Sunday, July 21, 2013

Farewell Talk

Note from Mom:  The first part of Graig’s talk refers to the fact it was 2pm when he began speaking. The fire he is talking about refers to a story Jessica told in her talk.  I did my best transcribing the talk.  Because of the short time, Graig summarized this 15 minute talk instead of reading it.  Because of that, he didn’t really talk in complete sentences or in a grammatically correct way.

I guess I better thank everyone for taking a long time because I was told to prepare a 15 minute talk but then I was told not to go past 5 minutes after (the hour).  I think another thing I should mention is that when Jessica was talking about the fire, I think there was another reason Jessica was inspired to take it outside because I was really excited to use the fire extinguisher and you can imagine how much worse it would have been if 10 year old Graigry got to play with the fire extinguisher and spray it all over the kitchen.

So, I was also asked to speak on personal revelation and preparing for a mission.  I guess, when I was thinking about revelation what kept coming to me was the questions, “Why revelation is important? Why is revelation such a big subject?  Why is it always talked about?”  So I got my True to the Faith, which I just bought for my mission and I looked up revelation.  And I was looking through these big books that they recommend you take.  Really the first thing that stood out to me was that revelation is a really major thing that makes our church different.  There are some wonderful churches out there who have wonderful values who teach their members to live well and even to share the gospel.  Then you look at, we have this direct connection to God.  We don’t just have a book that was written 5000 years ago and another book that was being written 2000 years ago, The Book of Mormon.  We have living prophets today who everyday President Monson is receiving revelation and at conference every six months we receive revelation that’s new that’s relevant to just us.  

What it reminded me of was a couple of years ago as priests we went to Moab and did a lot of rappelling and a lot of climbing.  What it reminded me of was when you are repelling or when climbing if you want to be safe you always have a belayer.  A belayer is the person who is holding the rope at the bottom.  If you don’t have a belayer you can still climb, it is called bouldering then, but if you fall you are more likely to get hurt.  I just remember that when you are climbing you have a rope that goes usually up to the top and it comes down to where the climber is and as the climber climbs the belayer keeps the rope tight so that if you fall, if you lose your grip, or if you slip you are able to just catch yourself on the rope and just stop, maybe take a rest and then keep going.  For some reason, what that kinda reminded me of was that this rope, if you look at it, looks like it is doubled, like there are two ropes. There is one that goes up and one that comes back to you.  For some reason, it just kind of reminded me that revelation is more than just listening to God.  It is pondering and it’s praying and it’s, I want to say, discussing with God.  Reading the scriptures and reading the word that has already been said and listening to conference and talking with people and learning.  

Our gospel is about learning.  You learn and then you turn to the Lord and he adds to your  knowledge and he confirms your knowledge.  I was just reminded of that climbing both those are important, you can have a rope but if you cut one of those if you fall you fall.  It also reminded me that when you are climbing especially one of the things you can do is you can rest on that rope and you know you are safe.  You know that with Heavenly Father as your belayer that you are safe that he can tell you.  The belayers other job is to help you climb [the rock].  He tells you what he sees from the bottom.  You usually hope that that person has climbed [the rock] before and that they are knowledgeable.  And that just reminded me that we have a direct connection with a being who  has infinite knowledge and knows everything that is going to happen and it makes you wonder why people don’t talk to him more.  You literally can ask him a question that to you seems... I mean sometimes I feel like we feel like, “Oh I don’t need to ask Heavenly Father that it is too trivial or it just has to do with me. He answers questions like Joseph Smith’s, “Which is the true Church?” and then angels appear.  If you don’t get that kind of experience then you weren’t asking the right questions.  I think one of the most important things I’ve learned in my life, just over the years, is that Heavenly Father loves each of us individually and that one of the most important things we can do in our lives is that we can learn to trust him and to ask Him, even small questions, the little things.  I have had a lot of people tell me that the Book of Mormon is not a book of questions but a book of answers.  I testify that that is true.  There are a lot of questions that may seem true, that may not have had a major conference talk on it.  But you can read the scriptures and you can study and individually you can receive the knowledge you need.  I know that is something on my mission I am really excited to tell people.  I know I am going to a country that in certain areas are very poor.  I am sure, even as religious as that country is, “Does God remember me?”  

And I can tell them, “Yes he does.  This is how you talk with him and this is how he will talk back to you.”  

I am just really happy to be going on a mission.  I would just like to bear my testimony that if you are actively seeking to receive revelation from Heavenly Father.  That if you need something, if you need an answer or if you need comfort that you have a Heavenly Father who is an eternal being who has time for you.

I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Getting last minute advice from Uncle Graig

We had a great day with family and friends. Here are some picture of family and friends from the brunch and dessert after church.

 with Grandpa and Grandma Anderson
Brunch: breakfast casserole, fruit, and muffins
 Supported by the Henrie boys
 BYU roommate Andy
 Patty and Kent Davis
 Alice and Richard Southard
 The College family
 The Brown family
 Friend, Joe
Anderson/Taylor family