Sunday, September 16, 2012

~ Farewell Talk ~

Today, Sunday, September 16th of 2012, I gave my farewell talk at church during sacrament meeting.  I was asked by my bishop, Bishop Child, to give a talk on the topic of “Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy” and afterwards bear my testimony during sacrament meeting.  Since I already have the speech of my talk and testimony planned and written out, I decided to include it in my blog and share it with everyone! Enjoy!

Good Morning Brothers and Sisters,

I’m Angelina. Bishop Child has asked me to give a talk today regarding “How to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy”. First off, I am going to quote some of the scripture references from the general authorities who had given some in previous talks concerning this topic.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “There is one of the Lord’s basic commandments which we see so much in violation of the world today”. He quoted Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”.

In Section 59 of the Doctrine and Covenants we conclude that “There appear to be three things that the Lord would require of us in keeping His day Holy:
To keep ourselves unspotted from the world.
To go to the house of prayer and partake of the sacrament.
To rest from our labors.

Elder L. Tom Perry wanted us to remember that “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).  And again He has instructed us in the Doctrine and Covenants, ‘Trifle not with scared things’ (D&C 6:12).  What should we do on the Sabbath day? With the proper planning, we should be able to use the Lord’s day in the way that He has intended for us”.

You all know what shouldn’t be done on the Sabbath day; you shouldn’t be working, shopping, participating in recreation or extra-circular activities.  You guys already know what should be done on the Sabbath day, like how partaking the sacrament every Sunday is our responsibility how we keep and renew our baptismal covenants, you attend church meetings, fulfill your church callings, you do service for others, visit the sick, visit and spend quality time with your families, etc.

President Spencer W. Kimball, a former prophet, once quoted from Isaiah 58:13-14, “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath,  from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”.

I am not going to be discussing further on “How to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy”, or what should be or shouldn’t be done on the Sabbath day because we all already know about that.  We always have had talks on this.

For this talk I decided to talk about the significance of what the Sabbath say really is, of how the Lord really made the Sabbath day … The Sabbath day is holy, it’s a very scared day.  I’ve found an article that talks about how the Sabbath day is scared, how we should recognize the sacredness of it, and have great reverence for that.  The article used the church dress code as a symbol and reference about sacredness, but I want you guys to recognize the significance of the Lord’s Day as being scared.

The article is called A Sense of the Scared by Elder D. Todd Christofferson who is the presidency of the Seventy …

“Our temples and meetinghouses are dedicated to the Lord as sacred space. On each temple is found the words Holiness to the Lord—the House of the Lord. A sense of the sacred should lead us to act and speak with reverence in and around these buildings. It would lead us to dress a certain way when we are there.

As immodest dress dishonors the body—God’s most sacred creation—immodest, casual, or sloppy dress and grooming at sacred times and places mocks the sacredness of the Lord’s house and what is taking place.

Our temples and meetinghouses are dedicated to the Lord as sacred space. On each temple is found the words Holiness to the Lord—the House of the Lord. A sense of the sacred should lead us to act and speak with reverence in and around these buildings. It would lead us to dress a certain way when we are there.

As immodest dress dishonors the body—God’s most sacred creation—immodest, casual, or sloppy dress and grooming at sacred times and places mocks the sacredness of the Lord’s house and what is taking place ...

We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best.

It offends God when we come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a member from the hills of Peru must cross a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt. But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt?

It has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even sloppy clothing.

Some say dress and hair don’t matter—they say it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that it is what’s inside a person that truly counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.”

In that condition people are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most. You are a Saint of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.

These principles apply to activities and events that are sacred or that deserve reverence: baptisms, confirmations, ordinations, blessings of the sick, administration of the sacrament, and so forth. The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that in the ordinances of the priesthood “the power of godliness is manifest” (D&C 84:20). I appreciate priests, teachers, and deacons who wear ties and dress shirts (white, if possible) to officiate in the administration of the sacrament. They are demonstrating an appreciation and respect for God and for the event.

Recently I read a note from a man who was urging his companions to wear a suit and tie when they appeared together at a public event honoring their organization. Their service was civic, not religious in nature, and we would not term it sacred, but he understood the principle that some things deserve respect and that our manner of dress is a part of that expression. He said he was going to dress more formally “not because I’m important, but because this occasion is so important.” His comment states an important truth. It is really not about us. Acting and dressing in a way to honor sacred events and places is about God.

When you develop a deepening reverence for sacred things, the Holy Spirit becomes your constant companion. You grow in understanding and truth. The scriptures speak of it as a light that grows “brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (D&C 50:24). That process is described as progressing from grace to grace. The Savior Himself progressed in that way until He received a fulness, and you may follow in His footsteps (see D&C 93:12–20). That is where a sense of the sacred will lead you.

On the other hand, those who do not appreciate holy things will lose them. Absent a feeling of reverence, they will grow increasingly casual in attitude and conduct. They will drift from the moorings that their covenants with God could provide. Their feelings of accountability to God will diminish and then be forgotten. Thereafter, they will care only about their own comfort and satisfying their uncontrolled appetites. Finally, they will come to despise sacred things, even God, and then they will despise themselves.

Always remember, as holiness grows within and you are entrusted with greater knowledge and understanding, you must treat these things with care. The Lord said, “That which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit” (D&C 63:64). He also commanded that we must not cast pearls before swine or give that which is holy to dogs (see 3 Ne. 14:6; D&C 41:6), meaning sacred things should not be discussed with those who are not prepared to appreciate their value.

Be wise with what the Lord gives you. It is a trust. You would not, for example, share the content of your patriarchal blessing with just anyone.

All things sacred and holy are to be revealed and brought together in this last and most wonderful dispensation. With the Restoration of the gospel, the Church, and the priesthood of Jesus Christ, we hold an almost incomprehensible store of sacred things in our hands. We cannot neglect or let them slip away.

Rather than letting your life drift into carelessness, may it be one of increasing exactness in obedience. I hope you will think and feel and dress and act in ways that show reverence and respect for sacred things, sacred places, sacred occasions. It is my prayer that a sense of the sacred will distill upon your soul as the dews from heaven. May it draw you close to Jesus Christ, who died, who was resurrected, who lives, who is your Redeemer. May He make you holy as He is holy”.

I like to bear my testimony that the Sabbath Day is a really scared day.  It’s just one day out of the week that the Lord had set apart for us to rest from our labors and to worship Him how He wants us to.   I know that if we keep the Sabbath Day scared that we will feel and notice the difference and the blessings that it brings to our lives. As well, we will notice that we would gain more spiritual wisdom and knowledge, and have the companionship and influence of the Holy Ghost constantly abiding with us giving us answers to our prayers and revelations.

I know that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ lives. I know with all my heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints’ is the Lord’s true church once again restored to the earth. I am really grateful for the priesthood being restored in these days. I am grateful to have the counsels of a living prophet and apostles and other general authorities of the church.

I am grateful for having been called to go on a mission, which I will faithfully serve the Lord honorably to fulfill His will and His work that He has for me to do for Him.  I know that I will be extremely blessed for doing so because in order for us to receive the blessings that Our Heavenly Father has promised us, we need to put the Lord first in our lives, because that’s the only way we’ll get those blessings and find true happiness in our lives and in this life here on earth.

I am truly grateful for having the opportunity to get my temple recommend and go to the temple. It has taken me along time to get to where I am today, and I am really glad that I did. No one have said that life would be easy, but the Lord have said that it would be worth it because in doing what we have to do, we can return to His presence and gain eternal life.  Our Heavenly Father is our loving Father, all he wants is the best for us, and how could someone not want that.  I leave you guys this day my talk and my testimony that I have. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

In case anyone wants to read the full length of the article I used for my talk. Here you go!

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