October 8, 2014

An Opportunity To Speak In Church

Andy and I were asked to give talks in sacrament meeting on July 27th. The bishop told us that the recent talks had focused on the Articles of Faith. He said that the topics for our talks came from the 13th Article of Faith. I was asked to speak about virtue and Andy was asked to speak about benevolence. The bishop also asked that I take a few minutes to introduce us to the ward since we were new and he wanted our ward members to get to know us better.

Believe it or not, I think the thing I struggled with most when giving my talk was the introductions. I took a public speaking class in college and our professor told us to never introduce ourselves while giving a talk. I did as the bishop asked though and introduced us and then proceeded to deliver the message I had prepared.

When I prepare a talk I pray and ponder a lot. My goal in speaking is to share what the Lord wants me to. I don't usually prepare a talk word for work, I like to leave room for the Spirit to guide me and my thoughts.

Below is the outline for my talk. Note: I added things and took other things out when I actually gave it.

What you think of when you hear the word virtue? Do you think of the scripture in D&C 121: 45, “let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly”? Do you think of the Young Womens Value? Do you think virtue is a good thing but aren’t quite sure what it means?
 

www.dictionary.com defines virtue as "moral excellence; goodness; righteousness."

Thrift and Industry
When I think about thrift I think about people who live frugally. I think about people who buy second hand, plant a garden, can their own food and people who buy things when they are on sale. I remember them teaching us in my Marriage and Family class at BYU to buy “quality used until you can afford to buy quality new.” This is something that we have tried to do since we got married. It’s been a lot of fun to buy something old and ugly and give it a face lift and make it our own.

Have you heard the saying, “Fix it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”? The first time I heard this I was puzzled, but as I have gotten older this saying has begun to make more sense. My Dad is a great example of this principle. If something breaks, he fixes it and keeps using it. If it breaks again, he fixes it again. He will continue to fix something until it cannot be fixed any longer. In my lifetime, there has only ever been one car that he has gotten rid of because he could no longer fix it.

When I think about work I think about people who work hard for what they have. A few years ago, while visiting with my Great Uncle Hal he shared with me a story about my grandfather (Papa) that I had never heard before but really touched me. My Dad came from a large family and they struggled to make ends meet. One day Uncle Hal and Papa were out cutting down trees to make firewood to sell—I think they were doing this to help pay for my uncles’ missions. After they had been cutting down trees for awhile Uncle Hal could no longer hear Papa’s saw and decided he better go find him. Papa had Parkinsons Disease and had limited strength and had become really weak that day while cutting down the trees. Uncle Hal found him crawling on his knees from one tree to the next. Despite his pain and lack of strength he still worked hard to try and make ends meet for his family.

I believe in working hard. I don’t think you will really appreciate what you have unless you have worked for it.

Gratitude

President Brigham Young said, “I do not know of any, excepting the unpardonable sin, that is greater than the sin of ingratitude” (Brigham Young, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 177–82).

Gratitude is something we tend to think about around Thanksgiving but it something that we need to think about throughout the year and not just during the holiday season. We have been blessed with so much, we have much to be grateful for.

It might seem strange but one thing I am grateful for is the hard times. It is during the times of struggle that I learn and grow the most.

Optimism

It seem as if we live in a world where we are constantly surrounded by negativity. When was the last time that you turned on the news, listened to the radio, or read a magazine where they were talking about the good things people had done? I can’t seem to recall this happening very often.

President Hinckley said, “Criticism and pessimism destroy families, undermine institutions of all kinds, defeat nearly everyone, and spread a shroud of gloom over entire nations. We must resist partaking of the spirit of our times. We need rather to look for the good all about us. There is so much that is sweet and decent and good upon which to build. Above and beyond the negative, the critical, and the doubtful, we can and must learn to be positive and affirmative.”

Winston Churchill is an example of someone who was positive despite what was going on around him. During World War II England was next in line to be taken over by Nazi Germany. Naturally, people were scared for the future as it seemed to be fading. It was during this time that Winston Churchill said, “Do not let us speak of darker days; let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days: these are great days- the greatest that our country has ever lived.”

Faith

What does it mean to have faith? In True To The Faith it says, “Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever you work toward a worthy goal, you exercise faith. You show you hope for something that you cannot yet see.”

President Hinckley said, “Each of us has burdens. Each of us has challenges and confusing options. For each of us, there are days when things don’t work out. But the Lord will help us- each one of us- carry our burdens and meet our challenges. To bring that about, however, we must believe, we must have faith that He has the power to help us, and that he will help us.

Everyone has heroes and people they look up to in life. Someone that I really look up to because of their faith is my younger sister, Megan. *Tell Megan’s story about giving up her eye.*


I know from experience that if we strive to live more virtuous lives that we can be happier and that life tends to go a little more smoothly.

 
Andy did a wonderful job with his talk-- I'd share it too but I don't have a copy of it.

I love speaking in sacrament meeting and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to speak.

*Note* There are more virtues than the ones I spoke on, I just picked a few to focus on.

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