Ok, so today I had my first ever opportunity to speak in Sacrament Meeting at church. Below is a copy of my talk. Please ignore any grammtical or spelling errors. Feel free to let me know what you think (though, if you think it sucked, please feel free to keep that one to yourself!! lol).
Courge To Live The Gospel - 09/08/2009
Good Morning Brothers and sisters. I would like to start by saying im grateful for the opportunity to speak and that I pray for the Holy Ghost to guide my words.
Courage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger and pain with bravery and valor.
My talk today is about having the courage to live the gospel. Daniel was a man in the bible who was a great example of how to courageously live out your faith in a time when its not so easy. Daniel and a few other young men were chosen by king Nebuchadnezzar to be teachers in his court. Daniel chapter 1 v 5 says that the king had appointed them a daily provision of meat and the wine which he drank, so that they would be nourished for three years before before they were brought before the king. But Daniel had purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat and wine. He stood up for the principle that has body was to be kept pure and undefiled.
Later in Chapter 3 of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar created a golden image of himself and commanded all men to worship the image. Anyone who didn’t worship the kings image was to be punished by being thrown into a fiery furnace. Daniel had also set in his heart that he would not bow down and serve any other gods, or worship the image the king had created. His response to the king when he was confronted as to why he didn’t bow down was this “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of Thine hand o king.
Daniel was bold enough to say to King Nebuchadnezzar, no matter what you can do, my God is stronger and can rescue me, but even if He doesn’t, we still wont serve your gods and worship your golden image. Daniel was a young man when he stood up to a king. And he stood for what was right even though he knew that choosing the right might mean that he could be killed. I think Daniel is a great example of courage and valor.
I think that courage is more than not being afraid to tell people that we are members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints. I believe that courage to live the gospel means laying down your life no matter the cost. Its leaving your home and family and travelling to a country you may not have ever been before, to teach people the truth of the gospel. The courage of the missionaries who taught aliesha and I will always be an example to us.
Courage means always choosing the right, no matter what situation you are faced with.
President Thomas S Monson once said Life's journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, 'No,' the courage to say, 'Yes.' Decisions do determine destiny."The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be."
Courage to live the gospel means being passionate about the truth and standing for truth and righteousness. For a teenager, courage could be choosing to dress appropriately when all of your friends are being immodest. It could mean making the sacrifice to leave friends and family and serve a mission. For young families, it could mean boldness to share the gospel of truth to friends and family. For those brothers and sisters who have the wisdom of many years it may be standing for what’s right in the workplace or opening your home to show charity to those who need it.
Courage to live the gospel could simply mean having a testimony, and not being afraid to share it with anyone who will listen.
Many of you would be familiar with the story of how my sister aliesha and I came to the church. If it wasn’t for the boldness and courage of Brother Andrew Curlis, who being a complete stranger sat on our couch for four hours and told us about the church and the truth of the Gospel, we may not have had the opportunity to hear the gospel in this life.
I have a testimony of courage because I have witnessed it in my sister. When aliesha made the decision to join the church, she lost her job. She lost her job because she fought publicly for our church. She knew that she might lose the career that she had worked so hard for, and the job that she loved. She has suffered but her strength and faith has been increased because at a crucial decision time in her life, she had the courage to say, I choose the truth.
Lastly, let me bring your attention to the courage of our Elder Brother Jesus Christ. In a talk given by President Gordon B Hinkley, the following was said “I remember being with President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jerusalem. We could sense, if only in a very small degree, the terrible struggle that took place there, a struggle so intense, as Jesus wrestled alone in the spirit, that blood came from every pore. We recalled the betrayal by one who had been called to a position of trust. We recalled that evil men laid brutal hands upon the Son of God. We recalled that lonely figure on the cross, crying out in anguish, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?. Yet, courageously, the Savior of the world moved forward to bring about the Atonement in our behalf.”
The question I asked myself while preparing this talk was, Michelle, how are you living courageously for the gospel. How far are you prepared to go to be bold, passionate and valiant about the truth, like Daniel was and like our Saviour was?
My prayer today is the same prayer that Joseph Smith left with his brethren in D & C 128 v 22 “Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren, and on, on to the victory. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen