Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Farewell Talk: May 19 & 26

Good Morning! My name is Carli Barlow and I have been called to serve in the Illinois Chicago West Mission.  I will prepare to preach the gospel in the spanish language!  I was allowed to choose my own topic today- I was happy because I was thinking ‘oh I can talk about my favorite parts of the Gospel and it’ll be great and not too hard!’ But really there are so many things about this gospel that I love, so it was a little harder than I thought. I pray that the spirit will be with all of you and myself today.  In the end I decided on the Plan of Salvation as a General topic. I love the Plan of Salvation so much- in fact sometimes I think I came to this Earth loving God’s plan for us but, I’m not positive. I’m not going to give lesson number 2 from preach my gospel, but I am going to focus in on our divine nature and worth, as well as our divine potential.

-We are of divine worth- Sons and Daughters of God

- D&C 18:10 says ‘The worth of souls is great in the sight of God’
-we are great in his sight.
- we have a father in heaven, he is our creator and we are his
- we learn this many times in the scriptures, but it is possible for us to know this truth for ourselves.
- I know this because I found out for myself one day
- I was about 13 years old, and I really wanted a new cell phone.  My dad told me that if I read the whole Book of Mormon by a certain date, he would get me one.  He also showed me the promise at the very end- which says that if we ask our Father in Heaven in faith if these things are true, we will know.  So I read the whole thing. And the night I finished, I knelt to pray- asking if it was true. The spirit overwhelmed me and tears began to flow from my eyes.  I grabbed a journal and began to write because my testimony was pouring out of me.  I knew my Father in Heaven was telling me- through the Holy Ghost- the things that were true.  Little did I know, my life changed forever that day. My testimony had been given to me, and it was something that I would never be able to deny.

-Not only is it possible that we know for ourselves that we are children of God, but it is important. It is important that we know it and remember it.

- It is important for a many different reasons.
Elder Boyd K. Packer gave us a few:
“No idea has been more destructive of happiness, no philosophy has produced more sorrow, more heartbreak and mischief; no idea has done more to destroy the family than the idea that we are not the offspring of God”

Another is because it affects our actions.
  • - President Hinckley said:
  • - “There is a mighty strength that comes of the knowledge that you and I are sons and daughters of God. Within us is something of divinity. One who has this knowledge and permits it to influence his life will not stoop to do a mean or cheap or tawdry thing.”

-Another reason we should remember we are children of God is because it affects our individual worth and how we view ourselves.

-Barbra Day Lockhart said:
Perhaps now more than ever, the world tells us that our sense of worth should be based on our appearance and achievements. As we look better and accomplish more, the world says, we will feel good about ourselves.

Samuel 16:7 says
7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for theLord aseeth not as bman seeth; for man looketh on the outwardcappearance, but the dLord looketh on the eheart.

We can’t underestimate the power the world can have in negatively effecting our self esteem and pushing us to base it off of our physical appearance or big accomplishments.
- I remember hearing stories throughout out my young life about the Pioneers who crossed the plains. They endured cold winters and hot summer days, walking and walking with little food and only hard ground to sleep on. Sometimes they even had to bury family members along the trail. I was always so thankful that I wasn’t sent here to be a pioneer, how could trials get harder than what they went through?  Often times after hearing these stories- the one telling them would say that the pioneers had it really hard, but we also face trials and things in our day that are equally as hard.  I didn’t understand this at all. How could anything be as hard as what they endured?
- It wasn’t till my late teen years that I got a little glimpse of how our lives today could possibly even a little bit as hard as the pioneers were. I discovered the overwhelming pressures that we face today.
-To be smart. funny. really good at something. skinny. to be accepted and beautiful
-so many pressures that can spiritually hurt us if we let them
- It seemed that those pressures were right up in my face, and life got really hard.
-for a little while I associated those to myself more than I did the fact that I was a daughter of God, and it tore me down. I was focussing on those things more than the fact that
-his opinion is the one that truly matters
-he is the one who only looks on our hearts.
- I let myself forget the knowledge I had gained. The knowledge that I am a daughter of God, and that I am of great worth in his sight. And I now know the importance of always remembering that.
- I know that we will be blessed and be able to endure well in this life if we can remember and apply

- Not only do we have divine worth, but we have divine potential in our futures.the  Potential to have eternal life like our Father in Heaven.
- D&C 14:7 says
7 And, if you akeep my commandments and bendure to the end you shall have ceternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
We also have the potential to be like our Father in Heaven and our savior Jesus Christ.
**In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father which is in heaven is perfect.
To me, this scripture is proof of the potential we have to be like Christ! We just have to be perfect.
Now I know that being perfect sounds impossible. So impossible that its overwhelming! But I also know that He wouldn’t command us to do anything impossible. Being perfect someday, like our Father in Heaven- is possible, but only through the very most important part of the Plan of Salvation. That part being the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

**John 3:16 says
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.

He was sent here to pay the price for us so that we could become perfect like him someday

- For one of my Young Women projects I made a book with quotes and scriptures in it
- It was made to be set on a little easle so that a page could be showing.
-for the longest time MORONI 10:32 was on display with the words “Come unto Christ and be perfected in him”
- At first I made that page that one showing because I liked the colors I chose
and how it looked...
- and even though I looked at the words every day, I didn’t know the power and truthfulness they held.

-The rest of the scripture says:

32 Yea, acome unto Christ, and be bperfected in him, andcdeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and dlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be eperfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

After a while I realized that I needed to repent more often.  I realized that it was ok to admit my imperfections, my mistakes and my sins.
-  But most importantly I discovered the truth of this scripture.  
- The power of the atonement is real. it is so real and we can feel a change inside.
-A change that cleanses our hearts and perfects us. A change that has made me happier than I’ve ever been

- Our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ want us to fulfill our Divine Potential through striving to live like Christ, and using the atonement

Elder Cardon said:
Our Heavenly Father knows what we are facing, that we all sin and “come short of the glory of God”49 again and again. He sent His Son, who “knoweth the weakness of man and how to succor them who are tempted.”50 His Son teaches us to “pray always that [we] enter not into temptation.”51 We are told to “cry unto [God] for mercy; for he is mighty to save.”52 The Savior commands us to repent53 and to forgive.54 And although repentance is not easy, as we strive with all our hearts to obey His gospel, He gives this promise: “Verily I say unto you, notwithstanding [your] sins, my bowels are filled with compassion towards [you]. I will not utterly cast [you] off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy.”55 The Savior wants to forgive.(close quote)

We are of great worth in their sight.  Each one of us.
They love us.
-I know that there is a plan for us.  I know that each of us was sent here at this time and place for specific reasons.  One of which is helping eachother return to our Father in Heaven- helping each other fulfil our greatest potential as sons and daughters of God.

I know these things are true, and I am excited for my mission to Chicago, as well as my lifelong mission of helping all those around me make it back to our Heavenly Father. I know this is God’s restored Church on the Earth! I know the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith the prophet translated it.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is God’s mouthpiece on the Earth today.  I also know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and because of his Atonement we have the potential to live with him and be like him.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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