Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in a council of women. This council came as part of our regular block of Sunday meetings that I participate in as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The purpose of our council was to consider this question, “How will we use our sisterhood this year to bless the life of each sister in our community?” We talked about our responsibilities and privileges and each of us was given the opportunity to consider our own resources and impressions and consider how we might go forward with an action plan.
This council was a meeting of the Relief Society. Our purposes are to strengthen each other and our families and our community…to extend relief. We used as the foundation for our discussion, a talk given by President Russell M Nelson titled, “A Plea to My Sisters”. This talk was inspiring and powerful. It called for us as sisters to be articulate. In fact, at least 12 times in the talk, we were encouraged to “speak out”.
So part of my action plan is to do just that. I am reading a book entitled “This I Believe”. It is a compilation of essays written by a variety of people who responded to the invitation to carefully consider their own, very personal and very fundamental Beliefs. I choose to take that challenge and send the invitation on. I realize that there are many many heartfelt beliefs I could express, so I will just begin. This is that.
There was a time when I felt overwhelmed and anxious. I realized that my life was bigger than me and that I was not capable of what was being asked of me. What I have come to believe is that this is true. This is profoundly true. This was an important realization for me to come to….a place to begin something completely different. Rather than trying to run faster to catch up, I believe I can accomplish more of the really essential things by slowing down. Why is this true? It is when I slow down that I am able to connect with the power of God. I believe God is my Father and his purpose is to help me reach my potential. He can inspire me when I open myself to His tutoring. My son Nathan is taking an accelerated course in computer programming. Each day the professor introduces a concept to the
students and then gives them a challenge to incorporate that concept into a project. Their experience with it will teach them far more than he could otherwise offer. There is no failure, only experience. I see God working with me this way. I study concepts and then when I have experiences, I recognize the application of the concept. Often, my experience shows my weakness and my mistakes. This is so important for me to understand and consider. If I will allow for processing time, I will gain from every experience. I have the added advantage of a professor who understands me and my subject matter
infinitely better than I do.
To get the full advantage of this kind of education, I have realized that I need to not only make God a part of my life, but to put Him first. He has unlimited abilities and perfect understanding. He condescends to be my partner and use what I offer and make something of it. The beauty is that by putting Him first, which means trying to put Him in the center, I am able to do more with less and see His hand in it. I gain a new level of freedom and joy while being stretched. My belief is that God is completely capable; that he loves me perfectly, and that he is profoundly interested in my education
and its purposes. At once I am nothing and everything.