Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sunday Talks

Steven and I have been asked to give talks in our new ward this coming Sunday. This makes me excited for 2 reasons:
1. We will finally be able to sit through a whole sacrament meeting without having to leave to walk the halls with a very energetic 14 month old. We have not been able to sit through a whole meeting since Winston was walking at 10 months. He just wants to go, go, go ALL THE TIME. We are counting down the days till he is in nursery and we will once again be able to enjoy and listen in our other meetings. It really is the simple things...
2. And the second reason is that our topic is awesome.
The topic we have been given is, "Come listen to a prophets voice." No doubt to get us all pumped for conference. More specifically we have been asked to speak on our own personal experiences with conference. As soon as Steven told me the topic I immediately thought of a conference talk that Jeffery R. Holland gave in 2005 which was originally called, "To Young Women" and has since been nick-named, "The Great and Spacious Makeup Kit."
I was in high school, and in young women, when this talk was given and I remember being so moved when I heard it. I felt like this talk was exactly what I needed to hear. Funny how some things don't change.

Here are a few of my favorite paragraphs:

In this same vein may I address an even more sensitive subject. I plead with you young women to please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else. We are all different. Some are tall, and some are short. Some are round, and some are thin. And almost everyone at some time or other wants to be something they are not! But as one adviser to teenage girls said: “You can’t live your life worrying that the world is staring at you. When you let people’s opinions make you self-conscious you give away your power. … The key to feeling [confident] is to always listen to your inner self—[the real you.]” 8 And in the kingdom of God, the real you is “more precious than rubies.” 9 Every young woman is a child of destiny and every adult woman a powerful force for good. I mention adult women because, sisters, you are our greatest examples and resource for these young women. And if you are obsessing over being a size 2, you won’t be very surprised when your daughter or the Mia Maid in your class does the same and makes herself physically ill trying to accomplish it. We should all be as fit as we can be—that’s good Word of Wisdom doctrine. That means eating right and exercising and helping our bodies function at their optimum strength. We could probably all do better in that regard. But I speak here of optimum health; there is no universal optimum size.
In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children. At some point the problem becomes what the Book of Mormon called “vain imaginations.” 11 And in secular society both vanity and imagination run wild. One would truly need a great and spacious makeup kit to compete with beauty as portrayed in media all around us. Yet at the end of the day there would still be those “in the attitudeof mocking and pointing their fingers” as Lehi saw, 12 because however much one tries in the world of glamour and fashion, it will never be glamorous enough.
A woman not of our faith once wrote something to the effect that in her years of working with beautiful women she had seen several things they all had in common, and not one of them had anything to do with sizes and shapes. She said the loveliest women she had known had a glow of health, a warm personality, a love of learning, stability of character, and integrity. If we may add the sweet and gentle Spirit of the Lord carried by such a woman, then this describes the loveliness of women in any age or time, every element of which is emphasized in and attainable through the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ

I want to be the kind of women that is talked about in the previous paragraph. I not only want to love myself form me but also for my future daughters, nieces, cousins and any other young women I might influence. I want to be the kind of women that never talks badly about herself, or puts herself down, especially around other young women. I never, ever want to hear a future daughter of mine repeat something negative that I have said about myself, about herself. Therefore, I must be a positive example. 
This talk was so meaningful to me that as soon as it came out I printed it out and carried it around with me every day. When I was going through a "rough time" (which, of course, I thought happened on a weekly basis in high school) I would get out this talk and read over it. 
No matter what age I am or what is going on in my life this talk always helps me remember who I am, what really matters, and what does not, what I need to be doing, and helps me on my way to reaching my true potential. 
Wow. I really intended this post to be much shorter... but there you have it! 
And if you have read this whole thing I am impressed and congratulations. 

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