Seth gave a talk in Stake Conference today in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. What a good kid. I am humbled to be his mother. I thought I'd post his talk to keep in this blog/eventual book.
"Good morning Brothers and Sisters, my name is Seth . I am a priest in the Ensign First Ward and a senior at West High School. I am humbled to have the opportunity to speak from the same pulpit prophets and apostles and have spoken from. My remarks today are on how to live a Christ-centered life. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to discuss the Savior and how we can live closer to Him.
The youth of the Church, and the adults as well, are continually worked upon by the influences of Satan in the world. Through the media, through peers, and so many other ways, the members are tempted to stray from the path of the gospel. We are continually presented with opportunities to do wrong, or simply to not do what is right. Because we live in such a world it is essential that we live a Christ-centered life. It is by being founded in faith in Christ that we can overcome these things.
Helaman 5: 12 says, “ And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
I want to tell some of the things I do, to help me try to live a Christ-centered life. I’ve found that for me, reading the scriptures is very important. Reading the scriptures helps bring the Spirit into our lives, which testifies of truth and helps our testimonies grow. The Spirit also makes the lies and influences of Satan in our lives clear, so that we can see them for what they are and choose the better way. There are also warnings and directions in the scriptures that help us avoid deviating from the path. When I read the scriptures and learn of Christ, I feel closer to Him and ready to face the world.
One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 11: 28-30:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I testify that we can find rest unto our souls by learning of Him through scripture study, and by taking His yoke upon us by living the Gospel.
I have also found that sincere prayer has been a great support in my life. Often times I have come home from school very depressed and I decide to pray. Without fail, if I have humbled myself as best I can in prayer, I have felt a sense of peace. My problems were not necessarily fixed, but I was given strength to face them. It has been during times of serious prayer and pondering that I have able to feel the love the Savior has for me, which is the most wonderful thing, for the love of Christ overcomes all things. The most important realization we can come to in this life is to know that the God we love, loves us. That will change our lives. Feeling that love will give us strength to face our trials, and motivate us to choose the right, and live a Christ-like life. If we want to feel that love, we must seek it diligently first, and then we can find it.
I have also found Sunday meetings and seminary to be extremely helpful and uplifting.
In a 1949 general conference, Elder Albert E. Bowen said:
“Men are mortal and beset by human frailties. They are enticed … to depart from the high standards of the perfect law. When they are under the influence of an exalted occasion, they make high resolves. They firmly determine to avoid past mistakes and to do better. But gone out from under the spell of that influence and absorbed in the complicated pursuits of life, they find difficulty in holding fast to their noble purposes. … So it is essential that they come again, and frequently, under the influence which kindles anew the warmth of spirit in which good resolutions are begotten, that they may go out fortified to withstand the pressures of temptation which lure them into false ways."
That is why it is so important to go to church, and to study the scriptures and pray every day, it helps us keep the spirit and hold fast to our noble purposes.
I also want to say that repentance is so important to living a Christ-like life. When we sin, we are separated from God spiritually. It is through repentance that we can be cleansed, and when we are cleansed by Christ we will seek to become like Him and live like Him. I am so glad for repentance and for what it has done in my life. It is crucial, that we accept His atonement and use it in our lives, for His is the only“…name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God.”
In 2 Nephi 25:26 Nephi teaches his people’s motivation for living a Christ-centered life. He said,
“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”
I want to close with a quote from Elder D. Todd Christofferson and then my testimony. Elder Christofferson said:
“We can put Christ at the center of our lives and become one with Him as He is one with the Father. We can begin by stripping everything out of our lives and then putting it back together in priority order with the Savior at the center. We do so by always remembering Him…”
I bear my testimony that I know our Heavenly Father lives, and that Jesus is the Christ. I know that it is through our faith in Christ that we can overcome every temptation of the devil and come off conquerors. If we seek to have Him be the center of our lives, and to follow Him we will be blessed. I bear my testimony that I know this Church is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that we have a living prophet of the world in our day. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."