YOUTH SESSIONS OF
THE WARD CONFERENCES OF
WARRENTON, VA STAKE
Good morning, my young brothers and sisters. How many of you are in high school? Raise your hands. Thank you.
On the first day of school my freshman year in high school, the cheerleaders were on a raised platform by the entrance to the school doing cheers. One of the cheerleaders was so pretty, she took my breath away. I immediately had a crush on her. It lasted for two years, during my freshman and sophomore years, which were her junior and senior years. What do you think the chances were that she would ever be my girlfriend? Right! Absolutely zero! I knew that. But I couldn't help myself. About that time a song came out on the radio by Linda Ronstadt, entitled "Long, Long Time." It became my favorite song because it described my situation. Let me read you the second stanza:
Caught in my fears; blinkin' back the tears.
I can't say you hurt me, when you never let me near.
And I never drew one response from you.
All the while you fell, for all the [boys] you never knew.
'Cuz, I've done everything I know, to try and make you mine.
And I think its gonna hurt me, for a long, long time.
(Words by Gary White. Copyright 1970, MCA Music, ASCAP)
Why do you think these words meant so much to me? Right. Because I lived the life that was described by them. Those were not just about me, they WERE me.
II. FIGURE SKATING
Have any of you watched figure skating on TV? During the program, there are two people talking about skating. One person is the announcer and the other is the commentator. Who can explain to me what the difference is between the announcer and the commentator? Exactly! The announcer is a professional broadcast journalist. This person could announce anything--car racing, news, or shampoo. They only know just enough about skating so they can tell us what the bare facts are.
On the other hand,the commentator is not a broadcast journalist, but a professional skater. This person knows the sport inside and out. But they can only comment on skating--not car racing or the weather. The commentator interprets the facts given by the announcer. The commentator tells us what the skaters should have done, what the skaters did well, and what they didn't do so well.
The difference is that the announcer knows something ABOUT skating but the commentator KNOWS skating because he or she IS a skater. I want to make clear the difference between KNOWING ABOUT something and KNOWING something. The difference is one can only KNOW skating by BEING a skater. Everybody else just KNOWS ABOUT skating.
III. KNOWING THE SAVIOR
Let's take what we understand about skating and apply it to the Gospel. So, what is the difference between knowing about the Savior and knowing the Savior? Right! One comes to know about the Savior by studying the scriptures, while one comes to know the Savior by being Christlike. Which one are we supposed to do--know about the Savior, or know the Savior? It is a trick question, because we need to do both. But let us read what the scripture says.
John 17:3 - And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Does the scripture say "know about," or does it say "know?" It says "know." So how do we "know" the Savior? Right! By being Christlike.
IV. BEING CHRISTLIKE
So now the question is, how do we become Christlike? How does a person become a skater? A person becomes a skater by practicing over and over again the behaviors and actions of a skater. They practice so much that skating becomes a natural part of who they are. They are transformed from a regular person into a skater. It is the same process for becoming Christlike. One must practice doing Christlike things so much that it becomes a natural part of our being. We must become a Christlike person.
One skater knows another skater, even if they have never met, because they have gone through so many of the same experiences throughout their lives. When they meet for the first time, they will have so many things to talk about--their coaches; the moves; the pain and embarrassment of falling down; the judges; different kinds of ice; the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat; their hopes; their fears; different kinds of skates; the many contests, etc.
So too, we know the Savior, though we may not meet Him in this life, because we have gone through so many of the same experiences throughout our lives. We have done the ordinances like baptism; we have become friends with those everyone else hates; we have ignored temptations; we have helped those in need; we keep ourselves physically and spiritually clean; we have preached the gospel; we have taught by our example; we have been kind and cheerful; we have been obedient; and, we have loved everybody we have met.
Brothers and sisters. Just like that song meant so much to me because it described the life I was living, so,too, the scriptures about Christ will have meaning as we live a Christlike life. And just as two skaters who have never met still know each other because they lead skating lives, so, too, we know our Savior by leading a Christlike life. To this I bear my testimony. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.