I am speaking in church on Sunday

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Curt Sunshine
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I am speaking in church on Sunday

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Feb 2015, 21:41

I was in the temple this evening as part of a ward temple night. I helped in the baptistery, since that is my favorite part of it all. (I love helping the youth and new members.)

When it was done, one of the Bishopric counselors stopped me and asked if I would fill-in for the concluding speaker on Sunday, since that person had something happen that prevented speaking. I was a bit surprised, since this will be my third Sunday in the ward - but they know I have been on the High Council in two different stakes, so I guess they thought I would be used to something like this. (They are right.). :D

My topic is "Testimony and Conversion" and is taken from Pres. Eyring's words in the February Ensign.

Any thoughts and/or advice?
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Re: I am speaking in church on Sunday

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 19 Feb 2015, 23:19

Wow, great topic, as it fits so well into what we all discuss here. You've got a wealth of information here to peruse, I think if I had that topic I would go over faith, hope and belief, and the subtle differences between them. Then I would add in faith evolution. Maybe a bit of the iron rod/liahona talk, just cause that's what's on my mind.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

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Re: I am speaking in church on Sunday

Post by DarkJedi » 20 Feb 2015, 05:52

I would try to point out that conversion is a process, not an event and couple that with a testimony doesn't have to be this tall to enter. I'd try to fit in that conversion/testimony of the core principles are most important, and that the church is as much for those being converted as it is for those who are converted (maybe even more for the former). I'm sure you'll do great. (Sounds like it won't be long before Ray has a leadership calling in this ward.)
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Re: I am speaking in church on Sunday

Post by LookingHard » 20 Feb 2015, 08:15

I would emphasize we all need to be careful not to judge others that we feel are immature. This feeling is often very shallow and only to boast our own ego. That is not what Christ wanted. Christ would see someone that isn't perfect and still love them. When you judge someone or have a feeling "I am better than them", you are probably giving off vibes of that feeling that others can pickup on.

I don't remember where I heard it (maybe it was in my head), but I like the thought of, "The yardstick of a Christian isn't mainly what they do, but how much they truly can love others"

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Re: I am speaking in church on Sunday

Post by QuestionAbound » 20 Feb 2015, 08:20

our HT gave a good example...
Cucumbers are not pickles. They don't smell like pickles, or taste like pickles, they don't always look like pickles but they all the potential to become pickles.
We start out as cucumbers.
We want to be pickles.
Making pickles is a process.

Conversion is a process.
Conversion is testimony put into action.
I have a testimony that flipping the light switch into the up position will turn the light on. I've seen it done many times. Conversion is me actually flipping the switch myself and seeing the results.

My own thoughts...testimony of the church is not testimony of the Savior.

Good luck! :)

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Re: I am speaking in church on Sunday

Post by NightSG » 20 Feb 2015, 08:20

"Every saint has a past. Every sinner has a future." -- Oscar Wilde

Between the past and the future is now. Between sin and sainthood is what you do with right now. You can't do anything with your past. You can plan your future, but plans change. Every one of us has room to convert a little more right now.

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Re: I am speaking in church on Sunday

Post by Ann » 20 Feb 2015, 14:51

I remember liking a talk Dallen Oaks gave called "The Challenge to Become."
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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Re: I am speaking in church on Sunday

Post by mom3 » 20 Feb 2015, 14:51

When I think of Testimony and Conversion I think of Peter and Enos. (I haven't read the talk so if we are parellel it's just luck)

Peter had a testimony. He was not just a follower, he witnessed first hand miracles including his mothers healing, he had a front row seat on teachings, etc. When everyone walked away and Jesus asked if the final twelve or so would leave, Peter said, "To whom would we go?" I take this to mean that Peter had listened to others, and observed them, even John the Baptist no other option satisfied. Yet Peter's full converstion/immersion didn't happen until after the resurrection. I don't believe this is a failing on Peter at all. Peter was zealous for the cause, yes he could be overly so, but even in that dark hour he didn't completely run, he was overcome, it was more than he understood and he much to process. Momentary Vent Here - I dislike our churches standard interpretation of the fish fry, feed my sheep story but it is important to separate conversion from knowledge

When Jesus instructs Peter "When thou art converted, go and strengthen thy brethen." I believe Christ understood that Peter still had understanding to gain. I don't think he was condemning Peter for not converting. Christ knew the job he was handing Peter and how Peter's life was completely unprepared for it. Christ took a blue collar worker and asked him to be a CEO. That's a huge leap. Peter had no seminary/rabbi training. To be converted a knowledge would have to exist in Peter that didn't yet. Eventually it would, but not until then could we call Peter (or any of us for that matter) converted.

Enos -In a way similar to Peter, except Enos was the son of the Prophet. His uncle Nephi had been the previous Prophet. No doubt Enos lived a devout life. I always assume Enos is an adult when he has his experience, in that frame of reference, I imagine he was a pretty standard LDS type guy. Went to worship, performed the rituals, said prayers with some sincerity, collected offerings, and the like. I even suspect he bore some standard testimony like, "I know the plates are real, my dad hides them every night." Then one day it nags him and he pours out his heart. You know the rest of the story. Ironic though to his conversion, even though he was overcome with love for the Lamanites and had this transcendent experience he spent the rest of his life at war with those very people. To me this means conversion doesn't always alter a life. Some assume real conversion creates a Paul and Alma, perhaps not.

I have enjoyed this download of thoughts. Ray, you will do wonderfully without any of our input, thanks though for letting us chime in.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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