So this post is about why I chose to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was also the last section of my mission farewell talk that I gave in church, in case some of you recognize it.
First off, I am going because of what I love. I love my family. I love my parents, and I want to do whatever it takes for them to be proud of me. I want to be a good example for my siblings, especially my brother as he prepares for his mission. I love the Gospel. I love the joy and the happiness that it brings me--knowing where I'm going, where I came from, and why I'm here. I love the members of my church. The Nates, Brendins, and TJs who went on missions before me and were great examples for me. I love the young men and young women who I know and want to be that example for.
But that's not the primary reason I'm going. If it was, I think it would be the wrong one. I'm going because of what I know. I know that the scriptures are the word of God. They contain doctrine given to the prophets throughout history, from eons ago to recent history. They teach what we need to know to return to God. I know that because I've read them. I've studied, pondered, and prayed about them extensively. Especially in this last year in preparation for my mission, to ensure I knew what I was getting into. And I received witness from the Holy Ghost, many witnesses, that they are true. That the Book of Mormon is true.
I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet today, God's mouthpiece for his people at this point in history. And he has told all young men to go on missions, so that is what I am going to do. I know that families can live together forever, because of ordinances that take place in the temple.
But above all, I know that Jesus is the Christ. And the Devil may send his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea all his hail and mighty storms may beat upon me but they shall not have power over me to drag me down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which I am built. Which is Christ, our redeemer. (Helaman 5:12) I cannot, I will not, desert to his foes. So that's why I'm going. I want others to love what I love. To feel what I have felt. To know what I know.