Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives

If you haven't yet taken the opportunity to listen to or read the BYU Women's Conference addresses from our new general Relief Society leaders, I would highly encourage you to do so. (Find various ways to access their talks here. I'm quoting Sister Bingham in this post, but you won't want to miss Sister Eubank's keynote and presidency address and Sister Aburto's heartfelt talk.)

Many things that these powerful, faithful women shared are relevant to the purposes of this blog. For example, it's so clear that our leaders know our hearts and our struggles trying to figure out how to have balance in our lives and to make important decisions. Listen to these words from Sister Bingham
“Many of us have questions....What model should I choose as my own path? How can I express my individuality and develop my particular talents? What is the best timeline for me to pursue an education or further a career or focus on my family? What is my role in the kingdom of God on earth? How can I fulfill my divine potential? These questions can trouble our minds and hearts."
So often, we can be fearful in navigating these questions, but our leaders constantly urge us to be centered in the truth of our divinity and to trust God to help and guide us. 

I'm reminded of this quote from Elder Scott:
Throughout the ages, many have obtained guidance helpful to resolve challenges in their lives by following the example of respected individuals who resolved similar problems. Today, world conditions change so rapidly that such a course of action is often not available to us. Personally, I rejoice in that reality because it creates a condition where we, of necessity, are more dependent upon the Spirit to guide us....Therefore, we are led to seek personal inspiration in life’s important decisions.
Perhaps you remember Sister Beck saying something similar, specifically addressing the complexity of women's lives "The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life."

There are no easy answers to the kinds of questions that weigh on our minds and hearts as women in today's complex, last-days, hastening-the-work world. But I, too, rejoice in the reality that we will never fully find our specific answers "somewhere out there." The most powerful women I know are those who are grounded in God and in their confidence in His guidance. Each of us has work to do! But for each of us, how that unfolds will be a little different. (Be sure to read Sister Eubank's keynote and how she explores the richness that comes from the combination of our unique gifts and missions in life.)

Again, here are thoughts from Sister Bingham:
The wonder of [God's] heavenly economy is that every single one of us can be spectacular because of our unique bundle of talents and abilities. Unlike the world, in His kingdom there is no winner’s platform that only has room for one or two. Each of His daughters has been taught and prepared and gifted premortally with marvelous potential to become a queen in the celestial kingdom.
And each of us has unique gifts and talents that God will use in His time and way to allow us to be instruments in His hands at this critical time in His work. In truth, there is no ordinary work when it is consecrated to and guided by Him.
So, what “extraordinary thing” will you choose to do? Choose something according to your available time and resources. “Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means … but be diligent.” Whether your “work of salvation” is largely in the home at this time in life or your influence extends to a global scale, or somewhere in between, the Lord is pleased with your efforts when you are focused on serving God’s children and the eternal goal of returning to Him as a “new and improved” version of your spiritual self. ~Sister Jean B. Bingham
I'm excited for this blog to be re-launched, and for us all to engage with each other as we seek God's help -- and each other's support -- in finding our personal places in God's grand plan and the hastening of His work.

How have you felt God's guidance in the unfolding of your extraordinary story? What helps you embrace your life where it is at the moment?

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