Friday, April 27, 2012

"Armed with Righteousness and with the Power of God in Great Glory"

I went to the BYU Women's Conference, which happens over two days, and have just had the most wonderful learning experiences. What happens during this conference are various sessions of topics and speakers we choose to go hear, and they enlighten us with what they know.  I'll post what I learned from the conference over the next few days in attempt to savor the words a little bit longer.

Ruth Todd, a senior manager in LDS public affairs, spoke on "Armed with Righteousness and with the Power of God in Great Glory." She stated that "Women's influence for good can be magnified by the power of God in great glory," therefore, we must arm ourselves with good, righteousness and wisdom because others within and beyond our comfortable spheres of friendship will turn to us in times of need. To do this, we are to equip ourselves of very strong armor.

Firstly, she quoted Camila Kimball's emphasis on women attaining higher education to better serve themselves, family, friends, neighbors, etc. We are capable of doing more than we think and we can be as wise as we choose and strive to be.

Second, prayer. How are fortunate are we to have the atonement of Jesus Christ to allow us this opportunity to directly speak with our Heavenly Father. Take advantage of it. Prayer unlocks the power of heaven for us and allows us to be armed with his glory and love.

Third, scriptures. They provide individual answers to what we seek to know. That helps us to better know our savior and our creator by the experiences of his children before us. From them, we learn our ways through this life.

Fourth, service. It will never fail anyone. Seek to love as He loves by serving his children. We have the power to empower others with our spiritual influence and strength. Find strong grounds and stick to it. Those you serve will see it. By staying strong in what you believe, you are serving not only those around you, but yourself as well. Be strong. "No waffling."

I'm so grateful to get to hear this message.  I felt so inspired to equip myself with goodness and become a stronger woman whom others could count on.  I think one of the blessings of this earth is having people you can count on in times of need--those who can inspire and comfort you.  I definitely want to be one of these people.  One of my most treasured gifts in this life is relationships.  They excite and comfort me to know that I am not alone, and they add so much meaning to my life.  I am deeply saddened when it doesn't work out, but I really, really try my best not to let that.  I know I need to make many changes in my life for I am not perfect, in order to serve in this capacity.  But I'm so willing to try, always.  Exemplify your best traits and talents, and strive to be the great person you know you can become, and always demonstrate and prioritize your commitment to God, family, friends, etc. as best as you can.  The Lord wants me to be happy and filled with peace, and we have both each and everyday of our lives, if we choose to make it that way.  Make each day our happiest.  CHOOSE JOY!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My time at BYU Y-Serve

One of the greatest blessings for me in college was being able to serve as a program director for BYU Y-Serve. I've had so many faith building and fulfilling experiences serving alongside kind young men and women. I've truly enjoy every step of the way from planning volunteer events and to actually implementing them.

Tonight, I was able to attend the Y-Serve spring symposium, a wonderful banquet to provide program directors with the opportunity for reflection of service. Our exceptional service council president, Joey shared an excerpt from President Gordon B. Hinckley,

“The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” 

I am sure without a doubt that for this reason, we are commanded to serve our Heavenly Father's children--to learn to love even as He does.  Joey also went on to remind us that there is never someone you couldn't love a little more or serve a little more, which I completely agree with because the act of service is infinite love that can be given without end. Through service, we carry out Christ's work; put into action his infinite atonement that is meant for ALL of us.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in service these last few years. Being a program director and volunteer really has been the most valuable experience of my college career and has made all the difference in my life. I love using my skills combined with my love for people to serve them. I want to make a difference their lives. I want to lift up some of their burdens. I want them to be happy and full. I love being able to serve with my husband, and getting to see an extra sweet side of him, aside from his service to me. I feel that even though I make mistakes (which I do tons of), service is the one thing I can always do right.  Serving my brothers and sisters shows my commitment to my Heavenly Father and makes Him happy, and when He is happy, I am happy. I want so much to make Him proud of me. I love Him so much and am indebted to Him for my life and all that I have.

Life is just so much better when we do service. Although this chapter of my life is coming to an end, I look forward to the opportunities ahead to serve others.  I will continue this calling for the rest of my life, and I hope I can inspire others to do so as well.

P.S. I was recognized for my completion of the National Americorps program by providing over 300 hours of service in a year. I also received the Y-Serve's Silver Award.  Props to all of the others who have achieved these awards. It requires many hours of dedication to service. I especially want to say how proud I am of Allie, my service council member, for all that she has achieved thus far.  I cannot think of anyone else who is more deserving  of this recognition.  She genuinely loves and serves with all of her heart.  I can feel that love every time I'm around her.  She is a true friend. I love her so much and it has been a great pleasure to work with her this past year.