Sunday, November 3, 2013

"Your guide should be the scriptures, not Wikipedia!" -Elder Dallin H. Oaks

After the Music & the Spoken Word  This Temple Square 1/2 hour broadcast is on BYU TV most every
Sunday Morning and features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. 

Hello everyone! What an amazing week it was! I hope each and every one of you saw God's hand in your life this week.  If you are reading this and shaking your head thinking you didn't, look again, I promise you it's there :) You may have even been an instrument in God's hand this week in helping with His work, I mean it! Something I've really learned this week is that the Kingdom of God is built up by small and simple things.  It's those answers we get to our prayers, the verses that we read in the scriptures, the smiles that we share, the uplifting words we give and the testimonies we bear that bring people closer to Christ.

I got to announce for the first time this last week after "Music & the Spoken Word".  I announced in English as Sister John signed everything.  It was such a cool experience!

I am so grateful to be serving here at Temple Square, where we are able to hear from so many Apostles of our Savior Jesus Christ in such a personal way.  This past week Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his beautiful and adorable wife Kristin (that is what she asked us to call her) came and spoke to us! Ah! It makes me want to dance just thinking about it- it was amazing!  The spirit we could all feel when they entered the room was so thick.  The happiness they exuded was so real, and their testimonies of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ were a reality.  Elder Oaks said so many powerful things that stuck with me and all of the Sisters there.  He talked about always doing the little things to keep in tune with our Heavenly Father and told us to focus on the fundamentals of the gospel, that we can wait for the details.  One of his most quoted things however from our meeting with him was, "Your guide should be the scriptures, not Wikipedia!" haha Elder Oaks said this to his adorable wife as she kept quoting Wikipedia as her source for all of the statistics of Temple Square. Remember that :)

All the Announcing sisters after we had a tour with a wonderful couple from Holland. 

As I continued to read the scriptures this week, I felt so much more in tune with my Heavenly Father. I experienced such a powerful miracle this week that is now very near and dear to my heart.  I want you to know that God cares about you and He cares about who you have the potential to become.  He cares about your hopes, your dreams, the things you like most in life, He is aware of it all.

KELSEY SIGHTING:  Sister Briggs with Hometown Family Friend, Cindy Johnson.
Kelsey was so happy to see one of her favorite YW leaders from Bend.  Cindy was dropping off her son at the MTC for his mission and they took time out to go on the Beehive House tour with Kelsey.  Said she was happy and doing great!

The Announcing Sisters. 

This past Friday, Sister Taylor and I were walking over to the teaching center to make some phone calls and to do some weekly planning.  As we were walking past the flagpole just West of the Salt Lake temple, I saw a young man sitting next to the flower beds, hunched over with his head in his hands. It was important for Sister Taylor and I to get to the teaching center, but as I saw Him I just felt pulled to him and felt the spirit so strongly to go and speak with him.  I am so grateful that I have the amazing companion that I do, that we were able to support each other during this change of plans and do what it is that the spirit directed us to do.
We ended up speaking with this young man for about an hour--his name is Cade.  We came to find that Cade is a 19 year old guy with a big heart, really, I have never felt such a strong love of God and a strong love for others as I did with Cade that night.  Cade got emotional as he related to us all of the difficulties that he has had this past year of his life.  He shared with us that he loves the Lord, he loves this gospel more than anything, yet he was struggling to feel the spirit or to feel the guidance of God in his life.  As I looked at Cade, my heart felt broken to see such a strong son of God feeling so lost.  I could feel of God's love for him and I need him to feel it too.

I stood there for a moment trying to think of what to say that would click with him, that would bring him closer to his Savior at that moment.  The thought came into my mind..."talk to him about cars." Alrighty, I don't know too much about cars and I really was at a loss of words as to what to say, and I didn't know how that would help him to feel of God's love.  However, I know that as a missionary, I am a representative of Jesus Christ.  This is not my time to say what I want to say, but rather to act as the Savior and trust in God.  I began with, "So, I want you to pretend that you have a car, and you just absolutely love this car..." Cade just looked up at me, his eyes locked on mine and I felt Heavenly Father lock His voice with mine. 
I went on, "I want you to pretend that you have a car, and you just absolutely love this car.  If something bad were to happen to it and you had to take it somewhere to have it worked on, you would probably be hunched over, watching every step that took place to get your car back to working order. You would be there for every moment."

There was a pause to me for what seemed like an eternity.  I had no idea where those words were coming from, but I knew it was what God wanted me to say.  Cade just looked at me and said, "I love cars, I am a total car junkie.  I especially  love my car, and it just got wrecked really, really badly, I know exactly what you're talking about!"
You can only imagine my surprise, I had to control the look on my face to make it seem I knew what I was talking about or knew what I would say next, but then it just came, "Since you really care about your car, your watching over it as it's worked on.  God cares about you so so very much and is watching over you extremely carefully that if anything were to happen that would go against His will, He can intervene. You may not feel Him there, but He is just as you are with your car, and even more so."  He went on to say that that made such a huge difference to him, that he had never thought about it in that way, but it was because he could relate to it, he felt so much peace and comfort.

Brothers and Sisters, this may have been a little thing, but to me, it was a testimony that God really, truly and sincerely does care.  He knows us perfectly and He needs us as instruments in His hands to help others to see this sometimes.  God knew what Cade was going through.  I didn't know he liked cars, I didn't know he had just been in a terrible wreck, but our Father in Heaven did.  It is through those small and simple things, that God can reach out to His children and show them just how involved He is in the every detail of our lives.

We really do love it!
We love serving in the Home of Brigham Young.
(The Beehive House)

This is my commitment to you all...use the scriptures as the source in your life.  I know it can bring you answers to everything you are searching for, and on top of that, it can comfort you and so many others.  I promise you will feel of God's love for you and for His children, and that is one of the greatest things to be aware of--that God loves you, and that He lives.

Love always,

Sister Briggs!

Having fun with Sister Taylor and Sister Liao from Taiwan
(In the Beehive House)

SHOUTOUTS: thank you Mom and Dad for the amazing package and letters, Shane Myers (congrats on the engagement! So excited to receive your announcement!), Hannah Taylor, Jason Mosley (I promise I'll write you back soon! thank you home teacher!), Sister Kim Blauer and Dennis Elton

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