Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Sacrament Talk

Today was the day that we spoke in Sacrament.  I have been praying and preparing for quite some time. Conversely, Ron jotted down a few scant thoughts and when he spoke, only referred to one of them.  That said, he was simply marvelous.

Since I had my talk written down, I've been asked to share it.  There are some differences, that happens when one speaks in front of a congregation, and in reading through it, I think it loses some in written form - but I hope it is useful to someone.


I must have written and rewritten this talk at least 10 times in the last week.  I recognized that I would be speaking as soon as we received our mission call - so I've been contemplating what to say for a long time.  I know what I want to share….I just don’t know how to do it in less than 2 hours.  So I’m going to wing it.  I suggest you all pray for me and for yourselves that somehow, we will all get through this experience in one piece.

So, here we are.  Ron and I are leaving on a mission.  I’m sure many of you have thought in these last few months…”seriously, are these people EVER going to leave”?
First there had to be a few miracles performed before we could go.  And I’m here to testify that miracles did happen – great big ones.  The kind that lifts my soul and testifies that there is a living, active Father in Heaven that cares about me, and my family and is willing and patient enough to bend and mold me into something useful.

People ask, what will you do at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Nina?  Well, we know what Ron will be doing.  Very clearly he is called to do his magic in the Facilities Maintenance Department.

Here is a twist of irony.  I have also been called to the Facilities Maintenance Department.  Me, who doesn’t know a lug nut from a coconut.

So my answer is, I have no idea, but I’ll tell you what, whatever it is I’m going to do, I am going to do it with great gusto!

My friends have told me that they are quite sure that I will go over there and whip everyone and every thing into shape.  I’ve been thinking about this and I’m here to tell you that I will do no such thing. I am 100% positive that the only thing that’s going to be whipped into shape is me!

What I've been thinking about is what my real purpose will be on this mission.  As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I know that every day and in every way my priority must be to share the love and concern of my Savior, and your Savior with everyone I meet.  I will have the honor and responsibility to share the good news of the Gospel.

So how do I best share that message?  The answer is the same for you as it is for me.  We only have to follow the clear and marvelous example of the Savior Himself.

Let me tell you what I discovered I would NOT do:

I will not judge – because it is not my right.  It is the Savior’s responsibility, thank goodness, because He is far wiser and merciful.

I will not shrink back.  If the Mission President says “go talk to those people”, I’m gonna talk to them.  I may faint dead at their feet from fright, but I’m gonna do it!

I will not withhold from anyone.  One of the dearest examples in the scriptures is the fact that the Savior reached out to those that society had shunned.  He knew they were precious – maybe a little roughed up, but children of God all the same.  He never looked down upon them, except with His hand stretched out to lift them.

Isn’t it beautiful how time and time again, when reaching out to someone in need, the first thing He would do is kneel down to meet them on their level and ever so gently lift them to His level - maybe physical, but always spiritually.

As members of this great church, we have a message to share, and it is a message that will change our lives and the lives of those we give it to:

“God is real.  He is your Father.  He loves you.  He wants you to be happy and He wants you to come home.”

I remember a few years ago when I taught a Sunday School class filled to the brim with 15-16 year olds who were pretty sure they were all that with a cherry on top.  There were days I thought I’d have to hog tie then to get through the lesson.  There were days they were doing their best to hog tie me!  But then there were times when it all came together and the Word of God literally filled the room.

I remember one time when I was teaching a message about the worth of a soul.  At the end of the lesson I shared a powerful and simple message from the Savior.  That experience has remained sacred in my heart ever since and with your indulgence, the Lord has asked me to share that message again today.

I contemplated how best to do this, and decided to utilize some young ladies that I care for very much.

Jenny*, the Savior loves you, and you are marvelous and you are worthy of His love.

Heather*, the Savior loves you, and you are spectacular and you are worthy of His love.

Mara*, the Savior loves you, and you are amazing and you are worthy of His love.

* Names changed.

How I wish I could take the time to look each and every one of you in the eye and give you the same message.  Instead, would you listen with your heart and hear your name as I say Brother, Sister, the Savior loves you, and you are incredible and you are worthy of his love.

Now, I ask you…what are you going to do with that information?

Are you going to bury it, or are you going to use it?  Do you have a big decision, in front of you – about work, school, you’re family?  Maybe you’re wondering if this 24/7 gospel is really worth your time. 

Perhaps, you have friends pressuring you, people telling you you’re being foolish, just like those in Lehi's dream standing in the building across the misty river, pointing their fingers and mocking those holding onto the iron rod.  How does that make you feel?  Confused or perhaps angry?  How can you make a wise decision when you feel that way?  There is no way under that pressure that you can find your answer.

How does knowing how precious and how loved you are effect your decision?  Are you listening?  Has the Lord not spoken to your heart?  Maybe it was here in this meeting, maybe at another time.  What does that feel like?  Does it fill you with joy and give you confidence?  This is what you need to look for, and the Holy Ghost will be able to guide you so much better than those negative voices.

The Lord wants you to be happy and you will be happy, if you trust Him and follow His great wisdom.

Now, brothers and sisters, if this information is important to you, it makes sense that it would be important to others.  Once we know who we are, it is our responsibility to make sure that others know it to.

There is such an excellent example of this in John 21

15 ¶So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Ron and I are now asked to give our efforts to feed His sheep.  We are so honored.  And so, we’re going on a mission.  Some people think we’re crazy because we’ve sold everything we own for this mission.  Others think we’re just sooo….cooooollll. 

We’re neither.  It’s just the right thing for us.  Everyone needs to consider and move upon what would be the right thing for them – everyday.  No matter what the situation, you couldn't do better than to always ask yourself “What’s would the Savior want me to do?”  

Although we will be in a beautiful land, a piece of our heart will always be here, in lovely Sequim.  We have been so blessed here and we love you all very much.

I want to testify that I have a testimony of this Gospel and in my Savior and Redeemer.  I know that He will bless us and guide us as we serve and learn from the beautiful Polynesian people.

And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Amen

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting your talk Nina. Since I could not be there in person to say Bon Voyage to you two for your Mission in Hawaii. I will enjoy reading your blog.