November 10, 2013

Maddy - Sacrament Talk

Maddy gave a wonderful Sacrament talk today. She speaks so naturally and with conviction. We were so proud of her. Below is the text of her address.

The Strength to Endure

I love General Conference. It has blessed my life in countless ways, so I am excited to speak today about Elder Maynes’ talk entitled, The Strength to Endure.

Life can be hard. It’s no secret. Every day we each struggle with so many things. There are struggles that are temporary and can be overcome, and there are struggles that we may live with throughout our mortal existence. It is easy to become discouraged and overwhelmed when we seem to be faced with challenges on every front. This is why it is crucial to remember that, quote, “We have a loving Heavenly Father who has designed our earthly existence so that we can individually learn the lessons we need to learn to qualify for eternal life in His presence.” end quote. Elder Maynes goes on to relate Joseph Smith’s experience in Liberty jail and the Lord’s words to him, “My son, peace unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.” So what does it mean to “endure well”? A dictionary definition of the word endure is: To remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding.  Without yielding. We are to go through things like disease, heartache, frustration, hurt, and remain firm in our faith in Christ. As Elder Maynes put it, we are to “endure in righteousness”.

We cannot “endure in righteousness” unless we have a strong testimony, unless we are ”truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Having a Christ-centered life will help us to make the choices that will lead us back to our Father in Heaven. We will be inspired by the Holy Ghost.

We must be spiritually prepared for the adversity that we will face. Our testimonies must be strong enough to endure the “fiery darts of the adversary” Then, quote, “We will become immovable in our desire and ability to live the gospel. As an anonymous author once said, ‘You must be the rock the river cannot wash away.’ ” We must work constantly for this sort of strength. To endure is not a passive action. It is a constant effort. A conscious decision.

Elder Maynes’ great grandfather, Joseph Maynes was called at the age of 53 to serve a full time mission. He had a wife and eight children. After serving faithfully for approximately two years in England, where he was originally from, he was riding his bicycle and a tire burst. He got off the bike to assess the damage and he collapsed to the ground. He died suddenly of a heart attack. His funeral was held in Salt Lake and Elder Anthony W. Ivins of the Quorum of the Twelve made this statement at the service: “This is what the gospel gives us—not immunity from death, but victory over it through the hope we have in a glorious resurrection. … It applies to [Joseph Maynes]. … It is a pleasure, and it is a satisfaction and joy to know that men lay down their lives in righteousness, in the faith, true to the faith.”

Don’t we all want that to be said of us? That we laid down our life in righteousness, in the faith, and true to the faith?

If so, then we must face our challenges with faith and courage. We must center our lives in Christ so that we can have His help in “enduring well” whatever hardships God has given us. We must remember that for every challenge there is a lesson that our loving Heavenly Father needs us to learn.

I know that we will never be presented with a challenge that we cannot handle. With the help of a Loving Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ, we truly have the power to do all things. Our Savior stands with His arms outstretched, all we have to do is go to Him and every trial will seem “but a small moment.” When we center our lives in Christ, we are able to endure all things. I know this is true. And I say these things in His name, even Jesus Christ, amen.