Updated: Sep 16
So today first of all, my name is Keoni Porter and I have been humbly called to serve for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have been designated to do so for the people of the Chile Santiago South Mission. So, this is a really great opportunity that I'm able to take and to be given because It's not every day that we get to serve two years of our life for the Lord. And I think that it is going to be a great experience for me because not only do I get to help others become closer to Lord, but I get to help myself get closer to the Lord too. So I received my mission call a while ago, during high school in March and ever since then the fiery darts of the adversary have just been flying left and right front, back everywhere. And the first day, actually, after I got my mission call, I woke up to go to seminary and my car was towed. I'm like, that's fine. So, I had to wake up my mom and drag her out there so she can take me to seminary. Because I'm like I'm not missing Seminary today after receiving my mission call and seeing that this was clearly a trial. Not too long ago my brother and I flew in from Hawaii or flew back from Hawaii and either someone wanted me to stay in Hawaii or didn't want me to leave Hawaii and go on my mission. One choice I prefer over the other. But after take off we were already over the ocean about 10-15 minutes out, when the pilot had come on the loudspeakers and said, " sorry folks, but we're gonna have to turn around because we're having some technical difficulties." And that's all he said. So everyone's looking at each other, like, what's going on? What's happening? And then we had already turned around and he had come back on the loudspeaker and said, "hey guys, so you could probably smell it, but we're having air conditioning problems and you can smell the smoke in the plane. We could all smell the smoke. We were all scared and as he kept talking you could hear a fire extinguisher spraying. I leave on my mission in six days, how is this possible? And so we had turned around and we came in at least like 200-300 miles an hour on the landing, super fast. When we had landed there were fire trucks there waiting for us. I was like, Satan doesn't want me to go on my mission. Seriously. And so we were patient, we waited and we were able to get food and we made it back safely. So I know that what I'm going to do is go serve the Lord, through the people in Chile. It's not what the adversary wants me to do. It's not what he expects of me or the world expects of me. It's not the cooler or popular thing but it's the right thing. It's what Jesus Christ wants me to do. A lot of things Jesus Christ did in his day were not cool or popular. He was ministering unto the people who had leprosy. No one liked the lepers, no one wanted to talk to the lepers. They would cuss them out. And so He was someone who would go to them and care for them, administer them. And so I plan to be able to be like Jesus and be able to go serve the people that are looking for him or looking for his gospel and looking for the truth and light.
So, one of the things that I'm going to be able to go teach to the people, is the plan of salvation. I believe we've all heard about the plan of salvation and what it is. But I think this is something that is simple doctrine, that we all need to know about. It is the founding block of the church of Jesus Christ, so we can return to him.
So in the beginning, there were all of us, and we were all living with our Heavenly Father and our heavenly parents and Jesus Christ, before we received a body, before we came to earth. And so during this time we were being nurtured, cared for, loved and it was peaceful. And so the time had come when God had to send us to earth, to be tried and tested, and to receive a body. This being most important and required for us to receive a body, so we can live with him someday. He had this plan set, which is the gospel. His eldest son, Jesus Christ said, "Father, I will do what you want me to do. I will follow your plan. I will help your children come unto you, and I'll do so in your name. It won't be for me, It'll be for you." Satan didn't want that. He wanted the glory. He wanted people to come back and have eternal life, but he wanted the glory. He wanted to make sure he was King over all of us. This wasn't God's plan because we're supposed to worship Heavenly Father. He is our creator and he loves us. And so he said that that wasn't supposed to happen. And so this caused a great divide in heaven where we were able to either follow Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father or Satan and not receive a body. I'd like to tell each and every one of you guys in here, that every single one of you guys said yes to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father's plan. Every single one of you guys wanted to do what was right. And that is why you are here on this earth. This is why you were able to receive a body and to live here and gain families, which is also very important. And that's also, what's important to me.
After we came to earth, we forgot everything about this premortal life. We don't remember much from it. And so I get to help others get taught by the Holy Ghost to be able to learn of Jesus Christ of Heavenly Father and to help people remember these things. And its also a great experience. So as we came to earth, we were able to receive a body to be able to be tried and tested and to be able to live our lives out here on earth. And I think we can all say no matter how beautiful it is, there are tough times and hard times. But we are lucky enough to have a Savior Jesus Christ, who as a part of the plan came to our earth and died on the cross for our sins. Because that's how much he loves us. He didn't do it for him because he was already perfect. Jesus Christ came to earth perfect. He was able to heal the sick, raise the dead and perform countless miracles. But he came to earth to die for us, to take upon all of our sins, all of our sadness, sorrows and transgressions, all because he wants us to be able to live with Heavenly Father forever. The Savior is already there but he wants to make sure that we can live with Heavenly Father forever and so that's what he did. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane, he got down on his knees and he prayed. He wanted to take upon himself the sins of the world and he bled from every pore. It was excruciatingly painful for him to do but he did it for us. By doing this we are able to live forever. There is no death forever when we die. We get to die, both spiritually and physically, but because of him, you get to be raised, we get to have our body perfected. You are broken now but because of him we get to not be broken. We get to be healed from any element, any pain, any suffering, any sadness; because of Jesus Christ. And so, he did this because he loves us and only because he loves us. This was the greatest sacrifice of all. Not many people know this. Not many people know that Jesus Christ died for us, so we can live forever. Not many people know that he did it because he loves us, not because he was told to, and that's why I will spread these words to others.
One thing I did to prepare that was so influential to me was to go to the LA Temple with my really dear friend, Jose. Afterwards he's like, you know what? Let's go to the visitor center, which everyone is welcome to. Everyone's able to go into the visitor center to feel the spirit there. As we were in there in the Jerusalem room, we watched the video called, sin no more. And this takes place in the Bible in the New Testament during Jesus Christ's ministry. He was out with the people when all of a sudden a mob came to him holding this woman Castrana and said to the Savior, "she has been caught in the very act of adultery." And according to Moses's law, it said, we shall stone her. Stone her to death. And then Jesus kneeled down in front of them and then started playing in the dirt and they were confused. They were like Lord, what are you gonna do? It says, she must be stoned. And Jesus Christ stood up and said, "let one of you that has not sinned cast the first stone." And I think that's just awesome because all of them backed away. None of them picked up a stone. None of them questioned it. They all backed away because they all had sinned, as well as all of us have sinned. He took her by the hand and stood her up and said, "you're forgivin of your sins and sin no more." And that's what Jesus Christ is to us; loving, caring and kind. He wants every one of us to be happy, to return to him. Which is something that I feel from everyone in this room today. Thank you for the compassion and love you have shown me. It's really hard because I'm gonna have to take all of this love, kindness and compassion and carry it with me, Just me by myself on my mission. All that I mentioned I will spread to the children of Chile. Spread the love that all of you guys have given to me and show them how much our Heavenly Farther loves them. That he wants us to return to him, so that we can be spotless on the last day. We can return to our Heavenly Father and live with him forever.
He says the greatest gift we can ever have is eternal joy and eternal happiness with our family and with our Heavenly Father. So I know time short and Im so grateful for this opportunity that I get to serve. Im so grateful for this wonderful group of people that I have here that have supported me for so long. You have helped me come to this decision where I'm able and worthy and ready to serve. I can help others as I have been helped, as I have been saved. The people of Chile can be saved as well. I'd like to bare my testimony that I know Jesus Christ is true and is real. I know that we have living prophets on earth today that help us and guide us as a mouthpiece for God, to tell us what we need to know, to help us on our way. And I know that no matter what we do, there's always repentance, because God always has open arms. Jesus always has open arms. He says come unto me. He wants us to return and he wants us to be happy. And I know these things are true. I know he loves each and every one of you. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.