Homecoming Talk on August 9th, 2015

Come Unto Christ And Be Healed 7/9/15

  • It is good to be with you today Brothers and Sisters! For those of you that I’ve never met before, and have no idea why I’m up here today, my name is Skyler Rushton, son of Matt and Miriam Rushton. I returned on Wednesday from my mission in British Columbia—the Canada Vancouver mission. I’ve spent the last six months living on an Island among many, many hippies, so it’s good to be back in good old Utah. I was asked to speak today on the topic of, “Come Unto Christ and Be Healed.” I hope you don’t mind doctrine intertwined with stories from my mission, because that’s what you’re going to get!

    Skyler's Homecoming Party.

    Skyler’s Homecoming Party With Friends From His Mission!

  •  On page 60 of Preach My Gospel, it reads “God sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, into the world so that all of God’s children would have the possibility of returning to live in His presence after they die. Only through the Savior’s grace and mercy can we become clean from sin so that we can live in our Heavenly Father’s presence. Becoming clean from sin is being healed spiritually.” Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the path to spiritual healing. If we open our hearts to the Savior, he can heal us of anything.
  • D&C 112:13 reads, “And after their temptations, and much tribulation, behold, I, the Lord, will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them. “
  • I was serving in a place called Courtenay on Vancouver Island where, on my first day there, we met a man named Akshay Kapoor. Akshay is from India, and he has had a very hard life. He is estranged from his parents and siblings and became an alcoholic to cope with his emotional pain. His uncle sent him to Canada to study so he could escape the slums of Delhi. He was the nicest person I’ve ever met, and his friend, Anshul, who we were already teaching, had brought him to learn about Christianity. He was Hindu prior to that. Akshay had many truth seeking, heart felt questions about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, because he didn’t really know anything about them. He loved everything that we taught him and as he applied what we taught him, he felt the spirit, received answers to prayers and began to be converted to the savior. Initially when we invited him to be baptized, he was convinced that he would NEVER be able to give up alcohol. But step by step Akshay worked towards making that covenant with God and on June 14th, he was baptized a member of Jesus Christ’s church. I saw a transformation in that man that could only be classified as a miracle. “Miracles ARE a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (BD-“Miracles”) Through living the gospel of Jesus Christ and using the power of His atonement, Akshay was made whole.
  • Jesus Christ promises to forgive us of our sins and heal us so long as we repent, or change to become more aligned with God’s will. As these things happen and we become more one with God, we are able to reach out and strengthen Heavenly Father’s other children. Jesus told Peter  “…When Thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” That conversion took time but when it finally came, Peter became a powerful tool in the hands of God, baptizing three thousand souls on the day of Pentecost alone.
  • I… Didn’t do anything quite like that. But as I strove to be worthy and willing, God brought miracles about in my ministry. There is a lady we taught in Courtenay named Nancy who was a believer in Jesus Christ already and had been baptized multiple times into different churches. She told us that it felt good for a while, but the “spiritual high” became dulled, and eventually went away. She had been addicted to Coffee, tea and tobacco for more than 40 years, and we didn’t know quite how to approach that. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy to read. Three days later we went back. It was only her second lesson, but we went in with a plan to teach the Word of Wisdom and just see what happened. When we sat down and followed up on her reading, she proceeded to tell us that she had read from the Intro to Alma 40, prayed about it, and knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. After we picked up our jaws from the floor, we taught her the word of wisdom and she committed to live it with no questions asked. It took her about a month and half, but eventually she gave up all of her addictions and was baptized. A couple months later, I got to see her one last time before I came home. She had read the Book of Mormon twice and told me that she had never felt happier in her entire life. It was an incredible experience.
  • The Book of Mormon is a catalyst that helps bring about this spiritual healing I’ve been talking about. I have seen it change lives first hand, and it has also changed mine. My mission was really hard, but it made me grow in the way God wanted me too. I know that God gave me the scriptures to lead me, guide me and strengthen me on my mission, as well as for the rest of my life.
  • Ok, one last story. There was a recent convert in Langley—Brother Cameron is his name—who is pretty old and physically, his body isn’t in really good shape. He had a really, really rough past. He would walk around with a cane all the time and wouldn’t be able to stand for very long. He went and did baptisms for the dead in the temple a month or so after he was baptized. He told me that when he came up out of the water in one of his first dunks, he felt his back pop and release a lot of pressure. When he came out of the baptismal font, he didn’t need his cane to walk anymore. He walked more uprightly and said that he felt almost no back pain anymore. This story is a little different from the first two, but it was a fun one to tell to converts who were getting ready to go to the temple!
  • I think I might be running out of time… But the last thing I want to touch on is how to go through life WITHOUT needing to change big things. The Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet we share with people says “Repentance does not always mean making big changes. Often it simply requires an increased commitment to live according to God’s will.” This is Nephi’s counsel on the subject:
  • 2 Nephi 31: 19-20: “And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”
  • This is the way to happiness in life! Bear your testimony.

I hope you enjoyed a copy of my homecoming talk! It was an awesome sacrament meeting and I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to tell some stories from my mission that have forever changed my life! Thank you all for reading! Have a great day!

–Skyler Rushton

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Skyler has been home this long-

  • Skyler has been home for:
    8 years, 10 months, 14 days, 22 hours, 43 minutes, 25 seconds ago