Sunday, January 26, 2014

All Things Point To Christ : A Farewell To Portland

All Things Point to Christ
To be honest I was having trouble writing this talk. I felt like I was given such a broad topic, and I needed to talk about leaving on a mission?  It wasn't until I spoke to my dad about it, that it hit me. I don’t need to narrow down my topic, ALL things point to Christ, and that’s not such a broad concept when you think about it. Then I had to laugh, why they would give me this topic, because truly if you are looking for it, all things can point to Christ, so, what’s preventing me from spending the next few minutes talking about Star Trek and Doctor Who.
Alma testifies this when he says “Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.”
So, given a broad topic let’s start broad, space, the final frontier. Robert Boyle once said: “When with bold telescopes I survey the old and newly discovered stars and planets- when with excellent microscopes I discern the inimitable subtlety of nature’s curious workmanship; and when in a word, by the help of anatomical knives, and the light of chemical furnaces I study the book of nature, I find myself often times reduced to exclaim with the Psalmist, ‘How manifold are Thy works, O Lord! In wisdom Thou hast made them all’!” Have you ever looked at the pictures on the Hubble telescope page? If not you should. I could and have spent hours on there just looking at these photos. My favorites are the ones where you can see the other galaxies. Some with a very high potential of being just like us. With the potential for eight planets orbiting around a massive yellow sun, with a planet able to sustain life, and have humans with 32 teeth and 2 kidneys and a brain, some may have two hearts but I’m not here to judge. And you just sit there looking at it, thinking of all the amazing things happening and it just makes you feel so small, but then the words God spoke to Moses echoes in the back of your head: “there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.”
Everything out there used to be “unorganized matter” that Heavenly Father sent His Son to organize for us, even though, right now, all we see are stars in the sky, the occasional spot of sun to keep us warm. Just so one day we might fly out a little further, touch the moon, and then a bit further, catch a glimpse of Mars. Just so that one day we can make a massive machine to take photos for us, just to see a microscopic piece of everything else He made for us.
But, that is out there, something only super smart scientists with fancy telescopes can understand. Let’s hit something a little closer to home. Let’s take it back down to Earth. Something we look at every day when we step outside our doors, and maybe even when we don’t step outside and spend the whole day watching The Lord of the Rings just because we can, but let’s go back outside. We are so blessed to be living in such an amazing area. If you go an hour out you can see all the amazing natural resources that the Lord has provided us with, We have trees that provide us fresh air, animals of all kinds to work with each other, and rivers running through to support all life. This, to me is the most obvious way to see Christ in our lives. Things as simple as the grass in our lawns are there to provide a daily beauty. Small seeds grow into massive plants that provide things to heal us and nourish our bodies.
Plants don’t just help the human form but also the other animals He has created for us on this Earth. He created many types of animals for us on this planet, some to become companions to us, and help people get through tough times in their lives but also for meat for us to get nutrients that we need for our bodies. He brings live not only to people but to billions of animals, all helping keep the Earth in a balanced state.
            Shrinking it down a bit more we look back at our telescopes. This time to see something much smaller, Christ really did create everything from unorganized matter, and this matter is the same atoms that make up our period tables today. There are only 112 atoms that make up everything we see with our eyes. I will use water as my example because we use it every day, we drink it, we wash with it, we play in it, we use it to put out fires to keep us safe, we water our plants with it, and it’s a scientific standard, made of only three atoms. 2 Hydrogen and 1 oxygen, combined to run our entire planet. James Legge's translation of the Asian philosophy- Dao De Jing states “The highest excellence is like water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving, the low place which all men dislike. Hence is near to the Tao”. The human body is about 65% water and the Earth is about 75% water. It’s safe to say that we would be nothing without water. Christ created this live sustaining molecule to be so simple, but also to be able to do the most complex things. He took the time to organize everything down to its smallest pieces, meaning every piece of us is important.
It is more than things we can physically see that point to Christ. We can see him work in our lives daily. I have had quite a few curve balls thrown at m the past through months. From learning to live with roommates to being prepared for my mission it has been pretty surprising figuring out what real life brings. In some of the lower points of my past few months are the points where I have been able to see Christ working the most. Just this December, I was driving back from school in Rexburg when I was driving through North Powder I hit some ice and swerved off the road. I was not the only one in the car, I was driving four strangers I had picked up from the ride board also. It was late at night and by the time we got back on the road the pass to La Grande was closed. We had to call a bishop of a nearby ward and he happily took us in for the night. While all of us weren't too excited to have a major delay in our trip, I got to know these strangers very well. The guys I was driving were able to talk to me about their missions and give me advice that was really helpful and that I plan on using, like having a journal separate for all the people you teach write their testimonies in. Not only did I get some new friends from the experience but we were able to gain a testimony of why having a worldwide church is so important.
Another moment in my past few months that I have seen Christ in my life is while I was at school this past fall semester. We have an apartment of six people, and when one person gets sick, we all do. Usually we don’t mind with colds and such, they happen, but this past semester, we had a strain of the stomach flu make its way through our apartment. We got to see a lot of home teachers make their way through our doors, and it was such a blessing to have worthy priesthood holders in our ward who could come over when we called. The priesthood is an amazing thing, but that wasn't the only blessing we saw out of this experience. I was able to serve and get to know my roommates who I had only known for two weeks, and we saw how willing our bishop, who drove 30 minutes to drop off homemade soup, and our relief society president, who stopped by every couple hours to help us out. It helped us see that callings put forth are by Christ, and that even if we think we are incapable that in reality it is exactly what we need.
It was almost 18 months ago that I decided to go on a mission. I knelt down and asked Heavenly Father if it was right for me. I got an answer so strong, that it terrified me, I had never felt an answer to a prayer so quickly or so strongly, and it was an answer I was not expecting, an answer that future sister missionaries almost never get. I knew it was where Christ needed me to be, since then, these past 18 months have given me some of the strangest and hardest trials I have had in my short time on this Earth. To the point where that strong yes I felt when I knelt down to pray was the only thing to keep me going, because I know Christ is in all things. He was in that answer to my prayer, because He could see all of the things that were going to happen to me in the next 18 months, and He could see that it was the answer I needed so that I could go into my next 18 knowing that we have a loving Heavenly Father, who knows us and loves us.
I am going be serving in the Peru Huancayo Mission for the next 18 months. I know it won’t be easy. I know it won’t always be fun. I know that there is no turning back from here. But I also know that the Lord is on my side, just as He is on your side. In David Archuleta’s book he says this on trials, “At first I needed the help of God to decide if I should take the first step to cross a critical bridge. Then I needed His assistance to actually cross the bridge. And finally, when I got to the other side of that bridge, it turned out I needed Him the most”. We cannot see everything the Lord has prepared for us in this life. Our universe is a testament of that, but of the things we can see, we can tell that it is His hands and His works behind them all.
Brothers and Sisters, today I stand before you to testify of Christ. He lives, and He loves us. If we ask Him we can love others the same way He does. I am about to embark on this crazy adventure, to a country I have never given a second thought too. Yet I already love all the people there. There is something truly amazing about this church, and the missionary work with in it. If you take the time to share this gospel with your friends and family you will be deeply blessed and you will feel God’s love. Brothers and Sisters, He loves you so much. You will feel that love through your daily scripture study and prayers, If you don’t do those things already, I challenge you to start today, because it will make the difference you need in your life. 

No comments:

Post a Comment