I was asked to speak on the talk “Stand in Holy Places” By President Thomas S. Monson and of course on my mission as well. I remember talks by stories so if you remember this is the talk where President Monson talks about leaving his 5 dollar bill in his pocket and prayed and it was still there when the wash came home 2 days later and he also told the story of receiving inspiration to have a man speak at the temple dedication who was not in attendance by the still acted on his prompting. I love that story.
Going on a mission was an experience I will forever cherish. I have leaned so much. And even though I haven’t grown physically taller, I know that I have grown spiritually. I think the toughest thing about a mission is that Heavenly Father knows how to help you recognize your greatest weaknesses, but the greatest part about a mission is that he also helps those weaknesses become strengths! I also enjoyed being out of the world.
President Monson says:
“We must be vigilant in a world which has moved so far from that which is spiritual. It is essential that we reject anything that does not conform to our standards, refusing in the process to surrender that which we desire most: eternal life in the kingdom of God. The storms will still beat at our doors from time to time, for they are an inescapable part of our existence in mortality. We, however, will be far better equipped to deal with them, to learn from them, and to overcome them if we have the gospel at our core and the love of the Savior in our hearts. The prophet Isaiah declared, “The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”5
As a means of being in the world but not being of the world, it is necessary that we communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer. He wants us to do so; He’ll answer our prayers. The Savior admonished us, as recorded in 3 Nephi 18, to “watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you.
“Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;
“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.”6
Prayer is such a wonderful thing. One day my companion and I ran out of plans because we had not planned well enough. But we prayed and felt inspired to go to a certain street and when we got there we started by visiting those who we knew lived there and the first door we knocked on the lady let us in and she told us she was surprised we were able to find her home because she usually works during that time.
I really enjoyed serving in my Sister Leslie’s ward. The first time I got the transfer email saying that I was going to Okotoks to where my sister lives I knew that my mission president was inspired because if it had been up to him instead of the lord I wouldn’t have ended up being able to serve there. The second time I served there was just this last 6 weeks of my mission. When I had first left Okotoks I had a feeling I was going to be going back, and I remember telling my companion so. And then my 2nd to last transfer I was in a Training when I received a strong impression that one of the investigators I had been teaching in Okotoks was supposed to be baptized on November 26th. I was confused why I would get that impression since I wasn’t serving there. I did send him a letter and felt very prompted in what I should say and even though he never got baptized I feel like I was able to help him as much as I could.
One convert I worked with at the beginning of my mission was a 20 yr old young man who first started meeting with missionaries to prove that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was not true but as he took the time to read the Book of Mormon and to pray to know it is true he received an answer that it is true and he decided that he would get baptized but did not want to tell his family because they are really strong Baptists. Well, I got transferred out of the area just after his baptism and I heard that when his family found out he got baptized they almost kicked him out of the house. I found out that he was planning on going on a mission in June and in the Calgary mission if a missionary is still on their mission when a convert goes through the temple our mission president will usually give us permission to go through the temple with them. It was such an exciting time for me. I found out that I wouldn’t be able to go through with him though because he was going too late. I didn’t pray for anything to happen or anything about wanting to go… but on his was to the temple that night his car broke down and he wasn’t able to make it so he rescheduled and his rescheduled time just happened to be a time when I would be able to go. It was such an exciting time. I was able to realize then that the time I spent serving wouldn’t just end when my mission ended but it would continue through those I was able to help, serve and bring closer to Heavenly Father.
I feel just as President Monson as I look back at the many times my Heavenly Father has answered my prayers. President Monson says: “I am always humbled and grateful when my Heavenly Father communicates with me through His inspiration. I have learned to recognize it, to trust it, and to follow it. Time and time again I have been the recipient of such inspiration.”
I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. I know this because of his love that I feel, by the blessings and miracles I see in my life everyday. By the opportunity that I had to serve a mission and to have a small part in my Father in Heaven's work "To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." I know that families are important and that Heavenly Father want us to have those strong relationships with out family. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, I love reading the Book of Mormon there is so much power and strength that can be gained from reading the Book of Mormon.
I know that the atonement of Jesus Christ is the greatest gift ever given, It makes it possible for us to return to our Heavenly Parents and makes repentance, forgiveness and ordinances complete. I know that we all make mistakes in this life and that bad things do happen to good people but as we have faith in Jesus Christ we can be healed from the guilt and shame we feel in life and that the trials we go though will be more bearable as we allow him to help us. I know that Jesus Christ lives today and that he leads and guides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet todaywho receives revelation for the world in what Christ would have us do. I know that prophets are important and mandatory. I know thath Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he translated the Book of Mormon through the power of God. I know that the priesthood is the greatest power that a man can hold today. I know that going on a mission was a wonderful opportunity and has forever changed my life. I have gained knowledge and come to understand the gospel more than I ever would have if I had not. I know the church is true and that through it each of us can become the best person we can.
I say (write) these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen.
I hope you enjoy my homecoming talk. If you have any questions check out www.mormon.org, or www.lds.org