Sunday, May 17, 2015

MISSION FAREWELL

Oh my. Today I gave my mission farewell.

Jorrin, Jordyn, me, & Kenna
Friends from BYU who drove 4 hours to come to my farewell. Wow I love them.

It's so insane that I'm going on a mission. I don't know if anyone else is like this, but even though I had decided to go on a mission, received my call, bought all the stuff, & wrote out my farewell... none of it seemed real. Like a part of me was still saying, "there's no way you are actually going on a mission." I'm really weird so maybe I'm the only person like this hahaha but it seriously doesn't seem like I could be leaving in 10 days.

My bishop gave me the date for my mission farewell the week after I got my call, so I had ninety days to write my talk. Ninety days.  You would think with that much time to prepare that my talk would be on the same level as a general authorities. But it was far from that. 

About a month ago I finally decided on a topic & started writing it. I wrote the first three sentences, took a break, got onto twitter, tweeted about how my talk was going to be 10/10, then, feeling confident in the three sentences I had written, shut my computer. I didn't attempt to finish my farewell until about four days ago. So I definitely procrastinated. 

I chose to give my talk on Christ's Atonement & the power of forgiveness. It was one of the most important topics that I was taught growing up in the church, so I decided that maybe others needed to be reminded of the amazing gift we have been given. So I'll summarize my talk & post it if any of you are curious (which I'm sure you are because you all love me, amirght?)

Our savior has atoned for every single one of our sins, so that we may return to our Father in Heaven. That is the ultimate act of love. He bled from every pore of his body, suffering for us. Christ was not forced to suffer for our sins, it was his decision & he did it for each of us — individually. 

He has felt everything we have felt. He has felt the inner struggle you feel whenever you are tempted to stray from a path of righteousness. He has felt ever scraped knee or broken bone. He has felt the pain of rejection. He is the one person that truly understands everything we are going through.

He is the one person who will, if we live righteously & repent when we have strayed, stand on behalf of each & everyone of us at the time of our final judgement, pleading with our Father to let us return to Him.

Along with being forgiven for our own sins, we need to remember that we must forgive others. We should treat one another with Christlike love & have no harsh feelings towards those who may have hurt us. The Lord expects all of us to forgive. In D&C 64:10, it states that that Lord “will forgive whom he will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” 

Sometimes it may seem like an impossible task to forgive someone who has deeply hurt you. But with the Lord’s help we are able to find the strength needed to forgive even the worst wrongdoings. All we need to do is ask the Lord for guidance. 

President Howard W. Hunter once said, “It has always struck me as being sad that those among us who would not think of reprimanding our neighbor, much less a total stranger, for mistakes that have been made or weaknesses that might be evident, will nevertheless be cruel & unforgiving to themselves. When the scriptures say to judge righteously, that means with fairness & compassion & charity. That’s how we must judge ourselves. We need to be patient & forgiving of ourselves, just as we must be patient & forgiving of others.”

Another important part of repentance is forgiving ourselves when we have sinned. A lot of us carry the weight of our sins around with us even after we have been forgiven by our Father in Heaven because we have not forgiven ourselves. That is not okay.

Self-forgiveness is one of the most important steps in the repentance process, but one of the most skipped. We need to forgive ourselves. The Lord is willing to forgive us, we are willing to forgive others, so why not be willing to forgive ourselves? 

I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, & because of this knowledge, I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on Earth today. The gospel is the one thing that never fails to bring me peace & joy in even my hardest trials. I cannot wait to share this gift with everyone who will hear it. 


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