My Farewell Talk

JULY 28, 2013

I think I said half of what was on here and the other half came out of no where. I don’t really remember what I said, but here’s what I wrote down.

My talk is on something that I have been thinking about a lot since I started my mission papers. My talk is on obedience. I felt like every person I talked to about serving a full-time mission always mentioned the importance of obedience. I felt like I never really understood the importance of obedience up until this past year.

I really gained a testimony of obedience and being an example while I attended the BYU Jerusalem Center last spring and summer. The locals, both Israeli and Palestinians, have approached us and said how much they liked the Mormons. They have said we are such good people. There were people that said that they could tell we were Mormon because we had a light in our eyes. A man even told a friend and me that Mormons are the chosen ones. People would have never told us this if we weren’t following the rules that the Jerusalem Center set for us, or keeping the commandments of God. For those of you who don’t know, members of the LDS Church cannot proselyte or preach the gospel in Israel. Even though we couldn’t preach the gospel, I felt like the locals could get a taste of the gospel through our good examples. Because we were obedient in living the gospel, people could see the gospel.

In order for us to have been obedient, we needed to know what was expected of us from the Lord. When I was a kid, every time I heard the phrase “keep the commandments,” I always thought back on the 10 commandments. I thought that as long as we keep the 10 commandments, we’re set for life. I was like, “yeah, that sounds easy enough.” God’s commandments are more than just the 10 commandments though. The Lord expects so much more from us. In order to understand what the Lord expects from us so that we can be obedient, we need to understand the Lord’s gospel. The Lord has provided us with the fullness of the gospel so that we can return to live with Him. It’s a road map to our salvation. In a talk called “Obedience Brings Blessings,” from this past General Conference, Thomas S. Monson said, “There is no need for you or for me, in this enlightened age when the fulness of the gospel has been restored, to sail uncharted seas or to travel unmarked roads in search of truth. A loving Heavenly Father has plotted our course and provided an unfailing guide—even obedience.” We can understand the fullness of the gospel by studying the scriptures, praying, going to Church, and watching General Conference. The greatest example we can learn from is Jesus Christ. Christ had exact obedience, perfect obedience, for God’s will. He did everything that God wanted Him to do.

There’s a quote that has been floating all over the MTC: “Obedience brings blessings. Exact obedience brings miracles.” I know that we’ll be blessed and experience miracles in unimaginable ways if we are obedient. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The happiness of the Latter-day Saints, the peace of the Latter-day Saints, the progress of the Latter-day Saints, the prosperity of the Latter-day Saints, and the eternal salvation and exaltation of this people lie in walking in obedience to the counsels of … God.” These are such amazing blessings and miracles! There are a lot of reasons why we should be obedient. I feel like the greatest reason we should be obedient is our love for God. You all know the famous scripture: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. It’s so true. We really can show our love for God by keeping His commandments. In the last chapter of the Gospel of John, Christ asks Peter if he loves Him three times. Peter responds yes every single one of those times. Christ then responds to feed his lambs and sheep. Every time I read this story I know that serving a full-time mission is the right thing for me to do. I feel like this will be the greatest form of showing my love for God at this point of my life.

I want to bare my testimony that I know that keeping the commandments is a form of showing our love for God and His son Jesus Christ. The Lord has sacrificed his life for us because He loves us. I know that Joseph Smith restored the fullness of the gospel. I know this because I know that the Book of Mormon is true. If the Book of Mormon isn’t true than this Church is true, but countless others have bourn there testimony about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I have received a witness of the truth of these things numerous times. There is no way I can deny these things to be true.

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