Fairwell Talk

                It’s such a blessing to be here today, to be able to speak to all of you. Some of you already know me, to everybody else my name is John Logsdon and I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and I am called to serve in the Japan Nagoya Mission.

                2 years ago I would never have imagined myself up here, talking in church, being a priesthood holder, having a temple recommend, and about to go on a mission. I have changed so much. Nobody who knew me back then ever thought that this would happen to me, not even my family. Many can’t quite understand why I am going or why I am so drawn into this church. But some know, some can just tell how much I have changed, how happy I’ve become.

                I grew up in the Church but I was never part of the Church. My family moves quite a lot so we were always changing schools and changing wards. My family was on and off a lot and inactivity was very common for us. After we moved back to Brazil my family started to split apart. My sister and my older brother decided to stay in the States and a little while later my parents had a divorced and my Dad moved out. So now the family of 7 has become a family of 4. It was my Mom, me and my 2 younger brothers.

              What happened was I stopped going to church, I stopped praying, I never really read the book of Mormon. I think one of the biggest problem was I just couldn’t understand. I couldn’t see how everything relates to everything and I had many questions and so with time I started drifting away from the church and religion in general.

                There was this one day, and I will never forget it because it’s the very reason I’m here today. I was visiting my Dad with my younger brother Jay and we were getting everything ready to move to the States. While I was there I remember overhearing a conversation my dad was having with jay about some challenge that President Hinckley gave that anybody who reads the Book of Mormon cover to cover by the end of the year would be blessed. Now this is what was really strange about the whole thing. At that time I was so far out of the church that I really didn’t care at all about anything relating to the church or even religion in general, but when I heard this a something hit me, a feeling deep down inside.  I couldn’t understand why this was affecting me so much. The whole day I just couldn’t get that challenge out of my head. It was like a voice inside my head was trying so hard to convince me that I should read the Book of Mormon. I kept thinking how the Book of Mormon is such a short book and how easy and fast I could read it and how I had nothing to lose. I figured my life couldn’t get any worse then it already is, I mean I was constantly depressed back then. I felt that my life was meaningless, it just gets worse and worse and that nothing mattered. I even went so far as to think of this challenge as more of a test to see if it’s all true.

                This was mid June, I believe, when I opened the Book of Mormon for the first time and really read it. As I was reading, I remember times where I got pretty worked up. It was like waves and waves of intense emotions. As you read the Book of Mormon you notice how it repeats all the bad things you shouldn’t do and what happens when you do, do it. I just started crying sometimes because I knew it was true and I knew that my life will never be the same again. I had to stop doing what I was doing and living the way I was living. I just couldn’t go back after learning such truths. Looking back, I realize that deep down I always knew that the church is true and the book of Mormon is true but I just didn’t want to read it, didn’t want to accept it, didn’t want to acknowledge it. I wanted to stay in ignorance and I kind of felt back then that I would be safe in ignorance. Only later did I read that I’m screwed either way. It was hard, really hard to give up my old way of life but I never felt such joy in my life, never felt so at peace.

               

               In Alma 32:27 it says:
                                “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”

                As I was reading the book of Mormon I reached a point where I wasn’t simply reading it for the heck of it but deep down I really wanted to know the truth, I wanted to believe. 

              It continues in Alma 32:28

                                “Now we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel those swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves– It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.”

                 And that’s exactly what happened. I know without a doubt in my mind that the Book of Mormon is true, that this church is true. I set out to prove something, I tried an experiment like Alma asks and it amazingly enough the seed really is good. The word is good. I finally understand, all my questions have been answered, and my doubts began fading away.

                The Book of Mormon is such a powerful book. It has changed my life forever. I can’t even tell you how much it has blessed me. There is just something so powerful within those words. It will tell you everything that you need to know. It will help you get through all the problems you are facing and all the challenges that are still to come. Life is not easy and it’s not going to get any easier and we need all the help we can get. Then why not get it from the one person who knows what’s coming and what we need to get through it?

                Reading the scriptures daily will not only help you solve your problems that you are facing but it will strengthen your testimony, your faith, and it will help you understand that still small voice just a little bit more. When reading the Book of Mormon you might not think that you’re getting anything that will help but your wrong. Reading those words will get you better in tone with the Holy Ghost. And he Holy Ghost speaks the words of Christ who knows all things and is willing to tell us everything if we only ask and listen to words.

                2 Ne. 33:10

                                … And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ…

                2 Ne. 32:3

                                … Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.

 

“If you and I are to feast upon the words of Christ, we must study the scriptures and absorb His words through pondering them and making them a part of every thought and action”

-Elder Robert D. Hales
Ensign, Nov. 98

                                                                                                               

                      I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, even out Lord Jesus Christ and that reading them daily will help each and every one of us to get through all hardships if we only hearken to its teachings.

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    • Christopher J.
    • September 10th, 2006

    Nice speach, I didnt read all of it because i will hear it this afternoon and I dont want to ruin it for me. So far it sounds great and I look forward to seeing the spirit with you as you give your talk

    • Sebastien
    • September 10th, 2006

    Hey… nice speech… and although Im not a big fan of religion…as you know, I can at least understand why many ppl practice it, and completly respect them for it…Anyways, cya logs/john!! Have fun with your missionary work and cya in 2yrs I guess….*waves*

    • Rie
    • September 18th, 2006

    hey John!! i want to say thanks for visiting my space ((but how do you know that i got many sites!!)) well~> i am just like you =] i have a lot of sites… BUT i dont use that much i use to =P very lazy to update all the sites, i guess. i think it’s better to stick with one sites or two that you like the best ((something like that)). Oh well~> it’s time for me to do my homework! take care and you are always welcome to visit in my site!!
     
    XOXOXRie K.

    • Ursula Waltemath
    • October 14th, 2006

    wow John.. thats a beautiful speech!! i dont exactly understand why its a farewell..or where you are going, but Good luck in everything. Being happy depends only upon yourself and i see you`ve found it =)
    hugs,
    Ursula

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