Friday, July 25, 2014

Farewell ~Family and Friend Support

Addison spoke in church on July 20th.  Many members of our family as well as many friends came to support him on his special day.  He spoke on the Restoration of the Church.  He spoke very well and was very prepared.  It was great to catch a glimpse of what the people in the Rochester New York area are going to witness.  He is a true missionary and has been preparing himself for a long time.  We can't wait to hear about his experiences along the way.  There will be many good, and unfortunately some disappointing times.  However, Addison is strong and we know that he will do the work and when it gets tough, he will get on his knees and pray just to get back up and get back to work.  He will be AMAZING!!! He IS amazing!!! God Bless you Elder Daugs.  We love you and we are going to pray for you always.  

Thank you to all the family and friends that came to support Addison. Keep him in your prayers.

Below is the talk that Addison prepared and shared at his farewell.

The Restoration        

For those of you that don’t know I was called to the New York Rochester mission.  It is the western half of New York and contains the cities of Buffalo and Rochester.  It also has many of the church history sights such as Palmyra, the hill of Cummorah, and the sacred grove so Brother Atkin thought it would be fitting that I talked about the restoration of the church that happened in my mission. 
            Right before Christ’s ministry on earth many people had stopped living according to god’s commandments.  When Christ came he said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life.” It gave the people someone to look up to as an example. In John 3:16-17 is says, “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son… that the world through him might be saved.”  Heavenly father sent his son to the earth to atone for the sins of all mankind and overcome death.  He organized his church bringing light back into the world and chose twelve men to serve as his apostles.  In spite of his great influence and many miracles he was rejected and crucified.  After his death his apostles carried on without him, spreading the gospel. 
            Regardless of the effort of Christ’s apostles and their followers the original church that Christ established began to fade away.  The members of the church faced persecution and all but one of the apostles were martyred.  This period of time was called the great apostasy when there was a “falling away” from the church.  The priesthood keys and the power to receive revelation for the church were lost.  Without direction in the church, there were conflicting opinions on even the most basic teachings of the gospel.  Without the gospel people’s ideas were taught as truth.  Essential doctrines like faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost became distorted and lost. 
            After hundreds of years of spiritual confusion people were in need on Jesus Christ’s original truths.  People recognized this and sought for greater spiritual light.  This resulted in the organization of many different churches.  When the circumstances were right heavenly father reached out to restore the gospel. 
In 1820 God selected a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith to be his messenger.  If the boy next door told us he was called by God to restore His true church to the earth, we probably wouldn’t believe him.  But Joseph Smith wasn’t much different from Jesus Christ.  People didn’t believe that their neighbor, the carpenter was the Messiah either.
  Joseph’s family was very religious and constantly was looking for the truth.  There were many different churches and all with different teachings at this time.  In Joseph Smith History 1:8,10 is says "So great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was . . . to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong. . . . In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?"
            So he turned to the bible for guidance and he read James 1:5 which says “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of god, that giveth all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” So he decided to do just that.  In the spring of 1820 he went to a grove of trees and knelt in prayer.  He described his experience “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me… When the light rested upon me I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.  One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!” 
            In this vision God the father and his son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph telling him not to join any of the churches.  There were many good people that believed in Christ and tried to understand and teach His gospel, but they didn’t have the full truth or the authority to baptize and perform other saving ordinances.  This vision marked the beginning of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth, which a wiser, more mature Joseph Smith would establish 10 years later.
            The next step in the Restoration was gaining the authority to lead the restored church.   The authority to act in the name of God is called the priesthood.  Before the organization of the Church, Joseph Smith received from the hands of John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John who received that same power and authority from Jesus Christ Himself.  These men appeared as angels and bestowed the priesthood upon Joseph Smith.  Our prophet today, Thomas S. Monson and the other apostles trace their priesthood authority back to Jesus Christ in an unbroken chain of ordinations. 
            The next step in the restoration was the Book of Mormon.  In 1823, Joseph Smith was visited by angel, Moroni just as angels appeared to apostles in the New Testament.  Moroni told Joseph that an ancient record of the people of the Americas was buried in a nearby hill and it contained the fullness of the gospel and was written on plates of gold.  Through the power of God, Joseph Smith was able to translate the plates into the Book of Mormon that we have now. 
            The book of Mormon tells us about the struggles of the righteous people of that time who were trying to live gods commandments but just like sometimes happens today they struggled and were persecuted for their beliefs.  The book of Mormon testifies that Jesus Christ lived on the earth and still lives today as our savior.  It is a second witness of Jesus Christ confirming the truth of the bible. 
            In preach my gospel the restoration is the first lesson that I will be teaching as a mission and in that lesson it tells about three of the things that separate our restored church from other churches.            
First, that God is our loving heavenly father and we are all his children.  God has a body of flesh and bones that is glorified and perfected.  We are created in the image of God and have a body just like him.  He loves and cares for us.  He weeps when we suffer and rejoices when we choose to do what is right.  Also that our Heavenly Father has provided a way that we can talk to him through sincere prayer.  Our purpose here on earth is to learn and grow and we can do this by keeping the commandments.  Just like it says in John 14:15 says, “If ye love me keep my commandments.” We have been taught that our heavenly father provides us with a way to return to live him by being obedient, staying pure and clean and through the use of Jesus Christ’s atonement. 
            The next step in teaching about the restored gospel is that the gospel blesses families.  Families are ordained of god and are the most important social unit.  God has established families to bring happiness to his children and prepare them for eternal life.  We believe that the home is the best place to learn, teach, and a place where the spirit can be. 
Our Heavenly Father reveals his gospel in every dispensation.  God shows his love for us by giving us prophets who can lead and guide us in this day.  This comes because of that priesthood power that was restored by Joseph Smith.  We believe in both ancient and modern prophecy and this is a sign of the true church and it continues to set us apart from many other religions. 
Many people in this world say, they believe in god, they go to church and they are good people.  They ask, “Why did the church need to be restored?”  Elder Charles Didier of the seventy answers this question by saying this, “A testimony of the Book of Mormon helps people answer why church needed to be restored, and why we need a living prophet today.

            In Moroni 10: 3-5 it talks about how we can now the truthfulness of the book of Mormon and it says, “ Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 
            And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask of God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the holy ghost. 
            And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”

            I have read the book of Mormon and I know that it is true and that it helps me with my everyday struggles.  I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and he did restore this great gospel to this earth.  I know that my heavenly father loves mw and watches over me.  I know that he sent his son, Jesus Christ to die for me.  I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve a mission, and I cant wait to go serve the people of New York and to serve my heavenly father and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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