Elder Matthew Rybin checked into the Provo Utah Mission Training Center (MTC) on Wednesday December 19, 2012. The Sunday before, he delivered the following "farewell talk" in Church.
He was called by the prophet Thomas S. Monson to serve in the Benin, Cotonou, Africa Mission --- speaking French --- a two-year full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
A. Introduce myself and mission.
B. Thank everyone for coming.
A. In the beginning of Pres Packer's talk titled The Atonement he says that his "message is directed to those among us who are suffering, burdened down with guilt and weakness, and failure, sorrow, and despair."
B. We live today in a world filled with so much sorrow and sadness it is often so hard to keep that from creeping into our own lives.
C. We all get down and discouraged, and it is tough sometimes to get out of the grief and guilt.
A. Prince of Egypt song Through Heaven's Eyes says "How can you see what your life is worth or where your value lies. You can never see through the eyes of man. You must look at your life through heaven's eyes."
B. If we all could know, even for just a moment, how Jesus Christ really fell about us what would we feel?
i. We would feel a perfect and infinite love.
ii. Because of this love we would feel a great desire for us to accept and apply the Atonement in our lives, to repent and change.
A. I wish today to suggest a few ways to better see ourselves through heavens eyes in order to overcome feelings of helplessness, guilt, despair, and darkness that too often enter our lives.
B. First: Be aware of acts of love and blessings.
i. Story of Call and waiting
ii. Best to stop cycle before it even begins.
iii. Imagine the Lord, and how he feels about blessing us after we receive blessings.
C. Second: Remember what the Lord expects of us.
i. The final judgment or any judgment is not a yes or no, check or no check of whether we have been good. It is not a measure of what we are rather what we have become, by application of the Atonement.
ii. Dallin H. Oaks said in his talk The Challenge to Become: "In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something. Many Bible and modern scriptures speak of a final judgment at which all persons will be rewarded according to their deeds or works or the desires of their hearts. But other scriptures enlarge upon this by referring to our being judged by the condition we have achieved."
iii. Also he says: "Most of us experience some measure of what the scriptures call "the furnace of affliction". Some are submerged in service to a disadvantaged family member. Others suffer the death of a loved one or the loss or postponement of a righteous goal like marriage or childbearing. Still others struggle with personal impairments or feelings of rejection, inadequacy, or depression. Through the justice and mercy of a loving Father in Heaven the refinement and sanctifications possible through such experience can help us achieve what God desires us to Become."
iv. God places us in a fallen world, for us to learn and grow, not intending for us to be perfect, but to change who we are, everything about us, and therefore qualify to receive the grace necessary to receive eternal life.
v. If we remember this it will help us to avoid discouragement, despair, guilt, and darkness.
D. Third: Endure to the End
i. Matt 10: 22 says: "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."
ii. Preach my Gospel says that Enduring to the End is "continually exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting, making commitments, and following the Spirit."
iii. The key to Enduring is to remember what we already know and what we have felt.
iv. Trash Bag Story
v. Life is never as bad as it feels when we let Satan overwhelm us with darkness and guilt.
A. Pres Packer said at the end of his talk: "Throughout your life there may be times when you have gone places you never should have gone and done things you never should have done. If you will turn away from sin, you will be able one day to know the peace that comes from following the pathway of complete repentance. No matter what our transgressions have been, no matter how much our actions may have hurt others, that guilt can all be wiped out."
B. Because we live in such a fallen world, we must continually look at our lives through heaven's eyes to avoid the discouragement and darkness so prevalent. We can do this by paying attention to manifestations of love, and blessings we receive, remembering what the Lord expects of us, and Enduring to the End.
C. In the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Copyright © 2012 Matthew Rybin All Rights Reserved.