Help on a talk

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Help on a talk

Post by LookingHard » 07 Feb 2019, 20:03

I still attend for my marriage and have started to (generally) be calmer at church. I had the "feeling" the last month - "It has been a while since I gave a talk, I bet I am coming up on the top of the list." Sure enough, I just was asked to talk. I asked what the topic was and was told, "Deepening our testimonies through adherence to modern day revelation". Uggg. Not one that I would like to talk about and a bit hard to pivot.

Any suggestions?

The only thing I think of is to focus more on personal revelation and in the end you have to follow where that takes you. But 10 minutes of that will be a bit hard. I could look for some stories that people inspired to not do the typical mormon culturally approved behavior and it turns out good.

I might tell Hollands, "the wrong roads" and then say WTF? (not in those exact words).

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Re: Help on a talk

Post by nibbler » 07 Feb 2019, 20:31

"Deepening our testimonies through adherence to modern day revelation"

Wow. Topic titles don't get any more Mormon than that.

1) Obsession with strength of one's testimony
2) Obedience
3) To an implied modern day prophet

Before I even read your idea my initial thought was to re-frame modern day revelation as revelation that we personally receive.

That's a tough pull. I'd probably spend at least a few minutes talking about what it is we should be deepening our testimony about. We often leave a phrase like that dangling, where the "of what?" is implied, as if it's assumed everyone knows what we're talking about, and often I think people are really saying loyalty to the church/tribe. I'd try to be more explicit, maybe even draw that distinction, and that could eat up a few minutes of the allotted time.

I might also get more explicit with "adherence to modern day revelation" as well. I think this translates to "obey the prophet" in most member's minds but if you take revelation to mean something that we discover that was previously unknown to us then "adhering" to it wouldn't make much sense, unless we're talking adhering to the process of continual education and learning. I guess it could also mean that once we discover truth (it's hard for me to use that word) then adherence to it would mean keeping an open mind to accepting that truth.

So... through committing myself to continual learning and keeping an open mind I can gain more witness of more things?

I'd have to think of a story or example.
I looked from God to man, and from man to God, and from God to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

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Re: Help on a talk

Post by mom3 » 07 Feb 2019, 21:48

Can Modern Revelation be Personal Revelation. You know "following the promptings of the spirit."?

I don't know where you stand/sit on the Jesus topic, but I would launch from him. Maybe turn it into how you are deepening your testimony by anchoring it in Jesus Christ. Because...isn't that the new focus.

Pick some choice parables or Jesus life story examples and explain how you are trying to apply that in your life.

It is a toughy.
"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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Re: Help on a talk

Post by PazamaManX » 07 Feb 2019, 22:39

I found this snippet from Elder Uchtdorf that he said at a CES:

“The invitation to trust the Lord does not relieve us from the responsibility to know [truth] for ourselves. This is more than an opportunity; it is an obligation – and it is one of the reasons we were sent to this earth. Latter-day Saints are not asked to blindly accept everything they hear. We are encouraged to think and discover truth for ourselves. We are expected to ponder, to search, to evaluate, and thereby to come to a personal knowledge of the truth. Brigham Young said: “ I am… afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self-security. … Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates.” “So we continually seek truth from all good books and other wholesome sources.”

If you're looking for a pivot away from the focus on following GAs/priesthood leaders, this could be a good way to go about it. Making the focus about seeking truth for yourself (maybe throw in some personal revelation stuff) could be satisfactory for the subject while still being a palatable topic for you who has to give the talk.
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness, even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." ~ Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Help on a talk

Post by dande48 » 07 Feb 2019, 22:46

Modern day revelation is better than historical revelation. I'd focus on how modern revelation applies to modern times and the challenges we face. Too often we get distracted by past revelation that doesn't really apply to us. If possible, I'd try to help people recognize it's not worth obessing over the "old stuff", as "modern revelation" helps us focus on better things. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, even the BoM and Bible don't matter as much as our "personal revelation", that we get from "God", specifically for our circumstance. I might even go so far as to say, having a testimony in any of those things doesn't count for much. What we should really have our testimony rooted in is Heavenly Father* and Jesus Christ** and our relationship*** with them.

I might even related the "A bible, a bible..." scripture to how many of us can sometimes be so focus on the old stuff, we close ourselves off to learning and growing.
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Re: Help on a talk

Post by LookingHard » 08 Feb 2019, 05:04

Thanks for the thoughts. I did just go ahead and email that I would accept.

But if others have additional thoughts, I would welcome more suggestions.

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Re: Help on a talk

Post by DarkJedi » 08 Feb 2019, 06:14

mom3 wrote:
07 Feb 2019, 21:48
I don't know where you stand/sit on the Jesus topic, but I would launch from him. Maybe turn it into how you are deepening your testimony by anchoring it in Jesus Christ. Because...isn't that the new focus.

Pick some choice parables or Jesus life story examples and explain how you are trying to apply that in your life.

It is a toughy.
I think this is where I would take it to because I would automatically add "of Christ" (or of the Savior) into the topic after testimonies. FWIW, our HC talk assignments come out that way. To tie into modern revelation I might (if I wanted) just bear witness that I believe that all of these changes RMN has made are to bring us closer to Christ. That's actually a pretty easy tie in - ministering is love your neighbor, Come Follow Me is pretty self explanatory (particularly relevant this year with the NT and learning of Christ), two hour church is to help us have more family time to learn about Christ, etc.
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: Help on a talk

Post by Roy » 08 Feb 2019, 13:16

If it was me I would be tempted to base my talk on this BYU devotional:


1) that girls should be encouraged to pursue education regardless of concrete plans to enter the workforce.
2) because to learn is a spiritual pursuit that will make them more like heavenly Parents.
3) that each daughter of God can listen to her internal compass to follow the path that is meant for her.

with particular focus upon that last point.

Deepening testimony that God is aware of our daughters as individuals with unique talents and missions. Our Heavenly Parents plant hopes, dreams, inspirations, and drives in our daughters' hearts for a purpose. They are calling upon these young women to pursue those paths and step into those roles that they feel passionate about. By moving forward in faith to this modern personal revelation our young women will develop a deeper relationship with Heavenly Parents and learn to trust in Them.

Now, I think there is some danger to this. The talk would come off as progressive. Some would love it and some would get defensive in retrenchment. Some still feel that women's true place is in the home. Despite whatever pushback you may receive, I think this message needs to be heard.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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