I've only been home for three days from BYU, and yesterday I gave my missionary farewell talk. Since it was Easter, I had the opportunity to speak about the atonement and resurrection, so it was just everything I could have ever asked for!
Here it is:
How Teaching about the Resurrection of Christ can, as a missionary, bring hope to the people of the world.
I have had some great experiences in college such as living in independence, meeting a lot of fun and awesome new friends, and staying up until the crack of dawn every day of the week just because I could. But none of the blessings I have received from attending such a great University compare to how much I have come to know both the church and my Savior, Jesus Christ.
It feels like I am a completely different person now from when I left, and trust me, it’s mostly for the better. I love every opportunity that I get to attend Church service and partake of the sacrament. I loved going to the Conference Center for every session of General Conference to hear our prophet’s voice and the voices of all other leaders of our church regarding their love for the Savior and devout testimonies to the truth of the gospel. I had the opportunity of taking Missionary Preparation with the best teacher I have ever had, and I even got college credit for taking a class on the Book of Mormon!
My second semester at BYU has come to an end, but I come home with more knowledge from the past 8 ½ months than I have ever gained in my life.
For those of you who haven’t heard yet, I have been called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My initial assignment is the Mexico, Cuernavaca mission (Spanish speaking) and I report to the MTC on May 11th.
Speaking of terrible segues, our Heavenly Father gave us the plan of salvation for one wonderful purpose, to allow us all to become like Him and dwell in His presence for time and all eternity.
Moses 6:57 states, “Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must , or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no thing can dwell there, or in his
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Repent for your sins and don’t look back. Become a new creature in Christ and always strive to achieve the ultimate goal of eternal salvation. We all have an equal opportunity, and don’t ever think that you will never be good enough to reside in the Celestial Kingdom.
One of my favorite short stories, “The Master’s Hand” illustrates the beauty of doing our best and making the most out of a situation by relying on our Heavenly Father.
“The Master’s Hand” – Author Unknown:
Wishing to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a mother took her boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her.
Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked “NO ADMITTANCE.” When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to being, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that the child was missing.
Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit, keep playing.”
Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience.
That’s the way it is in life. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren’t always beautiful, flowing music. But when we trust in the hands of a Greater Power, our life’s work is truly a masterpiece.
As I prepare to head out on my mission, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to have the opportunity to do the Lord’s work for the next two years. Through the spirit, I hope to convince many people to remember the decision they have already made to always strive to make it back to their Father in Heaven. I will give hope to the world in bringing them to repentance and becoming new creatures in Christ. Called to serve Him, I will go forth and bring hope to the people of Cuernavaca teaching of the Atonement: the key to gaining eternal life.
I am very grateful to all of you for always providing a great spirit in the ward that I have grown up in and I will miss you when I leave again, but know that when I am gone, I am in good hands.