Wednesday, February 17, 2016

one week (can you believe it??)

I'm so close. and it 100% doesn't feel real at all. I gave my farewell on sunday and thought hey I should post it on my mission blog. you're a genius amber. obvioulsy some stuff was changed as i was actually up on the stand giving my actual talk, but here ya go. here's the gist of it!
 Farewell talk
Hi for all of those who don’t know me my name is amber morley, but soon to be sister morley. I’ve been called to serve in the Massachusetts Boston mission, and I leave next Wednesday. I’m way excited and way way ready to leave. Before I start my talk I want to say a little about why I’ve chosen to go on a mission. I’ve always loved the gospel, and it’s always been something solid and unchanging in my life that has never failed to bring me happiness. I was about 14 when I first thought about going but being my 14-year-old self I thought no I’m probably going to be the girl who gets married at 19 because that’s the cool thing to do. But time went on and the age change happened and that’s when I really realized that yeah I think I’m supposed to go on a mission. I realized I wanted to share the happiness I felt from it with everyone. And through lots of prayer and fasting I finally officially decided to go about halfway through my senior year. And obviously I didn’t get married right away so here I am. I’ve been asked to speak on how the charity of Christ makes us want to serve, which I love because it really applies to my life right now as I’m about to leave on my mission to serve for a year and a half.
In order to understand why charity makes us want to serve, we must first understand what charity is. More specifically we need to understand what Christ-like charity is. In Moroni 7:47 it states that “charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever” so what is the pure love of Christ? One of my favorite stories is one in the book of Mark where all the mothers are begging the Disciples of Christ to let him see and bless their children. The answer was always “no, no they aren’t important enough, or he has better more significant things to do etc.” but Christ, being full of pure love and charity, interrupted and blessed each and every child for whatever they might have been needing at the time. Serving, and loving everyone, may not always be the most popular or understandable thing to do. But when has our Heavenly father ever cared about popular.
So how does charity connect with service? C. Max Caldwell stated in a 1992 conference talk that “Jesus’ love was inseparably connected to and resulted from his life of serving, sacrificing, and giving in behalf of others. We cannot develop Christlike love except by practicing the process prescribed by the Master.”
I love this quote, because it so simply and perfectly states something that I’m supposed to give a 10 minute long talk on. Christ has given us an infallible method of developing Christ-like charity. You must serve as he did in order to develop that love. Just as we are to follow his example in baptism, humility, honesty, in lack of judgment, kindness, and everything else he exemplified perfectly, we are to follow his perfect example of service. He has also given us a commandment, which is to love thy neighbor as thyself. How then do we show our love to others? The same way Christ would show us his love if he were on the earth right now. Service. The same way Christ does show us his love right now, which is through his tender mercies. If we let Christ and his love work through us, we can become a tender mercy for someone who needs it desperately. Without the pure love of Christ with us, service is just service. It’s good, it’s honorable, but it isn’t as meaningful or as focused as it has the potential to be. We don’t know everything that is going on with every person in our family, every person in our ward, and definitely not every person in the world. But Christ does. He suffered for each and every one of us. He knows our sins and sorrows, our trials and tribulations, our heartaches and hardships. Who better to rely on for service inspiration than the one who knows exactly who needs what and who can best serve each person best.
When preparing this talk, I read a conference address from president Hinckley called “charity never faileth” it reads in part “I had occasion the other evening to do a little research on the Willie and Martin handcart companies of 1856. There were more than a thousand in those companies, converts to the Church from Scandinavia and the British Isles. They were late in arriving in the States, and dangerously late in leaving Iowa City to begin the long walk to this valley. They became trapped in the snows of Wyoming. Fortunately they were passed on the way by several missionaries who were returning from England and who, when they saw the plight of the handcart Saints, pushed on to this valley and reported what they had seen to President Brigham Young. That was on the Saturday of the October conference of 1856. The next morning, Sunday, he stood before the people in the old tabernacle that stood on this square, and said in the morning session: “I will now give this people the subject and the text for the Elders who may speak to-day and during the conference,” he announced. “It is this. … Many of our brethren and sister are on the plains with handcarts, and probably many are now seven hundred miles from this place, and they must be brought here, we must send assistance to them. The text will be, ‘to get them here that is my religion; that is the dictation of the Holy Ghost that I possess. It is to save the people.””
When I read this, I imagined his statement as more of a call to service. I can imagine the same principles being applied today if we can understand how we can relate it to our time I can imagine if he were to look out on the people of this generation he might have said something like this: “I will now give this people the subject for the service of those who may live today on this earth. It is that many of our brethren and sister are in the world with trials and hardships beyond imagination, and probably now far from truth and happiness and peace. And they must be brought here. We must send assistance to them, we must help them, we must serve them. To get them here, to bring them to the light, to serve them physically and spiritually, that is my religion. It is to save the people.”
How do we then save the people? In doctrine and covenants 82, it states that the worth of souls is great unto God. And if we bring save it be one soul unto him, how great shall be our joy. And what if that one person starts with ourselves. What if we are that one soul that we bring unto God? Then, we will find joy. And with that brings a desire to make others as happy as we are. God wants us to find joy, and to help others find joy. And we find and give joy through service. We find joy through the little things. We find joy giving an hour of our time to service organizations. We find joy serving in the temple. We find joy in listening to a prompting to call up an old friend and ask how they’re doing. We find joy in praying for and recommending a friend in mind to the missionaries. (and I’m only saying that because soon I’m going to be the missionary begging members to give me the names of their friends who could be potential investigators). And we get this drive to serve through our love for others. Through charity. As we learn to see people how God sees them, and learn to love the way our Heavenly Father loves, we will begin to have our minds and hearts opened to desires and opportunities for service.

I know that if we truly work on having Christ like charity, that he will help us and bless us. And that is our desires are to serve that he will give us promptings and opportunities for service. I know that the next year and a half of my life is not going to be easy, and honestly is probably going to be filled with way more service than I could have ever imagined doing in my entire life, but it will all be worth it. I know that this gospel is true. I know that the temple is the happiest, most peaceful place on earth, and I am so grateful for the blessings that can be found there. I know that Christ lives, and I can’t wait to teach the gospel for the next 18 months in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

some of my favorite people who made the trip to az to come to my farewell!

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