Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Being Uniquely You--cliff notes

I spoke to my congregation on Sunday. I felt so strongly about the subject, I thought I'd post an abridged version here:

When I was asked to introduce the LDS Young Womens Theme to my ward I felt to say the least, a little bit daunted. The topic? Be thou an example of the Believers.

What does that mean? To be an example? I marvel at the examples all around me. So what kind of example am I supposed to be? As I pondered this, I kept coming back to the same solid conclusion. The best example I can be to the world, Is me.

When I was asked to speak. I nearly burst into tears. Oh great. I thought. One more thing I don't have time to do. And to top it off. I'm supposed to speak on what it means to be an example? Are you kidding me?

My thought process when something like this. Not only do I have to keep an immaculate house, organize my dwindling food storage, plan my garden for the coming season, read to my children, work on the humanitarian project, do my much neglected visiting teaching, care for the sick and afflicted, prepare delicious and healthful meals for my family of five, prep my lecture for my night class, revise seven chapters in my book, exercise, attend the temple, pay the bills, work on my ward calling, be a loving wife, tend to the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of my children but now I'm supposed to be an example?

Of what? The long term effects of sleep deprivation?

Sister Elaine Jack previous General Relief Society President of the LDS Church Stated in the October 1990 session of conference.

"For thirty years, I have wanted to meet the woman against whom Latter-Day Saint women have compared themselves...She is often thought of as a Super Woman, [often] called the typical Relief Society sister--the woman who makes fabulous bread, plays the organ like a professional and dresses her impeccably groomed children in gorgeous hand made clothes.
Where is she? Who is she? What does she do that makes her beyond the reach of any woman?

My dear sisters, for many of us, comparing ourselves to the practically perfect LDS woman is part of how things are. While some of us are motivated and encouraged by such imagined or real life models, others are disheartened and discouraged by the same ideal...I can see that these comparisons may keep you from achieving your potential. Comparison is wrong unless it accounts for things as they really are."

You may say, I'm just average. There is nothing special about me or my life, Who am I to be an example to anybody?

And yet as Sister Jack says "What is manifested plainly to me is that you are extraordinary, you who's average day is lived in accordance with our Heavenly Fathers laws. No greater Heroine lives today than the woman who is quietly doing her part. NO ONE IS MORE IMPRESSIVE THAN YOU."

Each week in church the Young Women recite the LDS Young Women's theme it begins, "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us, and we love him. We will stand as witnesses of God at all times, in all things and in all places."

How do you do that best? By being you.

You don't have to have an immaculate house or a perfect enrichment night attendance record to be an example of the believers. You need to shine as you are. We all have unique talents and abilities that make us essential to our Heavenly Fathers great work. This great work is a symphony of instruments each with their own unique sounds and characteristics. If we were all meant to be the same, this life would be a solo act and it's not. We all have something important to contribute.

In a world where we are bombarded with hollow messages of what we should want or what we should feel. It is imperative that we are first and foremost, REAL. The world has enough smoke and mirrors acts as it is. We need to show the world that the happiness we have is real, honest and tangible. Our happiness obtainable.

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