A 10-Year-Old’s Testimony

It’s been a hard morning. The baby has been destroying things left and right.  Shoes are missing.  Suit jackets have chocolate inexplicably covering them.  We’re running late for church and I am in a mood. 

It’s fast and testimony meeting, and as I’m wrestling the two-year-old, my eldest son gets up and walks to the podium.  I’m used to this.  The boy has been bearing his testimony regularly since he was four.  I’ve watched his testimony grow from repeating words whispered in his ear, to heartfelt sentiments that he truly believes. 

He takes a deep breath and begins to speak.

“I know that the Lord answers our prayers.  But it might not be right away.”

He proceeds to tell the congregation about our two-day search for his glasses. 

We’d both been frustrated during that search.  But he had especially, because every other time he’d prayed to find something, it had been found almost immediately.  In an effort to help him understand, I told him that sometimes the Lord expects us to work and have faith when we pray for help.  We can know that help will come, although we may be uncertain of the timetable.   I was reminding myself as much as anything.  But apparently…my son was listening.

I know that trials are not pleasant.  Sometimes we may throw up our hands in the air and beg for relief. 

 But during the peaceful times, how often are we compelled to throw up our hands.

We learn during trials.  Our testimony is strengthened and we learn that we must place our faith in the Lord.

It will be hard for me to be grateful the next time one of my childrens’ shoes, library books, or lunch money goes missing.  I hope I remember the lesson of the glasses, and the testimony it helped grow in a 10-year-old boy.

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Struggles With Self-Worth

 In my experience, it seems that every woman in the world has felt inadequate and has questioned their self-worth in one way or another at some point in their life.  “I’m not pretty enough, skinny enough, brave enough, smart enough, organized enough, trendy enough, kind enough…” the list goes on and on.  For some reason, we constantly judge and compare ourselves to the people around us who seem to have it all. 

 As a teenager and even throughout part of college, I struggled deeply with feelings of self-worth.  I guess you could say it was one of my biggest trials.  I felt these same feelings of being fat, akward, and never quite as “good” as everyone else around me.  To anyone who knew me back then however, this may come as a surpise.  I was on student council, had a lot of friends, went on dates, and was even in Homecoming royalty my senior year of high school.  I was one of those people who to others might “seem to have it all”.  But inside, I was hurting.

 I remember a point when I felt like I couldn’t go on anymore.  I wasn’t worth it…I wasn’t worth anything.  In an act of desperation I got on my knees and simply asked for my Heavenly Father to please help me.  It was then that there came a familiar feeling that I hadn’t felt in a really long time.  A feeling of warmth, love and happiness that completely encircled me and brought me back home.  The Holy Ghost came into my heart and testified that I was worth it.  That I was a child of God, and that He loved me and has a plan for me.

 The relief and peace that I experinced that day allowed me to get up and keep going – but this time, in a better direction.  I’d like to say that I never struggled with those negative and inadequate feelings again, but in truth and although it’s much better than it was, it continues to be a trial for me.  I take comfort in a scripture from the Book of Mormon that says:

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 unto them.

– Ether 12:27

 I have a testimony that we are all children of Heavenly parents who love us and want us to return to them some day.  When I remember that, who I truly am, it makes it easier to love myself despite my faults and weaknesses.  If you struggle with feelings of inadequacy or self-worth, I challenge you to get on your knees and humbly ask your Father in heaven for help.  Your “inadequacy” may not go away, but if we are willing to let Him, He will help us change the way we think about it.  He truly can make weak things become strong for us.