Sunday, November 29, 2015

November 15, 2015 - Shauna Farewell Talk

Announcement in Tooele Transcript Bulletin 

Elder Ronald and Sister Shauna Peterson

This is Shauna's talk given on Sunday, November 15, 2015

I LOVE THE TEMPLE. I love the covenants that are made in the Temple. I love the ordinances performed in the Temple.  I love that we are cleansed from our sins in the Temple. I specifically love the sealing power. To me it is the most important thing in my life. It is that sealing power that binds me to my beloved parents and ancestors and to my beloved children and grandchildren. There is nothing in this world that is more important to me than the knowledge I have that families CAN be together forever.

My love for the Temple started as a young child watching my mother carefully iron the Temple clothing as she and Dad prepared to attend the Temple regularly in Logan. They loved going to the Temple. As some of you may know, Ron and I have visited many temples throughout the world. As I look back I can see that this temple hopping actually started with my parents.  They started in their early married life to drive to different temples. After we were married we went on several temple trips with both of our parents together, choice memories. 

 My mother was raised in Payson. Last Tuesday, just 4 days after her 90th birthday, Ron and I were able to take her to the Payson Temple. It was a special milestone for us—we have had the privilege of attending 115 out of the 148 operating Temples.

A few years ago a colleague of mine remarked that if we just stayed home and attended the temple here we could perform more endowments than taking the time to fly to other places. That is true. However, we would have missed out on some very special experiences with the people we have met all over the world. It is a testimony builder to see the sacrifices members make to attend the temple. 

I will share just one example. On June 7, 2010, we flew to Berlin Germany, rented a car and drove to the Freiberg Temple. There we met some members who had traveled on a bus about 900 miles from Kyiv, Ukraine to attend the temple. They brought their families and stayed in the patron housing on the Temple grounds for the week.  They took turns attending temple sessions and taking care of their children. How many of us give up one week of vacation time from work to attend the temple? But the most incredible part of this incident is that in less than 3 months, on August 29, the temple in Kyiv was to be dedicated. They could have waited and saved the time and expense to go to the Temple.  But they didn’t.  It was important for them to either receive the saving ordinances for themselves or for their kindred dead right then.

How many times do we put off driving the 35 miles to the Temple?  We can get to any of 18 temples within 4 hours driving time – all the Utah temples and 3 in Idaho.

Perhaps for some of us it is a question of worthiness. Maybe we have become lax in keeping the commandments necessary to receive a recommend. Today would be a great time to make an appointment with your Bishop to find out what is needed to be able to renew that recommend or to be able to receive your endowment for the first time.

I remember several years ago I was visiting teaching a woman in our ward. Her son was preparing to serve a mission. She mentioned to me that she wished she could go to the Temple and receive her endowment the same day as her son. When I asked “Why don’t you?” she replied, “I’m not good enough to go to the Temple.” I said, “Why don’t you go to the Bishop and let him decide if you are good enough.” She did and I had the privilege of attending the Temple the day she and her son received their endowment.

Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves. The Temple is not for perfect people. It is for those who are willing to strive to live the commandments. It is the Temple that helps us toward perfection. Perhaps we have made a mistake and feel that we can never be forgiven. I testify to you THAT IS NOT TRUE. That is Satan talking. We can be forgiven.

Let’s listen to what the Lord has to say on the subject.

In Mosiah 26:29, the Lord is speaking to the Prophet Alma:
29 Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee (meaning Alma) and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.

Since we cannot confess our sins to Alma, we go to our Bishop.

D&C 1:32 reads: Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;

Moroni 6:8  But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

D &C 58:42  Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

The Lord is very willing to forgive us—it is usually harder for us to forgive ourselves.  If He is willing to forgive and forget, we should be willing to forgive ourselves and keep moving forward instead of dwelling on the past.

My church calling for the past almost 4 years has been as 1st Counselor in the Relief Society of the Tooele 16th Branch. The branch is located at the Tooele County Detention Center. It has been my great blessing to go to the jail and help teach the women there the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of my most spiritual experiences have been while in the jail. Judging others has been a weakness of mine.  The Lord has been helping me in trying to overcome this by giving me the opportunity to meet these women.

Matthew 7:2-3 reads: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Moroni 7:18  And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

We are commanded to Forgive others

D&C 82:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, my servants, that inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I, the Lord, forgive you.

D&C 64:9-10  Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

D&C 98:39-40  And again, verily I say unto you, if after thine enemy has come upon thee the first time, he repent and come unto thee praying thy forgiveness, thou shalt forgive him, and shalt hold it no more as a testimony against thine enemy—
40 And so on unto the second and third time; and as oft as thine enemy repenteth of the trespass wherewith he has trespassed against thee, thou shalt forgive him, until seventy times seven. 

Mosiah 26:30-31 Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me.
31 And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation.

3 Nephi 9:22   And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

We should allow people to change and forget who they were previously and accept them for who they are now. This is something I am working on. Our daughter, Sarah, has been teaching me a little about authentic communication in our family. I ask forgiveness of those whom I have hurt in the past and want to be better about not judging and be more kind and loving toward them. 


In my high school seminary class we were asked, "If the prophet told all the women to dye their hair green, what would you do?" There was a big debate – ignore it, pray to ask if the counsel was right, dye hair green. Brother Davies counseled us to dye our hair green. If what we had been asked to do was not right, the Lord would hold the prophet accountable—We would be blessed for our obedience to the prophet. If we look to the prophet and follow him, we will be OK.  

D&C 1:38  What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

President Joseph F. Smith, 6th president of the Church said:

“I want to say to you that there never was a time since the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when a man led the Church, not for one moment. It was not so in the days of Joseph; it was not so in the days of Brigham Young; it has not been so since; it never will be so. The direction of this work among the people of the world will never be left to men. It is God’s work.”

"If [the President of the Church] should become unfaithful, God would remove him out of his place. I testify in the name of Israel’s God that He will not suffer the head of the Church, him whom He has chosen to stand at the head, to transgress His Laws and apostatize; the moment he should take a course that would in time lead to it, God would take him away. Why? Because to suffer a wicked man to occupy that position, would be to allow, as it were, the fountain to become corrupted, which is something He will never permit."

At the Church wide fireside meeting held for the women of the Church in 1978, Young Women President Elaine Cannon made the following statement: “When the prophet speaks, the debate is over.”

I love that. My dear children and grandchildren, remember this always, “When the prophet speaks, the debate is over.”

It is a blessing to be able to serve a Mission. 

D& C section 4 reads:

1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.

There is a promise in D&C 31:5 Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live.

I need my sins forgiven and I want my family to live together forever.

I know this gospel is true. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be going halfway around the world.  I know our Heavenly Father loves each one of us. He knows us by name. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, gave his life that we might live. I am grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel. I know President Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today. I pray we will repent and use the Atonement in our life, forgive ourselves, attend the Temple, be dedicated in our church callings, and love one another.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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