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Talk Given to Buenaventura Ward 1-20-2013 - Ogden, Utah

Talk Given to Buenaventura Ward 1-20-2013 - Ogden, Utah

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Published by Jeremy Peterson

A talk on service and the Christian obligation to perform service for others.

A talk on service and the Christian obligation to perform service for others.

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Jeremy Peterson on Jan 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Talk Given to Buenaventura Ward – Ogden, Utah 1-20-2013Good afternoon Brothers and Sisters, I am Brother Jeremy Peterson from the Stake HighCouncil. It has been just over a year since I last spoke to you. I am grateful for the opportunity Ihave to be with you and to share a Gospel message.Before I begin, let me express the love that our Stake Presidency has for you. Our StakePresidency’s thoughts and prayers are with you. We are all very excited and optimistic aboutyour recent change from a Branch to a Ward. The Lord is blessing his people and it is throughyour faithfulness and commitment to the Gospel that has brought about this great blessing.Also, you may notice that I sound a little stuffy. I am fighting a head cold so please forgive me ifI grab a tissue or two. I would recommend disinfecting the microphone after my talk today.First, brothers and sisters, let’s discuss our membership in the church. Our membership in theChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a great privilege. We have the blessings of thepriesthood, the saving ordinances of the Gospel, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and many more.Yet, this abundance of spiritual gifts comes with an equal responsibility. Neal A Maxwell spokeabout this in his book titled
And These Things Shall Give Thee Experience 
. When describing ourobligation as Disciples of Christ, he states bluntly: “Truth is a relentless taskmaster.”The Lord has poured out his spirit and blessings upon us and even more await us if we can findgreater ways to serve in the Lord’s Kingdom and to serve our fellow man. Now, in regards toserving in the Church, I am not suggesting that we should aspire to be Bishop or Relief Societypresident. Besides, I am sure each would trade you places in a heartbeat. What I amsuggesting is that whatever calling we have or whatever calling your Bishop is inspired by theLord to extend to you, we should do all within our power to act and perform those duties withdiligence, seeking the lords will, and do it all with cheerfulness. Service is a two way street oflove and blessings. Both the giver and the receiver benefit.Is it any wonder then that our church congregations are made up exclusively of volunteers?Our lay ministry is a prime example of our true commitment to Christ and to each other. Ourperformance in our callings should not be done for personal recognition or strictly out of asense of duty to our priesthood authority. While duty is an important aspect, our thoughts andactions should be motivated, at the most basic level, by our love for our fellow man.President Thomas S. Monson has spoken exhaustively on this subject. In a recent talk he said:
The Savior taught His disciples, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: buwhosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” 
I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.
On another occasion he spoke regarding how we should view our membership in the church:
May we ever remember that the mantle of membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of 
-day Saints is not a cloak of comfort but rather a robe of responsibility. Our duty, in addition to saving ourselves, is to guide others to the celestial kingdom of God.” 
We should remember that nothing in this life lasts forever. A loaf of bread will last a week. Agallon of milk will last two. Our clothes will last a couple of years. And our cars will last a few.But let us never forget that the relationships and the bonds that we form with our fellow manwill last throughout this life and onto the next.So how do we go about forging these bonds? The answer is simple: We work together towardthe common good.Spencer W. Kimball elaborates on how the Lord works:
God does notice us and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.” 
Therefore Brothers and Sisters, the responsibility lies with us to do the Lord’s work. When weare out on the Lord’s errand, it is more likely that we are to fulfill his purposes than if we arehome watching movies or playing video games. Some of us may be struggling to find time to doour home teaching or our visiting teaching. Some of us may excuse ourselves from shirking onour calling by saying that we are simply too busy. The Lord knows our capacity and ourcircumstances. If we desire to serve him and approach him in prayer, he will show us the way tomake time for His work. The answer may be as simple as turning off the TV or asking for adifferent shift at work. Whatever your circumstances, I promise you that if you approach theLord in prayer and desire, he will show you how to accomplish what he has asked you to do.Nephi, if we remember, found himself in difficult circumstances before in obtaining the brassplates from Laban. Nevertheless, we read in 1Ne. 3:7:I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lordgiveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way forthem that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
Now Brothers and Sisters, I ask that you will permit me to speak on a sensitive subject for amoment. This Ward has a very unique identity as it relates to other Wards in our Stake. Thisward has a boundary that overlaps many other Wards and has been created around a commonlanguage among its members. This common language (except with the help of a translator fortoday’s talks) makes it easier for us to speak and to hear by the Spirit and for each of us to beedified.However, this common language also indicates a common heritage that is distinct and differentfrom the majority of people living in our Stake who share their own common language.I am currently honored to serve in our State House of Representatives as a state lawmaker.From time to time, there are questions brought to our government about how to properly treatand deal with immigrants. Many opinions and ideas are expressed by the various members ofour Legislative body. As I have watched and been a part of the deliberations, it has beenapparent that not all of the opinions presented have been favorable. I can tell you that withinour lawmaking body of government, there are individuals who have an unfavorable perceptiontoward some people who have immigrated or desire to immigrate to this land. Some of theseopinions are based on a lack of information or knowledge.Luke 2: 52 teaches us about Christ’s personal growth prior to his ministry:
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
As the Buenaventura Ward in the Ogden Utah Stake may you strive to increase in wisdom andstature and in favour with God and man. Today’s message of service is key to accomplishingthis. I would suggest that service in our wards and communities is the bridge that overcomesmisunderstanding and softens the hearts of those who would have unfavorable views towardsus. So, brothers and sisters, let us be found in service to others.While we know the duty of our callings, some of you may be wondering what it is that you cando in the community.Here are some ways we can serve in our local community:Volunteer with a local community organization. Good organizations have the followingcharacteristics:Beneficiaries are allowed to solve their own problems through participation and work.Leadership in the organization is honest and competent.Their programs promote self-reliance.
Support worthy community activities that help the poor meet basic needs or learn skills.

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