Sunday, November 30, 2008

Notes for my talk.

Here are the notes I used for the talk I gave today, in case you missed it. These notes don't contain my obligatory opening joke or my testimony, but I never strayed too far from these for the body of my talk. Enjoy.
"You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."
Eckhart Tolle - Writer, Spiritual Teacher

"You are here..."

Speaking about the purpose of the Earth...
Alma 42:26 "And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their destruction and misery."

Mortality and life on Earth is an absolutely critical part of Heavenly Father's plan. It is through this mortality that we will come upon salvation and redemption, or destruction and misery. This mortal probation allows us to use our agency and choose our fate.

"You are here to enable..."

Heavenly Father's Holy, most perfect plan could NOT be carried out without you. It is only through each and every individual that this plan can come to pass. You enable God's plan to unfold. There is not a soul that you will ever meet whose importance is less than infinite in this plan.

Thinking this way can help us to treat one another better. I feel like I am better able to act with love and respect towards people I meet when I remember that we are ALL sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, and His plan includes each of these souls. Our baptismal covenants bind our promise to uphold the Lord's plan, and to do so requires the utmost respect for every single individual's divine purpose. Just as you and I are here to enable His plan to unfold, so is everyone you encounter.

"enable the divine purpose of the Universe"

Heavenly Father has a plan for his children, for the Earth, for everything. Every single person you meet is a CRITICAL piece of his plan. Nobody here is just coasting or taking up space.

Some people of certain faiths take God's plan and purpose for the Universe as a means to believe in predetermination - that what they do doesn't matter because they have no effect on the outcome - their fate is prewritten into the plan.

However, knowing that the Lord has a plan does not free us of responsibility. It means that we should be making a conscious effort to seek to know our place in his plan. We can consecrate our efforts to help his plan unfold.

D&C 123:17 - "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."
Do you do all that lies in your power to help further the Lord's divine purposes?

It's interesting to relate this to your day-to-day life. Think if what you're doing fits with your place in the Lord's plan. If I did more time reflecting this way, I'd probably be a little more driven to do good works. After all, I hope that Heavenly Father, who knows me better than anyone, has more for me to do and accomplish in his plan than be lazy, watch movies, or shop. Whatever your vice is that takes time away from carrying out the will of the Lord, ask yourself if the one who knows you better than yourself might expect more.

From our Heavenly Parents, we have inherited Divine Nature, with divine qualities that are our responsibility to develop.

2 Peter 1:4-7 : "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."

Here we are given the list of divine qualities we are to strive to develop. I know that as we try our very best to develop these qualities, we will be more aware of our divine purpose in Heavenly Father's plan. By living with more faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity, not only will we be instruments in the Lord's hands to bring about His work and His purposes, but we will also partake of wonderful fruits of our efforts.

2 Nephi 2:25 - "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy"

Define this by noticing what it's not. It's not "men are, that they might have pride/things/glory/easy lives/PLEASURE"

Eckhart Tolle: "Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within"
Rightly so, joy arises from these deep, inherited, divine qualities that lie within each of us. Our Heavenly Father, through his Great plan of Happiness, has a monopoly on true, lasting joy. The world will often try to sell us pleasure and market it as joy, but things outside of us can only bring cheap knockoffs of joy. We need to be careful, as the adversary has many carefully placed and cunning salespeople trying to market us these pleasures as sources for lasting joy.

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