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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Weak of the Earth

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Dallin H. Oaks, Gary E. Stevenson, and Koichi Aoyagi in this past General Conference spoke of how the Lord uses the weak of the earth to accomplish His purposes.  My nephew, Dane, wrote home from his mission about this principle from Conference as well:

 "One truth that struck me particularly this time was how weak and human these servants are, subject to the same disappointments and difficulties as all of us. Many of the personal stories they shared were familiar moments from my own life. President Nelson's failed operations and resignation allowed me to see him differently... The three newly called apostles shared feelings of profound inadequacy that I know extremely well--too well. I understand Elder Renlund's emotional distantness. You all know I do. And one of the most powerful moments was seeing President Monson, voice and strength rapidly waning, clinging toward the last words of his talk. Seeing the frailty in them all and how they are sustained fortifies my testimony of their divine calling and righteousness." - Dane Whitaker

It can be terribly painful and overwhelming to see the areas in our lives where we are weak.  And though the things I've been called to do are nowhere even close to approaching the magnitude and responsibility of apostleship, I still struggle with many feelings of inadequacy.

Almost exactly one year ago, I applied to go to the school of my dreams and received notice that my application was rejected.  Feelings of not being good enough, of inferiority, and doubting my ability to receive personal revelation pressed on my soul with a strangling force.  The very next morning, I attended a local institute class my friend, Jennifer Platt, was teaching.  She began the class by saying, she had felt impressed to take the lesson a different direction from our regular "Daughter's in My Kingdom" study.  Without her knowing what weighed on my heart, she proceeded to give the very same lesson on patriarchal blessings and discovering our life's mission that she gave at a seminar in March of 2013. (the one that first awakened me to know without a doubt I needed to pursue BYU.  It's funny because that same month in 2013 I met with a counselor in my Bishopric to get an ecclesiastical endorsement - but I didn't know what I was doing then and I didn't end up fully applying until over a year later.)

Not only was Jennifer's lesson miraculously timely on that day.  That same morning, I also happened to sit down right beside a woman who had never attended Jennifer's class before and never attended it after.  She introduced herself as Carol, she was extremely compassionate towards me noticing the obvious emotion I had been unable to contain during Jennifer's lesson.  Meeting Carol swept me into a current of friends I never imagined associating with, women who are extremely well organized, well dressed, highly educated, beautifully articulate, incredibly intelligent, and solid in their faith.  Two of the women own and edit their own magazine, two are former General Young Women's board members, one is married to a Dr. and makes yearly trips with him to do volunteer work in Africa, and most of the women have Master's degrees and experience in public speaking.  I had the opportunity of spending a week with these fine ladies defending the family at the United Nations earlier this year.  The last week of this month, I will have the opportunity of attending the World Congress of Families with them.  This is the first year World Congress has ever held their meetings in the United States and it's here in Salt Lake City!!

This is just one group I'm associated with through Carol.  The other group is my homeschool friends.  These mom's are of the very same caliber as Carol's political organization.  Every week I'm with them, I wonder how on earth I got to where I am.  What do I even have to offer these ladies?!  I feel as if my contribution is so terribly minimal.  How grateful I am for their friendship in spite of all I lack. They are all so dear to me.

This morning for my personal study I memorized my weekly scripture for "Ponderizing."  I also read 2 Nephi 2:6-7, which led me to D&C 97:8

"Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me." - D&C 97:8

This scripture brings me an immense amount of comfort.  I don't have much to give.  I am weak and void of skills in so many areas... but I do have a heart that is broken and a spirit that is willing to sacrifice whatever the Lord asks of me.  I find hope knowing that this is accepted of Him.  As long as Christ is my center, I know that "all things will work together for good."



Ramona Gordy said...

Awesome Alicia
I have heard of the "World Congress of Families,piques my interest. Will there be a report or an overview of this by the Church? Is this a Church sponsored activity?

I looked up the translation of the word "weak", it comes from the Greek, which seems to be a "subjective" type of language. Surprisingly, the word weak is in the feminine.It means:"From asthenes; feebleness (of mind or body); by implication, malady; morally, frailty -- disease, infirmity, sickness, weakness."
Great things of God are done in spite of the weakness or human frailty of men and women. I like that. It speaks of the opportunity to exercise "self-discipline", but also to be "disciplined" or rather "shaped and formed" by God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

In light of what you have shared, we could say that our human frailty, has the opportunity, because of our life in Christ, can be an asset when we are submissive to the will of the Father. He qualifies those whom he calls.
You are qualified.

Alicia Rawlins said...

Hi Ramona! I love your wisdom and the time you take to share it with me. It is truly a blessing in my life. Thank you!

The World Congress of Families is not sponsored by the church (not that I know of anyway) but there will be several high-up Church leaders attending and or speaking, so they might make mention of it in Church News.