Sunday, March 30, 2014

We are Different in Happy Ways

Sometimes my heart just gets so full that I have to write a blog post. Now is one of those times. I would say sorry to post twice in a row about women, but I'm not sorry. 'Tis important stuff.

Can I just say how happy the gospel makes me? How true it is that there is joy in obedience?

Last night I got to listen to the first-ever general women's meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was filled to the brim with the Spirit, with gratitude, with happiness, with motivation and with love.

What we have as women in the Church is so unique! We have this giant network of sisters, who know who they are, who know how to find true joy, who understand the importance of service and who love Jesus Christ. I feel like if I was not a member of the Church, and I watched that amazing conference, I would do anything to be part of such an amazing sisterhood.

As President Spencer W. Kimball said clear back in 1979, "Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world."

We are different. We are distinct. We are peculiar. Some might see our modest clothes and alcohol-free weekends and chaste lifestyle and say we are weird. And if we women of the Church live those standards feeling that we are restricted and missing out on something, we are missing the point. We must live the gospel so that other see us as distinct and different in happy ways, because if we're living the gospel right, happy is what we will be.

Sheri Dew talks about a time when a reporter interviewed her and said, "You can't be ordained to the priesthood, so I assume you feel oppressed about that, so how do you deal with that?"

To sit and think that women of the church are suppressed and unhappy is simply a skewed perspective. To quote president Kimball again, "Great women and men are always more anxious to serve than to have dominion." We, as women, have so much to give, so much to teach, so much happiness to exude and so many reasons to do so. And God is calling us to step up like never before. Last year, in his excellent talk "Let us Think Straight," Elder Ballard said, "Sisters, your sphere of influence is a unique sphere—one that cannot be duplicated by men. No one can defend our Savior with any more persuasion or power than you, the daughters of God, can—you who have such inner strength and conviction. The power of a converted woman’s voice is immeasurable, and the Church needs your voices now more than ever."

I sat down to write this with no solid direction to take than simply to say: the gospel brings me so much JOY. Thanks to the gospel of Jesus Christ,  I can have the worst luck and no success in the academic and social scene, yet still find joy.  I've been able to work as a volunteer helping in the temple each Saturday morning. My heart was just bursting with happiness yesterday as I was there. I think of all the sister missionaries in the world, the temple workers, the primary teachers, the visiting teachers, the young women leaders, the moms, the grandmas. Their work makes them happy. My work makes me happy. Last night in the broadcast, Elder Eyring talked about the joy of making covenants and helping others make them, and I wanted to stand up and shout, "Amen!" The best decision I ever made was to be baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The second best decision I made was to serve a mission and help others make that same covenant. It's because only through covenants can we have full access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, which is the source of all happiness. Covenant keeping increases our access to the Source of all true happiness.

And here's just a shout-out to my dear sister Hope, who is happily serving a mission in Brazil, helping others make covenants that will bring them more joy than anything else. This is a picture from exactly two years ago, at the General Conference right before I entered the MTC.

The mission in Brazil hasn't been a cake walk for her, but after a rough week this is what she said: "I love being a missionary, though, and if I can say that after 3 paragraphs of sad stories, then you better believe it's true." 

Making covenants and helping others make covenants makes us different from the world in very happy ways. 

"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity." Margaret D. Nadauld

1 comment:

  1. You have become such an elegant woman....but you were such an elegant young woman. There is no surprise there.I love it. Thanks for sharing


You Might Also Like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...