Wednesday, January 15, 2014

December 8th

  I know....I'm naughty!
Duncan and Brett got to speak in church and I took a picture of the two of them on the stand.

I don't have a copy of Brett's talk, but I do Duncan's.  He did a great job, and we got several complements on what a good job he did.

Hello, for those of you who don’t know me my name is Duncan Lutz. Yes, like Dunkin Donuts as if I have never heard that one before. Today I was asked to talk on Jesus Christ. Possibly the broadest topic you can be asked to speak on other than “We don’t care, you choose.” But before I start, I would just like to point out to the Bishopric that my sister, Tori, has not had the PLEASURE of giving a talk yet. And has informed me on several occasions that she actually WANTS to give a talk, I just thought you should know that. Now, because I was given such a broad topic, I thought I would go with something simple. Repentance and the Plan of Happiness, bear with me now, I promise I will tie this in to Jesus by the end of the talk. In case you don’t know, which you obviously do, repentance is forgiveness of your sins. states quote “Repentance is more than simply acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments.” Close quote. The Plan of Happiness or the Plan of Salvation is the plan that Heavenly Father has put into place to allow his children to return to him. Now, as some of you might know I am on the Woods Cross swim team. Throughout the year so far we have traveled to several places including St. George, Layton, and Salt Lake. We mostly however tend to stay in our main pool at the South Davis Rec Center. Now in any team sport, for the most part, teams tend to move around. Going from one place to another, allowing them to meet other teams and compete to test their athletic abilities and compare themselves to their peers. Teams also tend to have coaches, people, usually of an older age and with some experience in the sport, who are there to give both mental and physical support, making sure that the team is at tip top shape, and helping them to perform at their best. Throughout the several meets that I have been to, we have been assigned an event, heat, and lane. The event is what we will be swimming, such as a 50 meter freestyle, my favorite, or a 500 meter butterfly, which I have thankfully never been assigned to. However, once and a while you would be given something that you did not like to swim or you physically couldn’t and you had to find someone else to swim it for you. The heat is simply a way to split up the events further, depending on how many schools are participating; each event may have up to 34 heats. This, as you might imagine, takes a LONG TIME! The lane splits up the heats even further, telling you specifically where you are assigned to go and where you will come out. Now, this is where I will start to tie in the gospel. Consider the name of our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of LATTER Day Saints; it’s called that for a reason. We were put here in the LATTER days because we were considered the strongest, while the influence of Satan is around every corner, and the world is becoming more and more wicked, we were the ones who God knew could withstand the temptations and stresses that would be placed on our shoulders. God has set up certain “Events”, making sure that we all know the general time period when we will be placed onto the Earth. The “Heats” represent what time specifically we will be placed here, and the “Lanes” represent where in the world we will be put. So there is the pre-mortal existence and some of our mortal life, but what about the rest? What about repentance and returning to our Heavenly Father? Well, I will explain this with a story. Yesterday I had the opportunity to go to a Swim meet. At this point, I would just like to both apologize to and thank my father, because I got the time wrong and I ended up missing the bus. But he was very kind and drove me to the meet. Now the meet was not at a normal pool, no it was at the “Layton Surf and Swim” and if you have ever been there you know that there aren’t any blocks (blocks are the box like structures that swimmers start on). The pool was intended to have waves in it, which would raise the water level so that you could reach the edge if necessary. However, it would be very difficult to swim in such big waves for that event, thankfully they turned them off. But because of the lack of waves, and the fact that there are no blocks, all we had to swim in was 4 feet of water and all we had to jump off of was the cement floor. Now, to make sure that our feet didn’t slip they had placed towels where we were supposed to stand as we jumped in. In my case, the towel did the exact opposite and I slipped as I jumped in. We swam our fifty meters and then proceeded to return to the side, once you were in the water however; the wall looked a LOT higher. There were two bars on the wall for swimmers who were swimming the backstroke, but even climbing onto those did not allow for us swimmers to climb back up. There was no way that we would be able to climb it alone, so we had people, sometimes friends, sometimes strangers, who would grab our arm and hoist us up, we could help them by first grabbing onto the bars and climbing upward, allowing them to not have to carry us the whole way. Back to tying in the gospel, as we know, in the pre-mortal existence there were two groups, those who followed Heavenly Father and Jesus, and those who followed Satan. As I mentioned before, sometimes you get a task that you do not want to do. But you have to anyway, no matter how embarrassing. Those who followed Satan did not want to complete the task we were given, to work to return to our Heavenly Father, they wanted to have a guaranty that they would return. So they went with Satan. In this case, these are the swimmers who walk away from the block because they don’t want to swim the 500 butterfly. Then, those who take up the challenge dive in and swim as fast and as best as they can, as to try to not get disqualified along the way. When they reach the end, as all of us do, they have several bars that they must climb. In this case, they represent personal repentance, and help from your bishopric and or stake leadership. Sometimes, you must climb these bars, and there, your friend and brother, Jesus can help you to the top, or you’re Heavenly Fathers Kingdom. I testify that if we repent, Jesus will help us return home. And that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

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