Good morning brothers and sisters, I was asked to speak on the talk given by Elder Richard J Maynes, which was given the title The joy of Living a Christ Centered Life.
About two years ago, I was playing in a soccer tournament in Arizona. At one of the games, I could hear some chatter from the sidelines by the parents. I couldn't tell what they were saying, but as I looked up the field where they all seemed to be looking and pointing, I could see a sort of whirlwind forming and swirling. The whirlwind grew and started making its way down the field and towards the sideline where the parents were sitting. So much dust was twirling around that the air had become hazy. Everyone must have thought that the whirlwind was going to break up and disappear. This particular whirlwind wasn't breaking up. Soon the swirling wind hit the spot where the parents were sitting. Umbrellas were ripped out of the ground, canopies were turned over with some of them getting bent, strollers were flipped over pushed several yards away, and seemingly hundreds of hats were funneled to the top of this whirlwind, where, upon it breaking up, the hats fell onto the tree tops. I saw fathers and mothers grab their children and shield them from the swirling wind, which at this point was throwing around dust, little pebbles, and the other things I mentioned. While this whirlwind seemed to come and go in an instant, the damage and confusion it left was significant as people were in shock at the destruction it caused.
In Helamen 5:12 we read, "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."
Just like those parents on the sideline who watched, protected, and shielded their children from the dust cloud and debris that was flying around, we need Christ and Heavenly Father to protect and shield us from the devils mighty winds that come in a similar manner as the whirlwind that I experienced. They appear all of a sudden, don't stick around very long, and leave a path of chaos and confusion.
Elder Maynes shared a story about Elder Oba of the Seventy, who was asked to teach a class at youth conference. During his lesson Elder Oba showed the youth how to work with clay for pottery making, something Elder Oba was particularly skilled at. After watching Elder Oba make a bowl, cup, and plate, the youth had an opportunity to try their hand at making a bowl. None of the youth was successful at making a bowl and all became very discouraged. Elder Oba asked the youth why they thought they were unsuccessful. They responded with, "they don't have the experience and were never trained." While those reasons did contribute to the youth's inability to make a bowl, Elder Oba explained that every youth did to start the process with the ball of clay in the center of the pottery wheel. The youth thought that they had placed the clay in the center, but from a professional's perspective, it wasn't in the exact center. He then told them, "Lets try this one more time." This time Elder Oba placed the clay in the exact center of the wheel and then started to turn the wheel, making a hole in the middle of the clay. The youth tried again and were successful because the clay was perfectly centered on the wheel.
I shared my personal story of the whirlwind and the story of the potter's wheel shared by Elder Oba because both of these stories are great examples of how we can lose our way throughout life. Just like the whirlwind that leaves a path of destruction, if we do not root our lives in the teachings of Christ, we can find ourselves lost, confused, or damaged after the adversary pushes us with his temptations. Just like the potter's spinning wheel with its increasing speed, if our lives are off just slightly from being center in Christ, we will be unsuccessful at being formed and shaped into the disciple of Christ we are meant to be. Just like the clay on the potter's wheel, we must be centered. The center of our lives must Jesus Christ and His gospel and teachings. Living a Christ-centered life means that we yearn to learn about Jesus Christ and his gospel and strive to follow His example by following the His commandments. The center of our lives must be Jesus Christ and His gospel and teachings.
Id like to bear my testimony that I know this church is true and what if we keep Christ and His teachings as the center of our lives that we will have a solid foundation and we will find joy and be happy.
I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.