Face of Jesus Christ, Head of Christ
Artist is: Akiane who is a young girl who painted this when she was only 8 years old.
This last Sunday, I was asked to give a 5 minute speech during our church service. This church service was special in that it was devoted to inviting people who are not of our faith so they can see what an LDS service, or Mormon service, is like and also learn more about our faith.
Typically, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints you are asked to give speeches during the first hour of service about once a year. Since we do not have any paid clergy, the members are the ones that do the teaching on Sundays both in our Sacrament service, Sunday School and other meetings.
I typically do not get too nervous to speak in public, but since I am a little out of practice and I felt a little more pressure since it was a special service, I was very nervous and didn't know what to talk about. Even though it was only 5 minutes long and not much information can be covered in that short of time, it was very hard for me to think of exactly what I wanted to convey to the congregation on "how my beliefs and being a member of this church bless my life."
Generally when I give talks I don't write it out but instead I have bullet points of stories or thoughts I want to talk about. However, this time, for whatever reason, I felt it necessary to write everything out to make sure that I covered everything I wanted to talk about.
Since I already have it all written out, I thought I would share my thoughts with you.
Several years ago I was having a religious conversation with a friend. At one point in the conversation I was talking about truth and he stopped me mid-sentence and asked me what “truth” means.
I was thrown off by the question and didn’t know how to answer. My mind went blank and the only answer I could give him was “Well it is something that is true!” He smiled and said “Lindsay, I think you should go find out what truth is,” and the conversation was over.
After this instance I was ashamed of myself for not knowing the definition of truth. I had thrown that word around so casually my whole life and I didn’t even know what it meant. However, I was comforted by the fact that when I looked up the definition of “truth” in the dictionary, Merriam and Webster both gave me almost the same answer that I gave my friend: “The quality or state of being true”! I was relieved to see that my answer was not that far off from the mark.
This started me on a journey of discovering what “truth” meant to me. I do not remember how long it took me to create my own definition but I finally came up with an explanation that made perfect sense to me: “Truth is something that never changes.”
There are certain truths that I have come to believe or know as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of later-day Saints. Some of these truths are:
The truth that Jesus Christ is my Savior.
The truth that through His sacrifice I am able to overcome any obstacle.
The truth that God loves all his children regardless of what they say, look like, have, or do.
The truth that God has given us prophets to give us direction and guidance since the time of Adam, to Noah, to Abraham and even today.
The truth that God has given us the ability to have our families united forever.
The truth that prayers are heard and answered.
The truth that we can receive guidance, direction, and comfort in our lives if we choose to seek it.
I have found that when I live these truths and choose to follow them that I am happier and I can see things more clearly.
Since I was a small girl I have always been very fond of a scripture that is found in the Book of Mormon. It reads: “Men are that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). Or even more simply stated “We are here to experience happiness.”
The way we are able to obtain this happiness that will last forever and not just the happiness that is experienced for a small moment is by learning and following truth.
When I was a young girl I was on a swim team. Before one of my swim meets my friend told me that she heard that if we ate a lot of candy before we swam that it would give us a lot of energy and make us swim really fast.
Since my goal at that time was to get as many ribbons as possible, and a kid can never turn down candy, we decided to gorge ourselves full of candy right before the meet.
As I am sure many of you know, and may have experience first hand, we did get a lot of energy shortly after eating the candy, but our energy did not last long. We were quickly left exhausted, burnt out and feeling sick to our stomachs.
It is the same with happiness. When we fill our lives with things that do not last but only make us happy for that moment, we are only temporarily satisfied. However, when we fill our lives with things that are nutritious, good, and true, our happiness will not be fleeting.
What I learned from my friend’s admonition that day to “go find out what truth is” has been life changing. I discovered that these truths, regardless if I believe them or choose to use them will always be the same and never change. I am grateful for this knowledge as these eternal truths bring eternal happiness and joy into my everyday life.