Clean Reads for Mormon Teenagers discussion

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message 1: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Post some of the favorite talks you've given on here! I have a couple that have always made me tear up that I'll post soon.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Post the words?


message 3: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Yeah. If you typed it up, go ahead and post it on here! I'll have to do that on Monday, I think.


message 4: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Okay, I'll start :)

Jayda’s Talk on Duty

The topic that I chose was duty. I don’t necessarily know why I chose that topic but I did feel a small impression when I heard it. I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to use this topic and turn it into a talk and I was kind of confused on what I should say and look up. That night I began reading the Book of Mormon for the youth challenge and I was reading the beginning of the stories of Nephi. Now, if you grew up in Primary than you all should know the basic outline of the stories of Nephi, and even Lehi. I specifically remember every Sunday coming home and watching the Book of Mormon cartoon videos. Nephi was always my favorite to watch.

Lehi was a strong man. Lehi was a visionary man who had seen a vision of Jerusalem being destroyed. The Lord told him to leave and go into the wilderness because he would destroy the city for their wickedness. He told his family this and, as we know, Laman and Lemuel murmured against their father, the prophet of God, not believing that the Lord would destroy Jerusalem. They didn’t want to leave their silver and gold and precious things behind. They probably had a large, luxurious house and their father was telling them that they had to go into the wilderness with merely a tent to live in. There was one son out of the four, however, that longed to believe. So he prayed to the Lord with all of his heart and was touched by the spirit, in his own words in 1st Nephi chapter 1 verse 16: “… I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all of the words which had been spoken by my father.”

Now, one of my favorite scriptures from the Book of Mormon is 1st Nephi chapter 2 verse 15, which reads: “And my father dwelt in a tent.” It seems like a small verse, like something little and almost insignificant. Some of you may wonder why Nephi put that in there instead of just leaving it out. It’s not one of my favorite scriptures because it’s short and easy to remember. It’s one of my favorite scriptures because it truly means a whole lot. Lehi and his family went from pure riches, probably a large and comfortable house, silver, gold, and fine things to a mere tent in the wilderness. “And my father dwelt in a tent” may be a short verse but it means so much. It explains to us about how his father was so willing to serve the Lord, to fulfill his duty to his Heavenly Father, that he went from amazing things to a small tent. That, to me, is an amazing example of duty to the Lord.

Now we move onto the next chapter, chapter three of 1st Nephi. God had just told Lehi that his sons must go back to Jerusalem to get the brass plates, which held the genealogy of his forefathers and the record of the Jews. They were told that they had to go unto the house of Laban to retrieve these plates of brass and bring them back to the wilderness. Now, you need to understand that Laban was a very powerful man of his time. In verse 31 Laman and Lemuel tell us about how Laban can control fifty men, or yet kill fifty men. Nephi even tells us in verse 1 of chapter 4 that he could even control his tens of thousands. He was a powerful and frightening man.

When Laman and Lemuel heard the words of their father of course they thought that he was insane. But Nephi said in chapter 3, verse 7: “… I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” Though Nephi knew how strong and deadly Laban was he was still willing to travel from the wilderness back to Jerusalem. In the Book of Mormon Institute Manuel on page 16 it says: “The distance from Jerusalem and the Red Sea is about 180 miles through hot, barren country infested anciently with marauders. And they had gone three days’ journey beyond that. This meant at least a twelve- to fourteen day trip one way, giving added meaning to Nephi’s response in verse 7.” This means that they had nearly a month’s journey to and from Jerusalem. The fact that Nephi knew this and was still completely willing to go is also an amazing example of duty to the Lord.

Now we move onto when they arrived in Jerusalem. They had already attempted to get the brass plates, first by trying to ask him and then by trying to buy them with the precious things from their home, which Laban stole. Nephi and Sam had both been murmured against and even beaten with a rod by their brothers who were willing to kill them. An angel saved them and Nephi went again to try and get the brass plates. He admitted in chapter 4 verse 6 that he was “… led by the spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” As he walked through the dark roads of Jerusalem, during the night, he came upon a man on the ground. He was drunk and had passed out and when Nephi looked upon the man he realized who it was: it was Laban. In chapter 4 verses 10-14, and 17-18 Nephi says: “10: And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of a man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him. 11: And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property. 12: And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands; 13: Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief. 14: And now when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land of promise… 17: And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause – that I might obtain the records according to his commandments. 18: Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword.”

Now, Nephi had never killed anyone. He had obeyed the commandments, which in Exodus chapter 20 verse 13 it says, “Thou shalt not kill.” But knowing that the Lord commanded that he do this thing, that he should kill Laban so that only one man die and not a whole nation dwindle and perish in unbelief, he killed Laban.

There are many other great stories that come from Nephi that teach us about fulfilling the duty to our Lord. But now I move onto another story, one that moves me and shows true faith and diligence in the work and duty of the Lord.

-CONTINUED-


message 5: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
-CONTINUED-

A young boy of only 14 years of age named Joseph Smith, Jr. was confused. The year was 1820 and there were many churches for him to choose from. But still he was not certain which one was true and he went to the Holy Bible for answers. While reading and pondering he came upon a scripture in the book of James in the New Testament. This scripture was in chapter 1, verse 5 which reads: “5: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” So he did just as James had instructed. One beautiful day he retired to the woods on his own. Now I turn to Joseph Smith – History to continue this story. READ CHAPTER ONE VERSES 15-17. His answer was given to him, telling him to join none of them, for they were all wrong. Further into the story he was given the gold plates and he translated them by the instruction of the angel Moroni. He was persecuted often, perhaps even constantly, for leading the true church of God. He was beaten and covered in tar and feathers and could’ve died many times during these persecutions.

Later in his life, on June 27th 1844, Joseph Smith along with his older brother Hyrum Smith were shot and murdered by a mob of men at about 5:00pm at Carthage Jail in Illinois. Two days before that, the Governor of Illinois told the state (muh-lish-yuh) militia that Joseph and Hyrum were “dangerous men”. In section 135 of the Doctrine in Covenants, verse 4 it reads: READ D&C SECTION 135:4. Joseph Smith was merely 38 years old at the time. His story of duty is certainly one of the best, especially in modern days.

Now I move onto the single greatest example of fulfilling one’s duty to God. I will start with the very beginning of this example.

Mary, a young, fair virgin, was visited by an angel and told that she was blessed and favored with God and that she would bear a child. She was told that she would name him Jesus and he would be the Son of God. Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6 tells us of this wonderful child to be born, saying: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Councilor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” I can only imagine how frightened Mary was when she learned that she would be raising the Son of God. How worthy and uncertain would you feel to actually bare such a child, the Son of God?

Mary went and told her fiancé, Joseph, a carpenter. And when the time came they rode to Bethlehem where Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in a stable. Their duty to the Lord was an amazing one. Now I move to the utmost greatest example of duty. I’ll begin by quoting a talk that my dad gave a while back.

“On a fateful day nearly 2,000 years ago a man above men, a God clothed in flesh and mortality, was illegally seized, illegally tried and convicted, and sentenced to death. He was tormented, scourged, beaten, humiliated, spit upon, mocked and forced to carry on his shoulders some distance the very instrument of his death.

He hadn’t eaten or drunk anything in many hours. No doubt his energy was all but spent, especially after the cruelty to which he had been subjected for hours on end. Even before all of this, before his arrest, he had gone through even worse pain and torment as he suffered in the garden of Gethsemane for all pain, for all affliction, for all sorrow, and most painful of all for every sin that would ever be committed past, present, and future.

So he carried his cross to the place of his demise. He was bound to it with nails driven through his hands and feet and he was lifted up and hung there to die a horrible and painful death. Though his suffering on the cross lasted for hours before he finally knew that it was enough, the suffering endured far longer than the time he was on the cross as it began at the garden many hours before. His suffering began there, the Atonement began there, and many hours later his suffering finally ended and the great Atonement had been accomplished.

But a short while before it was finished the Savior taught us yet another lesson. Even while on the cross, in horrific pain and agony, while the Roman soldiers who placed him there mocked him and cast lots for his raiment, the great Master cried out for mercy on those who tormented him: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” He forgave them and asked his Father to do the same.” End quote.

Now, Jesus Christ suffered greatly on the cross. But he also had known that this was his demise. He says in John chapter 18 verse 37, “To this end was I born, for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, our King, suffered through pain and suffering and eventually death, knowing that it would be a terrible thing, knowing what would happen, and doing it all for us and for our Heavenly Father. This was most certainly the ultimate example of fulfilling one’s duty to God. Christ our Savior died for us to keep the great Plan of Happiness in effect, which was instituted before the foundations of the world.

As for my duty to God I began to ponder what mine was while writing this talk. I decided that it would begin with the contract I signed for President Holland. I had signed a letter to President Holland that our stake sent out that said I would try my best to give 10 years of my life, from the time that I’m fifteen until I’m twenty-five, to the service of the Lord. Now I wondered how I would do that. I remembered the Habits of Eternity and decided that that was probably a really good place to start. As for my New Years Resolutions I made several spiritual goals. I’d try to get into the habit of reading the scriptures every day for at least ten minutes. And not only read but also look for something to apply to my life and to help me in every day trials and goals. Paying tithing is very special to me. I love paying tithing, which may sound weird coming from a fifteen year old, but I really do. I know that it truly gives me blessings. I also decided that I would start praying twice a day, in the morning and evening to start my day off spiritually to try and help my mood and the decisions that I would make and end my day the same way. Also studying the New Era and the words of the Prophets are among my goals.

Setting goals, for me, tends to help me get a start on something. Like I said before, I’ve started reading the Book of Mormon for our youth challenge, which is to read it during the first six months of the year. I haven’t read the Book of Mormon fully and by myself since President Hinckley had challenged us all to read it. It’s truly already been a blessing in my life. I’d forgotten how much I loved reading the Book of Mormon until I began reading the first Sunday of January. I know that reading the scriptures, pondering, and praying will always help me keep the Holy Ghost with me to help me continue fulfilling my duty to God.

-CONTINUED-


message 6: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (last edited Aug 10, 2009 09:39AM) (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
-CONTINUED-

I’d like to bear my testimony, that I know that this church is true. I know that fulfilling our duty to God, not only in our callings in church but also in our daily and personal lives is a very important thing that will guide us through temptation and trials. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet that suffered for this church and truly fulfilled his duty to God. I know that Nephi was also a true prophet of God. And I also know that Jesus Christ lived on this earth and that he lives now. I know that he suffered for me, for my mistakes, for what I’ve done so that I can come to live with Heavenly Father, and that he was willing to do so, and I’m so thankful for that. I’m thankful to be a member of this church and to have the influences in my life that I do. Going to seminary in the morning and learning about the New Testament, the life of Christ and all of the miracles that he performed and all of the suffering he went through has helped me immensely in my daily life. I know that we will be blessed if we serve the Lord. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and is the word of God. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-FINISH-

Wow, sorry it was so long! I didn't realize how long it was... Well, I kind of did since it was a 20 minute talk... But I wasn't allowed to give a 20 minute talk since we had a guest speaker, or something, so I had to cut that down to 8 minutes... That was pressure -sigh-

All of my leaders said "Only you would write a 20 minute talk, which is impressive" xD It made me laugh. All of my friends freaked and were asking me if it was really twenty minutes. I'm like "Yeah... why would I lie at the pulpit?" xD


message 7: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Oh, and this is the unedited version. At the last minutes I made some minor edits to wording and such, so sorry if it doesn't ring well in certain sentences x.x


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

nice!


message 9: by Gen (new)

Gen (gensanders) Wow, Jayda! That was a great talk!


message 10: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Thanks guys ^^


message 11: by Jayda, Future NYT Bestseller! © (new)

Jayda | 2310 comments Mod
Oh, and the muh-lish-ya thing was to help me remember how to pronounce it xD I'd kept forgetting and pronouncing it wrong so I put that in.


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