I learned something through the Spirit this week. I sat and listened to a faithful daughter of God share her efforts amid the hard moments of life. She felt that her attempts were all in vain due to what I will term as, “a little rough edge” on a potential strength. I felt it imperative to provide encouragement to support her. I wondered how I could. I continued to listen to her describe her frustrations with herself and her worry that the effort she gave wasn’t good enough. She talked about just giving up, and wondered about how to suppress her strength for fear of dealing with the rough edges.
Haven’t we all felt that way? We are busy people doing so many good things in the world. Why does that one negative feedback- so easily recognized – echo in our thoughts? Personal insecurities seem to carve out a place in our souls, an ache of failure. This can breed a feeling and desire to just throw in the towel or to stop caring. It can, and does, stop us from making progress along the road to becoming who the Lord has created us to be.
“Look at you. You were being counted on to be great. You were needed and you failed. You went about it in the wrong way. You keep failing in this area. You should never try to be great again.”
I bear witness, my brothers and sisters, the sentence above is not the voice that the Lord would have us hear or give heed to. It seems that too often the adversary sends a poisonous message of weakness to our hearts. Instead of a personality trait in progress towards becoming a strength, the adversary of all things, terms our emerging strength as a fault that should be ignored and restrained. Recognize him for his presence of helplessness, doubt and discouragement. Don’t allow him to dwell in your soul or to rest next to your precious heart. I hope that as we strive to support one another, that we will remind, coach and lift with the words of our Savior!
Doctrine & Covenants 78:18 ” And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.” (Don’t give up.)
Ether 12:27 “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong.” (You are becoming so awesome!)
Doctrine & Covenants 82:18 “And all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord’s storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church” (You are a part of a great work)
Alma 34: 33 “…for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.” (Keep trying!)
Hebrews 4: 16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Keep praying!)
Keep refining those strengths! You are treasured. It’s my testimony that we can be shielded in our learning and growth process by his perfect love– if we would receive it. He will continue to help us find ways to improve. It’s the fantastic latter days- let’s spread love and get ready for the second coming!