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Sacrament Meeting Talk

Good morning brothers and sisters. I’ve been asked to speak this morning on how studying the gospel in Elders Quorum has blessed my life. I was asked to base my talk on Doctrine & Covenants, Section 88, verses 118 through 123. This portion of the Doctrine & Covenants was described by the Prophet Joseph Smith as an “‘olive leaf’ … plucked from the Tree of Paradise, the Lord’s message of peace to us.” From my preparations for this talk, I have learned to appreciate the many blessings I have as a member of the church, specifically I have learned to appreciate the Elders Quorum. The effect it has had on my life is one of peace and for that I am grateful. But Before I delve into the many ways Elders Quorum has blessed my life, I’d like to start off with one small disclaimer.
Any talk like this about Elders Quorum is really going to end up being a talk about our Elders Quorum president, Hunter Sprenger. As a convert coming into the church, Hunter has been exceptional about making me feel wanted here. He has taken me under his wing, so to speak, since he was once a new convert himself. He knows from first hand experience that there are a lot of things that are difficult to understand as a new member. He is always willing to help me to understand those things. Despite his help and despite being a member of this church for the past 3 years, I do still consider myself a new convert just because of the sheer amount of information that those new to this faith need to learn.
Heavenly Father knows this and understands this and so he has given us guidance on how to learn everything we need to know to be able to return home to live with Him again. In Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88, verse 122, it says “Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.” I think that is one thing I really like and appreciate about Elders Quorum. Everyone there has a chance to speak, to ask questions, to seek knowledge and to compare thoughts.
Being in Elders Quorum teaches me what the good things in life are and reminds me to appreciate them. In Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88, verses 119-120, the Lord speaks to us and says “[o]rganize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.” Elders Quorum has taught me how to make my house a house of the Lord and how to align my doings with His will for me. Being apart of the quorum has helped me realize what is important in life: the gospel, family and temple work.
Another thing it does is help me understand things that as a new convert I wouldn’t otherwise understand. Like what it was like to serve a mission, and the lessons that are learned on a mission. I find it interesting to compare what others learned during that time to what I learned during the same time frame of my own life.
Another thing I’ve learned from the times that I’ve missed an Elders Quorum meeting is that by coming to church and being in amongst a group of my peers I end up a lot better off than I would be if I had just sat at home and read the same lesson out of the book. Doctrine and Covenants, Section 88, verse 118 says, “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” In Elders Quorum, we seek out the best books of the church, our scriptures and our lesson manuals, but we also “teach one another words of wisdom.” I think it is getting that perspective from other people and hearing their stories that sometimes helps make the lessons in the book more relatable.
Getting back to President Sprenger, he has taught me a lot just by being the example that he is. One story I have is when Hunter was trying to round up people to do a race here in town called the Run-A-Muck. It’s a race where you have to go through obstacles (including a giant mud pit) to get to the end. As I’m sure you can tell by looking at me, I’m not in the best shape to do a race. I’m not in any kind of shape for that matter. However, he persisted despite all my complaining.
I finally agreed to do the race after he promised that he wouldn’t leave me behind. The two other guys who were in the race with us as a team, Doug and Josh, were also in much better shape than I was as well, so I was definitely the weakest link in the chain. True to their word, they stuck with me, encouraged me and helped me through the entire race.
Our experiences during the race reminded me a lot of life. There are obstacles and hard times, but with the church and its auxiliaries like Elders Quorum, we can get through everything in our path as long as we stick together and work as a team. The church links us, family history work and living ordinances link us and those links are strong enough to get us all home again to live with our Heavenly Parents.
One last example I’ll give of the ways in which Elders Quorum has blessed me, is that it teaches me how to use my priesthood. When I came into the church, I barely understood what it meant to use my priesthood. I’m only just now starting to really grasp the larger concepts of it. The biggest blessing I’ve received was when my lovely wife Ashley was sick, I was able to give her a blessing. Ashley was in a great deal of pain. It was about as bad as I had ever seen it. She asked if I could give her a blessing. I had been involved with doing blessings for other people before, but I didn’t really have an understanding of the proper procedure. I had to call President Sprenger over to help me with it. He didn’t even hesitate when I called and said he would be right over. He walked me through the whole process and helped me understand what it was we were doing. As a result, Ashley immediately started feeling better.
In closing I’d like to leave you with the testimony that I’ve gained from Elders Quorum. I know that the auxiliaries of the church are here to bless us. I know that through these auxiliaries we can be happier in our families. I know that Elders Quorum teaches us how to live good lives. I say this in Jesus Christ name, amen.

Mirrored from Randy's Home On The Interwebs.