Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Sense of Worth

The last couple of years I have noticed when I talk to other women or read women’s blogs there is an undertone of lack of worth among the sisters of Zion. Why is that?  Of course that can be traced back to Satan.  President Joseph F Smith said that the women of the church need,

“to lead the world and…especially the women of the world in everything that is praiseworthy, everything that is God-like, everything that is uplifting and this is purifying to the children of men.”

If we, as women of Christ, feel a lack of value we won’t be able to fulfill our purposes in the last days, we will be distracted by feeling unneeded and inadequate. (Which is Satan’s plan). That is why I wanted to write this.  To tell you how I finally came to believe I had worth. 

I used to be a person that didn’t think I was ever good enough for anything.  A great very many of us I think felt or feel like this.  I do think some people come to Earth with an innate sense of their worth however.  I believe this is a gift of the Spirit.  One reason I believe this is because my husband and a couple of my children intrinsically know they have value.  While some of my other children cry and pout at any side ways glance because “they know” someone is mad at them or whatever the grievance may be.  Some of us aren’t born with a sense of worth burning as brightly as others. I have come to realize that it is a gift of the spirit we can claim.   It is a gift we must seek if we want to fulfill our purposes here in the last days.

One day while pondering in the early morning hours a couple of years ago it came to me that I am here on Earth and there are two channels.  One channel (which is quieter) is from my Creator and He sends messages of light, truth and love.  The other channel (this one screams) is from my would-be Destroyer and the messages are darkness, lies and hate.  I came to realize that everyday my self-worth channel was set on the lying channel.  These are some of the messages on the two channels:

Creator:

You are a child of God.
Your life has meaning and purpose.
You have a divine nature.
I want you to come home to me.
The worth of souls is great.
I need you.
 
Destroyer:
You are worthless.
You can’t do anything right.
You’ll never be good enough, so don’t try.
You’re a fool.
You’re family and friends think you are ridiculous.
You are not needed for anything.
 
The lying messages are easier to receive because no effort is required.  It is a “path of least resistance” message.  It is easier to listen to these messages the same way it is easier to eat candy and junk food.  We feel sick afterwards but we keep eating because some how we think it is feeding us and it is an easier message to partake of.

When realization dawned, I realized I wanted and needed to change the frequency.  Of course I want life and not death.  But how do you change 30+ years of entrenched messages of lies?  I realized it was like loosing 50 pounds of fat (or maybe a lot more!).  I realized I had to change, but it was still overwhelming.  It is so much easier to keep indulging.  (Or so I thought of course).  So what was the answer?

Repentance.  It was not the answer I wanted to hear.  But it is always the answer.  I believed Satan.  I had put my trust in Satan.  I had let him be my god for sending me self worth messages.  I had been deluding myself into thinking I wasn’t sinning, but as a daughter who had made baptismal and temple covenants I did know what the truth was.  I just wasn’t believing it before.  I realized that not trusting in God was breaking the commandments.  The first commandment is to love God.  The God.  Of course it didn’t make me evil or awful.  It simply meant I couldn’t progress like I wanted to until I changed.  It meant I wasn’t able to receive the light I wanted until I realigned myself to God.  Elder Cook said in the last conference, “When our commitment is diminished for any reason, part of the solution is repentance.”

So I prayed.  I was sorry.  I wanted to listen to light and truth.  I realized that I needed to exercise faith.  After all the years of gospel teaching the plain and simple truth was applying the first principles of the Gospel.  Faith.  Since I didn’t have a testimony of my own self worth I had to start with a particle of faith.  I had to trust God when he taught that I really was a child of God and He needed me.  I had to believe the message He was sending.  I had to believe they were the truth.  I had to exercise my faith and believe Him.

Then came the work.  Because that is what faith is: ACTION.  It becomes a time to act and not be acted upon.  It becomes time to give up on the path of least resistance. It was time to take the higher road, do an about face, and turn to God. 

I had to reject the messages.  Simply quoting President Uchtdorf.  “STOP IT !”  Stop listening to the lies and the darkness.  Stop believing that Satan is telling the truth.  To do this each time a lie came in to my mind I had to reject the lie and quote the truth.

“You are stupid…….stop……wrong message…….I am a child of God and He loves me.”

“You will never be good enough for exaltation…stop…..wrong message……I have a divine destiny….my life as meaning and purpose…..”

Again.  Reject the lie. Quote the truth.  And believe it.  It is hard at first.  I was amazed how often the lies stream in through out the day and I didn’t even realize it.  It is easier to wallow in a lie from Satan about ourselves than it is to listen to a message of truth.

After you reject the lie and quote the truth you need to redirect yourself.  It’s time to stop thinking about ourselves. The treatment is the same as those struggling with angry thoughts or pornographic images.  We could “hum our favorite tune,” praise God, count our many blessings, and/or we can go serve some one.  We get our minds off of the train of thought we were going down.   We get our minds off of ourselves.

The miracle is that as you reject the lie, change to the truth channel and think about others your seed of faith grows until you KNOW.  You know and now you have a testimony.  You know you are a child of God.  You know you do have individual worth.  You finally really believe your life has purpose.  People do like you. And you know God loves you.

And then you live.  You discover greater depth to your relationships.  You feel a greater capacity to love other people.  You feel joy.  You grow.  You receive personal revelation. In a nutshell you soar with God.

Thoughts from Spring 2012  General Conference on this subject:

Elder Hales, “…a life of joy and happiness, is an essential part of Heavenly father’s plan for each one of us…As our spiritual desires increase, we become spiritually self-reliant….the sacrament gives us an opportunity to come to ourselves and experience ‘a mighty change’ of heart-to remember who we are and what we most desire.”

Elder Soares, “To sow in the Spirit means that all our thoughts, words, and actions must elevate us to the level of the divinity of our heavenly parents….the natural man, which allows people to be influenced by passion, desires, appetites, and drives of the flesh instead of looking for inspiration from the Holy Ghost…Therefore, our daily question must be, ‘Do my actions place me in the Lord’s or in the enemy’s territory?”  JUST READ THIS WHOLE TALK.

Elder Scott, “One must be ever mentally and physically clean and have purity of intent so that the Lord can inspire….The more closely you follow divine guidance, the greater will be your happiness here and for eternity-moreover, the more abundant your progress and capacity to serve.”

Brother Ochoa quoting Elder Holland, “I am looking for men young and old who care enough about this battle between good and evil to sign on and speak up.  We are at war.”

President Uctdorf, “This ‘mighty change’ of heart is exactly what the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to bring into our lives.”

Elder Nelson, “Spiritual progress is attained through the steps of faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end, including the endowment and sealing ordinances of the holy temple.  Just as the body requires daily food for survival, the spirit needs nourishment as well.  The spirit is nurtured by eternal truth.”

Read Sister Beck’s talk.

2 comments:

Mama Rachel said...

I really needed this. Thank you.

Hugs,
Rachel

Jenp8 said...

And then you live. You discover greater depth to your relationships. You feel a greater capacity to love other people. You feel joy. You grow. You receive personal revelation. In a nutshell you soar with God.


I have been on this same journey this past summer. Learning to be more in tune with my Heavenly Father and Savior. What you stated in the above paragraph is exactly what I am experiencing. In my journal I wrote:
Happiness comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ and developing a relationship with him. My happiness level depends upon the amount of effort I am putting into that relationship. 2 Nephi 5:27 says, “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.” To me that implies that happiness is a way of living and not a destination to be sought after or happened upon. I have found that when I am striving to use my imperfections as stepping stones toward becoming more like Christ and not as road-blocks to my eternal destiny, happiness finds me, I don’t have to seek it anymore.

What an amazing thing. True joy is a by product of being connected with our divine nature and following the commandments of the Savior. It isn't something we have to seek. I just happens.