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Walking in the footsteps of Christ I am honored to speak on this holy Easter Sunday and express gratitude for the

overwhelming spirit of love and truth that I feel in this chapel this day. I pray that the spirit be with all of us as I deliver this message and testament to you. Before we came to earth we sat in Heaven with our heavenly father existing in perfect Clarity. We knew what we were capable of, we knew our gifts and talents, we knew our creator, our father and we knew that all we have comes from him. We understood his plan and could see clearly what we should and could do while here on earth. I imagine us sitting with God and looking down. I imagine us making promises to him. Saying Father, I can do this! Father, send me down. Father, I know and see what I can do and I promise I will do it. I promise I will not let you down. And finally he sends us. We come to earth and the veil makes us forget. We start as little children with no memory of what we are capable of. No understanding of why we are here or of the promises we committed to keep. Here we are given agency the freedom to chose whichever path we want to walk. Here we can experience trials, pain and sorrow. Here we can be knocked down and confused and truly tested in our character and divinity. I myself have felt this. I have felt loneness, personal misfortune and sadness. I have hungered for the meaning and purpose of life. I have wondered why God lets bad things happen to good people and why I must suffer. Elder Uchdorf explains: Because there is such great interest in these issues, the world is not bashful in offering numerous new answers to every problem we face. People run from one new idea to the next, hoping to find something that will answer the burning questions of their souls. They attend seminars and buy books, CDs, and other products. They get caught up in the excitement of looking for something new. But inevitably, the flame of each new theory fades, only to be replaced by another new and improved solution that promises to do what the others before could not. It s not that these worldly options don t contain elements of truth- many of the do. Nevertheless, they all fall short of the lasting change we seek in our lives. After the excitement wears off, the hollowness remains as we look for the next new idea to unlock the secrets of happiness. In contrast, the gospel of Jesus Christ has the answers to all of our problems. The gospel is not a secret. It is not complicated or hidden. It can unlock the door to true happiness. It is not someone s theory or proposition. It does not come from man at all. It springs from the pure and everlasting waters of the Creator of the universe, who knows truths we cannot even begin to comprehend. And with that knowledge, He has given us the gospel- a divine gift, the ultimate formula for happiness and success.

And on this day we celebrate his resurrection. On the side lines stands your coach. There is a crowd of people. However. It is the path of salvation. lived a perfect life.they are heaven angels. All along the race track there are hurtles. sorrow. Through Christ we know our Creator God the Father. And know that all we have comes from him. he wants you to . but then why was I so consumed with doubt. we can experience confidence and joy. Some behind us and some in front. Through Christ we discover our gifts and talents. I began to ask my father in heaven why this was happening? Had I done something wrong? Was I being punished? I begged and pleaded to feel better. I wore myself ragged working over Christmas break and returned home with a sore which escalated to walking pneumonia. I have had some of the most physically draining and miserable illnesses of my life. I feared that I would never be healthy enough to be productive and to maintain a pace which would allow success in the mission. If I can t stay healthy for a few weeks how will I ever be productive on the mission? Fears overcame me as I imagined my companions sitting at home while I was sick in bed and preventing the work from being carried out. He wants us to succeed. It is through Christ that we remember what we are capable of. To feel strong. family members. We celebrate the atoning sacrifice he suffered so that all of us could be cleansed of our sins and worthy again to live with our father in heaven. I knew I was suppose to go on a mission. I had to take antibiotics which left me feels so light headed and loopy that every time I stood up I would almost black out or fall over. I feared I would become a burden. As he shouts you hear faint whispers that direct and instruct you. all cheering you on and giving words of encouragement and support. The weaker I became physically the weaker my emotional and spiritual health became. leaders. He went before and completed the race with flying colors and we look to his example. My initial decision to go on a mission came as a very powerful impression from God. the way of hope and joy. An analogy came to my mind. His words echo praise and warning as you run. As many of you know I have been called to serve for 18 months in the Manchester England mission. teachers. atoned for our sins. and the assurance that God has a plan of redemption and happiness for ALL His children. and friends. The Lord wants us to win. It is through Christ and his example that we can again remember the individual promises we made to our father before he sent us here. imagine a race. As I started to recover from that I got a terrible cold which lead to an intense sinus infection. prophets and apostles. If you would. As we walk in that way. and uncertainty. The gospel is a way of discipleship. These are all positive elements in the race but not everyone in attendance wants you to succeed. Since receiving my call in January I have been tried and tested like never before. Christ was our ultimate example of discipleship.The gospel is the good news of Christ. I had previously decided not to go and over dinner one night with my father it became clear to both him and I that while I had been making plans of school and graduation the Lord had something else in mind. and conquered death. A short time later while traveling I had the misfortune of getting parasites making me violently ill and weak. feeling so sorry for myself and utterly exhausted. There is someone who has bet everything he owns that you will lose. It is the revelation that the son of god came to earth. One night I was sitting in my car weeping. as my body struggled to stay healthy with the recent afflictions mind was flooded with doubts. My concerns consumed me for days. It was almost the second I asked that I understood.even during times of peril. He is our role model.

He knows that if he can slow you down enough you will never make it over. If you are a screw driver finds the loose screws and tighten them. lonely path utterly alone. what instrument are you? What are the gifts he gave you and how can you use them for good? If you are a hammer. In the words of Elder Holland one of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long. All the reasons you will probably trip. As we strive to be more like him we begin to understand how we can be useful in his work of spreading THE love. Right before our moments of highest triumph. His whispers have caused you to slow your pace. He says that you are going to let all those people in the crowd down so there is no point in carrying on. But if we fall right before a hurdle or right before the finish line then our motivation to get back up and finish the race is minimal. . If each of us are to be in instrument in the Lord s hands. Mosiah 23 :10 Nevertheless. go find the nails. As we remember him this day we think of the qualities that made him perfect. Christ ran the race alone so we don t have to. He wants us to fall at a time that will discourage us from getting back up. to fall and never get up and he will try to sabotage your success with everything he can. He instills fear and doubt. We are never alone. discover your gifts. he remembers. If we fall at the beginning of the race then we can pick ourselves up and make up for lost time. We must acknowledge him daily and know that the purest joy comes through him. and did answer my prayers. I know that the only true way to happiness is through Christ. Each one of you is a different instrument in the Lord s toolset. As you run he shouts to you that you are weak. Satan always targets us right before our highest potential for success. He gets to you in ways that no one else can. WE cannot win the race alone. He knows you very well. We must allow his light in our life. You may lose confidence and momentum. we do not have to do so. He tells you that everyone else is faster. If we put our faith in the Lord and endure in light to the end then we will make it over that hurdle. Mosiah 27:36. Brothers and Sisters I have such a testimony that if we power through times of trial. The lord does not forsake us. the Lord did hear my cries. The attributes that made him the chosen one and we must work to be like him as we discover our true callings while here on earth. We cannot obtain salvation alone. He lays things in your path to confuse. And even when you forget what you are capable and when you do get busy. Remember your talents. distract and even trip you. As you approach the hurtle all you can see are the things which will cause you to fail. But the only way we can follow in his footsteps is to humbly invite him to help us. We cannot clear every hurtle alone. and has made me an instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth. The first hurdle is up ahead.And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth. light and joy of the gospel. yea to the knowledge of their redeemer. after much tribulation. This person is wise. He knows you are more than able to win the race and so he tries to trip you.

He lived a perfect life and atoned for our sins. I know this to be true. our hope and our number one advocate. I am so excited for the opportunity I have to share my passion and joy for this gospel to the people of Manchester. He died for us and is risen. You are the hope of Israel. I know that this church is true. Please. He is our example. You are elect and royal Sons and Daughters of our loving heavenly father. Sister Elaine Dalton spoke my thoughts: There are times when words cannot express what we feel. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I love you all so much and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ amen. only then can we be useful instruments in the lord s hands and LITERALLY build the Kingdom of God.If we work to understand why we are here. He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. And that President Monson is the true prophet of our latter day. What instrument you are and how you can be useful in the Lord s hands. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ. remember who you are. I promise to work my hardest and positively represent this ward and this gospel to the best of my ability. . I pray that the Spirit will witness to your hearts your divine identity and your eternal responsibility. Search Ponder and Pray to find out why YOU are here. Remember the promises you made before you came here. Remember that all doubt and fear come from Satan and all that is light and good come from God. Brothers and Sisters I bear testimony to you that I know that Jesus the Christ lives. I have learned from my own experiences that the only way we can find peace and joy in our life is to align ourselves with Christ and his teachings. And only through him can someone as imperfect as myself be made whole and worthy again to someday dwell in our Fathers presence.