I am going to be a missionary in a WEEK!! A WEEK I TELL YOU! I am a little bit of a roller coaster right now, but that’s ok because roller coasters are fun right?! I’m very excited for this awesome adventure and I’m ready to get out there and work. I had my farewell on Sunday and because some of my friends and family and awesome blog followers weren’t able to attend my farewell on Sunday I decided that it would be a fun idea to post a copy of it on here. Enjoy!
Now I know most of you know me, but for those of you who don’t…. or those of you who forgot I guess…. My name is Whitney Reid and I have been called to serve as a missionary in the Florida Orlando mission.
Now, I know that this is commonly referred to as “my farewell” but I want to remind you that this church service isn’t about me. The night before Christ died he gathered together with his Apostles one last time to teach them and to give them what was then called the “last supper” this was the first “sacrament” as we know it today.
In a sense this was Chirst’s “farewell” from the earth. We partake of the sacrament today to remember what he did for us and to promise to always follow him.
I think it is no coincidence that the sacrament table, when the cloth is covering the trays It resembles a body covered in cloth symbolizing Christ’s body as it lay in tomb after he died. This is a meeting for Christ to remember his life, to remember why he died, and to remember that he lives again.
So instead of thinking of this as “my farewell” before I go on a mission I want you to think of this as Christ’s farewell. Remember what he did for you. Remember what he is still doing for you. And decide what you are going to do for him.
The other day I was in my car listening to a country music radio station. Now President I apologize for quoting Keith Urban over the pulpit, but a song came on of his that had a line that said
“I learned everything I needed to know from John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.”
I think John Cougar is a singer… I don’t know…. he’s a child of God.
John Deere; Tractors and stuff. Cool.
But John 3:16 is what I really wanted to focus my talk on today.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
And if you read onto verse 17 it says;
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
When I read this scripture I can’t help but think about the sacrifice of the Father to send his son. And this scripture also reminds me of the fact that each of us are children of a God that loves us more than we can even comprehend.
In the children’s hymn book there is a song that testifies of this great act of love. Now, I would sing it for you, but I wasn’t in the line when they handed out great vocal talent in heaven so I’m just going to read you the words;
How could the Father tell the world of love and tenderness?
He sent His son, a new-born Babe, with peace and holiness.
How could the Father show the world the pathway we should go?
He sent His Son to walk with men on earth, that we may know.
God sen’t his son to earth so that we might be able to learn from him. He wanted us to be able to have an example to follow.
One of my friends that is currently serving a mission sent me an email this week. In this email he shared his testimony that I think really illustrates how the Father feels for us, and what our Father has done because of it. He said;
“God did not send us down to earth to fail. He sends angels to assist us; He has given us the Holy Ghost to testify of truth and bring comfort, and to warn us of pain and sin; and above all, He has given His Son, even Jesus Christ, as a ransom for us to satisfy the demands of justice, and to SAVE US from sin and death, and through His eternal atonement, we can receive happiness and forgiveness, and eternal salvation. He didn’t send us to fail. He sent us, and has given us all everything we need in order to, succeed.“
I want you to think about the examples that have been set for you; both good, and not so good.
The world wants to set examples for you that will lead you away from Christ. I predict that it would take any of you a total of two seconds to sift through the hashtags and facebook posts on your phone before you are able to find an example of one of these things that the world is using to lead you astray.
I also think that in two seconds any of you could pull out your phones and be able to find an example of something that was put on this earth to help guide us in the right direction.
There are so many things that are here to distract us. Some of the greatest of which are idleness and temptation. Idleness is especially prevalent in our culture because Satan knows that he doesn’t need to start by making us do bad things, he just needs to start by making us do nothing. And if he can do that, he can tempt us to do anything.
While there are many things to distract us, there are also many things that will guide us to the right path. We are blessed to have been born in a time when every person can have access to the scriptures whenever they want. With the memory of 9/11 last week we were reminded of how blessed we are to live in a place where we are free to worship and pray whenever we want and however we want. We have been blessed with modern technology that allows us to share the gospel. The amount of gospel material that fits onto your smartphone would have taken truckloads to carry not very many years ago.
We also have the opportunity to be one of these examples for good.
In the 2008 October General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson shared this in the general priesthood meeting.
“Ours is the task to be fitting examples. We are strengthened by the truth that the greatest force in the world today is the power of God as it works through man. If we are on the Lord’s errand, brethren, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Never forget that truth. That divine help, of course, is predicated upon our worthiness. Each must ask: Are my hands clean? Is my heart pure? Am I a worthy servant of the Lord?”
I love that he says that if we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to His help. He will help us, he wants to help us, but he can’t help us unless we let him.
When I was thinking about this I was reminded of the story of the three little pigs. Now, I know you all know this story, but I want to put a twist on it.
The first little pig built his house out of straw. When the big bad wolf came he huffed and he puffed and he blew that house down.
When we build our house out of straw, we aren’t going to church, we aren’t reading our scriptures and we aren’t preparing ourselves for when Satan comes to blow our house down.
That’s the thing about Satan, he doesn’t have mercy on the weak. He’s not going to look at you and say “oh, you’re not very strong, I’ll go easy on you.” He’s going to huff and he’s going to puff, and if we aren’t prepared our house will fall.
The second little pig built his house out of sticks. Sticks are pretty strong when the weather is nice and the sun is out. I think of the second little pig as the person that comes to church and can say all the right answers, but who isn’t really looking to apply the atonement into their lives. Now, the house out of sticks might be strong when nothing is happening, but as soon as the big bad wolf comes a house made out of sticks isn’t strong enough. We must learn how to apply the atonement in our lives or our testimonies will fall.
The third little pig built his house out of bricks. Now, in the world of house building bricks and rocks would both build very strong houses so I am going to use them interchangeably.
Helaman 5:12 says;
“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 foundations; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storms 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.”
I LOVE that verse and I love that it says that Christ is a sure foundation. If we build our lives upon him we cannot fall, no matter how hard the big bad wolf huffs and puffs.
The second verse to that primary song says;
2. How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death?
He sent His Son to die for us, and rise with living breath.
What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?
Have faith, have hope, live like His Son, help others on their way.
What does He ask? Live like His Son.
He has given us everything, all he asks is for us to live like his Son.
I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. I know He once walked the earth with the saints and he taught the truest doctrine of love. I took a few sign language classes in high school and the signs for “Jesus” and “Christ” taught me a few things;
The sign for “Jesus” is done by motioning to the palms of your hands. This is done in remembrance that he died for each of us so that we might be able to return to live with Him and our Father again. This was the greatest act of love the world has ever known. This was what He came to earth to do.
The sign for “Christ” is done by making the same motion you would for “King” or “Queen” except with a “C” hand shape. Kings and Queens are placed before us to direct us and to teach us what to do. They are also there to protect us. When I learned that the sign for “Christ” is done in the same way I learned that He is our King. We are meant to follow Him. And if we do, He will not lead us astray.
I know that He Atoned for all of my sins, and that He also Atoned for all of my pains and afflictions. I know that He died so that we might all be able to return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven again. I also believe that if I had been the only person that needed this pure act of love that He would still have done it because He loves me that much. I also know that He would have done the same for each of you. I know he was resurrected and that because of Him death has no sting. I know that He loves me so much more than I can even comprehend and that He wants what’s very best for me. I know that He will direct my path as long as I’m willing to follow Him. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is in fact, HIS church and that He is the head of it which is why it is the only church with His complete gospel on the earth today. I know that He lives. Because I know that He lives I will prepare to dedicate 18 months of my life to His service by serving a mission. I will also dedicate every second after that to loving Him and building his kingdom. I will do this by not being afraid to share my testimony, by loving everyone around me, and by letting His light shine through me (hence the blog name….”feel my sunlight.”) I promise to do my very best, and because I know that alone I will never be enough, I also promise to rely on Him everyday. Because He is almighty, and all-knowing. He is ever loving and everlasting. He is Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten of the Father. He is my Savior, And He is my Redeemer.
And I love Him.