Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Update

Well my talk went great. I am glad its over though. :)
Gav and I went on a horse ride with our family and had alot of fun. The trail was gorgeous. I just adore the fall colors.
I will post pics of that soon.
I have a bad case of the Mondays today. I would almost rather be anywhere than at work today.
 I would even rather be cleaning my house.
I have another cyber headache so I wont be posting much today. So I thought I'd post my talk.
I was given the assignment to speak on being lead by the spirit by President Boyd K. Packer. But... It kinda turned into a talk about blessings.
Below is my talk, if you dont want to read it, just skip to the end.


Good afternoon Brothers and Sisters. I hope everyone is doing well today. I would like to start off with an excerpt from a story that is VERY close to my heart. And I am sure you are acquainted with it, as it is about the boy who wouldn’t grow up. . .

"I say, Peter, can you really fly?" John announced.
Instead of troubling to answer him Peter flew around the room, taking the mantelpiece on the way.
"How topping!" said John and Michael.
"How sweet!" cried Wendy.
"Yes, I'm sweet, oh, I am sweet!" said Peter, forgetting his manners again.
It looked delightfully easy, and they tried it first from the floor and then from the beds, but they always went down instead of up.
"I say, how do you do it?" asked John, rubbing his knee.
"You just think lovely wonderful thoughts," Peter explained, "and they lift you up in the air!"

Brothers and sisters, today, I would like to share a few of MY happy thoughts with you.

First off, let me introduce ourselves to you. My name is Lauren Gardner and my first happy thought is my husband, Gavin. We meet a few years ago at Dixie State College and it was the wind brought us together. It was a blistery night. I was in Student Government and Gavin was on the football team. It was the homecoming pep rally and I had the daunting task of making cotton candy. The wind made this nearly impossible. When all of the sudden, my knight in shining armor showed up. I was touched he noticed my struggle and thought he had come to offer his help. And just as he leaned in to offer his aid, he asked for his free cotton candy. Needless to say, he later stole my heart and we have been together ever since.

We got married in the Salt Lake City Temple in February 2010. And that brings me to my SECOND happy thought: The Temple.

The Temple is a wonderful place to feel the spirit and to make sacred covenants. Recently, Gavin and I had the opportunity to attend a wedding ceremony that was not in the temple. Upon discussing it later, we both had the same impression. Of course it was beautiful and of course the couple looked incredibly happy, but the aspect of the everlasting covenant was absent and for us, that was sad. We believe that one of the most amazing parts of this gospel is the knowledge that we can be together forever as families. We wouldn’t want it any other way. On further discussion we wondered if had we not born in the covenant and were approached by the missionaries, what would be the one thing that would catch our attention and make us want to learn more? We both came up with the same answer; and that is the promise of everlasting love and being together for eternity.

As the author of Peter Pan once said, “To love would be an awfully big adventure.”

My Third Happy Thought is: The Holy Ghost. There have been plenty of times where I have felt the spirit. One was on my baptism day. I remember feeling beautiful and warm and loved. Another time was when I received my patriarchal blessing. I remember the spirit manifesting to me that the words being spoken about me were true, that I was a daughter of a king and had many wonderful things to look forward to, if I were to make good and righteous decisions. There were countless times in church, seminary, family home evening and even in the classroom where I have felt the spirit. One time in particular, just before I met Gavin, I was going through a hard time. I was doing everything that I should be doing. I was reading my scriptures, I was praying, I was paying my tithing, I was doing baptisms for the dead and I was providing service to those around me, yet something was bringing me down and making me believe that I didn’t deserve to be happy, that I didn’t deserve to feel like a child of God.

One night, I just dropped to my knees and prayed my heart out to my Heavenly Father. I prayed that I would be able to figure out what I was doing wrong, what I needed to do to make things right.

I then had the warmest feeling I knew to be the spirit. I felt that I had done nothing wrong and my Heavenly Father was very proud of me. I had the impression that something was coming; something that would dramatically change my life and Satan was trying his very hardest to make it so that those blessings could not be given to me.

Just as soon as I realized this, I was able feel loved and to feel my own personal worth. I was ok with where I was in my life and I was able to get out of the depression I was inevitably headed towards. And not long after that, was that windy homecoming night. 

J.M Barrie said, “The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.”

My Fourth Happy Thought is a bit different, it is the 13th Article of Faith.

It reads: “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul - We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”

In the April 2011 General Conference, President Boyd. K. Packer said, “We are taught not to lie or steal or cheat. We do not use profanity. We are positive and happy and not afraid of life.”

When I was little I was surrounded by music, good books and laughter. I have chosen to root myself in these ideals. I would MUCH rather lose myself a good book then participate in some of the worldly activities today. So much of modern day media, world views and culture can be used to tear down and distract from the lovely things in life like family and relationships, or in my case, creating {or trying to create} something beautiful through design, style, and craft. It’s the encouragement from our church leaders that gives us the strength to seek out those things that are virtuous and lovely and share those with the ones we love.

Because of our beliefs, we choose to abstain from participating in a few things {drinking, smoking, immodest forms of dress, swearing, etc} which does limit our participation in certain aspects of popular culture, but certainly doesn't hinder us from seeking out the very best that culture has to offer. And as the prophet, Alma says, “Wickedness never was happiness.”

My Next Happy Thought is: The Knowledge that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We have been given the fullness of the gospel. We know who we are and what we are doing on this earth. We have been given the scriptures to guide us and strengthen us. We have even been given the name of Christ. In Packers talk, he shares this story from the Book of Mormon:

In the Book of Mormon, the Lord revisited the Nephites because they prayed to the Father in His name. And the Lord said:

“What will ye that I shall give unto you?

“And they said unto him: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter.

“And the Lord said “why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing?

“Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day.”

“Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.”

We as Latter-day Saints get the PRIVILEGE of being called after Christ.

“[Latter-day Saints] talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”5

Of course, there has always been persecution of those in our faith because of the fullness of our knowledge. President Packer also said, “If someone is looking for a church that requires very little, this is not the one. It is not easy to be a Latter-day Saint, but in the long run it is the only true course.” It may not be easy, brothers and sisters, but it will definitely be worth it.

J.M Barrie also said, “Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”

My next happy thought is the Atonement. J.M Barrie said, “The best place a person can die, is where they die for others.”

Jesus Christ was the only one capable of performing the magnificent Atonement because He was the only perfect man and the Only Begotten Son of God the Father. His perfect mortal life devoid of sin, the shedding of His blood, His suffering in the garden and upon the cross, His voluntary death, and the Resurrection of His body from the tomb made possible a full Atonement for people of every generation and time.

The third article of faith states: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us because he took on each and every one of our sins. There is only ONE word to describe this action; LOVE. It was because he loved us, he was willing to sacrifice everything for us.

(John 15:13.) “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

And by permitting his Son to make such a selfless and suffering sacrifice, the Father provided us with an ultimate expression of his love as his gift to the rest of his children.

One of the tragedies we sometimes find is what can happen when someone feels lost or that they dont belong.

M. Russell Ballard said, “If we could truly understand the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we would realize how precious is one son or daughter of God.

I didn’t get a chance to listen to Women’s Conference a few weeks ago, but I did have a chance to listen later and one particular talk really struck a chord in my heart and it started off with a little flower. I was reminded to be more compassionate and patient with myself" and to always remember that "[i am] not forgotten. wherever [i am], whatever the circumstances may be, no matter how dark [my] days may seem or how insignificant [i] may feel, no matter how overshadowed [i] think [i] may be at times, [my] Heavenly Father has not forgotten [me]. he loves [me and] you with an infinite love.

I loved everything about this talk and as I was reading it again, I had to refrain myself from quoting the entire thing. But I will share one thing President Uchtdorf said,

“The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy.”

I have many happy thoughts and my last happy thought for you this afternoon, is my testimony.

I am so thankful for the gospel for giving me the knowledge that I have to give me wings to fly. I know this church is true with all my heart. I know that we are here to experience life at the top of our lungs and to share our knowledge and joy with our family, our friends and our neighbors. I hope I can let my light shine to its fullest potential and I know that I can do that through my brother and my savior, Jesus Christ who died for me. I love him with all my heart and it is my goal to make him proud. I humbly say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen….

Gavin then spoke about the Priesthood and did a lovely job. We laughed afterwards because we are in an older ward and most the congregation was sleeping through most of our talks. Good times. Good times.

Feel free to use anything in this talk if you need to give a thought or whatever. Just be sure to credit me. :)


Seth + Carlie said...

That was really great! I liked how you flowed from one topic to the next, and I think I would have enjoyed listening to that talk in Sacrament meeting. Sorry people were sleeping during your talk-I am sure everyone that heard it loved it. You can tell you put a lot of thought and prayer in to it =)

Anonymous said...

Hey Lauren!! I'm Sarah Kate. I found you via And Here's To You, Mrs. Robinson. I clicked on your adorable button in her sidebar and just fell in love with your blog!

I have always loved the Peter Pan quote in your header, and I really like how you incorporated the Peter Pan references into your talk, too. You're so creative. I'm sure the people who were awake really benefitted from it! :o)

Kylee said...

So cute and such a good talk Lauren! I love how you continued to use your "happy thoughts" even in your talk :) And the reference to peter pan was genius. :)

Siri Natalia said...

LOVE the Peter Pan reference! :)