Farewell Talk by Logan NeVille
Hello Brothers and Sisters, The topic I was asked to speak about was a talk that was given by Jean A. Stevens “fear not: I ‘am with thee. In her talk she says that by increasing our faith in the Lord, the lord will help us overcome challenges in our life and help us find peace. A challenge that I am faced with is speaking in public. Not too long ago Bishop began asking people in sacrament to bear their testimonies.
People who were supposed to speak that Sunday didn’t show up to church and this was Bishops plan B. As I am hearing people’s names being called, Bishop says Logan NeVille. My first reaction was to get up and leave as fast as I could. I think my parents would have tackled me. So as I sat waiting for my turn to speak I said a quick prayer, the next thing I know it is my turn to speak. As I started speaking I felt the spirit come over me and suddenly I was calm.
It was then that I realized and knew that the Lord was by my side. The Lord says “Fear not I’ am with thee be not dismayed for I ‘am thy god, I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of righteousness.” I know that the Lord will bless us in so many ways. Brothers and Sisters if we continue to have faith and follow him and live righteously the Lord will truly bless us and will always be by our side.
I know as I’m serving in the Fort Collins Colorado Mission the Lord will help me and will always be by my side. I’m very thankful for the opportunity to be able to serve the Lord. There has been a few times in my life that I didn’t want to go on a mission, I had other plans. I wanted to go to school, work, or even join the military; serving a mission was the not even on my mind until I tried joining the military. I wanted to enlist into the Navy. A requirement to enlist in the military is to pass a test called the ASVAB. This test covers several different topics and subjects.
My recruiter had me take several practice tests that I would do fine on. But every time I went to take the actual test I would get a failing score. When a person fails the ASVAB they can re-take the test 3 times and then must wait 6 months to take it again. After failing it twice I was determined to pass the 3rd time. I did not want to have to wait 6 months. The recruiter suggested a tutor to help prepare me for the test. I hired him and used all of my money to pay for weekly study sessions. I was tutored for 2 months. At this time my tutor was pleased and assured me that the 3rd time would be the time I would pass with a good score.
About a week later I was taking this test for a third time. I prayed to Heavenly Father to please help me in passing this test. I thought for sure my prayers would be answered. And then I found out that I failed again for a 3rd time by barely missing the passing score. I didn’t know why I could not pass this test, and then I realized that the Lord had a different plan for me. He did not want me to join the military but to serve a mission. Looking back at this experience I’m very thankful that I did not pass and that I am getting the opportunity to preach the gospel to the people of Ft Collins Colorado.
In a talk that was given by Elder Bednar he said, “As we exercise faith In Christ and trust in his promises, we can walk in the dark with the absolute assurance that our pathway will be illuminated at least as far enough to take the next step, and then the next step, and the next step.” By having faith in Christ he will guide us down the right path. Christ will be by our side always and I know if we keep our faith in the Lord, he will help with our fears. I still have a tremendous fear of speaking in public, although it is not as terrifying as it once was. I know this is because I started to prepare to go on a mission.
Heavenly Father reaches out to each of us with his Love and compassion; he wants us to be able to return to his presence and live with him for eternity. In Doctrine and Covenants section 84 verse 88 it says “And whoso receiveth you there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be in your hearts and my angels round about you, to bear you up.” I love this scripture it reminds me that I will never be alone as long as I have faith in the Lord and that I should not be afraid because the Lord will be by my side in all I say and do. As I was getting ready and preparing to speak today, I realized that I still had some fear.
I know that there is a lot of family and friends who are here today as well as teachers and coaches, this stressed me out. I needed the Lords help so every day this week I would say a personal prayer hoping that these fears would go away and that I would deliver a good talk. Each day as I got closer to Sunday I became more and more confident that my talk would go smoothly.
I know that none of these examples that I used can even come close to comparing to what the Prophet Joseph Smith went through at the age of fourteen. He was a young boy attending different churches but was confused of which church he should join. Joseph Smith wrote “So great were the confusions and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong … In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions I often said to myself: what is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or all they wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” As a young boy Joseph Smith was afraid that he was going to join the wrong church.
In the spring of 1820 he went into a Sacred Grove got down on his knees and prayed. Joseph Smith describes his experience: “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me… When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake to me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other, this is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! The two personages that Joseph Smith saw were Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
The savior told Joseph Smith to not join any of the churches. They later called Joseph Smith to be a Prophet, where he would restore the fullness of the Gospel to earth. Joseph Smiths faith in the church did not make many people happy; they would claim that he was a false prophet. They would persecute him, they tar and feathered him, and they even put him in jail for crimes he didn’t even commit. Joseph Smith was shot by a mob while he was locked in jail, even though he was mistreated for his beliefs his faith remained strong in the church.
The Lord was always by his side because he never stopped having faith after all of the trials he went through he still was not afraid. Joseph Smith did Gods work until the day he died. I will always honor him because of his faith and devotion he had for our church he was a great missionary not complaining of the work that was required of him to do.
In a talk that was given by Quentin L. Cook he states “Live by faith and not by fear.” We will be less afraid if we continue to live by faith, but if we decide to not live by faith our fear will continue to grow. In 1st Nephi chapter 20 it says “Behold I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all of those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance”. As I’m getting ready to leave in three days for my mission, I know that the Lord will help me strengthen the people of FT Collins Colorado testimonies and that they will know that the gospel is true. I believe that everything happens for a reason; seeing my fellow classmates go onto serve missions and even come home after serving for 2 years was tough to see.
But looking back I was not prepared to go. I felt a change of heart and now that I have changed I feel that I’ve never been more ready to serve a mission. I know that the Lord will bless me out in the field and that he will watch over me as I am preaching the Gospel to the people of FT Collins Colorado.