In the LDS church we do not have a preacher that preaches on Sunday. The members are asked to prepare talks and share their testimony. Usually a week in advanced you are asked if you would speak, are given a topic and a time frame of usually 10 to 15 minutes. You do not have to accept and I used to say no. I have always had a fear of public speaking. About 6 years ago when we lived in New Mexico I said yes to give a talk and was so stressed out about it my mouth broke out in fever blisters and I still have a scar. So I vowed never to do that again. When we moved to Arkansas last year we ended up in a fairly small ward. It is kind of tradition when you move into a new ward they ask you to speak and also to introduce your family. So I knew they were going to ask and I had to decide what my answer was going to be. I decided to say yes this time. After all, I was almost 30! It was time to grow up! And a small ward would be the best place to start. I was still crazy nervous but didn't spend the whole week stressing about it. When they asked me to speak again this last Sunday, I didn't want to do it, but I was able to say yes with a little more confidence. I was still nervous but felt like I held it together a little better this time. I would love to one day say I enjoy speaking in church and then maybe that confidence will lead me to be able to conquer my fear of singing in public.
So with all that said. I was asked to base my talk on one given in this last General Conference by Bishop Dean M. Davies. You can click here to read his talk called A Sure Foundation.
Here is my talk, but to warn you it is 10 minutes long:
We have all heard the saying “If you want to talk to God, pray. If you want Him to talk to you, read your scriptures.” So it is fitting that the second principal Bishop Davies talks about is scripture study. He tells us “While reading the scriptures is good, reading by itself is insufficient to capture the full breadth and depth of the Savior’s teachings. Searching, pondering, and applying the words of Christ as taught in the scriptures will bring wisdom and knowledge beyond our mortal understanding. This will strengthen our commitment and provide the spiritual reserves to do our best in all situations.”
Elder Scott teaches that “pondering a passage of scripture can be a key to unlock revelation and the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one’s ability to overcome the challenges of life. They have potent power to heal emotional challenges when there is faith in the Savior.
“Scriptures can communicate different meanings at different times in our life, according to our needs. A scripture that we may have read many times can take on nuances of meaning that are refreshing and insightful when we face a new challenge in life.”
Over the last few months I have been doing scripture studies with Sarah Good (who just moved out of the ward). We would each on our own read a set number of chapters and then get together to discuss what we read. We were amazed at how often we both would highlight the same versus and could apply the teachings to each of our situations…Sarah a navigator in the Air Force and me a stay-at-home mom. Both faced with different challenges and backgrounds, yet we could both find answers and direction in the same scriptures.
“The scriptures have been given to us to help us find peace and reassurance in times of crisis, to help us find solutions to our everyday challenges, and to strengthen us in times of temptation.” (Janette C. Hales)
Elder L. Tom Perry said “The scriptures are one of our greatest treasures. They contain God’s instructions to His people from the beginning of time. In a world so full of the doctrines of men, how grateful we are to have a sure anchor on which to build our faith!”
Again, Elder L. Tom Perry teaches us that “During the administration of the sacrament, we set aside the world. It is a period of spiritual renewal as we recognize the deep spiritual significance of the ordinance offered to each of us personally. If we were to become casual in partaking of the sacrament, we would lose the opportunity for spiritual growth.”
As I was studying and preparing my talk this week one thing kept coming back to me. My basic gospel foundation was established at home. My parents tried hard to get all 7 kids up for family prayer before dad left for work in the morning. They tried hard to have scripture study with us and going to sacrament wasn’t an option. It was what we did every Sunday. Sometimes that meant they cut our vacation a day short so we could be home Saturday instead of Sunday. I know us kids didn’t make it easy for them and we were never perfect at it. But they started the foundation. I can only hope to have the same influence on my children.
I am thankful the gospel is in my life and for the knowledge and testimony I have of prayer, scripture study and partaking of the sacrament. I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father and for my Savior Jesus Christ.