Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christ's birth and His Gift

Howdy everyone, this past week was a great and productive one. Again, thanks for all the support, I'm already getting Christmas cards and presents in the mail and I really appreciate it! This past week has been a little crazy busy but that's good, I love being busy. Sunday was awesome but I had A LOT of things to do. I was asked at 8:50 p.m. Saturday night to speak the next morning in church which I will write about in a second, then we had our stake missionary correlation meeting and had all the stake high counselors there ... yea it was intense but super good. And also we had to give a training on 'just serve' for our 3rd hour of church that was a combined meeting and the stake president happened to show up for that, too. What was funny was President Sowards, who's in the stake presidency, was at church when I spoke and said in our stake missionary meeting that I've had a big day having to speak in church, 'just serve' meeting and now this meeting. I loved it all though, learnt SO much from each thing.
I want to share with you all my talk, I'm going to try to type it out the way I spoke it, if I remember what I really said, hope you all enjoy it. SUPER long though, I honestly wrote it in detail so I can always have a copy of it. So, if you all don't read it, no worries. haha 

12/14/14 Sunday's Sacrament Talk:

The vision of what I want for this talk is for each of you to understand the importance of Christ's birth in mortality and the gift of His Atonement to all of us.  
How are signs significant? They obviously are given for important things such as stop signs, communication purposes, etc. Also to symbolize things. We learn in the Book Of Mormon about the Savior's birth and coming in Helaman 14:5,7-8. which says " And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you." verse 7 " And it shall come to pass that ye shall be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth." 
So, when Christ is born in Bethlehem, far away the people in the Americas will know that He is born, because of signs. Also something cool I put together as well is that these scriptures foreshadow the Savior's coming to the people in 3 Nephi 11. That when he comes down from the sky HE is like that star, a sign and also brighter and greater than anything they have ever before seen and because of that they will fall to their knees and that's what happened in both accounts. Kinda cool small connection there. Verse 8 says "And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have eternal life". Why is that possible, how is that possible? I love how right after speaking of the signs of Christ's birth it immediately jumps to Him being the only way for us to have eternal life.  
In Mosiah 3:5-8, we learn about what Christ will do, he will do mighty miracles, heal the sick, cast out evil spirits and experience "pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer". Basically the Savior was to come and experience what you experience, feel what you feel, He wants to be able to say I know what you're going through and that was only in and through His infinite Atonement. In Alma 7:10-12 we know that " He shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers" and that He, meaning  Christ, "shall go forth suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind... that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities". This means that He will know how to HELP you when going through the hardest and worst of times. Now in order for each of us to really catch the magnitude of this atonement that these Scriptures in Mosiah and Alma talk about I want to do an analogy. Think of the WORST physical pain you have ever had... now imagine that back right now. Then imagine every other physical pain since the day you were born till now all come back at this very moment. Now think of the worst emotional pain like losing trust from someone you love, losing a loved one, a bad break up, emotional abuse. Now imagine that feeling come back with every other one your whole life all back at this moment. Then, let's add more, think of the worst guilt you have had, hardest temptations you have given into, all the times you felt sorrow for your sins and add those in there, too. There's much more I could put into this analogy but honestly could any of you handle those? And that's just you, just your own physical, emotional and guilty sinful experiences, imagine adding someone else's onto you or many others- it wouldn't be possible. Just you alone have a lot, but Christ took yours, and the person next to you, and everyone in this room and every living thing that's ever existed on the face of this earth upon Him all at once. It was so hard that literally angels had to come strengthen and help him. Why? Because He knew you couldn't do it on your own, we couldn't, He had to do it, He knew it was the only way for us to repent and change so we can return to our Father in Heaven.  
Christ boldly stated "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness... I came not to judge the world but to save the world." John 12:46-47.  
Christ knew what He was to do, that it was the only way to save us from all our hardest trials. He truly is our Light, your illuminating Light, that forces darkness out, as well as the power to strengthen and help us so that our burdens are light. Now we know why and how Christ did what He did and why He was born on this earth, but how do we embrace and share this gift?  
Simply, in John we learn that the Christ child said to the Samaritan women, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life" John 4: 13-14. Meaning that if you want to keep doing what you're doing then good luck, by yourself, you will have to overcome weakness, trials, fatigue, guilt, all on your own and you will keep struggling and struggling OR you can partake of my "water" or atonement. I have a never ending supply of it that if you drink of it or meaning use it daily, right? Because we have to use water daily to survive so we must use His atonement daily to survive- then you will not thirst again, you won't be searching for something else to help you.  
Now think of another analogy... say you have an unlimited amount of water, you live in the desert and everyone around you is fighting, searching and needing water but its scarce where they are at. Families are getting torn apart because of contention in their homes or with neighbors because one family or person has more water then the other, suffering before your eyes. What would you do? Duh, you would tell everyone to come and partake of this ENDLESS SUPPLY of water where you live, that there needs no more to be pains, contention, suffering, that everyone can partake of all the water. You would SHARE that water, SHARE that Atonement, SHARE that Gift. My invitation to you all is think of a gift that you can give our Savior that would show thankfulness to the greatest gift of His atonement that He gave us.  
I testify that Christ had to come to the earth, if not, we would all be hopeless. Something that came to mind was I'm sure the greatest light, and stars were when Christ was born, everyone on earth and heaven rejoiced, to me I feel that's a SIGN of God's emotions, that it was symbolizing His feelings of joy when His son was born and His Crucifixion was a sign of His sorrow and grief of His son's torture and death on the cross that the earth shook and was in darkness. I know it was not easy for our Father in Heaven to watch His beloved Son go through what He did but that He understood that it was the only way for all of His sons and daughters to come back to Him, it was essential. To me, I feel God's gift to us was sending His son to the earth to give us an example, BUT Christ's gift to us was His Atonement. He had agency to choose if he wanted to suffer it or not and He did and because of it we must remember those amazing gifts. I testify that He Is The Gift. Initiative is a SIGN from on high that this Christmas season is different from others, that we must share the gift with all who we see that they can come partake of the endless supply of the Lord's atonement before His Second Coming. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Love to you all, 
Elder Taylor 

Transfers; saying bye to an awesome sister missionary that I served with a lot of my mission! 

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