. It comes as we go about our work with an attitude of serving God and our fellowman.” The Lord does not want us to think less of ourselves, he wants us to have self confidence that we will shine with his light and with his spirit by our side. I loved this quote because it shows that the best way to show that you are humble is by thinking of other people instead of thinking about yourself. And this directly correlates to why I am going on a mission. I never knew that being humble would play such an important role in my decision to go on a mission. It took me a long time to realize that I need to become humble and realize that what I am about to go do is going to help so many other people beyond my own imagination. My decision to serve a mission isn't just because everyone is doing it, and that the prophets have said that it is our priesthood duty, I have made the decision because I have finally become humble and dedicated myself to serving other people for two years of my life. I have made the decision that I will give up everything that I love doing and put off my goals and aspirations to focus on other people for two years. It was my true test of humility and faith in the Lord when committing to serving a mission. I was so caught up in the fun life of college and surfing every day when I was home and I was so caught up with what I was going to major in, and the career I was going into for the rest of my life and had never focused on serving other people too much. I have realized that there are not many opportunities or better growing experiences you can get from serving a mission. And no it was not an easy decision for me, it may be an easy decision for some people but I was just thinking of the things I would give up. I was not thinking of the people that I would completely change their lives around by sharing with them the one thing that I know makes me happy and will make everyone else happy. It was hard and there were many days where I was questioning why I was making all these sacrifices. But once I started to pray sincerely every night I started realizing for myself the blessings I would get and the blessings that would come to so many other people because of my willingness to serve. Once I became humble and submitted that God knows what is best for me and once I could put my complete faith in God that everything will work out and that God wants us to be happy, the decision was made clear. God knows best, and I know that God wants me to serve a mission, I have no idea what will come my way but I am putting all my faith and putting everything in the Lords hands.

This ward has really helped me grow and helped me shape who I am now. Through all the experiences I have had in the young men’s program from the camp-outs and exploding various household items, or getting lost in Yosemite with chandler snow and my brother at the top of a mountain in Yosemite during a huge thunder storm and having to sleep in a one man tent with three different guys while the bottom of our tent had inches of water on the bottom, or watching my dad run across the shooting range while all ten of us young men unloaded our paintball rounds. It has all helped all of us grow and become close as friends. The young men's program is really needed for us to get through high school and get us to serving missions once we are old enough. Its great to always have your LDS friends there to support you throughout high school.

As most of you know, I have received my mission call the Chile Santiago North Mission, for two years I will be focusing all my attention on serving the Lord and helping to bring others unto Christ. And I’m so excited for the learning experiences I will have and for the growth of my own testimony and seeing myself grow as I help others to find the truth. Its going to be hard but its going to be worth it. I know I will be blessed throughout my life because of this and I have faith that heavenly father knows what is best for all of us and this gospel is all about making us happy for eternity and God would never ask you to do anything that he knew would not bless you, so I’m putting all my faith forward and serving a mission. I guess its going to be kind of like surfing; you never know what you’re going to get until you get there, you never know how worth it its going to be when you wake up at 5 a.m and its 45 degrees outside. But once you get there and your sitting in that 6 foot barrel you realize that it wasn't easy but it was so worth it!

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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