Thursday, April 30, 2015

As Trevor's mom, I thought it might be fun for those of you who are following Trevor's antics in Philadelphia and were not available to come to his farewell to read it instead.  

My name is Trevor Dean.  I have been called to serve in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission.  For those of you who don’t know me too well, it might be because when I moved into this ward 4 years ago I was 5 feet tall.  (Trevor is now 6'4 and growing) I also graduated from Timpview in 2014 and during my senior year I attended MATC.  I graduated MATC with certifications in Welding, which is probably a field not many of you are familiar with.  In my certification, I was trained to work in many welding processes including Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Flux Core Arc Welding, Gas Metal Arc Welding and Shielded Metal Arc Welding.  Much like all beginning college students, what I intend to do with this….is absolutely nothing.  But it was a good experience for me and some day when I’m a father, I will know how to do cool things like my own Dad and Grandpa Binks.   
Trevor's Farewell April 12/2015
My talk today is about personal revelation.  Joseph Smith said, “Salvation cannot come without revelation.  It is vain for anyone to administer without it.”  What this means is salvation, or immortality, cannot come without individual effort to understand Gods plan for us.  The overall best way to receive constant personal revelation is to follow the commandments we have been given.  One of the first commandments we learn about as children is to pray.  Later, we learn that we must pray often and with real intent, which means that we are committed to act on the answer we receive.  In such prayers, we must speak openly and honestly with our loving Father in Heaven so we can receive the answers to life’s real hard choices.

One of the hardest choices I had to make in my life was whether or not I really wanted to serve a mission. I was born and have grown up in the Church, and from the time I was in nursery I have been told that I was going on a mission.  I sang songs about missionaries, I was taught lessons about how to be a good missionary, and I thought that a mission was just something I was honor-bound to do.  And I continued to think this way until my junior year of high school. This was the first real time that I looked at my life and who I was becoming and I felt that I really didn't understand the Church or why I needed to go on a mission. I knew that I didn't have a testimony about the scriptures like everybody else, but I didn't want to read the scriptures.  I already knew the stories and I felt like I knew how to be a good person, so what was the point?  I continued to show up to church meetings and do what I was told but a void started to grow between me and the gospel. This felt especially prevalent during my senior year when my friends started getting mission calls.  I felt barraged by a thousand voices asking when I would “put my papers in” but I continually made excuses and found ways around having to give the straight answer… that I didn't want to serve a mission.  But when my best friend Gabe got his call to Guatemala, he changed and became more like a missionary and he and I really started to talk about the Church.  And as he talked to me one night about how exited he was to spread the gospel, I wanted to be as happy as he was.  I wanted the “firm testimony of Christ” that he had and that night, by my bed side, I added something to my nightly rituals.  I had a genuine talk with my Heavenly Father.  As I prayed, I emptied my heart of all my worries and  feelings and asked the questions of my soul and at the end of my prayer, I knew what I had to do to receive answers to my questions and gain a real testimony of the Church… read the Book of Mormon and pray every day.
Now I’m going to use welding to explain why daily scripture study and prayer are so important. When you weld, you have two baseplates you need to stay together.  By introducing new external metal at extreme temperatures, you fuse them together.  A flux on the outside of the electrode protects the molten pool and protects it from outside contaminants.  If done properly, the weld area will be stronger than the parent metal.  Testimonies are like welds.  They make us stronger and when real pressure comes, they will be what hold us together.  Scripture study and prayer are like the flux that protects the weld while it’s forming and make the weld strong.  And I know that my testimony weld isn’t done.  It may have passed inspection, but I will keep needing to add to it by living the gospel and by following the commandments.
Now back to my story.  I read the Book of Mormon and I prayed every night and I was constantly receiving personal revelation.  A few months before finishing school, I decided that I needed to know whether I needed or wanted to go on a mission.  As I was reading in Alma 26, I got my answer.  In this chapter, Ammon is praising the Lord and in verses 2 and 3 he says:  And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?  3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.
When I read this, I knew that I needed to serve a mission.  I didn't feel happy and joyous and willing to praise God at that moment, but I knew I had to act on it because I knew the joy I had received by living the gospel.  I knew that if I could help someone else feel that same joy, then I could give two years of my life to the Lord.  After that, I completed my papers, got my call and am now standing before you as a changed man.  I will bear my own personal testimony that the first person Gabe changed wasn't in Guatemala and that the Book of Mormon is an inspired book and by reading it daily you will see immediate improvement in your everyday life.  I’ll also bear my testimony that you can always pray to your Heavenly Father no matter what situation you are in.  He will always send aid because He loves you and wants you to be happy and He has provided a perfect way for us to return to him.  And I’ll end by closing in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

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